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When Edward W. Wynkoop arrived in Colorado Territory during the 1858 gold rush, he was one of many ambitious newcomers seeking wealth in a promising land mostly inhabited by American Indians. After he worked as a miner, sheriff, bartender, and land speculator, Wynkoop’s life drastically changed after he joined the First Colorado Volunteers to fight for the Union during the Civil War. This sympathetic but critical biography centers on his subsequent efforts to prevent war with Indians during the volatile 1860s. A central theme of Louis Kraft’s engaging narrative is Wynkoop’s daring in standing up to Anglo-Americans and attempting to end the 1864 Indian war. The Indians may have been dangerous enemies obstructing “progress,” but they were also human beings. Many whites thought otherwise, and at daybreak on November 29, 1864, the Colorado Volunteers attacked Black Kettle’s sleeping camp. Upon learning of the disaster now known as the Sand Creek Massacre, Wynkoop was appalled and spoke out vehemently against the action. Many of his contemporaries damned his views, but Wynkoop devoted the rest of his career as a soldier and then as a U.S. Indian agent to helping Cheyennes and Arapahos to survive. The tribes’ lifeways still centered on the dwindling herds of buffalo, but now they needed guns to hunt. Kraft reveals how hard Wynkoop worked to persuade the Indian Bureau to provide the tribes with firearms along with their allotments of food and clothing—a hard sell to a government bent on protecting white settlers and paving the way for American expansion. In the wake of Sand Creek, Wynkoop strove to prevent General Winfield Scott Hancock from destroying a Cheyenne-Sioux village in 1867, only to have the general ignore him and start a war. Fearing more innocent people would die, Wynkoop resigned from the Indian Bureau but, not long thereafter, receded into obscurity. Now, thanks to Louis Kraft, we may appreciate Wynkoop as a man of conscience who dared to walk between Indians and Anglo-Americans but was often powerless to prevent the tragic consequences of their conflict.
This edited collection expands scholarly and popular conversations about dark tourism in the American West. The phenomenon of dark tourism—traveling to sites of death, suffering, and disaster for entertainment or educational purposes—has been described and, on occasion, criticized for transforming misfortune and catastrophe into commodity. The impulse, however, continues, particularly in the American West: a liminal and contested space that resonates with stories of tragedy, violent conflict, and disaster. Contributions here specifically examine the mediation and shaping of these spaces into touristic destinations. The essays examine Western sites of massacre and battle (such as Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site and the “Waco Siege”), sites of imprisonment (such as Japanese-American internment camps and Alcatraz Island), areas devastated by ecological disaster (such as Martin’s Cove and the Salton Sea), and unmediated sites (those sites left to the touristic imagination, with no interpretation of what occurred there, such as the Bennet-Arcane camp).
More than a history of Western movies, The American West on Film intertwines film history, the history of the American West, and American social history into one unique volume. • Offers an insider's look at the making of popular and classic motion pictures about America's westward expansion • Analyzes what Western movies often got wrong about the history of the American West and what it sometimes got right • Shows how movies reflect the period in which they were made
An accessible and authoritative overview of the scholarship that has shaped our understanding of one of the most iconic battles in the history of the American West Combines contributions from an array of respected scholars, historians, and battlefield scientists Outlines the political and cultural conditions that laid the foundation for the Centennial Campaign and examines how George Armstrong Custer became its figurehead Provides a detailed analysis of the battle maneuverings at Little Bighorn, paying special attention to Indian testimony from the battlefield Concludes with a section examining how the Battle of Little Bighorn has been mythologized and its pervading influence on American culture

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