Skip to main content

Full text of "History of Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming, 1540-1888"

See other formats













Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1889, by 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 

All Riyhls Reserved. 

u. c. 






IN this volume I have grouped together the history 
of what are commonly termed the silver and centen- 
nial states, including also the partially intervening 
territory of Wyoming, which, with Utah and south- 
ern Idaho, whose annals are related elsewhere, form 
the central division of our Pacific coast domain, extend- 
ing eastward from California to the limits of the field 
occupied by this series. Here is a region full of natu- 
ral wonders, with a climate and configuration, a moun- 
tain, lake, and river system, a fauna and flora, a 
geology and mineralogy, all of them peculiar and 

As the discovery of gold peopled the state of Cali- 
fornia, so did that of the Comstock mines draw popu- 
lation to Nevada. Virginia City and a number of 
smaller towns in this vicinity sprang up almost in a 
night. Year by year the output of the great lode 
increased, eclipsing even the glories of Potosi, and so 
reducing the value of silver that men began to say it 
would soon be ranked among the base metals. After 
the advent of the railroad the heaviest machinery in 
the world was here erected, and with the develop- 
ment of two immense bonanzas, the total yield swelled 
into the hundreds of millions. Elsewhere in Nevada, 
especially in the Pioche aud Eureka districts, rich 
mineral deposits have been unearthed, but none of 

Y it Aft I 


them approaching the marvellous treasures of Coin- 

Next to her mining interests comes stock-raising, 
flocks and herds thriving on the nutritious bunch-grass 
common to the entire region between the Sierra Ne- 
vada and the Rocky Mountains. Though with an 
average rainfall of little more than five inches a year, 
in places the soil is fertile, and the climate favorable 
to the production of cereals and fruits, a yield of 30 
or 40 bushels to the acre of wheat or barley being 
not unusual. In 1860 there were less than 100 farms 
in the entire territory; in 1889 there were over 2,000, 
with about 10,000,000 acres classed as irrigable land. 

Since her admission to statehood, the political an- 
nals of Nevada are such as would do honor to an older 
and more conservative community. Especially is she 
to be commended for her liberality in the support of 
public institutions. Her financial condition, also, is of 
the soundest, with a revenue largely in excess of ex- 
penditure, a surplus in the treasury amounting, at 
the close of 1888, to about $1,250,000, and a school 
fund of equal amount invested in state and national 

In the same year that witnessed the discovery of 
the Comstock lode occurred the great migration to 
Pike peak, when, in the summer of 1859, an army 
of 150,000 men traversed the plains between the 
Missouri and the base of the Rocky Mountains. Of 
these at least one third turned back, discouraged by 
evil reports, and of those who arrived on the ground 
probably less than 20,000 remained as permanent set- 
tlers. But hero was the nucleus of a population, and 
that of the best material for empire-building men 


resolute of will, inured to hardship, and with all the 
energy and adaptability of the typical pioneer. As- 
suredly there was no lack of resources in this great 
and goodly region, with its magnificent soil and cli- 
mate, its majestic canon and river systems, its series 
of natural parks, its gardens of the gods, its virgin 
forests, and its untold mineral wealth. 

Much attention has been given to irrigation, several 
thousand miles of canal, with branches of much greater 
length distributing their waters over the thirsty earth. 
And yet not ten per cent of all the irrigable land in Col- 
orado is under cultivation. Within recent years stock- 
raising has attained to the second rank among her 
industries, and is probably destined erelong to surpass 
even mining in aggregate value. In manufactures a 
beginning has been made, and in this direction also the 
outlook is of the brightest. The public institutions 
of the centennial state, and especially her public 
schools, are second to none, and in this respect the 
young commonwealth is worthy of all commendation. 
No less remarkable is the character of her legislation 
and her public men, the former never being disgraced 
by the misappropriation of the people's funds or the 
latter by deeds of violence. 

In Wyoming, with the awe-inspiring grandeur of 
her scenery, with her rare geologic formations, her 
mountain peaks, among the highest on the continent, 
her magnificent plateaux and rolling plains, her gey- 
sers and volcanoes, and her water-shed, dividing the 
streams that flow toward the Atlantic and Pacific, we 
have a veritable wonderland. Here, as elsewhere, the 
trapper was followed by the gold-hunter, and the lat- 
ter by the farmer and stock-raiser, causing this region 

viii PREFACE. 

to bloom forth into civilization like a flower in the 
wilderness. Almost before the world was aware of 
its existence, there was established here a flourishing 
commonwealth full-fledged as sprang Minerva from 
the cranium of Jove. With resources unlimited, 
though as yet almost untouched, a great future is 
assured for this territory, soon to be admitted among 
the sisterhood of states. 

In preparing the material for this volume, I have 
consulted, in addition to all the printed books, period- 
icals, and public documents bearing on the subject- 
matter, a large number of valuable manuscripts 
furnished by the actors in the scenes which they 
describe men representing all classes of people, 
from the pioneers to those who now control the 
affairs of state or the channels of trade and industry. 





Plain of Evaporation, or Elevated Sink Its Situation Prominent Char- 
acteristics The Name Great Basin Inappropriate A Group of 
Basins Wonders of the Region A Trapper's Story Caves Cli- 
mate Atmosphere Aridity Sand Storms and Cloud-bursts The 
Mirage Soil, Configuration, and Scenery Rain-fall and Tempera- 
tureChange of Seasons Altitude and Geologic Formation Moun- 
tain System Lakes and Sinks Rivers Springs Deserts Plants 
and Animals Birds and Fishes Minerals and Metals Soil and 
Agriculture Nomenclature , -I 




Near Approach of Coronado's Expedition, and Especially of Pedro de 
Tobar Party of Spaniards under Anza Wanderings of Father 
Francisco Garces Peter Font's Journal and Map Mythical Streams 
Other Ancient Maps Approach of Dominguez and Escalante to 
Nevada Peter Skeen Ogden for the Hudson's Bay Company Dis- 
covery of Mary or Ogden River -Advent of Free Trappers Henry, 
Ashley, Bridger, and Green Expedition to California of Jedediah 
S. Smith Nevada Traversed from West to East Influx of Trappers 
from the North The Wolf skill Expedition Parties under Nidever, 
Frapp, and Wyatt Encounter with the Savages Joseph Walker's 
Visit to California and Return Ill-treatment of Indians Meek's 
Statement Something of Carson and Beckwourth , 26 




Trapping Becomes General Opening of the Emigration Epoch The Road 
to California Progress of the Bartleson Company through Nevada 
Z&dwell, Henshaw, and Nye Belden, Rickman, Chiles, and Weber 




What they Severally Said of It Search for Ogden River They 
Abandon their Wagons Friendly Intercourse with th<? Shoshones 
Varied Adventures Dissension Search for a Pass Over the Sierra 
Hastings and his Book Chiles over a New Route Walker Guides 
a Party into California over his Return Route of 1834 First Wagons 
to Traverse the Entire Country Fremont's Expeditions Elisha 
Stevens or the Murphy Company Snyder, Swasey, Blackburn, and 
Todd Company Sublette from St Louis Walker, Carson, Talbot, 
and Kern Expedition of Scott and the Applegates from Oregon ... 46 




Cession from Mexico Advent of the Mormons Colonization Mormon 
Station Traffic with Emigrants Intercourse with California Gov- 
ernment Assumed Land Claims Made and Recorded Cattle Trade, 
Farming, and Building First Settlers Petition for Annexation to 
California Movements toward a Territorial Government Conflicts 
with the Latter-day Saints Political and Judicial 65 




Configuration Placer Gold Early Mining in Gold Canon Silver Found 
by the Grosch Brothers Death of the Discoverers Comstock, Old 
Virginia, arid Associates Johntown and Gold Hill Claims and Loca- 
tions Ophir, Silver City, or Virginia Town Discoveries Elsewhere 
Walsh and Woodworth Testing and Separating Introduction of 
Mills Processes Description of the California, a Representative 
Mill.. 92 




Speculation and Litigation Fight between the Ophir and Burning Mos- 
cow Violent Fluctuations of Supposed Values Mining Laws State 
of Society Wild Extravagance San Francisco Stock-board For- 
tunes Made and Lost Miner's Life Association and Obligations 
Yields and Dividends The Bonarza Firm, Mackay, Fair, Flood, and 
O'Brien Manipulations The Sutro Tunnel Geology of the Com- 
stock Lode . . .121 





The Name Nevada Area and Limits The Question of Boundary 
Commissions and Surveys Difficulties with California Territorial 
Officers Governor Nye First Legislature Code of Laws and 
Course of Legislation County Organizations and Officers Capital 
Judicial Districts and Judiciary State of Society Educational 

Press Corruption of Lawyers and Judges 150 



Legislation Movements toward State Organization The Union Party 
Union Sentiments Military Companies Governor Blasdel First 
State Legislature Finances Taxation Struggles for Senatorships 
Money All-powerful Governor Bradley Governor Kinkead 
Politics of the Period Monopoly and Political Corruption Silver 
in Congress Public Institutions 176 




California Emigrants of 1849 Subsequent Deedsvof Violence Winne- 
mucca and the Pah Utes Outbreak of 1860 Attitude of Young 
Winnernucca The Shoshones Attack on Williams' Station Or- 
ganization of Forces Battle of Pyramid Lake Death of Ormsby 
Movements of Troops Further Fighting Continued Troubles 
The Gosh Ute War Treaties and Reservations. . . .205 




Questionable Value of Mines Transportation Roads and Railroads- 
Mail Routes and Telegraphs Stages Pony Express Steamboats 
Fisheries Metals Book Reviews Agriculture Climate Whirl- 
winds and Earthquakes Flora and Fauna Live-stock Cattle 
Raising Lands and Surveys Counties of Nevada Summary of 
Resources Society Educational, Religious, and Benevolent Insti- 
tutions Newspapers Bibliography 224 





Finances Reduction of Expenses Public Buildings State Prison War 
State University Public Charities Educational Affairs Pro- 
posed Annexation of Southern Idaho Mining Railroads Politics. 310 



Mountain System Primeval Waters Upheaval, Evaporation, and Gla- 
cial Action Dry Rivers Flora and Fauna Primitive Man Canons 
and River Systems Series of Parks Climate Soil Forests Geo- 
logical Formations Minerals and Metals Gold and Silver Coal 
and Iron Precious Stones Land and Water Elevations 323 




What Coronado Failed to do Escalante's Expedition Spanish and 
French Occupation Pike's and Long's Expeditions Early Gold 
Discoveries Adventiires of the Williams Party Santa Fe Trail 
Trappers and Traders Forts The Bents, Vasquez, St Vrain, and 
Others El Pueblo La Junta Immigration Fremont's Efforts 
The Mormons at Pueblo Military Expeditions Government Sur- 
veys by Gunnison, Hayden, Wheeler, and King 338 




Mythological Mines Men from Georgia The Cherokees Hicks and 
Russell The Lawrence Party Other Companies Auraria versus 
Denver The Town Builders Early Merchants and Manufacturers 
First Guide Books and Journals Gold Discoveries on Boulder 
Creek and Clear Creek Russell and Gregory Central City and 
Fair Play Pioneer Biography 363 




The Arkansas Valley Road into South Pari -El Paso Claim Club- 
Colorado City Company Irrigation The Fighting Farmers of Fon- 



taine City Canon City Clear Creek Pueblo California Gulch 
Pioneers in the Several Localities Oro City Leadville Frying 
Pan Gulch Road-making Mining Developments Freighting 
Mail Facilities Pony Express Stage Companies 387 



Bleeding Kansas Representative from Arapahoe County Provisional 
Government Territory or State of Jefferson Elections and Conven- 
tions Governor Steele Divers Governments Popular Tribunals 
The Turkey War Squatters The Name Colorado Territorial 
Organization Gilpin, Governor Boundaries Condition of the 
Country Seal Mint Legislative Proceedings Gilpin's Military 
Operations The Colorado Regiments in the Civil War . . 401 



Gilpin's Heroic Successes Superseded by John Evans Weld and Elbert 
Legislative Action Coinage Bennett Failure to Establish State 
Government Further Efforts and Final Success Current Terri- 
torial Affairs Organic Law Governor Cummings Bradford Chil- 
cott Hunt, McCook, and Elbert Governor Routt Chaffee Postal 
Routes Patterson, Boone, and Bromwell The Judiciary Politics 
under State Organization Teller Population and Lands Govern- 
ors Pitkin, Grant, and Eaton Senators Hill and Bowen , 425 




Tribes and Treaties Aboriginal Brigandage Unrecorded Outrages of 
the White Men Appropriations White Force in the Field The 
Colorado Regiments Depredations on the Overland Mail Company 
Communication Cut off The Sand Creek Massacre Chivington 
Censured by Congress, but Thanked by the People of Colorado 
Forts and Reservations West of the Mountains Wide-spread Hos- 
tilities and Battles 455 




Placer and Quartz Mining Refactory Ores Processes Smelting 
Swindling Corporations The Flood Indian Hostilities Agricul- 



ture Products and Prices Discovery of Silver Localities and 
Lodes The San Juan Country Adventures of John Baker's Party 
Great Sufferings Architectural Remains of Primitive Peoples 
Pile's Expedition Treaty Violations Opening of Roads Silver 
Lodes San Miguel Gold District Ouray 482 




California Gulch Redivivus Hills of Silver The Carbonate Mines Men 
of the Period Organization of Leadville Monetary and Political 
Institutions Output of the Mines Vigilance Committees Miners' 
Strike Martial Law Proclaimed Disaffected Utes The Gunnison 
Country Scientific and Mining Expeditions The Gunnison Colony 
Coal Towns Established Bibliography Newspapers 504 




Land Surveys Analyses of Soils Altitudes Irrigation Importance 
of the Subject Convention Laws and Regulations A Most Per- 
fect System Ditching Greeley and the Union Colony Land-in- 
vestment, Canal, and Irrigating Companies Grain-growing Districts 
Products Horticultural and Agricultural Societies Granges 
Failure of Cooperative Commerce State Board of Agriculture 
Agricultural College Stock-raising Native Grasses Incorporated 
Cattle Companies Sheep and Horses 533 




Survey JJenver Lands Municipal Organization The Queston of Capi- 
tal Post-office and Assay Office Railways Telegraphs Street 
Railways Public Buildings Schools and Churches Style of Archi- 
tecture Water System and Drainage Manufactures Smelters 
Chamber of Commerce Exposition Grounds and Buildings Bank- 
ing Society and Culture Biography , . , 548 




Bent County Industries, Towns, and People Boulder County Early 
Settlers Quartz Mining Coal and Iron Chaffee County Discov- 



eries and Development Clear Creek County Earliest Smelting 
Stamp Mills Conejos Couuty Costilla Caster Men and Towns 
Mining Delta, Dolores, Douglas, Eagle, Elbert, El Paso, and 
Fremont Counties The Great Railroad War Canon City and its 
Institutions . . 574 




Garfield County Its Great Possibilities Gilpin County and Central City 
Express, Telegraph, Newspapers, Banks, Schools, and Churches, 
Library, Fire Departments, Military and Benevolent Institutions 
Biography Grand Couuty Gunnison and Huerfano Counties Va- 
riety of Products in Jefferson County Golden, Lake, and La Plata 
Counties Biography Larimer, Las Animas, Mesa, Montrose, Ou- 
ray, Park, Pitkin, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, San Juan, 
San Miguel, Summit, and Weld Counties Society Retrospect .... 609 




Elements of Greatness Mining versus Agriculture Land and Water 
Monopoly Material Progress Railroads Development of Denver 
Election Campaign Legislation Excellence of Statutory, Insti- 
tutional, and Social Regulations Character of Public Men Bio- 
graphical 6J3 




Boundaries and Surface The Hills and Plains of Laramie Geologic 
History The River Platte Black Hills Deserts Which are not 
Deserts Mountainous Formations and Upheavals Minerals and 
Metals Fontana, the Land of Rivers Rolling Plain of the North- 
west Forests and Lakes Falls of the Yellowstone Scenes of 
Beauty and Grandeur Atlantic and Pacific Creeks, and Two-Ocean 
and Other Passes Specimens of World Forgings and Weldings 
Geyser Basins Mud and Water Volcanoes Paint Pots Sulphur 
Mountain Subterranean Rumblings Climate Animated Nature . . 059 





Unfounded Rumors of Spanish Occupation Pre-historic Aboriginal In- 
habitantsWestward Exploration Verendrye, Lewis and Clarke, 
Lisa, and Williams Missouri Fur Company Henry Fort Long's 
Expedition Ashley on Utah Lake Other Trappers and Traders 
Fort Bridger Missionaries of Oregon The Gallant Pathfinder 
Battalion of Mounted Volunteers Forts Leavenworth, Kearny, and 
Laramie Scott and his Bluffs The Pathway of the Nations 672 




Pathway to the Pacific Coming of the Latter-day Saints Military 
Men Prospecting for Gold An Angry Englishman Bridger and 
his Fort Mormon War The Latter-day Saints Abandon Wyo- 
ming Movements of Army Forces Government Expedition 
Roads Ordered Opened Placer Gold Discovered The Morrisites 
Indian Hostilities Military Men and Frontiersmen Legends of 
the Wind River Mountains Swift Petrifactions 694 




Emigrant Parties Cheyennes and Sioux Force at Fort Laramie- 
Fleming's Attack Grattan's Defeat A Bloody War Life at Fort 
Laramie Movements of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes Effect of 
Colorado Immigration and Civil War Continued Depredations 
Peace Proposals Gold-hunting on the Bighorn Carrington's Expe- 
dition Fetterman's Defeat Affairs at the Forts Continued Hostil- 
itiesTreaty Commission 706 



1867-1 888. 

Gold Discovery South Pass City Organized Organization of Coun- 
tiesFounding of Cheyenne Advance in Town Lots Bad Element 
Vigilance Committees Newspapers Established A Magic City 
The Name Wyoming Territorial Organization Female Suffrage- 
Judicial Districts County Seats and County Officers Elections 
Law Making Military Posts Administration of Governor Camp- 
bell Thayer, Hoyt, and Hale Massacre of Chinese Legislation .. 730 




1849-1886. pAfiB 

Stansbury's Observations Belief in the Presence of Gold Indian 
Treaties Attitude of the Savages Smith's Exploits Military Mas- 
sacre of Indians Indian Chiefs at Washington City Divers Mili- 
tary Expeditions Gold Appearing Inevitable Destiny of the Red 
Race Broken Pledges The Army of the United States Brought 
out Long, Continuous, and Bloody Fighting Final Triumph of 
Civilization Slavery and Savagism Exterminated 764 




Division of Territory into Counties Birth of Towns, and Growth of 
Population Pioneers and Prominent Men Commerce and Indus- 
tries Grasses and Grazing Ranches and Ranges Stock-raising 
Some of the Great Cattle Men Land Surveys and Sales Improve- 
ment of Breeds Cattle Driving from Texas and Oregon General 
Condition of the Country Agriculture and Mines Biographical. .. 783 




Absaraka, Home of the Crows. Philadelphia, 1868. 

Agricultural Statistics of the State of Colorado. 1883. 

Alamosa (Colo), Democrat; Gazette; Independent; News. 

Allan (Alex.), Reminiscences. MS. 

Amador (CaL) Despatch. 

American Almanac. Boston and New York, 1830 et seq. 

American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal. Cleveland and Chicago, 1878 

et seq. 

American Quarterly Review. Philadelphia, 1827 et seq. 
Animas City (Colo) Southwest. 
Antioch (Gal.) Ledger. 

Anza (Juan B.), Diario de un Expedicion desde Sonora. MS. 
Applegate (Jesse), Views of Oregon History. MS. 
Appleton's Hand-book of American Travel. New York, 1861, 1866, and 


Arricivita (J. D.), Cronica Serafica y Apostolica. Mexico, 1792. 
Aspen (Colo), Sun; Times. 
Atlantic Monthly. Boston, 1858 et seq. 
Aurora (Nev.) Times. 

Austin (Nev.) Directory 1866. Austin, 1866. 
Austin (Nev.) Reese River Reveille. 
Aux (George), Mining in Colorado and Montana. MS. 
Avery (A.), Hand-book of New Mexico. Denver, 1881. 
Ayer (E. L.), Leadville and its Silver Mines. Chicago, 1879. 

Babbitt (A. T.), The Grazing Interest and Beef Supply. MS. 

Baker (Wm and P. J.), Gardening and Agriculture in Colorado. MS. 

Balch (WmR.), The Mines, Miners, and Mining Interests of the United 
States. Philadelphia, 1882. 

Baldwin (Charles P.), Mining in Colorado. MS. 

Baldwin (Benjamin F.), Statement. MS. 

Ballon (W. T.), Adventures. MS. 

Bancroft (Charles), The Footprints of Time. Burlington, 1877. 

Bancroft (F. J.), The Air We Breathe, n. p. 1878. 

Bancroft (Hubert H.), Colorado Springs. MS. ; Colorado Notes. MS. 

Bancroft (Hubert H.), History of California, 7 vols; History of Arizona and 
New Mexico; History of Texas and the North Mexican States, 2 vols; 
History of the Northwest Coast, 2 vols; History of Oregon, 2 vols; His- 
tory of Utah; History of Washington, Idaho, and Montana; Native 
Races of the Pacific State, 5 vols; Popular Tribunals, 2 vols. 



Coast Review. San Francisco, 1871 et seq. 

Cochran (C. H.), History of Fort Laramle. MS.; Colorado. MS. 
Cochran (Wm A.), Biographical Sketch. MS. 
Coffin (0. C.), The Battle of Sand Creek, Colorado. MS. 
Collins (Charles), The Rocky Mountain Gold Region. Denver, 1861. 
Collins (Thos B), Statement. MS. 
Colorado. A Chance Discovery. MS. 
Colorado Antelope. 
Colorado College. 

Colorado Condensed Industrial Information. Denver, 1881, 1883. 
Colorado Directories. 
Colorado Farm Lands. Denver, 1879. 
Colorado, History of. Chicago, 1880. 

Colorado Historical Society, Extracts from Early Records. MS. 
Colorado Mining Camps. MS. 
Colorado Mining Directory, 1883. 
Colorado Notes. MS. 
Colorado Pocket Guide. Denver, n. d. 
Colorado Press and People. MS. 
Colorado Register. 
Colorado Reminiscences. MS. 
Colorado. The Legend of Fair Play. MS. 
Colorado Mines and Settler's Guide, etc. Denver, 1880. 
Colorado State and Territorial Documents; Journals of the Legislature; Gov- 
ernor's Messages; Reports of Secretary of State; Treasurer; Auditor; 
State Geologist; State Board of Agriculture; Penitentiary; Mute and 
Blind Institute; Sup't of Instruction; State Board of Health; Laws; 
General School Election, Stock, and Mining Laws; Code of Civil Pro- 
cedure; Constitution of State; Contested Election, etc. 
Colorado; Treaties with the Indians. MS. 

Como (Nev.) Sentinel. 

Congressional Globe. Washington, 1836 et seq. 

Congressional Record (continuation of Cong. Globe). 

Contributor. Salt Lake City, 1879 et seq. 

Cook (D. J. ), Hands Up ! ! or Twenty Years of Detective Life. No imp. 

Corbett (Thos B.), Colorado Directory of Mines. Denver, 1879; Legislative 
Manual. Denver, 1877. 

Corbett (W. W.), The Founding of Cheyenne. MS. 

Corbin (H. H.), Dictation. MS. 

Corregan (R. A.), and D. F. Lingane, Colorado Mining Directory, 1883. 

Coyner (David H.), The Lost Trapper. Cincinnati, 1850 and 1859. 

Carter (George E.), Biography. MS. 

Cradlebough (W. M.), Nevada Biography. MS. 

Crofutt (George A.), Crofutt's Grip Sack Guide. 1881. 

Crowell (B. F.), Farming in Colorado. MS. 

Culver ( Wm E. ), Land Frauds in West Los Animas. MS. 

Cushman (S. H.) and J. P. Waterman, The Gold Mines of Gilpin County, 
Colorado. Central City, 1876. 

Cutler, The Maxwell Dynasty. MS. 

Dailey, Early Times in Colorado. MS. 

Daly (Charles P. ). Annual Address in American Geographical Society's Re- 
port, 1873. 

Darrow (George G.), Biographical Sketch. MS. 

Dartt (Mary), On the Plains and Among the Peaks. Philadelphia, 1879. 

Davidson (Wm A.), Indian Adventures in California, and Mining and Agri- 
culture in Colorado. MS. 

Davis (C. C.), History of Colorado. MS. 

Davis (J. C.), Dictation. MS. 


Buel (J. W.), Heroes of the Plains. Kansas City. 

Buena Vista (Colo), Miner; Herald; Chaffee County Times; Democrat. 

Burchard (H. C.), Report upon the Production of the Precious Metals in the 
United States. Washington, 1881 et seq. 

Burke (John), Dictation. MS. 

Burton (Richard F.), The City of the Saints. London, 1861; New York, 

Byers (Win N.), The Centennial State. MS.; History of Colorado. MS.; 
Interview with. MS.; The Newspaper Press of Colorado. MS.; The 
Sand Creek Affair. MS.; In Dead Men's Gulch. MS.; Correspondence 
with Mrs. Jackson, in N. Y. Tribune, Feb. 5, 22, and March 3, 1880; also 
in Out West, Oct. 1873. 

Cadwallader (Allen), Map and Guide to the White Pine Mines. San Fran- 
cisco, 1869. 

Cahill (Luke), Recollections of Kit Carson. MS. 
California Senate and Assembly Journals. 1850 et seq. Statutes. 1850 

et seq. 

Campbell (L. M.), Climate and Agriculture of Colorado. MS. 
Candalaria (Nev.), True Fissure. 

Caiion City (Colo), Democrat; Mercury; Record; Times. 
Canon City Grand Army College and Military Institute, 'Catalogue and 


Canon City Land Investment Co. Prospectus. Canon City, 1882. 
Capyless (Edgar), Dictation. MS. 
Carey (J. M. )," Politics and People of Wyoming. MS. 
Carlin (Wm P.), History of Fort Bridger. MS.; Experiences in Wyoming. 


Carmichael (D. F.), Statement. MS. 
Carpenter (C. H.), Mining in Colorado. MS. 
Carpenter (M. B.), Mining Code. Denver, 1879. 
Carson City (Nev.), Appeal; Independent; Index; Nevada Tribune; Post; 

Silver Age; State Democrat; State Register; Territorial Enterprise; 

Cassidy (James), Capture and Execution of Coe's Band of Horse Thieves. 


Catalogue of the National Mining and Industrial Exposition. Denver, 1884. 
Central City (Colo), Colorado Herald; Evening Call; Mining Life; Miners' 

Register; Register; Register-Call; Rocky Mountain Gold Reporter; 


Chamberlain (H. D.), Dictation. MS. 
Chambers (Alex. ), History of Fort Bridger. MS. 
Chapnis ( J. E. ), Statement. MS. 
Cherry Creek (Nev.), White Pine News. 
Cheyenne (Wyo.), Directory, 1883-4; Cheyenne, 1883. 
Cheyenne (Wyo.), Argus; Leader; News; Rocky Mountain Star; Sun. 
Cheyenne Board of Trade Report. Cheyenne, 1888. 
Chiles (Jos. B.), A Visit to California. MS. 
Chipley (James N.), Towns about Leadville. MS. 
Chivington. (J. M.), The First Colorado Regiment. MS.; The Prospector. 

MS.; Speech in Hett's Tales of Colorado Pioneers. 
Chubbuck (Theo.), The Battle of Sand Creek, Colorado. MS. 
Clark (C. A.), Statement. MS. 
Clark (C. M.), Trip to Pike's Peak. MS. 
Clark (W. M.), Statement. MS. 
Clawson (C. C.), Letters in Deer Lodge New Northwest, May 18 and June 

1, 1872. 

Clear Creek and Boulder Valley, Colorado, History of. Chicago. 1880. 
Clear Creek County, Colorado, Statistical History. Georgetown, n. d. 
Cleveland (Ohio) Leader. 


i o ^ 

Coast Review. San Francisco, 1871 et seq. 

Cochran (C. H.), History of Fort Laramle. MS'.; Colorado. MS. 
Cochran ( Wm A. ), Biographical Sketch. MS. 
Coffin (0. C.), The Battle of Sand Creek, Colorado. MS. 
Collins (Charles), The Rocky Mountain Gold Region. Denver, 1861. 
Collins (Thos B), Statement. MS. 
Colorado. A Chance Discovery. MS. 
Colorado Antelope. 
Colorado College. 

Colorado Condensed Industrial Information. Denver, 1881, 1883. 
Colorado Directories. 
Colorado Farm Lands. Denver, 1879. 
Colorado, History of. Chicago, 1880. 

Colorado Historical Society, Extracts from Early Records. MS. 
Colorado Mining Camps. MS. 
Colorado Mining Directory, 1883. 
Colorado Notes. MS. 
Colorado Pocket Guide. Denver, n. d. 
Colorado Press and People. MS. 
Colorado Register. 
Colorado Reminiscences. MS. 
Colorado. The Legend of Fair Play. MS. 
Colorado Mines and Settler's Guide, etc. Denver, 1880. 

Colorado State and Territorial Documents; Journals of the Legislature; Gov- 
ernor's Messages; Reports of Secretary of State; Treasurer; Auditor; 
State Geologist; State Board of Agriculture; Penitentiary; Mute and 
Blind Institute; Sup't of Instruction; State Board of Health; Laws; 
General School Election, Stock, and Mining Laws; Code of Civil Pro- 
cedure; Constitution of State; Contested Election, etc. 
Colorado; Treaties with the Indians. MS. 

Como (Nev.) Sentinel. 

Congressional Globe. Washington, 1836 et seq. 

Congressional Record (continuation of Cong. Globe). 

Contributor. Salt Lake City, 1879 et seq. 

Cook (D. J. ), Hands Up ! ! or Twenty Years of Detective Life. No imp. 

Corbett (Thos B.), Colorado Directory of Mines. Denver, 1879; Legislative 
Manual. Denver, 1877. 

Corbebt (W. W.), The Founding of Cheyenne. MS. 

Corbin (H. H.), Dictation. MS. 

Corregan (R. A.), and D. F. Lingane, Colorado Mining Directory, 1883. 

Coyner (David H.), The Lost Trapper. Cincinnati, 1850 and 1859. 

Carter (George E.), Biography. MS. 

Cradlebough (W. M.), Nevada Biography. MS. 

Crofutt (George A.), Crofutt's Grip Sack Guide. 1881. 

Crowell (B. F.), Farming in Colorado. MS. 

Culver ( Wm E. ), Land Frauds in West Los Animas. MS. 

Cushman (S. H.) and J. P. Waterman, The Gold Mines of Gilpin County, 
Colorado. Central City, 1876. 

Cutler, The Maxwell Dynasty. MS. 

Dailey, Early Times in Colorado. MS. 

Daly (Charles P. ), Annual Address in American Geographical Society's Re- 
port, 1873. 

Darrow (George G.), Biographical Sketch. MS. 

Dartt (Mary), On the Plains and Among the Peaks. Philadelphia, 1879. 

Davidson (Wm A.), Indian Adventures in California, and Mining and Agri- 
culture in Colorado. MS. 

Davis (C. C.), History of Colorado. MS. 

Davis (J. C.), Dictation. MS. 


Dayton (Nev.) Lyon County Sentinel. 

Dead Men's Gulch, and Other Sketches. MS. 

De Coursey (M. L.), Glen wood Springs. MS. 

De Groot (Henry), Report on the Mineral Deposits and Other Properties of the 

Nevada Consolidated Borax Company. San Francisco, 1871; Sketches 

of the Washoe Silver Mines. San Francisco, 1860. 
Deer Lodge (Mont.), Independent; New Northwest. 
Del Mar (Alex.), History of the Precious Metals. London, 1880. 
Del Norte (Colo), The Prospector. 
Delano (A.), Life on the Pliins, 1861. 
Dennison (Charles), Rocky Mountain Health Resorts. 
Denver National Mining Exposition 1884, Catalogue. 
Denver Municipal Reports. 
Denver University, Circular 1884. 
Denver Newspapers: Colorado Farmer; Gazette; Great West; Inter-Ocean; 

Journal of Commerce; Opinion; Republican; Rocky Mountain Herald; 

Rocky Mountain News; Tribune; Vidette. 

Denver and Rio Grande R. R., First Annual Report. Philadelphia, 1873. 
Descriptive America. 

Dilke (Charles W.), Greater Britain. Philadelphia, 1869. 
Dixon (William H.), New America. Philadelphia, 1867. 
Dobbins ( James S.), Mining, Stock-raising, and Indian Adventures in Colo- 
rado. MS. 

Documentos Historicos Mexicanos. MS. 15 vols. 
Dolloff (John W.), Biography. MS. 
Dominguez y Escalante, Diario y Derrotero, etc., in Doc. Hist. Mex., 2d 

series, i. 375-588. 
Dotson (Peter K.). Doings. MS. 
Dow (T. K.), A Tour in America. Melbourne, 1884. 
Downieville (Cal.) Mountain Messenger. 
Dunbar (Mrs S. J.), The Health Resorts of Colorado Springs and Manitou. 

Colorado Springs, n. d. 

Duggan (Martin), The Marshalship of Leadville. MS. 
Dunraven (Earl of), The Great Divide. New York, 1876. 
Durango (Colo), Democrat; Herald. 

Earle (Frank), Solidad, in Chaffee County. Colorado Springs, 1884. 

Earhart (W. R.), The Climatic Influence of Colorado. MS. 

Eaton (H. C.), Gunnison, Yesterday and To-day. MS. 

Edwards (Melvin), Letter to E. P. Newkirk. MS. 

Effinger (W. H.), Statement. MS. 

Elbert (Samuel H. ), Public Men and Measures. MS. Speech before the Con- 
vention of Trans-Missouri States. Denver, 1873. 

Elich (John, Jr), Statement. MS. 

Elko (Nev.) Independent. 

Elliott (Ezra T.), Statement. MS. 

Elliott (Wallace W. & Co.), History of Arizona Territory. San Francisco, 

El Paso County, As It Has Been and Is. MS. 

Elzel (Gabriel), Statement. MS. 

Ernest (T. P.), Statement. MS. 

Esmeralda (Nev.) Herald. 

Eureka (Nev.), Leader; Sentinel. 

Evans (Albert G.), White Pine, Its Geographical Location, Topography, etc. 
San Francisco, 1869. 

Evans (Gov. John), Interview with. MS. 

Evanston (Wyo.), Age; Chieftain; Times; Uinta County Argus. 

Everett (Wm R.), Statement. MS. 

Extract from Early Records. MS. 


Faithful (Emily), Three Visits to America. New York, 1884. 

Farayre (M. E. G.), Exploration Mineralogique, 18(39. 

Farmer (E. 0.), Resources of the Rocky Mountains. Cleveland, 1883. 

Farnham (Thomas J.), Travels in the Great Western Prairies. Poughkeep- 
sie, 1841. 

Farrell (N. E.), Colorado as It Is. Chicago, 1868. 

Faurot (C. S. ), Farming in Colorado. MS'. 

Fisher (I. R.), Camping in the Rocky Mountains. New York, 1880. 

Fisher (John), Statement. MS. 

Fisher (L. P. ), Newspaper List. 

Flowers (Jacob), Dictation. MS. 

Fohr (Franz), Smelting in Colorado. MS. 

Folsom (Cal.) Telegraph. 

Folwell (J. A.), Early Experiences. MS. 

Fonda (George F.), Statement. MS. 

Font (Pedro), Journal. MS. 

Fort Collins (Colo), Courier; Express. 

Fossett (Frank), Colorado. Denver, 1878; Colorado: Its Gold and Silver 
Mines. New York, 1880. 

Fowler (Warren R.), Around Colorado. MS. 

Fowler (W. R.), A Woman's Experiences in Colorado. MS.; Around Colo- 
rado. MS. 

Fox (J. J.), Mason Valley Settlers. MS. 

Fox (M. P.), Coal Mines of Colorado. MS. 

France (Cyrus W.), Biographical Sketch. MS. 

Fremont (John C.), Exploring Expedition. New York, 1849; Washington. 

Foebel (Julius), Central America. London, 1859. 

Galaxy, The. New York, 1872 et seq. 

Galveston (Texas) News. 

Garces (Francisco), Diario y Derrotero, etc., in Doc. Hist. Mex.. series ii., 

torn, i., 225-374. 

Gazlay's Pacific Monthly. New York, 1865. 
Genoa (Nev.), Scorpion; Territorial Enterprise. 
Georgetown (Colo) Colorado Miner. 
Gibbons (General), Lecture on the Wonders of Yellowstone Park, in Helena 

Gazette, Sept. 29, 1872. 

Gilpin (William), Notes on Colorado. London, n. d. _ 
Gilpin (Win), Pioneer of 1842. MS. 

Goddard (F. B.), Where to Emigrate and Why. New York, 1869. 
Gold Hill (Nev.), Message; News. 

Golden (Colo), The Transcript; Golden Globe; Golden Eagle. 
Gordon (S. Anna), Camping in Colorado. New York, 1879. 
Gove (Aaron), Education in Denver. MS. 
Governor's Message, in Western Mountaineer, Nov. 22, 1860. 
Graff (J. F.), Graybeard's Colorado. Philadelphia, 1882. 
Graham (J. C.) & Co., Utah Directory, 1883-4. Salt Lake City, n. d. 
Grand Junction (Colo) News. 
Grass Valley (Cal.) Union. 
Greeley (Horace), Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco. Nevr 

York, 1860. 

Green River (Wyo.) Sweetwater Gazette. 
Greenhow (Robert), History of Oregon and California. New York, 1845; 

Boston, 1844, 1845, 1847; London, 1844. 

Ckmnison (Colo), News; Press; Review; News-Democrat; Review-Press; Sun. 
Gunnison (Almon), Rambles Overland. Boston, 1884. 
Gunnison's Journal, in Pacific Railroad Reports, Vol. II. 

Hague (James D.), Mining Industry. Washington, 1870. 


Hall (Edward H.), Guide to the Great West. New York, 1865-6. 

Hall (Frank), Annual Report of the Denver Chamber of Commerce. Denver, 

Hall (Win H.), Report on the Problems of Irrigation. Sacramento, 1884. 

Hallett (Moses), Colorado Courts, Law, and Litigation. MS. 

Hallowell (John K.), Gunnison Colorado's Bonanza County. Denver, 1883. 

Hansen (P. N.), Mining about Eureka. MS. 

Harper's New Monthly Magazine. New York, 1856 et seq. 

Hart (H. Marty m), Boy-Education. Denver, n. d. 

Hastings (Lansford W.), Oregon and California. Cincinnati, 1845, 1849. 

Hawes (Jesse), Charlatanism in Colorado. No imp. 

Hawley (A. H.), Lake Tahoe. MS. 

Hayden (F. V.), The Great West. Bloomington, Ills, 1880. 

Hayden (F. V.), U. S. Geological and Geographical Survey of Colorado and 
Adjacent Territory, 1874. Washington, 1876. 

Hayes (A. A. Jr), New Colorado and the Santa Fe Trail. New York, 

Hayes (Benjamin) Scrap Books; Indians; Emigrant Notes; Mining; Nevada; 
Railroads; Politics. 

Hayford(J. H.), Dictation. MS. 

Health, Wealth, and Pleasure in Colorado and New Mexico. 
.Heap (Gwin H. ), Central Route to the Pacific from the Valley of the Missis- 
sippi to California, etc. Philadelphia, 1854. 

Helena (Mont.), Gazette; Herald; Independent; Democrat; Post; Repub- 

Helm (W. A.), The Gate of the Mountains. MS. 

Hiko Silver Mining Company's Report, 1866. 

Hill (Alice Polk), Tales of Colorado Pioneers. Denver, 1884. 

Hittell (John S.), Hand-Book of Mining. San Francisco, 1861. 

Hollister (O. J.), The Mines of Colorado. Springfield, 1867; History of the 
First Regiment, Colorado. Denver, 1863. 

Horn (Hosea B.), Overland Guide. New York, 1852. 

Horn (T. G. ), Report on Mineral Springs in Colorado, in State Board of 
Health Report, 1876. 

Horn (T. G.), Scientific Tour. MS. 

Howard Quarterly (The). San Francisco, 1867 et seq. 

Howbert (Irving), Indian Troubles of Colorado. MS. 

Huffaker (Granville W.), Early Cattle Trade in Nevada. MS. 

Idaho City (Id.) World. 

Industrial Gazetteer of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. 

Ingersoll (Ernest), Crest of the Continent. Chicago, 1885. 

Inman (Col Henry), Stories of the Santa Fe Trail. Kansas City, 1881. 

Irving (Washington), Bonneville's Adventures. New York, 1860. 

Jennings (William), Carson Valley. MS. 

Johnson (A. B.), Good Times in Gunnison. MS. 

Johnson (E. P.), Memorial. Cheyenne, 1880. 

Johnson (A. R.) and Tuthill (T. H.), Cheyenne Directory, 1883. Chey- 
enne, 1883. 

Johnson (Nev.), Gold Canon Switch. 

Jones (Evan), Indian Fighting. MS. 

Jones (John P.), Speech on the Silver Question, April 24, 1876; Speech on 
the Optional Standard, June 22 and July 15, 1876; Speech on Silver 
Demonetization, Feb. 14, 1878. 

Jones (W. A.), The Reconnaissance of Northwestern Wyoming. Washing- 
ton, 1875. 

Jonesborough (Tenn.) Sentinel. 


Kansas Laws. 1859. 

Kansas City (Mo.) Times. 

Kelly (J. Wells), Nevada Directory, 1862. San Francisco and Virginia City, 


Kelly (William), An Excursion to California, etc. London, 1851, 2 vols. 
Kelso (Win F.), Statement. MS. 
Kennedy's Dictation. MS. 

Kent (L. A.), Leadville in Your Pocket. Denver, 1880. 
King (Clarence), Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada. Boston, 1874, 1882. 
Kinkead (Gov. J. H.), Nevada and Alaska. MS. 
Klein (Jacob), Founders of Carson City. MS. 
Kneeland (Sam.), The Wonders of Yosemite. Boston, 1871. 
Knox (Thomas W.), The Underground World. Hartford, 1878. 

Lake City (Colo), Silver World; Crescent; Mining Register. 

Lamb (Levi), Early Mining Camps. MS. 

Laramie (Wyo.), Boomerang; Frontier Index; Sentinel. 

Laramie (Mrs S. L.), The Capture and Escape. Philadelphia, 1871. 

Las Vegas (N. M.), Mining World. 

Leadville City, Directory, 1880. 

Leadville Chronicle Annual, 1881. 

Leadville, Carbonate Chronicle; Democrat; Herald; Reveille. 

Leadville, Colorado, The most Wonderful Mining Camp of the World, etc* 
Colorado Springs, 1879. 

Lee (D. ), and J. H. Frost, Ten Years in Oregon. New York, 1844. 

Leddy (M. A.), Dictation. MS. 

Le Fevre (O. K), Statement. MS. 

Legend of Fair Play in San Juan. MS. 

Lesseg (W. H.), in Report Sec. of the Interior, 1867-8, iii., p. 40-2. 

Lewis and Clarke, Expedition to the Sources of the Missouri, etc. Phila- 
delphia, 1814; N. Y., 1861; London, 1814-15. 

Leyner (Peter), Boulder County, Colorado. MS. 

Londoner (Wolfe), Colorado Mining Camps. MS. 

Londoner (Wolfe), Vigilance Committees in Colorado. MS. 

Long (Stephen H. ), Account of an Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Moun- 
tains. Philadelphia, 1823. 

Longmont (Colo), Sentinel; Press; Ledger; Colorado Banner; Post Valley 
Home and Farm. 

Loomis (Abner), Biography. MS. 

Lord (Elliot), Comstock Mining and Mines. Washington, 1883. 

Los Angeles (Cal.) Evening Express. 

Loveland (Wm A. H.), Dictation. MS. 

Luman's Dictation. MS. 

Lytle (George), Dictation. MS. 

Manitou Grand Caverns. MS. 

Marcy (R. B.), Thirty Years of Army Life on the Border. New York, 1866. 

Mariposa (Cal.) Gazette. 

Martin (Thomas S.), Narrative of Fremont's Expedition in 1845-6. MS. 

Marysville (Cal.), Appeal; Democrat. 

Mater (Charles), Business in Leadville. MS. 

Matthews (Mrs M. M.), Ten Years of Nevada, 1870-80. Buffalo, 1880. 

Maxwell (James P.), Biographical Sketch. MS. 

Mayer (Brantz), Mexico, Aztec, Spanish, and Republican. Hartford, 1852, 

2 vols. 

Maysville (Colo), Mining Ledger. 

McAllister (Henry, Jr), Colorado Land and Improvement Companies. MS. 
McCabe (James D., Jr), A Comprehensive View of Our Country and its 

Resources. Philadelphia, 1876. 
McCammon (Hugh), Dictation. MS. 


McClellan (R. G.), Republicanism in America. San Francisco, 1869. 

McClure (A. K.), Three Thousand Miles through the Rocky Mountains. 
Philadelphia, 1869. 

McHattoix (C. K. ), Statement. MS. 

Mclntire (A. W. ), Statement. MS. 

Meagher (James F.), Observations. MS. 

Mears (Otto), Road Construction in Colorado. MS. 

Meldrum (A.), Colorado Mines. MS. 

Meldrum (N. H.), Indian Depredations in Colorado. MS. 

Meliue (James F.), Two Thousand Miles on Horseback. New York, 1867. 

Meteorological Observations Made at the Carson Observatory, 1883-4. 

Mexico Financier. 

Meyer (Ferdinand), Statement, MS. 

Milwaukee Monthly Magazine, June, 1872. 

Mining Industry (The). Denver, 1881. 

Mining Magazine. New York, 1853 et seq. 

Mining Review and Stock Ledger, 1876 and 1878. San Francisco, 1876 and 

Minniss (J. F.), Climate and Soil of Colorado. MS. 

Miscellaneous Historical Papers. MS. 

Missoula (Mont.), Missoulian; Pioneer. 

Mix (M. D.), Oil Districts of Colorado. MS. 

Mixon (Frank), Statement. MS. 

Moffatt (D. H.). Sketches on Banking. MS. 

Molinelli & Co., Eureka and its Resources. San Francisco, 1879. 

Montana Historical Society Contributions. Helena, 1876. 

Montana Council Journal. Virginia City and Helena, 1866 et seq. 

Montgomery (A. W.), Statement. MS. 

Moore (John C.), Early Days in Denver. MS. 

Moore (M. R.), Press and People of Colorado. MS. 

Morrison (R. S.), and Jacob Fillins, Mining Rights in Colorado. Denver, 
1875 and 1881. 

Mullan (John), Report on the Construction of a Military Road, etc. Wash- 
ington, 1863. 

Munkers (G. W.), Statement. MS. 

Murphy (John A.), Climate and Agriculture in Colorado. MS. 

Nagles (H. M.), Dictation. MS. 

National Almanac, 1864. Philadelphia, 1864. 

Nelson (W. H.), Stock-raising in Colorado. MS. 

Nevada Constitutional Convention, Debates and Proceeedings. San Fran- 
cisco, 1866. 

Nevada, Senate, Assembly, Council, and House Journals; Governor's Mes- 
sages and Reports; Laws and Statutes; State Controllers' Reports; 
Attornies-general's Reports; State Treasurers' Reports; Secretaries of 
State's Reports. 

Nevada Silver Convention, 1885, Proceedings. 

Nevada City (Cal.) Democret. 

Nevers (Samuel A.), Nevada Pioneers. MS. 

New Mexico, Pointers on the Southwest. Topeka,[1883. 

New Mexico Revista Catolica. Las Vegas, 1876. 

New York Financier; Herald; Mining News; Times; Tribune; World. 

Newland (Win), Statement. MS. 

Newlin (J. W.), Proposed Indian Policy. Philadelphia, 1881. 

Nidever (George), Life and Adventures. MS. 

Niles' Register. Baltimore and Philadelphia, 1811 et seq. 

Nims (F. C.), Across the Continent by the Scenic Route. Chicago, n. d. 

Nisbet (Robert C.), Colorado Climate and Agriculture. MS. 

Norris (P. W.), Fifth Annual Report of the Yellowstone National Park, 1881, 

North American Review. Boston, 1819 et seq. 


North Pacific Review. San Francisco, 1862. 

Norton (H. I). Wonderland Illustrated, Virginia, Mont., 1873. 

Ohmertz (Millie), Female Pioneering. MS. 

Old (R. O. ), Statement. MS. 

Olympia (Wash.) Pioneer. 

Omaha (Neb.), Republican. 

Oregon City (Or.) Enterprise. 

Osborn (Win B.), Politics in Gilpin and Larimer Counties, Colorado. MS. 

Oswald (A. F.), Californien und Seine Verhaltnisse. Leipzig, 1849. 

Ouray (Colo), Times; Solid Muldoon. 

Out West, Dec. -Jan. 1873-4. 

Outcalt (John B.), Grazing in Gunnison. MS. 

Overland Monthly. 

Owyhee Avalanche. 

Pabor (W. E.), Colorado as an Agricultural State. New York, 1883. 

Pabor (Wni E.), Farmers' Guide to Northern Colorado. Denver, 1882. 

Pacific Coast Annual Mining Review and Stock Ledger. San Francisco, 

Pacific Coast Directories. 

Pacific Coast Mines. San Francisco, 1876. 

Pacific Railroad Reports. Washington, 13 vols. 

Packard (D. C.), Insurance in Colorado. MS. 

Painter (Charles F.), Statement. MS. 

Parker's Letter-book. MS. 

Parker (Samuel J. ), The Northwest. MS. 

Parsons (C. S.), Biography. MS. 

Parsons (George H.), Colorado Springs. MS. 

Parton (James), The Discovery of Pike's Peak. MS. 

Patterson (A. H.), Statement. MS. 

Petaluina (Cal. ) Argus. 

Peter (De Witt C.), Life and Adventures of Kit Carson. New York, 1859. 

Peterson (A.), Irrigation, etc. MS. 

Peto (S ; r S. Morton, Bart), Resources and Prospects of America, etc. Lon- 
don and New York, 1866. 

Pettengill's Newspaper Directory, 1878. New York, 1878. 

Philadelphia Press. 

Phillips (G. W. ), Climate and Irrigation in Colorado. MS. 

Phillips (J. Arthur), Mining and Metallurgy of Gold and Silver. London, 

Pierce (John), Report in U. S. Mess, and Doc. Interior Dept, 1866-7. 

Pike (Z. M. ), An Account of an Expedition to the Sources of the Mississippi 
etc., 1805-7. Philadelphia, 1810. 

Pike's Peak Discovery. MS. 

Pioche (Nev.) Record. 

Pitkin (F. W.), Political Views. MS. 

Pitkin (Colo), Independent; Mining News. 

Placerville (Cal.), American; Mountain Democrat; Observer. 

Player-Frowd (J. G. ), Six Months in California. London, 1872. 

Poore's Congressional Directory. 

Poore's Railroad Manual. 

Porter (Robert P.), The West; Census of 1880. 

Portland (Or.), Oregonian; West Shore. 

Potosi Mine, Annual Report, 1881. 

Potosi Mining and Smelting Co. , Prospectus. San Francisco, n. d. 

Powell (Nevada), The Land of Silver. San Francisco, 1876. 

Powell (J. W.), Exploration of Colorado River, etc., 1869-72. Washington, 


Preble (George H. ), History of the Origin and Development of Steam Navi- 
gation. Philadelphia, 1883. 

Prentiss (Owen), Statement. MS. 

Pre.scott (Ariz.), Miner. 

Preseott (Thomas), Through Canon de Shea. MS. 

Price (Sir Rose Lambert, Bart), The Two Americas, etc. Philadelpia, 1877. 

Prince (liiram), Colorado Experiences. MS. 

Proceedings First National Convention of Cattlemen. St. Louis, 1884. 

Prowers (Mrs J. W.), Indian Depredations. MS. 

Pueblo (Colo), Chieftain; Democrat; Daily News; Banner; Evening Star; 
Commercial Standard. 

Qnincy (Cal.) Union. 

Rae (W. F.), Westward by Rail, the New Route to the East. London, 

Rand (George), Agriculture in Colorado. MS. 

Rand, McNally, & Co. 's Overland Guide. Chicago, 1883; Illustrated Guide 
to Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Chicago, n. d., and 1879. 

Randall (G. M.), Biography. MS. 

Raper (W. H. H.) & Co. 's Directory of Colorado Springs. 

Rawlins (Wyo.), Journal; Tribune. 

Raymond (R. W.), Camp and Cabin, etc. New York, 1880; Mining Indus- 
try of the States and Territories of the Rocky Mountains. New York, 
1874; Silver and Gold, etc. New York, 1873; Statistics of Mines and 
Mining. Washington, 1873. 

Raynold's Report in U. S. Sen. Ex. Doc., No. 77, p. 14, vol. ii., 40th Cong., 
2d Sess. 

Reed (Herbert W. ), Biographical Sketches. MS. 

Reese (John), Mormon Station. MS. 

Remy (Jules), and Julius Brenchley, Journal. London, 1861, 2 vols. 

Reno (Nev.), Crescent; Daily Nevada Democrat; Daily Record; Gazette; 
State Journal. 

Revue des Deux Mondes, 1839 et seq. 

Reymers (B. H.), Statement. MS. 

Rice (James), Politics in Pueblo, MS. 

Richards (George J.), Biography. MS. 

Richardson (James), Wonders of Yellowstone Park. London, 1874. 

Richardson (Sylvester). History of Gunnison County. MS. 

Richthofen (Baron F.), The Comstock Lode, its Character, and the Probable 
Mode of its Continuance in Depth. San Francisco, 1866. 

Rico (Colo) News. 

Rische ( August), Statement. MS. 

Roberts (E. ), Colorado Springs and Manitou. Chicago, n. d. 

Rocky Mountain Directory and Colorado Gazetteer, 1871. Denver. 

Rocky Mountain News Illustrated Almanac, 1882. 

Roller (W. W.), Colorado Sketches. MS. 

Rosita (Colo), Index; Sierra Journal. 

Ross (James), and George Gary, From Wisconsin to California and Return. 
Madison, 1869: 

Rossi (1'Abbe), Souvenirs d'un Voyage et California. Paris. 1864. 

Routt (John L.), Territory and State. MS. 

Rowell (Charles J.). Leadville, Colorado. MS. 

Rowell & Co. 's Gazetteer. 

Rudd (Anson), Early Affairs in Canon City. MS. 

Russel (A.), Irrigation and Indian Affairs in Colorado. MS. 

Ryan (John J.), Laramie Co. MS. 

Sacramento (Cal.), Bee; Record; Record- Union; Union; Transcript. 
Safford (A. K. P.), Narrative. MS. 


Salida (Colo), Mountain Mail; Sentinel News. 

Salt Lake (Utah), Herald; Tribune. 

San Francisco (Cal.) Newspapers: Alta; Bulletin; Cal. Courier; Cal. Farmer; 
Call; Chronicle; Courier de San Francisco; Examiner; Golden Era; 
Herald; Mercantile Gazette aid Prices Current; Mining Review and 
Stock Ledger; News Letter; Post; Report; Stock Exchange; Stock Re- 
port; Times. 

San Jose Archives. MS. 

San Jose (Cal.), Mercury; Pioneer. 

San Juan and Other Sketches. MS. 

San Rafael (Cal.) Journal. 

Santa Fe Trail. 

Saunders (William), Through the Light Continent. London, 1879. 

Scenes in the Rocky Mountains. Philadelphia, 1846. 

Schell (H. S.), History of Fort Laramie. MS. 

Scibird (George A.), Biography. MS. 

Scott (Charles H. ), Report of the County Clerk. 

Scribner's Monthly Magazine and Century Magazine. New York, 1871 et seq. 

Seely ( W. L. ), The Nichols Mining Company. MS. 

Selig (Joseph), Dictation. MS. 

Seligman (Henry), Short Biography of Jesse Seligman. MS. 

Sheldon (M.), South Pueblo. MS. 

Sheridan (Gen.), in Secretary of War's Report, 41st Congress, 2d Session. 

Shinn (Charles H.), Mining Camps. New York, 1885. 

Silver (Samuel D.), The Mines of Cororado. MS. 

Silver City (Nov.), Times. 

Silver Cliff (Colo), Miner; Prospector; Tribune. 

Silversmith (Julius), Practical Hand-book for Mines. New York, 1866. 

Silverton (Colo), Democrat; Herald; Miner. 

Simonin (L.), in Revue des Deux Mondes, Nov. 1875, 305-12. 

Simpson (James H.), Exploration of the Great Basin. Washington, 1876. 

Slater (M. H.), Indian Troubles in the Early Days of Colorado. MS 

Slaughter (John), Life in Colorado and Wyoming. MS. 

Slaughter (Wm M.), Early Experiences in Colorado. MS. 

Smith, Report on Development of Colorado, 1881-2, in State Geologist's 

Smith ( J. Alden), and M. Beshoar, Coal and Iron Lands near Trinidad, Col- 
orado. Print and MS. 

Smith ( Jas P. ), Statement. MS. 

Smith (Samuel T. ), Dictation. MS. 

Smithsonian Annual Reports. Washington, 1853 et seq. 

Snider (George W.), Discovery of the Cave of the Winds and Manitou Grand 
Caverns/ MS. 

Snyder (A. C.), Dictation. MS. 

Solly (S. Edwin), Colorado for Invalids. Colorado Springs, 1880. 

Sonoma (Cal.) Democrat. 

Sopris (Richard), Settlement of Denver. MS. 

Spence (Thomas), The Settlers' Guide in the United States. Nev/ York, 

Stallcup (John C.), Statement. MS. 

Standart (Stephen H.), Live Stock in Colorado. MS. 

Stanley (Edwin I.), Rambles in Wonderland, etc. New York, 1878. 

Stansbury (Howard), Expedition to the Valley of Great Salt Lake. Phila- 
delphia, 1855. 

Stanton (I. N.), Statement. MS. 

Stead ( J. H. ), Town Building in Colorado. MS. 

Stebbins (T. C. ), Statement. MS. 

Steele (Alden H.), With the Rifle Regiment. MS. 

Stewart (James G.), Settlements in Colorado. MS. 

Stewart (Wm M.), Speech on Courts in Nevada. ' Washington, 1865. 


Stewart (Wm M.), Lecture on Mineral Resources. New York, 1865. 

Stewart (Wm M.), The Silver Question. San Francisco 1885, also MS. 

Stockton (Cal.), Evening Mail; Independent. 

Stoddard (Wm), Biography. MS. 

Stone (W. F.), General View of Colorado. MS.; Land Grants. MS.; Inter- 
view with W. F. Stone. MS. 

Storey County Records. MS. 

Story (Wm), Biographical Sketch. MS. 

Strahorn (Robt E.), Gunnison and San Juan. Omaha, 1881; Hand-book of 
Wyoming. Cheyenne, 1877; Montana and Yellowstone Park. Kansas 
City, 1881; Resources of Montana Territory. Helena, 1879; To the 
Rockies and Beyond. Chicago, 1881. 

Strait (W. W.), The Pueblos. MS. 

Stuart (Granville), Montana as It Is. New York, 1865. 

Sturgis (Thomas), The Ute War of 1879. Cheyenne, 1879; Common Sense 
View of the Sioux War. Cheyenne, n. d. 

Summering in Colorado. Denver, 1874. 

Sutro (A.), Advantage, etc., of Deep Drain Tunnel. San Francisco, 1865; 
Mineral Resources of the United States. Baltimore, 1868; The Sutro 

Sutro (Nev.) Independent. 

Sutro Tunnel, Bank of Cal. against Sutro Tunnel, Argument and Statement 
of Facts. 

Sutro Tunnel and Railway to the Comstock Lode, 1873. 

Sutro Tunnel Company, Superintendent's Report, 1872; Annual Reports, 

Sweetwater Miner. 

Syracuse (N. Y.) Journal. 

Tabor (Mrs), Cabin Life in Colorado. MS. 

Tabor (H. A. W.), Early Days in Colorado, MS. 

Tarryall (Colo) Miner's Record. 

Taylor (W. S.), Statement. MS. 

Telluride (Colo) Journal. 

Tenney (E. P.), Colorado and Homes in the New West. Boston, 1880. 

Texas Prairie Flower, 1885. 

Thomas (John J. ), Colorado Cavalry in the Civil War. MS. 

Thomas (L. R.), Biographical Sketch. MS. 

Thombs (P. R. ), Mexican Colorado. MS. 

Thompson (Charles I.), Progress in Colorado. MS. 

Thompson (Julius), Statement. MS. 

Thompson and West, History of Nevada. Oakland, Cal., 1881. 

Thornton (J. Q.), Oregon and California in 1848. New York, 1849. 

Tice (J. H.), Over the Plains and on the Mountains, 1872. 

Toft (B. A.), Biography. MS. 

Tombstone (Ariz.) Epitaph. 

Tourists' Hand-Book of Colorado. New Mexico and Utah. n. p., 1885. 

Townsend (F. T.), Ten Thousand Miles of Travel. London, 1869. 

Travis (Wm), The Ben Butler Mine. MS. 

Treaties with Indians. MS. 

Tucson (Ariz.) El Fronterizo. 

Tucker (Selden H.), Statement. MS. 

Tullidge (E. W.), History of Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City, n. d. 

Tuscarora (Nev.) Times-Review. 

Twain (Mark), Roughing It. Hartford, 1874. 

Tyler (Daniel), History of the Mormon Battalion. Salt Lake City, 1881. 

Unionville (Nev.), Gazette; Humboldt Register; Silver State. 
United States Geolog. Explo. of 40th Parallel by Clarence King. Washing- 
ton, 1870. 


United Geog. Surveys West of the 100th Meridian (Geo. W. Wheeler}; 
Bulletin; Reports and Various Publications. Washington 1874, et seq. 

United States Government .Documents: Accounts; Acts and Resolutions; 
Agriculture; Army Regulations; Army Meteorological Register; Banks; 
Bureau of Statistics; Census; Charters and Constitutions; Commerce and 
Navigation; Commercial Relations; Congressional Directory; Educa- 
tion; Engineers; Finance; Indian Affairs; House Executive Documents; 
House Journal; House Miscellaneous Documents; House Committee 
Reports; Interior; Land-office; Laws and Treaties; Message and 
Documents; Mint Reports; Official Register; Ordinance; Pacific Rail- 
road; Patent-office; Postmaster-general; Post-offices; Quartermaster- 
General; Revenue; Secretary of War; Senate Executive Documents; 
Senate Journal; Senate Miscellaneous; Documents; Senate Committee 
Reports; Statutes. 

Utah Hand-book of Reference. Salt Lake City, 1884. 

Valdes (J. A. J.), Biographical Sketch. MS. 

Valverde y Coces, Diario y Derrotero, 1719. 

Van Diest (P. H.), The Grand Island Mining District of Boulder County, 

Colorado. Denver, 1876. 
Van Sickle (H.), Utah Desperadoes. MS. 
Van Tramp (J. C.), Prairie and Rocky Mountain Adventures. St Louis, 


Vickers (W. B.), in Hayden's Great West, p. 98. 
Victor (Mrs F. F.), River of the West. Hartford, 1870. 
Victor (F. F.), in Overland Monthly, August 1869. 

Virginia City (Nev.), Chronicle; Occidental; Territorial Enterprise; Union. 
Virginia City {Mont.) Montana Post. 
Virginia Mining District Records. MS. 

Waite (Mrs C. V.), Adventures in the Far West and Life among the Mor- 
mons. Chicago, 1882. 

Walker (James A.), Agriculture and Stock-raising in Colorado, MS. 

Walla Walla (W. T.) Statesman. 

Walters (J. H. E.), Dictation. MS. 

Warren in Pacific R. R. Reports, xi. 36. 

Washoe City (Nev.) Eastern Slope. 

Watkins (John F.), Mining in Colorado. MS. 

Webb (E. H.), Salida and its Surroundings. MS. 

Webb (L. ), Statement. MS. 

Weis (G.), Stock-raising in the Northwest. MS. 

Wells (George), Book of Deeds of the White and Murphy Ground. MS, 

Wenbau (Simeon), Mining Developments. MS. 

West Las Aaimas (Colo) Leader. 

Western Monthly. Chicago, 1869. 

Weston (Eugene), The Colorado Mines. MS. 

Wheeler (George M.), Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian; 
Bulletins, Reports, etc. Washington. 1874, et seq. 

Wheeler (Win H. ), Law in Colorado in S. F. Chronicle. 

Wheelock (II.), Guide and Map of Reese River, etc. San Francisco, 1864. 

White (Fred.), The Melvina Mine. MS. 

Whittaker's Milwaukee Monthly Magazine. Milwaukee, 1872. 

Williams (Henry F.), Pacific Tourist and Guide. New York, 1876. 

Williams (Thomas), Dictation. MS. 

Wilson (P. S.), Dictation. MS. 

Winnemucca (Nev.) Silver State. 

Winser (H. J.), The Great Northwest. New York, 1883. 

Withrow (Chase), Central City, Colorado, in 1860. MS. 

Wolfe (J. M.), Mercantile Guide, Gazetteer, etc. Omaha, 1878. 

Wood Brothers Live Stock Movement. Chicago, 1884. 





