On this day, December 26th, 1862 ''The Largest Mass Execution in United States History'' took place, ordered by Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America.
The ''Mankato Incident'' is a true piece of American history as are Ramsey Governor of Minnesota, Abraham Lincoln, President of the Untied States and their agreement to remove or kill every Indian in Minnesota. Stone Hand of course is fictional.
Stone Hand hears whispers that the Dakota people of Southern Minnesota have ceded their land to the U.S. Government in exchange for two million dollars, reservations, food and supplies. Two million dollars for thousands of square miles of natural resources, unlimited wealth for the government and white settlers.
Stone hand is well acquainted with the Dakota people, adversaries and friend he has a great deal of respect for them.
Concerned that the U.S. government will try to force the Ojibwe into the same type of agreement, anger stirs in him. Never trust the government to honor their word of the many treaties that they have written.
Weeks pass and the Dakota have been moved to a reservation and their land given to white settlers. Winter is approaching, in Minnesota winter is a hard time and the Dakota are not prepared for it. It's been months and they have not received their money or supplies that were in the treaty. the Dakota grow resentful and the young Warriors are threatening to leave the reservation.
Stone Hand begins moving south to confer with the Dakota Chiefs to see what can be done. He is to late, after another lie from the government and no food or rations the Dakota rebel, leaving the reservation and attacking settlements. The war has started. The Dakota uprising of 1862 is in full force. The Dakota attack the Army and deal it a stinging defeat. Thousands of troops are moved in from Fort Snelling, the war will have a devastating effect on settlers and Indians.
Stone Hand keep moving south taking a few warriors with him. Two hundred miles to the south of him the war is bloody, innocent on both sides being killed. Soon the overwhelming odds of the U.S. Army defeat the Dakota.
The U.S. is embroiled in it's own Civil War and Abraham Lincoln wants the support of Minnesota and it's governor Ramsey an avowed ''Indian Hater''. Stone Hand knows that will suffer greatly after the defeat.
Ramsey orders all Dakota rounded up, women and children are taken from their homes, not having been part of the war makes no difference, they are herded like cattle and fenced in, no food, supplies or medical attention.
The men are faced with a trial. To call it a trial is a sham, five minutes per trail, no lawyer to represent the Dakota, only their judge and executioner. Three hundred and eight are sentenced to be hanged.
Word reaches Lincoln who has his legal staff review the cases. One sentenced to die is a fourteen year old mentally disabled boy, another is a Dakota that saved white settlers from being killed. Some were not part of the war, they were still sentenced to be hanged.
Lincoln and Ramsey come to an agreement that Ramsey will only hang thirty nine and Lincoln will kill or remove all Indians from Minnesota.
Moving fast through the timber Stone Hand is soon within reach of Mankato and learns of the Public Execution of the Dakota. He hears that a huge scaffold is being built in town and all thirty nine Dakota will be hanged at the same time. This is not something that Stone Hand can grasp. He thinks to himself that the white man calls the Indian savages, his pain is mixed with tears.
A few days pass, Stone Hand and his warriors hide in the timber. Soon December 26th arrives, the day of the execution. Thousands gather to watch the hangings. A festive air abounds as men, women and children gather for the hanging.
General Silby orders the Dakota to be marched to the gallows. The Dakota sing their ''Death Chant''..The Army puts hoods over their heads.
The trap door is sprung and thirty eight drop to their deaths, (one Dakota is not hanged)
Stone Hands heart is heavy, unable to comprehend what he has witnessed.
The Dakota wars are over. The Dakota will now suffer even greater injustice. Many are removed and shipped to prison, many more will die of starvation or sickness.
Ramsey puts a $200 bounty for the scalps of any Dakota that had escaped. The land now belongs to Ramsey and Lincoln, both their hands are covered in blood. Stone Hand know that Ramsey and Lincoln will do the same to the Ojibwe, he must act.
''The Great Emancipator'' saved the Blacks and killed the Indians.
This is the ''true'' part of American History, one that you'll never read in a history book.
Today there is a park in Mankato Minnesota named ''Reconciliation Park'' that stands as a testament to this ugly piece of American History. Ironic that the execution took place on December 26th the day after the Christians birth of Christ.
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