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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Review – MHS WL Battle Sign

Minnesota Historical Society
Wood Lake Battle Sign
http://www.usdakotawar.org/history/battle-wood-lake
Reviewed on May 29, 2017

Items of Interest

From the MHS Website: This sign replaced the old sign in 2012. Content on this sign was reviewed by an MHS historical marker committee, as well as by Dakota consultants and the MHS Indian Advisory Committee.

This review includes the text on the Minnesota Historical Society website and the text on the sign.

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Review – MHS FR – Site Sign

Minnesota Historical Society
Fort Ridgely Site Sign
http://www.usdakotawar.org/history/attack-fort-ridgely
Reviewed on May 29, 2017
Updated on June 12, 2017

Items of Interest

From the MHS Website: This sign replaced the old sign in 2012. Content on this sign was reviewed by an MHS historical marker committee, as well as by Dakota consultants and the MHS Indian Advisory Committee.

This review includes the text on the Minnesota Historical Society website and the text on the sign.

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Review – MHS Acton Sign

Minnesota Historical Society
The Acton Incident Sign
http://www.usdakotawar.org/history/acton-incident
Reviewed on May 29, 2017

Items of Interest

From the MHS Website: This sign replaced the old sign in 2012. Content on this sign was reviewed by an MHS historical marker committee, as well as by Dakota consultants and the MHS Indian Advisory Committee.

This review includes the text on the Minnesota Historical Society website and the text on the sign.

With 19 incorrect statements on this sign, this is one of the worst signs I have reviewed.

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Review – MHS FS at Bdote Book

Fort Snelling at Bdote: A Brief History
By Peter DeCarlo
St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society, 2016
Reviewed on February 19, 2017
Updated on January 21, 2018

Items of Interest

The title implies this book is about historic Fort Snelling. But, much of it is about Dakota Indian history not related to historic Fort Snelling.

Written by a Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) employee and published by MHS, this book leaves no doubt of MHS’s policy on historic Dakota/White relations.

I am reviewing only that portion of this book related to the Dakota Indians.

General Comments

  • Save your money.
  • How do I use this book? It has no footnotes, no Table of Contents and no Index. Without footnotes, the text lacks credibility. It is a storybook. The knowledgeable reader will be insulted. The unknowledgeable reader will be misled.
  • As I read this book, these words came to mind: wrong, biased, disrespectful (to the Whites), exaggeration, allegation, generalization, incomplete, wordsmithing, revisionist history and agenda-driven.
  • Incorrect – The author states that ancestors of the Dakota Indians were the first residents of the state of Minnesota. This cannot be proven.
  • If Mdote (Bdote) was sacred to the Dakota, they would not have sold this land in 1805, they would not have confirmed the sale in 1820, they would not have granted Pike Island to Pelagie Faribault in 1820 and they would not have permitted the US to start building Fort Snelling in 1820.
  • Unbalanced – It is stated that the Fort Snelling Dakota internment camp was a concentration camp, but it is not stated that the camps where hostile Dakota held white and mixed-blood civilians were concentration camps.
  • Unbalanced – It is stated that the US committed genocide against the Dakota Indians, but it is not stated that hostile Dakota committed genocide against whites and mixed-bloods.
  • While this book is about Fort Snelling and the Dakota Indians, I never saw the Dakota name for Fort Snelling.

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