Responding to the Sand Creek Massacre

By Marilyn Bay Wentz Two days after Thanksgiving— Nov.  29, 2014—marks the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre when Colonel John Chivington led an assault on an encampment of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians in southeastern Colorado (then Colorado Territory), near present day Eads. Initially touted by Colonel Chivington as a military victory, the massacre took the lives of a minimum of 130 Indians, at least 100 of them women and children. Native Americans had lived in relative harmony with white settlers for several decades until 1859 when gold was discovered near present-day Denver, bringing west thousands of white settlers. With herds of buffalo and other game declining and Native hunting grounds turned into crop and ranch land, Native Americans...

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John Evans, Others Culpable for Sand Creek Massacre

John Evans’s Culpability for Sand Creek Should Be Balanced with Acknowledgement of Indian Depredations & Raids He was the founder of Northwestern University and the University of Denver. He also was a murderer. Colorado Territorial Gov. John Evans was not among the Colorado volunteers and regular U.S. Army troops who on Nov. 29, 1864, attacked and killed at least 130 peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians camped along Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado Territory. But, his actions enabled Col. John Chivington to lead soldiers to massacre and desecrate the bodies of these Native Americans, mostly women, children and the elderly. A University of Denver John Evans Study Committee released a report in early November 2014. It concluded: “John Evans’s...

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Prairie Ponderings: They Didn’t Walk to School Uphill Both Ways in Three Feet of Snow, but . . .

As the mother of an adult daughter and her teenage sister, I’ve been on the receiving end of plenty of eye rolling when I dare to express my angst with today’s young people. If you are over 40, you probably will agree with me. If not, respect your elder and read on. In my next blog, I promise to write about the positives of today over yesterday, but I must start by lamenting what we as a nation, as a culture, have lost over the past generations. My parents, grandparents and great-grandparents did not walk to school uphill both ways in three feet of snow, but some of their tales of everyday life and what they endured and achieved is worth recounting. From my great-grandparents I learned education is a privilege. One set of great-grandparents on my mother’s side...

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Prairie Ponderings-Nineteenth Century Bullying Brings Devastating Consequences

Prairie Ponderings-A Blog from Marilyn Bay Wentz, author of fiction that entertains, educates & inspires Nineteenth Century Bullying Brings Devastating Consequences Nov. 29, 2014 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre, when Col. John Chivington ordered troops to kill and mutilate a peaceful village of Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians, most of them women, children and the elderly. The massacre took place in southeastern Colorado—then Colorado Territory—at a site that only recently was designated a national commemorative monument. Reports vary on the number killed, anywhere from 100 to 400 people. (There was not a Census that included Native Americans at that time.) If ever there was a spin master, it was Chivington. He reported the massacre as...

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Prairie Grace Depicts Events Leading up to Sand Creek Massacre

Prairie Grace Depicts Events Leading up to Sand Creek Massacre

Prairie Grace Depicts Events Leading up to Sand Creek Massacre By Marilyn Bay Wentz My debut novel, Prairie Grace, is set in 1864 Colorado Territory and chronicles many of the events leading up to the Sand Creek Massacre. This heavily researched work of fiction will be available in bookstores and online fall 2013. Prairie Grace depicts the worst and the best of humanity, detailing both the Indian depredations and the ruthless U.S. government/military campaigns to eliminate the Native Americans and their perceived threat to the whites. The clash of white and Native cultures in 1864 Colorado Territory is told through the eyes of throw-caution-to-the wind frontierswoman Georgia MacBaye and Cheyenne brave Gray Wolf, who is cast into the white world when his uncle,...

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