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Pardon sought for “Dakota 38”

April 18, 2014

To the editor: Please help. An online petition to get a presidential pardon for the Mankato 38 needs 100,000 signatures by April 30, 2014, or as many as it can get....

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Apr-23-14 1:34 PM

Yes the settlers should be pardoned for crimes they didn't know were committed. - I think this will help. - Personally, I've never held a grudge against them on or off the books. But maybe some do. - Still, no amount of blame, or other truth, or denying it is here with us in the 21st century, can make that trial and execution right. It was civil and military crime. It was the largest mass execution in US history. It was and is a precedent. It is BIG for being so small, compared to the hundreds of settlers, or the hundreds of thousands or millions of Indians before and after, or the millions and millions of lives since then on many sides of stealing resources. It is small, but a step in the right direction toward holding our government (our selves) accountable.

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Apr-23-14 1:09 PM

Settlers even thought it made sense to get paid a bounty for an Indian scalp (after the war) big enough to buy a farm. Not all of them mind you, but imagine, they got popular news and not much of that. "We The People" have a much greater chance and sustainable ability to understand and hold ourselves accountable to respect and justice. Money is still allowed to buy popular opinion, but not for long. All the truth that can be known can be shared. There is no reason to change it. Remember with both regret and gratitude and forgive. No one was ever less human than you, nor acted any different than you would if you had the same information and life experience. No amount of blame can make anything right or wrong, and truth can't be changed.

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Apr-23-14 12:20 PM

If we are to pardon those 38 who were hung to correct a past injustice then what would you also propose to correct the injustice that was perpetrated against the settlers who also lost their lives ?

How do we recognize the fact that they were never given due process and were executed for crimes that they did not commit ?

You want to pardon these 38 based on a 21st century notion of justice for events that occurred in the 19th century. There is no doubt we have made vast improvements in the manner in which we dispense justice today. That is the best way to honor all of the victims is to see the progress that has been made while also acknowledging the work that still needs to be done.

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Apr-23-14 11:59 AM

Exactly! And we the people are the government. We must hold ourselves accountable and stop thinking whoever has all the money will do it for us. No one can buy or take that responsibility or ability away. The settlers just thought they bought the land from the government (for almost nothing, but more than the Indians got) and they didn't know much about Indians at all. This isn't about assigning blame. It's about accounting respect.

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Apr-22-14 10:44 PM

Hans, try as you might, among many others, in trying to rewrite history. Even the State of Minnesota Historical Society has replaced monument plaques changing what happened during this time at certain locations. You can blame settlers all you want but the real culprit who was behind all of this was the U.S.Government who must be held accountable.

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Apr-22-14 6:00 PM

We all always do have everything to do with the past. Hitler had everything to do with emulating this past. This is in fact every living person's active responsibility. It is not about whether they committed atrocities. It is about the injustice of it. If they were tried with civil law, they had no defense lawyers, they had no consideration for interpreters and explanations. If it was a military action, as it was, It has never been OK to round up 300 warriors of a surrendered enemy and execute them, or any smaller group they could get away with. The trial and execution was a civil or military crime. Even if they accidentally included some that were so damaged they would never heal and would always be a danger. I'm not crazy, we need to take care of each other. This is a pardon, to stop pretending it was justice, or victory, before or after. Sorry to distract you. The justice or lack of it is between living people here in the present. Back then it was war, for survival. It is our resp.

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Apr-22-14 4:14 PM

I can't pardon anyone who I've not condemned. I can't forgive someone I haven't wronged nor can I seek forgiveness from someone who has not wronged me...

How can I sign a petition to pardon the acts of people who are long dead ? My ancestors didn't arrive in America until the 20th century. I don't feel qualified to sign this petition. All I can do is learn why it happened in the first place and work my hardest to insure this sort of thing never happens during my time on earth.

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Apr-21-14 6:32 PM

Hans: I see that you feel deeply about this. I also feel you are a troubled soul. You know that you personally did not have anything to do with the past...nor do any Native Americans living today are responsible for the past. It's something awful that happened years ago. Pardoning these 38 won't change the past...i feel the pain in your posts. Maybe you should seek some help in dealing with this.

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Apr-21-14 1:43 PM

Also, they were forced to walk because there wasn't room for all of them in wagons. They were first concentrated for the winter at Sibley with poor shelter and provisions, yes the disease was widespread, but not in the camp where it was cramped, then they marched the 80 miles to Snelling while settlers were not always held back, and at least one woman snatched a baby from mother's arms and slammed it on the ground. Then crammed in boat and train like cattle without room to sit they were deported (long ride) to the SD res where nothing grew or roamed and few rations trickled through. MANY more died than did settlers. And again, they learned the terrorist horrors and massacres (mostly) from European precedents. Who could not yet heal from their history, even with the opportunities they had and also used to oppress the natives, because they did not understand.

