Lincoln Bicentennial

This year the nation celebrates the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Did you know Colorado’s Ute Chief Ouray met Lincoln in person?

          In the spring of 1863, Ouray and a group of Ute chiefs or headmen traveled to Washington City with their Indian Agent, Lafayette Head. They wanted a treaty that would define Ute land and protect it from the gold seekers and settlers who began invading Ute land in large numbers in 1859.
          During that trip the delegation met President Lincoln at the White House. Ouray was identified as the leader of the group and Lincoln presented him a silver-tipped cane, his typical gift to Indian chiefs. Ouray insisted that all the chiefs of the various Ute bands must be involved in a treaty decision. Lincoln agreed to send government representatives to Colorado Territory the following October for a great treaty conference.

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