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Little Crow speaks
By Mark Steil
Minnesota Public Radio
September 26, 2002

Little Crow, or Taoyateduta, was the Dakota chief who led the Indian attacks in the 1862 war. He was a reluctant leader.The night before the attacks began, he attempted to talk down the war mood. But the warriors were adamant. They wanted to fight, so Little Crow agreed to lead them. The speech text is based on the recollections of his son, Wowinape. Wowinape stood beside Little Crow when he gave the speech. Wowinape said he memorized the speech. Here is an excerpt.

Little Crow's grave
The grave marker of Little Crow, near Flandreau, S.D. He survived the 1862 war, but was killed the next year near Hutchinson, Minn.
The inscription reads:
Taoyateduta, known as Chief Little Crow of the Mdewakantons. Born 1818. Died July 3, 1863. Buried Sept. 27, 1971. "Tosta nici matekte - Therefore I'll die with you."

(MPR Photo/Mark Steil)

Braves, you are like little children, you know not what you are doing. You are full of the white-man's devil water. You are like dogs in the Hot Moon when they run mad and snap at their own shadows.

We are only little herds of buffaloes left scattered; the great herds that once covered the prairies are no more. See! The white men are like the locusts when they fly so thick that the whole sky is a snowstorm.

You may kill one, two, 10: yes, as many as the leaves in the forest yonder -and their brothers will not miss them. Kill one, two, 10, and 10 times 10 will come to kill you. Count your fingers all day long, and white men with guns in their hands will come faster than you can count.

Braves, you are little children, you are fools. You will die like jackrabbits when the hungry wolves hunt them in the Hard Moon (January).

Taoyateduta is not a coward, he will die with you.

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