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Here again, as NAGA relies on fact not fiction, proof not theory we have researched the whole issue and beyond. In what we have provided thus far, it appears only one actual Scalp Bounty was paid out and officially recorded. For an official State position the use of “Scalps” only lasted for 16 days and was never issued through proper channels or officially authorized. The following are the actual Proclamations or Orders dealing with the subject.

General Orders No. 41. July 4, 1863

Governor Ramsey learned about the Dustin family murders on Friday, July 3, 1863.142 While fewer than twenty civilians and military personnel were killed by Dakota raids in Minnesota during the spring and summer of 1863, the events of the previous fall were no doubt still fresh in the governor’s mind. Offering a monetary reward for the killing of Dakota men appears to have been Governor Ramsey’s idea. Ramsey’s daily journal establishes that he summoned Minnesota Adjutant General, Oscar Malmros, and directed him to issue an order placing a bounty on Dakota men. His journal entry for July 3–4 states: “Had the Adj. Genl. [issue] The scouts would be responsible for equipping and subsisting themselves, but they were to be paid $1.50 per day and an additional $25 for “each scalp of a male Sioux delivered to this office.”

General Orders No. 44, July 20, 1863

News of Our Own State, ROCHESTER REPUBLICAN, July 29, 1863 (noting that the scalp bounty “had a bloodthirsty look—it merged too clearly on the barbarous—and when Gov. Swift discovered this to be the fact, he ‘modified’ the policy of the Adjutant-Gen. Malmros; (“The scalp bounty order was issued during the interim between Gov. Ramsey’s resignation and the arrival of Gov. Swift so that we were virtually without a Governor. [Now that the order has been revoked, our] ANNUAL REPORT OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL, supra note11, at 195–96 (General Orders No. 44). This later provision—eliminating the requirement that scalps be provided to the Minnesota Adjutant General—was mocked by many Minnesotans. The St. Cloud Democrat noted that “the Adjutant General, in order to free himself of the clamor that some thin-skinned folks are making, leaves it optional with scouts whether they bring him the scalp or the entire Indian. Rather a dry joke from headquarters!” New Features, ST. CLOUD DEMOCRAT, July 23, 1863. It was favorably received by those out of state, however. For example, Wisconsin.

Henry Swift, who had recently taken over the governorship due to Alexander Ramsey’s election to the U.S. Senate, was apparently affected by public opinion. At his direction, on July 20, 1863, Malmros issued General Orders No. 44, which amended the original bounty order. It limited application of the order to “hostile” Sioux warriors, rather than all Dakota men. Additionally, individuals seeking to claim the bounty were no longer required to provide a scalp. Instead, the order now stated that “satisfactory proofs” must be made at the Minnesota Adjutant General’s office to substantiate the killing.

Barbarism: Adjutant General Malmros, has issued an order offering a bounty of twenty-five dollars for the scalp of any male Sioux. We look upon this proposition as a relic of the dark ages, barbarous, inhumane and unbecoming the enlightened age in which we live. . . . We have no objection to urge against killing the red devils who are guilty but let the fair name of our State never be disgraced by paying a bounty to murder innocent children, even if they are Indians. God has made them what they are, and we have no right to take their lives unless forfeited by some act of their own. We hope the new Commander-in-Chief will at once revoke this disgraceful and objectionable portion of Order No. 41.

We know from other sources that there was indeed more than one payment made, but it appears from all the sources, there were few “Bounties or Rewards” actually paid out. It may never be fully accounted for. But regardless of the “Hype” by uninformed activists, it was far less than they claim, and regardless of the “Hype”, it was never a simple “Redskin Scalp Bounty” and never a Federal Policy period and only lasted 16 days. Redskins did not then or ever refer to scalping!

But here we must state the facts, right or wrong there was a bounty of HOSTILE SIOUX between 1863 and 1866. This bounty was in response to continued bloodshed of homesteaders through raids by those involved in the 1862 Uprising. The bounty area consisted of areas between mainly New Ulm and Granite Falls Minnesota along the then St Peters River (today Minnesota River) an 80-mile stretch.

For complete accuracy, it must be stated; there was only one Federal Government to adopt such a Policy. That Government was the Mexican Government that from 1835 till 1886 had a Policy named the “Scalping Industry”, are they to be free from criticism?

We at the NAGA are not of the mind to punish all Mexicans for the sins of their fathers. But we do wish that truth be told and not opinions based on false hate meant to divide rather than Unit or understand. For those seeking the truth for truth's sake, we have a few links we ask you to view to better understand history.


The Due Process Clause declared that states may not deny any person "life, liberty or property, without due process of law." The 14th Amendment marked a significant shift in the way the Constitution was applied in America. Prior to its enactment, the individual protections offered by the Bill of Rights were enforceable only against the federal government. The 14th Amendment applied these rights to the states. In so doing, it initiated a flood of litigation to determine the amendments meaning and scope litigation that continues to this day.

Bounty System, in U.S. history, a program of cash bonuses paid to entice enlistees into the army; the system was much abused, particularly during the Civil War, and was outlawed in the Selective Service Act of 1917. During the French and Indian Wars, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the Spanish/American war 1898, military bounties included land grants as well as cash payments; Civil War bounties were in cash only. From 1861 to 1865 the federal government, along with states and localities, paid about $750,000.00 in recruitment bounties. Congress authorized a $100 bounty in July 1861 to men enlisting for three years. With the passage of the Enrollment Act (March 3, 1863), three-year enlistees received $300 and five-year recruits got $400, but these sums were divided up and paid in monthly installments with the soldiers’ regular compensation

We know from other sources that there was indeed more than one payment made, but it appears from all the sources, there were few “Bounties or Rewards” actually paid out. It may never be fully accounted for. But regardless of the “Hype” by uninformed activists, it was far less than they claim, and regardless of the “Hype”, it was never a simple “Redskin Scalp Bounty” and never a Federal Policy period.

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