Review – Composite II Speeches

Composite II Speeches (Up to August 2015)

Items of Interest

Included below are reviews of 29 speeches. I attended most of these speeches and found others on the internet. I combined these speeches into a “Composite speech.”

One of the speakers was an archeologist. His answers to my questions:

  1. The ancestors of the Dakota Indians were not Minnesota’s first residents.
  2. The ancestors of the Dakota Indians arrived in present day Minnesota about 600 A.D. from the central Mississippi River area.
  3. The ancestors of the Dakota Indians never occupied all of Minnesota.
  4. It cannot be proven there are Dakota remains in all of the burial mounds in Minnesota.

General Comments

  • There are many unproven allegations, incorrect generalities and incorrect statements in the following statements.
  • Some of these statements are complicated and need more details than what I can give here.

Most Objectionable Statements

There are four Dakota tribes or nations in Minnesota.

  • Incorrect – There are at least 6 Dakota communities in Minnesota. 4 of them are federally recognized.

Bdote is a place of creation.

  • Incorrect – The area about Lake Mille lacs is the traditional Dakota place of creation.

The Dakota came from the stars.

  • Incorrect – This is a more recent belief.

Fort Snelling is the place of our genesis and genocide.

  • Incorrect – Fort Snelling was neither a place of creation nor a place of genocide.

Indians planted in mounds because they did not want to hurt the earth.

  • Incorrect – They plowed the earth after they learned European farming.

Gabriel Renville wrote the Lac qui Parle Hymn.

  • Incorrect – Joseph R. Renville wrote the Lac qui Parle Hymn.

In the spring of 1862, lawyers for the traders got money from Dakota annuity funds.

  • Incorrect – Show proof and name the traders.

The 1805 Treaty included Minneapolis and St. Paul.

  • Incorrect – It included parts of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In the 1851 treaties, the Indians sold 2.4 million acres of land — In 1851, almost 24 million acres were ceded — 35 million acres were sold at 87 cents an acre — …in exchange for 25,000,000 acres, we would be given 10 acres of land on each side of the Minnesota River — The Dakota surrendered millions of acres for gold and supplies.

  • Incorrect – The land ceded in the 1851 Treaties was never surveyed. It is not known how many acres were ceded; therefore, it is not known how much was paid per acre.
  • Incorrect – The two reservations extended 10 miles out from each side of the River.
  • Incorrect – The Dakota received much more than gold and supplies.

There was a lot of corruption involved in the 1851 treaties — Indians didn’t understand what they were signing.

  • Disrespectful – Show proof there was corruption.
  • Incorrect – Some Indians did know what they were signing.

In 1858, the Dakota ceded the northern half of their reservation — Brown wanted $1.25 per acre; they got 45 cents — The 1858 Treaty money went to pay trader claims.

  • Incorrect – There were two reservations in 1858
  • Incorrect – They did not own their reservations. They agreed to vacate the northern half of their reservations.
  • Incorrect – They were paid twice for the northern half of their reservations; in 1851 and again in 1858.
  • Incorrect – Almost all the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute money went to pay traders. Some of the Sisseton and Wahpeton money went to pay traders.

In Article 6 of the 1858 treaty, it states that the Dakota people must maintain friendly relations with the people of Minnesota. If they cause harm, the U.S. can take the treaty money and pay back the settlers. This left it open for the U.S. to sit back and wait for a war to start.

  • Incorrect – There were two treaties in 1858.
  • Disrespectful – Show proof that this was the U.S. intention.

J.R. Brown was married to a Dakota woman — There was a lot of corruption under Brown.

  • Incorrect – Brown’s wife Susan was part Dakota and part White.
  • Disrespectful – Show proof that there was a lot of corruption.

Galbraith was alcoholic — Galbraith raised a company of soldiers and abandoned the reservation for the Civil War.

  • Disrespectful – If Galbraith was alcoholic, why does this matter?
  • Incorrect – After bringing his volunteers to Fort Snelling, Galbraith planned to return to the Upper Agency.

Payments to the Sioux were always late — Food and supplies were delivered only sporadically.

  • Incorrect – Show proof that these statements are correct.

Many white officials thought they could loot treaty money.

  • Disrespectful – Show proof and name these officials.

