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Kinsmen of Another Kind

Kinsmen of Another Kind

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Dakota-White Relations in the Upper Mississippi Valley, 1650-1862

Author Gary C. Anderson

Minnesota Historical Society Press (September 15, 1997)


In August 1862 the Dakota or Eastern Sioux, frustrated at being defrauded by the United States government and at losing their land and livelihood, resorted to armed conflict against the white settlers of southern Minnesota. Gary Clayton Anderson is the first historian to use an ethnohistorical approach to explain why, after more than two centuries of friendly interaction, the bonds of peace between the Dakota and whites suddenly broke apart.

In Kinsmen of Another Kind, Anderson shows how the Dakota concept of kinship affected the tribe's complex relationships with the whites. The Dakota were obligated to help their relatives by any means possible. Traders who were adopted or who married into the tribe gained from this relationship--but had reciprocal responsibilities. After the 1820s, the trade in furs declined, more whites moved into the territory, and the Dakota became more economically dependent on the whites. When American traders and officials failed to fulfill their obligations, many Dakotas finally saw the whites as enemies to be driven from Minnesota.

This reprint edition of Anderson's work, first published in 1984, provides a new understanding of a complicated period in Minnesota history.

Author information

In a new introduction, Gary Clayton Anderson, professor of history at the University of Oklahoma, comments on scholarly developments in the field of ethnohistory in the last decade. He is the author of Little Crow, Spokesman for the Sioux and co-editor of Through Dakota Eyes: Narrative Accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1862.

  • 415 pages
  • 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873513531

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