|Highly Experienced Member|
One tragic incident in history by probably a band of Comanche's, remembered for generations and passed on from generation to generation.
There are stories like this across the country perpetrated by Indians against colonists / settlers and it is what first comes to mind when I hear about how we have mistreated Native Americans.
The Indian tribes knew right from wrong when this stuff happened. Some tribes chose peaceful coexistence others did not.
From their pov, it was war. We were invaders, encroaching on their land. So they fought back. And lost. That's not a pro or con assessment, it is what it is. I'll never defend people who murder children intentionally, but if you were a 19th century American moving west onto Indian land, you better be ready for anything.
Is this legal?
I don't know,but its fun isn't?!
Such events cut both ways. When the Mormons first came into Deseret (Utah), having been driven out of the United States themselves on a "Trail of Tears", much like many Tribes, they had more reason to identify with the Indians than hate or fear them. They made every effort to avoid or befriend them all the way from Missouri to the Rockies and Great Basin. Indeed, Brigham Young put out a general directive that it was "...better to feed them than fight them...!" So that was the general approach Mormons had towards tribes - to trade and treat fairly with them; and for the most part it worked out well. But eventually frictions did arise for varying reasons. The ugliest was that Local Traders, Indian Agents and "Missouricats" (who had followed the Mormons out here out of hate/spite) stirred the Indians up against the Mormons to steal their goods/stock and drive them out. Some of the Indians themselves didn't want settlers moving in on their Territory. Salt Lake Valley was somewhat uninhabited "neutral territory" between the Shoshone to the north and the Utes to the south, but all other valleys had Tribes in them. So as more Mormons came, even though they were Generous, friction developed. Lastly, as more Mormons arrived, despite their own teachings that Indians were "Lamanites" - ancient descendants of a lost Hebrew Tribe, they grew tired of Indians showing up singlely or in groups begging for or demanding "gifts" of stock, food, clothing, etc. when the cold of winter and scarcity of game drove them to panhandling to survive. Settlements began asking Brigham Young to get the Army to "remove" the Indians to settlement areas elsewhere, as Andrew Jackson had done back east - -
Well, evidentually a Ute Chief named Wakara did have a short war against the Mormons in central Utah, called "The Chief Walker War", which envolved small depredations of small bands raiding outlying farms and ranches with the killing of a few people here and there. But it was finally settled between Brigham Young and Wakara with a treaty which would give the Indians certain areas to live in and annual "gifts" of goods and cattle to keep them happy - and all seemed good . .
But during the winter of 1849-50, a small group (2-3) of starving Timpanogos Utes crept north into Salt Lake Valley from Utah Valley and drove off a few head of cattle from the Sandy/Draper area. the farmers hotly complained to Pres. Young, and he reluctantly authorized local militia to go down and see if they could retrieve the cows. When they entered the 30 mile long Utah Valley, they could see smoke 20 miles south at the mouth of the Provo River, so they headed there and found a large winter camp of Utes, but the Chief told them that the cattle thieves were a small "cast-off" group living a few miles north at the mouth of a small creek. The Militia, following a Ute guide, found the small encampment of 10-12 Indians and surrounded it. According to them, they saw hides from the cattle, then a large warrior came out of a shelter holding, possibly firing a musket. He was hit with 10-12 shots and killed. One or two others were shot down and the women and children scurried off in the brush. Eventually one teenage boy, an old woman, and several kids were rounded up and hauled back to Salt Lake to be raised. The Local Ute Chief warned them to kill the teenager or they would be sorry, but they didn't. This is the fight at "Battle Creek" which eventually put the town I live in, Pleasant Grove, on the map. It was originally named Battlecreek, but Mormons considered the name too violent and traded it for a name suggested by a grove of Cottonwoods the first settlement started under.
But the story doesn't end there. A year or so later, Mormons decided to start moving into this Valley, because the Militiamen noted how good it looked for farming. They headed straight to Provo, built a fort and started a settlement. Little did they know they had plopped down right where ALL the Utes show up in early spring for summer Rendezvous to hunt, catch and dry fish from the river and Utah Lake and trade furs for goods from trappers and other tribes. When the Indians showed up, they camped by the hundreds in the snow close to the Fort, and the friction began. The Mormons had brought a young Ute with them, the teenager from Battle Creek, to act as a "go-between" for them. His name was Antongra, and little did they know, he was a Nephew or Son to Wakara!! Well, two young settlers got in a fight with a Ute and killed him, then tried to hide his body along the river, but Utes catching fish found him. They sent up a WarCry, and the Utes started approaching the fort. The settlers in the fort opened fire with their rifled musklets and started taking a heavy toll. But that was nothing to what came next: They had a single Cannon mounted on an elevated pedestal in the middle of the fort, and they began shooting chain shot into all the lodges! Of course, this terrified the Indians, who broke and ran. Some ran out onto the ice of the lake. Some ran up along the river towards Provo Canyon. The Settlers did not leave "good enough" alone. Some pursued those on the ice of the lake, shooting them down. Some pursued those going up the river, shooting them down. According to accounts and legend, the Chief's beautiful wife climbed one of the cliffs and was either shot or jumped off. The peak above there is called Squaw Peak to this day. Many old men, men, women and children were killed. But even that was not enough. One of the Militia officers decided the Utes should be "studied", so he came up with a (not so) bright idea to cut the heads off as many of the Utes as they could find - to be shipped back east to some University! And that's just what they did!! So, they sat all these heads on a plank in the