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Apr-21-14 1:18 PM

Are you kidding? How does it affect the Indians? ... They need to grow out of this crap just like the rest of us. And Hippie? Why keep bringing this stuff up? ... We need to grow out of it. We all need to learn forgiveness, but more importantly and the reason for that, we need to learn caring for each other, today, people alive now. It is only because we haven't that people still have to do without the things they need, and live with hate because of things that had nothing to do with them. My vested interest is being alive today in a humanity that so desperately needs to learn these things, and with these opportunities to learn and heal. My vested interest is that I have moved beyond faith and hope that we will, and I depend only on love to keep trying to promote these opportunities, because the creator may still have a plan to save us from ourselves and from extinction. I am not an Indian, nor a wanna be. I don't always want to admit I am human, but I am, and that's my vested interes

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Apr-21-14 5:06 AM

No, I wasn't there, but here is the website address and the "Firsthand Account" which I had also read sometime earlier at another (non-Wikipedia) site. Note that my original post said "reportedly." *******en.wikipedia****/wiki/Dakota_War_of_1862

"The daughter of Mr. Schwandt, enceinte [pregnant], was cut open, as was learned afterward, the child taken alive from the mother, and nailed to a tree. The son of Mr. Schwandt, aged thirteen years, who had been beaten by the Indians, until dead, as was supposed, was present, and saw the entire tragedy. He saw the child taken alive from the body of his sister, Mrs. Waltz, and nailed to a tree in the yard. It struggled some time after the nails were driven through it! This occurred in the forenoon of Monday, 18th of August, 1862."[33]:300–301

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Apr-20-14 11:15 PM

Caring1, Curtis isn't the one with the sick mind! Check out the book Dakota Dawn by Gregory F. Michno, page 134. This is not the only place I have read it. It was at the same time my Great Great Grandmother's sister's son John Frass was murdered, not far from where his day August Frass was murdered. All unarmed citizens thinking the Indians were their friends... No Caring1, Curtis is not the one that has a sick mind, he is just quoting Facts!

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Apr-20-14 9:54 PM

Caring1, Curtis isn't the one with the sick mind! Check out the book Dakota Dawn by Gregory F. Michno, page 134. This is not the only place I have read it. It was at the same time my Great Great Grandmother's sister's son John Frass was murdered, not far from where his day August Frass was murdered. All unarmed citizens thinking the Indians were their friends... No Caring1, Curtis is not the one that has a sick mind, he is just quoting Facts!

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Apr-20-14 8:13 PM

Curtis were you there, did you see this. Or do you have a sick mind?

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Apr-20-14 11:34 AM

The facts are so distorted that the truth will never be known. I have read all the reports from all the different know-it-alls and I guess a person has to believe in one of the stories out there. But who knows what really happened because they are all dead like you say.Why do people keep bringing this crap up anyhow?

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Apr-19-14 11:32 PM

Hippie, I think you maybe smoked one to many. Where do you get your facts? There was no concentration camp. They were not forced to walk. They were taken there to protect them from the settlers that survived or they would have been killed. They were taken care of. Sure there were some that died, but there were a lot of people that died around the state. It was a bad winter, and there was a major outbreak of sickness around the state. You really need to study more....Go to the Brown County Historical Society and spend some time learning. Talk to John Labatte, and look for the real truth. You can't change history!! Remember, it is usually those that study win the war....

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Apr-19-14 6:38 PM

So Hans, what is your vested interest in this anyhow? Why do you even care what happened 151 years ago? As you said, they are all dead! Do you have family members that were involved in the war? How does anything that happen so long ago affect the Indians today?

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Apr-19-14 5:31 PM

True Hippie except for one part. It was not "us white people." It may have been our ancestors, but they're all dead. So are all the Indians from that time, but Indians alive today are still being denied civil rights, equal opportunities, and respect, or access to education and medicine. Maybe some of them are reborn from white politicians or soldiers of the time. That might explain why some of them seem so broken. I'm not saying that's how it works, but I'm certain you could look them in the eye, and know them as relatives. This whole thing is not really about the dead. It is about truth and respect and about pity and forgiveness for all humans, for being human.

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Apr-19-14 1:37 PM

Us white people killed more Indian children and babies by not following through on our treaties with them.If someone came to your house and told you to get out and took over your house and property how would you react.Then they marched to for 100 of miles to a concentration camp where most of the children and babies died would you like that. Seeing you family die a slow death in front of your eyes.I think I would be ****** and probably go nuts and kill insanely too.We stole their land and then killed off the Buffalo so they didn't have any food.

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Apr-18-14 10:22 PM

Pardon murderers that killed innocent women and children? No, I will not sign your petition. Justice was served.

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Apr-18-14 4:02 PM

The execution is called the end of the war. (It was a war crime, or total farce of civil law, either way) It was not the end, but the beginning of what was deliberately a genocide of native people and culture across the whole continent. Yes, deliberate, premeditated, against people without even understanding their languages. Never mind Hitler, those ancestors are really the ones who need forgiveness. We all do, remember? It is not about who was wrong, or who your ancestors are, it is about us. Remember everything with regret or gratitude, and forgive everyone everything. We can't ask the president to pardon all past atrocities. We can only ask God to do that, for us, in us, for everyone, for all our relatives and all life and being that we see as less than his perfect creation. We don't need forgiveness as much as healing, for not letting Him do that in us yet. When we have that, universal forgiveness in us, we will let His Kingdom Come. Amen, He is risen. I'm just sayin'.

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Apr-18-14 3:54 PM

Yes this pardon includes some who committed mutilations during their war, but the precedent of massacres, mutilations, atrocities, brutal killing without warning or excuse of peaceful men women and children, was set by the Europeans. And this uprising followed a prolonged period where they showed restraint, civility, and willingness to work with the agreements. They showed restraint, and negotiated civilly, while they knew that they were cheated by the treaties, and they were being cheated again being refused the food owed them by the treaty. They watched old and young die from starvation and sickness, a slow torture, while they tried to get along, and they controlled the angry youth as long as they could.

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Apr-18-14 2:35 PM

there is only one entity who can pardon

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Apr-18-14 4:42 AM

Question: Would this pardon include the young Indian brave who, reportedly, cut a live fetus from its settler mother's womb and impaled the still-kicking baby on a tree?

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