Skip to main content

Mankato city council member seeks presidential pardon for Dakota 38


A Mankato city council member is asking President Barack Obama to pardon the 38 Dakota men hanged in a mass execution on a cold winter day near the end of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.

On Dec. 26, 1862, thousands of spectators gathered in the frontier town of Mankato and watched as 38 Dakota men were led out of a prison to a specially made scaffold and hanged. The largest mass execution in U.S. history remains among the darkest chapters in U.S. history.

Now a petition has been started by City Council member Jack Consadine, who says he felt compelled to bring the issue to the White House after he studied more about the history of the hangings, KTOE radio reports.

"I based it primarily on the discrepancies in the trial," Consadine told KTOE. "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 notes that from the viewpoint of the Dakota, they had had their land and homes stolen and were left to starve.

There are some who disagree with Consadine, and say the Dakota's war tactics were brutal, the Associated Press reports. The petition as of Sunday had less than 700 signatures and needs 100,000 before the president would consider it.

There is little dispute that in 1862, Minnesota leaders wanted the Dakota gone one way or another, the Pioneer Press reported. Gov. Alexander Ramsey told the state Legislature that the Dakota "must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of Minnesota."

Remembrance ceremonies were held in Mankato in December 2012 for the 150th anniversary of the hangings. A memorial monument was unveiled in Mankato. The Minnesota History Center created a special exhibit to examine the U.S. Dakota War.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT sets a franchise record, leaves early in loss to Wizards

Towns fell on his back in the final minutes of a loss in Washington.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man shot by police in Forest Lake dies from injuries

It was one of two police shootings in the Twin Cities on the same day, both of which proved fatal.

Dylan Bundy

Report: Twins agree to deal with Dylan Bundy

The Twins signed the right-hander with a lockout imminent.

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

'Everyone should really be masking up' in public, Malcolm says

The health commissioner said residents have gotten "a little bit lax" with some protective measures.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton believes he's the best player in baseball

"Nobody [does] the things that I do. I know that."

unsplash medical marijuana

Edibles coming to Minnesota's medical marijuana program

MDH also announced it will not add anxiety as qualifying condition.

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.

Seven Points exterior - 2

New tenant revealed for former Libertine spot in Uptown

The space will combine playful art offerings with a restaurant.

white Christmas

What are Minnesota's chances of a white Christmas this year?

The Twin Cities averages a white Christmas about 3 out of every 4 years.

ilhan omar press conference voicemail screengrab 11.30.21

'You will not live much longer b***': Rep. Omar shares threatening voicemail

Omar's office received the call hours after Rep. Boebert posted her video about the MN congresswoman.

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 11.24.09 AM

ESPN's 'Booger' makes fun of Wild fans' record cup snake

He's the same guy who thought the "Minneapolis Miracle" was bad for the Vikings.