O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

The Aftermath of the Spirit Lake Massacre

 


Editors Note:

Due to a pagination error last week I am re-running this story in its entirety.

By Mari Radtke

Colin Mustful, a Minnesota historian dedicated to understanding a time in American history he refers to as “The Dakota Wars”. His naming is deliberate.

Mustful is educated in the area of history and focuses primarily on the history of Minnesota. He is also gaining education and experience with creative writing. A historian by nature, telling stories of the past can prove difficult. He says making things up, especially about historical events, is difficult for him.

Telling the story of the characters in his books through narration is easy. Telling from the eyes of the characters of history who are different from himself, i.e. an Indian brave, a female settler, a soldier; proves more difficult for him.

As a Minnesota historian and the importance and involvement of Minnesota settlers with the Spirit Lake massacre the story of Inkpaduta and his aftermath made sense. He still has some research and studying to do to fully capture how the events in Iowa, beginning near Smithland and up the Little Sioux River. But he did have a good grounding in some of the events leading to the outlaw excursion and ultimate death of 7 settlers and the taking of 2 women.

Mustful is quite versed in the chase of Inkpaduta and his followers and in the wars and conflicts leading to the removal of the Dakota (the word Sioux, in their native language is a negative) and the imposition of the reservation system drives Mustful’s writing.

He is the author of several books on the matter beginning with the Spirit Lake massacre in 1857 through the plight of the Dakota in Minnesota until the reservation system was finally settled.

 

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