Phillip B Gottfredson - Author

Biography & Source Material

Phillip B Gottfredson author My Journey to Understand Black Hawk's Mission of Peace

Phillip B Gottfredson Biography

Peter Gottfredson and Phillip B Gottfredson have a deep personal connection to the Black Hawk War, a conflict of immense social and historical significance in Utah. Peter, who passed away in 1934, left a legacy that Phillip, his great-grandson, was determined to honor. In 2003, Phillip authored the website The Black Hawk War: Utah's Forgotten Tragedy to promote Peter Gottfredson's classic firsthand account of the Black Hawk War, Indian Depredations in Utah, a family heirloom published in 1919 and republished by Phillip in 2002. Phillip's intrigue is sparked when he learns that Peter lived among the Timpanogos Tribe and was a friend of Black Hawk, who was about the same age. See Peter Gottfredson's Autobiography

Operating under the domain name, the website has undergone a remarkable transformation, emerging as the leading platform for the Black Hawk War in Utah. In a significant move in 2023, Phillip reimagined and transformed the website into The Utah Black Hawk War; Settler Colonialism (1848-70), enhancing its content and format to align with the premier book My Journey to Understand Black Hawk's Mission of Peace. This companion book to Indian Depredations in Utah was published in 2019 by Archway Publishing from Simon and Schuster. It debuted the lost history of a forgotten Nation, the Timpanogos of the Uintah Valley Reservation, which is Indigenous to Utah.

While living among the Timpanogos, Phillip's experiences reflect those of his great-grandfather, offering a distinct perspective on the Utah Black Hawk War and its lasting impact. Phillip emphasizes the importance of living with Native Americans in order to truly understand and empathize with their culture. "If someone lacks understanding and empathy, they should avoid writing about what they do not know," said Phillip. With the invaluable guidance and collaboration of tribal leaders, Phillip presents a more genuine and compelling account of the Black Hawk War in Utah, offering a unique and powerful perspective. The result is a rich and informative work that sheds much-needed light on this crucial chapter in American history.

Phillip Gottfredson has been recognized for his outstanding efforts in understanding and valuing Indigenous cultures. As a result, in 2008, the Utah Division of Indian Affairs awarded Philip the Indigenous Day Award for his exceptional contributions..

Phillip wrote, "I will always be grateful to my Native American brothers and sisters. And often I would ask what can I do to repay you for your generosity and kindness? Nothing, they replied. Just be yourself and teach your people with honesty what we have taught you." See My Journey to Understand Black Hawk's Mission of Peace.

Born in Springville, Utah, in 1945 to parents Merrill Edward, and Melva Martha Henrie Gottfredson, Phillip is the last of four siblings. He does not belong to any group or organized religion. He is a self-proclaimed free spirit and believes in the universal truths of "Honesty, Love, Courage, Truth, Wisdom, Humility, and Respect."

Gottfredson is a retired Conservator of Fine Art and Framemaker. He began his trade in 1973 and retired in 1993. Mr. Gottfredson owned and operated the Southwest Conservation Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he preserved art and historical objects for major museums and private art collectors. Renowned for his handcrafted picture frames, Phillip made custom frames for professional artists, art galleries, and museums across the United States.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, for over eleven years Phillip has invested thousands of hours each year maintaining the website. He has given the public free access to a time-honored treasure trove of well-documented history of the Utah Black Hawk War. Donations are welcome!

Gottfredson and the Timpanogos Nation

"It was serendipitous that in 2015 I met Chief Executive of the Timpanogos Nation Mary Meyer. I was working at the time on a documentary film for the Division of Indian Affairs. I will never forget her first words, "You got the history right, but you got the wrong Tribe. Have you never heard of the Timpanogos?" It was pivotal because no one, not even the Division of Indian Affairs, whom I worked with for several years on the documentry film project, they didn't tell me the Timpanogos and Ute are different tribes. I don't think anyone knew. Or if they did, they weren't saying anything."

