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Lincoln and Native America from the Black Hawk War to the Presidency

A few days before Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the United States government executed 38 Dakota prisoners of war in Mankato, Minnesota after Lincoln himself had reviewed their cases.

Just over a year later, in 1864, Lincoln's administration supported the forced removal of the Navajo from their homeland to a reservation in New Mexico. As a young man Lincoln served in the Black Hawk War, a conflict that he used later to great political effect, but which had immediate, grave consequences for the Sac and Fox peoples in Illinois.

How does an understanding of Lincoln's treatment of and policy toward Native peoples help us reconsider Lincoln's legacy? The panelists will engage in a discussion with the audience after their presentations.

Scott Stevens, The Newberry Library (chair)
Gary C. Anderson, University of Oklahoma
Jennifer Denetdale, Northern Arizona University
John W. Hall, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This program is supported in part by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Recorded Saturday, December 19, 2009 at The Newberry Library.

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