SHGAPE virtual presentation: Dr. John R. Legg, “Little Six and Medicine Bottle: A Reexamination of Dakota Mobility and US Army Retribution After the US-Dakota War”

Thu, May 30, 2024, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (EDT)

Please join us for a special presentation from the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE)!

Dr. Lauren MacIvor Thompson (Kennesaw State University) and the SHGAPE Events Committee invite you to hear the winner of SHGAPE’s inaugural research grant awardDr. John R. Legg, who will present a talk on “Little Six and Medicine Bottle: A Reexamination of Dakota Mobility and US Army Retribution After the US-Dakota War.”

Dr. Legg’s work on the aftermath of the US-Dakota War expands the chronological and geographical scope of the era by highlighting Dakota decisions, diplomatic practice, and mobility as tools of survival. The US Army, in pursuit of these Dakota people after 1862, disliked the ability of Dakota people to move freely across the US-Canadian border and find protection from the British. Legg’s talk will focus on two Mdewakanton Dakota chiefs, named Śakpe (Little Six) and Wakháŋ Ožáŋžaŋ (Medicine Bottle), who guided approximately 500 Dakota noncombatants to safety in Rupert’s Land, a space they still considered their homeland. The US Army, unable to cross the international border, hired Canadian bounty hunters to track, lure, drug, and kidnap the Dakota leaders and bring them back into US custody for a military tribunal, and eventually, their execution in 1865. Little Six and Medicine Bottle’s efforts to move their people to relative safety shows the power of Dakota mobility and diplomatic practice, but also the sinister ways the US Army operated in the Northern Great Plains in the aftermath of both the US-Dakota War and Civil War.

Follow the link to the Teams meeting here. This event is free to all, and no RSVP is required.

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Laura Crossley is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the SHGAPE Blog. She is a history PhD candidate at George Mason University, specializing in digital history and Indigenous histories. Her dissertation examines how political debates over land, statehood, and Native sovereignty in the American West played out at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

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