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Kansas Historical Quarterly - Albert D. Richardson's Letters

on the Pike's Peak Gold Region
Written to the Editor
of the Lawrence Republican,
May 22-August 25, 1860 [1]

edited by Louise Barry

February 1943 (Vol. 12, No. 1), pages 14 to 57.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.

Kansas Historical Quarterly, February 1943I. INTRODUCTION

FROM a Franklin, Mass., farm home seventeen-year-old Albert Deane Richardson [2] set out for the West in 1851 to seek his fortune. Nine years later, when these letters were written, he had achieved success in the newspaper world as a writer and had joined the New York Tribune staff. His reputation had gained for him the privilege, rare in that era of journalism, of signing his initials to articles. At the time of his tragic death in 1869 at the age of thirty-six he was still on the Tribune staff, one of the best-known newspaper correspondents of his day.

Upon leaving home in 1851 Richardson spent about a year in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he tried, among other things, reporting for the Pittsburgh Journal. Discovering his talent for newspaper writing he determined upon a career in journalism. To further his ambition he learned shorthand.

In the fall of 1852 Richardson moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and was soon established as an editor for the Cincinnati Sun. In succeeding years he worked for the Unionist, the Columbian, the Gazette and the Times. He married Mary Louise Pease, of Cincinnati, in April, 1855.

(14)

BARRY: RICHARDSON'S LETTERS 15

Two years later Richardson decided to settle in Kansas territory. Arriving in the spring of 1857, in the midst of the slavery struggle, he was soon actively supporting the Free-State cause. He traveled extensively over the territory and in Missouri, observing and reporting. Corresponding for the Boston Journal, the Cincinnati Times and other Eastern papers, Richardson was in a position to write influentially about the fight against slavery. On July 15 and 16, 1857, together with Richard J. Hinton, he served as secretary of the Free-State convention at Topeka.

Late in 1857 Richardson brought his wife and son to Kansas. In March, 1858, they settled in the Missouri river town of Sumner, Atchison county, where he established himself as a general land agent [3] That fall Richardson was an unsuccessful candidate for representative to the territorial legislature from Atchison county. In the legislative session of January-February, 1859, he served as a clerk of the house.

Early in the spring of 1859 Richardson moved his family to Franklin, Mass., in preparation for a journey to the newly-discovered Pike's Peak gold regions. He set out from Leavenworth, K. T., for Denver May 25, on one of the first stages run by the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company. At Manhattan, Horace Greeley, publisher of the New York Tribune, also westward-bound, boarded the same stage and the two traveled to Denver together, arriving on June 6. In company with journalist Henry Villard, they proceeded to tour the mining districts, making a joint report on the prospects of the gold region which was widely printed.

Richardson returned to New England and in the fall made a journey to the Southwest, traveling through Kansas territory, the Indian territory, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

Early in 1860 he became a correspondent on Greeley's Tribune, a goal for which he had long been working. In May, Richardson once again arrived in Kansas, bound for the gold regions. The following letters describe that journey and incidents of his stay in Denver and vicinity. In November, 1860, he returned to New England to write and lecture.

Early in 1861 he undertook a trip into the South on a secret mission for his paper. When the Civil War broke out Richardson went into the field as a Tribune war correspondent. In May, 1863, along with other journalists, he was captured within the Southern lines

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and sent to a rebel prison. After a long imprisonment he finally escaped in mid-December, 1864. His homecoming was a sad one, for his wife and an infant daughter had both died during the year.

Richardson lectured and wrote on Southern prison conditions but gave up lecturing because of impaired health. His book The Secret Service, the Field, the Dungeon, and the Escape, was published in 1865.

He took a stage-coach trip to California in the spring of 1865, in company with friends. Returning much improved in health, he wrote and published Beyond the Mississippi. In preparing his next work-a Personal History of Ulysses S. Grant, he traveled through many states acquiring data. This book was published in the fall of 1868.

A railway trip to California in the spring of 1869 was followed in the fall by a journey to Kansas, after which Richardson returned to New York in the best of health. During the year he had become engaged to Abby Sage McFarland, recently divorced from Daniel McFarland. On November 25, 1869, McFarland entered the Tribune offIce and shot Richardson, wounding him fatally. Richardson died on December 2, at the age of thirty-six. Before his death he was married to Mrs. McFarland.

II. THE LETTERS

Marysville, Marshall Co., K. T., May 22, 1860.

MESSRS. EDITORS:

In company with Thomas W. Knox, Esq., [4] of the Boston Daily Atlas & Bee, your correspondent left Atchison three days ago, and "Thus far into the bowels of the land, Have we progressed without impediment."

The difference between the Pike's Peak emigration of this season and that of last year, is obvious to the most casual observer. In

 

[Engraving of St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1860.]

ST. JOSEPH, MO. IN 1860--"FROM TELEGRAPH HILL"

This woodcut and others of Seneca and Marysville (over) are from C. M. Clarke's A Trip to Pike's Peak and Notes by the Way . . . (Chicago, S.P. Rounds Steam Book and Job Printing House)

[Woodcuts of SENECA AND MARYSVILLE IN 1860]

SENECA (above) AND MARYSVILLE IN 1860

BARRY: RICHARDSON'S LETTERS 17

coming to this point (105 miles), we have not seen a single pedestrian, with his "outfit" on his back; and have passed only one handcart. That was drawn by two enterprising individuals, who were harnessed to it, and were progressing with their load of 500 pounds at the rate of about twenty-five miles per day. They showed excellent courage, but looked as though they had already found Jordan a hard road to travel.

The road from Atchison is excellent, and emigrants who intend going by the Platte, find it decidedly for their advantage, in point of distance, to start from that city.

We have already passed ten quartz-crushing machines, and are informed here that upwards of fifty have passed this point since the first of April. At least seventy-five of these machines are now on their way to the mines. Some months must necessarily elapse before they can all be put in successful operation; but by the first of August, the receipts of gold in the states will probably be so heavy as to convince the people that Pike's Peak is a reality, after all. The majority of those who are going to the mines this year seem to be men of intelligence, character, and ample means. Several stocks of goods, ranging in value from $10,000 to $30,000, are on the way.' We pass many families upon the road, and females in the Gold Region will be much more plenty than they were in June last, when we were all in the habit of running to our cabin doors in Denver, on the arrival of a lady, to gaze at her as earnestly as at any other rare natural curiosity.

As we were passing through the village of Kennekuk (so called from a famous old Kickapoo chief, bearing the name of "Ke-an-nekuk"), an interesting race attracted a good deal of attention. An emigrant from Atchison, who had left some of his creditors in the lurch, was pursued by two deputy sheriffs, and did not discover them until they were just upon him. He put spurs to his horse, which was decidedly a fast animal, and dashed off at the top of his speed. They followed in hot pursuit, and for nearly half a mile it was about neck and neck. He dropped his overcoat on the way, but was in quite too much of a hurry to stop for it, and finally he crossed the county line a few yards ahead of them. Here their jurisdiction ceased, and while their indignation was unutterable, he begged them,

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with the utmost suavity, to return his kind regards to any inquiring friends in Atchison. They finally returned, taking back his overcoat as a trophy, and he went on his way rejoicing. [6]

We camped the second night near Seneca,-a rapidly growing village in Nemaha county-with at least a hundred and fifty emigrants spending the night in a little valley within half a mile of us.very pleasant was it when on our prairie beds, to be lulled to sleep by the voices of several excellent singers, in the neighboring tents.

At that point settlements begin to grow scarce, and the principal signs of residents along the road consist of the cabins and tents of enterprising gentlemen of a. commercial turn, who inform the public through very primitive signs, that they are in the grocery business, and Sell beer and gingerbread. Though finding few attractions at their establishments thus far, we cannot expect, because we are virtuous, that there will be no more cakes and ale. At Ash Point a grocer seeks to captivate the hearts and purses of emigrants, by informing them that he dispenses "Butte Reggs, Flower & Mele."' At present he does not seem to be overrun with customers; but how can a reasonable man expect the patronage of Pike's Peakers, when he spells flour with a "w"?

We have passed several large droves of fine cattle, en route for California. The parties taking them through expect to be from five to six months on the way. Two or three forlorn-looking ox trains from Denver have met us on the road. The drivers look as though they had not seen soap, water or clothing stores, for several years; and the oxen, whose bones protrude at various points, to whet the appetites of attendant buzzards, trundle mournfully along, as if soliloquizing: "What shadows we are; what shadows we pursue!"

At some points the road is white with the "prairie schooners" of the emigrants, for three or four miles; and yet we are assured that the Pike's Peak migration has fallen off greatly, within the last three weeks.

Marysville is improving rapidly, and now claims some fifty houses.

A. D. R.

BARRY: RICHARDSON'S LETTERS 19

Near Fort Kearney, Nebraska, May 30, 1860.

 

MR. EDITOR:

Marysville, from which I wrote you a week ago, was founded by "Governor'" Frank Marshall," of Border Ruffian notoriety, and so called in honor of his wife, who bears the name of Mary. It is admirably situated, but wears the unmistakable indications of a pro-slavery town. For shooting and stabbing affrays, whisky-drinking and horse-racing Marysville can bear away the palm from all other towns in Kansas. When we passed through, the grand jury had just found a number of indictments against residents, for horse racing, and arrests were being made. Several gentlemen who informed us of the fact seemed to be in great glee at the procedure, inasmuch as Judge Elmore9 himself, according to their assertions, had acted as judge at one of the recent races!

Twelve miles west of Marysville we were overtaken by a most violent storm of wind, rain, thunder and lightning, which came on soon after we had camped for the night. The blasts were so sweeping that, though our tent was very strongly secured by ropes, eight or ten men within it were only able with difficulty to keep it from blowing down, by holding up the tent-pole, for two or three hours. The rain continued through the whole night, and in the morning all the members of our party looked like wet towels,'except a journalistic friend and myself, who came out dry, by virtue of good luck and an India rubber blanket.

An emigrant from Lawrence, who broke an axle to his wagon while crossing the creek, before the storm came on, was compelled to remain there all night, and in the morning looked as if "he had not loved the world, nor the world loved him." Two parties from Leavenworth, containing several women and children, were also completely saturated; but when we passed, they were drying themselves by their sheet iron cooking stove, in the open air, and eagerly disposing of a breakfast of coffee and "flapjacks."

The second evening out from Marysville, while near Rock creek, we crossed the line into Nebraska. There are very few settlers in the vicinity; but a North Carolinian has started a ranche on Rock creek, and, by charging a toll of ten cents per team over a little bridge which he has built across the stream, and furnishing emi-

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grants with corn at one dollar per bushel and milk at a dime a quart, he has struck a richer "lead" than the Pike's Peakers generally will find.

At Little Sandy creek, we met a gentleman from Richland county, Ohio, who, after going within two hundred miles of Denver, was badly wounded by the accidental discharge of a rifle, and is now returning home, perhaps disabled for life. Many serious and some fatal accidents of this description have occurred since the opening of the Pike's Peak emigration. Already we have passed five or six fresh graves on the route. At Big Sandy creek, where one or two ranches are established, a huge snake, six or seven feet in length, and nearly as large as a man's arm, was exhibited to us. An astonished emigrant, just as he was retiring one night, found the reptile in his blankets, and concluded that travel on the plains, like misery, makes strange bedfellows.

After passing over a dry divide from Sandy creek, we reached the fertile, well-timbered, beautiful valley of the Little Blue river, and followed it for forty-four miles. This valley now affords excellent inducements for settlers, and is capable of sustaining a dense population. When we left it, another long, Sandy divide, where wood, grass and water are all scarce, ensued for nearly forty miles, at the end of which we struck the Platte river, near the junction of the great Omaha road, ten miles east of this post. With the exception of the divide last mentioned, all the country along our route, from Leavenworth and Atchison to Fort Kearney, is susceptible of cultivation, and much of it remarkably fertile. Corn at this point is worth from $2.00 to $2.50 per bushel; sugar, 25 cents per pound, and flour 10 cents.

The emigration by the road from Omaha is quite as heavy as that by the route we have followed, and the valley of the Platte, as far as we can see, is white with "prairie schooners." Passengers from Denver by the express coaches state that they have met from 800 to 1,000 wagons per day. They speak of business as somewhat dull in the towns at the Gold Region, as the great majority of the winter population is absent, in the mines.

