Summary Of Four Lighting

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Looking at the Dakota prisoner of war letters we can see society through a lens that is often hidden in historical records, that being the perspective of Native Indians. The Natives, who occupied the land now known as the Midwestern United States, were treated like animals and savages by the European settlers who were continually moving west. The Dakota POW letters show that much like the European settlers, the Natives were a society with families and values that shouldn’t be treated different because of their heritage. David Faribault Jr. (also known as Four Lighting) argues that the Dakota people deserve to be treated as equals and human, and shouldn’t be prosecuted for “bad deeds” committed by other tribal members. The Dakota POW letters …show more content…

He is writing to General H. H. Sibley, the Commander in the Minnesota River region, where the Dakota people reside. These letters were written after the U.S. – Dakota War as a plea to free wrongly captured Dakota people. It is important to note that in August of 1862 Dakota forces from the Mdewakaton band attacked U.S. Army forces, but most Dakota chose not to fight; Four Lighting refers to this group and their “bad deeds” in his letter. General Sibley also tried to create peace with the Mdewakaton band, which is why Four Lighting understands that he may sympathize with the innocent Dakota …show more content…

Along with showing General Sibley the humanity of the Dakota people, he also argues other measures to show they are peaceful. Four Lighting also alludes to the similarities between the living Dakota (most of whom did not participate in the U.S. - Dakota War) and the “white man”. His writing translates multiple times stating that he grew up alongside the white man, and therefore has no need to fight them. Four Lighting states that if General Sibley would allow two of the POWs to return home and explain the situation, this would bring peace between the Europeans and Natives in the area. Four Lighting wanted to send people of the Dakota nation to send the message rather than Europeans, because the conflicts that were taking place lead the free natives to not trust the “white man”. By stating this in the letter, it alludes to the idea that there is still conflict going on because the Dakota people are scared. Allowing a few men to return and explain the situation would result in a higher chance of

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