We lost every acre, and we weren’t even involved in the war.

Mr. Blue talks about the consequences of the U.S.-Dakota War.

Things to think about: 

Why is what Mr. Blue says about "scalping" important?

Audio Chapters

DL: Can you tell us anything about the aftermath of the war and the scattering of the Dakota people?

DB: The President of the United States back then, Abe, he made a declaration that all Dakota people would be chased out of Minnesota. I don’t know if you know that or not. But what they did, they wanted all the Dakota people driven off or killed; and of course there was a bounty on them too – I don’t know if you know that or not. That’s how scalping began. The white man started the scalping. They’re the ones – in order for them to be paid, to say “I killed an Indian,” they had to bring the scalp in, that’s how they were paid. Well, Indians took up that banner and they said, well, if they can do it, so can we. So they started [scalping]. But the point is, it was started by the white folks, not by the Indians. But the Indians were driven off into the Dakotas – I have no idea where they all went. They were chased and they were completely excommunicated – that’s the term to use – from the State of Minnesota, never to come back to this part of the country again. But of course we did, we’re just like mice; we can never be completely controlled.

When the U.S. treaty – the Upper Sioux was never involved with what went on with Lower Sioux, in terms of the so-called war or skirmish, or whatever you want to call it. The Upper Sioux was never involved there. What the Upper Sioux did was they harbored a lot of the white folks who were running away and they took care of them. But when the U.S., after this was all “settled” (if you want to use that term – nothing was never settled as far as I’m concerned). The U.S. Government came up with a law, they call it the Forfeiture Act, in which they said that the Indians went to war against the United States, therefore, we’re going to make them forfeit their land. That’s what the Forfeiture Act was. The Upper Sioux were never even involved in the war; still, we lost everything. We lost a percentage of the acreage that we were supposed to be occupying; we lost every acre, and we weren’t even involved in the war.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Dean Blue Interviewer Deborah Locke, Made in Granite Falls, Upper Sioux Community, MN | Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. We lost every acre, and we weren’t even involved in the war. June 13, 2024. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1005

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