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Comments on problems with U.S. government traders

"When I saw our Great Father, I spoke to him about what was my chief desire, which was to have land. The traders were constantly following me for other purposes, and opposing me bitterly; but I paid no attention to them – I shut my ears against them. I only desired to get a title to lands and fix my people so that they could live. I made a treaty at this time, and lands were given to us at Red Wood, on both sides of the Minnesota River. The Great Father told me, before leaving, that he wished us to be well off, but that the whites would endeavor to get this land from us, and that the traders were like rats; that they would use all their endeavors to steal our substance, and that if we were wise, we would never sign a paper for anyone. If we did so, he said, we would never see 10 cents for all our property. I remembered the words of our Great Father and I knew that they were true. I was, consequently, afraid of the traders."


Source:
Anderson, Gary Clayton and Alan R. Woolworth, eds. Through Dakota Eyes: Narrative Accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1862. Saint Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press (1988), 29-30.


Memories of War U.S. Military Non-Combatants Dakota "Peace Party" Dakota Soldiers