Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination to the exclusion of others. Thus "religious conversion" would describe the abandoning of adherence to one denomination and affiliating with another; this might be from one to another denomination within the same religion, for example, from Baptist to Catholic Christianity or from Shi’a to Sunni Islam. In some cases, religious conversion "marks a transformation of religious identity and is symbolized by special rituals". People convert to a different religion for various reasons, including active conversion by free choice due to a change in beliefs, secondary conversion, deathbed conversion, conversion for convenience, marital conversion, forced conversion. Conversion or reaffiliation for convenience is an insincere act, sometimes for trivial reasons such as a parent converting to enable a child to be admitted to a good school associated with a religion, or a person adopting a religion more in keeping with the social class they aspire to.
When people marry, one spouse may convert to the religion of the other. Forced conversion is adoption of a different religion under duress; the convert may secretly retain the previous beliefs and continue, with the practices of the original religion, while outwardly maintaining the forms of the new religion. Over generations a family forced against their will to convert may wholeheartedly adopt the new religion. Proselytism is the act of attempting to convert by persuasion another individual from a different religion or belief system.. Apostate is a term used by members of a religion or denomination to refer to someone who has left that religion or denomination. In sharing their faith with others, Bahá'ís are cautioned to "obtain a hearing" – meaning to make sure the person they are proposing to teach is open to hearing what they have to say. "Bahá'í pioneers", rather than attempting to supplant the cultural underpinnings of the people in their adopted communities, are encouraged to integrate into the society and apply Bahá'í principles in living and working with their neighbors.
Bahá'ís recognize the divine origins of all revealed religion, believe that these religions occurred sequentially as part of a divine plan, with each new revelation superseding and fulfilling that of its predecessors. Bahá'ís regard their own faith as the most recent, believe its teachings – which are centered around the principle of the oneness of humanity – are most suited to meeting the needs of a global community. In most countries conversion is a simple matter of filling out a card stating a declaration of belief; this includes acknowledgement of Bahá'u'llah – the Founder of the Faith – as the Messenger of God for this age and acceptance of his teachings, intention to be obedient to the institutions and laws he established. Conversion to the Bahá'í Faith carries with it an explicit belief in the common foundation of all revealed religion, a commitment to the unity of mankind, active service to the community at large in areas that will foster unity and concord. Since the Bahá'í Faith has no clergy, converts are encouraged to be active in all aspects of community life.
A recent convert may be elected to serve on a local Spiritual Assembly – the guiding Bahá'í institution at the community level. Within Christianity conversion refers variously to three different phenomena: a person becoming Christian, not Christian. Conversion to Christianity is the religious conversion of a non-Christian person to some form of Christianity; some Christian sects require full conversion for new members regardless of any history in other Christian sects, or from certain other sects. The exact requirements vary between different denominations. Baptism is traditionally seen as a sacrament of admission to Christianity. Christian baptism has some parallels with Jewish immersion by mikvah. In the New Testament, Jesus commanded his disciples in the Great Commission to "go and make disciples of all nations". Evangelization—sharing the Gospel message or "Good News" in deed and word, is an expectation of Christians; this table summarizes three Protestant beliefs. Much of the theology of Latter Day Saint baptism was established during the early Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith.
According to this theology, baptism must be by immersion, for the remission of sins, occurs after one has shown faith and repentance. Mormon baptism does not purport to remit any sins other than personal ones, as adherents do not believe in original sin. Latter Day Saints baptisms occur only after an "age of accountability", defined as the age of eight years; the theology thus rejects infant baptism. In addition, Latter Day Saint theology requires that baptism may only be performed with one, called and ordained by God with priesthood authority; because the churches of the Latter Day Saint movement operate under a lay priesthood, children raised in a Mormon family are baptized by a father or close male friend or family member who has achieved the office of priest, conferred upon worthy male members at least 16 years old in the LDS Church. Baptism is seen as symbolic both of Jesus' death and resurrection and is symbolic of the baptized individual putting off of the natural or sinful man and becoming spiritually reborn as a disciple of Jesus.
