Documenting the Dakota: Family Separated

It is not only him.  They met people going this way and going that way and they are looking for their children or their family. Part of their family. But anyway, Tachamishota's parents, he never saw them. That was the last time he saw them. He never see his other sister and two brothers, he never see them. Where they went, nobody knows. Maybe they were killed by the American soldiers, nobody knows. But he – that is what they figure, if they were alive, they would find them. They found lots of people. But they were - they see these people, when they mentioned these people they say, "Sure, we saw them over there, over at that place." But they go there, there is nobody there. At that time, in 1876, they started for Prince Albert. They started for Prince Albert in March and they landed in Prince Albert in August. They walked every step. And Tachamishota and Goweegaway, that is his sister, and his wife, the three landed over there and they stayed together and they all passed away over there at a very, very old age.

And then there is one time, he is a Dakota but he is a preacher. His name is Musawakeea. Musawakeea now, that was his name. He is a Presbyterian minister. He went over there and people asked him, "Have you seen this person, that one and this one? That is my dad, that is my uncle, my brother, we left him behind. If you ever see him..." Musawakeea, Reverend Musawakeea said he saw Tachamishota's parents. He lived close to them for a few years and he said his mother died. "And then about five years after, your father died. And your brothers, I don't know where they are." This is what the preacher told this here Tachamishota. And there is people over there, there is one person, he was in Prince Albert and his sister was in Santee, Nebraska. When the war broke out, well they ran away, well a few kids they ran, they stayed together and they run this way out of sight and their parents run the other way, this how they come to miss each other. One day, Lucy Baker, this was in 1918, Lucy Baker was on the reserve, the same one here.  She received a letter from the United States asking her if there is a man in the Prince Albert district, a Dakota by the name of Twogunapote. Well, Lucy Baker saw the name and sure there is a man here. And that was his sister in Santee, Nebraska. That is how far they parted. They parted from, oh, she went south and Twogunapote went north. Brother and sister, the war had separated them and they never see each other. And they were very young when the war broke out. That was in 1862.

Robert Goodvoice, from SK Archives, R-1336 and R-1337, Robert Goodvoice, Jun. 15 – Oct. 15, 1977, excerpt from transcript

In this excerpt Robert Goodvoice tells the story of how members of one family became separated from each other in their departure from Minnesota in the aftermath of the Dakota War of 1862.  Interestingly, the story ends with Lucy Baker helping this family to reconnect with each other in 1918.

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