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Meeker founded my home town.
I found his story retold
in a Sunday Supplement,
with photographs, recently.
And I've done some more reading.
Meeker looked like Uncle Sam;
like Ralph Waldo Emerson.
He was a man of eager
feelings, the best intentions,
with a ranging, loose-jointed,
abrupt intelligence, and ...
a nice man, as we should say --
at the hearings afterward
a witness called him `a most
excellent gentleman,' though
`without the tact, and knowledge
of the Indian character,
which is required in Agents ...'
The colony he'd founded
had prospered, but he himself
at sixty, after a life
of jolting change, and no slight
distinction, lost his money
and now, in debt, and tired out,
resolves to go out once more
in the wilderness, agent
for the Utes, who at this time
possess a third of the state
and fi nd the whites crowding up
against them; the old story.
Meeker goes out with orders
(and the desire) to turn them
from their hunting, and make them
into farmers -- as farmers