The Sand Creek Massacre Of Colorado

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In the early morning of November 29, 1864, elements of the first and third Colorado volunteer regiments surprised hundreds of Cheyenne and Arapaho people camped on the banks of Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado Territory. That day, more than 150 Cheyennes and Arapahoes, the vast majority of them being women, children, and elderly men nominally under U.S. protection, were slaughtered by the Colorado volunteer regiments. Today, I was invited by the National Council on Public History to deliver a presentation on one of the most infamous cases of state-sponsored violence in U.S. history. After finalizing my research on the memorialization of the Sand Creek Massacre of Colorado, I was able to develop three lessons that illustrate the history, …show more content…
In 1909, the Colorado Civil War memorial represented a local manifestation of a generational commemorative impulse sweeping the United States. At the turn of the 20th century, most of the members of the first and third Colorado Regiments had died or were nearing the end of their lives and the same was true for the Civil War veterans nationwide, so there was an upsurge of memorialization practices (Kelman 73). The massacre at Sand Creek was seen as a problem during this time because for members of the Pioneers Association, as well as of the Civil War’s collective memory in Colorado, there was no room for events like a Sand Creek “massacre” in the memory of the Civil War. To these people, there were deeper causes to war including slavery, ongoing racial inequalities, and the lingering consequences of westward expansion. The massacre did not exist in this story of the war and its aftermath because there was no room for atrocities and no room for a concern of Native Americans at all. The Pioneers Association believed that if Sand Creek were to be apart of this Civil War narrative, it would have to be cast as a “battle” because there were few “massacres” in that war. The impact from Sand …show more content…
of the Interior BLM, Colorado Historical Society and accompanied by Native American observers, made a major archaeological discovery of remains of the massacre site. Large numbers of period bullets, camp equipment, other items, and empirical methods of battlefield archaeology appeared to settle the dispute once and for all stating that the massacre in fact did occur on the land of William Dawson, leading to the discussion on the creation of a site dedicated to the commemoration of the Sand Creek massacre (Kelman 160). After negotiations, a subsequent transfers of ownership from the Dawson family, former owners of the property took place and left the title of the site to the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, leading to the discussion on the creation of a site dedicated to the commemoration of the Sand Creek massacre (Kelman

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