A Portion of Estes Park, with Long's Peak in the Distance.

A Portion of Estes Park, with Long's Peak in the Distance.
(See Page 91.)

Title page










The Old, the New, and the Ocean Between 1
Coronado 14
Light in the East 40
Lieutenant Pike 54
The Lost Period 75
Major Long 85
The Pioneers 99
Christopher Carson and His Contemporaries 106
General Fremont and the Mormons 125
Opportunity 143
A Vanishing Race 153
The Lustre of Gold 171
Some Men of Visions 184
The Stone Which the Builders Rejected 222


A Glimpse of Estes Park Frontispiece
  Face Page
The Ocean Explorer 1
Coronado Before a Zuni Village 16
(a) Pike and His Frozen Companion 66
(b) One of the Approaches to Cheyenne Mt. 74
The Trapper 78
The Buffalo Hunter 94
Pioneers and Prairie Schooner 110
A Government Scout 126
Indians Watching Fremont's Force 134
Ventura, Historian of Taos Indians 142
(a) Indian Chief Addressing the Council 158
(b) Winnowing Grain 166
Making a Clean-up 174


To the Pioneers of Colorado:

Whose work in laying the foundation of the magnificent superstructure of our great State, as Abraham Lincoln said of the heroes of Gettysburg, "is far beyond our poor power to add or detract."


It is Emerson's beautiful thought that all true history is biography, and that men are but the pages of history. In felicitous language the author has pictured a period that is indeed the bright romance of American history. It is the story of the discovery of a new Continent in the Western Seas; the story of a graceful and cultured people of a mighty world-power in the Fifteenth Century; the story of the dream of a great Western Empire to be founded in the New World, where would be revived all the pomps and chivalries of Castile's ancient court; the story of the fading of that dream in the splendor of the great world-idea of the self-government of man carried by the Pilgrim Fathers to Plymouth Rock in 1620; the story that in the great drama of life man is ever changing from the old into the new, and from the bad into the better in unceasing, unchanging, inevitable evolution; the story of early Colorado, whose ancient Capital, Santa Fe,—in the sense that Colorado is a part of the old Spanish country—was the first white settlement west of the Floridas upon all this Western Continent within the present domain of the United States.

But more than all, it is a story of the human touch of those still living and of great empire builders not long since passed away, whose "hands bent the arch of the new heavens" over our beloved State of Colorado; whose eyes were filled with far-away visions and their hearts with sublime faith; pioneers and history makers of whom we would say as Cinneas said when asked by his master Pyrrhus after his return from his Embassy at Rome, "What did the Roman Senate look like?"

"An assembly of Kings!" replied Cinneas.

Wendell Phillips, in the greatest of all his lectures, pictures the "Muse of history dipping her pen in the sunlight and writing in the clear blue" above all other names the name of his hero "Toussaint l'Ouverture." The author in these pages which so graphically portray the early history of our State would not write the name of Colorado above any sister state; but we can catch between his lines the deep undertones of the music of the Union, which overmaster all sectional notes in the thought, that Colorado is a glorious part of it all.

And so it is enough that we read in the title of this book these magic words, as if traced in the clear sunlight of our mountain skies, "Colorado—The Bright Romance of American History."

J. F. Tuttle, Jr.



The Ocean Explorer

The Ocean Explorer.




1504 The great Queen Isabella was dead. She had died amidst the splendor of the richest and most powerful Court on earth, beloved by some for her noble qualities, and execrated by others for her tyrannical laws, for the heartlessness and cruelty she had practiced, for the wars she had kindled, and for the lives she had sacrificed. Because of the turbulence of the elements, the superstitious believed that her unconquerable spirit refused to be tranquilized even by death. Darkness lay upon the world, and the slowly moving funeral cortege made its way the three hundred miles to Granada, menaced by the lightning's flash, and accompanied by the thunder's roar, the rain and the hurricane, and the floods which swept men and horses to their death. At last, after thirty years of a masterful and memorable reign, Isabella lay at rest in the marvelously beautiful Alhambra, the burial place of her choice which she had wrested from the Moorish Kings. And Ferdinand ruled in her stead.

1506 Less than two years, and there was another notable death in Spain. The far-seeing eyes of a kingly man looked out upon the world for the last time. The active hands of a great navigator lay still, folded over the courageous heart that had long been broken; the heart that had been thrilled by the acclaim of the populace, and then chilled by the frowns of its sovereigns; the hands that had been bedecked with jewels by Ferdinand and Isabella, and later laden by them with chains. Columbus, the admiral of the ocean, who had joined two worlds by his genius and accomplished an event whose magnitude and grandeur history can never equal, and who had filled the center of a stage, brilliant with the famous actors of his time, had died; died in poverty and neglect; instead of chimes chanting a requiem in his praise, there was the rattle of the chains his hands had worn, as they went down into his sepulchre for burial with him according to his wish. Even his grave remained unmarked for ten years, until public opinion forced Ferdinand to a tardy recognition of his duty in the erection of a monument in honor of one of the greatest men of any age; a man great in thought and great in action; a man with such a mighty faith that we stand appalled at its mightiness!

Isabella left a united country; a country at the pinnacle of greatness. She left a highly organized army; an army wrought out of a fragment of incompetency. She raised the standard of science and the arts, and advanced the cause of morality. But the greatest and most enduring monument she erected was the result of the slight encouragement and scant help that she gave to the enthusiastic Italian mendicant, who became the founder of a New World and whose fame will continue undimmed to the end of time.

1516 "The King is dead" fell upon Ferdinand's unhearing ears. "Long live the King" greeted the advent of Charles, his successor. Charles, who was the son of the unfortunate Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella; Charles I, King of Spain; Charles V, Emperor of Germany; Ruler over the kingdom of Naples; Monarch of the New World. Power, such as the world has seldom seen, centered in this man; an empire so vast that it encircled the globe, and upon whose domain military activities never ceased. The cruelties of Spain are proverbial, and they reached their climax under the rule of Ferdinand, Isabella and Charles; and under them the decadence of their nation began, which in four hundred years has never ceased. Now, shorn of every dependency, its power forever destroyed, it lies crushed, humiliated and broken by the greatness of its fall.

And here this sketch leaves Old Spain and we sail away across the ocean five thousand miles, to the New Spain of that period, in a ship whose sails flap lazily in the breeze, taking more weeks then than days now by the modern methods of this enlightened age.

1519 Hernando Cortez sprang from a noble but impoverished family. Educated for the law, he chose an adventurous life instead, and at the age of nineteen left Spain for San Domingo to try his fortunes in the New World, resulting in his brilliant conquest of Mexico; a country whose early history we can only imagine. The unknowable is there; for its secrets lie buried beneath the weight of centuries. Tragedy is there; for what derelict, never heard of more, dropped in from over the seas and cast its human wreckage on those unknown shores for the beginning of a nation? Who were those who may have been lost to home and friends and wandered in from Asia over that narrow strip of land long ago submerged? Whence they came, whatever their nation or color, they were human beings, with thoughts and affections like ours, whose beginnings we can never fathom. They grew in numbers, had flocks and herds, and gold and jewels. They had tribal governments, with differing customs and languages. They had the wandering habit. The streams, the mountains, and the plains beckoned them and they came and went, happy, care-free and prosperous. Some one among them said: "Let us all come together and unite as a people; establish a uniform government; build a city, and select some one of our number to rule over us." And it was done. Mexico City was built and became the Capital. Montezuma was made the ruler. They had laws and Courts of Justice; they had well-constructed and highly-decorated buildings, with architectural features the equal of some European structures prized for their beauty and durability. Their streets were laid out symmetrically, and their parks and landscape gardening added to the city's attractiveness. They had a system of canals and well-developed agriculture; an organized army and thoroughly equipped ships. Whence came this high civilization? We can never know. We only know that it existed. Two million people lived in and adjacent to Mexico City. They were rich, intelligent and contented, until the coming of Cortez; and when he reached the shores of Mexico in the Spring of 1519 it was a memorable day for them. He came in ten ships with six hundred Spanish soldiers. He disembarked, and when the last man was ashore and all the ammunition and guns and supplies were landed, he performed a feat of courage bordering on the sublime. He set his ships on fire, and he stood with his resolute men and saw them burn to the water's edge, knowing that the flame and smoke and destruction meant for each that he must conquer or die. And they marched away, a handful against a host, and they won!

But the fall of Mexico, like the fate of most nations, came from within and not from without. What could six hundred do against a united two million. That was where Cortez shone. To create discord, distrust and jealousy; to make them fight each other; to unite the disaffected under his own banner, was the work of a diplomat and general, and he was both. To their everlasting disgrace, the dissatisfied of the native race accomplished for Cortez the downfall of their own nation. And when, two years after he began his destructive warfare, the City of Mexico had been utterly destroyed; when a race had been subjugated; had been stripped of its vast treasure of gold and jewels for the greater glorification of the luxurious Court of Spain; had lost thousands by slaughter; then, and not till then, did the insurgents know that they had encompassed their own ruin. They were enslaved by the Spaniards. The last chapter in their national life was written. The Aztecs, as a people, were no more. They were given the name of Mexicans by the Spaniards, for "Mexitl" the national War God of the native race. Mexicans they have continued to this day, and Cortez as Captain General ruled over the Mexican Territory which he called "New Spain." He set four hundred thousand of the enslaved natives to rebuilding the City of Mexico, but their hearts were in the ruins of the old city, and not in the building of the new—for Cortez saw to it that there should be nothing in the new Spanish city that would remind them of the ancient grandeur of the old. Ten years after its completion there were not a thousand people in it. The old population was melting away, dying off from over-work in the mines to which they had been driven, and where they sickened from disease and hunger and heart yearning for the families from whom they had been forcibly separated, while nearly seven million dollars a year of their earnings were being sent to Spain, taken from the richest silver mines in all the world.

You were great Empire builders, oh Spain! But your wanton cruelty to mankind will forever cloud your glory as the eclipse darkens the sun! You permitted the Inquisition! You pitted strength against helplessness, burned thousands alive, and confiscated their property! You permitted the slaughter of twelve hundred thousand human beings in the West Indies, and never heard their pitiful cry, until the lack of earnings ceased to swell the income of the Crown, and then you carried captives from the mainland to take the place of the dead! You permitted the institution of the American slave trade, which only ended at Appomattox, with the destruction of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, and millions of money!

The power and fame of Cortez had grown beyond the limit set by the Crown of Spain. Every forceful and successful man in the Dominion of Spain was a marked man; not marked for preferment and encouragement, but marked for humiliation and disgrace. The battles that Cortez had won for the King were forgotten; the treasure he had sent home counted for naught; and for the territory he had subjugated, there was no appreciation. His authority was ended. An officer and soldiers came from Spain to take him back, not with honor, but in ignominy. He arrested the officer, and induced the soldiers to join his army. He was so powerful that he thought he could be King of the New World. Finally, threats and promises secured his peaceable return to Spain, where all promises were broken, and his life was tempest-tossed until he died.

1528 Then Nuno de Guzman was named Governor General of New Spain. He started out to duplicate the successes of Cortez, whose ability he lacked, as well as the opportunity. He hunted in vain for another Mexico City to conquer and despoil. He pushed Northward hunting for riches, slaughtering the natives, burning their villages, and laying waste their country. He conquered a great territory on the western coast of Upper Mexico, along the Gulf of California, which he called "New Gallicia." His rule was so ruthless, cruel and desolating, that even Spain, hardened as she was to suffering, was shocked with his barbarous persecution of the natives, and after seven years, a warrant was sent out from Spain for his arrest and trial, on charges of inhuman cruelty. He was deprived of his office, taken to Mexico City, held there a prisoner for several years, and was then returned to Spain.

1535 Don Antonio de Mendoza, known as the "Good Viceroy," succeeded to the rule of Mexico, and put in practice a new policy, one not before tried in the New World, that of kindness. It had come too late for many, for the dead were everywhere, and the living had settled into a degree of hopelessness that a whole decade of kind treatment could do little toward counteracting. Three hundred and seventy-six years have passed since that day, and the scars of those sixteen years of Spanish murder and plunder have not yet been removed.

With which our narrative ends as to the mis-rule of New Spain.

1536 Pamfilo de Narvaez had been made Governor of Florida in 1527 by the Spanish Government, with a grant to explore and colonize a vast territory bordering on the Gulf of Mexico. He outfitted in Spain, sailed to Cuba where he repaired his vessels, thence into the Gulf of Mexico, meeting with storms that drove him out of his course, and so confused his mariners that they lost their reckoning. Consequently, he was left by his ships with his three hundred men and horses on the coast of Florida, instead of on the coast of Texas, as he thought. They rode away into the wilderness and nearly all to their death. Their wanderings, hardships and sufferings, the mind cannot conceive nor the pen describe. They worked to the West and North, crossing rivers and swamps, plains and mountains, through heat and cold, hungry and finally starving when their last horse had been used for food, mistreated by hostile Indians, lost and in despair. Beating their spurs into nails, they made boats, and using the hides from their horses for sails, they were borne down one of the Gulf Rivers, and out into the swift ocean current where they were carried to sea and drowned—all save four. Eight years after they had disembarked on the Florida Coast, these four were found by some slave catchers, away up on the Coast of California, whither they had wandered, and taken to Mexico City. Their sufferings had been so great, that when they reached civilization, they could no longer appreciate comforts. They continued to sleep on the ground, to eat unwholesome food, and to cling to the primitive habits they had formed. Slavery had in the meantime become so common, that Mendoza bought of the three Spaniards the negro, Estevanico, to act as guide to the far North, to which country Mendoza proposed to send an expedition.

1539 Fray Marcos, a Priest from Italy, had been a participant in the conquest of Peru, was a historian and theologian, picturesque in appearance and language, and was next to Mendoza in power. He was selected to go North on a visit preliminary to the proposed expedition, with the negro as guide. Rumors were in the air, and growing all the time, of wonderful cities and untold treasure in the North. Even the three returned Spaniards, rested from their wanderings, hinted at the fabulous wealth of which they persuaded themselves they had heard. The tales grew with the telling, so that Fray Marcos felt that he must be able to verify these reports, which he did, with the result that when the Coronado expedition found they did not exist, he had the great misfortune to ever after be called the "Lying Monk."




1540 About four years after the death of Columbus at Valladolid, there was born at Salamanca, about sixty miles away, one who was to become an explorer in the world that Columbus had discovered. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado grew up to have ambitions of his own. He removed to New Spain, where he married Beatrice, the beautiful and accomplished daughter of King Charles' cousin. Her father, Alonzo Estranda, was the royal treasurer of the New Country. Even at that remote period those Spanish gentlemen had a way of coming across the seas and weighing their titles in the scales against the money, bonds and lands of the relatives of the prospective wife, in the process of which the wife did not apparently seem to be taken into account. Coronado received from the mother of Beatrice, a great landed estate that had come to her as a grant from the Crown. Then, too, they had a law in New Spain, that confiscated the property of a man if he failed to marry by a certain time. One who preferred poverty to matrimony, had his vast fortune taken from him, and given to Coronado, which was very bad for one, and very pleasant for the other. So Coronado started out on his career very rich. He was made an officer in the Spanish army, and almost immediately attracted attention to himself. The negroes in the mines at Ametepeque mutinied, and set up a king for themselves, in order that the wealth which they were producing might become the property of their own king and themselves, instead of being sent to the Court of Spain. The promptness with which Coronado shot many of them to death and took their king away, shows that he was neither lacking in decision nor initiative even at the very early age of twenty-seven. A year later, 1538, he received the appointment of Governor of New Gallicia, the country in the subjugation of which, Guzeman the Viceroy of New Spain, had accomplished his own undoing. Coronado had helped Fray Marcos and his negro guide on their way through his territory as they passed northward. They went unattended and unprotected. It had seemed to Mendoza that Fray Marcos, in his priestly capacity, might accomplish more for the Crown than could the royal troops; alone he could gain the confidence of the Indians and learn of their strength and treasure. So he went without weapons, and with only a few friendly Indian carriers.

Spring turned to summer, and summer to autumn, and Estevenico, the negro guide, had become a memory only. The man who had so successfully faced the dangers of the wilds in his eight years of wanderings, was not to be so fortunate this time. He had an idea that he might become a person of importance himself, an explorer instead of guide, and reap the glory of the success of the trip. So at the first opportunity, he put his plans into practice. Fray Marcos had sent him on ahead for a few days of reconnoitering and then to wait. He reconnoitered, but he did not wait. Gathering an ever increasing number of the natives about him, he pressed on and Fray Marcos never did overtake him. He grew more arrogant all the time, until finally he was made prisoner by the Chief of one of the tribes, was tortured, put to death, his body cut into pieces and distributed as souvenirs among the tribes. Three hundred of his followers were killed, one escaping and bringing the news to Fray Marcos, who quickly began to retrace his steps, the Indians all the time becoming more threatening as he passed southward.

Coronado met the Monk as he returned, and accompanied him to Mexico City where he went to make what proved to be a much over-drawn report. Coronado had by this time become so enthusiastic over the possibilities of his own aggrandizement, and the wealth to be reaped from an expedition of conquest, that he proposed to Mendoza to pay the entire cost of the expedition himself, if he were allowed to head the party and share in its results. Mendoza was too guardful of his own prestige and prospects, and of the interests of the Crown, to accept the offer. But he appointed Coronado, General of the Army, to the disappointment of a number of its prominent members who desired the position for themselves. Acting upon the suggestion that had come from Coronado, Mendoza mortgaged all of his estates and joined his money to that of the Crown to pay the tremendous expense of the expedition. Because of the number engaged, the extent of the preparations, the time involved and the distance traversed, this is counted as the most notable exploration party ever engaged in exploiting the North American Continent. It comprised a picked company of three hundred Spanish soldiers and horsemen, eight hundred seasoned Indian warriors, and two ships under Alercon carrying extra supplies of food and ammunition, which were to take the ocean route and be subject to call. All being in readiness, the army marched, the ships sailed, the trumpets sounded and the people shouted, all on that memorable morning of February 23, 1540.

Coronado Before One of the Zuni Villages

Coronado Before One of the Zuni Villages.

Up from Compostela, their starting point, northwest of Mexico City; up along the Pacific Coast; up through New Gallicia and on by the shore of the ocean they pushed, bearing inland to the east and away from their ships which they were never to see again. At last they passed through Sonora, across the northernmost boundary of Mexico, and were swallowed up in the wilderness of Arizona. Like the hunter traveling far for his prey, the expedition on July 7th found its quarry, and began the slaughter by the capture of the first of the "Seven cities of Cibola." Coronado named the captured city Granada, the city in Spain that was the birth place of Mendoza, and the burial place of Queen Isabella. The remaining six cities were much like the first; inhabited by the Zuni Indians, poor, ignorant and uncivilized. These were the cities which Fray Marcos had reported to be the rivals of the famous City of Mexico. They proved to be simple adobe houses, instead of imposing structures with classical architecture. The people were numbered by hundreds instead of by thousands, and were living in abject poverty instead of wealth. The outraged and indignant army brought Fray Marcos before them, and told him "Annanias estaba hambra vere fies a lado di te." The Monk was greatly chagrined and crest-fallen; his punishment consisted only in his being banished from the army and sent back to Mexico in disgrace. But would he have returned northward with the army if he thought he was deceiving them? Doubtless as he viewed the country of Cibola from a distance, what he described seemed to him true, though he may not have scrupulously controlled his imagination. The name Cibola is from Se-bo-la, meaning cow or buffalo. These seven cities were located in Upper New Mexico about one hundred miles west of Albuquerque.

General Coronado having been badly injured in battle, the army went into camp pending his recovery, and detachments were sent out on trips of discovery.

Alvarada with a party went east and found the Rio Grande River, lined with eighty native villages, and about 15,000 Indians. Crossing the river, he came out upon the great buffalo plains of northern Texas, and then made his way back to the army.

Maldonado had previously gone with a party to the ocean in fruitless search of the ships, but found marks made by Alercon on a tree, at the foot of which was a letter; in it they told of their arrival, of their sailing quite a distance up the Colorado River, of their finding that they were in a Gulf instead of on the Ocean, and that, not finding the army, they were starting on their return trip. There is no record of their ever having reached home. If they had been on the Ocean instead of in the Gulf of California, and could have sailed on North, and had discovered the mild climate of California and its luxuriant foliage, unquestionably Spain would have colonized that country, the Rocky Mountains would have been the dividing wall between Spanish Territory and that of the United States, and Dewey, instead of going to the Philippines to fight the Spanish fleet, would have bombarded the Spanish City of San Francisco and have sunk their ships at the Golden Gate. The Pacific Ocean was then unknown. It had only been discovered twenty years before, when Magalhaes in 1520 sailed into its South American waters, and called it "Pacific" because of its calmness as compared with the storms which he had just encountered.

Field Marshal Garcia Cardenas led a party westward, and found the Colorado River at the point now known as the Grand Canon of Arizona, where the river is seven thousand feet deep in the ground, and where the mighty rushing torrent is so far below, that it seems like a thread winding its way at the bottom of that wonderful gorge, to which the party tried in vain to descend. He was gone eighty days, and reported, upon his return, that the river was a barrier so frightful and insurmountable, that it would bar investigations to the westward forever.

It is a river that is eleven hundred miles long, and is formed by the union in Utah, of the Green River from Wyoming, and the Grand River from Colorado. It is navigable for five hundred miles, and its mighty volume pours unceasingly through a channel fifty feet deep, and thirteen hundred feet wide at the point in Mexico where it hurls its turbulent waters into the Gulf of California. The stupendous gorge where Cardenas touched the river, is two hundred and fifty miles long, and is made up of a maze of giant gorges. It is the most sublime spectacle on earth. Below the Niagara Falls is a tempestuous whirl-pool, seething, roaring, and dashing against the towering walls of granite that vie with the turbulence of the waters for the mastery. A thousand whirl-pools, more majestic and more inspiring, are gripped within the walls of the canons of the Colorado River. It is for this King of Rivers, that our State is named; a Spanish name, meaning "ruddy." In the naming of the river and the state, two extremes have met. In the river Colorado—is the labyrinthian terrifying chasm, filled with the terrific rush and deafening roar of the pounding waters, of the turbulent tidal waters laboring under the mighty swells from the tempestuous ocean. While in Colorado the State—there is peace, peace everywhere; the silent mountains, the quiet plains, the mellow skies, the sunny lakes, the balmy air, the murmuring streams—all soothe and charm and thrill, and life is all too short for the enjoyment of its perfections.

a map

The army moved to the Rio Grande River and went into winter quarters, occupying the best of the houses of the natives whom they inhospitably turned out of doors to pass the winter. One of the Indians who had been taken prisoner by the Spaniards was a talkative person and told of a rich country far to the northeast, a country "filled with gold and lordly kings." It sounded good to the army, as just what they were seeking, and their enthusiasm grew as the winter passed. With the coming of Spring, April 23, 1541, Coronado began the march to the northeast with his whole excited army, guided by the Indian with the vivid imagination, whom they called the "Turk." After many days of travel with no result, and meeting different Indian tribes who said the guide's stories were untrue, and being repeatedly assured by other Indians that there was nothing to Turk's tales, the suspicions of the army became a certainty, and upon their insistent questions their guide yielded up his secret. To save his people, he was leading the army away on a far journey, in the hope that they would never get back, and if they did return, would be so weak and their horses so worn, that the natives could easily fall upon and destroy them. The work of the infuriated soldiers was cruel, swift and certain, and when it had ended, there on the ground lay the Indian, dead.

As die the heroes of all ages, so died this Indian guide. He died for his people. Coronado's army had invaded his country, turned his people out of their homes in midwinter, confiscated the supplies of their families, had killed some and imprisoned many. Leading the army away, out of reach of water and food, hoping to encompass its destruction, knowing that every step took him nearer to the death sure to be meted out to him, he moved stoically and unfalteringly to his fate. "Make way for liberty," cried Winkelreid, as he fell pierced by a dozen bayonets pinning him to the earth, while through the gap in the solid ranks of the enemy, poured his compatriots, sweeping Switzerland to its freedom—and his name will live forever. Just as nobly died the Indian on the western plains, but the wind that scattered his dust, blew into oblivion the remembrance of the heroic act of a humble, courageous, and self-sacrificing martyr!

The bewildered army halted for consultation. It was decided by Coronado that he would take thirty picked horsemen and proceed northeasterly on a tour of investigation, while the main army would return to the Rio Grande, to the point that had been the place of their winter quarters. He proceeded into Northern Kansas, and is supposed to have passed the boundary line between Nebraska and Kansas, and to have crossed the Platte River, whence he retraced his steps to the army, then at a place near the site of the present City of Albuquerque.

Upon his arrival he wrote a letter to the King of Spain, which is hereafter quoted. It is interesting to note how highly he regards the country of Quivira, which afterwards was called "Kansas," and which he likens to the soil of Spain. His description of the products of that section gives much information. The "cows," so frequently referred to in his letter, were the buffalo which we found just as plentiful when we came to settle the country. The Indians moved with the buffalo, and lived upon them, moving their tents along with the herds as they grazed northward in summer to escape the heat, mosquitoes and flies, and journeying south together in the winter, to escape the cold. The Indians knew no such word as buffalo, but called this greatly appreciated animal Ni-ai, which meant shelter or protector. The distance travelled by the expedition was measured by a footman trudging along beside a horseman, his steps being counted by the riders, seventeen hundred and sixty steps making a mile. They traveled forty-two days on their way to the Northeast, shortening the distance to thirty-five days for their return, and were twenty-five days in the country of Quivira. The distance traveled was three hundred leagues, which is about seven hundred miles. The same year that Coronado was in Eastern Kansas, the eminent Spanish warrior and explorer De Soto, back from his conquest of Peru with Pizarro, had discovered the Mississippi River, the Father of Waters, and ascended it from the Gulf of Mexico; there was only the State of Iowa between his exploring party and that of Coronado, though neither of them were aware of the fact.