There was much corruption and stealing of the Indian money by the traders.

  • Disrespectful – Show proof and name these traders.

The payments came here every summer in August for education, for supplies, for horses and plows for them to get into agriculture, which a lot of our people did.

  • Incorrect – The treaty money provided for much more than this.

We had over 5,000 acres that we developed.

  • Is this correct? – Show proof.

We had over 200 houses at Lower Sioux at one time before the war of 1862.

  • Is this correct? – Show proof.

The reservation was neglected; the Indians had nothing to do.

  • What does this mean?

On the reservation, Sioux Indians were angered by their poverty stricken lives, by the false promises of their government treaties and by the continual influx of homesteaders onto their land.

  • Incorrect – Not all Indians were angered by these conditions. These are complicated issues that need more explanation.
  • Incorrect – Very few whites settled on Indian land. See my essay “Settlers – Milford.”

By now, the Sioux were starving, infected with the diseases of the white man and drunk from the traders’ whiskey; several of them had died

  • Incorrect – Not all were starving.
  • Incorrect – Few if any were infected with diseases
  • Incorrect – Few were drinking. But, did they not have the right to drink?

In 1860, there were 5,000 Dakota on the reservations — Dakota populations were declining by the 1860s

  • Incorrect – Show proof that these statements are correct.

When the starving Sioux begged trader Andrew Myrick, a trader at Traverse des Sioux for food, he told them to eat grass.

  • Incorrect – Not all were starving
  • Incorrect – Myrick was a trader at the Lower Agency

“Rice Creek reservation”

  • Incorrect – Rice Creek was a village

Germans were told no one lived here. The government misled them. — New Ulm Germans set themselves apart from whites and other Germans.

  • Incorrect – Show proof they were told no one lived here.
  • Disrespectful – Show proof the government misled them.
  • Incorrect – The Turners were welcomed when they arrived.

As result of war New Ulm Germans were connected to other whites.

  • What does this mean?

The Germans did not share with Indians — Indians would retaliate if settlers didn’t share.

  • Incorrect – There are many stories of sharing between the Germans and the Dakota.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that the Indians would retaliate.

The New Ulm Germans believed corrupt officials caused wars to make money

  • Incorrect – Show proof that corrupt officials caused the Dakota War in 1862 to make money.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that the New Ulm Germans believed this.

The New Ulm Germans could not distinguish they were causing problems — Germans did not understand the roles they were playing

  • Incorrect – The speaker implies first that the Germans were part of the problem and second they were not aware of this. The Germans did nothing wrong. The “problem” was on the reservations.

Germans unwittingly entered an established structure — Indians killed German settlers because the settlers were colonizing — Colonization could approach genocide.

  • What do these statements mean?

Little Crow was the leader in that area of Rice Creek. — Little Crow was very powerful. — Little Crow lost control. — Little Crow was mad at the U.S. and sought to attack government installations. — Little Crow wanted war. — Traders made sure Little Crow was put up in house.

  • Incorrect – Little Crow’s village was east of Rice Creek
  • Incorrect – Little Crow was popular but I would not say he was powerful
  • Incorrect – Little Crow never had control.
  • Incorrect – Show proof Little Crow was mad at the U.S.
  • Incorrect – Little Crow opposed war with the whites.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that the traders had Little Crow put up in a house.

The U.S. promised a windfall in 1861. — This big windfall never came.

  • Incorrect – This windfall did come but it was not a windfall; it was an advanced payment of the 1862 annuities

The Dakota were starving and beginning to die.

  • Incorrect – We do not know how many were starving and how many were not starving. Little Crow wrote that babies were dying.

When the gold shipment came in once a year, the traders and the agent would take from the top any monies that the Indian people owed them.

  • Incorrect – In the 1861 annuity distribution, the traders collected their debts from the individual Indians.

The agents would write a list as to what the Indian people would buy. If it was 5 cents for a can of beans or corn, they would write in their books 4 dollars for that price of food.

  • Disrespectful – Show proof and name the persons who did this.

The superintendents would become rich, the agents would become rich. They were all in cahoots in doing this process. Our Dakota people knew this.

  • Disrespectful – Show proof and name the persons who did this.
  • Incorrect – We cannot say what the “Dakota people” knew.

