Milwaukee: 1883. Chromolithograph, 16 x 19.75 inches. Lightly backed, repairs to small losses at edges and corners. Lower edge with several closed tears, not affecting image; paper a bit crisp. Later color added to flags. Good. Item #1295
Chromolithograph depicting the public execution of thirty-eight Dakota Indians following the end of the Dakota War of 1862. The image shows the city square in Mankato, Minnesota, with a gallows in the center ringed by soldiers on foot and horseback; large civilian crowds gather around behind to watch the hanging. The Sioux Uprising, or Dakota War, was a series of attacks on white settlers in western Minnesota in the second half of 1862. Angered by a series of treaty violations and other injustices over the course of the 1850s, the Dakota Indians decided to conduct a series of violent raids against white settlers, after a small party of Dakota Indians attacked a white settlement on August 17, 1862. The result was hundreds of white casualties, as well as numerous native dead. By the end of the year, the U.S. Army had rounded up more than a thousand Dakota; after a trial in which 300 braves were condemned, President Lincoln commuted all but thirty-eight of the sentences, resulting in the largest mass execution in U.S. history. This lithograph was issued twenty years later, perhaps as an odd commemoration piece. OCLC locates copies at the University of Michigan, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Newberry Library.