Treaties and Indians

In January 1880, debate over the fate of the Utes in Colorado was national news. Ouray and Chipeta had arrived in Washington, D.C. with a delegation of chiefs and a few of the accused in the Meeker Massacre. Some Colorado legislators quoted hometown newspaper headlines that blared “The Utes Must Go.”
          The following note (author unidentified) appeared in the January 10, 1880 issue of Harpers Weekly.

          The truth is that we impose treaties upon the Indians and observe them just so far as suits our own pleasure, and no farther. When the white population presses more closely upon an Indian reservation, as now upon that of the Utes in Colorado, the Indians are made to give way. Of course the advance of civilization must not be restrained. But equally of course a government which does not intend to respect treaties has no right to make them; and when they are made with people who cannot compel their observance, the violation of them is as mean as it is infamous.

Published in: on January 10, 2011 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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