Books about the 1862 Dakota History

Here are a selection of books that I think you will find interesting, especially if you didn't know the history of 1862 before the Ride. If you click on the pictures you will be taken to and the book's page. There you will find more details and the price of the book. I would suggest you buy the secondhand copy unless you want to show the book off. I have added a sentence under each recommendation if I have read the book. There are other books but I don't feel they are a true story of the 6 weeks, but slanted towards shock, so I am not including those books. These books are about people's lives, people who lived and died during this history. I hope you find one that you find educational. - Gloria Hazell-Derby


Through Dakota Eyes edited by Gary Clayton Anderson and Alan R. Woolworth.

This book has some wonderful narratives from the very people who were caught up in the middle of the uprising in Minnesota in 1862. The author does a good job of explaining how the book is laid out. You definitely need to read the intro to understand this. While I was reading the book, I felt as though I was there in the middle of it with all those involved. I don't excuse what was done, but I have a better understanding of what horrors the indians went through that drove them to this place. I would definitely recommend this book. By Shelley Yeager

Paperback - 316 pages Minnesota Historical Society; ISBN: 0873512162

I too would recommend this book it has first hand narratives from people such as Big Eagle, Samuel J. Brown, Charles R. Crawford, and Taopi. This book gives accounts from the Dakota people who were there at the time. It continues each person's story through different chapters which deal with various time lines in the War. For instance Big Eagle gave a full account of the whole 6 weeks, part of which is used in this book. This is one of the first books I read on the 6 week war, back in the the late 1980's . . - Gloria Hazell-Derby


Six Weeks in the Sioux Teepees by Sarah F. Wakefield

Such a lesson about the force of mass mentality on both sides of the Dakota Uprising, the white settlers and army so unfair in the historical perspective. Both the author and her captor, Chaska, had the courage to think for themselves and respect each other as individuals. They are heroes in my eyes and an inspiration, despite the tragedy. Well written first person account. By kbester

Paperback and hardback
ISBN-10: 0806134313
ISBN-13: 978-0806134314

I first learned about this book while working on the Reconcilliation Committee back in the 90's in Morton. Two of us (both white women as Sarah had been) tried to get a pardon for Chaske from President Clinton, but we didn't manage it. Had we managed it we would have tried for a pardon for them all.. Gloria Hazell-Derby

The Dakota Prisoner of War Letters: Dakota Kaskapi Okicize Wowapi by Clifford Canku

Enjoyed this book as it is part of my history. Still reading it, as it is translated in Dakota, Dakota English and English. This is a part of history that I did not know about the other 276 being sent to Camp Kearney and Camp McClellem. People who do not know about the 38 +2 Dakotah men who were hung the day after Christmas in Minnesota need to read the history. So many of our people were displaced to Lower Brule, Sisseton, Yankton and Santee Reservations. The homeland of our people is Minnesota. As a young person I used to wonder why there were so many streets and places in Minnesota with Dakotah names. It wasn't until 1992 when I saw the video on PBS, "The Dakota Conflict". A light bulb went off in my head when they mentioned stuffing grass down the agent's mouth. I was only 4 years old when my grandmother told all of us about this. You see my ancestors were hungry and the Agent said they could eat their own dung or grass. I'm wopida tanka to Clifford Canku and others for taking on the task of translating these letters. It will help many of us to take time in learning our language. Again I thank Clifford Canku for bringing a part of history I knew nothing about. I don't know if my 2nd great grandfather and grandmother went to these camps. Their names are Hus'te and Oicobe. Sincerely, Gerri GrosVenor

Paperback: 224 pages. Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press; 1 edition (March 1, 2013)

ISBN-10: 087351873X ISBN-13: 978-0873518734

I only recently got this book but it is, I feel, very powerful to be able to read these letters. I know you will get a lot from them. Gloria Hazell-Derby

Little Crow: Spokesman For The Sioux by Gary Clayton Anderson

I live in the city of Hutchinson, MN in McLeod County. Six miles north of this city is a marker identifying the site where Little Crow was shot by a local farmer. The farmer had no idea who he was shooting at, just that it was an Indian and he would collect a bounty for his scalp.
Our city has a bronze statue of Little Crow looking out over the Crow River near the dam on the Main Street. Up until the time that I read this book, that summed up most of what I knew of Little Crow, the Sioux legend. We choose to drop the name Sioux that was given this people by our own ancestors, the Ojibwe. In our language it means "Snake". Their word for themselves is Dakota. It means "Friend". Now I feel as though I know him as a man. I know of his character, his integrity, his family, his people. I know a great wrong was done.
At the present time there is a group of people involved in planning and hosting a reconciliation and restitution concerning the events that touched this city in regards to Taoyateduta (Little Crow) and his people. A direct descendant of Taoyateduta (meaning His Red Nation) and a direct descendant of the man who shot him will be part of the event, asking forgiveness of one another. It is never too late to say, "I'm sorry. Will you forgive?"
This book has been instrumental in opening the door to the healing of this ancient wound that is still alive in many hearts. By A Customer

