Victims  Claims 

Victims Depredation Claims & Affidavits

Depredation claims were filed by nearly 3000 settlers after the uprising for losses and damages. These documents are priceless as they give first-hand slices of the life of our ancestors. These claims itemize the losses of their cabins, crops, animals, tools, clothes and many of their irreplaceable family possessions.

Here is a link posted on the Park Genealogical Books website that lists some of the names and their residences of those submitting affidavits, which are in the National Archives, Record Group 75. Some were approved, and some were rejected. They are compiling a list of all claimants, though the affidavits appear to have been lost. Go to to find this entry.

Index to Claimants for Depredations Following the Dakota War of 1862. Alphabetical list of the approximately 2500 who filed for property claims. ISBN 0-915709-86-4, 2001, paper, map. $15.00 M-429


Claims from the Dakota Conflict Supplying the Local Militia - Volume 6: Dakota Territory. Compiled and edited by Mary Bakeman. The story of why it took more than ten years to pay these claims, plus the names and amounts each person received. ISBN 1-932212-27-2, 2011, paper, index, 24 pp. $10.00 M-616.(Available at Park Genealogical Books  (Click on Shop Online, then Minnesota Military to find this and other books.)

Emergency Aid for the Sufferers - Claims from the Dakota Conflict, Volume 5: 1862-1863. Compiled by Mary Hawker Bakeman. Financial requests of individual sufferers and reimbursement requests from those who provided shelter, food and clothing, taken from the records of the Minnesota State Archives. Those still needing aid in January 1863 are listed, mostly widows and their families, as they try to survive and return to normal lives. ISBN 1-932212-25-6, 2009, paper, 130 pp., index, illus. $19.95 M-604. (Available at Park Genealogical Books  (Click on Shop Online, then Minnesota Military to find this and other books.)

Gregory Michno's book, Delta Dawn, lists Record Group 75, Entry 702, Depredation Claims from the National Archives on page 407. 


Depredation Claim of Joseph McConnell, submitted by Jan Klein and Mary McConnell. Click to read: Depradation Claim of Joseph McConnell.pdf

Depredation Claim of Ellen Carson McConnell,  submitted by Mary McConnell, Great-Great Granddaughter of Ellen Carson McConnell. Click to read: Depredation Claim of Ellen Carson McConnell.pdf

Depredation Claim letter below of John Frohrip to Governor Alexander Ramsey, below, was submitted by Kathy Brown.

Depredation Claim letter below of Carl Witt was submitted by Tim Treynor

Many settlers wrote Governor Ramsey directly requesting assistance in their protection against the Dakota.  We are attaching some of these which were translated by Carol Lundquist and taken from the Governor’s Archives, #255 from the Minnesota Historical Society.   

1. Lena Lundborg affidavit 8/23/1862: This is a faithful transcription of an affidavit given by Lena Lundborg on August 21, 1862, the day after the uprising of August 20 in which three of her sons were killed. This affidavit is mentioned in a footnote on page 123 of Volume 2 of Folwell's "History of Minnesota."

At a meeting held in Paynesville on Thurs eve August 21st 1862 J. B. Pease Esq. Was apptd. Chairman & E. E. Payne Sec.

The object of the meeting being stated to ascertain the facts in regard to Indians killing certain persons near Norway Lake. Mrs. Lena Lunborg stated that she attended a meeting on Wed Aug 20th at her house near Norway Lake held by Rev. Andrew Jackson that when the meeting was about half out Andrew Peter Broback came to said meeting and told them that some 20 Indians were in their house & more coming said house being about 2 miles off. When 6 of Lunborgs family & 4  [   ] started home or to said house that she with others started home from meeting & met or saw two Indians while at her house shoot Mrs. Christine Broberg & saw an Indian raise a gun to strike & saw Miss Christine Broberg fall that about ½ an hour Mr. Lunborg came & told her that their son Lewis [Lars] was shot by the Indians & that he did not know what had become of the rest of their boys were then all started and [   ] & saw one Indian in the road she hid in the grass when she heard 7 or 8 shots fired.

Mrs. Lunborg lay in the woods alone all night & came to Lewis Olesons about noon Wday [?] & came to Paynesville.*

Mrs. Lena Lunborg being duly sworn says the above statement is true according to the best of her knowledge.

J. B. Pease J. P.

Lena Lunborg, E. E. Payne Witness

*Lena was found by Even Oleson Glesne, John Lundquist’s great-grandfather.

Notes: Because Lena witnessed the murder of Mrs. Broberg she must have been in the wagons the Indians attacked. The six who went were: Sven Aman, Andreas Lundborg and his 4 sons: Andreas Petter age 25, Gustav age 23, Lars age 22, and Samuel age 11. The three oldest boys were killed. Samuel was wounded in the shoulder but survived by playing dead. The Indians were about to scalp him when the wagons came by. The Indians left Sam to kill the people in the wagons. Samuel crawled off into the weeds and was found the next day. He lived until 1920.

John Lundquist

August 2004

2. Letter from J.P. Wilson to Governor Ramsey, translated by Carol Lundquist from the Governor’s Files, #255, Minnesota Historical Society. 

St. Cloud

Sept. 6th 1862

Gov. Alex Ramsey

Dear Sir:

I have just returned from the vicinity of Painesville and the Sauk Valley.  All the frontier settlers are leaving.  The roads are lined with them, the[y] are passing at all hours of day and night.  Such a stampede and excitement I never saw.  There are many persons up the valley [who] are trying to stop it.  Such men as R . M. Richardson & Freeman and Richmond.  They succeed in stopping but few from the back settlement but they have prevented many from leaving their immediate neighborhood.  The people that come from Green and Norway Lakes have reason for leaving. Many are immessanally alarmed from point not so far out [???].  But many very many up the Sauk Valley and other points which you know of have reason for leaving.  But as the matter now stands the only way to ever satisfy the people to return would be to send soldiers right among them and erect fortifications all along the frontier every ten or fifteen miles—and many even if that were done will not go back.  There was near one hundred teams cross the ferry here on yesterday and last night, and I really believe that this section of the state will loose ¾ of its population.  It will take years to put us in as good shape as we was before this Indian war commenced.

