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.” Mrs. Downing presumably inherited the scalp from her husband, who accompanied Chivington to Sand Creek.
When she donated the scalp, Mrs. Downing must have been unaware that Jacob Downing had sworn in an affidavit taken during the Sand Creek investigations: “I saw no soldier scalping anybody but saw one or two bodies which had evidently been scalped.”