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tv   Lectures in History Abraham Lincoln and Native Americans  CSPAN  September 1, 2019 12:00am-12:56am EDT

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american history tv products are now available at the new c-span online store. to seeease ken what is new for american history tv tuned in and check out all the c-span products. next on lectures in history, stony brook university professor paul colton teaches a class about abraham lincoln and native americans. he talked about the dakota wars in minnesota which resulted in 38 executions, the removal of the navajo, and >> good afternoon, everyone. thank you. today, the lecture will be on abraham lincoln. many of you don't think of abraham lincoln in contact of american indian or indigenous history. that's what we are going to talk about today. abraham lincoln had a lot on his
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plate when he was president. the civil war. that dominated most of his attention. underneath the surface of the civil war, some important events involving american indians. events that might make abraham lincoln a bit more of a problematic figure then he ordinarily is. let's consider some major events that happened during his presidency. it was during his presidency dakota war of 1862 occurred. conflict in the state of minnesota. settlers and they faced the wrath. culpritswn suspected trying and convicted. 303 men. lincoln commuted the sentence on
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most of these individuals. remains ing and what what remains america's largest mass execution. it was during the lincoln presidency that the navajo were made to endure the long walk. to a barren in new mexico. american soldiers burned crops, destroyed lifestyle, and sacked their homes. they suffered immensely from the lack of food, diseases and rate from other indians. it was during the lincoln presidency that one of the most atrocious episodes in u.s. indian affairs occurred. that was the massacre of cheyenne at sand creek eastern colorado.
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on november 29, 1864, colorado volunteers burst upon a cheyenne village, killing over 270 natives, over two thirds of them women and children. some terrible events indeed. adhere to a buck stops here interpretation about lincoln that he has responsibility for these terrible events in american history? or perhaps should we give him a pass. he had along his plate. he's fighting the civil war, has a task defeating the confederacy. perhaps some of these events out westward out of his control. reflect onse events his stature? let's wrestle with some of these questions in this class today. growing up in the early 19th century, abraham lincoln must
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have formed impressions of american indians. he lived in indiana and illinois shortly after the defeat. during a time in which numerous indigenous people were facing increased pressure to give up their land and moved to the west. this happened during lincoln's transformative years. lincoln could not have been ignorant of these troubles. , lincolnbles erupted eagerly volunteered for military service. he was in fact elected captain of a militia unit. military,rved in the he did not see much military action. he later recalled about his military career. "it gave me more pleasure than i had ever have had since.
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i've had a good many bloody struggles with mosquitoes. did not see a live fighting indian." this was unlike lincoln's grandfather, and the namesake, and suffered death from an indian attack after moving from virginia and kentucky -- virginia to kentucky in the early 1780's. lincoln only mentioned this family history in passing. it doesn't appear his willingness to engage in combat occurred due to a desire for revenge. lincoln seems to have been driven by something more useful to him. a desire for perceived. after the black hawk war, he would use his perceived in the military to run for elected office, or state legislature in illinois. he lost. he would be involved in many other elections. some he won, some he lost.
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the ultimate he won, the presidency. he was a member of the whig party. that was during the indian removals of the 1830's and 1840's. he seemed to say very little about indian removal. one thing he did say was a criticism of the democrats for being inefficient, or spending too much money on removals of groups like the cherokees and wars against the seminoles. scott, theinfield military commander who oversaw the cherokee removal. coming to his defense, winfield scott was actually a wig. he was ordered to oversee cherokee removal by president martin van buren.
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he came under scrutiny for his operations for being too lenient about the cherokees. he got criticized by the democrats. and abrahamuntered lincoln said of winfield scott that he was a noble hearted man and christian gentleman who did basically a good job and was no fool. there is very little in the documentary record to believe that abraham lincoln deviated much from widespread assumptions about american indians and u.s. indian removal policies. policies of concentrating them on reservations, and insisting on their cultural transformation. jumping ahead, when he is president, for example, he once told a visiting delegation of plains indians, this delegation that visited in march of 1863, pay attention to that date, march of 1863.
