The Dakota Conflict of 1862, once called the Great Sioux Uprising, was the most tragic and deadly event in Minnesota history. Instigated by a series of exploitative and broken treaties, the six-week war between the U.S. and the Eastern Dakota Nation resulted in hundreds dead, farms and homes abandoned, and the forced exile of the Dakota people from the state. A kangaroo military court condemned over 300 Dakota men in 15-minute trials. President Abraham Lincoln reviewed the cases and pardoned all but 38, who were hanged on the day after Christmas, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota. To heighten the effect of their execution, all 38 were hanged simultaneously in a single drop--the largest mass execution in U.S. history. The Dakota Conflict cleared the way for white settlement and its influence can still be felt in the Dakota community.
~Kristian Berg, St. Paul