“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Montevideo in Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Maza śa Protected His Village

Maza sa Protected His Village Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
1. Maza sa Protected His Village Marker
Experience showed Dakota Chief Maza śa (Red Iron) that it did little good to stand in the way of the U.S. government. He had opposed the 1851 Treaty of Traverse des Sioux but, in the end, had little choice when he and other Dakota leaders signed it, selling most of their homeland.

In 1854 Maza śa led his people to a small reservation on the Minnesota River and established a village near this spot, where families planted corn and the children attended school. Here, he worked to protect them and their way of life.

When Dakota from other bands began the war in August of 1862, Maza śa did not support it. He did not want to risk the life he and his people had built in their village. On September 6, as the fighting spread, he told a gathering of Dakota leaders, "My friends, I cannot bear the thought of everything of mine being destroyed. Therefore I will stay here."

Maza śa did more than protect his village. He and other Dakota risked their own safety to protect from harm hundreds of captives taken during the war. He even turned away some of the warriors of Taoyateduta (Little
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Crow) when they tried to enter the village. After the fighting ended, Maza śa's people helped to hand the captives over to the U.S. military.

In the end, although Maza śa and many other Dakota had not joined the war, they all suffered its consequences. Maza śa lost his home. His family and others who had not taken part in the fighting were removed to a concentration camp at Fort Snelling, where they awaited an unknown fate. Dakota warriors who had not already left were arrested, tried and convicted. Maza śa and his brother Akipa (To Meet), assigned to accompany the prisoners to South Bend near Mankato, helped care for the condemned men.

"You commenced the outbreak and must do the fighting in your country. We do not want you here to excite our young men and get us into trouble."
Chief Maza śa (Red Iron) to warriors of Taoyateduta (Little Crow), as quoted in Samuel J. Brown's journal

"Your course was condemned at the time, but now you see your wisdom. You were right when you said the whites could not be exterminated, and the attempt indicated folly.... Today you are here at liberty, assisting in feeding and guarding us. And 39 men will die in two days because they did not follow your example and advice."
Tazoo (Old Buffalo) to Chief Maza śa at the prison camp near Mankato, quoted in "Through
Close-up of Map and Photos image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
2. Close-up of Map and Photos
Dakota Eyes" (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
• August 18, 1862    War begins at the Redwood (Lower Sioux) Agency, led by Taoyateduta (Little Crow).
• August 19−25    Attacks on New Ulm and Fort Ridgely; New Ulm is evacuated. Sibley is appointed to command troops and scouts.
• September 1–2    Battle of Birch Coulee.
• September 23    Battle of Wood Lake.
• September 26    Captives are released and some of the Dakota who had been fighting surrender at Camp Release.
• September 28    Military trials begin for Dakota who had fought.
• October 24    Sibley moves his camp, along with all Dakota prisoners, from Camp Release to the Redwood Agency.
• November 4    Trials end; 303 Dakota are sentenced to death.
• November 7–13    Removal of 1,658 noncombatant Dakota to Fort Snelling.
• November 9−10    Sibley moves those sentenced to South Bend near Mankato.
• December 6    Number of Dakota sentenced to be executed is reduced to 40 by authorization of President Lincoln.
• December 26    38 Dakota are executed by hanging at Mankato.
• Spring, 1863    Forced exile of most Dakota from Minnesota begins.
• 1863–    Battles between some Dakota and U.S. military forces continue for years in the West.

Scenic Byway Minnesota
Maza sa Protected His Village Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
3. Maza sa Protected His Village Marker
left marker
River Valley

Erected by the Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansWars, US Indian. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Minnesota Historical Society series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1851.
Location. 44° 55.972′ N, 95° 44.851′ W. Marker is near Montevideo, Minnesota, in Lac qui Parle County. Marker can be reached from 445th Avenue south of U.S. 212, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Montevideo MN 56265, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Captives Released (here, next to this marker); Tried and Sentenced (here, next to this marker); Camp Release State Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Release (within shouting distance of this marker); Lac qui Parle Mission & Fort Renville (approx. 8.6 miles away); Lac qui Parle Mission (approx. 8.6 miles away); Williamson Cabin (approx. 8.6 miles away); Acculturation & Autonomy (approx. 8.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montevideo.
More about this marker. captions:
• Chief Maza
Nearby Interpretive Panel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
4. Nearby Interpretive Panel
Tour the Minnesota River Valley
Listen to the stories and reflections about historic sites along the river valley. Learn about the people who lived there and the lasting impact on the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.
Scenic Byway
Minnesota River Valley Mobile Tour
sa (Red Iron) Whitney's Gallery, courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society
• Maza sa's Village. Minnesota in 1862. Detail of map from "Through Dakota Eyes" (Minnesota Historical Society Press).
• An 1858 treaty delegation to Washington included Maza sa (standing, third from left) and his brother Akipa (standing, far left). Charles DeForest Fredericks, courtesy of MHS
• Winona, daughter of Maza sa, at the Fort Snelling concentration camp. Benjamin Franklin Upton, courtesy of MHS
Also see . . .
1. The U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. (Submitted on January 21, 2014.)
2. Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway. (Submitted on January 21, 2014.)
Additional keywords. U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
Credits. This page was last revised on January 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 21, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 807 times since then and 42 times this year. Last updated on January 13, 2021, by McGhiever of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 21, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 12, 2024