Phillip B Gottfredson - Author

Biography & Source Material

Phillip B Gottfredson author My Journey to Understand Black Hawk's Mission of Peace

Phillip B Gottfredson Biography

"This book was truly inspired! It was powerful, filled with emotions, truths and love. Thank you Phillip Gottfredson -Cynthia Johnson, Utah"

Phillip B Gottfredson, a well-known author of Black Hawk's Mission of Peace who specializes in the Black Hawk War of Utah and the Timpanogos Nation of Utah, spent 20 years carefully researching the fascinating ethnology and history of Indigenous peoples of North and the Mayan in South America. He aimed to understand a charismatic Timpanogos leader, Chief Black Hawk, and his mission of peace to end 26 tumultuous years of war, which involved Mormon settlers determined to exterminate his people and take control of their land.

Phillip shows that living with Native Americans was crucial to grasping and empathizing with their culture truthfully. "If one lacks understanding and empathy, they should refrain from writing about what they don't know," said Phillip. With the invaluable guidance and collaboration of tribal leaders, Phillip presents a more authentic and compelling account of the Black Hawk War in Utah, providing a unique and powerful perspective. The result is a rich and informative work that sheds much-needed light on this essential chapter in the history of Utah and its Indigenous peoples.

Phillip Gottfredson, Indigenous Day has been recognized for his outstanding efforts in understanding and valuing Indigenous cultures. He has spent time in different communities across both North and South America to gain knowledge of their history and traditions. This has given him a solid understanding of the dynamics and consequences of settler colonialism. He is genuine in his approach, and his respect and appreciation for indigenous cultures have earned him a warm welcome from tribal leaders. He has been invited to participate in numerous sacred ceremonies, and his contributions are greatly appreciated. As a result, he has been awarded the Indigenous Day Award for his exceptional contributions.

Phillip wrote, "I will always be grateful to my Native American brothers and sisters. And often I would ask what can I do to repay you for your generosity and kindness? Nothing, they replied. Just be yourself and teach your people honestly what we have taught you. They will listen to you, you're White, they said."

Born in 1945 to parents Merrill Edward Gottfredson and Melva Martha Henrie Gottfredson, Phillip is the last of four siblings. He does not belong to any group or organized religion. He is a self-proclaimed free spirit and believes in the universal truths of "Honesty, Love, Courage, Truth, Wisdom, Humility, and Respect."

About BlackHawkProductions.com

Phillip describes himself as an old-school website designer. But make no mistake; he is not a novice. Phillip first launched this website BlackHawkProductions.com as The Black Hawk War; Utah's Forgotten Tragedy in 2003. He first created this website to promote his great-grandfather's book Indian Depredations in Utah, which Phillip had just republished in 2002. Over time, it evolved and became the premier website devoted entirely to the Black Hawk War in Utah when there was hardly any information about the Utah Black Hawk War online. Then, in 2023, he changed the website name to The Utah Black Hawk War; Settler Colonialism (1848-70), reformatted it and upgraded the content for his new book My Journey to Understand Black Hawk's Mission of Peace, published by Archway Publishing from Simon and Schuster.

For over eleven years, Phillip has invested hundreds of hours each year maintaining the BlackHawkProductions.com website. He has given the public free access to a time-honored treasure trove of the well-documented history of the Utah Black Hawk War, also thanks to the generosity of donors. You wouldn't be reading this if not for donations ;-) 

Gottfredson and the Timpanogos Nation

"It was serendipitous that in 2015 I met Chief Executive of the Timpanogos Nation Mary Meyer. I was working at the time on a documentary film for the Division of Indian Affairs. I will never forget her first words, "You got the history right, but you got the wrong Tribe. Have you never heard of the Timpanogos?" It was pivotal because no one, not even the Division of Indian Affairs, whom I worked with for several years on the documentry film project, they didn't tell me the Timpanogos and Ute are different tribes. I don't think anyone knew. Or if they did, they weren't saying anything."

