Sunday, February 3, 2013

Northwestern to look into John Evans's role in the Sand Creek Massacre


Today, the Chicago Tribune ran a story on student protest at Northwestern leading to the formation of a committee to look into founder John Evans's role as Governor of the Colorado territory in the Sand Creek massacre (h/t Tom from Joliet). This is an appropriate action. Evans met with Black Kettle and other chiefs who came in peace and refused to end the war with them or grant them safe passage. He recruited the "hundred daystars" - for 100 days - from Denver, composed of ordinary citizens, who were the troops that carried out the massacre. The atmosphere of racism and ethnic cleansing that possessed Denver - on which Denver and Colorado were founded - led to the mutilation of women and children. Evans was removed as Governor by Secretary of State William Seward in 1865 for Sand Creek.

For previous stories on Sand Creek, see here, here and here.

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Chicago Tribune
Northwestern to inquire into founder's ties to Indian massacre
Student group says John Evans fostered hostility toward Native Americans
February 02, 2013|By Rex W. Huppke, Chicago Tribune reporter

[The program would not reproduce the photograph but you can see it here]

Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance members Heather Menefee, 19, from left, Aileen McGraw, 20, Adam Mendel, 22, and Bethany Hughes, 31, stand outside the John Evans Alumni Center at Northwestern University in Evanston. The student group petitioned the university to look into Evans’ connections to the Sand Creek Massacre when he was Colorado’s territorial governor in 1864. (Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune)
As one of the founders of Northwestern University, John Evans is a prominent presence on campus, his name gracing the walls of the institution's alumni center and attached to a number of professorships set up in his honor.

But in response to pressure from a student-led Native American alliance, Northwestern officials say they plan to form a commission to research Evans' connection to the one of the worst massacres of Native Americans in the country's history.

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