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he said to these native visitors, the paleface people are numerous and prosperous because they cultivate the earth, produce bread, and depend upon the products of the earth rather than wild game for a subsistence. this is the chief reason of the difference. but there's another. although we are now engaged in a great war between one another. we are not as a race so much disposed to fight and kill one another as our red brother. i can only say that i can see no way in which your race is to become numerous and prosperous as the white race except living as they do by the cultivation of the earth. of course this is in march of 1863. what is very ironic about the way he characterizes indigenous peoples? >> we were right on the cusp of the civil war and the expansion of slavery had numerous violent out bursts. among white men. prof. kelton: right.
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this is during the civil war. tens of thousands of americans are dying in these horrendous battles and he is saying that indians are inherently warlike. so, left unsaid, in abraham lincoln's words, is this idea that westward development must proceed. lincoln is a proponent of manifest destiny, the great engine of destruction that bore down on native american people. railroads, mines, he was all in favor of building railroads and bringing western resources into eastern markets, including the gold and silver of western minds that led to things like the genocide of california indians. and of course he was all in favor of white people being able to expand into the west and settle and carve up the land into forms.
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-- into farms. in that degree he agreed with southerners that western devout and should -- that western development should continue. he disagreed with southerners is on the expansion of slavery. lincoln of course believed as many northerners did that slavery should not be allowed to expand in the west. that it would be unfair competition from ordinary whites being able to make a living on western land area southerners as we've talked about before, they believed ardently in the expansion of slavery that if it did not expand it would die and their way of life would end. southerners and northerners were part of this settler colonialist mentality that dominated america at the time. that western lane should become available, indigenous people should be eliminated and the
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land should be developed by whites in the case of northerners with free labor. or in the case of southerners, whites who owned african-american slaves employing slave labor. that is the root of the civil war. who should get control of the western land? slave owners or humble white folks? indeed, much of the events that we're going to talk about here, or very much part of the civil war. if the civil war was about furthering the expansion of slavery, or stopping the expansion of slavery. onto whose land indigenous people. these events are very much part of this larger american story of the civil war. the first episode i want to talk about that lincoln played a
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direct role in is the dakota war of 1862. as i have talked about, the dakota belong to this larger group of people that outsiders call the sioux. this is due called themselves either dakota, the dakota, or dakota, depending on the dialects, which means the people. sioux dide so-called move out onto the western plains and became full-time buffalo hunters living in tepees and searching for buffalo in the west. a group remained in minnesota called themselves the dakota. they traded. first with the french, then the british, and the americans. relations arede going on, when indigenous people are giving items, beaver
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heights, buffalo hides, deer skins, to these newcomers, and the newcomers are giving them manufacturing goods, it's not just about an economic transaction, what is that about? what is being built? tension. believe they have tense relations with these newcomers. by the 1840's, these relations began to break down. dakotas ares, the tradeg in wild game to the traders. there falling into debt. this is all to the joy of us policymakers because it's part of us policy which we've talked about, to purposely force indigenous peoples into that so they would have nothing left to sell but, everyone can see this, land.
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so the dakota signed a few treaties, including one in 1851 that gave up a large chunk of what is today the state of minnesota, leaving them a small sliver of land along the minnesota river. these treaties, as many of the treaties were, rife with problems. the dakota would be paid in annuities, yearly payments, but these annuities often would never reach the dakotas. they would go straight into the pockets of traders who claimed the dakota owed them for past debts. one episcopal bishop that became aware of these problems and this fraud going on declared that a nation that selling robbery
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would reap a harvest of blood. and of course he cannot be any more correct. tensions got very intense in the summer of 1862. the dakotas who had adapted to euro-american ways, some including going to church or becoming farmers, more full- time farmers instead of hunting gathering and farming, wearing euro-american clothing, and learning to speak english. but others had not of course. as i mentioned, the summer of 1862, the circumstances had grown very tense. they had grown tense because many dakotas were very hungry.
