Posted in Minnesota, Misc., News, Peace, Star Tribune, tagged abraham lincoln, Dakota, dakota conflict, mankato, Peace, war on December 28, 2007|
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Thursday, December 26, 2007 was the 145th anniversary of the hanging of 38 members of the Dakota in Mankato, Minnesota. It has the dubious honor of being the largest mass execution in the United States and was the result of The Dakota Conflict of 1862
. The conflict started in the middle of August and by late September hundreds of settlers in southwest Minnesota were dead. By this time thousands of Dakota were in custody or in exile. A military commission was appointed to try the Dakota and on the day after Christmas in 1862 the 38 were hanged. Originally close to 300 were set to meet the gallows but Abraham Lincoln ordered a review and the number came down to 38. The military commission that tried the Dakota was speedy (over 393 trials in a six week period
) and some have questioned
the legitimacy of the military commission and the fairness of the trials. An account of the trials can be read here.
KEYC-TV of Mankato has a story
about the event at Reconciliation Park on the 26th in Mankato featuring Bud Lawrence, one of the originators of the effort to start the process of reconciliation. The Mankato Free Press also has a story
about the Memorial Run from Fort Snelling in St. Paul to Mankato that takes place every year and retraces the path the 38 condemned men took on the way to their hanging.
About a week ago I read a commentary in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune by John Stiles who is a pastor at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Oakdale. He takes a look at the story of the hanging of the 38 Dakota and has some compelling thoughts.
Here is an excerpt:
…In our increasingly global community, what would happen if we viewed the Dakota Conflict (and wars today) as civil war — wars between brothers and sisters in the human family? What would it mean for how we treat those who are a different color, or who are richer or poorer than we are?
Sure, I run the risk of oversimplifying the geopolitical landscape, but consider a key teaching of both Christians and the Dakota: We are all related. Christians teach about the Body of Christ, where the member who seems weakest is indispensable. The Dakota have the saying Mitakuye Oyasin, which means: “We are all related.” Somehow, in the vast world we live in, our existence vitally depends on one another.
When we finally get it — that it’s “all us” in this world together, that no human being is intrinsically superior to another, that even creation itself is intimately connected to the human family — then we will have learned something about what happened the day after Christmas in 1862.
Peace & solidarity
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What a way to start the day. This morning’s Star Tribune had a picture and story of sixth district Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, GOP, on the front page. I just about choked on my morning coffee. Why the Strib feels obligated to do a touchy-feely piece about Shrub’s biggest groupie is perplexing. Her recent trip to the Mideast and her proclamation that the surge is working is laughable. Spending a few hours in the Green Zone cowering from the mortar blasts in the distance does not qualify her as an expert. It is fortunate she is in the minority in Congress as is her counterpart in the Senate, Norm Coleman, another cheerleader for President.
Peace & solidarity,
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