Membership into a Latter Day Saint church is granted only by baptism whether or
Chief Walkara was a Shoshone leader of the Utah Indians known as the Timpanogo and Sanpete Band. It is not clear what cultural group the Utah or Timpanogo Indians belonged to, but they are listed as Shoshone, he had a reputation as a diplomat and warrior, a military leader of raiding parties, in the Wakara War. He was the most prominent Native American chief in the Utah area when the Mormon Pioneers arrived in 1847. One observer described Walkara in 1843 as: "the principal ruling chief... owing his position to great wealth. He is a good trader, trafficking with the whites and reselling goods to such of his nation as are less skillful in striking a bargain."In 1865, some ten years after his death, the Timpanogo agreed to go live on the Uintah Reservation under Chief Tabby-To-Kwanah and merged with the Northern Shoshone. Walkara is referred to as Ute, but this is incorrect. Ute is a blanket name for many tribes; the Shoshone have cultural and linguistic heritage as part of the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family.
Walkara is Shoshone and his name, means Hawk, in Shoshone. Walkara was born 1808 along the Spanish Fork River in Utah, he was one of the five sons of a chief of the Timpanogos Tribe. He spent much time fishing along the Utah Lake shores in what is now Vineyard. Walkara could communicate in Spanish and native languages, his brothers included Chief Arapeen, for whom the Arapeen Valley near Utah was named. He gathered a raiding band of warriors from Great Basin tribes, Ute and Shoshone, rode with his brothers on raids, his band raided ranches and attacked travelers in the Great Basin and along the Old Spanish Trail between New Mexico and California. Small native bands and tribes in the area paid him tribute in return for assistance. Walkara was distinguished by the yellow face paint that he wore; some people called him,'The Greatest Horse thief in History.' In California Walkara was known as a great horse thief, due to his stealing around 3,000 horses in Southern California in the 1840s. In some of these raids, the band fought Cahuilla leader Juan Antonio.
Mountain men James Beckwourth and Thomas "Pegleg" Smith were involved in this campaign and were known to trade with Walkara, providing the band with whiskey in return for horses. In 1845 Benjamin Davis Wilson, Justice of the Peace and assistant for Indian affairs in Riverside County, was commissioned to track down Walkara and his marauders and bring them to justice, but never succeeded, their mission was interrupted by the discovery of the Big Bear Lake area. No additional account of the pursuit was reported. Horsethief Canyon and Little Horsethief Canyon in the Cajon Pass are named for Walkara's exploits. Several men were killed in both canyons; when Mormon pioneers arrived in what is today known as Utah, they were caught between the Shoshone and the Ute: both tribes claimed the Salt Lake Valley. The settlers refused to pay the Shoshone for the land, knowing that they would have to pay the Ute as well. Brigham Young, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recommended that the Mormon settlers avoid trading with Native American tribes.
At this time, the Ute bands of Indians were divided, but Walkara's band was one of the most influential. Walkara recognized. However, the Ute were angered by the Mormons building a permanent settlement in the area, Walkara favored driving them out by force, his brother, wanted to accommodate the Mormons. After initial disagreement, Walkara conceded to Sowiette. Instead of war, the Mormons had peace with the Timpanogo; the first act of violence between the Ute and the Mormon settlers occurred on March 5, 1849. Some Ute had disregarded their leaders' instruction not to steal from the Mormons, had killed and stolen livestock from the settlers. In retaliation, the settlers set out to find those responsible, they ambushed some Ute. In April, Walkara supported Ute attacks on Fort Utah. In late 1849, Walkara met with Young, asking him to send men to help settle Ute land, with that request, settlers including Welcome Chapman went to the Sanpete Valley. Young dispatched a company of about 225 settlers, under the direction of Isaac Morley.
