Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Little Crow

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LITTLE CROW (To-wai-ah-tah-doo-tah), chief of the Sioux, b. in the Indian village of Kaposia, near St. Paul, Minn.; d. near Hutchinson, McLeod co., Minn., in 1863. He was the hereditary chief of the Kaposia band of the great Dakota or Sioux tribe. The name Little Crow descended from father to son through several generations. The father of the subject of this sketch was a firm friend of the Americans, and a highly intelligent and industrious man. He was accidentally wounded in withdrawing his gun from a wagon, and died on the following day. His parting injunctions to his son and successor, in the presence of the writer, were peculiarly impressive. Little Crow the younger paid but slight heed to the wise counsels of his father. He was essentially a bad man, an inveterate liar, and a drunkard, but possessed of cunning, energy, and determination. Subsequent to 1851, when the Sioux Indians ceded by treaty to the U. S. government their lands west of Mississippi river, the several bands, including the Kaposias, were removed to large reservations on the upper Minnesota, where they dwelt peacefully, professing warm friendship for the white settlers, by whom they were treated kindly and hospitably. Suddenly and unexpectedly the savages, with a few exceptions, rose in a body, on 18 Aug., 1862, murdered their traders and the other whites at the two U. S. agencies, and then spread themselves in small parties along a line of frontier more than two hundred miles in extent, butchering the unsuspecting men, women, and children without mercy. Nearly 1,000 settlers fell victims. Little Crow was the recognized head of the outbreak. . After the decisive defeat of the combined force of warriors by the troops under the command of Gen. Henry H. Sibley, at Wood Lake, 23 Sept., 1862, Little Crow, and two or three hundred of the most desperate of his followers, fled with their families to the protection of the powerful bands of their kindred on the distant prairies, leaving the main camp to be captured with more than 2,000 souls, with the release of female white prisoners to the number of 120. About 40 of the 303 warriors that were found guilty and condemned by a military commission, were hanged at Mankato in December following, the remainder being held in close confinement until they were reprieved, despite the universal protest, by President Lincoln, and removed by his order to a reservation on Missouri river. Little Crow met his richly merited death in 1863, having been discovered and shot by a Mr. Lamson and his son while he was engaged with a small party in a raid. His scalp was deposited in the collections of the Minnesota historical society.