Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Wetmore in Custer County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Cuerno Verde

 
 
Cuerno Verde Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 7, 2020
1. Cuerno Verde Marker
Inscription.  The long battle between colonial Spain and the Comanche people climaxed in 1779, when Juan Batista de Anza's army killed the great chief Cuerno Verde (Green Horn) southeast of here at the foot of Greenhorn Mountain. De Anza, the governor of New Mexico and blazer of the first overland trail to California, embodied Spain's colonial aspirations, while Cuerno Verde served at the figurehead for the region's other great power — the Comanches, who dominated the southern Great Plains for most of the 1700s. During that time they kept Spain's New Mexican colonies under near-constant siege, until de Anza and a six-hundred-man army (bolstered by several hundred Indian auxiliaries) killed Cuerno Verde and about fifty warriors. The battle significantly shifted the balance of power in present-day Colorado: for the next seventy years, Spain and its successor, Mexico, controlled all territory south of the Arkansas River.

Women and Trade Settlements
Despite some company policies forbidding interracial marriages, unofficially many trading firms of the nineteenth century actively encouraged their agents in the field to wed Native American
Cuerno Verde Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
Colorado Historical Society
2. Cuerno Verde Marker Detail
Comanches, like Cuerno Verde in the eighteenth century and this warrior in the 1880s, made use of buffalo horns in their headdresses.
or Hispanic women. Such unions were good for business, as they fostered lucrative cross-cultural trade relationships. The marriages were also good for the trappers and hide-hunters, who relied on their wives to hunt, trap, skin hides, tend the herds and defend the homestead — this in addition to raising children, preparing meals, and making clothes. Their skills and connections gave some of these women enough power and independence to control their own destinies, as Teresita Sandoval did. They generally enjoyed higher status and better standards of living than many of Colorado's pioneer women. Though often overlooked in history textbooks, these women played an indispensable part in the development of Colorado's first export industry.

Captions:
• Greenhorn, Colorado in 1889. Settlers also called a nearby mountain and stream Greenhorn after the legendary Comanche chief Cuerno Verde. Courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Collection
• Comanches, like Cuerno Verde in the eighteenth century and this warrior in the 1880s, made use of buffalo horns in their headdresses. Colorado Historical Society
• The fierce reputation the Comanches had earned from the Spaniards maintained itself well into the nineteenth century. Though starvation and bandits posed far greater threats to life and property, Seth
Cuerno Verde Marker image. Click for full size.
Alexander Barclay / Courtesy Colorado Historical Society
3. Cuerno Verde Marker
Alexander Barclay first met Teresita Sandoval as she was leaving a riverbank with laundry, an ecounter he set to paper in this watercolor. Sandoval assisted Barclay in all of his business affairs, and her connections across the region undoubtedly helped Barclay attain the small successes he was able to enjoy.
Eastman could convincingly portray Comanches as a significant threat to settlers in this 1853 illustration. Colorado Historical Society
• The image of the mountain man has become emblematic of western trade settlements, in no small part because of the efforts of entertainers like John Y. Nelson, of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (posing on horseback in the 1880s). The picture would be more accurate if women like Teresita Sandoval and clerks-turned-frontiersmen like Alexander Barclay had been added to the popular image. Courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Collection
• Alexander Barclay first met Teresita Sandoval as she was leaving a riverbank with laundry, an ecounter he set to paper in this watercolor. Sandoval assisted Barclay in all of his business affairs, and her connections across the region undoubtedly helped Barclay attain the small successes he was able to enjoy. Courtesy Colorado Historical Society
 
Erected 2002 by Colorado Historical Society; Colorado Department of Transportation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansSettlements & SettlersWars, Non-USWomen.
 
Location. Marker has been reported unreadable. 38° 
Cuerno Verde Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Collection
4. Cuerno Verde Marker Detail
The image of the mountain man has become emblematic of western trade settlements, in no small part because of the efforts of entertainers like John Y. Nelson, of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (posing on horseback in the 1880s). The picture would be more accurate if women like Teresita Sandoval and clerks-turned-frontiersmen like Alexander Barclay had been added to the popular image.
15.875′ N, 105° 5.264′ W. Marker is near Wetmore, Colorado, in Custer County. Marker is at the intersection of Colorado 67 (at milepost 2) and County Road 19C, on the right when traveling south on Colorado 67. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wetmore CO 81253, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Hardscrabble (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Hardscrabble (here, next to this marker); Cliffhangers and Headbangers (approx. 6.1 miles away); Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway (approx. 6.1 miles away); Florence's Beginnings (approx. 8.8 miles away); Early Agriculture & Ranching (approx. 8.8 miles away); James A. McCandless House (approx. 8.9 miles away); Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition (approx. 9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wetmore.
 
Cuerno Verde Marker image. Click for full size.
By Seth Eastman
5. Cuerno Verde Marker
"Emigrants Attacked by the Comanches," steel engraving by Seth Eastman, published in 1853 in Mary Eastman's The American Aboriginal Port Folio. Digital copy from The Illustrating Traveler, Yale Library.
Cuerno Verde Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 7, 2020
6. Cuerno Verde Marker
This marker is on the right.
Cuerno Verde Marker image. Click for full size.
Courtesy History Colorado
7. Cuerno Verde Marker
The marker (right) in better condition.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 65 times since then and 3 times this year. Last updated on July 24, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 19, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   7. submitted on August 16, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement
Mar. 6, 2021