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An Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco in the Summer of 1859

By Horace Greeley | Go to book overview

XIV.
"LO! THE POOR INDIAN!"

DENVER, June 16, 1859.

I HAVE been passing, meeting, observing and trying to converse with Indians almost ever since I crossed the Missouri. Eastern Kansas is chequered with their reservations--Delaware, Kaw, Ottawa, Osage, Kickapoo, Potawatamie and others--while the buffalo-range, and all this side belong to, and are parceled among the Cheyennes, the Arapahoes, and the Apaches--or perhaps among the two former only, as Indian boundaries are not very well defined. At all events, we have met or passed bands of these three tribes, with occasional visitors from the Sioux on the north, and the Camanches on the south--all these tribes having for the present a good understanding. The Utes, who inhabit the mountains, and are stronger and braver than any one of the three tribes first named, though hardly a match for them all, are at war with them; the Aarapaho chief, Left-Hand, assures me that his people were always at war with the Utes--at least, he has no recollection, no tradition, of a time when they were at peace. Some two or three hundred lodges of Arapahoes are encamped in and about this log city, calculating that the presence of the whites will afford some protection to their wives and children against a Ute onslaught while the "braves" are off on any of their fighting--that is, stealing--expe­

-149-

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