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crops had not been as abundant as they had. the lack of land meant they lost access to traditional resources that would make up. they depended on these annuities to buy food. the federal government had not sent money to minnesota to pay the dakotas. money they could have used to buy food. there was plenty of food and it was stored in a warehouse near the agency. when the dakotas approached the agent and asked for food, they were denied. one trader declared to the dakotas who didn't have money to pay for the food, declared to them, let them eat grass. well, many dakotas had had
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enough. one of those individuals was the leader, little crow. little crow had accommodated euro-american and u.s. civilization policy to a degree. he believed that the dakotas must change in order to survive on their land in minnesota, on their land. he had trouble becoming a farmer, becoming a christian, so he did not fully buy into the civilization program. he was looked upon as a brave leader and was approached by young warriors who had had enough and appealed to his valor that they must attack to drive the settlers out of their traditional hunting ground. and little crow reluctantly agreed. he agreed to lead the dakotas into war against the settlers.
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and indeed they attacked minnesota settler. killed hundreds. captured many others, and put minnesota citizens in a state of panic. the minnesota militia came in and counterattacked. the minnesota militia led by col. henry sibley reached the dakota reservation and undertook the pursuit of little crow. the -- undertook the pursuit of little crow. through the month of september, the forces chased the dakota northward. but the dakota could not mount much of a counter attack. it was mostly warriors who waged the war. the majority of the dakota did not want anything to do and tried to remain peaceful even surrendering to sibley's forces.
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in the end, little crow never had the unity that minnesotans believed he did. and he had few options, but to take the followers that remained and flee to the great plains. friendly natives and most of the captives remain behind, as did a number of those who participated in the war but refused to go on to the baron plains. sibley's forces surrounded the encampments. by october 3, sibley had 1200 dakotas under his control. men were disarmed and tried by military commission. warriors who simply admitted to being at one of the battles were determined guilty and even the death sentence. by november 4, 303 dakota men were sentenced to die. think about it. 303 men were sentenced to die in one execution. unlike military affairs in other
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places, lincoln played a more direct role in events in minnesota. he ordered general john pope to take command in the minnesota war and he indeed was willing to prosecute with brutal rigor. when he arrived in minnesota he informs sibley, "it is my to exterminate the sioux if i have the power to do so and even if it requires a campaign lasting the whole of next year they are to be treated as maniacs or wild wild beasts, and by no means as people with whom treaties or compromises can be made." harsh words indeed. under folks orders, sibley, who had been elevated to the rank of record dear general, proved quite successful at bringing the
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dakota into submission. pope expressed enthusiasm for the mass execution of those 303 men sentenced to die. abraham lincoln thought otherwise. upon receiving news of the upcoming executions, lincoln requested the transcript of the trials. he and his lawyers looked through these transcripts and he found that many of these men were sentenced on the flimsiest of evidence. and he pardoned or dismissed the executions of all but 39. but still, 39 were slated to die. the execution date was set for december 6. one more was pardoned and 38 were hung, marking the largest mass execution in us history.
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now this marker is no longer there in minnesota to mark this event. you listen to a podcast you folks at home cannot see this but it says the little war on the prairie. it is the american life podcast -- broadcast on november 23 of 2012. can someone think about why minnesotans forgot about this? thingse of the shopping for the people involved. they didn't even know this happened. why? >> opted out of history.
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[indiscernible] prof. kelton: ok. logan makes a good point. minnesota is still filling the sellers. officials want people to come. you do not advertise and indian war to get able to come into his territory right? >> the recent history at the time would view this as a relatively heroic act given that they were seen as an enemy. it was a mode to preserve the manifest destiny reasoning at the time. prof. kelton: ok. if it was talked about it all, it was talked about as a justified war. that time changes, and it seems not so complicated. people embracing the complexity and thinking about the complexity they simply chose to ignore.
