Talk Explores Stereotypes of Frontier Army at Colorado State University’s American West Program

Contrary to stereotypical notions, the army of the19th century West didn’t exist solely as an Indian-fighting force locked in continuous combat with Native American warriors. Michael Tate, history professor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, will present ""Posse Comitatus in Blue: The Soldier as Frontier Lawman," an in-depth look at the myriad duties of the men who comprised frontier armies, during an American West Program talk at 7:30 p.m. June 25 in Room A103 Chemistry Building on campus.

Tate noted that, among other duties, soldiers compiled scientific and artistic records of the West, built roads, aided overland travelers, improved river and harbor facilities, undertook agricultural experiments, delivered federal mails, protected the fledgling national parks, extended relief programs to destitute civilians and provided government revenues that helped attract settlers.

Events for the American West Program will continue every Tuesday evening through July 30, when Patricia Limerick, historian from the University of Colorado-Boulder, will explore the role of the courts in the changing West.

Other topics include discussions of Bat Masterson, vigilantism and a slide presentation on the rise and fall of Wyoming lawman Tom Horn.

Following is a schedule of events. All talks begin at 7:30 p.m. in Room A103 Chemistry Building and are free and open to the public. The locations previously announced have all been changed to the Chemistry Building.

For more information, call Harry Rosenberg, history professor and coordinator of the American West series, at 491-5230.

  • June 25 – "Posse Comitatus in Blue: The Soldier as Frontier Lawman," Michael Tate, history professor, University of Nebraska-Omaha.
  • July 2 – "Tom Horn, Wyoming Range Detective: Guilty of Murder in the First Degree," Chip Carlson, historian and biographer, Cheyenne, Wyo.
  • July 9 – "The Texas Rangers in History and Legend," Robert Utley, historian, Georgetown, Texas.
  • July 16 – "Vigilantism – The Conservative Mob," Richard Brown, Beekman Professor of History, emeritus, University of Oregon.
  • July 23 – "Bat Masterson: The Colorado Connection," Mike Koury, publisher, Old Army Press, Fort Collins, Colo.
  • July 30 – "Judging Colorado: The Role of the Courts in the Changing West," Patricia Limerick, history professor, University of Colorado-Boulder.