Friday, December 26, 2014

Exactly 152 years ago today, December 26, 1862

Exactly 152 years ago today, December 26, 1862, at 10:00 a.m. 38 Sioux warriors were executed by hanging on a huge gallows built at what is now the intersection of Main Street and North Riverfront Drive. This public execution was ordered by President Abraham Lincoln and was carried out by the Union Army. It was an action of the American Civil War in retaliation for the settlers massacred in the Dakota Conflict of August 1862, and was not carried out by Mankato or Blue Earth County residents as some believe. It just happened to be carried out in Mankato, by order of the president. This was and still remains the largest mass execution in the history of the United States.

Dakotas carried out their memorial ride to the execution site today as they have done in past years. They deserve our support and understanding, as the Dakota were severely mistreated by the federal government, and the terms of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux were not honored. The only objection is the hundreds of white settlers who were massacred in August of 1862. Their memories are omitted from the memorial ride. It is as though they dd not exist. A balanced view of this dark period in history will take into account both the white and Indian victims of the Dakota Conflict of 1862. Both cultures, and all victims, deserve our honor, respect, forgiveness, and understanding if we are to put these controversial historical events in perspective. The Dakota say "Forgive Everybody Everything." To this I say "amen."
Read "Blood on the Prairie: A Novel of the Sioux Uprising" at Amazon in the format of your choice at the link below:




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