Abraham Lincoln’s response to Sioux Uprising in 1862 the topic of lecture Sunday at Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne

This News-Sentinel.com archive photo shows a painting of Abraham Lincoln that was part of the collection of the former Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne. (News-Sentinel.com archive photo)

Then-President Abraham Lincoln’s handling of the Sioux Uprising in 1862 and the resulting mass execution — reportedly the largest in U.S. history — will be the topic for the Lincoln at the Library lecture at 2 p.m. Sunday at the downtown Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza.

The lecture, “Lincoln, the Power of Pardon, and the 1862 Sioux Uprising,” is free and open to the public.

The lecture will be presented by Roger Billings, professor emeritus at Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law and co-editor of the book “Abraham Lincoln, Esq.: The Legal Career of America’s Greatest President.” Billings explores the recently published trial files that provide a glimpse of how Lincoln used his training as an attorney to review the cases and decide which Sioux tribe members should be pardoned and who would be executed, an event announcement said.

In 1862, the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota resulted in the deaths of hundreds of settlers and also interrupted Union Army recruiting for the Civil War, the announcement said. The U.S. military defeated the Sioux, and 303 Sioux prisoners were condemned to death by a military tribunal.

Lincoln delayed the executions until he could review each of the prisoners’ case files, the announcement said. Lincoln decided to pardon all but 38 of the accused, whose mass execution reportedly is the largest in U.S. history.

The Lincoln at the Library lecture series is sponsored by the Friends of the Allen County Public Library. For more information, visit the Allen County Public Library’s website at www.acpl.info or call 1-260-421-1200.

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