1862 Dakota-US War

The Dakota-US War began in August, 1862, due mainly to major instability resulting from strained relations between white settlers and the Dakota, paired with the unethical treatment of Dakota people by Indian traders and the U.S. government. Recognizing the impending crisis, Henry Whipple writes to President Abraham Lincoln to rectify U.S. policy mistakes against the Dakota.

"I ask that the people shall lay the blame of this great crime where it belongs, and rise up with one voice to demand the reform of an atrocious Indian system, which has always garnered for us the same fruit of anguish and blood.  Our Indian system is an organized system of robbery, and has been for years a disgrace to the nation."

-Henry Whipple

Whipple was unable to convince President Lincoln to commute all 303 Dakota prisoner sentences, and on December 26, 1862, the largest government-sanctioned mass execution in U.S. history occurred in Mankato, Minnesota when 38 Dakota were hanged for participation in the uprising.

"As a direct descendant of David Eastman, one of the 303 convicted and sentenced to death after the 1862 Dakota Conflict, I would not be here today were it not for the tireless campaigning for justice undertaken by Bishop Whipple on behalf of the condemned Dakota with President Lincoln throughout the fall of 1862. For that act alone I will always honor him as a true friend of the Dakota."

-Jessamyn Miller, Mdewakanton Dakota 2008

1862 Dakota-US War