The settlers arrived at the present location of Manti, Utah in November, established a base camp for the winter, digging temporary shelters into the south side of the hill on which the LDS Manti Utah Temple now stands. It was an isolated place, at least four days by wagon from the nearest Mormon settlement. Relations between the Mormon settlers and the local Ute Indians were cooperative. Morley and his settlers felt. Morley wrote, "Did we come here to enrich ourselves in the things of this world? No. We were sent to enrich the Natives and comfort the hearts of the long oppressed."During the severe winter, a measles epidemic broke out. The Mormons used their limited medicine to nurse the Indians, when Mormon supplies ran low, the Ute shared their food supply. In 1850, Walkara agreed to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with his son. Walkara traded women and children as slaves in order to trade for horses and ammunition. Mormon settlers tried to stop this practice, but their efforts only angered the tribe for inte
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper renamed Leslie's Weekly, was an American illustrated literary and news magazine founded in 1855 and published until 1922. It was one of several magazines started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. Throughout its decades of existence, the weekly provided illustrations and reports—first with wood engravings and Daguerreotypes with more advanced forms of photography—of wars from John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry and the Civil War until the Spanish–American War and the First World War. Surviving issues today are prized as collectors' items for vividly depicting American life during the seven decades of its existence. Many distinguished writers were featured in its pages. Frank Leslie was the pen name of the son of a well-to-do English glovemaker. Carter had taken up the art of wood engraving over his father's objection and emigrated to New York City to make his own way in the world, arriving in 1848. Carter — who adopted the Frank Leslie name upon his arrival — was unable to find a position as an illustrator with an established newspaper in the city and was forced to open his own business, a small engraving shop on Broadway Avenue.
One of Leslie's early clients was promoter P. T. Barnum, who commissioned Leslie to produce a posh illustrated concert program for singer Jenny Lind in 1849. Additional work was done for Barnum for another Lind tour in 1850 and 1851; when Barnum decided to launch a publication called The Illustrated News in 1853, he turned to Leslie, hiring him as chief engraver for the short-lived publication, which failed within its first year of existence. Out of a job once more, Leslie decided to begin publishing on his own, launching two new periodicals in 1854 — Frank Leslie's Ladies' Gazette of Fashion, a fashion-oriented newspaper, Frank Leslie's Journal of Romance, an illustrated fiction magazine. Both of these publications proved to be financially lucrative, in 1855 Leslie added a third publication to his stable, an illustrated news weekly called Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper; the first years of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper were difficult, with the nation undergoing a business crisis in 1857.
However the drama of the massive American Civil War in 1861 ensured the success of Leslie's Newspaper, as tens of thousands of readers turned to Leslie and the upstart Harper's Weekly for their sometimes lurid illustration of the bloody conflict. A "Leslie's" freelancer, James R. O'Neill, is believed to have been the only Civil War correspondent to have been killed in action in the Civil War. No daily newspaper in America carried illustrations until the launch of the New York Daily Graphic in 1873. Leslie's Newspaper averaged 16 pages long, was accompanied by supplements or expanded into special thematic editions. Content strived to be timely, focusing on the newsworthy events of the previous week within days of its occurrence, a novelty for the era. Art was produced by teams, with initial sketches selected by an editor and turned over to an illustrator, who produced an outline drawing; the outline was applied to a block consisting of multiple layers of Turkish boxwood and additional detail added by specialized artists.
The large block of wood was separated into its constituent pieces and turned over to the engraving department, which meticulously carved out the white sections, leaving the black illustration in relief. The sections of the wood block were rejoined and sent to the composing room, where the illustration was converted to part of an electrotyped copper plate for printing. After Leslie's death in 1880, the magazine was continued by his widow, the women's suffrage campaigner Miriam Florence Leslie; the name, by a well-established trademark, remained after 1902, when it no longer had a connection with the Leslie family. It continued until 1922, it took a patriotic stance and featured cover pictures of soldiers and heroic battle stories. It gave extensive coverage to less martial events such as the Klondike gold rush of 1897, covered by San Francisco journalist John Bonner. Among the writers publishing their stories in the weekly were Louisa May Alcott, H. Irving Hancock, Helen R. Martin, Eleanor Franklin Egan, Ellis Parker Butler.
