Black and white photo of Abbie Gardner Sharp

Following her rescue after nearly four months in captivity with Inkpaduta’s band of Native Americans, Abbie learned that her sister Eliza had survived the Springfield attack and had married William Wilson, who had lived with the Gardners in Okoboji for a time, and moved to Hampton, IA. On July 5, they were reunited. Soon after,…

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Photo of Hotonhowashta

Abbie Gardner was held captive by Inkpaduta’s band after about four months in captivity. Three Native Americans paid for her and took her back to Minnesota. They were paid $1,000 for her rescue. Mazaintemani Mazaintemani, or Man Who Shoots Metal as He Walks, was noted by Abbie Gardner Sharp to be John Other Day. However,…

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Photo of Charles Flandrau

As word of the violence in Spirit Lake and Springfield spread, plans to rescue the captive women began to take shape within the Minnesota government with Sioux Indian Agent Charles Flandrau. Meanwhile though, Abbie Gardner and the other captives focused on how to stay alive in a culture they did not know and were fearful…

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Photo of a cabin

Before the Spirit Lake Massacre A man named Henry Lott, cited as an “unscrupulous character” by an article in 1886 in the Sibley Gazette, had an encounter with Sintominaduta, Inkpaduta’s brother, and blamed the Wahpekuti tribe for burning his cabin and killing his family, although that didn’t actually occur. Settlers went to the ransacked cabin…

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Photo of Inkpaduta

There is much that is known and yet unknown about Inkpaduta, his rise to leadership and his life following what is now known as the Spirit Lake Massacre. Inkpaduta was born in 1805 — also listed as 1797 in some sources — near Cannon River in southern Minnesota to a family in the smallest of…

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Green map of where the Gardners moved

  Rowland Gardner married Frances Smith in 1836 and had four children — Mary, Eliza, Abigail and Rowland. However, he wasn’t satisfied in New York and wanted to join the westward bound in pursuit of a new and better life. So in 1853, 10 years after Abigail, better known as Abbie, was born, the family…

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