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Visit Plymouth Library in February to view historical objects on display from Ramsey County Historical Society, and see the traveling exhibit, Commemorating Controversy: The Dakota - U.S. War of 1862.

Visit the Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life display in the Large Print area of the library. Find out what these items are, then stop by the customer service desk to let us know and get a free bookmark from the Minnesota Historical Society!
What is this?What is this?What is this?

In the late summer of 1862 a war raged across southern Minnesota between Dakota warriors, U.S. military, and immigrant settlers. In the end, hundreds were dead, and thousands more would lose their homes forever. The day after Christmas, 1862, thirty-eight Dakota men were hung in Mankato by order of Abraham Lincoln.  It remains the largest mass execution in United States history. The bloodshed and its aftermath left deep wounds that have yet to heal.

The Commemorating Controversy project was funded by Gustavus Adolphus College, Nicollet County Historical Society, Minnesota Humanities Center, Minnesota Historical Society, and the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

This exhibit is produced by Gustavus Adolphus College students in conjunction with the Nicollet County Historical Society:
"It’s impossible for one display, person, book, or site to tell the whole story of 1862. The research, writing, and production process for these panels left us with much more information than we could possibly include.  We hope that this exhibit answers many questions, but also encourages you to learn more. Please use the following list as a starting point for that exploration."

US-Dakota War of 1862
Nonfiction and fiction titles about the war and other topics related to the Plymouth Reads 2013 pick "Spirit Car" by Diane Wilson.

The US-Dakota War of 1862 (MN Historical Society)
The Dakota Conflict Trials - 1862
U.S. Dakota War 1862: History Site Treaty Center (University of Minnesota)
Dakota Wicohan: The Dakota Way of Life
U.S. - Dakota War of 1812 (Brown County)
Bdote Memory Map

Primary Sources
Library of Congress: American Memory

Acton Monument
Birch Coulee Battlefield
Blue Earth County Historical Society
Brown County Historical Society
Fort Ridgely National Civil War Battlefield
Fort Snelling State Historic Site and Park
Jeffers Petroglyphs
Lower Sioux Agency
Reconciliation Park, Mankato
Lac Qui Parle Mission
Traverse de Sioux
Wood Lake Battlefield National Civil War Battlefield


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