As yet, we have met less than a dozen wagons of returning emigrants; but there will soon be a backward stampede, though much smaller than that of last year. Immense quantities of goods are being taken out to the mines, and the markets bid fair to be very fully stocked for the next four or five months.

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Perhaps I may as well close this rambling letter (written on the prairie, while stopping for dinner) by two or three trifles which show that all the wit of the country is not confined to the older states. A day or two since our cook, in preparing dinner, accidentally ignited the dry grass around our camp, and the flames increased until an acre or two of ground was burnt over. In reply to our expostulations, he insisted that he had now fully refuted the charge so often made against him, that he would never set the world on fire! While on the Big Blue, one of our party overtook an acquaintance, bound for the mines on foot, and limping along as if he felt as wretchedly as he looked. "Hallo, John! What are you doing out here?" was the salutation of our companion. "Oh, just dancing and playing the piano," was the prompt reply. The jolly pedestrian had evidently ascertained that those who dance must pay the fiddler! And last night we overtook a California-bound emigrant, going through with cattle, who stated that he had crossed the plains three times; but, he asserted vehemently, if spared through this trip he would never try the ox telegraph again! "Ox telegraph," like Hamlet's "mobled queen,". is "good."
A. D. R.

Platte valley,

25 miles above Upper Crossing, June 5, '60.

MR. EDITOR:

Kearney City, two miles west of the fort, is more generally known as "Adobetown." 11 At present it consists of some six or eight wretched-looking houses, mostly of turf; but it is a city of magnificent intentions, and business lots are said to command from $200 to $250.

The intelligence of the killing of several Pony Express riders creates some apprehensions among the emigrants; but thus far all the savages on this route are peaceable toward the whites, though we have met several war parties of the Sioux, on their way to scalp or be scalped among the Pawnees.

We have encountered comparatively few returning Pike's Peakers, as. yet, though we occasionally see a party of them, looking like the very last roses of summer, and breathing out all sorts of maledictions against the new El Dorado. The westward emigration continues

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enormous-far surpassing anything ever before witnessed upon the plains. While we were stopping two hours for breakfast, the other morning, more than two hundred wagons passed us; and a short time after, ascending a high bluff, I saw the green valley of the Platte, for many miles both before and behind us, teeming with the busy life of thousands of hopeful pilgrims. Tottering age and unconscious infancy-poverty and wealth-manhood and womanhood -and almost every nation in the world, were represented in the motley throng. The picture recalled the stanzas of Whittier:

We cross the prairies as of old
Our fathers crossed the sea,
To make the West, as they the East,
The empire of the free.

There is something very impressive about this uncontrollable movement westward, which from remotest antiquity has impelled the human race toward the setting sun, and which now, on a great wave of human life, is bearing commerce and American civilisation to our farthest frontier, and founding a new empire at the base of the Rocky Mountains.

Among the emigrants whom we have encountered are several delicate, "lily browed" Chicago ladies; an unfortunate lady from Omaha, so reduced by recent rheumatic fever that she cannot walk alone, but is compelled to ride upon a bed; and a baby, who left the Missouri river at the extremely callow age of two weeks! We have passed about a dozen handcarts, and perhaps half as many emigrants on foot-domestic Atlases, with their little worlds upon their shoulders.

A few evenings since, after a period of most unusual and oppressive quiet, a violent storm, like the famous northers of Texas, came on. The wind blew to a hurricane, and just as we were congratulating each other upon being safe, crash came our great tent, down about our heads. To put it up in such a storm was quite out of the question, though the conductor of our party, while lying flat upon his back, with his eyes closed to keep out the sand, gave a few incoherent directions to that effect, which several other persons insanely attempted to carry out. I chanced to be standing, holding a lantern. at the time of the catastrophe, and after it happened, devoutly wished myself in the condition of "the dog who wasn't there." However, I asked a gentleman beside me to be good enough to take the lantern, which he thoughtlessly did, and while I suddenly retired to bed, he had the pleasure of illuminating the scene until he found some one else willing to become a living candlestick.

BARRY: RICHARDSON'S LETTERS 23

 

After a wretchedly cold night, during which our only alternative was to "lie low and keep cool," I woke in the morning to find a large sandbank in each eye, and my clothing thoroughly permeated by the annoying substance, which had sifted in through the tent cover. At one time we were quite alarmed by the report that a drove of cattle, stampeded by the Indians, were making for us, and for a few moments the prospect of being trampled under them was decidedly promising; but the rumor proved false. The raw weather continued for about twenty-four hours, when it suddenly disappeared.

On several occasions we have witnessed the mysterious mirage, peculiar to the great plains. While journeying over the desert, lovely lakes of clear blue water, fringed with wooded shores, have revealed themselves to our view, apparently but two or three miles from the road. In a few minutes, however, with a change in the angle of observation, the enchanting vision would suddenly be transformed into low and barren hills of sand. On several occasions, among the great deserts of New Mexico and northwestern Texas, I have witnessed the same phenomenon, So perfect as almost to induce the belief that the water was real and not "The baseless fabric of a vision."

The Platte, or Nebraska river, along which we travel nearly the whole distance from Fort Kearney to Denver, is often nearly as wide as the Mississippi, and looks as if it might float a man-of-war; but in reality it is only navigable for small catfish. Last year, hundreds of returning emigrants attempted to descend it in skiffs, but they were nearly all shipwrecked, and in many instances drowned. One unfortunate gentleman from Boston, who lost his skiff and complete outfit near Fort Kearney, was glad to escape without a cent of money, or a single article of apparel except his shirt!

The number of families en route for the Peak is quite beyond computation. In several instances, extra saddle horses are taken along for the ladies, and the fair travelers seem to find a good deal of enjoyment on the rough journey. The bloomer costume is considerably in vogue, and appears peculiarly adapted to overland travel. We passed a bloomer, a day or two since, who apparently weighed about two hundred and fifty, and who, while her better half was soundly sleeping in the wagon, was walking and driving the oxen. Her huge dimensions gave her the appearance of an ambulatory cotton bale, or a peripatetic haystack.

Two or three Irish "jintlemen" who accompany our caravan as "deck passengers" (i. e., pay $25 for the privilege of working their passage, and walking most of the way), are an unfailing source of

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amusement. While standing guard a few nights since, two of them were greatly excited by the sight of a couple of animals which they supposed were wild horses, and attempted to drive them in among the wagons, in order, as they expressed it, to "bewilder" and capture them. They afterwards turned out to be the tamest of equine quadrupeds, escaped from an emigrant; but the idea of "bewildering" a wild horse is decidedly original. Our Celts started from Atchison with five gallons of whisky, but it had all disappeared at the end of the first hundred miles, and they have since been compelled to fall back upon the groggeries along the road. When near Kearney, one of them entered a store, and asked:

"How do you sell whisky?" "Five dollars a gallon." "Chape enough. How much a dhrink?" "Twenty cents."

"Chaper still! I think I'll invist that amount."

The vender of the "rifle whisky" handed a glass and bottle to his philosophical customer.

"Faith!" remarked Pat, "it'll be difficult for me to dhrink twenty cents, worth-but I'll thry."

And, suiting the action to the word, he filled the large glass to the brim, and drained it as easy as if it had been nectar-handed two dimes to the astonished merchant, and went on his way rejoicing. He still lives, and, after swallowing that amount of poison unharmed, may reasonably hope for a green old age.

We have encountered but few buffaloes, and they were very shy. Many of the emigrant wagons bear quaint inscriptions, like-"I'm off for the Peak-are you?" "Good bye, friends; I'm bound to try the Peak"; "The eleventh commandment: Mind your own business"; "Ho! for California!" etc: Supplies of all kinds are extremely high along the road. Raisins command 75 cents per pound, cheese 50c, and other articles are in proportion. The blacksmiths upon the route charge $4 per animal, for shoeing.

We camped last night near quite a company from Lawrence, which included Messrs. Monteith, Coombs and lady, Bigelow, Pease, Matthews, Carpenter, Morris, and Schinner .12 Mr. Ford, and Messrs. Whitney and company, are several days ahead of us."

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A report has reached us that a young man from Atchison, named Robert Spotswood, [14] while on the road from Denver, recently became involved in a quarrel with two men in his train, and in a shooting affray which ensued, killed one of them and wounded another.

A. D. R.

Denver City, June 12, 1860.

MR. EDITOR:

As I propose to devote this letter principally to incidents on the road to Pike's Peak, its caption is not a misnomer, [15] if it is written in the very metropolis of the Gold Region.

We met numerous parties of Sioux Indians, moving their villages. Their lodge-poles were strapped to the horses, at one end, with the other trailing upon the ground; and suspended from these poles were baskets, containing the robes and cooking utensils, papooses and squaws of these Arabs and Tartars of the desert. They nearly all begged industriously for whisky, tobacco and provisions. Some of the boys-muscular, well formed little fellows, without a rag of clothing except a single strip of cloth, used as the fig leaves were by our first parents-were excellent marksmen, hitting a target only an inch in width, with arrows, at ten or twelve paces. One party of the Sioux so frightened a span of mules driven by a gentleman in our train, that they ran away, and he was thrown from the carriage. His wife succeeded in checking the timorous animals, and he received no permanent injuries.

During the last week, we met about a dozen wagons a day, of returning emigrants. Some of the "go-backs" told the most lugubrious stories about the mines, asserting that there was little or no gold; others thought the diggings rich, but that quartz crushing alone would prove profitable. We encountered one emigrant on foot, alone, and without a cent of money, who had started to walk back to Leavenworth-665 miles!

We found the road white with wagons bound westward, until we reached this city. One wagon, drawn by six cows, bore the label, in flaming characters, "Female Express: Milk for sale." Many others carried signs setting forth that "Old Bourbon Whisky" was sold therein. One train contained an elderly gentleman from Ports

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mouth, N. H., weighing 350 pounds-a sort of human leviathan. The party taking him out would evidently say, with Caesar:

"Let me have men about me that are fat Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights." A day or two after, as a fitting comparison to this huge person, we passed a Missouri lady nearly as heavy; so, if you hear that provisions are scarce at the Peak, attribute it to the arrival of the New Hampshire Fat Boy and Missouri Girl.

There has been some sickness on the road. A few days ago we passed a handcart party of four men. Three of them were drawing the cart containing their whole "outfit," and the fourth member of the company quite low with dysentery. Mr. G. Hopkins-a merchant from Dubuque, Iowa, who left the river in very poor health died of the same disease, on the 8th inst., and was buried by the roadside, near Lamb's station, seventy-five miles east of this city, at the junction of the "cut-off" with the old Platte road. A package sent out by his family arrived a few hours after his death.

On the same day, a party of Chicago emigrants found the corpse of a child, wrapped in a white blanket, in a secluded spot, on an island of the Platte. The skull was broken in, and the clothing stiff with blood, and there had evidently been foul play. The body was somewhat decomposed, but the dress and form seemed to be that of a girl, five or six years old. They buried the remains on the bank of the river, three miles west of Beaver creek-endeavoring to mark the spot, so that it can be identified hereafter. The neck was encircled by a string of beads. The circumstances leave little room to doubt that the defenseless little child was murdered.

A few evenings before reaching the end of our journey, our great tent presented a novel appearance. It was filled by our own company and several visitors from neighboring camps, and enlivened by songs, and the strains of a violin. The never-wearisome, ever-amusing "Arkansaw Traveler" opened the entertainment, and was followed by many of the popular melodies of the day, in which all present who had music in their souls most heartily joined. It was a strange, impressive spectacle, to sec that group of swarthy, sunburnt men, clad in the rough habiliments of the plains, lying upon the ground like a party of pirates or smugglers in their cave, while a single candle threw a dim, flickering light upon their features. AS the songs called for changed from gay to grave, and one in particular was given with unusual feeling, it recalled Bayard Taylor's beauti-

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ful stanza, alluding to the fact that the English soldiers, on the night before the storming of the Malakoff, made their camp vocal with one of the sweetest songs in our language:

They sang of love, and not of fame
Forgot was Britain's glory;
Each heart recalled a different name,
But all sang Annie Laurie.

And when the words, "Do they miss me at home?"-which no wanderer ever hears unmoved-were given, some dim eyes not often used to the melting mood, and some trembling voices, told that the hearts of the singers were with dear ones far away.

