They are looking there and they don’t really truly understand what happened.

Mr. Ross talks about the site of the execution of 38 Dakota men in Mankato following the U.S.-Dakota War.

Things to think about: 

What is the meaning of place for different people?

Audio Chapters

DL: Have you ever been to Mankato to the execution site?

DR: Twice.

DL: What was your reaction to that place?

DR: My reaction to the place was not necessarily to the place but to the people that were there and the reasons they were there. I helped one of the Owens- Ray Owen. He was down there for something. He asked me to come over. I didn’t actually do anything except that we talked before he did. Then I just listened. The second time was kind of for the same reason. To help someone do something-not necessarily do it myself.

My reaction to the place? I guess if I were there all by myself, I probably would react to the place but the people are what caused me to think. They are looking there and they don’t really truly understand what happened. They know what happened but they don’t truly understand it. So I just sense something missing in the people standing there. Something that I wouldn’t be able to fill for them and that includes Indian, white or any other race that was there. So it’s a place that at some point in time will become significant again but not for the reasons that people think. The land never forgets. That’s another thing about Dakota spirituality. The land has a memory. Someday someone will be reminded of what happened there. It probably won’t be good.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Dallas Ross Interviewer Deborah Locke made at Granite Falls, Upper Sioux Community, MN | Sunday, May 1, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. They are looking there and they don’t really truly understand what happened. December 11, 2019. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1100

Viewpoints: All viewpoints expressed on this website are those of the contributors, and are not representative of the Minnesota Historical Society.