Good Job, Henry!

Finding one interesting research tidbit can make my day. In a recent Google search I spotted an 1880 Ute delegation photo advertised by Cowan’s Auctions, Cincinnati, Ohio. The item was part of a collection of Indian artifacts once owned by Henry W. Andrews. I discovered the auction had been completed in 2007. The Andrews’ collection brought $101,200.20.

The description of lot #322 noted, “The photograph of the Ute Treaty Delegation taken in 1880, and inscribed to Andrews from Ouray and his wife Chipeta, suggests Andrews must have been good at his job…”

Henry Andrews was a clerk in the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs when the Ute delegation arrived in Washington, DC on January 11, 1880. Andrews met them at the train station. He was assigned to supervise every detail of the Utes’ stay in the city so he took a room in the Tremont House with the delegation. The Utes had been national news since October 1879, when a small group of Utes killed their Indian Agent and the agency employees, then took three white women and two children hostage. Colorado’s GOVERNOR PITKIN arrived in Washington in late January to lobby for removal of all Utes from the state. Andrews had his hands full protecting the Ute delegation from eager newspaper reporters, curious locals, and angry citizens.

Delays in negotiations extended the Utes’ stay to almost three months, a long time for people used to wide open spaces to be cooped up inside a hotel. Andrews ate his meals with the Utes, arranged for entertainment and accompanied them on trips around the city. He learned to enjoy the Utes’ company and became a trusted friend. It was Henry Andrews who escorted Chipeta on a Pennsylvania Avenue shopping trip to buy fabric for “city clothes.”

Henry Andrews was indeed good at his job. By 1885 he had been promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Northwest Territory.

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Published in: on October 8, 2008 at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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