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The Sand Creek Massacre - Second Proclamation
issued by Governor John Evans, August 11, 1864
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9.11.01
We'll never forget
BY ORDER OF HON. JOHN EVANS
GOVERNOR, TERRITORY OF COLORADO
AUGUST 11, 1864

(unedited)

PROCLAMATION.

Having sent special messengers to the Indians of the plains, directing the friendly to rendezvous at Fort
Lyon, Fort Larned, Fort Laramie, and Camp Collins for safety and protection, warning them that all hostile
Indians would be pursued and destroyed, and the last of said messengers having now returned, and the
evidence being conclusive that most of the Indian tribes of the plains are at war and hostile to the whites,
and having to the utmost of my ability endeavored to induce all of the Indians of the plains to come to said
places of rendezvous, promising them subsistence and protection, which, with a few exceptions, they
have refused to do:

Now, therefore, I, John Evans, governor of Colorado Territory, do issue this my proclamation, authorizing
all citizens of Colorado, either individually or in such parties as they may organize, to go in pursuit of all
hostile Indians on the plains, scrupulously avoiding those who have responded to my said call to
rendezvous at the points indicated; also, to kill and destroy, as enemies of the country, wherever they
may be found, all such hostile Indians. And further, as the only reward I am authorized to offer for such
services, I hereby empower such citizens, or parties of citizens, to take captive, and hold to their own
private use and benefit, all the property of said hostile Indians that they may capture, and to receive for
all stolen property recovered from said Indians such reward as may be deemed proper and just therefor.

I further offer to all such parties as will organize under the militia law of the Territory for the purpose to
furnish them arms and ammunition, and to present their accounts for pay as regular soldiers for
themselves, their horses, their subsistence, and transportation, to Congress, under the assurance of the
department commander that they will be paid.

The conflict is upon us, and all good citizens are called upon to do their duty for the defence of their
homes and families.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the great seal of the Territory of Colorado
to be affixed this 11th day of August, A. D. 1864.

JOHN EVANS.


“The Chivington Massacre” – United States Congress, Senate.  Reports of the Committees, 39 Cong.,
2 sess.  Washington Government Printing Office, 1867.  P. 47
By August 1864, Cheyenne Dog Soldier and Sioux warriors had
cut off all supply trains into Denver, waging a brutal war against
settlers in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska and decimating
farms and ranches along the Platte and Republican rivers.  
Governor John Evans, who pleaded for help from the War
Department all summer, had finally been given authorization to
outfit and mount a temporary volunteer militia, guaranteeing
pay for a period of 100 days.

Frustrated by the lack of compliance by peaceably inclined
Indians to his
first proclamation, Evans followed up with a
second proclamation directed to the citizens of Colorado, in
which he declared Martial Law and ordered all able-bodied men
to take up arms against hostile Indians in the protection of their
homes and families.

Although  Evans cautioned these self-formed militias to avoid
attacking peaceable Indians, he declared that all property taken
from killed Indians could be kept, or in the case of property that
was stolen by Indians, returned for a reward. It was the only
compensation that Evans was authorized to offer a citizen
willing to risk his life, but it essentially put a bounty on the head
of any Indian in the sites of professional "Indian Fighters"
looking to plunder valuable livestock, weapons and buffalo
hides.
Colorado Territorial Governor
John Evans
(Denver Public Library Western History/Genealogy Dept.)
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