Dakota YMCA group photograph, 1887
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This photograph shows the members of the Dakota YMCA in Fort Pierre, Dakota Territory, now South Dakota. Three men are seated and five stand in the back. Each has a star pinned on their jackets. In 1862, the Dakota People, tired of semi-starvation and poverty, took part in an ill-fated war meant to push white settlers out of their lands in Minnesota. At the end of the brief war, 160 Dakota warriors were captured and sentenced to hang. In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln commuted the sentences of 120 of the younger men. However, 40 other warriors were hung from a single scaffold in Mankato, Minnesota, making it the largest mass execution in U.S. history. These younger Indian men languished in a military prison. Volunteers from the Young Men's Christian Association visited them, bringing clothing, bedding, English language lessons and Christianity. The Dakota men were so impressed with the compassion of these YMCA volunteers, that upon their release in 1879, some of them, including Chief Little Crow's son, Thomas Wakeman (believed to be the man sitting at the center of the photograph), started a Young Man's Association. In 1885 they were recognized by the national YMCA movement and changed their name to Sioux Young Men's Christian Association. Their goal then, as it still is today, was to teach and encourage the values of Wawokiye, Woksape, Ohitika, and Wa o'hola or Generosity, Wisdom, Bravery, and Respect. (Sioux YMCAs website).
A penned caption in the back reads “Dakota YMCA 1887”. Another stamped caption reads “Burkholder. Photographer, Fairbank, Dak.”. A penciled caption underneath reads “January 8, 1887”.
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- Springfield College Archives and Special Collections
- Springfield College
- Young Men's Christian Association of North America
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- Chicago citation style
- Burkholder. Dakota YMCA group photograph, 1887. 1887-01-08. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/9363. (Accessed July 19, 2018.)
- APA citation style
- Burkholder, (1887-01-08) Dakota YMCA group photograph, 1887. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/9363
- MLA citation style
- Burkholder. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/9363>.