Group asks Obama to pardon ‘Dakota 38+2’

A little late, but … Wendy Wilde of KTOE radio in Mankato writes: “A petition has been started asking the President of the United States to posthumously pardon the Dakota 38 plus 2.  The Dakota men were hanged at the end of the U.S. Dakota War of 1862 in Mankato. Mankato resident and City Council member Jack Consadine says he felt compelled to submit the issue to the White House after he learned more about the history of the hangings. ‘I based it primarily on the discrepancies in the trial. There were no defense attorneys. No defense was allowed. Also, the trials were only 3 to 5 minutes long. They were conducted in English and the Dakota didn’t understand the trial process.’ Consadine says, from their viewpoint, the Dakota had had their land and homes stolen and were left to starve.” Maybe they can re-consider Henry Sibley’s governorship while they’re at it?

There’s a recall out for several foods made by a Minnesota company. The AP story says: “A Minnesota company is recalling some of its peanut butter, cheese, salsa and spreads that are distributed nationwide after authorities discovered some samples of the products contained listeria. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture said Saturday that there have been no reports of illness and that Coon Rapids-based Parkers Farm Acquisition is cooperating with the investigation. … The products are distributed nationwide under the Parkers Farm, Parkers, Happy Farms, Central Markets, Hy-Top, Amish Classic, Say Cheez, Win Schuler and Bucky Badger labels.”

The Chisholms have caught the attention of the press, nationally. In the New York Daily News, Michael Walsh writes: “You’ve heard of welfare queens. How about welfare gods? A Minnesota couple is accused of milking the welfare system for more than $165,000 to fuel their lust for luxury from January 2005 to March 2012. Andrea Chisholm, 54, and Colin Chisholm III, 62, lived in a palatial lakefront home in Deephaven, Minn., lounged on an 83-foot, $1.4 million yacht and drove a $30,000 Lexus, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. All while taking advantage of services intended to help the poor.” Dave Chanen of the Strib had the original story.

Also from out on “The Lake” … Bill McAuliffe of the Strib writes: “A former Shorewood couple is headed for federal prison after more than a decade eluding authorities while living and doing business in Thailand and China. ‘I’ve been prosecuting for 15 years, and I’ve never had someone flee and remain on the lam for 12 years,’ said Karen Schommer, an assistant U.S. Attorney. ‘It’s unusual.’ Anthony Maki, 64, and Julie Maki, 45, were each sentenced to 44 months in prison Thursday for bank fraud, money laundering and related charges involving primarily about $1 million in mortgages they converted for personal use.” They were once Beanie Baby tycoons.

Mother Strib tut-tuts the poor performance of various minority councils: “[I]t would be prudent for the administration, Legislature and representatives from communities of color to decide how best to bring diverse voices and influence to setting policy.” Any poor performance by a committee can be resolved by the force of another committee.

Samantha Maranell of the Waseca County News reminds her readers: “While the majority of U.S. states require 180 student days per year, Minnesota school districts can schedule up to 15 fewer days. But even if a district has less than 165 instructional days a year, the state has no power to enforce that regulation. … According to the Education Commission of the States, in 2013, more than 30 states required a minimum of more than 180 instructional days. Twelve states had more than 170 days. And only two states, Minnesota and Colorado, require less than 170. Colorado requires 160 days.”

At MPR, Jon Collins covers the expansion of the Seward Co-op and others … “The Seward Co-op isn’t alone in its plans to add a new location to meet rising demand. Many of the cooperative groceries in the Twin Cities are planning expansions or additional locations. Powered by consumer demand for organic and natural foods, it’s a strong comeback for an industry whose future was shaky just a decade ago. … Minnesota is the country’s most cooperatively organized state, with more than 1,000 businesses identifying themselves as co-ops in industries as diverse as banking and childcare.”

Movies? In downtown St. Paul? Frederick Melo of the PiPress says: “Downtown St. Paul hasn’t had a movie house since the Galtier Plaza theater closed in 1999. Nevertheless, at the urging of art gallery owner Bill Hosko and fellow proponents, a downtown business and residents’ group voted Wednesday to ask City Hall to give further thought to its plans for the [Palace] theater on Seventh Place near Wabasha Street. ‘The motion was in support of the city investigating movies as part of the renovation of the Palace Theatre project,’ said Capitol River Council director Paul Bengtson.”

Plus … it has pies. Raya Zimmerman of the PiPress reports: “Lanesboro, which calls itself Minnesota’s Bed and Breakfast Capital, has been ranked 10th in the Smithsonian’s list of Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014. … The Smithsonian’s third annual list of 20 of the Best Small Towns was published on the Smithsonian Institution’s website. It used geographical information systems company Esri, which analyzed data to find towns with fewer than 15,000 residents. Communities chosen were commended for their history, music, visual arts, learning, food, theater and science.”

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by david hanners on 03/24/2014 - 06:41 am.

    Speaking of the Makis…

    The Pioneer Press published a much better and more detailed yarn about their case than the five-paragraph (?!) Star Tribune brief you linked to. And the Pioneer Press ran it a day before the other paper.
    http://www.twincities.com/news/ci_25395535/fleeing-fraud-and-beanie-babies:-shorewood-couple-turn-from-fugitives-to-prisoners

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/24/2014 - 07:58 am.

    Meaningless political gesture

    While Governor Ramsey wanted all of the 303 captured Dakota warriors to be executed, President Lincoln personally reviewed the trial records to distinguish between those who had simply engaged in warfare, versus those who had *committed crimes of rape and murder against civilians.*

    He commuted the death sentences of 264 warriors, one of whom was one of my ancestors, Tatemani. Lincoln allowed the execution of 38 men, those who had actually committed murder or rape against civilians.

    I don’t think the descendants of those white civilians would be too eager to sign such a petition, but I could be wrong.

    • Submitted by Lance Groth on 03/24/2014 - 11:52 am.

      Question for you

      Dennis – I’m certain you know more about this than I do. It sounds like you are untroubled by the way in which the trial was conducted, and are confident that the guilty were punished (true?). Is there good evidence that the 38 who were hanged were indeed the perpetrators, i.e., that the guilty and only the guilty were hanged? Obviously today a mistrial would be declared and the convictions vacated, so I’m wondering how we can be sure?

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/24/2014 - 01:10 pm.

        I don’t know what evidence

        was presented at the trials against which defendants or which convictions were based on guilty pleas, etc. I’m basing my opinion on the fact that Lincoln was an attorney who was disturbed by the manner in which this affair had been conducted by the state and did what he could to mitigate. But I don’t know the details of what evidence he actually used to base his decisions. All I know is that my ancestor was found to have been simply a combatant against U.S. forces, which is not a capital offense.

  3. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 03/24/2014 - 12:08 pm.

    Important Reconciliation Gesture

    At least one of the 38 men hung at Mankato was innocent and put on the rolls by accident. The rest were hung based on scant evidence and weren’t allowed to mount any sort of meaningful defense for themselves.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/24/2014 - 01:53 pm.

      Was it those 38?

      Somebody raped and/or murdered over 800 white settlers during that uprising. Was it those 38? I don’t know.

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