BENNINGTON, VT – A statue of President Abraham Lincoln was vandalized over the Columbus Day weekend, amounting to thousands of dollars of damage according to the Bennington Museum. The statue was meant to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.

The vandals spray painted the number “38,” with a sign that reads “Land back” next to it. The number represents the “Dakota 38,” which is a group of Dakota Sioux Native American men who were ordered to be hanged by Lincoln. The event marked the largest mass execution in American history, even to this day.


In recent years, there have been calls to change Columbus Day to “Indigenous People’s Day.” Protestors started using the “38” incident last year to call for the removal of Lincoln statues, specifically in Portland, while other places have simply removed the statues commemorating our nation’s 16th President, such as a Wisconsin University.

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However, what the people who are seeking to erase history are leaving out is the reason for the killings, and the hundreds of other cases who were pardoned.


The Dakota War was in 1862, about a year after the American Civil War started. The natives were being poorly treated and had much of their land stripped away, to be sure. On August 17, four natives killed five white settler men in Acton, Minnesota when returning from a hunting trip. The Dakota leaders were told of the murders and opted to go on the offensive rather than wait for retaliation from the settlers.

The Dakota native Americans staged an uprising in Minnesota, which led to many deaths and captures of women and children, as many fighting-aged men were off fighting the Civil War. The War lasted over six weeks and was the bloodiest battle recorded between settlers and natives. Many families picked up and left to avoid the conflict. More than 600 settlers, 200 of whom were soldiers, and 300 Dakota natives were killed.

Lincoln took the time to personally review the cases of the men captured (despite the fact that he was busy leading the nation through a war). There were 1,500 natives captured, 392 of whom were put to trial for murders and other crimes. Of those, 303 were sentenced to death, and Lincoln commuted the sentence of 265 of those Sioux men.

Lincoln faced much backlash for not condemning all of the men to death, as the settlers largely demanded a mass execution due to the weeks of fighting and hundreds of deaths. Lincoln insisted on differentiating the natives who participated in massacres versus those who participated in battles, and also found two of the native men had violated settler women.


The missing context from the incident is coupled with other initiatives, such as the 1619 Project, set to dismantle the true history of America.

The 1619 Project posits that America’s foundation actually began when the first black slaves (who were bought and sold first by the men of their own native country of Africa) sailed to the new land, not in 1776 when America declared its independence from a tyrannical King George.

“Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written,” The New York Times, who spearheaded the project, said. “Black Americans have fought to make them true.”

The Times, the Project, and countless others have attempted to destroy the American founding narrative and spread misinformation about our Founding Fathers, leading to the destruction of our history in classrooms, a lack of knowledge among our students (and, as a result, our adults), and removing all religious inspiration and intervention in creating this nation.


Removing religion, American values and its history, and the division of the nation is a precursor to a Marxist agenda that has been spreading, slowly but surely, in the last several decades.

This piece was written by Leah Anaya on October 11, 2021. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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