Chief Left Hand
This is the first biography of Chief Left Hand, diplomat, linguist, and legendary of the Plains Indians. Working from government reports, manuscripts, and the diaries and letters of those persons—both white and Indian—who knew him, Margaret Coel has developed an unusually readable, interesting, and closely documented account of his life and the life of his tribe during the fateful years of the mid-1800s.
It was in these years that thousands of gold-seekers on their way to California and Oregon burst across the plains, first to traverse the territory consigned to the Indians and then, with the discovery of gold in 1858 on Little Dry Creek (formerly the site of the Southern Arapaho winter campground and presently Denver, Colorado), to settle.
Chief Left Hand was one of the first of his people to acknowledge the inevitability of the white man’s presence on the plain, and thereafter to espouse a policy of adamant peacefulness —if not, finally, friendship—toward the newcomers.