"Mary Meyer generously provided definitive proof that the Timpanogos are the living descendants of the 'Royal Bloodline' Chiefs Sanpitch, Wakara, Arapeen, Tabby, Ammon, Sowiette, Grospeen, and Antongua 'Black Hawk' who was the son of Sanpitch. Their lineage is well documented by vital records, birth and death certificates, Indian Agency records, treaties, and boast of having filed some 13000 pages of historical records with the United States Department of the Interior going back to 1765."

"Mary's help genuinely humbles me, one of the greatest honors in my life to work with Mary Meyer and the Timpanogos Nation. She is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to the history of her Tribe."

Author Phillip B Gottfredson My Journey To Understand Black Hawk's Mission of Peace. Phillip has spent his summers living with the Timpanogos Tribe over the past several years while learning firsthand their recollections of the Black Hawk War. Working with Mary Murdock Meyer, Chief Executive of the Timpanogos Nation, Phillip is the first historian to have been given this honor. Phillip was granted access to the Timpanogos Nation's historical records when many remarkable discoveries were made. The Timpanogos have been marginalized and written out of Utah's history. This set the stage for Phillip to attempt a bold and vital revision of Utah's account of the Black Hawk War.

Documentary Film Project

In 2005 Mr. Gottfredson was commissioned by the Utah State Division of Indian Affairs to make a documentary film of the Black Hawk War. The project was funded by the Utah State Division of Indian Affairs, the George S. Deloris Dori Eccles Foundation, and private donors.

Filmmakers were Black Hawk Productions, LLC, Ron Hill Imagery, and Turtle Island Productions. Phillip wrote, directed, and produced the film.

 

 

 

"I discontinued production of the film The Black Hawk War; Utah's Forgotten Tragedy. Through my Phillip B Gottfredson with filmmaker James Fortierongoing research of the Black Hawk War, I discovered that there are major contradictions and inaccuracies in Utah's history. For example the Timpanogos and Ute Tribes are two distinctly different Tribes in origin, customs, and bloodlines. This revelation alone completely changed the accuracy of the film project. I had invested over three years in the project and never received any compensation. But, had I continued, I would have added to the confusion that already exists in Utah's history, something I was not willing to participate in. My supporters and I were victims of Mormon's one-sided and often misleading history." Please see The Timpanogos-Ute Misidentity for more information.

Phillip spent over 20 years living with Indigenous Tribes throughout North and South America. Phillip describes in his book his many adventures traveling from reservation to reservation and country to country. In 2012 he had heard the Mayans were predicting the end of the world, and so Phillip traveled to San Pedro, Guatemala. He said, "If the world is coming to an end I want to be at ground zero. When I arrived the Mayans asked what brought me to their homeland. They laughed when I told them what I heard back home. I spent six glorious months celebrating an auspicious time in Mayan history the advent of Job Ajaw, the start of a period when harmony, understanding, peace, and wisdom could reign, according to Carlos Barrios, a member of the Mayan Elders Council. And to learn about the Maya's historical connection to North American Tribes." It's a beautifully written account of Phillip's extraordinary spiritual journey into the world of the Native American culture.

Phillip wrote, "What began as a mere Phillip B Gottfredson Author & Historian Black Hawk's Mission of Peace curiosity, in 1989 I began to read all the books I could find on the Black Hawk War in Utah. It became clear to me that all accounts were about the Mormon's one-sided perspective. I found that scholars and authors who wrote about the Black Hawk War never asked or cared what the Native Americans they studied had to say about their work. Consequently, virtually every account about Utah's indigenous peoples is biased and based on assumptions, replete with half-truths, ambiguities, platitudes, and omissions. It followed that in 2003 I turned to all First Nations people of Utah to get their side of the story. My journey truly began when I spent the entire week at the Grand Opening of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC."

Black Hawk's Mission of Peace is a companion book to his great-grandfather's book Indian Depredations in Utah written by Peter Gottfredson.

