Meeker Massacre Utes Testify

Ouray by William Henry Jackson

Testimony of the Ute Chiefs
The New York Times
November 16, 1879
Los Pinos, Cal.
[a little typographical error by the Times; should be Colorado]

“Ouray carried his point at the Indian council held on the night of November 12, and the principal chiefs of the White River Utes, except Jack, were at the agency yesterday…
          “Ouray has made all the necessary preparations for the protection of the commission and if the White River Utes should make any attempt toward an outbreak, 50 picked men, who are now encamped within rifle shot of the commission, would be on hand the instant anything of that kind was attempted. [A Peace Commission was taking testimony related to the Meeker Massacre.]
          “Indians who testify before the commission are sworn by Chief Ouray…Douglass was the first witness called. The oath, like all the testimony, was translated into Spanish by Ouray, and then into English by Interpreter Townsend…
Douglass…said nothing, heard nothing, and took no part in the killing of Meeker and his employees or in the fight with Thornburg;
he found Mrs. Meeker frightened and fleeing, and took her to his house and took care of her;
his time was so much occupied with the care of his wounded boy that he did not know anything in relation to what was going wrong;
at the time of the killing of the employees began, he was in the warehouse, and did not know who began the attack;
his feelings overcame him, and it made him cry to think of the condition into which his friends had fallen;
         “Meeker told him that in two days soldiers would come. Douglass replied that it would be better to have officers come to the agency and have a council and try to settle the existing difficulties. As the Indians were afraid of the soldiers, Mr. Meeker promised to go with Douglass in the morning and meet the officers; but while they were talking the fight with Thornburgh was going on, though neither Douglass nor Mr. Meeker was aware of the fact at the time.”

Published in: on November 14, 2011 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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