But to return to the practical. We left the Platte eighty miles from this city, and came by the "cut off" 16 some forty miles shorter than the old route. It has much less sand than the old road, and is decidedly preferable for mules and horses, though there is one division without water, eighteen miles in length. We arrived here on the evening of the 10th inst., twenty-two days out from Atchison, with a very pleasant trip.

Denver is growing like Jonah's gourd, and all the mountains within two hundred miles of here are literally swarming with people. As the express is just leaving, I must reserve details of news in regard to the mines, trade, &c., until my next.

Messrs. Monteith, Coombs and party, from Lawrence, came out a part of the way by the Republican route, and turned up north by the Pawnee trail, striking the Platte near Fort Kearney. They pronounce the road direct, easy, with good water and grass, and desirable in every respect. A. D. R.

Denver City, June 16, 1860.

MESSRS. EDITORS:

-The Pike's Peak Gold Region is just now the theater of the grandest and most rapid material development ever witnessed upon the continent. Two years ago, these "mother mountains," as the Spaniards called them, were the abode of almost primeval silence; now, they are teeming with the busy life of fifty thousand people. Twelve months ago Denver was a village of a few rough log cabins with dirt roofs and mud floors, and half of them unoccupied; now it exceeds every city of eastern Kansas ex

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cept Leavenworth in population, and in point of bustle, activity and that indescribable air which pervades a young metropolis, it is the most live town west of St. Louis.

Old Denver, Auraria and Highland (now consolidated under the name of Denver City), contain upwards of four thousand inhabitants. Many of the buildings are costly and spacious, including several three-story brick edifices now in course of erection. The amount of building going on is unparalleled since the "flush times" in the early days of San Francisco and Sacramento. Two hotels, which claim to be "first class," and a large number of more moderate pretensions, are crowded with people; stages arrive and depart daily for all the different mines; one daily and two weekly newspapers are established; the streets are crowded, and the ground in the vicinity of the city is covered with the tents and wagons of emigrants.

In spite of all these auspicious indications, the Denver merchants say that business is dull and money is tight. Though Hinckley's express brought down $10,000 from the mines, a few evenings since, the amount of dust in circulation here is comparatively small. All the Denver people, however, express the most absolute and growing faith in the mines, and predict that in two months, when the hundred quartz mills here and on the way, are all in operation, and the provisions now in the mountains (brought in by immigrants) are exhausted, business will whirl again.

Notwithstanding the reports of a few disgusted returning immigrants, the general prospects in the diggings appear excellent. Just at present, the southern mines along the headwaters of the Arkansas river, and in the vicinity of the South Fork, are attracting the most attention, and there is a great rush for them. It is reported on authority which I believe credible, that in the "California gulch," last week, four men took out nearly $1,604 from a new claim, in a single day. Other rumors, equally large, are in circulation; but as I am not fully persuaded of their authenticity, I wait for more direct intelligence. Some people have claims to sell; hence, it is important to investigate every report before giving it full credence.

All the intelligence I can gather confirms the perfect confidence I have felt for the last year, in the vast mineral resources of this new El Dorado. I do not believe that individual miners here, with only the pan and rocker, or sluice, will ever be able, as they were in California, in '49 and '50, to realize large wages wherever they struck down their picks; but I do believe that the richest and most ex-

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tensive quartz mining region in the whole world, centers within a hundred miles of the spot from which I write.

Eastern Kansas-especially Leavenworth-is very largely represented here. It is difficult, during business hours, to walk half a square in Denver, without meeting some familiar face from your section.

The "Ute" Indians, who murdered several miners, last season, are thus far very peaceable. A large party of Arapahoes (a thousand of whom have been encamped here for some weeks) have just started on a war party against them. Forty miles north of Denver, at the foot of the mountains, the Kiowas, Comanches, Cheyennes, Sioux and Apaches are greatly annoying to settlers, by stealing cattle and other depredations; and as the traders supply them freely with whisky and ammunition, there is reason to anticipate serious trouble before summer is over. The world renowned mountaineer, Kit Carson, is spending a few months here, and manifests the utmost surprise at the wonderful changes which are taking place in the country. [17]

The nomination of Abraham Lincoln by the Republicans, is received with great enthusiasm. When the intelligence of it reached the Arkansas mines, it was greeted with cheers which rang for miles and miles up and down the canons. The supreme court of the people, with Judge Lynch on the bench, has just been in session here. Jacob Miller was killed by Marcus Gradler, in camp, about six miles south of Denver, on Wednesday night. In an altercation about some trivial matter, Gradler attacked Miller with an ax, and half severed his head from his body, killing him and mangling the corpse in the most shocking manner. Both parties were Germans from Leavenworth. The people immediately organised a court, with Judge Slaughter on the bench; gave Gradler a full and fair trial on Thursday, and found him guilty of murder. He was executed yesterday in the presence of an immense concourse of citizens. He made a full confession on the scaffold, which partially implicated Miller's widow and another of the principal witnesses against him, in the crime.
A. D. R.

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Colorado City, Pike's Peak, June 22, 1860.

 

Journeying on the plains seems rather to facilitate marrying and giving in marriage, for a young couple from Wisconsin were united in the bonds of matrimony in a tent, in North Denver, a few evenings since. I say a young couple, for the bride was only sixteen. The parties were utter strangers until they met on the plains, on the way here. After the ceremony by which the twain were made "one flesh," and the company had been regaled with refreshments consisting of cake, apple pies, and lemonade from a wooden bucket, the officiating clergyman was seduced away upon some false pretense, a fiddle was procured, and the event was celebrated by a merry and long-continued dance. The parties have since left for California. It is to be hoped that they will not verify Byron's couplet:

"Men wed in haste,
But they repent at leisure."

Extensive conflagrations have been raging in the mountains near Denver, for several days, giving the horizon a peculiarly deathly and ruddy glare, and sending the cinders upon the winds fifteen or twenty miles away. [18] Several persons were suffocated and burned to death, a year ago this month, by similar mountain fires, and it is feared that in some cases these too have proved fatal.

The last express for the river carried in $15,000 in dust, and gold begins to circulate freely in the towns, as the result of this season's mining, though many still complain of hard times. A friend who has just returned from the famous "California gulch" informs me that from three to four thousand miners in that locality are realising all sums, from fair wages to $50 per day. For gulch diggings this is wonderfully rich, but your readers must not forget that at the Same time thousands of immigrants through the whole mining region are doing little or nothing, and some are returning home in utter disappointment and disgust.

The five hundred Arapahoe and Apache Indians who went out to fight the Utes, obtained more than they bargained for. At first they surprised a village, killing several squaws and papooses, taking others prisoners, and stealing some sixty horses. But the Utes soon rallied and drove them away, and afterwards surprised and attacked

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them, while they were camping at night, killing six of their warriors; and causing them to stampede for Denver in great haste. On the way there they grossly insulted several immigrants, compelling them to supply them with provisions, and drew their cocked revolvers and rifles upon a defenseless lady whom they found alone in a log house. Unless the Arapahoes very soon abandon such proceedings, they will soon find a more formidable foe in the field than their Indian enemies. They have now interred their warriors, and are about starting upon another expedition against the Utes.

Pike's Peak, which rises to an altitude of 14,500 feet above the sea level, is still white with snow. The summit is only four miles from Colorado [City], and the intervening mountains are grand and picturesque.

I have just returned from a visit to two or three objects of much interest in this vicinity. The "Red Rocks" of Colorado are well known through this region. They are huge masses of solid stone, sharp on the summit, which rise almost perpendicularly for three hundred feet. They are utterly bare of vegetation, except a few disconsolate cedars, which manage to maintain a foothold on the sides, by some process which is a marvel to the beholder. At one point the mountain wall has been cleft asunder to the level of the adjacent valley, leaving a notch, or natural gateway.

A narrow aperture in one of the rocks, barely large enough to permit a man to crawl in by lying upon his face, leads to a cave, some eight feet in width by sixty feet in length. The smooth stone walls rise to the height of seventy or eighty feet.

The far-famed boiling fountains, which are discharged into the Fontaine qui. Bouille creek, and give that stream its name, are about two miles from the city. One of them seems to rise out of the solid rock, and the column of water, which bubbles up with great force from some channel deep in the earth, is eight inches in diameter. The springs are three in number, and are all very strongly impregnated with soda. A little acid mingled with their water, will cause it to effervesce like the water from a soda fountain, and produce a beverage decidedly preferable to the manufactured article. The water is said to possess rare medicinal properties, and the fountains will one day become a popular summer resort. They are only a few rods apart, and all the neighboring rocks are thickly incrusted with soda from them. The creek runs between them, which would seem to indicate that the channels from which they are fed are far below the surface of the earth.

32 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

 

Colorado City is improving rapidly, and bids fair to be the second town in the Gold Region. Many of the houses are now vacant, the owners being absent in the mountains, designing to return in the fall. A saw mill run by water is in operation on the town site, and another-a steam mill, owned by Mr. Booth, from Johnson county has just been started, twelve miles distant. Six or seven stores are established, and, now that lumber is to be procured, better buildings than the original log houses are beginning to make their appearance. An excellent field is open here for the establishment of a newspaper and job office, and the company offer a donation of one hundred lots to the party who will first establish one.

A company from eastern Kansas, including Dr. Walters, from Lykins [now Miami] county, and Messrs. King and Dixon, from Lawrence, recently attempted, under a charter from your territorial legislature, to levy toll on the road from this point to the South Park. [19] They did some work on the road, but the Colorado people, who had expended much labor upon it before they commenced, insisted that it should continue a free road, and warned them to desist. They continued to charge toll, however, until a party of Colorado boys visited them one morning, tore down their toll gate, and burned their houses. When last seen they were on the way to Denver, proposing to "sue" the persons through whom they had thus "come to grief"; but in a country where there is no law, that procedure would be rather farcical.

There are several old residents of Lawrence here, including Messrs. M. S. Beach , [20] C[harles]. Pearsall and Dr. Garvin. Messrs. Dalton & Ropes [21] have established their quartz mill and opened a trading

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house in the Gregory diggings. Mr. Collamore, [22] who has been here a few days making some investments, starts on his return to Boston, tomorrow. A. D. R. Denver City, June 26, 1860.

EDITOR Republican:-This region is becoming so fast that the people are quite dispirited if they don't hang a man once a week. We have had another murder, trial and conviction, and should have had another execution but for the sudden and unexpected absence of the principal actor in the tragedy.

On Thursday evening, in camp four miles below this city, two teamsters belonging to the train of John Farrier, of Platte City, Mo., became involved in a quarrel. One of them-J. B. Card-was fatally stabbed in the abdomen by the other, named W. F. Hawley, [23] and died on Saturday morning.

Hawley was immediately secured, and placed on trial for murder, in a self-constituted court, held in the open air under a large cottonwood tree, on the spot where Gradler was tried and convicted a week before. Judge Purkins,24 of Leavenworth, defended him; but the testimony was conclusive that he was the aggressor, provoking the quarrel with an unarmed and unoffending man, and then stabbing him.

The jury, after being out three-quarters of an hour, found him guilty. The presiding judge then submitted the question to the crowd present, consisting of four or five hundred people, as follows:

"Gentlemen, you who are of the opinion that the verdict is just, will say Aye." The response in the affirmative was apparently unanimous. "Contrary-minded, No." A single voice feebly answered, "No."

The idea of thus putting the question of a man's life or death, like a motion in a caucus or lyceum, impresses a stranger as peculiarly novel.

The prisoner had nothing to say in extenuation of his offense, and was sentenced to be executed on Monday (yesterday). But during the same night he escaped from the officers having him in charge, and simultaneously with him disappeared two of his intimate friends, and a wagon and pair of mules belonging to a citizen of Denver.

34 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

 

The general belief (though I cannot learn that it is based on any absolute evidence) is, that the officers were bribed. Great excitement and indignation prevail. Any unfortunate fellow who may be caught, charged with a capital offense, before this intense feeling subsides, will be very likely to be hanged first and tried afterward.

There are now fifty steam quartz mills in the northern diggings, of which "Gregory's" is the center and nucleus. Only six are yet in operation, and some of these thus far are failures, from imperfect machinery and adulterated quicksilver, which proves utterly worthless for separating the gold from the dirt. In one case, from this cause, a cord of quartz supposed to contain $200 yielded but $2. The only quartz mill from which I have reliable figures, employs twenty-five men, and is yielding from $300 to $400 daily. There are about fifty arastras [25] in the diggings, run by horse, mule and water power, and said to be "netting," on an average, $25 per day.

