1858 Dakota Treaty Delegation

In 1858, a month after Minnesota became the 32nd state in the union, a group of Dakota leaders were summoned to Washington, DC, where they were detained until they signed another treaty relinquishing all land north and east of the Minnesota River to the United States. Dakota title to a 10-by-150-mile strip of land--a portion of the land designated a reservation in 1851--was acknowledged through this treaty. Authority was given to allot individual claims on this reservation land to Dakota farmers. Wamditanka (Big Eagle) later said:

"In 1858 the ten miles of this strip belonging to the Mdewakanton and Wacouta (Wahpekute) bands, and lying north of the river were sold, mainly through the influences of Little Crow. That year, with some other chiefs, I went to Washington on business connected with the treaty. The selling of that strip north of the Minnesota caused great dissatisfaction among the Sioux, and Little Crow was always blamed for the part he took in the sale. It caused us all to move to the south side of the river, where there was but very little game, and many of our people, under the treaty, were induced to give up the old life and go to work like white men, which was very distasteful to many."

The people in the photo are; standing: Big Eagle, Traveling Hail, Red Legs; seated: Medicine bottle, The Thief, unidentified


Source: Anderson, Gary Clayton, Woolworth, Alan R. Through Dakota Eyes: Narrative Accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1862. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1988.