Mount Timpanogos
Home | Message Of Peace | Tribal Info | Our History | Our Ancestors | NEWS

NOTICE: The Timpanogos Nation is not affiliated with the "Affiliated Ute Citizens of Utah (ACU)" aka "the 490" aka the "Uintah Valley Shoshone Tribe" or Chairperson Dora Van.



Timpanogos Chief Tabby

Chief Tabby

Timpanogos Nation News Update

New Documents Support Timpanogos Oral Histories

by Phillip B Gottfredson – Black Hawk War Historian


It has been four years now since Mary Meyer got me to understand just who the Timpanogos Tribe is. Before that time I had spent some 15 years researching the Black Hawk War and I, like everyone else, believed it was the Ute Tribe the Mormons were in conflict with. All the histories I read told me so. Then when Mary opened my eyes to the fact that the Colorado Utes were not in Utah until 1881, eleven years after the Black Hawk War had ended, I was shocked! And Mary can tell you it took me some time to truly understand how Utah's history is really messed up. It meant I had to unlearn everything and start over. Now everything is falling into place as we continue making new discoveries in the written histories that support the Timpanogos Tribe's oral histories..

Let us begin with a panoramic view of the territory of Utah, its environment, it's inhabitants, and finally the coming of Mormon pioneers and the impact they had upon the landscape.

Utah is a land born of diverse geological features, shaped by millions of years of volcanic activity, the collision of tectonic plates creating the majestic Wasatch Mountains, lush fertile valleys and lakes, rivers and streams. West and south of the Wasatch range is avast open desert. To the east and north are high mountain ranges verdant valleys and plateaus carved out by glaciers. It is a wonderland of beauty and majesty in all its glory.

This has been the home of the Timpanogos from time immemorial. But the Timpanogos were not alone. To the north and east are the homelands of the Shoshoni, Blackfeet, Crow, Lakota, and to the south were the Apache, Dine', Hopi, Paiute, Pueblos, and Washsho. To the west were the Southern Shoshone, and Goshute. And to the east were the Mouche, Capote, Weeminuche, Tabaquache, Grandriver, Uintah and Yampa. Of coarse there were other tribes. But most important to our story are the Timpanogos who were, without question, the ruling Nation of Utah territory comprised of some 280,000 square miles of land.

The Timpanogos Indians are the original inhabitants of Utah Territory who were first discovered by Spanish explorers Juan Revera in 1765, and Dominguez and Escalante in 1776. They describe having come in contact with Native Americans "the bearded ones" who were Snake-Shoshone who called themselves "Timpanogostzis," whose leader was Turunianchi. Turunianchi had a son named Moonch. Moonch was the father of Chiefs Sanpitch, Wakara, Arapeen (father of Jake Arapeen), Tabby, Ammon, Sowiette, and Grospeen, known as the "Royal Bloodline." Six of the seven brothers were the uncles of Antonga (Black Hawk) who was the son of Sanpitch. Dominguez named Mount Timpanogos, Timpanogos River (Provo River), Timpanogos Lake (Great Salt Lake) and Timpanogos Valley (Utah Valley) in honor of the Timpanogostzis. Today the Timpanogos Nation consists of about 1000 descendants of the 'Royal Bloodline' living on the Uintah Valley Reservation in Utah.

No one can accurately say just how many Timpanogos people there were in those days, but it seems reasonable to say there were at least 70,000, and likely more. They made their living off the land. There was a delicate balance in nature between the Timpanogos and the resources, one that had to be respected and cared for.

Utah's Timpanogos were deeply connected to the land of their ancestors. They were deeply connected and stood in awe of the beauty that surrounded them, the majestic Wasatch mountains, Timpanogos Lake (Utah and Great Salt Lake), Timpanogos Mountain, and Timpanogos River (Provo River). They were deeply connected to the plants in all their endless forms for food or medicinal uses. They were deeply connected to maintaining a harmonious relationship among themselves and their environment, the elk, deer, buffalo, and all living things. Even the rocks were sacred to them. They understood and respected these things as sacred gifts from their Creator. They were a deeply spiritual civilization.

Trouble for the Timpanogos began July 24, 1847, when Brigham Young along with a party of 143 Mormons, emerged from the mouth of Cottonwood Canyon on a hill overlooking Salt Lake valley of the Wasatch Front, thus concluding a thousand mile journey taking 111 days by horseback and covered wagons. Brigham seeing the valley said, “It's enough, this is the right place, drive on.” In the following years to come, Mormons would continue to pour in on the land of the Timpanogos at the rate of 3000 a month, setting the stage for a major conflict with the Timpanogos Nation.

Having arrived mid summer, it was too late in the season for the Mormons to plant crops for food to sustain them through the winter. So, they hunted deer, and elk for meat. They cut down trees to build shelter, log cabins and fences to protect their cattle from predators. Still they called upon Timpanogos leader Walkara who then agreed to help them get through the first winter, even though Wakara had made it clear to Brigham Young they were not welcome to settle on their land. Brigham assured Wakara they were only were passing through to California, and would be gone in the spring.

Spring of 1848 we find the Mormons have no intention of leaving as they had promised Wakara, instead Brigham and his followers are seen cutting down more trees, and building more buildings, and soon thousands more pioneers pour into the valley at a alarming rate.. Tensions between Wakara and Brigham begin to build. Wakara said: “That he had always been opposed to the whites set[t]ling on the Indian lands, particularly that portion which he claims; and on which his band resides and on which they have resided since his childhood, when they first commenced the settlement of Salt Lake Valley, was friendly, and promised them many comforts, and lasting friendship—that they continued friendly for a short time, until they became strong in numbers, then their conduct and treatment towards the Indians changed—they were not only treated unkindly, but many were much abused—sometimes they have been treated with much severity—they have been driven by this population from place to place—settlements have been made on all their hunting grounds in the valleys, and the graves of their fathers have been torn up by the whites. He said the Gosoke who formerly lived in the Salt Lake valley had been killed and driven away, and that now they wished to drive him and his band away also—he said he had always wished to be friendly with the whites—but they seemed never to be satisfied—the Indians had moved time after time, and yet they could have no peace—that his heart was sick—that his heart felt very bad. He said he has always been opposed to the whites settling on his lands, but the whites were strong and he was weak, and he could not help it—that if his great father did not do something to relieve them, he could not tell what they would do."

The mere presence of the Mormons on the land had already begun to upset the delicate balance of Nature. As Mormons killed off the four leggeds, the winggeds, and emptied the streams of fish with gill nets. They tore open Mother Earth with steel plows, diverted the streams, and put up fences. Followed by a fort being built in Utah Valley. The effects were immediate for the Timpanogos forcing them to travel greater distances to find food for their families.

Less than two years pass by when the Mormons arrived, promising the Timpanogos 'many comforts and friendship', when in 1849 Brigham Young falsely accuses the Timpanogos of stealing his horses which led to the massacre of a peaceful group of unarmed Timpanogos Indians at Pleasant Grove, known as the Battle Creek Massacre. Shortly after a second massacre occurs at Fort Utah, when the severed heads of 50 Tribal leaders and members are hung from eves of buildings and stacked in boxes. That alone was enough to start a war. But Wakara was reluctant to do so until 1853. Because his elder brother Sowiette was against any violence and told Wakara if he waged war against the Mormons he would have him to face.

Note: The following two paragraphs we have recently discovered:

On January 31, 1850, General Wells drafted orders for Captain George D. Grant to "exterminate the Timpanogos," known as "Special Order No. 2". Isaac Higbee was the bishop of Fort Utah and he met with the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the Fort when they agreed the only way to keep Fort Utah would be to exterminate the Timpanogos. Utah State Archives, State Capitol, Salt Lake City, Utah Territorial Militia Correspondence, 1849-1863, ST-27, Microfilm reel 1, Document No. 5. Eugene E. Campbell. Establishing Zion

“I say go [and] kill them…" said Brigham Young, "Tell Dimick Huntington to go and kill them—also Barney Ward—let the women and children live if they behave themselves… We have no peace until the men [are] killed off—never treat the Indian as your equal.” BYC, Microfilm reel 80, box 47, folder 6. Farmer, Jared (2008). On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674027671

The Mormon's Black Hawk War was not a single incident. There was over 150 bloody confrontations between the Timpanogos Nation and the Mormons during the years of 1849 - 1872. And 41 of those confrontations occurred before the year 1865, the date most scholars claim the War began... their claim is a fallacy.

Mormon leader Brigham Young spent a staggering 1.5 million dollars in Church funds (equivalent to $28 million today) to "get rid of the Indians" and bills Congress for reimbursement. No wonder Brigham famously said, "It's cheaper to feed them than to fight them." A mere drop in the bucket when compared to the untold collateral losses suffered by the Native peoples of Utah. And who is there to reimburse them?

Note: We have established that Arropeen had a son named Jake. This has given clarity to Mormon accounts that confuse Jake Arropeen and Chief Arropeen being the same person.

Following Chief Walker's murder in 1855, Walkara's brother Chief Arapeen took Walkara's place. Arrapeen, getting on in years by this time, his son Jake led the battle against the Mormons.

In 1860 Chief Arapeen died. Tabby (Tabiona), Arrapeen's brother took his position and remained in leadership until his death circa 1898. Meanwhile, the Mormons botched an attempt at peace with the Timpanogos at Manti in 1865, when a drunken John Lowry yanked Jake from his horse by his long hair. Jake dishonored before his warriors, his cousin Black Hawk takes over leadership and put together an army of warriors numbering in the thousands.

Though Black Hawk, who at the tender age of 13, was severally traumatized being present at both massacres of his kin at Battle Creek and Fort Utah, add the loss of his uncle Walkara, and then a series of bloody confrontations leading up to the Bear River Massacre where some 400 of Black Hawk's blood relations are brutally slaughtered in 1863; within only 14 months Black Hawk, at the age of 28, led a masterful attack against the Mormons and nearly drove them out of Utah. But, Black Hawk was mortally wounded in battle while attempting to rescue a fallen warrior Whitehorse, and eventually died from his wound in 1870.

Note: We have added the quote from Utah Historian John Alton Peterson to our record:

Utah historian John Alton Peterson describes Black Hawk as "having remarkable vision and capacity. He put together an imposing war machine and masterminded a sophisticated strategy that suggest he had a keen grasp of the economic, political, and geographic contexts in which he operated. Comparable to Cochise, Sitting Bull and Geronimo, Black Hawk fostered an extraordinary pan-regional movement that enabled him to operate in an enormous section of country and establish a three-face war. Black Hawk worked to establish a barrier to white expansion and actually succeeded in collapsing the line of Mormon settlement, causing scores of villages in over a half dozen counties to be abandoned. For almost a decade the tide of white expansion in Utah came to a dead stop and in most of the territory actually receded."

When the war concluded in 1873, the consequence of the war resulted in a staggering 90% decrease in Utah's Native population that was noted by Brigham Young, and recorded in Indian agency reports, and government census records. Deaths from violence, starvation, and disease over a 23 year period was in the thousands.

Forgotten and left out of Mormon histories, are the thousands of Native American men, women, and innocent children who bled to death on the battlefields of Bear River, Mt. Pleasant, Provo, Manti, or on the shores of Utah Lake. Or those who starved to death for want of food, run off their hunting grounds. Or those who died from measles and smallpox, or poisoned to death their sources of water contaminated with arsenic. Or those brutally murdered. 'Old Bishop', a beloved old Indian, was eviscerated, his stomach cavity filled with rocks and thrown in the river, accused of stealing a shirt off a clothesline.

After the war, we see ongoing cultural genocide as relentless attempts are made to assimilate Native Americans into the white man's culture and take away their reservations. The Dawes Allotment Act, the Reorganization Act, the Termination Act, the Self Determination Act, and the Religious Freedom Act. Then the boarding house schools, or the LDS Church Indian placement program are few of many examples of cultural genocide as native children are taken away, torn from the arms their families and relatives, their languages and traditions stripped away, to be assimilated, but not integrated, into the white man's world. Inspired by the racist slogan of Manifest Destiny "Save the man, kill the Indian." If those children were among the fortunate, who survived after years and years of unimaginable brutality in all its many forms, living in complete isolation from their moms and dads, cousins, uncles, and grandparents, they returned home where they were now strangers among their own people.

What's News!

