Phyllis Cole-Dai to speak on U.S.-Dakota War

NEW ULM — Phyllis Cole-Dai will speak at noon on Friday, Aug. 23, at the Brown County Historical Society Museum Annex. This presentation is part of the 2019 U.S. Dakota War Commemoration Program.

Cole-Dai has authored or edited nine books in multiple genres as well as four music albums. Her most recent book is “Beneath the Same Stars,” a novel set during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. It is based on the experience of Sarah Wakefield, the wife of Dr. John Wakefield of the Upper Sioux Agency.

Sarah Wakefield and her two children were taken captive during the Dakota War and held in captivity for six weeks. Sarah and her children were eventually taken to Camp Release and reunited with her husband. Chaske, the Dakota who was both her captor and the man who brought her to safety at Camp Release, was hanged in Mankato in December 1862. Sarah had pleaded with General Sibley to spare his life and was so horrified at his death that she wrote a book defending his honor titled “Six Weeks in the Sioux Tepees.” Cole-Dai’s novel is based on research from this book and other sources about the life of Sarah Wakefield.

To learn more about the book and Wakefield’s life, please attend Cole-Dai’s presentation on Friday, August 23, at noon in the Brown County Historical Society Museum Annex. Admission for this program is free. For more information, call 507-233-2620.