Letter to the editor: Gore was not driving the Indians out as were the Americans

Warren Ward


As a land surveyor and registered Potawatomi, I hope this is helpful regarding the name Gore:

The name Gore Range or Gore added to subdivisions, streets, passes, ranches, churches and businesses indicates where in our state a place is located. Any name of any feature on a map is an American endeavor for an organized society.

Our country is built on professionally prepared maps, instigated by the Continental Congress for the purpose of charting American expansion west, when unsettled lands were legally purchased from the Indians.

Surveyors were commissioned to chart the new ground of America, and the maps they prepared would not be useful to the public without common names placed on thousands of features. The surveyors became part of the story of America and had to act as the “naming committee” when preparing their beautiful, professional maps. Names placed on features by surveyors were unique, nonbiased, recognizable to the public and included Indian names so that Americans could understand where all the features of our new country were located, according to our maps.

The Indians had no political structure or scalable unit of measurement, thus no need for maps. Indians saw what they called “The Shining Mountains” by what they looked like, not by where they were located.

Every name on every map means “place where Indians were driven out.” Ireland’s Lord George Gore is the one name on all maps of a person who was not intentionally driving the Indians out as were the Americans.

Renaming the geographic place Gore to the Shining Mountains would dilute the grandeur of the Shining Mountains name by placing it at but one area of only one state, and turning that great name into just another American map name. No one actually living here would know where it was.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.