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Jane G. Swisshelm's opinion on the war

Minnesota journalist Jayne Grey Swisshelm writes about her feelings about the Dakota nearly 20 years after the war.

"One thing was clearly proven by that outbreak, viz.: that services to, and friendship for, Indians, are the best means of incurring their revenge. Those families who had been on most intimate terms with them, were those who were massacred first and with the greatest atrocities. The more frequently they had eaten salt with a pale-face, the more insatiable was their desire for vengeance. The missionaries were generally spared, as the source through which they expected pardon and supplies. The Indian was much too cunning to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. The tribe do not object to the conversion of individuals. Saying prayers does not interfere with their ideas of their own importance. Preachers do not labor with their hands, and Indians can join the clerical order or get religion, without losing caste, for labor to them is pollution."


Source:
Swisshelm, Jayne Grey. Half a Century. Chicago (1880), 232.


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