Moon of the Snowblind
Spirit Lake Massacre
The Spirit Lake massacre in March of 1857 was a dark moment in Iowa History, incited by indigenous resistance to their loss of homeland, culture, and people. A number of white settlers in northwest Iowa's lakes region were killed. Four female survivors were taken by lnkpaduta and his band of Dakota Sioux. Tracked by militias and military, they took their captives north into Minnesota, then west into what is now South Dakota. Come May 1857, two of the captives had lost their lives. And two survived, including young Abigail Gardner, who went on to write an autobiography of her grim experience. Eventually the two survivors were rescued by friendly Dakotas thanks to Minnesota Indian agent Charles Flandrau. lnkpaduta and his struggling people also survived, escaping westward onto the Great Plains and its more resistant indigenous culture.