Several notable illustrators worked for the publication, including Albert Berghaus and Norman Rockwell, who created covers for the magazine in its latter years, Fernando Miranda y Casellas. By 1897, the publication's circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies. Surviving copies of the magazine at present fetch handsome prices as collectors' items and are considered to give a vivid picture of American life during the decades of its publication. Cathedral of All Saints Joshua Brown, "The Great Uprising and Pictorial Order in Gilded Age America," in David O. Stowell, The Great Strikes of 1877. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2008. 1890 volume of paper, via Google books 1917-1918 issues covering the Great War, via Digital Library@Villanova University Coverage of the laying of the 1858 Atlantic Cable in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper "At the Gate of Klondike" by John Bonner in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1858 Sketch depicting Oscar Wilde from Leslie's Weekly The San Francisco Earthquake in Leslie's Weekly Leslie's Weekly, Volume 133, Issue 3451.
From Google books
An Indian reservation is a legal designation for an area of land managed by a federally recognized Native American tribe under the U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs rather than the state governments of the United States in which they are physically located; each of the 326 Indian reservations in the United States is associated with a particular Native American nation. Not all of the country's 567 recognized tribes have a reservation—some tribes have more than one reservation, while some share reservations. In addition, because of past land allotments, leading to some sales to non–Native Americans, some reservations are fragmented, with each piece of tribal and held land being a separate enclave; this jumble of private and public real estate creates significant administrative and legal difficulties. The collective geographical area of all reservations is 56,200,000 acres the size of Idaho. While most reservations are small compared to U. S. states, there are 12 Indian reservations larger than the state of Rhode Island.
The largest reservation, the Navajo Nation Reservation, is similar in size to West Virginia. Reservations are unevenly distributed throughout the country; because tribes possess the concept of tribal sovereignty though it is limited, laws on tribal lands vary from those of the surrounding area. These laws can permit legal casinos for example, which attract tourists; the tribal council, not the local government or the United States federal government has jurisdiction over reservations. Different reservations have different systems of government, which may or may not replicate the forms of government found outside the reservation. Most Native American reservations were established by the federal government; the name "reservation" comes from the conception of the Native American tribes as independent sovereigns at the time the U. S. Constitution was ratified. Thus, the early peace treaties in which Native American tribes surrendered large portions of land to the U. S. designated parcels which the tribes, as sovereigns, "reserved" to themselves, those parcels came to be called "reservations".
The term remained in use after the federal government began to forcibly relocate tribes to parcels of land to which they had no historical connection. Today a majority of Native Americans and Alaska Natives live somewhere other than the reservations in larger western cities such as Phoenix and Los Angeles. In 2012, there were with about 1 million living on reservations. From the beginning of the European colonization of the Americas, Europeans removed native peoples from lands they wished to occupy; the means varied, including treaties made under considerable duress, forceful ejection, violence, in a few cases voluntary moves based on mutual agreement. The removal caused many problems such as tribes losing means of livelihood by being subjected to a defined area, farmers having inadmissible land for agriculture, hostility between tribes; the first reservation was established in southern New Jersey on 29 August 1758. It was called Brotherton Indian Reservation and Edgepillock or Edgepelick; the area was 3284 acres.
Today it is called Indian Mills in Shamong Township. In 1764 the "Plan for the Future Management of Indian Affairs" was proposed by the Board of Trade. Although never adopted formally, the plan established the imperial government's expectation that land would only be bought by colonial governments, not individuals, that land would only be purchased at public meetings. Additionally, this plan dictated that the Indians would be properly consulted when ascertaining and defining the boundaries of colonial settlement; the private contracts that once characterized the sale of Indian land to various individuals and groups—from farmers to towns—were replaced by treaties between sovereigns. This protocol was adopted by the United States Government after the American Revolution. On 11 March 1824, John C. Calhoun founded the Office of Indian Affairs as a division of the United States Department of War, to solve the land problem with 38 treaties with American Indian tribes; the document “Indian Treaties, Laws and Regulations Relating to Indian Affairs”’ published in 1825 in Washington City, America was signed by president Andrew Jackson.
He states that “we have placed the land reserves in a better state for the benefit of society” with approval of Indigenous reservations prior to 1850. The letter is signed by Isaac Shelby and the American President and discusses several regulations regarding Indigenous people of America and the approval of Indigenous segregation and the reservation system. President Martin Van Buren writes a Treaty with the Saginaw Tribe of Chippewas in 1837 to build a light house; the President of the United States of America was directly involved in the creation of new Treaties regarding Indian Reservations before 1850. He says Indigenous Reservations are “all their reserves of land in the state of Michigan, on the principle of said reserves being sold at the public land offices for their benefit and the actual proceeds being paid to them.” The agreement is for the Indigenous Tribe to sell their land, based on a Reservation to build a “lighthouse.” President, Martin Van Buren wants to buy Indigenous Reservation Land to build infrastructure.