The news from the Arkansas diggings continues very favorable. Little quartz, thus far, is found in those southern mines, but some of the gulch diggings are of almost fabulous richness.

G. W. Collamore, Esq., [26] formerly of your city, has ransomed a remarkably interesting and fine-looking little "Ute" boy of seven or eight years, who was taken prisoner by the Arapahoes a few days since; and this morning he starts with him for Boston, where he is to be educated. A showy horse, thirty-seven half dollars, and other presents, amounting in all to about a hundred dollars, constituted the ransom. The little native American takes very kindly to his benefactor, and now that he is decked out in new and gaudy Indian habiliments, in place of the very limited fig-leaf bandage which covered his nakedness before, seems to consider himself the father of all the Indians. He accompanies Mr. C. in all his walks, wrapping his little blanket about his breast, and stalking along with all the dignity and gravity of an old Roman.

You recollect the famous "Wheelbarrow Man," [27] of last season's notoriety? He was shot through the hand a few days since, by the accidental discharge of his revolver, in his pocket. He was a good deal "shot in the neck" at the time, but was not seriously injured by the shot in the hand. Such men seldom are. Your desperadoes

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who frequent gambling saloons, carry two revolvers and a bowie knife, and are shot at almost every day, always seem to escape uninjured; while your excellent, mild, inoffensive man, who would not harm a kitten for the world, while walking home from market is crushed by a falling brick, or "laid out" by a stray bullet. Of course, to assert this as a general principle would be absurd; but does it not often seem to be the case?

The immigration for the last two days has been very heavy. Comparatively few are going back, as yet. The nights are very cold, and showers, accompanied by thunder and lightning, of daily occurrence. Two or three nights since, just before retiring, I found a yellowish reptile, nearly three feet in length, snugly ensconced in my couch. He soon became convinced that he was the wrong snake in the wrong place-for I of course administered to him the only form of justice prevalent in this country-lynch law. A. D. R.

Denver City, July 3, 1860.

EDITOR Republican:

James P. Beckwourth, the notorious mountaineer who was formerly a chief among the Crow Indians, is now sojourning in this city. Some of your readers may remember his narrative of personal adventures, published by the Harper's a few years ago-a work which contains more incredible and impossible stories than that of Baron Munchausen himself. Mr. Beckwourth was married, a few days since, to a young lady named Letbetter, though in his book he has informed the world that he had already eight wives among the Crows. [28]

The Indian troubles are attracting considerable attention. A meeting to take the matter into consideration has been held, but resulted in nothing more important than the appointing of a committee to wait upon the Arapahoes, to expostulate with them, and requesting congress to appoint an agent for the tribe. A member of the committee of arrangements for "the Fourth" suggested that the proper method of honoring that anniversary would be to "wipe out" the Indians altogether; but the humane proposition was rejected.

Trade is growing brisk, and prices continue high. John Armor, Esq., of Atchison county, recently took a heavy stock of goods into

36 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

 

the Gregory diggings, and during the first week after opening his store sold upwards of $7,000 worth of groceries, provisions and hardware. The express brings in and takes out about five thousand letters per week, for which the writers and recipients are compelled to pay twenty-five cents each, in addition to the government postage. The recent "letting" of the mail contract to this place is believed to be merely a nominal affair; it is expected that the Pike's Peak Express Company will control it, and -compel us to submit to this heavy tax through the season.

Gaming is carried on universally and openly. A few weeks ago, a citizen of Denver sacrificed $1,000 and a valuable building, in an hour or two at a monte bank. A woman from Missouri, some fifty years of age, recently passed through Colorado, with a yoke of oxen, a wagon, four hens and a small supply of provisions. She was an ex-Californian; had come through from the Missouri river alone, and was on her way to the Golden state, expecting to end her days there. She had driven a handsome trade on the way, selling eggs at two dollars per dozen, and realising fourteen dollars on a quantity of Hungarian grassseed which cost her precisely fourteen cents in the states! She will do to travel.

Journeying across the plains is a sore trial to the tempers of persons thus thrown in contact. Many instances of bitter quarrels among persons traveling in the same company have occurred this season. The most ludicrous case was that of three Leavenworth ladies (I should say women), on their way to join their husbands, who are in business here. After favoring each other with all the current gossip and scandal in regard to their respective husbands, they commenced relating the pleasant things they had heard about each other; and at last actually fell to scratching and pinching! One of the number found her situation so uncomfortable that she was compelled to leave the party and take another conveyance; long before they reached Denver. In another instance, a man became so angry with his partner that the company were compelled to tie his hands behind him, to prevent an assault. In still another, a brute left his wife alone upon the open prairie, and could not be induced to go back for her until the muzzle of a cocked revolver, in the hands of a stranger, brought him to a sense of duty. The discontented immigrants have reduced the price of travel to

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low figures. Opportunity can easily be found to ride to Omaha and Leavenworth for from $15 to $25, including board; and to California for $50.29.

As yet, there is no strictly legal practice in the towns, but claim cases in the mines enable the lawyers to reap a rich harvest. I hear of single cases in which $500 fees have been earned and paid. The courts are very primitive-held in the open air, and presided over by a judge elected by the people. The only laws are the "claim" or "squatter" laws, which differ in every district. There is a great jealousy of legal authorities, and one unfortunate young attorney lost a good case by citing Greenleaf on Evidence, to establish one of his positions An old citizen of eastern Kansas-A. C. Swift, Esq., formerly of Leavenworth and Atchison, and once connected with the valley Bank-has been enjoying a very lucrative practice in the Eureka district. But a few days since he became too anxious to gain a case, and was convicted of forging a deed. He would have been hanged, but from the sympathy felt for his family; and was finally let off with a peremptory order to leave the district, which he was very glad to obey. There are several more of your old residents whom you would do well to send out here. They would be very likely to have justice meted out to them, which is a good deal more than they ever received at home.

We hear, almost daily, of the disco very of new and rich leads among the mountains.

The story that [Isaac V.] Fowler, the defaulting New York postmaster, has been in this region, is unquestionably a hoax.
A. D. R.

Denver City, July 10, 1860.

"The Fourth" was celebrated throughout the Gold Region with a good deal of enthusiasm. In this city a procession was formed, consisting of the Sabbath School children in goodly numbers, the Masons and German Turners, in uniform, and the citizens generally, with a dozen carriages filled with ladies. At Parkinson's grove an oration was delivered by John C. Moore, Esq., mayor of the city; and with the usual public exercises, interspersed with excellent music, the day passed off pleasantly. One of the features of the

38 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

 

celebration was the presentation of a flag, by the ladies of Denver, to the Pioneer club. The "Pioneers" received it with due dignity, and a fitting response was made by the president, who is one of the oldest inhabitants, having actually been here something more than twelve months! A man named John Teef was shot, at the race course, during the afternoon, by a gambler from Camp Floyd,30 named James Ennis. An attempt was made to arrest Ennis, but his brother gamblers drew their revolvers, and would not permit him to be taken. Subsequently, while he was endeavoring to leave the ground, he was shot at and then arrested on behalf of the citizens, by Geo. Wynkoop, Esq.; but the gamblers rescued him, furnished him with a mule, and started him out of the country. The affair has caused a good deal of feeling, and some are suggesting the formation of a vigilance committee, to deal with the Camp Floyd desperadoes.

In Golden City, fourteen miles west of this place, the day was very pleasantly celebrated, in a spacious hall, decorated with the aromatic boughs of the fir and the pine, fresh from the mountains which overhang the town. After the oration, several gentlemen formerly from eastern Kansas were called out for brief speeches; and the company was afterwards regaled with an excellent free dinner, prepared by the ladies of Golden City.

In the mountains there were public exercises in several localities, and though the large amount of bad whisky in circulation made the hilarity somewhat boisterous, excellent feeling generally prevailed, and all seemed to feel that however far they had come from their former homes, they were not beyond the reach of that good old American institution, the Fourth of July.

New quartz mills continue to arrive daily. From the northern mines we have nothing new, of special interest. From the California gulch the reports continue exceedingly favorable. A gentleman engaged in trade there showed me, yesterday, some of the finest specimens of virgin gold I have ever seen, in nuggets worth from $5 to $10 each. They are taken out within a few yards of his store, and during the day upon which they were procured, six men took $300 from the claim. Another gentleman who has just returned from the California gulch, estimates the number of people there (including women, children, traders and loafers), at five thousand. He is confident that at least $15,000 is being taken out daily, though no machinery is in use

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except sluices. He saw two men take $150 from one claim, in two hours, and saw $5 washed from a single panfull, on another claim. On the Saturday before his arrival, twelve men took out $725 from the claim of the Messrs. Earl Brothers. My informant, whom I believe to be strictly reliable, saw very few immigrants returning from the California gulch, though, as in all other diggings, however rich, he met many idlers there. All admit that the mines in that vicinity are of surpassing richness, and the general feeling is that those gulch diggings, where small parties can obtain the gold, without machinery, are better for the development of the country than the richest quartz leads, which can only be worked profitably by a heavy outlay of capital.

Messrs. Clark, Gruber & Co., the well-known Leavenworth bankers, have completed their large brick building, and will commence operations in a few days. In addition to a general banking business, they will issue coin, with their own stamp upon it, in denominations of $20, $10, $5, and $2.50. They have the best of facilities for assaying, and design to have their coin (which will only be alloyed by the silver which is mingled with it) so pure that it will be worth par at the mint. Their machinery for preparing and striking the coin is extensive and excellent, and will enable them to turn out $50,000 per day, should the demands of the country require it. They will manufacture about $10,000 at the first minting, which is expected to be completed this week. On account of its great superiority over gold dust, in point of convenience for circulation, their coin will undoubtedly be largely in demand. [31]

Sugar is selling in this market at from $25 to $28 per hundred; coffee at the same rate; flour at from $11 to $14; nails at $18 to $20. Lumber commands from $40 to $55 per thousand. Brick are worth from $15 to $18 per thousand in the wall, and $10 to $12 at the

40 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

 

yards. Dry goods and stationery sell at an advance of nearly a hundred per cent. on Missouri river prices. Rents are very high. One of the gambling houses in town is rented for a year at $300 per month, and many of the small business houses rent at $100 per month. Buildings ordinarily pay about ten per cent. per month on their cost. Money commands ruinous rates; in many instances it is letting at from 10 to 25 per cent a month. Common laborers receive from $1.50 to $2.50 per day. Mechanics' wages are very high. Board ranges from $7 to $12 per week. Persons bringing out staple goods from the river realise large profits, and will continue to do so through the season, as prices, sixty or eighty days hence, will be higher than at present. The supplies brought out by the miners are nearly exhausted, and there is not the slightest danger of glutting the market. Oxen, horses, saddles, wagons and harness sell at low prices. In the California gulch (125 miles from this city) sugar sells at $40 per hundred, and flour at $23. Building hardware is in good demand.

The materials for two newspapers are on the way here, and in a short time there will be five journals issued in the Gold Region.

I append a list of the principal Lawrence people in this region, and the localities in which they are residing:

DENVER CITY-Lewis N. Tappan, A. C. Soley, A. M. Stanbury, Robert Hamilton, Miss Kate Daly, Chas. Carpenter and lady, W. R. Barnes, John Irwin, George Sholes, Wm. A. Newcomb, S. A. Bigelow, Chas. Haskell, Wm. H. King, John Stone, O. L. Ford, Geo. Sharp, Geo. Locke [32]
GREGORY DIGGINGS-Joseph Boyer, Harry Phlegar, Horatio Babcock, John Collier, B. F. Dalton, Edward Ropes, George Smith, Chas. Enos, Frank Cobb, Charles Montandon, George James, John G. Crocker, Hanscomb and brother, Alexander Mears, T. L. Whitney, A. Cutler, Wm. Rankin, W. Andrew, H. F. Parker & Co., Thos. Parsons. TARRYALL DIGGINGS-Phillip Woodward, H. Dunshee, J. Shroyer and lady, Miss Jennie Cowan.
MONTANA-Wm. Boyer, Andrew Spicer, J. T. Yonker. ARKANSAS DIGGINGS-John Easter, A. French.
MT. VERNON-Mrs. Brewer.
COLORADO CITY-M. S. Beach, Chas. Pearsall, Dr. Garvin, A. Z. Sheldon, F. A. Spencer.