"Holy Catholic Caesarian Majesty:

"On April 20 of this year (1541) I wrote to your Majesty from this Province of Tiguex, in reply to a letter from your Majesty, dated in Madrid June 11 a year ago * * * I started from this Province on the 23 of last April for the place where the Indian wanted to guide me. After nine days march I reached some plains so vast that I did not find their limit anywhere that I went, although I traveled over them for more than 300 leagues, and I found such a quantity of cows in these plains * * * which they have in this country, that it is impossible to number them, for which I was journeying through these plains until I returned to where I first found them there was not a day that I lost sight of them. And after 17 days' march, I came to a settlement of Indians who are called 'Querechos,' who travel around with these cows, who do not plant and who eat the raw flesh and drink the blood of the cows they kill and they tan the skins of the cows with which all the people of this country dress themselves here. They have little field tents made of the hides of the cows, tanned and greased, very well made, in which they live while they travel around near the cows, moving with these. They have dogs which they load, which carry their tents and poles and belongings. These people have the best figures of any that I have seen in the Indies. They could not give me any account of the country where the guides were taking me * * *

"It was the Lord's pleasure, that after having journeyed across these deserts 77 days, I arrived at the province they call Quivira to which the guides were conducting me and where they had described to me houses of stone with many stories and not only are they of stone but of straw, but the people in them are as barbarous as all those whom I have seen and passed before this. They do not have cloaks nor cotton of which to make these, but use the skins of the cattle they kill which they tan, because they are settled among these on a very large river * * * The country itself is the best I have ever seen for producing all the products of Spain, for besides the land itself being very fat and black, and being very well watered by the rivulets and springs and rivers, I found prunes like those of Spain * * * and nuts and very good sweet grapes and mulberries. I have treated the natives of this province and all the others whom I have wherever I went as well as was possible, agreeably to what your Majesty had commanded and they have received no harm in any way from me or from those who went in my Company * * * And what I am sure of is, that there is not any gold nor any other metal in all that country and the other things of which they had told me are nothing but little villages and in many of these they do not plant anything and do not have any houses except of skins and sticks and they wander around with the cows; so that the account they gave me was false, because they wanted to persuade me to go there with the whole force, believing that as the way was through such inhabited deserts, and from the lack of water, they would get us where we and our horses would die of hunger * * * I have done all that I possibly could to serve your Majesty and to discover a country where God our Lord might be served and the royal patrimony of your Majesty increased as your loyal servant and vassal. For since I reached the province of Cibola, to which the Viceroy of New Spain sent me in the name of your Majesty, seeing that there were none of the things there of which Fray Marcos had told, I have managed to explore this country for 200 leagues and more around Cibola and the best place I have found is this river of Tiguex, where I am now and the settlements here. It would not be possible to establish a settlement here, for besides being 400 leagues from the North Sea and more than 200 from the South Sea, with which it is impossible to have any sort of communication, the country is so cold as I have written to your Majesty that apparently the winter could not be spent here because there is no wood nor cloth with which to protect the men except the skins which the natives wear and some small amount of cotton cloaks. I send the Viceroy of New Spain an account of everything I have seen in the countries where I have been, and as Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas is going to kiss your Majesty's hands who has done much and has served your Majesty very well on this expedition and he will give your Majesty an account of everything here as one who has seen it himself, I give way to him. And may our Lord protect the Holy Imperial Catholic person of your Majesty with increase of greater kingdoms and powers as your loyal servants and vassals desire. From this Province of Tiguex, Oct. 20 in the year 1541. Your Majesty's humble servant and vassal who would kiss the royal feet and hands.

(Signed) "Francisco Vasquez Coronado."

On August 5, 1540, Coronado wrote to Mendoza, the Viceroy of New Spain, a letter, of which a portion is introduced in these pages because of its reference to local conditions where the army wintered. The spelling in the letter to the King was changed for easier perusal, but the original quaint translation is preserved in the following, that the style may be observed. Both letters have been translated from the Spanish:

"It remaineth now to certifie your Honour of the seuen cities, and of the kingdomes and prouinces whereof the Father produinciall made report vnto your Lordship. And to bee briefe, I can assure your honour, he sayd the trueth in nothing that he reported, but all was quite contrary, sauing onely the names of the cities, and great houses of stone: for although they bee not wrought with Turqueses, nor with lyme, nor brickes, yet are they very excellent good houses of three or foure or fiue lofts high, wherein are good lodgings and faire chambers with lathers instead of staires, and certaine cellars vnder the ground very good and paued, which are made for winter, they are in maner like stooues: and the lathers which they haue for their houses are all in a maner mooueable and portable, and they are made of two pieces of wood with their steppes, as ours be. The seuen cities are seuen small townes, all made with these kinde of houses that I speake of: and they stand all within foure leagues together, and they are all called the kingdome of Cibola, and euery one of them haue their particular name: and none of them is called Cibola, but altogether they are called Cibola. And this towne which I call a citie, I haue named Granada, as well because it is somewhat like vnto it, as also in remembrance of your lordship. In this towne where I nowe remaine, there may be some two hundred houses, all compassed with walles, and I thinke that with the rest of the houses which are not so walled, they may be together fiue hundred. There is another towne neere this, which is one of the seuen, & it is somewhat bigger than this, and another of the same bignesse that this is of, and the other foure are somewhat lesse: and I send them all painted vnto your lordship with the voyage. And the parchment wherein the picture is, was found here with other parchments. The people of this towne seeme vnto me of a reasonable stature, and wittie yet they seem not to bee such as they should bee, of that judgment and wit to builde these houses in such sort as they are. For the most part they goe all naked, except their priuie partes which are couered: and they haue painted mantles like those which I send vnto your lordship. They haue no cotton wooll growing, because the countrye is colde, yet they weare mantles thereof as your honour may see by the shewe thereof: and true it is that there was found in their houses certaine yarne made of cotton wooll. They weare their haire on their heads like those of Mexico, and they are well nurtured and condicioned: And they haue Turqueses I thinke good quantitie, which with the rest of the goods which they had, except their corne, they had conueyed away before I came thither: for I found no women there, nor no youth vnder fifteene yeres olde, nor no olde folkes aboue sixtie, sauing two or three olde folkes, who stayed behinde to gouerne all the rest of the youth and men of warre. There were found in a certaine paper two poynts of Emralds, and certaine small stones broken which are in colour somewhat like Granates very bad, and other stones of Christall, which I gaue one of my seruants to lay vp to send them to your lordship, and hee hath lost them as hee telleth me. Wee found heere Guinie cockes, but fewe. The Indians tell mee in all these seuen cities, that they eate them not, but that they keepe them onely for their feathers. I beleeue them not, for they are excellent good, and greater then those of Mexico. The season which is in this countrey, and the temperature of the ayre is like that of Mexico: for sometime it is hotte, and sometime it raineth: but hitherto I neuer sawe it raine, but once there fell a little showre with winde, as they are woont to fall in Spaine.

"The snow and cold are woont to be great, for so say the inhabitants of the Countrey: and it is very likely so to bee, both in respect to the maner of the Countrey, and by the fashion of their houses, and their furres and other things which this people haue to defend them from colde. There is no kind of fruit nor trees of fruite. The Countrey is all plaine, and is on no side mountainous: albeit there are some hillie and bad passages. There are small store of Foules: the cause whereof is the colde, and because the mountaines are not neere. Here is no great store of wood, because they haue wood for their fuell sufficient foure leagues off from a wood of small Cedars. There is most excellent grasse within a quarter of a league hence, for our horses as well to feede them in pasture, as to mowe and make hay, whereof wee stoode in great neede, because our horses came hither so weake and feeble. The victuals which the people of this countrey haue, is Maiz, whereof they haue great store, and also small white Pease: and Venison, which by all likelyhood they feede vpon, (though they say no) for wee found many skinnes of Deere, of Hares and Conies. They eate the best cakes that euer I sawe, and euery body generally eateth of them. They haue the finest order and way to grind that wee euer sawe in any place. And one Indian woman of this countrey will grinde as much as foure women of Mexico. They haue no knowledge among them of the North Sea, nor of the Western Sea, neither can I tell your lordship to which wee bee nearest: But in reason they should seeme to bee neerest to the Western Sea: and at the least I thinke I am an hundred and fiftie leagues from thence: and the Northerne Sea should bee much further off. Your lordship may see how broad the land is here. Here are many sorts of beasts, as Beares, Tigers, Lions, Porkespicks, and certaine Sheep as bigge as an horse, with very great hornes and little tailes, I haue seene their hornes so bigge, that it is a wonder to behold their greatnesse. Here are also wilde goates whose heads likewise I haue seene, and the pawes of Beares, and the skins of wilde Bores. There is game of Deere, Ounces, and very great Stagges: and all men are of opinion that there are some bigger than that beast which your lordship bestowed vpon me, which once belonged to Iohn Melaz. They trauell eight dayes journey vnto certaine plaines lying toward the North Sea. In this Countrey there are certaine skinees well dressed, and they dresse them and paint them where they kill their Oxen, for so they say themselves.

(Signed) "Francisco Vasquez Coronado."

Emerging from the second wintering of the army on the Rio Grande, Coronado started in the Spring of 1542 with his disappointed soldiers on their return to Mexico City, where they arrived that Fall, and where they found grief corresponding to the gloom of the returning soldiers. Many had built their hopes on the result of the expedition, had borrowed money and given to those who were of the exploring party to make filings upon mines, and to pre-empt such treasure as could be found, as was the custom of those times. Mendoza was impoverished by the debts he had incurred in behalf of the expedition. Coronado instead of being a conquering hero, was greatly criticized, though not responsible for the disappointment attending his efforts. He reported to Mendoza who received him coldly. He returned to his province of New Gallicia, where he remained as Governor for a time and then resigned. Later we learn of the King sending a Commission over, to investigate the rumor that Coronado had vastly more than the allotted number of slaves working on his plantations.

Did Coronado discover Colorado? On the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States, there are nine judges, and the decision of five is final. If we were to apply that principle to this case, then we would unhesitatingly answer that the feet of Coronado were the first of any white man to tread the soil of Colorado and Kansas. Students of history differ in their opinion, but the majority believe that Coronado is the discoverer of Colorado. Much that has been written of this expedition has been lost. At the time of the massacre of the whites, and the destruction of the Missions at Santa Fe by the Indians, a great many Spanish manuscripts are supposed to have been burned, which might now throw light upon this question. In the monasteries of Old Spain there are many papers bearing upon the history of the New World, that are worn with age and buried in the dust and mould of cellars, many stories deep underground, that have not seen the light for centuries. These may someday be unearthed to answer positively our question. Scientific investigation is going on at this time under the direction and expense of Societies of Research of both Worlds. A map was issued by the Interior Department of the United States in 1908, that gives the supposed journeyings of Coronado and shows that he both went and returned through Colorado on his trip to Kansas. Other maps of writers give his journeyings both ways as following the old Santa Fe trail, which runs northeast and southwest along the Cimarron River, through the southeast corner of Colorado. So in either event, it is to be supposed that he was within the boundaries of our State, following either the Arkansas River or the Cimarron.

Wonderful to contemplate are the possibilities that might have arisen had the Coronado expedition been a success! Our country might have been settled by the Spaniards, and we might have been a Spanish speaking race, even after becoming strong enough to throw off our allegiance to the Crown of Spain; and Washington would not have been the Father of our Country. Government might have centralized between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, where the Capital might have been established. The Pilgrim Fathers might not have landed on the forbidding shores of New England, eighty years after Coronado's expedition started out from Compostela, and there might have been no tea thrown overboard into the harbor at Boston. Those grand forests of the middle and eastern states, of value now beyond computation, might have remained standing, instead of being devastated by fire and axe. Irrigation would have been early developed, the country would have been covered with cement-lined ditches, and every depression would have been a storage reservoir.

Coronado might have been the greatest man in the New World, and Coronado might have been King!




1776 Two hundred and thirty-six years had passed since Coronado's gaily caparisoned army moved out from Compostela. The bright yellow leggings and rich green coats of the soldiers, their waving white plumes and coats of mail, had long since turned to rags and rust, while the bones of the troopers had crumbled to dust. With the defeat of their expedition, the curtain of silence descended upon this vast Rocky Mountain region. The Indian Chiefs whom Coronado fought had long been wrapped in the mantle of death, and their places had been filled by the children of their children's children. The buffalo herds and the Indian bands still roamed the plains together, and the tender calves grew strong and became the leaders of the herd. It was the endless procession of life and death, of strength and weakness, of growth and decay. The wild flowers bloomed, and shed abroad their fragrance; the trees budded and blossomed, and their leaves withered and fell; the earth was clothed in its carpet of green, that yellowed with the autumn's frosts; the period of seed time and harvest came, but there was no seed time and there was no harvest. The summer rains fell upon valley and plain, and the rivers ran unceasingly to the sea, as they had done for centuries, and as they will do until time shall be no more; rivers, born on the dome of the Great Divide, and nurtured by the clouds amongst which they nestle. Each season, the stately peaks stretched their arms aloft towards the heavenly orbs to receive their snow's feathery drapery that fell like a benediction over them. Mountains, radiant in their ever-changing hues of yellow and green, of purple and gold; mountains, whose breath was fragrant with the delicate perfume from their carpet of a thousand species of wild flowers; mountains, kissed by pearly rain drops, glowing with morning sun baths, draped in slumber-robes of silvery moon-beams—glorious, sunlit, sky-communing mountains, standing in their grandeur, silent, proud, eternal.

In Macaulay's eloquent and elevated treatment of the thirteenth century of English history, we find this pleasing sentiment, applicable to Colorado's rivers and mountains:

"The sources of the noble rivers which spread fertility over continents, and bear richly ladened fleets to the sea, are to be sought in the wild and barren mountain tracts, incorrectly laid down in maps and rarely explored by travelers."

We find similarity in our own uncharted streams and mountains; in the unapplied wealth of waters that our rivers bore to the seas; in the unwritten history of the Jesuit Fathers; in the romance of Spanish glory and Spanish defeat; in the tragedy of the red men; in the civilization that perished; in half a century's attainments in good government, in refining domestic influences, in Christianity, in intellectual growth, and in riches almost beyond computation.

Again we face the mysterious. Once more the names of Cortez and Montezuma meet, not as on the battle fields of Mexico that left one a conqueror and the other a prisoner; not as aliens and rivals, but in the friendly attitude of mutual interest and mutual trust. Montezuma led into battle a people whose beginnings can never be known. Montezuma County, Colorado, with Cortez as its County Seat, sheltered a pre-historic race, whose beginning and end we can never fathom. At the southwestern corner of our State, at the only spot in the United States where four states come squarely together, we find Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, equally sharing in this unfathomable mystery. There, covering a stretch of country equal in extent to about eighty miles square, had lived a civilized people who followed the peaceful pursuit of agriculture, who farmed by irrigation and whose reservoirs were high up near the mountain tops. Their dwellings were amidst the cliffs along the canons tributary to the San Mancos and San Juan Rivers, as well as in the rocky and almost inaccessible gorges of those rivers themselves. The abandoned houses built of hand-dressed stone, are falling into ruins, but they still show painstaking care in their construction, and in their well-planned architecture. The decaying towns, towers and fortresses give every evidence of a state of preparedness for war. Whether these people were conquered, enslaved and carried into exile; whether they were warred upon by the marauding bands, and so weakened that they scattered and became lost; whether they may have been the very Aztecs, who, becoming more civilized and more prosperous, moved South, were finally subdued by Cortez and became the Mexican nation, are conjectures only, for those ancient foot prints have been forever submerged by the passing years.

A vast area of the country of the Cliff Dwellers has been made into a National Park and given the name of Mesa Verde. For three years the restoration of the principal ruins has been carried on by eminent scientists under direction of the General Government. Spruce Tree House, one of the restored dwellings, is over two hundred feet long and it is estimated that when inhabited, it sheltered about four hundred people.

In the East the light is breaking. A ray here and a ray there, at first, just the faintest touch of the awakening before the glorious bursting of the dawn. A voyager crossed the trackless seas, following Columbus; then another and another, all carrying the advance lights that were finally to illuminate the darkness and unfold the mysteries of a New World. It took one hundred years for nine voyagers on tours of discovery, scattered through the entire century, to sow the seeds of colonization along the Coast, which, when planted, failed to grow, withered and died. Much of the time of these navigators was spent in sailing up and down the eastern coast, seeking a channel through our Continent in search of the unknown, lying beyond.

Came John Cabot, an Italian Mariner, bearing the English Flag, authorized to take possession of any lands he found. Four of his ships went to the bottom and the son continued the discoveries started by his father. Came Cortereal from Portugal in 1501, who left signs of his visit along our Coast at various points between the Bay of Fundy and the coast of Labrador, and then his vessels and all on board plunged to the bottom. The following year a brother came with a searching party and they all found graves beneath the waves that for four hundred years have been sweeping over them. Another brother about to start to seek the others, was prevented by command of the King.

Came Ponce de Leon from Spain in 1512, having been with Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. He bore a patent from the King to what was supposed to be the marvellous Island of Bimini, which he renamed Florida, from "Pascua Florida," meaning in Spanish "Easter Sunday." Instead of finding a spring that the Indians claimed to possess great curative properties and supposed to be a fountain of perpetual youth, he found his death in an arrow wound from the Indians. Here he passed over the site of St. Augustine, which later became the oldest community in the United States, having been located in 1565.

Came Pineda from Spain in 1519, entering the Gulf of Mexico, sailing all along the Florida Coast, by Louisiana, past Texas, searching for the "Western Passage." Here he met Cortez, the Governor-General of New Spain. Came Narvaez in 1520, the Spanish slave gatherer, who lost his life on the trip, lost it in a bad cause. And then in 1524 came Verrazano, the Spanish Pirate and outcast. One hundred years later, when Spain sought to establish her claim to the country he had visited which might inure to her through his discovery, she said he was a very honorable gentleman, that her colors were flying at his prow, instead of the black flag of the Freebooter. Oh, Spain! Spain! The more I study you, the less I admire you! Then came Gomez in 1525 from Portugal commissioned to sail all the way along our coast from Newfoundland to Florida, in search of a channel through the American Continent to the Western Sea.

He was followed sixty years later by Greenville, a cousin of Sir Walter Raleigh, flying the English Flag. Raleigh's eyes were filled with visions of a golden future—a man of whom we would say in these days, that he always had an eye to the "main chance." "Whosoever commands the sea," he said, "commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world, commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself." For a little practical expression of that philosophy, he threw his cloak down in the mud one day for his proud Queen to step upon. Even he little realized the wealth-product beneath its soiled folds, for from that little incident came the introduction of the potato into England. Raleigh became a great favorite of the Queen, and what he asked she granted. He asked of her a royal charter for his cousin, Sir Richard Grenville, and funds for an expedition to the New World. It resulted in those ships taking back to England the potato and tobacco. Forty-three years before, we sent them their Christmas dinner in the delectable wild turkey; we now gave them as an accompaniment, the mealy and nutritious potato. Came Davis in this same year of 1585, who discovered the Straits named for him, and also Falkland Islands, which he found in 1592.

And the century closed, with the lights going out all along the Atlantic Coast, for the attempts at colonization were failing. The roots of home-making would not take hold, with the buccaneers stirring up the savages to fight the colonists on one side, and the loneliness of the impassable sea terrifying them on the other.

The next century found Champlain in 1603, making his voyage to Canada, starting the French settlement at Quebec, in 1608, and sailing up the St. Lawrence and around the lakes, hunting for locations for settlements, and for a way to China. There was Lord de la Warr, coming over in 1607, and finding a little English settlement on the mainland at Jamestown in Virginia. The same year came the capable Captain Smith, a soldier of fortune, who killed his Turkish task master, and whose life was saved by a Senorita, to be saved again by Pocahontas.

There was the distinguished Sir Henry Hudson in 1607, trying to find another Cape Horn above Greenland; failing, he sailed south, entered New York harbor, thence up the Hudson River seeking China. Up past the monument of Grant, past the beautiful Palisades, by West Point and Poughkeepsie, beyond Albany, and all the time the water becoming more shallow and the banks narrower, until he had gone one hundred and fifty miles, sailing north instead of southwest to Southern California, which would put him opposite the country he was seeking. Turn back! Sir Henry, turn back! Your prow will soon be fast in the mud, your vessel's sides will scrape the river's banks, your boat will dam up the waters of the Hudson, and all the surrounding country will be inundated! It is not yet the day of the airship, so that you can sail over the Rocky Mountains, nor is it the time of tunnels, so that you can find a passage beneath them! Just north of you, at that very moment, sixty miles away, Champlain has turned back, and neither of you know it. This country is not for you, nor for him. There are no great waterways along which you both may sail, touching the shores, planting the flags of your countries, and claiming this Continent for your Kings. Go back! Sir Henry, and when Champlain has colonized Canada, and established Quebec, sail in and take it away from him! Which was the very thing that was done twenty-one years later. Where might seemed right then, so sometimes it seems right now, after all these years of Christianization.

The settlements are coming fast now. All up and down the Coast, the people are gathering; the Plymouth Fathers have come; the Scotch are at Nova Scotia; the Swedes and Dutch are at Delaware and New Jersey; the French are in Virginia and Louisiana; the English are in New England; the Spanish have killed all the Huguenots and are in Florida. Then there is the conscientious William Penn, Quakerlike, out among the Indians buying their lands, and we are saying to him "why buy, when you can take all without asking?" And there is Daniel Boone, the native-born American explorer, hero of every boy and girl, who has made his way through the wilderness and with an axe blazed his way, as later he marked his path by rocks and mounds of earth, all the way to the Mississippi River.

The echoes of Liberty Bell, ringing out our independence and ringing in the Continental Congress, had not ceased their reverberations, when the curtain that Coronado's defeat had rung down more than two centuries before, was again lifted, and we behold a new stage with a new setting, that had been prepared by the Church of Rome. Padre Junthero Serra who, as President of the California Missions, had for so long urged upon the Church the importance of laying out a route from the settlement of Santa Fe to the West, finally prevailed. Friar Francisco Andasio Dominquez, and Friar Sylvester Velez de Escalante, were selected for this undertaking, and on July 29, 1776, started from Santa Fe with eight soldiers and guides. Their route took them out of New Mexico, into Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. They were gone one summer, passed through the present site of Salt Lake City and laid out a route that could be followed. Otherwise their trip was wholly unproductive of any beneficial or permanent results. There are stations adjoining each other on the Rio Grande Railroad between Delta and Grand Junction named "Dominquez" and "Escalante" for these two explorers. If the laurels of Coronado's discovery are ever successfully removed from his crown, his mantle will fall upon the shoulders of these two Friars.

So we come to the close of the century with the glorious dawn breaking all along the East, glowing in the heavens, shining over the people, over the farms and the mills, over the towns and the country, bringing prosperity and contentment to thousands. Its beams are resting on our own Declaration of Independence; on our own Continental Congress; on the benign countenance of the revered Washington, as he bids the people an affectionate adieu in the stirring words of his great farewell address, from which we quote this noble sentiment—and may it abide with us forever:

"Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to the grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that heaven may continue to use the choicest token of its beneficence—that your Union and brotherly affection may be perpetual, that the free constitution which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained, that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue, that in fine the happiness of the people of these states under the auspices of liberty may be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, affection and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it."

How rapidly we have passed over these three hundred years, from the days of the great Queen Isabella, to the time of the immortal Washington! How lightly we have moved along, flitting here and there, as the bee gathers honey for the comb, picking out events that seemed essential in the preparation of the frame work for our picture; passing by the great events of history, past the smiling and the weeping, past the feasting and the hungering, past the living and the dying—of all those who smiled and wept, who feasted and hungered, who lived and died, in that crowded three hundred years of human endeavor!

And now for our picture: A simple picture of simple events, simply painted, with touches of human nature colorings, of the everyday joys and sorrows, of the hopes and disappointments that came to us out of the great West beyond the Mississippi River—in that portion of the marvellous century just closed, the most wonderful century of this most wonderful world!




1803 Enters the great Napoleon. He is in the midst of his never-ending wars. He is fighting England and having a hard time. Spain has ceded the Louisiana Territory to France, Louisiana as it was then, with its one million square miles of territory, and not Louisiana as it is now, with less than fifty thousand square miles, only one-twentieth its original size. Napoleon sold us Louisiana in 1803, because he needed the Sixteen Million Dollars we paid him for it, and it is said that he stated, that in this transfer of territory he would make us so powerful as a nation, that we would accomplish the downfall of England, his hereditary enemy, after he was in his grave. St. Louis had been started by the early French Fur Traders in 1764, and it took it forty-one years to reach a population of two hundred and fifty families. They had called it "Pain Court," which means, "short of bread."

It was in 1804, that the formal transfer of the Louisiana Territory had been made at St. Louis, first from Spain to France, and then from France to the United States. Time was unimportant in those days, and although France had owned her possessions in the New World for two years, she had not taken formal possession until the day of the transfer to the United States. This was accomplished on the morning of March 9, 1804, with such ceremony as was possible in that primitive community. Down came the Flag of Spain! Up went the Flag of France! Down came the Flag of France, and up went the Stars and Stripes to float forever! So at last, after three hundred years, was launched on its brilliant career, the country that Pope Alexander VI had given to Spain, and which she had lacked the ability to develop, and the capacity to govern. One hundred years later, the incident of the lowering and raising of the flags was celebrated on that very spot, by one of the greatest displays of modern times. To make it a fitting centennial celebration, St. Louis voted Five Million Dollars in bonds; there was a stock subscription of Five Million Dollars; the Government appropriated Five Million Dollars; and the State of Missouri donated One Million Dollars, making a total of the exact sum that was originally paid for a territory, out of which fourteen states and two territories have since been carved, that now contain the homes of 18,222,500 people, nearly a fifth of the 92,972,267 population of the United States, a population that in 1804 was but 6,081,040.