The government sent out an agent who reported back to Washington, Lincoln and the senators saying I have found proof that there are laws that have been broken here. They are taking money away from the Dakota people. So the government knew about that.

  • Disrespectful and Incorrect – Show proof that these allegations were true.

On August 14, 1862, the people in Brown County, New Ulm and the Mankato area got together and sent a letter to Governor Ramsey stating that the Dakota people we talked to have not received any of their money, they are starving, the agents won’t open the warehouses to open up the food, for the people to eat.

  • Incorrect – The people in the Mankato area were not involved.
  • Incorrect – This letter does not state how the whites learned of these problems.
  • More details are needed on the source and validity of these statements.

Governor Ramsey, as well as the State Legislators knew about these letters from George Day and Riggs and Williamson and from New Ulm people. They did not do their oath of office and protect the citizens and the frontier people around this area and they allowed the war to happen.

  • Incorrect – We do not know if Ramsey and the Legislators knew about all of these letters. More details are needed on Ramsey’s thoughts and actions.

They also had 5,000 Minnesota militia ready to go into the Civil War…in St. Paul. Governor Ramsey kept them here. So let’s let the young warriors get tired of this and lets let them start a war and when they do, then we can follow up and get all of the land in Minnesota.

  • Show proof that there were 5,000 ready to go into the Civil War.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that Ramsey wanted the Indians to start a war.

The traders and agents and others would put in claims for monies the Dakota people owed them. — That would be another part of the money taken out

  • Citizens were permitted to file claims for depredations committed by Dakota.

Neither side understood each other. Neither side wanted to understand each other. This clash of cultures was a primary cause of the war.

  • Absolutely Incorrect – An upcoming essay will examine the pre-war relations between the Dakota and the settlers.
  • Absolutely Incorrect – No one at that time listed this as a cause of the Dakota War.

…desperate and now perceiving the homesteaders and traders at Traverse des Sioux as their enemy, the Sioux felt they had no choice but to go to war against the settlers.

  • Incorrect – Some considered all settlers and traders as enemies not just those at Traverse des Sioux

The Civil War caused annuities to be late.

  • Is this correct? – Show proof.

The younger Indians don’t like their chiefs or Brown.

  • Incorrect – Some did not like the actions of their chiefs or Joseph R. Brown.

Both southern confederate sympathizers of the Civil War and representatives of the British government approached the Sioux with guns and supplies and asked them to start a rebellion in Minnesota which would distract the Union army from the battles of the Civil War.

  • Incorrect – Show proof.

This Adrian Ebell photo shows the flight of the Otherday Party.

  • Incorrect – It shows the flight of the missionaries and others.

Fort Ridgely was created to keep Indians on the reservation and the whites off. — The Fort Ridgely gunpowder magazine was 1/2 mile away.

  • Incorrect – Henry Sibley asked that Fort Ridgely be built to maintain peace between the Dakota and their neighbors.
  • Incorrect – The 2 magazines were about 200 yards from the fort.

Acton, a small community in western MN, was the site of the first attack by the Sioux against the whites.

  • Incorrect – Acton was a location in central Minnesota
  • Incorrect – The attack at Acton was one of the causes of the Dakota War.

Over 600 innocent whites were killed and often mutilated. — On Aug 18 and 19, hostile Sioux killed or wounded nearly 1000 settlers.

  • Incorrect – There were mutilations, but it cannot be said they were “often mutilated.”
  • Incorrect – 1000 is too high even for total whites killed during the entire war.

Battle of Red Wood Ferry took place on the north side of the river. — 23 survive Redwood Ferry. — Little Crow had over 400 braves at Redwood Ferry.

  • Incorrect – The battle took place on both sides of the river.
  • Incorrect – 24 men from Fort Ridgely survived.
  • Incorrect – It cannot be proven that Little Crow had over 400 soldiers at Redwood Ferry.

The Dakota attacked New Ulm…and killed several more settlers.

  • Incorrect – About 34 whites were killed in the battles of New Ulm.

Henry Sibley was one of the principal negotiators at the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. — Sibley arrived at Fort Ridgely on August 26.

  • Incorrect – He was not one of the principal negotiators.
  • Incorrect – He arrived at Fort Ridgely on August 28.

