Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
New books from MHS Press related to the 150th Anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and Dakota History and Culture
Throughout the year, the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) will offer Minnesotans many new ways to learn about the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, how it shaped the state of Minnesota and how its bitter consequences are still felt today. New initiatives include The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 Exhibit, an interactive website, an oral history project, as well as publications, and other programs.
This is to inform about three new MHS Press titles that aim to provide deeper understanding of this tragic and important chapter in Minnesota and U.S. History.
Review copies and author interviews available upon request.
Back in print!
Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics by David A. Nichols (Available now)
The only thorough treatment of Lincoln's Indian policy during the Civil War and the corrupt "Indian System" of government aid that mainly benefited ambitious whites.
"Lincoln and the Indians has stood the test of time and offers this generation of readers a valuable interpretation of the U.S. government's Indian policies, and sometimes the lack thereof, during the Civil War era. Providing a critical perspective on Lincoln's role, Nichols sets forth an especially incisive analysis of the trial of participants in the Dakota War of 1862 in Minnesota and Lincoln's role in sparing the lives of most of those who were convicted."-James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom
"For the Dakota people, the Indian System started with the doctrine of discovery and continued through Abraham Lincoln's presidency and beyond. The United States was bound to protect the rights of Indian parties. But in the end, the guilty were glorified and the laws for humanity disgraced. This book tells that story, and it should be required reading at all educational institutions."-Sheldon Wolfchild, independent filmmaker, artist, and actor
Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota by Gwen Westerman and Bruce White with a foreword by Glenn Wasicuna (Available mid-September)
An intricate narrative of the Dakota people over the centuries in their traditional homelands, the stories behind the profound connections that hold true today.
Much of the focus on the Dakota people in Minnesota rests on the tragic events of the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War and the resulting exile that sent the majority of the Dakota to prisons and reservations beyond the state's boundaries. But the true depth of the devastation of removal cannot be understood without a closer examination of the history of the Dakota people and their deep cultural connection to the land that is Minnesota. Drawing on oral history interviews, archival work, and painstaking comparisons of Dakota, French, and English sources, Mni Sota Makoce tells the detailed history of the Dakota people in their traditional homelands for eons prior to exile.
The Dakota Prisoner of War Letters/ Dakota Kaskapi Okicize Wowapi Translated by Clifford Canku and Michael Simon with a foreword by John Peacock (Available November)
Fifty extraordinary letters written by Dakota men imprisoned after the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 give direct witness to a harsh and painful history shared by Minnesotans today.
In April 1863, after the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, after the hanging of 38 Dakota men in the largest mass execution in U.S. History, some 270 Dakota men were moved from Mankato, Minn., to a prison at camp McClellan in Davenport, Iowa. Separated from their wives, children, and elder relatives, with inadequate shelter, they lived there for three long, wretched years. More than
120 men died. Desperate to connect with their families, many of these prisoners of war learned to write. Their letters, mostly addressed to the missionaries Stephen R. Riggs and Thomas S. Williamson, asked for information, for assistance, and for help sending and receiving news of their loved ones.
Also of note:
Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past by Diane Wilson has been selected as this year's book for the One Minneapolis One Reads program. Diane is also the author of Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life.