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Week Seven: Gold Rushes

Page history last edited by mwitgen@... 9 years, 10 months ago



October 14: Fall Study Break


No class today.


October 16: Colorado and the Dakotas




The Sand Creek Massacre (1864)








Battle of the Washita River (1868)


  • Report from the Secretary of War concerning the Battle of the Washita River . Focus on the following documents (use your browser's search function, since the pages aren't numbered).


    • Letter from  the "HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSOURI, St. Louis, Missouri, October 15, 1868." (Starts at the bottom of the 5th page)
    • Letter from "CAMP OLD FORT COBB, INDIAN TERRITORY, Friday Night, October 30, 1868." (Starts on the 8th page) 
    • "Record of a conversation held between Colonel and Brevet Major General W. B. Hazen, United States army, on special service, and chiefs of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Indians, at Fort Cobb, Indian Territory, November 20, 1868." (Starts on the 26th page)
    • Letter from "HEADQUARTERS 7TH UNITED STATES CAVALRY, IN THE FIELD, ON WASHITA RIVER, November 28, 1868." (Starts on the 32nd page)
    • "SUMMARY OF INFORMATION REGARDING HOSTILE INDIANS. Semi-weekly report No. 5." (Starts on the 41st page) 






 Source: Denver Public Library Digital Collections



Study Questions 


1. Find out some information about John Evans and Edwin Stanton: what was their involvement in the Colorado Indian conflicts? What is Evans's assessment of the situation of Indian relations on the Colorado frontier, and what is the proposed solution?


2. Who does Governor John Evans address in his proclamation? What do you imagine the effect of this proclamation was on American citizens in Colorado territory?


3. The author of the first editorial from the Rocky Mountain News calls the Sand Creek Massacre "a remarkable feat": what information does this eye witness account offer, and what aspects are not mentioned so much? Can you detect a more sarcastic tone in the second editorial? What point do you think the writer is trying to make? What conclusions can you draw from these editorials about how the Rocky Mountain News portrayed the Sand Creek massacre? 


5. How would you describe John Smith's role in mediating between the U.S. military and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians? Based on his congressional testimony, does Smith seem a reliable witness to you? How does Smith characterize Colonel Chivington's actions?


6. On what points do John Smith's and Chivington's testimony differ most clearly? What different accounts do the two witnesses have of the number of Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians who were involved in the conflict? 


7. How do Little Bear and George Bent recount the massacre? What larger context does George Bent place the Sand Creek Massacre in?


8. From the US senate report on the battle of Washita River, can you deduce what events led up to the battle? And what are some similarities and differences with the Sand Creek Massacre?



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