Chief comes home to an empty teepee


All things in the world are two. In our minds we are two, good and evil. With our eyes we see two things, things that are fair and things that are ugly….Eagle Chief (Letakos-Lesa)

Although this was painted as a “happy looking” painting, just minutes later, after a long hunting season the tribe men would come home to a missing family.  This could be because their family was taken as slaves or massacred by an invading army.

One of these was the Bear River Massacre, On January 29, 1863, the militia of the U.S. Army’s Third California Volunteers, under the command of Colonel Patrick E. Connor, rode down the frozen bluff and massacred some 490+ Northwestern Shoshone Indians. The attack near Preston, Idaho, at the confluence of Bear River and Beaver Creek, is considered the largest single-incident massacre of Indians in the American West – larger than Wounded Knee and Sand Creek. It is often overlooked in history books because it occurred during the Civil War. Most descendants are spread out through Northern UT and Southeastern ID today.


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