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Considerable excitement has existed for the last day or two, in regard to new diggings discovered on the sandy bank of Cherry creek, about a mile from this city. They are said to "prospect" from five to fifteen cents to the pan, and several hundred claims have been taken. Before I write again, the excitement will have subsided somewhat, and I shall be able to give you reliable intelligence.
A. D. R.

Golden City, Pike's Peak, July 19, 1860.

MR. EDITOR:

A few days since, a miner in the Gregory diggings erected a cabin on what he supposed the least valuable end of his claim, and covered the roof with poles, hay and dirt. A very violent storm on Thursday caused the frail roof to leak; and, on ascending to repair it, his astonished eyes detected a shining nugget of gold, which had been thrown up in a shovelfull of dirt, and washed bare by the rain. On weighing it, it proved to be worth $42.80.

In the Clear Creek diggings, last week, a German was found guilty of stealing twenty-five dollars. His judges administered to his back twelve lashes, gave him $4.80 (as he was in ill health and out of money), and warned him out of the gulch. The case was a good deal like that once tried in Pennsylvania, where a sportsman was charged with hunting deer at a time of year when it was prohibited by law. The complainant, under the statute, was entitled to half the penalty. The accused was found guilty, and the Dutch justice sentenced him to pay a fine of $30, and receive thirty lashes. His Honor insisted that the letter of the law should be carried out, and caused $15 of the fine and fifteen of the lashes to be given to the prosecuting witness! He never engaged in the informing business afterward!

A regiment of U. S. troops from Camp Floyd (which we are told is to be abandoned) passed through Denver, three or four days since, en route for Fort Garland, New Mexico. [33] They were commanded by Col. Morrison, and their ultimate destination is understood to be Arizona. They had been camping out in the heavy rains, and presented a lamentably bedaubed and bedraggled appearance, as if they had been through a sausage machine.

The conduct of "our country's brave defenders," on finding themSelves again in a city, was not commendable. Scores of them be-

42 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

 

came extremely drunk in an incredibly short period. A party of three rushed headlong into a private house, and, finding only ladies in the room, saluted them with the somewhat familiar address: "How d'ye do, girls?" The sudden appearance of three gentlemen from an adjacent apartment caused them to apologise profusely, and depart abruptly.

Another "soger" was so affrighted at some rough usage during the evening, that he rushed frantically into the meeting of the Typographical union, and begged protection. Subsequently, at his own request, one of the typos, with gun on shoulder, escorted him to the nearest gaming saloon. Still another took umbrage at being called a "bould soldier boy" by a citizen, and proposed to settle the affair by fisticuffs, on the spot. The citizen (belonging to the class who "strike out from the shoulder") acceded to the proposition with great cheerfulness and alacrity, instantly removing his coat, and declaring that he had just as lief whip a dragoon as anybody else. The "milingtary" thought him a little too willing, and rode abruptly away.

The last exploit of a detachment of the regiment, after sundry free fights, was to steal $175, three gold watches, and $200 worth of jewelry, from a house of prostitution. On pursuing and overtaking the regiment, the disconsolate proprietor found that the thieves had deserted, taking eighteen horses with them, and that twenty dragoons had gone in pursuit.

We were visited, on Thursday, by the most terrific storm of hail and rain that I ever witnessed. It continued only about an hour, and over eight inches of water fell. When the hail had descended for fifteen minutes, it seemed to lie thick enough for good sleighing. The water poured down through Denver toward Cherry creek and the Platte, in immense currents-often two feet in depth, and the lower part of the city was temporarily submerged. Major Bradford's cellar was converted into a great reservoir of muddy water, which destroyed goods to the amount of $3,000. A large adobe building with brick front, which M. C. Fisher, Esq., is erecting on Blake street, was undermined, and the wall washed into an adjacent cellar. The Metropolitan drinking saloon was struck by lightning, but no serious damage done. Many fatal accidents from lightning have happened within a hundred miles of this place, during the season.

Denver is growing decidedly lively. A shooting or stabbing affray occurs almost daily. A Negro was shot five times, a few evenings since, by another person of color; but, like Webster, he "still lives,"

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and is likely to recover. As one of the local paper remarks, "we suppress the names, as the parties may have respectable connections in Africa." The general intelligence from the mines continues good.

B. F. Dalton & Co., of your city, have opened an extensive clothing house in Denver. Mr. Grisby, of Grasshopper Falls, is working a claim in California gulch, which yields two pounds of gold per day. J. C. Bowles, of the same place, is in the Gregory diggings. P. P. Wilcox, [34] of Atchison, arrived on Saturday last. George W. Howe, of Sumner, (of the firm of Starr & Johnson,) started for the states on Monday. His large train is in advance of him, and will leave Atchison and Leavenworth on its return trip about September 5th, taking out any amount of freight which may be desired. Hon. E. P. Lewis35 and J. J. Hull, of Sumner, are in the Gregory diggings.

The Rock Island quartz mill, in the Gregory diggings, after running twenty-four hours, on "cleaning up" yesterday morning was found to have yielded $2,000. Times are improving, and the gold dust is beginning to flow into the towns. Hinckley's express last evening brought down $2,200 from the Gregory diggings alone, and averages nearly that amount daily. Many trains are starting for the river to bring out winter supplies of goods.

An interesting political episode occurred in Nevada gulch, on Saturday evening.

In direct opposition to the popular feeling (which is almost unanimous against making any political issue here at present), two prominent Democrats were announced to address the people upon national politics. The attendance was very large, and the orators made violent Douglas speeches. They then introduced a resolution endorsing the Little Giant, and declaring him the choice of the miners for the Presidency. To their infinite surprise, it was voted down, more than two to one. Their mortification was rendered complete by a call for three cheers for Abe Lincoln, which were given with an earnestness and vehemence that made the valleys vocal with their far resounding echoes.
A. D. R.

Denver City, Pike's Peak, July 24, 1860.

MR. EDITOR:-Only about 20 of the 150 quartz mills here are, as yet, in operation. About half of them are doing well. The Black

44 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

 

Hawk mill, last week, during its second run of thirty hours, yielded $1,184. Messrs. Dalton & Ropes, of your city, have their mills nearly set up. Mr. Barker and party, from Lawrence, arrived on Saturday.

Messrs. Clark, Gruber & Co. coined $1,000 of Pike's Peak gold in $10 pieces, on Saturday. The coin closely resembles the Government eagle, with the exception that a view of Pike's Peak, "natural as life," and several times as sharp, takes the place of the figure of Liberty. The coin is eagerly sought for, and bids fair to come into general circulation.

It is currently reported that a new express line between this city and the Missouri river is to be put in immediate operation by the Western Stage Company. That company is now running its stages from St. Joseph via Savannah and Omaha to Fort Kearney, making the same time from St. Joseph to the fort as that made by the Pike's Peak Express Company. The prospect that the line is to be extended to the Gold Region gives universal satisfaction, as it will undoubtedly cause a reduction in the present high charges for letters, express matter and passengers. Since my last, we have had a carnival of horrors, no less than five shooting affrays and one fatal accident from the careless use of firearms, having occurred. The first was near the California gulch. A man named Smith, from Schuyler county, Illinois, residing in the gulch, so abused and neglected his wife and three children, that they were compelled to leave him, and started for this city, under the protection of two men coming up for goods. Smith followed the party, and came to their camp, fifteen miles this side of the gulch. He found the men absent in search for their horses, and his wife and her three helpless children-one of them on her breast at the time-alone in the wagon. The inhuman wretch discharged the contents of a shot-gun at them, wounding the poor woman severely in the hip. He subsequently endeavored to shoot one of the men, but the intended victim-an old Texian ranger-was too quick for him, and lodged a rifle ball in his forehead before he had time to take aim. He died almost instantly. A week ago Saturday, in Colorado City, Pat Develyn-notorious as a "jay-hawker" during the late Kansas troubles, [36] was shot by Jim Laughlin, six slugs entering his body. He has exhibited a wonderful tenacity of life, for at the latest accounts he still survived,

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though his wounds will unquestionably prove fatal. The quarrel originated about a disputed claim. The case was investigated by a jury of the citizens, who unanimously acquitted Laughlin, Develyn being clearly the aggressor. Both the parties were from Osawatomie.

On Tuesday evening, in this city, the barkeeper of a saloon and house of ill-repute, was attacked by James A. Gordon-the owner of another saloon in West Denver. Three balls entered his leg, and the limb was broken in two places. He still lives, and is expected to recover.

On Sunday night, Melvin Hadley, an auctioneer, from Galesburg, Illinois, was sitting in Cannon's saloon, in this city, carousing with William Bates, the bar-tender, from Chicago, when he jestingly remarked "Let me light my cigar on your face."

Bates, in the same spirit, picked up a horse pistol, and pointing it towards him, asked in reply, "How do you like the looks of that?" The pistol, unknown to Bates, was both loaded and cocked, and the words were hardly out of his mouth before it was accidentally discharged, lodging fourteen buckshot in the heart and' lungs of Hadley. The unfortunate man expired within half an hour. By far the most exciting homicide, however, occurred previous to the one just related, though I have detailed them in this order to avoid confusion. On Friday night, in the Louisiana saloon, in Denver, James Gordon (the same person who shot the bar-tender on the previous Tuesday,) wantonly attacked John Gantz, a peaceable and unoffending man, recently from Leavenworth, and formerly from Lockport, N. Y., and, after throwing him upon the floor and kicking him, shot him, the ball entering the top of his head, and passing through the brain, killing him instantly.

This most atrocious and cold-blooded murder caused the most intense excitement. Early in the following morning a public meeting was held, funds were raised, and officers selected to scour all the roads leading from the city, and capture the criminal.

On Saturday afternoon, three of these officers, led by A. J. Snider, from Platte county, Mo., discovered and gave chase to three suspicious looking persons, on mule back, near the Platte, twelve miles below this city. One of them escaped, another was drowned while crossing the river, but the third was taken. He proved not to be Gordon, but confessed that the three mules they were riding had been stolen by his comrades, with his knowledge and assent, and

46 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

 

that they were on their way to the states with them. He alleged, however, that it was his first offense. He gave his name as Samuel K. Dunn, from Champaign county, Ill. He was immediately brought back to the city, and placed under guard. He gave the names of his comrades as Jesse Ogden and Frank Mulligan, both from Wisconsin. The latter was the one that was drowned.

Late on Saturday night, another party of officers found Gordon, with a party of his friends, at a ranche [37] about twenty-five miles below this city. Being unable to arrest him, on account of the strong position of his party and his well known desperation, they surrounded the ranche, and sent back to Denver for more assistance. Soon after daylight on Sunday morning, however, before the re-enforcements arrived, Gordon rode out of the ranche on a race-horse, and dashed away, almost through the midst of the party. Several shots were fired after him, one taking effect in the horse, and one, it was believed, in his person; but he succeeded in making good his escape for the time being.

During Sunday, fifty or sixty of the citizens of Denver were out in pursuit. In the evening, still another party of three came in with the coat and horse of Gordon, stating that they had overtaken him on Box Elder creek, thirty miles from the city, and wounded him, but that their horses gave out, and, though on foot, he escaped from them into the timber. The prevailing impression, however, was that they had not dared to risk a close engagement with him.

About twenty men are still engaged in the search, and many of them are determined either to capture the criminal or kill him.
A. D. R.

Gregory Diggings, Rocky Mountains, July 31, 1860.

MR. EDITOR:

After an absence of more than a year, I am again in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, observing the almost incredible amount of privation and hard labor which men will submit to in searching for gold, and the astonishing rapidity with which a young empire is springing up, six hundred miles west of the recent confines of civilization. But, like DaVid Copperfield, let me begin my story with the beginning of my story.

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A few days since, in company with your whilom townsman, Lewis N. Tappan, Esq., [38]

I left Denver, bound for the mountains. A ride of fifteen miles, over sandy, rolling prairies, and in view of the grandest scenery, brought us to the base of the range. The mountains are now entered through the mouth of a narrow canon, whose frowning walls crowned with rocks and studded with pines, often rise almost perpendicularly to the height of five or six hundred feet. The frightful and precipitous hill, up which, in company with Messrs. Greeley and Villard,39 I climbed wearily a year ago, is now quite abandoned for this more practicable and easy route.