Photo of Peter Gottfredson author of Indian Depredations in Utah and the great-grandfather of Phillip B Gottfredson author of My Journey to Understand Black Hawk's Mission of peace.It is interesting to point out that Phillip'sIndian Depredations in Utah author Peter Gottfredson great-grandfather Peter Gottfredson was a young man during the Black Hawk War. Being a friend of the Timpanogos, he was invited into the camp of Chief Black Hawk on numerous occasions during the war. He spent much of his time in the camps of the Timpanogos. His great-grandfather also took 20 years to write his first book Indian Depredations In Utah, published in 1919, the same year Black Hawk's Grave was robbed. A hundred years later, and almost to the date, Phillip published his companion book to Peter's in 2019. "Pure coincidence," said Mr. Gottfredson, "but it does cause one to pause," he added.

SOURCE MATERIAL:

CONSULTANTS: 2003-2023 Historian Will Bagley; University of Utah Prof. Daniel McCool Ph.D.; University of Utah Prof. Dr. Floyd O'Neil Ph.D.; Historian Robert Carter; Mary Murdock Meyer Chief Executive of the Timpanogos Nation; National Forest Service Archeologist Charmian Thompson; Vanita Taveapont Director of Indian Language Program Ute Tribe; Loya Arrum Ute Tribe, Shane Armstrong, Forrest Cuch Utah State Division of Indian Affairs, Filmmaker Larry Cesspooch Ute Tribe;

RESOURCES: The United States Department of the Interior; Timpanogos Nation; Commission of Indian Affairs Annual Report 1865, O.H. Irish; Powell; The Bureau of Indian Affairs; The Utah State Government Archives; University of Utah Special Collections images by written permission; Brigham Young University Special Collections; Salt Lake City Library; Mt. Pleasant Library; Cedar City Library Special Collections; Timpanogos Nation Uintah Valley Reservation; Navajo Nation; Northern Shoshone Nation; Private Journals Mormon Pioneers; Marva Loy Egget Spring Lake, Utah; Author Norma Vance a direct descendant of David Monsen Paiute and the only known survivor of the Circleville Massacre; Ute Tribe of the Uinta Ouray Reservation - Uintah Valley Reservation;

INTERVIEWS FROM 1989 TO PRESENT: Personal Interviews of numerous descendants of early Utah Pioneers; oral histories while living with members of various Native American Tribes throughout North and South America; Western Shoshone, Colorado Utes, Grandriver Ute, Uncompahgre Ute, Yampa Ute, Moache Ute, Wiminuche Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Navajo Dine'. Additional interviews with Hopi, Zuni, Pueblo, Apache, Shoshone, Arapaho, Lakota, Silets, Makah, Southern Paiute, Northern Paiute, Yrok, Anishinaabe, Cherokee, Choctaw, Inca, and Mayan of San Pedro Guatemala. Living descendants of Timpanogos Chiefs Wakara, Sowiette, Arapeen, Sanpitch, Ammon, Tabby, and Grospeen (all brothers), and Black Hawk (son of Sanpitch), Chief Executive Mary Murdock Meyer and members of the Timpanogos Nation Uintah Valley Reservation;

RESEARCH MATERIAL: Indian Depredations in Utah by Peter Gottfredson; Utah's Black Hawk War John Alton Peterson; American Indian Prophecies Kurt Kaltreider, Ph.D.; A History of Utah's American Indians Edited by Forest Cuch; Massacre at Mountain Meadows by Will Bagley; Book Of The Hopi by Frank Waters; Crazy Horse by Mari Sandoz; Writings of John D. Lee by Samuel Nyal Henrie; Life Among The Apaches by John C. Cremony 1850; For America To Live Europe Must Die - by Russell Means; Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt; The Sacred Pipe by Joseph Epes Brown; The Paiutes of Pyramid Lake by Ruth Herman; Wisdom of the Elders by David Suzuki; I Will Fight No More Forever Chief Joseph; The Utes Must Go by Peter R. Decker; Red Twilight by Val FitzPatrick; 1491 Charles C. Mann, Pagans in the Promised Land by Steven Newcomb; Guns Germs Steel by Jared Diamond; Jacob Hamblin His Life in His Own Words; Massacre at Bear River by Rod Miller; Lore and Reminiscences of Participants, Carlton Culmsee; Schoolcraft; Bancroft; Founding of Fort Utah by Robert Carter; Shoshoni Frontier Bear River by Brigham Madsen; Thunder Over the OCHOCO by Gayle ONTKO (5 vol. set); So Rugged and Mountainous by Will Bagley; The Shoshonis Sentinels of the Rockies Virginia Cole Trenholm and Maurine Carley; The Book of Destiny Carlos Barrios- Mayan; Popol Vuh Dennis Tedlock; Walkara Hawk of the Mountains Paul Baily; Of Worthier Blood by Parker M. Nielson; Rolling Thunder by Doug Boyd; Claws of the Hawk Paul Baily ; Sacred Objects and Sacred Places by Andrew Gulliford; History of Salt Lake City. Tullidge's Histories, vol 1; Juan Rivera's Colorado, 1765 by author Steven G. Baker; Dominguez Escalante Journal: Their Expedition Through Colorado Utah Arizona and New Mexico in 1776 by Ted J. Warner; Standing Rock by Pamela Eakins; American Indian Myths and Legends by Erdoes and Ortez; The Storytelling Stone by Susan Feldmann; History of Payson by Norma Vance; The Dominguez - Escalante Journal Fray Angelico translation; Chief Pocatello "The White Plume" by Brigham D. Madsen; Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne;

