Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Ouray

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Appletons' Ouray.jpg

OURAY, Indian chief, b. in Colorado in 1820; d. in Los Pinos agency, Col., 27 Aug., 1880. He was the chief of the Uncompahgre Utes, whose specific title is probably a corruption of the Spanish “un compadre.” Ouray was known as the “White man's friend,” and his services were almost indispensable to the government in negotiating with his tribe, who kept in good faith all treaties that were made by him. He protected their interests as far as possible, and set them the example of living in a measure a civilized life. He spoke Spanish and wrote in that language in his correspondence with the president and the Indian department. He visited Washington several times to represent the grievances of his people, and his appeals in their behalf were touching and dignified. He was a famous warrior during his youth, but loved peace in his old age, and at the time of the murder of Nathan C. Meeker, 29 Sept., 1879, restrained the Indians from beginning hostilities. His last visit to Washington was to effect the sale of the Ute reservation in Colorado. At the time of his death he resided in a comfortable house on a farm which he owned and cultivated, and he took much pleasure and pride in driving a carriage that had been given him by the governor of Colorado. His only son was captured by the Sioux in the boy's youth, and Ouray made many appeals to the “great father in Washington” to assist in his recovery.