Sioux Uprising of 1862
A dark period in Minnesota’s history, the Dakota War of 1862 was also known as the Sioux Uprising. The war broke out in August 1862 due to unfulfilled promises, poor living circumstances, and underlying tensions between the Dakota Sioux and American settlers. The Dakota people were desperate as a result of the government withholding their annuity payments and a resulting food shortage. Four young Dakota men slaughtered five settlers, setting off a chain reaction of bloody confrontations across southern Minnesota.
As Dakota warriors continued to attack towns, the American military retaliated with severe force. The conflict raged for weeks, and countless lives were lost on both sides. The struggle resulted in the largest execution in American history, the death of 38 Dakota men in Mankato. As a result, the Dakota people in Minnesota were forcibly removed, and their culture was destroyed. The Dakota War is a sobering reminder of the catastrophic results of broken treaties and mistreatment in settler-native relations.