New Ulm Petition

On August 14, a group of New Ulm residents voiced their concerns in a strongly worded petition sent to Minnesota governor Alexander Ramsey. In it, the settlers described delays in payments to the Dakota, rumors of corruption in the state's office of Indian Affairs, and their fears that a war was imminent. An excerpt of their letter reflects the level of panic, fueled by fact and rumor, running rampant before the war.

That the payment for the Dacotah and Sioux nation of Indians has this year been delayed up to this time. That said Indians considering said payment justly due to them and relying on the same for their subsistence, have become by such delay exceedingly exasperated, have committed several outrages and threaten to overwhelm these frontier settlements with Indian Warfare. That your memorialists are in eminent danger to see their families massacred by said Indians, if the able bodied men of these settlements should be removed from here under the militia draft, before said Indians are appeased by receiving what is justly due them. That the rumor has spread here far and wide that the United States Government has paid the money in gold for said Indians long ago, but that said money has been corruptly misapplied in speculations on the discount between gold and paper currency and otherwise by the Hon. Clark Thompson, Superintendent of the Indian Affairs in the State of Minnesota, and that this is the reason of the delay of the payment. Dated August 14th, A. D. 1862 Of the 47 signers of this petition, two (Johan Schneider and Ernst Dietrich) were killed on August 18. A third (G. W. Otto Barth) was wounded August 23 and died shortly after. Signers: John G. Rudolph John Manderfelt(d) A. Strecker L. Brockmann Johan Schneider D. G. Shillock Francis Erd John W. Young F. Beinhorn Christian Prignitz Carl Schmidt Henry Behnke Ernst Dietrich H. C. Bergmann ? Martin S.C.? Johan Bobleter Johan ? Aug. Friton Stu Seiter P. Scherer C. Pfau H. Loheyde C. Schumacher Fr. Rehfeld H. Schalk Fr. Wehrs W. Galles H. Kiesling ? Kiseling Pet. Jos. Schmitz P. Hitz Joseph Hitz Louis Theobald G. W. Otto Barth Charles Roos Jacob Muller A. Claussen Charles Frieberg John C. Toberer August Kiesling Fredrich Immel Franz Nolle Friedrich Ring Christoff Brockmann John Hauenstein Benjamin Heinebach