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very good. what about lincoln? lincoln following the mass execution was still under great pressure from the minnesota congressional delegation and voters in minnesota. and there's an election coming up in 1864. lincoln reduced the -- and there's an election coming up in 1864. he already angered the minnesotans. they wanted all 303 men to die. lincoln had reduced the number. but lincoln did capitulate to the minnesotans by forcing even the friendly dakotas to be moved into the western planes. the dakotas were forced into the west. not only the dakotas but also a group of people that had nothing to do with the war. the whole chumps, who lived in this southeastern corner of
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minnesota. minnesotans wanted them gone as well. lincoln has seen for the emancipation proclamation, he also signed the winnebago removal bill, the americans called the hochunks the winnebagos. this passed in february 1863 , stipulating in june 1863, the hochunk would be removed, and indeed they were in a grueling process where many died on their way or died arriving on their -- arriving on the desolate determination -- destination. perhaps it could be said that lincoln was to the whole chunk is jackson was to the charities. what of little crow? he traveled about on the planes seeking allies that largely felt. at one point, tired and hungry he does come back into minnesota .
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he's picking berries in a farmer's field. the farmers son sees this man, didn't know who he was. just knew he was a native person, and shot him. killed him. later, the farmer and the neighbors realized this was the infamous little crow. his body was mutilated and his remains would be put in the minnesota historical society where they would remain until 1971 until returned to a descendent. here's a painting of the ho chunk. for them, lincoln is like jackson is to the cherokee. another group forcibly removed from the homeland during lincoln's administration were the did nate, the navajo.
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at the outset of the civil war, they were composed of many loosely allied bands and some are quite wealthy in terms of livestock. they raised sheep, they farmed, they grew corn and other did a considerable amount of rating. raiding had been a considerable part of their economy. they , economy. they raided mexicans, livestock, for food, and rated into mexico as well. when the united states conquered and took half of mexico, now the united dates in harris what they saw as a problem, the raiding. they step up their actions to police indigenous people during
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the civil war, particularly as the union depended on communication with california, a state.n state, a union particularly as gold was sent to the east to fund the civil war effort. indian raids was the last thing the union army wanted so they sent in american soldiers to stop these rates. here is the navajo nation's homeland in the four corners region of southwestern united states. kit carson was sent in to do something about the navajo raid s. what he did was order that the navajo must go to eastern new mexico to a place called bosque redondo hundreds of miles away.
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if they did not go they would be forced to go. many did not want to go. so carson in 1863 and 1864 sent in troops to round up the navajo. he pursued scorched earth tactics, destroying what could be consumed so they would be starved into submission. something he says very clearly in his own words. indeed, they surrendered. nearly 8000 and the best we can tell, the numbers vary. 8000 dineh were forced to march in an event they called the long walk.
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on the long walk of course, navajos died from exposure, diseases, and other things. you were to have read this letter and i'm sure you all read it and i was told earlier, you had not learned cursive writing so that's unfortunate for us that once you become history majors into historical research, part of it is looking at old stuff. i like looking at old stuff . once you get the hang of it, once you understand someone's writing you can really understand. i actually think this is really clear compared to a lot of the other stuff i read. i asked you to read this and
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give your general impression of the attitude of george, the military officer who oversight contingent of denae on the long walk. how would you characterize his attitude? >> he had more of a sympathetic attitude. they were making them go to a land that he knew they had no shot to survive on. prof. kelton: a lot of the think can be read differently. anyone else? >> once he arrived with the
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navajo fort sumter, or the bosque redondo, he began to have sympathy because he was writing in another part of the letter to his wife that this is a terrible place. and there is algae, the water is unsanitary. once he saw indigenous peoples beginning to become ill there, i think he started to display some sympathy. prof. kelton: it could be and -- it would not be uncommon. officers doing this duty, some may not want to be doing this. they might rather be dying in gettysburg. i picked up something different. >> i got more of a vibe of indifference. that he was more complying about -- complaining about the journey than anything else. when he was walking over the mountains, he cursed that it is such a long walk. he did not seem to care about