ABOUT midway between the Panamd, Isthmus and 
the Arctic Ocean, and midway between the great 
cordillera and the Pacific, lies a broad Plain of Evapo- 
ration, or following the popular idea an elevated sink, 
the Great Basin it has been called, being almost wholly 
rimmed by mountains, though not always and alto- 
gether concave, and whose waters have no visible 
outlet to the sea. From three to five thousand feet 
above the level of the ocean, it extends irregularly 
over some nine degrees of latitude and nine of longi- 
tude, that is to say from the 34th to the 43d parallel, 
and from the lllth to the 120th meridian, the Wah- 
satch and Nevada ranges standing as its eastern and 
western bounds, narrowing off between the ranges 
north of Salt Lake and the Humboldt River toward 
the Blue Mountains of Oregon, and narrowing likewise 
in the south toward the Colorado plateau. Nearly 
all of Nevada comes within this compass, and a large 



part of Utah, together with smaller portions of Ore- 
gon and California. The eastern rim extends through 
Utah, which lies between latitude 37 and 42, and 
longitude 109 and 104, and divides the area almost 
equally into two natural sections, one being the dis- 
trict of the great basin, and the other the region 
drained by the Colorado and its tributaries. 

One of the most prominent features of the great 
basin is that it is so little like a basin. To call it 
a platter, a gridiron, or a well-filled cullender, or a 
basket of chips would be to apply a more character- 
istic designation. When Fremont gave to the region 
this name he had seen the Wahsatch and Nevada 
ranges, the two great sides, and he knew something 
of the Blue Mountains; but the interior of this vast 
circle he had not visited. He was not aware that his 
basin was full of mountains, some of them as high as 
the rim, completely filling the dish, so that in truth 
there is little dish left. It makes no great difference, 
however, what we call a thing, so long as we under- 
stand what is meant by the name. 

Far more appropriately we might cut up the inte- 
rior and enumerate a series of basins, rather than call 
it all one basin. There are the two great ranges, how- 
ever, which border so great a portion of the area, the 
Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, so far ex- 
ceeding in length the minor divides, as to give and leave 
the impression of oneness, notwithstanding the dis- 
tinctiveness of the Great Salt Lake basin, whose low- 
est point is 4,170 feet above the sea; of Lake Sevier 
basin, 4,690 feet; of Humboldt River basin, 4,147 
feet; of Carson River basin, with an altitude at 
Carson Lake of 3,840 feet; of Walker River basin, 
its lowest point above the sea being 4,072 feet; of 
Mojave River basin, 1,150 feet, and so on. 

But call it what we may, and we may as well call 
it great basin as any other name, the country is full 
of peculiarities I would say wonders, were it true 
that one part of the universe is more wonderful than 


another. Its altitude and distance from the ocean, the 
aridity of the soil where there is so much water, the 
succession of desert and oasis, of mountain and plain 
innumerable basins within basins and all well sprinkled 
with metals; of streams fringed with green foliage, 
willows, alder, and cottonwood, of salt-water lakes 
and those that are fresh, or nearly so, of hot and cold 
springs, of sinks and swamps and mud-flats, of lonely 
buttes and rocky chasms, of sulphurous valleys and 
delightful sun-bathed summits, not to mention foot- 
prints of races and species long gone by, men and 
beasts, land animals and sea animals, of which we talk 
much and know little. There are elevations of life 
and depressions of death, one of the latter literally so 
called, Death Valley, one of the dry sand-lakes com- 
mon in the region through which passes the old trail 
from Salt Lake to Los Angeles, a spot seemingly 
accursed, forty miles long by twenty broad, and sur- 
rounded except at two points by steep mountains. 
Wonderful things are said of it, namely, that it is far 
below the level of the sea; that it never rains there 
and is totally devoid of moisture; that nothing grows 
there, not even sage-brush; that it is inhabited only 
by horned rattlesnakes and scorpions, and that the 
shadow of a bird or wild beast never darkens its white 
glaring sands. The quietude of death must indeed be 
present, if it be true as stated, that the wagon-tracks 
of a party which perished there in 1848 are apparently 
as fresh and distinct now as the day they were made. 
Many strange stories the old trapper James Bridger 
used to tell; for instance, how in the winter of 1830 
it began to snow in the valley of the Great Salt 
Lake, and the snow fell for seventy days, until the 
whole country was white-coated to the thickness of 
seventy feet. Vast herds of buffaloes were caught 
by this snow, caught and pinched to death, and the 
carcasses preserved; and finally, when spring came, 
all Bridger had to do was to tumble them into 
Salt Lake, and have pickled buffalo enough to feed 


himself and the whole Ute nation down to the time 
of their extermination. And this is why there have 
been no buffaloes in that region since. Another 
phenomenon, witnessed only by this keen observer 
and most truthful narrator, is that since his arrival 
in the country, Bridger Butte has changed consider- 
ably its locality. 

Caves are more remarkable than crags, I suppose, 
because there are fewer of them in the world; and 
for the same reason we notice specially stone trees 
when we pay but little attention to trees of wood. I 
cannot enumerate all the crags in the great cullender, 
nor all the natural trees, but I can mention a cave or 
two, and tell of a petrified forest. What has been 
regarded a rival to the great cave of Kentucky, and 
called the mammoth cave of Nevada, and sometimes 
Mormon Cave, by reason of historic pretensions given 
elsewhere, is situated in the White Mountains, some 
twenty miles from Patterson. Through a low open- 
ing, requiring a man to stoop to enter it, the visitor 
passes twenty feet to a rapidly widening vault, and 
thence to a succession of immense chambers with 
limestone pendants, or having a roof so high that the 
torch-light fails to discover it. He may go a great 
distance in this way and still not find his progress 
barred. There is a cave near Fort Ruby which dis- 
charges quite a stream; another in the Shell Creek 
range, one of whose apartments is sixty by eighty 
feet in area, and which likewise figures somewhat 
in history; another in the mountains east of Carson 
River; and yet another near Rush Lake. On the 
plain, thirty miles or so from the Blackrock Moun- 
tains, is a petrified forest, the stumps of solid rock 
standing alone amidst the stunted sage brush. 

The climate is likewise distinctive. The air is light 
and dry, the sun bold and brazen-faced, yet harmless 
and kind. There would be moisture enough were it 
not so quickly absorbed. The atmosphere, which 


may be called Asiatic, is so light, elastic, and porous 
that water seems never to satisfy it; and what the 
air does not secure the soil stands ready to absorb. 

There are sand-clouds and sand-storms at regular 
seasons, and in the southern and western parts of 
Nevada frequent cloud-bursts. There is a westerly 
wind which prevails in the spring and autumn with 
disastrous effect; it is equivalent to the north wind 
of California; and so full is the warm air of those 
saline particles which floating in it make the mirage, 
that often on the deserts and by the salt lakes this 
hallucination presents itself. 

In the valleys, and especially round the great lakes, 
every variety of soil presents itself; likewise through- 
out the whole region there is infinite variety of con- 
figuration and scenery. But although anomalous, the 
climate is very uniform. Though barred by the Sierra 
from the sea, the country is nevertheless near enough 
to the ocean to feel the general ameliorating effect of 
Pacific currents, and yet so isolated and inland as to 
share some of the qualities possessed by the climates 
beyond the Rocky Mountains which those west of 
the Sierra do not enjoy. There is a marked individ- 
uality in the atmosphere about Salt Lake, which so 
rapid evaporation tinges with a blue haze, while almost 
everywhere else in this region the air is exceedingly 
pure and transparent. It is in the spring that the 
atmosphere is most fully charged with moisture, the 
winters being cold and drier, though the temperature 
seldom reaches zero. 

The average rain-fall of Utah is twenty inches for 
the year, four tenths of which comes in the spring, 
one tenth in summer, three tenths in autumn, and 
two tenths during winter. The summers of Nevada 
are generally hot, and except in the more sheltered 
spots the winters are cold. But in the several deep 
valleys, though the wind is sometimes strong, and 
there is frost everywhere, the fall of snow is light, and 
the temperature generally mild. Thus we have here 


what may properly be called a wet and a dry season, 
but the former is not so pronounced as in California, 
nor is the dry season wholly dry. 

Climatic changes are not so abrupt here as in many 
other localities. Seasons glide one into another al- 
most imperceptibly. Due warning is given of the 
approach of winter by the masses of dark clouds 
which corne moving slowly over the plains, and which 
hover in the mountains about the higher peaks. An 
increasing wind is significant of a gathering storm, and 
the winds are often busied several days in sweeping 
up a storm, after which they assume some degree of 
regularity. Spring comes in March, often with snow 
or cold rains and wind. April drops some showers, 
and even May spurts thunder and lightning between 
her smiles. Then comes summer settled and serene. 
Over the central, northern, and western portions of 
Nevada, the temperature is at 90 at midday, rising 
sometimes to 100 to fall at night to 70. Toward 
autumn the heated air becomes giddy, and sends the 
dust dancing in whirlwinds over the plains. Thunder 
storms are frequent in eastern Nevada from midsum- 
mer till autumn. 

The basins proper are for the most part ranged 
round the edge of the so-called great basin, and are 
lower than the central area, whose valleys will average 
an altitude of 5,500 feet, while many interior ranges 
of mountains assume great height; hence the bottom 
of the basin should be pictured in the mind as raised 
in the centre ; that is as not being of basin-shape at all, 
as we have seen; and while around the base of the 
rim of the still so-called basin there may be a land of 
lakes and sinks and streams, the middle interior is 
high-ribbed with compact ranges and narrow valleys. 

As to geological formations, the mountains between 
Utah Lake and the Kobah Valley may be called of 
carboniferous origin; thence to the Sierra Nevada, 
and over the desert to the Goshute region, the ground 


shows signs of igneous action ; while about the Hum- 
boldt Mountains the characteristics of the Devonian 
age appear. The strata of the sand-stone and siliceous 
limestones around the porphyritic and other igneous 
rocks composing the Champlin Range seem to have 
been much disturbed when these mountains were 
made. From this point toward the north and toward 
the south-west ashy elevations are seen, dark, scorched, 
and vitreous, as if the fashioning-fires had not been 
long extinguished. Here and there throughout the 
whole region post-pliocene formations appear. Lime- 
stone predominates in the mountains of Nevada, then 
granite, sienite, serpentine, and slate, all marked by 
overflows of basaltic trap-rock and trachytic lavas. 

Over the blue walls of the Wahsatch toward the 
east, outside of the great basin though still in Utah, 
we have the great valley of the Colorado and Green 
rivers, with the usual mountains, plains, and valleys, 
and the more unusual buttes, lines of cliffs, outlying 
masses of high angular stratified rocks, and deep nar- 
row gorges, to whose escarpments the strata of shales 
and limestone give a terraced and buttressed appear- 

The region drained by Bear River is for the most 
part rugged and sterile; some of the ranges of hills 
which divide the country into a succession of parallel 
valleys are bare, or covered only with grass, while 
over the low mountains are scattered dwarfish pines 
and cedars. Here are wide areas void of vegeta- 
tion, dreary wastes of rock, with here and there clay 
baked by the sun until it resembles stone rather 
than soil. Volcanic action is everywhere apparent, 
lava and scoriated basalt prevailing, with bituminous 
limestone, trap, and calcareous tufa. The lava forma- 
tions west of Soda Springs, in whose vicinity rise sev- 
eral extinct volcanoes, are worthy of special attention. 
In south-eastern Nevada is a volcano basin covered 
with lava and scoriae, and having withal a crater-rim 
two hundred feet broad and eighty feet deep. Not 


far from the sink of the Humboldt is another 
crater. v 

North and east of the Carson Lake country are 
high mountains and intervening plains; south of the 
same region, after passing some distance, a gradual 
depression occurs, which terminates in Death Val- 
ley, four hundred and sixty-four feet below the sur- 
face of the ocean. 

The Uintah Mountains are a branch of the Wah- 
satch, stretching off toward the east. At the junc- 
tion of the Wahsatch and Uintah ranges the gulches 
of the summits are high, and filled with never melting 
snow; thence the latter range gradually declines 
toward the eastern end, where it breaks into little 
ridges and hills. Through the Uintah Mountains, 
cutting for itself a channel slowly as the mountains 
uprose, and which now appears as a series of canons, 
runs Green River. 

North of the Uintah, Green River continues through 
a deep narrow valley or canon about a thousand feet 
below the open plain of country yet farther north. 
All the watercourses are eroded, and the rocks, com- 
posed of hard limestone, laminated shales, and sand- 
stones, appear to be the sediments of a lake. To the 
west is a stretch of buff mauvaises terres, with rocks 
of shales and sandstone so soft as to be easily rounded 
into beautiful forms by the wind and water. 

South of the Uintah are many isolated ranges, trend- 
ing for the most part to the north-east and the north- 
west. There is a district here of low rounded eleva- 
tions called the Yellow Hills, whose rocks are yellow 
clays and shales, some of the latter of a slate color, 
and others pink. " Looking at it from an eminence," 
says Powell, " and in the light of the midday sun, it 
appears like a billowy sea of molten gold." South 
of this is a stretch of bituminous bad-lands, and then 
a series of canons and cliffs. 

The mountain system comprising this region may 


be likened in form to a gridiron. Enclosed within 
the rim are ranges rising abruptly from the plain, 
being at the base from one to twelve miles wide, and 
all trending off toward the north, almost always con- 
fining their variations between the true and the mag- 
netic north. And their distance apart is scarcely 
greater than their breadth of base; so that this re- 
gion called plains is in truth more a succession of 
minor mountains and valleys, the tops of the eleva- 
tions alone being anywhere near upon a level. The 
length of these ranges is from fifty to one hundred 
and fifty miles, and their height two or three thou- 
sand feet, though there are peaks in the Goshute 
Range five or six thousand feet above the plain, or 
ten or eleven thousand above the sea. Floyd, the 
highest peak of the Oquirrh Range, is 4,214 above 
the plain and 9,074 above the sea. The pass through 
the Ungoweah Range is 8,140 feet above the sea. 

The Wahsatch Mountains are the meteorological 
monarch of Utah, dividing the state into two un- 
equal parts, the greater being the eastern. Rising 
in the Bear River region, they curve gently toward 
the east, passing the eastern borders of Great Salt 
and Utah lakes, then sweep round south-west to the 
Rio Virgen. Next stretching southward from the 
southern end of the Great Salt Lake, in the order 
given, are the parallel ranges, the Oquirrh, the Onaqui, 
and the Lakeside and Cedar mountains. Then comes 
the Great American Desert. After that, entering 
Nevada, we have the Goose Creek, Toano, Antelope, 
Snake, Cedar, and Mormon line of elevations; next 
west the Peoquop, Shell Creek, Ely, Highland, and 
Valley ranges; then the Goshute, East Humboldt, 
East Ruby, Eagon, Butte, White Pine, and Hiko 
line, and so on through eight or ten other lines and 
lateral ridges until the entire state is covered and the 
great Sierra Nevada reached. 

The mountains of Nevada are made mostly of 
granite, limestone, slate, sienite, and porphyry, dome- 


shaped or with otherwise rounded contour, but some- 
times shooting up in pyramidal spires. 

The first explorers of this country, namely the 
fur-hunters and emigrants, were warned by the natives 
to avoid alike the entanglements of the deep canons 
leading northward from the river discovered by Og- 
den, and the heart of the arid desert which no man 
had yet dared to penetrate. Both the savages and 
the emigrants were right in bending their trail to the 
course of the Humboldt, as subsequent surveys proved, 
though not altogether for the reason named. Besides 
waterless plains there are many minor ridges running 
north and south which must be passed over or round 
by one travelling straight across from Utah Lake to 
Carson Lake. 

Were there fewer mountains there would be more 
deserts; for besides breaking withering blasts, the 
mountains act as reservoirs, holding about their sum- 
mits masses of snow, enough to fill a hundred lakes 
and rivers, portions of which are slowly melted 
during summer, and distributed over the parched 

There are many places in both Nevada and Utah 
which show signs of having been once the beds of vast 
bodies of water. One of these is the region round 
Truckee Meadows and Steamboat Valley, including 
Washoe and Carson valleys, where there is to-day 
much good arable land which may be watered through- 
out the season from the Truckee and other streams. 
At Great Salt Lake, Stanbury counted on the slope 
of the ridge thirteen benches, one above the other, 
each of which had been successively the border and 
level of the lake. The highest of these water-marks 
is two hundred feet above the valley, which is itself 
now well above the lake. Here then was an inland 
ocean, whose islands are now mountain tops. Thus 
as this whole vast mountainous interior was once 
beneath the surface of one body of water, so we may 


safely conclude that later there were many inland seas 
and lakes now dead. 

Great Salt Lake is in several respects one of the 
most remarkable bodies of water in the world. Its 
equal, approached perhaps in Asia, is found nowhere 
in America. It is in form an irregular parallelogram, 
some seventy miles in length, and from twenty to 
thirty in width. Stanbury calls it three hundred 
leagues in circumference and thirty in breadth. It 
contains twenty-two per cent of solid matter, that is 
to say 20.196 common salt, and 1.804 sulphate of 
soda; it is six and a half times denser than the ocean. 
Where the water has been and retired, wagon loads of 
dry salt may be shovelled up. The surface is ordina- 
rily quite motionless, though at times it is stirred into 
briny foam. It is not inhabited by fish. The shores 
are bare and forbidding ; its airs lack the invigorating 
qualities of ocean breezes. It receives the waters of 
Bear River and some smaller streams at the northern 
end, and several from the east and south. The lake 
has periods of rising and receding, being ruled some- 
what by the rain-fall in the regions whose drainage it 
receives. On the whole its area seems to be increasing 
rather than diminishing, owing perhaps to increased 
moisture in the atmosphere caused by civilized occu- 
pation, and resulting at once in greater -falls of rain 
and less evaporation. 

A promontory, fifteen hundred or two thousand feet 
in height, juts into the lake from the north. It is 
some ten miles in length, the northern end being com- 
posed of sandstone, shales, and limestone; while at 
the southern end, instead of limestone, there is a sur- 
face rock of conglomerate, with bowlders of serpentine 
and porphyry. All along the base of the promontory 
the water springs forth, sometimes pure and fresh, but 
often highly impregnated with salt and sulphur. The 
rivulets scarcely reach the lake, however, before they 
sink into the intervening sand and mud-flat, which is 


about two miles in width, and wholly void of vegeta- 
tion. Several islands break the surface of the dense 
water. The largest, Antelope Island, is a long rocky 
eminence, three thousand feet above the water, six- 
teen miles long, and from three to five wide. It is 
connected with the mainland by a sand-flat which is 
usually dry in summer. 

On Castle Island, sometimes called Fremont Island, 
eight or nine hundred feet high, and fourteen miles in 
circumference, is a place where through the argillace- 
ous schist three holes have been worn, and upon the 
summit stands like a ruined castle an oblong rock 
whence the island derives its name. There are no 
trees or water upon this island, but on its sides grows 
grass in which the blue heron lays its eggs; and the 
wild onion and parsnip are found there in profusion; 
also a highly nutritious bulbous root the natives use, 
called sego. Sage near the summit attains remarkable 
size, being sometimes eight feet high, while the stalk 
is six inches in diameter. Then there are Stanbury, 
Carrington, Gunnison, and Hat islands which were 
explored and named by Stanbury, the first after him- 
self, the second in honor of his Mormon friend, and 
the third after his lieutenant. Hat Island was named 
by his men by acclamation. 

Utah Lake is a magnificent body of water, all the 
more acceptable in this arid and salt-stricken region 
from being fresh, having an outlet through the River 
Jordan into the Great Salt Lake. 

After the Great Salt Lake, in size and importance, 
come Pyramid Lake and Walker Lake, the first lying 
near the eastern rim, and the other two near the 
western. Indeed, most of the great lakes are at the 
base of the two great ranges of mountains. The 
size, shape, and relative positions of Pyramid and 
Walker lakes are noticeable, the former being thirty- 
two by nine and a half miles, and the latter thirty 
miles in length by about nine in width. The shore 
of Pyramid Lake is in places rocky, elsewhere pre- 


senting a beach like the sea. The large granite 
bowlders which lie scattered about the border have a 
calcareous coating from an inch to a foot in thick- 
ness. There are precipices on the side next the 
Sierra, which rises precipitously in places three thou- 
sand feet above the surface. During winter the lake 
is sometimes almost obscured by storms of snow, 
which raise the waves six feet high and send them in 
foaming surf along the narrow beach, in good imita- 
tion of the ocean. 

Not a single lake in the great basin has a visible 
outlet. Pyramid and Walker lakes are called fresh- 
water sheets, though the former at least holds in 
solution a little salt. The waters of Carson Lake 
are slightly alkaline. Tahoe, a picturesque sheet 
thirty miles long, and from eight to fifteen wide, 
though partially in Nevada is not within the basin 
proper, but rather perched upon the rim, a mile and 
a quarter above the ocean level; its waters are purely 
fresh, very deep, and exceedingly clear, and have out- 
let by way of the Truckee River into Pyramid Lake. 
The small streams flowing into Tahoe would not be suf- 
ficient to sustain the volume of water throughout the 
year without the aid of the springs hidden beneath the 
surface. Three varieties of trout here make their home, 
some of which attain a weight of nearly thirty pounds. 

Lake Winnemucca is a shallow basin stretched be- 
side Pyramid Lake ; at times it is nearly dry, like the 
mud-lakes to the north which during the dry season 
are mere alkali flats. 

Walker Lake is an irregular fresh-water sheet, fed 
by Walker River, and containing fish. To the south- 
west in California is Lake Mono, and a little beyond 
a salt pond about twelve miles across, in which fish 
cannot live. The borders of Columbus, Fish, and 
Teal lakes, now nearly dry, are bordered by marshes. 
Indeed we must not too closely follow the map in 
estimating the areas covered by water in Utah and 
Nevada, as many of the spots so represented are mere 


mud-flats, and covered only occasionally if at all. 
The term mud lake comes in this wise. Over many 
of the valleys and plains of Nevada is spread an im- 
pervious surface of stiff clay. This surface is in 
places level, and again plate-shaped, and in the de- 
pressions water gathers during the rains to the depth 
perhaps of a foot or two, to be evaporated when the 
sun comes out. Evaporation accomplished, a thin 
argillaceous deposit is left, beneath which the ground 
is usually miry. Then there are lakes like the Hum- 
boldt and Carson whose waters rise during the rains 
and overspread a wide area, receding during the sub- 
sequent evaporation leaving the same result, namely, 
mud-flats. Round some of the lakes and along some 
of the rivers, notably the Humboldt, are what were 
originally tule lands, which being readily drained are 
converted into rich meadows. 

The term sink was applied by the early immigrants, 
who followed the Humboldt River to its end, where, 
as they supposed, it sank into the ground; so that 
Humboldt Lake was first called the sink of the Hum- 
boldt, or rather of Ogden River. The part played by 
evaporation was not at first fully considered. There 
is still the sink of the Carson, which takes the waters 
of Carson River after a rest at Carson Lake. Both 
Humboldt and Carson lakes are shallow; the former 
is fifteen miles long and eight or ten wide, and the 
latter is ten miles in diameter. The waters of both 
contain salt and alkali. The sink of the Carson is 
surrounded by sloughs, tule swamps, and sandy wastes, 
wide over which the brackish water spreads in winter, 
contracting again during summer. The waters of 
Washoe Lake are alkaline; they spring from beneath, 
and have an outlet into the Truckee. 

The rivers of Nevada are not large, but they are 
many and serviceable; and though as a rule swift 
running there are few important water-falls. They 
all send their waters in the end to some lake or so- 


called sink. Among the more notable rivers here 
and in Utah are the Humboldt, three hundred miles 
in length; Bear River, two hundred and fifty miles 
long; Sevier, Spanish, Jordan, Timpanogos, Malade, 
and Weber, springing from the Wahsatch range, and 
the Carson, Truckee, Walker, Owen, and Mojave 
having their source in the Nevada range. These are 
from thirty-five to one hundred and twenty-five miles 
in length, from four to forty yards in width, and from 
one to twenty feet in depth, varying with locality and 
the season. Precipices and canons mark the course 
of many of them, even of the smaller streams 
instance Pumbar Creek. 

The water flowing through Carson Lake outlet, 
leading into the sink of the Carson, fifty feet wide and 
three or four deep, although of a suspicious milky cast, 
is nevertheless pronounced good. Walker River, one 
hundred yards wide and five or ten feet deep, is of a 
yellow color, something like that of the Missouri; to 
the taste the water is soft and palatable. The banks 
in places are grassy, besides growing willows and cot- 

The Timpanogos is a bold, dashing stream, from 
thirty to a hundred feet in width, and two feet deep. 
The water is beautifully clear and pure, and no wonder 
the trout delight in it. Of the same character is Weber 
River, twenty or thirty yards wide, with its thickets 
of willow, and its groves of cottonwood and maple. 

In the progress of westward-marching empire few 
streams on the North American continent have played 
a more important part than the Humboldt River of 
Nevada. Among the watercourses of the world it 
can lay claim neither to great beauty nor to remark- 
able utility. Its great work was to open a way, first 
for the cattle train and then for the steam train, 
through a wilderness of mountains, through ranges 
which otherwise would run straight across its course. 
It is the largest river of this region, and the only one 
hereabout running from east to west. Most of the 


others are with the mountains, north and south. The 
source of the Humboldt is in the Goose Creek range 
seven thousand feet above the ocean, and it follows 
a south-westerly course to Humboldt Lake where it 

After leaving the Humboldt, the Truckee River 
proved the next best assistant to the emigrant, direct- 
ing him as it did by the best route over the steep 
Sierra. It was rugged and difficult enough, but it 
was the best. Carson River, coming in from the 
south-west, has served a good purpose in floating wood 
down to treeless districts below. Next in size to the 
Truckee of Nevada are Walker, Quin, and Amargoso 
rivers, which pursue their tortuous courses for a hun- 
dred or a hundred and fifty miles, the latter disappear- 
ing in Death Valley. Las Vegas and Rio Virgen are 
tributaries of the Rio Colorado. 

The drainage of Utah is divided by the Wahsatch 
Mountains, the Colorado drainage being on the east 
side, and the desert drainage on the west. Green 
River in many places flows over a narrow bed be- 
tween walls of white and red sandstone. From its 
mouth the Colorado cuts for its waters a canon to the 
ocean. Deep Creek, on the west side, and which 
sinks at Curlew, is an important stream for purposes 
of irrigation. The Jordan, called also the Utah, car- 
ries the waters of Utah Lake rapidly down the in- 
cline to Great Salt Lake, nearly losing itself, however, 
before reaching its destination. The little streams 
of melted snow coming down from the mountains are 
subject to considerable fluctuations, consequent upon 
the quantity of snow and the progress of its melting. 

The hot and cold springs are almost innumerable. 
The rattlesnake chooses as a resort those in Round 
Prairie, in the vicinity of Rattlesnake Creek. In 
one of these springs the thermometer marks a tem- 
perature of 109 50'. Time was when the snakes held 
full possession of this watering-place. The springs of 


Bear River are many of them impregnated with divers 
minerals. Twenty Wells a valley is called having cold 
springs from half a foot to several feet in diameter, 
in which the water rises to the surface of the ground 
as fast as it is drawn out. From several large crev- 
ices in a low mound a mile long, and seven hundred 
feet in length, emerges the sulphuric vapor which gives 
the name to Steamboat Springs, the surgings of the 
boiling water being heard below. Sixty columns of 
steam may be counted on a clear cool morning, rising 
to a height of fifty feet. There are also Steamboat 
Springs in Utah, on Bear River, and hot springs all 
along the western base of the Wahsatch Mountains. 
In most of these waters are found sulphate of mag- 
nesia, carbonate of lime, chloride of sodium, and sul- 
phate of lime. Near Walker River is a spring having 
a temperature of 165 at the surface. 

From a basin ten feet in diameter within another 
basin ninety feet in diameter, near Pyramid Lake, 
comes with sulphuric smell a thick dark hot fluid 
which looks like tar. The rocks lying within the 
outer basin are covered to the thickness of nearly a 
foot with a black resinous substance. 

There are deserts and deserts, not to mention dry 
valleys, alkaline valleys, and the like. There are the 
Smoke Creek desert, the Granite Creek desert, the 
Black Rock desert, and the Sage desert of northern 
Nevada, and the large deserts in the south. West 
and south of Great Salt Lake stretches the Great 
American desert for a distance of a hundred miles, a 
flat surface, declining slightly northward toward the 
lake, and broken occasionally by isolated mountains. 
It is a spot shunned alike by man and beast; even the 
birds seem loath to fly over it. Whatever of soil 
there may be is of an argillo-calcareo-arenaceous char- 
acter, in which appears a small growth only of arte- 
misia and greasewood. Near the lake the lower and 
yet more level and salt-covered ground, which was 



once part of the lake bottom, is little more than a 
mud-flat, on which wagons cannot safely venture. 
Indeed, there is little doubt that this whole desert 
area was at one time submerged. 

Indigenous plants and animals are few, not how- 
ever from lack of possibilities. Mark the prophecy : 
the valleys of this whole region will one day be rich 
fields and gardens, supporting flourishing populations. 
At some seasons of the year the flora of Nevada 
appears to be little else than sage-brush and grease- 
wood; at other seasons hills and plains are brilliant 
with flowering herbage. Large tracts are wholly 
destitute of vegetation. Among things man may eat, 
besides insects in abundance and some reptiles, are 
pine-nuts, currants, and gooseberries. Then there is 
a sugar coming from a kind of cane growing in the 
tule swamps about Hurnboldt and Carson lakes, while 
in the neighboring hills flax and tobacco are sometimes 
met with. In the south there are the cactus and 

On most of the mountain ridges of Utah are dwarf 
cedars; mahogany is likewise frequent, that is to say 
mountain mahogany as the people call it, and also 
pine, balsam, and ash. At a distance the mahogany 
of these mountains looks like an appletree with a live- 
oak leaf. Along the Timpanogos and its tributaries 
are found box-elder, cottonwood, and oak; willow, 
sugar-maple, and birch; in the mountains are pine, 
fir, and juniper, and in the valleys are red and black 
currants, service-berries, and a blue berry called the 
mountain grape. The rolling highlands between 
Weber River and Salt Lake are heavily timbered, and 
support in places a dense undergrowth. The Sevier 
district also abounds in timber. Along the Colorado 
as it leaves Utah are low and stunted pines on river 
banks so high that the Spaniards who were first there 
fancied themselves amidst the clouds; even during 
summer the cold wind sometimes sweeps in from the 
north in a manner most uncomfortable. The streams 


of Nevada are bordered by cottonwood, willow, birch, 
and wild cherry, with here and there a mixture of 
wild vines, and rose and berry bushes. 

On the hills of Nevada are two kinds of bunch 
grass, which may be distinguished as coarse and fine, 
the former being in smaller and more scattered bunches 
and seeking the lower levels. Both are very nutri- 
tious, the finer variety bearing an oat-shaped seed. 
Clover is sometimes found on the river banks. 
Washoe valley is a natural meadow; so is Mountain 
Meadow, the latter a plateau seven or eight thousand 
feet high, walled by mountains, watered by melted 
snow, and carpeted with luxuriant grass. Utah pre- 
sents a great variety of grasses. 

Into the arms of the commonwealth in some way 
should be twined the artemisia, or wild sage, so 
abundant is it everywhere throughout this region. 
Beside it place some greasewood and lynogris, under 
which last let a rabbit be seen. This aromatic shrub 
clothes the land in gray, which mingling with the 
green of the greasewood bronzes all nature. 

Among mammals may be mentioned the bighorn, 
or Rocky Mountain sheep, the great-tailed fox, the 
mink, ermine, badger, wolverene, and muskrat. There 
are sage-hens and hares to shoot; a few coyotes may 
be heard on the hills. In the reptile line, besides 
rattlesnakes there is not much to boast of but horned 
toads and spotted lizards. 

Curlews, pelicans, and ducks frequent the region 
round Carson Lake. Myriads of geese and ducks, 
with swans, cover the surface of the Great Salt Lake 
at certain seasons, there shrieking their discordant 
notes, while at other times and places there is the 
stillness of the grave, a dead sea indeed. There are 
also on the lake blue herons, white brant, cormorants, 
and gulls, which lay their eggs in the crevices on the 
islands. Other birds might be mentioned as frequent- 
ing these and other parts of the great basin, such as 
the hawk, and burrowing owl, the long- winged blue- 


bird, the titmouse, lark, snow-bird, finch, woodpecker, 
kill-deer, sage-cock, crane, bittern, and so on. 

Fine large trout abound in the fresh-water lakes; 
in Carson Lake are fish of a smaller kind, notably 
chubs and mullets. In Reese River trout are found 
two and a half pounds in weight. Of four-legged rep- 
tiles, and insects, there is present the usual variety. 

In that section of Nevada of which Carson Lake 
is the centre, the mineral deposits are the wonder of 
the world. Not to mention the silver veins of the 
Comstock lode, whose history in a sense and during 
an epoch is the history of Nevada, there are salt 
marshes, borax beds, and chalk, soda, and sulphur 
beds almost without end. The waters of North 
Soda Lake which cover an area of 400 acres to a 
depth of 270 feet contain thirty-three per cent of 
soda. Coal is likewise there, and peat beds, and 
quicksilver. The sulphur and cinnabar deposits of 
Steamboat Springs have attracted much attention. 
In Veatch canon is magnesia; in the Ruby Range are 
mica mines; south-east from Pine Grove is a valley 
of salt; east of the Rio Virgen are salt bluifs; in the 
Peavine district is copper ; a mineral wax in southern 
Utah is mentioned; Utah has also copper, bismuth, 
graphite, alum, and gypsum. 

Coal has been found in the vicinity of the Timpa- 
nogos River where there is a stream called Coal 
Creek; and on Weber River iron, coal, chalk, and 
gold exist in quantities. Then there are the scores 
of districts on either side of the river Jordan, between 
Great Salt and Utah lakes, containing names world- 
famous, and significant of precious metals; and in the 
regions of Green and Bear rivers, in the Juab Valley, 
and all along down the Wahsatch Range to the Se- 
vier country are vast coal fields, and on to the south- 
west, which region is thickly studded with cedar and 
bullion cities, sulphur springs, salt lakes, coal canons, 
and granite, iron, and silver mountains. 

There is iron and other mineral wealth south of 


Filmore; in the Elko district are gold, silver, lead, 
antimony, coal, and mineral soap; in the Esmeralda 
region silver, gold, borax, salt; the Eureka district 
has its Sulphur range and Diamond range of moun- 
tains, and its mines, mining companies, and mills with- 
out end. 

To the north agriculture has somewhat usurped the 
place of mining. Wheat, barley, oats, rye, and pota- 
toes grow abundantly, as well as berries and fruit. 
There are good grazing lands, and stock-raising has 
assumed considerable proportions. Antimony and 
sulphur have attracted attention, and many gold and 
silver mines have been worked. Gold, silver, copper, 
lead, and antimony are found in the Battle Mountain, 
country, and in the Pioche district are many famous 
mines. Hound Pyramid Lake mines have been opened, 
and Esmeralda, Eureka, Reese River, and White Pine 
have long been terms synonymous with great wealth. 
In a word, throughout the entire length and breadth 
of the great basin mineral and metalliferous deposits 
abound, the largest veins thus far having been found 
in high altitudes; and who shall tell whether the half 
of them have been yet discovered. 

This country though sometimes called desert is by 
no means all desert. There are many valleys, such 
as Carson, Walker, Rush, Ruby, Pleasant, Steptoe, 
Antelope, and Crosman, portions of which are good 
for cultivation. The altitude of Steptoe Valley is 
G,146 feet, while the lower part of Carson Valley is 
3,840 feet above the sea. The higher valleys grow 
roots, cereals, and the more hardy plants, while in 
Carson Valley and in the region of Great Salt Lake, 
and elsewhere, garden vegetables flourish. And when 
I see so much of this earth which was at first pro- 
nounced worthless for man afterward placed undep 
tribute, and made to bloom and bring forth, I hesitate 
before I wholly condemn any portion of it. Water 
transforms the sage-covered alkaline soil into an Eden r 


and water abounds on every side if only it may be 
Utilized. Nevertheless, there are here some desert 
spots which will never be reclaimed instance the 
region between Carson Lake and the Sedaye Moun- 
tains, and that extending from Simpson Springs in 
the Champlin Mountains to Sulphur Springs at the 
Eastern base of the Goshute Mountains. 

One cause of the barrenness of certain tracts in 
Utah and Nevada is the rapidity with which water 
is absorbed after it comes down from the mountains. 
I have observed that the lakes and rivers are gen- 
erally at the base of mountains, where likewise, of 
course, are found the fertile spots, while the deserts 
tire somewhat removed from high elevations. As a 
irule the mountain streams disappear before finding 
another stream; the thirsty earth drinks them up; 
and thus are irrigated patches along the foothills, 
which are oases, as compared with the unwatered 
plain, growing coarse grain and shrubs. 

Significant names are White Valley and Alkali 
Valley; but these in reality are scarcely more efflor- 
escent than the margins of Steptoe and Meadow 
creeks, and of Reese and Walker rivers. At a little 
distance the appearance there is as if the ground was 
covered with pure snow, which, bordering the gen- 
erally bronzed aspect, produces a new scenic effect. 
It is said that the alkali poisons vegetation and ren- 
ders worthless the soil; but to this an antidote may 
yet be found. It does not seem to injure the water 
of running streams, though wells dug under it are 
often worthless. There is, nevertheless, much good 
agricultural land along Walker River, as well as on 
the banks of the Truckee and Quin. 

As in much of the water, so in most of the soil, 
there is a little salt, this being the result of universal 
confinement. Often it is found, as at the Malade 
River, that the lowlands are rich and moist, while the 
higher plains are dry and gravelly. Then again there 
are large tracts like that westward from the Malade, 


where the land is poor and with no water but a few 
brackish springs. East of Utah Lake is a strip of 
good land from three to ten miles wide; and over the 
mountains broad fertile tracts are found along the 
borders of Green River and its tributaries. In the 
valleys about the Carson sink is much good land, 
while the foothills bordering the deserts afford food 
for numerous herds. Washoe and Steamboat valleys 
offer great advantages to the farmer and stock-raiser. 
Combined with agriculture in this section are the 
mining and timber interests. 

The Jordan Valley is low, yielding but little water, 
though most of it may be irrigated from the Jordan 
River. Wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and the vine 
grow well here. At the northern end, near the 
great lake, are extensive saleratus flats, and on the 
border of the valley many springs of brackish water. 
The land in Tuilla Valley is much of it too strongly 
impregnated with alkali to permit production. 

Apples grow in the valley of the Great Salt Lake, 
and also peaches, apricots, and melons; but wheat is 
the great staple, from forty to seventy bushels to the 
acre being sometimes produced. It is only in the 
warmer valleys that corn is raised, but barley and 
oats thrive elsewhere. There would be great pas- 
toral possibilities but for lack of means for the pres- 
ervation of stock in winter; such at all events is the 
complaint, but in more rigorous climates than this 
large herds are frequently raised. 

In regard to nomenclature, I will mention here the 
origin of a few names, leaving that of others to 
appear during the progress of this history. The ori- 
gin of the word Utah I have given in a note at the 
end of the second chapter of the History of Utah. 
The word Nevada, in Spanish signifying 'covered 
with snow/ 'white as snow/ 'snow-fall/ is borrowed 
of course for the naming of this state from the moun- 


tain range upon its western border. Skull Valley, in 


the Great Salt Lake desert, was so called from the 
skulls of Goshutes whose bodies had been buried in 
springs, according to their custom. Captain Simpson 
named a valley after George H. Crosman, deputy 
quartermaster-general; a peak in the Oquirrh Moun- 
tains, Floyd, in honor of the secretary of war; Bean, 
and Reese, from whom comes Reese River, at first- 
called New River, were long residents, and served 
as guides for Simpson and others; Shell Valley was 
so called from being covered with shale. Simpson 
named a stream after Lieutenant Marmaduke, of the 
United States army, a stream and canon after Lieu- 
tenant J. L. Kirby Smith, his assistant, a valley 
after Captain I. C. Woodruff, a creek for Lieutenant 
Putnam; a pass, creek, and canon he called Gibral- 
tar. He named Dryflat Valley, Alkali Valley, Black 
Mountains, Edward, Clay, McCarthy, and Dodge 
creeks, Fountain, Lee, and Barr springs, Phelps Val- 
ley, and many others, mostly after his men, com- 
paratively few of which names, have been retained. 
Steptoe Valley is from Colonel Steptoe, of the United 
States army ; while all that is Carson comes of course 
from Kit Carson, the famous frontiersman. There 
was a class of path and pass finders, such as Hastings, 
Beckwourth, and others, whom the readers of this 
history will well know. The aboriginal names will be 
easily recognized. 

In the northern part of Rush Valley is a small lake 
filled with rushes which gave the place the name. 
Mount Davidson was called Sun peak by the early 
settlers, who thereby fixed in the imagination a high 
point touched by the sun's rays. Later the name of 
an eminent scientist was very properly substituted. 

The name and naming of Lake Tahoe have first 
and last caused no little discussion. In his report of 
1845-6 Fremont calls this sheet Mountain Lake, but 
on his map of 1848 he lays it down as Lake Bonpland. 
There were those who thought to do John Bigler 
further honor than making him governor of Califor- 


nia, by setting on foot the name Lake Bigler. Noth- 
ing could have been in worse taste particularly when 
we consider that only a portion of the lake belongs to 
California than in applying to a liquid so beautifully 
clear and cool the name of one who so detested water. 
A legislature might make the name legal, but no stat- 
ute-book could render the proceeding reputable. The 
Indian name, always the most appropriate, in this in- 
stance the most beautiful and most applicable that 
could be devised Tahoe, 'big water 1 the lake has 
been fortunate enough finally to secure. 




IN my History of Utah and elsewhere I make men- 
tion of the visit of Pedro de Tobar, of Coronado's 
expedition of 1540, to the Moqui villages, then called 
Tusayan, where he heard of a large river to the north 
and west. I have told how, when Tobar returned 
to Cibola, or Zuni, where the army rested, Captain 
Garcia Lopez de Cdrdenas set out with twelve men 
to explore said river. Some say the direction he took 
from Moqui was westerly; some intimate it was to 
the north of west; I am inclined to the latter view. 
In either event it is not probable that the territory 
now called Nevada was entered, or that any portion 
of it was seen by the members *of that expedition, 
though such discovery is possible. 

There may have been expeditions into the country 
of the Yutas from Cibola, or Zuni, from Moqui, or 
from the country of the Mojaves, of which there is no 



record. After the occupation of New Mexico by the 
Spaniards, excursions in every direction were com- 
mon; so is unsafe to say of any one of them 
that it was the first. It is true that in making and 
placing upon record an expedition of any considerable 
importance, any other important excursion then known 
to have taken place at some former period would 
be likely to receive mention; and, indeed, was often 


The first European to enter within the present 
limits of Nevada of whom we now have knowledge, 
and without doubt in my mind absolutely the first to 
enter, was Father Francisco Garces, of the order of 
St Francis, who set out from Sonora in 1775 with a 
party under Colonel Anza for California, and who 
stopped at the junction of the Colorado and Gila to 
explore for a mission site. Of the expedition to Cali- 
fornia was Father Pedro Font who wrote a narrative 
of it, and drew a map which included not only his 


own wanderings but those of Garce's. 1 If Garces is 
right in his reckoning, and Font's map is correct, the 
friar was in Nevada at the time. 

The month of January 1776 was occupied in estab- 
lishing a residence on the spot where later stood Fort 
Yunia, the examination of the rancheria of San Pablo, 


below on the river, which was found to be a suitable 
site for a mission. In February he visited the Yam- 
ajabs, that is to say the Mojaves, arriving on the 

1 These wanderings are designated by dotted lines. See Ansa, Diario, MS., 
198 et seq.; Font's Journal, MS., 45 et seq.; Arricivita, Cr6n. tierdf., 464 et 
seq.; Hist. CaL, i. 273-8, this series. 

2 'Across a sierra to Santo Angel Springs 34 31' (in Chemehueves coun- 
try); 61 N. E. and N. w.; 71 N. N. E. across a sierra to Yamajab nation, whose 
rancherias, La Pasion, were across the river (35 on Font's map).' Hist. Cat.,. 
i. 275, note, this series. 


west bank of the river nearly opposite their village on 
the 28th. 3 

Garces did not cross the river at this time, but two 
thousand people of a nature superior* to that of the 
Yumas came to him on the west side. "I showed 
them a picture of the virgin," says the friar, "and 
they were well pleased, but the picture of the damned 
they thought it sorrowful to see." The Yarnajabs 
spoke of their neighbors and enemies, on the north- 
east the Yavipais-cuercconaches, on the east the 
Yaguallapais, and on the south the Yalchedunes. Be- 
fore penetrating farther these parts the friar deter- 
mined to visit his brother priests at San Gabriel. 
Some of the Yamajabs accompanied him, and the 
month of March was chiefly occupied in the journey 

On the 9th of April Garces set out from San 
Gabriel and proceeded by way of San Fernando Val- 
ley to the Tulare Valley, whence he crossed to the 
Mojave River, and returned to his former position on 
the Colorado, after having traversed as discoverer a 
wide extent of country. Garces then took up his east- 
ward line of exploration which extended to the Moqui 
country as elsewhere explained. 

The people inhabiting this part of Nevada, and 
located to the north of the Yamajabs, are named on 
Font's map the Chemeguabas, and north-east of these 
the Payachas, and the Baoniora. Two large rivers 
toward the north-west are likewise given on Font's 
map, both flowing from Nevada through the Sierra 
into California. Garces did not explore these rivers 
but was told of them by the natives when in the 

3 For detail of the route from the mouth of the Gila to the Mojave country, 
which was along the west bank of the Colorado, see Hist. Cat., i. 275, note. 

4 See Native Races, i. 477 et seq., this series. 'Esta gente es muy sana y 
robusta, las mujeres las mas agraciadas del rio. . .ellos dicen que son muy fuer- 
tes, especialmente en aguantar la hambre y sed. ' Diario y derrptero gue siguid 
el M. R. P. Fr. Francisco Garces en su viaje hecho desde Octubre de 1775 hasta 
17 de Setiembre de 1776, al Rio Colorado para reconocer las naciones que habitan 
sus mdrgenes, y d los pueblos del Moqui del Nuevo- Mexico. In Doc. Hist. Mex. f 
sdrie ii. torn. i. 225-374. 



Tulare Valley, and he in turn reported them to Father 
Font. They are named in the map " Rio de San 
Phelipe," and " Rio de que se viene noticia por el 
P. Garces," and are probably the origin of the San 
Buenaventura River myth. Garces states: " I was 
also told that hence seven days' journey to the north 


was a great river 5 running north-east and connecting 
with the San Felipe, the latter dividing, and one of 

5 The friar thought this might be the San Joaquin, emptying into San 
Francisco Bay, which indeed it was, or perhaps it was a branch of the Colum- 
bia. ' Este gran rio que corre d los 36 puede ser el que entra al puerto de 
San Francisco en la California, 6 al brazo del rio Colombia.' Diario, in Doc. 
Hist. Mex., s6rie ii. torn. i. 297. 



the branches flowing toward the north. They gave 
me to understand that the first was three times larger 
than the other. They wanted me to go and see it, 
saying that all along the way were good people. This 
I greatly desired to do. They estimated the distance 
to be from thirty-five to forty leagues, a trip of seven 
days, as they march slowly on account of their fre- 
quent bathing and unprotected feet. I concluded not 
to go, having no present to give. Here runs the 
Sierra San Marcos 6 to the north-west, and between 


this sierra and that of the San Luis can be seen vast 
plains which without doubt are the tulares mentioned 
by Father Font in his diary and map; this Sierra of 
San Marcos being the one seen by him at the distance 
of forty leagues, white with snow, and east of the 
tulares; and although the distance is not so great, the 
mountains open gradually, so that farthest away can 
be seen only the Sierra of San Marcos." 7 

6 On Font's map the mountains north of the 'Rio de quien se viene noticia 
por el P. Garces' are called the Sierra Nevada, and south of that stream and 
down to the 'Rio de San Phelipe' the Sierra de San Marcos. 

7 * Dijeronme tambien, que siete dias de camino al uorte habia una agua 



There are many curious old maps showing the gen- 
eral conception of the country about that time, or 
rather showing the ability of map-makers for drawing 
on their imagination, which I might reproduce; and, 
indeed, many of them have been given in various 
volumes of this historical series, notably in the His- 
tory of the Northwest Coast, in connection with an 
elucidation of the great Northern Mystery. A map 
drawn by John Harris in 1605 seems to give the 
name Quivira to a vast region which embraces Ne- 


rio muy grande, que corria del nordeste y se juntaba con el de San Felipe, 
porque e"ste, como dir6, cuando se divide en dos brazos lleva el uno el rumbo 
del norte; y daban a entender que el primero era tres veces mayor que el 
otro; querian que fuera a verlo, que portodo aquel camino habia buenagente. 
Yo lo deseaba mucho, porque consideraba de distancia hasta treinta y cinco 
6 cuarenta leguas, pues aunque ellos reputaban necesarios siete dias, es porque 
andan poco a causa de que se banan mucho y no tienen defensa en los pie's. 
Por ultimo no me determine", asi porque no tenia que regalar como por lo que 
dije arriba de Sebastian y los jamajabs: por aqui corre la sierra de San Mar- 
cos al norueste, y entre ella y la de San Luis se ven unos llanos dilatadisimos, 
que sin duda son los tulares de que hacen mencion en su diario y mapa el 
padre Font, siendo esta sierra de San Marcos la que como d distancia de cua- 
renta leguas veia nevada al oriente de los tulares; y aunquo aqui no hay esta 
distancia, se van abriendo las sierras, de modo que d lo ultimo solo se v6 la de 
San Marcos: 2 leguas.' Diario, Doc. Hist. Mex. t s6rie ii., torn. i. 297-8. 



vada in common with other undefined countries. 
From the Histoire Vniverselle des Indes Orientales, 
Diuisee en deux liures, faicte en Latin par Antoine 
Magin, Dovay, 1611, I copy the Granata Nova et 
California, which, however, presents little historical 
significance. The work from which it is taken pur- 
ports to contain an account of the " descovuerte, 
nauigation, situation, et conquete, faicte tant par les 
Portugais que par les Castillans, Ensemble leurs 
mceurs et Keligion." A Latin poem of twenty-four 
lines introduces the general history, which begins 

RECTOR'S MAP, 1818. 

with comments on the ancient cosmographers and 
the discovery of Columbus, the first book giving the 
history of the Spanish Americas, and closing with a 
sonnet in French. Book ii. contains numerous maps, 
with a brief description of the countries, fourteen 
lines being devoted to California. 

In a map of North America drawn to accompany 
Winterbotham's history, published in New York 1795, 
Nevada is a blank save the delineation of a stream 
with its tributaries flowing eastward into a nameless 
lake, presumbably Great Salt Lake, the three towns 
of Axaas, Bagopas, and Quivira, and a section of 




the Sierra Nevada from opposite San Francisco Bay 
southward toward Lower California. 

In January 1818 was filed in the general land office 
a map of western North America by William Rector, 
United States surveyor for Missouri and Illinois, 8 
whose greatest peculiarity so far as the western slope 
is concerned lies in draining into the Willamette the 
whole region north of the latitude of San Francisco 
Bay, and east of the Columbia and Colorado rivers, 
the Siskiyou Mountains being crowded south to ac- 
commodate this arrangement. 

FINLEY'S MAP, 1826. 

In 1826 A. Finley, of Philadelphia, presented quite 
an elaborate map, the unknown regions being well 
filled from ill-founded reports, or from the imagination. 
Thus the Rio San Felipe is made to flow from south- 
ern Nevada due west through the Sierra into Mon- 
terey Bay. The Rio Buenaventura mystery is here 
multiplied, so that from the great lakes three large 
streams are made to flow in the most direct course, 
regardless of intervening mountains, to the ocean. 
The one most southern, the Rio Buenaventura, rises 

8 Lieut. Warren, who presents a reduced copy in Pac. It. Rept, xi. 23, 
says the map, though the most complete up to that time, was never published. 



near the source of the Lewis branch of the Columbia 
and empties into Lake Salado, which may be Great 
Salt Lake, or Utah Lake, as one chooses; thence it 
takes up a direct course for San Francisco Bay. 
From Lake Timpanogos, the original Lake Ashley, 
or Utah Lake, but now greatly enlarged and placed 
north of Salt Lake, if indeed Timpanogos be not itself 
Great Salt Lake, flow directly to the ocean the rivers 
Timpanogos and Los Mongos, the former finding the 


sea below Cape Mendocino, and the latter just south 
of Cape Orford. 

Although the San Felipe was purely an imaginary 
stream, Friar GarceV branch of it running toward the 
north was a reality, being none other than the San 
Joaquin. From the Colorado Garces proceeded east- 
ward and visited the Moqui towns, returning to the 
Yamajabs after a month's absence. Then he descended 
the Colorado. 

Next to enter Nevada, or at least to touch its 


border, following the record, were the two friars, 
Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez 
de Escalante, who were near Nevada, on or not far 
distant from the path later called the old Spanish trail 
between Great Salt Lake and Los Angeles when they 
determined to abandon their purpose of going to 
Monterey, and turned eastward from the eastern line 
of Nevada, near its junction with the southern bound- 
ary of Utah, crossing the Colorado in latitude 37. 
An account of this expedition, which is of primary 
importance to the history of Utah, is given at length 
in the volume of this series relating to that subject. 

We come now to more defined discoveries. In the 
spring of 1825, while preparations were in progress 
for the transfer of the metropolitan post of the Pacific 
from Astoria, or Fort George, to Fort Vancouver on 
the Columbia, Peter Skeen Ogden, 9 then in the ser- 
vice of the Hudson's Bay Company, set out from 
head-quarters with a party of trappers for the region 
round the head- waters of Snake River, or the Lewis 
branch of the Columbia. Passing by the country of 
the Walla Wallas, they set their traps, working their 
way southward up the stream until they reached the 
point where later was built Fort Boise'. Thence they 
struck to the \v;est of south, followed up the Owyhee, 
and after some exploration of its tributaries at length 
dropped down upon the Humboldt, now first beheld 
by Europeans. 

It was now mid-summer, and one of the party 
becoming enamored of a damsel native to that region, 
he married, that is to say bought, her, thereby secur- 

9 He was a son of Chief Justice Ogden of Quebec, and prior to this time 
had served both in the Pacific Fur Company and in the Northwest Company. 
Later he rose to the position of chief factor and manager. At Fort Vancou- 
ver he was second only to Douglas, who succeeded McLoughlin, and indeed 
at one time was chief factor in charge. He was short, dark, and exceedingly 
tough, with an inexhaustible fund of humor, and consequently a great favor- 
ite. He died at the age of 60 in Oregon City in 1854. See Hist. Oregon, i. 
32, this series; ApplegcOe'a Views, MS., 13; Allan's Hem., MS., 9. 


ing, with the greater safety of the party, wife, ser- 
vant, and beast of burden. This was the way the 
British fur-hunters managed the business, in strong 
contrast to which we shall presently see how the first 
band of trappers from the United States behaved 
toward these same Shoshones. To the native woman 
thus honored was given the name Marie, or Mary, 
who in turn gave her newly acquired appellation to 
the stream, which for a time was called Mary River. 
But as usual in such cases the wife Mary was soon 
dropped; and then the river dropped the name Mary, 
having no claim to it on aboriginal grounds, and took 
on the more appropriate one of Ogden, from its enter- 
prising and humane discoverer, which name by right 
it should bear to-day, instead of that of Humboldt, 
by which it is generally known. 10 

During this same summer of 1825 free trappers 
from the United States percolated through the hills 
from the Bear River region, where Henry and Ashley 
were in camp the previous winter, and came down 
into north-eastern Nevada. In the History of Utah 
I have told how James Bridger discovered the Great 
Salt Lake while endeavoring to determine the course 
of Bear River on which a wager had been laid. After 
reporting his discovery to his comrades at the rendez- 
vous in Cache Valley, Bridger with a few others set 
their traps on the western side of the great lake, and 
gradually working their way westward, before the 
season was over they came upon Ogden and his party. 
And thus met in this isolated sterile wilderness, com- 
ing from such widely different quarters, these Euro- 
peans French, Scotch, Irish, and English some by 
way of Canada and the Columbia River, others by 
way of the United States and the River Platte, but 
all animated by the same lofty sentiment, all aiming 
at the same noble object, the skins of wild beasts. 

During the following seasons there were many more 

10 See Warren, in Pac. JR. Kept. , xi. 36. The name Humboldt was con- 
ferred by Fremont without a shadow of right or reason. 


American trappers who found their way into Nevada, 
so much so as to render the Ogden River region less 
attractive to the people of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany. For while Bridger was trapping and exploring 
to the west of Great Salt Lake, William H. Ashley 
was bringing his company of one hundred and twenty 
men from St Louis, and was building Fort Ashley 
on Utah Lake. Thence in 1826 many Americans 
penetrated the wilds of Nevada: so that soon the fur- 
bearing parts were well known to mountain men, 
among the most prominent of whom was Mr Green, 
who gave his name to Green River. 

In August of the year last named, Jedediah S. 
Smith set out from Great Salt Lake with fifteen men, 
and journeying southward past Utah Lake, turned 
south-westwardly, and following the old Spanish trail 
from the great lakes to Los Angeles, crossed the 
south-eastern corner of Nevada, and reached San Ga- 
briel Mission in December. After divers adventures 
and misadventures in southern California, he pushed 
northward up by the western base of the frowning 
Sierra to the lands of the Mokelumnes and Cosumnes. 
On the 27th of May, 1827, he found himself with but 
two men, seven horses, and two mules laden with pro- 
visions and hay, attempting the ascent of what he 
calls Mount Joseph, whose summit was then crowned 
with snow. The mountains were crossed in eight 
days, with the loss of two horses and one mule. 
Twenty days' march to the eastward from the base of 
Mount Joseph brought him to the south-western cor- 
ner of Great Salt Lake. The country traversed he 
pronounced arid and without game. For two days he 
was wholly without water, working his weary way 
over a plain which yielded no vegetation. Afterward 
he came upon some springs, gathered round which 
w r ere hordes of natives, whom he pronounced the most 
miserable wretches on earth. When he reached Utah 
he had but one horse and one mule left, and these 
were so exhausted that they could scarcely carry the 


few things yet remaining. 11 Before the season was 
over, with fresh supplies and eight men Smith re- 
traced his steps to California where part of his orig- 
inal company had been left. Thence he proceeded to 

It is worthy of remark that the first crossing by a 
white man of the Sierra Nevada, and of the entire 
breadth of what is the state of Nevada, was not in 
the usual direction of marching empire, but from west 
to east, a doubling of progress upon its own track, or 
like a ray of scrutinizing intelligence flung back from 
the ocean. 

In 1828-9 some of the Hudson's Bay Company's 
trappers who were in Nevada under Ogden passed 
over the Sierra into California, probably following 
Smith's last trail. During the next decade the few 
trappers on the Columbia seeking the Sacramento 
took McLeod's more western route, while those en- 
tering California by way of Santa Fe did not touch 

A trapping party under Wolfskill came from Taos 
in 1830, and followed one old Spanish trail toward 
Salt Lake, and another away from that region toward 
Los Angeles. As this country had been explored 
before, and as nothing worthy of note happened on 
the way, we will look in upon the doings of the trap- 
pers who every year rendezvoused in the Green River 
region, and thence spread out in every direction in 
search of the much loved beaver-skins. 

After lengthy trapping excursions on the eastern 
side of the Rocky Mountains between Texas and 
Nebraska, George Nidever in November 1831 crossed 
from the Platte to Green River where he went into 
winter quarters. Early in August 1832 three parties 
under Nidever, Frapp, and Wyatt set out from the 
Pierre Hole rendezvous on trapping expeditions to 

11 There is nothing further known as to Smith's route. For a full account 
of his adventures with all the evidence see Hist. California, and Hist. North- 
west Coast, this series. It is possible that he made this passage without dis- 
covering Humboldt River, though it is not probable. 


the westward. Nidever's destination was Ogden 
River, which he then called Mary River, "a small 
stream about south-west of Salt Lake." Frapp's com- 
pany were mostly Canadians and half-breeds. For 
some distance the route of the three bands was the 
same, and they continued together. Their first camp 
was fifteen miles from the rendezvous. Next morn- 
ing on starting they discovered a band of four hun- 
dred war-painted Blackfeet coming down upon them 
fierce for fight. Hastily throwing up a breastwork of 
their packs, they despatched a boy on one of their fleet- 
est horses back to the rendezvous to notify the assem- 
bled trappers, and then turned to receive the enemy. 
As soon as the savages were within range shooting 
set in on both sides. Spreading out in a long line the 
Blackfeet attempted to surround the trappers. Con- 
spicuous among the savages was a tall and well-built 
chief, arrayed in a bright scarlet coat and mounted on 
a magnificent horse. Wishing to be regarded a greater 
and braver man than his companions, he rode some 
distance in advance of them, intimating that he would 
fight single-handed any one of the trappers, or all of 
them together. Presently one of Wyatt's men, Godin, 
a Canadian, advanced to meet the chief. Godin was 
also well mounted, and carried a short rifle concealed 
from view. The antagonists continued slowly to ad- 
vance until they were separated by less than fifty 
yards, when quick as a flash Godin raised his gun and 
fired. The proud chieftain fell dead to the ground. 
In an instant Godin was upon him; the scarlet coat 
was stripped from the fallen hero; and before the 
savages could arrest him, he flew back under heavy 
fire to his comrades, whom he reached in safety with 
his trophy. Reenfor cements from the rendezvous ar- 
riving the Blackfeet retired. A council of war was 
held and William Sublette chosen leader. The sav- 
ages were well posted in some timber near by; never- 
theless the trappers determined on immediate attack. 
In the encounter which followed William Sinclair, 


Phelps, Sublette, and others were wounded and fifty 
Blackfeet killed. 

Hastening forward from that hostile region the 
three companies soon parted, and Nidever set his traps 
on Ogden River, where he remained with fair success 
till October, when he returned to the eastern slope for 
the winter, and came again the following spring to 
Green River. 12 It may have been this expedition 
that caused one writer to make the somewhat ludi- 
crous mistake of sen ding* Nathaniel Wyeth with Sub- 
lette to trap on Ogden River in 1832. It is scarcely 
necessary to say that Wyeth was never on Ogden 

Joseph Walker w r as of Bonneville's expedition 
which encamped on Salmon River during the winter 
of 1832-3, and in the spring divided into trapping 
parties, taking various directions from the Green 
River rendezvous. With thirty-five or forty 13 men 
Walker set out as Irving says to trap beaver on the 
northern and western sides of Great Salt Lake, in- 
tending to pass entirely round that brackish sheet 
before the season was over; but finding the country 
along the north-western border desolate and void of 
water, the party turned about and trapped toward the 
north and west. 

Nidever, however, who accompanied the expedition, 
and who was fully aware of Bonneville's purpose, and 
the intentions of the party before leaving the rendez- 
vous, says nothing of any intended survey of the lake, 
and that idea probably arose in the mind of Bonne- 
ville while reciting his adventures to Irving. 1 


l2 Nidever>8 Life and Adv., MS., 49-55. 

13 Nidever, Life and Adv., MS., 58, says 36; Bonneville 40. 

U 0n the other hand Nidever, Life and Adv., MS., 58, distinctly states: 
* In the spring there were a large number of trappers gathered at the rendez- 
vous in Green River Valley, and among them Capt. Walker and company 
bound for California. We joined him, making a party in all of 36. Upon 
the breaking-up of the rendezvous we started southward, intending to trap a 
short time on the Mary's River.' A party of 15 free trappers under Sinclair 
is mentioned by Irving, Adven. Bonneville, 72-3, as present at the rendezvous 
of 1832, and taking part in subsequent events, but not as part of Walker's 
company. Geo. Nidever was one of the 15, and he relates in his Life and 


But whether originally impelled by the Salt Lake 
survey or the California expedition, they had not pro- 
ceeded far before the barrenness of the country and 
the absence of water turned their attention toward 
the snowy mountains seen in the north-west. There 
they would be sure to find cooling streams, and doubt- 
less multitudes of beavers; so striking out in that 
direction they soon came upon a little brook, which 
increased in size as they followed it toward the 
mountains, until it disappeared in a lake to which 
there was no outlet. 

On the way they found the Shoshones exceedingly 
troublesome. They stole the traps and compelled the 
white men to keep a constant guard to prevent attack. 
Finally they offered to permit the strangers to pass 
through their country if they would give up their 
horses and provisions. 15 This the white men refused 
to do; and after some stray shots on both sides, one 
of which struck a man named Frazier, further attempts 
at trapping were abandoned, and both sides prepared 
for battle. Nevertheless the white men continued 
their march, doubling their guard, and making a de- 
tour from the trail when necessary to avoid ambus- 
cade when passing through narrow defiles and thickly 
wooded places. 

One day in passing a thick and quite extended 
growth of willows, from which as usual they had 
turned aside to avoid surprise, four hundred Shoshones 
emerged and formed into several distinct bands ac- 
cording to the villages to which they belonged. 