cold, and the few Indians they captured were made to sit as prisoners under the four-legged Cannon Pedestal, where they could see all the heads!! One of the Indians also forced under there was young Antongra, nephew/son of Chief Wakara. What went on in his mind is hard to say, but a short time later, despite traditions he had been converted to Christianity/Mormonism and even ordained an Elder, he suddenly appears on horseback, leading a collection of Timpanogos Utes, Utes, Paiutes, Goshutes, and even Navajos all over central and southern Utah, attacking ranches, farms, and even small towns, killing whomever they catch out in the open and driving off as much stock as they can, taking them to southern Colorado and northern New Mexico to trade for guns and supplies. He became known as Chief Blackhawk, and this became known as Utah's Blackhawk War. Some of the butchery done during the raids was just as bad or worse that described in the Original Post above. In one case, a family on a wagon was caught in the open, and all where savagely killed. A beautiful teenage daughter was killed by using the branch of a Cedar Tree in a most savage way - ! In retaliation, groups of farmers and ranchers went out to kill Indians. They were often lead into well-planned ambushed in canyons (Think Viet Cong U-Shaped Ambush) and shot up pretty badly. It was not uncommon for the Indians to know the settlers quite well from trading, etc., and they would often call out the settlers' names while shooting at them!! Thus angered, settlers often attack groups of innocent Indians camped in the local area and killed or drove them off. This all took place during the time of the Civil War, and Brigham Young did not want Federal Troops here - so little word of this fight got back east... Every town, encluding Pleasnt Grove, built forts and lived as if under siege. Immigration actually reversed a little. Eventually Chief Blackhawk was wounded with a bullet in the side down near Salina at the Battle of Gravel Crossing on the Sevier River. My great grandfather was in the militia and took an arrow in the leg at this battle. Blackhawk's wound never healed. As his health got worse, he decided to make Peace, so he went to Salt Lake to meet Brigham Young to ask what to do. Brigham Young told him to ask the forgiveness of all those he had faught. (I think this confirms the legend that Antongra had converted to Mormonism and had been ordained an Elder, possibly by Brigham Young himself. He wanted Salvation!) To everyone's amazement, the very sick Chief Blackhawk - dressed in a black suit, long-tailed coat, tie, and top hat - traveled in a black carriage from town to town all the way from Salt Lake to St George in southern Utah. He would go into Town squares and Church Meetings, and apologize and ask for forgiveness from every Congregation!! He had to be flanked by Brigham Young's personal bodyguards (Danites?) to sometimes keep the Congregations or towns folk from rushing on him and lynching or killing him for what he had done!! Grudgingly, each Congregation forgave him, after everyone vented their feelings at him. After all this, he traveled back to Springville, just south of Provo, where he was supposedly born. His health worsened, and when he heard that Brigham Young was traveling through the Valley on the way south to a Conference in St George, he sent a messenger with a request that Pres. Young come to see him. Brigham Young refused to turn aside from his journey south and kept going. Chief Blackhawk then died at about the age of 25. His body was buried in secret, but a rancher or farmer found it while clearing some land. The skeleton, found in cerimonial Chief Costume, was put on display in a glass case in Salt Lake's Pioneer Museum for many years. I remember seeing it on school tours and a kid. After the Antiquities Act was passed a few decades ago, the Church returned Blackhawk's remains to The Timpanogos Utes, who buried him again near some ponds under a nice monument between Springville and Spanish Fork. At the Cerimony, they released a large Red-Tail Hawk back to the Wild - - yatahey . . .
The Town of Pleasant Grove under Mount Timpanogos. Battle Creek is the Canyon to the right . . . I have lived here much of my life . .
Restored Fort Utah at Provo - -
This message has been edited. Last edited by: greywolfghost,
Wandering and Wondering
Most of the more warlike Tribes do have the belief that the enemy's strength can be obtained from him by killing him in a torturous way. They also believe that their enemy will arrive in the Afterlife in whatever condition he left here. This results in the excruciatingly grusome tortures before death, and the terrible mutilations afterwards. Though supposedly Custer's body was one of the few not multilated at the Little Big Horn, there was blood coming out of his ears, so some said he shot himself. But the Lakota have a tradition that either Warriors or Squaws thrust either arrows or sewing awls into his ears so that when he got to the Afterlife, he would better listen to wise advice - -
Wandering and Wondering
The Indians, first nation, native Americans, whatever practiced racism, war, genocide, slavery, thievery, and appropriation of territory land.
The only difference between them and the Europeans was technology.
|Highly Experienced Member|
I suspect that's a projection/sweeping generalization onto them via our historians to explain senseless and overly violent behavior. It doesn't match the facts in this case.
The Commanches were opportunistic, if it was they that attacked. They attacked because they could....not because of some desire to protect territory. Just like their stealing, they stole because they could and it was easier not necessarily because they needed to.
In this case and in this area of Texas this was neutral territory between the tribes. Generally it was considered Caddo Indian Territory which was a more docile tribe that at times was known to intervene to protect settlers from Commanche raids.
|Highly Experienced Member|
Yes, I would agree and you left off Cannibalism. I would however limit this to some tribes of Indians rather then saying Indians as a whole.
I don't think you can lump all Indian tribes together into one conclusion. Their cultures were different, not monolithic. Some tribes may not have eaten meat for a loose example.
Yup, but mainly the WINNERS! The losers got enslaved, killed, and/or eaten!! - -
Wandering and Wondering
|Highly Experienced Member|
I gather that there were Indians involved in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
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