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the people he was leading. more whining about the journey. prof. kelton: yes he does give us evidence in his journey that it was hardship, lack of food, people suffered. but he also complaining that he himself suffered as well. so that indifference comes out as well. what jumped out to me actually is this quote here. in this he uses the pejorative term that i will project appear. -- up here. indians died and were buried on the road. and he says redskins causing me very little trouble other than feeding such a large number. woe is me. i've had some died. now i have to feed them. to me, you would have to leave this in context of his other letters to get his attitude and other letters that do exist. this encapsulates at best
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indifference, but also disdain. disdain for the people he was charged with. not even seeing them as peoples. but using the pejorative term here. and giving an indication of why that is a pejorative term for many indigenous people. that it dehumanizes real human beings. so you see it in these letters, as groups like the dineh are being forced onto a barren reservation. at bousquet redondo that come under the control of a military man. he is a firm believer, carlton is his name, who believes that in the civilization program and that indigenous people should become euro-american, he takes it as his task, kind of this missionary zeal, that he will
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transform the navajos into this prosperous delightful pueblo of indians in all of new mexico. of course he could not be any more wrong. anybody been in eastern new mexico? if you drive through it, there is not a lot there. if anybody from new mexico watches this on tv, i love new mexico, by the way. i got polled over there once myself. it is a beautiful -- it is beautiful country, but it is not good farmland. and bosco redondo was a very desolate place that when they reached their location, they suffered from lack of food, malnutrition,iseases, exposure, raids by nearby groups like comanches and kiowas and many more died. it was truly a horrible
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experience. so horrible, the united states government actually admitted that it was a mistake and in 1868 they negotiated another treaty in which they are allowed to go back to homelands to where the reservation is today. back to the four corners region. i had you guys listen to a brief npr newscast on the opening of bosque redondo interpretive center to memorialize those who suffered on the long walk. it of course becomes prominent in navajo oral history. it is something that unites them. a horrible member horrible memory in which they see themselves as all one people that have to join together to survive. they have commemorated this over
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the years, including carrying rocks from the reservation and of course opening this new center. the npr newscast, the navajo's own the trail of tears, in the newscast you heard the voices of contemporary dine and their views of what their history was. what were some of the takeaways that you had from that newscast? anyone want to volunteer an answer? franklin? >> the modern day navajos in the podcast, what they really were emphasizing is they want the memorial to serve as a way that their ancestors and stories can always be remembered by future
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generations, that was i think their most important view. prof. kelton: good. it's a way to bring stories from oral history to the public to be remembered and not forgotten. i have one more up here. joseph? >> i also found that many of the contemporary individuals were looking for acknowledgment from those not part of the community that such a thing did take place and it happened. prof. kelton: that's true. part of this is not just telling stories to each other but to the larger world, so we don't forget this and we know this history as well. i was taken with the dine woman who came in and her prayer to ancestors or her song, but it's
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about triumph as well for people overcoming these horrible ordeals and being here today, being survivors and telling the story of survival when many places such as where we lived today like long island, most people don't know the indigenous history of this island. it's important that we know the history and not only that we know that history but we know that indigenous people still are here today. and of course does -- here today. and of course does anyone recall how many people belong to navajo nation today? give me a ballpark figure on the podcast. over 300,000. prof. kelton: over 300,000. so a large nation of people still here today that have gone through this ordeal as well as the mescalero apache.
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some of whom were removed with kit carson's raids. the last episode that i will talk about is perhaps the worst taste in someone's mouth about u.s. indian policy. that is the sand creek massacre in colorado in 1864. this massacre involves the colorado militia and cheyenne and arapahoe. they were people that often, they hunted the buffalo in band that ranged from the northern rockies down into colorado on the front range of the rocky mountains. they often hunted together and lived together. in the samek about
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group, even though they are distinctive people. with the mining strikes in the colorado mountains, the rocky mountains, in the 1850's, there was great pressure on the western indian tribes to live on smaller reservations in which they would be confined to not interfere with over land travel. and the cheyenne and arapahoe supposedly agreed to a reservation under the fort wise treaty of 1861, a treaty that reduced cheyenne and arapahoe land to a small chunk of land in eastern colorado. this treaty was problematic as most are, that not all cheyenne and arapahoe signed this treaty or acknowledged it as valid. those that did sign it, that they actually know what it meant. these treaties are all problematic. many cheyenne and arapahoe did not agree to live on the
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reservation. and of course this angered coloradans who want the cheyenne and arapahoe confined. by 1864 they had grown very fearful of indigenous peoples , particularly because of news reports from minnesota and reports were circulating that the western indian tribes were planning what they said was an uprising. one of those who paid attention to these rumors was the military commander of colorado's volunteer forces, the former methodist minister col. john shillington. he is also known as the fighting parsons because he had been a methodist minister and the word parsons of course for methodist minister. in spring 1864 when the grass started sprouting, various bands of cheyenne and arapahoe began
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to break up winter encampments to spread out and go hunt thing. -- hunting. this of course put fear into whites who believed this uprising was going to take place. chivington soldiers were given orders to "earn villages and kill cheyenne's whenever and wherever found." one band led by a pro-american chief for the first to encounter colorado volunteers. it was a pretty lead to the sand creek massacre. 2 cheyennes rode up to chivington's troops with papers bearing the mark of abraham lincoln telling of black cattle. the bands were led by. the two men were shot dead in cold load. chivington's forces then opened fire on the rest of the cheyenne. the indians returned fire but quit after black petal told them to stop.
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the soldiers retreated, leaving 28 natives dead. president lincoln and his subordinates rep in grant's battles with lee, virginia in the coming election of the n64 paid no attention to the affairs of the great plains and left it to general samuel curtis to communicate with the governor of colorado and volunteers about how to handle the situation. on september 28, curtis informed col. chivington i want no peace until the indians suffer more. nevertheless, black kettle wanted peace. in november, he and some of his leading man wrote in -- rode into fort lyon. fort wise was renamed during the civil war to fort lion i believe after the virginia governor in colorado being a prounion state, renamed it fort lion.
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kettle went into fort lyon peace, but the commanders told him they did not have the authority to accept his surrender, nor could they give cheyenne food. meanwhile the colorado papers were calling for extermination and chastised chivington as a coward. he had an opportunity and did not take it. 1864, heer 29, deployed 700 colorado volunteers to attack the cheyenne. after seeing the approaching army, black kettle foisted an american flag and a white flag and a messenger, white antelope, to greek army. he was shot dead in a volley that soldiers launched into the village. the cavalry continued their charge into the village, and for several hours butchered men , women, and children. cheyenne bodies were mutilated,
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even infants were stabbed by coloradans. immediately after the massacre the colorado press celebrated. colorado soldiers have again covered themselves in glory. some of the scalps were taken back to denver and paraded in a theater and the theater patrons seeing the cheyenne scalps, stood and applauded. lincoln unfortunately remains mute on the sand creek massacre. did the cries from extermination trouble him? perhaps not. to thecommitment commissioner of equity affairs echoes his view. after the stressful reelection campaign of 1864 the commissioner of indian affairs wrote his annual report and praised the energetic action of governor evans. once the true reality of sand creek came to light, however,
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members of lincoln's party publicly condemned the atrocious event and called for reform of indian policy. a congressional committee was authorized to investigate and of the sordid affair ultimately concluded after lincoln's death that the cheyenne were mutilated in the most horrible manner. had he lived, perhaps he would have been among those in which the sand creek massacre had left a bad taste in the mouth and more humane policies may have happened instead of militaristic campaigns for extermination. of course we will never know. his presidency gives us little clues of what he would have actually done. sand creek by any objective measure was an unprovoked murder of cheyenne and arapahoe. for many years, colorado celebrated this as a battle, battle of the civil war. more recently though, more