In all these years, the Spanish did little in New Spain to extend and colonize the country. The Spanish race seemed to have lacked the pioneer instinct; they were a luxury loving people, and did not possess the hardy qualities and stout hearts that could conquer unmurmuringly nature's comparatively insurmountable barriers. They liked the plunder that had intoxicated them under the rule of Cortez, and the enslavement of the humble and effeminate natives of a territory whose climatic surroundings sapped their strength and made them weak. The subjugation of the active and warlike northern Indians was a very different thing, much to the surprise and disappointment of the Spanish. They would fight. Large in stature as Coronado states in his letter to the King, they were made of stern stuff, and their fierce attitude interposed a permanent barrier to the encroachments of the Spaniards from the south. They were never meant to be enslaved. Think of making a menial of a Comanche, or an Apache! Think of old Geronimo, a body servant! Think of taming a full-grown wild cat, with its glaring eyes, its tearing teeth, and scratching claws!

When the Apaches found that the Spaniards were repopulating the West Indies with slaves from the mainland of this Continent, and had captured some of their own tribe and carried them into captivity, the indignation and wrath of these natives knew no bounds. They could fight like demons, and when cornered they could destroy themselves, but they could never be taken alive and enslaved. If this country had been inhabited by the docile and easily subdued negroes, we would have felt the domineering blight of Spain to this day. The reason Spain failed to rivet its paralyzing hold upon this nation was because the negro was not a native of this country, but a transplantment from Africa.

So the Spaniards made no further efforts to penetrate northward into a territory which they claimed to be uninhabitable for civilized man. They had made but one settlement—Santa Fe in 1605, which, next to St. Augustine, Florida, is the oldest town in the United States. Near Santa Fe, Coronado twice wintered his army on the Rio Grande, in the Province of Tiguex. For eighty-five years the Spaniards possessed Santa Fe, when, in 1690, there was an uprising of the Indians, who captured the town, burned the buildings, and massacred or drove out its inhabitants. It was at this time that valuable manuscripts are supposed to have been burned, that might have had to do with Coronado's expedition. The Spaniards always made triplicate copies of their State papers, for their better preservation, and it is copies of these papers that the Archæological Society hopes to unearth, in the mouldy and cob-webbed cellars under the monasteries of Old Spain. For two years, the Indians held Santa Fe, when, defeated in battle, they again gave way to the Spaniards, who later on, were to abdicate in favor of the United States.

1805 Washington made history at Trenton, New Jersey, in 1776, by the capture of a body of Hessian soldiers. About two years afterwards a child was born in that village whose name must have been given it by a pious mother with her Bible on her knee, and not, I ween, by the father, Captain Pike, of the Revolutionary Army, who would have doubtless called his son after one of the great generals of that time. It is in the thirtieth chapter of Genesis, we learn of a Zebulun for the first time, in the story of the sisters Leah and Rachael.

Zebulon Montgomery Pike went to school at Easton, Pa., and before he was twenty-one was made a Captain in the Army, which shows that it is a good thing to have a father with influence. In 1805, Pike started, under the authority of President Jefferson, on an expedition to discover the source of the Mississippi River. His trip, lasting nine months, was successful, and upon his return, he started almost immediately with a party to explore geographically the Louisiana Purchase. He outfitted at St. Louis, which was the last western point where supplies could be obtained.

In Lieutenant Pike's party there were twenty-four, including a guide and interpreter, and he had in his care fifty-one Indians whom he was to return to their tribe, the Government having rescued them from other tribes who had made them prisoners. He went by sail boats up the Missouri River from St. Louis, while the Indians traveled by land, the two parties camping near each other at night. He kept a journal in which he made a daily record of events, which he copied and sent in with his report of the expedition to the Government after his return. Some excerpts are given to help the reader to a better and closer knowledge of the man and the times. He records, as he passed through Missouri, his impression of that State in this language:

"These vast plains of the Western Hemisphere may become in time as celebrated as the sandy deserts of Africa, but from these immense prairies may arise one great advantage to the United States, the restriction of our population to some certain limits and thereby a continuance of the Union. Our citizens being so prone to rambling and extending themselves on the frontier, will, through necessity, be constrained to limit their extent on the West to the borders of the Mississippi and the Missouri, while they leave the prairies incapable of cultivation to the wandering and uncivilized aborigines of the country."

With regard to the Indians placed in his care, we read this:

"* * * Every morning we were awakened by the mourning of the savages, who commenced crying about daylight and continued their lamentation for the space of an hour. I made inquiry of my interpreter with respect to this practice and was informed that it was a custom not only with those who had recently lost their relatives, but also with others, who recalled to mind the loss of some friend, dead long since, who joined the mourners purely from sympathy. They appeared extremely affected, tears ran down their cheeks and they sobbed bitterly, but in a moment they dry their cheeks and cease their cries."

Of these same Indians, upon being turned over to their tribe, he says:

"Lieutenant Wilkinson informed me that their meeting was very tender and affectionate. Wives throwing themselves into the arms of their husbands; parents embracing their children and children their parents; brothers and sisters meeting—one from captivity, the other from the towns; at the same time returning thanks to the good God for having brought them once more together."

In Missouri, he records his first sight of a slaughter of animals by the Indians:

"After proceeding about a mile, we discovered a herd of elk which we pursued; they took back in sight of the Pawnees who immediately mounted fifty or sixty young men and joined in the pursuit; then for the first time in my life, I saw animals slaughtered by the true savages by their original weapons, bows and arrows. They buried the arrow up to the plume in the animal."

The Indians called the prairie dog the "wish-ton-wish" because of their shrill bark. He says, in part, of these little animals:

"Their holes descend in a spiral form, on which account I could never ascertain their depth; but I once had 140 kettles of water poured into one of them in order to drive out the occupant but without effect. * * * We killed great numbers of these animals with our rifles and found them excellent meat after they were exposed a night or two to the frost by which means the rankness acquired by their subterranean dwelling is corrected."

While still in Missouri we read from his diary this:

"Friday 12th of September.—Commenced our march at 7:00 o'clock and passed some very rough flint hills; my feet blistered and were very sore. Standing on a hill, I beheld in one view below me, buffaloes, elks, deer, cabrie, and panther. Encamped on the main branch of Grand River which has very steep banks and was deep. Doctor Robinson, Bradley and Baromi arrived after dusk, having killed three buffaloes, which with one I had killed and two by the Indians, made in all six. The Indians alleging it was the Kansas Hunting Ground, said they would destroy all the game they possibly could. Distance advanced eighteen miles."

In Missouri also, in addition to the many species of game which he daily describes in his journal, he speaks of the wild turkeys. A mistaken idea exists among some as to how this bird found its way to the western plains and mountains. In the Eastern States, before the time of easy transportation or cold storage, dealers would go through the country gathering the turkeys from the farmers, and driving them along the public highways to market, in great droves like sheep. From that, an impression went abroad that later, a drove of turkeys, crossing the plains to California, became scattered and wild. The facts are, wild turkeys were plentiful in New Spain and had been domesticated by the Aztecs before the conquest of Mexico by Cortez. They were never seen in England until 1541, when they reached there from New Spain, the very year Coronado was marching with his army towards Colorado. The highly ornamented head dresses of the Indians, which were first made from the feathers of the eagles and the owls, were later made from the glossy and richly hued feathers of the wild turkey.

Lieutenant Pike and his party passed on westward into Kansas and followed the Arkansas River into Colorado. Soon after he entered our State, near the place where the Purgatoire River empties into the Arkansas, he discovered the Rocky Mountains, then known as the Mexican Mountains. A legend containing a note of sadness comes to us out the buried centuries. Soldiers going from Santa Fe to St. Augustine with gold for the army were never heard of beyond the junction of the Arkansas and Purgatoire Rivers. As the months and years passed with no tidings of the soldiers, a Priest named one of the rivers El Rio de las Animas Perdidas—the River of Lost Souls. The French trappers later changed the name to Purgatoire. Long afterwards it is said that an Indian confessed to a Priest that the Indians had surrounded the men and killed every one. Much gold has been spent since that day searching for the gold the soldiers were supposed to have buried when they knew they were to be attacked.

It was on the afternoon of November 15, 1805, that, looking to the northwest, Pike saw what he took to be a small blue cloud. Then with a glass he discovered that it was a peak, towering above all the surrounding heights, and which then and after, his party spoke of as the Grand Peak. It was known by all the Indian tribes for hundreds of miles around, and the early hunters and trappers told that it was so high, the clouds could not get between it and the sky. It later became known as "Pike's Peak." Two days after the discovery of this Peak, whose altitude is 14,147 feet, he tells in his journal of the feast of marrow bones, and how deceptive distance is in this rarified air:

"Monday, 17th November.—Marched at our usual hour; pushed on with an idea of arriving at the mountains but found at night no visible difference in their appearance from what we had observed yesterday. One of our horses gave out and was left in a ravine not being able to ascend the hill, but I sent back for him and had him brought to the camp. Distance advanced twenty-three miles and a half.

"Tuesday, 18th of November.—As we discovered fresh signs of the savages, we concluded it best to stop and kill some meat for fear we should get into a country where we could not obtain game. Sent out the hunters. I walked myself to an eminence from whence I took the courses to the different mountains and a small sketch of their appearance. In the evening found the hunters had killed without mercy, having slain seventeen buffaloes and wounded at least twenty more.

"Wednesday, 19th of November.—Having several carcasses brought in, I gave out sufficient meat to last this month. I found it expedient to remain and dry the meat for our horses were getting very weak, and the one died which was brought in yesterday. Had a general feast of marrow bones. One hundred and thirty-six of them furnishing the repast.

"Saturday, 22d of November.—* * * We made for the woods and unloaded our horses, and the two leaders endeavored to arrange the party; it was with great difficulty they got them tranquil and not until there had been a bow or two bent on the occasion. When in some order, we found them to be sixty warriors, half with fire arms and half with bows and arrows and lances. Our party was in all sixteen * * * Finding this, we determined to protect ourselves as far as was in our power and the affair began to wear a serious aspect. I ordered my men to take their arms and separate themselves from the savages; at the same time declaring I would kill the first man who touched our baggage. * * *"

It was on November 27th that he arrived at the base of Pike's Peak, and because of the lateness of the season could not ascend it. Instead, he reached the summit of Cheyenne Mountain, and looked up to the grand pinnacle that stood out so grandly majestic, seeming so close, yet estimated by him to be fifteen or sixteen miles away. He looked down on the billowy clouds below, that rose and lowered like the tossing of mighty waves in a storm at sea. He stood speechlessly gazing on such grandeur as his eyes had never yet beheld, and he felt the awe, and immensity, and sublimity of it, down to the end of his life. It was the same Cheyenne Mountain where Helen Hunt, the writer, so loved to be. Here, she was enthralled with the beauty and majesty that surrounded her, and here she received the inspiration for those glowing descriptions of nature as she saw it in its restful moods, and as she pictured it in its times of frenzy. Her love for that mountain was so great, that on its bosom, high up near the stars, beneath the trees that spoke to her as they rustled in the summer's breeze, her grave was made and there she was buried according to her wish.

All winter, Pike prospected the mountains and the rivers, in the midst of such suffering as few people endure and survive. These few notes from his diary tell the story:

"Wednesday, 24th of December.—* * * About eleven o'clock met Dr. Robinson on a prairie, who informed me that he and Baromi had been absent from the party two days without killing anything, also without eating * * *

"Thursday, 25th of December.—* * * We had before been occasionally accustomed to some degree of relaxation and extra enjoyments; but the case was now far different; eight hundred miles from the frontiers of our country in the most inclement season of the year; not one person properly clothed for the winter; many without blankets, having been obliged to cut them up for socks and other articles; lying down, too, at night on the snow or wet ground, one side burning, whilst the other was pierced with the cold wind; that was briefly the situation of the party; while some were endeavoring to make a miserable substitute of raw buffalo hide for shoes and other covering. * * *

Pike and His Frozen Companion

Pike Leaving the Two Comrades with Frozen Feet at the Log Fort They Built Near Canon City.

"Tuesday, 20th of January.—The doctor and all the men able to march returned to the buffalo to bring in the remainder of the meat. On examining the feet of those who were frozen, we found it impossible for two of them to proceed, and two others only without loads by the help of a stick. One of the former was my waiter, a promising young lad of twenty, whose feet were so badly frozen as to present every possibility of his losing them. The doctor and party returned toward evening loaded with the buffalo meat.

"Tuesday, 17th of February.—* * * This evening the corporal and three of the men arrived, who had been sent back to the camp of their frozen companions. They informed me that two more would arrive the next day, one of them was Menaugh, who had been left alone on the 27th of January; but the other two, Dougherty and Spark, were unable to come. They said that they had hailed them with tears of joy and were in despair when they again left them with a chance of never seeing them more. They sent on to me some of the bones taken out of their feet and conjured me by all that was sacred not to leave them to perish far from the civilized world. Oh! little did they know my heart if they could suspect me of conduct so ungenerous! No, before they should be left, I would for months have carried the end of a litter in order to secure them the happiness of once more seeing their native homes and being received in the bosom of a grateful country. Thus these poor fellows are to be invalids for life, made infirm at the commencement of manhood and in the prime of their course; doomed to pass the remainder of their days in misery and want. For what is the pension? Not sufficient to buy a man his victuals! What man would even lose the smallest of his joints for such a trifling pittance?"

The Louisiana Purchase had left a disputed boundary, which, with other things, threatened war between the United States and Spain. When Pike crossed over the Rocky Mountains to the West side, he was exploring disputed territory, though he was lost and thought he was on the Red River, instead of the Rio Grande, the former being within the limits of the Louisiana Purchase. He had passed that River, however, above its source, and had gotten over on the Rio Grande, which territory was still claimed by Spain. Had he found the Red River, it was his intention to build rafts and follow it towards its junction with the Mississippi, landing on his way at Nachitoches in Louisiana, which is about one hundred and fifteen miles west of Natchez—that being the Military Post to which he was to report. Notice of his presence in the Mountains had reached Santa Fe, where Spanish soldiers were stationed. The Governor sent an officer and fifty dragoons to bring him out. He was taken south to Santa Fe, going peaceably, but all the time protesting in the name of his Government at the indignity. Here he was questioned, his papers examined, and those in authority being undecided as to how to handle the matter because of its national character, they sent him far away to the south, to Chihuahua in New Spain, the headquarters of the Military Chief of Upper Mexico, where he arrived April 2d. After being detained for some days, all his papers again gone over in a vain endeavor to find something incriminating, it was determined to send him East to his destination, with an escort, his party, however, not to be permitted to accompany him, but to be sent after him.

In July, 1806, he arrived at Nachitoches, where he was warmly welcomed by his fellow officers. A little later he received a letter of thanks from the Government. He was made a Major in the Army in 1808; Lieutenant Colonel in 1809; Deputy Quartermaster-General and Colonel both, in 1812; Brigadier General in 1813. In that year he was sent by the Government on an expedition against York in Upper Canada, at the time of our second war with England. Here a magazine of the Fort exploded, a mass of stone fell on him and crushed him, and he died at the age of thirty-five. In his pocket was found a little volume containing a touching admonition to his son. He urged that he regard his honor above everything else, and that he be ready to die for his country at any time.

Lieutenant Pike had a pleasing personality, and had he lived, he would doubtless have been prominent in the affairs of the Government. He had strong features, keen kindly eyes, firm chin, high forehead, a nose that showed breeding, was clean shaven, had closely cropped hair combed straight back, and his picture somewhat resembles the portrait of Thomas Jefferson, once President of the United States. His modesty would not permit the giving of his own untarnished name to the great Peak that through the ages will proudly bear his name. The name came from a popular demand of the people, who were here at an early date, and who did away with the name of "James Peak" which Major Long gave it in honor of one of his own exploring party.

One of the Approaches to Cheyenne Mountain

One of the Approaches to Cheyenne Mountain, Pike's Peak in the Background.

There is a singular coincidence attached to the name of this Peak. A pike in former times was the name given to anything with a sharp point. A road with toll gates was called a pike, because the gate consisted of a pole that swung up with the small end pointing towards the sky. In olden times the name of pike, instead of peak, was given to all summits of mountains. Gradually the word pike gave way to peak, and the former finally became obsolete. So in the name of Pike's Peak, we have it so securely named, that even the highest legislation in the land could not take away from it the name of Pike. And in this towering peak and its companions, if Prof. Agassiz is right, we have the first dry land that was lifted out of the great world's waste of waters. Colorado is to be congratulated that it has a monument in its midst that will forever commemorate the memory of a good man, who was intellectually, physically and morally clean and strong; who was faithful to every trust; tender in his sympathies; lofty in his ideals and character; and who loved his country so much, that he was willing to give it all he had—his life.




As footprints on the sands of the ocean's beach are blotted out by winds and waves, so a Chapter of Colorado's History has been torn from its pages and can never be reproduced—the hunter and trapper. Exploring parties sent out by the Government were required to make careful observations, and a minute record of all they saw. It is by this we can follow them through their wanderings amidst primeval scenes, and can picture them moving slowly over the plains, solitary or in little groups, struggling forward, often hungry, lame, sick and desolate. But there will ever remain an untold story of those early times; as it can never be written by the hands long stilled, nor ever spoken by the lips long silenced. In that buried period are blended the romance, tragedy and adventures of the hunters and trappers who frequented Colorado in the beginning of the last century. They were few in number, mostly of French extraction, with St. Louis as their home. They were a type whose like will never be seen again, for the reasons for their existing can never again be duplicated. They were Indian Traders, who went at first to the outskirts of civilization, exchanging inexpensive articles for the rich furs of the Indians. As their acquaintance grew with the natives, they crowded into the Indians' country, and following the streams, took the otter and beaver at first hand. Because of their being so few in number, they were rarely molested; then, too, they were a medium by which the natives could realize on their furs, pittance though it was.

Some of these trappers would remain out on their expeditions for several years at a time, often living with the Indians and adopting their ways. As their clothes fell to pieces from age and use, they would replenish from the primitive blanket costumes of the Indians, whom in time they came to resemble. Often they would marry Indian wives and settle down to the nomadic life of the aborigines. Sometimes there would crowd upon them such stirring memories of the experiences they had once enjoyed, that the wives and children would be left to tears and loneliness, while the trapper with his face set toward the East, with his pack on his back, would tramp to the settlements, sometimes to remain, sometimes to return. We know some of the men who visited the mountains and streams of Colorado; knowledge of their presence here has floated down to us in various ways. When Major Long came on his exploring trip in 1819, he secured as guides two French Trappers, then living with the tribe of Pawnee Indians in southeastern Nebraska, who had trapped in the region of the Rocky Mountains.

James Pursley was here in 1805 and traded among the Indians; Lieutenant Pike in his report, speaks of him as the first white man who ever crossed the plains. He made the first discovery of gold in Colorado, which he found at the foot of Lincoln Mountain, doubtless at Fairplay on the Platte River, where once extensive placer diggings existed. As late as 1875, the Company operating there had a large number of Chinamen at work. The immense grass-grown gulch, wide and deep and long, at the edge of Fairplay, is the excavation out of which hundreds of thousands of dollars were taken. Colorado has done well to commemorate the name of Abraham Lincoln in one of its loftiest mountains.

A Frenchman named La Lande was sent out by an Illinois merchant in 1804, to make an investigation of the country and report. He came along the Platte Valley, crossed over to Santa Fe, where he concluded to remain. There was a party of French Trappers known to have been here about 1800 who went South into Arizona, in search of untouched territory to ply their avocation. Philip Covington in 1827 passed up the Cache La Poudre Valley with a pack train, on his way to Green River with supplies. He returned in 1828 and established a colony of trappers at La Porte, one of the oldest settlements in Colorado, and which is located near Ft. Collins. He was in the employ of the American Fur Company.

The Trapper

The Trapper.

The trappers would often go alone into these vast solitudes, with pack horses to carry their supplies in, and their furs but. Sometimes they would die in their lonely retreats, and never be heard of again, only as some sign of the fate that had overtaken them would be found years later. After a time, there were wagon routes of travel along the Arkansas River, with a trading post at Fort Bent and one at Santa Fe; also up the South Platte River, with trading centers at Ft. St. Vrain and at Ft. Lupton; and up the North Platte River, with the business centering at Ft. Laramie. Sometimes trappers who were brought out in the freighting wagons in the Spring from St. Louis by the Fur-Trading Companies, would be left with supplies along the streams, and in the Fall they would be picked up and taken with their peltries back to St. Louis.

The Astor Trail was made in 1810 through South Dakota west to the Coast. A great impetus was given to the fur business by the Lewis and Clark Exploring Party in 1804. They opened up the first Coast to Coast trail, and were the first white men to cross the Continent between the British operations on the North, and the Spanish on the South. Lewis had been President Jefferson's Private Secretary, and Captain Clark was his friend. They traveled eighty-five hundred miles, and they nationalized the fur business which grew to such proportions that years after they had opened up the line of travel, we were selling in London, alone, two million one hundred and seventy thousand furs annually. The rich peltries then were what gold and silver were later, and what grain, alfalfa, fruit, sugar beets and potatoes are now, and will be as long as water, soil, and sunshine blend. Buffalo and otter skins brought in the western market three dollars each; beaver skins four dollars; coon and muskrat twenty-five cents; deer skins thirty-eight cents per pound.

The early trappers could have been of inestimable benefit to the Government, had they been called upon to help solve the perplexing Indian problems that for so many years confronted us. They knew the Indians, their languages, habits and customs; and had their knowledge and influence with the natives been utilized, we might have peaceably settled many of the difficulties that required the sacrifice of so many lives and the unnecessary expenditure of so much money.

The fur industry, however, depended upon the keen perception of an awkward, unlettered, German boy for its growth and quick development. He came to London from Germany, with his bundle under his arm, to help in his brother's music store. John Jacob Ashdoer was his name, which by evolution became "Astor." With great frugality and unceasing industry, he saved enough in two years to pay his passage on a sailing ship to America, and there was enough left of his little hoard to buy seven flutes of his uncle, his sole stock in trade. When he reached this country, he traded one of his flutes for some furs; and that particular flute, and those particular furs, made history. It turned his attention to the fur trade, and laid the foundation for the greatest landed estate in America. With his pack on his back, he traveled among the Indian tribes of the Eastern States, and got their furs in exchange for gaudy trinkets, such as beads and ribbons. He personally took the furs to London, so as to realize the highest possible price for them and rapidly grew rich. In 1800 when he had only been in this country fifteen years, he was clearing fifty thousand dollars on a single trip of one of his sailing vessels.

It was at this time that Astor founded Astoria as a fur trading point, on the Columbia River, expecting to operate by ship, as well as freighting overland by the way of Ft. Laramie, and thus control the fur traffic along the tributary rivers. The destruction of Astoria by the British kept him from realizing his dream of becoming "the richest man in the world." Washington Irving and John Jacob Astor were friends, and the latter placed in Irving's hands all the records of his Company's operations, from which Irving gathered much interesting data, and many thrilling experiences from the lives of the early trappers and hunters. He wrote "Astoria" as a compliment to his friend. In this book he pictures the Rocky Mountains as having an elevation in places of twenty-five thousand feet, but frankly states that it is only conjecture, since their altitude had never been measured. The average height of the Rocky Mountains exceed that of the famous Alps, a number of the noted peaks being above thirteen thousand feet.

Some of Irving's interesting and pleasing prophecies of our country follow:

"It is a region almost as vast and trackless as the ocean, and at the time of which we treat, but little known, excepting through the vague accounts of Indian hunters. A part of their route would lay across an immense tract, stretching North and South for hundreds of miles along the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and drained by the tributaries of the Missouri and the Mississippi. This region, which resembles one of the immeasurable steppes of Asia, has not inaptly been termed 'The Great American Desert.' It spreads forth into undulating and trackless plains and desolate sandy wastes, wearisome to the eye from their extent and monotony, and which are supposed by geologists to have formed the ancient floor of the ocean, countless ages since, when its primeval waves beat against the granite bases of the Rocky Mountains.

"It is a land where no man permanently abides; for, in certain seasons of the year, there is no food, either for the hunter or his steed. The herbage is parched and withered; the brooks and streams are dried up; the buffalo, the elk and the deer have wandered to distant parts, keeping within the verge of expiring verdure, and leaving behind them a vast uninhabited solitude, seamed by ravines, the beds of former torrents, but now serving only to tantalize and increase the thirst of the traveler. Such is the nature of this immense wilderness of the far West, which apparently defies cultivation, and the habitation of civilized life * * * Here may spring up new and mongrel races * * * Some may gradually become pastoral hordes, like those rude and migratory people, half shepherd, half warrior, who, with their flocks and herds, roam the plains of Upper Asia; but, others, it is to be apprehended, will become predatory bands, mounted on the fleet steeds of the prairies, with the open plains for their marauding ground, and the mountains for their retreats and lurking places. Here they may resemble those great hordes of the North; 'Gog and Magog with their bands,' that haunted the gloomy imaginations of the prophets, 'A great Company and a mighty host all riding upon horses, and warring upon those nations which were at rest, and dwelt peaceably, and had gotten cattle and goods.'"




