An associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Michael S. Green specializes in nineteenth-century politics and the American West. His works on the Civil War era include Freedom, Union, and Power: Lincoln and His Party during the Civil War (2004); Politics and America in Crisis: The Coming of the Civil War (2010); and Lincoln and the Election of 1860 (2011). His books on Nevada include Las Vegas: A Centennial History (2005), with Eugene Moehring, and Nevada: A History of the Silver State (2015). A recipient of the American Historical Association's Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award, he is also on the board of directors of Las Vegas's nationally known and highly respected Mob Museum. He serves as the executive director of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association and the director of Preserve Nevada, the state's only statewide historic preservation organization.
Which president ordered the largest mass execution in American history, and the largest commutation of death sentences? The answer is Abraham Lincoln, and it was for the same event: The Dakota uprising of 1862. This lecture examines what Lincoln thought about Native Americans, what he did, what he did not do, and the events that shaped his attitudes.