Capts. Barrett and McCoy arrived here last night they left the Fort on Monday morning have been one whole week on the road today they have laid by all day on account of high wind.  Barrett is anxious to press forward McCoy is a clever man but takes his time.

A dispatch came in this morning that Andrew Austin and another man was murdered abouve Sauk Centre.  He heard it but his spirit did not move he does not appear to think that people are being murdered up there every day that there property is being destroyed and their stock shot down and driven away their houses and grain burned then all gone left penniless and a winter before them. 

I wish we could have some one sent this way that had some life left.  I expect to hear the next news from Fort Abercrombie that it is taken by the Indians.  The treaty goods and supplies are articles that the Indians would like and there was Indians enough there and near there to taken the Fort.  There has no troop yet either left or passed through here yet to reenforce them.  Our Cavalry company that was raised here now number about 60.  Of that number about 40 have horses a few have arms suitable.  We can’t say that there are over 25 effective men some of the horses are not suitable still they are doing the best they can with the means they have.

That company I understand was ordered to Abercrombie.  They left here last Thursday and went to Richmond and 25 of them went down from Richmond to Forrest City.  And there is no troop as far as I am informed on the way to the Fort.  I wish Governor you could see the exact state of things.  I believe you are doing all and as fast as you can to help our section of the state out.  Many here find fault and say that our section is neglected almost entirely.  I tell them that they cannot expect everything to be done a week and to keep cool – that the war is in the Minnesota Valley as well as here.

I wish Governor we could have two or three pieces of artillery up here and out the valley.  I understand that there is none in the state.  Can they be had from the East.  They are good thing to have at certain points.  Everybody here looks as if they had lost all their friends that the world was coming to an end and that they were left out in the cold.  I feel so myself.  Please to do all in your power for us.  We are about gone up and I am afraid a reserection [? ] may not save us.

Yours truly,

J. P. Wilson

3. Letter from Paynesville, MN Settlers to Governor Ramsey, translated by Carol Lundquist from the Governor’s Files, No. 255, Minnesota Historical Society

 Paynesville, Stearns Co. Minn.

August 22nd 1862

To Alexander Ramsey, Governor of Minnesota

We the undersigned citizens of Paynesville & vicinity respectfully request that a company of soldiers be immediately sent to this vicinity to protect the lives & property of the citizens of Stearns, Meeker & Monongolia counties for the following reasons, vis:

1st.  More than seventy persons are now with us who have been driven from their homes by Indians; leaving their crops but partly harvested.

2nd  5 persons Mr. Jones & family of Acton 17 miles south of this place have been killed by Indians.

3rd  8 persons near Norway Lake have been murdered by the Indians whose bodies have been found & others wounded & some still missing.

4th  Indians have been seen in our midst within the past few days.

5th  We have reason to believe that those who have committed these depredations were Sioux but being on the line between them & the Chipeways we fear from both nations.

6th  Many of our citizens have volunteered & gone leaving but few able bodied men in our midst with many women & children without means of protection.

7th  We make the foregoing statements after sending our scouting parties in different directions & ascertaining the truth of them.

8th  The accompanying affidavits set forth some of the facts above and state all of which have transpired within the last few days. 

9th  As loyal citizens we claim protection at your hands.


O. E. Payne

J. B. Pease

E. H. Bates

E. O. Glesne

E. G. Kapperud

Matteus Jansson

Gonder [?] Oleson

John Boylan

Lewis Everson

Johan Mathiasen

Torres Torresen Tysel [?]

Nels Petterson

Anfin Thorson

Mik [?] Amderson

Friedrid Gedosd

Anton Wartenberg

O. Rienne [?]

John Phipps

G. Dahl

Troulsunes [?] Wuorselsas [?]

Gulbrand Anfinson

Geo W Pisor

Soren or Loren Pedersen

M. Danielson

Lars Olsen

Peter Larson

John Dolbrink

Eric Olson

George Olson

M. Lohman

Rev. R. Hoover

Theron Floars [?]

S. M. Lindmann

William Beckley

S. T. Brown

W. N. Darnell

B. T. Laviehill [?]

R. B. Porter

O. S. Freeman

Ole Thofsen  {?]

Levor Nielsen

4. Anderson and Everson Claims transcribed by Carol Lundquist from the Governor’s Files, No. 255, Minnesota Historical Society

Mrs. Michael Anderson states that on Wed. Aug., 20th about noon an Indian came to their house & told them they had better take care of their horses & Mrs. Anderson hitched them to the wagon when said Indian started off waved his hand when 6 other Indians came & took the horses saying they would bring them back at night.

Mr. Jno. Blakely stated that he had been credibly informed by a German minister that some persons had been killed near Manannah & that the folks there were packing up & leaving for Forest City.

It was further known that the mail from Forest City due here today had not come which was the first time it had failed.

Paynesville Aug. 23 1862

I, Louis Iverson, do hereby certify that I live at Norway Lake about 20 miles west of Paynesville & that on Wed. Aug 20th I saw the bodies of Mrs. Christine Broberg & daughter lying in the road who were killed by Indians.

I do hereby further state that about 40 head of cattle 6 wagons were taken by them & that they also loaded said wagons with goods stripping houses of all valuables & money and that several families who had lately come in were rich & entirely robbed.

Lewis Evers

Family and Friends of Dakota Uprising Victims: