Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics

Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics

by David A. Nichols


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"Lincoln and the Indians has stood the test of time and offers this generation of readers a valuable interpretation of the U.S. government's Indian policies—and sometimes the lack thereof—during the Civil War era. Providing a critical perspective on Lincoln's role, Nichols sets forth an especially incisive analysis of the trial of participants in the Dakota War of 1862 in Minnesota and Lincoln's role in sparing the lives of most of those who were convicted." — James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom

"For the Dakota people, the Indian System started with the doctrine of discovery and continued through Abraham Lincoln's presidency and beyond. The United States was bound to protect the rights of Indian parties. But in the end, the guilty were glorified and the laws for humanity disgraced. This book tells that story, and it should be required reading at all educational institutions." —Sheldon Wolfchild, independent filmmaker, artist, and actor

"Undoubtedly the best book published on Indian affairs in the years of Lincoln's presidency." —American Historical Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780873518758
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publication date: 06/01/2012
Edition description: 1
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi

I Introduction 1

II The Indian System: "A Sink of Iniquity" 5

III Lincoln and the Southern Tribes: "Our Great Father at Washington Has Turned Against Us" 25

IV The Indian Expedition: "A Great Exhausting Affair" 42

V Lincoln and the Refugees: "A Multitude of Cares" 54

VI Indian Affairs in Minnesota: "A System of Wholesale Robberies" 65

VII Rebellion in Minnesota: "A Most Terrible and Exciting Indian War" 76

VIII Lincoln and the Sioux Executions: "I Could Not Afford to Hang Men for Votes" 94

IX Lincoln and Removal: "A Disagreeable Subject" 119

X The President and the Reformers: "This Indian System Shall Be Reformed!" 129

XI The Failure of Reform: "The Do Nothing Policy Here Is Complete" 147

XII Concentration and Militarism: "Those Who Resist Should Be Pursued by the Military and Punished" 161

XIII Lincolnian Attitudes Toward Indians: "A Dying Race ... Giving Place to Another Race with a Higher Civilization" 175

XIV Lincoln and the Indians: "A Great Revolution in the Conduct of Our Indian Affairs" 202

Bibliography 212

Index 219

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