Adventures, MS., most of the events of the time and place noticed by Irving, 
with some variations in detail which it does not concern my present purpose 
to mention. The original company under Robert Bean had left Fort Smith 
about 40 strong in May 1830. It included many men afterward well known 
in California, which country they entered at different times and by different 
routes. Such were Graham, Naile, Nidever, Williams, Price, Leese, and 
Dye. Their adventures are related at some length by both Nidever and Dye 
down to the time that the party was divided in New Mexico in the spring of 
1831, and the later adventures of the party of 15 that went north to Green 
River by Nidever, who says that Graham, Naile, and Price were still with 

15 * They spoke the Snake tongue, a language which most of our men were 
familiar with.' Nidever^ Life and Adv. , MS., 58. 


Presently thirty-four of the enemy advanced, and 
fifteen white men stepped forth to meet them. The 
latter permitted the savages to approach quite near 
before making a move; but when they did fire, if we 
may believe one who was present, it was with such 
telling effect that but one of the number escaped alive. 16 
During this march there were many dastardly deeds 
committed which Mr Nidever fails to remember, such 
as shooting down the unoffending of either sex or any 
age, and that without provocation. 17 

As to the way by which they left the sink of the 
Humboldt, and crossed the desert and the Sierra into 
California, there is much uncertainty. Said Bonne- 
ville, "they struck directly westward, across the great 
chain of Californian mountains. For three and twenty 
days they were entangled among these mountains, the 
peaks and ridges of which are in many places covered 
with perpetual snow. For a part of the time they 
were nearly starved. At length they made their way 

Nidever's Life and Adv., MS., 59-60. 

17 The first published narrative of this expedition was in the Jonesborough, 
Tenn. Sentinel of March 8, 1837, a brief account from the statement of 
Stephen Meek who had returned to Tennessee, and reprinted in Niks' Reg- 
ister of March 25th, vol. lii. 50. Meek says that on Sept. 9th they were 
surrounded and attacked by a large body of natives with a loss of five men 
wounded, and one Win. Small killed, the natives being repulsed with a 
loss of 27 killed. On Sept. 16th the hunters attacked 150 natives, seated and 
smoking, killed 18, and took 5 captives, who were beaten and released. 
Bonneville represents that the natives were peaceful and timid, keeping 
aloof by day but pilfering somewhat at night. A trapper having lost his 
traps vo'wed to shoot the first Digger he saw, and did so. Subsequently 
guilty conscience led the party to imagine themselves in a hostile country, 
and at a ford farther down the river they attacked a crowd of inoffensive 
people, shooting 25, and meeting no resistance. Irving paints this outrage in 
vivid colors. Nidever by way of excuse says that the natives were increas- 
ingly bold and hostile from the first, stealing all they could lay their hands 
on, and attempting to shoot Frazier while setting his traps. It was neces- 
sary to give up trapping almost entirely, and only by the greatest precau- 
tions did the company escape annihilation. Finally they turned aside from 
their trail just in time to avoid an ambush, and were attacked by some 
hundreds of savages, of whom 33 were killed. Nidever admits, however, 
that a little later he could not resist the temptation to kill two Indians with 
one shot, thus avenging his brother who had been treacherously murdered 
sometime before. Finally Joseph Meek, according to Victor's River of the 
West, 146, admits that the attack in which 75 savages fell, but Meek exag- 
gerates everything, stating that Walker had 118 men was unprovoked ex- 
cept by the thefts and constantly increasing numbers of the Indians; but he 
defends the act as a necessity, though it did not seem so to Bonneville, who 
was not an experienced Indian-fighter. 


through them, and came down upon the plains of 
New California. They now turned toward the south, 
and arrived at the Spanish village and post of Mon- 
terey." Stephen Meek tells us " they travelled now 
four days across the salt plains, when they struck 
the Californian Mountains, crossing which took fif- 
teen days, and in fourteen days more they reached 
the two Laries" Tulares; "killed a horse, and sub- 
sisting on the same eleven days came to the Spanish 
settlements." Joseph Meek is represented as giving 
the route somewhat definitely westward to Pyramid 
Lake, up the Truckee River, and across the moun- 
tains by the present railroad line very nearly into 
the Sacramento Valley, and thence southward. This 
authority also states that they met a company of 
soldiers out hunting for cattle-thieves in the San 
Jose Valley, and were taken as prisoners to Mon- 
terey a dramatic ending to the long journey em- 
anating probably from the trapper's imagination. 18 
Finally, a newspaper version, founded on Walker's 
own statements, and corroborated to some extent by 
that of Nidever, gives what I suppose to have been 
the correct route from the sink, south-westward by 
way of what are now Carson Lake and Walker lake 
and river, over the Sierra near the head- waters of 
the Merced, and down into the San Joaquin Valley. 19 
Bonne ville had been quite lavish in fitting out this 
expedition; and when Walker and the men returned, 
and the captain learned that such of his property as 
had not been consumed in the desert had been squan- 

18 Yet Sebastian Peralta with a party of vecinos from San Jose" did meet 
early in November a company of so-called French trappers bound to Mon- 
terey. San Jost, Arch., MS., v. 27. 

19 Biographical sketches of Capt. Jos. R. Walker, in Sonoma Democrat, 
Nov. 25, 1876; and in San Jos6 Pioneer, Sept. 1, 1877. Mr Thompson, of 
the Democrat, was well acquainted with Walker; and the article in the 
Pioneer was founded on an interview. One account says he saw Mono Lake, 
and the other that he discovered Yosemite. According to the Pioneer, 'his 
first attempt to descend to the west was near the head-waters of the 
Tuolumne, which he found impossible; but working a little to the south- 
west he struck the waters of the Merced.' Nidever states that they came 
down between the Merced and Tuolumne, and soon arrived at Gilroy 's rancho. 


dered in California, together with the furs which they 
had gathered, he was very angry. 

It has been stated that Christopher Carson and 
James P. Beckwourth were of this party ; or that they 
were in Carson valley in 1833 and with seven others 
passed over into California. Carson and Beckwourth 
were not of the Walker party, nor did they cross the 
Sierra Nevada to California in 1 833. They may have 
been in Carson or some other valley during that or 
some other year; indeed, Carson was there in that 
year; they were trappers, guides or Indian-fighters 
according to circumstances, and as such were moving 
hither and thither in and around the great basin. Of 
the wanderings of the fur-hunters there is no com- 
plete record ; bub of the names of visitors to Califor- 
nia during these years there is a record. Carson had 
been to California before this by the Santa Fe and 
Los Angeles trail. 20 

29 Kit Carson was born in Kentucky in 1809. In 1828 he went to New 
Mexico, and thence proceeded with Ewing Young to California the following 
year by the old Los Angeles trail. Trapping on the San Joaquin he encoun- 
tered a party under Peter Skeen Ogden, who went from there to the Colum- 
bia river while Carson returned to New Mexico by way of Los Angeles. In 
1830 Carson trapped on Green and Salmon rivers, visited Jackson Hole, and 
in 1831 trapped on Bear river, then to Green river, and back to New Mexico. 
The following year he was again on Green and Snake rivers, wintering on the 
latter stream, and in 1833 he went with Thomas McKay of the Hudson's Bay 
company and five others to the head-waters of Ogden river, and followed it 
to the sink. Thence McKay proceeded to Walla Walla, and Carson to Fort 
Hall. During 1834-6 Carson trapped on the Yellowstone and Platte,and the 
following year went to Bent fort, where for eight years he was official hunter 
for the post. In 1842 he visited the United States, met Fremont on a steam- 
boat, and engaged to act as his guide. Peters Life of Carson, and Abbott's 
Lift, of Carson, passim. 





AFTER the return of Walker in 1834 trapping par- 
ties in Nevada were frequent until game became 
scarce. As one was very like another, and all unin- 
teresting in detail, it is not necessary to report them 
further. Presently a fresh impetus was given to 
westward-marching empire along the line of border 
settlements. It was no longer furs that most filled 
men's minds, but broad fertile lands of easy tillage, 
temperate airs, and a near market. Where there 
were so many blessings provided by nature without 
price, as presented themselves to the settler in the 
then so-called western states, it is no wonder that 
he became discontented and demanded yet greater 
favors. Thus it was that from 1839 to 1846 we see 
parties of emigrants wending their way to Oregon 
and to California, some of which pass through Nevada, 
giving us a view of the country as it then appeared. 



Among others was John Bidwell who in company 
with George Henshaw and Michael C. Nye came 
from Missouri to California in 1841; also families or 
parties under Josiah Belden, Robert Rickman, John 
Bartleson, Joseph B. Chiles, and Charles Weber, 
sometimes uniting in larger companies, some bound 
for Oregon and some for California. There was pres- 
ent one woman, Mrs Benjamin Kelsey, and her child. 
Together came the two emigrations by the usual 
route, up the Platte and through the South Pass to 
Bear River Valley, and when near Soda Springs 
they parted company, those for Oregon, and with 
them some who had originally intended to go to Cal- 
ifornia, proceeding northward to Fort Hall, while 
the others directed their steps to the south, and pass- 
ing down into Utah turned toward Nevada about ten 
miles north of Great Salt Lake. Later emigrants 
passed round or just touched the north-west corner 
of Utah. 

Nothing was known of this region except what the 
trappers had reported; none were known to have 
passed across the country from and to California save 
the parties under Smith and Walker respectively. As 
these had followed the Ogden River, the emigrants 
deemed it necessary first of all to find that stream. 
I have a manuscript narrative by Mr Chiles entitled 
A Visit to California, in which he states that they 
travelled seven months with no guide, no compass, 
nothing but the sun to direct them. They had learned 
from Dr Marsh the latitude of San Francisco Bay; 
they knew the latitude of their starting-point; and it 
was thus they cast themselves adrift upon an ocean 
of wastes and wilderness. 

In answer to inquiries of Mr Grant at Fort Hall, 
they were told that west of Salt Lake "there was a 
great and almost impassable desert which we were 
liable to become involved in if we went too Far to the 
south; that there was a stream running west which 
had been visited by some of the trappers belonging to 


the Hudson's Bay Company, among whom it was 
known by the name of Mary's, or Ogden's river; that 
we must try to strike that stream, for to the south of 
it we would find no feed for animals ; that we must be 
careful not to go too far to the north, for if we did we 
would become involved in a maze of canons, and 
streams with precipitous cliffs which led off into the 
Columbia River, and where we should be sure to 
wander and starve to death." 1 

After travelling for seven days westwardly from 
Bear River, round the northern end of Salt Lake, 
meanwhile suffering greatly from thirst, they camped 
the 27th of August on a grassy spot beside a spring 
of good water, there determined to remain until a way 
to Ogden River should be found. 

Being told by a Shoshone who came into camp that 
not far away were Indians who had horses, Bidwell 
with a small party went in search of them but with- 
out success. They found, however, five miles from 
camp a native curing some venison which he had just 
killed, half of which they bought for twelve cartridges. 

Before proceeding further with the train it was 
deemed advisable to examine the country before them. 
To this end, on the 29th Bartleson and Hopper started 
out, and in ten days returned saying they had found 
Ogden River, distant five days' travel. Meanwhile 
the weather had become cold, ice forming in the water 
buckets, and the company had moved slowly forward. 
Signal fires had been kindled by the natives and the 
atmosphere was filled with dense smoke. 

This is the way Mr Belden tells the same story in 
his manuscript entitled Statement of Historical Facts: 
" We went on, hunting our way along the best we 
could, amongst the rocks and gullies, and through the 
sage-brush, working along slowly for a number of 
days, aiming to travel westward as fast as we could, 
having no other guide than an intention to get west. 

California, 1841-8, MS., 32-3; BidwelVs Journey to CaL, 1841 


After travelling several days, passing over a very 
desert country where there was scarcely any food for 
our animals, and very rough getting along with our 
wagons, we finally came to a spot where there was 
moist ground, some springs, and a little patch of green 
grass, which we denominated the oasis. We camped 
there about a week to recruit our animals. While 
there we did not know which direction to take, nor 
how to go; but we had heard before leaving Missouri 
that there was a river somewhere in that section of 
the country, which was then called Mary's River, 
which ran to the westward, and this we thought 
might be a guide for us in some measure, if we could 
strike the head-waters of it and follow it west. So 
while the company were camping there, three of the 
party who had the best animals started out in a west- 
erly direction to explore by themselves, and see if 
they could find any such river, any water running 
west. After waiting there several days these men 
came back and reported that they had found a small 
stream of water that seemed to be running westward, 
and they thought that might perhaps be the head- 
waters or some branch of the Mary's River that we 
wished to find. After they returned, we raised camp, 
and under their direction, as near as we could follow 
it, we travelled two or three days I think, and struck 
this little stream they had spoken of. We followed 
it down and found it trended westward, though vary- 
ing its course, and it proved to be the south fork of 
Mary's River. We followed it all the way down to 
the sink of it." 

It was the 1 5th of September when after a hot day 
they passed through a gap in a ridge of mountains 
and entered upon a high plain. "It was painfully 
evident," writes Bidwell, " that we must make greater 
progress or winter would set in before we could reach 
the Pacific coast. That night we determined to leave 
our wagons. So, early the next morning we set to 
work making pack-saddles for our animals. We had 



to pack mules, horses, and the oxen. On the after- 
noon of the second day we were ready to start. No 
one of us had seen horses packed. . .the packs would 
turn and get down into the dirt. Old mules that 
were almost skeletons would run and kick at the 
packs. The work oxen would jump and bellow and 
try to throw off their loads." 

The night before they had cooked supper with 
fires made from some of the wagons broken up for 
that purpose; and as they were about to start a Sho- 
shone sage appeared, sent thither from the mountains 
as he said by the great spirit, who had told him that 
on the plain below he would find a strange people who 
would give him many things. 2 There were, indeed, 
many articles which could not be carried in the ab- 
sence of the wagons, and the good savage might as 
well be placed in -possession in due form. " The first 
thing given him," says Bidwell, " was a pair of panta- 
loons. He immediately turned toward the sun, and 
commenced a long and eloquent harangue. As he 
was perfectly naked he was shown how to wear the 
pants. As article after article was given him during 
the day, he turned toward the sun and gave thanks 
in a long speech. As the day wore on and he had 
many things given him his talks grew shorter, but 
for each he made somewhat of a speech. The first 
two addresses must each have been fully half an hour 
long. We called him the Persian." 

It w r as late in the day before all were ready. Be- 
fore them was a range of mountains, in crossing which 
the company were scattered and some of the animals 
lost. All were suffering for water. Dawson and 
Bidwell were sent in search of the cattle, but the 
former soon returned leaving the latter to proceed 
alone. The cattle fell into an Indian trail which led 
into a grassy country where was water. Observing 
Indian tracks mingled with those of the cattle Bid- 

*BidwelVs California, 1841-8, MS., 36-7 J BidwelVa Journey to Cal. t 1841, 
13; Beldtrfs Statement, MS., 9 


well prepared himself as well as possible against sur- 
prise, 3 and continued the search until he found the 
oxen lying side by side with their packs undisturbed. 

Meanwhile the company had moved forward, and 
Bidwell, unable to follow, and fearing to approach any 
of the numerous Shoshones to the west, hid himself 
till morning. Even then his situation was not greatly 
improved. On his north were mountains, and on the 
south a plain of hard indurated clay, which yielded no 
impression to the foot of man or beast. Tying his 
oxen to a willow bush, in the absence of trees, Bid- 
well rode hither and thither not knowing what to do. 
Presently he saw horsemen approaching from the 
south, and supposing them to be Indians he hastened 
toward the oxen to use them for a breastwork in case 
of attack; but suddenly his horse sank into a slough, 
filling its very eyes and ears with mud. Thereupon 
the horsemen came up, proving themselves to be his 
friends Cook and Thorne. 

Following a south-westerly course along the base 
of mountain ranges for several days " we came to a 
dry desert region, without grass or water, and with 
few or no hills to the south. Being obliged to camp 
without water it was the opinion of all that we had 
come to the borders of that desert spoken of at Fort 
Hall. The only remedy was to go north and cross a 
mountain chain which was in sight. The first camp 
after crossing the divide was on a small spring branch 
which had trout in it." Indians appeared from time 
to time in some numbers, but as the strangers were 
weak they were respectful, and no trouble ensued. 

The trout stream which they followed soon sank into 
the ground, leaving the foot-sore animals on the dry; 
rocky bed, between banks impossible to scale. The 

8 ' I examined my arms, which consisted of a flint-lock rifle and a pair of 
dragoon pistols also flint-lock. All our company had these guns and pistols. 
Old hunters in Missouri, whom I asked what kind of guns to bring, said, 
"Don't have anything to do with those new-fangled things called caps; if 
you do you will lose by it. If they once get wet you are gone; but if you 
lose your flint you can easily pick up a stone that will take its place."' 
BidwdVs California, 1841-8, MS., 40. 


course was northerly, and the travellers began to fear 
that they were in one of those frightful canons spoken 
of at Fort Hall, and which would lead them to the 
Columbia. Their hearts were filled with joy, there- 
fore, as they emerged into an open country on the 
20th, and came upon a stream which they felt satis- 
fied was Ogden River. Its course was at first north- 
west, and this troubled them, for "according to the 
map Mary's River ran w. s. w.," to which course it 
presently changed. There had been some antelope, 
but now they had to kill their oxen for food. On the 
2 1st they came to some boiling hot springs, twenty 
within the circumference of a mile, and exceedingly 
beautiful and transparent. The white sediment and 
the rocks which walled the water gave to it a variety 
of brilliant colors, blue, green, and red. One spring 
in particular was of striking beauty; "it was about 
four feet in diameter, round as a circle, and deeper 
than we could see ; the cavity looked like a well cut 
in a solid rock." The natives were becoming more 
numerous. " From signs the valley contained thou- 

All the misfortunes of the journey were as nothing 
in comparison with that which now befell them. It 
was ascertained one day as they followed down the 
Ogden that the party were out of tobacco. Some 
had consumed their supply, and one man, William 
Belty, had lost his that morning. He swore the Ind- 
ians had stolen it, and was ready to shoot the first 
savage he saw in consequence. Some cut out their 
old pockets and chewed them. Belty offered his mule 
to ride to any one who would give him tobacco to 
chew for the day. 

It was now the beginning of October; and at the 
Humboldt Mountains Bartleson determined to press 
forward and cross the Sierra, leaving those to follow 
who could. With Bartleson were seven of the com- 
pany, who killed an ox, and taking a double share of 
the meat started off. Those in charge of the cattle 


Were unable to follow, which caused much ill-feeling. 
Of the advance party was Charles Hopper, thought to 
be the best mountaineer and guide in the company. 
" All had confidence in his ability to find the best 
route through the mountains. As long as we could 
about one day we therefore followed their tracks. 
The Humboldt River was extremely dry that year, 
and as we approached the sink it ceased to run, and 
we were enabled to cross dry shod in several places as 
we descended it. The seceding party having passed 
what is now known as the Humboldt range of moun- 
tains, and followed down the east side of the Hum- 
boldt River, we traversed a sandy plain, where the 
wind had completely obliterated the tracks of the 
party who had left us." 

Thus thrown upon themselves to find their way 
over the mountains into California Benjamin Kelsey 
came to the front. " As soon as we reached what we 
supposed to be the furthest sink of the Humboldt," 
continues Bidwell, " but which I am now inclined to 
think must have been what Fremont afterwards called 
Carson Lake, we endeavored to make our course more 
westerly; for we knew that the Pacific ocean lay to 
the west . . . The first stream crossed was that now 
known as Walker's River, so called by Fremont in 
1844 I think. This river we ascended to the foot of 
the high mountains whence it came. Here we deemed 
it best to give our animals a rest, for men and animals 
were much in need of it. In the mean time men were 
sent to scale the mountains to the west, to discover if 
possible a pass. They were gone a day and a night, 
and reported that the mountains were barely passable. 
At this time we had but two oxen left, and we had 
just killed the best one of these, and were drying 
meat preparatory to scaling the mountains the next 
day. The meat was dried to make our loads as light 
as possible, because neither men nor animals were able 
to carry heavy burdens over the mountains." 

While thus engaged, the party who had deserted 


nine days before, came up, weary and halting, from 
the east. They had gone south too far, probably as 
far as Walker Lake, and now returned crestfallen and 
weak with dysentery brought on by pine nuts and 
fresh fish given them by the natives. "Boys!" ex- 
claimed the now humbled Captain Bartleson as he sat 
eating the wholesome food prepared for him by his 
late abandoned comrades, " iny hogs in Missouri fared 
better than have I of late, and if ever I see that spot 
again I swear to you I will never leave it." 

All set forward next morning, the 17th. The as- 
cent was made; the great divider of waters was 
passed; and on the second day the party were out of 
Nevada, and upon the tributaries of the Stanislaus, 
where we will leave them to find their way into the 
valley of California. 4 

*Mr Belden's account is as follows: 'Before we struck this river, we 
found we were so delayed by our wagons that we concluded to abandon 
them, and we took what things we could and packed them on our horses and 
oxen, and what we could not carry we left with our wagons standing in the 
plains. We were then within sight of the Sierra Nevada mountains, which 
we knew we had to cross. But we could see no appearance of any opening 
or depression which we might avail of to get across. Then we struck south, 
until we finally came to what is known as Walker's River. We then fol- 
lowed the west branch of this river, I think, up into the mountains. When 
we struck that river, however, after following it for some distance and get- 
ting into the neighborhood of the mountains, without finding any depression, 
or any place where it seemed possible to cross, there was some division of 
opinion among the members of the company. Our provisions had given out 
before, while we were travelling down Mary's River, and then we commenced 
killing the cattle we had with us and eating them. At the sink of the Hum- 
boldt River a portion of the company who had the best animals, about nine 
of them, parted from the others, and said they were going to travel faster, 
and get in before they became exhausted. The balance went on, and as I 
said, got to Walker's River. When we reached there, there was a difference 
of opinion about whether we should attempt crossing the mountains, or give 
up the expedition then, and turn back, and try to get back to Fort Hall. 
While we were stopping there, one day two others and myself left the party, 
and went up to some of the higher peaks of the mountains to explore and see 
if we could find any place where we could cross. We returned and reported 
that we could see no opening in the mountains, that so far as we could see, 
the mountains seemed rather higher beyond than lower, and there was no 
appearance of any end or termination of them, and very little chance to get 
through. There was a vote taken in the company to determine whether we 
should go on and try to get across the mountains, or turn back and try to 
reach Fort Hall. I think we had only one majority for going ahead. 
Although it looked discouraging on the mountains, my idea was that we 
should perish in trying to get back to Ft. Hall, and we had better take our 
chances of getting across the mountains. So we decided to travel on. The 
next morning we were packing up to start into the mountains, and in looking 


In 1842 L. W. Hastings led a company of one 
hundred and sixty to Oregon. The following year 
Hastings passed with a small party into California. 
In 1845 he published at Cincinnati The Emigrant's 
Guide to Oregon and California, copies of which were 
found distributed along the road the following year. 

Joseph B. Chiles, of the Bartleson company of 1841, 
having returned to the States, organized a company 
which in 1843 followed the usual route to Fort Hall, 
where they divided, some of the men proceeding by a 
new route by way of Fort Boise and the Malheur and 
Pit rivers to the Sacramento Valley, leaving the wagons 
and families in charge of Joe Walker, acting as guide, 
to be taken to California by a southern route, through 
Walker pass and by Owen Peak, the one by which he 
had returned from California to Great Salt Lake in 
1834. This they accomplished, following down the 
Humboldt to the sink, then to Walker Lake, and over 
the Sierra; theirs being the first wagons to cross the 
state, as Bartleson's had been the first to enter Nevada. 

When Fremont returned from Oregon in the winter 
of 1843, he kept along the eastern base of the Cas- 
cade and Nevada ranges, entering Nevada late in 
December. Snow and sage brush covered the valleys, 
but grass for the animals was found on the hills of 

back we saw the dust rising on the trail we had travelled the day before, and 
we waited to see what it was; and presently we saw the nine men who had left 
us several days before with the idea of going ahead, coming up on our trail, 
very hungry and forlorn-looking. We had a quarter of beef left from the 
last animal we had killed, and gave them something to eat. They had made 
a kind of circle, and reached our camp, having struck our trail. We then all 
went on together. We worked our way into the mountains with a great deal 
of difficulty and hardship. The way was very rough, and one day in wind- 
ing round the side of a mountain we lost four of our animals, who missed 
their footing and .rolled down the mountain. We finally reached the sum- 
mit with great labor and difficulty, and after getting a little beyond the 
summit on the other side, we struck a little stream of water that seemed to- 
run westward, and we judged that we had got over the divide, and thought 
that by following the stream as well as we could, it would lead us down the 
westerly slope of the mountain. Meantime we had eaten the last of our beef 
from our cattle, and we were reduced to the necessity of killing our horses, 
and mules, and living on them.' Historical Facts, MS. For continuation of 
the narrative after crossing the Sierra see Hist. Col., this series. 



slight elevation, dividing the successive plains, while 
in the mountain passes were seen large cedars. The 
Shoshones here encountered stole horses, caught hare, 
in whose skins they sometimes sought to cover them- 
selves, and huddled almost naked over a sage fire. 

Following a grassy hollow, into some meadows, on 
the 29th the party came to a willow grove, where they 


made camp. Next day they saw a stream enter a 
canon which they could not follow, but doubted not 
it flowed into Mary Lake. "On both sides the moun- 
tains showed often stupendous and curious-looking 
rocks, which at several places so narrowed the valley 
that scarcely a pass was left for the camp. It was a 


singular place to travel through, shut up in the earth, 
a sort of chasm, the little strip of grass under our feet, 
the rough walls of bare rock on either hand, and 
narrow strip of sky above." 

New Year's day, 1844, saw them continuing down 
the valley "between -a dry -looking black ridge on the 
left, and a more snowy and high one on the right." 
The grass was gone, and a finely powdered sand and 
saline efflorescence covered the ground. Next day 
they crossed south-easterly the dry bed of a large 
muddy lake. In a dense fog which scattered the men 
and animals, on the 3d of January, the search for 
Ogden River was continued. "Our situation had now 
become a serious one," writes the leader. "We had 
reached and run over the position where, according to 
the best maps in my possession, we should have found 
Mary's lake or river. We were evidently on the 
verge of the desert which had been reported to us; 
and the appearance of the country was so forbidding 
that I was afraid to enter it, and determined to bear 
away to the southward, keeping close along the moun- 
tains, in the full expectation of reaching the Buena- 
ventura River." In fact the search for this mythical 
stream brought upon the expedition much confusion, 
its absence being scarcely less bewildering than the 
continuing -fog. They had but to ascend a hill, how- 
ever, to find it all bright sunshine. Then they crossed 
the bed of another lake, where were traces of sheep 
and antelope, and came through grass to some hot 
springs. Since leaving The Dalles the party had lost 
fifteen animals. 

On the 6th, with Godey and Carson, Fremont pro- 
ceeded in advance to explore. They soon came to 
grass with springs overshadowed with cotton wood, 
harbingers of better lands. On the mountains they 
saw heavy timber, which led them to infer that they 
were not far from the Pacific. While Carson and 
Fremont were again reconnoitring they came upon a 
sheet of green water, which they estimated to be 


twenty miles in width. "It broke upon our eyes like 
the ocean. The neighboring peaks rose high above 
us ... the waves were curling in the breeze, and their 
dark green color showed it to be a body of deep 
water." It lay at the foot of the Sierra, communi- 
cating at what they call the western end with a series 
of basins. Wild sheep were seen ; also ducks and fish. 
Rising from the middle of the lake was a remark- 
able rock, estimated by them to be six hundred feet 
in height, in form like the pyramid of Cheops, where- 
upon they called the sheet Pyramid Lake. They 
were surprised to find at the southern end a large 
fresh- water inlet instead of an outlet; the latter did 
not exist, as they were then informed by the natives. 
There was here an Indian village, whose inhabitants 
brought fish of excellent quality to trade* 

The natives made a drawing on the ground repre- 
senting this river as issuing from another large lake, 
three or four days distant over the mountains toward 
the south-west. Then they drew a mountain, and 
beyond it placed two more rivers, from all which the 
explorers concluded they were not on the waters of 
the Sacramento, or even of the Humboldt, though at 
every turn they still expected to come upon the great 
Buenaventura. The 16th they continued their jour- 
ney along the beautiful Truckee, which they called 
Salmon Trout River; on their right was the great 
snow-enshrouded Sierra, while at their feet flowed the 
limpid stream in places almost hidden by large cotton- 
woods. Carson searched everywhere for beaver cut- 
tings, which he maintained would be found only on 
streams flowing into the ocean, and failing to find such 
signs he became convinced that the waters thereabout 
had no outlet from the great interior. 

They then crossed to Carson River. Smoke-signals 
rose on every side; yet the natives being unmolested 
gave no trouble, and even brought pine-nuts to trade. 
The shoes of horses and men were becoming worn 
out, and the commander determined at this juncture 


to pass over the mountains into California, which, 
after proceeding southward up the eastern branch of 
Walker River for some distance and returning, he 
accomplished under the guidance of natives near where 
Walker, Bartleson, and others had crossed before him, 
and still searching for his Buenaventura. 5 

Fremont next entered Nevada from southern Cali- 
fornia by way of Tehachapi pass in April 1844. The 
view of the great basin eastward from this point was 
not pleasing. White and glistening, under a hot mist, 
lay an apparently illimitable desert, with blistering 
buttes and isolated black ridges. A spur of the 
Sierra, stretching easterly some fifty miles, showed 
peaks of snow pronounced by the natives perpetual. 
Descending the eastern slope the party followed the 
Santa Fe trail, over which the caravan had not passed 
this year, so that at the camping-grounds was found 
good grass. They were troubled occasionally by the 
natives, through whom they lost one man, and one by 
accident. They were joined by Walker at Las Vegas, 
and on reaching the Rio Virgen they ascended that 
stream and arrived at Utah Lake the latter part of 
May. Thence they proceeded by way of the Uintah 
River and Three Parks to the Kansas. 

A party under Elisha Stevens, sometimes called 
the Murphy company, passed though Nevada in 1844, 
by the usual route down the Humboldt to the sink, 
on their way from the Missouri River to California. 
The names of the party, who were the first to trav- 
erse the entire distance in wagons, are given in my 
History of California. There were one or two women 
present; and save the fact that the party underwent 
some suffering at the sink of the Humboldt, where 

5 Fr&nont's report shows that in this expedition he had not seen, or did 
not care to give heed to, the previously published history and map of the ex- 
plorations of Bonne ville; for had he done so he would probably not have been 
led into the error to which he attributed a great deal of his hardships, of con- 
stantly looking for the hypothetical river of Buenaventura, which, as he sup- 
posed, taking its rise in the Rocky Mountains emptied itself into the bay of 
San Francisco, and upon which he expected to winter. 


they arrived about the first of November and re- 
mained a month, later narrowly escaping the thrilling 
adventures afterward involving the Donner party, 
there is nothing of special interest to mark their pro- 
gress through Nevada. 

It was common for part of the Oregon immigration 
to branch off at Fort Hall and go to California. 
Among the first so to do in 1845 was a party of 
twelve young men, among whom were Jacob R. Sny- 
der, William F. Swasey, Blackburn, and Todd, who 
with pack-animals preceded the wagons. Following 
these was a party of fifteen under Sublette from St 
Louis; and next the Grigsby-Ide company. As the 
emigrants merely passed through the country by a 
well beaten road, on their way to California, seeing 
nothing new, doing nothing in particular, making 
no stay in Nevada, and leaving no mark, there is 
little to be said of them in this place. Speaking of 
their journey along the Humboldt Mrs Healy, who 
was of the party, says: " None of our company were 
killed by the Indians; but John Greenwood, son of 
-the pilot, shot down an Indian by the roadside, and 
afterward boasted of it." And Thomas Knight in 
his manuscript Statement writes : " We left Independ- 
ence in April 1845. After we had learned about this 
country from Col. Joe Walker, George McDougall, 
Snyder, Blackburn, and myself determined to come 
here if possible, as we did not like the idea of going to 
Oregon. We came on to Fort Bridger, in the Snake 
Indian country. There we fell in with hunters from 
whom we got more information, and we crossed the 
Bear River, and went north to Fort Hall, not the 
Salt Lake route, for that was not known till the year 
afterwards. We got a book written by Hastings, 
extolling the country highly, and depicting it in glow- 
ing colors. We read it with great interest. We met 
Hastings on the way. At Fort Hall we camped 
some time, and recruited our animals, which had be- 



come very much jaded at that time, feed being scarce. 
There the party divided, and those of us who were 
bound for California joined some others, and a new 
party was made up, with about 15 wagons. We 
started, and went down and struck the head of Mary's 
River, at that place only three or four feet wide. 
The Indians killed some of our cattle, and some of 
the Indians were killed, the Shoshones; they had no 
fire-arms at that time. They would come around after 
dark, and make a noise like a coyote, and call to each 

Fremont with a party of sixty came again this year 
by way of Bent Fort, the Arkansas River, and Utah 
Lake. Thence they passed on to Nevada, entering 


near Pilot Peak. On the 5th of November at Whit- 
ton Spring, in the vicinity of the . head-waters of 
Ogden River the company divided, Fremont with a 
few men striking due south-west, and reaching Walker 
Lake the 23d. The stations named by the explorers 
were Crane's branch of the south fork of the Hum- 
boldt; the head-waters of the south branch of the 
Humboldt; Connor Spring; Basil Creek; Boiling 
Springs; Moore Creek; and Secondi Spring, Sheep 
Mountain, meaningless terms for the most part to-day, 
although the latitude and longitude are given. The 
main body followed the Humboldt to the sink, and 
then turned south, reaching Walker Lake the 27th. 


This party was under Joseph Walker, from whom the 
lake was named. 

Here they all remained for two days, when Fre- 
mont with fifteen men crossed into California by way 
of Walker and Truckee rivers, while the others, 
among whom were Theodore Talbot, Joe Walker, 
and E. M. Kern, on the 8th of December proceeded 
southward to Owen Lake and on to Kern River. 6 

We have seen the veteran trapper and pioneer Jede- 
diah Smith crossing Nevada from west to east along 
what was later the track of the emigrant road and 
the railway. A more difficult and dangerous journey 
was that achieved by fifteen men from Oregon in 
1846, under Levi Scott, Jesse Applegate, and Lindsey 
Applegate, a full account of which is given in my 
History of Oregon. Their object was to find a pass 
through the southern end of the Cascade Mountains, 
by means of which immigrants could enter the Wil- 
lamette Valley direct by travelling due west from 
Great Salt Lake, or rather by bending south and fol- 
lowing the California trail along the Humboldt for 
some distance, then striking northerly toward the 
Modoc country and Klamath Lake, and thus avoiding 

6 Thomas S. Martin, in his Narrative of Fremont's Expedition in 1845-6, 
MS., 9-10, gives the following version: ' We left Hardscrabble with about 
60 men; followed the Ark. to its head. Here we crossed the dividing ridge 
between the head-waters of the Ark. and Grand rivers. On or near the top 
of this ridge we found a fine lake about half a mile across. Striking the 
Grand River we followed down it for several days, and then left it, going 
about due west, I think, across to Hams Fork, which we followed down to 
Utah Lake. Thence bj 7 Jordan River to Salt Lake. Here we remained 22 
days taking soundings. From here we crossed to Mary's River, followed it 
to its sink, thence due south to a large lake, and thence to Carson sink just 
above Lake. Here Fremont took 15 men to cross the Sierra Nevada at Bear 
River, while the rest of us, under Lieut. Talbot, proceeded southward and 
crossed at the forks of the Kern River. Bill Williams, Capt. Walker, and 
Kit Carson were with us, the former two as guides. Bill Williams left us I 
think before we left Salt Lake. Fremont was to meet us at the point of the 
Sierra Nevada, or rather a little above it, at the forks of the Kern River. 
Having reached this appointed place we waited 18 days without hearing any- 
thing of Fremont and party. By this time provisions had given out, and all 
the men threatened to leave Talbot if he did not move. We then crossed 
over to the San Joaqnin and followed it down to where the railroad now 
crosses it, where we arrived Feb. 17, 1846.' 


the Rogue River Valley. Thence their course was 
along the banks of the main stream until they en- 
countered its southeast branch, which they followed 
to the base of the Siskiyou Range, and from this 
turned eastward toward the Cascades, passing through 
a region now for the first time explored, and only a 
few miles north of the boundary line of California. 
Ascending the slopes of the latter, a stream named 
Keene Creek conducted them to a small valley, after- 
ward known as Round Prairie. A day or two later, 
Long Prairie was reached, and near it a pass from 
which, following a ridge trending toward the north, 
they reached the summit of the Cascades on the 4th 
of July. 

Crossing the mountains, they entered the valley of 
the Klamath, and following the course of the river 
to a point where it separates from the lower Klamath 
Lake, crossed by a ford to the western shore of the 
lake, skirting its banks until they arrived at Hot 
Creek, where they encamped on the very spot where 
three of Fremont's party had been murdered a few 
weeks before by the Modocs. From Hot Creek they 
made their way to Modoc Lake, thence to Goose Lake 
and Surprise Valley, and over the ridge dividing the 
Pacific lake basin from the great interior basin, and 
after innumerable hardships, they finally struck the 
Humboldt River about where now stands Humboldt 
City. They were now upon a well known road, 
which it would be useless for them to travel for pur- 
poses of exploration. So striking northeasterly they 
examined the country in that direction to ascertain if 
any better or more direct route might be found than 
that which they had just now for the first time 
marked out. They continued their course to Thou- 
sand Springs Valley, and satisfied that further search 
was needless, the company divided, part going to 
Bear River and part to Fort Hall. 

It was the intention of the Oregon company to 
locate a direct road to Bear River, but one not less 


than fifty miles to the southward of Fort Hall, which 
point would be avoided by Americans in the event of 
hostilities with England, then threatened by the de- 
termined attitude of both nations in regard to the 
boundary question. But as provisions ran short, tjie 
party divided, some proceeding to Bear River, and 
the remainder turning off toward Fort Hall for sup- 
plies, hoping also to induce a portion of the emi- 
grants, then probably in its neighborhood, to journey 
by the new route, and thus open the road for travel. 




IN the sudden occurrence of remarkable events which 
followed the war between the United States and 
Mexico, the settlement of the great American basin 
was included. Much notoriety was given to Fre- 
mont's explorations, and less to a far greater move- 
ment that of the Latter-day Saints, who founded a 
city two thirds of the way across the continent, and 
in so doing forestalled the necessity about to arise for 
such a station in such a place. The treaty of Gua- 
dalupe Hidalgo was no sooner signed than the new 
owners of the California territory, by discovering gold, 
attracted toward it a stream of immigration. The 
founders of Salt Lake City, saved from nakedness by 
the advent of trains of starving but better clad pil- 
grims to the land of gold, were glad to sell grain and 
vegetables to the westward bound, which saved the 
latter much suffering. This mutually beneficial ar- 
rangement of demand and supply was not confined to 
Salt Lake, but Mormon and other traders soon posted 
themselves along the line of travel to the mines, and 
particularly in the valley of Carson river, where, in 

HIST. NEV. 5 (65) 


1849, they founded the first settlements in what is now 
the state of Nevada. 

Ceded to the United States at the same time, and, 
indeed, as one with California, 1 this region of the 
Spanish domain had not, like that west of the Sierra 
Nevada, a distinctive name, but was described by. 
local names, and divided into valleys. 

In March following the treaty with Mexico and the 
discovery of gold, the inhabitants of Salt Lake valley 
met and organized the state of Deseret, the boundaries 
of which included the whole of the recently acquired 
Mexican territory outside of California, and something 
more. 2 

Soon afterward a company was organized among 
the same people to visit the mines, consisting of 
eighty men, led by a captain named De Mont, and 
having for secretary H. S. Beatie, 3 who, becoming 
enamored of the valley of the Carson, and the oppor- 
tunities offered for turning an honest penny, took 
possession of the site of the present town of Genoa, 
and thereupon erected a log house. Several of Ihe 
company remained with Beatie, while the others con- 
tinued on to the mines.* 

After putting up the walls of the first house 5 built 

* Statutes of Cal, 1850, 16; Haydens Great West, a book historical, scien- 
tific, and descriptive, by Prof. F.'V. Hay den, once U. S. geologist, in a brief 
sketch of Nevada history, says that it was at first a ' part of California terri- 
tory, and was subsequently attached to Utah, ' a statement which is some- 
what misleading. 

2 The Mormon State of Deseret included what has since become Nevada, 
Utah, Arizona, portions of Colorado, Wyoming, and Oregon, and in Califor- 
nia the counties of San Diego and Los Angeles as far north as Santa Monica, 
whence the line extended north to the Sierra, taking in half of Kern, a part 
of Tulare, all of Inyo and Mono, a part of Alpine, the whole of Lassen, and 
a part of Shasta and Siskiyou counties. See Hist. Utah, this series. 

3 Beatie, from whose manuscript narrative, The First in Nevada, I take 
the history of this expedition, was born in Va in 1826. He moved with his 
parents to Mo. at the age of 10 years, and in 1840 to Ky, returning to Va 
and entering college. In 1848 he immigrated to Utah with his wife, whom 
he had married in Mo. From that period his history is a part of the history 
of Utah. 

* De Mont, Abner Blackburn and brother, Kimball, and Carter were five 
of the men who remained in Carson valley. Beatie 's First in Nevada, MS., 2. 
Three other names are given in Beatie's MS. Pearson, Smith, and Brown 
but I am not certain that they remained. 

6 The structure is what is called a double log house that is, two com- 
partments connected by a covered passage-way, after the style of the Mis- 


in Nevada since the disappearance of the old-time 
fabulous cities, 6 Beatie and one of the Blackburns 
crossed the mountains by the Carson pass to the 
American river, to purchase supplies for the re 
mainder of the summer. There he learned that a 
large immigation might be expected from the United 
States to California ; so he sold three yokes of cattle 
for a good price, and purchased provisions. Return- 
ing to Carson valley, the cargo was quickly disposed 
of to the immigration, and another journey made to 
the mines, this time with pack animals, and by the 
way of a pass over the mountains three miles south 
of Beatie's claim, the adventurers crossing the streams 
on bridges and floats of logs. 7 At the end of the sum- 
mer the little party in Carson valley found itself better 
off from the profits of trade than many who had spent 
the time digging for gold in California. Other traders 
had come over the mountains from the west, and dis- 
posing of their goods disappeared with the immigra- 
tion. When he returned to Salt Lake in September, 
Beatie sold his house and claim to one Moore, of 
whom I know nothing further, 8 except that he prob- 
ably sold in 1851 to John Reese. It is certain that 
one of the Mormon party kept possession until Reese 
came. Two of Beatie's associates went to California. 
The other five, with ten who came back from the 
mines, travelled back in company to Salt Lake, and 
were attacked by the Bannacks in the vicinity of 
Bear river, losing all their horses and provisions, and 

souri frontier in the past generation. It had neither floor nor roof, but as it 
did not rain that season, was not uncomfortable. A corral was also con- 
structed, in which to keep cattle and horses. 

6 It has been claimed that the Morgan exploring expedition to southern 
Nevada and Utah found in a desert valley, two days' journey south of Reese 
river, remnants of an extensive city, with regularly laid out streets and 
good masonry. The ruins were covered several feet deep under sand. The 
reader may take the statement at what he deems it worth. Corr. N. Y. 
Trif/une, in Etko Independent, Oct. 23, 1877. 

7 This was probably the route opened by the returning Mormon battalion 
in the spring of 1848. See Hist. Gal, this series. 

8 Beatie says his house was directly west of Reese's saw-mill, subse- 
quently erected, and about 50 yards from where Reese built his trading post. 
First in Nevada, MS., 3. 


being relieved by a company from Oregon carrying 
provisions to Fort Hall for the new military post. 9 

In 1850 there were about twenty trading posts, 
built of saplings and green boughs, at intervals along 
the length of the Carson valley, most of them estab- 
lished by men from California, who this year did not 
reap the same profit as before, the principal part of the 
immigration having taken the route by the Truckee 
river. As there was no communication between the 
two routes, the traders could not take their flour, 
which the immigrants greatly needed, to them; in 
consequence of which failure to meet in Carson valley, 
the former suffered loss and the latter hunger. 1 ' 

A disease resembling cholera prevailed in the val- 
ley, which took off ten or twelve daily, the immigrants 
falling easy victims, owing to previous exhaustion. 
These several circumstances retarded the settlement 
of the Carson valley, and in 1852 there had been no 
houses erected, although the returning Mormon gold- 
hunters made selection of several claims as they passed 
homeward. 11 Heese's establishment was called the 
Mormon station, and was known to all immigrants 
between 1851 and 1857." Reese's capital in trade 

9 1 find that some have placed the advent of the Mormons in Nevada as 
early as 1847-8; but for such assertions there are no grounds. The founding 
of Salt Lake did not take place till 1847, and the Mormons were in no con- 
dition to send out colonies at that time; nor was there any object for so doing 
before the State of Deseret was organized. Powell's Nevada, a book which 
should have been more correct, makes the same mistake, and the additional 
one of stating that gold was discovered in Nevada ' during the absence ' of 
the Mormon settlers in 1849. In Browne's Min. Resources, 87, the same error 
in dates is repeated which occurs elsewhere; as in Kelly's Nev. Dir., 1862, 
95; Virginia City Enterprise, June 6, 1875; San Jos6 Pioneer, May 26, 1877. 

19 Those who did reach the immigrants on the Humboldt desert could get 
a horse, an ox, or mnie for 12, 10, or even 2 pounds of flour; while the 50,000 
pounds of that commodity at the trading posts on the Carson route so said 
E. Eyre, a trader could be purchased for 15 cents a pound. Sacramento Tran- 
script, Oct. 14, 1850; Gal Courier, July 23, 1850. 

11 1 take this statement from a manuscript by A. H. Hawley, called Lake 
Tahoe, full of pertinent facts and suggestions. Hawley, who was born in 
Vt in 1813 immigrated to the Pacific coast overland in 1852. He speaks of 
seeing no other building than the ' Old Mormon Station,' kept by John Reese, 
except the abanded and never completed one erected by Beatie, and 16 
miles farther up the valley a brush-tent called Lucky Bill's trading post. See 
also Sac., in Cal. Courier, July 23, 1850. 

12 Reese's station was a two-story log structure shaped like an L. It had 
a frontage of 30 feet, a depth of 50 feet, and at one time formed 2 sides of a 


consisted of ten wagon-loads of flour, butter, eggs, and 
other articles. His company from Salt Lake com- 
prised John and Rufus Thomas, Stephen A. Kinsey, 
two or three of the name of Lee, Condie, Brown, and 
Gibson, and a few passengers for California sixteen 
in all. He stopped for a short time near the eastern 
end of the valley, at a place which, from the debris 
around the camping-ground, acquired the name of 
Ragtown, by which it was long known; but Kinsey 
having proceeded to the western end of the valley 
and reported Beatie's former location a better one, he 
removed in July to that spot. 13 

On the 9th of September, 1850, congress defined 
the boundaries of Utah, which did not extend west 
of the Sierra Nevada. 1 * In the autumn of 1851 a 
little handful of settlers, part Mormon and part gen- 
tile, in order to be enabled to take and hold land 
claims, assumed to form a government for themselves 
in this remotest western valley of Utah. The popu- 
lation at this time did not number more than one 
hundred, and of these not more than twenty were 
actual settlers. The first meeting for this purpose 
was held on the 12th of November, A. Woodward 
presiding. The resolutions passed provided for a peti- 
tion to congress to erect a distinct territorial govern- 
ment in the valley ; for the survey of land claims, and 
the appointment of James H. Haynes as surveyor. 
The governing and appointing power was vested in a 
committee of seven, namely, William Byrnes, John 
Reese, E. L. Barnard, A. Woodward, H. H. Jameson, 
T. A. Hylton, and N. R. Haskill. The committee on 

pentagon-shaped fort. The land which Moore purchased from Beatie, and 
Reese from Moore, was also purchased again from a chief of the Washoes, 
named Captain Jim, for 2 sacks of flour. WrigMs Big Bonanza, 20. 

13 Reese was born in N. Y. state in 1808. He came to Utah in company 
with Enoch Reese, his brother, in 1849, and was in business in Salt Lake as a 
member of the firm J. & E. Reese at the time he removed to Carson valley. 
Reese's Mormon Station., MS., 1. 

14 The boundaries of Utah as first organized were, west by California, north 
by^ Oregon, east by the summit of the Rocky mountains, and south by lat. 


resolutions, or laws, consisted of John Reese, J. P. 
Barnard, William Byrnes, Washington Loomis, and 
H. H. Jameson. The amount of land which could be 
taken was limited to one quarter-section ; a recording 
officer was appointed, who was also treasurer. 

At the second meeting, held on the 19th, John 
Reese presiding, this pioneer legislature resolved to 
give claimants a right to sell their claims and take 
new ones; required improvements to the amount of 
five dollars before the expiration of six months; gave 
authority to companies to take claims for each mem- 
ber, and to hold the whole by improving one claim 
to the amount of five dollars each ; and decreed that 
timbered land should be common to all, except in the 
case of lumber manufacturers, who should be limited 
to a certain number of acres. 

At the third meeting of the settlers, which occurred 
on the 20th of November, the same officers presiding, 
it was agreed that a justice of the peace, a clerk of the 
court, and a sheriff should be elected, and that E. L. 
Barnard should be magistrate, William Byrnes sheriff, 
and T. A. Hylton clerk. To provide against abuses, 
citizens should have the right of appeal to a court of 
twelve men summoned in the manner of a jury, from 
whose decision there should be no appeal. A con- 
stable and clerk of these courts were also provided for. 
At another meeting, in May 1852, J. C. Fain being 
chairman, it was decided that to any one who should 
build a saw-mill, the right to take up a section of 
timber land should be granted. 15 No further action 
appears to have been taken in the matter of govern- 
ment before the intervention of the territorial author- 
ities of Utah. 16 

15 The several authorities conflict concerning the date of the first saw-mill. 
Beatie says that in 1853, on revisiting Carson valley, he found houses built 
of sawed lumber, but there is reason to believe those he mentions were made 
of wagon-boxes. 

16 It has been later reported of those living in Carson valley in 1851-2, 
that John Reese is a comparatively poor man in Salt Lake City; Frank 
Barnard was killed by an immigrant in the winter of 1852; A. Woodward 
was killed by Indians at Rocky Point on the Humboldt, about the end of 


The first land claim recorded under the govern- 
ment of Utah, on December 1852, was that of Reese, 
which extended from his trading house south "to a 
lone tree," and included all between the river and the 
mountains on the west. Five other claims were re- 
corded south of Reese's, in the order following: E. L. 
Barnard, S. A. Kinsey, James C. Fain, J. Brown, 
and William Byrnes. J. H. Scott and brother took 
a claim north of Reese, these seven being all that 
were recorded previous to 1853. 17 

The land law was amended by a citizens' meeting 
in 1853, when it was decreed that notice of a claim 
must be given, and $100 worth of improvements put 
upon it within 60 days. A married man might take 
640 acres, and a single man half that amount. Joseph 
P. Barnard, Frank Barnard, George Follensbee, A. J. 
Rollins, Frank Hall, and W. L. Hall came over the 
mountains from the California mines in November 
1851 to look for gold in Carson valley ; but not finding 
paying diggings, they took up the land where Carson 
City now stands, and erected a trading-post. Frank 
Hall one day shot an eagle and stretched its skin on 
the front of their cabin, from which circumstance 
travellers first called this Eagle station, then Eagle 
rancho, and lastly spoke of Eagle valley, which name 
the region still retains ; but these men disregarded the 
authority of the self-constituted government in the 
matter of land claims. In the autumn of 1852 a man 
named Clark erected a cabin under the shelter of a 
timbered spur of the mountains, near the site of 

1851; E. L. Barnard, one of the firm of Reese & Co., absconded in the autumn 
of 1854 with the proceeds of the sale of a large drove of cattle, and broke up 
the firm; N. R. Haskill, in the spring of 1852, attempted the assassination of 
William Byrnes, shooting him full of bullets, and leaving him, as he believed, 
dead. A miner's court compelled Haskill to leave the country, together with 
his partner, Washington Loomis, who was afterward hanged at Los Angeles 
for stealing. Byrnes, who had been a Texan ranger, recovered from the 
shooting, and became an inmate of the Stockton insane asylum. Thorring- 
ton was accused of murder and theft, and hanged. 

17 The records of this government, made by T. G. Barnard and T. A. 
Hylton, are preserved in a book of 60 leaves, 6 by 7 inches in size, in the 
possession of Martin M. Gaige of Carson City, 


Franktown, and called his place the garden of Eden, 
to which fabled spot he fancied it bore some resem- 
blance. 18 Like the first Adam, he deserted his para- 
dise after a short residence for a more lucrative exist- 
ence in the outside world. 

The Utah legislature, on the 3d of March, 1852, 
created out of western Utah the counties of Weber, 
Deseret, Tooele, Juab, Millard, Iron, and Washing- 
ton. The territory was divided by parallel lines run- 
ning east and west, and the first three named divisions 
occupied the northern part of what is now Nevada 
down to about the present northern line of Washoe 
county. The next two divisions on the south, Juab 
and Millard, included all of the Carson valley settle- 
ments. Judges were appointed for a term of four 
years. For Weber and Deseret, Isaac Clark ; for 
Tooele, Alfred Lee ; for Juab, George Bradley ; for 
Millard, Anson Call ; for Iron and Washington, Chap- 
man "Duncan. It would seem from these appoint- 
ments that the Mormons were scattered over the 
whole territory, or that it was their intention to send 
out colonies. 

In roads, bridges, and mail contracts they became 
prominent. In December 1852 John Reese and Israel 
Mott 1 ' secured a franchise for five years to construct 
a toll-bridge over the Carson river, and improve the 

18 B. L. King settled in 1852 at the mouth of a canon in Eagle valley, which 
bears his name. A man named Bowen tarried through the summer and raised 
a crop, but went away in the autumn. A few others in Carson valley in 1852- 
3 were Lee, Condie, and Gibbon, Mormons; and Joseph Webb, T. G. Barnard, 
and James Feniiimore, or Old Virginia as he was called, gentiles. Jacob H. 
or ' old man ' Rose, was another atom of humanity which found lodgment 
about this time at the mouth of King's canon in Eagle valley. G. W. Dodge 
and John Campbell, who had been mining in Gold canon, took up a claim in 
Washoe valley, and Christopher West located himself near them. On the 
Truckee meadows lived a Mormon named Jameson. Dagget took a place 
two miles west of Reese, and John Redding in Jack's valley. Jones, James, 
and Hayward settled in Carson valley about 1852. 

19 Mott, with his wife, left Salt Lake for Cal. with a train in May 1852. 
He first settled 4 miles above Reese, and built a house out of the beds of 
wagons abandoned in the valley. He made a window-sash with a jack-knife, 
paying 75 cts a light for 7 by 9 inch glass to put in it. He was the founder 
of Mottsville. His wife, who was the first female settler, married a second 
time to A. M. Taylor, and later resided in Carson valley 

PROGRESS IN 1852-53. 73 

road up the mountains beyond. A mail route was 
established between Salt Lake City and San Bernar- 
dino, and a post established at Las Vegas spring, 
which was for the protection of this route. At Car- 
son valley this was a prosperous year. The immi- 
gration was large and hungry. At Mormon station 
turnips grown in the virgin soil of the valley sold for 
a dollar a bunch ; watermelons, potatoes, and corn 
brought extravagant prices ; wheat and barley were 
also marketable for cash, or cattle, which were better 
than cash. Reese, who was the principal trader, 
bought out a would-be rival, Ben Holladay, after- 
ward famous as a stage-owner. 

In 1853 the settlements had very much increased, 
and land entries became frequent. 2 ' A number of 
families had been added to the population, and some 
of the forms of social life begun to be observed that 
year, notably a marriage, a divorce, and a ball. 21 It 
was a year later before a school was opened. 

20 J. H. Scott and Charles Ferguson filed a claim April llth; also the same 
day J. H. Haynes and David Barry, and Thomas and E. H. Knott. On May 
12th Charles A. Daggett filed a claim; May 17th R. T. Hawkins in Jack's 
valley; July 22d, L. M. Young and James Greene; Sept. 30th, L. Olds and 
John Olds; Oct. 5th, John L. Gary and Thomas Knott sold a farm to W. B. 
Thorrington for $600. Oct. 6th, four sixth of the Eagle rancho was sold by 
Frank and W. L. Hall to E. L. Barnard, two sixths having already been sold 
to them by their former partners, A. J. Rollins and George Follensbee. 

21 Mrs Laura M, Dittenrieder, who arrived June 9, 1853, was at that time 
the wife of James B. Ellis. Her husband took a land claim 1^ miles below 
where Dayton now stands, and erected a substantial log house. Oct. 4, 1854, 
Ellis accidently shot himself. Mrs Ellis, like an intelligent woman, kept a 
journal, in which she wrote the following facts: Spafford Kail, from Fort 
Wayne, Indiana, kept a trading post and station at the Gold canon, on what 
is now Mine street. Opposite to it was a blacksmith shop made of wagon 
'beds. The only women she found in western Utah, outside of Carson valley, 
were Mrs McMarlin, Mrs Cosser, her 12-years-old daughter, and the wife of 
the blacksmith named Henry Van Sickle, who went to Cal. before winter. 
In her place, however, came a family with several daughters, one of whom 
married Lucien Olds, and another Al. Squires, both of Carson valley. The 
Halls, after selling Eagle rancho, returned to Cal. and Frederic Bishop 
resided at the rancho, later the property of Reese and Barnard, lhat 
autumn Walter Cosser began business in the mercantile line, at a point 
which eventually became known as Johnston. In March 1854 Thomas 
Knott began building a saw-mill for John Gary, at the head of Carson valley. 
The first plank was sawed on the 26th of July; the first lumber produced in 
western Utah bringing $100 per 1,000. 

The marriage and divorce occurred under the following circumstances: 
An immigrant named Powell, whose wife had died on the road, had among 
his children a daughter 14 vears of age, named Mary. While the father was 


In February 1853 there was presented in the legis- 
lature of California a petition of forty-three citizens 
of Carson valley, praying to be annexed to California 
for judicial purposes until congress should otherwise 

absent looking for a place to live, Benjamin Cole, a young man from Missouri, 
induced the child to marry him, the ceremony being performed by a justice 
of the peace named Parker. Having no home to take her to, he left her with 
Mrs Cosser while he proceeded to erect a cabin, and that motherly Scotch 
woman advised Mary to remain with her until, her father's return, to which 
the girl consented. The husband demanded his wife, but Mary declined to 
leave the protection of Mrs Cosser until her father should sanction it. This 
late prudence created a feud in society, some approving it, and others advo- 
cating the rights of Cole. On the return of Powell he took possession of his 
child, and started with his family for Cal., followed by the irate bridegroom 
and his friends, with the purpose of abducting the girl. But the Cosser- 
Powell party also mounted their horsea and rode after them to prevent any 
forcible measures. To avoid a bloody conflict, Powell at length offered to 
abide by the decision of his daughter if the other party would do the same, 
to which they agreed, and Mary declaring her desire to go with her father, 
Cole returned to Gold canon. The divorce was even less informal than the 
marriage, for no other proceedings were ever instituted. 

The first ball was held on the last night of 1853, in a room over Spafford 
Hall's store, at the mouth of Gold canon. There were present 9 females, 
great and small all of womankind there was in western Utah except three 
and about 100 men. While the dancing was going on the Washoes made a 
descent on the horses of the company, and drove them all off. The animals 
were recovered, with the exception of two which had been roasted and eaten. 
Spafford Hall, having been accidently wounded and disabled, sold his sta- 
tion to James McMarlin, his clerk, early in 1854, and returned to Indiana. 
John McMarlin, on the way to join his brother, was killed by Indians at 
Slippery Ford a few years later. Asa Kenyon located himself at Ragtown, 
where the overland road first touched Carson river. Above Ragtown 4 miles, 
a blacksmith, Thomas Pitt had a station, and called his place The Willows. 
James and Harvey Hughes, from Mo., established themselves not far from 
Honey lake on Carson river; and John Smith purchased the trading post of 
a Californian at thft west end of Twenty-six Mile Desert, which place became 
later known as Coonie's rancho. George Brown settled at a station on the 
river about 3 miles above old Fort Churchill. J. S. Child and Moses Job 
were traders who established stations near Cosser's. Job's peak was named 
in honor of the latter; and the former became an influential citizen of Nevada. 
On the 1st of May, 1854, the first white child was born in western Utah, a 
boy, named James Brimmel Ellis, who died in 1869 at Virginia City. In 
July 1854 Charles H. Albrecht and family, from St Louis, were encamped at 
Ellis' place. Among his party was Rachel F. Albrecht, his sister, who cap- 
tivated a miner named James Dover. The enslavement was mutual and the 
couple wished to marry, but there was neither justice of the peace nor minis- 
ter on that side of the mountains. In this dilemma, by the advice of Mrs 
Ellis, a marriage contract was drawn up, signed in triplicate, and witnessed, 
as follows: ' Carson River, July 4, 1854. By these presents we hereby cer- 
tify, in the presence of witnesses, that we will, from this time henceforth, to 
the end of our lives, live together as man and wife, obeying all the laws of 
the U. S., as married persons. In witness we set our hands and seals, this 
4th day of July, 1854. James Dover, Rachel F. Albrecht. Witnesses: James 
B. Ellis, Charles H Albrecht, Augustus C. Albrecht.' The contract was 
published in the Placerville Mountain Democrat of July 29, 1854. For 8 
years the obligation was kept, but at the end of that time Mrs Dover left 
her husband, and went to live with her brother at Placerville, and finally 
was regularly divorced. 


provide. The committee to which the petition was 
referred asked that jurisdiction be extended east- 
ward to 120 of longitude, as far north as the 42d 
parallel," and south to the intersection of the 35th 
parallel with the Colorado river. This action on the 
part of the people caused the Utah government to 
take action for their relief. 

On the 17th of January, 1854, the legislature of 
Utah passed an act creating the county of Carson, 
which embraced all of western Utah, from above the 
present southern line of Humboldt county, south as 
far as about latitude 38, and east as far as to about 
the 11 8th meridian. It was made the 3d judicial dis- 

After Thomas Knott had built the saw-mill for John Cary he erected a 
saw and grist mill, with a stationary thrasher, for Reese, at Mormon station. 
The dishonesty of E. L. Barnard, before mentioned, crippled Reese finan- 
cially, who was unable to pay for his mill, which added debt to his disaster. 

The land claims recorded in 1854 were J. C. Fain and E. L. Barnard, Feb. 
28th; H. Van Sickle and Post, March 28th; R. De Frost and Frederick 
Bishop, April 2d; John Stephens, April 6th; Joseph Williams, May 18th; 
A. C. Stewart and A. Clark, and C. D. Daggett, May 27th; George Lambe, 
October 30th; Nicholas Johnson, Dec. 4th; R. Sides, R. Abernethy, and J. 
M. Baldwin, Dec. 20th. There were also several transfers of claims. The 
claim of Samuel Blackford in Jack's valley had passed into the hands of 
Julius Peltier, who sold it to George Fogle Nov. 29th. The farm of one 
Brown was sold by the constable, and bought in by Samuel Blackford for 
$787.32. G. B. Parker, who had purchased the Clear Creek rancho, first 
taken by George Mires and C. Phillips, sold it to R. Sides and Rolland Aber- 
nethy Dec. 7th. Joseph Brown sold a farm to Rufus Adams Dec. 26th. 
Jan 3, 1856, W. P. Cosser recorded a claim; A. L. Kenyon, Jan. 12th; I. N. 
Hix, Jan. 20th; Reese & Co. transferred land and property to Thomas 
Kiiox, valued at $4,000, to pay him for erecting the mills already mentioned. 
The transfer was made Jan. 23d. On the same day J. & E. Reese & Co. 
sold or conveyed to William B. Thorrington $23,000 worth of property to 
make good a loan. The Eagle rancho was included in this transfer. On the 
10th of Feb. the same firm conveyed the remainder of their property to their 
creditors. On the 12th of March W. P. Allen and E. A. Parkerson recorded 
a land claim. Nicholas Ambrosia recorded a claim on the 24th of March. The 
last entry on this record was of a sale by Julius Peltier, of land, to R. D. 
Sides, J. M. Baldwin, and L. B. Abernethy. James B. Ellis kept a record 
of arrivals of Cal. -bound emigrant wagons, in 1854, up to July 1st, finding 
them to foot up 213 wagons, 360 horses and mules, 7,528 cattle, and 7,150 
sheep. In this year John Reese, accompanied by a sergeant and 3 men of 
the U. S. troops, pioneered a new, shorter, and straighter route between Salt 
Lake and Carson valley than the one previously travelled down the Hum- 
boldt. It was expected that Steptoe, who was to march to Oregon with 
troops, would come this way. The road was not opened until 1860, when 
Reese again piloted Capt. Simpson, of Johnston's army, with 10 wagons, 
across the country by this route, afterward adopted as the mail route and a 
wagon-road. A school was taught in the winter of 1854-5, at the residence 
of Israel Mott, by Mrs Allen. Prices were high, but not so high as they had 
been, which is proof of a full market. 

