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Lincoln Ordered..."Largest mass hanging in United States history"

On This Day: In 1862 President Lincoln refused to pardon the 38 Santee Sioux people sentenced to hang for protecting
their land during the Dakota War of 1862. In early December, 303 Sioux prisoners were convicted of murder and rape by military tribunals and sentenced to death. Some trials lasted less than 5 minutes. No one explained the proceedings to the defendants, nor were the Sioux represented by a defense in court.
President Lincoln personally reviewed the trial records to distinguish between those who had engaged in warfare against the U.S., versus those who had committed crimes of rape and murder against civilians. The Army executed the 38 remaining prisoners by hanging on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota. It remains the largest mass execution in American history.

 

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