Peter Gottfredson 1836 - 1934
Hi, this is Author Phillip B Gottfredson and It gives me great pleasure to announce that my great-grandfathers book Indian Depredations in Utah is back in print as of Aug. 1, 2020.
2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Peter Gottfredson's classic first-hand account of the brutal wars with the Timpanogos Tribe from 1847 to 1873. First published in 1919 by Skelton Publishing CO. Salt Lake City, Utah, only 100 copies were printed.
I am grateful that great-grandfather's book has been held in such high regard by scholars, historians, and history buffs though, Peter would be pleased as it was his wish that his book would have its place in Utah's history.
History of the book Indian Depredations in Utah
Peter's book is a non-fiction treasure trove of firsthand accounts of the Utah Indian Wars and in particularly the Black Hawk War spanning the time period of 1847 to 1914.
Peter passed over in 1934 when his long-time friend Taylar Thurber wrote in his eulogy to Peter"And so I speak of Peter Gottfredson with what he has done. He has spent 20 years of his life, the best years of his life, in compiling an authentic history of the Indian Depredations in the State of Utah. It is a book that will go down through the ages because of the close contacts he has made. Just think of man without an education to undertake and write a book! It must have been a tremendous impulse behind this man. He had no wealth, he was one of the last of the pioneers. It was a gigantic task, and there must have been a will to do a thing of that sort. And there is no more pleasant record—it is one that his sons and daughters would be pleased to read and dwell upon."
Peter spent much of his time living among the Timpanogos during the Utah Indian Wars in the 1860's. He enjoyed playing with their children and helping them gather food. The "Sheep Captain" they called him as he was often seen herding sheep which he did for a living. My father Merrill lived with his grandfather Peter for many years and told me, "I can still see Peter get on his horse and ride off to get just one more story for his book. Grandpa was invited into the camp of Timpanogos Chief Antonga Black Hawk on numerous occasions," Merrill said. Later in life Peter was a bishop in Glendale, Utah for twenty years. Still he found himself in the company of Native people, the Koosharem who had a great respect for Peter.
Peter Gottfredson with Koosharem Tribe circa 1930
Peter's book was always on the shelf of our library as I was growing up. Father encouraged me to read it, but I found it to be too depressing when at a young age. When father passed in 1989 he willed the book to me. That's when I finally sat down and read cover to cover. Doing so was like letting a genie out of a bottle. I wanted to understand what it was like for Peter to live among the Native people, and that led to a twenty year journey of my own into the world of the Native Americans and ironically the Timpanogos.
It followed I wrote a companion book, an antithesis to Peter's book I titled My Journey To Understand Black Hawk's Mission of Peace. Mary Meyer Chief Executive of the Timpanogos Tribe collaborated with me on the book.
To the honor of Peter Gottfredson, researchers, journalists, and scholars cite his work in countless publications and articles underscoring the importance of this time-honored classic account.
In 2002 Historian wrote an article in the Salt Lake Tribune about Peter's book "A product of its time, Indian Depredations is bitterly racist: the Utes and Paiutes are “skulking savages,” “murderous marauders,” “Mr. Redskin” and “the sleepless foe.” But the book reports any number of white depredations that would otherwise be unknown, and like the Iliad, the losers are often more courageous and noble than the victors" he wrote.
Indeed "Indian Depredations in Utah" is "racist" as Bagley points out. But no more than those who wrote the stories Peter published in his book. We forget the book is a compilation of firsthand accounts Peter obtained from those who took part in the war. I have always thought a more accurate title for the book would be HISTORY OF MORMON DEPREDATIONS IN UTAH. When you read it you will see what I mean.
And if any of your ancestors were in the wars most likely their names are in his book. Not only is his account bursting with information, what I found to be most interesting are his detailed descriptions of battle sites. My brother and I had a lot of fun locating the actual locations where the battles took place.
In 2002 I republished Peter's book and added a new preface to the delight of historians and history buffs throughout the state of Utah and beyond. Back then there were but a few copies of his original book that remained. The success of my new edition was short lived when a free digital version hit the internet and sales plummeted, and again it went out of print in 2005. Not long after some knock-off version's of Peter's original book hit the market all decked out in an array of new and imaginative covers.
There were two separate printings of Peter's book by Skelton Publishing Co. both occurring in the same year of 1919. The second printing came about when Peter noted to the publisher there were a few minor corrections that needed to be made to the first edition. The publisher then added the 'Corrections' page to the second edition. Also, some additional content was added such as the "Supplement" pages in the back of the book. None of the added content appears in the first edition given to my father by Peter in 1919, which I inherited from my father and was first republished in 2002.
It should be noted that the cover title with the iconic flag-shield of the Utah Indian War Veterans remained the same in both original editions printed by Skelton Publishing in 1919. Peter is credited as one of the leaders who organized the Utah Indian War Veterans organization and dedicated his book to the veterans.
Out of respect for Peter and the Gottfredson family, I feel it is duty to honor our ancestor's legacy and preserve the dignity of his work that Peter Gottfredson so much deserves with this official first edition of Indian Depredations In Utah, which is an exact facsimile of the book Peter gave to my father Merrill Gottfredson in 1919. It is the first of two printings of Peter's book by Skelton Publishing. It's a paperback edition for now, however we are working on a beautiful cloth bound anniversary edition like Peter's original first edition we hope will be out by years end.
Meanwhile, I hope you will lend your support to the preservation of Peter's time-honored work by purchasing our official republication of Peter Gottfredson's first edition of Indian Depredations in Utah. And while you're at it, please consider buying a copy of my companion book too.
Very gratefully yours, Author Phillip B Gottfredson
Peter Gottfredson's original version of Indian Depredations in Utah:
Buy Now! Barns & Nobel or
Finally a book that tells the Timpanogos Tribe's side of the story!! No, the Timpanogos are not Ute, but they are the tribe Brigham Young spent a million dollars in church funds to "get rid of." (See: Timpanogos Ute Oxymoron)
"Inspired by his great-grandfathers book, and like Peter, Phillip has spent the past 20 years researching and writing about the Black Hawk War in Utah while living with the Timpanogos and various Indian tribes throughout North and South America. He was invited to participate in numerous sacred ceremonies and received council from many tribal elders and leaders, which is unusual among today’s historians. Because Gottfredson is personally involved in Native American culture, his account "My Journey To Understand... BLACK HAWK'S MISSION OF PEACE" brings an alternate perspective to a war that has historically been examined from the perspective of Mormon colonizers."
"For his advocacy for true history of the First Nations people of Utah, the Utah State Division of Indian Affairs awarded him the prestigious Indigenous Day Award."
In collaboration with the Timpangos Nation, Phillip B Gottfredson's book "My Journey To Understand... BLACK HAWK'S MISSION OF PEACE" published by Archway Publishing from Simon & Schuster, and has made the best-sellers list!
Peter Gottfredson 1919 Phillip Gottfredson
—A Gottfredson Legacy Spanning 100 Years—