The Great Bison Herds

One of my US History courses started today. Our first assignment is about the difference between the romantic heroic depiction of the US conquer of the West and the reality of the savage carnage that took place out there in the 19th century.

What made me really angry was thinking about the Sand Creek massacre in the Colorado territory in 1864. The leader of the tribe presented both a white flag and American flag, yet US forces killed more than 270 Indians, including children.

Then, because they were considered a “nuisance” and a way of handling the Indian “problem” the bison were killed off, which was happening anyway because of the transcontinental railroad that divided the plains, and herds, in two. It just seems all so ugly and evil and unnecessary. All because the United States government wanted to expand. Even if it didn’t happen then I’m sure it would have happened by now. The quest for land and wealth and power has been a part of this country since the beginning. It definitely wasn’t about freedom at this point, or at least not the freedom of anyone else. Hypocrites.

 

Please, feel free to comment. I’m not a history major nor do I consider myself to be highly knowledgeable in this area. I’d love to hear some other takes or facts from those more qualified than myself. I’m simply expressing my dislike for the way things took place.