The narrow road through the winding valley is often crossed by a bubbling little stream, ice-cold, and fresh from the mountain snows. Our progress was seriously impeded by long trains of provision and immigrant wagons; huge quartz mills, borne upon wheels, hopelessly imbedded in the fathomless mire, and great loads of hay, which the makers cut and haul eighty miles, over wretched roads, to sell at $80 per ton. Among the novelties upon this thoroughfare may be noted an immigrant with a single ox harnessed into a light cart, and drawing about five hundred pounds of provisions and mining tools. This singular "outfit" has plodded its weary way from Minnesota!

At another point, a philosophic settler was riding upon one of a yoke of oxen which he was taking into the mines. The bovine quadruped was regularly saddled and bridled, and took to his new calling very kindly.

Before reaching this point we passed the "Four-Mile House," a popular caravansera kept by Mrs. Hull, from Franklin, Douglas county, Kansas, who is reported to have realised many thousands of dollars from her vocation as a landlady, during the past year. She certainly possesses some of the traits of Crabbe's miraculous heroine.

"Who lost her husband while their loves were young,
But kept her farm, her temper and her tongue."

The old Gregory diggings (discovered May 6, 1859) continue the nucleus of the northern mines. Nearly all the gulches in this vicin-

48 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

 

ity are laid out into cities, duly surveyed and platted; and within ten miles of the spot from which I write, there must be a population of twenty-five thousand souls. My first emotions on arriving were those of mingled bewilderment and wonder at the grand development of the past fourteen months, and the astonishing amount of labor which has been performed in erecting spacious and costly buildings, constructing roads, sinking shafts, bringing out and setting up machinery, and excavating the gulches and disemboweling the hills, for scores of miles. Every dollar yet taken out here has cost at least two dollars, and the same amount of work done on the rich prairies of your beautiful territory, would have made them the very garden of the world.

Daily newspapers, and stages from the valley towns, theaters, gambling houses, schools and churches, silver forks at the dining tables of huge hotels, law offices, courts, elections, and the hoarse breath and shrill whistle of scores of steam engines echoing through the gulches, are now some of the salient features of life, where, less than two years ago, reigned almost primeval silence, and the wild elk and grizzly bear held undisputed sway.

"How are the miners doing?" is the question you would ask. In the gulch diggings, among those who are paying expenses (as yet perhaps one-fifth of the whole number), all wages are realised, from $5 to $100 per day. But in these northern mines, the gulch diggings can never be the leading feature. Of the 130 quartz mills and the 25 more on the way, only about 30 are yet in operation. They are mostly in the hands of totally inexperienced men, who have everything to learn; nearly all the quicksilver is adulterated; and though a few of the mills are paying largely (turning out each from $300 to $800 per day), the majority have not overcome their preliminary difficulties. The great trouble, as yet, is in crushing the quartz to sufficient fineness, and also in separating the gold-two obstacles to success which will soon disappear before study and experience. A large amount of gold will be turned out this year; but to the most of the mill-owners, it will be rather a year of experiments, than of entire success. But I must reserve further reports of matters in the diggings, for a future letter.
A. D. R.

Denver City, Aug. 2, 1860.

On returning home, I find Denver in a state of intense excitement. The gamblers and desperadoes have attempted to overawe the com-

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munity, and the people have risen, almost as one man, to put a stop to the reign of terror. One of the gamblers has been killed; two more are undergoing trial before the vigilance committee, with the probability of their summary conviction and punishment; the city is guarded at night by over two hundred patrolmen, standing upon every corner and challenging all suspicious parties to give the countersign; and the most intense feeling prevails. I enclose full details of the "bloody business," from The Western Mountaineer 40 of this morning. Chas. H. Eads, an insane man from Lexington, Mo., was fatally shot on Sunday, by John Merk, from Leavenworth, whom he had assaulted, and who was not aware of his lunacy.

A Mexican horse thief was hung in Colorado City, on Sunday morning.
A. D. R.

[Inserted here is A. D. Richardson's letter of August 2, published under the heading "From the Pike's Peak Gold Region," in the New York Daily Tribune, August 14, 1860. It supplements the brief note Richardson wrote on the same date for the Lawrence Republican.]

Denver City, Pike's Peak, Aug. 2, 1860.

This week, at least, I had hoped to spare you the perusal of our ordinary catalogue of crimes; for though holding, as a journalist, a sort of mercantile interest in these horrors, the "bloody business" has become extremely revolting. But the reign of terror is not yet ended. In an affray in this city a few weeks since, a Negro known as Prof. Starke was fatally shot by Charley Harrison, a gambler. The Rocky Mountain News, in its issue of last week, denounced the homicide as a wanton murder. Harrison felt aggrieved at this language, and issued a handbill, signed by one of our prominent citizens, setting forth that the act was done in self defense. W. M. Byers, Esq., the editor of The News, appended to this bill an explanatory card, containing a quasi withdrawal of the imputation, and expressing the hope that an investigation about to take place would prove Harrison blameless.

50 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

 

This was satisfactory to Harrison, but not to his brother gamblers, who were greatly incensed at the refusal of the editor to make a direct retraction without satisfactory proof that his charge was false. On Tuesday last, Mr. Byers was sitting in his office, engaged in conversation with Gen. Larimer, Edward Creighton, Esq., from St. Louis, and the Rev. Mr. Rankin from Wisconsin. None of the party was armed, and as the two gentlemen last named had but just arrived in this region, the succeeding events must have given them a novel idea of the state of society at Pike's Peak.

Four gamblers, named George Steele, Carl Wood, James Ennis, and John Rucker, suddenly entered the room, with their cocked revolvers in their hands. Wood seized Byers by the collar, and while the four weapons were all aimed at the head of the astonished editor, applied the most abusive epithets to him, and insisted that he should at once accompany them to the Criterion saloon, two squares distant, to meet Harrison. Resistance was out of the question, for the only weapon in the office was a single shot-gun in another apartment. Mr. Byers was therefore compelled to go with them. Wood retaining his grasp upon his collar during the walk, and repeatedly exclaiming with the most profane and insulting epithets, "If any of your friends make the least movement for your rescue, I will shoot you upon the spot."

On reaching the saloon, they insisted upon a retraction of the offensive article; but Byers maintained his former position. It appeared that Harrison had done all in his power to restrain the desperadoes; and, taking Byers aside under the pretense of conversing with him, he succeeded in enabling him to escape from the room and accompanied him back to the office.

When the gamblers learned that their prey had fled, they remounted their horses and returned to The News building. Wood, with his two confederates, remained near the edifice, pointing a double-barreled shot gun at the front door, and expressing a determination to shoot Byers when he should attempt to escape; while Steele rode around toward the rear of the building and discharged two shots into it. Fortunately they did not reach any of the occupants; and one of the compositors returning the fire, succeeded in lodging a ball in his shoulder. By this time intelligence of the affair had spread through the city, and half a dozen armed citizens on horseback reached the scene of the attack. The gamblers fled in tumultous haste, and

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were followed in hot pursuit. Steele crossed Cherry creek into West Denver or Auraria, endeavored to pass over [a] bridge across the Platte, but was "headed off," and returned into East Denver. While riding at a rapid gallop along Blake street, near the corner of G, he was met by Thomas Pollock, Esq., the marshal of the vigilance committee, also riding at a break-neck pace. Mr. Pollock instantly presented a shotgun, and Steele drew a revolver; but before he was able to use it Mr. Pollock fired. Notwithstanding the unchecked speed of both horses the aim was deadly, the entire charge of shot entered the head of the gambler, near the right eye, and he fell heavily and helplessly to the ground. He was taken to the hospital and died in two hours. Steele was one of the desperadoes driven out of Leavenworth by the citizens two years ago, not on any charge connected with the political troubles, but for his general character as a cut-throat.

Ennis made his escape. Rucker was arrested and placed under guard. Wood was pursued and surrounded on F street. At first he presented a shot-gun at the crowd, but the sight of scores of revolvers and rifles, instantly pointed at his head, cowed him, and he gave himself up. While he was being taken to the hall, over Graham's drugstore for safe-keeping, repeated cries of "Hang him!" "Hang him at once!" came up from the crowd. He pleaded piteously, however, for a trial, and was saved from summary punishment by the officers of the committee. In the evening a mass meeting of nearly two thousand people assembled in front of the new post-office. Mr. Byers related the occurrences of the day; and addresses, recommending watchfulness, and prompt though deliberate action, were made by Judges Purkins and Waggonner, Dr. Casto, and an old mountain man, who has exchanged his Scotch cognomen of McGaa for the extremely indefinite appellation of Capt. John Smith. Jack Henderson, of Kansas election frauds notoriety, in a state of inebriation, also commenced to harangue the crowd, but was soon cried down. A resolution indorsing the action of Mr. Pollock, was unanimously adopted; and when some one in the assembly called for "three cheers for Tom Pollock!" they were vociferously given.

The trial of Wood commenced last evening, and is not yet concluded. It is conducted by the vigilance committee; but the jurors were selected from the citizens without regard to their connection with that organization. The public feeling is exceedingly intense, and many declare that if Wood escapes through any technicalities,

52 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

 

they will shoot him down wherever he can be found. He is wellknown as one of the most desperate characters in this region, and is reputed to have been one of the "destroying angels" of the Mormon church at Salt Lake, and to have committed many murders in that capacity. His trial will be succeeded by that of Rucker, who is notorious here from having killed a gambler named Jock O'Neil a few months since. Ennis is still at large. He belongs to the same class, and wantonly shot John Teef in this city, on the 4th ult.

The predominant feeling among the citizens of Denver is that the reign of gamblers and cut-throats has continued quite too long, and that the desperate state of affairs requires desperate remedies. The city has been guarded for the last two nights by nearly two hundred patrolmen. Especial watchfulness is maintained over the building in which the prisoners are kept, and two of the offIcers, stationed at every corner in town, challenge all suspicious parties, and if they are unable to give the countersign, conduct them to the headquarters of the committee. . . . A. D. R.

Denver City, Aug. 7, 1860.

Want of space, in my last letter, compelled me to omit several incidents illustrative of life in the mines. In a gold region, the pursuits of many of the settlers differ materially from those they followed in the East. A gentleman who has for many years been engaged in the practice of the law in New York City, and who still keeps an office in that metropolis, is now running a quartz mill in the Gregory diggings. An ex-banker from one of the river towns in Kansas is also there, engaged in selling pies! He was formerly a deacon in the Presbyterian church, but now retails whisky on Sunday. It would be hard to find on record a more melancholy falling-off, both from dignity and devotion.

Last year at this time many claims were selling, and often at large prices. I recollect one instance, in which a "lead" claim alone was nominally disposed of for forty thousand dollars. But very little cash was paid; there were few instances in which one hundred dollars exchanged hands at the time of making the bargain. The payments were not expected until the gold had been taken from the claim. Now, much more money is paid in these transactions. Two claim sales have come within my knowledge during the past week, in one of which $6,000, cash, was paid, and in the other $10,000. Mr. H. W. Hurlburt, of Hornellsville, N. Y., who owned

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heavy interests in one of the rich leads, has sold them nearly all, realising from them, in the aggregate, if current reports are true, $79,000. He, at least, may be said to have "made his pile."

A moderate trade is going on in the mountains. Flour is selling at $16 to $17 per hundred; sugar and coffee at 30 to 33 cents per pound. One gentleman from eastern Kansas, who took in the heaviest stock in the mines, has already remitted to the East $17,000-more than the first cost of his goods in St. Louis-though it is less than two months since they arrived, and he still has some of them on hand. His daily cash sales average nearly $400, and he and his partner have every prospect of realising $20,000, during the year ending next spring. One secret of his success is, that he does his own freighting. The freighters are now bringing goods from Leavenworth to this city at seven and eight cents per pound, and still making a very heavy profit. Until the price becomes much lower, every merchant here must freight his own goods, in order to do a successful business.

The "stampeders" all seem to have left. I hardly saw a single idle man in the mines. Those who remain evidently design to stay, and to work out their pecuniary salvation by hard labor.

