On view through Sept. 8, 2013.
When you visit the "U.S.-Dakota War of 1862” exhibit at the History Center, you'll examine the evidence, hear heart-wrenching stories and learn about the broken treaties and promises that led to this disastrous chapter in Minnesota history.
The war ended with hundreds dead, the Dakota people exiled from their homeland and the largest mass execution in U.S. history: the hangings of 38 Dakota men in Mankato on Dec. 26, 1862.
2012 marks 150 years since the U.S.-Dakota War. It was waged for six weeks in southern Minnesota over the late summer of 1862, but the war’s causes began decades earlier and the profound loss and consequences of the war are still felt today.
There are many, often conflicting, interpretations of events relating to the war. “The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862” exhibit includes multiple viewpoints as well as historical and contemporary voices. Visitors are encouraged to make up their own minds about what happened and why, to discuss what they are seeing and learning, and to leave comments.
Descendants of people involved in the war have taken an active role in shaping the exhibit. Exhibits staff have met with Dakota people from throughout Minnesota, the Upper Midwest and Canada and with settler descendants from the Minnesota River Valley region to solicit research advice and comb through original documents, letters, diaries, artifacts and other historical sources to assemble a narrative of what happened. These meetings with descendants are part of a broader initiative called a “truth recovery” project.
Made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008.