Wednesday, 26 December 2012 21:26
ST. PAUL: The day after Christmas will be somber for Dakota Indians marking what they consider a travesty of justice 150 years ago, when 38 of their ancestors were executed in the biggest mass hanging in US history.
Overshadowed by the Civil War raging in the East, the hangings in Mankato, Minnesota, on Dec. 26, 1862, followed the often overlooked six-week US-Dakota war earlier that year a war that marked the start of three decades of fighting between Native Americans and the US government across the Plains.
President Abraham Lincoln intervened in the case, demanding a review that reduced the number of death sentences.
But he allowed 38 to be executed, including two men historians believe were hanged in error, even as he was preparing the Emancipation Proclamation to free black slaves in the South.
This month, in an annual event that started in 2005, some Dakota are making a 300-mile trek on horseback ...