Press enter after choosing selection

The Great Ute Reservation

The Great Ute Reservation image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The White River Agency has control of aboutyoo Indiana, who occupy the extreme northern district of' the Ute reservation in Colorado. The entire región is picturesque and mountainous. Colorado contain3 63,000,000 acres, embraeing an area thirteen times larger than Ma.s.sielmsetts. More ii ui one half ofthis magnificcnt douain is opoupied by the Rocky Mountains. VVbcn tlie minos were opened after tbe famous Pike's Peak excitement in 1859-60, the Ute Indiana wero assigned the then unexplored región west of the first rango of ïnimntains bordered by the celebratcd Northern and Middle parks. The district was considered "out of the world," and it was seldoin visited except by a few advcntutous Immers and prospectors. But when the mines of Central City, Black Hawk and Georgetown had been fully opened, and flourishing towns sprang up, railroada were built through tbe hitberto inaccessible canons, and prospectors pushed their way up to the snowypeaks of the highest mountains. Mining camps were opened on the sutnmit of Mt. Lincoln, 14,000 feet above the sea. Froni the tops of soine of the mountains the most enchanting views of the Ute country appeared, and in fair weather the smokeof the Indian camp firescould be seen rising from the white tepees in the valleys below. lt has long been the opinión of experts tliat the nioiiiitains and streama of the Ute reservatiou were rich with silver and gold, and a few uionths ago it wasreported that valuable tliscoveries had been made in the neighborhood of the North Park. Some believed that tbero was even more wealth in this Northeni district of Colorado than there was in the celebrated pulches of the South Park. Whun reporta carne " over the range " that gold in payingquantities had boeu discovered up then;, pro.-pecturs flocked in iroiu all parts of the State and from Wyouiing territory. The Indian agent und the authorities at Wash ington protested against lhe:-e invasiona of the reservation ; but little attention was paid to their complaints, and the Indians soon become joulous and quarrelsome, ao that toon afterward, when the agent began, to build extensive irrigating canals and to plow largo traets of virgin ground, tbechiefs looked upon it as a part of the " white iiuiiis policy " as exhibited by the rainers, and they predicted that their lands were soon to be taken frotu tlietu and sold to the settlers. This was the real caute of the present war. The wbole district occupied by these indiana of the White River Agency is a succession of parks, gulches and mountains, and it is alinost a copy of the famous regions around Karsaud Ei zeroumin Armeuia, where Moukhtar Pacha held the mountaius all. Slimmer atainsl Üxp jtillary nf tne Raasiana. The uiountain passes ol the White River country are narrow, tortuous and difficult. The climate is mild and healthful. Beyond this strange and enchanting wtlderness lie the alkali desolations of the Bitter Groei country. The White River district is full of buautiful and clearrunning streaius, which are fed by the ice-fields of the highur mountains. Thero are many little parks or meadows lying up there high above the altitude of the New England mountains. Cattle find excellent pasturage and pure water. The Indians prize these spots of unfailing verdure for ' picketing " their pouies on. The old agency at White River was n one of these uiountain valleys, which the agent oonsidered too high and too contracted for agricultural purposes. The department at Washington read liis report and gave him permission to remove the buildings to a larger and more opon place sume twenty miles farther down the valley. The Indiana opposed the transfer oo tbe ground that it would destroy some of their graas lands. The agent said that little could be raised at so high an altitude as the old agency site, and he purposcd to move where the land could be tilled and irrigated. He took possession of the now location, anddicovered, amone othertliings two extensive beds of coal. Irritating canals were built througb his persuasión by some of the Indians, while the "hostiles" Krowted and went off on a hunting expedition. A large tract was plowed and prep ar.itions were made for extensive Indian farming. This was the condition of things when Chief Douglas discovered that the plough was turning under some of his aneient pasture lands, and then ho rebelled and the trouble began.