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They were the enemies of the tribes of the plains and often dashed down upon them in fierce war. They were brave, crafty and cruel fighters, and their wicked deeds fill many bloody chapters in the his- tory of Colorado, which I will touch upon later.

Indians Digitized by Google The Wilderness of the. West 11 Was the Indian an intruder in the sense that the white man later became one, or was he an indigenous product of the country? These are questions the ethnol- ogist has not yet l een able to answer. According to Smiley, the New England colonists, in their effort to account for the origin of the Indian, de- cided, according to their serious way of thinking, that he was a descendant of the Lost Tribes of Israel.

This theoretical association with the religion of these straight- laced folks was no advantage to the red man, for when he interfered with their practical plans and purposes they went bravely to work to exterminate Israel's alleged descendants. An old chronicler said the New England pioneers first fell on their knees and then on the abo- rigines. A legend of the origin of the red man is found in the report of Lewis and Clark's exploring expedition, made nearly a hundred years ago. Lewis and Clark say: "Their belief in a future state is connected with this theory of their origin: The whole nation resided in one large village, underground near a subterranean lake.

A grapevine extended its roots down to their habitation and gave them a view of the light.


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Some of the most adventurous climbed up the vine and were delighted with the sight of the earth, which they found covered with buffalo and rich with every kind of fruit. Returning with the grapes they had gathered, their countrymen were so pleased with the taste of them that the whole nation resolved to leave their dull residences for the charm of the upper region.

Men, women and children ascended by means of the vine, but, when about half the nation reached the surface of the earth, a corpu- lent woman, who was clambering up the vine, broke it with her weight, and closed upon herself and the rest of the nation the light of the sun. Among the Tabeguache Utes, as related by Governor Lafayette Head, their agent, there was a deluge legend which landed the ark near Palmer Lake. Their tale was to the effect that when their ancestors found a landing place for their big canoe on a mountain eminence near Palmer Lake, aiid got the various animals they had un- dertaken to save from the all-pervading freshet safely on the ground again, the men went to look over the coun- try, leaving the disembarked menagerie in charge of the squaws.

The animals becoming hungry and restive made the women so much trouble that they got angry, and, with brandished sticks and waving blankets, attempted to make the unruly creatures behave. But, instead of this, the animals were so badly frightened by the fear- less and menacing squaws that they all turned tail and fled.

From that time they have so feared mankind that they have remained wild and must be hunted by all who want any of them for food or other purposes — a conse- quence much deplored by the braves, and, by them, held to be sufficient cause for their general bad opinion of womankind and for the harsh treatment they bestow upon the squaws. For a long time the power in handwriting was a mystery to the Indians.

In later years they often ob- tained a "talking paper" introducing them to white men with whom they desired social recognition. And, some- times, the "talking paper" entered into truthful particu- lars not in keeping with the desire of the red man.

The Tread of Pioneers Museum will be closed Nov. 13-15 for set up for the Festival of Trees events.

Richardson relates that when he and Greeley were near- ing Denver in a Cheyenne brave approached him and complacently presented a document probably pro- cured at Denver which conveyed the following frank bit of compact information: "This Indian is a drunkard, a liar, a notorious old thief; look out for him. The Buffalo In the early part of the nineteenth century the prai- ries of what is now Colorado were literally covered with buffalo. Their large, shaggy heads presented an exag- R. A stampeded herd of buffalo meant destruction to the unfortunate man or beast in the way.

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While riding the route of the stages the plains became suddenly black with a stampeded herd of buffalo; the surging mass bore down upon him; his mule, with the beastly stubbornness peculiar to his kind, refused to move. A buffalo gave the balking animal a ripping blow with his short horns and he fell dead. Fuller still astride him.

Fuller quickly drew his revolver and fired in rapid suc- cession at the buffalo jumping over him. Scared by the report and the smoke, the herd divided and passed on each side, leaving him unharmed. The destruction of these animals commenced with the fur companies. Long before the founding of Denver they shipped to the East buffalo hides by tens of thou- sands every year; the California emigrants destroyed many thousands, and when the hide hunters appeared on the scene the fate of the buffalo was sealed.

These pitiless butchers would attack a herd and never leave one alive. Then it became a fashionable sport to hunt buf- falo; hundreds of would-be sportsmen, who killed for the wicked love of killing, came from distant parts of our country, from England and other foreign lands to engage in the brutal sport of killing inoffensive, non- combative buffalo. In the history of the world, there is no record of such slaughter of harmless, useful animals. At the present time there can be found a small bunch in Northwestern Colorado, and another on the head- waters of the South Platte Eiver; in the Yellowstone Park there is a small number, a small herd in our City Park, and a few can be seen in zoological collections.

The Indian and buffalo disappeared from this broad land at the coming of the white man, and their passing marks a closing era. When and from where came the buffalo? The Indians believed that God gave them the buffalo for a constant and unfailing supply. Cody "Buffalo Bill" says: "Every plains Indian firmly believed that the buffalo were pro- duced in countless numbers in a country underground; that every spring the surplus swarmed like bees from a hive out of the immense cave-like openings in the region of the Llano Estacado, or Staked Plains of Texas.

In , Stone Calf, a celebrated chief, assured me that he knew exactly where the caves were, though he had never seen them; that the good God had provided this means for the constant supply of food for the Indians, and, however recklessly the white man might slaughter, they could never exterminate them.

They circulated stories embellished with verbal art of the vast wealth of the region, dwelling particulariy upon the Seven Cities of Cibola, which they reported to be situated in a peaceful, luxurious valley enclosed by huge mountains of solid gold. Francisco Vasquez De Coronado, a young man of fine character and great courage, was inspired by these stories to organize an expedition to go in search of the cities of fabulous splendor. His plans met with the ap- proval of Mendoza, the Viceroy of Mexico, who was anxious to extend the domain of New Spain, as Mexico was then called, and, to that end, heartily encouraged northern explorations.