Cal. Jour. Sen., 1853, 90, 130-1, and App. Doc., 46. 


trict of the territory, United States Judge George P. 
Stiles being assigned to preside in it. Stiles, Hyde, 
and Hay wood were also commissioners to establish ap- 
proximately, together with commissioners from Cali- 
fornia, the boundary between Utah and that state. 
The organic act authorized the governor to appoint a 
probate j udge, whose duty it should be to organize 
the county, the person selected being Orson Hyde. 
Accordingly, on the 15th of June, District Judge 
Stiles, Probate Judge Hyde, United States Marshal 
Joseph L. Haywood, and John and Enoch Reese, 
with an escort of thirty-five men, arrived at Mormon 
station from Salt Lake City. An election was called 
to take place September 20th for the choice of county 
officers, which resulted in the election of James C. 
Fain, sheriff; Henry W. Niles, surveyor;' 3 Charles 
D. Daggett, prosecuting attorney ; " K. D. Sides, 
treasurer ; H. M. Hodges and James A. Williams, 
constables ; Nicholas Ambrosia and Henry Van 
Sickle, justices of the peace; 25 Henry D. Sears, 
William P. Allen, and James McMarlin, selectmen," 
whose duties were to act as associates with the probate 
judge, and attend to the care of the county's poor, 
orphaned, and insane. There was but little business in 
the courts during the ante-mining period of western 
Utah history. 27 The first criminal prosecution oc- 

23 Niles was appointed clerk of the probate court Oct. 2d, by Orson Hyde, 
also ex-officio clerk of the county court. 

24 Appointed assessor and collector in Dec. 1855. 

25 James McMarlin was appointed justice of the peace for Gold Canon 
Dec. 3d. 

26 Fain resigned in May 1856, Russell Kelly appointed. Niles resigned in 
May 1856 from the office of surveyor, Orson Hyde appointed. Resigned 
from the clerk's office Dec. 1855, S. A. Kinsey appointed in March 1856. 
Hodges resigned in May 1856, Daniel Woodford appointed. Woodford was 
killed by Indians at Slippery Ford in 1857. 

27 The first lawsuit on record was brought by John Reese against George 
Chorpenning, the surviving partner of Woodward & Co., in March 1853, to 
recover $675 for supplies furnished them while carrying the mail from Salt 
Lake to Cal. It was brought before E. L. Barnard, magistrate, and judgment 

mon Station to J. Reese, $130.' The second suit was brought in April 1854 


curred November 2, 1855, a negro man named 
Thacker having been arrested for using threatening 
language against A. J. Wyckoff and Mrs Jacob Rose. 
The judge held that " a man may have malice enough 
in his heart to kill another, and judgment and dis- 
cretion to prevent him from committing the deed ; he 
may have the ability to cut a lady's heart out and 
roast it upon the coals, and at the same time he may 
have the good sense not to do it." The judgment 
rendered was that Thacker should pay $50 and the 
costs of the suit ; he was advised for his own safety to 
return to California. At the first meeting of the pro- 
bate court Charles D. Daggett and Samuel C. Perren 
were admitted to practise in that court. 

Judge Stiles appears to have returned to Salt Lake 
with Marshal Hay wood after settling upon an approx- 
imate western boundary for Utah, 28 as no proceedings 
of the United States court are recorded before 1856. 
Meanwhile few events of importance had occurred, the 
most noteworthy act of the people being an attempt 
to shake off the authority of Salt Lake by draughting 
a territorial constitution or compact for the govern- 
ment of Carson valley. 2 ' On the 27th of October, 
1855, a special term of court was held at the house of 
John Reese for the purpose of granting " the sole and 
exclusive right to take out any portion of the waters 
of Carson river which they may desire in a ditch or 
canal, for mining and other purposes, in the vicinity 
of Gold canon, to J. C. Fain, John Reese, Stephen A. 
Kinsey, John McMarlin, James McMarlin, Christo- 
pher Merkley, Morris Fitzgibbon, and Orson Hyde." 
This is the first mention of any enterprise of this 

by Henry McCalla vs Thomas Knott, judgment rendered $11 3. 43. No other 
appears on record before the organization of Carson couuty. The first session 
of the probate court was held Oct. 3, when the complaint of James Mclntyre 
vs Asa A Knouse, to recover $187.75, was filed. The case was tried on the 
12th, at the house of one Cowan. Mclntyre lost his case, and was ordered 
to pay $38.50. 

Beatles First in Nevada, MS., 7. 

^This instrument was draughted by William A. Cornwall of Cal. S. F. 
AUa, Oct. 27, 1854. 


nature. 30 There was some increase in the population, 
but the number of women was still small. 31 

In January 1856 the inhabitants of Carson valley 
again petitioned the California assembly to annex 
them for judicial and other purposes. A resolution 
was passed in that body asking congress to make the 
118th meridian the east boundary of California. 3 ' 
This move a second time aroused the Utah authori- 
ties, although congress denied the prayer. No at- 
tempt to form a religious colony in Carson was made 
before 1856. 33 At this time there was a movement on 
foot in Salt Lake and eastern Utah to reinvigorate 
the church of Latter-day Saints by founding new col- 
onies or missions, and also by preaching a reformation 
among the members. A colony of between sixty and 
seventy families was ordered to Carson valley in the 
spring, most of which arrived before the election in 
September, when the Mormons took the conduct of 
affairs into their own hands, being considerably in the 
majority over the gentiles. 34 With this colony came 

89 On the 27th of May, 1854, at a citizens' meeting, it was resolved that in 
the use of water 'no settler should be deprived of sufficient for household pur- 
poses; that it should not be diverted from its original channels, and when two 
or more levied on the same stream they should share water according to the 
number of acres cultivated, each using on alternate days when water was 
scarce. The sole right to take water from Carson river compelled settlers 
to pay a water rate. Jacob H Rose fell heir to the ditch before its comple- 
tion, and when the work was finished found the foot to be higher than the 

31 The Reese brothers had brought their families from Salt Lake, Alex- 
ander Cowan had arrived with his wife, destined to become famous a few 
years later as the richest woman in Nevada, and the wife of Sandy Bowers. 
Miss Mary Wheeler was married Oct. 28, 1855, to Squire Mott, son of Hiram 
Mott, the officiating justice being Orson Hyde. Miss Mary Gibson was 
married Nov. 6, 1855, to Henry Van Sickle by Judge Hyde, at the house of 
Niles and Sears. Miss Sarah Jane Thompson was married Oct. 2, 1866, to 
Stephen A. Kinsey, at the house of Judge Hyde, in Washoe valley, by that 

3 *Sen. Misc. Doc., 48; 34th cong. 1st sess.; H. Com. Rept, 116, 34th cong. 
3d sess. 

33 William Jennings, in his Carson Valley, MS., 2, says that a mission was 
got up in 1852 by the two Reeses and others. On page 3 he says: ' The Car- 
son valley people, I think, were mostly apostate Mormons before 1856. The 
Reeses.' he continues, ' were only partially connected with the church.' 

34 The following Mormon officers were elected: Richard Bently, recorder; 
Russell Kelly, sheriff (joined the Mormon church); William Nixon and Per- 
mens Jackman, selectmen; Chester Loveland, justice of the. peace; Nelson 


another judge of the 3d district, W. W. Drummond, 
who held a term of court in Mott's barn, four miles 
above Mormon station. No business was really exe- 
cuted beyond convicting two men of grand larceny, 
who escaped after being sentenced, and impannelling a 
grand jury, which brought in no indictments. Drum- 
mond, who was not beloved by the authorities of the 
church, departed almost immediately for San Fran- 
cisco, whence he sailed for the east. 

The new-comers settled in Carson, Eagle, Washoe, 
Jack, and Pleasant valleys, founding several towns. 35 
Genoa, at Mormon station, was named by Judge 
Hyde after the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. 
A saw-mill was erected by Hyde in Washoe valley, 
and Franktown was settled and named. The little 
burg of Dayton, at the mouth of Gold canon, also 
took its rise in 1856. 36 

An attempt was made to form society on the plan 
of eastern Utah. The settlements were laid out with 
broad, regular streets, on either side of which ran 
small ditches carrying water for irrigating gardens 
and fields, as well as for supplying families. The 
architecture was of the simplest and rudest; nothing 
was done for ornament, but everything for use. In 
dress the same principle prevailed ; personal adorn- 
ment was unknown. To work and get the most with 
the least self-indulgence was the law laid down to 
these patient builders of Zion. Their one amuse- 

Merkeley and Seth Dustin, constables; Charles D. Daggett (gentile) was ap- 
pointed assessor, collector, and treasurer. Placerville American, Sept. 13, 
1856; Sac. Union, Sept. 15, 1856. 

^ Among the members of the mission who came in 1855 were Christopher 
Merkley, Jesse M. Perkins, Reuben Perkins, Shepherd, and William Hutch- 
ins, who were sent on the special business of the church. Beatles First in 
Nevada, MS., 7. Other colonists of the same year were Chester Loveland 
and George Hancock. In 1856 came William Jennings, Christopher Layton, 
William Nixon, R. Walker, Peregrine Sessions, who founded Sessions' set- 
tlement, Albert Dewey, William Kay, founder of Kaysward, George Nebe- 
ker, Cherry, and others. 

36 Kleins Founders of Carson City, MS., 2, 6; S. F. Golden Era, May 11, 
1856; Carson State Register, July 29, 1871; Kelly's Nev. Directory, 1862, 54-5; 
Wright's Big Bonanza, 23, 24-5; S. F. Alta, Oct. 6, 1856; Sac. Union, Dec. 
19, 1859; Id,, Jan, 2, I860; S. F, Bulletin, June 8, 1860. 


merit of dancing was forbidden to be practised in the 
company of gentiles, and to wash away their sins re- 
peated baptisms were enjoined. Still, the authorities 
in the west did not neglect the subject of instruction. 
At the December term of court in 1856 it was ordered 
that Carson county should be divided into four school 
districts. A school-house was erected at Franktown 
in 1857, which was afterward sold to Lucky Bill, who 
moved to Genoa and used it for a stable. Affairs 
were already so shaping themselves in Salt Lake that 
nothing less than the complete abandonment of west- 
ern Utah would make the city of the Saints secure. 
In November 1856 Orson Hyde left Carson county 
to return to it no more. When he departed he leased 
his saw-mill in Washoe valley to Jacob Rose, that 
being the best that he could do with it at the time. 
In the following year the colony of the faithful was 
ordered home to Salt Lake to defend Zion against 
Johnston's army. As the order was peremptory, they 
were forced either to abandon their property or sell 
it at a small part of its value, and they chose the latter 
course. 87 Apostate Mormons, some of whom had fled 
from the reformation at Salt Lake, and gentiles, 
scarcely less hateful in the eyes of the saints, became 
the possessors of their improvements ; for which result 
of a futile undertaking the fortunate heirs of Mormon 
enterprise suffered condemnation, even to a curse 
uttered by Orson Hyde in 1862. 38 

37 On the IGoh of July, 1857, P. G. Sessions' train from Cal., consisting of 
31 men, 16 women. 18 children, 17 wagons, 40 horses and 32 mules, left 
Eagle valley for Salt Lake. On the 5th of Sept. the Conover express from 
Salt Lake arrived in Washoe valley late in the afternoon, and on the 26th 
450 persons, some of whom were from Cal. and Or., started with 123 wagons 
for Salt Lake, which they reached Nov. 2d. Reese left with this train, 
travelling by the route south of the Humboldt to avoid the Indians. Jen- 
nings' Carson Valley, MS. 4. 

38 In a letter of Orson Hyde, dated Jan. 27, 1862, addressed to the people 
of Carson and Washoe valleys, in which he relates the history of his mill, 
he says it was built by himself and a Mr Price; that the property was worth 
$10,000 when he left it; that for the rent of it he had received in advance 
' 1 span of small indifferent mules, an old worn-out harness, 2 yokes nf oxen, 
and an old wagon,' things which he required for his journey to Salt Lake. 
A war followed between the Mormons and the U. S. govt, an event which 
was unfavorable to the perfection of Mormon titles, after the organisation 


The abandonment of Carson county " by the Mor- 
mons left it with a scant population, and for a time 
without a government, although attached by an act 
of the legislature to Great Salt Lake county for elec- 
tion, revenue, and judicial purposes. From July 5, 
1856, to September 12, 1859, the operation of the 
probate court was suspended, although the county 
was allowed to retain its organization so far as a re- 
corder, surveyor, and precinct officers were concerned, 
and these might be elected in accordance with exist, 
ing laws, "until further directed by Great Salt Lake 
county court or legislative enactment; " but the " rec- 
ord-books, papers, blanks, and seals, both of probate 
and county courts, shall be handed over to the order 
of the probate court of Great Salt Lake county." 
This act was passed January 14, 1857. On the 13th 
of April the county court, Chester Loveland presid- 
ing, adjourned to the following week, but without 
meeting again for three years." 

of the territory of Nevada, upon the abandoned premises. Hyde gave the 
people of Carson vaPey choice between paying him $20,000, or being cursed 
with earthquakes, floods, pestilence, and famine, and they took the risk of 
the latter. Hyde was accompanied on his return to Salt Lake by Simon 
Baker, James Kathall, John Vance, William Price, Durffee, Carter, Har- 
shee, Woodland, and Butcher and family, and travelled the route explored 
by Reese in 1854. He died Nov. 28, 1878, at Spring City, San Pete county, 
Utah, a man distinguished among his sect as a faithful and gifted servant 
of God. 

39 There is a statement in the 8. F. AUa, Sept. 29, 1857, that Brigham 
Young had ordered an organization of secret cavalry to western Utah. It 
was certainly not to Carson. Much comment on the exodus of the Mor- 
mons is to be found in the Alta. They were ordered in from Cal. also. 
Mention in Nevers' Nevada Pioneers, MS., 1-2; Cradlelxiuglis Nevada Bioy- 
rapJiy, MS., 3; Gold Hill News, May 16, 1873; San Jose Pioneer, May 26, 

43 Samuel A. Nevers was born in Boston, March 1, 1824, came to Cal. in 
1849 by sea, in the ship Sweden; settled in Eagle valley in 1859, and mar- 
ried thereabout. In a manuscript account of Nevada Pioneers, in my collec- 
tion, he says: "There were but 4 persons settled in this part of the valley at 
that time, to wit, B. L. King, Mart. Stebbins, Jacob H. Rose, and John 
Mankin, who were settled on land taken up by them under the laws of 
Utah. . . .None of the above named were Mormons Nearly all the Mor- 
mons, when leaving for Salt Lake, sold their land to John Mankin for a 
nominal sum, payment to be made in wheat, which was sold for a very low 
price. This sale carried a strip of land from King's canon down to the Hot 
springs, but Mankin subsequently claimed the whole lower portion of the 
valley. . . .Society was on a low plane, every man doing about as he pleased 

There was no law here until Judge Cradlebaugh came, who to a great 

extent brought order out of chaos. ' 
HIST. NEV. 6. 


Before the Mormons had made their final exodus, 
the remaining inhabitants seized the opportunity to 
prevent their return by again petitioning congress for 
a territorial organization in Western Utah, with por- 
tions of California and New Mexico/ 1 At a mass- 
meeting held at Genoa August 8th, by appointment 
of a previous informal meeting held on the 3d," it was 
declared, in a series of resolutions, that it was the 
sense of the inhabitants of that region that the security 
of life and property of immigrants passing through it 
depended upon the organization of a territorial gov- 
ernment. No other reason for the proposed division 
of Utah was given in the resolutions, but in the 
memorial accompanying it other causes were set forth ; 
namely, that no law existed in western Utah except 
theocratic rule, which was exercised by the Mormon 
church without reference to statutory regulations. 
The Utah legislature had abolished the courts of the 
county of Carson, leaving no officers to execute the 
laws except two justices of the peace and one con- 
stable, whose authority no one respected. The county 
was reduced to an election precinct, in which no one 
voted, or cared to vote. There were bad men in the 
community, whose crimes could only be punished by 
resort tolynch-law ; the country was cut off from Cal- 
ifornia four months of the year by snow, and equally 
from the then seat of government by distance. In 
claiming a white population, however, of between 
7,000 and 8,000, and 75,000 to 100,000 natives, the 

41 The petition makes the Goose Creek mountains the eastern, the Colo- 
rado river the southern, Oregon the northern, and the Sierra Nevada the 
western boundary. 

42 The first meeting was held at Gilbert's saloon, and was presided over by 
John Reese, William Nixon being secretary. Ihe mass-meeting was also 
presided over by Reese, the vice-presidents being Isaac Roop, F. C. Smith, 
B. L. King, and Solomon Perrin. The committee on resolutions consisted 
of William M. Ormsby, R. D. Sides, Elijah Knott, Thomas J. Singleton, 
B. L. King, "Daniel Woodford, S. Stephens, Warren Smith, and John Mc- 
Marlin. The meeting was addressed by James M. Crane, a California 
journalist of some repute, in a speech of an hour's length, the substance of 
which was probably contained in the memorial which he was elected to 
present to congress. 


memorialists greatly exceeded the truth." In October 
a mass-meeting was held at Honey Lake valley, which 
was presided over by Peter Lassen, approving the 
action of the Genoa meeting, and in January 1858 the 
California legislature and Governor Johnson endorsed it. 

As an inducement to congress to grant their peti- 
tion, it was submitted that all the routes across the 
continent would be guarded by the people of the pro- 
posed territory. A committee " was appointed to 
solicit signatures, and James M. Crane was chosen to 
proceed to Washington city with the resolutions and 
memorial of the meeting, and also to represent the 
territory as delegate, when it should be organized, in 
congress. Committees were also appointed to " man- 
age and superintend all matters necessary and proper 
in the premises," 4d and the newspapers of California, 
Oregon, Washington, Utah, and New Mexico were 
requested to publish the proceedings of the conven- 
tion, as well as the leading papers in all the eastern 
cities.* 6 

The attitude of the Mormons had its influence on 
congress. Crane wrote to his constituents from Wash- 
ington in February 1858 that the committee on ter- 
ritories had agreed to report a bill, and that it would 
be pressed through both houses * 7 as a war measure, 
to " compress the limits of the Mormons, and defeat 

43 S. F. Alta, Sept. 5 and Oct. 21, 1857; Cat Jour. Assembly, 1858, 56; 
Cal. St'it., 1858, 350; Sen. Mis. Doc., 181, 35th cong. 1st sess. 

44 vV. W. NicoU, R. D. Sides, Orrin Gray, J. K. Trumbo, and William 

^lu Honey Lake valley, Isaac Hoop, Peter Lassen, William Hill, Mc- 
Murtry, and Arnold; Eagle valley, B. L. King and Martin Stebbins; Carson 
valley, William M. Ormsby, James McMarlin, C. D. Daggett, John Reese, 
William Rodgers, Thomas J. Singleton, Moses Job, William Thorrington, 
Isaac Farwell, Daniel Woodford, Orrin Gray, and D. E. Gilbert; Willow, 
town, Solomon Perrin; Ragtown, James Quick; Twenty-six Mile desert, 
Jefferson Atchison; Sink of Humboldt, Samuel Blackford; Walker river 
and valley, T. J. Hall and James Mclntyre; Hope valley, S. Stevenson; 
Lake valley, M. Smith. 

46 A memorial addressed to President Buchanan was presented by him to 
the house April 19, J858. It was signed by William M. Ormsby and Martin 
Smith, and indorsed by Gov Weller. H. Ex. Z>oc., 102, 35th cong. 1st sess. 

* 7 The house committee reported favorably May 12, 1858, in a bill to 
organize the territory of Nevada. H. Jour., 789, 1221, 3th cong. 1st sess.; 
H. Com. Kept, 375, 35th cong. 1st aess. 


their efforts to corrupt and confederate with the Ind- 
ian tribes." So certain was the prospective delegate 
that an organization would be effected that he ad- 
vised the sowing and planting of heavy crops, which 
he prophesied they would be able to sell for good cash 
prices to the government to supply the army and the 
Indian reservations. But the army under Johnston 
having made it possible for federal officers to reside in 
Salt Lake City, and a governor being appointed for 
Utah in place of Brigham Young, the necessity no 
longer existed of creating another territory, and the 
project slumbered. Under Governor Cummings 
Carson county was reorganized, so far as the appoint- 
ment of John S. Childs probate judge, and the order- 
ing of an election, were concerned. Previous to the 
election, and in the absence of courts, a committee of 
citizens had hanged William B. Thorrington for com- 
plicity in the murder of a cattle-owner, and selling his 
herd. Thorrington's guilt was not clearly established 
by the evidence, but from the facts of his being a gam- 
bler, acquiring property with extraordinary rapidity, 
and having sheltered the real murderer, he was con- 
victed in a citizen's court, and suffered the extreme 
penalty. 48 This exercise of the judicial functions by 

48 It seems that in spite of his known character, Lucky Bill was a popular 
man on the frontier. He was born in N. Y. state, removing to Michigan in 
1848, and to Cal. in 1850, across the plains. He had little education, but 
possessed a fine person, a handsome face, and a gay and benevolent dispo- 
sition; benevolent in the sense that Robin Hood was so, he robbed those that 
had money or property, and good-naturedly gave of his easily gotten gains a 
small portion to those who had not, when they appealed to his sympathies 
a trait which often distingushea the gambler. Being a large and powerful man 
he had the reputation of great courage; and often defending the weaker party 
in a quarrel gave him a character for magnanimity. He owned a farm and 
a toll-road, in addition to his trading-post, and he acquired a large amount of 
miscellaneous property from travellers at thimble rig. In the spring of 1858 
William Edwards, who had shot a man in Cal., took up his quarters with 
Thorrington, to whom it was said by the friends of the latter he denied his 
guilt. Later he stopped for a time with W. T. C. Elliott and John N. Gilpin, 
at Honey lake. Afterward, with one Mullins, he murdered Harry Gordier, 
for his property, including a herd of cattle, an innocent man named Snow 
being hanged for the act. Circumstances coming to light which pointed to 
the guilt of Edwards, he fled to Carson valley, and declaring his innocence, 
claimed Thorrington's protection from threatened peril. Edwards wished to 
leave the country, and begged his friends to sell a valuable horse which he 
rode, and help him to escape. While endeavoring to effect these ends, two 


the people created a division of sentiment, and the 
formation of two political parties, the sympathizers 
with Thorrington being called Mormon, and the op- 
posite party anti-Mormon/' The latter party accused 
the former of condoning Thorrington's guilt because 
he was conveniently blind to certain practices of their 
own ; and they also made war upon Judge Childs as a 
Mormon appointee. At the election, October 30, 1858, 
the votes of four out of six precincts were thrown out 
because ot alleged illegal voting, and a majority of the 
"Mormon" candidates elected. H. B. demons was 
chosen representative; M M. Gaige treasurer; L. 
Abernethy sheriff; W. G. Vyatt, James McMarlin, 
and R. D. Sides selectmen; C. N. Noteware surveyor; 
S. A. Kinsey recorder; Benjamin Sears and James 
Farwell justices of the peace; T. J. Atchison and J. 
A. Smith constables. Sides and Abernethy did not 
belong to the Mormon party. 69 Little heed was given 
to the officers elected, whose duties were not of an 
onerous nature. 

detectives from the vigilance committee, Elliott and Gilpin, purchased the 
horse and wormed themselves into the confidence of Edwards and Thorring- 
ton, learning of the proposed elopement of the former, whereupon both men 
were arrested and tried by a citizen's court, the evidence being recorded by 
C. N. Noteware, afterward secretary of Nevada. W. T. C. Elliott acted as 
sheriff, John L. Cary as judge, and 18 others as jurors. Edwards finally con- 
fessed, and declared the innocence of Thorrington; but the jury, prejudiced 
by the loose character of the latter, and the fear of other crimes, committed 
one themselves by convicting a man without evidence. Edwards was hanged 
at the scene of the murder, in Honey Lake valley, June 23, 1858, and Thor- 
rington at his farm at Clear creek, on the 19th, two days after the trial. 
Thorrington had a son, Jerome, who died, while his wife went to the insane 
asylum at Stockton. There were 2 accomplices of Edwards, who were fined 
$1,000 each, and ordered to leave the country. Van Sickles Utah Desperadoes, 
MS. ; 3. See also Pop. Tribunals, this series. 

49 It should be borne in mind that there were not enough professed Mor- 
mons left in Carson valley to make a party; but there were apostates, and 
perhaps also secret believers. Ihey were too well drilled in obedience to 
venture upon the vigilant system of justice unless ordered to do so by the 
officers of the church. Reese names the families of Moore, John Dilworth, 
John Hawkins, and Perkins, who were Mormons and remained in Carson 

50 The candidates of the anti-Mormon party, in the order given above, were 
Martin Stebbins; H. Mott, sen.; George Chedic; John L. Carey, J. H. Rose, 
and W. Cosser; John F. Long; S. Taylor; A. J. Hammack and H. Van 
Sickle; J. M. Herring and J. M. Howard. The vote between demons and 
Stebbins was a tie, but the result was ' declared in favor of Mr demons, ac- 
cording to the Utah statutes, page 234, sec. 12.' Had. the votes of 4 pre- 
cincts not been thrown out, Stebbins would have had a majority of 48. 


In this year Carson City was laid out in Eagle 
valley by Abraham Y. Z. Curry, 51 who erected a 
stone house, which was followed the same year by 
three or four others; 62 but no rapid influx of popula- 
tion followed that year or the next. 53 Only at one 
point was there any perceptible increase in population, 
and that was at what is now Gold Hill, where the 
discovery of rich placers in 1859 had attracted the 
usual rush of miners which follows a report of new 
gold diggings. 

By this mixed and migratory population the need of 
some laws and regulations was felt, and they accord- 

51 A. V. Z. Curry was an energetic pioneer. He settled in Warm springs 
and built the hotel and swimming baths. He discovered the extensive sand- 
stone deposit at Carson, and erected the stone buildings in the town. He 
was with Gould in the Gould and Curry mine; was a member of the terri- 
torial council, and active in various branches of business. ' He belonged to 
that sturdy class of men who found empires and build up states. ' 

52 Nevers, in Nevada Pioneers, MS., 2, states that hehimsalf built the third 
house, 'in what is now Carson valley,' in 1859. O. H. Pierson, writing in 
the Carsvn Trifnine, Aug. 5, 1870, says that when he entered Eagle valley in 
1859 he found there three houses only, one of v/hich was occupied by Abram 
Curry, one by William M. Ormsby, and another by Martin Stebbins. Pier- 
son also says that he erected the fourth house, which was the St Nicholas 

53 Granville W. Huffaker, in a manuscript entitled Early Cattle Trade in 
Nevada, mentions some of the settlers in western Utah whom he found in 
1859. Huffaker was in Salt Lake in 1857-8, when the gentiles were ordered 
put. Among those who left were John H. Kinkead, Bell, Gilbert, and Gear- 
ish, the latter two settling in Los Angeles, California. Huffaker had permis. 
sion to remain, couched in the following trenchant phrase, 'Keep your 
tongue in your head, and you will not be molested.' He remained, on those 
terms, until 1859, and then sold his stock of goods, and with a drove of cattle 
removed to the Truckee Meadows in western Utah, where he took a land 
claim of 160 acres, and by purchase from other claimants acquired a total of 
640 acres. Huffaker was born in Ky in 1831; was educated at Jacksonville 
college, 111. ; removed to St Louis in 1846 and to Salt Lake in 1851, bringing 
a train of 40 wagon-loads of goods, which he sold in three weeks. He con- 
tinued in trade in that place till 1859. Huffaker says that he found in 
Truckee and Steamboat valleys 6 or 7 white men. Henry Miller and Edward 
Ing were on the north of Truckee; four miles south of them, at the dairy 
farm of James and M. F. Evans, called the stone-house rancho, and living 
with them, were Richard Martin and Henry Berryman. Peleg Brown was 
another settler of this region. In Pleasant valley was ' Mormon ' Smith. 
Theodore, Joseph, and John D. Winters, with their mother, were settled in 
Washoe valley, where they had been since 1857. Richard D. Sides and 
William Best were also in Washoe valley. South of the sink of the Hum- 
boldt was the trading post of John F. Stone and C. C. Gates, where Glen- 
dale now is, then called Stone and Gates' crossing. Buckland mentions 
Jacob Winters as living in Jack's valley as early as 1857; and Evan Jones 
in Carson valley next or nearest to McMarlin's rancho, at the same time. 
Indian fighting, MS., 1. 


ingly, on the llth of June, agreed among themselves 
to adopt certain simple rules of conduct, and to enforce 
them on others. 5 * 

At the same time certain politicians stood ready to 
avail themselves of the suggestion toward another 
effort for a separate territorial organization, and to 
make use of the feeling against the Mormons of east- 
ern Utah to give force to their arguments. These 
patriots called a mass-meeting for the 6th of June at 
Carson City, which meeting divided Carson county 
into precincts for election purposes, and called an elec- 
tion to take place on the 14th of July, to choose a 
delegate to visit Washington city and complete the 
work begun by Crane of getting a bill through con- 
gress creating the territory of Nevada, and to elect 
delegates to a convention to be held at Genoa on the 
18th of July, when the votes for delegate would be 
counted, and other business connected with the pro- 
posed change of government be attended to. 

The convention met pursuant to appointment, re- 
maining in session nine days. 55 It was not altogether 
a harmonious session, the majority being determined 
to consider it a convention to frame a constitution for 
a provisional government, which congress would be 
asked to recognize, as in the case of Oregon, and a 
minority insisting that the delegates had been elected 
merely to provide for a constitutional convention to 
be held in the future by other delegates elected for 
the purpose. A constitution was, however, framed, 
modelled closely after that of California, and adopted 
by a vote of the people on the 7th of September. 56 

54 This was the miners' code: for murder, hanging; wounding, robbing, 
and other crimes were to be punished as the jury should determine. 'No 
banking game shall, under any consideration' be allowed in this district, 
under the penalty of final banishment from the district, ' Under these laws 
George Ruspas and David Reise had their ears cut off for stealing cattle. 
Writ/ht's Big Bonanza, 72. 

^Marysville Democrat,. July 26, 1859; Carson Valley Territorial Enter- 
prise, July 30, 1859: Sac. Union, Sept. 18, 1859; Kelly s Nev. Dir., 1862, 26-7. 

56 In the declaration of cause for separation, two principal evils were 
complained of: the usurpation and abuse of power by the Mormons, and the 
danger to life and property upon the routes leading to the Mormon capital. 


No record has been preserved of the election re- 
turns, 57 but there is evidence that the majority for a 
constitution was about four hundred, that Crane was 
reflected delegate, and that Isaac Hoop was elected 
governor, although the board of canvassers failed to 
meet to canvass the votes, and the certificate of the 
president of the board, J. J. Musser, alone testified 
to the result. The cause of this sudden indifference 
to politics and patriotism will be given in the next 

Immediately after the election the probate judge, 
John S. Child, 58 appointed by the Utah legislature, 
attempted to reestablish the authority of the probate 
court in Carson county, by giving notice of a term 
commencing on the 12th of September, at Genoa, P. 
H. Lovell clerk; but the only business transacted at 
the term was the appointment of a coroner, W. P. 
Morrison, to sit upon the body of John Buckley, killed 
in a quarrel, and the application of Rebecca A. Bristol 
for a divorce from Essie C. Bristol, which was granted. 

Judge Child made a further effort to reorganize the 
county by calling an election for the 8th of October, 
first dividing the county into ten precincts. Out of 
the ten, only three opened any polls, and the officers 
elected in these refused to qualify, although their 
commissions were forwarded by Governor Cummings, 
successor of Governor Young, with his urgent advice 
to them to do so, and the county continued to be 
without a proper corps of officers. 

But if the courts of Utah could not sustain their 
authority against the people, neither could the United 

57 From some partial returns it is probable that the following persons were 
elected; together with the adoption of the constitution: Isaac Hoop governor, 
A. S. Dorsey secretary of state, John D. Winters auditor, B. L. King 

58 Child was born in Vt in 1825. At the age of 21 years he came to the 
Pacific coast by sea, via Nicaragua. After mining two years in Cal. he went 
to Carson valley. In 1859 he married A. E. Lufkin of Placerville, Cal., who 
died in 1873. He married, in 1874, Eveline A. Gilbert of Carson City. 
Child was appointed commissioner of Douglas county, and elected to the as- 
sembly in 1870. 


States court properly administer the laws of the 
country. John Cradlebaugh, one of the district 
judges appointed to Utah, was assigned to Carson 
county, and arrived in the summer of 1859 at Genoa, 
where the grand jury of the second district congratu- 
lated him, in their report of October 25th, upon the 
organization of a court of justice, " under the immedi- 
ate protection of the United States flag," 59 but they 
had not taken into account the difficulty of establish- 
ing courts, against which the laws 60 practised in them 
raised insuperable obstacles, controlling, as they did, 
the marshalships and the juries, to say nothing of the 
witnesses. The people, instead of welcoming Judge 
Cradlebaugh, were opposed to his holding court as a 
branch of the Utah government, and his position be- 
came as disagreeable to him as it was useless to them. 
In October 1860 R. B. Flaniken superseded Cradle- 
baugh, and held his court in Carson City until the 
organization of the territory, in the midst of a rebel- 
lious people, the prosecuting attorney being P. H. 
Clayton. 61 

All efforts to revive the county organization had 
failed, but the hearts of the patriots had not. A mis- 
fortune had befallen them in the loss of their delegate 
elect, Crane, who died suddenly of -heart disease on 
the 27th of September, at Gold Hill. 62 An election 

59 Hayes' Mining Scraps, xi. 24-6. Alfred James was clerk of the court, 
and George W. Hepperly U. S. marshal. 

^In Clarke's Statement, MS., 10, he mentions that the lawyers practising 
in the courts quoted the laws of Utah. 

61 The persons chosen at the late election who refused to qualify were 
C. H. Fountain representative, W. 0. Armstrong and L. Drixley selectmen, 
E. C. Morse sheriff, Henry Van Sickle treasurer, and J. F. Long surveyor. 
The only legally constituted officers in 1859-60 were the probate judge and 
county clerk, road commissioners, D. G. Gloyd, A. Kinne, and James 
White the last four already named, the recorder, S. A. Kinsey, the sur- 
veyor, P. C. Rector; three being appointed in the spring of 1860. 

62 Crane ran against Frederick Dodge, U. S. Indian agent, beating him by 
61 votes. The election was irregular on both sides. Crane was a native of 
Va, about 40 years of age, and a printer. He was a well-informed politician, 
and founded the first whig paper in Cal. the California Courier. After the 
discontinuance of this journal he made careful researches into the Spanish 
records, arranging his knowledge of history in the form of lectures. Before 
his researches were completed he died. Kelleys Nev, Directory, 29-30. 


for his successor was held November 12th, resulting 
in the choice of J. J. Musser; 63 also an election for 
members of the legislative assembly, which was ap- 
pointed to meet in December. The vote for governor 
was canvassed ; Roop was declared elected, and duly 
sworn in by F. M. Preston, United States commis- 
sioner for the second judicial district. 

On the 21st of November the inhabitants of Car- 
son valley held another meeting, at which a memorial 
to congress was adopted, asking for the organization 
of the territory of Nevada. On the 15th of December 
four members of the legislature elect met at the house 
of J. B. Blake of Genoa, O. H. Pierson 64 speaker, 
H. S. Thompson clerk, and J. H. McDougal sergeant- 
at-arms. Governor Hoop delivered his message, 
some resolutions were passed, a committee appointed 
to draw up a memorial to congress, and the legislature, 
being without a quorum, was then adjourned to the 
first Monday in July. In his message the governor 
alluded to the peculiar condition of western Utah, 
and the helplessness of the United States judge, 
Cradlebaugh, to administer the laws of the country, 65 ^ 
but expressed his confidence in the justice of congress, 
and in the disposition of the people to wait upon its 
action. The administration of Governor Hoop was 
entirely of the negative kind, and corresponded in this 
respect with the two other governments exercising a 
nominal authority over the country. 66 But the faith 
of the people in congressional interposition was des- 

63 Musser left Carson for Washington city Dec. 12, 1859, carrying a large 
piece of silver ore from the Ophir mine for the Washington monument. S. F. 
AUa, Dec. 12, 1859. 

64 Pierson came to Carson City in 1859, and built the first hotel the St 
Nicholas on the corner of Carson and First streets. It was filled as soon 
as completed. He erected 12 other houses in Carson. A portion of the town 
was called Pierson's Addition. Carson Tribune, Aug 5, 1870. 

66 The court-house at Genoa is described as a building 30 by 60 feet, l 
storier high, in the upper part of which Judge Cradlebaugh held his first 
U. S. D. court, access to it being had by means of a ladder from the street. 
Later, stairs were built from the sidewalk. 

66 The only instancies of Hoop's official action were in connection with the 
Indian difficulties of 1860, of which I shall speak hereafter. 


tined to another year of trial. Delegate Musser re- 
turned from Washington, having done no more than 
to reiterate the appeals of his constituents and his 
predecessor, which reiteration may have served to 
deepen the impression already produced, and thereby 
to hasten in some degree the end, 




THE state of Nevada came into being through the 
discovery and development of the Comstock lode. No 
doubt the corruption of the federal judiciary hastened 
the formation of a state government. Nowhere else 
in the annals of the world do we find a society spring- 
ing up in a desert wilderness, so wholly dependent on 
a mountain of metal, so ruled by the ever-changing 
vagaries attending its development, and which finally 
attained the full measure of a fair and prosperous 
commonwealth. Hence it is that the history of the 
Comstock lode is to a great extent the history of Ne- 
vada. The yield of this vast deposit aided greatly in 
enabling the nation to resume specie payment after 
the close of the civil war. 

The range of mountains in which the great mineral 
vein of western Utah was situated is separated from 
the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada by a continu- 
ous parallel depression, which is divided into the 
smaller valleys of the Truckee, Washoe, and Carson 
rivers. Irregular in outline and height, it gradually 
slopes at the south into the basin of the Carson, be- 
coming more elevated farther south, where it merges 



in the Pine Nut range. Toward the west the hills 
sink rapidly to the detrital beds of the Washoe and 
Truckee valleys, being connected with the Sierra 
Nevada by two granite ridges crossing the northern 
and southern extremities of Washoe valley. To the 
north the range extends, with several breaks, to the 
boundary of Oregon, and to the southeast it melts 
away abruptly into the Carson valley. The culminat- 
ing point of elevation is a peak something over thirty 
miles from Genoa, and eighteen from Carson City, 
known as Sun peak by the earliest settlers, and some- 
times as Mount Pleasant by subsequent mining in- 
habitants. It was named Mount Davidson 1 in later 
years by the California state geologist, who ascertained 
its height to be 7,827 feet. 

Down from the south side of this peak runs a ravine 
to the Carson river, a distance of several miles, which 
is the Gold canon referred to in the previous chapter. 
It obtained its name from the fact that some gold 
mining had been carried on in it ever since the settle- 
ment of the valley. It comes quite down to the im- 
migrant road, and consequently was well known to 
early passers-by. Beatie relates that in 1849, while 
he and one of the Blackburns were on their first visit 
to the California gold mines, Abner Blackburn occu- 
pied himself in prospecting in the lateral ravines of 
Carson valley, and discovered gold in this canon in 
the month of July, 2 but not in quantities sufficient to 
cause a fever in the blood of the saints. No mining 

1 After Prof. George Davidson of the coast survey a fitting tribute to his 

* First in Nevada, MS., 4-5. There are various versions of the first dis- 
covery of gold in western Utah, but none more authentic. See Browns Min. 
Resources, 87; Virginia City Occidental, in Downieville Mountain Messenger^ 
May 14, 1864; San Jose Mercury, April 14, 1804; Sac. Transcript, Aug. 30 
1850 (steamer edition); S. F. Herald, July 1, 1850; Mariposa Gazette, March 
23, 1878; Morijans Trip (1849)., 19-20; WriyMs Bi<j Bonanza, 26; Gold Hill 
Eve. News, Feb. 24, and May 18, 1880; Gal Courier, July 23, 1850; Petaluma 
Aryus, June 18, 1880; S. F. Alta, May 17, 1880; ffllco Independent, May 20, 
and 23, 1880. The Reno Gazette of Feb. 12 1880, gives the date as 1851. 
That 18)0 has been so generally named as the year is due, probably, to the 
fact that the newspapers did not publish the Mormon discovery until miners 
began to go to Cal. 



was done by Beatie's company, which returned to 
Salt Lake the same season. But on his second visit 
to California, Beatie informed the Mormon company 
in the mines of the discovery, and subsequently some 
of them, with immigrants from the states on their 
way to California, stopped to mine fora while in Gold 
canon. The gold it produced was poor, being worth 
no more than fourteen dollars to the ounce ; but as 


the diggings continued to yield a fair day's wages, 
there were at work generally in the mining season 
from one to two hundred men, some of whom had 
made settlements upon land claims near by. But down 
to the period where the last chapter ends, there had 
never been any marked recognition of western Utah 
as a mining country. 

Gold canon was the only mining ground worked in 
this district before 1857, It opens from the north- 

GOLD CAftON. 95 

west near where the Carson river turns rather abruptly 
to the southwest. At the distance of about four 
miles from its mouth it forks, the middle branch of 
three being called American Flat ravine. Near the 
head of this ravine is a mound, which in 1858 acquired 
the name of Gold hill, to distinguish it from Gold 
canon. This hill is a mile or more from Mount Da- 
vidson. Coming from the north side of the mountain 
is another large ravine, ^hose head is within a mile 
of the head of Gold canon, whose mouth is on the 
Carson river, a few miles northeast of Gold canon, 
and which was known as Six-mile canon. It had no 
settlement at this period, but at the mouth of Gold 
canon was the little town of Dayton, then known as 
Chinatown, from the presence there of a camp of 
Chinese employed in digging the canal before men- 
tioned, for which Reese obtained a franchise, and 
which was finished by Rose. The whit-e inhabitants 
called the place Mineral rapids, and it never received 
its final christening until November 3, 1861, when in 
a public meeting this important matter was decided. 8 

About four miles up the canon was another camp, 
known as Johntown. Neither of these places had a 
dozen houses of any kind, the migratory habits of 
the miners and the scarcity of timber, with the entire 
absence of lumber in that part of the valley, causing 
them to live in tents, which at the end of the season 
were easily removed. Nor were there ever more 
than 150 or 200 miners in Gold canon at one time 
before 1859. 

That mysterious something which is called fate by 
pagan, and providence by Christians, and which like 

Wrights Big Bonanza, 28-9. William Wright, whose nom de plume as a 
popular writer on Nevada journals was Dan De Quille, was reporter on the Vir- 
ginia City Territorial Enterprise for 16 years, and had the best facilities for 
acquiring historical facts. His book is made popular by the introduction of 
facetious anecdotes, and a style of raillery much in vogue in writing of min- 
ing affairs, with no better reason than that in early times one or two humor- 
ous journalists set the fashion, which few have been able to follow with 
similar success. Wright's book is, however, a storehouse of information, 
generally correct, on current events connected with the mining history of 
Nevada, which gives it a permanent value among my authorities, 


love and justice should be painted with bandaged 
eyes, with one extended hand holding a crown, and 
the other the emblematic cap-and -bells, that whoever 
passed under the one or the other should be its pos- 
sible recipient, held now suspended above the mining 
camp of Johntown the fateful wreath. How it fell 
where the cap-and-bells would have been more fitting 
let me here relate. 

As early as 1849 two brothers, E. Allen Grosch 
and Hosea B. Grosch of Reading, Pennsylvania, sons 
of a universalist preacher, educated and serious- 
minded young men, came to the Pacific coast via 
Tampico and Mazatlan, and engaged in mining in El 
Dorado county, California. In 1851, hearing of the 
Gold canon placers, they paid them a visit, returning 
the same season to California. In 1853 they made 
another and longer visit, prospecting in Carson, Lake, 
and Washoe valleys, Gold canon, and in some of the 
adjacent mountains. In Gold canon they found what 
they called "carbonate of silver," which they described 
as a "dark gray mass, tarnished probably by sulphuric 
acid in the water. It resembles thin sheet-lead 
broken very fine, and lead the miners supposed it to 
be. The ore we found at the forks of the canon ; a 
large quartz vein at least, bowlders from a vein close 
by here shows itself. . . Other ore of silver we have 
found in the canon, and a rock called black rock, very 
abundant, we think contains silver." 

In 1857 the Grosch brothers were living in a stone 
cabin in American Flat ravine. In their later corre- 
spondence with their father they mentioned a mine 
which had been named the Frank, after a Mexican 
called Old Frank, an experienced miner, who corrob- 
orated their impressions concerning the nature of 
their discoveries. They spoke also of " our monster 
vein," and of a "smaller but richer vein," and "suits 
of veins crossing the canon at two other points." ! 

* Letter to A. B. Grosch, the father, in 1853. 

5 This description should fix the fact of the discovery of the great silver 


But the development of silver mines requires capital, 
in order to obtain which a company was formed in the 
east of the friends of the young men, called the Utah 
Enterprise company, and another partly in El Dorado 
county, California, and partly in Carson valley. There 
seems not to have been much money in either, for in 
the autumn of 1857 they were waiting for a partner 
named Brown, who kept the mail station at Gravelly 
ford on the Humboldt, to close his season's operations 
and bring his profits to be applied to opening what 
they called the Pioneer claim. 

While they waited, they heard of the murder of 
Brown, by which, and the loss of the expected aid, 
they were much cast down. About the same time 
Hosea struck a pick into his foot, from which blood- 
poisoning resulted, and he died on the 2d of Septem- 
ber. A friend had, however, in the meantime, offered 
pecuniary aid ; c and Allen, having to go to California 
on business, started about the middle of November, 
with one other person, to cross the mountains. 7 They 
were caught in a terrible snow-storm, compelled to 
kill and eat their pack-mule, and to abandon their 
baggage and specimens, while they wandered about 
in the trackless waste of snow for eleven days, at the 
end of which time they reached the carnp of a Mexi- 
can miner on the west side, with their legs frozen to 
and above the knees. Grosch would not submit to 
amputation, and died December 19, 1857. 

It was said that when Allen Grosch left for Cali- 
fornia, he placed his cabin in charge of Henry T. P. 

lode with the Grosch brothers, as it crosses the heads of both canons. Wright' 
Big Bonanza, 31. Two of their claims were near the forks of the canon, as 
described in their letters. See account of Comstock lode, in Mining Review 
and Stock Ledger, 1878, 149-61; Nev. Sen. Jour., 1866, app. no. 7, 19. 

6 This was Mrs Ellis, afterward Mrs Dittenreider, who was so much im- 
pressed by the faith of the Grosches in the value of their discoveries that 
she offered to sell some property in California and furnish them $1,500. Mrs 
Dittenreide.r states that she saw the brothers at their cabin, and that Allen 
took her to some elevated ground, and pointing to Mount Davidson, said that 
the Pioneer claim was ' down at the base of that point. ' 

7 This person was R. M. Bucke, since superintendent of the Dominion 
insane asylum, at London, Canada. 



Comstock, 8 a miner in Gold canon, who also lived 
about Johntown, and had been in western Utah since 
1856. How much or how little Comstock knew of 
the plans of the Grosch brothers previous to coming 
into the possession of their books and papers through 
the death of Allen Grosch is uncertain ; but probably 
he had never been admitted to their confidence fur- 
ther than to engage his services, and to explain to 
him what the consideration would be/ with assurances 
of the prospective value of their mining claims. The 
total disappearance of their books and papers, with 
all the evidences of their company and individual 
rights, is strong presumptive evidence against Com- 
stock as the person in charge. Whatever knowledge 
he had he kept to himself, and with equal care re- 
moved the traces of their claims, 19 which might lead 

8 William Jennings, in his Carson Valky, MS., 3, states that Comstock 
came into the valley in 1856, driving a flock of sheep, but that ' the Indians 
got most of the sheep.' Comstock says of himself that his name was Henry 
Thomas Paige Comstock, and that he was the son of Noah Comstock of Cleve- 
land, Ohio, and was born in Canada in 1820. He declared that he had been 
in the wilderness from childhood hunting and trapping, except when he was 
serving in the Black Hawk, Patriot, and Mexican wars. His mind was ill 
balanced, or if not so naturally, he had suffered so many shocks of fortune 
that the last years of his life were but the record of a feeble struggle against 
advancing dementia. After leaving Nevada, which he did in 1862 to go to 
the eastern Oregon and Idaho mines, he wandered about in those countries 
for several years, and constructed a road from Auburn to Baker City, Oregon, 
before going to Boise, and finally going to Montana. He accompanied the 
Bighorn expedition in 1870, and on his return, September 27th, when near 
Bozeman, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with his revolver. 
Wrv flit's Birj Bonama,, 82-7; Silver City Nevada Times, Aug. 27, 1879; Eureka 
Sentinel, July 14, 1875; Gold Hill News, Aug. 30, 1875. 

.' 9 A writer in the Sac. Union of Aug. 17, 1863, signing himself "****/' 
but speaking as one who knows, says that Allen Grosch made a written con- 
tract with Comstock to go into his ca.bin and take charge of the ' Hill ' claim 
during his absence for the winter, for which service he was to receive a 
fourth interest in that claim; said claim being recorded with a diagram and 
marked by posts, the claim covering 3,750 feet north of the ledge where the 
first notice was posted, and extending beyond the ravine on the north side 
of Virginia City. This, if true, would fix the locality and the value of the 
Grosch mines. 

10 Wright says that he saw the old furnaces of the Grosch brothers 
unearthed in 1860, they having been covered up with a foot of mud and sand 
from Gold canon. They were 2 in number, only 2 or 3 feet in length, a foot 
in height, and 1^ feet in width. One had been used as a smelter, and the 
other as a cupel furnace. The remains of melting-pots and fragments of 
cupels were found in and about the furnaces; also a large piece of argentifer- 
ous galena, which had doubtless been procured a short distance west of 
Silver City. After the discovery of the furnaces there was much search by 


to identification by either of the companies, or by the 
heirs of the Grosch brothers. For more than a year 
after the death of Allen Grosch, Comstock remained 
in Gold canon, keeping a silent watch upon the pro- 
gress of discovery, and ready to profit by it. At the 
last it came, as he expected. 11 

Returning to the history of mining for gold by the 
residents of Johntown: during the summer of 1857 
a number of men from Gold canon, prospecting in 
Six-mile canon, discovered a new field about a mile 
below the ground now occupied by Virginia City. 
The gold was not found in auriferous sand and gravel, 
but in blue clay so tough that it had to be dissolved 
to free the metal. From $5 to $13.50, the value of 
an ounce, was a day's wages, and in 1858 the same 
miners returned to these diggings, puzzled to under- 
stand their peculiar features, but satisfied with the 
pay. With them came a few others, who were forced 
to take claims higher up the canon. 

Among the newer comers was James Fennimore. an 


intemperate Virginian, without either brains or educa- 
tion, who for some breach of lawful etiquette com- 
mitted elsewhere, had found it convenient to remove 
to Carson valley in 185 1, 12 where he had remained 
ever since, di^ino 1 his season's wa^es out of the earth 

* OO O O 

to pour it down his throat in bad whiskey during his 
leisure months. When he first came to Carson valley 
he called himself James Finney, until outgrowing his 
apprehensions, he acknowledged his true name to be 
Fennimore. But although so well supplied with ap- 
pellations, 13 he was dubbed by the miners Old Virginia, 

miners in the neighborhood for the mine they had been prospecting, but it 
was not found. Big Bonanza, 34. 

11 Wright relates that Comstock obtained the sobriquet of Old Pancake 
among the miners, because he could not take time to make bread. ' Even as, 
with spoon in hand, he stirred up his pancake batter, it is said that he kept 
one eye on the top of some distant peak, and was lost in speculations in 
regard to the wealth in gold and silver that might rest somewhere beneath 
its rocky crest.' Big Bonanza, 41. 

12 It is said that Fennimore came to Carson valley with Reese's company 
in 1851 as a teamster. Thompson & West's Hmt. Nev., 31. 

13 He is often called Mr Berry. See Territorial Enterprise, Sept. 24, 1859; 
8. F. Alta, Sept. 28, 1859. 


a sobriquet significant of his characteristics rather 
than of his years, which really were not yet in the 
decline of life. In company with Fennimore were 
Peter O'Riley, Patrick McLaughlin, Joseph Kirby, 
and Nicholas Ambrose, the latter not a miner, but a 
restaurateur. They worked contentedly in their new 
claims through the summer of 1858, returning to John- 
town to winter. But in January 1859, during some 
warm weather, which melted the snow, and gave plenty 
of water, prospecting in Gold canon was resumed by 
the residents of Johntown, and among others, by 
James Fennimore, John Bishop, arid H. T. P. Corn- 

On the 29th, after further examination of the mound 
at the head of the canon, aud finding tl)e prospects 
rich, though the gold was very fine,oComstock, Fenni- 
more, Bishop, and others staked off claims, and called 
the place Gold Hill. In connection with their claims, 
Fennimore discovered and claimed a spring of water, 
which could be brought to their ground. Several log 
houses were soon erected at Gold Hill, which became 
the centre of the mineral region, the miners in Six- 
mile canon, who had worked to within a mile or two 
on the north side, making it their headquarters. 

Although the gravel in which the Gold canon 
miners were now working was evidently decomposed 
quartz, and almost black in color, no one appears to 
have guessed the secret of it at this period. 14 The 
miners also in Six-mile canon continued to work their 
claims, which, as they advanced toward the head, be- 
came darker In color. Early in June, being short of 
water, they excavated a small reservoir a short dis- 
tance above their claims, in which to collect it from a 

14 James Thompson, a Norwegian, who carried the mail from Carson val- 
ley to California on snow-shoes, used to bring specimens to Frank Stewart, 
geologist, connected with the Placervitte Observer. Among others, in the 
winter of 1857-8 he brought to Stewart a small package of black-looking 
rock, rich in gold, which he said came from Gold canon, and the miners 
desired to be informed of its nature Stewart called it black sulphuret of 
silver, containing gold. Virginia Enterprise in Stockton Independent, June 10, 
1875. The writer is evidently more than a year too early in his date, unless 
the package came from Comstock, and was found in Grosch s cabin. 


rivulet for the use of their rockers. On the 10th, at 
a depth of four feet, they came to a stratum of strange- 
looking earth, the nature of which they did not under- 
stand. It is upon record, however, that Comstock, 
who appears to have been extremely watchful of the 
movements of prospectors, immediately appeared upon 
the spot, with the remark, " You have struck it, boys," 11 
the persons addressed being McLaughlin and O'Riley. 
At the same time he made known that the spring 
from which they were conducting the water was 
claimed by himself, Emanuel Penrod, and Fennimore 
(Old Virginia), the latter owning but one share. As 
McLaughlin and O'Riley tested their discovery, and 
found it as rich as it was queer, Comstock further in- 
formed them that the ground they were, on belonged 
to some persons then absent ; namely, Fennimore, 
Joseph Kir by, James White, and William Hart, and 
thereupon proposed an arrangement by which these 
persons were to be bought off, and himself admitted 
to a firm consisting of Penrod, Comstock, McLaughlin, 
and O'Riley. iq As the claim was evidently a valuable 
one, and as it could not be worked without water, 
which Comstock controlled, the proposition was 
agreed to. Penrod was employed to obtain a bill of 
sale of the claimants, only three of whom could be 
found. To these he paid $50 for their rights, and 
Comstock negotiated the purchase of Fennimore's 
interest in the spring for an old blind horse. But 
there yet remained one of the original claim-owners, 
who was not satisfied, and Joseph D. Winters seeing 
that it was yielding $300 a day to the rocker, made 
haste to find the missing share-owner, and secure his 
right, without informing him of its value To avoid 

15 This exclamation has been taken as proof that Comstock knew of this 
deposit, or at least that he recognized its value from knowledge obtained 
from the contents of the Grosch cabin, such knowledge not being possessed 
by the other miners. If this were true, he acted with consummate tact 
throughout the whole subsequent proceedings. 

16 Book of Deeds of the White and Murphy Ground, by George Wells, MS., 
2 In this document it is stated that ' they also busied themselves that day 
to secure the surface claims previously located. ' This manuscript is a history 
of the Great Bonanza, from evidence found in searching for title. 


litigation. Winters was admitted as a partner, after 
the lode was discovered upon which the fame of the 
state of Nevada was so soon to be built. 

For only about one week did the claim continue to 
pay in the rich decomposed ore, of which the miners 
were ignorantly throwing away the greater part of 
the value, 17 when the miners came, on the llth of 
June, to a solid ledge four feet in width, which Pen- 
rod declared to be a quartz vein, but which Com stock 
at first denied, and finally admitted, the other two 
partners still assenting and objecting to " locating " as 
such. Penrod and Comstock, however, prevailed, 
giving notice of their claims, which included 1,500 feet 
on the ledge 300 for each man in the company, and 
300 additional for the discoverer, according to the 
mining laws in California. 18 Comstock claimed 100 
feet to be segregated to himself and Penrod, where- 
ever he should chose in the company's claim, in con- 
sideration of their services in securing O'Riley's and 
McLaughlin's claims to them by including them in 
the location. This segregated claim became the 
famous Mexican, from which millions of dollars were 
taken. By these methods, without ever having dis- 
covered anything, and always claiming everything, 
by much loud talking and a display of stolen knowl- 
edge for the hints obtained from the papers of 
the Grosch brothers, never before well understood, 
now enabled him to discourse with a show of 
learning Comstock caused people to talk about the 
Comstock lode. Many located claims upon it. The 
ore was sent to California to be assayed, and with 
the astonishing returns came hordes of new adven- 

17 Assays from the top of this mine (the Ophir) yielded $1,595 in gold and 
$4,791 silver. S. F. Alta, Nov. 16, 1859; N. Pac. Review, i. 149-51; Blake's 
Revieiv, in Mm. Mag., 1860, 221-5. 

^HittelVs Hand-Book of Mining, 184. In Well's Boole of Deeds, MS., it 
is said that the public meeting mentioned in the previous chapter was called 
by Comstock and associates the day after their discovery, and before it was 
made known, in order to induce the miners to pass laws and regulations 
which would enable them to hold quartz claims. This is an error, as it waa 
not known to be a quartz claim until about the 17th, and the meeting waa 
held on the llth. 


turers, who quickly converted the quiet haunts of 
western Utah into roaring mining camps. Such is 
fame. 19 

Penrod, Comstock, & Co., this being the name of 
the firm in Book A of the mining records of Virginia 
City, called their mine the Ophir, and it was the first 
claim recorded on this lode, but it was not the first 
recorded in western Utah. On the 22d of February 
Fennimore located a claim on a large vein lying west 
of the Comstock, which came to be called the Virginia 
lead, after the nickname of the claimant. 

Among the "notices" recorded at Virginia City 
appears one of a location made May 12, 1859, by A. 
Curry, J. E. Clark, H. F. Clark, and C. W. Curry, 
but on what vein is not stated, though it could not 
have been the Comstock at that date. 20 

Other mines, both placer and quartz, had been dis- 
covered in different parts of what is now Nevada, 
previous to any locations in Carson valley. As early 
as 1849 an immigrant named Hardin, while hunting 
with two other men, discovered silver in the Black 
Rock range, in the Humboldt country, one and a 
half miles from Hardin ville. 21 In 1857 quartz mines 

19 There are many who speak of Old Virginia as the discoverer of the 
Comstock, but without shadow of truth. It appears probable that his claim 
on another large lead, above mentioned, gave rise to the belief. It was at 
one time thought by some to be the mother lode of the range, as the Com- 
stock appeared to dip toward it. The purchasers of Feimimore's claim began 
a suit against the Ophir company, asserting that they were on the lead located 
by Fennimore. The Ophir company finally paid $60,000 to quiet title. 
Writ/Ms Big Bonanza, 53-4. This was probably the ' monster vein ' of the 
Grosch brothers. Accounts, varying according to recollection or prejudice, 
abound of the discovery of silver in Nevada. Instance Harper's Mag. , June, 
1877, 72; Browne's Mm. Resources, 27-36, 87-8; Knox's Underground, 94-101. 
Mining Rev., 1876, 11-12; Sec. Int. Rept, i. 261-6, 44th cong. 1st sess.; Nev. 
Sen. Jour., 1866, app. 7, 19-20; Reeses Mormon Station, MS., 3; Jennings 
Carson Valley, MS., 3-4; Clark's Statement, MS., 12; Min. Mag., 1860, i. 35; 
Barbers Western States, 490; Oazlays Pac. Monthly, 34-40; Western Monthly, 
236-41; Boise News, March 5, 1864. 

w Leaves from an old Book of Comstock Locations, in Virginia City Evening 
Chronicle., Aug. 30, 1878; Gold Hill Eoe. News, Apr. 10, 1880. This early 
record shows evidences of altered dates in more than this instance. 

' il Hardin brought specimens to Cal. ; but the Indians being troublesome, 
nothing could be done until 1858, when he revisited that region with Albert 
E. Jamison and others. They failed to find the spot, and on the following 
year he repeated the search with like result. In 1860 several hundred pros- 
pectors were looking for the lost mine, but their search was interrupted by 


were discovered in the Reese river country, eighteen 
miles from Kingston springs, on the .'oad to Salt 
Lake. A San Francisco company purchased the 
Armagosa mine, and sending out an expensive mill, 
soon sunk themselves in debt. The mill remained for 
some months with a guard of a few men, when down 
upon it swooped a band of Piutes, and both guard 
and mill were destroyed, which ended Reese river 
mining for the time. 

The Potosi silver mines, situated eighteen miles 
from Las Yegas, in the extreme southern part of 
western Utah, were discovered by the Mormons 
about the time the Reese river mines were found. 
Believing them to be lead, Brigham Young sent a 
party of miners to work in them, in anticipation of 
the war with the United States troops, but the 
product proved too hard for bullets, and the mines 
were abandoned. 22 

About the same time the silver mines of the dis- 
trict lying at the head of Walker river, in what was 
later Mono county, California, but which was then 
claimed as a part of western Utah, were beginning 
to attract attention, and in 1859 were well known. 
Rich diggings were also reported in the Truckee val- 
ley. But the principal interest centred in the so- 
called Washoe mines, another misnomer, not so 
easily accounted for as the first, since there were no 
mines in the Washoe valley," whose name was applied 

Indian hostilities. Late in 1865, however, Jamison discovered rich prospects, 
and in 1866 Hardinville was settied. S. F. AUa, March 1862, and Sept. 6, 
1866. Mining in Humboldt county became profitable about 1869. 

"Afterward $20,000 was expended on these mines by Capt. Allen, who 
derived no benefit from it, though the wealth of the mine was unquestioned. 
Assays made by the ' camel ' boundary line expedition showed $35 per ton in. 
silver. The want of railroad transportation was the chief drawback. See 
Sulliman's JRept on Potosi. 

33 ' The name of Washoe mines has been derived from Washoe valley, 
which is some 25 miles distant [actual distance 12 miles], and in no way con- 
nected with the mines.' B. 0., in S. F. Bulletin, Oct. 11, 1859. In the Nevada 
(Cal.) Democrat is the following, furnished by Foster, expressman between 
Nevada City and Carson valley: 'Collins & Co., immigrants, located a ledge 
about the 1st of October, 4 miles from Washoe lake, which assayed $940 per 
ton in gold. Subsequently a number of locations were made in the valley, 
and mining districts organized; but there ia nothing in this to account for the 


to the system of mines on the great silver lode, and 
all the region thereabout, until the name became as 
widely known as Cornstock's. 

The discovery of diggings yielding several hundred 
dollars a day caused from the first a fever of excite- 
ment, the existence of a valuable lode beneath being 
to most persons a matter of doubt and of secondary 
importance. Locations of quartz were made, because 
it could do no harm, so long as the same results were 
obtained on the surface. Miners from California 
hastened over the mountains to secure claims. Soon 
the whole country was covered with prospectors. By 
the time the ore had been further assayed by com- 
petent mineralogists, and pronounced to be richer in 
silver than in gold, all the ground on the Comstock 
had been taken up for the gold known to be present. 

The Ophir company proceeded at once to make a 
practical test, and in order to be able to do so, ad- 
mitted a sixth partner, J. A. Osburn, who with J. D. 
Winters agreed to construct two arastras worth $75 
each, and furnish the horses or mules to propel them, 
the proceeds of the mine on working to be equally 
divided between the six owners, any member of the 
company to have the preference should one or more 
desire to sell. In a few months not one of the orig- 
inal owners of this pioneer bonanza 24 firm owned any- 
thing on the Comstock, while more than a hundred 
others had claims there. 25 

Among the first, if not quite the first Californians 
to arrive at the new mines were James Walsh and 

lesser giving its name to the greater. In some of the earlier Mormon records 
it is written Wassaw. 

24 The Spanish word bonanza, signifying prosperity, fair weather at sea, 
good fortune in mining, was introduced by the Mexicans, and here applied 
to the large finds. 

25 Broivns Min. Resources, 88-9. The names of locators up to Sept. 1, 
1859, according to the record, are as follows: Thomas Winters, James Webber, 
John S. Butler, G. F. Rogers, John Bishop, M. L. Powell, F. Leary, W. P. 
Morrison, P. T. Heally, H. Johnson, H. B. Camp, A. G. Hamack, A. White, 
Joseph Curly, W. Henderson, James Finney, John Berry, L. C. Savage, A. 
O. Savage, W. Sturtevant, C. Chase, R. Crall, B. Abernather, L. S. Bowers, 
John Murphy, James Lee. Jame<3 Buchanan, Abe Field, A. Cower, Ephraim 
G. Scott, W. W. Capen, F. McNeil, Gecrge C. Rosenbaker, John Carter, A. 


