The Clements Library website includes events, exhibits, subject guides, newsletter issues, library staff, and more.

Home » Public Programs » Online Exhibits » Case 12: The Dakota War of 1862 » Letter from Emeline Foot Blood to her cousin, Cleveland, [probably Minnesota]. February 23, 1863. Native American History Collection.

Letter from Emeline Foot Blood to her cousin, Cleveland, [probably Minnesota]. February 23, 1863. Native American History Collection.

Cleavland.  Feb. the 23  1863

Dear Coussin and Friend

For the first time I ever addressed you yet I fell that I ma open mind freely to you although years have Passed away since we last meet  Since that I have Passed through many sorrows  Mr. Blood was with me when I was last to Lee.  Soon after he Died I Buryed two Dear Children  I then Sold my Farm and Lived with my Daughter a few years.  my youngest Son S.H. Blood went to Minisota to Live where my two Oldest Son Lived your Coussin Silas.  Children.  tha had them good Farms had got through with the Privations and Hardships of Emegrants had got good Buildings a good stock of Cattle and as tha thought safe from the Saveidge Tribes of Indians.  But alass how soon was all their Prospicts Blasted

I went to Minesota Two years ago Last Spring and lived with my youngest Son S.A. Blood about Sixty Miles from Solomon and Silas Foot  last Augest in that Dreadfull Indian Massacre my Sons were of the Number that were Drove from there Homes Barely Escaped with their Lives and that of their Famileys  the two lived Nine Miles apart Solomon lived the Nerest to the Indians and were well acquanted with them  tha had camped on his Farm two or three winters and he had often Fed them and as tha had Mishinaryes among them and tha Professed to be Christians he thought he was

Perfectly Safe

he got word only one hour that tha had murdered a Family of four that lived about ten Miles Nerer to them he was alone with his Wife and two Small Children (his other Children to his Brothers going to School) it bing about Five Oclock he left his Supper Table took his Wife and started to his nearest Neighbour had Just got there it Being nearly Dark whin Fifteen Indians rode up on Poneys Called him By Name and wanted to Come in and stay all Night he told them tha Could not that tha were Bad (he talked to them in their Language) he had heard tha had bin Murdering tha said not them it was the wicked Indians we good it rains we come in stay to Night he told them no that the womin and Children were a fraid of them to go and camp By the Barn tha Did so Solomon wached them all Night while the rest in the House Sleep in the Morn the Indians Stacked there Guns and Came to the House wanted Bread Meet Potatoes for Breakfust S.. gave it to them told them to Dig there own Potatoes (there was two Men and their Familyes Besides Solomon tha were Sweeds and Cowerds and would Do Just as the Indians told them) one of the men went into the Field to Dig Potatoes when there Son for the first time saw that tha were Bent on Mischif saw the Indian that he was talking with had his gun hid under his Blankit he was a few steps from the Door he turned to go in the Indian shot him in his right side four Buck Shot went in and through him he fell into the Door as he fell an other Indian Fired but missed him tha then killed the man in the Field the man in the House took Son in and Bolted the Door the Indians then rushed to the House and Commenced Fireing through the windows and Door Son Fainted one

man Fired out at them after a while Sons Wife took his Gun and Fired at them Son got so he could load the Gun for her and she would fire it off he fineley got so he Could git onto his kness and Elbows and fire the Gun himself he Killed Two of them rested tried to fire his Gun again Before he Did so he was woundid again an Ounce Ball went through his Right Shoulder he fell as tha thought for Dead about the same time the other man was shot through his Bodey then there was none to keep the Savedges of but Sons Wife She Loded her Gun and fired at them for Seven hours wounding some and got a Flesh wound herself from a Ball the Indians then left carred of their own Dead returned again the Next Day Fired a few times at the house the womin returning the shot the Indians Burnt his House and all his stacks of Gra[in?] [Dr]ove of all his Cattle and Distroyed every thing he had Solomon thinking he must Die an the other man tha perswaded their Wife to leav them and try and save themselves and Children tha started waded lo in Lakes and swampy Places so as not to be seen By the Indians laid out in woods all Night carrying a child in her arms Twenty Miles which if she had went By the Road only Nine got to a Settlement all were gone some houses Burt others left tha had nothing to Eat tha stoped at a house got somthing for their Children found things as the Family left then and there came an Emigrant just came into the Country not heard of Indian trouble took the womin and fled with them to a place of safty Solomon laid where he was from Thursday Morn till Sunday afternoon when a womin Came to the House she had Husband sons Killed her Daughters taken Priseners She hid away from the Indians in an out Door Celler stade there two Days and Nights then

came from her hideing found one of her Sons still living he and she found a Coupple of Steers yoaked them and started stoped and found Son and the other man still living She got Water and washed there Wounds as tha were all alive with Worms from the Flies took them into a waggon and took them to a Place of safty.  I got word of that Solomon was a live I got a Surgeon and started right into the Indian Country to git is Boddy if no more I found him a live Dressed his wound than started with him to my home Indians on every side of us but the Good Lord Preserved us to him I give a Heart of Gratitude for his Merces to us.  that vary Night the Place we left was Burnt many Murdered.  my other Son with his Family and three of Solomon Children and his Neighbours while making there escape were attacked by a Larg Force of Indians on the Prearia two of there Number was Killed tha keep them af as well as tha Could Night Came on the Womin Dug holes in the Earth for the Children and themselfs while the men Fought the In[dians] after a whil[e] the Indians left then tha made there escape Barely with there lives almost as Naked as when Born into this world tha was a weak gitting away to where I then lived My Son A Blood was in the Armmy.  There Sons had Six Children apea[ce?] I write to you the Pertickulars to let you know how I am situated with them Solomon has so far recovered he is able to Be around not able to work and not likely to ever Be the Wound from the Large Ball Ingered his Right Lung he ha Nothing to help himself with he has his Land but every thing Else is Distroyed he has Bin helped to Clothing for himself and For the pressent but not one Cent to git him a Cow the Goverment will in time help him and other suffers for there is a great many Now my Friend I though[t] Possibly you was in circumstances that you might help him to some Money Plese ask Silas Connecttion to Do the Same this is Mortifying to my Feelings but it is not in my Power to help much if I had the means my Sons should not want