By Mary Meyer Chief Executive Officer of the Timpanogos Nation

There has been some questions asked us about our oral histories regarding the “glass in flour” and the genocide of our people. The following paragraphs taken from Mormon documents support our Oral history and what our ancestors faced.

On January 31, 1850, Wells drafted orders for Captain George D. Grant to "exterminate the Timpanogos," known as "Special Order No. 2". Isaac Higbee was the bishop of Fort Utah and he met with the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the Fort when they agreed the only way to keep Fort Utah would be to exterminate the Timpanogos. Utah State Archives, State Capitol, Salt Lake City, Utah Territorial Militia Correspondence, 1849-1863, ST-27, Microfilm reel 1, Document No. 5. Eugene E. Campbell. Establishing Zion

“I say go [and] kill them…" said Brigham Young, "Tell Dimick Huntington to go and kill them—also Barney Ward—let the women and children live if they behave themselves… We have no peace until the men [are] killed off—never treat the Indian as your equal.” BYC, Microfilm reel 80, box 47, folder 6. Farmer, Jared (2008). On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674027671

We are pleased to report that the Timpanogos Nation by bringing our story to the public are witnessing some corrections being made in Utah's history. Since we launched our website four years ago, the Timpanogos presence has grown tremendously across the internet in not only the history sites, but in social media as well. Here are some statistics taken directly from our server that skeptics should find interesting:

As of today, August 19, 2018 average monthly visits on our website is 1202 so far. Last month, July, we saw 1873 visits. Our yearly average visits is 21505. That's a lot of interest in the Timpanogos!

On the internet we are seeing our presence growing more each month. Wikipedia, and a large number of history websites are publishing articles about the Timpanogos. Some are rewriting old articles removing the name 'Ute' and replacing it with Timpanogos. And most importantly they are for the most part getting the story correct. In fact we are seeing many websites and new articles being published that are making a definite distinction between the Timpanogos Tribe and the Ute tribe, something we haven't seen before. We have in the past been mistaken as Ute, but that's changing now thanks to our research and development of the Timpanogos Nation website. Using the search term “Timpanogos Tribe” Google reports over 30,000 results. WOW! Four years ago we were blessed to find but a handful of results. And it's growing all the time.

Our presence on social media is also growing, particularly Facebook where both Mary Meyer and Phil have pages devoted to the Timpanogos Tribe, and the Black Hawk War, and they are also linked to the Timpanogos Nation's website and to Phil's The Black Hawk War; Utah's Native American Tragedy site. Linking these pages and websites together drive traffic and generates greater interest which is what we need.

Also Phil added a “share” button to our website pages. This feature allows our visitors to share our website with others and across every social media. Since the installation a week ago there have been over 300 shares, that can only help to drive up our presence across the internet even more.

What this means for the Tribe is we are helping to correct Utah's history. We, for the first time we have a voice and its being heard, we are getting our story out there to the public. And historians are taking notice, as is the Ute Tribe. The time has come when the Timpanogos Nation needs to stand tall and with pride, and take back our place in history!

It has been a great help as people not members of our tribe are sharing with us interesting articles and documents that help support our cause.

We are still working with the Interior department to finalize our Federal relationship and gain recognition and are looking to the future with optimism. Your prayers and continued support is what helps unites us as a Nation as we face the challenges before us so we can leave our children and the seven generations to come a legacy they can be proud of.



NOTE: On the internet we are seeing people label this photo as being 'Chief Walkara'! That is shameful and disgraceful to both the Timpanogos Nation and the Ute Nation!


Historians also refer to Chief Colorow as Ute, when in fact he was Comanche. He was captured by the Mouche of the Southern Utes, and raised from childhood by the Mouche, Capote, and Tabaquache of the Southern Ute peoples. Though he was born a Comanche, he lived his life as a Southern Ute, and eventually became thier leader. Colorow never came to Utah, and the Comanche is a branch of the Shoshone. So Colorow was born a Shoshoni and raised as a Southern Ute. He was the Chief of the Ute Mountain Utes and is buried in Ignacio, Colorado. Colorado Ute Chiefs were Ouray who died Aug 24, 1880, Colorow died 1888, and Chief Ignacio died December 9, 1913.