Memorial for Captain Silas Soule Finally a Reality

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise.

If you’ve read my previous columns, you’ll remember the story of Silas Soule, a true Colorado hero who blew the whistle on John Chivington after the massacre of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho at Sand Creek in 1864.

Every year, the Cheyenne and Arapaho hold the Sand Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing Run to commemorate the massacre and honor Silas Soule and others who spoke up against the actions of the cavalry that day.  Every year the event is both moving and distressing, but for many, this year’s was particularly emotional — for two reasons. Continue reading


George Pierce: Early Front Range Surveyor

At the height of the Colorado gold rush, some newcomers were better equipped than others for the savage dangers of the unexplored west – both physically and psychologically.

In the early 1860s, the flow of wagon train and stage traffic was often heavier eastward than westward.  Continue reading

The Sand Creek Massacre — An atrocity committed by John Chivington and the “Spider People”

This article first appeared in slightly different form in the Broomfield Enterprise September 18, 2007.

A couple years ago I went on a “tree tour” of Fairmount Cemetery in Denver. As we strolled around the pleasant grounds our guide named the various trees and explained their biology. At one point, as we gazed up at a beautiful white oak, a large memorial marker right in front of me caught my eye. I realized with a jolt it was the grave of Continue reading

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

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

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

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