1819 Fourteen years have passed since Lieutenant Pike sold his two little sail boats to the Osage Indians as he left the Missouri River and started on his overland journey. Within this brief period a great invention has marked the progress of the century. After years of experiments, failures and disappointments; after sinking one vessel and abandoning others; Robert Fulton has returned from his trip to France, bringing with him his steam engine with which he had perfected water navigation, and by his genius linked together all the nations of the earth, increased the wealth and commerce of the world, and won for himself enduring fame.

The next exploring party was to start in a steamship owned by the Government of the United States, and under the leadership of Stephen Harriman Long. Born at Hopkington, New Hampshire, December 30, 1784, Long had graduated at Dartmouth College, and entered the corps of Engineers of the U.S. Army, in 1814; had been a professor of mathematics at the Military Academy at West Point, and had been transferred to the Topographical Engineers in 1815, with the brevet-rank of Major.

James Monroe was President, and John C. Calhoun Secretary of War, and they gave Major Long elaborate instructions as to his duty. We had owned the vast Louisiana Territory for sixteen years, and knew but little more about it than when it came into our possession. So, Long was to explore it and make a very thorough investigation of the "country between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, the Missouri and its tributaries, the Red River, the Arkansas River, and the Mississippi above the mouth of the Missouri."

On May 3, 1819, the party of nine started from the arsenal on the Allegheny River just above Pittsburgh, at which point they entered the Ohio River. Their steamer carried them down the Ohio to its junction with the Mississippi, a distance of about nine hundred miles, where they arrived May 30th. Here they turned north up the Mississippi River, about one hundred and seventy-five miles to St. Louis, which they reached June 9th. Then they steamed West up the Missouri, over the course that Pike had sailed fourteen years before, to the same point where the Osage River enters the Missouri, near the present location of Jefferson City and one hundred and thirty-three miles from the Mississippi River. The party divided; part of the number disembarked and proceeded with horses through Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska, meeting those of the party who remained on the boat at Council Bluffs on September 19th. There they established their winter quarters on the banks of the Missouri, about five miles below the present City of Council Bluffs, and so named because of a Council held with the Indians by the Government at that point. In the log houses, built by Pike and his party, and with the supplies they had brought on the ship, the party passed a comfortable and leisurely winter. On June 6, 1820, they started from Council Bluffs, the party then consisting of twenty men and twenty-eight horses. It is interesting to know what their pack ponies carried. Here is an invoice:

They followed along the Platte River, and stopped for a time at the junction of the North Fork of that River with the South Fork, where North Platte is now situated. Here they tell of watching the beavers cut down a cottonwood tree. They observed that when it was nearly ready to fall, one of the beavers swam out into the river and posted itself as a sentinel. As soon as it saw the tops of the branches begin to move, it gave the signal by giving the water a resounding slap with its flat tail, when every beaver scampered out of reach of the falling tree. It must have been a moonlight night when they were there, otherwise they would not have seen the beavers at work, for they reverse nature's order and sleep in the daytime, working at night. They sleep in their houses, with their bodies in the water, and their heads resting out of the water on a stick. At twilight, a wise old mother beaver comes out and swims all around the pond or river, looking and smelling. Their sense of smell is very keen, and those who wish to observe them do so from treetops near the water. If after a careful investigation, the sentinel decides there are no man people, or wild animals around, one slap of the tail on the water is given, and out pops the nose of every beaver of the band, and all proceed with their work, exactly where it ended at sunrise. If the one on picket duty sees or hears anything that seems suspicious, three sharp resounding strokes of the tail sends every beaver in a flash to his hiding place, and nothing will tempt them out again that night. They have an instinct for making a tree fall in exactly the place where they want it, and it is used as a foundation for the numerous dams they build in the streams.

On June 30th, Long's party got their first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains. Later on, when they were camped near Ft. Lupton, opposite the Peak, they gave it the name of Long, its altitude being fourteen thousand two hundred and seventy feet.

None of the party were ever near the Peak. Two of them, more courageous than the others, rode out one memorable morning, under a cloudless sky, with their faces towards the snowy range—rode away to defeat and oblivion. As morning turned to noon and they seemed no nearer to the pinnacle than when they started, they retraced their steps across the silent plain. Thus they lost an opportunity of forever linking their names to undying fame. Had they proceeded, they could have electrified a nation by writing into their report a page that would have remained undimmed to the end of time. It was theirs, had they embraced it, to have discovered Estes Park, the gorgeous setting that crowns the approach to the King of Peaks. But they turned back; back from the snow-white mountains beckoning them onward; from the purple tints that veiled the mystic summits in a mellow haze; from the lights and shadows playing over hill and dale, under a canopy of fleecy clouds.

Beautiful Estes Park! Rarest gem of all the sparkling jewels that adorn the bosom of this fair world! In you the Divine Hand has created the masterpiece of all earthly beauty! You are so freighted down with scenic blessings that the mould was broken in your formation and there can be no duplication! Glorious is your resting place under the cloudless sky, as you lie in the embraces of the soft and balmy air that envelops you! Beautiful are your grassy slopes and velvet meadows, asleep beneath the gleaming stars, awake under the mellow skies, reaching away in a panoramic view of exquisite colorings! Faultless are Nature's highways as they wind in and out among your fir and spruce, your pine and aspen, through silvery glades and leafy dells, by rocky gorges and towering cliffs! Lovely are the azure lakes that rest against your mountain sides, reflecting in their limpid depths your rocks and trees, your lights and shades, your fleecy clouds and snow-clad peaks! How gentle is the flow of your sounding streams; how they eddy and fall; how they tumble and roar, as they hurry along to their far-away home in the sea! How grand and terrible are the awe-inspiring storms that gather in the mountains high above you, as cloud rolls upon cloud, black, dense, lowering; how the terrific peals of thunder crash from peak to peak, like the duel of artillery meeting on the field of carnage in the mighty shock of battle!

As light follows darkness, as sunshine comes after the rain, as peace succeeds strife, the clouds unveil, the tempest is calmed, the glory of the sun dispels the gloom, and the storm lashed pinnacles robed in eternal snow, light up under the glow of the lingering twilight. The tiny throated songsters warble their simple evening notes, ever old and forever new, rivaling the music of the streams, as they flood this paradise of parks with an ecstasy of melody. The eagle mounts skyward, rising higher and higher, in ever widening circles, standing out against the sky, then soaring away beyond the vision to his eyrie in the gaping gorge of the lofty crest.

The opalescent hues envelop the mountain rims. The fiery red, flames into a glow, melts to the softest purple, blends to the rarest gray, and in a delirium of rich colors the sun goes down in a cloud of glory. The sublimity of the scene clings like a halo around the sky-piercing summits. The day darkens, and the rosy tints of sunset fade into a flood of moonlight that mirrors the shining stars in the rivers, flowing far below under the mysterious shadows of the mighty cliffs.

Long and his party followed along the Platte River by the place where Denver is located, and on to Colorado Springs, at which point some of them attempted to climb Pike's Peak, but did not succeed. Greatly to their discredit, they named that Peak for "James," one of their number, instead of for "Pike," its discoverer. The people saw to it, however, that the name thus given it, should not be permanent. The people are nearly always right. The party proceeded on to Canon City and Pueblo, and then this exploring party made a discovery; they discovered that their biscuits were running short, so they immediately started home. They had left Council Bluffs, June 6th; they knew how long five hundred pounds of biscuits would last twenty men; so they knew they were on a pleasure trip and would have to start back July 19th, just one month and thirteen days after they set out, and ten days after they reached Colorado. When we think of the faithful Pike and his loyal men, freezing, starving, persisting; think of them with worn-out cotton clothing in winter, instead of warm flannel; of making shoes out of raw buffalo hides; of persevering in the face of every obstruction, and then read Long's report of starting back in midsummer, for the want of biscuits, our admiration grows for Lieutenant Pike and his devoted party of courageous men.

The Buffalo Runner

The Buffalo Runner.

Major Long's report to the Government was of such a discouraging nature that it retarded the settlement of the country for nearly half a century, and it should never have been written. He was quoted in the newspapers, and people everywhere read of a "desert inhabited by savages," a sentiment that became so firmly fixed in the minds of many in the Eastern States that the prejudices of the people have only in recent years been wholly removed. He often refers in his report to the enormous herds of fat buffalo that "darken the plains." How this queer-shaped animal with its powerful front and slender hind parts originated, or where it came from, will forever remain an unsolved mystery like the beginning of the race of Indians. They were here in immense droves. Ernest Seton Thompson thinks that there were seventy millions within the compass of their range, which was from the Allegheny Mountains on the East, to Nevada on the West; and that fifty millions of them were west of the Mississippi River. He bases his estimate on the amount of acreage they grazed over, and the number of animals the pasturage would sustain. I think he is far too low in his estimate. If we assign forty feet of space to each buffalo they would occupy an area, if bunched together, of but sixty-four thousand two hundred and eighty acres, or only one hundred square miles, which would be equal to a herd twenty-five miles long and four miles wide. The Government reports give an estimate of two hundred and fifty millions killed, from 1850 to 1883.

All the reports of explorers, scouts and emigrants dwell on the magnitude of these immense herds, which were so numerous that "the earth as far as the eye can reach, seems to be alive and to move." Coronado was never out of sight of them in traveling the seven hundred miles from New Mexico to Kansas, according to his letter to the King. Along every pioneer trail the prairies were covered in every direction with them, and away up in the Wind River Country, in the land of the Wyoming, Longfellow sings of the

"Billowy bays of grass ever rolling in shadow and sunshine,

Bright and luxuriant clusters of roses and purple amorphas,

Over them wander the buffalo herds, and the elk and the roebuck."

These peaceful herds, as they roamed over the plains, had their Nemesis at their heels, in the vast number of Indians trailing behind them and living upon them; while on all sides were thousands of hungry grey wolves devouring the calves or attacking the old, at will. In spite of these decimating influences, and their companion, the blizzard, the buffalo herds multiplied, and the Great Plains themselves seemed to be "alive and to move," as the countless numbers slowly grazed over them. Buffalo steak was good eating, and so adaptable that J. M. Bagley of Colorado, the veteran wood engraver, in relating early experiences tells how he started a restaurant on one buffalo ham, from which he served veal, beef, mutton, bear, venison, and all other wild game!

The first telegraph line reaching out over the plains, was a very primitive one. The posts were short and light, and they carried but one wire. A great deal of trouble arose from the cattle rubbing against the poles and wrecking the line. This was remedied by driving long heavy spikes into the poles at the point where the cattle would do the rubbing. But the workman got out of the cattle plague, only to get into worse trouble from the buffalo. They liked the spikes, and used the sharp points to scratch their rough hides. There seemed to be a buffalo language, for those shaggy and amiable animals flocked to the spikes from all sections. They reveled in the luxury of having their backs scratched, and to show their appreciation rubbed so hard that they completely demolished the line. Telegraph wire entangled in the horns of a buffalo was found as far away as Canada when it was killed. Only the rebuilding of the line with heavy poles and leaving off the scratching comforts, enabled business to proceed.

It seems strange that everyone lost sight of the productiveness that must lie in land that would sustain such quantities of grass-devouring animals; and that in the instructions given by Congress, the Presidents of the United States, and the Secretaries of War, to the leaders of these various exploring parties, the important question of irrigation should have never been considered, nor mentioned by the explorers themselves. It is true, irrigation was wholly unknown in our country at the time, but Egypt and China had been artificially watered for centuries, and it is strange that no Congressman or Government official, or enterprising newspaper editor called attention to this vital question.

The Long party divided as it started East. Captain Bell with eleven men went down the Arkansas River, while Major Long with nine, went farther south in search of the Red River. They all met at Ft. Smith, in western Arkansas, the middle of September; thence the united party crossed through Arkansas to the Mississippi River, where their trip ended.

Major Long looked like a college professor. He wore glasses over very black eyes; had thin, firm lips; high cheek bones; long wavy hair, and was close shaven, except for a little tuft of side whiskers back close to his ears. He later explored the source of the Mississippi River for the Government, and then became Engineer in Chief for the Western and Atlantic Railroad in Georgia.

When Major Long in 1805 turned the prow of his steamer into the mouth of the Missouri River, the first that ever ploughed its waters, he little thought that just above the junction of those two rivers would some day, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi, be built a City that would be named Alton; and little did he think that, fifty-nine years later, at the age of eighty, his grave would there be dug, and there would he be buried.




Of all those to whom we owe honor and loyalty, and affection; to whom belongs the first place of honor at the banqueting board; the highest monument to mark their passing; whose memory should be longest cherished, and beside whose grave we should tread most lightly; in all the generations of the past and future, we owe our allegiance first and always to the old settler! The very name marks the whole span of life. We see its spring time—youth and strength, teeming with energy; we see its autumn—the last leaf upon the tree, clinging, poised, ready to float away into eternal silence. Twilight, the lengthening shadows, the old settler; they blend into a harmonious setting for the slowly descending curtain upon the drama of life, ere the "silver cord is loosened or the golden bowl broken at the fountain." The old settler—what a train of thought the words suggest! He is the corner stone of civilization. He it is who pushes out beyond the confines of safety; out into scenes of privation and hardships; into conditions calling for sacrifices and disappointments; into danger and ofttimes death. Through it all he is so brave and so loyal, so earnest and capable, so patient and cheerful, so tender in his sympathies, so strong in his forceful grasp, so superior in his principles, that his name deserves to be written high up on the walls of the Temple of Fame! Nationally and locally, as a people, we have a feeling of veneration for those who clear the way and conquer the formidable obstacles that stand in the path of progress. They develop the highest type of rugged manhood and womanhood—strong, fearless, independent and self-sustaining. For nearly three centuries history has been repeating itself in this country of ours. As the Pilgrim Fathers endured and conquered, so in each succeeding generation have there been those who have given the days of their lives to labor, in the midst of loneliness, and the nights to vigil, surrounded by danger, that security and prosperity might come to those who followed them. They are the battle scarred veterans who fought for a foothold in a hostile country, and through their untiring efforts and indomitable courage made possible the enjoyment of others in the midst of congenial and ennobling surroundings.

Napoleon, as all the world knows, instituted the Order of the Legion of Honor in recognition of merit, civil or military. To be a member of that Order was an honor so great that the decorations were cherished long afterwards by the descendants of the recipients. History records that a French Grenadier, returning from a leave of absence, was astonished to find the Austrian Army secretly advancing through the mountains by a comparatively unknown path. Hastening forward to give warning to the handful of soldiers stationed in a strong tower to defend the path, he found to his dismay that they had fled, leaving their thirty muskets behind. Undeterred by such a calamity, he entered the tower, barricaded the door and loaded his muskets, determined to hold the post against the whole Austrian Army. This he succeeded in doing for thirty-six hours. Every shot told. Artillerymen were killed the moment they appeared in the narrow path, and cannon were useless. Assaults were repulsed with great loss in killed and wounded. Finally, when not another round of ammunition was left, the Grenadier signalled that the Post would be evacuated if the garrison could march out with its arms, and with its colors flying proceed to the French Army. This was agreed to; and when the old Grenadier came staggering out under all the muskets he could carry, and it developed that he was the whole garrison, the admiration of the Austrians was boundless; they sent him with an escort and a note to the appreciative Napoleon, who knighted him on the spot. When, later, he was killed in battle, he was continued on the roll call of his regiment, and when the name of Latour d'Auvergne was called, the ranking sergeant stepped forward, saluted the commanding officer, and answered in a loud voice, "dead on the field of honor."

To such a class belong the courageous, vigilant and enthusiastic advance guard of civilization everywhere. They placed the plowshare and the pruning hook where the rifle and the tomahawk long held sway. They worked with rough hands and stout hearts to solve the problems that beset the West, and to make gardens bloom where the desert had cast its blight for centuries. They brought order out of chaos and from the woof of time wove the lasting fabric of justice and good government. Such were the old settlers of our own beautiful mountain land. They came, many of them, in the slow, monotonous, wearisome, creaking, covered wagon drawn by heavy-footed oxen; through midday heat and wintry blasts, through blinding storms of sand and snow, they wended their way for months from far-off countries, sometimes leaving their dead in unmarked graves by the wayside, and with set faces and leaden hearts, pushed on to unknown scenes.

Half a century has wrought wonderful changes! Now, the traveler sees the sun go down upon the middle west, with the Missouri winding its way to the sea; the morning's radiance glints the summit of the Great Divide, and unrolls a picture of rare beauty and majesty! Five hundred miles in a night; sleep, comfort, luxury; no hunger, or thirst, or fear, or discomfort; cushioned seats, soft carpets, fine linen; dining cars shining with polished woodwork, beveled mirrors, solid silver; a moving palace such as was unknown even in the days of luxurious Rome.

I have listened to many pathetic stories of our old pioneers that touched me deeply. The history of those distant days is full of interest. An air of romance envelops those early western scenes. Many a troth was plighted in the long trip across the plains, and many a friendship was formed that ended only in death. The novelist clothes his characters with the imaginary joys and griefs of imaginary people; but imagery never was and never can be as interesting as real incidents in the lives of real people. A dignity crowns the memory of the men whose feet were set where never human feet were placed before; honors cling around the names of those who lived in the days when the buffalo roamed the plains unmolested, when the skulking savage lurked in hiding, and when the weird bark of the hungry coyote penetrated the solitude of night. Out of such experiences empires are born. The founders of our prosperous state little knew that here they were opening up the richest mineral and farming country in all the world! Nor did they realize that they would here plant the future metropolis of the Great Rocky Mountain Region. We honor them—the living and the dead—for what they are, and what they did! Their ranks are rapidly thinning. It will not be long until at Old Settlers Roll Call there will be no response—save only from out the stillness will be heard, like an appreciative echo, the voices of their successors as they answer, "Dead on the field of honor."




Christopher Carson.

1826 Down in the blue-grass region of Kentucky; down in the land of the cotton, the corn and the banjo; where the tiny feathered warblers carol their sweetest roundelays; where perennial flowers unceasingly bloom, and the trees are early at their blossomings; where silvery streamlets are kissed by the moonlight, and linger in the embraces of the warm southern suns; in that land, the home of lovely women, splendid men and fine horses; that has sent out its great generals, polished orators and renowned statesmen—two children were born, nearby, in the very memorable year of 1809. Abraham Lincoln grew to an uncrowned kingship. Christopher Carson won the highest place in the hearts of the empire builders of this wonderful West; and their names will never die. Lincoln was splitting rails by day, studying by the light of a log fire by night, and climbing hand over hand to his bed on the floor of the loft, by means of pegs driven in the logs of the cabin, as later he went hand over hand straight into the confidence and hearts of his countrymen.

Carson, the father, had apprenticed Kit, the son, to a saddler, as was the custom of those times. He rose before the break of dawn, made saddles and bridles all day and far into the night and was paid with poor food, a comfortless bed, and cheap and scanty clothing. Such was to be the lot of this unhappy boy until he was twenty-one. But he rebelled. Out into the blackness of the night, and to the light of freedom, crept the friendless youth, without a penny in his pocket or a bundle under his arm! And to such freedom! The limitless West with its stirring scenes beckoned him and he sped away, ahead of the advertisement that called him back, and in which the munificent reward of one cent for his return was offered by the man who had the legal right to call himself the master. At Franklin, where he lived, he had absorbed the spirit of the widening West that was calling him thither, and he quickly became an important factor in its upbuilding. Along that memorable Santa Fe trail, he crossed and re-crossed the southeastern part of Colorado.

Kit Carson became noted as a fearless hunter, trapper, miner, stockman, farmer, scout, guide, Indian fighter, Indian pacificator, treaty maker, Indian agent—all culminating in his Brigadier-generalship in the Civil War. In every capacity, he was faithful, persevering, energetic and capable. He learned the languages of the different tribes with painstaking study. He grew to understand the Indians as individuals, their ways, and their thoughts; he became their advisor and counselor, settled differences between tribes, and between the tribes and the Government; was the Government's advisor in treaty making, and was the first man to urge the attempt to domesticate the Indians. He knew the Spanish language as well as the Mexican and Indian patois; and he aided the Government in the solution of its troubles with the Indians as well as with the Mexicans and Spaniards. His influence for good stretched across a country, beginning with the Missouri River on the East and ending where the restless waves of civilization listened to the beating of the surges on the shores of the Pacific. He was a Lincoln sort of man with malice toward none. He had few enemies, and many friends. He was for peace, when peace was possible, but how he could fight when nothing else would do! Abbott, who does not realize that the towering peaks, the murmuring streams and the boundless plains, develop high ideals through the silent language that is all their own, says of Carson, "It is strange that the wilderness could have formed so estimable a character."

In Christopher Carson I see a serious man, modest and retiring, soft spoken, with quiet manners, medium in height, blue eyes and broad shouldered. I see a priestly looking man, with thoughtful mien, with face clean shaven; high, broad forehead, with receding hair flowing toward his shoulders, long and wavy; thin, firmly compressed lips; in all, very like the strong, splendid face of the world-famed artist, Liszt. I see a domestic man, adoring his amiable Spanish wife. I see him lying on his buffalo robe, with his children playing over him, and hunting the sugar lumps out of pockets that were never empty. I see him standing, gazing into the eyes of the Indian whose hand he clasps, vieing with each other in erectness, while at their feet lie the idle guns and cartridges, the broken bows and arrows, and the pruning hooks into which their swords have been beaten. I see him dying, two score and three years ago, with his honest homely face illuminated, as he smiles his "adios" to all about him and sinks gently into his last, long, dreamless sleep.

Richens Wooten.

1838 Seventy-five years have come and gone since Richens Wooten joined a wagon train at Independence, Missouri, and came out over the Santa Fe trail. Until 1859 he felt that he was temporarily in the West; that he would go back to his old Missouri home and end his days in the midst of the peaceful scenes of boyhood joys, the memory of which had clung to him through all the exciting years of his frontier life. Then when he had achieved success; had money and property; had loaded his belongings on his wagons; had turned the heads of the horses to the East; looked into the faces of the friends who had surrounded him all the years, at the plains he knew and loved, at the magnificent mountains, silent, majestic, eternal, at the rivers murmuring to him as they went by—his courage faltered! He awoke from the dream he had dreamed for years, unhitched his horses, unloaded his wagons, and lived and died in the country from which his heart-strings could not be severed.

Pioneers and a Conestogal Wagon or Prairie Schooner

Pioneers and a Conestogal Wagon or Prairie Schooner.

Like those of his day, he was everything he should be. He hunted and trapped; he was a Government scout; he raised stock; he farmed; everyone knew him as "Uncle Dick," and they knew him wherever a trail was laid. He lived at the junction of the Huerfano River with the Arkansas River about twenty miles East of Pueblo. He farmed there by a process of simple irrigation, as far back as 1854, which made him the Pioneer farmer of Colorado. He had a mill that was built by his own hands, that was run by water power in a sleepy sort of way. He would empty a couple of sacks of grain into the hopper at night and the flour would be ready for breakfast in the morning. He trapped mostly along the streams of Colorado and New Mexico. By handling his furs himself, at St. Louis, he realized as high as Fifteen Dollars for a beaver skin. He says "robes" were the cause of the disappearance of the vast buffalo herds; that those killed for meat by the whites and Indians would have made no appreciable inroad on the numbers that inhabited the Great Western Plains, but desire for hides caused their ruthless slaughter by the tens of thousands; that while they were gentle at first and had to be driven out of the way of the emigrant trains, they were hunted so much that later they became savage and would fight. He started a buffalo farm in 1840 where Pueblo is located, and sold the young to menageries. Wooten hated the Indians with exceeding great hate. There was a reason. He had chased them many and many a time; shot at them, hit them, had seen them fall, and their riderless ponies flee over the prairies, while a form lay silent beneath the sun and beneath the stars. But sometimes the tables were turned, and sometimes the chaser was chased! Ah! There's the rub, for Wooten could never look defeat in the face and be happy.

The Indians, he says, had a system of long distance communication, carried on among themselves by means of fire and smoke signals from the mountain tops. A puff of smoke was like a telephone message, and as easily understood; a second puff had its own peculiar meaning, and a blaze carried its special message to distant tribes. The whole country could be aroused in a day and night—the signals being taken up and repeated from mountain top to mountain top. The Indians spread themselves out to sleep in their tents, on buffalo robes or willow mattresses, with their feet towards a common fire in the center. They would place their dead in trees, or on a platform built on the top of four poles planted in the ground. The dead would be placed in a blanket, a buffalo robe wrapped around it, and then all bound together with strips of hide; the dead would thus lie for years. It was gruesome to happen upon these graveyard scenes at night, with the uncanny owls hooting in the treetops, and the wolves howling their warning notes. The Indians rode bareback with a rope for a bridle that would be fastened around the under jaw of the pony, which was trained to obey the slightest pressure of the knees or swaying of the body.

One of the feats of which Wooten was proud, and with good reason, was taking a great drove of sheep through to California. To do this successfully in the face of possible depredations from the Indians, to whom the sheep is a savory morsel; to escape the bands of thousands of aggressive grey wolves; to swim unbridged rivers when sheep so dislike to swim; to follow narrow mountain paths where overcrowding would precipitate the herd into the chasms below; to get by the crops of the Mormons who were all the time hunting for trouble; to reach his destination with every sheep fatter than when he started—that, says Uncle Dick, was the work of an artist.

Wooten came to Denver in 1858, where a few cabins had been built, and where a handful of people had centered. He started a store and built a two-story log house, the first pretentious building ever erected in Denver. Later, he built a frame residence when the saw mill came, a mill that had been stolen in the East and brought to this out-of-the-way country, where it was thought it could never be traced—in which, however, the plunderers were disappointed.

