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Local people, places featured in new tpt documentary

December 22, 2013

By Kremena Spengler Staff Writer NEW ULM — Starting in the spring of 2012, Brown County Historical Society Museum Research Librarian Darla Gebhard spent many, many hours leading a film crew through......

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(18)

familyandfriends

Dec-28-13 1:32 PM

There were so many things about this production that were disturbing to me as a descendant of several who were killed in this war: the fact that more than 650 whites were killed when the video states 400-600 (this number included 100 children and over 40 women); there was no mention of the New Ulm, Fort Ridgely Birch Coulie, Redwood Ferry and Wood Lake battles; there was no mention of the friendly Dakota who risked their lives to save the lives of whites; and the lack of information on the aftermath of the settlers was appalling; those who lost their loved ones, their homes, their possessions, and for many their futures deserved some mention. Many children were left as orphans after witnessing the brutality of their parents’ deaths. Most widows had to find new homes. There was nothing said about those taken captive and released after 6 weeks and the trauma they must have experienced. It should also be stated that Fort Snelling was NOT a concentration camp.

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familyandfriends

Dec-28-13 1:33 PM

The Dakota were sent there for their safety and their security. They were fed there and protected from the angry whites who saw their lives plundered. What was the government to do with these people? Leave them on the prairie without food and protection? These are all significant historical details that the producers chose to leave out. There were strange sequences that did not seem to fit the purpose of this production which was “designed to build a better understanding of historical interpretation and encourage critical thinking….” (per the website’s mission). The 1491 humor section added nothing and was in poor taste, the Chippewa artist’s drawings were offensive and certainly not politically correct, the scenes in front of the Lincoln Memorial were most inappropriate, and the criticism of Lincoln’s actions by hanging the 38 was not fully explained: war has consequences and these 38 were found guilty if they had committed murder and/or rape.

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familyandfriends

Dec-28-13 1:34 PM

I also felt too much footage was devoted to “the walks” and the Dakota gatherings. Not one word was said about how the settlers’ descendants memorialized their fallen during their 150th commemorations and there were many activities. That information was given to TPT several times along with photographs, when I was interviewed as co-founder of Family and Friends of Dakota Uprising Victims. We expected so much better from TPT, especially when they took nearly two years to produce this documentary. They chose to air a program with what I see has a pervasive bias; they fell far short of meeting their mission with a program that turned out to be a PR statement for the Dakota and to me was propaganda. Minnesota taxpayers who approved Legacy funding deserved better, and if reconciliation is a goal for all of us, productions like this do not help this process. I cannot imagine that the RCHS staff felt good about their efforts after watching this.

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familyandfriends

Dec-28-13 1:41 PM

I meant BCHS (Brown County Historical Society).

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newulm67

Dec-28-13 3:46 PM

It is probably better than "Plan Nine From Outer Space."

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Avoice

Dec-29-13 6:00 PM

If any has visited the Acton Monument near Grove City, one has to question what the Legacy Fund abd the Mn Historical Society are trying to change history. I photographed the Acton Monument plaque about ten years ago. This past summer relatives visited us and wanted to see the Acton Monument as their relatives involved. What a change from the description of what occurred to start the uprising. I will post the plaque language of the then versus now for your observation and comments. My grandfather and uncle were very helpful to the Indians at the time.

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Avoice

Dec-30-13 5:04 PM

This was the original plaque placed at the Acton Monument by the MHS in 1986. "THE ACTON INCIDENT. On a bright Sunday afternoon, August 17, 1862, four young Sioux hunters, on a spur of the moment dare, decided to prove their bravery by nshooting Robinson Jones, the postmaster and storekeeper at Acton in western Meeker County. Stopping at his cabin, they requested liquor and were refused. Then Jones, followed by the seemingly friendly Indians, went to the neighboring Howard Baker cabin, which stood on the site. Here the whites and the Indians engaged in a target shooting contest. Suddenly, the Indians turned on the settlers and without warning shot Baker, Viranus Webster, another settler, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Weber, and several children escaped by hiding, Then the Indians rode off, shooting Jones's adopted daughter Clara D. Wilson as they passed the Jones cabin.(contd)

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Avoice

Dec-30-13 5:10 PM

(cont'd) The Indians fled south to their village forty miles away on the Minnesota River. There they reported what they had done, and the Sioux chiefs decided to wage an all-out war against the white man. Thus the unplanned shooting of five settlers here at Acton triggered the bloody Sioux Uprising of 1862. The bodies of the settlers were buried in a single grave in the Ness Lutheran Cemetery, near present-day Litchfield. In 1878, the State of Minnesota erected a granite monument there. (cont'd)

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Avoice

Dec-30-13 5:12 PM

(cont'd) This site, where the Baker cabin stood was similarly marked in 1909.