The above books are available for purchase in P.B. Gottfredson's - BookStore

AKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Phillip B Gottfrredson wrote:

It has been over two decades now since I began researching the Black Hawk War in Utah. Which has been a labor of love, one I have not regretted. We can learn so much from the Native Americans if we would only listen. I am truly grateful to the Native American people and tribes who took me in and taught me of their life-ways that forever changed my life in a good way. And to all others, historians, donors, and many good friends, who believed in the Black Hawk Project and generously gave me their time, expertise, and support.

There are no known photos of Timpanogos Chief Antonga Black Hawk. After getting permission from the Timpanogos Tribe in 2019, Phillip B Gottfredson commissioned artist Carol Lahoma Pettit Harding of Pleasant Grove to create a forensic reconstruction drawing of Black Hawk's face. It was based on the historical photo of Black Hawk's skull when Goddard robbed his grave. Harding then designed the cover of Gottfredson's book. According to a dream Gottfredson had, she superimposed the drawing over her painting of Mt. Timpanogos.

Taking Carol over two months of intense work to complete, these photos show the development stages from conception to completion. Working from the only historic photograph of Black Hawk's skull, Carol worked from many images of his past and present descendants to ensure accuracy. The final sketch was presented to the Timpanogos Council for approval before publishing it.

 

The Black Hawk War; William E. Croff.Preliminary sketch of Timpanogos sketch by artist Carol Pettit Harding

 

Finished rendering of Timpanogos Chief Black Hawk. Art by Carol Pettit Harding.

 

Final drawing of Timpanogos Chief Black Hawk by artist Carol Pettit Harding.

 

Artist Carol Lahoma Pettit Harding

As the artist that created the art for the cover of Phillip B Gottfredson's book Black Hawk's Mission of Peace, I will tell you a few things about my background. My home and studio are located in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Where the noted Battle Creek Canyon Massacre was fought.

I have been inspired to create several Native American themes, landscape, portrait, still life, and sculpture throughout my 80-year career.

I met Mr. Gottfredson when he opened a new frame-shop in Provo, Ut. five decades ago. For many years he handcrafted beautiful frames to enhance my art work. When he moved on I didn't hear from him for about 20 years later, when he came to visit. I had tons of questions I wanted to ask him. Then I learned about the fantastic journey he had taken, the book he had researched and was writing.

 Artist Carol Pettit HardingThe history of the great Timpanogos Nation that Phillip shared with me took on a life and spirit of its own. As Phillip spoke of the extraordinary life of Black Hawk, I felt a deep and spiritual calling for me. This great warrior's story overwhelmed me with compassion and understanding as one being lifted up (transformed) for a once-in-a-lifetime assignment. 

I felt such a powerful spiritual experience to get involved in this; it completely changed my life. Black Hawk's intense energy stayed with Phillip and me until the book was completed. You may ask, "is his spirit still with us?" Answer: "More than ever."