A brief history of early mineral exploitation in the Uinta Basin

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Publication Type report
Research Institute Institute for Clean and Secure Energy (ICSE)
Author Covington, Robert E.
Title A brief history of early mineral exploitation in the Uinta Basin
Date 1964
Description Early mining activities in the Uinta Basin can be summarized by saying that they included mining for gilsonite, coal, copper, iron, oil shale, ozocerite, wurtzilite, and oil and asphalt (under the placer mining laws). Of these minerals only coal and gilsonite were produced in commercially significant quantities, especially the latter. Since nearly all of the hydrocarbons discovered were originally on lands reserved by the government for the Indians, the story of how these lands were gradually obtained by the "whites" is of extreme interest. On October 3, 1861 President Lincoln, by executive order, designated the Uintah Valley as an Indian Reservation. In 1875 the boundary lines of the Reservation were surveyed and were found to contain two million acres of land. Prior to this survey, an act of Congress extinguished all Indian titles to agricultural and mineral lands throughout the State of Utah except on the Uintah Reservation. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, at the old Meeker Indian trading post, 8 miles west of the present site of Meeker, occurred an incident which was to directly affect the mining industry in Utah. Angered because of the roughshod treatment by the Indian agent, Nathan Meeker, the White River Utes roseup and killed Meeker and all of the males at the agency. The "straw that broke the camel's back" occurred when Meeker, objecting to the Utes having horse races on Sunday, ploughed up the race track. Major T. T. Thornburg was sent with 14 soldiers to give assistance to the settlers, but he was ambushed and all of his party wiped out. As a direct result of this uprising, Act of June 15, 1880 (21 Stat. 199), removed the White River and the Uncompahgre Utes from their Colorado reservations and placed them on the Uintah Indian Reservation. By Executive order of Jan. 5, 1882, two million acres were set aside as the Uncompahgre Ute Indian Reservation, for the use of the two deposed tribes (see fig. 1). Fort Thornburg was established in 1880 on the site of the present town of Ouray to help preserve the peace. In 1881 it was moved to the mouth of Ashley Creek, four miles northwest of Hatchtown (Vernal). Due to the Indian trouble in August 1886, troops were brought in and the Fort Duchesne Military Reservation was established. The fort was vacated in 1912 and became the property of the Department of the Interior and was made the Uintah Indian Agency headquarters and the Ouray Subagency.
Type Text
Publisher Intermountain Association of Petroleum Geologists
Subject Uinta Basin; Mining; Uintah Valley; Indian Reservation; Meeker; Utah; History of early mineral exploitation; Uintah Reservation; Gilsonite; Coal; Copper; Iron; Oil shale; Ozocerite; Wurtzilite; Oil; Asphalt; Ashley Creek; Hatchtown; Vernal; Fort Duchesne; Ouray Subagency
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Covington, R. E. (1964). A brief history of early mineral exploitation in the Uinta Basin. E. F. Sabatka (Ed.). Guidebook to the geology and mineral resources of the Uinta Basin--Utah's hydrocarbon storehouse: Thirteenth Annual Field Conference, 1-16.
Rights Management (c) Intermountain Association of Petroleum Geologists
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 686,174 bytes
Identifier ir-eua/id/2872
Source DSpace at ICSE
ARK ark:/87278/s6qv6kng
Setname ir_eua
Date Created 2013-05-09
Date Modified 2014-12-29
ID 213987
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6qv6kng
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