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Avoice

Dec-30-13 5:24 PM

This the current plaque which was replaced." THE ACTON INCIDENT. On August 17, 1862, four young Dakota hunters, returning to their hungry families from an unsuccessful hunt, argued about stealing food from white settlers. Sungigidan, Kaomdeiyeyedan, Nagiwicakte, and Pazoiyopa darfed each other this: who among them was brave enough to shoot the settlers! The youth spoke with Robinson Jones, Acton's postmaster and storekeeper, at his farm. They followed him to this location, about a quarter mile from the home of Howard Baker. Here they shot and killed Baker, Viranus Webster and Robinson Jones and his wife. After they left, passing Jones's home they killed his daughter, Clara D. Wilson. The Indians then fled 40 miles south to Rice Creek Village. After several council meetings, the Dakota wanted to go to war with the United States convinced Taoyateduta (Little Crow) to lead them into battle. Thus began the US-Dakota War of 1862, the bloodiest chapter in Minnesota History. (cont'd)

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Avoice

Dec-30-13 5:29 PM

(cont'd)Although the war was ignited by the actions of a small band of teenage hunters, its causes were far deeper. By 1862, European Americans were pouring onto the ancestral lands of the Dakota, White leaders, determined to seize millions of acres of rich farmland, forced the Dakota onto reservations. The Dakota were expected to assimilate : to farm rather than hunt, to speak English, to cut their hair and wear unfamiliar clothing. (cont'd)

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Avoice

Dec-30-13 5:36 PM

(cont'd)Missionaries sought to replace the Dakota belief system with Chrisitianity. The payments promised in the 1851 and 1858 treaties were illegally taken by traders or were late in delivery. Families were torn between the past and a foreign, uncertain future. To some, war seemed the only option. The U. S.-Dakota War of 1862 launched 30 years of war between the United STates and American Indians on the Northern Plains." This plaque replaced the original plaque funded by the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Act with a grant to the MHS.

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Avoice

Dec-30-13 5:38 PM

After reading the two versions, what is your opinion of the original plaque versus the current plaque?

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svensota

Dec-30-13 11:54 PM

Avoice: Four people, so far, disagree with all of your posts, without a comment by any. Hard to know what that means. Maybe they're just grumpy people.

I like the new plaque. The first sentence sets up the scenario better. The whole piece gives more in-depth information. The Dakota had some strong reasons for doing what they did. Did it justify 650 (400?) white deaths? 38 Indians learned that it didn't. There's a tendency to be too PC when revising historical information. I don't think the plaque does that, in this case. But the TPT production sounds garbled and poorly written...and a little too PC.

Since I'm never wrong about anything I'd be shocked if I, too, got four disagrees.

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JReader

Dec-31-13 9:44 AM

Ok, this may mean the world is coming to an abrupt end - but I agree with Sven. I too think the second plaque provides a more descriptive account. I don't why anyone would disagree with you either Avoice because it seems to me you were only asking a question as to which plaque people preferred. This seems to be a good pretext to start a discussion on the historic events of our area but maybe those four would rather just have people stay quiet about it.

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Avoice

Dec-31-13 9:50 AM

Svensota, sit down. I have to agree with you on part of your post. IMHO, the first plaque gave us facts - date, names, places, etc.. The second had a bit of editorializing emphasis added. How did the person know the braves were hungry and had an unsuccessful hunt? As far as the European settlers, the Federal Government created that policy for them to come to this area. The government seems to create policies which they do not keep in the long run regardless if it were the American Indians or the European American settlers. It would have been nice if both versions of the plaque would be displayed at the site. For genealogist, the first plaque gives great information for substantiation of people information. IMHO, the second plaque gives more opinion than facts.

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svensota

Dec-31-13 11:36 AM

Whew...gasp...I'm hyperventilating.

First, MIT "retires". Now, this love-in of thoughtfulness, considerate behavior, and rational discourse.

Are the two related?

Maybe it all started with Puke's disappearance.

As for me, I'm thinking about being more gentle and kinder in 2014.

(Nah. What fun would that be?)

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Avoice

Jan-03-14 6:21 PM

Really surprising how people can disagree what has been issued by the State of Minnesota and its affiliates. Seems like I agree with Svensota they are not in the mood.

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