The Military Commission met at Camp Release from September 28 - November 5, 1862 and sentenced 303 Dakota to be executed. 392 were tried by the commission. These 303 names were telegraphed to President Abraham Lincoln on November 7. The criteria that Lincoln considered was to sort out those who had committed rape and murder from those who had simply participated in battles.
This was an extremely difficult and busy time for Lincoln as he was dealing with the burden of the Civil War as well. He asked two staff members to review the transcripts. They recommended that 39 (one was pardoned) Dakota met Lincoln's criteria. The hangings took place on December 26, 1862 in Mankato, and became the largest public execution in the United States in response to the largest massacre by Indians. More detail on this grim event in Minnesota's history is found in Curtis Dahlin's book, "The Dakota Uprising - A Pictorial History," pgs. 248-253.
This is a lithograph of the hanging of the 38 Dakota at Mankato which appeared in the February 17, 1863 issue of the Mankato Weekly Record. It was drawn by W. H. Childs and copies were offered for sale for 15 cents each. It was originally published by Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper on January 24, 1863.
The transcript of Te-he-hdo-ne-cha is now on-line. He was found guilty of murdering my great-great grandfather, Charles Cla(u)sen, his son Frederick, and Frederick's nephew, Thomas Brooks. His picture was listed for auction for $1,380.00 in 2007 and can be found by googling Te-he-do-ne-cha. Here is the website for his trial; http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/dakota/Trialrec1.html
Dakota Indians Hung at Mankato, December 26, 1862
Taken from a list in Marion Satterlee’s
“Outbreak and Massacre by the Dakota Indians in Minnesota in 1862”
(Used with the permission of Don Heinrich Tolzmann, Editor)
1 Tipi-hdo-niche—Forbids his dwelling
2 Wyata-tonwan – His people
3 Taju xa— Red otter
4 Hinhan shoon koyag mani—Walks clothed in an owl's tail
5 Maza bomidu— Iron blower
6 Wapa duta—Scarlet leaf
7 Wahena—(Meaning unknown)
8 Sna mani—Tinkling walker
9 Rda inyanke—Rattling runner
10 Dowan niye—The singer
11 Xunka ska—White dog
12 Hepan—Family name for second son
13 Tunkan icha ta mani—Walks with his grandfather
14 Ite duta—Scarlet face
15 Amdaeha—Broken to pieces
16 Hepidan—Family name for third son.
17 Marpiya te najin—Stands on a cloud (Out nose)
18 Henry Milord—(French mixed-blood)
19 Chaska dan— Family name for 1st son—dan little)
20 Baptiste Campbell—(French mixed blood)
21 Tate kage—Wind maker
22 Hapinkpa—Tip of the horn
23 Hypolite Auge—(French mixed-blood)
24 Nape shuha—Does not flee
25 Wakan tanka—Great Spirit
26 Tunkan koyag i najin—Stands clothed with his grandfather
27 Maka te najin—Stands upon earth
28 Pazi kuta mani—Walks prepared to shoot
29 Tate hdo dan—Wind comes back
30 Waxicun na—Little Whiteman
31 Aichaga—To grow upon
32 Ho tan inku—Voice heard in returning.
33 Cetan hunka—The parent hawk
34 Hda hin hda—To make a rattling noise
35 Chanka hdo—Near the woods
36 Oyate tonwan—The coming people
37 Mehu we mea—He comes for me
38 Wakinyan na—Little thunder
In addition to this list, two others were named to be hung—Tate mima, (Round wind) who was pardoned; one report says one died; one that Godfrey, whose sentence was commuted, was of the 40 to be hung.
There is no question that several of these were unjustly executed, as No. 21, a half-witted son of Wakan mani, (Spirit walker), aged 14 years. He was present at the murder of Amos Huggins, at Lac qui Parle, but did not assist Ta-in-na (Leather blanket) and Ho si di (He brought the news) committed the murder, they escaped with Little Crow. Xunka ska. No. 11, (White dog), did the talking at Redwood Ferry; neither White men or Indians agree on what he said; he was under duress, and had up to that time been a man with good reputation. Waxicun-na No. 30, a young boy, not very intelligent, answered to the name of another man, and was put in the death-pen. Chaska-dan No. 19, was hung for the murder of Geo. Gleason; Mrs. Wakefleld, the only witness, swore to his innocence, made every effort to save him, and later published a pamphlet denouncing the execution and officials.
These incidents are not given to palliate the offenses of the Indians, nor to malign the commission, but rather to show the abuses of the Indians in the treatment given them. In the trials Justice was not only blind but ignorant, and the officials faced an enraged public. Read the trial proceedings at the Historical Society if you doubt the criticism.
John Campbell, a son of Scott Campbell, the interpreter at Fort Snelling in early years, brother of Baptiste No. 20, was hung at Mankato by an impromptu court on May 3, 1865. He had participated in the murder of the Jewett family, in Rapidan township.
Chief Shak-pi (Little six) and Pejuhuta-tha (Medicine Bottle), were captured by Hatch's Battalion, and hanged at Fort Snelling in 1865.