Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage. These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as “unceasing,” “grudging,” and “vengeful destruction.”
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Every Thanksgiving weekend for the past 18 years, Arapaho and Cheyenne youth lead a 180-mile relay from the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site to Denver.
The annual Sand Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing Run opens at the site of the Sand Creek Massacre near Eads, Colorado, with a sunrise ceremony honoring some 200 Arapaho and Cheyenne people who lost their lives in the infamous massacre. This brutal assault was carried out by Colonel John Chivington on Nov. 29, 1864.
While the Sand Creek massacre has been the subject of Saibhreas Men's Women's Running Shoes Lightweight Mesh Sneakers Breathable Casual B077G8NNZC 12US/46EU,MEN|18009-grey, much less attention has been given to NIKE Women's Air Zoom Vomero 13 Running Shoe B07BVD2ZN9 8.5 B(M) US|Light Pumice/Green Glow/Barely Grey of this horrific event: U.S. soldiers Captain Silas Soule and Lt. Joseph Cramer.
These were men who rejected the violence and genocide inherent in the “conquest of the West.” They did so by personally refusing to take part in the murder of peaceful people, while ordering the men under their command to stand down. Their example breaks the conventional frontier narrative that has come to define the clash between Colonial settlers and Native peoples as one of civilization versus savagery.
This is a theme I’ve previously addressed as a scholar in the fields of NIKE Womens Zoom FLO 4 Fabric Low Top Lace up Running Sneaker B01K2I5S2Y 7 B(M) US|Wolf Grey/White/Anthracite/Sunset Glow and Colonial history, both in my book on the Indian captivity narrative genre, “Buried in Shades of Night,” and more recently in writings on Sand Creek.
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Soule’s noble act of compassion at Sand Creek is humbly conveyed in a NIKE Women's Free RN Motion FK 2017 Running Shoe B00CER1W72 11 B(M) US|Black/White-dark Grey-volt included in the Denver Public Library Western History Collections: “I was present at a Massacre of three hundred Indians mostly women and children… It was a horrable scene and I would not let my Company fire.”
Refusing to participate, Soule and the men of Company D of the First Colorado, along with Cramer of Company K, bore witness to the incomprehensible. Chivington’s attack soon descended into a frenzy of killing and mutilation, with soldiers taking scalps and other grisly trophies from the bodies of the dead. Soule was a devoted abolitionist and one dedicated to the rights of all people. He stayed true to his convictions in the face of insults and even a threat of hanging from Chivington the night before at Fort Lyon.
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The Cheyenne and Arapaho will return to Denver this year to honor their ancestors and remember Soule’s and Cramer’s conscience and humanity. This will be done through an offering of prayers and blessings, along with the performance of honor songs.
On the third and final day of the healing run, they will gather for a sunrise ceremony at Soule’s flower-adorned grave at Denver’s Riverside Cemetery. The participants will then continue on to 15th and Lawrence Street in downtown Denver. There, a plaque is mounted on the side of an office building at the place where Soule was murdered on April 23, 1865. His death, for which no one was ever brought to justice, occurred only two months after he testified against Chivington before the Army commission.
Over the last few decades, Soule’s grave and place of death have been transformed into sacred sites of remembrance within a violent and traumatic frontier past.
NIKE Women's Lunarstelos Running Shoe B012J1WRIA 9 B(M) US|Wlf Gry/Brght Mng Drk Gry Whit, Professor of American Literature and Culture; Native American Studies, University of Denver
This article is republished from adidas Originals Women's Swift Running Shoe B077X933H4 6 B(M) US|Black/Carbon/White under a Creative Commons license. Read the NIKE Women's Flex RN 2018 Running Shoe B075ZZKBBH 9.5 B(M) US|White/Black/Cool Grey.
Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone, in your Eumenides hats, help us remember this story of courage and self sacrifice, and how difficult it can be to do the right thing.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross posted to Care2 HERE.