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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Page address: http://lib.mnsu.edu/archives/fa/smhc/smhc165.html

Minnesota State University, Mankato,
Memorial Library, Southern Minnesota Historical Center
Little Six (Shakopee) and Medicine Bottle. Trial Documents. 1862 - 1865
MSU Archives Collection 165



Little Six (Shakopee) and Medicine Bottle. Trial Documents 1862 - 1865. SMHC Manuscript Collection 165. 11 folders, 265 pages.

Abstract:

This collection is made up of photocopies of documents relating to the trials of Little Six (Shakopee), Medicine Bottle, and Wo-wi-na-pa. Following the Dakota Uprising of 1862, these three men were put on trial for war crimes against the citizens of Minnesota. Little Six and Medicine Bottle were tried, convicted, and hung, for their involvement. This collection contains the trial transcripts (both handwritten and typewritten), the recommendation of execution for the two men, and correspondence regarding the trials and the records kept of them. Wo-wi-na-pa was tried and convicted of war crimes, but he eventually was released. The transcripts from his trial are also included, as are letters regarding release and transport of other Dakotas, a petition for pardon of four Indians confined at Camp McClellan, and the order for pardon for those Indians from Abraham Lincoln. Correspondents included in the collection are: Steven Return Riggs, Henry H. Sibley, and Joseph Holt.

Biographical or Historical Note:

Little Six was the grandson of Shakopee, who, in 1819, was among the chiefs who sold the land that would become Fort Snelling. Little Six's father was also named Shakopee, and he was a leader of the Mdewakanton band of Dakota, who lived near present-day Shakopee, Minnesota.

Medicine Bottle was the nephew of Chief Medicine Bottle. Both Little Six and Medicine Bottle fled to Canada after the Sioux Uprising of 1862, where Major Edwin Hatch kidnapped them in January of 1864. They were both brought back to Fort Snelling, where they were tried, convicted of war crimes, and hung.

Wo-wi-na-pa was the son of Little Crow, who was identified as one of the leaders of the Dakota during the 1862 Uprising. Wo-wi-na-pa and Little Crow were attacked while picking berries near Henderson, Minnesota in July of 1863. Little Crow was killed in the attack, and Wo-wi-na-pa fled. He was captured later that month near Devil's Lake, Dakota Territory. He was tried in military court, convicted of war crimes, and sentenced, but later was released.

Biographical Information found in: Hughes, Thomas. Indian Chiefs of Southern Minnesota. Mankato, MN, 1927; Carley, Kenneth. The Sioux Uprising of 1862. 2nd ed. St Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1976; Folwell, William Watts. A History of Minnesota, 4 vols. St Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1921 - 1930.

Scope and Content:

This collection is made up of eleven folders of transcripts and correspondence pertaining to the trials of Little Six (Shakopee), Medicine Bottle, and Wo-wi-na-pa.

The first two folders deal solely with the trial of Medicine Bottle. Folder number one contains the orders that established the military commission which tried Medicine Bottle, a handwritten record of the trial proceedings, a list of specific charges, and correspondence dealing with the sentence of death that was handed down.

The third and fourth folders deal with Little Six (Shakopee)'s 1864 trial. Folder number three contains orders establishing a military commission to try Little Six, a handwritten record of trial proceedings, a letter by Henry H. Sibley approving the court's findings, and a list of specific charges against Little Six. The fourth folder contains a photocopy of the typewritten transcript of the trial proceedings. This typewritten transcript contains inaccuracies, and should be closely compared with the documents in folder three.

The fifth folder contains copies of correspondence relating to the trial and execution of Little Six and Medicine Bottle. Include in this correspondence is a letter from James Harlan, Secretary of the Interior, to President Andrew Johnson recommending a stay of execution, a letter from Joseph Holt, Judge Advocate General, recommending the execution of Little Six and Medicine Bottle, an order from President Johnson suspending the execution, and a note from H. Clay Wood noting that Medicine Bottle and Shakopee were executed in November of 1865. The sixth folder contains typewritten copies of the letters by Joseph Holt to President Lincoln, recommending the execution of Little Six and Medicine Bottle.

Folders seven through nine contain copies of trial proceedings and correspondence related to the trial of Wo-wi-na-pa. The seventh folder contains a handwritten copy of the court proceedings, while the eighth folder contains a photocopy of the typewritten transcript. Folder number nine contains copies of correspondence relating to the trial of Wo-wi-na-pa. Among these letters are orders by Major General John Pope, disapproving of the proceedings against Wo-wi-na-pa.

Folder ten contains correspondence and orders relating to the pardon of four Sioux Indians held at Camp McClellan, Iowa. The support for a presidential pardon included: Henry H. Sibley, Major General John Pope, Major General Halleck, all of whom endorsed a request for pardon. The pardon was granted by President Abraham Lincoln in Aril 1864, and Eyo-jan-jan, Ta-ho-hpe-wa-kan, Ta-pay-ta-tan-ka, and Wee-yoo-ha were released.

The eleventh file folder contains correspondence pertaining to requests made to the War Department for copies of the trial documents of Medicine Bottle, Shakopee, and Wo-wi-na-pa.

The photocopies of the trial documents that were handwritten are sometimes difficult to read. This is due to the quality of the original document or because of poor photographic reproduction.

Restrictions:

There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property and libel laws as they apply.

Collection Citation:

Little Six (Shakopee) and Medicine Bottle. Trial Documents, 1862 - 1865. SMHC Manuscript Collection 165, Southern Minnesota Historical Center, Memorial Library, Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Acquisition:

This collection was donated in June 1975.

Processed By:

This collection was processed in March 1977. Finding aid revised by Robert Russell September 2000.

Related Collections:

it has been determined that there are no similar manuscript collections about Little Six or Medicine Bottle available elsewhere. The original copies of the documents in this collection can be found at the National Archives in Washington D.C.

LCSH Subject Headings:

- Little Six (Shakopee)
- Medicine Bottle
- Wo-wi-na-pa
- Dakota Indians--Wars, 1862-1865
- Riggs, Steven Return
- Sibley, Henry Hastings
- Holt, Joseph
- Lincoln, Abraham

Related Collections at MSUM:

Faribault, David (1821 - 1886). Executive Clemency Documents, 1863. SMHC Manuscript Collection 163. Southern Minnesota Historical Center, Memorial Library, Minnesota State University, Mankato.

SMHC Manuscript Collection 165

Box

Folder

Correspondence and orders pertaining to the pardon of four Sioux Indians

1

10

Correspondence and orders pertaining to Wo-wi-na-pa’s Trial Proceedings

1

9

Correspondence Pertaining to the Trial of Medicine Bottle and Shakopee (Little Six)

1

5

Correspondence relating to requests made for copies of trial proceedings of Medicine Bottle, Shakopee, and Wo-wi-na-pa’s trials

1

11

Letters Recommending the Execution of Medicine Bottle and Shakopee

1

6

Medicine Bottle Trial Proceedings (handwritten)

1

1

Medicine Bottle Trial Transcript (typewritten)

1

2

Shakopee (Little Six) Trial Proceedings

1

3

Shakopee (Little Six) Trial Transcript

1

4

Typewritten copies of Wo-wi-na-pa Trial Proceedings

1

8

Wo-wi-na-pa Trial Proceedings

1

7