John J. Buchkoski, Spider in the River: A Comparative Environmental History of the Impact of the Cache La Poudre Watershed on Cheyennes and Euro-Americans, 1830-1880, MA Dissertation, University of Nebraska, 2015
Abstract: This thesis is a case study of the Cache la Poudre watershed in Colorado in the mid-nineteenth century and how it contributed to cultural transformations of both Cheyennes and Euro-Americans. This research follows the relationship that developed between Cheyennes and rivers since they inhabited Mille de Lacs in Minnesota in the seventeenth century. It examines the creation of settler-colonialism through the formation of boundaries and colonies in Colorado through the use of rivers. This further illustrates the connectedness of both Euro-Americans and Cheyennes to the rivers and argues that there were battles over these rivers and not only over the land. Finally, this thesis examines how the colonists that settled Colorado also disputed between themselves over the right to these rivers, by committing themselves to the idea of the mythic West. Some were disillusioned and left, but founder of Union Colony, Nathan Meeker, propagated and promoted the mythic West, and by committing themselves to the rivers, survived in that region.
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