But Uncle Dick felt crowded. He could not breathe. He was elbowed by the people who were settling here. The wilds called to him. He wanted to get out alone, under the quiet stars; to have the glories of the setting sun all to himself; to see the wonderful moonlight shadows in the rivers; to feel the great orb creeping up in the morning, as he had seen it out on the broad plains and from the mountain tops nearly all the years of his life. So he went away; off to New Mexico, upon whose mountains he got a Government Charter for building a toll road by the abysses and along the over shadowing crags to shorten the trail. And there, with the years creeping on, he set himself down by the side of his toll gate, which was never shut down for the Indians, for they could not understand that in all this great free world, a road was not as free as sunshine or air. But is not this all told by Richens Wooten himself, in his very own book, in the picturesque and forceful style of a picturesque and forceful pioneer?

And finally, the toll that is taken from all mankind was collected from him, and he passed out alone by the road that every one must travel, and over which no one has ever traveled twice.

Oliver P. Wiggins.

1838 Straight as an arrow, towering six feet and three inches, stands Oliver P. Wiggins, the oldest living pioneer of all the "winners of the West." Eighty-nine years have brought a dimness to the eyes and a slowness to the steps, but they have not touched the keen intellect, trained by such experiences as no other living man will ever acquire. He remembers distinctly every event that has occurred during all the years of his life on the plains. He talks slowly and impressively, and you feel as you leave his presence that you have been in touch with another age and another race of people. He will tell you his story as he told it to me.

"I was born on the Niagara River; that is, on an Island just above Niagara Falls, where my father had taken up some land. His father had selected his own land near by the American side of the Falls, and it became later on very valuable. Boylike, I wanted to fight Indians, and I dreamed about scouts and tomahawks, and the war dance, for I was a reader of the blood-curdling cheap Indian novels of that day. So I left home when I was fifteen and went by sailboat from Buffalo to Detroit, where I found some French emigrants just starting to Kankakee, Illinois, where they were going to take up land. I went with them as far as Ft. Dearborn, which afterwards became Chicago; it had but about three hundred people then and as many soldiers; there was one short street just South of the Chicago River, and among the houses was one they called a hotel that had nine rooms. A squaw man, that is, a white man with an Indian wife, was sent from the Fort with a paper to St. Louis, that had something to do with paying the Indians their annuities by the Government. I went along in the canoe down the Illinois River, and the Indians, knowing what we were going for, kept joining us in their canoes, until there must have been two thousand following us when we reached St. Louis. There was not a single house all the way from Chicago to St. Louis, which was not known as St. Louis then. Later my uncle settled there, and had the Wiggins Ferry, and four acres of land on what was known then as 'Bloody Island.' He sold it recently for Three Million Dollars. The Indians had some flour, bacon and blankets apportioned to them, and they traded a good deal of it off for whiskey, and many of them got drunk and had an awful time.

"The following Spring, which was 1838, I went by steamer up to Independence, Missouri, which is just above where Kansas City was located later. It was the Eastern end of the Santa Fe Trail, while eight hundred miles away, Santa Fe was the Western terminus. At Independence, all the outfitting was done for the great overland freighting business, which at that early period had assumed important proportions. I joined a train, consisting of one hundred wagons and one hundred and twenty men. There were five yoke of oxen to each wagon, which made one thousand oxen; then there were a large number of extra oxen along to rest those that got sick or sore footed. By following close after each other, our wagon train stretched out about three miles. I was still on behind driving the cavy-yard, which was the name given to the sore-footed oxen. When we got to the Arkansas River where the trail crossed, which was very swift, we made boats out of two of the prairie schooners; calked them so they wouldn't leak, and loaded into these two boats all the loads that were on the rest of the wagons. A prairie schooner is a long deep wagon bed with flaring sides, about eight feet high and twenty feet long. The oxen swam across; then we chained all the empty wagons together, one behind the other, and hitched the oxen to a chain that reached back across the river to the wagons, pulled the wagons into the stream and on to the other side, where, as fast as one reached the bank, it was unchained from the rest, run up on the dry land, and the work of reloading began. It took four days to get all our outfit across. Our wagons were loaded mostly with merchandise for the stores to sell to the Mexicans, and with mining machinery. The wagons would carry on an average about seventy-five hundred pounds and the price of freight for the eight hundred miles from Independence to Santa Fe was generally eight dollars per hundred-weight, so the cost to the shippers of that trainload of freight run into the thousands. It would take from ten to sixteen weeks to cross the plains, owing to storms and the condition of the roads. We would shoe our own oxen and some of them had to be shod every morning. We would rope them and throw them for that purpose. It was not like a horseshoe, for the hoof of the ox is split and it requires a piece for each half of the hoof. We would make from fifteen to twenty miles a day. The dust was so great, that we traveled in a cloud of it all the time and the teams and drivers would change off; those who were ahead to-day, were behind to-morrow, all but me; I never got to go ahead with my cavy-yard, and I have never forgotten those weeks of frightful dust. They wouldn't let me stay back far, for fear the Indians would pick me off and run the cattle away.

"About a day and a half after we left Big Bend, we met a friendly Indian, who was much excited when he saw us. He said we must not try to go on, for we would all be killed, as the Kiowas were on the war path. Be we couldn't stop, so we kept right on, knowing that Kit Carson was coming with an escort to meet us. We brought up the rear half of the wagon train, however, and put two abreast, thus shortening the train to about a mile and a half. Pretty soon Carson met us with forty-six men, who were all well armed and mounted on good horses and then we felt easy once more. When we reached the Kiowa country, where we were most likely to be attacked, Carson and his men all got inside the covered wagons and led their horses behind. After awhile we saw the Indians coming charging down upon us, yelling and shooting with their bows and arrows; all the drivers in the meantime having gotten on the other side of their wagons. Carson kept his men quiet until the Indians were close enough, when every man shot from the wagons, and about forty-six Indians tumbled off their ponies dead or wounded at the first shot. Then Carson's men mounted their horses and there was a great fight. About two hundred of the three hundred Indians were killed. Not one of Carson's men or of our party were killed. 'Did we bury the Indians?' No, we left them where they were; they made good coyote beef.

"When we got opposite where Carson lived, which was at Taos above Santa Fe, he left the train, for there was no further danger and I went with him to his home about twenty miles off the trail, losing my pay because I did not go through with the party, this being a rule of freighting. I stayed with Carson two years. I became a guide and Government Scout and got eighty dollars a month. I was with General Fremont on his first and second trips. He wasn't liked by any of the men. He was very dictatorial and it didn't seem to us that he knew much. He had a German Scientist along whom all liked, and who knew his business. When we were with Fremont on his second trip, it was so late in the season when we reached the eastern foot of the Sierras, that twelve of us refused to go with him for we felt it was certain death. The snow falls in those mountains seventy feet deep at times, and it was the season for snows. Carson was along and had to go on because he had signed an agreement to go through, and he went, knowing he was taking his life in his hands. We were arrested for mutiny and put in charge of a sergeant, but soon got out of his reach, made a detour of several miles through the mountains, got on the back track and reached a place of safety after several days, thoroughly chilled from sleeping in that high cold country with no blankets, but glad to escape with any sacrifice. Fremont's party then consisted of fifteen, and they had a terrible time. They froze, and starved, and suffered, so that three men lost their minds and never recovered. Carson finally went on ahead, so weak he could hardly walk or crawl, and sent help back just in time to save the party.

"The first gold discovered in Colorado, was in August or September, 1858, by Green Russell. He had stopped here on his way to California where he was going to mine. He came from Georgia and knew about gold mining there, and said there must be gold in Cherry Creek. He found it up at the head of that Creek at a place called "Frankstown" where the trail from Ft. Bent on the Arkansas River crossed over to Ft. Lupton. Russell and Gregory and others came together, and Russell stayed here a year and located Russell Gulch at Central City, which became a great paying property. I did a great deal of hunting and trapping in those early days and made money until 1858, when the fur business died down, as silk had taken the place of fur. I was the first white man to visit Trappers Lake, which is about thirty miles north of Glenwood Springs and was considered inaccessible, because of the density of the fallen timber. We brought out in one season about two thousand dollars worth of furs and hides. The elk covered that country and was comparatively tame as they had not been hunted. We took Indians along for guides, and their squaws to tan the hides. This they did by boiling the brains of the animals we killed and rubbing the soft brain powder into the pores of the skin, folding the hides together, and in a week they were cured and were soft and pliable. The brains were used because of certain properties they possessed, and because of their pliant nature. To catch the beaver we would set our steel traps in the water about seven inches below the surface so the young could swim over them and not get caught. Then just above where the trap was set, we would fasten a branch from the limb of a tree into the bank, the bark of which the beaver lives on. We would rub beaver oil into the bark of the limb, so the beaver would think others of his kind had been there ahead and found no harm; they are a very suspicious little animal. The trap would have a spring that would close on the hind legs of the beaver, as they would swim above it.

"Until 1857, the trappers recognized the claim of the Indians, that one-half of all game and hides belonged to them. It was changed in that year by Government Treaty. In dividing with them they were very insistent, and they usually got the biggest half of the meat and the largest hides. We used to take hot mud baths at Glenwood Springs which is a very pleasant sensation. I fought the Indians and fought them hard, but had many friends among them and I did them many good turns which they appreciated. I have had an eventful life, had many thrilling experiences, saw life held very cheaply, and have seen such developments as I never dreamed I should witness."




John C. Fremont.

1842 This noted explorer so prominently identified with our early Colorado history, was educated at Charleston College. He then became a teacher on a United States Sloop of War on board of which was detailed a young Lieutenant who later became famous as Admiral Farragut. Afterwards, Fremont was employed as a surveyor for a railroad in South Carolina. In 1838 he was made a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Topographical Corps—the same corps that gave us Major Long. He was selected to make a trip of geographical research and observation into Iowa, Minnesota and Dakota with a noted French Scientist named Nicollet, who had been sent to this country by his Government. In 1840 Fremont headed an expedition for the establishment of Military Posts in the West, and to definitely fix the position of South Pass on the head waters of the North Platte River, which was on the line of travel to the western coast. He was a long time getting ready, and did not leave Washington for St. Louis until May 2, 1842, from which point he took a public steamer up the Missouri River. On board he met Kit Carson, with whose personality he was so pleased that he dismissed the French trapper he had already engaged as guide, and selected Carson instead. Carson was then on his way back to the West, from having given his little girl into the care of the Sisters at a Convent in St. Louis; her mother, who was an Indian woman, having recently died. They left the steamer at the mouth of the Kansas River, which empties into the Missouri where Kansas City is now located. It was then a little settlement of a few rude houses, known as Kansas Landing, and later became Westport. A little way above was Roubidoux Landing, named for a French Fur Trapper and Trader who operated in Colorado. This Landing afterwards became St. Joseph. Fremont says, as they started out across the prairie to the westward, "It was like a ship leaving the shore for a long voyage, and carrying with her provisions against all needs in its isolation on the ocean."

A Government Scout

A Government Scout.

They traveled northwest until they reached the Platte River where the City of Kearney is now situated, near which a Fort was established, called "Fort Kearney." From this point they proceeded west along the south bank of that stream, one hundred miles to the junction of the two Platte Rivers. Here they divided, Fremont with three others following the South Platte, the remaining nine going by way of the North Platte to the fur-trading station that later became Fort Laramie, at which point the Laramie River joins the Platte. On the way, Fremont was entertained one night by the Indians at a feast. It was a banquet with no suggestion of fairyland, such as so often delights us now; no subdued strains from a hidden orchestra pouring forth its entrancing harmonies; no myriads of electric lights dazzling with their splendid brilliancy; no wealth of roses filling the air with their rich perfume; no polished mahogany, damask linen, glowing glassware or priceless silver; no well groomed men or richly gowned women, radiant in their loveliness. There were none of these accessories, but there was princely hospitality. There was the ushering of the guests to their places by the Chiefs, with the courtly dignity that white men might equal but never excel. In honor of the occasion the choicest robes were spread upon the ground for seats. There was the rich soup of fat buffalo meat and rice, served in deep wooden bowls, with tin spoons, by the women. There was the dog boiling in the pot for the second course, in token of a state occasion, while the disconsolate puppies moaned pitifully in the corner of the wigwam.

On July 10th Fremont reached Fort St. Vrain on the Platte, established about ten miles south of where the Cache la Poudre River and the Platte unite. He remained here a few days and then headed north to Fort Laramie, getting too far East, however, over on Crow Creek, where he had to travel forty miles without water—the first and only hardship on his trip going and coming. He found the rest of the party waiting for him, and they proceeded west up the Platte to the South Pass, the point of his destination when he started from Washington. He found the Pass a well-established thoroughfare, made so by the fur-trading companies. He ascertained its height to be seven thousand eight hundred and seventy-three feet. There was no pass anywhere about of so low an altitude. It is about two hundred miles due west of Fort Laramie—which is not, however, the Laramie City located on the Union Pacific Railroad northwest of Cheyenne.

Fremont saw to the perpetuation of his name in the highest mountain peak, about forty miles northwest of the Pass, and just east of Green River, having an elevation of thirteen thousand seven hundred and ninety feet. He then started on his return to St. Louis, where he arrived October 10, 1842, his journey both ways being without special value or interest.

Fremont's second trip was made in 1843, and seems to have been principally for the purpose of establishing a shorter route through the mountains than the Oregon Trail by the way of South Pass. He came in from the east, up one of the branches of the Republican River to Fort St. Vrain on the Platte, where he arrived July Fourth. On his way he no doubt approached the Platte between Akron and Fort Morgan, where there is a Butte named for him. He tried to learn from the hunters, trappers and Indians, of a trail west through the great range of mountains, but there was no one who could give him any information. Following the Platte from Fort St. Vrain, he reports finding a Fort Lancaster about ten miles up the river, which was the trading post of Mr. Lupton and had then somewhat the appearance of a farm. He passed through a village of Arapahoe Indians, probably near the mouth of Clear Creek, camped a little above Cherry Creek, and followed the Platte River to its entrance into the mountains at the canon. Needing meat, he went east on to the plains in search of buffalo; crossed Cherry Creek and the road to Bent's Fort; reached Bijou Creek, thence up to its head on the divide where he reported an elevation of seventy-five hundred feet—being the same altitude as at Palmer Lake, twenty-three miles west. Altitudinal ascertainings are taken by the simple process of looking at a watchlike, vest-pocket instrument, whose delicately adjusted mechanism is affected by air-pressure. From this place, he made a sketch of Pike's Peak, and is "charmed with the view of the valley of Fountain Creek," on which Manitou and Colorado Springs are located, and which he reached a little north of its junction with the Arkansas River. He speaks of finding at this point a "Pueblo" where a settlement of mountaineers were living, married to Spanish wives, "who had collected together and occupied themselves with farming, and a desultory Indian trade." They had come from the Taos Valley settlements, the Valley that was later named the Rio Grande. "Pueblo" was the name given by the Mexicans to their civilized villages. Taos is taken from the name of the Taos tribe of Indians. Returning he followed up Fountain Creek to Manitou Springs, thence north over the Divide to Fort St. Vrain.

Fremont then decided to go up the Cache la Poudre Valley and cross the Divide to the Laramie River. He describes the buttes he saw on this trip "with their sharp points and green colors"; the same so clearly defined now, on the automobile road beyond Dale Creek, between Fort Collins and Laramie City, one of the most picturesque scenes in the whole State of Colorado. He followed the Laramie River down to the present line of the Union Pacific Railroad, then west to the North Platte River and beyond, where, getting tangled up in the hills, he finally recognized the Sweetwater Mountains to the north to which he proceeded; thence to the familiar Oregon Trail which he followed to Salt Lake and on to California.

On his return he entered Colorado near the mouth of Green River, went northeast and encountered some branch of the White River, possibly the Snake River, which he followed over the Divide to the North Platte River, and thence up into North Park. While in Middle Park, a number of squaws came to his camp greatly excited and made known the fact that nearby a great battle was in progress between two Indian tribes, and they wanted him to go with his party to help their side. He declined and hurriedly departed. He passed over into the Cripple Creek country, where after a few days of aimless traveling he descended a branch of the Arkansas River to Pueblo.

Fremont's memoirs are very rambling, and contain such a mass of undigested material that it requires much reading and study to follow him in his wanderings through Colorado. The streams, mountains and localities had no names, and he gave them none. We can only trace his journeyings by his camping places where he gives his latitudes and longitudes, and which is only incidentally given and not in its regular order. He ascertained latitude and longitude by the use of a scientific instrument in its application to the sun, moon and fixed stars, as the Indians often found their own locations by the study of these same heavenly bodies, from centuries of observation without an instrument, the knowledge being passed down from father to son, generation after generation.

On one of his trips, as he came in sight of Bent's Fort, the three cannon mounted on its parapets, belched forth a greeting that sounded sweet to the ears of the trained soldier, as the reverberating music of the booming of the guns rolled down the Valley of the Arkansas to meet him.

A storm in the mountains is a frightful thing in winter and more than one was encountered by General Fremont and his party. A number of the men sacrificed their lives through the mistaken judgment of a leader, who ordered them forward to breast the fury of those icy blasts of snow and sleet. Oh! The terror of such a death! The awe of those cold, bleak, snow-capped pinnacles; how cruelly they look down upon the lost and helpless victim, prostrate at their feet, snow-bound, hopeless and in despair! How subtly and menacingly the sharp wind moans; how it shrieks and roars through the gulches, and how the giant pines creak, and writhe, and groan, as they bend before the gale! How the blinding, biting, swirling snow falls through the freezing air, burying the trail and filling the icy gorges with ever deepening drifts! And at last, the shivering sufferer meets his doom as he sinks in utter exhaustion on his bed of snow, and drifts away into the stupor of death. The inanimate form is buried deeper and deeper under its white shroud, and heedless of the tempest raging above, sleeps the sound, dreamless sleep of death.

Fremont tells little of his last three trips; some being on secret missions for the Government; one was for his own benefit and that of Senator Benton of Missouri, whose daughter, Jessie Benton, he had married—a lady of many fine womanly qualities and personal charms. On one of his trips, William Gilpin was along, on a visit to the settlements of Oregon. Gilpin later became Colorado's first Governor. One expedition took him up the Rio Grande to Salt Lake and on to the Coast.

Indians Watching Fremont's Force Fording the Platte

Indians Watching Fremont's Force Fording the Platte.

When representing the Government, Fremont's work was along military lines principally, his operations leading up to the conquest of California in 1847. The name California appears in an old Spanish romance as an Island, where innumerable precious stones were found, and Cortez applied the name to the Bay and to the country that is now California which he thought was an Island. Fremont's work, however, was not all military, for at the same time he was mapping streams, taking altitudes, and making reports that would assist in ascertaining facts about a country then little known or understood. Colorado has a County named for him, of which Canon City is the County Seat. There are Counties in Wyoming, Idaho and Iowa, similarly named. Eighteen states of the union have towns bearing his name. "Fremont Basin" covers the western part of Utah, all of Nevada, and a part of the southeastern portion of California—in all, a region about four hundred and fifty miles square. "Fremont Pass" in the Rocky Mountains has an elevation of eleven thousand three hundred and thirteen feet and is in the Gore Range, about ten miles northwest of Leadville.

General Fremont occupied many positions of trust under the Government. He was Governor of California when there was much trouble that diplomacy might have averted. He was Governor of Arizona from 1878 to 1882. His exploring trips had made him famous and he secured the Republican nomination for the Presidency in 1856, but was defeated by Buchanan. In 1864 his name was put in nomination for the Presidency but Lincoln's popularity so overshadowed him that his name was withdrawn. He was Major-General of the Army in the Civil War, with headquarters at St. Louis, where he promulgated the unauthorized order freeing the slaves of those in arms against the Government, which so embarrassed the Administration that the order was repealed and he was relieved of his authority. Later, reinstated, he refused to take part in a battle because command of the army had been given to General Pope whom he claimed to outrank.

Fremont journeyed all over Colorado and failed to find anything worthy of note. While camped on the sites of Cripple Creek and Leadville, he saw no signs of the enormous gold deposits of the greatest gold mines in Colorado. While at North Park he did not observe the coal outcroppings there—probably the most extensive coal fields in the United States. While traveling through our valleys he could not look into the future and see them groaning under a diversity of crops, the most valuable ever raised in any country. He drank from our cool sparkling streams, but he did not see how that wealth of water could be supplied to the thirsty crops. He saw millions of fat buffalo on the plains, but he failed to realize that the same nutritious grasses would make beef equal to the corn-fed product of the East. He viewed the most sublime scenery ever looked upon by the eyes of man, but his reports contained no adequate description of the majestic outlines of the mountains whose grandeur thrills the beholders from all the countries of the world.

The Mormons.

1847 The Mormons as a religious body, attempting to get beyond the reach of the power of the United States Government which they claimed was persecuting them, sought solace in the bosom of the Dominion of Mexico, which then owned much of our country west of the Rocky Mountains, wrested by them from Spain in their war for freedom. At this very time the United States was fighting Mexico, and the Mormons had no more than gotten out of the United States before they were in again by Mexico ceding to our Government in 1848, the very territory which these much persecuted people had chosen for a new settlement. The Mormons had gathered from all quarters at Florence, Nebraska, just above Omaha, where the water works of that City are now located. They had wintered at this point in great discomfort, with much sickness, and so many deaths that the country seemed to be one vast grave yard.

In January, 1847, Brigham Young started West with one hundred and forty-two in his party to find a location to which the rest should follow. They had seventy-three wagons which moved two abreast for protection, and they had a cannon and were well armed. They reported seeing hundreds of thousands of buffalo grazing along the Platte Valley, and were obliged to send outriders ahead to make a way through the herds for their caravan. They traveled on the north side of the Platte River so as to have an exclusive trail of their own, and it became known as the "Mormon Trail"; the fur traders having made their trail along the south side of that river. When they reached Fort Laramie, they ferried across to the south side of the river where the Government Post had been located; the change from the north to the south side being necessary because of the physical difficulties on the side of the river where they had been traveling. Here on June 1, 1847, they were joined by a party of Mormons who had started from Mississippi and Illinois; had wintered where Pueblo now is; had passed north through Colorado, and doubtless over the ground occupied by Denver following the Platte River to Greeley where they would travel almost due north to Fort Laramie. These Mormons at Pueblo were the very beginning of anything approaching white citizenship in Colorado, for no other white families had ever spent so long a time within the present limits of our State.

General Fremont had passed by Salt Lake in 1843 on one of his expeditions, and doubtless the Mormons knew of that Valley from his report as well as of other points of the West. But the Mormons did not know where they were going to settle, and had started north-westerly from South Pass in search of a location and then turned to the south to Salt Lake Valley. Upon their arrival there, the first day, they planted six acres of potatoes because of the necessity of having food for the vast numbers who were to follow them. The rest of the people started from Florence July 4, 1847, and consisted of nearly two thousand persons, about six hundred wagons, over two thousand oxen, and many horses, cows, sheep, hogs and chickens. Following later, came hundreds with push carts, who started too late to get through before winter set in. Their suffering, starving, sickness, and the death of nearly a quarter of their number on the way is a sad story, and is the toll exacted in the settling of a new country.

For many months, the Mormon Trail was lined with the traffic of thousands of emigrants from all parts of the United States and Europe. There were wagon trains hauling supplies of all kinds, such as merchandise, machinery, seed and building materials. There were the two-wheeled carts into which food and a small allowance of necessary apparel were placed for the trip; and those carts were pushed all the way across the plains by both old and young. It was said that every step of the way was marked by a grave. No such sight and no such suffering has ever been witnessed before in the settlement of any part of the world.

Ten years afterwards, the Church, grown arrogant, defied the power of the United States Government and proposed war. General Albert Sidney Johnson was sent on an expedition against them. Starting too late to cross the mountains, the army became storm bound and was compelled to winter at Fort Bridger in the southwest corner of Wyoming, at a tremendous loss of lives, both of men and horses. They were short of supplies, and an expedition was sent to New Mexico for food. It was successful, and returned north through Colorado, skirting the eastern base of the mountains and, no doubt, passed through the site of Denver just before the gold excitement broke out in Colorado. They doubtless followed the trail taken by Fremont to Fort Laramie in 1842, and by the Mormons in 1847.

1849 The rush for the new gold discoveries in California began in 1849 and in a year it became a panic, so great was the hurry to reach there from the East. It is estimated that seventeen thousand persons passed Fort Laramie in June, 1848, coming up the Platte from Omaha; while from Kansas City, Leavenworth and St. Joseph, many thousands passed through southeastern Colorado on the Santa Fe Trail, and thence to Salt Lake where the Mormons grew rich in their trade with these excited gold seekers. Nothing has ever been seen resembling the gold developments of California. Fortunes were made in a day when a treasure house was unlocked, and poverty claimed the affluent in a night, when a pocket pinched out. The wealth that was poured into the laps of the fortunate prospectors was fabulous. The Comstock Mine alone, named for the man who opened it up and lost it, yielded a solid mass of treasure, amounting to one hundred and eight million dollars to the four fortunate owners. It sent to the United States Senate, Fair, Stewart and Jones, three of the partners, and gave the Atlantic Cable Line to Mackey, the fourth, whose son still controls it.

So, having been discovered by General Coronado and his army with their brilliant cavalcade and martial music; by the two black-robed Friars with their noiseless followers; by Lieutenant Pike and his loyal band; by Major Long and his associates; and last, by General Fremont with his five exploring parties; while the tidal wave of travel and excitement is sweeping by us to its destiny on the sunny western slope, and we are left in solitude, awaiting the bright awakening ten years hence; let us take an introspective view of the people whose history is forever interwoven with ours, whose race is nearly run, while ours is just begun.

