Utopian Thought and the Meeker Massacre of 1879

  • Charles W. NuckollsEmail author


Nathan Meeker is the only nineteenth-century utopianist to have been murdered by the community he attempted to transform. In 1879, he was Agent to the White River Utes of northwestern Colorado, and there he was killed by a band of Utes. Eerily, Meeker came close to predicting his demise years earlier, in a novel about an American sea captain, shipwrecked on an island, who embarks on a utopian project among the natives. They reject his civilizational mission, and he barely escapes with his life. The Meeker Massacre, on the other hand, precipitated the forced removal of the Utes from Colorado to Utah. This chapter addresses conceptions of Native Americans, and the different ways social theories configured interactions between Utes and government officials.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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