Friday, August 17, 2012

"There is no one righteous"

James Calvin Schaap, in "There is no one righteous," Part I of The Dakota War of 1862 [Part II comes on August 20] tells the story of how the Sioux Indian wars began with the temptation to steal some eggs.
In August of 1862, four young Wahpeton men return, empty-handed, from a hunting party, when they discover a nest of chicken eggs along a fence not far from a white man's house, a man named Robinson Jones. The Wahpetons are hungry, but one of them says they better be careful because if they eat the eggs they're going to risk getting Mr. Jones angry.

Another says that being afraid of the white man is something he's sick and tired of because life hasn't been all that great with all those white people moving into and onto their land, treaty or no treaty.

Big talk, another one says. What are you going to do about it?

You think I'm scared? If you think I'm scared, then let's go over to that house right now and kill them—Robinson Jones and all those white people.

Let's just shoot them down.

So they do. Brown Wing, Breaking Up, Killing Ghost, and Runs Against Something When Crawling—four Dakota men. ...[T]hey eventually shot and killed Robinson Jones, Howard Baker, and Baken Viranus Webster, dropped them dead in cold blood, then turned on Mrs. Jones and Clara Wilson, an adopted daughter: men, women, and children, dead.

It was August 19, 1862, not quite noon, 40 miles south of Acton, Minnesota, on the frontier of America, at a time when the nation was deeply at war with itself. That horrific incident filled the Minnesota River valley with blood, created a month of sheer horror. ....

Robinson Jones didn't ask to be murdered, nor did his adopted daughter. They were victims of what was to them totally unforeseen Dakota lawlessness and brutality.

Or were they? Who of the Dakota had asked white people to take over their land? Who of the Dakota had written up treaties that were sheer lies? Who of the Dakota had asked Europeans to come in and destroy their culture? .... [read on]
The link to Part 2: The Dakota War of 1862

The Dakota War of 1862 | Books and Culture