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Abigail Gardner Sharp: Inkpaduta’s Revenge: The True Story of the Spirit Lake Massacre

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Abigail Gardner Sharp: Inkpaduta’s Revenge: The True Story of the Spirit Lake Massacre

Posted: 15 May 2011 10:33AM GMT
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Inkpaduta's Revenge: The True Story of the Spirit Lake Massacre

by David L. Bristow

This article first appeared in The Iowan, January/February 1999.


Inside the small cabin, the rifle blast must have been
deafening. Shot in the back, Rowland Gardner fell and died
without a struggle. Within minutes, Gardner’s wife, daughter, son, and two grandchildren were dead—beaten to death with
rifle butts and pieces of stove-wood.

Thirteen-year-old Abbie Gardner saw it happen. Sitting in
a chair, holding her sister’s baby, she watched silently as her mother and sister were dragged outside, as the cabin was
ransacked around her, as her little brother, her nephew, and
her infant niece were one by one torn away from her. “All this time I was both speechless and tearless,” she wrote later, “But now left alone, I begged them to kill me.”

Instead, Abbie was taken captive by the murderers, a
renegade band of Sioux Indians under a chief named
Inkpaduta. They would not kill Abbie, but they would kill
others. Many others.

March 8, 1857 was the first day of the Spirit Lake Massacre, the most notorious crime in Iowa’s history. When it was over, 38 victims lay dead...

PDF file http://www.davidbristow.com/inkpaduta.pdf for entire article.

From David Bristow, The Iowan Jan Feb 1999

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