Off the Shelf: Commemoration Week U.S.-Dakota War is August 21-25

Brown County Historical Society (BCHS) and New Ulm Public Library (NUPL) are sponsoring a number of events to commemorate the 157th anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota War the week of Aug. 21-25. All presentations and tours are free and open to the public; seating is first come, first served.

Colin Mustful will present “A Welcome Tragedy: Factors that Led to the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862” at New Ulm Public Library on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 12 p.m. Mustful argues that the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862 and its aftermath were the results of an Indian System that fostered neglect, nourished corruption, and intentionally ignored all signs that war was imminent. Mustful is a Minnesota historian and author who has published numerous novels, essays, and resources related to the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.

Grady Renville will discuss his life and the history of the Gabriel Renville family and its connection to the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 at the Brown County Historical Society Annex on Thursday, Aug. 22 at 12 p.m.

Phyllis Cole-Dai will discuss her book “Beneath the Same Stars” on Friday, Aug. 23 at 12 p.m. at the Brown County Historical Society Annex. “Beneath the Same Stars” is a novel set during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 that explores the relationship between a Dakota warrior and captives Sarah Wakefield and her infant children. Cole-Dai is an author, editor, composer, songwriter, musician, public speaker, and activist and has authored or edited nine books in multiple genres, including historical fiction, spiritual nonfiction and poetry. 

On Saturday, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m., BCHS will offer a walking tour of U.S.-Dakota War sites in downtown New Ulm. The tour will leave from BCHS.

Tours of the Pioneer Section of the New Ulm City Cemetery will be offered on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 2 p.m. Tours will meet by the cemetery maintenance building on Cemetery Avenue in New Ulm.

The Kiesling House will be open for paid tours (free for BCHS members) on Saturday, Aug. 24 and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 1-4 p.m. Call 507-233-2620 for more information.

If you would like to explore the U.S-Dakota War independently following the commemorative events, New Ulm Public Library has a number of resources about the conflict, including books and DVDs, available for checkout. Call the library at 507-359-8331 or stop by our service desk for more help locating these resources.


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