[Battle of Birch Coulee] — Grey Bird left the Upper Agency with 400-600 warriors. — Little Crow and his warriors spotted the burial detail [at Birch Coulee]. — There were heavy casualties on both sides. — Grey Bird and Little Crow would meet at New Ulm because they thought New Ulm abandoned.

  • Incorrect – We do not know how many soldiers were with Grey Bird.
  • Incorrect – Grey Bird’s soldiers spotted the burial detail.
  • Incorrect – There were heavy casualties among the Whites. Casualties among the Dakota were not known.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that Grey Bird and Little Crow planned to meet at New Ulm.

[Camp Release] — After his defeat at Wood Lake, Little Crow moved his camp and his hostages to a site on the Lac qui Parle River near Montevideo. — Colonel Sibley pursued him and on Sep 26, he boldly marched into Little Crow’s camp. — All that was left in the camp were mostly women and children who had been severely abused and a few Indian warriors and their families. — The Indians surrendered and turned their hostages over to Sibley. — They surrendered thinking they would be treated as prisoners of war.

  • Incorrect – Little Crow moved his camp to near the mouth of the Chippewa River before the Battle of Wood Lake. This site was later named Camp Release.
  • Incorrect – Sibley did not pursue Little Crow. Sibley moved slowly toward Camp Release.
  • Incorrect – It is likely most of the women and children had NOT been severely abused.
  • Incorrect – There many warriors and their families in camp. The Dakota men who opposed the war were also warriors.
  • Incorrect – The Indians who went to war surrendered. The Friendly Indians waited for Sibley to arrive.
  • Incorrect – Whether or not they understood the concept of “prisoner of war” is not certain.

The peace Indians were worried about themselves. — Peace Indians turn on Little Crow and threaten war if hostages not turned over.

  • Incorrect – The Friendly Indians were worried about much more.
  • Incorrect – The Friendly Indians already opposed Little Crow. While Little Crow was at Wood Lake, Friendly Indians gathered the hostages and prepared to defend themselves.

The Dakota men were separated and shackled. — Some trials lasted 5 minutes, up to 42 trials per day. — 38 were convicted of murders. – All were considered guilty; but they were not. — These were sham trials. — Lincoln lets State of MN know that no one will hang.

  • Incorrect – Not all of the men were separated and shackled.
  • Incorrect – More details are needed on the trials
  • Incorrect – Fewer than 38 were convicted of murder.
  • Incorrect – Many were not tried. Many who were tried were found innocent.
  • Unbalanced – Compare these trials to the Dakota trial system. There was not one.
  • Unbalanced – Had Sibley waged a traditional Dakota war, he would have taken a few hostages and killed the remainder.
  • Incorrect – 38 were hanged.

[Regarding Sibley’s movement of Dakota prisoners to Mankato:] — As he approached New Ulm, Sibley was met by Roos and Brandt. — They suggested Sibley go by the cemetery. — Sibley comes by the New Ulm Cemetery with the prisoners. — Relatives of those being buried were gone. — The reburial was planned to get everyone to attack the Indians. — Men came out and piled rocks along the course of the march. — When the citizen attacked the Dakota, women and children were put in front to protect the attacking men. — 1 Indian was killed.

  • Incorrect – Show proof that Roos was one of these men.
  • Incorrect – Show proof where Brandt and another man met Sibley.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that they suggested Sibley go past the cemetery.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that Sibley went past the cemetery.
  • Incorrect – Relatives were there to help identify the bodies.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that the reburial was planned to get everyone to attack the Indians.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that men piled rocks along the course of the march.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that women and children were put in front.
  • Incorrect – 2 Indians died later from injuries received in New Ulm.

Sibley moved with his soldiers and prisoners to South Bend near Mankato. There they tried the remaining Indians and 303 were sentenced to death by hanging.

  • Incorrect – They may have passed through South Bend to their camp in Mankato.
  • Incorrect – The trials of the Dakota Indians were completed at the Lower Agency. Trials of Winnebago Indians were held at Mankato.
  • Incorrect – 303 had been sentenced to hang before Sibley reached Mankato.

303 Dakota were sent to Mankato. — This was the largest mass execution in the history of the United States. — Those not hanged went to prison.

