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Admitted into the Union as the thirty-second state in 1858, Minnesota is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," actually has 11,842 lakes which are 10 acres or more. The state's name is derived from the Dakota word meaning "sky-tinted water,” and its capital is St. Paul. Shortly after it became a state, both the American Civil War and The Dakota Uprising of 1862 both began. The Dakota War was also called Little Crow’s War and was an armed war between several bands of the Dakota Indians, sometimes known as the eastern Sioux. On August 17, 1862, the war began in southwest Minnesota along the Minnesota River. The crux of the dispute was that the United States committed numerous treaty violations, including mandated payments and food for the Dakota families, which either came late or not at all. In mid-1862, fur traders could no longer provide supplies on credit, and the Dakota demanded that the money be paid directly to them by their agent. Finally, frustrated by the hunger and other hardships these these violations caused, a Dakota hunting party of four Indians attacked and killed five settlers. That same night, a Dakota council resolved to attack settlements throughout the region in an attempt to drive the settlers out. The number of settlers killed has never been officially reported, but in his second annual address, he mentioned that more than 800 men, women, and children had died. The Army stepped in several months later, and most of the Dakota surrendered. More than 1,000 Dakota had been taken captive and thrown in Minnesota jails. In early December, 303 Indians were convicted of rape and murder and sentenced to death. Eventually, President Lincoln commuted the death sentences of 264 of them, and the war ended the day after Christmas of 1862 with the mass hanging of 38 Sioux men in Mankato. This was the largest mass execution in the history of the United States.

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