The excellent quartz mill of Messrs. Dalton & Ropes of your city, has just gone into operation, and bids fair to yield richly. The number of Lawrence people in the diggings is very large, including many families. I sometimes felt inclined to wonder, while meeting so many of your old familiar faces, whether you had anybody left at home! Nearly all of your former citizens, whom I met, seemed well satisfied. So far as I am aware, they all conduct themselves creditably, with a single exception. One well known former denizen of Lawrence was warned out of Denver, last winter, for stealing turkeys!

Leavenworth is very largely represented, both in the towns and in the diggings. Nearly all the river towns have sent heavy contributions of people. In Spring gulch I found five old neighbors from Sumner, whose stores are located side by side; and thirty or forty former residents of the town. A street in a city which has just been laid off there, is very properly called Sumner street. All Quindaro seems to be here, with the exception of Dr. Charles Robinson and Mr. S. N. Simpson-of whom, I am gratified to notice, a kind Providence has not yet bereaved you. Wyandot, Grasshopper Falls and Atchison are largely represented; but I meet with comparatively few persons from southern Kansas.

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At present, there is a great stampede over the Snowy Range, to the western slope of the mountains, driven thither by reports of rich discoveries. One party has gone three hundred miles in that direction, in pursuit of a locality known as the "Lost Lead." The story goes that a prospecting party there discovered, in an excavation some three feet square, an old, rusty shovel. On attempting to use it, the handle was found to be so decayed that it snapped like glass; but the prospectors took $2,700 in dust from the hole, and were then compelled to return for more provisions. The story has a Munchausenish air, but is largely accredited.

Pat Devlin is at last dead, from the effect of his wounds, and was buried a few days since, in Colorado City. Business is very dull in the towns. Several companies of U. S. troops, at Bent's fort 41-a trading post on the Arkansas, 150 miles southeast of this city-a few days since attacked a large number of Kiowa Indians, on account of their refusal to give up several members of their tribe who wantonly murdered thirteen persons on the Santa Fe route, last fall. Five of the Indians were killed, and thirteen captured. The troops departed for Pawnee Fork, leaving their prisoners in the post. Mr. Bent, however, was soon compelled to give them up to the Kiowas, who in very large numbers surrounded his fort, in hostile array. He sent an old Frenchman, who has been in his employ for many years, down the Arkansas to communicate to the troops the news of the escape of the prisoners. The messenger had proceeded forty miles on the way, when he was attacked by the Indians, who shot him, mangled his body with their knives, took off his scalp, "including," in the language of my informant, "the whole top of his head," and left him for dead. After their departure, however, he rallied, and actually made his way back to within four miles of the fort, where he was found and carried in by a party of friendly Arapahoes. He is now recovering. [42] These troubles have caused many persons, who had started down the Arkansas for the states, to return and take the Platte route.

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Wood, the gambler who attacked the Rocky Mountain News office, was tried, and the jury stood eleven for his conviction to one for his acquittal. He and his comrade, Rucker, were finally warned to leave the country, and did so several days since. Great indignation is felt that they were allowed to escape so easily.
A. D. R.

Denver City, August 25, 1860.

EDITOR Republican:


Quite a number of quartz mills have changed hands recently, in very few cases commanding more than "cost and freight." That of Dr. Fiew, in the Gregory district, was sold a few days since for about one half its cost. It had not been successful in saving the gold. A few mills are doing a good business, but not half of those in the mountains are yet in running order. It is a tedious, expensive, and often perplexing enterprise to set up a quartz mill, after its arrival.

Notwithstanding a feeling of depression, which prevails in certain localities, the gold from the mines begins to come out in considerable quantities. Messrs. Clark, Gruber & Co. receive about $2,000 per day at their banking house. Hinckley & Co.'s express brought down $10,000 from the Gregory diggings, night before last. The express which left for Leavenworth and St. Joseph on Thursday morning, carried out $20,000 by the messenger, and nearly as much more in the hands of passengers. At least sixty thousand dollars per week is now sent East by the express. Two or three weeks since, Mr. John Warner started for the river with $50,000; and since that time, Messrs. Earl & Thomas, from California gulch, have left for the states, taking with them, respectively, $50,000 and $20,000.

The census returns are nearly all in, and show the population of the Gold Region to be about sixty thousand. Forty-eight thousand of it lies within the limits of Kansas, [43] about three thousand in Nebraska, and nine thousand in Utah. The population, however, is decreasing daily, as the annual autumnal rush to the states has commenced, and though many of those returning pilgrims design coming out again in the spring, with their families and goods, or machinery, there are many others who are thoroughly disgusted with Pike's Peak and gold seeking. The Smoky Hill exploring expedition has at last arrived. All the members came through safely, except a Mr. Hodgson, from Auburn, [43]. Volumes of the U. S. census of Kansas territory, 1860, are in the archives of the Kansas Historical Society. The Arapahoe county volume (covering a large part of the gold region) contains approximately 35,000 names.

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Shawnee county, who was killed by the Kiowa Indians. They report the route excellent, with abundance of grass, wood and water. The longest distance without water is twenty-two miles-about the same as the longest dry interval on the northern route. They think the road can be constructed from Leavenworth to Denver in 590 miles, and to Colorado City a few miles shorter. The party came through to Colorado, and have not yet explored the Denver branch of the road. It was a great mistake that the expedition was not placed under the direction of one chief engineer, instead of two. Our Leavenworth friends ought to know that where there are two commanders, there is always trouble in the camp. However, the results of the expedition are, on the whole, eminently satisfactory, as the road proves to be better, and sixty miles shorter, than the Platte route. [44]

A few days since, a single pan of dirt, taken from McNulty's gulch in the Arkansas diggings, yielded $67.35. In the Gregory diggings, a claim was recently sold for $12,000. The names applied to many of the leads and gulches are more novel than poetic. One of the richest in the northern diggings is known as the "Bob-Tail" lead, and another has been christened the "Shirt-Tail" lead. "Humbug" gulch, on the Arkansas, is very popular just at present, and the miners are said to be doing well there. It received its name from the fact that before paying diggings were discovered in it, it was purchased and abandoned successively by three different parties, all of whom declared that it was a humbug.

Winter bids fair to commence early. Snow fell to the depth of two inches on the 16th inst., upon the divide between the waters of the Blue and those of the Platte, and a few days after, to the depth of four inches near the Gregory district. In the valley, however, the weather is genial and pleasant. The excitement in regard to the recently discovered silver leads still continues. The best ore assays about $700 to the ton. In the

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richest silver mines of Arizona, $200 to the ton is called a very rich yield. Among half a dozen other candidates, A. 0. McGrew, Esq.-the printer who brought his entire "outfit" from Kansas City to Denver in a wheelbarrow, two years ago,-is in the field for delegate to Congress, and will poll a considerable vote. [45] Gen. Wm. Larimer, formerly of Leavenworth, is perhaps the most prominent candidate.

A good deal of building is going on in Denver, mostly of a permanent and substantial character. Many spacious and elegant brick blocks are approaching completion, and no other city of the same age and size ever exhibited so fine an architecture.

The second U. S. mail arrived last Monday night, bringing upwards of eleven thousand letters. As it comes but once a week, we are not as well supplied as when the express brought our letters, even though we were compelled to pay 25 cents apiece for them.

Frank Roberts, Esq., of your city, arrived with his party a few days since. Mr. Willis, [46] of Lawrence, who has been spending some time in the California gulch, starts on his return in a day or two, greatly pleased with the country, and designs to settle here permanently next spring. He takes with him some remarkably fine specimens of silver ore. Judge A. J. Allison, [47] from Doniphan, an ex-member of your territorial legislature, started for the river two or three weeks since. Intelligence has just been received here that he is lying dangerously ill at one of the express stations on the route.

Provisions are reasonably cheap at present, but flour will command $25 per hundred in Denver City, before next May. The wheat crop of New Mexico, which supplied this region largely last year, is a comparative failure. Vegetables of all kinds are plenty in the market, and melons have made their appearance at $1.25 apiece.
A. D. R.

Notes

1. T. Dwight Thacher & Co. owned the Lawrence Republican in 1860. The following note by Editor Thacher appeared in the issue of May 10, 1860:

... we were greeted with a call, on Friday last, from Mr. A. D. Richardson, well known throughout the territory as a lecturer and correspondent. Mr. R. was en route for Pike's Peak, where he will spend the season. we have engaged him to write frequent letters for the Republican, from that region.

