Night Attack on Fort Pembina
Sunday, July 22, 2012
A band of 200 Sioux attacked Fort Pembina on this date in 1808. Their main targets were not the traders and their families, but rather the enemy Chippewa camped nearby. The Chippewa had been trading earlier in the day and had fallen asleep in their tents after consuming much rum.
Alexander Henry, a well-known fur trapper and trader, led the defense of the fort with twenty-two armed men protecting fifty women and many children. The Chippewa clambered over the fort’s stockade to retrieve their weapons and help fight off the Sioux.
A dog was the fort’s lone victim, although some Sioux were injured and one killed. Interviewed three years earlier, Henry claimed the Native Americans rightfully despised the white traders for their ‘pernicious rum.’
Dakota Datebook written by Jayme Job