Henry Sibley played a significant role in the history of Minnesota and the Dakota people. This special tour takes guests through restored historic buildings and focuses on the roles Sibley played in the fur trade and early treaties with the Dakota, his military service in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and after, as well as how he remembered today. Saturdays in September (except September 1), 10-4 p.m.
Stops on the tour include:
1. Orientation (DuPuis House) – Introduces the history of the Mendota area prior to Henry Sibley’s arrival in 1834.
2. Minnesota’s Fur Trade (Cold Store) – Guests learn about the fur trade industry in Minnesota, Henry Sibley’s role as the regional manager for the American Fur Company and how the decline of the fur trade economy contributed to the pressure for treaties between the U.S. government and the Dakota.
3. Treaties (Sibley House Governor’s Office) – Guests learn about Sibley’s role in treaty negotiations between the U.S. government and the Dakota.
4. Minnesota in 1862 (Sibley House Main Hall) – Guests will learn about the situation in Minnesota during the summer of 1862, specifically the situation on the Dakota reservation and the decision by some Dakota to go to war with the United States.
5. 6 Weeks of War (outdoor between Sibley and Faribault houses) – Guests will learn about how and where the war was fought, including the major battles, ending at Camp Release. Guests will also be able to see a reproduction U.S. military tent and a reproduction tipi which will illustrate how the soldiers on both sides lived during the war.
6. Aftermath (Faribault House,1862 Room) – Guests will learn about Sibley’s role in the Military Commission which tried Dakota soldiers suspected of killing or assaulting civilians, the mass execution at Mankato, the Dakota internment at Fort Snelling and subsequent exile from Minnesota, and Sibley’s participation in the “Punitive Expedition” of 1863.