Phillip B Gottfredson's Bio & Source Material

Phillip B Gottfredson author of the book My Journey to Understand Black Hawks Mission of Peace first launched this website as The Black Hawk War; Utah's Forgotten Tragedy in 2003. Black Hawk Productions changed the name in 2019 to The Black Hawk War; Utah's Forgotten Truth, and again in 2021, Black Hawk Productions altered it to Utah Black Hawk War: Timpanogos Nation of the Wasatch. There was hardly any information about the Utah Black Hawk War on the internet back in 2003. Owner, founder, and an old-school web-designer, Phillip B Gottfredson, is also a published historian & author. He first created this website to promote his great-grandfather's book Indian Depredations in Utah that Phillip had just republished in 2002. Over time it evolved and became the premier website devoted entirely to the Black Hawk War in Utah and Phillip's book Black Hawk's Mission of Peace.


It is the objective of to educate people about the Utah Black Hawk War, the unjust and disproportionate devastation it has brought to the First Nations peoples, and particularly, the Timpanogos Nation of Utah. Helping the Indigenous people of Utah find their rightful place in Utah history.

Phillip B Gottfredson is a volunteer historian for the Timpanogos Nation. He spends considerable time helping people who have questions about the Black Hawk War via E-mail, phone, and on our Facebook page as a courtesy. We are incredibly grateful to our donors for their help and those who have purchased our books.

Please visit our Contact Page for more information.

Phillip B Gottfredson Biography

Author Phillip B Gottfredson My Journey To Understand Black Hawk's Mission of Peace.Indigenous Day Award recipient Phillip B Gottfredson has lived with the Timpanogos Tribe 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. Phillip was granted access to the Timpanogos Nation's historical records when many remarkable discoveries were made. Not least among them is that the Timpanogos and the Ute are two distinctly different Tribes. 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. See Timpanogos Ute Oxymoron page for details.

"What began as a mere 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. Nor did they ask how they would analyze, interpret, or have their own version of the particular story they were writing about. 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."

"It was serendipitous that in 2015 I met Chief Executive Mary Meyer of the Snake Shoshone Timpanogos Nation, a direct descendant of Chief Arapeen. I will never forget her first words to me, "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, had told me the Timpanogos and Ute are different tribes. I don't think anyone knew. Or if they did, they weren't saying anything. But then, why not? Another one of those questions that keep you up at night. A Shoshoni friend said, "when you think you have it all figured out, you go outside, look up, and get hit with a big blue pancake. That, my brother, is one of those moments when you realize you don't know 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 birth and marriage records, 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."

PUBLISHED AUTHOR & TIMPANOGOS HISTORIAN:The book Black Hawk's Mission of Peace is a detailed synopsis of the Utah Black Hawk War, Native American history, culture and Traditions. Author Phillip B Gottfredson

Phillip was invited 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 culture. He gives an unprecedented and intimate perspective into the Timpanogos peoples of Utah, who were those most affected by the tragic Black Hawk War. Phillip published his first book Black Hawk's Mission of Peace in 2019, at the age of 75. In collaboration with the Timpanogos Nation, the book is written from the perspective of the Native peoples of Utah. It offers much-needed clarity to Utah's Native American history that has been misrepresented and deliberately ignored. It is also a beautifully written account of Phillip's extraordinary spiritual journey into the world of the Native American culture while researching the Black Hawk War in Utah.

Mr. Gottfredson's book took 20 years to research and write was published by Archway Publishing from Simon and Schuster. In less than a year, it became one of Archway's best-sellers.

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.It is interesting to point out that Phillip's 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.

In 2005 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.

Phillip B Gottfredson with filmmaker James FortierFilmmakers were Black Hawk Productions, LLC, Ron Hill Imagery, and Turtle Island Productions.

"I discontinued production of the film The Black Hawk War; Utah's Forgotten Tragedy. Through my ongoing research of the Black Hawk War, I discovered that there are major contradictions and inaccuracies in the history of Utah. This revelation alone completely changed the accuracy of the film project. 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. I confess, my supporters and I were victims of Mormon's one-sided and often misleading history."


"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."

"Artist Carol Pettit Harding whom I have been friends with since 1973. There are no known photos of Timpanogos Chief Antonga Black Hawk. So in 2019, Timpanogos Chief Antonga Black Hawk artist Carol Pettit Harding Pleasant Grove, Utah. I commissioned artist Carol Pettit Harding to create Black Hawk's masterful forensic reconstruction drawing. Based on a historical photo of Black Hawk's skull photographed when his grave was robbed in 1919, and published in the Deseret Newspaper. After obtaining permission and blessings from the Timpanogos Nation, Carol's reconstruction of Black Hawk's face earned its place on the cover of my new book. "I felt such a powerful spiritual experience to get involved in this; it completely changed my life," said Carol. Carol studied anatomy for many decades and devoted two months to this the Black Hawk War project."



CONSULTANTS: 2003 - 2012 Forrest Cuch Utah State Division of Indian Affairs, Historian Will Bagley; Dr. Daniel McCool University of Utah; Historian Robert Carter; Filmmaker Larry Cesspooch Ute Tribe; Vanita Taveapont Director of Indian Language Program Ute Tribe (deceased); Loya Arrum Ute Tribe (deceased), and National Forest Service Archeologist Charmian Thompson.

PUBLICATIONS: Indian Depredations in Utah by Peter Gottfredson; Utah's Black Hawk War John Alton Peterson; American Indian Prophecies Kurt Kaltreider, PhD.; A History of Utah’s American Indians Edited by Forest Cuch; Massacre at Mountain Meadows by Will Bagley; So Rugged and Mountainous 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 D. Robert Carter; Shoshoni Frontier Bear River by Brigham Madsen; Thunder Over the OCHOCO by Gayle ONTKO (5 vol. set); The Shoshonis Sentinels of the Rockies by Virginia Cole Trenholm and Maurine Carley; The Book of Destiny Carlos Barrios; Walkara Hawk of the Mountains by Paul Baily; Of Worthier Blood by Parker M. Nielson; Rolling Thunder by Doug Boyd; Paul Baily Claws of the Hawk; 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; CASTE The Origins of Our Discontents author Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize;

DOCUMENTS AND TREATIES: The United States Department of the Interior; Timpanogos Nation; Ute Tribe of the Uinta Ouray Reservation - Uintah Valley Reservation; 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; Private Journals Mormon Pioneers; Author Norma Vance a direct descendant of David Monsen who was Paiute and the only known survivor of the Circleville Massacre;

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 Walkara, Sowiette, Arapeen, Sanpitch, Ammon, Tobia (Tabby), and Grospeen (all brothers), and Black Hawk (son of Sanpitch), Chief Executive Mary Meyer and members of the Timpanogos Nation Uintah Valley Reservation;