Richardson, while on a similar trip in 1859, was a correspondent for the Republican.)
The letters appeared in the Republican, June 7, 14, 21, 28; July 5, 19, 26; August 2, 16, 23; September 6, 1860. During this period Richardson was writing letters of like content , omitting items of local Kansas interest, for the paper of which he was a regular staff member -the New York Tribune. They were published under the heading "From the Pike's Peak Gold Region," at irregular intervals between June 30 and November 13, 1860. One letter from this group (dated August 2, 1860) has been inserted in the above series to cover a gap in continuity. Richardson was in Denver till November 6, but his letters to the Lawrence Republican ceased in August. In the book Beyond the Mississippi (Hartford, Conn., American Publishing Company, 1867), a best-seller of the period, Richardson described his travels and experiences from 1857 to 1866, but devoted only a few pages to incidents of 1860
2. He was born October 6, 1833, son of Elisha and his second wife Harriet (Blake) Richardson.
3. The Richardson's second son was born in Sumner and died there October 30, 1858, aged a little over three months. He was buried in the Sumner cemetery.
4. Thomas Wallace Knox (1835-1896), like Richardson a young Eastern journalist, later had a notable career as newspaperman, author, traveler and inventor. Richardson, in his Beyond the Mississippi, p. 287, wrote: "On the nineteenth of May, Knox and myself left Atchison in the two-horse wagon of a pioneer, who had contracted to board us on the way and deliver us in Denver for forty dollars each." Knox, who wrote a few letters to the editor of Freedom's Champion, Atchison (see issues of June 9, 30, and July 7, 1860), in the issue of June 9, wrote: "I left Atchison May 19th in company with A. D. Richardson, Esq., of the N. Y. Tribune; Messrs. A. C. & James Harrison, J. J. Pratt and J. McCausland of Atchison." Describing the beginning of the journey, he said: "The road out to the great military track [the Fort Leavenworth-Fort Kearny military road], a distance of seven miles from our starting point, is the best leading from the river. It is not broken by deep ravines and steep hills like those from Leavenworth & St. Jo. We were pleased to find a well-graded road with the streams crossed by strong and durable bridges. we camped the first night on Grasshopper creek. . . 5. Knox wrote on May 29: "we have passed the following trains from Atchison: Bivins' in Charge of Mr. McAfee, Fenton & Parcell's train-Mason & Hendricks-Parcell's, Auter, Grannis, Cushman & Stoner, Lukens & Gridley & others."-Ibid., June 9, 1860. 6. Ending an account of the same episode, Knox wrote: "He then rode leisurely into the woods near by faintly humming the pathetic song--'Do they miss me at home?"-Ibid., June 9, 1860. 7. Knox quoted another sign: "Flower & Mell, Chese, Egse; Lagar Bear; Liker 5 cents a glass."-Ibid. 8. Frank J. Marshall established a ferry and trading post at the famous Independence, Mormon or California crossing of the Blue river in 1849. The ferry and ford were used by thousands of Oregon-bound travelers. At the site of a second ferry, established a few miles above, Marysville was later founded.-The Kansas Historical Quarterly, v. X, p. 350.
9. Judge Rush Elmore (1819-1864), associate justice of Kansas territory, 1854-1855 and 1858-1861.
10. Richardson, in his Beyond the Mississippi, p. 287, wrote of travel on the plains in 1800: ' The swift mail coach was the aristocratic mode; the horse wagon the respectable ; and the ox-wagon, known as the 'ox telegraph' or 'prairie-schooner,' the plebian. Oxen traveled about fifteen miles per day; horses twenty to thirty; footmen twenty-five."
11. Adobe Town, or "Dobytown," was noted for the number of its liquor establishments. See 'M. B. Davis' article from the Omaha (Neb.) Bee, December, 1899, quoted in Root, Frank A., and W. E. Connelley, The Overland Stage to California (Topeka, Kan., 1901), p. 243.
12. The issues of the Lawrence Republican for May, 1860, carry no mention of the departure of these Lawrence people. Only a few have been positively identified: William R. Monteith, s. A. Bigelow, [C. A.?] Pease, [George A.?] Matthews, Charles Carpenter and Adolph Schinner. Schinner (1831-1911), was one of the founders of Eudora, Kan.; he later worked as a printer in Lawrence, leaving for the mines in 1860. In 1876 he was a member of Colorado's first state legislature. A biographical sketch was published in The Trail, Denver, Colo., July, 1911 (v. IV, No. 2). p. 26.
13. O. L. Ford and T. L. Whitney.
14. Robert J. Spotswood spent a number of years in the overland stage service and later ran a stage line of his own between Denver and Cheyenne. For a biographical sketch see The Trail, May, 1910 (v. II, No. 12), p. 24; see, also, Root & Connelley, op. cit., p. 558.
15. He refers to the heading "Jottings on the Road to Pike's Peak." succeeding letters to the Lawrence Republican were headed "Jottings From Pike's Peak."
16. "Our party reached this place [Denver] via the "cut off" from Beaver Creek to Denver. We found the latter road excellent-only about six miles of sand, grass scanty, wood plenty, the longest stretch without water eighteen miles, and none of the water bad for stock."-Thomas W. Knox, in Freedom's Champion, Atchison, June 30, 1860.
17. Knox, also making Denver City his headquarters, wrote of Kit Carson: "I have had the pleasure of forming the acquaintance of Kit Carson. . . . He is a quiet unassuming man-a gentleman by instinct-of slight frame, and is the last man I would imagine to be the bravest, and most renowned pioneer of the West. . . ."-Ibid., July 7, 1860.
18. "Long's Peak and, the mountains near it have been on fire for several days past. The smoke has been at times exceedingly dense and the air sultry and oppressive. Yesterday [June 21] it was quite dark at four in the afternoon---so much so that I was obliged to leave my writing on which I was then engaged. "--Knox, ibid.
19. This was "An Act incorporating the Pikes Peak and south Park Wagon Road Company."-Private Laws of the Territory of Kansas Passed at the Special Session of 1860 ([Lawrence] s. A. Medary, printer [1860]), pp. 454, 455. William Walters, William J. King and T. C. Dickson, incorporators, were empowered to build a wagon road from the soda springs (near the base of Pike's Peak) west into the south Park mining district. The act provided that no toll should be charged before ten miles of the road were completed, and that the charge should be regulated by the length of actual road construction. The tolls were specified as follows: "For one wagon and one pair of horses, mules, or one yoke of oxen, one dollar, and for each additional pair of horses, mules, or yoke of oxen, twenty-five cents; for horse and buggy, fifty cents, and for each additional horse, fifteen cents; for horse and rider, fifteen cents; for loose horses, mules, or cattle, fifteen cents per head.
20. Melancthon s. Beach arrived in the gold region in 1858. He was one of the original Colorado City townsite company. In 1862 he was a member of the second territorial legislature of Colorado.-The Trail, November, 1917 (y. X., No. 6), p. 30; Corbett, Thomas B., The Legislative Manual of the State of Colorado, First Edition (Denver, Denver Times Publishing House and Bindery, 1877), p. 214.
21. "Our old friend, B. F. Dalton, who has been so long in the clothing business in Lawrence, starts this week with his entire stock of goods for the Pike's Peak regions. He has already one stock of goods there, and is largely interested in a quartz mining enterprise. -Lawrence Republican, May 31, 1860. Edward E. Ropes, who came to Kansas territory in 1854 with the second New England Emigrant Aid Company party, was the son of Mrs. Hannah A. Ropes, author of Six Months in Kansas-one of the early books about the territory.
22. George W. Collamore. See, also, Footnote 26.
23. Knox gave this name as William F. Hadley and stated that J. B. Card was from Quincy, Ill. Freedom's Champion, Atchison, July 7, 1860.
24. George W. Purkins, member of law firm Purkins & Monroe, Leavenworth.
25. Arastra-a rude drag-stone mill for pulverizing ores, especially those containing free gold.
26. George w. Collamore returned to Lawrence and was mayor in 1863. During Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, August 21, 1863, he escaped from the guerrillas, hut died during the attack, victim of an accident.
27. Alex O. McGrew. Richardson has more to say about the "wheelbarrow Man" in his letter of August 25.
28. The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians . . . Written From His Own Dictation, by T. D. Bonner (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1856). LeRoy R. Hafen's article "The Last Years of James P. Beckwourth," in The Colorado Magazine, Denver, August, 1928 (v. V), PP. 134-139, gives the information (p. 137), that Beckwourth married Elizabeth Lettbetter, daughter of Denver's first laundress on June 21, 1860.
29. Wrote Thomas W. Knox, on July 2, 1860: "The return emigration is nearly the same from week to week. about a hundred leave each day for the states. The fare to Atchison and St. Joseph is $12, to Omaha $10, the passengers boarding themselves."-Freedom's Champion, Atchison, July 14, 1860.
30. Camp Floyd. See Footnote 33.
31. The brothers Milton E. and Austin M. Clark, together with E. H. Gruber, founded the banking firm of Clark, Gruber & Co., in Leavenworth in 1857. They established a branch office in Denver in 1859. The following year they erected a brick building and set up equipment to mint gold coins. Thomas W. Knox on July 9, 1860, wrote from Denver: "Clark, Gruber & Co. will commence in a day or two issuing coin from their Assay Office. I was yesterday shown a pattern piece from their mint. It bears on one side the ever-prominent American Eagle, and the words 'Clark, Gruber & Co,' near the edge of the coin, with the date, '1860,' in the usual place. On the reverse is 'a picture of the Peak with the words 'Pike's Peak Gold' above, and 'Denver' beneath it. 'Ten D.' appears in its appropriate position. The gentlemen have facilities for coining fifty thousand dollars per day. . . ." Freedom's Champion, Atchison, July 21, 1860. The first coins from this privately operated mint were stamped on July 20, 1860. As Richardson states above, four denominations were issued. In 1861, coins of the same values were minted. A U. S. statute, passed April 21, 1862, provided that a branch of the U. S. mint be located at Denver. On March 3, 1863. the President approved Senate Joint Resolution No. 132, authorizing the secretary of the Treasury to purchase the lots and improvements of Clark, Gruber & Co. for use as the branch U. s. mint in Denver.-The Congressional Globe, 37 Cong., 3 sess. (Washington, 1863), pp. 1860, 1513. The State Historical society of Colorado has a complete set (8) of the rare gold coins issued by Clark, Gruber & Co.-See The Colorado Magazine, v. X, p. 82; v. XIII, pp. 230, 231.
32. Thomas W. Knox, on June 15, 1860, wrote: "The following Atchison men are in Denver: Messrs. Graham, Whittaker, Pratt, Athearn, sherry, Beidier, Voorhes, Collier, Barlow, Walters, Fletcher, Kelch, Cooper, Grimes, Beauchamp, Wagner, Earle, Wm. T. Moore & lady, Chase, Edwards, Gilbert, Parmely, G. w. & s. Potts, Stevens, Quinn, Hutchinson, Pervost, and many others." Freedom's Champion, Atchison, 'June 30, 1860.
33. Camp Floyd was established in August, 1858, in Cedar valley about thirty-six miles south of salt Lake City, during the Mormon difficulties. Early in 1861 its name was changed to Fort Crittenden; later in the year the post was abandoned. Fort Garland in present Colorado was established in 1857. The officer mentioned above was Lt. Col. Pitcairn Morrison, Seventh U. S. infantry.
34. Philip P. Wilcox, a Missourian, settled in Kansas territory in 1855. He made his home in Colorado after June, 1860.-See autobiographical note in The Kansas Historical Collections, v. III, pp. 466, 467; The Trail, June, 1911 (v. IV, No. 1), p. 25.
35. E. P. Lewis served in the first state legislature of Kansas.-The Kansas Historical Collections, v. X, p. 250.
36. Patrick Devlin was one of James Montgomery's "Jayhawkers." He figured prominently in the border troubles in Bourbon county.
37. This was Fort Lupton. "The Fort is an old adobe trading post [on the bank of the Platte river], built very securely for protection against the Indians, but now used as a ranche."-A. D. Richardson, "From the Pike's Peak Gold Region," in the New York Tribune, August 7, 1860. Another account of events in Denver, dated July 23, 1860, added this information: A. J. Williams, President of the Denver City Town Company, and Dr. Kennedy, of this city, were found at Fort Lupton, and are under arrest for assisting Gordon to escape. They were old friends of Gordon, and say they were sent to meet him there, and take charge of his papers, as he was expected to be shot or hung."-Published in ibid., August 1, 1860.
38. Lewis N. Tappan arrived in Denver in October, 1859. He established general stores in Denver, Golden and Central City. Tappan was a special correspondent for the New York Tribune.-The Trail, December, 1911 (v. IV, No. 7), pp. 19-22.
39. Horace Greeley and Henry Villard both had books published in 1860 as a result of their Western experiences of 1859. Greeley, publisher of the New York Tribune, wrote letters to his paper which were afterwards incorporated into hook form: Greeley, Horace, An Overland Journey (New York, C. M. Saxton, Barker & Co., 1860). Villard, correspondent for the Cincinnati (Ohio) Daily Commercial and the Leavenworth Times, compiled a popular guidebook: Villard, Henry, The Past and Present of the Pike's Peak Gold
Regions
(St. Louis. Mo., Sutherland & McEvoy, 1860).
40. The Western Mountaineer, Golden, was established in 1859 by George West. Richardson and Thomas W. Knox were associate editors and correspondents for this newspaper during the summer of 1860.-Hall, Frank, History of the State of Colorado (Chicago, The Blakely Printing Company, 1889), v. I. p. 225; Working, D. W.. "Some Forgotten Pioneer Newspapers," in The Colorado Magazine, May, 1927 (v. IV), p. 95. 41. In 1859 Col. George Bent leased his stone fort (built early in the 1850's) to the War Department. It was located nearly opposite the present town of Prowers, Colo. The post was named Fort Wise in 1860 and renamed Fort Lyon in 1862.-Grinnell, George Bird, Bent's Old Fort and Its Builders," in The Kansas Historical Collections, v. XV, p. 87; Hamersly, Thomas H. S., Complete Army and Navy Register of the United States of America, From 1776 to 1887 (New York, T. H. S. Hamersly, publisher, 1888).
42. "There is a young man, named Mark Ralf, at Bent's Fort who was recently stabbed in three places and shot three times, scalped, and left for dead by the Kiowa Indians, but who afterwards regained his consciousness, and walked thirty-five miles to a place of safety and succor. He has now nearly recovered, but has only two locks of.hair left upon his head, as all the rest was taken with the scalp."-St. Joseph (Mo.) Free Democrat, November 10, 1860, p. 3. col. 2. Richardson was probably misinformed in referring to the messenger as old".
44. A special correspondent of the New York Tribune in a letter dated Lawrence, K. T., September 1, 1860, wrote: "One very important item of Kansas affairs is the opening of the smoky Hill road to the gold mines. . By the enterprise of Leavenworth, and other communities in Eastern Kansas, an expedition was hired under Green Russell, the Georgia miner, to explore the valley, and discover whether it was practicable. This he did, and succeeded, but his report was very meager. . . Another expedition of forty men and ten wagons was then outfitted by public subscription of our people, to open work and construct a road. Mr. [H. T.] Green of Leavenworth, a. gentleman of considerable intelligence and character, was placed at the head of the expedition, with Mr. [O. M.] Tennyson as engineer. They started on their expedition in June, and as this year has been dryer than any for twenty years, according to the experience of the old settlers and traders of the missions, considerable anxiety was entertained for the fate of the enterprise. Happily it proved quite successful. -New York Daily Tribune, September 8, 1860, p. 7. The Leavenworth Daily Times, June 16, 1860, published a good account of the second Smoky Hill expedition.
45. McGrew pushed a wheelbarrow half way across the plains, then joined a wagon train. -See editorial note appended to A. O. McGrew's letter of December 29, 1858, published in Hafen, LeRoy R., editor, Colorado Gold Rush, Contemporary Letters and Reports, 1858-1859 (Glendale, Cal., The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1941), p. 189. The Kansas City (Mo.) Journal of Commerce in October, 1858, carried a story of the departure of McGrew from Kansas City with his possessions in a wheelbarrow.
46. Probably s. J. Willes.
47. Augustus J. Allison, probate judge of Doniphan county in 1858; member of the house in the Kansas territorial legislature of 1859.