The Last War Trail: The Utes and the Settlement of Colorado
The stage was set for trouble in spring 1878 when new agent Nathan C. Meeker arrived at the White River Indian Agency on the Ute Reservation. The Utes had seen agents come and go without bringing any great change, but Meeker intended to convert them to Christianity and a farming lifestyle. His efforts to alter their society drove the White River Utes to war. In The Last War Trail, Robert Emmitt details the conflict that followed, the Meeker Massacre and the Ute War of 1879.
From White River Ute chief Saponise Cuch, a young warrior at the time, Emmitt heard the story of the Utes’ antagonism to Meeker’s plan to teach them to farm, their version of the battle at Milk River, and their attitude toward removal. Emmitt spoke with other Utes, some of them descendants of war participants, and with whites who had lived near the reservation. He also consulted congressional documents and official testimonies to craft this well-rounded account.