Spokesman for the Sioux
Publication Year: 1986
Published by: Minnesota Historical Society Press
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THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, through its editors and research fellows, played a major role in the conception and development of this book. I must give special thanks to Alan R. Woolworth, for many years a research fellow at the society. Alan provided intellectual as well as research aid, sending me photocopies of obscure material that in many cases helped bring Little Crow to life. ...
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One of the most difficult challenges facing historians today is to write the history of the dispossessed. Such people leave few records and are frequently viewed by the dominant culture as being worthy of nothing more than a footnote in the ever-moving vision of a nation's past. Traditional approaches to solving this problem have focused on writing about nameless "masses," be ...
1. A Dakota Childhood
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AT the tum of the eighteenth century, the upper Mississippi River possessed the aura of a fresh, new land, at least to the naked eye of early European fur traders and explorers. The rivers sparkled with blue water, the forests seemed untrampled, and the vast prairies to the west of the giant Mississippi rolled before the eye in an endless fashion reminiscent of the solitude existing ...
2. The Formula for Leadership
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For the Little Crow dynasty, the early decades of the nineteenth century proved both rewarding, in terms of enhanced prominence, and perplexing, in respect to the growing economic dependency that the Dakota people faced. The increased infiltration of Sioux lands by white Americans brought more prestige to the Kaposia band. Fort Snelling was built near the band's village, and the fort quickly became a commercial center. Taoyateduta's grandfather ...
3. The Price of Leadership
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Taoyateduta's eventual return to Kaposia and his challenge to the right of his half-brother to the chieftainship was anticipated by many Mdewakantons. Yet some village members, including his own father, considered him to be unfit for leadership, for he had been less than an exemplary youth and had departed at an early age for the west. Taoyateduta, then, had ...
4. Sale of a Homeland
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As the snow cleared from the banks of the St. Croix River in the spring of 1851, speculation regarding the upcoming treaty negotiation reached a fever pitch. Many Mdewakantons showed considerable apprehension, as well they might, since almost any sale would result in the loss-of the Mississippi valley, their homeland from time immemorial. ...
5. Spokesman for the Sioux
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Little Crow's return from Washington marked a new era for the Mdewakanton people. Thereafter, the reservation along the upper Minnesota River increasingly became the focal point of the tribe's existence, and the interaction with government officials reached levels never before seen. ...
6. The Broken Promise
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The Inkpaduta massacre prompted a re-evaluation of interethnic relations on the Minnesota Sioux reservations. Leaders such as Little Crow perceived for the first time the division that was taking place in Dakota camps. Many warriors, most of whom were young, sympathized with Inkpaduta and condemned white encroachment upon old Indian hunting grounds. ...
7. The Failure of Accommodation
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The weather in Minnesota over the winter 1861-62 was unusually cold. The fierce snowstorms hardened the hearts of many Dakota men who watched family members suffer, their faces revealing the gaunt look that attended starvation. Little Crow himself faced privation. The chief, who had played a pivotal role in helping whites purchase much of the state, was reduced to trading his firearms for food and relying on friends for occasional meals ...
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Monday morning came with promise to Redwood Agency. The rising sun warmed the combination of log, frame, and brick buildings that surrounded the large council square. The daylight prompted activity inside the structures among the many different men and women - farmers, carpenters, clerks, teachers, cooks, and missionaries - who worked there. ...
9. The Last Campaign
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The retreat of Little Crow and his small band of refugees onto the forbidding northern plains came at the most difficult time of the year. By October the grass had turned brown, and the few trees that did border an occasional lake had begun to shed their leaves. The northern Great Plains winter was imminent, with its arctic winds and biting cold. Normally ...
Epilogue: The Final Journey
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Throughout the three decades following his death, Little Crow's bones fell into the hands of various individuals who kept them as souvenirs. Frank Powell donated the skull to the Minnesota Historical Society in 1896.1 It, along with the scalp lock, which the state already owned, and the forearms, which the society received ...
Appendix 1: A Note on Little Crow's Genealogy
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Page Count: 259
Illustrations: Illus., maps, genealogical chart
Publication Year: 1986