Listen: Anniversary of the Sioux Uprising (stereo)

On the anniversary of the Sioux Uprising of 1862, this program presents the historical events that culminated in the hangings of 38 Indians after the uprising. Program includes members of All Things Considered reading from the writings done at the time of uprising.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

113 years ago today in 1862 303 American Indians were condemned to death in Mankato for rape and murder following the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota do the efforts of President Abraham Lincoln all about 40 of them were pardoned on December 26th. 1862. 38 of the Indians were hanged. It was one of the largest mass executions in the history of the United States is who Uprising was the last of the Great Indian Wars in Minnesota the end of the wars gave the white people a chance to settle land that had been unavailable for the Indians the uprising signal the end of the Sioux Nation the War caused the tribes people to scatter over many states and provinces in North America hundreds of miles separated their new settlements and their land was rapidly occupied by white people.The causes of the uprising where complex the terms of two treaties one in 1851 and another in 1858 forced the Indians into a narrow strip of land along the Minnesota River according to the later treaty the Indians were to receive yearly payments in exchange for their land but the payments were often late in coming and the traitors were entitled to whatever portion of the payment that was needed to cover property damages and theft caused by Indians, even though some of the damage was caused by whites.The Indians resented the way the traitors cheated them. They resented the way the white men abused their women. They resented the white man's insistence that they become Farmers like him some of the thoughts expressed by whites and Indians during that time have been written down tonight. We recall some of them. I am chief big eagle. The whites were always trying to make the Indians give up their life and live like white men go to farming work hard and do as they did and the Indians did not know how to do that and did not want to anyway, it seemed to Sun to make such a change if the Indians had tried to make the whites live like them. The whites would have resisted and it was the same way with the Indians. My name is Charles A Bryant the conflict of Indian and wide is a conflict of knowledge with ignorance of right with wrong. Because the Indian does not obey the Divine injunction to subdue the Earth. He is in the wrongful possession of a continent required by the superior right of the white man quote for Dulce for that which is unclean by Nature now can't stand her chain. No hope no washing will turn the Gypsy White. The winter of 1861 was a hard one. The Indians lost most of their corn crop to cut worms and nearly starved the following summer the annuities relate. Although the government Provisions had arrived and we're waiting at the agency Indian agent Thomas Galbraith a self righteous man would not allow the Indians to take the food until they had the money to pay for it the Indians became desperate finally on August 4th, despite the presence of troops from Fort Ridgely. They attacked the warehouse The Troop Commander sympathized with the Indians and he forced golf raise to hand over the provisions, but that only help the upper suit and chief little crow held a meeting with Galbraith in the traitors to try to get the same treatment for the lower soup. We have waited a long time. The money is ours, but we cannot get it. We have no food, but here are these stores filled with food we ask that you were the agent make some arrangement by which we can get food from the stores or else we may take our own way to keep ourselves from starving when men are hungry. They help themselves Trader Andrew Merrick tried to leave the meeting and when he was called back snarled, they're hungry. Let them eat grass or their own dung. The incident which finally start the uprising took place on August 17th in Acton Township Meeker County for Indian Braves were returning from a Hunting Expedition and found some eggs line on white man's land. They began to argue whether one of them was brave enough to kill a white man. I dare was made and soon the settlor and his family lay did the Indians evidently thought war was now inevitable. Most of the chiefs were opposed to the war and refused to participate to any great extent many of them ended up helping the whites Escape when they could Chief little crow for his part. Defeat was inevitable, but he was persuaded by the young Braves to take command of the suit. The Indians attacked the lower Agency on August 18th. They killed every white man, they could find both friends and enemies Trader Andrew Marek was found with his mouth stuffed with grass. The battle raged for over 2 weeks hundreds of settlers were captured or killed New Ulm in Fort Ridgely were both attacked twice. The Indians would have taken the fort if it hadn't been for the devastating fire of the 24-pound cannon. But the Indians because they were divided. We're having a hard time rally in their forces to the bank continued. I am for continuing the War. I didn't opposed to the delivery of the prisoners. I have no confidence at the whites will stand by any agreement they make if we give them up ever since we traded with them their agents and Traders have robbed and cheated us. Some of our people have been shot some hung others placed upon floating ice and drowned and many have been starved and their prisons. It was not the intention of a Nation to kill any whites until after the fall return from actin and told what they had done when they did this all the young man became excited and commence the massacre. The older ones would have prevented it if they could but since the treaties they have lost all their influence. We may regret what has happened. But the matter has gone too far to be remedied. You've got to die. Let us then kill as many wives as possible and let the prisoners die with us. Broke up the Braves Road off singing over the earth. I come over the earth. I come a soldier. I come over the earth. I am a ghost man. We're finally defeated in the Battle of Woodlake on September 23rd, those who survived fled Minnesota allowing Henry Sibley to enter the now friendly Indian camp and retake the three hundred captives, but there was a problem what to do with a 1200 Indians who had either surrendered or been rounded up simply had planned to begin a quiet investigation charging the Indians individually on the basis of testimony taken from White captives, but the public and the newspapers would have none of it must be exterminated and now is a good time to do it the cruelties perpetrated by the Sioux Nation in the past 2 weeks demand that our government shall treat them for all time to come is Outlaws Outlaws with forfeited all right to property and life. Extermination swiftsure and terrible is the only thing that can give the people of Minnesota satisfaction or a sense of security. All Indians were presumed guilty. They were tried on must 40 a day the Assumption being that those who are innocent could prove themselves innocent Isaac heard a member of the commission that try the Indians. They were Indians would raise the moral certainty that as soon as the first murders were committed all the young men were impaled by the sight of blood and plunder to become participants in the same class of acts out of the 400 who were tried 303 were condemned to death Sibley add plan to immediately execute them, but he lacked The Authority through the intervention of President Lincoln all but 40 were pardoned the citizens of Minnesota. However were angry demanding Justice. On December 4th a mob in Mankato attacked the prison where the Indians were confined Governor Alexander Ramsey ordered an end to the violence one Indian sentence was commuted because he chose to testify against his fellows on December 26th 1862. The remaining 38 were hanged The Condemned Indians mounted the scaffold chanting their death song. They reluctantly allowed the Whitecaps to be adjusted over their heads and then tried to grasp Anne's in a final gesture of solidarity. The man who sprung the Trap had his family killed at Lake shetek. The remaining Indians were marched North to Fort Snelling where they were shipped off to military prisons many died. Wabasha you have deceived me. You told me that if we follow the advice of General Sibley and give ourselves up to the whites all would be well, no innocent man would be injured. I have not killed wounded or injured a white man or any white person. I have not participated in the plunder of their property and yet today I am set apart for execution and must die in a few days while men who are guilty will remain in prison my wife and children are dear to me. Let them not grieve for me. Let them remember that the brave should be prepared to meet that and I will do so I become the Dakota. This report was prepared by Debbie Gage read by Margaret moose. Tom Keith and Gary Yankton material for the report came from the book The History of the Santee Sioux us Indian policy on trial written by Roy Meyer ceremonies in Mankato Minnesota today commemorated the sentencing of the 303 Indians. And fold all your friends of your Indian clay. Brawl good lady and Troubled Man your great-great-grandfather from Indian blood spring and you feel in your heart. And if we've been mistreated. Over and over I hear the same word from you. And you feel you? And what have you done? lady But it's still going on today. Ella Fitzgerald


Digitization made possible by the State of Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, approved by voters in 2008.

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