The Utah Black Hawk War in Brief

THE BLACK HAWK WAR of Utah trouble began when Mormon settlers pushed their way into the Great Basin (Utah) in 1847. Chief Wakara of the Timpanogos Nation warned LDS Church leader Brigham Young and his followers they were not welcome to settle on their ancestral land. Brigham's all Mormon militia in hand with U.S. Troops would commit some of the most repulsive massacres in American Indian history at Battle Creek in 1849, Fort Utah in 1850, Mt. Meadows in 1857, Bear River in 1863, Squaw Valley in 1865, and the Circleville Massacre in 1866.

Following Black Hawk's death in 1870, in 1919 his remains were exhumed and put on public display in a window of a hardware store and Temple Square for amusement.

Mormon polygamist leader Brigham Young spent over one and a half million dollars of church funds to "exterminate" the "Indians of Utah" resulting in six bloody massacres, and some 150 deadly confrontations that took place between 1849 and 1870. Over two hundred whites and nine hundred American Indians were killed. This does NOT include the untold thousands of Timpanogos who died from starvation and disease wrought by Mormon settlement. Of the some seventy-thousand Timpanogos living along the Wasatch, government agency records reveal that Utah Indian population decreased by a staggering 90% leaving just 2300 Timpanogos alive when they were forced onto the Uintah Valley Reservation where 500 more died in the first winter from starvation.

About the Author

"During the Black Hawk War, Phillip's great-grandfather Peter Gottfredson was a young man, and being a friend of the Timpanogos was invited into the camp of Chief Antongua Black Hawk on numerous occasions. He spent much of his time in the camps of the Timpanogos."

Phillip Gottfredson, like his great-grandfather, has been living with the Timpanogos over the past several years while learning firsthand their recollections of the Black Hawk War. Working with Mary Meyer Chief Executive of the Timpanogos Nation, Phillip is the first historian to have been given this honor and have access to the Timpanogos Nation's historical records. Previously, he spent several years learning from the Ute, Shoshone, Paiute and many other Tribes throughout North and South America.

Phillip was welcomed to participate in numerous sacred ceremonies and received council from many tribal elders and leaders. This is a unique distinction among today's historians. Because he is personally involved in Native American Indian culture, Phillip gives an unprecedented and intimate perspective into the Native peoples of Utah who were those most affected by the tragic Black Hawk War. Phillip's synopsis of the Black Hawk War offers much-needed clarity to Utah's Native American history that until now, has been deliberately ignored. Phillip Gottfredson is the Timpanogos Nation's historian.

Phillip B Gottfredson's new book "Black Hawk's Mission of Peace." Taking 20 years to research and write, Black Hawk's Mission of Peace is being published by Archway Publishing from Simon and Schuster and will soon be available on Amazon and bookstores everywhere. It is a powerful account of Phillip's extraordinary spiritual journey into the world of the Native American culture while researching the Black Hawk War in Utah. For more information please visit our NEWS section.


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