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Jeff Christensen's story

  • August 14, 2012 - 10:23 AM

My grandparents and mother are from New Ulm.

When we would spend summers in New Ulm we would see the monuments related to "the uprising." Stories were passed on to us that were told to my grandparents and mother. They told us how the townspeople and settlers feared something bad was going to happen.

There was talk the natives were being starved to death and in bad health, the payments from the treaties were not arriving and the agents and traders were hoarding the supplies. The natives acted, and too many innocent lives were lost on both sides from a people trying to surrvive where they had lived for generations and from settlers trying to establish a foothold in the new land.

The natives attacked along the river, and my grandmother told us how the settlers and townspeople that could get there hid in town in basements, and she named the basement of Retzlaff hardware, which was still there in my time.

We were told many blamed the government, traders and agents for the uprising -- a sad tragedy for our "manifest destiny"       

Jeff Christensen

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