30 + 12 = 42, not 39

I’m working on my Peace Colaition presentation at MHS January 29, but can’t escape the stories of the 39 Dakota men condemned to death in 1862.

A new friend I met in Redwood falls this summer, Molly Schweinfurter, just mailed me copies of a source I’d never seen in primary form: the Dakota and baptismal names of the condemned men who were baptized Catholic as recorded in the baptismal register from Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mankato, MN.

The first thing that struck me was the cleric’s difficult Germanic script. Then I tallied the names on the list: 30. The received story tells us that a dozen men were baptized Protestant. 30+ 12 = 42, not 39. How could there be more baptisms than there were condemned men?

I could not find a list of the Protestant baptisms in my files, so asked Lois Glewwe (who has an indexing system that makes me jealous) if she’d ever seen such a list. Lois had not. But she sent back this summary of what she found on the subject.

With her permission, I’m posting it here while I continue to work on deciphering Valentin Sommereisen’s handwriting. My goal is to post a transcription plus page images of the list of Dakota men baptized Catholic less than 48 hours before their execution December 26, 1862.

This entry was posted in 1862 Dakota War trials, Primary Sources. Bookmark the permalink.

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