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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Learning About the Sand Creek Massacre

“Treat the Earth well: it was not given to you
by your parents, it was loaned to you by your
children. We do not inherit the Earth from
our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”
– Indian Proverb, posted at Sand Creek

The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site is about a three hours drive southeast from Denver, near the Kansas border, in Kiowa County.
The National Historic Site is the place where, on November 29, 1864, more than 650 United States troops attacked a group of Cheyenne and Arapho Indians. An American and white flag were raised by Chief Black Kettle to indicate they were peaceful as the soldiders approached. They had also, previously, reported to Ft. Lyon, as instructed, to declare themselves as a peaceful people.
What ensued though was a five mile northward path of murder on the Plains Indians by Colonel John Chivington and his men. No one was punished for this, after three hearings, even though wrong-doing was found.
Today the site is an open field, approached from dirt roads on private land, with only a handful of U.S. Ranger buildings. A half-mile path leads from the buildings to a memorial hill. And since this is one of the newest National Park Service sites, much work still needs to be done.
Some information is displayed upon the path, but nothing goes terribly in depth about the history of the conflict and what went happened at Sand Creek on that day. So, I highly recommend that, when planning a trip to the site, you do some research first and print out some information to read while there.
There are a few benches on top of the hill, where the main memorial marker sits, but there is little more than a tombstone to remember those that were killed and mutilated.
Also, since it’s so new and things are still being organized, there are no Rangers collecting entrance fees at this time. But, there are boxes to collect donations. So please, help out the National Parks Service to keep doing what it’s doing, and throw a few dollars in the boxes. It’s the least any of us can do to help support this great and historical places throughout our country.
Finally, a trip to Bent’s Old Fort is a perfect companion stop to go with the Sand Creek Massacre site. It is only about an hours drive away, just east of La Junta, and also well worth a stop. I will blog more about that this weekend.

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  1. Learning About the History of Colorado at the New History Colorado Center | Jason's Travels - July 9, 2012

    […] sad history of the Sand Creek Massacre was also well told. And the exhibit is nothing short of spectacular, challenging the National Park […]

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