"Mary Meyer generously provided definitive proof that the Timpanogos are the living descendants of the 'Royal Bloodline' Chiefs Sanpitch, Wakara, Arapeen, Tabby, Ammon, Sowiette, Grospeen, and Antongua 'Black Hawk' who was the son of Sanpitch. Their lineage is well documented by vital records, birth and death certificates, Indian Agency records, treaties, and boast of having filed some 13000 pages of historical records with the United States Department of the Interior going back to 1765."

"Mary's help genuinely humbles me, one of the greatest honors in my life to work with Mary Meyer and the Timpanogos Nation. She is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to the history of her Tribe."

Author Phillip B Gottfredson My Journey To Understand Black Hawk's Mission of Peace. Phillip has spent his summers living with the Timpanogos Tribe over the past several years while learning firsthand their recollections of the Black Hawk War. Working with Mary Murdock Meyer, Chief Executive of the Timpanogos Nation, Phillip is the first historian to have been given this honor. Phillip was granted access to the Timpanogos Nation's historical records when many remarkable discoveries were made. The Timpanogos have been marginalized and written out of Utah's history. This set the stage for Phillip to attempt a bold and vital revision of Utah's account of the Black Hawk War.

Documentary Film Project

In 2010 Mr. Gottfredson was commissioned by the Utah State Division of Indian Affairs to make a documentary film of the Black Hawk War. The project was funded by the Utah State Division of Indian Affairs, the George S. Deloris Dori Eccles Foundation, and private donors.

Filmmakers were Black Hawk Productions, LLC, Ron Hill Imagery, and Turtle Island Productions. Phillip wrote, directed, and produced the film.




"I discontinued production of the film The Black Hawk War; Utah's Forgotten Tragedy. Through my Phillip B Gottfredson with filmmaker James Fortierongoing research of the Black Hawk War, I discovered that there are major contradictions and inaccuracies in Utah's history. For example the Timpanogos and Ute Tribes are two distinctly different Tribes in origin, customs, and bloodlines. This revelation alone completely changed the accuracy of the film project. I had invested over three years in the project and never received any compensation. But, had I continued, I would have added to the confusion that already exists in Utah's history, something I was not willing to participate in. My supporters and I were victims of Mormon's one-sided and often misleading history." Please see The Timpanogos Ute Oxymoron - Utah Black Hawk War for more information.

Phillip spent over 20 years living with Indigenous Tribes throughout North and South America. Phillip describes in his book his many adventures traveling from reservation to reservation and country to country. In 2012 he had heard the Mayans were predicting the end of the world, and so Phillip traveled to San Pedro, Guatemala. He said, "If the world is coming to an end I want to be at ground zero. When I arrived the Mayans asked what brought me to their homeland. They laughed when I told them what I heard back home. I spent six glorious months celebrating an auspicious time in Mayan history the advent of Job Ajaw, the start of a period when harmony, understanding, peace, and wisdom could reign, according to Carlos Barrios, a member of the Mayan Elders Council. And to learn about the Maya's historical connection to North American Tribes." It's a beautifully written account of Phillip's extraordinary spiritual journey into the world of the Native American culture.

Phillip wrote, "What began as a mere Phillip B Gottfredson Author & Historian Black Hawk's Mission of Peace curiosity, in 1989 I began to read all the books I could find on the Black Hawk War in Utah. It became clear to me that all accounts were about the Mormon's one-sided perspective. I found that scholars and authors who wrote about the Black Hawk War never asked or cared what the Native Americans they studied had to say about their work. Consequently, virtually every account about Utah's indigenous peoples is biased and based on assumptions, replete with half-truths, ambiguities, platitudes, and omissions. It followed that in 2003 I turned to all First Nations people of Utah to get their side of the story. My journey truly began when I spent the entire week at the Grand Opening of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC."

Black Hawk's Mission of Peace is a companion book to his great-grandfather's book Indian Depredations in Utah written by Peter Gottfredson.

