Which one is White Antelope?

Although fans of Colorado history have probably heard of the most significant Native American leaders — Black Kettle, Left Hand, White Antelope, One Eye, and so on — portraits from the era are frustratingly undocumented. It would be nice to be able to point at a particular picture and say with certainty that this fellow is White Antelope and that fellow is Neva, but it hasn’t happened so far and probably never will.

Case in point: Two important portraits were taken in the fall of 1864 of the “peace chiefs” who had come to Denver to talk peace with Chivington and Evans (fruitlessly, as it turned out). A stenographer was present at this session, so we know at least the following chiefs were present: Black Kettle, White Antelope, Bull Bear. We know Left Hand wasn’t there, and there’s no mention of One Eye being there.

Here’s the most famous portrait taken, focusing just on the fellows in the middle row: Continue reading

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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

Captain Silas S. Soule: Paid with his life to do the right thing

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise in 2008.

Early on a snowy November morning, about 70 people gathered around a soldier’s grave in the Civil War section of Denver’s Riverside Cemetery. The date was November 29, 2008, and the grave belonged to Silas S. Soule, who died from an assassin’s bullet on April 23, 1865. Continue reading