Fate of the Dakota: A Novel and Resource on the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862
In the summer of 1862, war was the only option, and death was the final result.
Alfred Riggs was the twenty-five year old son of a missionary who found himself helplessly intertwined in the real life actions, events, and people of a harrowing, but largely unknown conflict in the history of Minnesota. Alfred grew up among the Dakota Indians of Minnesota and he developed a profound respect for their people and established a near kinship tie to their spokesman and leader, Little Crow. When war broke out in the summer of 1862, Alfred was torn between the safety of his family, friends, and counterparts, and his deep understanding and tolerance for the grievances and traditions of his Indian neighbors. As death, hate, greed, justice, and vengeance unfolded before him, he was motivated by valor and a brazen struggle for peace that nearly led to his death and alienated him from his father.
Throughout the story Alfred met and interacted with real life participants and witnesses of the war. He shared in their struggles and sought to understand their perspectives. But, rather than mitigate death and disaster, Alfred found himself in a number of dire situations from both sides of the war that included several battles and a suspenseful court hearing. In the end, Alfred was helpless to quell the senseless feud between the Dakota Indians and the white settlers. Ultimately, Alfred was fortunate to escape with his life and finally reconcile with his father.