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The Dakota War (1862) was a searing event in Minnesota history as well as a signal event in the lives of Dakota people. Sarah F. Wakefield was caught up in this revolt. A young doctors wife and the mother of two small children, Wakefield published her unusual account of the war and her captivity shortly after the hanging of thirty-eight Dakotas accused of participation in the Sioux uprising. Among those hanged were Chaska (We-Chank-Wash-ta-don-pee), a Mdewakanton Dakota who had protected her and her children during the upheaval. In a distinctive and compelling voice, Wakefield blames the government for the war and then relates her and her familys ordeal, as well as Chaskas and his familys help and ultimate sacrifice.
This is the first fully annotated modern edition of Six Weeks in the Sioux Tepees. June Namiass extensive introduction and notes describe the historical and ethnographic background of Dakota-white relations in Minnesota and place Wakefields narrative in the context of other captivity narratives.