38 Dakota?

38 Dakota?
© October 20, 2017, John LaBatte

Perhaps the most often repeated statement about the Dakota War of 1862 is, “38 Dakota men were hanged in Mankato on December 26, 1862, in the largest mass execution in U.S. history.” This statement is incorrect.

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MHS FR – Unbalanced Interpretation

Minnesota Historical Society
Historic Fort Ridgely
Unbalanced Interpretation
© September 27, 2017, John LaBatte

Historic Fort Ridgely served the Minnesota frontier from 1853 to 1867. If not for historic Fort Ridgely, there would be no Fort Ridgely State Park. Historic Fort Ridgely is interpreted by the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). Detailed reviews of Fort Ridgely interpretation have been posted to this blog. In these reviews, I call statements unbalanced if:

  • The statement gives information about one group while corresponding information is not given for other groups involved.
  • The statement gives only one side of an issue.

Almost all unbalanced interpretation in MHS Dakota War products favors the Dakota Indians. Much of the unbalanced interpretation at Fort Ridgely favors the whites. This essay takes a closer look at the unbalanced interpretation at Historic Fort Ridgely.

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MHS LQP Problems – Sep 2017

Minnesota Historical Society
Lac qui Parle Mission Historic Site
Maintenance Problems
September 19, 2017

The Lac qui Parle Mission was in service from 1835 to 1854. White missionaries invited area Dakota People to become Christians and to learn to live as the whites. The site is owned by the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) and managed by the Chippewa County Historical Society (CCHS). I visited the site on Saturday, September 16, 2017. I was pleasantly surprised with the improvements made since my last visit in July 2017.

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MHS FR – Problems – Sep 2017

Minnesota Historical Society
Fort Ridgely Historic Site
Maintenance Problems
Posted on September 15, 2017

Historic Fort Ridgely is the most important historic site in Minnesota. So how do the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) and Nicollet County Historical Society (NCHS) care for this site?

These photos were taken on September 7, 2017. Conditions have worsened since my last inspection in July 2017.

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MHS FR – Missing and Conflicting

Minnesota Historical Society
Historic Fort Ridgely
Missing and Conflicting
© September 5, 2017, John LaBatte

Historic Fort Ridgely served the Minnesota frontier from 1853 to 1867. If not for historic Fort Ridgely, there would be no Fort Ridgely State Park. Significant events in Fort Ridgely’s history are missing from its interpretation. Fort Ridgely’s interpretation contains conflicting information.

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MHS FR – A Dinosaur

Minnesota Historical Society
A Dinosaur at Historic Fort Ridgely
© August 4, 2017, John LaBatte

There is a small diorama at Historic Fort Ridgely that was donated to the Minnesota Historical Society in 1962. That’s right, 55 years ago! It contains at least 26 incorrect statements, 7 offensive terms and 4 spelling errors. It should be updated and corrected else it should be removed. This essay takes a closer look at this diorama.

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