Colorado Monuments by Night Relaunch
A book detailing a photographic and historical journey through Colorado's monuments, including directions and coordinates.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, March 2 2019 10:32 PM UTC +00:00.
Update: We're fully funded after less than 24 hours!
Thank you everyone! As a stretch goal,
if we can make it to $2,000, I'll include everyone's name in a special Thank You section of the book. Stay tuned for other possible stretch goals!
I wanted to find out where we came from in a way that I could relate to more than a textbook; visiting these monuments late at night, when only I was there to hear their stories, allowed them to reveal their humanity in a completely new way. Colorado Monuments by Night brings my late-night rendezvous to life so that you and your family can connect in a completely new light with the people and their odysseys that wrote our Colorado story.
Colorado Monuments by Night is a 250-page photography and history book, detailing 105 monuments around the state, with nighttime photographs of each one, usually from multiple perspectives. There are over 250 footnotes, and it has taken me four years to complete the book. Included within the book are clear directions to every site, as well as GPS coordinates for those who prefer them. The cover art is the project image you see above, showing the Westall Monument under the Milky Way.
The tone of the entries varies, sometimes somber, sometimes with a dash of humor, but always appropriate for the subject. Here's a sample entry:
In Kiowa, on the north side of Comanche Street, between Arapahoe and Pawnee streets
This unassuming monument acknowledges the murder of an entire pioneer family, setting in motion events that would shape Colorado forever. War being the chaotic, multifaceted event that it is, there will always be discussion of the causes of various events, such as the Sand Creek Massacre. In the Indian War of 1864, both sides felt slighted and defiled by the other, and ascribed vengeful value of every transgression as evidence of the need to retaliate. Though feelings finally boiled over after multiple attacks afterward, the Hungate Massacre was held up as plentiful evidence that the Indians needed to be taught the lesson that was to be Sand Creek. The Hungates had only been settling the area for a few months when they were murdered. Afterwards, their bodies were exhumed and brought to Denver to be put on display to foment hysteria and paranoia about Indian attacks. Governor Evans used the attack to prove that the Indians were waging full-scale war against the whites.
The common narrative was that the family had been killed by four Arapaho warriors as revenge against their employer, rancher Isaac Van Wormer. However, recent research including thousands of documents and the retrieval of artifacts from the scene indicate that the real story wasn't so simple. It now appears that a raiding party consisting of as many as sixty Indians that had been stealing stock and pack mules came across the Hungates, who took umbrage and killed one or more of the Indians. The Hungates were killed in particularly gruesome fashion for their disrespect.
While that research is extensive, at the time frontiersman Jim Beckwourth doubted that Arapaho were even involved in the murders, because of the manner of death. Since an unrelated raiding party is known to have been in the area and had come upon the murder scene, it may never be known whether the murders were committed by someone else or not. But for a justification of war, it wouldn't have mattered. The temperature of the whites was high, and any event could have been the inevitable flashpoint.
The Hungates were eventually exhumed and reburied three times before finally being interred at Fairmount Cemetery. One of the four Arapaho supposedly at the revenge killing was Chief Roman Nose, who would eventually die in the Battle of Beecher's Island four years later in 1868. His potential involvement in the murder is now much less clear.
No matter how much you can pledge to this campaign, that amount will allow this book to come to life in a first-edition softcover. There are several ways that you can become a part of this Colorado story - varying from simply pledging your support of the project to purchasing multiple copies, along with bookmarks, an audiobook, and the PDF version.
This special Kickstarter pressing is the first edition of the book. Once the Kickstarter round is over, there may be some of this edition that will be sold on my website for $50. Or there may not be any left - either way, you're getting in on a tremendous deal!
Several levels also include a signed copy of my most recent book, The Black and Whites. This critically acclaimed 170-page book represents my entire collection of black and white panoramas, each featured in a full two-page spread. Included with each image are details about it, and the book has an introduction that explains how the panoramas in general are made. This books normally sells for $29.95, but is being discounted just for Kickstarter backers. Here's the cover:
Sample Images from the Book:
WHAT WILL THE MONEY BE USED FOR?
All of the funds raised will be put toward printing costs, shipping of books, and Kickstarter fees. I've already paid for all of the trips, cartography, and editing. If the goal is met, there will be no profit. If the goal is exceeded, I have some cool things in mind for stretch goals! Printing will take place in The United States, at a low volume, which increases costs.
Risks and challenges
The photography, research, writing, editing, cartography, and layout for the book is already complete. All that's left is the printing. With four years already dedicated to the project, it's certain that it will be printed upon successful funding. The timeline reflects the turnaround time quoted to me by the printing company. For this relaunch, I'm including bookmarks, which will need to be printed, and an audiobook, which still needs to be recorded. I anticipate having it done in plenty of time, but the recording and editing may take a little longer than I'm anticipating.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter