Many Western history enthusiasts believe that Ouray was the greatest of all Indian chiefs. Unlike his contemporaries, he is remembered for his negotiating and peacekeeping skills rather than for any historic deed on the battlefield. Most who knew Ouray considered him to be a very extraordinary Indian--a man of keen perceptions and a talented diplomat. But probably no other Indian chief was as enigmatic. Although most of his tribe were prepared to die for him. His own brother-in-law tried to kill him. He was chief of the Ute Nation, but he was neither a full-blooded Ute nor a chief elected by his own people--he was half Apache and was appointed chief by the government. In spite of high praises given him by various luminaries of his day, may insisted that Ouray was ordinary, at best. He was a tough and tenacious negotiator for his people, but he was also a friend of the whites and realized that if the Utes did not submit they would be destroyed. This book explores Ouray's life and his people but makes no judgments. It lets the reader decide what historic status to accord this famous chief.
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