A Treaty signed by John Forsyth, the Secretary of State on behalf of, President Martin Van Buren of the United
Fort Lewis College
Fort Lewis College is a public liberal arts college in Durango, Colorado. Because of its unique origins as a military fort turned Indian boarding school turned state public school, Fort Lewis College follows a 1911 mandate to provide a tuition-free education for qualified Native Americans. Fort Lewis College awards 16 percent of the baccalaureate degrees earned by Native American students in the nation. In 2008, FLC was designated as one of six Native American-serving, non-tribal colleges by the U. S. Department of Education. FLC is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, with additional program-level accreditations in Accounting, Business Administration and Marketing; the college offers 30 bachelor's degrees through its four academic units. The first Fort Lewis army post was constructed in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, in 1878, was relocated in 1880 to Hesperus, Colorado, on the southern slopes of the La Plata Mountains. In 1891, Fort Lewis was decommissioned and converted into a federal, off-reservation Indian boarding school.
In 1911, the fort's property and buildings in Hesperus were transferred to the state of Colorado to establish an "agricultural and mechanic arts high school." That deed came with two conditions: that the land would be used for an educational institution, “to be maintained as an institution of learning to which Indian students will be admitted free of tuition and on an equality with white students” in perpetuity. Both conditions have been the missions and guides for the Fort Lewis school's various incarnations over the past century. In the 1930s, the Fort Lewis high school expanded into a two-year college, in 1948 became Fort Lewis A&M College, under control of State Board of Agriculture; the "Aggies" studying at the Fort Lewis Branch of the Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanics could choose from courses including agriculture, engineering, veterinary science, home economics. Fort Lewis College underwent another period of growth and changes starting in 1956, when the college moved from its long-time home in Hesperus to its present location, 18 miles east, atop what was known as Reservoir Hill, overlooking Durango.
Here, FLC became a four-year institution, awarding its first baccalaureate degrees in 1964. In 1964, the college dropped the "A&M" moniker. At that time, the new Fort Lewis College changed its mascot from "Aggies" to the "Raiders," and changed the school's colors from the green and yellow of the Colorado State University system it had been affiliated with to the blue and gold it still sports today. In recent history: In 1994, the college's mascot became the Skyhawks, retaining the blue and gold. In 1995, Fort Lewis College joined the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, in 2002, the College became independent of the Colorado State University system, formed its own governing Board of Trustees; the 247-acre Fort Lewis College campus is in southwestern Colorado is situated at 6,872 feet atop a mesa overlooking the Animas River Valley and downtown Durango. A network of trails as well as city bus service connects the town; the campus' distinctive architectural theme utilizes locally quarried sandstone to acknowledge the region's Native puebloan building style and evoke the Four Corners landscape and colors.
The style was crafted by prominent Boulder architect James M. Hunter, contracted to establish a campus building plan by the college in the late 1950s, following the college's move from Hesperus, Colorado, to its Durango location. Today, on-campus housing is in six residence halls and two apartment buildings, with singles and suites. On campus are 14 academic buildings, as well as a Student Life Center, Aquatic Center, Student Union. On-campus athletic facilities include Ray Dennison Memorial Field, Dirks Field, the Softball Complex, Whalen Gymnasium, the Factory Trails, an off-road bicycling race course; the new Student Union opened in Fall 2011, now hosts the college's cultural centers, the Native American Center and El Centro de Muchos Colores, as well as student government, the Environmental Center, the post office, the bookstore. The new Student Union offers several dining options, houses both a Leadership Center and a Media Center that includes the college's news magazine, literary journal, KDUR radio station.
