McCook Cleaned House

Honoring the 150th Anniversary of Colorado Territory (officially formed February 28, 1861), this series of posts offers a brief glimpse into Indian affairs during the terms of the seven territorial governors.

Edward McCook replaced A.C. Hunt as Governor of Colorado Territory on June 12, 1869. Three months later McCook sent his first annual report  to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. (The government uses a fiscal year that begins on October 1st and ends on September 30th.)
          McCook noted his first official act as Ex Officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs was “advertising for proposals to erect the mills and other buildings on the upper and lower agencies provided for in that treaty [of 1868]…” He proudly announced that he had economized and saved nearly $11,000.00 over the amount that had been approved for this construction.
           McCook’s report appears in the Colorado Superintendency section of Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs 1869. The report A.C. Hunt sent just before leaving office appears before that of McCook.
          There is also a report for the Middle Park Agency dated July 1, 1869. It references events that took place in 1868 and the writer notes that he had been so busy he had failed to submit his report on time the previous year. However, the final paragraph reads:
          “I have discharged all the old employees of the government because I was convinced that they had been engaged in dishonest and disreputable practices under the former administration; the evidence in my possession I will make the subject of a future communication.” This report is signed Edward McCook with no official title as in other reports.   
          It appears that the Middle Park Agency report, except the final paragraph, was written by Agent D.C. Oakes, who was the Middle Park Agent in 1868. McCook apparently added the final paragraph by way of explanation for why Oakes did not sign the report.
          Beginnning in 1870, McCook was no long responsible for Indian affairs in the territory and the annual reports were written by the individual agents. The position of Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the territories was abolished in 1871.

Published in: on June 13, 2011 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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