Troubled Trails : The Meeker Affair and the Expulsion of the Utes from Colorado

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-08-31
  • Publisher: Univ of Utah Pr
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When U.S. Cavalry troops rode onto the Ute Indian Reservation in northwestern Colorado on September 29, 1879, they triggered a chain of events that cost the Utes their homeland: a deadly battle at Milk Creek, the killing of all men at the Indian agency headed by Nathan Meeker, and the taking of three women and two children who were held hostage for 23 days. The Utes didn’t seek a fight with the whites, most of whom they viewed as friends. However, powerful whites in Colorado wanted the Utes expelled. The Meeker affair was an opportunity to achieve that. In Troubled Trails, Robert Silbernagel casts new light on the story of the Meeker Affair. Using details from historical interview transcripts and newspaper articles, he reveals the personalities of the major characters-both Indian and non-Indian. He tells the story from many perspectives, including that of Indian Agent Nathan Meeker; the U.S. military; Nicaagat, a leader of the White River Utes; and Josephine Meeker, Nathan Meeker’s daughter, who was held hostage by the Utes. Silbernagel took great pains to tell a complete story, even following on horseback the trail taken by the Utes. As a result, his book paints a multifaceted picture of what took place and, most importantly, his portrayal brings the Ute side of the story into focus.

Author Biography

Robert Silbernagel has been writing for Colorado newspapers since 1975. He is currently editorial page editor at The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction and he has won multiple editorial writing awards from the Colorado Press Association.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
List of Individuals Involved in the Meeker Affair and Its Aftermathp. xix
Nicaagat Confronts Josephinep. 1
The Battle at Milk Creek and the Killings at the White River Indian Agencyp. 6
Hostages in the Borderlandsp. 16
Trail Section Ip. 20
Nicaagatp. 27
Hellbent for Helpp. 38
Horse Powerp. 49
Trail Section 2p. 57
Josephine Meekerp. 63
She-towitch to the Rescuep. 71
Nicaagat Versus Nathanp. 77
Trail Section 3p. 89
The Word Gets Outp. 96
Trail Section 4p. 102
Outrage!p. 106
The Rescue Trailp. 119
Chicago Rallies for She-towitchp. 130
Investigation, Frustration, and Farcep. 136
The Trail to Washingtonp. 145
The Colorado Planp. 152
The Trail to Utahp. 160
The Final Trail for Nicaagat and Josephinep. 171
Epiloguep. 179
Introduction to the Appendicesp. 187
How Many Fought at Milk Creek?: Supplement to Chapter 2p. 189
Faster Horses: Supplement to Chapter 6p. 192
Mormons on Their Minds: Supplement to Chapter 9p. 195
One Family's History: Supplement to Chapter 10p. 198
Powell Speaks Out: Supplement to Chapter 13p. 202
The Final Skirmish: Supplement to Chapter 16p. 205
Colorow: Supplement to Chapter 18p. 208
What Happened to the Utes' Horses?: Supplement to Chapter 21p. 211
Notesp. 215
Bibliographyp. 241
Indexp. 249
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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