The Dakota War (1862) has several names in the history of the USA. It is also known as the Dakota Uprising, the Sioux Uprising, the Dakota Conflict, the Sioux Outbreak and Little Crow's War. It was an armed conflict that took place between several bands from eastern Dakota, or Eastern Sioux. The conflict began in the southwest Minnesota along the Minnesota River on August 17, 1862 and ended the same year in Mankato (Minnesota) with the execution of 38 Dakota people on December 26, 1862. (The Dakota Conflict)
The causes of the Dakota war are rather complex: the treaties made in 1851 and 1858 made a huge contribution to tense relations “by undermining the Dakota culture and the power of chieftains, concentrating malcontents, and leading to a corrupt system of Indian agents and traders”. (Linder) During 1850s the social position of the Dakota people became extremely poor as a result of United States’ treaty violations and usually late and unfair annuity payments made by Indian agents. These factors greatly increased hardships and even hunger among the population of the Dakota. Before that those who had trade affairs with the Dakota had demanded from the government that it gave all the annuity payments directly to them. That demand in its turn introduced the possibility of unfair deals and trade between the trades and the agents. In 1862 the annuities were demanded by the Dakota directly from Thomas J. Galbraith who was their agent. As a result all the negotiations were cancelled because of the traders’ refusal to the further supplies on credit under those new conditions.
Thus in August 1862 four Dakota people killed several people during a hunt, and that very night Dakota council made a decision to attack settlements that were based in the valley of the Minnesota River. It is still unknown how many people were killed, but the estimated number is about 800 settlers. Over the next several months of the battle the majority of the Dakota bands surrender. And at last in December 1862 38 people were executed, and that event made this day the longest execution in the whole American history. Later the rest of The Dakota people were expelled to South Dakota and Nebraska.
Douglas O. Linder. The Dakota Conflict Trials. 11 Oct. 2012
The Dakota Conflict. 11 Oct. 2012.