Y’all were never part of Texas’

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise June 17, 2007.

A couple years ago, my nephew, Chas, and I went out to dinner with a colleague of mine visiting from Texas. During an otherwise pleasant and predictable meal, this colleague suddenly announced, “Y’all were part of Texas once, you know.” Continue reading

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Cherokee Trail was early road through Colorado

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise (May 20, 2007).

Back in 1849, a wagon train came through the front range of Colorado, which was then described as a “howling wilderness,” sparsely populated by the Arapaho and Cheyenne.  In a collaboration that must have been unusual, the wagon train consisted of members of the Cherokee Nation  and white pioneers. Continue reading

Philip Zang soothed the Wild West with his brew

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise April 8, 2007.

Ever wonder what those grizzled guys in wild west saloons were guzzling before they brawled and stampeded their horses through town? There’s a good chance it was beer from the Phil Zang Brewing Company in Denver. Continue reading

Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle: Peace at all costs

Excerpts from my book, Forgotten Heroes and Villains of Sand Creek (June 11, 2010)

Of all those who worked for peace on the plains, there was one man who never gave up, despite having every reason to wage a total war against the whites. That man was Black Continue reading

Samuel Tappan: Bookish adventurer becomes lifetime advocate for the tribes

Excerpts from my book,Forgotten Heroes and Villains of Sand Creek (June 11, 2010).

Samuel Forster Tappan was an intriguing mixture of adventurer and literary intellectual. Though his formal education was unremarkable, he read voraciously Continue reading

James Cannon, Sand Creek whistle-blower, dies mysterious death

Excerpts from my book, Forgotten Heroes and Villains of Sand Creek (June 11, 2010).

James Cannon volunteered with the 1st infantry regiment of New Mexico, a unit organized in 1863. He enlisted January 1, 1864, only eleven months before Sand Creek. Continue reading

Jacob Downing felt the Cheyenne and Arapaho should be exterminated

Excerpts from my book, Forgotten Heroes and Villains of Sand Creek (June 11, 2010).

In 1911, Mrs. Caroline Downing, widow of Jacob Downing, donated an object to the Colorado Historical Society. Identified as Object E.1748.1, the donation is labeled as a “scalp taken from the head of an Indian warrior at the Battle of Sand Creek, Colorado, November 29, 1864.” Continue reading