MASSACRE: The Tragedy at White River by Marshall Sprague

MASSACRE: The Tragedy at White River

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A substantial, forceful reconstruction of the Mecker massacre in 1879, a small incident in the longer history of conflict between the red men and the white. Nathan Meeker, an impoverished, impractical idealist, sent West by Borace Greeley for whom he had worked as a reporter, at 52 decided to ""take the road of Manifest Destiny"" and secured the agency at White River, Colorado. A man of equal stature and sincerity was to stand against him- Chief Ouray, leader of the Utes, who tried- and failed- to keep his people in hand before they lost more of their homeland. Meeker, in his months at the Agency, a weary, aging man, attempted to win the friendship of the Utes but succeeded only in alienating them, and when sweet reasonableness failed called for force and the military. This led to the first act of violence- by the Utes- the ambush of a band of soldiers, and on to the exceptionally savage massacre at the post.... Sprague, who has researched this story extensively, reports it in non-partisan terms so that the many diverse interests here, the courage, the brutality, and the misguided motions on both sides lend a strong human value. His account should have a regional and historical interest as well.

Pub Date: June 12th, 1957
Publisher: Little, Brown