PETER DECKER, PhD: History Chat and Book Signing of Red, White & Army Blue

June 12, 2015 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Historic Fraser Church

 Peter Decker returns to Fraser to discuss his new book, “Red, White & Army Blue.” GCHA fans may recall Dr. Decker’s outstanding talk last year about “The Utes Must Go.”


In his latest book, Peter Decker begins as a fictionalized account of the U.S. Army 4th Cavalry supervising the removal in 1881 of fifteen hundred defeated Ute Indians from their sixteen-million-acre Uncompahgre River Valley homeland in western Colorado in a 250-mile march to a dusty patch of useless land in Utah Territory. It soon becomes a story of the conflict between the Army’s disreputable purging the west of “The Indian Problem” and the compulsory punishment for one cold-blooded murder by an officer decorated for his skill at premeditated extermination.


Peter Decker is a scholar of American history, a professor retired from both Columbia and Duke Universities, and the author of non-fiction books and treatises on the history of the American West. He is president of the National Western Stock Show.


He has lived since 1980 on a working cattle ranch in Ridgway, Colorado, smack dab in the middle of the Uncompahgre River Valley and the original Uncompahgre Ute reservation.


Decker is a scholar by profession and a Westerner by inclination, so he knew where his dream ranch was located in history and while fixing a fence he stumbled upon arrowheads that eventually lead to his fictionalizing this story about a single incident of the extreme racism upon which Manifest Destiny was polished bright.


Excerpts from Red, White & Army Blue Book Review by Jeffrey Mannix, courtesy of the Durango Herald