Coronado's company was composed of eight hundred Indians, drawn from the adjacent country, and three hundred and fifty Spaniards; among them were a num- ber of Franciscan Friars. This period of the world's history was one of intense religious belief, and so we find mingled with the Spaniard's thirst for gold a fervent missionary zeal. The Franciscan Friars were eager to carry their faith to the benighted and plant the cross whenever and wherever the opportunity was given. Coronado was full of the spirit of adventure and had high hopes of winning fame and wealth. After reaching the Gila River, they proceeded north- ward over the great desert, lured by the gold of the Seven Cities of Cibola.

He was bitterly disappointed to find that the anticipated magnificent Seven Cities were only pueblos of hostile natives living in barbarism. The Span- iards heaped maledictions on the heads of those who had so grossly deceived them with their fanciful stories of the cities of splendor. They heard from the natives of a place far away to the north which was called Quivera. At this time an Indian united himself with the Spaniards whom they called El Turco The Turk , from his resemblance in dress and manner to the subjects of the Sultan.

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He told Coronado that he was a native of that region, a thousand miles to the northeast, in which Quivera, roofed and paved with gold and silver, was situated. It was easy for El Turco to find other Indians to corroborate his story. Only one had the boldness to contradict him. But El Turco's story appealed to the romantic Spaniards and they scorned the man who made the contradictory statement. It then became the further object of Coronado to find Quivera.

His company divided, the main part re- turned to New Spain, and Coronado, with a few chosen followers, proceeded on the long march in search of Qui- vera. Quivera, which afterwards was called Kansas, proved to be a village of Indian wigwams, thought by some writers to have been a Pawnee town. This deception threw the Spaniards into a furious rage and they seized El Turco. In shivering alarm he confessed that the people of his tribe feared the mailed invaders, and, to save his people, he was leading the army Digitized by VjOOQIC 18 Colorado Pioneers in Picture and Story away in hope that they would never return.

After his confession he was condemned to be strangled. They did not stop to consider the heroism and unselfishness of El Turco in risking his life to save his people, and his death was the quick work of the infuriated Spaniards. Coronado had chased the golden mirage of the west- ern desert until he was broken in spirit; he had found savages and buffalo, but the cities of gold he had not found. Discouraged and disillusioned, he took up the long march. On the journey he was thrown from his horse and received injuries from which he died a year later. He, with his little army, were the first white men to tread the soil of Colorado.

He went and returned through Colorado when he was wandering around on his get-rich-quick scheme more than three hundred years ago, but did not leave in this country a trace of his expedition. The Spaniards were not col- onizers; they were gold seekers, yet they failed to find gold in the rich lands through which they had so pain- fully toiled. If Coronado could ride into Denver today and stop long enough to see the gold in the Denver mint, what would he think of himself as an explorer? The Purchase of Louisiana This portion of our continent was a sealed book for nearly three centuries after Coronado, and was generally designated the Great American Desert.

France, by a treaty with Spain in , came into possession of all Louisiana west of the Mississippi.

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President Jefferson, with remarkable foresight, real- ized the necessity of the United States owning and con- trolling the Mississippi. At first Napoleon rejected any offer, but owing to the strong naval power of Eng- Digitized by VjOOQIC The Wilderness of the West 19 land 'and the threatening clouds of war that hung over England and France, he became impressed with the idea that if he did not at once sell the country he would lose it to Great Britain.

For this reason he authorized his foreign minister, Tal- leyrand, to take the offer of the American commis- sioners. And, April 30th, , the United States purchased from France the immense territory known as Louisiana, the price being fifteen million dollars — one of the larg- est real estate deals on record.

When Napoleon was informed that the treaty had been concluded, he said : "This accession of territory strengthens forever the power of the United States, and I have given to England ji maritime rival that will sooner or later humble her pride. The most important event of American history in the first half of the nineteenth century was this purchase of Louisiana.

The negotiations were initiated, carried for- ward and consummated under the direction of President Thomas Jefferson, for which abuse was heaped upon him Thomas Jefferson Digitized by Google 20 Colorado Pioneers in Picture and Story by the New England Federalists. From the standpoint of today no act of any executive of our nation has been followed by such wonderful results. The Explorers Captain Zehulon M. Pike In Captain Zebulon Montgomery Pike was sent with a party of government explorers to ascertain the resources of this new acquisition.

He was chosen for this difficult and daring enterprise because he possessed the superior qualities of courage and bravery which would enable him to endure hardships and privations in the service of his country. The little band trav- eled along near the line of what is now the Santa Fe Railway, and they built a fort on the present site of Pueblo.

Pike ran up his flag, and this was the first Star Spangled Banner that waved in the limits of what is now Colorado. He had gazed with admiration on the "Grand Peak," as he called it, and one morning he, with a few of his company, started out with the idea of climbing it and return- ing the same day. When night closed around them they found themselves, as Captain Zebulon M. On reaching the summit the "Grand Peak" appeared to be as far away as when they first began. They had climbed Cheyenne Mountain.

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Their mistake in the distance, caused by the rarefied atmosphere, probably originated the story of the two men who started to walk to the mountains from Denver be- fore breakfast. After tramping what seemed to them an unconscionable distance, one suggested to the other to proceed slowly, while he returned to Denver for a car- riage.

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When overtaken by the friend in the carriage the pedestrian was sitting on the bank of a clear running brook, scarcely more than a step in breadth, deliberately taking off his clothes.