The year 1864 was an election year in the Colorado territory, where whites were settling on Cheyenne and Arapaho land. The Rocky Mountain News sought settler support for the Colorado governor’s proposals for the territory’s statehood. The paper proclaimed in March 1863 that Indians “ought to be wiped from the face of the earth,” one of 10 occasions that year on which it urged extermination of Indians. After two soldiers fell in a clash, 25 Indians died in reprisal. The military commander predicted” “[N]ow is but the commencement of war with this tribe, which must result in exterminating them.” A Methodist Episcopal church elder, Colonel John Chivington of the 1st Colorado Cavalry, campaigned for Congress on his policy to “kill and scalp all, little and big.” On May 31, 1864, Chivington ordered Major Edward Wynkoop, commander of Fort Lyon: “The Cheyenne will have to be soundly whipped before they will be quiet. If any of them are caught in your vicinity kill them, as that is the only way.” Echoing an English officer in seventeenth-century Ireland, and more recently H. L. Hall in California, Chivington often stated his view that “Nits make lice.” (356-7) [meaning “kill the children”]
I blogged about him before. It was from another book report almost 2 years ago. The massacre at Sand Creek cost him any public good will he had up till that point. Subsequently, he led an unsuccessful and unrepentant life.
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