Joseph Wood worth of Grass Valley. Walsh had 
procured an assay of a piece of the ore from the 
Ophir early in July, and immediately started with 
Woodworth to inspect it. The result of the exam- 
ination was that on the 1 2th of August Walsh offered 
and Comstock accepted $11,000 for his one-sixth in- 
terest in the Ophir mine, which was exclusive of the 
100 feet owned by Penrod and Comstock in the midst 
of the claim. 26 The transfer from Comstock conveyed 
also "one undivided half of 200 feet of mining ground 
being worked by the California company at the pres- 
ent time under an agreement made with me," besides 
certain claims in Six-mile canon known as the Cald- 
well claims, one half of the spring before mentioned, 27 
and " also my recorded title to a ranch, on which the 
aforesaid village of Ophir is located." 28 In Septem- 
ber McLaughlin sold his interest in the company's 

Bell, S. P. Randall, M. Guinness, S. Stogie, G. A. McBride, J. McConnell, 
T. A. Reid, L. S. Pickering, H. Bacon, E. T. Martin, A. R. Jenkins, S. S. 
Penry, J. S. Crenshaw, Charles Whitehead, David Ebaugh, Ellen Cowan, 
Benjamin Gaboon, J. E. Squire, Edwin C. Morse, M. Benham, N. Pearman, 
W. Ross, D. R. Loyd, Hiram Eckert, P. C. Van Horn, Alexander Gilmore, 
John Lowe, Joseph H. Gardiner, A. B. Cole, Robert Johnson. S. M. Beard, 
William Justice, I. W. Hastings, G. W. Heperly, A. D. Allen, William 
Pratt, John Havens, A. Thornton, John Correr, W. B. Boyden, A. Lovewell, 
E. Scott, Melville Atwood, A. Delano, W. K. Spencer, A. H. Walsh, Richard 
Tibbals, Joseph Woodworth, A. E. Head, W. P. Morrison, M. S. Powers, 
W. W. Caperton, Joseph Webb, A. Richard, R. Wilkins, W. Gill, I. 1. Col- 
lin, G. Wilson, Nicholas Mellon, D. H. Rule, Fred Miller, G. W. Aurgin, 
Edward Connor, T. J. Atchison, H. Jacobs, D. F. McNeil, E. Belcher, John 
Blackburn, Geo. Stead, Thomas Stead, Arthur E. McHugh, John Braclim, 
S. P. Lord, John Vignot, Stephen Wood, John Black, D. E. Rice, J. W. 
Rice, I. W. Rice, I. Green, L. Green, Ed R. Bucklin, T. P. Mallone, Nelson 
Brobrant, Michael Daley, Michael Cloona, G. S. Fisher, G. H. Ingersoll, G. 
Kenny, E. Payne, F. Eaton. J ohn Becker, M. B. Thompson, D. S. Blanding, 
Cook, G. A. Whitney, J. Spitzer, James Corey, William Vaughn. The list 
is not complete, owing to the wear to which the book of record has been 
subjected, having rendered some names undecipherable. 

26 In October Walsh and Woodworth shipped 12,000 pounds of ore, and 
the Central Mining Company 3, 000 pounds. About 150 persons arrived from 
Downieville during the last week of the month. S. F. Alta, Oct. 31, 1859. 

27 In the contract it is said that the three owners of the mine were only 
entitled to use the water so long as they continue to own in the mine. 
Wright's Big Bonanza, 73. 

28 Whether this claim of Comstock's to 160 acres of land on which Vir- 
ginia City was erected, with the water supply, was bona fide is open to 
doubt. In a communication written for the public press a short time before 
his death, and when his mind wandered, he asserted that he used to raise all 
his potatoes and vegetables on it, hiring Indians to do the work. In the same 
letter to the public he states that Riley and McLaughlin were working for 


mine for $3,500 ; Osburn sold for $7,000 ; O'Kiley, 
who was the last to sell, received $40,000 all being 
well satisfied with the prices obtained. California 
miners knew nothing about silver-mining, expected 
their claims to be worked out in a few months, and 
were pleased to part with them for a few thousand 
dollars. In November Penrod sold his share in the 
100 feet segregated to Gabriel Maldonado, a Mexi- 
can, for $3,000. 29 He had already sold his interest in 
the company mine for $5,500 to prevent being, in 
mining phrase, " frozen out," by the threatened erec- 
tion of a costly mill, and the consequent assessments. 
The claim in which Maldonado had purchased a 
half-interest was called the Mexican. John H. Atch- 
ison also obtained a share, equal to one-eighth 30 in 

him when Ophir was discovered, and that he gave the other members of the 
company their claims; also, that he located the Savage and Gould and Curry, 
and owned the Hale and Norcross and the principal part of Gold Hill, giving 
claims to Sandy Bowers, William Knight, and Joe Plato. He entertained 
the idea of bringing suit to recover all these properties, of which he imagined 
himself deprived. That he did set up a claim to the ground on which Vir- 
ginia is located at the time of the discovery of O'Riley and McLaughlin, 
basing his right upon the fact of having paid a Mexican something for the 
spring claim, seems to be corroborated by other circumstances, and does not 
seem to have been disputed; but all his right to .the land was conveyed to 
Walsh. There is no record in existence showing Comstock's claim, and at 
the best he could have had only a squatter's title. 

29 It is interesting to follow the subsequent histories of these sports of for- 
tune. Comstock engaged in merchandising in Carson City. He had married 
fie wife of a Mormon in regular orthodox fashion before a gentile preacher in 
Wamoe valley. But she ran away from him, as she had from her first hus- 
band; and after many ineffectual attempts to bind her to him indissolubly, he 
allowed her to go her way. He soon failed in his mercantile venture, and 
finally ended his life, as I have said, in Montana by suicide. O'Riley 
received a considerable fortune foi 1 his interest, and erected a stone hotel in 
Virginia City with a portion of it. He then indulged in stock-gambling, and 
soon was forced to resort to pick and pan for a living. Like most illiterate 
persons who have lost money, he became extremely superstitious, and finally 
insane, dying in a private asylum at Woodbridge, Cal., about 1874. Mc- 
Laughlin soon spent the little he received, and in 1875 was engaged as cook 
at the Green mine in San Bernardino co., Cal. Penrod also soon became a 
poor man, living at Elko, Nev. Osburn went east; and Winters to Cal., 
where he was no better off than the others. 

319 Penrod says that while the original company still held the Ophir, a 
threat was made to change the mining regulations, and reduce the width of 
a claim to 200 feet. Under this apprehension the company each selected a 
man to whom was deeded fifty feet off the north end of Ophir, thus voluntarily 
limiting their ground to 1,200 feet. This 300 feet was afterward called the 
Atchison. Some of the ground was recovered subsequently. The mining 
law was changed in the Virginia district September 14, 1859, the first article 
reading, 'All quartz claims hereafter located shall be 200 feet on the lead, 


this mine. 31 Buying and selling were of daily occur- 
rence. Before the end of the year there were four 
thousand people in Carson and the adjacent small 
villages, where in June there were hardly so many 
hundreds. A town sprang up about the Ophir mine, 
which, as I have just shown, was first called after the 
mine. It was afterward named Silver City by Coin- 
stock, but by a drunken whim of Fennimore's became, 
in October, Virginia Town, after himself. 32 A month 
later, at which time it had eight stone houses, it was 
proposed to call the place Winneraucca, after the 
Piute chieftain of that name ; but the idea being un- 
popular, Virginia City was finally adopted. 

The importance of the new town was at once per- 
ceived, 33 and it was spoken of with respect as "the 
most important town in the newly discovered dig- 
gings," even at this time. It was described as situ- 
ated in a " kind of mountain amphitheatre leading 
down the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada into 
Carson valley," distant fifteen .miles from Carson 
City, six from Steamboat springs, and 162 from Sac- 
ramento. A hundred miners were at work, and 
quartz was being broken in fifteen arrastras. There 
was no hotel, and only one restaurant, where half a 
dozen persons at a time could be supplied with poor 
meals at seventy-five cents. Travellers found lodg- 
ings by spreading their blankets on the east flank of 

including all its dips and angles.' But this regulation did not affect titles 
already acquired to 300 feet. HitteW"; Hand-Book of Mining, 199. 

31 It was from this part of the original ground that the first ore was 
taken. Virginia Union in Mer. Gazette and Pi-ice Current, Nov. 17, 1865. 

3^ Wright, in his Big Bonanza, 28. 59, 84, quotes Comstock's account: 
' Old Virginia and the other boys got on a drunk one night there, and Old 
Virginia fell down and broke his bottle, and when he got up he said he bap- 
tized that ground hence Virginia City.' Fennimore, who is much paraded 
by all the historians of Nevada, without any discoverable reason, unless a 
fondness for whiskey may be accounted a distinguished as well as distinguish- 
ing trait, was killed at Dayton in July 1861, being thrown from his horse 
while intoxicated, and suffering a fracture of the skull. 

33 O. H. Pierson laid off the town in lots some time in July. Comstock 
offering him the land on which at that time John L. Blackburn and one other 
man had spread their tents; but Ormsby of Carson City, for whom Pierson 
had been a clerk in 1849 at -Sacramento, offered him a corner lot in his town, 
and thither he went. Carson Tribune, Aug. 1870. 


Sun peak, or Pleasant hill, as it was not infrequently 
called. The country being treeless in the immediate 
vicinity, and the one or two saw-mills at a considera- 
ble distance, lumber was worth $50 per 1,000 feet, 
and was scarce at any price, being more valuable for 
mining purposes than for houses. These facts did not 
deter people from hurrying to the new diggings, and 
during the severe winter which followed many lived 
in excavations in the earth. 

At Gold Hill, which was nature's dump of tailings 
from the Comstock lode, was less excitement, but 
equal industry, and eight or ten arrastras were grind- 
ing up quartz for the gold it contained, without refer- 
ence to the silver. In truth, the Californians wished 
to conceal the actual value of the ores until they could 
buy at a low price. 34 A few mule-loads were sent to 

34 1 find in the Virginia City Union of Oct. 14, 1863, the following account 
of the Gold Hill mines and their first owners: ' Late in the fall of 1858 [it 
was really in January 1859] four men, named James Finney, alias Virginia, 
John Bishop, alias Big French John, Aleck Henderson, and Jack Yount, were 
prospecting in the vicinity of the place where Gold Hill is now situated. . . 
As they were passing along the ridge immediately east of the canon in which 
the town of Gold Hill is now located, Virginia pointed to the large mound, 
now known as Gold Hill, and remarked to 'his comrades, 'Boys, I believe 
there are some good diggings over there. In a few days we will go over and 
try it. ' They returned, . . . and in a few days went to the mound pointed 
out by Virginia, as agreed upon. . . . Virginia in hunting around over the 
mound, discovered a hole which had been made by a gopher. From this 
they tock out a considerable quantity of gold and carried it down to Crown 
Point ravine. . . . All there immediately thought that they had at last 
found the long looked for El Dorado, . . . and the bleak mountains which 
surrounded them echoed and reechoed their wild shouts of delight. They 
immediately staked out 4 claims of 50 feet each and divided them among 
each other, giving Virginia, as the discover, the first choice. A few days 
afterward 5 other men, named James Rogers, Joseph Plato, Sandy Bowers, 
Henry Comstock, and William Knight, who had been prospecting in and 
about Spanish ravine, came down to the newly discovered diggings and 
staked out another claim of 50 feet, being 10 feet to each. 

' Of these 4 discoverers, not one owns a foot of ground on Gold Hill, and 
of the second locators, only one and the heirs of another now own an interest. 
Virginia first gave John Vignot, alias Little French John, 9 feet in consider- 
ation of his having attended him during a spell of sickness. This 9 feet is 
now incorporated in the Logan and Holmes claim. He then sold 21 feet to 
Dugan & Co. for $50 per foot. Of this, 10| feet now compose the Coover and 
Stevenson claim, and 10 feet the Lindauer and Hirschman claim. The re- 
maining 20 feet he sold to L. E. and J. VV. Rice. Of this, 6| feet is now in- 
corporated in the Logan and Holmes claim. The remaining 13 feet is still 
known as the Rice claim. John Bishop sold his claim to Logan and Holmes 
for $50 per foot. Jack Yount sold 30 feet to J. D. Winters, and 20 feet to 
Henderson and Butler. Aleck Henderson retained an interest until last 
year, in partnership with his brother W. Henderson, when he sold out and 
returned to the states. 


California to be tested, in the autumn of 1859, and 
the owners suspecting something unfair in the returns, 
the following spring put up a quantity of ore in sacks, 
reserving every alternate sack for assay by experienced 
Mexican miners, and found that the ore tested in 
California yielded but about half as much as that 
assayed by the Mexicans. 35 A San Francisco firm 36 

' Of the 5 later locators, Rogers sold his 10 feet to Mrs Cowan (now Mrs 
Sandy Bowers) for $100 per foot. This, with the 10 feet which Sandy Bowers 
owned, and still retains, form what is now known as the Bowers claim. Coin- 
stock sold to one Friiik. This 10 feet is now known as the Harold Co. 
claim. Knight's interest was sold, and also passed to Harold & Co. These 
2 interest are now incorporated in the claim of the Empire Mill and Mining 
company. Plato died, but his wife inherited and still owns the 10 feet which 
he located. Finney, alias Virginia, Plato, and Rogers are now dead, the 
latter having committed suicide a few months since. Bishop still lives about 
Virginia . . . Comstock, immortalized by the famous lead in this district 
which bears his name, is now in the northern mines. Sandy Bowers and wife 
reside in Washoe county.' 

35 The process of testing consisted in beating the rock to a powder in a 
mortar, or grinding it fine on a large flat stone with a lesser stone. The 
pulverized ore was placed in a small canoe-shaped vessel, made of a split ox- 
horn, and carefully washed out, much in the same manner in which auriferous 
gravel was worked in a pan. The gold would be found lying in a yellow 
streak at the bottom of the horn. This was a. very simple process, and any 
miner could prospect his discovery of gold rock to decide whether it would 
pay to work it in a mill. In testing for silver, acids were used. The quartz 
was pulverized as in the first instance, and the lighter matter washed out in 
the horn. The residuum was then washed from the horn into a mattrass (a 
flash of annealed glass with a narrow neck and broad bottom). Nitric acid 
was then poured in until the matter to be tested was covered, when the flask 
was suspended over a lamp and evaporated by boiling until the fumes es- 
caping changed from red to white. After cooling, the liquid contents of the 
flask were poured off into a vial of clear, thin glass, called a test-tube. A 
few drops of a strong solution of common salt were then poured into the 
vial. If the ore contained silver, the liquid in the tube would take on a 
milky hue where the salt first came in contact with it, changing gradually 
toward the bottom. If much silver was present, the milky matter formed 
little ropes, which sank to the bottom of the vial. Muriatic acid was some- 
times used in place of salt, to produce the formation of chloride of silver. 
To dispel all doubts, the prospector held the test-tube in the strong light of 
the sun for a short time, when the chloride would assume a rich purple hue. 
To reduce the chloride to a metallic state, it was dried and placed in a small 
excavation scooped out in a piece of charcoal, and the flame of a candle 
blown upon it until it was melted, when a button of pure silver would be 

Chloride ores of silver could not be tested by this process, being already a 
chloride, but had to be smelted in a crucible. Lead ore treated with nitric 
acid, as in testing silver, produced a chloride somewhat resembling silver, 
but more granular in appearance. It did not turn purple in the sunlight, 
and it dissolved in 20 times its bulk in water, whereas the chloride of silver 
did not dissolve in any amount of water. If copper was present, a piece of 
bright iron wire or the blade of a penknife dipped in the solution would show 
a coating of it. 

36 Donald Davison & Co, Territorial Enterprise (Genoa), Oct. 1, 1859. 


purchased 200 tons of ore, at $200 a ton, to be sent 
to England for practical testing. The first arrastra 
put in operation was at the Ophir mine. Others 
quickly followed at the Mexican and other claims, 
which were operated by horse-power. Woodworth 
and Hastings erected two arrastras at Dayton, to be 
run by water-power from the Carson river. The 
next advance in milling in 1859 was a horse-power, 
four-stamp battery, erected at Dayton by Logan and 
Holmes. This was followed in August 1860 by two 
steam quartz mills, erected by E. B. Harris and Al- 
marin B. Paul, both of which started running on the 
llth in close competition, Harris' mill blowing the 
first whistle. 37 The introduction of mills, by saving 
the cost of freight to California, where the ores were 
being sent to be crushed, was an important step in 
advance. At first the process called dry crushing was 
practised, which was found unprofitable, one Howland 
battery of nine stamps crushing only a ton in twenty- 
fouc tours. In October the Pioneer mill adopted the 
wet process, and was soon followed by the others. By 
this method ten times the work was done, and a larger 
amount of gold saved. The cost of crushing and 
working the ore was about $6 a ton, while the mills 
charged $100, falling to $75, and afterward to $50 
per ton. The retorted bullion was worth from $10 to 

37 S. F. Alta, Aug. 7, 1863. There was but a few minutes difference in 
the time of starting up. C. W. Coover was associated with Harris. Their 
mill was built on the east side of the road, nearly opposite the present Levi- 
athan hoisting works, the site being one formerly located by Overman for 
arrastras. The mill consisted of one of Rowland's 9-stamp portable rotary 
batteries, the engine and boilers being from Goss & Lambert's, Sacramento, 
and hauled over the mountains by ox-teams, at 4 and 5 cents a pound, taking 
18 days to the passage. On the 13th of August this mill began on custom- 
work, running continually on ore from the Bowers and Gould and Curry 
claims until October, when it was stopped to make the change from the dry 
to the wet process. Paul's first mill was erected at Devil's Gate, 5 miles 
from Virginia City, and if we are to believe the S. F. Bulletin of Aug. 15th, 
was in operation before Harris'. He built another, the 3d in the territory, 
consisting of 8 Howland batteries (72 stamps), below lower Gold Hill. The 
4th mill was by the Ophir company; and the 5th by Staples at Gold Hill; the 
6th by W. S. Hobart at Gold Hill; the 7th by the Nevada company, in Six- 
mile canon. Wood being required to run steam-mills, what there was in the 
vicinity brought a continually increasing price from $4.50 to $15 pe~ cord. 


$14 an ounce, and even at this low rate the Comstock 
mines yielded $1,800 and $2,000 per ton in gold. 

As soon as it was settled in the public mind that 
the mines in Virginia and Gold Hill districts were 
upon the same lead, it became of importance to know 
the extent and dip of the great vein. There was, as 
might have been expected, a conflict of opinion. Some 
placed their faith upon the Flowery district, east of 
Virginia City about five miles. In this district were 
the Rodgers, Morning Star, Mammoth, Desert, Nary 
Red, Lady Bryan, Marco Polo, and Cedar companies. 
It was asserted with much confidence that this dis- 
trict excelled the Virginia district. The mines of the 
Devil's Gate district, south of Gold Hill, were said to 
be the next best in the territory. 

All the work done which could serve as an indica- 
tion of the actual value of the mines was being done 
in two or three mines of the Virginia district, namely, 
the Ophir, Mexican, and Californian. The Mexican 
was being worked after the method pursued in the 
mines of Mexico. A shaft was sunk, about fourteen 
by eight feet in size, which came to the vein ten or 
fifteen feet from the surface. From this point the 
inclination of the vein was sufficient to allow of rude 
steps being cut on the lower side of the shaft, up 
which clambered the Mexican miners, carrying on 
their backs, suspended by straps round their foreheads, 
ox-hide baskets filled with ore. In this primitive 
way, with little expense, they brought up from the 
bottom of the shaft a richly paying quantity of ore. 
Forty or fifty feet below the surface drifts were run, 
and from the drifts other shafts were lowered. This 
system left standing pillars of ore, which supported 
the mine, and obviated the necessity for expensiva 
timbering. A tunnel was, however, run in at a depth 
of eighty feet, and when the miners had reached that 
depth, and a greater depth, the tunnel was utilized 
for a roadway to bring out the ore in loaded cars, an 
approach to American methods of mining. 


The Ophir company employed steam hoisting and 
pumping machinery in 1860, driven by a fifteen horse- 
power donkey-engine. It was worked by an inclined 
shaft following the dip of the vein, up which the ore- 
car was hoisted. In December 1860 the Ophir com- 
pany had reached a depth of 180 feet, using the post 
and cap supports common in California mines, and 
found the ore body to be of the unexampled breadth 
of forty-five feet. They had not followed the Mexi- 
can plan of leaving pillars of the rock to support the 
weight of the superincumbent earth. Timbers of suf- 
ficient length and strength to prevent the sinking in 
of the roof of the mine over so wide a space could not 
be obtained, even if they would have had the required 
imperishability to make them safe. 38 This difficulty, 
encountered in the heart of the bonanza, became of 
the most serious import, and the company sought the 
aid of the engineering genius of Philip Deidesheimer, 
a German miner of scientific attainments 

Deidesheimer was equal to the occasion, inventing 
in three weeks of study and observation a system of 
timbering without which the Comstock mines would 
have remained sealed below a certain depth. The 
plan was simply that of timbers framed together in 
square sets, forming cribs of from four by six feet in 
size, which could be piled one upon the other to any 
required height, and which could be made to conform 
to any circumstances of lateral as well as downward 
pressure. These cribs, filled with waste rock, could 
be made enduring pillars reaching to the roof of the 
deepest mine. Here at once, in the beginning of its 

38 On the morning of the 15th of July, 1863, half of the Mexican mine, 
from the surface to a depth of 225 feet, caved in. It carried the ponderous 
mass of rock, earth, and timbers over into the Ophir, demolishing 50 feet of 
the 4th gallery, and portions of the 2d and 3d galleries. The main shaft 
of the Mexican was closed up, and a part of the mill undermined. Not 
a life was lost, all the men in the mine barely escaping. Lord's Comstock Min- 
ing and Miners in King's Survey, 217. On the 5th of March, 1865, a great 
cave rent open Gold Hill, filling the upper levels of the Empire, Imperial, 
and Eclipse mines. Many accidents of this nature happened, and made re- 
course to cribbing imperative. Gold Hill Mews, May 31, 1869, Jan. 3, 4, June 
29, 31, 1870. 




mining history, the Comstock lode received exactly 
the service needed for its complete development. Nor 
was it the fertile American brain which achieved the 
triumph over an obstacle that threatened to be insur- 
mountable, but the sturdier German intellect. 39 Other 
suggestions of Deidesheimer's were afterward adopted, 
with great profit, regarding the kind of machinery to 
be used. 


39 Deidesheimer's device was particularly adapted to the extraction of the 
ore bodies of the Comstock, and would have obviated the difficulty encoun- 
tered in the early development had it been applied. Wright describes the 
former method as follows: ' The only supports used in the mines were round 
logs cut on the surrounding hills. These logs were from 16 to 35 feet in 
length; when of the latter length, they were manufactured, that is, were 
made of two logs spliced and held together by means of iron bolts and bands. 
Owing to the stunted character of the pines and cedars found in the neighbor- 
hood, it was almost impossible to procure a log more than 20 feet in length. 
After setting up two of these logs, a log 18 feet long was placed upon them as 
a cap. These posts and caps were placed as close together as they could be 
made to stand, but they would not hold up the ground when it began to 
slack and swell from exposure to the air. Besides this difficulty, there was 
no safe way of working either above or below these sets in the vein. To take 
out ore, either under or over the timbers, loosened them and caused a disas- 


The discovery of the new method was made none 
too soon, for at the level next below the one hundred 
and eighty- foot, or third gallery, the ore body had 
widened out to sixty-six feet. Locators not in the 
bonanza mines were watching with much anxiety the 
dip of the Comstock, hoping to secure claims on 
the lode where it should make its appearance beyond 
the limits of known locations. For a time it seemed 
to dip toward the west, and to run beneath Mount 
Davidson, on the eastern slope of which the croppings 
plainly appeared. Locations on the east side of the 
Virginia range were then eagerly sought after; but 
when the depth of 300 feet had been reached in the 
Ophir mine, the lead was found to have been bent 
and deflected from its true course by the pressure 
from above, and that its true dip was toward the east, 
and away from Mount Davidson. This discovery 
gave a new interest to the Flowery district. 

Mills for crushing ore rapidly having been intro- 
duced, the question of entering upon silver-mining 

trous cave. Many accidents happened, and many men lost their lives while 
this method of timbering was practised, but no lives have ever been lost in 
timbering by the square-set, or Deidesheimer plan. In the mines at Gold 
Hill was where the timbers 35 feet in length were used, and there was where 
the greatest number of accidents happened; but in the Ophir mine timbers 
16 feet long had been used.... In 1861 the new style of timbering was 
adopted along the whole line of the Comstock, and has been in use ever since. 
The Ophir was probably the first mine in any part of the world where such a 
system of timbering became a necessity, as no ore body of snch great width 
had ever before been found.' Big Bonanza, 135. See also Lord's Con stock 
Mining and Miners, one of an interesting group of monographs belonging to 
thr report of the U. S. geog. sur., of which Clarence King was director, the 
expenses being paid and the books published by government. 

Philip Deidesheimer was born in Germany in 1832, and came to California 
via Cape Horn in 1851, where he remained until I860. In Nov. of that 
year Mr W. F. Babcock, agent of the P. M. S. S. Co. and leading director 
of the Ophir mining company of Nevada, sent for Mr Deidesheimer, who was 
then mining in El Dorado county, to ask him to propose a plan for working 
the Comstock mines, for unless some way of supporting the ground was dis- 
covered they could not be worked, on account of the width of the vein, 60 
feet, and the softness of the earth. In his earnestness to assist Mr Babcock, 
Mr Deidesheimer took no thought of himself, or he would have patented his. 
invention. This he did not do, and all the mines seized upon it as quickly 
as it became known. It would seem that some reward should voluntarily 
have followed, though none did. He was made superintendent of the Ophir, 
and earned his salary as mining engineer the same as another, and the mine 
owners became rich through his invention. 


proper was the next consideration. Ophir, Mexican, 
and other Virginia ores of sufficient value, after assort- 
ing, to be sent to England for reduction had been 
sent, and the remainder, as second and third class ores, 
were allowed to accumulate. At Gold Hill they had 
not yet worked through the gold to the silver ore, 
when experimenting with the latter began at Vir- 
ginia. It was a difficult problem for 'the unlearned 
and inexperienced American miner and mill superin- 
tendent. The man of science might have found many 
baffling peculiarities about the silver ores of western 
Utah ; therefore it is not surprising that the merely 
practical man, without experience, encountered many 
discouragements. The surprise is that they so readily 
conquered them.** During the experimental period 
millions of dollars went to waste in the " tailings," or 

O ' 

pulverized ore, which ran away from the mills after 
passing through the pans and other apparatus used in 
amalgamating silver by the wet process. They were 
swept into the Carson river through the canons in 
which the mills were situated; and deposited finally 
in the sink of the Carson, where they lie embedded. 
Only the Mexicans knew the value of these tailings, 

40 Says Wright, in his Bonanza, 139, ' The amalgamating pans in the mills 
surpassed the caldron of Macbeth's witches in the variety and villainousness 

of their contents They poured into their pans all manner of acids; dumped 

in potash, borax, saltpetre, alum, and all else that could be found in the drug 
stores, then went to the hills and started in on the vegetable kingdom. 
They peeled bark off the cedar-trees, boiled it down until they had obtained 
a strong tea, and then poured it into the pans where it would have an oppor- 
tunity of attacking the silver stubbornly remaining in the rocky parts of the 
ore .... A genius in charge of a mill conceived the idea of making a tea of this, 
(sage-brush or artemesia) and putting it into his pans. Soon the wonders of 
the sage-brush process, as it was called, were being heralded through the land. 
The superintendent of every mill had his secret process of working the silver 
ore . . . Process peddlers, with little vials of chemicals in their vest pockets, 
went from mill to mill to show what they could do, provided they received 
from $5,000 to $20,000 for their secret.' HitteWs Hand-Boolc of Mining, pub- 
lished in 1861, mentions without describing the Bagley and Veatch processes, 
and says that the Ophir company used the former, and the Central company 
the latter. The Ophir company finally paid $10,000 and a royalty for the 
Veatch process. The ' sulphuret puzzle ' is discussed in the S. F. Herald, 
March 22, 1869; S. F. Times, June 23, 1867. Reduction methods continued 
to be discussed and changed for several years. The chlorinizing process 
received much attention about 1871. Gold Hill News, Sept. 3 and Oct. 28, 
1871; Carson Appeal, June 18, 1869. 


or attempted to save them, a few of them securing 
several thousand dollars each by the patio process, 41 
at a small expense. But afterward pieces of amalgam 
were frequently found in crevices of the rocks over 
which the tailings had flowed, large enough when 
melted to make rings or buttons. It was only after a 
long time that any systematic methods were adopted 
by mill-owners to save the gold and silver in tailings/' 

The California company, which was located next 
south of the Ophir, was the first to run a tunnel in 
upon the ore deposit, which it did in 1859-60, having 
to timber it, on account of the slacking of the earth. 

All the other mines at first opened downward from 
the top simply by a well or shaft, which collected the 
water in the earth, and required pumping machinery 
long before its depth should have rendered pumping 
necessary. This machinery as well as the earlier 
mills soon had to give way to that which, if more ex- 
pensive, was also much more effective. Engines of 
fifteen horse-power were replaced by those of eighty 

41 The patio process, as practised in this small way, consisted in placing 
the tailings on an inclined table, and carefully pouring water over them with 
a small dipper, beginning at the top and working down. At the bottom 
would be found, washed down, some pounds of sulphuret of silver, and parti- 
cles of amalgam and quicksilver. This they placed in a patio, or amalga- 
mating yard closely paved with granite, or sometimes having a well packed, 
hard clay bed, and when several hundred pounds had been saved, sulphate 
of copper, salt, and quicksilver, in the proper proportions, were added to the 
mass, and the whole mixed together into a kind of mortar, and left in a heap 
to sweat and digest. This operation, several times repeated, the mass being 
mixed by the trampling of horses or mules, completed the amalgamation, 
when the silver could be washed out with a rocker. See Farayre Explor. 
Mineral, 15-18. There is an account of the discovery of a natural amalgam 
of gold, silver, and quicksilver, in S. F. Call of May 4, 1865, quoted from 
Virginia Union, said to be worth $10,000 per ton; also in Sac. Union, May 4, 

42 The wonderful divisibility of the precious metals and of quicksilver 
has been shown by placing a copper bowl, coated with quicksilver, where the 
water from the flume of a quartz mill should fall into it, and also some copper 
riffles, coated in the same way, in the flume itself. Although the water had 
a perfectly clear appearance, at the end of 3 months, from the bowl and the 
rifles, $100 in amalgam was obtained. The water came from the Carson river, 
and was conducted for a considerable distance through a wooden flume, in 
which, on repairing it, was found amalgam adhering to the nail-heads, which 
must in the first place have received a coating of quicksilver, and all came 
from the tailings swept into the river. An interesting question has been 
raised of where goes the 734, 400 pounds of quicksilver once annually used in 
the Comstock mills. It disappears, and the millmen say that 'wherever 
quicksilver is lost, silver is lost.' See Gold Hill News, Aug. 9, 1871. 


horse-power, and finally by those of five hundred. 
The question of water, both in the mines and out, 
was one that has led to some mighty engineering 
feats. Silver-mining, as at present carried on, is an 
achievement of scientific and engineering skill which 
was not dreamed of in the period antedating the ad- 
mission of Nevada as a state. What it has to do 
with the history of the state will appear hereafter. 43 

43 As a contrast to the small beginnings described in a previous note, an 
account of the Consolidated Virginia mill is inserted in this place. This 
mill was planned by James G. Fair the bonanza manager. It stood 200 
feet north-east of the company's main shaft and hoisting-works. The 
ground inclined toward the east, allowing of a convenient descent, and was 
terraced to accommodate the several departments. First came the battery 
room with ore bin, being 100 by 58 feet in size. Adjoining it on the 
east, and on a terrace a few feet lower, was the amalgamating-room, 120 
by 92 feet. A little lower, on another terrace, was the room containing 
the settlers, 92 by 20 feet. North of the amalgamating room was the 
engine room, 92 by 58 feet. The whole of the machinery was driven by 
a compound condensing-eiigine of 600 horse-power. The main shaft from 
this engine was 14 inches in diameter, and weighed 15,000 pounds. A 
fly-wheel on this shaft, which was also a band-wheel and carried a large belt 
by which the batteries were driven, was 18 feet in diameter, and weighed 16^ 
tons. On the extreme end of the main driving-shaft was coupled a shaft 11 
inches in diameter, which extended into the amalgamating-room and drove 
the pans and settlers, and all the machinery not connected with the batteries. 
The whole weight of the engine was fifty tons, and it stood on 450 cubic yards 
of masonry laid in cement, weighing 600 tons. There were 4 pairs of boilers, 
each of which was 54 inches in diameter, and which could be used separately 
or in connection with the others. A portion of the walls were of stone, and 
22 feet high. To the ridge-pole of the roof was 50 feet; to the top of the 4 
smoke-stacks 90 feet. In the engine room were two largo steam pumps to be 
used in feeding boilers or in extinguishing fire. The mill consumed 42 cords 
of wood per day, which was brought to the mill from a side track of the Vir- 
ginia and Truckee railroad, on trucks holding two cords each. The truck was 
emptied into a chute which carried the wood into the boiler-room. On the 
the west, or highest side of the mill, higher than the roof, was a covered 
track, 278 feet in length, leading directly to the main shaft of the hoisting- 
works. When the loaded cars were brought up on the cages they were drawn 
in trains of 10 cars along the track to the chutes which led down from the 
roof of the mill to the ore bin below. The track, with the building which 
inclosed it, rested on strong trestle-work, 44 feet above the ground at the 
highest point. A car load of ore was fed to the batteries every 5 minutes. 
It fell first upon an iron screen through which the fine ore passed; that which 
had to be broken was dumped near the crusher, which resembled a huge 
lemon-squeezer, and was invented by Blake, and after being broken 
was distributed by chutes to the batteries or near them. There were 8 of 
these, with 10 stamps each 80 stamps weighing 800 pounds each and either 
could be worked, started, and stopped independently of the rest. From the 
ore-bin, machines called self-feeders, invented by James Tulloch of Cal. , and 
operated by the motion of the stamps, dropped the ore into the batteries 
without the intervention of human muscle. 

Here began the process of extracting the silver. The pulp which ran 
from the batteries was conducted to the settling-tanks in the amalgamating- 
room by sluices. When it was settled to the consistency of thick mortar, it 


was shovelled out upon a platform extending along the rows of amalgamating- 
pans. 2 rows, 16 pans in each, each pan 5J feet in diameter, and holding 3,000 
pounds of pulp. In the bottom of the pans were cast-iron plates, called dies, 
and revolving upon these other iron plates, called shoes. These pans were 
the invention of Henry Brevoort of Sonora, Cal., who improved upon the 
original amalgamating pan designed by Israel W. Knox of S. F. The pulp, 
to which some water was added, was again pulverized between these plates 
by revolving the upper upon the lower, steam being admitted to the mass, 
which was tightly covered, during the grinding. The steam was substituted 
for the sweating process, which requires days, where the steam effected the 
same work in hours. The idea was originated by Seiim E. Woodworth of S. 
F. After 1\ hours of heating and grinding, 300 pounds of quicksilver were 
added to the contents of each pan, there being added besides a certain amount 
of salt and sulphate of copper, and sometimes soda and other chemicals, 
when the grinding was continued for 1\ hours longer. It will be perceived 
that this process did not differ from the patio process, except in the superior- 
ity of the mechanical arrangements, which were equal to the best in the 
world. At the end of this time the amalgamated pulp was drawn off into the 
settling-tanks, from which it passed through strainers of heavy canvas bags, 
when the earthly matter separated from the metallic, and only the silver and 
quicksilver were collected in the bags, where the mass remained until the 
superfluous quicksilver drained off. When no more passed through the can- 
vas strainers, the amalgam was removed to another, called the hydraulic 
strainer, a heavy cast-iron vessel, shaped like a mortar-gun. Over the mouth 
of this vessel was fastened a strong iron cover, through which passed a pipe, 
also of iron. A water pipe was then connected, and water under pressure 
amounting to 150 pounds to the square inch was turned on. By this method 
much more quicksilver was removed than by any other, but there was still 
much left. An iron car, which ran on a track in front of the strainers, now 
received the amalgam and carried it to the retort house, removed from the 
mill a short distance. This was a brick building 24 by 60 feet, containing 6 
cast-iron cylinder retorts, with a capacity of 5 tons of amalgam per day, 
though retorting usually only half that amount. The amalgam when placed 
in the retorts, had a dull, gray, muddy appearance, showing neither silver 
nor quicksilver. By the gradual application of intense heat the latter, which 
really constituted f of the whole, was finally separated from the silver. The 
next process was that of assaying. The assay office of the Consolidated Vir- 
ginia, a large, fine building near the main hoisting- works, had in the melting- 
room 6 furnaces, with melting-pots made of graphite, having a capacity of 
300 pounds of silver each, but seldom containg much over 200 pounds. Here 
the silver war* melted, the dross being skimmed off after stirring. When 
sufficiently cleared of impurities, it was poured into iron moulds, which formed 
bars weighing something over 100 pounds. A small ladleful of the molten 
metal, taken from the top and bottom of the melting-pot, was thrown into 
water, where it assumed various shapes, some beautiful in form, as flowers and 
leaves. An assay was made of these first and last granulations, which had 
to agree, or the melting be done over. The assay was performed by wrap- 
ping a gramme of the silver in a thin sheet of pure lead, placing the package 
in a cupel made of bone ashes, and subjecting it to the heat of a furnace. 
When liquefied, the lead and all other base metals were absorbed by the cupel, 
leaving a button of fine metal. This bit of bullion was then hammered into 
a thin sheet, placed in a flask of annealed glass, and strong nitric acid poured 
upon it. The flask was placed in hot sand bath an inch or more of sand on 
the bottom of a very hot oven and the sheet of bullion was boiled until the 
silver was all dissolved, and the gold in the form of a powder settled to the 
bottom of the flask. This precipitation was placed in a crucible of unglazed 
porcelain, dried, and melted in a furnace, when the particles united, after 
which it was carefully weighed. The loss of weight sustained by the origi- 
nal button represented the silver which it had contained. The bars of bul- 
lion being weighed, and their relative proportion, of gold and silver ascer- 


tained from the assay of one gramme, their value was marked on them in 
degrees of fineness. The calculations were assisted by tables of values. 
When silver, for instance, is 900 fine, it is worth $1.16 T 3 6 o per ounce; when 
gold is 900 fine, it is worth $18.60^. Assay of ore was similar; 200 grains, 
finely powdered, were melted in a crucible with proper flux, and the metal 
deposited was subjected to the process just described, from which the value 
per ton was calculated. Many ingenious contrivances for saving quicksilver 
were in operation at this mine, which, although interesting, were not a part 
of silver production, which is here briefly described, as practised after fifteen 
years of progress. The cost of the reduction works at the Consolidated 
Virginia mine was $350,000. Other mines may have had less expensive 
works, but the methods pursued were the same in all. An interesting chap- 
ter might be written on the improvements in hoisting, pumping, and other 
machinery, full descriptions of which, with diagrams, are contained in. Clar- 
ence King's report on Mining Industry, an elegant quarto, filled with instruc- 
tive and entertaining matter concerning the Comstock mines, from their 
discovery down to 1870, 





THE first result of the opening of the Comstock 
mines was wild speculation, and the second almost 
endless litigation. Men from San Francisco, Sacra- 
mento, and other California towns hastened to get 
possession of all the ground possible, which they held 
at extraordinary prices. Out of their operations grew 
a mining vocabulary new and peculiar. Bonanza, 
signifying good fortune, became not inaptly the 
sobriquet of the discovery mines on the Comstock 
lode. It is a noteworthy fact that almost all the great 
discoveries were made at the heart of the region dis- 
covered, and not on the outskirts; 1 thus Ophir and 
Mexican, and the mines into which they were subdi- 
vided, being more productive than the groups farther 
south which participated in their fame, were bonanza 
to everything on the lode. Unproductive mines were 
in borrasca, or a squall, signifying bad fortune. As- 

1 1 find after making this observation that Wright, in his Big Bonanza, 
490, remarks that the Consolidated Virginia, to which he applies the title of 
Big Bonanza, was found ' near where the first silver ore was turned up to 
the light of day.' 



sessing the small shareholders of a mine until they 
were forced to part with their interests was a "freez- 
ing-out" process. " Kiting" a mine was giving it a fic- 
titious value in the market. These latter two practices 
were very frequent, even as early as April 1860, and 
getting rich by swapping jackets was carried on with 
zeal on the Virginia bourse. The " bulls" of the 
mining towns, or of San Francisco, who performed 
the kiting, sometimes saw their favorite mine pulled 
down by the " bears," as became the custom after the 
formation of a stock board. During the winter of 
1859 Ophir was selling for $1,000 and $1,200 a foot. 
In April following it was offered on the street for 
$600 or $700. The cause of the decline was pros- 
pective litigation. A company calling themselves the 
Lucky company of the Burning Moscow ledge, but 
afterward the Burning Moscow company, located on 
ground first claimed by the Ophir. 2 

It was asserted by them that the ledge they were 
on was entirely distinct from the Ophir, was twenty- 
three feet wide, and as rich as the Comstock. The 
shares were eagerly bought up at from $40 to $275, 
according to the market. The Madison company first 
sued them for infringing on their rights; and the 
Ophir also brought suit to recover possession of the 
ground in dispute. To establish their case, cross cuts 
were made by the Ophir company opening into the 
works of the Burning Moscow, and on application to 
Judge Gordon N. Mott, an order was obtained re- 
straining that company from further work until the 
arguments in the application for a permanent injunc- 
tion had been decided upon. 

The question involved in these suits, and which 
divided the mining community, was whether there 
was one great lode or many smaller ones. Mott was 
a believer in the one-lode theory, and while he held 
the office of judge the Ophir was triumphant, and 
Burning Moscow shares were at a minimum. There 

2 Virginia Mining District Record^ Book E, 101, 


came a reversal when Mott was succeeded in office 
by James A. North, who believed in divers lodes, and 
the Burning Moscow shares went up again, while the 
Ophir's dropped. 

To check the rise of their enemy, the Ophir made 
an assault on the Moscow's works October 23, 1863, 
and skirmishing underground was carried on for sev- 
eral days; until Philip Deidesheimer, superintendent 
of the latter mine, procured the arrest of the super- 
intendent of the Ophir, with eighteen of his men, for 
riotous conduct. The prisoners were released on 
bail, but their wrath was not in the least cooled by 
the experience, nor by a temporary injunction restrain- 
ing them from working within the limits fixed by the 
rival company, followed by the dismissal of their suit 
against it, which brought their stock down from 
$1,750 to $1,150. 

A new suit was begun in another district, and soon 
after a discovery of exceedingly rich ore in the north- 
ern end of the Ophir carried the stock up $500 a foot. 
In an effort to possess themselves of a controlling in- 
terest on the Comstock, the rivals had further com- 
plicated their affairs. The Ophir, in September, 1860, 
purchased of James Fennimore and John H. Berry 
205 feet of their location on the Virginia ledge dis- 
covered by Fennimore in 1858, this being named in 
the deed as their " entire remaining interest in the 
ledge." It was, however, over a hundred feet more 
than they possessed, for they had already sold all but 
95 feet 9 inches of their original 600 feet. 

By the Moscow company and many persons it was 
contended that the Virginia ledge was the main or 
mother lode, of which the Comstock was a spur. The 
Ophir, instead of following up their plan of buying 
out possible rivals in toto, found themselves fore- 
stalled by William H. Garrison, who secretly bought 
up all the other interests in the Virginia ledge, and 
notified them, in October 1862, that he was prepared 

9 Storey County fiecords, Book D, 626. 


to contest their title to the Com stock. This threat 
occasioned another rapid fall in the Ophir stock from 
$3,000 to $1,800 per foot, and forced the company to 
compromise by paying $60,000 or $100,000 for Gar- 
rison's title, which was obtained, together with an- 
other claim, described as located by Jacob Whitbeck 
on the " Virginia lead of the Virginia company," in 
February 1862. 4 Another, or middle lead, had al- 
ready been purchased from McCall and others by the 
Ophir company, which now had possession of rio less 
than four so-called ledges within a distance of 1,400 

Four others were alleged to exist within less than 
half that distance, 5 and one of these was the Moscow, 
which was being harried by the Madison and adjacent 
companies in much the same manner as that by which 
the owners of the Middle and Virginia ledges had 
been worried into compromise purchases. On the 19th 
of November, 1863, the Burning Moscow rid itself of 
its minor enemies by consolidating with them, and 
uniting the strength of the whole against the Ophir. 
Its capita] stock was increased from less than half a 
million to three millions. 

As I have said, the Ophir company began a new 
suit in October, soon after which they struck a body 
of rich ore in their mine. The consolidation of the 
Moscow companies immediately followed, and a suit 
for the ejectment of the Ophir was begun. The legal 
conflict was continued, the best talent of California 
and Nevada being employed on this and other mining 
suits of equal importance for several years, during 
which questions of law, of geology, and of veracity 
were about equally contested. The question of geol- 

4 Some name one amount and some another; but it does not signify in this 
plane whether it was $60,000 or $100,000. The Garrison claim was merely 
speculative from the outset. Claims were purchased that never existed, sim- 
ply to avoid litigation, which, after all, could not be avoided. The wealth 
of the Ophir was wasted in suits at law as well as in other ways. 

6 Ledge of La Crosse company, located December 9, 1859; Geller ledge 
(Harrison company), located June 17, 1860, ledge of Madison Gold and Silver 
Mining company, located July 3, 1862; and ledge of the Burning Moscow 


ogy was of all the most perplexing, because it could 
be settled by nothing but actual exploration of the 
ledges in dispute, which proceeded slowly as the dif- 
ferent companies developed in a partial degree their 
several claims ; and even the testimony of scientific 
experts was not permitted to have much influence on 
one side or the other. 

By February 1864 it began to appear that the 
Burning Moscow was intrinsically valueless as 'com- 
pared with its rival, and while it still held on to its 
pretensions, the stock went down to $12 a foot, to 
rise again, by the kiting process, to $82 before the 
end of October. When the "new vein" which had 
brought it up was assayed it receded to $20 ; but in 
November skilful management gave it another toss, 
when every share in the company changed hands 
three times during the month. This was the last 
" deal " of the Moscow company, and was made pre- 
paratory to the trial of their suit for ejectment, which 
was set for the 21st of June, 1865. When the trial 
came on, which lasted for two weeks, the jury disa- 
greed, and a new trial was ordered in July, which re- 
sulted in an equal division of the jury and no verdict. 

The people and the press were about this time 
weary of litigation, which retarded the prosperity of 
the mining industry, 6 while the companies themselves 
were compelled to stare ruin in the face. The stock 
of the Moscow had fallen to five dollars per foot, with 
few buyers. At this juncture the Ophir cautiously 
bought up the stock of its enemy until it secured 
nearly 3,000 shares, which, gave it a controlling inter- 
est. But they found themselves confronted with an 
assessment of $15 a foot, which they hesitated to pay, 
when the board of directors advertised the stock for 
sale upon the 18th of October. On the afternoon 
preceding the day of sale the stockholders made an 
application to have the shares on the books of the 
Moscow company, which had its office in San Fran- 

6 Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, July 14, 1865, 



cisco, transferred to a single person, but the secretary 
refused to permit the transfer before the assessment 
was paid. The holders then wished to restrain the 
company from selling their stock, and applied to Judge 
Sawyer for an injunction ; but no injunction could be 
granted, because, by ths California law, this was a day 
for the election of the judiciary, and no sheriff could 
serve the writ. The sale consequently went on, and 
the Moscow company bought in the stock at a low 
price, there being few bidders. On the succeeding 
day an injunction was obtained restraining the trans- 
fer of the stock to other purchasers until the courts 
should determine the legality of the assessment sale 
under the circumstances. 

The longj and disheartening contest ended a few 

O O 

days later by the Ophir surrendering the stock of the 
Moscow, and giving besides $7,500 in money for the 
possession of that part of the Moscow claim which 
had been in dispute, and which was of no value except 
to establish a boundary. There had been expended 
in this contest $1,070,000, and it was only one of 
many similar ones selected as an example because it 
was the first important mining suit, and involved the 
first discovered silver mine. 7 

7 The following table shows the drift of litigation in regard to the leading 


Suits in which 
Company was 

Suits in which 
Company was 






. 7 

Yellow Jacket 


Chollar . . 

Crown Point 


Sierra Nevada . . . . 

Hale & Norcross 




One of the most protracted and expensive contests was that between the 


The troubles which beset quartz mining companies 
on the Comstock came from the looseness and ineffi- 
ciency of the mining laws prevailing when quartz was 
discovered. The first locations were taken as placer 
claims under the regulations of mining districts as 
they had been in California in early mining times, and 
very inadequately described. When it was known 
that the richest claims were on top of a ledge* they 
were again located and recorded as quartz, the locators 
claiming all the " dips, spurs, angles, and variations" 
of their discovery. It was this going after dips and 
spurs which made the war between the contestants. 
The first Nevada legislature passed an act providing 
that action for the recovery of mining claims should 
not be maintained unless it was shown that the plain- 
tiff or his assigns had been in possession of the ground 
for two years before the suit was brought, 8 or since 
1859, when the Comstock claims were taken, the in- 
tention of the act being to confirm those titles. But 
it was easy to evade this law by bringing suit in Cali- 
fornia, where most of the corporations had been or- 

Chollar and Potosf companies, in which the former brought suit to recover 
possession of a surface claim of 400 by 1,400 feet, including theComstock 
ledge, with all its dips, angles, spurs, etc. Proceedings were begun in 1861 
and continued til 1865. After $1,300,000 had been expended the suits were 
setttled by a compromise uniting the 2 companies in the Chollar-Potosi. 
Another famous suit was that brought by the Grosch Consolidated against 
the Gould and Curry and Ophir, in the 12th dist. court of Cal. This suit 
was brought by persons in El Dorado county, in 1863, who had been mem- 
bers of the companies formed hy the Grosch brothers, whose unhappy fate 
changed so materially the prospective fortunes of these companies. These 
men had furnished means to the Grosches during their explorations. In the 
spring of 1860 they formed the Washoe Gold and Silver Mining company 
and employed an agent to go to the states to contract with the father of the 
young men for his claim as heir, and the claims of the Western Utah Enter- 
prise company, which they secured, after which they began suit as above. 
Sac. Union, Aug. 17, 1863. The actions were dismissed at the cost of the 
plaintiff, March 9, 1865. S. F. Bulletin, March 9, 1865. This suit cost the 
Gould and Curry company $12,993.30. Mining property valued at $'50,000,- 
000 was in litigation in 1863. It was estimated by S. H. Marlette, sur.-gen. 
of Nevada, that there was expended in lawsuits during 1860-5, $9,00,000,000, 
which was one fifth of the product of the Comstock lode. Browne'* Mm Res, 
ed. 1867, 32. William M, Stewart, who received annually as much as $200,- 
000 in fees as the principal attorney of several Comstock companies, esti- 
mated the entire cost of litigation up to January 1866, at $10,000,000. Liti- 
gation did not cease with the settlement of these great suits. 

8 Nev, Laws, 1861, 27. This law was amended in 1869 by changing 2 to 5 


ganized, and where most of the mining cases were 
decided or compromised. 

Another act in 1862 required transfers of mining 
property to be conducted with all the formalities of a 
transfer of city lots/ and made it impossible to trump 
up a story of a sale which had been made for an old 
blind horse, and yet involving millions in gold and 
silver. Had these laws existed before the discovery 
of the Ccmstock lode the history of silver mining in 
Nevada would have been different, but as it was, the 
legislature had no power to interfere with the title to 
mineral lands, 10 and no mining laws affecting these 
titles was passed by congress before 1866. In July 
of that year congress confirmed the titles already ac- 
quired under district laws, and permitted the owners 
to take out patents ; 11 but it still left the disposition 
of the mineral lands as they were before, subject to 
the rules and regulations of mining districts, it being 
assumed that the miners knew best what was for 
their own good, and that if they were agreed in re- 
gard to following dips and spurs, and sustaining law- 
suits, there was no occasion to interfere. A subsequent 
act made some amendments to the first, and enabled 
the legislature to regulate the recording of claims, 
together with other minor matters, but left the great 
cause of legal warfare where it had been from the 
first. 12 

The first period of quartz mining was distinguished 
by every species of extravagance. It began while 
yet California retained in a great measure the reck- 
less habits of its first decade. Most of the operators 
were Californians. Everything cost a great deal in 
that state, and to its first cost there was added the 
expense of transporting it over the Sierra Nevada at 
a heavy expense. The richness of the mines encour- 

9 Nev. Lotos, 1862, 12-13. 

10 Stewarf* Speech on Courts in Nevada, 1865, 10. 

11 U. S. Stat., iv. 221, S. F. Alta, April 14, 1865. 

12 U. S. Stat., xvii. 91. 


aged prodigality. While money was being so freely 
spent wages were high, and the working miner 
shared in the general prosperity. But in 1864 the 
tide began to turn. The rich deposits near the top 
of the Comstock mines were evidently exhausted, 
while the cost of mining increased with the depth 
below the surface. Millions had been expended in 
costly works and costlier litigation, and the older 
companies were being brought face to face with the 
disagreeable fact that they had seen the end of their 
bonanza. While endeavoring to dispose of their 
shares, the public became alarmed, and stocks dropped 
until " feet " fell from thousands to hundreds, from 
dollars to cents. 

On the 1st of September, 1862, was organized the 
San Francisco Stock and Exchange Board, 1 * the first 
of the boards of this kind on the Pacific coast. It 
was formed by thirty -seven brokers, who sold mining 
shares on commission, and issued printed certificates 
of the same, which were transferable without the 
trouble and expense of a deed. Through this board 
mining shares were bought and sold over and over, 
the shares of a mine equivalent to its whole stock 
sometimes changing hands twice a week. When 
stock went up there was a lively time in the board. 
Morning and afternoon sessions were held, and the 
reports of sales telegraphed to Virginia City, Gold 
Hill, and other mining centres, as fast as they were 
made, the prices ruling being marked on a bulletin- 
board, and placed in the windows of the Nevada 
brokers for all to see. In times of excitement dense 
crowds were always to be seen around these bulletin- 
boards ; and in San Francisco it was difficult to get 
within a block of the exchange. But whether the 
broker bought or sold for his customers he made a 
fee by the transaction ; and could he have refrained 

13 Cal Annual Mining Rev., 6-18. The California Stock Board was organ- 
ized in January 1872. The Pacific Stock-exchange was organized in April 

HIST. NBV.. 9 



from speculating for himself, or carrying the stock of 
others " on a margin," might have reaped a harvest 
from the misfortunes of his clients. The stock ex- 
change in 1864 was a scene of melancholy interest to 
the simple observer, and of painful anxiety to the 
owner of mining shares. 

The working miners were not infrequently owners 
of some stock ; therefore, when it fell rapidly in the 
market they had lost as much of their wages as the 
shares represented. And when in addition to this 
the mine-owners or superintendents set about re- 
trenchment by cutting down their pay, they became 
stubbornly rebellious. Deep mining is severe and 
dangerous work ; and four dollars a day had not been 
considered too much for the labor. Even before they 
were asked to take less they had decided not to do it, 
by organizing, in May 1863, a Miners' Protective 
Association, consisting of between three and four 
hundred members. 

A sturdy and peculiar class, delving in the dark 
and sweltering 14 bowels of the earth, as naked nearly 

14 The temperatures of the Comstock mines, as tested from September 1878 
to August 1881, at the Forman Combination shaft of the Overman, Caledonia, 
Belcher, Crown Point, and Segregated Belcher companies, were as follows: 



















































In some mines, and some parts of mines, owing to defective ventilation, 
and sometimes to unascertained causes, the heat was actually insupportable, 
taken in conjunction with the bad air in the mines even the best ventilated, 
and men not infrequently fell dead in consequence. In the 900-f eet level of 
the Belcher in 1866 the men could work but a few minutes at a time, and 
sweat filled their loose shoes 'until it ran over the tops,' while in the 


as when they came from their mother's womb, real- 
izing that a terrible fate might at any unlooked-for 
moment overtake them, yet with wives and children 
above ground depending upon them for support, their 
circumstances seemed to warrant their establishing a 
minimum price for their labor. In March 1864 a re- 
duction to $3.50 a day was made by the superintend- 
ent of the Uncle Sam. But the miners made an 
example of him. 15 Other owners began to cast about 
for cheaper labor, seeing which, on the last day of 
July the Miners' Protective Association began to act. 
They paraded the streets of Virginia City and Gold 
Hill shouting, "Four dollars a day!" in intervals of 
music by the band at their head. Halting in front of 
the International hotel, they called upon Frank Til- 
ford to address them, which he did in a flowery and 
sympathetic speech. All was done in an orderly 
manner, and the crowd dispersed to meet again the 
next day and demand of the several mining superin- 
tendents uniform wages at $4 a day. The mill-men 
not being prepared to resist the demand made the 
concession without an exception, and a week later was 

Julia mine the water was scalding hot. Although the revolving fans which 
were put in use in 1868 modified this suffering to some extent, it continued 
to be great. Some of it was due to the presence of the hot water springs, 
which were in time pumped dry, when the temperature was lowered. The 
thermometer registered 130 and 140 in a drift in the Imperial shaft at a 
depth of 1,700 feet, but fell to 100 when air-currents were established. In 
spite of the best devices for cooling the mines and it was computed by John 
A. Church that there was yearly abstracted from the rocks as much heat as 
would be produced by 55,472 tons of anthracite coal the miners could only 
work by consuming tons of ice daily. In 1877 a hot spring was uncovered in 
the Savage mine, and the vapor from water at a temperature of 157 was let 
into the incline. Picks could only be handled with gloves, and cloths wet in 
ice-water were wrapped around drills. Men were attacked with cramps and 
lost their consciousness. Thomas Brown, a miner in the Gould and Curry 
in 1878, after breathing an atmosphere heated to 128 for some time, fainted 
and was carried to the surface, but did not recover his recollection when 
aroused, and behaved like an infant. He was gradually restored. Water 
and heat troubled the miners as early as 1871. S. F. Examiner, Jan. 26, 1871. 
Peculiar diseases caused by the inhalation of poisonous gases also troubled 
the miners at an early period, a remedy for which was coal tar used as a 
disinfectant. 8. F. Herald, Jan. 19, 1869. 

15 His name was John Trembath, a Cornishman. He was taken, bound, 
and lashed to the main hoisting cable, with a label fastened to him, 'Dump 
this pile of waste-dirt from Cornwall.' He was hoisted and lowered and 
hoisted again, and finally ' dumped, ' glad to be freed from the coils in which 
he was wound up. Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, May 31, 1863. 


organized the Miners' League of Storey county, by 
the laws of which each member was required to pledge 
himself not to work in Storey county for less than $4 
a day in coin. Upon information that any member 
had broken his pledge, the president of the leage was 
required to call a special meeting to remonstrate with 
the offending member ; should the remonstrance be 
disregarded, then the president must " call out the 
entire force of the league." 

This threat did not deter miners who were not 
members of the league from covertly accepting lower 
wages, and gradually crowding out the four-dollar 
men, who finally withdrew from some of their least 
tenable positions, and the league was finally dissolved. 
But the mine-owners had never been able to estab- 
lish a uniform price lower than $4, while the miners 
formed "unions" to maintain that rate, in which 
effort they were never defeated. 16 

During the first four years of working, the Ophir 
bonanza yielded fifteen millions in gold and silver, less 
than a million and half being paid out in dividends. 
During the same time other mines on the lode to the 
south had been taking out their millions, 17 and ex- 

16 There were 3 miners' unions, one at Virginia City, one at Gold Hill 
and one at Silver City, the object of which was the keeping up of wages to 
the standard of four dollars per day of 8 hours. 

17 Gould and Curry, organized in 1860, owned 921 feet, about half of which 
was productive. The rich ore in this mine lay within 400 feet in length, 5CO 
feet in height, and a width of about 100 feet. Total amount of assessment.! 
to Nov. 1875, $1,640,000; total amount of dividends, $3,826,800, divided 
among 108.000 shares. Savage, the next mine south of Gould and Curry, 
with 112,*)0 shares in 800 feet, assessed $2,186,000, and paid out in divi- 
dends $4,460,000, in the same time. Hale and Norcross, with a claim cover- 
ing 400 feet, divided into 16,000 shares, began operations in 1861 or 1862. 
It was down about 2,200 feet in 1875. The assessments levied amounted to 
$1,770,009, and the dividends to $1,598,000. Chollar-Potosi, covering 1,400 
feet on the Comstock, was divided into 28,000 shares. Its assessments pre- 
vious to 1876 were $1,022,000, and its dividends $3,080,000. Yellow Jacket, 
with 957 feet divided into 24,000 shares, assessed the holders $2, 358, 000, and 
paid in dividends, $2,184,000, in the same period. Crown Point, having 540 
feet on the Comstock, was divided into 100,000 shares. It assessed $673,370, 
and paid $11, 588, 000 in dividends. This mine had an unusual bonanza. In 
1870 it was apparently exhausted, when the largest ore-body ever found, up 
to that time on the Comstock lode was discovered. In 2 years it yielded 
$9,944,783,57, and continued to yield largely for several years, Belcher, in- 


pending them in much the same manner. The aggre- 
gate production of the mines on the Comstock during 
the first twelve years has been estimated at $145,100- 
000, which would be at the average rate of about 
$12,100,000 annually, though the production varied 
after 1861 from two to seventeen millions. In 1873 
the production suddenly rose to more than double the 
amount ever obtained in one year, or to $35,254,507, 
which productiveness was increased for several suc- 
cessive years. The immediate cause of this advance 
was the discovery of the "great bonanza," whose 
brief and brilliant history was the wonder of the 

There was a group of mines lying south of the 
Ophir, known as the Central, California, Central No. 
2, Kinney, White and Murphy, and the Sides, which 
covered together over thirteen hundred feet. 18 In the 

eluding Segregated Belcher, covered 1,040 feet of the lode, divided into 104,000 
shares. It was one of the deep mines, being dowu 1,900 feet. Total assess- 
ment in 1875, $660,400; dividends $15,085,200. Overman, adjoining the 
Segregated Belcher, was located in the autumn of 1859 by John Overman, an 
immigrant from ludiana. He ran a tunnel in the side of the hill for a pros- 
pect, and sold his claim for $5,000. The mine, like so many others, was in 
litigation, and cost its owner a much larger sum. It was 1,200 feet in ex- 
tent, and had paid no dividends in 1876, though it had assessed to the amount 
of $1,876,680. Imperial-Empire had a depth of 2,000 feet, assessed its share- 
holders $1,670,000, and paid in dividends $1,087,500. Sierra Nevada, owning 
3,300 feet at the north end of the Comstock, was down 2 000 feet in 1875, 
and had made 42 assessments previous to 1876. It has since reached 650 
feet lower without reaching a bonanza. Bullion, over 1,400 feet down, Cale- 
donia 1,076 feet down, Andes, Arizona, and Utah, Alpha, American Flat, 
Baltimore Consolidated, Bacon, Best and Belcher, Confidence, Gold Hill 
Quartz, Challenge, Crown Point Ravine, Dardanelles, Eclipse, Empire Mill, 
Exchequer, Globe, Julia, Justice, Kentuck, Knickerbocker, Kossuth, Lady 
Washington, Leo, Mexican, New York Consolidated, Rock Island, Silver 
Hill, Succor, French, Union Consolidated, Utah, Whitman, and Woodville 
had all their place on the lists of the stock exchanges in 1875, and had ex- 
pended more or less large sums in development. Powell's Land of Silver. 

18 The history of these claims is given in Wells' Book of Deeds, MS., 3-4, 
thus: * All the ground, from the south line of the Ophir down to the south 
line of the White claim, was taken up and located by various claimants, with 
the exception of 1 10 feet of ground lying between the south line of Bishop & 
Camp's ground-and the north line of White & Co.'s 100-feet location. This 
piece of vacant ground was taken up by John Murphy and Lee James, who 
filed a notice of location calling for 600-feet; . . . but when they came to take 
possession they found that Bishop & Camp were in possession of 150 feet ad- 
joining James Cory's line on the south. . . . The White location was an older 
location . . . 1 10 feet south of Bishop & Camp.' In July 1859 a settlement of 


days of the Ophir excitement, the owners held the 
ground at prices higher than would-be purchasers 
offered, and the companies undertook the develop- 
ment, which proceeded slowly, and without any en- 
couraging discoveries. A shaft had been sunk on the 
Central to a depth of over 600 feet, and several tun- 
nels driven in, intersecting the shaft at depths of 
from 300 to 600 feet, two of which were costly and 
extensive, but which failed of their purpose, nothing 
being found exeept some small bunches of rich ore in 
the California. So persistent was this barrenness of 
the lode over so great a space that the fact at length 
attracted the attention of those who were versed in 
the geological features of the district. 

