Sand Creek Massacre News Release
September 1, 2014
Lone Bear's Family and the Sand Creek Massacre
This article is part of a series by the National Park Service concerning the 150th Anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre.
Lone Bear, long a friend of white society, tried to secure peace across the Colorado Plains in 1864. U.S. Army Colonel John Chivington remarked on his conduct as a prominent Cheyenne peace chief and "wrote out a certificate of [Lone Bear's] good character, stating that he was a friendly Indian." Following negotiations with Territorial Governor John Evans, Lone Bear came to the peace village at Sand Creek, which Chivington and his men attacked on November 29, 1864.
Lone Bear's daughter Walking Woman married John Prowers, a local landowner and settler. Prowers testified that, "I was taken prisoner one Sunday evening, about sundown, by men of company E, first cavalry of Colorado, by orders of Colonel Chivington… and not allowed to leave the house for two nights and a day and a half… because I had an Indian family. The colonel commanding thought I might communicate some news to the Indians encamped on Sand [C]reek." Even his association with white society could not protect Lone Bear; during the chaos of the massacre, soldiers killed Lone Bear.
In the aftermath of Sand Creek, Lone Bear's family relocated to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). Walking Woman stayed in Colorado's Arkansas Valley, becoming an area matriarch under the name of Amache Prowers. During World War II, the federal government interned Japanese-Americans near Granada, Colorado, a camp soon nicknamed after her. Now a National Historic Landmark, Camp Amache connects the experiences of the Cheyenne and Arapaho at Sand Creek to those of Japanese-Americans in World War II.
To find out more about Lone Bear and the Sand Creek Massacre, go to www.nps.gov/sand or visit the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site outside of Eads, Colorado.
Last updated: April 4, 2020