Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

CHAPTER 171--S.F.No. 1623

A resolution

memorializing the President and Congress to repeal the federal legislation of 1863 ordering the removal of Dakota people from Minnesota.

WHEREAS, in the aftermath of the events of 1862 - the delay of United States treaty payments to the Dakota, the refusal of white traders to sell to them, the resulting starvation on the reservation, and the ensuing Dakota Conflict - white sentiment against Indian people was at its height, and many were pressing for the execution of 303 Dakota and mixed-blood men; and

WHEREAS, fearing that there would be further violence if he did not act, and to appease public feeling, Abraham Lincoln cooperated with the efforts of Congress to remove Indian people unilaterally, without even the semblance of agreement by treaty, by signing "An Act for the Removal of the Sisseton, Wahpaton, Medawakanton, and Wahpakoota Bands of Sioux or Dakota Indians, and for the Disposition of their Lands in Minnesota and Dakota," an action which ultimately ignited the Plains Indian Wars and brought 30 more years of conflict; and

WHEREAS, the act remains in federal law to this day, despite the fact that its terms are obsolete and its presence is a continuing offense; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that it urges the Congress of the United States to repeal United States Statutes at Large, volume 12, page 819, chapter 119, and pages 803-804, chapter 103.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota is directed to prepare copies of this memorial and transmit them to the President of the United States, the President and the Secretary of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, and Minnesota's Senators and Representatives in Congress.

Presented to the governor May 20, 2009

Signed by the governor May 21, 2009, 4:57 p.m.