In June 1867 four of the six companies Central 
No, 2, Kinney, White and Murphy, and Sides com- 
bined under the incorporated title of the Virginia 
Consolidated Mining company, but without attempt- 
ing any signal exploitation for two years longer. In 
1869 they expended $161,349.41 without discovering 
an ore deposit of any value, their power to assess was 
exhausted, and the whole mine worth, at the price 
their stock was bringing in the board, but $18,850. 
The most discouraging feature of their enterprise, in 
the minds of the owners of the Virginia Consolidated, 
was that the Ophir bonanza had failed at about the 
depth of their latest explorations, and that the Gould 
and Curry had also given out 1,000 feet below the 
surface coincidences which seemed to fix the depth 
to which they might go for rich ore bodies. At this 
juncture the mining firm of James G. Fair, John W. 
Mackay, James C. Flood, and William S. O'Brien 
made an offer of $80,000 for the property of the Con- 
solidated Virginia, which was transferred to them, 

ground, and John D. Wi.iters and Sides & Co., got something over 300 feet 
on the south. This settlement was never disturbed, and was the basis of 
the title purchased by the bonanza firm. 


and soon after also a controlling interest in the Cali- 
fornia mine. 19 

The mining experience of Fair and Mackay, with 
their knowledge of the leading features of the Corn- 
stock, justified the venture which they had under- 
taken as much as any unknown undertaking is ever 

19 The history of John W. Mackay is that of a favorite of fortune. He was 
born in Dublin, Ireland, Nov. 29, 1831, and there received his education. In 
1850 he migrated to the United States with aspirations after a wider field of 
action than was afforded him in his ancestral island. For a year or two he 
was employed by a commercial house, but hearing much of the land of prom- 
ise on the shore of the Pacific, bade farewell to steady-going Boston, and 
joined the army of gold-seekers, landing at San Francisco, and going to work 
in the mines near Downieville, in Sierra county, Cal. As a placer-miner he 
made small advance towards the coveted fortune, but being young, and hav- 
ing some claims to manly beauty, he employed a part of his time paying court 
to a daughter of Daniel E. Hungerford, to whom he was afterward married, 
and who has become known to all the world as a woman of rare social quali- 
ties, and benevolence of character. When the Comstock lode was discovered 
Mackay, along with the rest of the mining world, hastened to Washoe, where 
he worked at first as a common miner, but saving his money and watching 
his chance for an investment. He purchased an interest in the Kentuck 
mine at Gold Hill, and patiently worked a few years more, during which he 
acquired a valuable knowledge of the great lode. In 1869 he joined James 
G. Fair in a contract to develop the Hale & Norcross mine, which from pay- 
ing dividends had fallen off to requiring heavy assessments. Mackay and 
Fair believed the mine could be made to pay largely again, and formed with 
Flood and O'Brien of San Francisco the company which finally secured con- 
trol of a bonanza. From this period Mackay has enjoyed unparalleled 
financial prosperity. His family has resided in Paris, where Americans of 
distinction have been royally entertained by them, and his daughter has been 
married to a prince of the Italian house of Colonna. Many are the deserv- 
ing persons and charitable enterprises which have received aid from the in- 
telligent application of the wealth acquired by this member of the bonanza 

James G. Fair was a native of Clougher, County Tyrone, Ireland, born 
Dec. 3, 1831. He came to the United States with his parents at the age of 
12 years, residing for 6 years in 111., and joining the Argonauts in California 
in 1849. His first mining was done on Feather river, but having a tendency 
toward quartz, he was led to study this branch of mining, his intelligence in 
his regard coupled with this extensive knowledge of mechanics, placed him 
in the position of superintendent and manager of extensive mines in Califor- 
nia, and finally of the Ophir and Hale & Norcross. While at the latter mine 
he proposed to Mackay, Flood & O'Brien to form a partnership for the con- 
trol of mining property. The Hale & Norcross gave the firm its first start on 
the road to wealth. Fair was a man of a striking personal appearance, and 
a bright, active mind, and probably originated some of the most successful 
moves of the bonanza firm. His further history belongs to politics. 

James C. Flood and William S. O'Brien were engaged, in retailing liquors 
in a saloon patronized by mine operators, and having gained some useful in- 
formation, made capital in stock operations. To these men Mackay and 
Fair, with a full knowledge of their capabilities, applied for aid in taking 
the contract for the development of Hale & Norcross. O'Brien was another 
Irishman, and Flood was a native of New York. Neither of these men pos- 
sessed any other talent than money. J. M. Walker was a member of the 
firm at the beginning, but soou sold out to Mackay. 


justifiable. A drift from the 1,200-foot level of the 
Gould and Curry was continued through Best arid 
Belcher into Consolidated Virginia in 1872. At the 
same time the shaft already begun was deepened, and 
a drift run from a depth of 500 feet, east and west, 
improvements made in the hoisting-works, and the 
shaft deepened. During all these operations the 
search for an ore deposit different from the low-grade 
ore found in drifting, and more continuous than the 
bunches sometimes encountered, was being prosecuted 
by the untiring manager Fair, who was following up 
in the lower drift a thin seam of ore, from day to day, 
of which he never lost sight, although it sometimes 
narrowed to a mere film. There had been expended 
thus far $200,000, and the miners began to think it 
was borrasca in the Consolidated Virginia for the new 
proprietors as well as the old. 

In March 1873 a fifteen-foot stratum of ore, milling 
$34 "to the ton, was reached in the drift, about eighty 
feet north of the south line of the Best and Belcher. 
The size and richness of the ore increased throughout 
the year, the deposit spreading out like a wedge with 
its apex at the top, until it showed a width of between 
300 and 400 feet. The shaft was carried down to 
establish its extent in a vertical direction. A number 
of mills were employed on the ore, and the monthly 
shipments of bullion from the Consolidated Virginia 
reached in a short time a quarter of a million of dol- 
lars. The shares of the company went up from $40 
to $400 before the close of the year; the capital 
stock having been increased from $7,080,000 divided 
into 23,600 shares, to $10,800,000 represented by 

In December the California company was organ- 
ized by consent of the management of the Consoli- 
dated Virginia, which conveyed to them the ground, 
and took a controlling interest in their stock. The 
new arrangement gave the latter company 710 linear 
feet, covering the Sides and White and Murphy 


ground, while the California company received the 
Central, California, Central No. 2, and Kinney claims, 
comprising 600 feet between the Consolidated Vir- 
ginia and the Ophir between two bonanzas the 
amount of capital stock and value of the shares being 
made to correspond to those of the Consolidated Vir- 

Notwithstanding that a rich ore-body, constantly 
growing richer, had been found extending downward 
from a depth of 1,167 feet, where it was first en- 
countered, to 1,300 feet, yet with working expenses, 
costly buildings, and stock manipulating, the shares 
were bringing in the market in January 1874 but 
$85. They increased to $110 in October, and in mid- 
winter, when still richer ore had been found on the 
1,500-foot level, to $580, the Consolidated Virginia 
carrying the California along with it in the market. 

This enormous advance, though largely speculative, 
had a known wealth to justify it greater than the his- 
tory of mining since the beginning of time could 
equal, and a suppostitious wealth dazzling to the im- 
agination, which led stock-buyers to believe their 
shares might yet be worth $1,000. In January 1875 
they did indeed reach $700. California shares, which 
were considered as essentially the same, went to $780, 
making the market value of these two mines together 
$159,840,000. A careful inspection of the ore in 
sight by the director of the mint caused him to declare 
that it should produce $300,000,000. Practical 
miners saw in the two mines $1,500,000,000." The 
actual product of the Consolidated Virginia and Cal- 
ifornia mines for five years was $104,460,713.69. 
From 1878 to 1882 they produced together only 
$7,971,202.05, and were assessing instead of paying 
dividends in 1881. The Consolidated Virginia con- 
tinued to pay dividends down to 1880, paying $540,- 

29 U. S. Mint Director, Rept, 1875, 81-3. This estimate was based on the 
theory that the ore-body was oval or lenticular in shape and that its greatest 
zone of expansion had not been reached. Powell" s Land of Silver, 94. 



000 in that year. California paid the last dividend 
in the year 1879. 21 

It is plain that rich as was the great bonanza it 
had reached a ruinous point of inflation in 1875, for 
even if the actual value of the shares had been equal 
to the price put upon them in the stock-market they 
did not represent available capital to that amount. 
The bonanza mines had carried up the other mines on 
ths Comstock, and few in the whirl of excitement 
cared to inquire whether or not their stock was of any 
intrinsic worth. To-day they bought for a rise to 
sell to-morrow, and everybody turned stock speculator. 
But this could not last long. Rumor began to whis- 
per that the bonanza mines were not what some said 
they were; the fever of hope was succeeded by the 
rigors of fear, and panic ensued. People were as anx- 
ious to sell as they had been impatient to buy. The 
decline was rapid. Consolidated Virginia fell 

share within a week. California fell off more than 
two-thirds of its late market price. Other stocks 

' 2l The following tables show the amount of ore and bullion taken from 
the Consolidated Virginia and California mines during their bonanza 



Am'nt Extracted 

Bullion Product. 


$ 645,582 17 



4 981,484 05 


169 307 

16 717 394 76 



16,657,649 47 

1877 .. .. 

144 400 

13 734 019 07 



7,996,753 11 

Total , 

60,732,882 63 



Am'nt Extracted 

Bullion Product. 



$ 453 060 46 



13,400,841 40 



18,924,850 27 



10,949,078 93 


$43,727,831 06 


fell from 50 to 250 per cent; and while a few per- 
sons had profited by the excitement, many had been 
ruined, even some of those whose judgment in mining 
matters should have been trustworthy. 22 

" Who is to blame ? " the victims cried. The bo- 
nanza-owners were accused of speculating in their 
own shares, of causing declines in order to buy in, 
and creating a "boom" in which to sell. Vox populi 
is not always vox Dei. The voice of the people is 
sometimes the voice of the devil. The bonanza firm 
became immensely wealthy, and were regarded with 
more or less envy and suspicion by their less fortu- 
nate fellows. But the fact remains that they paid 
out $73,170,000 in dividends to shareholders, and 
that their works at the mines were of the most ex- 
pensive kind, while the force employed was large and 
well paid. 

The haste with which the great bonanza was ex- 
tracted was not due altogether to the desire for sud- 
den riches. The Comstock lode was not one regular 
vein of hard quartz, with walls nearly equi-distant 
throughout its whole extent, but was swollen with 
ore-bodies of great richness at irregular intervals, and 
strung with smaller branches more uniformly, yet 
having some barren rock in places. Wherever the 
ore occurred there were masses of a percolating clay 
and crumbling feldspar, which, by swelling, flowing, 
shifting, and breaking down, constantly endangered 
the mine. It was to support the roof and walls of 
drifts, and prevent accidents and losses, that the 
Deidesheimer method of timbering was resorted to; 
but timbers of any form decay rapidly in the heat 
and moisture of the mines. The larger the body of 
ore, the greater the difficulty and expense of keeping 
it in place. The sooner, therefore, that the ore was 
removed, the greater the security from danger by 
caving, or from fire, which might attack so large a 

22 Philip Deideshesmer, and a thousand others as intelligent, were brought 
to bankruptcy. 


body of timber with disastrous effect. 23 For these 
reasons, had there been no other, it was deemed the 
most economical mode of working a bonanza to ex- 
haust it quickly. 

The aggregate yield of all the mines on the Corn- 
stock down to the 1st of January, 1881, was $306, 000,- 
000 worth of bullion extracted from 7,000,000 tons of 
ore. There had gone into the mines, besides the un- 
productive labor, and small means of prospectors and 
pioneers in mining, and the timber 24 of the country, 
$62,000,000 in assessments. There had been paid 
back to shareholders $116,000,000, and the small, 
incorporated companies had derived profits amounting 
to about $2,000,000 more=$l 18, 000,000. The differ- 
ence between the outcome and the costs to the share- 

23 Comparatively few accidents happened on the Comstock, but these were 
serious. On the 7th of April 1869 a tire broke out in the Yellow Jacket, in 
which 45 men lost their lives. 8. F. Bulletin, April 8, 9, 10, 13, 1869; S. F. 
Gall, April 8, 9, and May 1, 5, 1869; Carson Appeal, April 8, 13, 1869. The 
fire communicated to Crown Point and Kentuck, the rocks in the 800-foot 
levels being found to be greatly heated 3 years afterward. In Sept. 1873 
a second fire and series of explosions took place, by which 6 men lost their 
lives, and others were injured. On the 24th of May 1874 the hoisting-works 
of the Succor were destroyed by fire, and 2 men killed. On the 30th of Oct. 
the Belcher air shaft caught fire, and was burned for a distance of 1,000 feet. 
It was not completed, but had cost between $30,000 and $40,000. It being 
necessary for men to descend into the mine to close the drifts leading from 
the burning shaft, 18 volunteered to go. While engaged in blocking up the 
mouth of a drift a cave occurred, and a strong draft of air sucked back into 
the drift, bearing flames upon the naked men, scorching nine of them to 
death, and burning others. Volunteers took their places until the work of 
completing the bulkheads was accomplished. In May 1875, when a new shaft 
was being constructed, the workmen encountered great masses of rocks 
still almost at a white heat, or hot enough to set on fire the new timbers. 
Fires broke out in the abandoned levels of the Consolidated Virginia and 
California, which could only be extinguished by bulkheading all commu- 
nicating drifts, and allowing the timbers to smoulder, until from lack of 
oxygen the fire was smothered. Wright's Big Bonanza. 176-196; Virginia City 
Territorial Enterprise, May 4, 5, 6, 1881; Helena Montana Post, April 30, 1869; 
Gold Hill News, Nov. 1, 1871; Id., May 12 and Aug. 17, 1874; Id., Maich 11, 
1876; Batch's Mines and Miners, 799-801; Gold Hill News, Oct. 26, 1875. 

24 It is estimated that the annual consumption of firewood on the Com- 
stock was, at the least, 120,000 cords. Browne, Mining Res, ed. 1867, makes 
the amount 207,320 cords, which is probably too high. The lumber used 
in building and mining timbers was estimated at 25,000,000 feet (board 
measure) yearly, including that used for domestic purposes. The cost of 
this wood in its several shapes was figured by Browne at $800,000 annually. 
See also, Land Off. Kept, 1867, 315; Sac. Union, July 24, 1865. See also 
Simonin, in Rewe Deux Mondes, Nov. 1875, 305-312, 


holders was $56,000,000, spread over twenty years, 
certainly not a great profit on the investment. But 
the other $88,000,000, besides enriching a few, had 
been expended in the payment of labor, and in various 
enterprises. Too innch, it is true, had gone into liti- 
gation, costly machinery, in many instances almost 
without value into miles of mills and hoisting-works 
whose usefulness in a few years had ceased the sight 
of which suggests the query whether the government, 
which owns the mines, could not have devised some 
means of economical working which would have pre- 
served to the people for a greater length of time their 
benefits. 25 

Coequal in interest with the bonanza features of the 
Comstock lode was the conception and completion of 
an extensive piece of engineering, known as the 
Sutro tunnel. The mode of working the mines 
by shafts, which soon collected bodies of water 
requiring expensive pumping machinery at an early 
date, has been referred to. Floods, from tapping 
water-pockets in Ophir, Belcher, Crown Point, Over- 
man, Yellow Jacket, and other mines, had frequently 
caused the suspension of mining, and threatened the 
lives of the men employed underground. To furnish 
drainage for the mines, a less expensive means of 
taking out ores from the lower levels of the deep 
mines than by hoisting, and better ventilation also, 
the Sutro tunnel was planned. 26 

25 It is the argument of Alexander Del Mar, in his History of the Precious 
Metals, 265-266, that a dollar's worth of bullion from the Comstock cost five 
dollars. Del Mar had been director of the Bureau of Statistics of the United 
States, and was member of the Monetary Commission of 1876, his book being 
the result of his researches in this direction. It he reckoned in all the money 
that had been wasted if money ever is wasted in stock speculations, he 
might have made out a case against mining. There is, indeed, a saying, 
even among Calif ornians, that ' it takes a mine to work a mine. ' Undoubt- 
edly there are greater risks encountered in this business than in almost any 
other, but perhaps the failures are no more frequent, where much capital is 
invested, than in other lines of heavy investment. See Review of Com. and 
Finance, 1876, 11-12, containing tables showing bullion yield from 1859 to 
1876 inclusive; also Baktis Mines and Miners, 959-61, 985-990. 

26 It should be said that several tunnels had been cut on a level with the 
heads of the canons, which became useless when the shaft had pierced to a 


The author of the scheme was Adolph Sutro, who 
had a quartz-mill on the Carson river, but was not 
known as a mining engineer. The Nevada legisla- 
ture, by an act passed February 4, 1865, incorporated 
the Sutro Tunnel company, with the exclusive privi- 
lege, for fifty years, to excavate and construct an adit 
intersecting the Comstock lode at a depth of 1,600 
feet, 8 inches below the mouth of the Savage shaft, 
sufficiently wide for a double line of railway, and ex- 
tending fro;n a point between Webber and Corral 
canons, a distance of over three miles. Besides effect- 
ing the drainage of all the mines to that level, it 
would cross-cut several veins in its course, and afford 
means of transporting the ores to Carson river, where 
water-power and wood were more cheaply procured 
than at the mines. The four intervening canons 
would afford facilities for sinking shafts to the level 
of the tunnel, and from these the work could be ex- 
tended in both directions as well as from Carson val- 
ley. This was the plan. The incorporators of the 
tunnel company were Adolph Sutro, William M. 
Stewart, D. E. Avery, Louis Janin, and H. K. 
Mitchell, Stewart being president. 

In the spring of 1866 Sutro secured contracts from 
twenty-three of the principal mining companies repre- 
senting most of the capital on the Comstock, 27 binding 
them to pay to the tunnel company two dollars a 
ton for ore extracted above the tunnel level after 
the extension of the tunnel and its lateral drifts 
to points within their boundaries. The privilege 
was granted to the mining companies of transport- 
ing ore, tools, timbers, waste rock, and workmen 

depth below them. In 1863 the Gold Hill and Virginia Tunnel and Mining 
company began to pierce the Comstock lode at a depth of 800 feet, with a 
tunnel 6J by 7 feet, and it had been extended 840 feet in May 1864, when the 
panic consequent on the exhaustion of the Ophir bonanza paralyed, for a 
time, the mining industry. Before the return of confidence Sutro 's enter- 
prise had been set on foot, and tended to revive the mining interest. Mining 
Review and Stock Ledger, 1878, 107, 118; 8. F. Stock Exchange, March 22, 
1877; S. F. AUa, March 12, 1865; Batch's Mines and Miners, 948-53. 

27 Bank of California against Sutro Tunnel, Argument and Statement oj 
Facts, 17. 


through the tunnel on the payment of stipulated tolls. 
To insure the completion of their work within a rea- 
sonable time, the tunnel company engaged to secure 
subscriptions to the amount of $3,000,000 before the 
1st of August 1867. 

The question was then mooted whether the legisla- 
ture of Nevada had the power to cede to the tunnel 
company privileges so valuable as those contained in 
their charter, and affecting the title to ground belong- 
ing, as mineral land, to the United States; and the 
company next undertook to obtain confirmation of 
their franchise by act of congress, in which they were 
successful. 28 A geological and an engineering survey 
had been made. 29 Nothing remained but to secure 
the requisite $3,000,000, arid Sutro made his first 
effort in this direction in the city of New York. 
There certain capitalists agreed to make up the $3,000,- 
000 after he should have obtained subscriptions to the 
amount of a few hundred thousands on the Pacific 
coast. Before the end of May 1867, $600,000 had 
been subscribed by mine-owners, and an extension of 
a year's time obtained in which to secure the remain- 
der. The Nevada legislature of 1867 also consented 
to memorialize congress to grant financial aid to the 
construction of the tunnel, whose completion, it was 
assured, would increase the nation's revenue. 3 ' The 
legislature of the state never did anything else but 
encourage the enterprise. Sutro himself worked un- 
tiringly, securing a favorable report from the lower 
house of congress in recommendation of giving mate- 
rial aid to the tunnel. 31 

At the moment when perfect achievement seemed 
ready to be grasped, the mine-owners on the Comstock 

28 IT. Ex. Doc., 47, pt 2, 1087-8, 46th cong. 3d sess.; 8. F. Alta, July 16, 
1866; S. F. Bulletin, July 13, 1866. 

a9 Richikofens Comstock Lode : Report to the Sutro Tunnel Company on 
the geology and structure of the lode. Powell's Land of Silver, 122. R. G. 
Carlyle made an accurate survey of the work to be done. 

50 Nev. Jour. Sen., 1867, app. no. 7. 

31 H. Com. Rept, 50, 40th cong. 2d sess.; 8. F. Call, July 4, 1868; Mho 
Iwlependent, Nov. 17, 1869. 


withdrew their subscriptions, an act which ' rendered 
it impossible for Sutro to call upon eastern capitalists 
for the promised aid, and the failure of the enterprise 
seemed imminent, and would have been brought 
about had the projector possessed less pluck and 
energy. He appealed to the people to take shares; 
he wrote letters and books, addressed meetings, legis- 
latures, and congressional committees. On the 19th 
of October 1869 ground was broken for the Sutro 
tunnel, 32 at a point on the Carson river north of Day- 
ton, and Sutro continued his indefatigable labors at 
Washington and elsewhere. As a result of his per- 
sistency, congress passed an act on the 4th of April, 
1871, authorizing the president of the United States 
to appoint a commission, consisting of one civil and 
two military engineers, 83 to report upon the "import- 
ance, feasibility, cost, and time required to construct " 
the Sutro tunnel. A favorable report was rendered 
concerning the first two points, 31 so far as its value as 
an exploring work was considered, but its cost, esti- 
mated at $4,418,329.50, was pronounced disproportion- 
ably great for the benefit to be derived from drainage 
and ventilation in the mines. 

No committee could make a report upon these 
matters without consulting the mine-owners on the 

32 Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, Oct. 20, 1869; 8. F. Call, Oct. 23, 
1869. Levi Lamb, master carpenter of the Sutro tunnel, says the work of 
constructing the tunnel 'was actually commenced in September 1869.' Lamb 
was born in N. Y. state in June 1829. He came to Cal. via the Isthmus in 
1850; mined on the American river, and afterward on the Feather river and 
Downieville. He went to several other mining camps, and was in the lumber 
business at Marysville. He built the first 12 houses at Rowland Flat in 
Nevada co., Cal., in 1855-6, and assisted in sinking the first shaft on a mine 
at that place. In 1859 he went to farming in Tulare co., and there remained 
till 1862, when he removed to Dayton, Nevada, where he worked in a quartz- 
mill. Lamb's Early Mining, MS., 1-5, a brief account of his own experience 
in Cal. and Nevada. 

33 The commissioners appointed were H. G. Wright and J. G. Foster, in 
conjunction with Prof. Newcomb. 

Si H. Ex. Doc., 47, pt 2, 1088, 46th cong. 3d sess.; Sen. Ex. Doc., 15, 42d 
cong. 2d sess.; Sec. War Rept, 102, 1126-72, 42d cong. 3d sess.; House Com. 
Rept, 94, 42d cong. 2d sess. ; Sen. Com. Kept, 405, 42d cong. 3d sess. ; Courier 
deS. F., 7th July, 1871, llth Jan. 1872, and 20th April 1872; S. F. Stock 
Report, Oct. 11, 1872; Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, Feb. 25, 1872; 8. 
F. AUa, Feb. 28, 1872. 


Comstock, and as they had set their faces against the 
tunnel, on the ground that the mines would have been 
drained by pumping before the tunnel reached them, 
and that the royalty agreed to in the contract with 
Sutro was too large, it could not be expected that 
their representations would be in favor of the tunnel 
from this point of view. In this manner the opponents 
of the tunnel, or as Sutro understood it, of himself 
personally, 35 were enabled to paralyze to some extent 
his efforts in Washington. But so earnest was his 
advocacy that the house congressional committee, re- 
ceiving the report of the examining committee, recom- 
mended a loan from the government of $2,000,000, 
Sargent of California presenting a minority report 
against it. But the bill failed to pass. In the mean- 
time Sutro obtained subscriptions in the United States 
and Europe to the amount of $2,100,000, 36 and the 
work was urged forward. Progress was slow and 
difficult during the first three or four years, all 
drilling being done by hand. In October 1873 con- 
nection was made between the drift advancing from 
the east and that from the west starting from the 
first shaft. In the spring of 1874 experiments with 
a Burleigh drill having demonstrated the advantages 
to be derived from its use, a carriage supporting six 
of those drills while at work was constructed, and 
four of them put in operation on the 22d of June. 
The progress now became as rapid as it hitherto had 
been slow, and two more drills were added in August. 
The average progress per month down to April 1877, 
when the Comstock mineral belt was entered, was 
300 feet per month. Here the heat becoming intense, 

35 Sutro believed and asserted that it was the influence of the Bank of 
California, which controlled several millions worth of property on the Com- 
stock, which was opposed to him not because his scheme was not a good 
one, or feasible, but because when that corporation saw its merits they 
determined to drive him out of it and seize upon it for themselves. The 
most formidable opposition certainly appeared to come from them, whatever 
their motives, and against them he directed his continuous assaults, 

36 Sutro Tunnel Com. Kept, 956-965; 8. F. News Letter, Feb. 21, 1874; Sac. 
Record, in S. F. Atia,, May 15, 1874; Pioche Record, March 12, 1873; Gold 
Hill News, Oct. 28, 1873. 

HIST. NEV. 10 


only 250 feet a month could be made. 37 Connection 
was effected with the nearest mine shaft at the Savage 
works on the evening of the 8th of July. The last 
obstruction was rent away by a blast in the Savage 
mine. Sutro himself was on the spot, and was the 
first to crawl through the opening, " overcome by ex- 
citement," 38 as well as heat. He had achieved a 
triumph of engineering, and put the Comstock lode 
under contribution of two dollars per ton of ore ex- 
tracted thereafter. 

But there remained yet to be overcome the reluct- 
ance of the late hostile companies to pay this tax. 
The Savage company offered no remonstrance, but an 
attempt was made to drain the adjoining mines through 
the Savage levels. To prevent this use of his tunnel 
without compensation, Sutro started a drainway, which 
would conduct the incoming water back into a lower 
level of the Savage mine, from which it was pumped, 
only to return again, on discovering which in Febru- 
ary 1879, the workmen were arrested, and the progress 
of the shaft stopped when nearly completed. They 
were released immediately, but the cutting of the 
drain was prohibited by order of the court. Soon 
after a rise of water in the Hale and Norcross mine 
caused an overflow in the combination shaft of the 
Hale and Norcross, Savage, and Chollar-Potosi, to 
hold which in check the water was pumped into the 
Sutro tunnel, driving the workmen from their posts, 
Sutro then threatened to erect a water-tight bulk- 
head. Although still unwilling to carry out their 
contract, the incident of the overflow was not without 
effect, and joined with the threat to hermetically seal 
the tunnel, brought about a compromise. 

37 The temperature in the tunnel from 1873 to and through 1875 was 83, 
although 2 powerful Root blowers were constantly forcing air into it. At 
the end of 1876 it was 90, and on the first of Jan. 1878 reached 96. The 
atmosphere was foul as well as hot. During the last months, in 1878, the 
miners were two miles from the nearest ventilating shaft. The force was 
changed four times a day, and the men could then only work a small portion 
of the nominal hours of labor. The temperature rose to 109 in April, and 
then to 110 and 114. 

as Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, July 9, 1878. 


By the new contract the mining companies agreed 
to furnish money to extend the lateral branches still 
uncompleted, those benefited to pay one dollar per ton 
upon all ore raised from the mines which assayed 
forty dollars or less, and two dollars upon all ore assay- 
ing more than forty dollars per ton, payment to com- 
mence as soon as one of the lateral branches should 
be completed for half its distance. This contract 
terminated the long struggle of one tenacious spirit 
against that enemy hardest to be beaten a " soulless 

The main tunnel measured 20,480 feet in length. 
The height was nine feet five inches, and the width 
thirteen feet outside of timbers. The north branch 
in October 1880 had extended 4,403 feet, and the 
south branch in March 1881 was 4,114 feet in length, 
making together more than a mile and six-tenths of 
tunnelling eight by seven feet in the clear. From 
these were discharged daily, in 1880, 3,500,000 gallons 
of water, increased on some days to 3,942,720 gal- 
lons, or 1,277,500,000 gallons annually, the weight of 
which was 4,752,605 tons. After being made to pro- 
pel a small amount of machinery in the shops of the 
company at Dayton, the only use of the water has 
been for irrigating purposes. The total cost of the 
tunnel, not including the expenses incurred by the 
management in the prosecution of the design, was 
$2,096,556.41, or less than half of the amount esti- 
mated by the committee appointed by congress to de- 
termine its feasibility. Its benefit to the Comstock 
mines was great. 39 

Unlike the South American and Mexican silver 
veins, the indications are that it will not be found 

^Nev. Jour. Sen., 1879, app. no. 16, 81-5; Argument on Sutro Tunnel, 
70-71; Sutro Tunnel Com. Kept, 1872, 931; Sutro Tunnel Company Supt Rept, 
1872; Sutro Tunnel and Railway to the Comstock Lode, 1873, with maps; Bank 
of California vs Sutro Tunnel, Argument and Statement of Facts. All these 
books and pamphlets are devoted to showing the character of the work and 
the opposition encountered, and afford an instructive record of political as 
well as financial conditions in Nevada, with illustrations of the power of 
money to defeat the right. 


profitable to work the mines of the Comstock at a 
very great depth. 40 Unlike silver in other parts of 
the world, its only gangue is quartz, which is rarely 
solid, but is much fractured, and often partially soft- 
ened by chemical action. The principal ores are 
stephanite, vitreous silver, native silver, ruby silver, 
horn silver, and polybasite, with occasional small 
quantities of argentiferous galena. Native gold, iron 
and copper pyrites, blende, and carbonate and phos- 
phate of lead in minute quantities are found in con- 
nection with the silver ores. 

The phenomena observed as connected with the 
occurrence of silver ore in the Comstock have been thus 
summarized : In the northern part it is in chimneys 
dipping to the south, in the southern part it forms 
continuous sheets of great length, but comparatively 
narrow. The ore deposits are enclosed in the eastern, 
and sometimes in the middle portion of the vein, 
while the western branches are poor or barren. The 
largest and richest deposits have been found where 
the outcrops were most prominent. At the north end 
the vein is invariably poor where it passes a ravine, 
but not so in the south end. The richest portions are 
south of each ravine crossed by it. All the chimneys 
in the northern part occur where the walls after close 

40 With regard to the depth of the different mines, Kmtfs Underground 
World, a collection of matter loosely thrown together concerning mines, caves, 
tunnels and other subterranean places and affairs, contains the following inter- 
esting facts: Ophir and Mexican discovered at the surface, failed in ore at the 
depth of 500 feet; Gould and Curry also extended 500 feet from the surface; 
Savage, which was a continuation of the Gould and Curry bonanza, extended 
2,300 feet below the croppings; Hale and Norcross bonanza was first found 
450 feet below the surface, and extended down to 1,200; Chollar-Potosi was 
found at a depth of 500 feet, and extended to the 1, 700-foot level; Gold Hill, 
discovered on the surface, extended 500 feet downward and 300 feet on the 
vein; Yellow Jacket, discovered on the surface, went to a depth of 700 feet; 
Kentuck to a depth of 400 feet, 300 feet on the lode; Crown Point and 
Belcher bonanza, discovered on the 1,400-foot level, extended 600 feet below; 
Consolidated Virginia and California bonanza was discovered at the 1,500- 
foot level, and extended above it, and below for a distance of 400 feet, being 
600 feet in height and 700 on the vein. Since the publication of Knox's 
book, 1878, several of these mines have been sunk a considerable distance. 
California was down 2,700 feet in 1882, Consolidated Virginia 2,533 feet, 
Hale and Norcross 3,000 feet, Sierra Nevada 2,700 feet, and a number of the 
older mines were down nearly 3,000 feet in 1888, 


contact suddenly diverge/ 1 When I have added that 
the mountain in which the Comstock lode 42 is found'is 
a mass of volcanic rocks, through which older rocks 
are found obtruding, syenite, propylite, granite, with 
trachyte, andesite, and metamorphic rocks, and that 
geologists recognize the vein as a fissure caused by 
rending, which subsequently became filled with quartz 
and ore, I have said all that is of interest concerning 
Nevada's great silver lode. 43 

41 These observations occur in Baron Ferdinand Richthof en's work, entitled 
The Comstock Lode, its Character, and the Probable, Mode of its Continuance in 
Depth. The subsequent history of the lode has borne out this statement of 
its characteristics. They are quoted with other remarks on the geology of 
the lode, in Mining and Metallurgy of Gold and Silver, by J. Arthur Phillips. 

4 - Accompanying the Monograph on the Geology of the Comstock Lode, by 
George F. Becker, Washington, 1882, is a beautifully illustrated Atlas, giv- 
ing the location of all the mines on the Comstock, and in the Washoe district, 
and also the position of the several rocks composing the Virginia range, in 
situ, and in distinctive coloring. It shows the earlier hornblende andesite, 
later hornblende, andesite, andangite andesite, and quartz porphyry, to be the 
prevailing rock. Next in prevalence are diorite, mica diorite, metamorphic 
dtorite, metamorphic mezozoic, and quatenary. In. smaller quantities occur 
felsitic quartz porphyry, granite, basalt, and diabase. The quartz-vein lies 
principally between the earlier hornblende andesite on the east, and diorite 
on the west. A vertical section of the Sutro tunnel in the same atlas shows 
the andesites to prevail along the tunnel. 

Mines and Miners, by William Ralston Balch, a quarto of 1,200 pages, 
Philadelphia, 1882, contains good descriptive matter concerning the Com- 
stock lode, with illustrations. Balch, who is simply a compiler, adopts for 
the country rock of the Virginia or Washoe district, the term of probylite 
for the east side, and syenite for the west side, which distinction* is in com- 
mon use among resident miners. 

Kings Geological Explor., iii. 11-96, contains a full description of the 
Comstock lode, with drawings and minute information of a valuable character. 

43 John Percival Jones, who for years was prominently connected with 
the Comstock, was a Welchman by birth, and came with his parents to the 
United States in 1830, while yet an infant. After receiving his education in 
the public schools of New York city, his first occupation was in a marble- 
yard, and as a worker in stone. In 1850 he came to California, and was 
af tenvards employed in various capacities, serving in the state senate between 
1863 and 1867, and in 1868 being appointed superintendent of the Crown 
Point mine. In this company there was afterward disclosed a large body of 
rich ore, and its otock arose from $2 or $3 to $1,800 a share, whereby he 
became very wealthy. In 1873 he was elected U. S. senator for Nevada, 
and reflected in 1878, and again in 1883, and while a member of that body 
was recognized as a clear and cogent speaker, a man of liberal views, of 
great erudition, and unsparing in research. The senator was twice married, 
his first wife being the daughter of Judge Conger, and the .second the daugh- 
ter of Eugene A. Sullivan, a most accomplished and benevolent woman. 




How the territory, which in answer to so many 
prayers was organized out of western Utah on the 2d 
of March, 1861, came to be called simply Nevada, 
snowy, is not altogether clear. When Delegate 
Crane wrote to his constituents from Washington in 
February 1858, he assured them that a territorial 
government was about to be established under the 
name of Sierra Nevada. On the 12th of May, 1859, 
a bill was introduced in the house to organize the 
territory of Nevada. 1 The assembly which met at 
Genoa in December 1859 was reported as the first 
legislature of the " territory of Nevada." 2 At a later 
period, when Nevada was applying for admission as a 
state, motions were made in convention to change 
the name to Washoe, Humboldt, and Esrneralda. 3 
Sierra Plata, silver mountains, was mentioned in de- 
bate in allusion to its mineralogical features, but it 

1 H. Jour., 789, 35th coiig. 1st sess.; Neo. Laws, 1861, ix.-xiv., 1864-5, 
23-31; U. S. Const, and Charters, ii. 1240-5; House Ex. Doc., 47, pt3, 1081-2, 
46 cong. 3d sess. 

2 Sac. Union, Dec. 17, 1859; Have*' Net). Scraps, xi. 40. 

*Nev. Constit. Debates, 1864, 33-35; 8. F. Call, July 7, 1864; Howard 
Quarterly, i. pt iii. 90. 


came in competition with Oro Plata, gold and silver, 
and even with Bullion. Having escaped all these 
perils of nomenclature, it remains simply snowy- white 

The area of Nevada, as defined by its constitution, 
was 81.539 square miles, 5 but after being allowed 
some additional territory its area is stated at 112,090 
square miles, of which surface 1,690 square miles is 
water. 6 

The boundaries established by the constitution 
adopted in 1859 commenced at a point on the Sierra 
Nevada where the 42d parallel touches its summit, 
following the crest of the mountains south to the 
35th parallel, thence east on that line to the Colo- 
rado, thence up that stream to the mouth of the Rio 
Virgen, thence ascending to its junction with the 
Muddy river, and thence due north to the Oregon line. 7 

In the organic act, however, it was bounded on the 
north by the 42d degree as above, east by the 39th 
meridian, south by the northern boundary of New 
Mexico, and west by the summits of the Sierra Ne- 
vada to the 41st parallel, whence it ran due north to 
the Oregon line. This gave the territory a consider- 
able portion of the counties of Mono, Alpine, Lassen, 
and Siskiyou, subject to the consent of the state of 
California. 8 

The boundary between California and Utah had 
always been in dispute. The first United States dis- 

* Various persons, at various times, have claimed the honor of having 
proposed the present name, but the facts, as I have presented, make clear 
the merit of such pretensions. The act of Dec. 20, 1862, calling an election 
for delegates to the constitutional convention, states that it was to frame a 
constitution for the state of Washoe. Nev. Laws, 1862, 128-9; Portland 
West Shore, April 1879, 121. 

5 In Kelly's Nev. Directory, 1862, the area is given at 65,000 square miles. 

*Land Off. Rept., 1867, 61; Mess, and Doc., 1868-9, ab. 825-9: Nev. Jour. 
Sen., 1877, ap. 8, 1; H. Ex.. Doc., 47, pt 4, 419, 46th cong. 3d sess. The 
area of Nevada is stated by a writer in 8. F. AUa, June 24, 1866, at 104,000 
square miles. Henry Gannett, geographer of the 10th census, reported the 
area, approximately, at 104, 700 square miles, of which 960 were water, Cherry 
Creek White Pine News, Jan. 21, 1882; Eureka Sentinel, Jan. 15, 1882. I 
have adopted the sur.-gen. report. 

7 Carson Valley Territorial Enterprise, July 30, 1859. 

8 Nev. Stat., 1864-5, 25; Sac. Union, April 6, 1861. 


trict judge in Carson county, "W. W. Drummond, in 
1856 addressed a communication to United States 
senator Weller, and congressmen Denver and Her- 
bert of California, informing them that the Mormon 
residents claimed Carson valley as a part of Utah, 
and that "a large and respectable portion" of the citi- 
zens of the valley contended in good faith that they were 
residents of California ; that he himself had held court 
there, believing he was in Utah, and now he was con- 
vinced of his error ; that an important case had been 
taken to the supreme court of Utah to be argued the 
following January, in which it was extremely doubt- 
ful whether the parties to the suit and the property in 
controversy were not in El Dorado county, California; 
and that a very bitter feeling pervaded the miridjs of 
the anti-Mormons against paying a revenue to sup- 
port Utah, which was in open rebellion against the 
United States. Drummond accordingly recommended 
that a boundary commission be set on foot. 9 

The California legislature, in April 1858, passed a 
concurrent resolution asking congress to appoint a 
commission to act in conjunction with one from that 
state for the survey of a line conforming to the con- 
stitution of California. 10 In February 1859 the Cali- 
fornia legislature again instructed its delegation in 
congress to urge upon the president the appointment 
of the boundary commission. Nothing was done, 
however, until the spring of 1860, when congress 
passed an act authorizing the president to appoint the 
required commissioners. 11 The legislature, without 
awaiting congressional action, had already directed 

9 S. F. Herald in Hayes 1 M\n. Scraps, xi. 5. The grand jury of the 2d 
district of Utah, Cradlebaugh judge, in Oct. 1859, declared that the unsettled 
condition of the boundary was ' a fruitful source of annoyance and disputa- 
tion . . . For this reason criminals charged with grave offences have escaped 
conviction; crime has been boldly committed without fear of accusation, and 
valuable property remained without assessment and taxation,' etc., and 
urged that congress should create a boundary commission. Territorial Enter- 
prise, in Id., 25-6. 

10 Cal Stat., 1858, 356-7; House Jour., 977-8, 35th cong. 1st sess. 

11 Cong. Globe, 1859-60, app., 475. Scott of California had previously in- 
troduced a bill to change the eastern boundary of California. House Jour. t 
571, J307, 38th cong. 1st sess. 


the surveyor-general of the state to survey the line 
between the 42d parallel and the Monte Diablo base 
line, about at the 38th parallel. 12 

The discovery of silver, and the development of the 
Comstock mines gave additional importance to the 
subject. The California governor, in his message to 
the legislature in January 1861, mentioned that the 
population of the mines was desirous of being arnexed 
to California, and recommended that congress be me- 
morialized to grant the right to California to extend her 
boundary to the 118th degree of longitude. In the 
following month the territory of Nevada was organized 
with its floating western boundary as above, and on 
the 26th of March, the California legislature passed 
an act providing for the election, in joint convention, 
of a commissioner to cooperate with the United States 
commissioner in determining *the eastern limit of the 
state. 13 At this time the terms of the act of congress 
organizing the territory were probably unknown to the 

Governor Nye of Nevada addressed a communica- 
tion to the first legislature recommending the ap- 
pointment of a committee to memorialize the California 
legislature, asking for the grant of all that portion 
of their state lying east of the summits of the Sierra 
Nevada. 14 Two commissioners, Isaac Hoop and R. 
M. Ford, were, in accordance with this advice, elected 
in joint convention November 16, 1861, to proceed, in 
company with the governor, to the California capital, 
soon after the meeting of the next assembly, and re- 
quest that body to cede to Nevada the territory in 
question; and on the 29th of the same month an act 
of the Nevada legislature was approved authorizing 
the governor to order the survey of that portion of 
the west boundary from Lake Tahoe 15 to below Esme- 

CalStat., 1860, 184-5. 

CaL Jour. Sen,, 1861, 38; Gal Stat., 1861, 587-8. 

u Nev. Jour. Council, 1861, 96-7; Nev. Laws, 1861, 513-14. 

15 Lake Tahoe is called Lake Bigler in the act, by which name it was 
known to Californians for some time. 1 he name was distasteful to many, and 
certainly not so appropriate as its Indian appellative. 


ralda, and an appropriation was made therefor, with a 
proviso that the survey was to be contingent upon 
the non-action of California. 16 That state making no 
survey, John F. Kidder and Butler Ives surveyed the 
line from Lake Tahoe south, and received pay there- 

The commissioners proceeded to California, and in 
March 1862 presented their memorial. Nothing 
came of the visit beyond a conference on the 21st of 
the month, 17 and in the following December another 
memorial was sent from the legislature of Nevada to 
that of California. Congress, had, however, already 
attempted to compensate for the loss of territory on 
the west by adding a degree of longitude on the east. 18 

In the mean time the injurious effect of the unset- 
tled western boundary and undetermined jurisdiction 
was becoming more arid more apparent with the in- 
crease in population. The sheriff of Plumas county, 
California, in attempting to make an arrest at Susan- 
ville, in February 1862, was resisted by an armed 
force, and one of his posse wounded. Governor Stan- 
ford of California then appointed Judge Robert Rob- 
inson a commissioner to visit the then acting-governor 
of Nevada, Orion Clemens, with the object of con- 
ferring upon the means of peaceably arriving at a 
settlement of the boundary dispute. The California 
commissioner informed the acting-governor of Nevada 
that the authorities of his state would not consent to 
the summit boundary, and it was agreed between 
them that a commissioner from California and one 
from Nevada should be appointed to establish a per- 
manent boundary ; but in order to remove the danger 
of any future conflicts as to jurisdiction, a line should 
be temporarily regarded as running north through the 

16 Net). Laws, 1861, 269. The legislators were a little in the dark about 
the geography of their territory, ' Below Esmeralda ' would have taken 
the surveyors out of the territory. 

17 Gal Jour. Sen., 1862, 387, 389; Cal Jour House, 1862. 390 

Nev. Laws, 1862, 195; Acts and Res., 1861-2. 295; Cong. Globe, 1861-2, 
408; H. Ex. Doc., 47, pt 3, 46th cong. 3d sess. 


eastern end of Honey lake, and as running south on 
the survey of Kidder and Ives. 19 

On the 16th of May, 1863, Clemens appointed Ives 
commissioner on the part of Nevada, who joined the 
California commissioner, Kidder, in Lake valley on 
the 22d of May, and they proceeded to establish the 
boundary line, beginning at Lake Tahoe, and running 
north to the Oregon boundary, and south to within 
one degree of the north line of New Mexico, when 
winter arrested further progress. The work of the 
commission was accepted by both the California 20 and 
Nevada legislatures, and Ives was paid, for his part 
of it, $3,000. This final action put an end to the con- 
flicts which for many years distracted the communities 
on the border of the two commonwealths. California 
yielded a jurisdiction, long maintained, over the rich 
mining region of Esmeralda, with the town of Aurora, 
and Nevada relinquished any claim to a revenue from 
Lassen county. 

Hardly were these conditions of peace entered upon 
when the territory aspired to become a state/ 1 With- 
out altering its boundaries in the formation of its 
constitution, except to add one more degree on the 
east, 22 in order to embrace the mining region of 
Pahranagat, it was provided that whenever congress 
should authorize the addition to the territory or state 
of Nevada of another degree on its eastern border, or 
California should relinquish any territory lying west 
of her then eastern boundary, either of these might 
be embraced within and become a part of the state of 
Nevada, 23 thus giving evidence that Nevada still felt 

19 Butler Ives was deputy surveyor-general to John W. North, and John 
F. Kidder was his chief clerk. The assistant clerk in the surveyor-general a 
office was Julius E. Garrett. Nev. Laws, 1861, xvii. 

Cal Stat., 1864-4, 506-7. Nev. Laws, 1864, 139. 

21 Nev. Compiled Laws, i., cxxix.; Nev. Constit. Debates, 847. 

22 The legislature by concurrent resolution, in Dec. 1864, asked for the 
extension of its eastern boundary another degree. It was presented in the 
senate by Nye of Nevada, and ordered to lie on the table and be printed, 
Sen. Jour., 236, 38th cong. 2d sess. 

23 Nev. Stat., 1864-5, 60; 133-4; Cal. Jour, Sen., 1865, app. 55. 


herself unfairly dealt with in the matter of her west- 
ern boundary. 

In May 1866 congress granted the one degree on 
the east to which Nevada laid claim, as far south as 
the Colorado river, and with it all of Arizona lying 
between that river and the south line of Nevada, 
making together 31,850 square miles, and made ap- 
propriations for the survey." 4 To this southern terri- 
tory some objections were made, upon the ground 
that it was worthless, but in January 1867 the legis- 
lature formally accepted the gift, after passing a reso- 
lution in the senate to have the whole of Utah 
annexed, and in March 1869 appropriated $4,000 for 
continuing the survey of the east line. Not yet con- 
tent with its area, and grasping after more silver 
mines, the legislature in 1871 asked congress to give 
Nevada all of Idaho lying south of the Owyhee river, 
to which request no favorable answer was returned. 
The same legislative body memorialized the California 
assembly to grant them the boundary named in the 
organic act of Nevada territory, namely, the summit 
of the Sierra. 25 But this attempt to revive the boun- 
dary agitation met with no approval by that body. 26 
It was, however, agitated about this time by the 
commissioner of the general land office, Willis W. 
Drummond, who reported in 1871 that the line be- 
tween California and Nevada, from Lake Tahoe north 
to the Oregon boundary, had never been correctly 
surveyed, and asked for an appropriation of over 
$41,000 to have the survey rectified. It was alleged 
that California was at that time exercising jurisdiction 
over 13,000 square miles of Nevada territory. 27 The 

24 First appropriation in 1868 was $10,625, which was increased to $17.000 
in 1870, when I. E. James began the survey. Mess, and Doc., 1871-2, pt. i., 
49-51; Carson Appeal, Oct. 2, 1870. 

'^ House Jour., 137-8, 42d cong. 1st sess. ; House Misc. Doc., 32, 42d cong. 
Istsess.; Nev. Laws, 1871, 185; Nev. Jour. House, 1867, 116, 123-4, 195-7. 
235; Nev. Jour. Sen., 1871, 160-2; Carson State Register, Aug. ,1871. Dis- 
turners Dir., 1881, 10; Austin Reese River Reveille, Dec. 15, 1855; Elliott & 
Co'* Hist. Ariz., 29; Tullidges Hist. Salt Lake City, 247. 

26 U. S. Constit. and Charters, 1240. 

27 Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, in S. F. Chronicle, April 13, 1872. 


survey of the west and east lines was finally com- 
pleted in 1874, 28 the returns being made by Allexery 
Von Schmidt, astronomer and surveyor, who gave 
the length of line between California and Nevada at 
a little over 611 miles, 29 the north line coincident 
with the 42d parallel being 310 miles, and the east 
line somewhat shorter than the west, the southern 
boundary being a sharp angle. Notwithstanding the 
frequent discussions of the boundary between Nevada 
and California, which should have led to a better 
knowledge of the limits of either, litigation has been 
had as late as 1881, founded upon a dispute as to the 
proper jurisdiction. 

The United States officers, appointed upon the or- 
ganization of the territory of Nevada, 30 were James 
W. Nye, governor, 31 Orion Clemens territorial secre- 
tary, 3 " George Turner chief justice, Horatio M. Jones 
and Gordon N. Mott associate justices, with Benja- 
min B. Bunker United States attorney, 33 D Bates 

28 Cal Jour. Sen., 1875; app. 10, 7-8. 

29 House Ex. Doc., i. pt 5., 13; Nev. Jour. Sen., 1877, app. 8, 1; Id., 1879 
app 9, 3-4. 

30 The Cal. legislature assisted in persuading congress to create a new ter- 
ritory, instructing its delegation in Washington to use their best endeavors. 
Cal. Stat., 1860, 409. Gwin and Latham of Cal., and Otero or New Mexico, 
presented bills in favor of the project. Jour. Sen., 181, 36th cong. 1st sess. ; 
Cong. Globe; 1859-60, 374, 317, 2668. Latham presented 3 petitions from 
western Utah; Grow of Pa presented a bill in the house for the temporary 
government of Nevada. Green of Mo. was the author of the bill which 
finally passed the senate Feb. 26, 1861, and the house on March 2, 1861, and 
was approved the same day. Jour. Sen., 228, 317, 372, 36th cong. 2d sess.; 
Ex. Doc., vol. 26, 1084, 46th cong. 3d sess. 

31 Commissioned March 22, 1861. Nye was born in Mass, about 1815, re- 
moved at an early age to N. Y., where he was educated for the bar. He 
practised in Syracuse 4 years, removing thence to N. Y. City in 1857, where 
ne was appointed com. of police. His reputation as a political orator was 
made in 1848> in supporting free -soil principles. Though a democrat, he was 
strongly anti-slavery. Syracuse Journal in Dayton L. C. Sentinel Feb. 11, 
1865; Gold Hill News. March 8, 1870; Virginia City Chronicle, Dec. 28, 1876; 
8. F. Evening Post, Jan. 13, 1877. 

32 Clemens was from Mo., and a brother of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), 
who accompanied him to Nevada. J. C. Gallagher officiated as secretary 
until the arrival of Clemens, about the middle of August. 

33 J. McC Reardon was clerk sup. ct; David M. Hanson clerk 1st dist, 
with Dighton Corson district attorney; Alfred Helm clerk of the 2d district; 
with Marcus D. Larrows attorney; Alfred James clerk of the 3d district, 
with E. B. Zabriskie attorney, Nev. Laws, 1861, xvii. 


marshal, and John W. North surveyor-general. Gov-. 
ernor Nye arrived in July, his proclamation declaring 
the territory organized being issued on the 1 1th, fol- 
lowing which, on the 24th, was the order to take a 
census of the population preparatory to districting 
the territory and ordering an election, Henry De 
Groot, in the absence of the marshal, being appointed 
to make the enumeration. The returns were made 
on the 8th of August, and the day of election set for 
the 31st. 

The total number of votes cast at the election was 
5,291, of which only 985 were democratic, the great 
majority in Nevada being on the union side of poli- 
tics, and very enthusiastic in support of the govern- 
ment. "Battle-born" meaning organized amidst 
the tumult of events on the eve of the great civil 
war is the favorite soubriquet for Nevada in use by 
political writers. Born on the eve of battle, she took 
no time for infancy or childhood, but poured out the 
precious contents of her subterranean treasury with 
a free hand to the help of the nation, from the very 
hour of her birth. 34 

The election resulted in the choice of John Cradle- 
baugh for delegate to congress, and in the election of 
nine councilmen and fifteen representatives. 35 

84 Nye says, in his report to Secretary Seward, in Dec. 1861: 'I may here, 
I think, with pardonable pride, call your special attention to the gratifying 
fact that the tertitory of Nevada, with one exception, stands alone among 
the states and territories of the union in having provided by legislation for 
the payment of her share of the war debt. The money will be subject to 
the draft of the secretary of the treasury of the U. S. by the month of 
August next ' Sn. Doc., 36, vol. v., 3. 37th cong. 2d sess. 

35 As there was but one county organized in the whole territory the re- 
turns for councilmen were made from the following districts: No. 1, includ- 
ing all of Carson valiey south of Clear creek, J. W. Pugh; No. 2, including 
all of Carson valley north of Clear creek, Ira M. Luther; No. 3, Empire city 
and vicinity, William M, Stewart; No 4, Silver City and vicinity, John W. 
Grier (resigned during the first session); No. 5, Gold Hill and vicinity, 
Thomas Hannah; No 6, Virginia City and vicinity, including the Flowery 
mining district, Augustine W Pray and J. L Van Bokkelen; No 7, includ- 
ing Washoe valley and the region between the valley and Steamboat creek, 
Solomon Geller; No. 8, Steamboat creek and Truckee valley, none elected; 
No. 9, including all the territory north of Truckee valley and west of Pyra- 
mid lake, Isaac Roop The representatives from district No. i were Samuel 
Youngs and William E, Teall: No. 2, James McLean; No. 3, W, P Har^. 


The governor ordered the assembling of the legis- 
lature on the 1st of October at Carson City, but 
houses being few, and owners doubtful of their pay, 
some difficulty was experienced in procuring a hall. 
They were relieved from their embarrassment by the 
offer, rent free, of a large stone building outside of 
town, belonging to Abraham Curry, famous among 
his fellows for deeds of generosity, who furnished the 
impromptu capitol in a primitive fashion with benches 
and tables, and crowned his munificence by construct- 
ing a horse -railroad from the legislative hall to Carson 
City, on which the legislators were privileged to ride 
free. 36 

The code of laws passed was similar to that of Cal- 
fornia, upon which, and the code of New York, it 
was based. Both houses passed strong union resolu- 
tions, arid every way behaved most loyally. 37 By an 
act of November 25th the territory was divided into 
nine counties, namely : Churchill, Douglas, Esmer- 
alda, Humboldt, Lake name changed to Roop De- 
cember 5, 1862 Lyons, Ormsby, Storey, and Washoe. 

ington and John D, Winters; No. 4, William L. Card and R. M. Ford; No. 
5, John H. Mills; No. 6, Mark H. Bryant, Ephraim Durham, and Miles N. 
Mitchell; No. 7, Edward C. Ing and J. H. Sturtevant; No. 8, William J. 
Osborn; No. 9, John C. Wright. Nev. Jour. Council, 1861, 5-6; Nev. Jour. 
House, 1861, 4; Sac. Union, Sept. 16, 1861. J. L. Van Bokkelen was presi- 
dent of the council; Henry O. Smeathman, secretary; William H. Barstow, 
asstsec. ; Noah T. Carpenter, sergeant-at-arms; P. H. Shannon, messenger; 
Henry Lewis, page. Miles N. Mitchell was speaker of the house; W. M. 
Gillespie, clerk; Samuel E. Witherill, Charles C. Conger, assistant clerks; 
J. B. McCormack, sergeaiit-at-arms; G. S. Pierson, messenger; Robert T. 
Haslan, page. Neo. Laws, 1861, xviii. 

36 This last is on the authority of Mark Twain's Roughing It, in which is 
given a humorous history of the first Nevada legislature. He says the legis- 
lature 'sat 60 days, and passed private toll-road franchises all the time. 
When they adjourued it was estimated that every citizen owned about three 
franchises, and it was believed that unless congress gave the territory another 
degree of longitude there would not be room enough to accommodate the 
toll-roads. The ends of them were hanging over the boundary line every- 
where like a fringe. ' The same might have been said of all the other early 
territorial legislatures. But concerning the seats for the representatives, I 
find that Mrs M. A. Ormsby and Miss H. K. Clapp of Carson city donated 
on the 19th of October to the members 'comfortable chairs for their use,' 
and that they were not only thanked, but invited to a seat within the bar 
of the house for the remainder of the session. Nev. Jour. House, 1861, 87 

3 < Parkers Letter- Boole, MS., 34-6; Kept, of Gov. Nye, in Sen. Doc. 36, 
V., 37th cong. 2d sesa. 


Churchill, Esmeralda, and Humboldt included most 
of the territorial area, and the other counties the pop- 
ulation. In point of fact, the only white inhabitants 
of the central and eastern parts of the territory were 
a few station-keepers along the overland mail route, 
hardly more than enough to constitute the usual 
corps of county officers. The legislature, however, 
nominated, and the governor confirmed, three com- 
missioners for each county, whose duty it was to 
meet and apportion their territory into voting pre- 
cincts preparatory to a general election, to be held on 
the 14th of January, 1862, for the purpose of choosing 
county officers, who should hold until the regular 
election on September 3d, provided for in the elec- 
tion law of the territory. This rapid change of offi- 
cers gave some of the counties three different sets 
between the 1st of January and the middle of Sep- 
tember 1862. 

The organic act provided for nine councilmen, 
which number might be increased to thirteen, whose 
term of service should be two years, and thirteen as- 
semblymen, whose number might be doubled, to serve 
one year. The legislature made the whole of this in- 
crease at the first session. In an act concerning 
crimes and punishments it was provided that no black 
person, or mulatto, or Indian, or Chinese should be 
permitted to give evidence against or in favor of any 
white person ; and that any person having one eighth 
part negro blood should be deemed a mulatto, while 
every person having one half Indian blood should be 
deemed an Indian. In the civil practice act it was 
provided that all might testify, whether of negro or 
Indian blood, who had not one half or more of black 
blood in their veins; thus placing the value of prop- 
erty above that of life or liberty to those who were 
three quarters white, an impropriety which the gov- 
ernor pointed out, while he approved the crimes act 
on the ground of necessity, the condition of society in 
Nevada at this time requiring the restraints of a penal 



code. A tax of forty cents on every $100 of taxable 
property was imposed for territorial purposes, with an 
additional tax of sixty cents for county purposes. 38 
A poll-tax of two dollars was also imposed on all 
males between the ages of twenty-one and fifty years, 
not exempted by law, for county purposes, a neces- 
sarv measure for raising revenue in a country where 
the land still belonged to the United States, and the 
populatiou was a migratory one. 39 The mines with 


their products remained untaxed, although the design 
adopted for the territorial seal had reference only to 
mining as an industry/ A law to secure the observ- 
ance of the sabbath was passed and approved, which 

Nev. Laws, 1861, 144. This tax was raised in 1862 to 50 cents on $100 
for territorial, and 80 cents on the same for county expenses. The last terri- 
torial legislature fixed the tax at 30 cents on $100 for territorial and not to 
exceed 80 cents on the same for county revenues. 

39 The poll-tax was increased to $4 a head in 1862, and might be made to 
constitute county hospital funds. The limit of age was subsequently ex- 
tended to sixty years, and assessors made ex-officio poll-tax collectors. 

49 Mountains, with a stream of water coursing down their side and falling 
on the overshot wheel of a quartz mill at their base. A miner learning on 
his pick and holding a United States flag. Motto: Volens et Potens. De- 
signed by Secretary Clemens. Nev. Jour. Council, 1861, 46; Neo. House Jour., 
43; Nev. Laws, 1861, 295, Certainly nothing classic. 
HIST. NEV. 11 


inflicted a fine of not less than $30 nor more than 
$250 for keeping open a play-house, gambling-den, 
cock-pit, or engaging in any species of noisy amuse- 
ments on the " first day of the week, commonly called 
Lord's day;" and the same law interdicted any judi- 
cial business, except in the case of a jury in unfinished 
deliberation, which might receive further instruction 
or deliver a verdict on Sunday ; but permitted arrests 
for crime, and an examination before a justice on Sun- 
day/ 1 Cohabitation with Indians, Chinese, or negroes 
was made punishable by fine of not less than $100 
nor more than $500, or imprisonment in the county 
jail for not less than one month nor more than six. 
Lotteries were also forbidden. Altogether the work 
of the first legislature, which extended over sixty 
days, was discreet and moral, and it would have been 
well could they have kept society up to their standard. 

With the adjournment of the legislature, the offi- 
cials appointed by that body and the governor came 
into power," and arranged the preliminaries of the 
coming election of county officers. Some difficulty 
was experienced in appointing officers for Lake and 
Esmeralda counties, arising from the disputed boun- 

. Comp. Laws, i. 2; 8. F. Bulletin, Oct. 24, 1861. 
42 The commissioners appointed byGov. Nye for Douglas county were S. 
A. Kinsey, Hiram Mott, and Henry Vansickle; county clerk, Joel A. Harvey; 
surveyor, Robert F. Hart; sheriff, Wiiliam Wallace; probate judge, 
Chauncey N. Noteware; recorder, B. Rush Horton; treasurer, John Ting- 
man. Com. of Humboldt co., M. S. Thompson, A. U. Sylvester, and A. 
Benway; sheriff, A. W. Nightingill; probate judge, A. W. Olliver. Com. of 
Lyon and Churchill counties, E. B. Zabriskie, Rufus E. Trask, and S. S. 
Buckland; co. clerk, Daniel Kendrick; sur., Francis Tagliabue; sheriff, J. 
Martin Reese; dist. atty., Frank H. Kennedy; treas., John Irvine; rec., John 
G. Shirts. Com. of Ormsby co., H. F. Rice, J. S. Albro, and F. A. Trifle; 
co. clerk, Parker H. Pierce; sheriff, William L. Marley; sur., James S. Law- 
son; probate judge, E. C. Dixon; dist. atty, Dighton Corson; treas., Philip 
Stoner. Com. of Story co., H. G. Blasdel, Charles E. Olney, and Israel 
Knox; co. clerk, Nelson W. Winton; probate judge, Leonard W. Ferris; 
sheriff, William H. Howard; rec., H. G. Blaisdell; sur., Seneca H. Marlette. 
Com. of Lake co., William Wetherlo, William H. Naightley, and Daniel 
Murray. They failed to provide for the election as intended, and the county 
was not organized until the following year. Com. of Washoe co., F. H. 
Burroughs, H. F. Pierce, and C. C. Smith; sheriff, Charles C. Smith; co. 
clerk, B. E. Shannon; rec., Isaac Mearsj supt schools, J. W, North, Neo, 
Jour, Council and House, 1861, 


dary. In the case of Esmeralda, it was divided be- 
t\v een two jurisdictions. In March 1861 the California 
legislature organized the county of Mono, with the 
town of Aurora for the county seat, assuming that 
the bounds of that state reached eastward beyond this 
then thriving place. The act creating the county 
provided for the election in June of a full set of county 
officials/ 3 except a judge, who was to be appointed by 
the governor, and it was attached to Tuolumne for 
representative purposes. 

Before the arrival of Governor Nye and the organi- 
zation of the territory of Nevada, the election had 
taken place, and Mono county, with a full list of 
officers, most of whom resided in Aurora, was exer- 
cising jurisdiction over the Esmeralda mining district 
of western Utah. 44 

An appropriation of $10,000 had been made by the 
California legislature for the expenses of a boundary 
commission to act in concert with the United States 
surveyor in locating the east line of the state, and the 
Nevada legislature appropriated one tenth of this sum 
for a similar purpose, which circumstances deterred 
the territorial authorities from pressing the matter of 
county jurisdiction; and although an act "to legalize 
the records of Esmeralda mining district " was intro- 
duced in the council, it was not passed. The question 
of ownership was still unsettled in 1862, no complete 
organization of Esmeralda county having taken place 
before the annual election in September ; 45 but never- 
theless, at this election representatives were chosen 
from Esmeralda county to the legislature of Nevada, 
while Aurora was doing duty as the county seat of 

43 Commissioners of Mono county appointed by the Cal. legislature were 
P. J. Hickey, W. M. Boring, E. W. Casey, C. N. Noteware, L. A. Brown, 
G. W. Bailey, and T. A. Lane. These provided for the election in June. 

44 The officers elected were, for co. clerk, R. M. Wilson; sheriff, N F. 
Scott; dist. atty, R. E. Phelps; assessor, J. H. Smith; treas.; William 
Feast; sur., L. Tuttle; supervisors, E. Green, Charles R. Worland, and J. 
S. Schulz. The judge appointed by the governor of Cal. was J. A. Moultrie. 

