Arriving in Washington, DC 1880

The Baltimore and Potomac Station once occupied the corner of Sixth and B (now Independence Ave) Streets NW, where the West Wing of the National Gallery stands today.

One-hundred-thirty years ago on January 11, 1880 the Western Express pulled into the Baltimore and Potomac Station in Washington, DC. The train arrived right on time at 8:55 am on Sunday morning.  Expecting angry crowds like those that had attacked the Utes in other cities, a detail of metropolitan police guarded the station. No crowds appeared.

Henry Andrews of the Indian Bureau met the delegation and escorted them to the Tremont House Hotel at Second and Indiana Streets. Andrews moved into the hotel to supervise every detail of the Utes’ stay. Likewise, Officer Farrar of the Metropolitan Police took a room at the hotel to protect the Utes from harm.

News of the arrival of the Colorado Ute delegation appeared the next day on the front page of the Washington Post:

Chipeta and Ouray appeared benevolent…while in the others there was a shodow of fierceness and vindictiveness. [Chipeta] is a large squatty woman, about forty-five years old wth broad flat features, a large round head and long black hair parted in the middle and thrown carelessly at either side, almost concealing her features. Her form was enveloped in the folds of a large black and gray woolen shawl concealing her attires, the only part of which visible was a pair of handsomely worked buckskin leggings. Artic rubbers covered her feet, which were encased in buckskin moccasins.

Ouray, who is fifty years old, is in appearance very like his squaw, except that his hair was plaited and rested on his shoulders. He had a dark blue blanket thrown around him concealing a white calico shirt with red figures, and a dark cloth vest, and wore overshoes and decorated blue flannel leggings. His head was covered with a large broad-brim…slouch hat. He carried a bundle of wrappings trapped together.

Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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