The big move was on.

Ms. Wels talks about her family's immigration experience.

Words to look for: 
Homesteaders
Things to think about: 

Ms. Wels says: "With the increase in homesteaders coming, there was increasing conflict between the new arrivals and the Dakota Indians who had signed a treaty to give up their land for these people coming in so they could farm." Do you think 19th century U.S. immigrants knew about America's indigenous peoples, treaties, and land issues?

Audio Chapters

I’ve got the printed narrative-- this is my dad’s sister who did this for the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 2000. And she was a good source, as well as my dad; they were all interested because their parents talked a lot about when they came here. His grandmother, that would be my great-grandmother, came to America in 1844. Apparently they traveled on ships – theirs was a cholera-ridden ship and everybody was sick. She was only 8 years old. The ship docked in New Orleans, not on the East Coast. It came to New Orleans, and that’s where her mother and brother died. And her little sister went to live with another family and was never found again. They didn’t do follow-ups. The one remaining daughter and the father ended up in Cincinnati before moving west to Minnesota.

According to my aunt, more danger confronted Grandma Koehler when she arrived in New Ulm on a steamboat. [reading from news story]

“The area was filling up with German immigrants; this was between 1850 and 1862, the year of the uprising. The number of steamships bringing German immigrants up the Minnesota River Valley jumped from 4 per year, to 413. The big move was on. With the increase in homesteaders coming, there was increasing conflict between the new arrivals and the Dakota Indians who had signed a treaty to give up their land for these people coming in so they could farm.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Lorraine Wels Interviewer Deborah Locke made in New Ulm, MN | Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. The big move was on. July 23, 2019. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1138

Viewpoints: All viewpoints expressed on this website are those of the contributors, and are not representative of the Minnesota Historical Society.