Hello folks, and welcome back to the good ol’ blog! Today’s tidbit about me is: I have a soft spot (nay, a weakness) in my heart for cookies. When I’m feeling sad and lonely, there’s a service they can render… I’ve told the ones who love me, only they can be so warm and tender…
I have two topics for you today, because they are both relevant to connections with history. The catch is, one event actually happened on this day 150 years ago but is not heavily related to maritime history or the local (Virginia) area. The other topic is heavily maritime and relevant to the local area, but took place more than 150 years ago. I shall therefore mention them both, and provide links so you can explore each topic in further detail.
150 years ago today, the Sioux Uprising of 1862 (or Dakota War of 1862) began in Minnesota. The people of the Sioux (properly called the Dakota) Nation were living on their reservation on the southern bank of the Minnesota River. The local reservation agent defied common sense and decided not to give the Dakota their regular shipment of food until their regular shipment of money arrived as well, since they were supposed to be given together and the money shipment was late. This lead to widespread starvation, so on August 4th the Dakota got together and forcibly took their food from its storage cache. The Dakota were already angry with the reservation agents in general (and by proxy, the US government itself) because many of the agents were corrupt and stole the Dakota’s government-promised supplies for themselves. This incident just poured more fuel on the fire.
Today, anger at their situation boiled over and some Dakota hunters passing through an American town murdered five settlers, including a husband/wife pair and a 16-year-old girl. When the hunters got back to their settlement, the Dakota held a council to decide what to do: instead of turning the killers over to answer for their crimes, the Dakota sadly decided that it would be better to start a war and ethnically cleanse all the American settlers in western and central Minnesota. For more complete information on the causes of, occurrences during, and after effects of the war, click HERE and HERE. In the meantime let’s move away from thieving agents and settler genocide, and towards ship combat!
200 years and 2 months ago, the United States began the War of 1812 with Great Britain. In honor of this anniversary, The Mariners’ Museum is unveiling a brand new exhibit called “Enemy’s in Sight – Clash of Navies in the War of 1812!” This new exhibit covers the many ship-to-ship duels that occurred between Great Britain and the United States over the course of the war. The thing that makes this exhibit especially remarkable is its format: instead of being presented like a traditional gallery with artifacts, panels, pictures and interactive media, this exhibit is presented entirely in the guise of a giant comic book! That’s right folks, many of the naval actions from the War of 1812 are stylistically drawn and segmented in panels just like an old Batman cartoon, complete with drawn “BAM!” and “POW!” sound effects! Like a comic book, the exhibit has plenty of good humor and an easy-to-understand progression of events – but unlike a comic book, it contains completely factual information and doesn’t follow the exploits of a superhero.
The new exhibit officially opens tomorrow, and if you have children and/or like comic books, you should definitely swing by The Mariners’ Museum and check it out! As a personal fan of mixing learning with humor, I can honestly give it two thumbs up! Learn more HERE! That’s all for today, so I’ll see you next time on your favorite (and only) Mariners’ Museum Connections blog! Have a great weekend!