Photo of Peter Gottfredson author of Indian Depredations in Utah and the great-grandfather of Phillip B Gottfredson author of My Journey to Understand Black Hawk's Mission of peace.Phillip'sIndian Depredations in Utah author Peter Gottfredson great-grandfather Peter Gottfredson was a young man during the Black Hawk War. Being a friend of the Timpanogos, he was invited into the camp of Chief Black Hawk on numerous occasions during the war. He spent much of his time in the camps of the Timpanogos. His great-grandfather also took 20 years to write his first book Indian Depredations In Utah, published in 1919, the same year Black Hawk's Grave was robbed. A hundred years later, and almost to the date, Phillip published his companion book to Peter's in 2019. "Pure coincidence," said Mr. Gottfredson, "but it does cause one to pause," he added.


CONSULTANTS: 2003-2023 Historian Will Bagley; University of Utah Prof. Daniel McCool Ph.D.; University of Utah Prof. Dr. Floyd O'Neil Ph.D.; Historian Robert Carter; Mary Murdock Meyer Chief Executive of the Timpanogos Nation; National Forest Service Archeologist Charmian Thompson; Vanita Taveapont Director of Indian Language Program Ute Tribe; Loya Arrum Ute Tribe, Shane Armstrong, Forrest Cuch Utah State Division of Indian Affairs, Filmmaker Larry Cesspooch Ute Tribe of the Uintah Ouray Reservation.

RESOURCES: The United States Department of the Interior; Timpanogos Nation; Commission of Indian Affairs Annual Report 1865, O.H. Irish; Powell; The Bureau of Indian Affairs; The Utah State Government Archives; University of Utah Special Collections images by written permission; Brigham Young University Special Collections; Salt Lake City Library; Mt. Pleasant Library; Cedar City Library Special Collections; Timpanogos Nation Uintah Valley Reservation; Navajo Nation; Northern Shoshone Nation; Private Journals Mormon Pioneers; Marva Loy Egget Spring Lake, Utah; Author Norma Vance a direct descendant of David Monsen Paiute and the only known survivor of the Circleville Massacre; Ute Tribe of the Uinta Ouray Reservation - Uintah Valley Reservation;

INTERVIEWS FROM 1989 TO PRESENT: Personal Interviews of numerous descendants of early Utah Pioneers; oral histories while living with members of various Native American Tribes throughout North and South America; Western Shoshone, Colorado Utes, Grandriver Ute, Uncompahgre Ute, Yampa Ute, Moache Ute, Wiminuche Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Navajo Dine'. Additional interviews with Hopi, Zuni, Pueblo, Apache, Shoshone, Arapaho, Lakota, Silets, Makah, Southern Paiute, Northern Paiute, Yrok, Anishinaabe, Cherokee, Choctaw, Inca, and Mayan of San Pedro Guatemala. Living descendants of Timpanogos Chiefs Wakara, Sowiette, Arapeen, Sanpitch, Ammon, Tabby, and Grospeen (all brothers), and Black Hawk (son of Sanpitch), Chief Executive Mary Murdock Meyer and members of the Timpanogos Nation Uintah Valley Reservation;

RESEARCH MATERIAL: Indian Depredations in Utah by Peter Gottfredson; Utah's Black Hawk War John Alton Peterson; American Indian Prophecies Kurt Kaltreider, Ph.D.; A History of Utah's American Indians Edited by Forest Cuch; Massacre at Mountain Meadows by Will Bagley; Book Of The Hopi by Frank Waters; Crazy Horse by Mari Sandoz; Writings of John D. Lee by Samuel Nyal Henrie; Life Among The Apaches by John C. Cremony 1850; For America To Live Europe Must Die - by Russell Means; Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt; The Sacred Pipe by Joseph Epes Brown; The Paiutes of Pyramid Lake by Ruth Herman; Wisdom of the Elders by David Suzuki; I Will Fight No More Forever Chief Joseph; The Utes Must Go by Peter R. Decker; Red Twilight by Val FitzPatrick; 1491 Charles C. Mann, Pagans in the Promised Land by Steven Newcomb; Guns Germs Steel by Jared Diamond; Jacob Hamblin His Life in His Own Words; Massacre at Bear River by Rod Miller; Lore and Reminiscences of Participants, Carlton Culmsee; Schoolcraft; Bancroft; Founding of Fort Utah by Robert Carter; Shoshoni Frontier Bear River by Brigham Madsen; Thunder Over the OCHOCO by Gayle ONTKO (5 vol. set); So Rugged and Mountainous by Will Bagley; The Shoshonis Sentinels of the Rockies Virginia Cole Trenholm and Maurine Carley; The Book of Destiny Carlos Barrios- Mayan; Popol Vuh Dennis Tedlock; Walkara Hawk of the Mountains Paul Baily; Of Worthier Blood by Parker M. Nielson; Rolling Thunder by Doug Boyd; Claws of the Hawk Paul Baily ; Sacred Objects and Sacred Places by Andrew Gulliford; History of Salt Lake City. Tullidge's Histories, vol 1; Juan Rivera's Colorado, 1765 by author Steven G. Baker; Dominguez Escalante Journal: Their Expedition Through Colorado Utah Arizona and New Mexico in 1776 by Ted J. Warner; Standing Rock by Pamela Eakins; American Indian Myths and Legends by Erdoes and Ortez; The Storytelling Stone by Susan Feldmann; History of Payson by Norma Vance; The Dominguez - Escalante Journal Fray Angelico translation; Chief Pocatello "The White Plume" by Brigham D. Madsen; Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne; Spanish Exploration In The Southwest 1542-1706 by Herbert Eugene Bolton, Ph.D.;

