By Margaret Coel
This is often the 1st biography of leader Left Hand, diplomat, linguist, and mythical of the Plains Indians. operating from govt stories, manuscripts, and the diaries and letters of these persons—both white and Indian—who knew him, Margaret Coel has constructed an strangely readable, fascinating, and heavily documented account of his lifestyles and the lifetime of his tribe throughout the fateful years of the mid-1800s.It was once in those years that hundreds of thousands of gold-seekers on their solution to California and Oregon burst around the plains, first to traverse the territory consigned to the Indians after which, with the invention of gold in 1858 on Little Dry Creek (formerly the positioning of the Southern Arapaho iciness campground and almost immediately Denver, Colorado), to settle.Chief Left Hand used to be one of many first of his humans to recognize the inevitability of the white man’s presence at the undeniable, and thereafter to espouse a coverage of adamant peacefulness —if no longer, ultimately, friendship—toward the newcomers.Chief Left Hand is not just a eating story—popular background at its best—but a huge paintings of unique scholarship. In it the writer: basically establishes the separate identities of the unique Left Hand, the topic of her ebook, and the fellow by way of an analogous identify who succeeded Little Raven in 1889 because the vital leader of the Southern Arapahos in Oklahoma—a longtime resource of misunderstanding to scholars of western historical past; Lays to relaxation, with a chain of formerly unpublished letters via George Bent, a century-long dispute between historians as to Left Hand’s destiny at Sand Creek; Examines the function of John A. Evans, first governor of Colorado, within the Sand Creek bloodbath. Colonel Chivington, commander of the Colorado Volunteers, has consistently (and justly) been held answerable for the shock assault. yet Governor Evans, who afterwards claimed lack of information and innocence of the colonel’s intentions, was once additionally deeply concerned. His letters, on dossier within the Colorado country documents, have in some way escaped the scrutiny of historians and stay, for the main half, unpublished. those Coel has used commonly, permitting the governor to inform, in his personal phrases, his actual function within the bloodbath. the writer additionally examines Evans’s motivations for coming to Colorado, his involvement with the construction of the transcontinental railroad, and his goal of clearing the Southern Arapahos from the plains —an goal that abetted Chivington’s pursuits and resulted in their ruthless slaughter at Sand Creek.
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Additional resources for Chief Left Hand: Southern Arapaho
8283. 27 Ibid. 28 See George A. Dorsey and Alfred L. Kroeber, Traditions of the Arapaho, Field Columbian Museum Anthropological Series no. 81, 5 (1903):17, for a full explanation of the Arapahos' religious beliefs. Page 15 the central pole for the Offerings Lodge. Not until the lodge was built did the actual dancing begin. Before dawn on the fifth day, the warriors, their bodies painted and decorated with eagle feathers, would form a long line facing the east and dance throughout the sunrise. Even more impressive to the young boy was the self-torture of the man who would hang himself from a pole by thongs pulled through his chest muscles and slowly twist in the air until the muscles ripped apart.
Apart from the security conferred upon women, polygamy also had special benefits for men. With several wives a man could count on having his food prepared, clothing washed and sewed, at least one lodge clean and comfortable, and his sexual appetite satisfied. If one wife did not welcome him, he could simply visit another. Because of the many duties that went with their position, tribal leaders were especially likely to take several wives. The work involved in preparing feasts, entertaining visitors from other tribes, hosting tribal meetings, and in similar obligations of a leader could outdistance the best efforts of one woman.
4 Berthrong, Southern Cheyennes, p. 108. , Senate, Sand Creek Massacre; Report of the Secretary of War, Sen. Exec. Doc. , 1867, p. 30 (hereafter cited as Sand Creek Massacre). 6 Benton to Medill, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, April 9, 1846, and Benton to Fitzpatrick, August 27, 1846, Letters Received, Upper Platte (Footnote continued on next page) Page 20 Almost immediately Fitzpatrick began pressing for a treaty between the government and the plains tribes that would specify the rights and obligations of all people in the region.