Ute Life in Utah, 1885

As a result of the 1879 Meeker Massacre, the White River Utes were removed from Colorado. They were resettled in 1882 on the existing Uintah reservation in Utah.    

1876 Map Uintah Valley Reservation             Indian Agent annual reports of reservation status, published in the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, offer a glimpse into life after resettlement.
            Agent Elisha M. Davis was assigned to the Uintah reservation about the time the White River Utes arrived there. Three years later, his August 20, 1885 report offered a recap of changes brought by relocation of the White River Utes.
            The populations of Uintah and White River Utes were nearly equal. There were 508 Uintah Utes and 514 White River Utes at this reservation. Youth and children represented 43% of the population. There were 251 youth age 6-16 and 186 children under age 6.
            Agent Davis reported “profound peace” among the Utes assigned to this agency. He did note “exaggerated rumors of war among the more warlike tribes to the north and south.”
            Davis wrote, “The year has been one of marked progress of these Indians in quieting the feeling of envy and jealousy which has always existed between the two tribes at this agency. The White River and Uintah Utes have intermarried more during the past year than ever before in the history of the tribes. This tends to make them one people.”

From “Reports of Agents in Utah,” Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs 1885

1861 map of Uintah Valley Reservation, Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division


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