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Lincoln and the Indians

Lincoln and the Indians

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Civil War Policy and Politics

Author David A. Nichols

Minnesota Historical Society Press (June 1, 2012)

The only thorough treatment of Lincoln's Indian policy during the Civil War and the corrupt "Indian System" of government aid that mainly benefited ambitious whites.


“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

Author information

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.

  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 232 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873518758

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