  • Incorrect – About 400 were taken to Mankato.
  • Incorrect – This was the largest simultaneous mass execution in U.S. history
  • Incorrect – Some who were not hanged were taken to the Fort Snelling camp.

Women and children were forcibly removed 150 miles over 7 days, without adequate clothing, shelter and food in November. — 1700 elderly men, women and children were moved to Fort Snelling

  • Incorrect – This group also included young and older men
  • Incorrect – This distance was about 110 miles.
  • Incorrect – They did have adequate clothing, shelter and food.
  • Incorrect – The total number moved to Fort Snelling was about 1600.

Elderly women wanted to relieve themselves in private…they left the caravan and were shot. — Babies were taken out of mothers’ arms and heads smashed on the ground. — A soldier stabbed an elderly woman in the stomach with his saber.

  • Incorrect – There is no evidence that any of these allegations were true except that one Indian baby was snatched from its mother and killed in Henderson.
  • Unbalanced – The many atrocities committed by hostile Dakota against the Whites during the war need to be discussed.

At Fort Snelling, those who died from diseases were buried in a mass grave — Those who died at Fort Snelling were buried in floors of tipis — Dakota men were abused by the soldiers — Soldiers beat Dakota men and dragged them somewhere.

  • Incorrect – Those who died were buried in several places including a mass grave, under the tipis and at nearby churches.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that anyone was abused or beaten by soldiers.

The Dakota women and children were brought to Crow Creek. — The Dakota were forced out of their homeland forever

  • Incorrect – Men were also taken to Crow Creek.
  • Incorrect – Dakota remained in Minnesota and Dakota have returned to Minnesota

Bounties were offered for Dakota scalps. — A bounty of $500 was placed on Little Crow’s head. — There is no evidence that Little Crow killed any whites. — Little Crow engaged in war for this homeland and way of life. — Thousands followed Little Crow into Dakota Territory after the war.

  • Unbalanced – Dakota also offered bounties for White scalps
  • Incorrect – Bounties were not being offered when Little Crow was killed
  • While Little Crow may not have killed any whites, he did order whites to be killed.
  • Incorrect – Little Crow knew that war with the Whites would not benefit his homeland or way of life.
  • Incorrect – Hundreds followed Little Crow not thousands.

Ramsey said the Dakota must be exterminated…This is genocide and ethnic cleansing. It doesn’t matter if these terms were not invented. — Ramsey wanted to eliminate Dakota. This was a racial tone.

  • Disrespectful – Hostile Dakota had just killed more than 650 white men, women and children. Ramsey was reflecting the opinion of the white citizens of the state.
  • Unbalanced – If Ramsey was racist and committed genocide, the hostile Dakota also were racist and committed genocide.

…concentration camps at Fort Snelling and Mankato

  • Incorrect – If we say these were concentration camps, we must also say the Dakota camps at Little Crow’s village, Upper Agency and Camp Release were concentration camps.
  • Incorrect – If the term “concentration camp” is used we must clarify that these camps were not death camps or work camps.

My parents were “victims of boarding schools.” — There are no boarding schools today. — Indian children were taken away from their homes and indoctrinated — Children died from overwork, etc.

  • Incorrect – Boarding schools also provided shelter, food and clothing for many impoverished children.
  • Incorrect – There are boarding schools today.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that children were taken away from good homes.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that children died from overwork.

Dakota were removed so whites could exploit the land. — Dakota still do not have access to land. — We bought back land that was stolen from us. — The Mdewakanton and Wahpekute didn’t get land until 1886.

  • Incorrect – Dakota were removed because they killed more than 650 Whites.
  • Incorrect – Dakota do have access to land.
  • Incorrect – Show proof that this land was stolen.
  • Incorrect – The Mdewakanton and Wahpekute did get land prior to 1886.

Let’s use today to remember the suffering that continues. — Continue the process of reconciliation. — Dakota people need to heal. — The Dakota were suffering from Post Dramatic Stress Disorder

  • Incorrect – These comments do not represent all Dakota people.

The writers of history had a way of telling the story because they had to justify the means. And that’s what the Dakota have had to live by all these years. And so its our time to tell our story and we are and in a good way and as balanced, as thoroughly as we possibly can, so that our young ones can have a better understanding of history.

  • Incorrect – As shown in the comments above, many are not telling this history accurately, balanced and respectfully.


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