Ventura, Historian of the Tribe of Taos Indians

Ventura, Historian of the Tribe of Taos Indians, Garbed in His White Buffalo Robe—Made White by Tanning.

Indian History was Transmitted Orally to the Youth, the Brightest of Whom Became in Turn the Historian.




"Master of human destinies am I,

Fame, love and fortune on my footsteps wait,

Cities and fields I walk; I penetrate

Deserts and seas remote, and, passing by

Hovel, and mart, and palace, soon or late

I knock unbidden once at every gate!

If sleeping, wake—if feasting, rise before

I turn away. It is the hour of fate

And they who follow me reach every state

Mortals desire, and conquer every foe

Save death; but those who doubt or hesitate,

Condemned to failure, penury and woe,

Seek me in vain and uselessly implore—

I answer not, and I return no more."


A Fortune Won and Lost.

Hanging in a room of the White House when the magnetic, able and masterful Roosevelt was President, was this beautiful poem of Senator Ingalls. A gem of rarest value in word painting; a literary production beyond criticism; but in sentiment, harmful and discouraging! It is not true! Opportunity has knocked repeatedly at the door of countless numbers, and future generations will hear its call again and again. Only one chance to be given us? No! Life is too fine and means too much for "the hour of fate" to hang on so slender a thread as a single opportunity. It comes many times to some; it comes but once to others; it does not come to all. To Antoine Janis, a French Trapper, it knocked unbidden at his door but once; he failed to answer, and he lived to appreciate his great loss, for he had fortune placed within his grasp and did not realize it. Once, all the beautiful Cache la Poudre Valley was his; every acre of land from La Porte to the Box Elder; every lot in Fort Collins; wealth which would run into the millions. It was the gift of the Indians, and was his as absolutely as though it had come by Deed of Warranty with all its covenants, clear and indefeasible. The Government in its Treaties with the Indians recognized their grants, and had Janis asserted his rights to this vast property, his claim would undoubtedly have been recognized by the Government as in many similar cases. He continued his residence in Larimer County for thirty-four years, going then to the Indians at the Pine Ridge Agency and remaining there until his death. The close friendship, early formed between him and the Indians, was never broken, and they buried him with honors.

I like to imagine that famous meeting at La Porte, when that Valley, then nameless, changed hands. The Indians as a race were dignified, serious, and on formal occasions acted with great deliberation. They were a generous people, and were about to make a present to the White Brother who had come to dwell among them. Bold Wolf, the Chief, called his counsellors together. From out the seven hundred tepees they came, in their brilliant dress of state. They gathered around the camp fire, seated on their feet, with Antoine Janis as their honored guest. They smoked the pipe of peace; not a pipe for each, but one for all, that would draw them closer in lasting friendship. Resting their painted cheeks on the palms of their hands, they listened with the utmost respect to those who spoke. The oratory of the Indian is proverbial. His dignified and serious bearing, his simple words and brief sentences, his profound earnestness and apt illustrations, made him a master of eloquence. It was an occasion for thrilling discourse. The land where they were assembled was theirs. It was the land of their fathers. It was theirs by right of discovery, by right of occupancy. Here they had lived their lives; here their children had been born; here their dead were buried, and here they had worshipped the Great Spirit to whom their ancestors had bowed. And they were to give away the best of their heritage; the luxuriant meadows of the richest and most beautiful valley in their vast domain were to go to the White Brother forever. Thereafter, every man, woman and child of the tribe recognized that the country they looked out upon, over which their ponies grazed, across which the buffalo roamed, even the very ground upon which their wigwams stood, was the property of Antoine Janis.

The Call of the Blood.

About the year 1800 some French trappers and hunters were passing out of Colorado, into New Mexico, in quest of new streams in which to ply their avocation. The pack ponies which they were driving on ahead suddenly stopped and centered about an object at which they sniffed intelligently. The trappers coming forward to investigate looked at each other in amazement as they gathered around a deserted child lying on the bosom of the unfeeling earth, hungry and helpless. These bronzed and bearded men were heavy handed, but not stony hearted; and they met the responsibility as best they could. Moses had been left in the bullrushes of a stream for his preservation. This child had been left in the tangled weeds on the bank of a stream for its destruction. Moses lived to become the leader of a nation. This child was saved—but let us see. It was taken by the trappers, named Friday for the day upon which it was found, as in the tale of Robinson Crusoe, an Indian youth was named Friday for the day of his discovery. Friday grew and thrived, was adopted by one of the party, and at the age of fourteen was taken along to St. Louis, where he was sent to school, and shared in the joys and griefs of other boys of his age. When he was twenty-one, the cry that had long been suppressed gave utterance. He wanted to see his people. Leaving home, he came to Colorado, and to the tribe of the Arapahoes, who had crossed the path of the trappers twenty-one years before. It was a new life to which he was admitted. During his visit a buffalo hunt was organized in his behalf. He watched the preparations, saw the gathering of the ponies from off the prairies, the testing of the bows and arrows, the night of feasting and dancing before the start at earliest dawn. Wending their way over the plains, they finally spied the herd. At once the dullness of the hunters gave place to trained alertness; absolute quiet reigned; the ponies crept forward slowly and softly, step by step, with their riders clinging to their sides to give the appearance of a band of grazing horses. At last they were near enough, and then the signal. Away went the horses and riders in a whirlwind of excitement, the eyes of the riders blazing, the nostrils of the horses dilating. Away went the herd, shaking the earth with the thunders of their flight; away flew the arrows to the twang of the bows, as they sped straight and true into the heaving sides of the struggling animals. Down went the buffalo, down on their trembling knees, down on their quivering sides, as they stretched themselves out for their final death struggle. Down went the Indians to dance in glee around the prostrate bodies of their trophies.

And Friday? No one ever hunted as Friday hunted! The thirst of blood was upon him. He had plunged into the midst of danger, and knew no pity, no compunction, no fatigue. The instinct of his race that had been sleeping for years surged to the surface at a bound, never again to be dormant. That night he threw off the garb that stood for the civilizing influences of the past, donned the yellow blanket of his race and adopted the life of his people. That day of daring, and his education, marked him as a leader, and he became a Chief of the Arapahoe nation.

Chief Friday had a son. He was called Jacob after that Patriarch, who, when asked his age by Pharaoh, replied so poetically "the days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years; few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, but have not attained unto the days of the years of the lives of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage." There is a superstition among the Indians that if they have lost a battle, they must sacrifice some member of another tribe as an offering to the Great Spirit. Jacob had been chosen for the sacrifice. Hearing of it he fled. Returning two years later when he supposed there was no further fear of his destruction, he was set upon and left dead upon the ground. Friday loved Jacob with a very great love, and so did he love the good of his people. He counseled peace, and instead of plunging two nations in war, he buried his son with a breaking heart, hidden by the stoicism of his race.

Chief Friday had a daughter. A winsome lass. Light of foot, with a singing voice and dancing eyes. She was called "Little Niwot" by her father, because she used her left hand, and Niwot in the Indian tongue means "left hand." I asked a doctor once, those wisest of wise men, why it was that out of fifteen hundred million of the earth's inhabitants, so few used the left hand prominently, and this was his reply: "Upebanti manusinistra ob herededitatum."

Niwot's education was not alone like that of the other Indian children, whose eyes were trained to see the beauty in the sun, the moon and the stars; whose ears were attuned to catch the voices in the murmuring brooks, the music in the rustling trees, the melody in the warbling birds; but she had learned of her father as well, who taught her from the remembrances of those far-off days in the St. Louis schools. Little Niwot loved an Indian youth, who was not the choice of her mother. So she ran away with her dusky mate and became the wife of the man of her choice. Friday was left alone. Jacob was dead and Niwot was gone; he grieved for them, and could not be comforted. Niwot became the name of a Creek near Longmont, and of a near-by station on the Colorado and Southern Railway. So in station and stream, the memory of a little Indian maiden is to always be kept green.

And Friday died; died in the happy thought that in the civilizing processes that had been going on about him, he had always tried to stay the hand of his people when raised to check the white wave that was sweeping them to their destruction. Chief Friday was well known to the early settlers, and from them has come this story, here a little and there a little, and now woven into print for the first time. The unhappy ending of his life is like that of Chief Logan, whose heart-breaking plea has been handed down to us in this great burst of touching eloquence:

"I appeal to any white man to say if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry and he gave him not meat; if ever he came naked and he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained idle in his camp, an advocate of peace. Such was my love for the whites that my countrymen pointed as I passed and said, 'Logan is a friend of the white man.' I had even thought to have lived with you but for the injuries of one man; Col. Cresap, who, the last Spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even sparing my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in any living creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace; but do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one."




There was a white man once with an idea. So modest was this man that he was unwilling that even his name and the idea should be linked together. He wanted the Indians to become better known to the whites, to themselves, to their children, and to the future generations of children. So he passed from one tribe to another and made known his plan to them. They were to write a book; a book that would contain a record of their thoughts and ideals, their songs and unwritten music, their folk-lore, their views of the past, and their beliefs in the mysterious future. The idea pleased them, grew on them, and ended in their becoming deeply interested. The book was prepared and printed and it contains the following touching and stately introduction by the High Chief of the Indian Tribes. It moves forward so like a majestic anthem, so solemn in its unspoken sorrow, so full of gentle dignity that it sweeps into our souls like the cadence of a great Amen:

"To the Great Chief at Washington, and the Chief of Peoples Across the Waters:

"Long ago, the Great Mystery caused this land to be, and made the Indians to live in this land. Well has the Indian fulfilled all the intent of the Great Mystery for Him. Through this book may men know that the Indian was made by the Great Mystery for a purpose.

"Once, only Indians lived in this land. Then came strangers from across the Great Waters. No land had they; we gave them of our land; no food had they; we gave them of our corn; the strangers have become many and they fill all the country. They dig gold—from my mountains; they build houses—of the trees of my forests; they rear cities—of my stones and rocks; they make fine garments—from the hides and wool of animals that eat my grass. None of the things that make their riches did they bring with them from across the Great Waters. All comes from my lands—the land the Great Mystery gave unto this Indian.

"And when I think on this, I know that it is right, even thus. In the heart of the Great Mystery, it was meant that the stranger—visitors—my friends across the Great Waters should come to my land; that I should bid them welcome; that all men should sit down with me and eat together of my corn; it was meant by the Great Mystery that the Indian should give to all peoples.

"But the white man never has known the Indian. It is thus: there are two roads, the white man's road, and the Indian's road. Neither traveler knows the road of the other. Thus ever has it been, from the long ago, even unto to-day. May this book help to make the Indian truly known in time to come.

"The Indian wise speakers in the book are the best men of their tribe. Only what is true is within this book. I want all Indians and white men to read and learn how the Indians lived and thought in the olden time and may it bring holy—good upon the younger Indian to know of their fathers. A little while and the old Indians will no longer be and the young will be even as white men. When I think, I know it is the mind of the Great Mystery that the white man and the Indians who fought together should now be one people.

"There are birds of many colors, red, blue, green, yellow—yet it is all one bird. There are horses of many colors, brown, black, yellow, white—yet it is all one horse. So cattle, so all living things—animals, flowers, trees. So man; in this land where once were only Indians and now men of every color—white, black, yellow, red—yet all one people. That this was to come to pass was in the heart of the Great Mystery. It is right thus, and everywhere there shall be peace."

(Sgd.) By Hiamovi (High Chief), Chief among the Cheyennes and Dakotas.

Who is the Indian? This question has been asked for more than four hundred years, and from out the buried silence of the past has come no answering voice. Columbus asked it as approaching the border of a New Hemisphere he gazed thoughtfully upon the features of another race of beings. Ferdinand and Isabella asked it, as these strange men doomed to vassalage stood proudly before them speaking in an unknown tongue. Cortez asked it, as he riveted the chains of servitude upon two million of them in the Conquest of Mexico. Coronado asked it, as his army moved among the wandering tribes with their differing languages and customs. The Pilgrim Fathers asked it with varying emotions, as they viewed the curious natives waiting for them on the bleak New England shores. France asked it, and trusted its most highly cultured scientist to bring reply. "Nothing," he said as he returned, "Nothing." He had visited many tribes, studied their languages, customs and character, read everything ever written about them, and he knew nothing and nothing ever will be known.

May not human life have had its very beginning on this hemisphere? May there not in the remote past have been a Columbus who sailed East and discovered the Continent of Europe making it the New World and leaving this the Old? The pendulum of the clock swings in seconds. The pendulum of the growth and decay of continents swings in centuries, in eons. The meteor of Rome blazing through the heavens took one thousand years to fall. Like the Ocean's tide is the ebb and flow of nations. That there was a prehistoric race on this continent and an extinct civilization, we know. We read it in the Valleys of the Ohio and the Mississippi, in the copper beds by the side of Lake Superior, along the shores of Ecuador, and in the country to the southward. From time immemorial, from generation to generation, from father to son, has been handed down a tradition among the once powerful tribe of the Iroquois Indians, that their ancestors, overflowing their boundaries, had moved down from the northwest to the Mississippi; that on the east side of that river they had found a civilized nation with their towns, their crops and their herds; that permission was obtained to pass by on their way to the East; that as they were crossing the river, they were treacherously assailed, a great battle ensued, followed by a continuous warfare, until the enemy was totally destroyed and their civilization blotted out.

An Indian Chief Addressing the Council

An Indian Chief Addressing the Council.

The bones of human beings are dust by the side of mammals estimated by geologists to be fifty thousand years old. The allotted period of a man's life is three score years and ten. He could be born seven hundred times, live seven hundred lives, die seven hundred deaths in those five hundred centuries. It is not within the compass of the human mind to grasp the infinite detail in the rise and fall of nations within such a period. Read the story of nine generations of men, from Adam to Noah in the first five Chapters of Genesis, for the multiplication of the human race from just two people, and the destruction of a population so numerous that they were like the sands of the ocean's beach. Following on but a few pages, we find that out of the Ark had "grown many nations and many tongues," and they were so crowded that the Lord said unto Abram, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee, and I will make of thee a great nation." Abram went, and he took his nephew Lot along, and directly we read that "the land was not able to bear them that they might dwell together," and they separated, one going to the right hand and the other to the left hand. With this historical data before us, do we ask whence came these millions of Indians and their confusion of tongues? There is a touch of similarity between the wandering tribes in early Bible history, with their many languages, their patriarchs, their flocks and herds, their peaceful lives and their dissensions and wars—and that of our Indians, with the earth before them, with their tribal Chiefs, their many dialects and their nomadic lives. If the North American Indians had possessed a written language; if after their discovery, they had been able to make recorded conveyances of vast tracts of lands to the subjects of the different Powers of the Old World; if international law could have been appealed to for the protection of these individual rights, there might have been a world war on this continent that would have made our rivers run red with blood.

When we close our minds to months and years and think in centuries, it is easy to understand the diversity of languages. Tribes going off by themselves, drop words from their vocabulary as time goes on, and use other words that mean the same; after the passing of generations there is an entirely new dialect. It is so in nearly all the countries of the Old World; people living under the same government, neighbors, cannot talk to each other. Climate too has something to do with language. Russians and Eskimos use a speech that requires very little lip movement, so as not to inhale the cold air of those cold regions. In a mild climate there is the open language with many vowels.

When we discovered the Indian, we found a character the like of which has no parallel in all history. It was the untutored mind of a child in the body of an adult; there was respect for each other and scrupulous honesty in their dealings among themselves; there was government by a Chief and his council, comprising the oldest of the tribe, to whom all questions of importance were submitted, the Chief being such because of inheritance, or daring, or possessions; there was the love of the parent for the child, and the teachings that developed the highest efficiency in hearing, tasting, smelling, seeing and touching, for upon these faculties thoroughly trained, depended success in war, and sustenance in peace; there was pride of ancestry and a reverence for the Great Spirit, the maker and ruler of the universe. It seems almost a pity that this Arcadia could not have remained untouched. We asked for a little land to pasture our cows and to use for gardens. It was given by them grandly. We asked for more, and it came cheerfully; we demanded still more, and it came gracefully. Then we quit asking and took it; took it with shot and shell, as we hungrily pressed on, doubling one tribe back upon another; bayonets in front, bows and arrows in the rear, and they fought each other, and they fought us. We called them savages; and they were savage, and so would we all be under like treatment. Justice and diplomacy would have saved thousands of lives and millions in money. We made many treaties with the Indians which were broken by us and this occasioned most of our Indian wars. Canada had the Indians and no wars. Her dealings with them were on principle and along steadfast and unchanging lines. Men grew old and died in the Indian Service, and those next in line took their places. They understood the Indian nature, and knew they possessed a high sense of honor and the dealings were fair to each side. Our politics have been at the bottom of nearly all our troubles. As parties have changed, men have changed. A promise made one day has been broken by the men who came on the morrow. The Interior Department failing to handle the perplexing question, the Indians were turned over to the various church organizations, who failed to get the right proportions in their mixture of morals and business. Then the War Department tried it; and all the time the lands of the red men diminished, and the land of the white man increased. Up to the year of Colorado's admittance into the Union as a Territory, 1861, there had been three hundred and ninety-three treaties made with the one hundred and seventy-five tribes of Indians embraced within the Territory of the United States, by which 581,163,188 acres of land were acquired.

As tribes differed in their languages, so they differed in their customs; and the following traits are applicable to some tribes and not to others.

The stoicism of the Indian is well known; but that trait of his character has its qualifications. He shows the taciturn side of his nature to strangers, but the world is not so serious as his austere countenance would indicate. Among his own people he is a fun-loving, story-telling, game-indulging human being. There are degrees in their social status measured by what they have done and the property they have accumulated. They have their ideas of propriety, and are shocked that a man and woman should dance together. The men dance in a ring by themselves, and the women dance in an outer ring, while a drum gives accents to their movements. Usually they sing something mournful, its weird rhythm following one for days.

A child is usually named by its father, who walks abroad from the tent for that purpose, selecting the name of what he sees first that impresses him most. So they have such peculiar names as Rain in the Face, Yellow Mag-pie, Sleeping Bear, Thunder-cloud, Spotted Horse and White Buffalo. However, there are no white buffalo. They are black until the hot sun of each season fades the black to brown, which later sheds, to come out black again. When a buffalo hide is tanned on both sides, it becomes white, which gives rise to the name White Buffalo. They have but one name other than their tribal name. The name "squaw" was first found in the language of the Naragansett tribe of Indians and is doubtless an abbreviation of the word "Esquaw." Other tribes have their own peculiar name for women. The name squaw came into general use and spread all over the United States and Canada, was carried to the western tribes of Indians by the whites, and was used by all whites and all Indians. A squaw man is one who does a woman's work, or a white man who marries an Indian woman.

A youth does not tell a maiden of his love for her. That is told and answered by heart telepathy in the old, old way. He tells his father, who calls his relatives to a council and a feast, to consider the matter. Then the young man's mother carries the proposal to the mother of the maid, who tells it to the girl's father, and a meeting is called by him of his relatives and friends, where there is much feasting and speaking. The two mothers then meet, and accept for their children. The girl prepares a dish and carries it to the tent of the young man daily as a token of her intention to serve him all her days. When the tepee is ready, and the presents accumulated, and house keeping begins, they are husband and wife, all the former preliminaries having constituted the wedding ceremony.

An Indian never touches a razor to his face, for they are a beardless race. The tribes who occupied the eastern part of the United States, wore their hair clipped short like the Chinamen, excepting that instead of a queue, there was a scalp lock which they adorned with feathers. It was worn in defiance of the Indians of other tribes, who were thus dared to come and take their scalp. The picturesque and warlike appearance of the Indians that comes from painting their faces with deep and varying hues, originated in the preservation of the skin from burning and chapping in the sun and alkali dust. They used compounds made from roots or earth which they ground or baked and mixed with grease. There were many kinds of earth that had different tints which they liked, so this became a permanent custom which made their appearance seem fierce and warlike. They believe that the red men are made of earth, and the white men are made of sea foam.

In surgery they had rude skill and in disease they had a limited knowledge of the proper application of roots and herbs. But they knew nothing of the science of medicine in its complicated form as practiced by the learned of the profession at the present time, who so thoroughly understand prophylaxis, serum therapy, and the role of antibodies in passive immunization. Dentistry was unknown among them; their simple food and outdoor lives kept them well, and the food they ate was thoroughly ground between their well-preserved teeth. The game that was formerly so abundant was their principal food, and its destruction by the whites took from the Indian his chief mode of existence, and occasioned his menacing attitude toward our people. Other food consisted of wild berries, sweet potatoes, rice and nuts, which they would gather and bury. As they had a practiced eye, they found the buried food of the squirrel, the otter and the muskrat, which they would dig up and appropriate to their own use.

Winnowing Grain

"Behold, he winnoweth barley to-night in the threshing floor."      Ruth 3:2.

As they did in biblical times, so do some of the Indian tribes to this day. They beat out the grain with a stick and then pour it out gently for its cleansing by the wind.

They mourn noisily with each other in case of death. Likewise did the tribes of the patriarchs, who "mourned with great and very sore lamentation." The Indians think that it takes four days for the soul to reach the land of the dead. So a light burns on the grave nightly for four nights, that the disembodied may not get lost. They believe that there are two souls, one that soars away in dreams, while the other remains in the body. In the absence of a clock in the wigwam and a watch in the pocket, they measure time in their own way; a sun is a day, a moon is a month, and a snow is a season.

It is said the "hand that rocks the cradle is the lever that moves the world." If this be true, then the Indian mother takes no part in the world's movement, for she never has rocked a cradle. The cradle of a child is an oak board two and one-half feet long, and one and one-half feet wide, to which the babe is strapped in a way that the arms and legs are free for exercise and growth. This board lies on the ground, leans against the wigwam or a tree, is carried on the mother's back, or placed between tent poles like the shafts of a vehicle, to which a pony or dog is attached, leaving two of the ends dragging on the ground. The child is sometimes rocked by the wind when fastened high up among the branches of the trees; and that is where the little song comes from that the mother sings to her child to this day; "Rock-a-bye baby in the tree-top; when the wind blows the cradle will rock."

The speeches of the Indians are always impressive. Their words are simple and direct, and there were developed great orators among them in the days when war between the tribes, and against the United States prevailed. Some of the simple pleas which they made for the land of their fathers, were as fine as could be produced by a higher education and a finer civilization. When the French demanded of the tribe of the Iroquois that they move farther back into the wilderness, the eloquent reply of their Chief has been pronounced by Voltaire to be superior to any sayings of the great men commemorated by Plutarch: "We were born on this spot; our fathers were buried here. Shall we say to the bones of our fathers, arise, and go with us into a strange land?"

The same cannot be said of the Indian literature. Here is one of their classics: "Nike adiksk hwii draxzoq. Geipdet txanetkl wunax. Nike ia leskl txaxkdstge. Nike lemixdet. La Leskl lemixdet, nike haeidetge." Interpreted this means: "Then came the tribes. They ate it all the food. Then they finished eating. Then they sang. When they finished singing then they stopped." It is characteristic of the Indians for their feasting to end when their food is all gone, and for their singing to cease when it stops.

A century ago Malthus, in his great work on the "Principle of Population," prophesied the extinction of the North American Indians. His theory was, that subsistence is the sole governing cause in the ebb and flow of the population of the world. That given pure morals, simple living, and food to support the increase, the inhabitants of any country would double every twenty-five years. He therefore predicted that it was an inevitable law of nature that the Indians, failing to take advantage of the bounties of nature, must of necessity give way before the needs of an ever increasing population.

The Indian had the misfortune to have been improperly named. Columbus had sailed over the trackless ocean for many days; water in front of him, water behind him, to the right and to the left. He had gone so far that finally when he anchored, he thought he had sailed entirely around the world, and had come upon the eastern coast of the very country he had left behind when he sailed west out of Spain. Believing that he had reached the eastern coast of India, he called the Islands where he landed the "West Indies," and the inhabitants thereof "Indians."




1858 In the incident of nearly sixty centuries ago, when Joseph's brothers came down two hundred miles from Canaan to Egypt with their sacks to be filled with corn, and of the money being put back with the grain, we have the first record in the civilized world of the ownership of gold. "How then should we steal out of thy Lord's house silver and gold." So its value was then known, though no doubt for decorative purposes only, from which it in time grew into use as money. Cortez found the Aztecs using domestic utensils made of copper, silver and gold.

What made Gold? What deposited it in some parts of the earth's surface and not in others? Why is there not more of it? We do not know. We know it was one of the primitive elements; that it is held in solution in the waters of the ocean; that men have tried to make it and have always failed. It derives its name from its lustre. Though gold and yellow are in a measure synonymous, their difference is best seen in the glory of the sunset which is always golden, never yellow. It is the lustre that makes the lure of gold. Its value arises from the permanency of its lustre; from its imperishable properties; from the fact that so much can be done with it; because it is so limited in quantity; and because it requires so much time and money to find and refine it. If it would corrode it would be valueless for many of the uses to which it is put. Its soft beauty never tires the eye, nor becomes monotonous. It is the only metal that can be welded cold, as we can all testify from our experiences in painless dentistry. It can be spun out like a spider's web, or beaten so that a single grain of it can be spread over a space of seventy-five square inches. If it were as plentiful as earth or sand, it would still have great value because it is so permanent and malleable. The sawing and chiselling of the great blocks of marble and granite that are lifted by derricks into our public buildings, cost much more in their preparation than would the shaping of gold into similar blocks. If it were plentiful, our houses would all be built of gold; they would never burn; never rust; never decay; never need paint; they would endure forever; for even earthquakes that would destroy every other material, would not affect them; the mass of gold would not be destroyed and could be re-shaped and refitted together. However, if it were so plentiful that we could all live in it, it would be so common that its beautiful lustre would probably be debased by ordinary paint.