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recently, and thanks to the hard work and efforts of descendent survivors of cheyenne and arapahoe, now we know this and we should know this as a massacre site. and it has become a national historic site in eastern colorado. so what about lincoln? what are we to make of him? he has left posterity with a troubling legacy. historians often get asked, who was the best president, i perhaps would say abraham lincoln because his determination to preserve the union and because he oversaw the end of slavery. but, when we look through the lens of indigenous history, lincoln is perhaps no different from any other president in the
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19th century, someone who was in favor of westward expansions and believed in manifest destiny. perhaps it is hard to say the buck should stop with him. he was busy fighting the civil war. there was a lot going on. i suppose to those thousands of dakotas who were forced from their homeland, along with the ho chunks, the buck should stop with him. for the thousands of dineh, who had to endure the long walk and conditions, the buck should stop with him. and i suppose for those of hundreds arapahoe and cheyenne who were murdered by military forces, the buck should stop more with him. thank you very much. we'll see you next time. [applause]
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>> you can watch lectures in history every weekend on a merrick in history tv. we take you inside college classrooms to learn about topics ranging from the american revolution to 9/11. that is saturday at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern on c-span3. >> in the late 1850's, americans generally trusted their congressman, you did not trust congress as an institution. nor did congress trust each other. many congressmen were routinely because they were eager to kill their opponents, but out of opponents -- fear their opponents may kill them. >> joanne freeman will be our guest on in-depth sunday from noon to 2:00 a.m. eastern.
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her latest book is "the field of blood." or are the titles include "the essential hamilton," "hamilton riding," and affairs of honor." join our live conversation. at 9:00 p.m. eastern on afterwards, in his latest book "the immoral majority," been how e examines whether evangelicals are choosing power over christian values. >> i think the lesser evil's argument is tempting but dangerous. it contributes to keeping a system in place that takes accountability out of the system. an easy way to bring in something like evangelicalism or any other face and use that as a way to get votes, which seems like the worst possible thing. >> watch book tv every weekend on c-span2.
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>> jean becker was chief of staff to george h.w. bush starting starley after he left the white house. up until his death in 2018. presidency, on the ms. becker talks about the man she knew. here's a preview. this is crisp and are of saudi arabia, the saudi ambassador to the u.s. for almost 20 years. he was the ambassador during president bush's presidency, president clinton. president bush was very close to him. they used to call president clinton and brother by another mother. they gave prince zan bar the same nickname. ago, seven or eight years i got a call late one night from somebody who used to be in president bush's administration to ask me if i had heard
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anything about the band are. the cia inntially saudi arabia. she said they were hearing he had in assassinated. i read the news to him, and he said "have you tried calling him?" i said "no." that had not occurred to me. [laughter] >> he said "let's try to get him on the phone." we're sitting outside. upstairs, the office windows open, and one of his assistants leaned out. i said can you see if you think it prince of and are on the phone for president bush? jimmy says "have you told him?"
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i said "yes i have." two minutes later, he comes back out. two.s online president bush pick up the phone. doesitting here and he "dead or alive?" [laughter] >> learn more about president george h.w. bush from his former chief of staff jean becker sunday at 9:00 p.m. and midnight eastern on the presidency. explore our nation's past on american history tv. >> next, from the lincoln group in the district of columbia, retired infectious disease specialist dr. jon willen talks about charles leale, the first doctor to treat the mortally wounded abraham lincoln after actor john wilkes booth shot him while he watched a play at ford's theatre in washington,
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d.c. dr. willen delivered an overview of the medical treatment administered to the dying president and described the efforts of the doctors who assisted leale. >> our speaker is very experienced. rather new on the lecture circuit. but he has experience to speak from. he has been a practicing physician and infectious diseases for 37 years. he practiced in california before coming to d.c. where he has been active speaking for the national museum of civil war medicine. he frequently lectures civil war groups. we are thankful to have him speak to us tonight. he's a member of the board of directors of the society of civil war surgeons and public


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