I added that recommendetion because of the healing that had taken place in this person. I learned about Little Crow before I came to MN, I learned that he had a physical disability, and that he was a very clever man. I got this book in the early 90's and enjoyed reading about him. I have visited his grave in Flandreau many times, smoking Pipe there in ceremony a number of times. - Gloria Hazell-Derby

The Sioux Uprising of 1862 by Kenneth Carley

Also known as the Dakota Conflict and the Dakota War of 1862, this bloody and tragic episode in Minnesota's history was one of a series of Indian wars on the Northern Plains that did not end until 1890 with the infamous Battle of Wounded Knee in South Dakota.

This book is out of print now but you can get used copies from $4.00 from the Amazon site.

Paperback - 102 pages (December 1976) Minnesota Historical Society; ISBN: 0873511034


I have used this book a lot over the years for photos and information, not as informative as 'Through Dakota Eyes' I still think it is one worth having, especially at the used books price of today - Gloria Hazell-Derby

History of the Santee Sioux: United States Indian Policy on Trial by Roy W. Meyer

I found this book to be very informative. It gave great accounts from both sides (Indian and non-indian). It follows the Santee Sioux history starting with accounts from explorers who encountered these wonderful people, to the Sioux Uprising, to their exile from their land, to the present day. You will find yourself unable to put this book down. By Shelley Yeager

Paperback - 471 pages. Publisher: Univ of Nebraska Pr; Revised edition (September 1993) ISBN: 0803282036

This book can be obtained for a used price of less than $3.00

One of the first books I read on the Santee back in the 80's. I found it to be very good. It's good to have a copy around if you want to do research. - Gloria Hazell-Derby

Beloved Child - A Dakota Way of Life by Diane Wilson

What a moving book this is. Diane has chapters from several people who have given their stories, including Clifford Canku and Gabrielle Tateyuskanskan

“Far greater even than the loss of land, or the relentless coercion to surrender cultural traditions, the deaths of over six hundred children by the spring of 1864 were an unbearable tragedy. Nearly one hundred and fifty years after the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862, Dakota people are still struggling with the effects of this unimaginable loss.”

Hardcover: 224 pages. Publisher: Borealis Books; 1 edition (September 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0873518268 ISBN-13: 978-0873518260

I have known Diane for a number of years, and I got this book a while ago but never read it... until a few days ago. I was blown away by it. The way Diane writes educates on a different level, on an emotional plane for those of us who have had children. I think if this book is read by the younger generation it may give them hope. With the suicide rate being so high, we shake our heads in disbelief, with a sense of helplessness. If the old ways of caring for our children is once again followed, these young people would feel better about themselves. Traditional ways were there for reasons, they covered all aspects of life, a good life, for all members of the Tiospaye, Oyate, or Community. Children were Beloved, they knew they were, and so acted accordingly. Those ways should come back.. Thank you Diane for writing such a compelling book - Gloria Hazell-Derby

A Dakota-English Dictionary (Borealis Books)
by Stephen Return Riggs, James Owen Dorsey, Carolynn I. Schommer

Paperback - 665 pages Reprint edition (Oct 1992) Minnesota Historical Society; ISBN: 0873512820

We used this and the following book in the Little Feather Center in Pipestone. They are both written by the missionaries, Stephen Riggs, and John Williamson, who were with the Dakota during the Conflict. Both of these men were respected by the Dakota as they allowed them to keep their own culture, yet taught them skills which would take them into the 20th century. Instead of forcing the Santee to learn the Bible in English, they translated it into Dakota. These two men were unique in their understanding of the Dakota culture and spirituality. Gloria Hazell-Derby



An English-Dakota Dictionary (Borealis Books)
John P. Williamson, Carolynn I. Schommer

Paperback - 264 pages Reprint edition (Oct 1992) Minnesota Historical Society; ISBN: 0873512839


Please see the above description.- Gloria


There is also a Dakota Grammar book out now, (2004) by Stephen R. Riggs

Videos and DVD's

The Dakota Conflict (The 1862 Great Sioux Uprising)
Garrison Keillor (Actor), Floyd Red Crow Westerman (Actor)
[VHS] (1993)
Format: VHS Tape

Quite expensive now even used copies from Amazon.. New from $47.77. Used from $38.36


I found this video to be very good. I believe there is a copy in the Little Feather Center, in Pipestone, or there was. - Gloria Hazell-Derby

Dakota 38

I couldn't end this page without putting the DVD on here .

Smooth Feather Productions have copies Free all you need to do is ask for one.
Smooth Feather Productions