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Ute Treaty of 1863

November 1, 2010

I’m trying to find the exact text of all our treaties with the Ute and other tribes which inhabited Colorado.

Mountains which used to belong to the Ute tribes

On the Oklahoma State University Digital Library site, you can find the text of many treaties.   The particular treaty I’ve been reading today is called Treaty with the Utah–Tabeguache Band, 1863. I was particularly struck by the beauty of the passage which describes the boundaries.  Since this section of the treaty sounds like a poem, I’m going to break it into poetic lines.

Beginning on the 37th degree of north latitude
At the eastern base of the Sierra Madre Mountain
Running thence northerly with the base of the Rocky Mountains
To the forty-first parallel of north latitude
Thence west with the line of said forty-first parallel of north latitude
To its intersection with the summit of the Snowy range
Northwest of the North Park
Thence with the summit of the Snowy range southerly
To the Rabbit-Ear Mountains
Thence southerly with the summit of said Rabbit-Ear range of Mountains
West of the Middle Park
To the Grand River
Thence with the said Grand River
To its confluence with the Gunnison River
Thence with the said Gunnison River
To the mouth of the Uncompahgre River
Thence with the said Uncompahgre River
To its source in the summit of the Snowy range
Opposite the source of the Rio Grande del Norte
Thence in a right line south
To the summit of the Sierra La Plata range of mountains
Dividing the waters of the San Juan River
From those of the Rio Grande del Norte
Thence with the summit of said range
Southeasterly
To the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude
Thence with the line of said parallel of latitude
To the place of beginning.

We’ve changed the names of some of these locations and truncated others.   For example, the Grand River is now called the Colorado River.  We no longer say “The North Park” and “The Middle Park”–just North Park and Middle Park.

Copyright information:  http://digital.library.okstate.edu/terms.html; photos are mine from my Flickr page.

Former Ute tribe territory

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