The above books are available for purchase in P.B. Gottfredson's - BookStore


Phillip B Gottfrredson wrote:

It has been over two decades now since I began researching the Black Hawk War in Utah. Which has been a labor of love, one I have not regretted. We can learn so much from the Native Americans if we would only listen. I am truly grateful to the Native American people and tribes who took me in and taught me of their life-ways that forever changed my life in a good way. And to all others, historians, donors, and many good friends, who believed in the Black Hawk Project and generously gave me their time, expertise, and support.

There are no known photos of Timpanogos Chief Antonga Black Hawk. After getting permission from the Timpanogos Tribe in 2019, Phillip B Gottfredson commissioned artist Carol Lahoma Pettit Harding of Pleasant Grove to create a forensic reconstruction drawing of Black Hawk's face. It was based on the historical photo of Black Hawk's skull when Goddard robbed his grave. Harding then designed the cover of Gottfredson's book. According to a dream Gottfredson had, she superimposed the drawing over her painting of Mt. Timpanogos.

Taking Carol over two months of intense work to complete, these photos show the development stages from conception to completion. Working from the only historic photograph of Black Hawk's skull, Carol worked from many images of his past and present descendants to ensure accuracy. The final sketch was presented to the Timpanogos Council for approval before publishing it.


The Black Hawk War; William E. Croff.Preliminary sketch of Timpanogos sketch by artist Carol Pettit Harding


Finished rendering of Timpanogos Chief Black Hawk. Art by Carol Pettit Harding.


Final drawing of Timpanogos Chief Black Hawk by artist Carol Pettit Harding.


Artist Carol Pettit Harding

As the artist that created the art for the cover of Phillip B Gottfredson's book Black Hawk's Mission of Peace, I will tell you a few things about my background. My home and studio are located in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Where the noted Battle Creek Canyon Massacre was fought.

I have been inspired to create several Native American themes, landscape, portrait, still life, and sculpture throughout my 80-year career.

I met Mr. Gottfredson when he opened a new frame-shop in Provo, Ut. five decades ago. For many years he handcrafted beautiful frames to enhance my art work. When he moved on I didn't hear from him for about 20 years later, when he came to visit. I had tons of questions I wanted to ask him. Then I learned about the fantastic journey he had taken, the book he had researched and was writing.

 Artist Carol Pettit HardingThe history of the great Timpanogos Nation that Phillip shared with me took on a life and spirit of its own. As Phillip spoke of the extraordinary life of Black Hawk, I felt a deep and spiritual calling for me. This great warrior's story overwhelmed me with compassion and understanding as one being lifted up (transformed) for a once-in-a-lifetime assignment. 

I felt such a powerful spiritual experience to get involved in this; it completely changed my life. Black Hawk's intense energy stayed with Phillip and me until the book was completed. You may ask, "is his spirit still with us?" Answer: "More than ever."