45 Judge Moultrie had resigned and J. C. Baldwin had been appointed 
in his place. Sheriff Scott had been killed by Indians and G. W, Bailey 
appointed to the vacancy. 


two counties, one in California and one in Nevada. 
This duplex government continued, to the great 
annoyance of the inhabitants, for all the years during 
which the boundary was in dispute. Lake county 
was similarly situated, being partly claimed by Plumas 
county, California, with the difference that in this 
instance Nevada failed to substantiate her claim to 
the Honey Lake valley, which was supposed to be 
within the territorial limits. It had been the home 
of Isaac Hoop, the governor elected by the people of 
western Utah in 1859, and was made the 9th council 
district for the election of members of the first Nevada 
legislature by Governor Nye. The commissioners 
appointed in 1861 did not provide for an election in 
January, nor were county officers chosen before Sep- 
tember 1862, the county remaining unorganized until 
after the second meeting of the legislature. 46 The 
representative, C. Adams, did not take his seat, and 
Councilman Hoop, who held over from 1861, was the 
last member from Honey Lake valley. But the 
legislature in 1862 fully organized the county, chang- 
ing the name to Hoop, the governor commissioning 
the officers elected in September, appointing a pro- 
bate judge, John S. Ward, and ordering a special 
term of court to be held in January 1863. This 
assumption of the control of municipal affairs in that 
region brought on a conflict with arms, as I have 
mentioned * 7 in a former part of this chapter. Before 

46 The officers chosen were W. H. Naileigh, sheriff, H. J. Barette, clerk; 
Z. N. Spaulding, recorder. Frank Drake, treas.; E. A. Townsend, assessor; 
Henry E. Arnold, collector; E. R. Nichols, sur.; A. A. Holmes, school sup.; 
Franklin Strong, S. J. Hill, and J. C. Wimple, commissioners. 

47 The trouble began by the judge of Plumas county enjoining from hold- 
ing court a justice of the peace of Roop county, who failing to obey was fined 
$100. The sheriff and probate judge of Roop co. were next ordered to cease 
the exercise of authority in the disputed district, failing of which the Plumas 
co. sheriff arrested them. The .citizens then arose and recaptured the 
prisoners. A few days later the Plumas co. sheriff, E. H. Pierce, reappeared 
with a posse of between 100 and 200, and a piece of artillery. He arrested 
the judge and sheriff a second time, and again they were rescued. Open war 
ensued on the 15th of Feb.. 1863. The Roop co. forces fortified in a log 
building, and the Plumas co. forces in a barn near by, one of the latter being 
severely wounded by the Roop co. men. The battle then grew hot, resulting 
in the wounding of two of the latter, when an armistice was at length agreed 


the final survey, which left all of Hoop county which 
was populated or desirable in California, another elec- 
tion had been held in that district, but the persons 
chosen never were permitted to hold office/ 8 and Hoop 
was in 1864 attached to Washoe county for judicial 

By the action of the first territorial legislature the 
whole of Carson county was eliminated, and the 
records ordered to be delivered to the secretary of 
the territory for safe keeping. The expenses of the 
session were estimated at $35,000, and congress had 
appropriated but $20,000 in a depreciated currency/' 
The members were paid three dollars a day, and three 
dollars for every twenty miles' travel to and from the 
capital. The per diem was obviously below the actual 
expense of living in Nevada at this period, but it 
might be assumed without fear of contradiction that 
twenty-four legislators, with the necessary clerks and 
officers, could have subsisted themselves comfortably 
for the forty-nine days they were in session upon 
$12,000, the lowest sum to which the depreciated 
appropriation had fallen. Compare the expenses of 
the first Nevada legislature with those of the first 
Oregon legislature, and we have the difference between 
the views of a mining and an agricultural population. 
The salaries of the federal officers were entirely in- 
adequate to their expenses, 50 and these the legislature 

upon by the leaders of the two factions, who promised to withdraw their men 
from the field, leaving it neutral, and to report to their respective governors, 
requesting them to find some peaceable way of settling their difficulties. 
Frank Drake was chairman of the conference, H. W. Jennings secretary, 
and the two sheriff's, Pierce and Naileigh, principals to the agreement which 
was entered into and a copy forwarded to the governors of Cal. and Nev. I 
have already stated that they immediately appointed a commission to survey 
the boundary, and the results. 

48 The officers elected in 1863 were William V. Kingsbury, councilman; 
John C. Partridge, representative; and H. L. Partridge member of the con- 
stitutional convention. 

"Nev. Camp. Laws, i. 239; 8. F. Bulletin, Nov. 13, 1861; Cong. Globe, 
1861, app., 30. Says Clemens: They levied taxes to the amount of $30,000 
or $40,000; and ordered expenditures to the extent of about a million.' Once 
in a fit of economy a member proposed to abolish the chaplain and save $3 
per day to the country. Roughing It, 191-2. 

^Report of Nye to Seward, in Sen. Ex. Doc., 36, v., 37th cong. 2d sess.; 
Parkers Letter Book, MS., 43-5, 98. 


might have been justified in increasing had there been 
a population sufficient to pay the tax. But no such 
population existed, and the career of extravagance 
entered upon in 1861 entailed upon the state a debt 
from which it was not free twenty years later. 61 

With regard to the seat of government, there was 
not in the case of Nevada that strife concerning its 
location which distracted several of the Pacific group 
of territories. By act of November 25, 18^1, Carson 
City was declared the permanent seat of government, 
and the city plaza was dedicated to the use of the 
public buildings. While the bill was pending a peti- 
tion was presented by citizens of Virginia City ask- 
ing that the capital might be located there. Silver 
City also asked for it, but it properly remained away 
from the mining district. 52 

Governor Nye, by proclamation on the 17th of July, 
1861, divided the territory into three judicial districts, 
{he 1st district to embrace all that portion of Nevada 
lying west of the 1 1 8th meridian ; the 2d district all 
between the 118th and Il7fch meridians; and the 3d 
district all east of the 1 17th. To the first he assigned 
Judge Mott, to the 2d Judge Turner, and to the 3d 
Judge Jones. If Nye had been content to give Mott 
all the populated territory west of the 119th meridian 
there would still have been left Ragtown and Aurora 
west of that line for Turner, though there was noth- 
ing east of them for Jones except overland stage 
stations. Once a year, according to the organic act, 
the three judges, or a majority of them, were compelled 
to hold a term of court at the seat of government, and 
on this occasion at least the two supernumeraries had 
the privilege of occupying the judicial bench with Mott, 

51 The'number of senators in the first state legislature was 17, and assem- 
blymen 36. The state constitution limited the number of members to 75. 
Nev. Laws, 1864-5, 61. 

52 In 1864 a company laid out a town on the flat south from Gold Hill and 
called it American City, offering the territory $50,000 to remove the capital 
to that location 


who perhaps was assigned to the whole inhabited part 
of the country because he was first to arrive. 

That his presence was required is undoubted, as 
the governor called for a second term, on the 21st of 
August, * ' to meet the necessities and wants of the 
people." 55 A part of these wants arose from the great 
number of mining suits which were brought during 
the scramble for claims on the Comstock, but crimi- 
nal cases were by no means infrequent. On the 18th 
of November Deputy marshal John L. Blackburn, an 
excellent officer, was assassinated while attempting 
the arrest of a criminal by William Mayfielcl, one of 
the gang to which the criminal belonged. 5 * A reward 
of $3,000 was offered by citizens of Carson for the 
capture of May field. So great was public indignation 
that the clergyman who performed the funeral ser- 
vices called upon the people to secure the murderer, 
and volunteered to assist in the pursuit. Mayfield 
was arrested on the 21st, and placed in irons in the 
log building which did duty as a jail at Carson. 
Threats of lynching were openly uttered, and it was 
observed that a large number of " secessionists, gam- 
blers, and sympathizers with the murderer" were 
gathering in Carson from the neighboring towns, so 
that the chances were divided between rescue and 
summary hanging. The governor visited the jail in 
person several times during the night, finding it neces- 
sary to disarm a former deputy of the marshal, and 
to send to Fort Churchill for a military guard, a lieu- 
tenant and fifteen men arriving next day, whose pres- 
ence, it was thought, averted a general jail delivery. 
The desperate social element was not so large as it 
afterward was in Idaho and Montana, but it possessed 
the advantage of being thoroughly organized, as it 
was in those territories, and was a dangerous force to 

53 Nye's Report in Sen. Ex. Doc., 36, v. 37th cong. 2d sess. 

54 Blackburn had killed one of these men in self-defence, in Nov. 1859, 
while acting as watchman, as well as deputy marshal, in Carson. Doubtless 
he was marked. Blackburn was formerly a resident of Dutch Flat, CaL 
Parker' s Letter-Boole, MS., 36-8. 


encounter. By its assistance May field escaped from 
prison and fled to Montana, where he was killed in a 
drunken brawl. The condition of society was chaotic. 
The population consisted chiefly of men, who gath- 
ered in the mining towns, one third of the whole popu- 
lation in 1860 being at Virginia City, 55 where very few 
women of the respectable class were to be found. 56 
Gold Hill, which was a suburb of Virginia City, had 
something over 600 inhabitants, and only fourteen 
women. Silver City was a place of about the same 
importance, these three towns containing over half of 
all the inhabitants of the territory. Before the or- 
ganization of Nevada, the following year, the popu- 

65 The number of white male and female inhabitants in 1860 was 6,102 of 
the former, and 710 of the latter; total of colored, 45; number of dwellings, 
2,037; hotels 19, boarding houses 29, restaurants 15, saloons 63, stores 109, 
barbers 17, carpenters 118, teamsters 131, blacksmiths 54, boot-makers 22, 
jewelers 4, printers 6, physicians 19, dentists 4, livery-stables 14, harness- 
makers 1, upholsterers 10, tinners 11, painters 9, school teachers 3, tailors 4, 
brewers 9, milliners 2, gunsmiths 1, speculators 21, lawyers 5, bakers 28. 
The majority of the population were miners; a few were agriculturists and 
stock-raisers. About one third of the whole, were of foreign birth, Irish, 
German, and English, with a few of all other nationalities. 

56 Total population of Virginia City in 1860 was 2,390, only 118 of whom 
were women. It was incorporated under the laws of Utah, in Feb. 1861. 
The first board of trustees, elected in March, consisted of N. W. Winton 
pres., J. C. Bateman sec., George H. Shaw, Joseph Scates, and Louis Feusier, 
city treas., C. P. Robinson; marshal, D. Bailey; justice of the peace, Joseph 
F. Atwill. Kelly's Nev. Dir., 1862, 108. The editor of the Territorial En- 
terprise is the author of the following reminiscences concerning Virginia 
City: The first child born in that town was Virginia Tilton, born April 1, 
1860, named in honor of the then new mining camp. The parents were 
John H. and Levina S. Tilton, who immigrated from the east to the mines 
in 1859. From Sept. to March they lived in their wagon, after which they 
occupied a house built by the father, whose first employment was carrying 
mortar for the Ophir office, while Mrs Tilton earned money by sewing. The 
first school was taught by Miss Downing, on South C street, near Taylor, in 
1860. Miss Gregory opened a school subsequently on D street. The first 
public school was organized in October 1862, the school-house being on the 
site of the present third ward school-house. Mr Melville was principal, 
Miss Fida Collins assistant, and John A. Collins supt. Only 17 children 
were in attendance at the first term. A year afterward there were 360. 
The first religious services were held in 1861, by an episcopal minister of the 
diocese of Cal. In the spring of 1862 the American Church Missionary so- 
ciety sent Franklin S. Rising of New York to organize a church. The first 
death was that of a young daughter of Lyman Jones, who was buried in a 
cemetery near the Ophir works. The first ball was held on Christmas eve, 
1860, at which the following women were present : Mesdames Dirks, Paxton, 
Tilton, Bryan, Blair, Flick, Hastings, Dill, Howard, Adams, Ross, R. J. 
Smith, Howard, C. Barstow, and Leonara Dirks. A sleigh was made by 
Mr Whipple expressly to carry these persons to the ball. 


lation of Virginia had increased to 3,284, and of Gold 
Hill to 1,294. 

Carson City, on account of its more agreeable cli- 
mate and favorable situation, was expected and in- 
tended to be the business centre of Carson valley. 
While mine owners bought and sold and speculated in 
mining ground at Virginia and Gold Hill, speculators 
in town lots bought and sold, and built, and planned 
the future metropolis, which it was soon found would 
go whither the gold was, in spite of their efforts. Yet 
Carson City had made a good beginning in 1860. It 
had an able and flourishing newspaper, 57 the Territorial 

67 The first newspapers in western Utah were published in manuscript, as 
early as 1854. The Scorpion, edited by S. A. Kinsey, was published at 
Genoa; the Gold Canon Switch, edited by Joseph Webb, was published at 
Johntown. They were humorous and satirical in their character, and fur- 
nished amusement, if not any great amount of superior journalism. On the 
18th of Dec., 1858, the Territorial Enterprise was started at Genoa, by William 
L. Jernegan and A. James. It was removed to Carson City on the 5th of 
Nov. The Enterprise contains a complete history of Nevada since its organi- 
zation, and has been conducted from time to time by able writers. In 1860 
it was a 20-column weekly, printed on a sheet 21 by 28 inches. Jonathan 
Williams and J. B. Wollard purchased and removed it to Virginia City in 
Nov. Its place in Carson City was immediately filled by the Silver Age, 
another weekly, published by John C. Lewis and Sewall. It was 24 by 36 
inches in size, and union in politics. In Sept. 1871 it was issued as a daily, 
16 by 20 inches. The Silver Age was favored by the legislature with the first 
public printing, to which I find reference in Nev. Jour. House, 1861, 85. 
This journal was also sold to John Church, S. A. Glessner, and J. L. Laird, 
who removed it in Nov. 1862 to Virginia City, and changed its name on the 
4th to the Daily Union. In the autumn of 1868 it was again sold to W. J. 
Forbes, who called it The Trespass. Not long after, John I. Ginn and Robert 
E. Lowery took the stock and published the Safeguard for a few months. It 
was then removed to White Pine co. by J. J. Ayres and C. A. V. Putnam, 
who published the Inland Empire. Finally Gov. L. Pv. Bradley pur- 
chased the stock and sold it again te Holmes C. Patrick, who took it back to 
Cal., whence it came. It served afterward to print the Stockton Republican, 
the Narrow Gauge, and the Daily Courier, respectively, subsequently to which 
in 1874, Laura De Force Gordon purchased the remains of the plant, and pub- 
lished with it the Daily Leader for two years, after which the press was taken 
to Oakland. 

The 3d paper published in Carson City was the Daily Independent, started 
July 27, 1863. It was a 24-column sheet, 21 by 27 inches, published by W. 
W. Ross, and strongly union in sentiment. Israel Crawford became business 
manager in August, when 4 columns were added to the size of the paper, and 
in Oct. Crawford purchased the establishment. A company consisting of G. 
W. Calwell, George A. Eades, Andrew Maute, and Charles J. Miller, pur- 
chased the Independent, Feb. 28, 1864, and published it as it first appeared. 
Within a month Crawford bought it back, and it expired Oct. 11, 1864. 

On the 27th of Aug., previous to the suspension of Crawford's paper, H. 
W. Johnson & Co. began the publication of the Daily Evening Post. The 
press was one on which had been previously published the Message at Gold 
Hill, by an association of printers under the firm name of George Wt Bloor & 


Enterprise, a water company, 58 a seminary of learning, 

Co. The Post was 23 by 32 inches, and contained 28 columns. John C. 
Lewis was employnd to edit it until Oct., when he purchased and changed 
it to a morning paper, and as such published it till Jan. 1865, when it sus- 
pended. In the following Dec. Lewis started a weekly journal called the 
Eastern Slope at Washoe City on the Post material, continuing the publica- 
tion until 1868, when he again suspended, removing his press to Reno in July, 
where he printed the Crescent until 1875, when he sold to J. C. Dow, who 
commenced the publication of the Daily Nevada Democrat, which was fol- 
lowed by the Reno Daily Record. In 1878 the press was again removed to 
Bodie to print the News. 

The 5th paper started at Carscn was the Daily State Democrat, by A. C. 
Ellis, Oct. 25, 1864. It was a campaign paper, 17 by 24 inches, containing 
20 columns, and supported McClellan for the presidency. It suspended at 
the end of the campaign, leaving the capital without a newspaper. 

On the 16th of May, 1866, E. F. McElwain, J. Barrett, and Marshall 
Robinson started the Carson Daily Appeal, a republican journal, the first 
number of which announced the capture of the rebel chief, Jefferson Davis. 
Henry R. Mighels was at first only the salaried editor, but soon became 
joint proprietor in place of Barrett. In 1870 the paper was sold to C. L. 
Perkins and H. C. Street, the same who fought the newspaper battles of 
secession in Idaho. The politics of the paper were changed to democratic, 
and the name to Daily State Register. In September 1872 Mighels repur- 
chased the office, and issued the New Daily Appeal, republican in. politics, on 
a new press. William Witherell and D. R. Sessions were employed on the 
paper as local editors, and soon Robinson became again a partner in the 
ownership. Several changes were made in the size of the paper, and it re- 
sumed its old name of Carson Daily Appeal in 1874, and in 1877 it was 
changed to Mommy Appeal. On the 27th of May 1879, death deprived this 
journal of its inspiring spirit. 

Henry R. Mighels was born in Norway, Maine, Nov. 3, 1830, his father 
being a physician and a learned naturalist. Henry received an academic 
education at Portland, and removed with his father to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 
1849, whence he came to Cal. in 1850. Possessing artistic talent, he engaged 
in the business of decorative painting, but in 1856 took the more congenial po- 
sition of editor of the Butte Record at Oroville and later of the local columns 
of the Sacramento Bee. He was the first editor of the Marysville Appeal, and 
established his growing reputation on that paper. On the breaking out of 
the civil war he went east to enlist in the union army. He was commissioned 
asst adj. -gen. with the rank of capt. on the staff of Gen. Sturgis. He was in 
eight battles, and wounded in June 1864, from the effects of which he was 
disabled for duty and honorably discharged the following Nov. In 1866 he 
married Nellie Verrill, also of Maine, by whom he had 4 children. A short 
time before his death, being in broken health, he adopted the advice of his 
friends and collected for publication some of the morceaux which had dropped 
from his pen in his journalistic experience, which were published under the 
title of Sage-Brush Leaves in a volume of 335 pages; San Francisco, 1879. 

The semi- weekly Nevada Tribune was first published at Carson City July 
16, 1872 by E. J. Parkinson and Joseph McClure. It was changed to an 
evening paper the following year. The Daily Evening Herald was started 
August 9, 1875, by Wells, Drury, & Co., with C. A. V. Putnam editor. The 
Carson Daily Times, republican, was first issued March 18, 1880, by Edward 
Niles. It suspended in 1881. The Daily Index, published by Marshall Rob- 
inson, commenced its existence Dec. 25, 1880. 

58 Organized Feb. 9, 1860, with Wellington Stewart prest; Thomas J, 
Moore, supt; John Leach, sec.; and William De Kays, treas. The legislature 
of 1861 granted the right to lay water-pipes for supplying Carson City, to 
J. J. Musser, Jonathan Wild, Sarah A. Blackburn, and John G. Kelly, and 
their associates. A gas company was also chartered by this legislature for 


founded by Miss H. K. Clapp, 69 a telegraph office, 
stage lines, and other adjuncts of comfortable and re- 
fined living. The plenitude of money in the early 
days of the Comstock lode's development, while it 
made possible a rapid realization of unwonted luxu- 
ries, was in Nevada, as it always is, a temptation to 
vicious habits, and the occasion of glaring absurdities. 60 
In Virginia might be found, notwithstanding statutes 

illuminating Carson City, J. J. Musser and George Lewis receiving the 

59 Miss Clapp was formerly a teacher in Ypsilanti, Mich., and very en- 
thusiastic in her profession. She was one of the first women to take up her 
residence at Carson City. Associated with her in the Sierra Seminary were 
Miss E. C. Babcock, and Mrs E. G. Cutler, who with the principal did much 
to give tone to Carson society. Nevers' Nevada Pioneers, MS., 3. 

00 There came to Carson valley in 1855, with Orson Hyde's company from 
Salt Lake, Alexander Cowan and wife. The maiden name of Mrs Cowan 
was Eilley Orrum, and she was born in the highlands of Scotland. At the 
age of 15 years she married Stephen Hunter, who immigrated with her to 
Salt Lake in 1850, where he, entering into polygamous relations, caused her 
to leave him. In 1853 she married Alexander Cowan, with whom she re- 
moved to Carson valley. She kept a boarding-house for miners in Gold 
Canon in the winter of 1 855, and the following summer with her husband 
took a land claim in Washoe valley. When Orson Hyde and the Mormons 
were recalled to Salt Lake, Mrs Cowan refused to return, preferring to re- 
main at her farm in summer and keep boarding-house at the mines in the 
winter. In 1858 she married a miner named Lemuel S. Bowers, an illiterate 
Irishman, who owned 10 feet on the then undiscovered Comstock ledge, 
alongside of which she also owned 10 feet, for which she had paid $100. 
Whor, it came to be known what lay underneath their claims, the Bowers 
became famous alike for their riches and their ignorance of the uses of wealth. 
But being urged by the mischievous miners to make the tour of Europe, they 
set out in 1861 to perform this pilgrimage, having first contracted for the 
erection and furnishing of a mansion on their land in Washoe valley, at a 
cost of $407,000. Before leaving Virginia they gave a farewell entertain- 
ment to their friends at the International hotel, on which occasion Bowers 
remarked that he had money to 'throw at the birds;' yet Sandy, as' he was 
familiarly called, was as innocent of boasting and as kindly intentioned as 
ever was Dickens' Boffin of Boffin's Bower. They remained three years 
abroad, and probably gave some color to the popular English prejudice ^ 
against rich Americans, although there was nothing American about them//Lrj> p 
but their money. Foitr^years after their return, 1868, Bowers died, owning / $ t 
an estate valued at $638,600. The business of her mine and mill being left 
to the care of a superintendent, Mrs Bowers soon found herself hopelessly 
in debt. Her fine mansion became a public resort, and the brave Scotch 
woman, with so much that is dramatic in her life, supported herself in her 
old age by telling fortunes. Reno State Journal, Jan. 9, 1875, and Jan. 5, 

In strong contrast to this phase of Nevada life was that of a Scotch miner 
who made himself an abode in an abandoned tunnel near Silver City, and 
excavated for himself a number of apartments. A vein of gold-bearing quartz 
ran along the roof of his dwelling and he had silver ore for his door-sill, and 
silver in the walls of his living rooms. The eccentric owner had a good 
library, and being of a serious turn of mind sometimes held religious services 
in his cave dwelling. Grass Valley Union, July 28, 1870. 


to the contrary, every form of vice, and all kinds of 
degrading amusements. On Saturday nights the 
underground population came to the surface ; and 
while business houses were closed on Sunday, bar- 
rooms, gambling-dens, dance-houses, fourth-rate the- 
atres, and bagnios were liberally patronized. 61 Duel- 
ling was not uncommon, but a bill introduced in the 
house at the first session of the legislature legalizing 
it was rejected. Street fights and murders were also 
frequent, though it was usually the organized, migra- 
tory ruffians who perpetrated robberies and murders, 
and not the residents of the territory. California as 
well as the Mississippi states had contributed largely 
to this undesirable condition of the body politic. 

Probably the first federal judges would have been 
able to hold their own against the criminal element in 
Nevada ; but opposed to the combined influence of the 
capital and legal talent of California and Nevada, as 
they sometimes were, in important mining suits, they 
were powerless. Statutes regarding the points at 
issue did not exist, and the questions involved were 
largely determined by the rules and regulations of 
mining districts, and the application of common law. 
Immense fees were paid to able and oftentimes un- 
principled lawyers, and money lavished on suborned 
witnesses. As I have explained in the previous chap- 
ter, the community and the courts were divided upon 
the one ledge and two ledge theories, which nothing 
could determine except actual demonstration, and 
demonstration often depended upon the settlement of 
the suit. 

61 Jacob Klein, born in Alsace, France, in 1831, by trade a baker, who 
immigrated to America at the age of 19 years, and came to Cal. in 1853, re- 
moved to Nev. in 1860, settled at Carson, and erected a brewery. In a 
manuscript sketch of the Founders of Carson City he describes society in the 
Nevada towns at this period, and for several years following, as bad in the 
extreme. He sold beer in 1860 for $3 per gallon, which fact covered a mul- 
titude of sins in his customers. See Wright's Big Bonanza, 354-83, 392-6; 
Nevers* Nevada Pioneers, MS., 2; Gold Hill News, Oct. 14, 1863, and May 
16, 1873; New York Times, Dec. 1863; 8. F. Bulletin, Sept. 26, 1863; 8. F. 
AUa; May 7, I860; Price's Two Americas, 250-7; Virginia Chronicle, Dec. 
5, and 18, 1876, and March 5, 1877; Nev. Scraps 480-1. 


In the case of the Chollar-Potosf legislation, Judge 
Mott, in whose district all these suits fell, was accused 
of entertaining the belief which favored the Chollar 
company, as was also Chief-justice Turner. Mott was, 
therefore, worried or bribed into resigning, with no 
other object than to procure the elevation to the bench 
of James W. North, first surveyor-general of the ter- 
ritory, and a lawyer who was known to hold opinions 
of geology adverse to the Chollar company. North, 
who, notwithstanding appearances, was an honest man, 
found himself informed by telegraph September 14, 
1863, of his appointment as judge of the 1st district, 
and immediately opened court. After several months 
of tedious litigation he decided in favor of the Potosi 
company. It was now the turn of the Chollar com- 
pany to attack the judiciary, and, as it was known 
that the chief justice was on their side, they endeav- 
ored to get a majority on the bench by gaining over 
the judge of the 3d district, P. B. Locke, who had 
been appointed in the place of Jones, resigned. The 
appeal to the full bench of judges was argued on the 
28th of April, 1864, followed the same evening by 
attempts of the Potosi people to influence the deci- 
sion. 62 The excitement ran high, and Locke was se- 
verely and justly denounced for behavior unbecoming 
a man in his position. Contrary to the expectations 
of the corruptionists, however, North filed his decision 
May 5th, with the concurrence of Locke, affirming 
his former judgment, and debarring the introduction, 
in a suit for ejectment against the Potosi company, 
of any damaging evidence based on the old titles of 
location of the Chollar company. Bnt the advocates 
of the latter company used means to induce Locke to 
make an addendum to his decision, which reopened 
the hearing of evidence. Being again besieged by 
the Potosi company, he ordered the addendum struck 
off the file. This uncertain and unjudicial behavior 

62 Territorial Enterprise, July 26, 1864; Gold Hill News, Aug. 3 and 4, 


caused both parties to express indignation against 
Locke ; and as interested persons desired to get North 
off the bench, great pressure was brought to bear 
against all the judges. 

Among those most anxious to unseat North was 
William M. Stewart, a young lawyer from the inte- 
rior of California, who was proving himself of great 
value to certain mining companies, who retained him 
to look after their interests for $200,000 a year, 63 
from which the measure of his talents and his ener- 
gies may be estimated. Stewart's methods were 
sharply criticised by those opposed to him ; the state- 
ment that he was not always over-scrupulous was 
doubtless inspired by the fact that he was generally 
successful, which was the basis of his claim to large 

On the 22d of August, 1864, North resigned, to 
avoid the scandal of which he was the subject. On 
the same day the chief justice followed his example, 
being persuaded to it by a "private conference" 6 * with 
Stewart. Immediately after this triumph, the mem- 
bers of the bar invited the remaining judge to a meet- 
ing, and asked him to resign, which he was forced to 
do. 65 Thus the whole judiciary was removed in a 
day by the bar of Nevada, under Stewart's lead. 66 
Some of the public journals professed to believe that 

63 Stewart was born in N. Y. state Aug. 9, 1827, and came to Cal. via 
Panama in 1850. He mined in the Coyote claims at Buckeye hill, discovered 
the Eureka diggings in the autumn of that year, and projected the Grizzly 
ditch which supplied them with water. He built the first saw-mill on Shady 
creek in 1851. In 1852 he began to read law with J. R. McConnell at Ne- 
vada City. The same year, such was his progress and talent, he was ap- 
pointed district attorney, and elected to the same office the following year. 
In 1854 he was appointed attorney-general of Cal., and married a daughter 
of ex-gov. Foote of Mississippi. He continued to study law and mining until 
he went to Virginia City, where he made and lost several fortunes. 

64 This is Stewart's own statement. But it is certain that there was a 
petition signed by nearly 4,000 names published in the Territorial Enterprise, 
asking the judges to resign. The petition probably emanated from the same 

65 Stewart's account of the affair is that Locke hesitated to obey, and 
turned to him, saying, * Mr Stewart, what do you think I ought to do ? ' 
' Do ! ' replied the lawyer gruffly, ' resign, and resign now. ' He was obeyed. 

66 Territorial Enterprise, Aug. 23, 1864; 8. F. Bulletin, Aug. 23, 1864. 


the overthrow of the judges was a "blessing to Ne- 
vada, as it would stop litigation for a time, during 
which the miners could go on with their work with- 
out fear of being enjoined but nothing was said about 
the benefit it might be to drive out the lawyers, who 
took hundreds of feet of the best mines to keep litiga- 
tion going, and used hundreds of thousands of dollars 
of their clients' money to corrupt whoever stood in 
their way. Whatever may be said of the Nevada 
bench at this time, I know of no more trying position 
than that of an appointed judge. 




AT the territorial election of September 3, 1862, 
Gordon N. Mott was chosen delegate to congress. 1 
Twenty-six representatives and five councilmen were 
elected to legislate for the people. They changed the 
time of meeting for succeeding legislatures to the sec- 
ond Tuesday of January in each year, granted numer- 
ous franchises, authorized the creation of a jail fund 
in Ormsby county, increased the compensation of the 
federal judges, authorized the preservation of files of 
all newspapers, provided a contingent fund for the 
territory, created the county of Lander, amended the 
common-school law passed at the first session, created 
a prison board, and performed the usual amount of 
miscellaneous law-making 2 of no particular interest to 
the historian. It should be noticed, however, as re- 
lating to what has gone before, that at this session 
the federal judges were reassigned to their districts, 
the chief justice remaining in the 2d district; Jones 
was removed to the 1st district, such assignment not 
to take effect until Mott should have resigned, or until 

1 .T. J. Musser, John D. Winters, and J. H. Ralston were the opposing 
candidates, their strength being in the order here given. 
*Nev. Laws, 1862, 15, 65, 73, 76, 94, 53, 110, 115, and 127. 


the 4th of March, 1863; from which it would appear 
that the legislature contemplated the resignation of 
Mott, and invited it. 

In the matter of mining laws, little was attempted. 
By one act mining claims were made thereafter trans- 
ferable by the same formalities as other real estate, 
but conveyances previously made, "with or without 
seals, recorded or unrecorded," were to be held valid 
if done in conformity to the "lawful local rules" of 
the several mining districts, and by these rules the 
right to contested claims should be decided in court. 
By another act companies might sue for injuries sus- 
tained by the mismanagement of adjacent companies, 
and any judgment obtained might become a lien upon 
the property of the judgment debtor, either party 
having the right to apply to the courts for an order 
for a survey. By a third act corporations might sue 
individual members for assessments. By this law it 
was easy for the rich members to "freeze out" the 
poorer ones, and take their shares for assessments 
made by a majority of the whole company. An act 
to provide for forming corporations was an attempt to 
compel mining companies owning in Nevada to keep 
their principal offices and books within the limits of 
Nevada, under a penalty, if refusing, after six months, 
of losing their standing in the courts of the territory. 
This act was not approved by congress. 3 On the 20th 
of December an act was approved to frame a consti- 
tution and state government, and an election of dele- 
gates ordered to take place on the first Wednesday in 
September 1863, an appropriation of $3,000 being 
made to pay its expenses.* The vote of the people 

3 Latham of Cal. procured the disapproval by congress of this act beiore 
the 6 months had passed. Sen. Jour., 220, 402, 37th cong. 3d sess.; Acts, 99, 
37th cong. 3d sess., Misc. Doc,, 11, 37th cong. 3d sess.: S. F. Bulletin, Oct. 
11, 1861. 

*The councilmen of the 2d territorial legislature were: John W. Pugh, 
Esmeralda co.; Ira M. Luther, Douglas co.; Thomas Hannah, A. W. Pray, 
and J. L. Van Bokkelen, Storey co. ; Isaac Roop, Roop co. ; Gaven D. Hall, 
and John C. Lewis, Ormsby co.; R. M. Ford and Henry M. Steele, Lyon co.; 
James H. Sturtevant and Solomon Geller, Washoe co.; M. S. Thompson, 
Humboldt co. John H. Pugh was president, George W. Hopkins, secretary, 
HIST. NEV. 12 


for or against state government was provided for in 
the same act. If they desired state government, the 
delegates would meet at Carson on the 2d of No- 

The result of the election showed a vote of 8,162, 
and a majority for a state constitution of 5,150. So 
strong an indication of popular sentiment inspired 
confidence in the minds of the delegates-elect that 
the instrument they should prepare would be accepted, 
and they accordingly put forth their best endeavors 
to create a constitution which should meet with favor 
and at the same time serve their own political pur- 
poses. But in this last attempt they defeated the 
main object. The constitution, as framed, provided 
that the offices created by it should be filled at the 
same time that the vote was taken on the instrument 
itself. This naturally led to opposition from all who 
desired to be nominated to some office, and were not. 
They would not vote for the men who were in the 
places they coveted; and by refusing to vote they 
defeated the constitution, and the plans of those who 
had expected to carry out their designs by attaching 
them to the success of the constitution. The union 
party, which had heretofore carried everything be- 
fore it in Nevada, exhibiting the most intense loy- 
alty, was now divided by factions on account of offices, 
and the seceders united with the anti-union demo- 
cratic party to prevent the adoption of the organic act. 

Foremost among the seceders were William M. 
Stewart and A. W. Baldwin. The former used all 

George L. Palmer asst sec., George Madeira sergeant-at-arms, Daniel R. Haw- 
kins messenger, Henry M. Lewis fireman. The representatives were: John 
H. Mills, James Drew Meagher, W. S. Mineer, J. G. Howard, J. Williams, 
M. N. Mitchell, E. R. Burke, and William H. Davenport of Storey co.; 
Theodore Winters, J. K. I.ovejoy, and R. W. Peekins of Washoe co.; W. H. 
Brumfield, A. Curry, and Aaron D. Treadway of Ormsby co. ; J. M. Ackley, 
John McDonald Jr, and John B. Winters, Lyon co.; Robert Fisher and 
Charles M. Tuttle, Douglas co.; William H. Clagett and A. J. Simmons of 
Humboldt co. ; Arthur M. Mekeel, John S. Ross, and J. M. Calder, Esmer- 
alda co. John H. Mills was speaker, William M. Gillespie chief clerk, 
Charles D. King asst clerk, John Bowman sergeant-at-arms, Charles T. 
Carter messenger, Charles Helm fireman, 


his powerful influence to enlist the mining population 
against the constitution, upon the pretext that it taxed 
mining property, the "poor miner's shafts and drifts 
and bed-rock tunnels." The phrase, honest miner, 
came to provoke a smile wherever heard, from the 
frequency and effect with which the great lawyer 
used it in his speeches. It was sufficient, with the 
political discord, to make abortive the work of the 
constitutional convention. 5 The split in the party 
appeared at the nominating convention which met at 
Carson in December, C. N. Note ware president, A. 
P. K. Safford secretary, to select candidates for the 
state offices. It was there that the regular party, 
under Thomas Fitch, the "silver-tongued," himself 
an aspirant for the office of state printer, had its first 
contest with the Stewart division. But it was at the 
polls 6 that they felt the weight of the opposition 
which overthrew them. 7 Of the nine newspapers four 
supported the opposition, 8 three of the four giving 
their support to the democratic party within a short 
period thereafter, and the fourth in 1867. 

5 The members of the constitutional convention of 1863 were William G. 
Alban, Nathaniel A. H. Ball, Charles H. Bryan, C. M. Brosnan, Samuel A. 
Chapin, John A. Collins, Levi Hite, Miles N. Mitchell, Joseph R. Plunkett, 
William M. Stewart, and James C. Corey, of Storey co. ; Frederick K. Bech- 
tel, Henry Conner, James Stark, L. O. Stearns, and Samuel Youngs, of Es- 
meralda; Edward B. Dorsey, George L. Gibson, J. Neely Johnson, John H. 
Kinkead, and Warren Wasson, of Ormsby; Frederick A. Ent, Edward C. 
Ing, John W. North, Charles S. Potter, Thomas B. Shamp, of Washoe; 
William Epler, W. R. Harrison, and A. W. Nightingill, of Humboldt; 
James W. Haines, C. N. Note ware, and James W. Small, of Douglas; Wil- 
liam B. Hickok, George A Hudson, Frank H. Kennedy, James B. Mo.Clure, 
and William H. Virden, of Lyon; Marcus D. Larrowe and James H. Ralston, 
of Lander. W. M. Gillespie was sec., A. J. Marsh and Amos Bowman re- 
porters, and H. M. Stow door-keeper. 

6 The vote stood, with Ormsby county left out, 2,157 for the constitution, 
and 8, 851 against it. 

7 The candidates put in nomination by the convention of December who 
received the greatest number of votes at the special election in January 1864, 
were John B. Winters congressman, M. N. Mitchell gov., M. S. Thompson 
lieut-gov., R. S. Mesick, M. D. Larrowe, J. B. Harmon, judges of sup. 
court, Orion C. Clemens sec. state, W. B. Hickok treas., E. A. Sherman 
controller, H. G. Worthington atty-gen., A. F. White supt of instructions; 
Alfred Helm clerk of sup. ct, G. W. Bloor state printer, H. M. Jones, 
William Hay don, T. M. Pawling dist judges. 

8 The opposition papers were the Virginia Union, controlled by Fitch; the 
Old Pah Ute , also of Virginia; and the Aurora Times, 


But though disappointed, the friends of state gov- 
ernment were not discouraged, a bill being introduced 
in the United States senate, in February following 
the January defeat, authorizing the people of Nevada 
to frame a state constitution, which was approved by 
the president in March, and was followed ^by a proc- 
lamation from Governor Nye calling for an election 
of delegates on the 6th of June 9 to a constitutional 
convention, to be held on the 4th of July at Carson 


City. The form of framing anew a state constitution 
was gone through with, the instrument being sub- 
stantially the same as the one rejected, except in the 

ITnionville, Ifumboldt, Register, May 14, 1864. Storey co., where the 
strongest opposition had prevailed, sent Nathaniel H. Ball, Cornelius M. 
Brosnan, Samuel A. Chapm, John H. Collins, Charles E. De Long, Jo^iah 
Earl, Thomas Fitch, Lloyd Frizell, Almon Hovey, Charles W. Tozer; Ormsby 
co. sent Israel Crawford, George L. Gibson, J. Neely Johnson, J. H. Kin- 
kead, and A. J. Lockwood; Humboldt co., James A. Banks, E. F. Dunne, 
and William Henry Jones; Washoe co., W. W. Belden, H. B. Brady, Gil- 
man N. Folsom, George A. Nourse, and James H. Sturtevant; Lyon co., J. 
S. Grossman, George A. Hudson, Francis H. Kennedy, and H. G. Parker; 
Esmeralda co., B. S. Mason, J. G. McClinton, D. Wellington, and William 
Wetherill; Lander co., E. A. Morse, J. H. Warwick, and R. H. Williams; 
Nye co., (created by the legislature of 1863-4), Francis M. Proctor and 
Francis Tagliabue; Churchill co., Nelson E. Murdock; Douglas co., J. W. 
Haines and Albert D. Hawley. Johnson was president, William M. Gilles- 
pie sec., Andrew Whitford assst sec., A. J. Marsh reporter, T. M. Carson 
Eerg.-at-arms, William E. Skeene door-keeper, George Richards page. 


matter of taxation, the new constitution exempting 
all property in mines and taxing only the products. 10 
Everything was put in order for adoption, even the 
seal of state, which represented the sun rising over 
mountains, an elevated railroad bridge supporting a 
train of cars, a quartz-mill on the right with a load of 
ore approaching it from the left, a plough and a sheaf 
of wheat in the middle foreground, and around the 
margin "Seal of the State of Nevada." The declara- 
tion of rights, and of the paramount powers of the 
federal government, were in the most liberal spirit, 
and of the most intense loyalty, there having been up 
to this time but one political party recognized, and 
that the loyal party. 

Battle-born, owing existence to an attack on the 
integrity of the nation, and paying for it with a moun- 
tain of precious metals, we should scarcely expect to 
find this new commonwealth disloyal. California in 
1861, while raising her regiments of volunteer infantry, 
received a company from Nevada. In 1862 the 3d 
regiment of California volunteers, under Colonel Con- 
nor, commanding the military district of Utah and 
Nevada, was stationed at the United States posts in 
Nevada, with headquarters at Fort Churchill. Con- 
nor issued an order, on taking possession, forbidding 
the utterance of traitorous sentiments, or threats 
against the loyal population; and though having now 
and then to put down disaffection by a show of force, 
he had little trouble in maintaining good order, the 
great majority everywhere being ready to give him 
assistance. In 1863, an order being received to raise 
a battalion of cavalry in Nevada, six companies were 
formed, consisting of 500 men, and six companies of 
infantry of about the same strength. 11 These volun- 

10 Nev. Laws, i. cxxvi.; Kinlcead's Nevada and A laska, MS., 4. 

11 The first officer mustered into the service was J. H. Matthewson, who 
opened a recruiting office at Gold Hill. He was commissioned Istlieut of Co. 
B., Nevada Cav. Vol., N. Baldwin, capt.; Co. A. being formed at the same 
time at Silver city, E. B. Zabriskie, capt. Baldwin became major of the 


teers, like those of California and Oregon, were enlisted 
with the promise of being sent to fight the battles of 
the union when they should be sufficiently well 
drilled ; but being needed on the frontier in subdu- 
ing hostile Indians, and suppressing incipient civil 
war, they never had the opportunity they craved. 
They remained and performed their less distinguished 
duty in Nevada and Utah. The militia organization 
was also made the subject of legislative care at every 
session. 12 

But it was in contributions of money, so much 
needed by the government and wounded soldiery, 
that Nevada most exhibited the people's patriotism. 
Besides providing by law for the payment of her 
quota of the war debt, the territory contributed 
$163,581.07 in currency to the sanitary fund between 
the years of 1862 and 1865." Independently of this 
was over $175,000, raised by one individual, R. C. 
Grid ley, who, from being an open disunionist, was 
transformed, in the performance of this charity, into 
a loyal citizen. 14 Nor were the legislators less mind- 
battalion, and was placed in command at Fort Bridger. Zabriskie could have 
had the position, but preferred to remain with his company. H. Dalton was 
recruiting capt. of Co. C; George Milo of Co. D, Robert Dyon of Co. E. and 
J. VV. Calder of Co. F. Co. D. was afterward commanded by Capt. A. B. 
Wells, and Co. E. by Robert C. Payne. The infantry was commanded aa 
follows: Co. A., Capt. A. J. Close; Co. C, Capt. M. R. Hassett; Co. E. 
Capt. G. A. Thurston; Co. F. Lieut W. G. Seamonds; Co. G, Capt W. Wal- 
lace; Co. H, Capt. A. B. Kelly. 

12 The companies formed in 1864 were Dayton Guards, Dayton Artillery, 
Emmet Guard, of Como, Silver City Guard, and others. Dayton Sentinel, 
July 2, Sept. 3, and Dec. 3, 1864, and April 8, 1865; Nev. Cornp. Laws, ii. 
356-76; Nev. Statutes, 1866, 22, 206, 267, 272; Nev. Jour. Sen., 1873, App. 
no. i. p. 18. 

13 Almarin B. Paul was secretary of the Nevada branch of the Sanitary 
Commission. The above sum, as given in Paul's report, does not include the 
counties of Humboldt, Nye, and Churchill, which must have given from 
$6,000 to $10,000 more. Gold Hill News, Sept, 8, 1865. 

14 The Gridley sack of flour became historical. It was from a wager be- 
tween two citizens of Austin, Lander county, upon the result of a local elec- 
tion. The republican candidate for mayor was elected. It was agreed that 
the loser of the wager, which was a 50-pound sack of flour, should carry it 
to the winner, a distance of about a mile. Subsequently it was suggested to 
give the sack to the sanitary commission, and amidst much mirth and en- 
thusiasm it was put up at auction. Men bid against each other chiefly for 
the sport it gave, and the person to whom it was knocked down returned it 
to the auctioneer to be sold over again, until $4,549 in gold had been paid 
in. Gridley caught at the idea of raising a large sum in this manner. He 


ful of their expressions of loyalty, but passed reso- 
lutions expressive thereof 15 upon every fitting oppor- 
tunity, enacting a law depriving those who were dis- 
loyal from voting at elections. This was done not 
less to hold in check the agents of a secret organi- 
zation than to encourage the government. 16 Had 
the schemes of Gwin and Lane been carried out, it 
was expected that Nevada would be brought under 
the new government, and of this design the union men 
were not ignorant. They took possession of the ter- 
ritorial government, and kept it until the period 
when a state constitution was under consideration, 
when the democrats proceeded to organize themselves 
into a party, Frebruary 14, 1863, to strive for what- 
ever share of the offices under the state government 
they might be able to secure. 

The only act looking toward insubordination was 
the rejection of the national currency by incorporat- 
ing in the practice act of 18634 a provision substan- 
tially the same as the California specific-contract act, 
by which gold only could be paid in cancellation of 
debts where the contract read " pay able in gold coin 
of the United States;" but this did not receive the 
sanction of the governor, 17 

The total vote on the acceptance of the constitu- 

visited the towns on the Comstock, where he sold his sack of flour over and 
over, until he took in $25,000 more in gold, after which he visited California, 
obtaining altogether from these auctions alone $175,000. He then visited the 
east, and added considerably to this great charity, giving a year of his life to 
the mission. It is said that he injured his health by the excitement of the 
campaign. At all events, he died in 1871 at Stockton. Stockton Evening 
Mail, March 10, 1881; Harper's Mag., June 1866, 34-6; 8. F. Bulletin, May 
19 and 25, 1864; Austin Reese River Reveille, June 4, 1864. Nee. Scraps, 238. 
Among other gifts to the sanitary com. were several silver bricks. S. F. Call, 
May 4 and Aug. 17, 1864; Gomo Sentinel, June 18, 1864. The last silver slab 
was sent in 1865. Dayton Sentinel, Feb. 4, 1865. 

15 House Misc. Doc., 70, 37th cong. 2d sess.; Nev., Jour. Council, 1861, 82- 
3, 102-3; Nev. Jour. House, 1861, 94, 199-201; Gold Hill News, Jan. 15, 1864. 

16 There was a provision introduced in the constitution enabling men in 
the service of the U. S. to vote at elections. Nev. Constit. Debates, 1864, 915, 
943; Nev. Laws, 1864, 81-5. 

"Parker's Letter-Book, MS., 177-8. The Carson Appeal of Sept. 22d, 
1869, says that Nevada paid nearly four times as much internal revenue 
per capita as any other state, owing to the honesty and efficiency of her 


tion was 11,393, the majority in favor of it, 9, 13 1. 18 
There were elected at the same time the members of 
the legislature for 1864, and a delegate to congress, 
John Cradlebaugh, on the independent ticket. The 
democratic candidate was A. C. Bradford, who was 
beaten by Cradlebaugh by sixty-five votes only. Fitch, 
the republican candidate, was far behind. This was 
a warning to the republican party. However, all 
these elections went for nothing when the president 
on the 31st of October proclaimed Nevada a state of 
the union. As the presidential election was yet to 
take place in November, a new election for repre- 
sentatives and state officers was ordered to be held at 
the same time. 19 Two full tickets were put in the 
field, but the republicans elected their candidates by 
large majorities. 2 ' The choice of the people fell upon 
H. G. Worthington of Lander county for member of 
congress to fill the unexpired term ending in March 
1865. H. G. Blasdel was chosen governor. 21 Under 
the constitution the state was divided into nine judi- 
cial districts, one judge to be elected in each, with the 
exception of the 1st district, comprising Storey county, 
which might have three district judges. 22 

According to the constitution, also, 25 the first legis- 

18 Nev. C&nstit. Debates, xiv., gives the majority at 9,091, but the Lander 
county vote was not counted. 

19 Congress changed the day fixed in the enabling act to bring the election 
on this day. 

20 The total vote at the election was 16,420; the majority for republican 
presidential electors was 3,232. The same majority, or near it, was given to 
all the republican candidates except two. Nye county sent one democrat, 
Frank M. Proctor, to the state senate; and Churchill county one democrat 
to the assembly, James A. St Clair. 

21 J. S. Grossman lieut-gov., C. N. Noteware sec. state, A. W. Nigh tin- 
gill controller, E. Rhoades treas., A. F. White supt of public instruction, S. 
H. Marlette sur.-gen., C. M. Brosnan, H. 0. Beatty, and James F. Lewis, 
sup. ct judges, George A. Nourse att'y-gen., Alfred Helm clerk of sup. ct. 

22 There were elected in this district C. Burbank, R. S. Messick, and R. 
Rising, judges. Ormsby co., which constituted the 2d district, elected S. 
H. Wright; Lyon co., the 3d district, W. Hayden; Washoe and Roop, the 
4th district, C. C. Goodwin; Nye and Churchill, the 5th district, H. L. Baker; 
Humboldt, the 6th district, E. F. Dunne; Lander, the 7th district, W. H. 
Beatty; Douglas, the 8th district, D. W. Virgin; Esmeralda, the 9th district, 
S. H. Chase. The district judges elected in 1864 were to hold office until 
January 1867, and after that their terms should be for four years. Gold Hill 
News, Nov. 16, 1864; Nev. Laws, 1864, 53. 

**Nev. Laws, 1864-5, 65, article xvii., sec. 12 of the constitution. The 


lature convened on the 12th of December, 2 * and on 
being organized listened on the 14th to the message 
of Governor Blasdel, which communicated to them, 
among other facts affecting the state, that the new 
government had inherited from the territory a debt 
of $264,000 exclusive of the expenses of the last con- 
stitutional convention, and that to meet this indebt- 
edness there was an empty treasury and an uncollected 
tax of $70, 000. 25 He recommended economy and 
wise revenue laws; but, as I have already remarked 
in another place, the state of Nevada has always been 
burdened with debt, from habits of extravagance 
originating in too great expectations, and from regard- 
ing mining as the sole industry worth encouraging. 26 

regular sessions thereafter were to begin on the first Monday in Jan. follow- 
ing the election of members. 

a * The members of the first state legislature were: Senators N. W. Win- 
ton, S. A. Kellogg,. C. A. Sumner, and W. H. Claggett from Storey co. ; J. 
S. Seely and A. J. Lockwood from Omsby; James S. Slingerland and 
Charles Lambert from Washoe; Lewis Doron and John Ives from Esmeralda; 
M. D. Larrowe and W. W. Hobart from Lander; M. S. Thompson and Fred- 
erick Hutchins from Humboldt; J. W. Haines from Douglas; Alfred James 
from Lyon and Churchill; and D. L. Hastings from Lyon. The assembly- 
men were: W. M. Cutter, Edwin Patten; Erastus Bond, W. W. Bishop, 
Charles W. Tozer, James A. Rigbey, A. L. Greely, H. M. Bien, John Leavitt, 
R. A. Ycung, James Bolan, and Jacob Smith of Storey co. ; S. C. Deiison, J. E. 
W. Carey, and L. C. McKeeby of Ormsby; D. H. Brown, B. H. Nichols, and 
J. Anson Dun of Humboldt, D. P. Walter, E. P. Sine, J. L. Hinckley, and 
M. A. Rosenblatt of Lander; W. F. Toombs, W. G. Lee, and H. G. Parker 
of Lyon; James Small and Henry Epstein of Douglas; A. C. Bearss of Nye; 
L. M. Shackleford, H. H. Beck, and A. J. Myrick of Washoe; James A. St 
Clair of Churchill; D. H. Haskell, D Wellington, John S. Mayhugh, and 
Cyril Hawkins of Esmeralda. Nev. Sen. and Assem. Jours., 1864; Gold Hill 
News, Nov. 16, 1864. The senate was presided over by the lieutenant-gov- 
ernor. The officers elected were L. B. Moore secretary, Geo. R. Ammond 
assistant secretary, Mr Hollister and George Wellington, enr. and eng. clerks, 
Thomas Peasley sergeant-at-arms, and Hickey door-keeper. Ihe house 
elected Charles W. Tozer speaker, W. M. Gillespie chief clerk, C. S. Ham- 
mer eng. clerk, W. B. Fulwiler enr, clerk, J. M. Woodward sergeant-at- 
arms. Nev. Jour. Sen., 10. 

25 1 am not able to reconcile this statement of Gov. Blasdell, which is un- 
doubtedly correct, with the report of Nye, in March 1864, that the territory 
was not owing more than $15,000, which I find over his own signature in 
Parkers Letter-Book, MS., 179, this authority being a book of copies of official 
correspondence, taken with a press and therefore unaltered. 

26 The taxes imposed by an act to provide revenue for the support of the 
state government and payment of the public debt imposed a tax of $1.25 on 
each $100 of taxable property, and a poll-tax of $4 on every male inhabitant 
over 21 and under 60 years of age, not exempted by law. The county tax 
was $1.50 on every $100. The sheriff of each county was made ex-officio col- 
lector of licenses at the following rates: Each public billiard table $5 per 
quarter year; every bowling alley $10 per quarter; theatres $100 per mouth, 


But whatever errors it fell into its loyalty remained ; 
and even before hearing the message of the execu- 
tive a resolution was offered in the house by Bien of 
Storey county, congratulating the country on the 
reelection of Lincoln, and pledging the lives, honor, 
and fortunes of Nevada in support of the govern- 
ment, 27 which was made a joint resolution by the 
senate on the 1st of February. On the 29th of 
December the senate passed a congratulatory reso- 
lution offered by Sumner to General Sherman on the 
design and brilliant execution of his "march to the 
sea," which was concurred in by the assembly. On 
the 16th of February the senate and assembly rati- 
fied the thirteenth amendment to the constitution of 
the United States by which slavery was abolished. 

But to return to more purely local affairs. On the 
15th of December, both houses being organized, they 
proceeded to the election of two United States sena- 
tors, Stewart, Nye, Charles E. De Long, Cradle- 
baugh, and B. C. Whitman being nominated. Stewart 

or $5 a day for a shorter time than a month; if for three months $200; and if 
for a year $600; concert singers paid the same license as theatrical perform- 
ers: a single exhibition of a menagerie or a circus was taxed $20; tight-rope 
dancers, jugglers, and such folk were taxed $10 a day; a pawnbroker $100 
per quarter; a keeper of an intelligence office $15 per quarter. Brokers were 
divided into five classes, according to the amount of their business, and taxed 
respectively, $100, $80, $50, $30, and $20 per quarter. Bankers were also 
classified, and taxed respectively $200, $150, $100, $75, and $50 per month. 
All venders of any kind of wares, merchandise, liquors, drugs, or keepers of 
livery were divided into ten classes, according to their receipts, and taxed 
respectively $50, $37, $25, $20, $15, $10, $7.59, $5, $3.75, and $2.50 per 
month; but retailers of liquors were taxed $10 a month, and hotel keepers 
who kept a bar outside the limits of any town were taxed $15 a quarter. 
Hotels and boarding and lodging houses were taxed $10 and $5 a month; 
peddlers on foot and auctioneers $10 a month; peddlers using a wagon for the 
vending of any merchandise or liquors, or anything except fruits and vegeta- 
bles, $20 a month. A capitation tax of $1 upon each person leaving the state 
by any railroad, stage-coach, or any vehicle employed in passenger carrying, 
was also levied, and charged upon the companies engaged in such traffic, such 
companies adding the amount to their fares. As the coaches always were 
well loaded with passengers this was a fruitful source of revenue, amounting 
in some years to $20,000. An ad valorem tax of $1 on each $100 valuation 
of the product of all mines, after deducting the cost of extracting and reduc- 
ing the ores, was levied; and lastly a stamp-tax was imposed on agreements, 
affidavits, assignments, leases, bills of exchange, and almost all documents 
employed in business affairs of from two cents to $1, which was a source of 
no inconsiderable revenue. Nev. Laws, 1864-5, 271-324. The state was em- 
powered to issue bonds to the amount of $150,000. 

27 Nev. Jour. Assem., 1864-5, 17; Nev. Jour. Sen., 1864-5, 99. 


was elected on the first ballot." Then followed a 
number of ballotings for a senator among the remain- 
ing candidates, Nye receiving on every one the great- 
est number of votes, but not enough to elect him, and 
De Long receiving the next greatest number. An 
adjournment took place, which permitted the presen- 
tation of informal arguments, and at the first ballot 
on the 16th Nye was elected. That Stewart brought 
his great influence to bear there can be no doubt. 
Nevada thereby gained a representation in the senate 
of which a young state might justly be proud, and 
which was of the greatest value to the country at 
large, when uncompromising republicanism was de- 
manded to reestablish its dignity among the nations. 
The presidential elector chosen to convey the vote of 
Nevada to Washington in 1864 was S. T. Gage. 2 ' 

The term for which Worthington had been elected 
to congress expiring in March, it became necessary to 
provide a successor at the general election of Novem- 
ber 7, 1865. About the only issue of importance at 
this time, the civil war having been brought to a close, 
followed quickly by the tragedy at Ford's theatre in 
Washington, when the revengeful hand of political 
fanaticism struck down the most devoted and pure- 

28 The newspapers accused Stewart of working himself into the U. S. sen- 
ate through his manipulation of ' the honest miner. ' The voice of Stewart's 
honest miner was heard above all crying, ' Hurrah for the state of Nevada, 
and William M. Stewart for the first chosen senator.' Nev. Scraps. It is 
said that Stewart sent word to Cradlebaugh that if he would resign to him 
all the patronage due to Nevada's senators, his election should be secured; 
but Cradlebaugh refused the proposition. 

29 Gage, an intense unionist, was born in Ashtabula county, Ohio, March 
7, 1831. His father, Joshua Gage, a man of sterling qualities, was one the 
early pioneers in Ohio. Stephen, who worked during summer, and attended 
school in winter, began teaching upon his graduation, at the age of nineteen; 
teaching, farming, and conducting a saw-mill alternately up to 1852. During 
this year he crossed the plains with an ox-team, driving the entire distance 
himself, and making the quickest trip across the plains on record. In Cali- 
fornia he engaged in milling, mining, and merchandizing. In 1856, at the 
age of twenty -four years, he was elected to the legislature, being the young- 
est member of that body. He was one of the committee who drafted an 
able report on the important question of a transcontinental railroad. He 
held various offices up to 1860. During this and the succeeding year he en- 
gaged in transporting goods over the Sierra N evada to the Washoe mines, 
his pack-trains being the largest on the road. 


minded of rulers, 39 was that of the Pacific railroads, 
which Nevada, in common with the whole Pacific 
coast, very much desired to have built at the earliest 
possible period. On a pledge to labor for this end 
Delos R. Ashley was elected Nevada's representa- 
tive. 31 

Under the constitution of Nevada, members of con- 
gress were chosen only at the general elections for 
state officers and legislators, all terms expiring on the 
day succeeding the next general election. The terms 
of those elected in 1865 expired in November 1866, 
and biennially thereafter. 32 This provision made 
another election for congressman necessary in 1866, 
when Ashley was reflected by a majority over his 
democratic opponent, H. K. Mitchell, of 4,376, the 
issues involved in President Johnson's policy influenc- 
ing the vote of the people. By the same majority 
Blasdel was reflected governor. The changes made 
in the official list were J. S. Slingerland, lieutenant- 
governor; R. W. Parkinson controller; A. N. Fisher 
superintendent of public instruction; Robert M. 
Clarke attorney-general; and J. E. Eckley state 

The terms alloted to senators Stewart and Nye 
were four and two years. Nye drawing the two years 

In 1862 he became a resident of Virginia City, where he was prominent 
in federal and state politics. Later, he had much to do with railroad mat- 
ters. He was invaluable to the Central Pacific road during the early strug- 
gles of that corporation. His arguments before legislative committees were 
logical and ingenious, stamping him as a man of marked ability. 

In 1871 he removed to San Francisco. He was the only officer of the 
road located outside of Sacramento at that date. Later, he removed to 
Oakland, Cal. In 1885 he was appointed assistant president of the South- 
ern Pacific system of railroads. 

3 *It would be unjust to the Nevadans not to mention the feeling with 
which the news of Lincoln's assassination was received. Every town and 
hamlet was hung with funeral black, and the expression of men's faces plainly 
indicated their mingled grief and wrath. The man at Gold Hill who was 
bold enough to express gratification at the president's death, was summarily 
stripped, flogged, and marched to prison with a placard on his back inscribed 
'a traitor to his country.' Gold Hill News, April 15, 17, 20, 1865. 

31 There were two other republican aspirants, W. H. Claggett and Charles 
A. Sumner. The democratic nominee was H. K. Mitchell. Ashley's majority 
was 1,476. He took his seat Dec. 21, 1865. House Jour., 101, 39th cong. 1st 

***** Nev. Laws, 1864-5, 65; Id,, 1866, 223, 


term, and becoming a candidate for reelection by the 
legislature in January 1867, when he was returned for 
the six years' term commencing in March. 33 In the 
republican convention of September 1868 Stewart 
was again pub in nomination for senator against De 
Long, who withdrew to prevent a rupture in the party, 
but was subsequently compensated by the position of 
minister to Japan, which office he filled with distinc- 
tion. The same convention which nominated Stewart, 
also nominated Thomas Fitch 34 for congressman, 
without opposition. Stewart was elected on the first 
ballot. At the state and presidential election in 
1868 all the republican candidates were chosen, 35 
including Fitch for congressman, with the exception 
of nine democratic members of the legislature. 

All over the Pacific coast the close of the civil war 
had been followed by the reorganization of the demo- 
crats and their gradual return to power. It took them 
twenty years to become strong enough to elect a pres- 
ident of the United States ; but for congress, and for 
various offices under state and territorial organiza- 
tions, they received tho suffrages of a fearless and 
magnanimous people with only a little less impartial- 
ity than of old. In 1870 this party elected its can- 
didates to most of the important offices in the state of 

33 The other nominees were Charles E. De Long, John B. Winters, Thomas 
Fitch, and Thomas H. Williams. De Long accused Nye of fraud in the ad- 
ministration of Indian affairs when ex officio supt, and the contest became 
very bitter. The legislature was compelled to take notice of accusations of 
corruption in the senatorial election, and appointed a committee of 5 to in- 
vestigate the charges. This committee reported to the legislature in special 
session in March that their clerk, J. V. Wheelhouse, had absconded with 
all the papers relating to the matter, which might very properly be construed 
as a confession of persistent corruption in the accused. The testimony se- 
cured from witnesses went to show that De Long would have been elected 
but for money offered by the friends of Nye, and taken by representatives 
Robert Cullen, J. R. Jacobs, and two others. Nev. Jour. Assem., 1867, 342-6. 

31 Fitch was born in N. Y. city Jan. 27, 1838. One of his ancestors was 
the last colonial governor of Connecticut, and another commanded the New 
England regiment during the French war; therefore Fitch had blue blood. 
He had only a common school education, however, and started out in life as 
a clerk in an importing house. In 1859 he engaged in journalism on the Mil- 
waukee Free Democrat. In 1860 he came to Cal., and 4 years afterward 
began the practice of law. Elliot & Co.'s Hist. Ariz., 289. 

30 The governor held over until 1070. John Day was elected sur-gen., H. 
R. Mighels state printer, B. C. Whitman and J. Neely Johnson sup. judges. 


