The Sand Creek Massacre - Second Proclamation
issued by Governor John Evans, August 11, 1864
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We'll never forget
BY ORDER OF HON. JOHN EVANS
GOVERNOR, TERRITORY OF COLORADO
AUGUST 11, 1864
Having sent special messengers to the Indians of the plains, directing the friendly to rendezvous at Fort Lyon, Fort Larned,
Fort Laramie, and Camp Collins for safety and protection, warning them that all hostile Indians would be pursued and
destroyed, and the last of said messengers having now returned, and the evidence being conclusive that most of the Indian
tribes of the plains are at war and hostile to the whites, and having to the utmost of my ability endeavored to induce all of the
Indians of the plains to come to said places of rendezvous, promising them subsistence and protection, which, with a few
exceptions, they have refused to do:
Now, therefore, I, John Evans, governor of Colorado Territory, do issue this my proclamation, authorizing all citizens of
Colorado, either individually or in such parties as they may organize, to go in pursuit of all hostile Indians on the plains,
scrupulously avoiding those who have responded to my said call to rendezvous at the points indicated; also, to kill and
destroy, as enemies of the country, wherever they may be found, all such hostile Indians. And further, as the only reward I
am authorized to offer for such services, I hereby empower such citizens, or parties of citizens, to take captive, and hold to
their own private use and benefit, all the property of said hostile Indians that they may capture, and to receive for all stolen
property recovered from said Indians such reward as may be deemed proper and just therefor.
I further offer to all such parties as will organize under the militia law of the Territory for the purpose to furnish them arms and
ammunition, and to present their accounts for pay as regular soldiers for themselves, their horses, their subsistence, and
transportation, to Congress, under the assurance of the department commander that they will be paid.
The conflict is upon us, and all good citizens are called upon to do their duty for the defence of their homes and families.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the great seal of the Territory of Colorado to be affixed this
11th day of August, A. D. 1864.
“The Chivington Massacre” – United States Congress, Senate. Reports of the Committees, 39 Cong., 2 sess.
Washington Government Printing Office, 1867. P. 47
By August 1864, Cheyenne Dog Soldier and Sioux warriors had
cut off all supply trains into Denver, waging a brutal war against
settlers in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska and decimating
farms and ranches along the Platte and Republican rivers.
Governor John Evans, who pleaded for help from the War
Department all summer, had finally been given authorization to
outfit and mount a temporary volunteer militia, guaranteeing
pay for a period of 100 days.
Frustrated by the lack of compliance by peaceably inclined
Indians to his first proclamation, Evans followed up with a
second proclamation directed to the citizens of Colorado, in
which he declared Martial Law and ordered all able-bodied men
to take up arms against hostile Indians in the protection of their
homes and families.
Although Evans cautioned these self-formed militias to avoid
attacking peaceable Indians, he declared that all property taken
from killed Indians could be kept, or in the case of property that
was stolen by Indians, returned for a reward. It was the only
compensation that Evans was authorized to offer a citizen
willing to risk his life, but it essentially put a bounty on the head
of any Indian in the sites of professional "Indian Fighters"
looking to plunder valuable livestock, weapons and buffalo
|Colorado Territorial Governor
(Denver Public Library Western History/Genealogy Dept.)
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