Controversy and Compromise in Colorado Pioneer Monuments
In 1911, Denverites opposed plans for a Pioneer Monument featuring a Plains Indian warrior towering over white settlers. A century later, Colorado Springs residents rejected a conventional covered wagon monument in favor of a modern design celebrating cultural inclusivity. Amid anti-racist protests this summer, Denver removed part of its Pioneer Monument. Cynthia Prescott will recount 100 years of pioneer monument controversies in Colorado, and invite you to consider the future of local statues.
ABOUT THE PRESENTER
Cynthia Culver Prescott is associate professor of history at the University of North Dakota. Prescott is the author of Pioneer Mother Monuments: Constructing Cultural Memory (University of Oklahoma Press, 2019) and Gender and Generation on the Far Western Frontier (University of Arizona, 2007). Her website, Pioneer Monuments in the American West [pioneermonuments.net], features interactive maps and timelines featuring more than 200 monuments. Supported by a Whiting Foundation Public Engagement Seed Grant, she is using the GIS-enabled app Clio to create detailed historical entries and walking tours of 200 sites in the West, with an emphasis on controversial public monuments and shifting representations of race and gender.