The Student Union building was awarded LEED Gold status in August by the U. S. Green Building Council for its sustainability features, it is the third LEED Gold building on campus, along with the Berndt Hall Biology Wing and the residential Animas Hall. Those environmental awards helped FLC be named one of "America's Coolest Schools" by Sierra magazine, the official publication of the Sierra Club, in 2011. Fort Lewis College is divided into four academic units. Programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, the American Chemical Society, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, the National Association of Schools of Music; the college's athletic teams, nicknamed the Skyhawks, compete in the NCAA at the Division II level as a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. In 2017, Fort Lewis' cycling program won its 23rd national championship with an overall victory at the 2017 USA Cycling Collegiate Mounta
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations; the term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander"; the ancestors of modern Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago much earlier, from Asia via Beringia. A vast variety of peoples and cultures subsequently developed. Native Americans were affected by the European colonization of the Americas, which began in 1492, their population declined precipitously due to introduced diseases as well as warfare, territorial confiscation and slavery.
After the founding of the United States, many Native American peoples were subjected to warfare and one-sided treaties, they continued to suffer from discriminatory government policies into the 20th century. Since the 1960s, Native American self-determination movements have resulted in changes to the lives of Native Americans, though there are still many contemporary issues faced by Native Americans. Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States, 78% of whom live outside reservations; when the United States was created, established Native American tribes were considered semi-independent nations, as they lived in communities separate from British settlers. The federal government signed treaties at a government-to-government level until the Indian Appropriations Act of 1871 ended recognition of independent native nations, started treating them as "domestic dependent nations" subject to federal law; this law did preserve the rights and privileges agreed to under the treaties, including a large degree of tribal sovereignty.
For this reason, many Native American reservations are still independent of state law and actions of tribal citizens on these reservations are subject only to tribal courts and federal law. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted U. S. citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. This emptied the "Indians not taxed" category established by the United States Constitution, allowed natives to vote in state and federal elections, extended the Fourteenth Amendment protections granted to people "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. However, some states continued to deny Native Americans voting rights for several decades. Bill of Rights protections do not apply to tribal governments, except for those mandated by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of population and agricultural transfer and adjustment between Old and New World societies, a process known as the Columbian exchange.
As most Native American groups had preserved their histories by oral traditions and artwork, the first written sources of the conflict were written by Europeans. Ethnographers classify the indigenous peoples of North America into ten geographical regions with shared cultural traits, called cultural areas; some scholars combine the Plateau and Great Basin regions into the Intermontane West, some separate Prairie peoples from Great Plains peoples, while some separate Great Lakes tribes from the Northeastern Woodlands. The ten cultural areas are as follows: Arctic, including Aleut and Yupik peoples Subarctic Northeastern Woodlands Southeastern Woodlands Great Plains Great Basin Northwest Plateau Northwest Coast California Southwest At the time of the first contact, the indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the proto-industrial and Christian immigrants; some Northeastern and Southwestern cultures, in particular, were matrilineal and operated on a more collective basis than that with which Europeans were familiar.
The majority of Indigenous American tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were different; the differences in cultures between the established Native Americans and immigrant Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations in times of war, caused extensive political tension, ethnic violence, social disruption. Before the European settlement of what is now the United States, Native Americans suffered high fatalities from contact with new European diseases, to which they had not yet acquired immunity. Smallpox epidemics are thought to have caused the greatest loss of life for indigenous populations. William M Denevan, noted author and Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said on this subject in his essay "The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492".
Old World diseases were the primary killer. In many regions the tropical lowlands, populations fell by 90 percent or more in the first century after the contact. "Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today constitutes the U. S. vary ranging from William M Denevan's 3.8 million in his 1992 w
John Williams Gunnison
John Williams Gunnison was an American military officer and explorer. Gunnison attended Hopkinton Academy, he graduated from West Point in 1837, second in his class of fifty cadets. His military career began as an artillery officer in Florida, where he spent a year in the campaign against the Seminoles. Due to his poor health he was reassigned to the Corps of Topographical Engineers the next year, he explored unknown areas of Florida, searching for provision routes. However, his health soon forced him out of Florida entirely. From 1841-1849 Gunnison explored the area around the Great Lakes, he surveyed the border between Wisconsin and Michigan, the western coast of Lake Michigan, the coast of Lake Erie. On May 9, 1846, he was promoted to first lieutenant. In the spring of 1849 Gunnison was assigned as second in command of the Howard Stansbury expedition to explore and survey the valley of the Great Salt Lake; that winter was heavy and the expedition was unable to leave the valley. Gunnison took the opportunity to befriend some Mormons and study the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
When he returned to Washington, DC, he wrote a book titled The Mormons or Latter-Day Saints, in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake: A History of Their Rise and Progress, Peculiar Doctrines, Present Condition. Gunnison returned to the Great Lakes from 1851–1853, mapping the Green Bay area, was promoted to captain on March 3, 1853. On May 3, 1853, he received orders to take charge of an expedition to survey a route for a Pacific railroad between the 38th and 39th parallels; the surveying party left St. Louis, Missouri, in June 1853 and arrived by mid-October in Manti, Utah Territory. In Utah Territory, with Lieutenant E. G. Beckwith as assistant commander, Gunnison began the survey of a possible route, surveying areas across the Rocky Mountains via the Huerfano River, through Cochetopa Pass, by way of the present Gunnison and Green rivers to the Sevier River, his journey took him through the Tomichi Valley in Colorado, where the town of Gunnison is named in his honor. After crossing the Tomichi Valley, the survey team encountered the Black Canyon, carved by the Gunnison River, named in his honor.
The team was forced to turn south to get around the canyon. The weather was beginning to turn "cold and raw" with snow flurries, Captain Gunnison sought to speed up mapping before returning to winter quarters. At Sevier Lake, the team was divided into two detachments. On the morning of October 26, 1853, Gunnison and the eleven men in his party were attacked by a band of Pahvants. In the resulting massacre and seven of his men were killed. Several survivors of the attack alerted the other detachment of the survey team, who rode to aid Gunnison and his party. An additional survivor of the attack and the bodies of the victims were retrieved that day; the remains of the eight dead were found in a mutilated state. Killed with Gunnison were Richard H. Kern, F. Creuzfeldt, Wiliam Potter, Private Caulfield, Private Liptoote, Private Mehreens, John Bellows; the site of the massacre was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Most contemporary accounts of the massacre maintain that the Mormons warned Gunnison that his party might be in danger from local bands of Pahvant Utes.
It seems that Gunnison had entered Utah in the midst of the Walker War, a sometimes bloody conflict between the Mormons and the Ute Chief Walkara. Indeed, Lt. Beckwith wrote that the expedition found the local Mormons "all gathered into a village for mutal protection against the Utah Indians." But after the killings, rumors circulated that the Pahvants involved in the massacre were acting under the direction of Brigham Young and an alleged secret militia known as the Danites. Some claim that leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were concerned that the railway would increase the influx of non-Mormon settlers and non-Mormon economic concerns into the territory. However, the Utah Legislature had petitioned Congress for both a transcontinental railroad and telegraph lines to pass through the region. Indeed, when the railroad came to Utah, LDS leaders organized cadres of Mormon workers to build the railway, welcoming the income for the economically depressed community. Martha Gunnison, widow of Captain Gunnison, was one of those who maintained that the attack was planned and orchestrated by militant Mormons under the direction of Brigham Young.
Gunnison's letters to his wife throughout the expedition left her with the impression that "the Mormons were the directors of my husband's murder." She wrote to Associate Justice W. W. Drummond, the 1855 federal appointee to the Supreme Court of the Territory of Utah, she received confirmation of this belief in his response to her letter. Drummond drew this conclusion from informant and witness testimonies in several trials after the murders, he cited numerous reports by whites and natives of white attackers dressed up as Indians during the massacre. In 1854 Lieutenant Colonel Edward Steptoe was sent by the War Department to investigate the attack and determine the truth of rumors that Mormons had colluded with the Indians in the ambush; as a result of his investigation eight Ute Indians were tried for the attack. Three were convicted of manslaughter, he did not uncover evidence of Mormon involvement. Lt. Beckwith concluded that the Mormons had nothing to do with the attack and that the Pahvants acted alone.
He wrote in his official report that the "statement which has from time to time appeared in various newspapers...charging the Mormons o