Lower Sioux Agency (US)

Established in 1853 by the U.S. government as the administrative center of the newly created Dakota reservation and the site of the first organized attack in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. A history center exhibit explores the Dakota story before, during and after the War. Self-guided trails take visitors to the restored 1861 stone warehouse and the Redwood Ferry crossing.

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Visitors can see the difference between traditional Dakota farming practices and those taught by Agency employees in the site's period gardens and farm plots, learn about the Agency's purpose and daily operation and explore the underlying causes of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.

The scene of the first attack of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, this site was a U.S. government administrative center for the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute Bands of Dakota. In the months leading up to the war, the U.S. government failed to pay annuity payments owed to the Dakota and refused to provide food and supplies. These actions contributed to the growing unrest that led to the war in the summer of 1862. As tensions mounted, a reluctant Taoyateduta (Little Crow) led an attack on the Lower Sioux Agency on August 18, 1862, killing 18 traders and government employees. The Dakota then attacked settlements along the Minnesota River Valley, killing white settlers and compelling thousands to flee in the first few days in a strategic effort to reclaim their homeland.


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