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Ute Indian Chiefs and Leaders
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Colorado. A. White River Ute chief, leader in the outbreak of 1879. The Ute agent, N. C. Meeker, an enthusiast who believed that he could readily inure the Indians to labor, interested himself in the internal quarrels of the tribe and thus incurred the resentment of Colorado’s faction. He removed the agency to their favorite pasture lands, but when he attempted to make a beginning of agricultural operations they stopped the plowing by force. They were hunters and did not care to learn farming. Troops under Maj. T. T. Thornburgh were dispatched at the request of Meeker, but after a parley the Indians understood that they would not enter the reservation. When they nevertheless advanced, Colorado, or Colorow, as he was popularly called, led one of the parties that ambushed the command and killed Thornburgh and many of his men on Sept. 29, 1879. Others then massacred employees of the agency and made captives of some of the women. The Ute head chief, Ouray, induced the Indians to cease hostilities before the arrival of reinforcements.
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Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Frederick Webb Hodge, 1906
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