This year join your friends and neighbors as everyone in Plymouth reads the book Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past by Diane Wilson, winner of the 2007 Minnesota Book Award in Autobiography, Memoir, and Creative Nonfiction.
Growing up in the 1950s in Golden Valley, Minnesota, Diane Wilson experienced her family life as being like everybody elseʼs. When she reached her thirties, however, Wilson began wondering why her mother so rarely spoke about her past. Her unanswered questions took her to South Dakota and Nebraska, where she searched out information on her maternal relatives through five generations. Spirit Car is the result of Wilsonʼs quest for discovery, a book of vignettes she created in her desire to honor the lives of her Dakota Indian Family. The story of Wilsonʼs family begins with a vivid account of the 1862 Dakota-U.S. War in Minnesota, and then follows the familyʼs nomadic travels across South Dakota and Nebraska in their struggle to survive.
An ambitious program of events illuminating the times and issues brought forth in Spirit Car will begin February 1, 2013 with the installation at Plymouth Library of “Commemorating Controversy: The Dakota-U.S. War of 1862”, an exhibit created by Gustavus Adolphus College students in conjunction with the Nicollet County Historical Society. Twelve panels explore the warʼs causes, voices, events, and longlasting consequences. Historical objects, provided by the Ramsey County Historical Society, will also be on display at Plymouth Library the entire month of February. Both the exhibit and an expanded offering of historical objects will move to Plymouth Creek Center for the month of March.
The Kick-Off event will be Sunday, March 3, 2 p.m. at Plymouth Library. Ben Leonard, Director of Nicollet County Historical Society, will discuss “U.S./Dakota Relations Pre Contact to Mass Execution.” Learn about the causes and consequences of this conflict and why 1862 still matters today.