“down Sank The Sun, Nor Ceased The Carnage There”

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LADIES AND GENTLEMEN : The cause of the massacre, a portion of which we are now about to exhibit to your view, cannot be given. But a short account of the condition of the country will suffice to exhibit this tragic epoch in our country’s history in its proper light.

Minnesota, the first state in the Northwest, bounded on the east by the great Father of Waters, had taken its place in the fair sisterhood of states with prospects as flattering as any that ever entered the American Confederacy. The tide of hardy, vigorous, intelligent emigrants had come hither from the older states, as well as from England, Ireland, and the different countries on the European Continent, until a thriving population of two hundred thousand had taken up their abode upon her virgin soil, and were in the quiet and peaceable enjoyment of her salubrious climate. Her crystal lakes, her wooded streams, her bewitching waterfalls, her island groves, her lovely prairies, would have added gems to any earthly paradise. Her Lake Superior, her Mississippi, her Red River of the North, and her Minnesota and her St. Croix were inviting adjuncts to the commerce of the world. Her abundant harvests and her fertile and enduring soil gave to the husbandman the highest hopes of certain wealth. … Minnesota, thus situated, thus lovely in her virgin growth, had one dark spot resting on the horizon of her otherwise cloudless sky. The dusky savage … dwelt in the land. And, when all was peaceful, without a note of warning, that one dark spot, moved by the winds of savage hate, suddenly obscured the whole sky, and poured out to the bitter dregs the vials of its wrath, without mixture of mercy. The blow fell like a storm of thunderbolts from the clear, bright heavens. The storm of fierce, savage murder, in its most horrid and frightful forms, rolled on. Day passed and night came.

Down sank the sun, nor ceased the carnage there. Tumultuous horrors rent the midnight air, until the sad catalogue reached the fearful number of two thousand human victims, from the gray haired sire to the helpless infant of a day, who lay mangled and dead on the bloody field. The dead were left to bury the dead; for the dead reigned there alone.