Mining comes down to us through the centuries. The Romans were operating mines in England before the organization of that country into the British Empire. Africa produces the most gold of any country, and the United States next. Colorado produces the most gold of any state in the union. There is but little gold found in the eastern part of the United States and that mostly in Tennessee and North Carolina. It exists in paying quantities in the Black Hills of South Dakota, in the Rocky Mountains, and in California. Gold is found under two conditions: in veins and in placer formations. As the veins in our bodies are almost endless in their ramifications, so imbedded in the rocky fastnesses deep down in the earth, are the veins of gold which are mined and hoisted to the surface through shafts, or brought out through tunnels; the process of smelting sends the gold to the Mint for its refinement. Deep mining is expensive and requires costly machinery. Shafts are sunk down thousands of feet, sometimes through solid rock, and powerful pumping plants are often necessary. Sometimes hundreds of men are at work in one mine.

Miners Making a "Clean-up" from Their "Jig-box."

Miners Making a "Clean-up" from Their "Jig-box."

Then there is placer mining, so-called because it is a place on the bank of a river where the gold is found. "Placer" is Spanish and means "pleasure." A prospector's outfit for finding gold by the latter process is very crude. He goes into the mountains with two pack ponies. These pack animals learn to climb over the rocks and along the precipitous mountain sides like Rocky Mountain sheep. On their backs are strapped his tent and simple belongings, among which is a wash basin. The prospector seldom uses it for the purpose for which it was made. He bathes in nature's basin—golden basin; that which a King might envy him—the stream, the rushing, tumbling stream, clear, cold and pure; fortunate man! he bathes in liquid gold. The pan he fills two-thirds full of dirt, then with water, rocks it gently with his hands, letting the water run over the sides, carrying the dirt away and leaving the particles of gold, which are heavy, at the bottom of the pan. When the miner finds it there, he does not call it gold, he calls it "color." This rude device that is simply motion, water, and a receptacle for the particles of gold, is the same process elaborated upon by expensive machinery, that tears up and runs through the mill thousands of tons of material found along streams, and in gulches, where streams ran ages ago, and which, changing their channels, have left their deposits of gold containing the wash from the lump or quartz gold, found in the veins of ore.

A sluice is where water is made to run through a ditch into a trough that has cleats nailed across the bottom to check the water and form ripples. Into this the pay-dirt is shoveled, and the water flowing through it leaves the gold at the bottom and carries the dirt away. Gold dust is not fine like flour. A piece weighing less than a fourth of an ounce is called "dust." Above that it becomes a "nugget." Small counter-scales were kept in the early days by all business men, who weighed the money in, and weighed the flour and bacon out. An ounce of gold was taken over the counter from the miners at sixteen dollars, but when it left the Mint refined, which meant the elimination of all impurities, it brought twenty dollars. It is never entirely pure until refined.

The nearest approach we now have to the hunter, trapper and scout, is the prospector hunting for gold. We find him wandering alone through the mountains, a silent figure, the pack pony, his only companion, sometimes driven ahead, sometimes following on behind. This quiet spoken, unobtrusive, hermit-like man is usually tall, gaunt, bearded, hopeful, always believing in the lucky find that is sure to be his—soon. Mining laws vary with different states and mining communities. But ordinarily they are the same in effect, that a miner must show good faith, do the work required to establish his claim, and must post a notice on the ground claimed by him; the spelling in the notice does not seem to matter. We do not hear that the following were rejected on account of errors or threats:

"Notis—to all and everybody. This is my claim, 50 feet on the gulch. Cordin to Clear Creek District law backed up by shot gun amendments,

(Sgd.) "Thomas Hall."


"To the Gunnison District:

"The undersigned claims this lede with all its driffs, spurs, angels, sinosities, etc., etc., from this staik. a 100 feet in each direcshun, the same being a silver bearing load, and warning is hereby given to awl persons to keepe away at their peril, any person found trespassing on this claim will be persecuted to the full extent of the law. This is no monkey tale butt I will assert my rites at the pint of the sicks shuter if legally Necessary so taik head and good warnin accordin to law I post This Notiss,

(Sgd.) " John Searle."

Singular it is that the laws governing mining claims originated with the miners themselves, and found their way through the Courts and Congress for ratification, which was done with hardly any changes, while the laws covering all other forms of ownership of Government lands originated in Congress. The author of much of our early land legislation, to whom our country can never be grateful enough, was that eminent statesman Alexander Hamilton.

Gold started Colorado's growth; gold kept it growing; but gold is only one of many factors that will forever keep it growing. What busy scenes were enacted here in those memorable years when the attention of the entire country was centered on this region! Pike's Peak was the objective point of the gold seekers—not Denver which was then unknown. When James Purseley, Colorado's earliest white inhabitant, first found gold in 1805, at the foot of Lincoln Mountain, it did not assume the importance of a discovery. He had no use for the gold nuggets he picked up; the Indians did not know or appreciate the value of gold, and there was no one with whom he could utilize it, as he could in the exchange of ponies and furs. It is said that he finally threw the nuggets away because of the uncomfortable weight in his pockets. No doubt he thought he would live his life among the Indians, the wild, free life that was so fascinating, and would never return to the East, and perhaps never see a white man again. He was content with his lot, had no use for gold and why should he hoard it, when the Indian blanket he was now wearing had no convenient place in which to carry it.

Green Russell is said to have found gold on Cherry Creek in August or September, 1858, just ten years after its discovery in California. It was also found by a party of six men on January 15, 1859, on a branch of Boulder Creek, which occasioned the location of the present City of Boulder. George Jackson went into the mountains on January 7, 1859, and discovered gold at the mouth of a branch of Clear Creek, and on April 17th organized at that point the first mining district; later, on May 1st, he found gold at Idaho Springs. But it remained for John H. Gregory to fan into a never dying glow the flame that had been gathering volume by these desultory discoveries. He found gold on Clear Creek, near the sites of Black Hawk and Central City, in February, 1859. Lacking provisions, he went to Golden for supplies, returned May 6th, and started a sluice on May 16th, from which he took as much as nine hundred dollars a day. He sold his discovery for twenty-one thousand dollars and set the country afire with excitement. From nearly every eastern community, the people came, and from many parts of the world. It is estimated that fifty thousand people poured into this mountain region the first year after the discovery of gold. Many of those who remained, and many who came later, made fortunes, some to keep them, some to lose them. Those who hurried out of the country did not witness the growth of Cripple Creek, of Leadville, of Camp Bird or of the San Juan and Clear Creek Districts.

There are two smelters in Denver and one each in Golden, Leadville, Canon City, Pueblo and Salida. None but zinc ores are sent out of this State. The annual output of gold in Colorado is about twenty-two million dollars, or about six million dollars a year greater than California. There are three operated Mints in the United States: Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco. At Denver there are six hundred million dollars of gold deposited in the vaults beneath the foundations of the Mint, and upon this reserve the paper currency of the Government has been issued. No such amount of gold is stored in any other building in the world. The Denver Mint will always remain the storage depository for the gold reserve of the nation, because of its inland location, where it is remote from attack by sea. Colorado has already produced in gold four hundred and eighty-eight million five hundred thousand dollars, and there is no indication of a diminution in the supply. Of the seven billions of the world's gold, nearly one-fourth, or approximately one billion six hundred million is held by the United States.

When Columbus first started on his voyage of discovery there was less than two hundred million dollars of gold in the world; now, more than double that amount is produced in a single year. In 1500 the annual gold production was four million dollars, and it took two hundred years before the yearly output was doubled. Now, nearly five hundred million dollars in gold is taken out of the earth each year. Only in the past few years has the production of gold assumed such gigantic proportions as to be alarming. In 1800 it was but twelve million dollars annually. In 1900 it was two hundred and sixty-two million dollars yearly, and in the past ten years it reached the enormous output of more than four hundred and fifty-seven million dollars every year. The Transvaal country alone turns out over one hundred and fifty million yearly. This great increase is due to improved methods of mining. Machinery unknown ten years ago, has done away with the primitive methods that kept the production of gold constant and within bounds. In the Transvaal, the hills and valleys are being ground up by powerful machines that separate the gold from the earth and rock. Then, too, a giant stream of water is now turned against the base of a mountain that melts away like mist before the sun, and sends a stream of gold to the mint.

Gold has always been the standard of values among all civilized nations. But its quantity is increasing so fast that its purchasing power is diminishing, and prices of all commodities are increasing correspondingly. When we will be producing one billion dollars of gold annually, which will be in about ten years at the present rate of increase, there must be a new standard of values agreed upon among the nations of the earth to fit the purchasing power of gold, or there will be an upheaval in the financial affairs of the world that will shake it to the very foundations, and affect the lives of every one of its inhabitants.

The over-production of gold is relieved in a measure by the utter disappearance of a part of it. What becomes of all the gold? Nearly one million five hundred thousand dollars a day is taken from the mines of the world. Only a portion of this output is consumed by the arts and in jewelry, and in the natural legal reserve of Governments. From the best information obtainable, much of the surplus goes into the hoarding places of all classes. The people in poor and medium circumstances hide it away, and it is treasured in the vaults of the rich princes of India, and the dynasties of China and Egypt, who for centuries have been building vast burglar proof receptacles underground, where it is stored, and its hiding places are never allowed to become known. It is wrested from out of its hidden recesses in mountain fastnesses, by pick, drill, dynamite and arduous toil, flows through the arteries of trade, and again goes into its burial places to remain hidden for ages.




1859 In this story of Colorado it has been the aim of the writer to leave the present, crowded with the interesting events that are passing before us in kaleidoscopic changings, to the enviable writers of a future period; and to keep well within the boundaries of the remote past, touching but briefly, if at all, upon those subjects so ably covered by the historians of the State. They have fully recorded the growth of the country, the towns and cities; the beginning of the railroads and telegraph lines that were such important factors in the development of the state; and the part that men of prominence, living and dead, took in the upbuilding of our commonwealth. It is all found in detail in the following histories:

Frank Fossett's "Colorado," published in 1876; "History of Denver," compiled by W. B. Vickers in 1880; Frank Hall's Four Volumes which began to appear in 1890; Hubert Howe Bancroft's "History of Colorado," published in 1891; William N. Byers "Encyclopedia Biography of Colorado," in 1901; Jerome C. Smiley's elaborate "History of Denver," in 1901; Eugene Parsons "The Making of Colorado," in 1908.

A few names have been selected for mention in these pages which appear in the above publications. Sketches of the lives of these men are here presented in order that the older civilization may be merged into the new, and to bring to the present generation a realization of the charm of the interesting personalities with which the history of our early days are replete. So the sketches in this Chapter will be like unto "Twice Told Tales."

William N. Byers.

Eighty years! Then, the frontier of this country had moved only a little beyond Ohio, the State that in 1831 was the birth place of William N. Byers. As we stand to-day in the midst of all that makes life comfortable and inspiring, and look back to the crude civilization and primitive methods of those early days in our country's history, it is difficult to believe that even in such a progressive age there could have been such developments in the lifetime of some now living. Then, the little hand printing press had only eight years before emerged into its perfected form after four centuries of struggle. Then, the first railroad in the United States had only been built for two years—built of wooden rails to connect Albany and Schenectady, seventeen miles apart. Then, telegraphing was unknown; it was not until 1837 that Morse perfected the first telegraphic instrument, and later listened to the little girl, his child friend, as she reverently touched the key and spelled out the message that went reverberating around the world: "What hath God wrought?"

A United States surveying party enroute to Oregon took with it William N. Byers, a youth of twenty. They were five months crossing the plains. The next year, 1853, saw him starting West from Oregon homeward bound, instead of East. Down the Columbia River by boat, out on the Pacific Ocean and South to Cape Horn he sailed, up through the Atlantic waters North to New York, West by railroad, canal boat, stage coach and horseback, and he was at home in central Iowa on the very edge of western settlements.

But much to the surprise of every one there was still to be a newer West. Out beyond the Missouri River had come a knocking which became so loud and persistent that finally they heard it at Washington, and Nebraska was admitted as a Territory in 1854. It is a short move now from Iowa to Nebraska, but Omaha then seemed far away to the young man who reached there when it comprised "one lone cabin surrounded by savage people." The savages grew less and the town grew more, and Byers, who was a surveyor, was soon at work platting it into a town site. When the gold excitement broke out in California in 1848, and Omaha became the outfitting point for the immense trading business that grew constantly, it kept him busy laying out additions to the town. Thus he experienced the rough side of life in a frontier village. He saw, too, how the Pacific Slope mines made great fortunes and built cities, so when the Colorado mining excitement started, he concluded to be a part of the new country's development and growth. In the early Spring of 1859, he started to Denver, after the fashion of that day, with an ox team and covered wagon.

One of the most pleasing fables in Mythology, is that of Pandora and the box into which every god had put some blessing for her, and which she opened incautiously to see the blessings all escape—save hope. In this covered wagon, drawn by the slow-moving oxen, was a Pandora box containing two blessings, a little printing press which could not fly away—and hope. All the long weeks of journeying across the plains, this far-sighted man was thinking. He thought of the little six hundred pound press that he had with him, which with close work could print twenty-five hundred copies of a small newspaper in a day. He thought of the type that would be used over and over until it was so worn that it would blur the pages. He thought of his paper going to a few scattered strangers in a strange land. He looked ahead out over the plains and saw that strange atmospherical condition that produces the mirage, and which is so clear in its outlines and so misleading in its impressions, that the man on the desert dying of thirst sees a lake of pure water so near him that he seems to hear its waves dashing on the shores. Byers gazed with delight and awe as the mirage seemed to take form and resolve itself into a city; we can imagine that he saw a gilded dome on a towering building of symmetrical form and solidity that was set on an elevation of commanding beauty; that he saw streets and trees and parks; life, movement, bustle, prosperity; thousands of people each with a newspaper. And in imagination he stood beside the giant printing presses of that magic city, presses that were so capable and powerful as to seem endowed with life; so large and heavy that a freight car could not haul one, and which needed a double story beneath all other stories to house it. He sees himself standing beside this mammoth mass of mechanism at its home, while it is resting, at the time of polishing, oiling and testing, like the grooming of the horse at the meet, ere it starts on its record-breaking race. He listens to the telegraphic instruments clicking the news from every portion of the known world. He goes to the composing rooms where the copy grows into the newspaper pages of type, under the skillful fingers of the capable men playing over the keys of the intricate linotype. He follows the locked forms of type to the stereotyping department, where a matrix made of the most perfect and delicate paper that India can produce, is laid over the page of type and pressure sends its minutest imprint transversely into the paper which thus becomes an exact copy of the page of newspaper that is soon to appear. He sees this impress copy bent half way around a cylinder mold, with its duplicate on the other half of its cylinder into which the hot metal flows; pressure transfers from the India paper sheet every detail of the type, and the metal hardens into the exact shape to fit a roller of the great press to which it is to be transferred. He sees the type that was made an hour ago and used, now cast into the glowing furnace, and a minute later becomes a melted mass of metal. And we can imagine his soliloquy.

"Oh! type! I see you boiling, and seething, and dissolving as if in expiation of your sins, for you are cruel and relentless. To-day you tell of men's sins that wreck their lives and they end their struggles in self-destruction. You tell of sickness and death, of poverty and defeat, of misery and crime; but in your purification by fire may all be forgotten, for tomorrow you tell of births and flowers, of love and marriage, of victory and success, and you crown your efforts by the advocacy of wise laws, of good government, of equal justice to all; for right will prevail while the liberty of the press can be maintained."

We imagine that he looks again and sees the electric button pressed; the cogs of the great press begin to turn, the wheels to move, the different colored inks high up in the metal troughs to flow over the rollers that bathe the type, the immense roll of paper begins to unreel into the machine and over the cylinders which are each covered with their mold of type. Faster, faster, as the race horse speeds to victory. Faster, faster, as the colossal machine bends to its work. The folding attachment inside is busy doubling the paper into its proper shape as each printed page flies past. The knife descends like a flash, quicker than thought, and separates the page from the one following. Faster, faster, the completed folded papers drop from the machine into the endless chain elevator that sends them to the distributing room overhead at the rate of forty thousand an hour, where the restless newsboys are crowding, where the express deliveries are waiting, where the warning signals of the locomotives at the depot are heard, ready to hurry away with the papers over the mountains, across the plains, into the valleys—the news for each and all, news of the communities, news of the states, news of the world—this, this is the present-day experiences of the present century's civilization, the finest the world has ever seen, and which William Byers may have seen in the mirage, but which he did not live to see in its perfected form.

He came at a time known as the "days of the reformation," when a handful of peace-loving citizens of Denver were trying to bring order out of that chaotic condition that seems to belong to a settlement on the frontier made up of people from all over the world attracted by the lure of gold. He was the pioneer editor of Colorado, and became spokesman through his paper for those associated with him in the preservation of property rights and in the protection of life. He was fearless as a writer and unsparing in his criticism of the lawless in the community. His editorial in the first issue of his paper shows the character of the man:

"We make our debut in the far West, where the sunny mountains look down upon us in the hottest summer's day as well as in the winter's cold. Here, where a few months ago the wild beasts and wilder Indians held undisputed possession, where now surges the advancing wave of Anglo-Saxon enterprise and civilization, where soon we fondly hope will be erected a great and powerful state, another empire in the sisterhood of empires. Our course is marked out, we will adhere to it, with steadfast and fixed determination, to speak, write, and publish the truth, and nothing but the truth, let it work us weal or woe."

Horace W. Tabor.

From Vermont, that land of stone and marble, it was fitting that Tabor should come to our mountains where similar conditions prevail. He came by the way of Kansas where he farmed with indifferent success from 1855 to 1859. His entrance there into the political arena had a disastrous ending. There used to be the Free Soilers, a party whose battle cry was "free soil, free speech, free labor and free men." No state had more troubles in the way of political happenings than Kansas. One consisted in having this Free Soil party, to which Tabor belonged and which made him a member of the Legislature of that State in 1857, just after its admission into the Union. As Cromwell prorogued the Parliament, so did the Federal Troops under orders of the Secretary of War send every member of that Free Soil Legislature to their homes, robbed of their law-making prerogatives and relegated to common citizenship.

Tabor came to Denver in 1859 and from this point his career reads like a story from the Arabian Nights. In the Spring of 1860 he started to California Gulch, which name gave way later to Leadville; he drove an ox team to a covered wagon that was six weeks in the going. With the close of the first season he had five thousand dollars of gold dust in his pocket. That amount of money suggested merchandising, which he followed in the winters, alternating to the mines every summer. At the end of the second year he had wrested fifteen thousand dollars more in gold from the mines. He was a likeable man, generous, and known to be such, always doing his fellowman a good turn. Two prospectors down on their luck, proposed that he should help them by "grub-staking," as it was called in those days. He was to give them what they would eat and wear, furnish them with tools for digging and powder for blasting. In return they would share with him if they won, while if they lost, it would be his sole loss. It turned out to be a most fortunate alliance for them all. They had no more than started to digging, having reached a depth of only twenty-six feet, when they struck a rich vein of ore, and every inch they went down after that, the rich deposit grew in extent, both in quantity and quality. "Little Pittsburg," they called it, and it began turning out eight thousand dollars a week to the three fortunate owners. In a little while Hook sold his share to his partners for ninety thousand dollars, that being all the money he said he needed. Soon Rische reached the limit of his money-making ambitions which was two hundred and sixty-two thousand dollars, and that sum was paid him by David H. Moffat and J. B. Chaffee. The three new partners, which included Tabor, purchased other mines in the vicinity and consolidated them, taking out over four million dollars in the two years from 1878 to 1880. The other two partners now bought out Tabor for one million dollars, that being as much he thought as he could ever spend. It seemed that these original partners only had to figure out how much they would need to be comfortable on the remainder of their lives, which fixed the price of their investment.

Tabor, however, found that he could not quit this fascinating life, so he bought the Matchless Mine at Leadville for one hundred and seventeen thousand dollars, and in a year he had added nearly seven hundred thousand dollars to his wealth. Field, Leiter & Company of Chicago joined him in a number of mining ventures, all of which were immensely profitable.

In 1879 he began to make purchases in Denver that had much to do with the rapid growth of this city. He paid thirty thousand dollars for the lots at the corner of 16th and Larimer Streets, upon which he erected what was the finest building of that time, known now as the Nassau Block. He sent all the way to Ohio for the sandstone that went into the building, the quarries of beautiful marble and stone in our mountains not then having been opened, or he would have used it, for he always wanted the best. He paid forty thousand dollars for the residence and block of ground, on a portion of which the Broadway Theater now stands; the ground alone so purchased is now worth one million dollars; its value in another thirty years—but that is another story, and it will be told when the hand that moves this pen lies silent. He purchased the location at 16th and Curtis Streets for a Theater Building, and sent Chicago Architects abroad to study the plans of the theaters of the Old World and their furnishings, with the result that a building was erected and equipped that was the talk of the entire country.

The opening of the theater was one of the greatest occasions held in the West up to that time. Emma Abbott came all the way across the Continent with her Opera Company for the event. The newspapers everywhere devoted space to it and Eugene Field celebrated it in verse. The picture of Horace Tabor was placed just over the inner entrance, where it hangs to this day and where it should remain while the building stands. At the time of its erection it was considered to be the most perfect and convenient in arrangement of any theater in the United States. The boxes and proscenium were all finished in solid polished cherry wood. The drop curtain was painted by an eminent artist who came to Denver for that purpose; it was adorned with a picture of moldering ruins of Ancient Temples with a motto underneath containing a sermon in the following impressive quotation from Kingsley:

"So fleet the works of man;

Back to the earth again

Ancient and holy things

Fade like a dream."

All these improvements inaugurated and completed by him alone, attracted almost world-wide attention and advanced Denver to an important place in her business standing throughout the entire East. He became Lieutenant Governor in 1878, and U.S. Senator in 1882, to which position he was appointed to fill out the term of Henry M. Teller, who was invited by President Arthur to enter his cabinet as Secretary of the Interior. Tabor only lacked one vote of being elected to succeed himself, Judge Bowen winning the prize.

Tabor's financial rise was meteoric; his decline was equally rapid when it started. Unfortunate investments, mostly in distant locations, swept his entire fortune away. Though poor indeed, in material things towards the close of his life, it is given to few men to be so rich in experiences. His accomplishments in behalf of Denver will always be held by her citizens in grateful remembrance, and when he died in 1899 there was wide-spread sorrow.

William Gilpin.

1861 One thousand years of traceable ancestry! They spelled it "Guylphyn" in those far-away days of the Roman Empire, and in two hundred years it was softened to "Gilpin." One of this illustrious line was a great General and won a noted battle for Oliver Cromwell. One was Minister Plenipotentiary to The Hague, appointed by Queen Elizabeth. Queen Mary ordered one beheaded because of his religious teachings, but she died herself, after which he was pardoned and went on with his preaching. The ancestors of our own Washington were proud to form a union with the Gilpins by marriage. A meeting-house was erected by one of them and given to William Penn who used to preach in it. The home of one of them was turned over to LaFayette for his headquarters during the Battle of Brandywine. And there was that one who owned the mill that ground the grain for Washington and his army at Valley Forge.

Colorado is to be congratulated that she had for her first Governor one who came bearing such an illustrious name. But no one thought of family, least of all Abraham Lincoln, when he signed the Commission that made William Gilpin Governor of the Territory of Colorado. His selection was under advisement at the first Cabinet meeting and he was chosen in recognition of his signal ability.

As a youth he was tutored by his father who possessed more than ordinary culture. He pursued special studies under the author, Hawthorne; he learned under Lawrence Washington, when the latter was a resident of Mt. Vernon; then he was sent abroad for instructions at Yorkshire; he had the pick of masters at Liverpool; was graduated later at the University of Pennsylvania, and then won high honors in his later graduation from West Point. Such a course of study had made of him an intellectual athlete.

Then he traveled abroad, hurrying home to fight the Spanish in the Everglades of Florida. This chivalrous disciplinarian was Major in the Army of twelve hundred that defeated the Mexican Army of over five thousand at Sacramento City, California, on February 28, 1847. He was an officer in the army, under General S. W. Kearny, that marched into Santa Fe on the 14th of August, 1846, and ran up the Flag of the United States for the first time. Soon after, Charles Bent, who was first Governor of New Mexico, was killed at Santa Fe in an up-rising of the natives. He had built Bent's Fort on the Arkansas River where he had his residence for years. It was at Santa Fe that Gen. Lew Wallace, while Governor of New Mexico from 1878 to 1881, wrote the concluding chapters of his great book Ben Hur.

Gilpin's home was at Independence, Mo., where he practiced law. That place being near the end of the Santa Fe Trail, he often met Kit Carson. Gilpin possessed so much bravery that he started across the plains in 1843, a solitary horseman. Happening in with Fremont, he accompanied him to the Pacific Coast, it being Fremont's second expedition. The next year Gilpin returned by the way of Bent's Fort, thence down the Santa Fe Trail to his home. He was bearing a memorial, from the Oregon people, which he had helped to formulate, and which he was to present to the Administration at Washington. It set forth in detail the resources of the Great Northwest, the desire of the handful of people located there to be taken under the shelter of the Government and to be embraced within the limits of the Territory of the United States. He proceeded to Washington and presented this petition in person to President Polk, and urged in glowing terms, with all the eloquence he possessed, the future value and prospects of that unknown region. He had the freedom of both Houses of Congress and took a prominent part in turning the tide in favor of the Oregon movement.

