Wednesday, November 17, 2021

I'm In Awe Of ...

 Post by Doris McCraw

writing as Angela Raines

Photo property of the Author

I've been writing about National Native Heritage Month across the blogs  I've always been fascinated by Indigenous peoples and would read all I could when younger. Later as life got in the way, I didn't read as much and what I did read was specialized. I became fascinated with those who lived across cultures. I am in awe of those who made the best of situations that were sometimes out of their control.

In Colorado, three women stand out to me. Owl Woman, Amache, and Chipeta.

Owl Woman as drawn by Lt. James Abert
from Wikipedia

Owl Woman (Misanta) was the wife of William Bent. Owl Woman was a Cheyenne, daughter of a man of power within the tribe. She was born around 1810 and married William Bent in 1835. As the wife of the 'manager' of Bent's Fort, she was in a position to aid her husband in their relations with the many indigenous people and diverse travelers along the Santa Fe Trail. She and William had four children and she passed away in 1847.

Amache Powers 
photo from Wilipedia

Amache (Walking Woman) born in 1846, was also Cheyenne. Her father was one of the peace chiefs killed during the Sand Creek Massacre. It is said that John Wesley Powers, who was at the time employed at Bent's New Fort saw Amache doing a native dance. He asked her father for Amache's hand in marriage. The two were married in 1861 when Amache was around seventeen. She and Powers had nine children and the two created a business and cattle ranch in Southeastern Colorado. Amache died in 1905.

Chipeta and Chief Ouray
photo from Wikipedia

Chipeta (While Singing Bird) was born around 1843 into the Kiowa Apache tribe. She was adopted and raised by the Uncompahgre Utes. She married Ouray, as his second wife in 1859. Like the other two, she worked to bridge the life of her people and the settlers moving into their lands. After the Meeker Massacre, the Utes were moved to the reservation in Utah, despite having nothing to do with the incident. 

I look at these women who made efforts to ease the integration of the settlers moving into their homelands. What these women accomplished have me in awe. 

If you would like to read the prior post, they can be found here:

Although I don't mention any of these people in the novel "Chasing a Chance", the hero, Edwin Markham travels through the area around Boggsville, where Amache lived, and La Junta, where Bent's Old Fort was located. The history of these people are in my mind when I travel that area. They are worth remembering.


Until next time, keep researching, writing, and perhaps you'll find those people you are in awe of.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Telling Stories Where Love & History Meet

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