Dakota Prison Anniversary

June  06, 2013

     Descendants of some prisoners who were held here during the Civil War will visit the Quad Cities this weekend - not from the prison on Arsenal Island for Confederate soldiers, but from the prison for Dakota Indians in what is now the Village of East Davenport.

     The prison opened in Davenport in 1863 for Indians captured after an uprising in Minnesota. Local researcher Sara Childers says of the 400 Dakota brought here, one quarter had died by the time the prison closed 3 years later.

     It was probably located near the intersection of McClellan Boulevard and either Hillcrest Avenue or Crestwood Terrace. And the weekend will include a memorial walk Saturday morning from the river, up to the site.

     "The Dakota spiritual advisors are coming and will do a pipe ceremony. It's basically just to say some prayers and sing some songs, just like we would do in our churches." 

     Events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Dakotas' arrival in the Quad Cities will begin Friday and continue through Sunday afternoon.  Childers says among those attending will be about 100 descendants of the Dakota prisoners. 


(photo courtesy of the State Historical Society of Iowa - Chief Big Eagle was one of the prisoners held in Davenport. His picture was taken in Davenport.)