When President Lincoln started from Springfield to Washington to assume the reins of Government in February, 1861, Gilpin was one of thirteen who made the entire journey in the President's private car. He was a brilliant man and Lincoln recognized his mental gifts and learned minutely from him of his varied experiences, especially of his knowledge of the far West. So it was natural that his name should come before the very first meeting of the cabinet for appointment to the high place of Governor of the territory of Colorado. The next month he was hurrying westward with his commission in his pocket and with his appointment as well of Brigadier-General of the Army.

"Long ago at the end of the route,

The stage pulled up and the folks stepped out;

They have all passed under the tavern door.

The youth and his bride and the gray three-score;

Their eyes are weary with dust and gleam

For the day has passed like an empty dream.

Soft may they slumber and trouble no more

For the weary journey, its jolt and its roar

In the old stage over the mountains."

Drawing of a stagecoach being drawn by six horses

So entered William Gilpin into the little City of Denver. It was the days of the stage coach, and the Denver end of the line was kept at the highest point of efficiency. Six horses were used, as fine as money could buy, high stepping and so well groomed that they shone resplendent under their costly harness glittering in the sun. The starting of the stage on its journey East and its return into Denver, was always an interesting event. It came dashing into town with the horses galloping, the whip cracking, the dogs barking and the people shouting. And they cheered when their new Governor stepped out. They cheered again when he stood before them tall and erect, with eyes flashing and head thrown back, and spoke in that matchless flow of language that was the gift of this eloquent and picturesque man. The character of his thought and its style of presentation is best seen in the following, taken from one of his many interesting speeches:

"* * * These events arrive. We are in the midst of them. They surround us as we march. They are the present secretions of the aggregate activities and energies of the people. You, the pioneers of Colorado, have arched with this glorious state the summit ridge and barrier between two hemispheres. You bring to a close the numbered ages of their isolation and their hostility. You have opened and possess the highway, which alone connects, fuses, and harmonizes them together. Of this state, you are the first owners and occupants. You have displayed to the vision, and illustrated to mankind, the splendid concave structure of our continent, and the infinite powers of its august dimensions, its fertility, its salubrious atmosphere and ever resplendent beauty. You have discovered the profound want and necessity of human society, and your labor provides for its relief; gold, I mean; the indefinite supply of sound money for the people by their own individual and voluntary labor. You occupy the front of the pioneer army of the people, absolutely the leaders of mankind, heading the column to the Oriental shores. * * *

"Hail to America, land of our birth; hail to her magnificent, her continental domain; hail to her generous people; hail to her victorious soldiers; hail to her matrons and her maidens; hail to the sacred union of her states; all hail to her as she is! Hail to the sublime mission which bears her on through peace and war, to make the continent her own and to endure forever."

What did he do for Colorado? Much. He confronted unusual conditions; he was the Chief Executive of the Territory at the very beginning of its history when there was not one single beaten path for him to follow, and when there was no money and no credit. There was danger of the territory slipping away from the union through an armed incursion from the South. There were no weapons for either a defensive or an aggressive warfare. He posted notices along the trails, calling for the purchase of fire arms of any kind no matter what the age or condition, if there was accompanying ammunition. There were no soldiers not even a home guard. So as quickly as possible he began to muster in the soldiers, putting into their hands the weapons he had gotten together, bad though they were. The drilling of the men was carried on just outside of Denver; soon he had one Company of Infantry and ten Companies of Cavalry.

The troops that had been in Utah during the Mormon war were returning East, and at Gov. Gilpin's request turned over to him at Laramie eighteen wagons containing eighteen hundred new rifles and a large supply of ammunition. Thus equipped, he marched down on Gen. Sibley and his army who had come up from the South and had captured Santa Fe. The battle of Glorietta was fought, resulting in Sibley's entire wagon train of ammunition and supplies being captured and his army destroyed or scattered.

The expense of the year's military activities was paid by the Governor drawing drafts direct upon the Government at Washington, amounting to two hundred and twenty-seven thousand dollars, all of which drafts were returned unpaid, which occasioned a great deal of trouble, confusion and criticism. They were, however, paid in course of time. Governor Gilpin always claimed that he had verbal instructions from Simon Cameron, the Secretary of War in the beginning of Lincoln's Administration, to handle the payments in this way. No doubt the Governor made the mistake of not having vouchers regularly drawn, itemized, certified and forwarded in the regular course of business, leaving the creditors to await their acceptance, approval, and the remittance of the funds. In extenuation it might be said that we were remote from the center of supplies and money, communication was slow, time was pressing, and he did the best he could. It may be that any other course at that time would have resulted disastrously, not only to this Territory, but the Government as well. Even at this late date, the Legislatures of some states handle in a most informal manner the finances of the State Government, which requires years for adjustment. Because of these financial complications, Gilpin was relieved from his position as Governor in 1862, but he remained true to his State all his life, had no higher ambition than to see it grow, sounded its praises wherever he went, and said on all occasions: "It is the backbone of the Continent, protect and encourage it."

He was one of the first to open up beautiful Capitol Hill, and used to say "I will give you two lots if you will build on one of them." He never valued money, but lived far above the ordinary affairs that surround us. There were times when he did not have the money to pay for a meal, but his interest in his fellowmen, in his State, and in the enjoyment of his mental gifts continued unabated to the end of his life.

Governor Gilpin gave us the beautiful name of Colorado. He was in Washington in the Spring of 1861 when the Bill was before Congress for fixing the boundaries of this new Territory. The name of Jefferson had been proposed, also Idaho and other names. He preferred Colorado and gave that name to Senator Wilson of Massachusetts, on whose motion it was adopted. The name was taken, not from the river of that name in Texas, whose length is nine hundred miles, but from the great river to the west of us that is longer than the distance between Omaha and Ogden and is the King of the Rivers of the West.

John Evans.

"Build me straight, O worthy master!

Staunch and strong, a goodly vessel,

That shall laugh at all disaster,

And with wave and whirlwind wrestle."

1862 Like the perfect ship was the perfect Quaker stock that came to our shores and was absorbed into the body politic, to permeate the arteries of business and statesmanship of our whole country for generations. It was a stock built on simple lines; straight, strong, clear and pure; founded on morality, sobriety, integrity and frugality; and as simple in garb as it was simple and strong in faith. Soon after the arrival of the Plymouth Fathers, there entered at our eastern gateway, a Quaker who invented for us the screw auger; how could our present high civilization have reached its enviable position without that screw auger! Evans was the name of the man to whom we owe this great debt of gratitude and he it was who was the progenitor of Colorado's second Governor, a man of whose memory our State is justly proud.

John Evans reached the zenith of his power and influence through the slow stages of solid preparation and ever broadening experiences. He was born in 1814 in Ohio, the State that is so prolific of good men. He graduated from the Clermont Academy in Philadelphia in 1838, when he was twenty-four years old, and immediately began the practice of medicine. His success was so pronounced, and he attained such standing, both as humanitarian and physician, that he was able at the early age of twenty-seven to impress upon the Legislature of the State of Illinois by his masterful arguments before them, the necessity for the establishment by the State of an institution for the insane. Four years later he was a conspicuous member of the faculty of the Rush Medical College of Chicago, which he served with devotion for eleven years. He founded the "Illinois General Hospital of the Lakes"; was editor of the Northwestern Medical and Surgical Journal; first projector of the Chicago and Fort Wayne Railroad and of its Chicago Terminals; member of the Republican National Convention that nominated Lincoln for the Presidency in 1860; was offered the Governorship of Washington Territory by Lincoln, which he declined.

He was one of the prominent figures in the advancement of Methodism and was always prominent in its councils, both national and local. The writer, once in an eastern City where the general conference of the Methodist Church was being held, attended a session of that interesting assembly. One of the conspicuous members on the floor was pointed out as Governor Evans, who led the delegation from Colorado. At the time, this incident was related of him:

He had settled at Denver in 1862, and having faith in its future, decided, after mature deliberation, the direction the City would take in its growth. He then purchased one hundred and sixty acres at the point where he thought the most benefit would accrue. A friend hearing of his investment and its reason, sought him out, commented on his mistaken rashness in coming to such an unwise decision, and advanced many reasons why the City would grow in exactly the opposite direction. The arguments were so strong that a purchase was made of another one hundred and sixty acres on the side of Denver suggested by his friend; the Governor, however, strong in his faith, clung to his original purchase as well. Friends continued to advise him of his mistakes in these two ventures and he continued to buy where they suggested, until he owned outlying farms on every side of Denver, and the City growing in all directions, his profits were fabulous.

He was conspicuous in establishing the Methodist Episcopal Book Concern and the Northwestern Christian Advocate of Chicago; was one of the original promoters of the Northwestern University at Evanston and the first President of its Board of Trustees in which position he continued for forty-two years. He founded the beautiful City of Evanston, a suburb of Chicago, which was named for him, and he suggested the setting apart of one-fourth of every block in that city as a fund for the University, a movement that resulted in an enormous endowment for that great school; he brought about the purchase of ground in the center of Chicago that grew into millions in value and greatly enriched the University. His contributions to the Church throughout his long, successful and busy life, amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars in addition to the generous donations made by him to the Denver University located at University Park.

A Territory is under the direct control of the Administration at Washington and its officers may be selected from outside its boundaries. President Lincoln in looking for a suitable successor to Governor Gilpin in 1862, centered on John Evans of Chicago, who was such a marked success as a business man. He received the appointment of Governor and gave to Colorado a most excellent administration. He was a leading factor in the building of the Denver-Pacific Railroad from Denver to Cheyenne, our first railroad, and was its President for years. One of his most gigantic undertakings was the building of the railroad up the South Platte River by the way of South Park to Leadville, in which he had the splendid help of Walter Cheesman, General Bela Hughes, J. W. Smith, William Barth, Brown Brothers, General D. C. Dodge and others. It was not easy to build railroads in those days; money was scarce, there was not much business for a railroad when constructed, and in this remote country whose future was not established, bonds were hard to sell. Many a man would have been discouraged by the efforts necessary for the financing of these railroads. Governor Evans worked unceasingly and showed his faith by putting in large sums of his own money, a fact that finally brought these undertakings to a successful consummation. Always he talked and worked for a line to the Gulf from Denver which would mean cheap freight rates and growth for Colorado, and now it has come and more, for we are to connect the Gulf with the far northwest, an ocean to ocean link.

All his personal investments were so wisely made that his life's work went on smoothly to its close in 1897. In Denver, where he made his home to the end of his eighty-three years, his thoughts were always of the City and State of his choice. His wise counsel and untiring devotion has left its imprint upon many of the successful industries of the State, as well as upon the social, moral and æsthetic life of the community. By his untiring devotion and unflagging loyalty to the Union, he placed himself in the class of War Governors in the great struggle of '61 to '65. He was preeminently a business man and possessed of exceptional ability. He was in the Methodist Church the some powerful factor for good and moral uplift, that William E. Dodge of New York was in the Presbyterian Church. In fact, in sterling business integrity and high quality of christian manhood, the finest thing perhaps that could be said of these two men, is that each was the beautiful complement of the other.

George Francis Train.

1863 A child stared a tragedy in the face as he looked wide-eyed from the window of the family home in New Orleans and saw the rude box containing the body of his little sister pitched into the "dead wagon" with like boxes. There were no undertakers: all were dead. No tenderness or sympathy; only haste and roughness. No flowers; just tears. An epidemic of Yellow Fever was raging and the "dead wagons" were rattling through the streets and stopping at the desolate homes everywhere. Each time the child saw one stop at his home, which would have been eight times if he could have counted, there was one less in the household. And at last a big box was carried out, in which they had placed his mother, and little George Francis Train, a child of four, was left alone. He was put on board a Mississippi River Steamer, with his name and destination pinned to his coat, and was sent on his long journey to relatives near Boston. That was eighty-two years ago.

That child, grown to manhood, became one of the picturesque figures in American History. He absorbed an education while working sixteen hours a day as a grocer's clerk. Then by sheer force of will and capability, he took a man's place in his uncle's shipping house in Boston, when he was but sixteen years of age, and in four years became a partner in the firm and was making ten thousand dollars a year. He revolutionized the shipping industry of the world by increasing the capacity of the largest ship then known, of seven hundred tons, to what then seemed an incredible size of two thousand tons. He had a fleet of forty vessels under him, mostly built up by his own energy. Then he went to Liverpool and at the age of twenty was the resident partner of the firm at that point where he doubled the business in a year. He then enlarged his horizon by going to Australia and establishing a similar business from which his commissions were ninety-five thousand dollars the first year.

He was a man with ideas. They used to cut postage stamps apart with scissors; "perforate the paper," he said, and it was done. In London when the Grande Dames stopped their carriages, a footman appeared with a short step ladder to aid them in their descent; "attach a folding step to the carriage" he advised, and it has been in use ever since. He saw a man write something with a lead pencil, then reach into his pocket for a rubber to make an erasure; "fasten the rubber to the pencil," he told them, and the perfected idea is in the hands of everyone to-day. A dozen men were shoveling coal into sacks and carrying it from the wagon; "use an appliance to raise the front end of the wagon and let the coal run out," he suggested, and the idea carried into effect made a company of millionaires. A man spilled some ink as he poured it from a large bottle into a small one; "give the bottle a nose like a cream pitcher," he told them and the idea gave the man who patented it more money than he could ever use. He saw the Indians spearing salmon out of the Columbia River; "can them," he said, and it started a great industry that is still under way. He accompanied the officials of the Northern Pacific Railroad when they were locating the terminus of that system; "end the line here," he told them and Tacoma will stand on that spot forever. He prophesied, that as much of the soil of the East rested upon a rocky base and was intermixed with stone, it would become inert and of decreasing value; while from the western plains so vast in extent, with their great depths of rich soil, would come the supply for the nation, and an ever increasing value to the farms. The prediction has come true. Today, with one-tenth of the population, we are furnishing one-half the supply of the food of the nation.

He was an observing man always and a student. Besides his own native language, the English, he spoke fluently French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. His newspaper articles from all over the world were read everywhere. He was an editor, author, and lecturer, speaking at times to houses that netted him in one instance five thousand dollars. He knew many of the greatest men of his own country: Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Rufus Choate, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Nathaniel P. Banks—they were all his friends. He met Queen Victoria, the Duke of Wellington, and many more of the great of the earth. Judges, Bishops and Ambassadors were his intimates. He was offered the Presidency of the Australian Government which he declined. He headed the French Commune and when the government troops were ordered to fire on him, he wrapped himself in the Stars and Stripes and dared them to kill an American citizen protected by the American Flag—and they did not shoot. He led a Third Party against two presidential aspirants for the Presidency, Ulysses S. Grant and Horace Greeley, in the campaign of 1872, and was defeated. He was a great traveler and visited nearly every country on the globe. He went around the world in eighty days, which gave rise to the Romance by Jules Verne, that is read in every language. He kept going around the world just to shorten the time. He had a villa at Newport and his annual expenditure for entertainment there was one hundred thousand dollars. Toward the close of his career he lived on three dollars a week, because he had no more, and he claimed that it was the happiest period of his life.

The first street car lines in England, Switzerland and Denmark were built by him. He was the first to suggest similar enterprises for Australia and India. Maria Christina was Queen of Spain, and Salamanca, a banker, was the Rothschild of that country. They backed him for two million dollars that started the building of the Atlantic and Great Western Railway which was followed later by the construction of a railroad to the Adirondacks. The banker Salamanca was descended from the long line of that name for which the Spanish City Salamanca was named that gave us Coronado. On the line of railroad which Salamanca helped to finance, a City is located in New York State named for him.

All these experiences brought Train gradually to the accomplishment of his life's greatest achievement, the building of the Union Pacific Railroad which he began on December 3, 1863, at Omaha, but which was completed by others May 10, 1869, at Ogden. It was the missing link needed in the welding of the West to the East, and in the development of Colorado, a country rich in every natural resource. Later, when the Kansas Pacific was threatening Denver, and planning to build their road elsewhere if a large amount of money was not raised, the citizens of Denver in their dilemma sent for Train. He came, and made one of his characteristic addresses to a crowded house. "God helps them that help themselves," Benjamin Franklin had poor Richard say; Train said, "Build a line of railroad yourselves to connect with the Union Pacific Railroad at Cheyenne or Julesburg," the road that he had projected. And they did the very thing he told them to do. In the course of time, the Kansas Pacific Railroad was also built to Denver.

Erratic, always. Egotistical, very, Crazy, many said he was. It may be that all his life he saw the "dead wagon" at the door, and heard it rattling through the street; early impressions have their effect upon the character of the mind. He was imprisoned fifteen times and said that he never committed a crime in his whole life. He was fearless as a speaker and writer, and much of his trouble was political. A peculiarity of this many-sided man was, that he would never shake hands with any person—be he king or plain man of the people. In retirement he frequented Madison Square in New York where the birds all knew him and would light upon him and feed out of his hands; where the children all loved him and flocked about him, sitting upon his knee while they listened to his wonder tales of every people of every clime; where memories of his brilliant career filled his thoughts as he saw again his bright vision of a coast to coast line, now fully realized—for the glistening sunlight was glinting the rails from the foot of the Statue of Liberty to the sunny calm of the Golden Gate. He was never without a flower in the lapel of his coat. The wearing of the flower in this way by men everywhere originated with him; he introduced the custom into London, Paris and New York, from which cities it spread all over the world. The idea came to him while in Java, that beautiful country of rare flowers and delicate odors.

On a cold stormy day of January, 1903, the end came to a stormy career; the birds hungrily called to him, but he did not come; the children waited for him, and could not understand; a flower that was alive, was pinned to the shroud of its friend who was dead, and they went away together forever and aye.




Colorado was once a waif; a child without parentage; no older brothers and sisters wanting it about; an outcast, unclaimed, lonely, wretched and friendless. No state in the union has had a career anywhere approaching that of Colorado. It was the center of more undefined boundaries, and a part of a greater number of countries, than any other portion of the world.

This is the genealogy of Colorado that has never before been traced, and which has been gleaned with infinite care from many sources. It belonged in turn to each of the following potentates or powers:

The Indians, Pope Alexander VI, Spain, New Spain, France, Louisiana District, Louisiana, No Man's Land, Missouri, The Indian Country, Texas Republic, The Unorganized Territory, Mexico, New Mexico, Upper California, Utah, The Arapahoe and Cheyenne Tribes, Nebraska, Kansas, Jefferson Territory—Colorado.

King Solomon took the child and when he offered to divide it between the two mothers, he found to whom it belonged.

1492 Pope Alexander VI took an imaginary map, drew an imaginary line across it, and parcelled out most of the New Hemisphere, giving one side to Portugal and the other to Spain, but he did not know that he had given Colorado to Spain.

1521 When a Government was established on these shores in 1521 and called "New Spain," Colorado became a part of that country and slumbered for two hundred and eighty years.

1801 La Salle, a French Explorer, in 1762, went on a tour of discovery and found a rich but weed-grown section that Spain was neglecting, which he claimed for France and called it the "Louisiana District" for Louis XIV, a name used by nearly every other King of France in those centuries. Spain expostulated and then became violent. Agitation went on. War was threatened. The trouble was not ended until 1801 when Napoleon, while strangling Spain, forced her to cede the disputed territory to him; it being the tract lying east of the Arkansas River up to a certain point, then crossing the Divide south to the Red River which it followed to its source, thence along the eastern foot-hills of the Rocky Mountains. This divided Colorado, leaving with Spain that portion lying west of the Rocky Mountains, and giving to France what was located east of the mountains. Thus was left "No Man's Land" out of the reckoning, which included these majestic, wealth-producing and health-yielding mountains. They seemed to be too inconsequential to be claimed by either country. Mountains, that by their impassive quietude have soothed into tranquility the restless nerves of thousands of sick; mountains, that brew unceasingly nature's healing balm for ailing lungs; that are the home of twenty-four rivers, whose never ending flood of life giving waters, lure riches from the farms, like the touch of an Aladdin's Lamp; that have produced in furs, lumber, gold, silver, lead, copper, zinc, iron, stone, marble, oil, live stock and agricultural products, nearly five billion dollars.

"The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner."

1803 Two years passed, and for the first time Colorado began to be appreciated. 1803 saw sixteen million dollars in gold flowing to France, and the Louisiana District, which included the eastern half of Colorado, coming to the United States. This brought under the flag of our Government for the first time, that part of Colorado lying east of the mountains.

1812 Louisiana in 1812 was admitted into the union as a territory according to the State boundaries that exist at the present time. Missouri Territory was the name given to what was left of the Louisiana Purchase. Thus Colorado lying east of the mountains fell heir to Missouri. The name is taken from the Missouri's tribe of Indians.

Next to the priceless heritage that came to us as a nation and as individuals in the vast domain that we received from the Indians, was the rich transference of Indian words into our language. It was like the transfusion of new corpuscles into blood emaciated and impoverished by disease. Here was a vacant world. Rivers, mountains, states, cities, towns, boundaries—all a blank. Ready at hand was a new language. It possessed crispness, freshness, strength, romance. We absorbed it and never awoke to the full appreciation of its beauties until Longfellow charmed and thrilled us with his matchless songs.

1823 It was in 1521 that Cortez placed the foot of Spain on the neck of Mexico. Three hundred years later, Mexico rebelled. She had to fight, and succeeded in establishing her independence in 1823. This carried into the fold of Mexico, that part of Colorado lying west of the mountains, which had continued all these centuries to belong to Spain. When Mexico came from under the Dominion of Spain, she wanted to be free from slavery and objected to Texas bringing slaves into Mexican Territory and selling them. This quarrel between Texas and Mexico really brought about the war between Mexico and the United States.

1834 In 1834 that portion of the Missouri Territory lying west of the Missouri River became the Indian Country, which was the official title; presumably "country" because there was no territorial government and it so remained for twenty years. So to the Indian country went all of Colorado east of the mountains, and north of the Arkansas River.

1836 Texas was once a Republic. In 1836 it had a Government of its own separate from both Mexico and the United States, and independent of both. She proceeded to reach into and through Colorado, and claimed that part above the Arkansas River lying between Mexico's line on the west of the mountains, and the Missouri line on the east of the mountains. This made a home for "No Man's Land."

1845 Texas was admitted into the Union in 1845, as a territory in her present form. This threw back into chaos all she had claimed of Colorado, and left it as "Unorganized Territory." In 1846 Texas plunged the United States into War with Mexico, supposedly over the western boundary of Texas. In two years twenty-three noted battles were fought, including Palo Alto, Buena Vista and Vera Cruz. Only twenty-three years after Mexico threw off the yoke of Spain, we marched into Mexico City and took from her practically all the territory north of her present boundary. It was ceded to the United States in 1848, and in 1850 became New or Upper California. It was divided in 1855 into three parts, named California, New Mexico and Utah, the latter called after the tribe of Utah Indians. This brought under the United States Flag for the first time, that portion of Colorado west of the mountains, which had been Mexican Territory, and which now became a part of the Territory of Utah, whose western boundary was California. New Mexico received that part of Colorado lying south of the Arkansas River, and east of the Rio Grande.

1851 In 1851, by the Treaty of Fort Laramie, it was stipulated that the part of Colorado east of the Rocky Mountains and north of the Arkansas River should belong to the tribes of the Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians, which title was later extinguished by the Treaty of Fort Wise.

1854 Another turn of this endless chain, and 1854 saw the Indian Country legislated out of Colorado, and Nebraska and Kansas ushered in to take its place. Colorado east of the mountains was divided on an east and west line into Kansas and Nebraska, about one mile south of Boulder. So at this time we stood as follows: Utah on the west of the mountains, Nebraska in the northeast, Kansas in the central east, and New Mexico in the southeast. Here the cloud of Civil War, not much larger than a man's hand at first, became ominous, and the rumblings and mutterings grew louder each year until at last the storm broke. Missouri was for the perpetuation of slavery, and jealous of the territory that had been taken from her and given to Nebraska and Kansas, tried to compel those territories to continue pro-slavery, making a strong fight to force it into their Constitutions, which, on account of her work and influence, she succeeded in changing three or four times. Those states strongly objected to slavery, and there were fierce political conflicts, especially in Kansas, which at last broke out in endless raids. Quantrell with his guerillas massacred one hundred and fifty at one time at Lawrence, Kansas, and destroyed two million dollars worth of property. It has been said that every foot of eastern Kansas soil was reddened with the life blood of her anti-slavery citizens. This gave to that State the name of "Bleeding Kansas," and the bleeding did not cease until the close of the Civil War. The Legislature of Kansas created Arapahoe County, a stretch of country several hundred miles long, which included a part of Colorado, which then went by the name of the County.

1859 The early settlers of Colorado, concluding to have a Government of their own, met in 1859, organized a temporary government which they called "Jefferson Territory," but which was never made a permanent government or recognized at Washington.

1861 In the year that the clouds hung low and heavy over the Union; the year that saw the first gun belch forth the shot that cleaved the line between the North and the South; when brother was going to war against brother, father against son, and mothers with blanched faces were wringing their hands in an agony of despair; when the whole civilized world stood breathlessly apart to witness the fiercest human struggle of modern times; in that the most memorable year in our National history, here on this peaceful spot far removed from the noise of the conflict, from the flame and smoke, from the tears and death agonies, there was enacted a scene, picturesque, glorious, historical. Utah, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico, generously and loyally stepped aside, going to the east, to the west and to the south, bidding us adieu forever. In their place, Cinderella-like, there burst from its chrysalis the waif of centuries, smiling, gracious, brilliant, like a bride bejeweled and bedecked for her wedding, the fairest and gentlest in all the sisterhood of the Union; and may she bless the land forever—Colorado.





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