Title: Col. Cody Says Red Rocks Offer Right Place for Indian Pageant

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Buffalo Bill Declares Morrison Has Proper Environment for the Red Men to Be in Natural Home and Exhibit Should Show Life of Tribes and Pioneers.

A plea that the Indian Pageant of 1915 be held at the Park of the Red Rocks in Morrison was made yesterday by Col. William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill), at a meeting of the Colorado Publicity league at the Savoy hotel. The occasion of the meeting was the visit of Hon. Cato Sells, Indian commissioner, en route to Muskogee, Okla. Judge Sells spoke of the pageant with interest.

"I am interested in your 1915 Indian pageant, and of course hope it will be a great success, but the extent to which the Indian bureau will be able to take part in it is at this time undetermined. The degree of interest I would take in this enterprise would largely depend upon the character of the exhibit.

"If it is to be educational and calculated to give the country a better understanding of the accomplishments of the Indians; if it is the chief purpose to indicate his progress industrially and in an educational way.


"If it emphasizes the efforts of the government towards his civilization and the making of him a citizen on an equality with the white man, then I anticipate that I would be justified in active participation, but action in this respect will have to be determined after more extended information than I now possess.

"I know of the magnificent way of doing things in Denver, and I have confidence to believe that in this, as in all their other undertakings, it will be on the highest possible plane, and then certain to be helpful in the best sense of the word."

Following Judge Sells' speech came that of Colonel Cody, in which the history of the Indian was traced and the plea for the placing of the pageant made. Colonel Cody said:

"I have been very deeply interested in what Commissioner Sells has had to say regarding the Indian. whom I consider one of the noblest race of people on the American continent. The Indian, before the coming of the white man, was peaceably inclined. For instance, when Columbus and the white men who landed first on American soil, the Indians met them with open arms, invited them to land, made them all kinds of presents, everything in their possession; received them with all tokens of friendship, invited them to live with them and make their homes in this great, new land. And this invitation the white man acepted [sic].


"Soon after many more white men came. The Indians gave them land to cultivate, killed game for them and brought it to them and helped them in every way that was possible to make them happy. But more and more white people came and they wanted more land, until so many came that the Indian was pressed back toward the Alleghany mountains and the white kept pressing them back, taking their homes from them, making them leave the graves of their forefathers. Finally they were told to pass on beyond the Alleghany mountains, that there was a great country beyond there and that they could have it all. The noble Indians were gradually pressed farther and farther into the wilderness.

"But soon such men as Daniel Boone and others discovered the great country which is now known as Kentucky and Ohio and it was not long before the white man began to flock into that territory and the Indian was pressed farther back. Finally they told him to go west of the Mississippi river and once more the story of the great country beyond which would belong to the Indians forever was told them. It wasn't long before the great states known as Iowa and Missouri and Minnesota were discovered.

"And the Indian, sooner or later, was compelled to give up that country. Then, sixty or seventy years ago, our most able statesmen at Washington said to move the Indians beyond the Missouri river, that there was a great country, filled with buffalo, coyotes, rattlesnakes and so forth, that was only good for the Indians, and let them have it all.


"But the Indian was not long permitted to remain in the new territory allotted him. The white men kept gradually pushing backward. The great states now known as Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Colorado and Wyoming were settled by the white men. The Indians, having been driven from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean and back again, wanderers upon the country that they at one time owned, naturally, at last made up their minds that the only way they could hold anything was to fight for it. This brought on the wars which continued for fifty years. But finally the Indian, outnumbered by the whites, was compelled to surrender.

"In my life, I have never known of a treaty made between the United States government and the Indian, that was not first broken, not by the government, but by the white man. Now I feel that it is a fitting thing to do, that in 1915, to bring the representative men from all the Western tribes to some location, some place where they can meet, not only bring the plains Indians, but every state in America that has civilized Indians should send their delegations out here to see how the plains Indians are living. And so, too, that the plains Indians may see and compare their situation with that of the more advanced Indians.

"The customs of the Indians and the story of the Indian should be told by themselves, from their earliest traditions up to the present day, showing the Indian of today with the progress he has made toward civilization and education. This the white man owes to the red man and I am glad to hear Commissioner Sells say that if this could be done on educational lines, his department would not seriously object to it.


"I think Denver, being in the very heart of the present Indian reservations, that it would be a fitting place to hold such a grand historical pageant. And if it is held near Denver, my opinion is that it should be held at the foot of the Rocky mountains. The Indian loves the mountains. Morning and evenings, he climbs to the loftiest peak around his encampment, and it is upon the mountains and hills that they hold their religious services. Their encampment should be placed on high, healthy ground with plenty of room for their horses and ponies. They like to see their horses around them. And there is no place on the face of the earth that nature has done so much for as it has for Mount Morrison and the Red Rocks. The Indians will simply be religly [sic] impressed by that natural, great ampitheater that God placed there for them.

"There should be the story told of the life of the early pioneer, the miner, the trapper, the freighters, pony expressmen and the stage coachers. There should be duplicates of their dugouts, their log cabins, frontier forts and churches and buildings showing the progress of the West from its old days to the present. These buildings should be erected and placed where they could be left as a permanent asset to the city of Denver and the state of Colorado.


"Denver has, right at its very door, the greatest natural resource on all the earth. The Garden of the Gods, of course, is beautiful, but it is not to be compared with the Red Rocks near Denver. Great hotels should be erected there and kept open winter and summer, the year around. Denver would benefit by such a resort. It would always have the tourists near the great city. They would not come to spend a day or two in Denver and then go off to other resorts, leaving Denver to see no more of them, they would have a great summer resort here that would hold them, enthrall them, keep them here.

"Some people may say that it is too far away to hold this great pageant. But it is only a few miles more of riding; the cost is comparatively little more, and as Denver and Colorado advertise that this is the greatest scenic state in the Union, why not hold this grand pageant where Denver can make good by showing the grandest scenery in the world? Whereas, should a place like Overland park be taken it would show only a low, marshy piece of land, surrounded by a board fence. The Eastern man would naturally ask about the grand scenery that has been talked about. But to the other place the tourists are given just a little longer ride, just a little more expense and they can be landed right in the heart of the grandest mountain scenery in the world.

"The Indian deserves such a place for his pageant. The tourist deserves such a place of beauty and of wonderful scenery in which to view the pageant — and Denver deserves to place the pageant there that she may show herself to the best possible advantage."