Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of History


Abraham Lincoln's American Indian policy is often overshadowed by the study of the American Civil War and this study focuses on Lincoln's policy towards the American Indian, specifically his involvement in the Dakota War with deciding the fate of the condemned Dakota men. The uprising‟s causes are discussed in length as are the specific events of the rebellion. The study also looks at how the uprising is remembered by white and Dakota population. In addition to secondary books and articles, a large amount of newspapers, personal memoirs, and letters are used in the research. Photographs, artwork, and monuments are also used. The Dakota War could have been avoided if the government had maintained better relations with the Dakota but the Civil War further exasperated an already fractured system. Several hundred settlers died at the hands of warring Indians and thirty-eight Dakota men were hung for their participation in the uprising however for over a century hatred continue to exist between the groups. It is only within the last few decades that the Dakota people and Minnesota have come together in order to remember the Dakota War without prejudice.

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