Sand Creek Papers, 1861-1864, Mf 0018
Professor Harvey Carter of the Colorado College History Department presented
the Sand Creek Papers to CC in 1964. He had received them from Professor
R. H. Irrmann of Beloit College in 1962.
The Sand Creek Massacre (November 29, 1864) is one of the most controversial
Indian conflicts. This event has been the subject of army and Congressional
investigations and inquiries, newspaper debates, the object of much oratory
and writing biased in both directions and with bitter conflict between the
men who were involved. The Sand Creek Massacre was undertaken by citizen
and military troops from the Colorado Territory. Evidence is that Chivington
undertook the Indian expedition on his own and it did not reflect official
government policy. The era of the Indian trader in Colorado came to an end
with the Sand Creek Massacre. The dominance of the Cheyennes and Arapahos
to the land east of the mountains was broken. Years of bloody battles with
the plains tribes followed.
John M. Chivington in 1862 was appointed colonel of the newly created
military district of Colorado. He had fought at La Glorieta Pass and had
been in charge of the Union troops during the Apache Canyon fracas.
Black Kettle was a Southern Cheyenne chief and the great peacemaker
of the Cheyennes. His dictated letter in this collection proposes peace
between his people and the U.S. Army. The chief was a self-described "friend
to the whites."
- Letter from S. G. Colley, Agent for the Upper Arkansas, Dec. 19, 1861
to William Gilpin, ex-officio superintendent of Indian affairs in and
for the territory of Colorado. 5 pages, holograph signed (on outside,
"Copy report, Dec. 19th 1861)
- Letter from William P. Dole, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Oct.
9, 1861 to Samuel G. Colley, Esq, Denver City, Colorado Territory. Concerns
Colley's appointment as Agent for the Indians of Arkansas Agency. 2
pages, holograph. (on outside, "letter of appointment for agent")
- Letter from John Evans, Governor of Colorado Territory & Superintendent
of Indian Affairs, Denver Sept. 19, 1864, to Major S. G. Colley, U.
S. Indian Agent, Ft. Lyon, Colorado Territory. Informs of arrival of
three Indians at Ft. Lyon with a letter from Black Kettle proposing
peace and enclosing "copy of the same" 1 page, holograph.
- Letter (dictated) from Black Kettle (signed Black Kittle), Cheyenne
Village, Aug. 29, 1864, to Major Colley "brought to Ft. Lyon, Sunday,
Sept. 4, 1864 by One Eye". Concerns the wish to make peace. (on
outside, "Maj. Colley, Indian Agent Fort Lyon") 1 page, holograph
in pencil. Transcript of Black
- Letter, pages 2-5 only, holograph. No signature. Probably other page(s)
elsewhere. Concerns the necessity of introducing among the tribes the
means of agricultural and pastoral pursuits. Indians in starving conditions
- made application to officer commanding at the barracks and rations
from the commissariat were issued to party of Arapahos. Remove Indians
from necessity of theft -- cannot preach peace to a starving savage,
- Circular, printed 6 pages titled "Chivington Massacre of the
Cheyenne Indians". Written after the Sand Creek Massacre, it includes
the proclamation, Aug 11, 1864, of John Evans which authorized all citizens
to go in pursuit of all hostile Indians, etc.
- One printed sheet, Denver, June 27, 1864. Colorado Superintendency
Indian Affairs. To the Friendly Indians of the Plains, from John Evans,
Governor of Colorado and Superintendent of Indian Affairs.