Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics

10 Nov

Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics

Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics

David A. Nichols

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: 0873518756

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

 “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 P rize–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

David A. Nichols was vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Southwestern College in Kansas. He is a leading expert on the Eisenhower presidency, and his most recent book is Eisenhower 1956.




















Society Press is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984. International Standard Book Number ISBN: 978-0-87351-875-8 (paper) ISBN: 978-0-87351-876-5 (e-book) Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Nichols, David

army could establish a free state in Texas and “spread terror and panic among the rebels.” He scolded, “Mr. Lincoln, for God’s sake and your country’s sake rise to the realization of our awful national peril.”12 Jim Lane’s trump card was Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Caleb Smith lamented that the “Secretary of War is unwilling to put Indians in the Army.” That was a certain way to thwart Hunter’s plans—deny him the Indians so essential to the expedition. Lincoln had run out of patience. Smith

opportunists profited from their misery. Lincoln refused to do anything to change the situation. The refugees became the focus of contention almost as soon as the aborted expedition returned to Kansas in mid-1862. The old tension between the military and the Indian Office surfaced in a dispute between General Blunt and Superintendent Coffin. Coffin was in Washington when the expedition arrived in Kansas with a new crop of refugees. Blunt recognized their needs and ordered Indian officials to

do nothing policy here is complete.”8 The Chippewa Treaty The new Chippewa treaty demonstrated how dead the reform cause was by early 1863. The treaty was negotiated in Washington in March, and Henry Rice claimed he wrote “every word in it (save amendments made by the Senate).” Rice found those amendments “very injurious.” The treaty provided for the concentration of the Chippewas and for a board of visitors consisting of two or three churchmen to oversee the payment of annuities, inspect, and

the Pacific railroad.” In 1864, the president spoke with fervor he never expressed concerning Indian reform, “The great enterprise of connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific States by railways and telegraph lines has been entered upon with a vigor that gives assurance of success.”56 Lincoln may have talked less ideologically about the advance of civilization than others but his program was their program, with all its apocalyptic implications for Indians. His sympathies for Indians, however

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