??On August 17, 1862, four young Dakota hunters, returning to their hungry families from an unsuccessful hunt, argued about stealing food from white settlers. Sungigidan, Kaomdeiyeyedan, Nagiwicakte, and Pazoiyopa dared each other this: who among them was brave enough to shoot the settlers? The youth spoke with Robinson Jones, Acton's postmaster and storekeeper, at his farm. They followed him to this location, about a quarter mile from the home of Howard Baker. Here they shot and killed Baker, Viranus Webster and Robinson Jones and his wife. After they left, passing Jones's home, they killed his daughter, Clara D. Wilson.2012
??The Indians then fled 40 miles south to Rice Creek Village. After several council meetings, the Dakota who wanted to go to war with the United States convinced Taoyateduta (Little Crow) to lead them into battle. Thus began the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, the bloodiest chapter in Minnesota history.
??Although the war was ignited by the actions of a small band of teenage hunters, its causes were far deeper. By 1862, European Americans were pouring onto the ancestral lands of the Dakota. White leaders, determined to seize millions of acres of rich farmland, forced the Dakota onto reservations. The Dakota were expected to assimilate: to farm rather than hunt, to speak English, to cut their hair and wear unfamiliar clothing. Missionaries sought to replace the Dakota belief system with Christianity. The payments promised in the 1851 and 1858 treaties were illegally taken by traders or were late in delivery. Families were torn between the past and a foreign, uncertain future. To some, war seemed the only option.
??The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 launched 30 years of war between the United States and American Indians on the Northern Plains.
Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment
Minnesota Historical Society