Nevada, namely, that of governor, L. R. Bradley; 
lieutenant-governor, Frank Denver; treasurer, Jerry 
Schooling ; state printer, Charles L. Perkins ; supreme 
judge, John Garber; attorney-general, L. A. Buck- 
ner. 36 They also elected the member of congress, 
Charles Kendall. What is remarkable about this 
change of party sentiment and power is its complete- 
ness, the majorities on the democratic side being fully 
as large as they had formerly been on the republican 
side. Where the latter had been accustomed to have 
more than double the votes *of the democrats, the 
democrats had now double the votes of the republi- 
cans. This change was brought about largely by the 
unpopularity of F. A. Tritle, the Republican candi- 
date for Governor, who was supposed to be a favorite 
of the Bank of California. This corporation having 
large mining and milling interests in the State, had 
gained the enmity of the workingmen, who raised the 
cry "Anti-bank," to the detriment of the Republicans. 
In 1872, Nye's term drawing near its close, there 
entered the political arena a power greater than party, 
patriotism, or talent, which was money. The repre- 
sentatives of this world-moving lever were two men 
well known in connection with mines, railroads, and 
banks, but hitherto not notable in politics. One was 
William Sharon, born of Quaker parents in Ohio in 
1821. Like many famous men, he had once owned 
an interest in a flat-boat, but failing to make it profit- 
able had studied law, which mental training proved 
useful to him in his subsequent career of merchant, 
speculator, banker, and railroad manipulator. Op- 
posed to Sharon in the race for the senatorship was 
John Percival Jones, a mining operator whose business 
it was to bull the stock market, and in which he 
made both money and adherents, being considered 
the friend of the miners, and named by the press the 
" Nevada commoner." The commoner now desired 

36 The republican candidates elected were the sec. of state, J. D. Minor; 
con., W. W. Hobart; A. N. Fisher, supt of public instruction; John Day, 
sur-gen.; mineralogist, H. R. Whitehill; clerk of sup. court, Alfred Helm. 


to step up higher and become a senator. It was 
expected that the race would be to the most bounti- 
ful, and, therefore, it was said that Sharon, with the 
Pacific railroad at his back, was endeavoring to pull 
down the stock market in order to disable his rival. 
He accused Jones of himself forcing down stocks by 
causing the fire in the Yellow Jacket mine, whereby 
several lives were lost and much damage sustained, in 
order to buy up the stock of Savage at a profit." 
Such was the nature of the contest. Sharon finally 
withdrew, and Jones had opposed to him only Nye; 
for there was still a republican majority in the legis- 
lature; but the people were pleased with their rich 
commoner, and no longer regarded the claims of their 
poorer Gray Eagle, the sobriquet applied to Nye. 
Jones received fifty-three out of seventy-two votes in 
the legislature of 1873, and took his seat in March. 
Nye died December, 25, 1876. 38 

The republican candidate for congressman, C. C. 
Goodwin, was defeated in 1872 by Charles W. Ken- 
dall, reflected on the democratic ticket, but the party 
gained the presidential electors by over 2,000 major- 
ity ; also the supreme judge and state printer, the 
only state officers voted for. 39 

The senatorial contest of 1874 was another strug- 
gle between men with large moneyed interests princi- 
pally. The democrats again chose in convention 
Thomas H. Williams, and the republicans William 
Sharon. A third, or independent, party had for its 
leader Adolph Sutro, who feared if Sharon should be 
elected it would redouble the power of the bank of 
California and Comstock lode, against which he was 
making his great fight for the Sutro tunnel. Party 
lines were less rigidly drawn than ever before. There 

37 Jones was supt of Crown Point in 1869. He risked his life in an en- 
deavor to extinguish the fire. 

38 Nev., Jour. Sen., 1873, app., no. 12; S. F. Call, Jan. 24 and March 29, 
1873. Of republicans who aspired to the senatorship at this time were ex- 
Governor Blasdel aud F. A. Tritle; among the democrats there were Thomas 
H. Williams, Judge Garber, and Henry I. Thornton. Gold Hill News, Aug. 
19, 1872; S. F. Bulletin, Dec. 28, 1876. 

39 Thomas P. Hawley judge, and C. A. V. Putnam printer. 


were some men on the independent ticket from both 
the other parties, but more from the democratic than 
the republican ticket. This insured the reelection of 
Governor Bradley, the election of Jewett W. Adams 
lieutenant-governor, J. R. Kittrell attorney-general, 
J. J. Hill state printer, and J. Schooling treasurer; 
the remaining offices being given to the republicans, 
who also elected their candidate for congressman, 
William Woodburn of Storey county. 40 The legisla- 
ture consisted of forty- seven republicans and twenty- 
eight democrats, the full number of members allowed 
by the constitution. There was not one democrat 
among the fourteen members from Storey county 
all were republicans, and represented a constituency 
nearly all of whom were interested in the Comstock 
mines, which they had been told would be ruined by 
the Sutro tunnel. To prevent this ruin Sharon must 
be elected, and was elected 41 in January 1875, to suc- 
ceed Stewart, for the six-years' term, Fitch assum- 
ing the labor of the campaign. But to his coadjutor, 
Jones, was left the duty of representing the interests 
of Nevada. Sharon did not take his seat until Feb- 
ruary 1876, and was continually absent from the 
beginning of the session, commencing in October 
1877, to January 1880, 42 attending to his money mat- 
ters. No honor accrued to him or to the state 
through such representation. 

The state congressional and presidential election of 
1876 gave results showing the very gradual restora- 
tion of the ante-bellum political balance. Again the 
republicans obtained the presidential electors, their 
representative in congress, Thomas Wren, and su- 
preme judge, O. R. Leonard. They still had a large 

49 J. D. Minor was chosen secretary of state, W. W. Hobart controller, 
S. P. Kelly supt of public instruction, John Day sur-gen., H. B. Whitehill 
mineralogist, W. H. Beatty sup. judge, Warren Earll sup. judge (short 
term), and C. T. Bicknell clerk sup. corut. 

41 The other aspirants were H. K. Mitchell and Thomas P. Hawley. 

42 Sen. Jour., 240, 44th cong. Istsess.; Id., 6, 149, 45th cong. Istsess.; 
Id., 6, 948, 45th cong. 2d sess.; /.-?., 6-7, 357, 46th cong. 1st sess.: Id., 85, 
912, 46th cong. 2d sess. 


majority in the assembly, but in the senate the dem- 
ocrats had a majority of one. A movement to call a 
convention to revise the constitution, and also to 
change the time of the beginning of the fiscal year 
from the 31st to the 1st of December, was set on foot 
by a resolution of the legislature, passed February 18, 
1875, and voted upon at this election, there beino; a 
majority of 3,341 against it, and against the design 
of the agitators to abolish the tax on mining products. 
In the political canvass of 1878 this matter of refus- 
ing to repeal the tax on bullion was made a plank 
in the republican platform, but afterward withdrawn 
through the influence of the bonanza firm. The re- 
publican candidate for congress, Rollin M. Daggett, 
was nominated without opposition in his own party, 
and elected against W. E. F. Deal of Storey county, 
democrat. J. H. Kinkead, republican, was elected 
governor over L. R. Bradley, whom even his political 
opponents regretted to have beaten, on account of his 
incorruptible honor and practical judgment in affairs. 43 
Every state officer on the ticket was elected, except 
the superintendent of public instruction and the lieu- 
tenant-governor, for which position R. H. Mighels, 
the brilliant and patriotic journalist, had been nomi- 
nated. His defeat was owing to the fact that he had 
openly advocated the cause of the Chinese, going so far 
as to compare them with men of Irish and Cornish 
birth, to the detriment of the latter, and when confront- 
ed with his utterances, attempted neither to explain 
or deny them. The regrets of his admirers were not 
lessened by his untimely death in 1879, which 

43 Kinkead was born in Pa 182(3, removing with his parents to Ohio when 
an infant. At the age of 18 years he began going west, first to St Louis, 
then in 1849 to Salt Lake, where he engaged in business and remained 5 
years, coming to Cal. in 1854. In Jan. 1856 he married a daughter of J. C. 
Fall of Marysville, and went to New York city for a year, where he was in 
business, but returned to Marysville, and finally settled in Nevada in 1860, 
and was appointed territorial treasurer. From that time he has been con- 
nected with the political history of Nevada. In 1867 he visited Alaska with 
the government expedition under Gen. J. C. Davis. I have in my collection 
a manuscript narrative of his participation in public affairs, In Nevada and 
Alaska, in which is much valuable information, 
HIST. NEV. 13 


removed him beyond the possibility of reparation at 
some future time.** 

In order to make more clear the anomalous condi- 
tion of Nevada politics, it is necessary to consider the 
local influences brought to bear upon elections. As 
has already been stated, the first constitution formed 
taxed all mines in the same manner that other prop- 
erty was taxed, and for that reason was rejected by a 
mining population, led by able and well-paid agents 
of the great mines. The accepted constitution ex- 
empted from taxation everything but the proceeds in 
bullion. The revenue law passed by the first state 
legislature provided that twenty dollars per ton, the 
assumed cost of reducing the ores, might be deducted 
from the gross products, and that only three fourths 
of the remainder should be taxed. This discrimina- 
tion in favor of mining property, though evidently 
unconstitutional, was not referred to the courts at 
that time. Meanwhile the Comstock mines were 
yielding an aggregate of $15,000,000 or $17,000,000 
annually, and the amount which under the constitu- 
tion was due the state and Storey county, had accu- 
mulated to a vast sum on the Comstock mines alone. 
In 1867 suit was brought before Judge S. H. Wright 
of the 2d district, to test the constitutionality of the 

41 The republican candidates elected, besides those I have mentioned, 
were: Jasper Babcock sec. of state, L. L. Crockett treas. , J. F. Hallock 
cont., A. J. Hatch sur-gen., Thomas P. Hawley sup. judge, A. M. Murphy 
atfcy-gen.. C. F. Bicknell clerk sup. court. 

On the democratic ticket were Jewett W. Adams lieut-gov. (elected), 
George W. Baker sec. of state, R. M. Elstner cont., J. E. Jones treas., D. 
R. Sessions supt of public instruction (elected), S. H. Day sur.-gen., F. W. 
Cole sup. judge, J. R. Kittrell attorney -general, Richard Rule clerk of the 
supreme court. 

Lewis R. Bradley, born in Va in 1806, began life as supt of a farm at $80 
per year, being promoted to be purchaser of horses and mules. In 1843 he 
removed to Ky, and the following year to Mo., where he remained until 
1852, when he migrated to Cal. with a band of cattle. The next year he 
returned to the states, and brought out horses, mules, and sheep, on which 
he made large profits. In 1862 he settled in Lander co., where he has fol- 
lowed stock-raising. His wife was Virginia Willis of Va. John R. Bradley 
was born in Va in 1835, and married in Mo. in 1857. The father settled in 
Elko co. in 1866, being a pioneer of that part of the state. He had been co. 
com. and treas. of Elko co., and his son, John R., has held the same offices 
after him. A. M. Hillhouse was nominated for U. S. senator. Nevada State 
Journal, Nov. 17, 1878. 


revenue law as it related to mining property, and at 
the same time an extra session of the legislature was 
called to deal with this particular subject. Before 
the decision of the court was rendered pronouncing 
the former law unconstitutional, the special legisla- 
ture had abolished it, and passed others still more 
favorable to the mining interest, and especially to the 
mines of Storey county, where the tax was limited 
to twenty-five cents on every $100 worth of bullion. 
These proceedings kept the matter in the courts and 
put off the day of reckoning when the bank of Cali- 
fornia, represented by William Sharon, and control- 
ling all the then paying mines on the Comstock, 
would have to pay up its indebtedness to the state 
and county. 

But in 1869 and 1870 new complications arose. 
Sharon had been able in the former year to induce 
the legislature to authorize Storey county to issue its 
bonds for $300,000 to constitute a gift to the Virginia 
and Truckee railroad company, his particular and 
favorite enterprise, a levy of one-half of one per cent 
to be made annually on the county property to meet 
the interest of these bonds and create a sinking fund. 


It became a question with the railroad company, 
namely the bank of California, how to avoid paying the 
tax upon one species of their property to discharge the 
interest on money presented to them by the county. 
As usual, resort was had to the legislature, and a new 
law passed which classified ores, and exempted accord- 
ing to class, those which were rated below $12 a ton 
being allowed ninety per cent for the cost of reduction ; 
under $30 and over $12 eighty per cent; under $100 
and over $30 sixty per cent; and over $100 fifty per 
cent, provided it could be proved that this was the 
cost of reducing them. What was left of the pro- 
ducts of the mines was taxable, except in the case of 
those where the Freiberg process was used, when a 
further exemption of $15 was allowed. This law 
enabled the Comstock owners to work their low grade 


ores without tax, for it was easy enough to show that 
the expense covered all or nearly all the proceeds; 
and at this time the bonanzas in the old mines were 
worked out. 

But almost simultaneously with this legalized de- 
fiance of the constitution, Fair and Mackay discovered 
the great bonanza in the Consolidated Virginia and 
California mines, which soon began to produce over a 
million dollars a month, making this firm a powerful 
rival of the bank of California, which did not desire 
the new money kings to enjoy the same exemption 
which had been so advantageous to itself. The Sharon 
interest, therefore, offered no opposition when, in 1874, 
the people at large, and Storey county in particular, 
elected their representatives with the pledge that 
they would enact a more righteous law than had yet 
been enacted concerning the taxation of the mines. 
To this end, Senator John Piper of Storey county 
prepared a bill which passed without opposition in 
February 1875, making the products of the mines 
taxable at the rate of $1.50 on every $100, or at the 
same rate that other property was assessed. 

It was now the turn of the bonanza firm to protest, 
partly because the new law seemed to discriminate 
between them and the bank of California, which had 
been helped to evade paying a just tax on its property, 
and greatly because they were forced to pay so large 
a proportion of bonds of the Virginia and Truckee 
railroad, which they believed had instigated the 
change. They set up a plea that the new law was 
unconstitutional and refused to pay any taxes at all, 
by their action forcing the people to make up the 
deficit. The matter became a political issue at the 
election of 1876, both parties insisting on no more 
compromises with the great mining corporations, and 
every candidate being compelled to pledge himself 
not to vote for a reduction of the tax on bullion. 

The report of the controller at the opening of the 
session showed a balance of the state debt unprovided 


for amounting to $108,429.71, of which $74,678.53 
was then due. Adding to this the estimated cost of 
running the state government for two years, or until 
another meeting of the legislature, $894,250.85, and 
the state would be owing about a million dollars, 
while the state revenue less the tax on mines would 
not reach $800,000. * 5 The mining tax, less the 
bonanzas, should the yield continue the same, would 
reduce the amount of debt $64,464, but there w r ould 
still be a deficit of $193,255 to be met. This state 
of public affairs shook the nerves of the legislators. 
To add to the uneasiness of the Storey county mem- 
bers, it was seen that the refusal to pay taxes by Fair 
and Mackay would compel the county to borrow 
$100,000 to carry on its schools and pay for its court- 

Two courses lay open to the legislature: to increase 
the state and county debt by borrowing, or compro- 
mise with the bonanza firm. They decided to violate 
their pledges and compromise. A bill passed both 
houses which was the essence of a contract entered 
into between Fair and Mackay on one side and 
Storey county officials and state officers of finance 
on the other. It reduced the bullion tax 31^ per 
cent, which was equal to giving up 20 per cent of the 
entire property value of the state. The price agreed 
upon for this submission was the payment of the tax 
withheld in the past by the bonanza firm. After 
deliberating two or three days Governor Bradley 
vetoed the bill, and the question was left with the 
supreme court, where it was likely to be decided in 
favor of the state of Nevada. 

In May another attempt at compromise was made, 
this time succesfully. The bonanza firm offered to 
pay all that was due from them under the law to the 
state and county, with the costs of the suits instituted 
to collect, if the recipients would agree that in case 

* The controller figured $12,643.47 too high on the expenses, and too low 
on the revenue by $93,626.20. 


the decision of the United States supreme court was 
against them, the district court of Storey county 
would issue a stay of execution for the satisfaction of 
so much of the judgment as included the penalties for 
contempt and the percerits, until the 1st of April, 
1879. This offer being accepted, $290,275.72 was 
paid down two days before the svprerne court decided 
in favor of the state. The legislature, as had been 
tacitly understood, passed an act in 1879 releasing the 
bonanza firm from paying the penalties due the state 
and the county of Storey. The attorney -general of 
Nevada, however, requested that the constitutionality 
of the act might be tested, with the result that the 
court ordered the payment of $77,578.22, the amount 
of the penalties unpaid. 46 

From what has gone before it will be perceived how 
really little national politics had to do with politics in 
Nevada during the rule of the Comstock firms. The 
republican majority in the legislature in 1879 was 
thirteen in the senate and thirty-two in the assembly, 
making secure the return of J. P. Jones to the Uni- 
ted States senate. Jones had, as chairman of the 
monetary commission in 1876, done himself and his 
state great credit by his report. 

This commission particularly concerned Nevada as 
a silver- producing state, its duty being to inquire into 
the change which had taken place in the relative 
value of gold and silver, the causes thereof, and 
whether permanent or not; its effect upon trade, 
commerce, finance, and the productive interests of the 
country, and upon the standard of value in our own 
and foreign countries; also into the policy of the restor- 
ation of the double standard in this country, and the 
legal relations between the two coins if restored ; and 

46 The case was appealed in Nov. 1880, and decided in the sup. court 
against the company. Another attempt was made by the legislature in 18S1 
to release the bonanza company, but Gov. Kinkead vetoed the bill. His ac- 
tion was applauded by the majority. Carson Index, March 4, 1881; Virginia 
City Chronicle, March 4, 1881; Lamb's Early Mining Camps, MS., 4. 



further, into the policy of continuing legal-tender ' 
notes concurrently with the metallic standards, with 
the effects thereof upon the labor, industries, and 
wealth of the country; lastly, also, into the best 
means of providing for the resumption of specie pay- 
ments. Nothing so thoroughly exhaustive of these 
questions had ever been presented to congress, and 
the view taken was favorable to the interests of 
Nevada, and particularly, at that time, to the Corn- 
stock mines. Therefore, he received the votes of all 
the republicans in the legislature, and one of the 
democratic members. The legislation of congress 
upon the question of a double standard for money had 
affected the mining interests of Nevada sensibly. 
In July 1870 an act was passed to refund the national 
debt, the government engaging to pay at some future 
time $2,000,000,000 in coin of the value of the coin- 
age of that date. The units of value of coinage 
were dollars consisting of 412^ of standard silver and 
25^ grains of that of standard gold. In 1873 the 
holders of the United States bonds, and bonds of the 
French government, made a movement in Europe to 
demonetize silver in order to compel the payment of 
these bonds in gold only, Germany being the first to 
come into the arrangement. Such influences were 
brought to bear in the United States that congress, 
in revising and codifying the mint and coinage laws 
of the country, omitted the silver dollar from the list 
of coins, and it being the only silver coin which was 
a full legal tender, became thereby demonetized, and 
the people were compelled to pay the national and 
private indebtedness in gold alone. The product of 
gold being irregular, and growing less with the 
increase of population, as well as the decrease of the 
metal, it was considered to work not only a present 
hardship by raising the price of gold in the market, 
but to threaten at some future time to make the 
people slaves to the bondholders, by compelling them 
to yield so much more of their labor and property for 


a dollar in gold than they would have to do were 
there a double standard as before. Silver had already 
depreciated twenty per cent in 1878, when congress 
required the secretary of the treasury to purchase, at 
the lowest market price, not less than two nor more 
than four millions a month to be coined into standard 
dollars for circulation, the government speculating in 
the difference in commercial value, but without restor- 
ing the silver dollar to its equality with the gold one. 
This was the status of silver in the currency of the 
United States, while the question of restoring it to 
its former value was becoming one of the foremost 
subjects with which statesmen had to deal, and one 
of vital importance to the state of Nevada. By 
1885 the silver question was regarded as a political 
issue, and the public was much interested in knowing 
what course a democratic administration would pur- 
sue with regard to it. A silver convention was held 
at Carson January 31st. The voice of the conven- 
tion was that demonetizing silver would double the 
riches of the rich, and in the same proportion increase 
the burdens of the laboring and producing classes. 
The Nevada Silver Association was formed, with a 
constitution and by-laws, the object of which was to 
insist upon the retention of silver as money. The 
meeting also indorsed the proceedings of the silver 
convention held at Denver, Colorado, at which Kan- 
sas, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, 
and Arizona were represented/ 7 

47 Proceedings of the Nevada Silver Convention, 1885; Pacific Coast Mining 
Review, 1878-9, 97-103; Jones' Speech on the Silver Question, April 24, 1876; 
Jones' Speech on the Optional Standard, June 28 and July 15, 1876; Jones' 
Speech on Silver Demonetization, Feb. 14, 1878; Carson Appeal, July 14, 1876; 
S. F. Chronicle, March 2, 1885; Proceedings of the Nevada Silver Convention, 

A monograph upon the silver question called A Plea for Silver Coinage 
and the Double Standard, pp. 139, written by T. B. Buchanan, and published 
at Denver in 1885, attempts to explain the money question as affecting 
values. It is a good, common sense treatise, but shows what its author 
claims, that the science of political economy cannot all be contained in one 
book, and has never been completely formulated. A much more trenchant 
treatment is that contained in a dictation on The Silver Question by Wm M. 
Stewart in my possession, the body of which is also contained in a pamphlet 


President Cleveland in Febuary 1885 expressed 
views contrary to the retention of silver in circulation 
on a par with gold, and immediately the conflict over 
silver revived, and was carried on vigorously, the 
battle being chiefly between eastern bankers and 
western silver producers. In his message to congress 
in December he elaborated his views more fully. It 
brought out some interesting facts and figures. The 
statement of the director of the United States mint 
for the year ending June 30, 1885, was that the decline 
in gold production on the Pacific coast from 1881 to 
1885, inclusive, was $8,070,438.07. The deposits of 
gold and silver at the San Francisco mint was 
$25,399,707.10, or $5,000,000 less than the preceding 
year. The Nevada mint was closed this year, the 
mining industry once centering in Carson " being 
practically reduced to nothing," and the institution 
being conducted simply as an assay office. It has 
since been closed. With regard to the country in 
general, there was deposited at the United States 
mints during the year $52,894,075.09 in gold, and 
$36,789,774.92 in silver, the total coinage value of 
which was $89,683,850.01, an increase over the pre- 
vious year of $1,728,726.09. The imports of gold 
bullion into the United States during the year was 
$11,221,846.45 ; the exports of gold bullion, $395,750, 
being a gain in gold of $10,826,096.45. The imports 
of silver bullion amounted to $4,530,384 ; the exports 
to $20,422,924, being a loss of $5,066,444. The pro- 

with that title issued in San Francisco in 1885. The sub-title is an expres- 
sion of the author's views, running as follows: 'Bondholders' conspiracy to 
demonetize silver; legislation affecting national debt, and gold and silver; 
unfaithful treasury officials; hostility of national banks; independent finan- 
cial policy for the United States; free coinage or enforcement of existing 
laws.' Mr Stewart shows the absurdity of permitting foreign bondholders to 
regulate American finance, and ridicules President Cleveland's action in 
sending a commissioner, Manton Marble, to Europe to import the views of 
the purchasers of American bonds. He prophecies the oppression of the 
people, the growth of a bond-holding aristocracy, the mortgaging of prop- 
erty, and the impoverishment of the agricultural classes. The loss of mil- 
lions of mining property, rendered valuless, is, he thinks, one of the least in- 
jurious effects of the disturbance of the relative values prevailing in our 
present currency. 


duction in the United States during the year had 
been $30,800,000 in gold, and $48,800,000 in silver. 
Of this amount of silver $28,000,000 had been coined 
and $6,000,000 used in the arts, which, with the bul- 
lion exported and wasted, left little or nothing on 
hand. The production of the whole world in the 
year ending June 30, 1885 was $95,292,569 in gold, 
and $115,147,878 in silver, gold production having 
fallen off over $5,000,000 since 1882. 

There would appear to be nothing very alarming in 
the relative qualities or values of gold and silver at 
this time, but agitation has made it a party question 
in congress. The repeal of the act of 1878 being 
insisted on by the monometalists, various schemes for 
preventing the demonetization of silver were broached, 
such as certificates of deposit with a market value, 
the government being obligated to coin the bullion 
and use it in redeeming certificates when presented, 
and other proposed devices for keeping silver in circu- 
lation. An English writer, Morton Frewen, proposed 
that the Pacific ports should be made free to the east- 
ern nations of China and Japan, buying their tea, 
coffee, sugar, rice, jute, etc., in exchange for the silver 
of Colorado, Nevada, and California, and building up 
a mercantile marine to rival England. This propo- 
sition, which might be considered were it not for the 
Isthmus canal and the Canadian Pacific railway, 
would doubtless be received with caution. A meet- 
ing of the Nevada Silver Association was held at 
Nevada City October 20, 1885. The resolutions 
passed declare that the agitation of the silver ques- 
tion is " especially aggravating, since the success of 
such a policy involves the annihilation of millions of 
dollars worth of capital locked up in their mills and 
mines," threatening to bankrupt an industrious and 
loyal people. A convention of silver men, and another 
of bankers, was held at New Orleans in December, 
but congress alone had the settlement of the ques- 
tion; and the president's message was distinctly 


adverse to silver coinage. Later legislation was more 

James G. Fair, though never an aspirant for office 
and taking so little interest in political affairs that he 
never voted for a president but twice, was prevailed 
upon by the democrats to become their candidate for 
the United States senate. The course of Sharon as 
senator had not been without distinction or profit. 
He had offered himself for renomination purely on his 
merits, without the usual golden cross on the palms 
of his constituents, and the election, which may be 
said to have gone by default, threw everything into 
the hands of the democrats, who had a majority of 
over 800 for presidential electors. George W. Gas- 
sidy, their candidate for congressman, was elected by 
over 1,200 majority, and Charles H. Belknap supreme 
judge in place of W. H. Beatty. By this election 
Nevada lost her able and working congressman, Dag- 
gett, and an able and incorruptible jurist. 48 

There were offered at this election the following 
amendments to the constitution, which were accepted : 

48 Cassidy was reflected in 1882 by a majority of 1,258 over his opponent. 
J. W. Adams, democrat, was elected governor by about the same majority. 
O. R. Leonard, republican, was elected judge by even a larger majority, and 
all the other state offices were filled by republicans. Reno Gazette, Dec. 30, 
1882; Biennial Rept Sec. of State, 1884, 3. Rollin M. Daggett was born in 
Richville, New York, in 1832. In 1837 his father removed to north-western 
Ohio, and young Daggett received his education and a knowledge of print- 
ing at Defiance in that state. At the age of 17 years he crossed the plains 
to Cal. on foot, supporting himself with his rifle. After mining for two 
years, in 1852 he estsblished the Golden Em, a literary journal, in S. F., and 
in I860 the Mirror in the same place, the latter being merged in the S. F. 
Herald. His reputation as a journalist was wide-spread. He settled in 
Nevada iu 1862, and was a member of the territorial council of 1863. The 
following year he became connected with the Territorial Enterprise, and re- 
tained his place upon that journal for many years. In 1876 he was presi- 
dential elector, and in 1878 congressman. Morons Pen Pictures of the State 
Officers, Legislators, Public Officials, and Newspaper Men, at the Capital During 
the 9th Session of the Nevada Legislature, Virginia, Nevada, 1879. Contains 
72 biographies. W. H. Beatty was born in Monlova, Ohio, Feb. 18, 1838, 
removed to Ky in infancy, and to Cal. in 1853. Being still a lad, he re- 
turned east and spent 3 years at the university of Va, coming back to Cal. in 
1858, studying law in Sac., and being admitted to practice in the sup. court. 
In 1863 he went to Austin, Nevada, and was elected judge of the 7th district 
court in the following year. The legislature, in 1869, appointed him judge 
of the new district of White Pine county, to which office he was elected in 
1870. His promotion to the supreme bench followed in 1874. Later he re- 
moved to Cal., and in 1888 was elected chief justice sup. court of Cal. 


The elimination of the word "white" from section 1, 
article 2. The addition of article 18, granting rights 
of suffrage and office-holding without reference to race, 
color, or previous condition of servitude. The addi- 
tion of section 10 to article 11, forbidding the use of 
public moneys for sectarian purposes. Chinese immi- 
gration was disproved by a vote of 17,259 against 

Of the sixty-one members of the legislature elected, 
only nine were republicans. Two of these were sen- 
ators, who with the republicans holding over gave a 
majority of five in that branch of the legislature, 
whereas they had but seven members altogether in 
the assembly. The aspirants for the senatorship, 
besides Fair, of the democrats, were Sutro of the 
independents, who desired to keep the Cornstock out 
of politics, and Thomas Wren, nominated by the 
republicans in place of Sharon. 49 Sutro was not put 
in nomination. Fair was elected on the first ballot. 
Wren received twenty votes and Daggett one. 

49 William Sharon was born in Smithfield, Ohio, Jan. 9, 1821. After 
graduating at college he studied law, practising for a time at St Louis, Mo. 
Afterward he engaged in a mercantile business at Carrollton, 111. Coming 
to Cal. in 1849, he opened a store at Sac., later engaging in real estate in S. 
F. When the bank of Cal. opened an agency at Virginia City the manage- 
ment was entrusted to him, and in connection with his associates in the 
bank bought up the greater portions of the Kentuck, Yellow Jacket, and 
Chollar mines, and obtained control of the mining mills, incorporating the 
Union Mill and Mining company, and the Virginia and Truckee R. R., the 
state of Nevada granting a liberal subsidy in aid of the latter. The road 
was finally completed to Reno, where it connected with the C. P. R. R., the 
cost being three millions. Sharon and W. C. Ralston also purchased the 
Belcher mine, receiving large returns therefrom. In 1875 Mr Sharon was 
elected U. S. senator from Nevada, serving with honor and credit. Mrs 
Sharon was formerlyMiss Maria Mulloy, a native of Quebec, and the result 
of their union was five children, two surviving, Frederick W., who married a 
daughter of Lloyd Tevis, and Florence E., who became the wife of Sir 
Thomas Hesketh. Mrs Sharon died in 1875, and Mr Sharon in 1885. After 
setting apart $100,000 for charitable purposes, and the embellishment of 
Golden Gate park, the property fell in equal parts to his son, daughter, and 
son-in-law, F. G. Newlands. 





IN whatever part of the country the American trap- 
per has first come in contact with the aborigines, there 
has followed wars and extermination. Of the first 
conflicts between white men and the natives of Nevada 
I have spoken in the opening chapter of this history. 
The migration to California in 1849 was large; and 
during this and the following year the Indians were 
more bold, and the white men vengeful. Several 
trains were attacked in the Hurnboldt valley, and 
their cattle taken, leaving the emigrants on foot. 
Later companies coming up formed a pursuing party, 
and having a fight with the natives, killed thirty of 
them. 1 This checked hostilities, but did not allay 
hatred. The notorious Bill Hickman shot down two 
Hurnboldt Indians who hung about his camp at Stony 
Point. 2 On the same grouud reddened by the blood 
of his victims, a few months later three white men 
were killed by the Indians. 8 

l eatie's First in Nevada, MS., 5-6. The Sac. Transcript of Sept. 23. 
1850, says that in the Carson valley constant skirmishing had occurred be- 
tween the immigrants and the Indians, and that in a battle with 400 or 500 
of them they were victorious. 

2 Cosser says Hickman pretended to no other reason for these acts than 
the pleasure in killing them. 

3 A. Woodard of Sac. , Oscar Fitzner, and John Hawthorne, carrying the 
mail from Salt Lake to Sac., were the victims. 



From 1851 to 1857 there were many deeds of vio- 
lence on both sides. In 1856 a party of ten men led 
by Levi Hutton of Missouri were surrounded in 
camp on the Humboldt by sixty Indians well armed 
with rifles and revolvers. The party returned the fire 
of the Indians and retreated, dragging their wagon 
by hand, four of their horses being killed and others 
wounded. All that night and next day the Indians 
continued to harrass them. Hutton and Aleline, a 
Frenchman from St Louis, were killed. Two other 
men were severely wounded, Thomas Reddy from 
Leavenworth, and James Edwards from St Louis. 
Reddy became exhausted and urged the remainder of 
the party to leave him and save themselves, which 
they finally did, taking what provisions they could 
carry, and destroying all the arms they were forced 
to leave. The party of seven arrived in Carson val- 
ley October 25th, where Edwards had his wounds 
dressed, after a fatiguing journey of 200 miles. Thir- 
teen Indians were killed.* 

In 1857 a party of twenty-two immigrants under 
Captain Pierson encountered on the Humboldt, near 
the mouth of Reese river, a large body of Pah Utes, 
with whom they had a severe contest. The place ob- 
tained the name of Battle Mountain, which name was 
retained when the country was settled, and given to 
a mining district on Reese river, 5 John McMarlin 
and James Williams, in charge of pack trains from 
Mormon station to California, were killed by Washoes 
on the f rial which crossed the mountains south of Lake 
Tahoe on the same day, one at Slippery Ford hill 
and the other on the summit. The settlers became 
alarmed and called upon the people of California for 
assistance. 6 Arms and ammunition were tendered by 
the governor of that state ; the Pah Utes also offered 
their warriors to fight the Washoes. 

* Hayes 1 Scraps Mining, xi. 2, 3. 

6 S. F. Alta, May 7, 1866; S. F. Alta, Aug. 2, Sept. 7 and 10, 1857. 

A party of young men attempted to find and punish the offenders, but 
incautiously fired at some birds and discovered themselves to the Indians, 
who tied. Hawley's Lake Tahoe, MS., 4-8. 


Brigham Young, governor and superintendent of 
Indian affairs for Utah, in the summer of 1857 sent 
Garland Hurt, Indian agent, to Carson valley, who 
made a treaty of amity with the Washoes. 

In the summer of 1858 the Pah Utes gave consid- 
erable trouble in the Humboldt valley, and F. Dodge 
was sent to reside in Carson valley as Indian agent 
to endeavor to keep the peace. Early in the follow- 
ing year also, they, as well as the Pit river and 
Walker river tribes, displayed open hostility to pros- 
pectors and settlers. In March seven men, among 
whom was the well known pioneer Peter Lassen, were 
prospecting in the Black Rock country, on the im mi- 
giant route of 1846, when they were attacked in 
camp and Lassen and another man killed. Other 
small parties disappeared never to be heard from, and 
their fate could be readily conjectured/ 

The winter of 1859-60 was one of exceptional se- 
verity, and the Indians suffered greatly from cold and 
hunger. So strong was their distrust of the white 
race that although some good men now endeavored 
to mitigate their misfortunes, building large fires and 
offering them food, they were but little benefited, 
many refusing to eat, lest the food should be poisoned, 
and attributing the extreme cold to the presence of 
the detested white man. Many children died of pri- 
vation. 8 

In January 1860 the Pah Utes killed Dexter E. 
Deming, who lived on Willow creek, north of Honey 
lake, then thought to be in Nevada. A company, 
under Lieutenant W. J. Tutt, was ordered to pursue 

7 BucTcland's Indian Fighting, MS., 2-3; Kelly's Nev. Directory 1862, 33; 
8. F. Bulletin, April 21 and 28, and May 9, 10, and 11, 1859. According to 
the report of Dodge, Indian agent for Carson district, the Pah Utes num- 
bered about 6,000, the head chief, Winnemucca, residing on Smoke creek, 
near Honey lake. Small bands under sub-chiefs resided at the forks of 
Carson river, Gold Canon, Big Bend, sink of the Carson, on Walker river, 
at Big Meadows on Truckee river, at the lower crossing of Truckee, at the 
mouth of Truckee, at Pyramid lake, and Lower Mud lake. The Washoes 
numbered 900, and inhabited the country at the base of the Sierra Nevada, 
Washoe, and Eagle valleys, and about LakeTahoe. Ind. Aff. Rtpt, 1859, 273^. 

8 Territorial Enterprise, Dec. 24, 1859; Hayes' Mining Scraps, xi. 40. 


the offenders, who were traced to the Pah Ute camp. 
The governor then appointed two commissioners, 
William Weatherlow and T. J. Harvey, to visit 
Poito, the head chief, known as Old Winnemucca, 
to demand the criminals, in accordance with an exist- 
ing treaty. Winnemucca was found at Pyramid 
lake. He did not deny the governor's right in the 
matter, but refused to give the order for the surren- 
der, and demanded $16,000 for Honey Lake valley. 

It was observed early in March that the Indians 
were withdrawing from the settlements. In the lat- 
ter part of April they held a council at Pyramid 
lake, and recited their grievances, a long enough list 
of insults and injustice, among which the encroach- 
ments of the white race upon their favorite lands, and 
the cutting down of the pine nut trees, which were 
their orchards, were mild charges. Every chief in 
the council except Numaga, known as Young Winne- 
mucca, although not related to the head chief of that 
name, which signifies bread giver, was in favor of 
war, he having mingled more with white people, and 
knowing their numbers and strength. The head chief, 
like Peupeumoxmox of the Walla Wallas was a 
shrewd politician, and, while secretly supporting the 
war movement, never committed himself openly to 
either party, but consented to be governed by the 
majority. Then there was a chief of the Shoshones 
who had married a Pah Ute, and another chief from 
Powder river, Oregon, a half Bannack, who were 
clamorous for war. 9 

Meanwhile Mogoannoga, chief of the Humboldt 
Meadows men, known to the settlers as Captain Soo, 
stole away from the council with nine braves to end 

9 The Shoshone was killed a few years later, after a raid into Paradise 
valley, by some of his own people, near Battle mountain. They killed him 
because he kept them in perpetual trouble by his raids upon the stock of the 
settlers in Nevada and Oregon. The chief of the Smoke Creek Indians, a 
brother-in-law of VVinnemucca, was slain by one of his own people for at- 
tempting to bewitch him. Ihe chief of the Honey Lake band was also 
killed by his followers after years of war, to put a stop to hostilities; and 
another Honey Lake chief was killed by his people. A brother of Winne- 
mucca named Wahe was murdered by the Pah Utes at Walker river. 


all discussion by opening the war. On the 7th of 
May they attacked Williams' station, on the over- 
land road, killed seven men, and burned the house. 
Then passing by the place of Samuel 8. Buckland, 1 * 
they came to the farm of W. H. Bloomfield. They 
drove off the stock and returned to Pyramid lake, 
sending one of their number in advance to announce 
to the council still in session that war had been be- 
gun. On the morning of the 8th, also, J. O. Wil- 
liams returned to his home to find it a smoking ruin, 
near which lay the dead bodies of his brothers, and 
among the ashes the bones of his friends. He fled to 
Virginia City, pursued a part of the way to Buck- 
land's, where he gave the alarm. 

Like the bursting out of a long smothered confla- 
gration was the vengeful excitement which followed 
the news of the attack at Williams' station. Couriers 
sped in every direction, and at night, and by un- 
frequented ways, to warn camps of prospectors and 
outlying settlements of their danger. On the day of 
the attack John Gibson and seven others, sixty miles 
away, were also slaughtered; settlers were killed and 
houses burned at Honey lake, and two men killed on 
Truckee river; war parties stationed themselves in 
the Humboldt valley, and in the mountains at Mono 
and Walker river. Intelligence was sent to Califor- 
nia with an appeal for arms and ammunition, to which 
the citizens of that state quickly and generously re- 
sponded. But without waiting for aid, the Nevadans 
immediately formed companies in all the towns, and 
proceeded on the 9th to Buckland's, en route to Wil- 
liams' station. They were divided into several de- 
tachments under leaders few of whom had any mili- 
tary knowledge, numbering altogether but 105 men. 
They were poorly armed and undisciplined. 11 After 

19 Buckland was a native of Ohio, born in Licking county in 1826. He 
came to Cal. in 1850, via Panama, removing to Carson valley in 1857. In a 
manuscript by him in my library he states that the attack was brought on by 
the Williams brothers, who had imprisoned and violated a Pah Ute woman. 

11 Under arms were: The Genoa rangers, Capt. Thomas F. Condon, C. E. 
Kimball, Michael Tay, Kobert Ridley, Big Texas, M. Pular, J. A. Thomp- 
HIST. NEV. 14 


interring the dead the volunteers proceeded to the 
Truckee river, where they encamped on the night of 
the llth at the present site of Wadsworth, moving 
down next day toward the main camp of the enemy. 
About two miles from the foot of the lake the moun- 
tains approach closely to the river, leaving but a nar- 
row strip of bottom land, which constitutes a pass 
easily defended, and dangerous to an attacking force. 
No enemy appearing in sight, the volunteers marched 
on for a mile and a half. When they were well with- 
in the trap, about 100 Indians showed themselves on 
the ridge a little in advance. Major Ormsby gave 
the order for his company to charge up the slope. 
When they reached the plateau above, on still an- 
other ridge, another line was stationed in the same 
manner as the first, but more extended, and with their 
right and left almost touching the narrow valley 
through which ran an impassable river. Soon from 
every sage brush twanged an arrow or hissed a bullet, 
and the thirty men realized their peril. They made 
a hasty retreat to a piece of timber which came down 
toward the bottom on the west. But here they were 
met by the savages under the Black Rock chief Se- 
quinata, commonly called Chiquito Winnemucca, or 
Black Rock Tom, who forced them down toward 

son, Lee James; Carson City Rangers: Maj. William M. Ormsby, John L. 
Blackburn, F. Steinger, Christopher Barnes, James M. Gatewood, William 
S. Spurr, Frank Gilbert, William Headley, F. Shinn, William Mason, Rich- 
ard C. Watkins, John Holmes, Samuel Brown, William E. Eichelroth, Anton 
W. Tjader, James J. Mclntyre, Eugene Angel, William C. Marley, Lake, 
Abraham Jones, Charles Shad, Bartholomew Riley, and 5 discharged U. S. 
soldiers from Fort Ruby. Silver City guards: Capt. R. G. Watkins, Albert 
Bloom, Charles Evans, James Lee, James Shabel, Boston Boy, Keene, and a 
boy; Virginia vols. co, 1: Capt. F. Johnson, F. J. Call, McTerney, Hugh 
McLaughlin, Charles McLeod; John Fleming, Henderson (Greeks), Andreas 
Schnald( Italian), Marco Kneegiswoldt, and John Gaventi (Austrians), George 
(aChileno), O. C. Steel; Virginia vol. , co. 2., Capt. Archie McDonald, Wil- 
liam Armington, Charles W. Allen, G. F. Brown, Joseph G. Baldwin, Jr, D. 
D. Cole, A. K. Elliott, A. L. Grannis, Fred. Galehousen, F. Hawkins, Arch- 
ibald Haven, J. C. Hall, George Jones, Charles Forman, R. Lawrence, Henry 
Meredith, P. Mclntosh, 0. Spurr, M. Spurr, John Noyce, C. McVane, Pat- 
rick McCourt, S. McNaughton, Henry Newton, A. J. Peck, and Richard 
Snowden. Another company from Gold Hill contained J. F. Johnson, G. 
Jonner, James McCarthy, T. Kelley, J. Bowden, N. A. Chandler, A. G. B. 
Hammond, Armstrong, E. Millson, and 24 others. 


the river, where they would be entirely at his 

At this juncture Numaga or Young Winnemucca, 
threw himself between Chiquito Winnemucca's war- 
riors and the volunteers, and attempted to obtain a 
parley; but he was disregarded by the Indians, now 
in hot pursuit of Ormsby's men, who had been ree'n- 
forced by other companies from the valley, and were 
making a stand in the timber, where Ormsby by gen- 
eral consent took the command. When the com- 
mander comprehended that his force was surrounded 
he made an effort to keep open an escape by sending 
Captain Condon of the Genoa rangers, and Captain 
B,. G. Watkins of the Silver City guards, the only 
veteran soldier among them, 12 to guard the pass out 
of the valley. But a panic ensued. Seeing the hope- 
lessness of their situation, many turned arid fled. 
Watkins returned to the bottom where the remnants 
of the commands were engaged in a life and death 
struggle with the Indians, who, flushed with victory, 
were sating their thirst for blood. The white men 
cried for mercy, but the savages said "No use now ; 
too late/' 13 

The battlo beg&n about four o'clock in the after- 
noon. The bloodiest part of it was where the rear of 
the white forces, crowding at the pass in their efforts 
to escape, retarded the exit, and the Indians riding in 
amongst them hewed them in pieces. Just where 
Ormsby died his friends could not tell. He was shot 
in the mouth by a poisoned arrow, and wounded in 
both arms. The working of the poison caused him to 
fall from his horses. It was said that he besought his 
men to rally around him, dreading to fall into the 
hands of his enemies before life was extinct. The 

^Watkins was one of Walker's Nicaragua force, and had lost a leg in 
action. He rode a powerful horse, to which he was strapped. 

13 * White men all cry a heap; got no gun, throw 'urn away; got no revol- 
ver; throw 'um away too; no want to light any more now; all big scare, just 
like cattle; run, run, cry, cry, heap cry, same as papoose; no want Injun to 
kill 'um any more.' 


pursuit was kept up until interrupted by the darkness 
of night, and the fugitives scattered over the country 
a hundred miles from Virginia City. 1 * Comparatively 
few were wounded. The first effect of the defeat at 
Pyramid lake was to drive many out of the country. 
The women and children of Virginia City were placed 
in an unfinished stone house, which was turned into a 
fortress and called Fort Kiley. At Silver City a for- 
tification was erected on the rocks overlooking the 
town, and a cannon made of wood was mounted at the 
fort to frighten away invaders. At Carson City the 
Penrod hotel was used as a fortification, after being 
barricaded, and pickets established. At Genoa the 
small stone house of Warren Wasson was taken for a 
defence, while Wasson rode through the enemy's coun- 
try 110 miles, to Honey lake, to carry a telegraphic 
order from General Clarke to a company of cavalry 
supposed to be at Honey lake, to march at once to 

As I have before stated, the Californians responded 
quickly to the call for help. The news of the battle 
and the death of young Meredith aroused the citizens 
of Downieville, who within thirty-six hours raised and 
equipped 165 men, who marched to Virginia City on 
foot in five days. Sacramento, Placerville, La Porte, 
San Juan, and Nevada City sent volunteers to help 
fight the Pah Utes. San Francisco raised money and 
arms. General Clarke issued orders to Captain Stew- 
art of the 3d artillery stationed at Fort Alcatraz, and 

14 The killed, besides Ormsby, were Eugene Angel, William Arrington, S. 
Aubersoii, Boston Boy, A. K. Elliott, John B. Fleming, W. Hawkins, Wil- 
liam Headly, F. Gatehouse, John Gaventi, George Jones, Flourney Johnson, 
M. Kuezerwitch, James Lee, Henry Meredith, P. Mclntosh, Charles McLeod, 
0. McNaughton, J. McCarty, Parsons, Richard Snowden, William E. Spear, 
Andrew Schueld, and others. One correspondent of the S. F. Herald gave 
the number of bodies found on the field and buried at 43, Hayes* Scraps Min- 
ing, xi. 104, and another says that on the 27th, two weeks after the fight, 
nearly 60 persons were still missing. See also Sac. Record, June 22, 1872; 
S. F Herald, May 14, 1860; S. F. Call, Jan. 26, 1879; Kleins Founders of 
Carson City, MS., 4; 8. F. Alta, May 8, 1860; HawkysLake Tahoe, MS., 4-5; 
Cradlebaugtis New Biog., MS., 4-5; Hayes' Scraps Mining, xi. 61-83; 8. F. 
Bulletin, May 14, 16, 17, 26, 29, 31, and June 5, 6, 7, 1860j Gal Farmer, 
May 11, 1860. 


Captain Flint of the 6th infantry, stationed at Be- 
nicia, to proceed at once to Carson Valley, the two 
companies numbering 150 men, and there establish a 
military post. Almost daily thereafter there were 
arrivals from west of the mountains, which gave much 
uneasiness to the divers Winnemuccas on the watch 
to see what turn affairs would take. By the last of 
the month there were about 800 troops in the field, 
of whom over 200 were regulars. 15 

On the 26th the united forces marched down the 
Carson Valley from Camp Hayes twenty miles below 
Carson City, with the understanding that they were 
to go to Pyramid lake, and if the Indians would fight, 
to engage them ; but if they could not be brought to 
battle, the volunteers were to disband in ten days, and 
leave the regulars to guard the passes into Carson 
valley. Thus the pony express, just established, as 
well as the settlers, might be protected. Every sta- 
tion was reported broken up as far east as Dry Creek 
and Simpson Park, in the eastern part of what is now 

15 The Washoe regiment was officered as follows: Col commanding, John 

C. Hays; lieut-col, E. J. Sanders; maj., Dan. E. Hungerford; adjt, Charles 
S. Fairfax; actg-adjtof infantry, J. S. Plunkett; reg. quartermaster, Benj. 
S. Lippincott; asst quartermaster, John McNish; dept qnartermaster, Alex. 
Miot; commissary, R. N. Snowden; A. C. S., Capt. H. Toler; surgeon, E. 
J. Bryant; asst-surgs, Ed. T. Perkins, C. R. Bell; serg-maj., R. Macgill. 
Co. A, Spy; J. B. Fleeson capt. ; 15 men. Co. B, Sierra guards; E. J. 
Smith capt.; 1st lieut J. B. Preasch; 2d lieut WiUiam Wells; 3d lieut J. 
Halliday; 46 men. Co. C, Truckee rangers; capt. Alanson Nightingill. Co. 

D. Sierra guards; capt. J. B. Reed; 1st lieut N. P. Pierce; orderly D. Rals- 
ton; 14 men. Co. E, Carson rangers; capt. P. H. Clayton. Co. F, Nevada 
rifles; capt. J. R. Van Hagan. Co. G. Sierra guards; capt. F. F. Patterson; 
1st lieut C. S. Champney; 2d lieut T. Maddux; 3d lieut A. Walker; 41 men. 
Co. H, San Juan rifles; capt. N. C. Miller. Co. I, Sacramento guards; capt. 
A. G. Snowden. Co. J; capt. James Virgo. Co. K, Virginia rifles; capt. 

E. T. Storey; 106 men. Co. L, , Carson City rifles; capt. J. L.Blackburn; 
1st lieut A. L. Turner; ord. sergt Theo. Winters. Co. M, Silver City 
guards; capt. Ford. Co. N, Highland rangers; capt. S. B. Wallace (spy co.); 
15 men; 1st lieut Robert Ly on; 2d lieut Joseph F. Triplett; 20 men. Co. O, 
Sierra guards; capt. Creed Haymond; 1st sergt George A. Davis; 2d sergt 
H. M. Harshberger; 9 men. Scouts William S. Allen, Samuel Buckland, 
Benjamin Webster, and S. C. Springer. Teamsters and armed followers 
numbered 30 more. U. S. troops, officers: Capt. Jasper M. Stewart, 3d ar- 
tillery commdg 82 men; lieut H. G. Gibson, with howitzers and 10 men; 
capt.; F. F. Flint, 6th inf.; lieut E. R. Warner; 62 men; lieut J. McCreary, 
6th inf. ; 53 men; quartermaster, Capt. T. Moore; asst quartermaster, Ed. 
Byrne; surg., Charles C. Keany. 


Eureka county. 16 On the 19th of June the express 
and mail were escorted from Carson City eastward 
by a picked company of twenty men, and the line re- 
established. While the volunteers were crossing the 
Twenty-six- mile desert, one of the scouts, Michael 
Bushy, was cut off by the Indians. His remains 
were found two years afterward near Williams' sta- 
tion, and the Indians who pointed them out said he 
had fought bravely for eight miles, turning on his 
pursuers and driving them to cover, but his horse 
gave out, the enemy surrounded him, and the end 
soon came. 

The army found the Indians waiting for them at 
Big Meadows, in the neighborhood of Williams' sta- 
tion, where they engaged a detachment of scouts, 
under Captain Fleeson, whom they attempted to cut 
off. In the skirmish two volunteers were wounded, 
and six Indians killed. The enemy retreated when 
the main volunteer force came up. In this fight, as 
in the battle of Pyramid lake, the Indians had rifles 
of longer range than the volunteers. The regulars 
coming up two hours after the action at Big 
Meadows, the whole force moved on to the scene of 
the first battle, where they found and buried the 
bodies of the slain. From this point the Indians 
warily withdrew toward Pyramid lake, followed by 
the army, which could not bring them to any decisive 
engagement, but which was resolved to drive them 
beyond the lake, and then leave the regular troops to 
guard the passes, as previously agreed upon, hoping 
thus to starve them into subjection. 

As the fatal pass was neared they found the bodies 
of those killed in the retreat of the 12th of May, 
which were interred, and camp was made on the 1st 
of June, about eight miles below the lower crossing 
of the Truckee river. On the afternoon of the 3d 
an order was issued to Captain Storey of the Vir- 
ginia Rifles with twenty men, Captain Wallace of the 

i 6 Hayes 1 Scraps Mining, xi. 217, 221, 


Spy company with three men, Captain Van Hagen of 
the Nevada Rifles with twenty men, and Captain 
George Snowden, to make a reconnoissance toward 
the battle field. They approached near enough to 
count twenty -three bodies, when suddenly arose from 
the shadow of bush and rock a host of armed Pah 
Utes, and the detachment hastily retreated toward 
camp, pursued by the foe, which posted itself on a 
rocky ledge two miles from camp. 

News of the attack being conveyed to Colonel 
Hayes and Captain Stewart, they hastened to the 
spot, and a battle three hours in length was fought, 
in which 200 volunteers and 100 regulars were en- 
gaged. They dislodged the Indians, pursuing them 
between four and five miles, killing twentv-five and 


taking fifty of their horses. In this action Captain 
Storey, 17 was shot throngh the lungs, and died on the 
7th. Privates J. Cameron and A. H. Phelps of his 
company were also killed. Four regular soldiers 
were wounded, and a private of the Nevada Rifles, 
Andrew Hasey, who charged with his company after 
being severely wounded in the hip. The pursuit was 
abandoned at sundown, the Indians fleeing to the 
mountains. Fortifications were constructed, and the 
name of Fort Storey given to the place. 

On the 4th the march was resumed toward Pyra- 
mid lake. The Pah Ute valley was found deserted, 
the trail of the Indians appearing to lead north. 
From this point, where Captain Stewart remained 
and threw up earthworks, which he named Fort 

17 Edward Faris Storey, after whom Storey county was named, was born 
in Georgia July 1, 1828, and was a son of Colonel John Storey, who com- 
manded a regiment during the Indian wars in the western part of Georgia, 
under Jackson's administratioh. He afterward removed to Texas, and with 
his three sons in 1846 enlisted in a company of Texas rangers under Cap t. 
McCulloch. Of the sons only E. F. Storey survived the war. In 1848 he 
was elected lieut in a company of rangers under Capt. Jacob Roberts to 
quell outlaws. In 1849 he married Adelia Calhoun Johnson of Texas, by 
whom he had a daughter, later Mrs J. W. Williams of Visalia, California, 
which child, after the death of his wife in 1852, he brought to the Pacific 
coast overland through Mexico, embarking at Mazatlan for S. F. He en- 
gaged in stock raising in Tulare co., removing to Nevada a short time before 
the Indian outbreak. 


Haven, Colonel Hayes returned to Carson and dis- 
banded his regiment. On the march he lost a valued 
scout, William S. Allen, 18 who was shot from an am- 
buscade, this act being the last of the Pah Ute war of 
1860, in the western part of the county of Carson. 
There was some fighting in the Goose Lake country 
between the force under Colonel Lander, then explor- 
ing for a wagon road over the sierra and across the 
great basin, who had been appointed special Indian 
agent. In August, Lander gave information that 
old Winnemucca, with the principal part of his band, 
was in the mountains north of the Humboldt river, 
and the Smoke Creek chief scouting from theTruckee 
river over to a point north of the sink of the Hum- 
boldt. Before quitting the Humboldt country, Lan- 
der sought an interview with young Winnemucca, 
and through him a convention was entered into by 
which Numaga agreed that the Pah Utes should keep 
the peace for one year, and Lander promised at the 
end of that time to use his influence with congress to 
procure payment for the Pah Ute lands. 

The regulars under Captain Stewart remained at 
Fort Haven until the middle of July, some persons 
taking advantage of their presence to make settle- 
ments on the Truckee, and near Pyramid lake. 1 ' The 
troops after leaving Fort Haven occupied themselves, 
under the direccton of Captain Stewart, in erecting 
Fort Churchill, a permanent post on the Carson 
river thirty-five miles below Carson City. Indian- 
agent Frederick Dodge endeavored to perfect the 
promised peace by setting off reservations at Walker 
and Pyramid lakes, and in the Truckee valley, where 
the fishing and other food supplies of the Indians 
were most abundant, and placing them in charge of 
Warren Wasson, an energetic, fearless, and just man. 

18 BucTcland's Indian Fighting, MS. 

19 J. D. Roberts, Thomas Marsh, Robert Reed, Hans Parian, 0. Spevey, 
Anderson Spain, Washington Cox Corey, and M. A. Braley. The mines at 
Aurora were discovered by Corey and Braley, whose names were given to 
two mountains in that region. 


By the exertions of Wasson and the friendly chiefs 
Oderkeo, Numaga, and Truckee, 29 war was averted 
for the time. 

The winter of 1861-2 was severe, and the Indians 
whose hunting ground had been spoiled, and whose 
stock of provisions was inadequate to their wants, 
killed the cattle belonging to the white men, and were 
themselves sometimes slaughtered in return. Retali- 
ations multiplied, and several white men 21 -were killed 
in Owen River valley. The remaining inhabitants, 
herdsmen, fortified themselves thirty miles above 
Owen lake. Eighteen men marched from Aurora to 
the relief of the graziers, who now took the field sixty 
strong, under a leader named Mayfield, and had a 
skirmish with the Indians in force, losing one man. 23 
Retreating to camp they were pursued, and in another 
skirmish two other white men were slain. 23 The com- 
pany escaped under cover of night and returned to 
their fortification, abandoning a considerable quantity 
of ammunition, eighteen horses, and leaving their dead 
on the field. On the march they met Lieutenant- 
colonel George Evans with two lieutenants and forty 
men of the Second Cavalry California volunteers, 
from Los Angeles, who joined his force to theirs, and 
went again in pursuit of the Indians. In the mean- 
time Governor Nye had been informed by Agent 
Wasson of the difficulty on Owen river, with request 
for troops sufficient to quiet the disturbance, and pre- 
vent the infection of war from spreading to the Pah 
Utes. General Wright, in command of the depart- 
ment, ordered Captain E. A. Rowe of the above 
mentioned regiment, stationed at Fort Churchill to 
send fifty men to the scene of the conflict, and the 
orders of Captain Rowe to Lieutenant Noble, in 

20 Truckee died in October 1860. His name was given to the Truckee 
river by the early immigrants, to whom he behaved well. He possessed 
papers given him by Fremont in 1844. 

21 E. S. Taylor, J. Tallman, R. Hansen, and Crozen were killed by the 
Indians in the spring of 1862. 

22 C. J. Pleasants of Aurora. 

33 N. F, Scott, sheriff of Mono county, and Morrison of Visalia. 


command of the detachment were not to engage the 
Indians without the sanction of the Indian agent. 
But when Lieutenant Noble met Colonel Evans 
on the 7th of April his command was taken away, 
and his men ordered to join in the pursuit of the 
Indians, whom Wasson desired to meet and pacify. 
On the second day, believing that the Indians were 
secreted in a certain canon, Evans sent Sergeant Gil- 
lespie and nine men to reconnoiter in advance of the 
main command. The squad was fired upon almost 
as soon as it entered the canon, the sergeant killed 
and Corporal Harris wounded. An attack was then 
ordered, the cavalry under Evans taking the moun- 
tains on the right of the defile, Noble, with his com- 
pany and a few citizens, the heights on the left, and 
the remainder of the force remaining below. Noble 
succeeded in gaining his position under a galling fire 
from a concealed foe, but the colonel of the citizen's 
company, Mayfield, who had accompanied him. was 
killed Not being able to cope with an invisible 
enemy, he retired down the mountain, and Evans 
having no provisions for an extended campaign, re- 
turned to Los Angeles. Noble then escorted the 
graziers with their herds, numbering 4,000 cattle and 
2,500 sheep, to quieter pastures in Nevada, and the 
Indian agents undertook the task of soothing away 
the excitement among tie reservation Indians, who 
from fighting among themselves were willing and 
anxious to go to war with the Owens River tribe 
should they be asked to do so. But with this people 
the governor of California made a treaty in the fol- 
lowing October, 

On the 23d of May the governor met Winnemucca 
and his people in council at the lower bend of the 
Truckee, but nothing came of it. In August, eleven 
immigrants, men, women, and children, were killed 
by the Indians on the Humboldt, eight miles east of 
Gravelly Ford, and their bodies cast into a stream. 
Thereupon General Conner issued the eminently in- 


telligent, just, and humane order to "sho:>t all male 
Indians found in the vicinity, and to take no prisoners." 
When savagism and civilization fight, let me ask, Is 
it savage warfare or civilized warfare that the white 
men engage in ? The operations of Connor who as- 
sumed command of the district of Nevada and Utah 
in August 1862, against the Pah Utes of eastern 
Nevada, and the Snakes, Shoshones, and Bannacks of 
Idaho are given elsewhere in these histories. 

Meanwhile desultory hostilities were carried on 
with the Gosh Utes. A company of regulars under 
Captain Smith crept upon a camp of Indians in Step- 
toe valley on the 4th of June, and killed twenty-four. 
Next day they killed five more, and the day after 
twenty-three horrible massacres these acts would be 
called had the savages perpetrated them. Meanwhile 
the Indians continued to pick off an emigrant or a 
stage driver occasionally, and destroyed the stations 
all along the line. Treaties were made in the summer 
and autumn of 1863 with the Shoshones, General 
Connor and Governor Doty of Utah treating with the 
Shoshones and Bannacks in south-eastern Idaho in 
July, and Governor Doty and Governor Nye with 
those in the north-eastern part of Nevada, at a later 
period, including the Gosh Utes, who were placed on 
a reservation in Ruby valley. 24 In the spring and 
summer of 1863 were raised the Nevada cavalry and 
infantry by order of the general government, which 
were distributed to the different posts and overland 
stations. Nevertheless, murders by white men and 
red continued through 1864 and 1865 much as before. 

Twenty-nine of Winnemucca's men having been 
killed for stealing cattle, by a cavalry captain in March 
of the year last named, a conference was called at 
which the chieftain handed in a catalogue of crimes 
committed against him by white men, which far out- 
numbered those which could justly be brought against 

24 The losses sustained by the stage company in the Gosh Ute war were 
150 horses, 7 stations destroyed, and 16 men killed. 


him ; yet Winnemucca was not able to kill ten white 
men for every twenty dollars' worth of property stolen, 
else he would have done so. In April the settlers in 
Paradise valley were attacked, and the Indians with 
difficulty repulsed. In May thirty- six men attacked 
a force of 500 Pah Utes and Shoshones, 130 miles 
north-east of Gravelly Ford, and 75 miles from Para- 
dise valley. The troops were repulsed after four 
hours hard fighting, having lost two men killed and 
four wounded. An Indian camp at Table mountain 
was surprised in September and ten killed. A whole 
village full were butchered shortly afterward, and 
other camps and other villages; and so the game went 
on, until enough of the savages were swept away 
the civilized war being likewise brought to a close 
to enable the Nevada volunteers to be mustered out 
of service. 25 

Troubles continuing in northern Nevada, Captain 
Conrad of Company B, of that organization, and a 
detachment of Company I, under Lieutenant Duncan, 
with eight citizens, had a battle on the morning of 
the 12th of January, 1866, witji th/) Indians on Fish 
creek, sixty-five miles west of Paradise valley. The 
conflict was a determined one on both sides, the 
savages being led by Captain John, a chief of the 
Warner Lake Shoshones, who had killed Colonel 
McDermit. After a three hour's fight the troops 
were victorious, slaying thirty -five warriors, capturing 
ten women with their children, and destroying their 
supplies. 26 

The settlers of Paradise valley being again dis- 
turbed by Indian raids, an expedition against them 
was organized, under Major S. P. Smith, of fifty-one 

25 The military farce in Nevada in 1868 consisted of 6 cos. of cav. and 2 
of inf., which companies garrisoned camps McDermit, Winfield Scott, Ruby, 
Halleck, and Fort "Churchill. Mess, and Doc., 1868-9, 368-9. In 1872 camps 
Halleck and McDermitt alone were garrisoned, the former by 1 company of 
the 1st U. S. cavalry, and 1 company of the 12tb U. S. inf. Sec. War Kept, 
i. 66, 43d cong. 1st sess. 

26 Unionville, Nev. Gazette, Jan. 24 1866; Sac.. Uwon, Jan. 22, 1866; Doc., 
7, Misc. Hint. Papers, MS. 


men of the same regiment aided by thirty citizens of 
the infested region. A battle was fought at Rock 
canon, on the 15th of February, in which 115 Ind- 
ians were killed and 19 prisoners taken, with a loss of 
one soldier killed and Major Smith and six privates 

By reference to the second volume of my History 
of Oregon, it will be seen that the troops in that state 
and in Idaho were driving the Indians south, while the 
Nevada troops were forcing them north, so that 
truly the savage had no place to lay his head. The 
total loss to Indians in the district of Nevada for 
1866 was 172 killed and about an equal number made 

In 1874-5 there was some trouble with the Indians 
in eastern Nevada, which was, however, quickly sup- 
pressed. C. C. Clevland was conspicuous in putting 
down the disturbance. Owing to the milder disposi- 
tion of the Nevada tribes, as well as to the swift 
vengeance by which any resistance was met, the state 
has suffered less than some others by Indian wars. 
Probably 250 or 300 white persons have been killed 
by Indians in Nevada, while ten times that number 
of savages have suffered death at the hands of white 

No treaty was ever entered into between the gov- 
ernment and the Pah Utes or Washoes. The latter 
never had a reservation, but roamed up and down the 
country formerly occupied by them, sometimes labor- 
ing as servants, but largely idle, with every combina- 
tion of vices, savage and civilized. The friendly Pah 
Utes, less vile, more manly, and numbering a little 
over 1,000, were for the most part established on re- 
servations at Truckee and Walker rivers, aggregat- 
ing 644,000 acres. These reservations were surveyed 
by the government, and confirmed to the Indians by 
executive order in 1874. 27 

*Ind. A/. Rapt. 1871, 682. Land Off. Rept, 1864, 20; Hay &?' Scraps, Ind- 
ians, i. 51; Sec. Int. Rept, iii., 9-10, 168-73, 361-95, 40th cong. 2d sess. ; 


Winnemucca did not remain long upon the reser- 
vation at Pyramid lake, but roamed over the northern 
part of the state, being never met in battle. After 
the peace of 1868 in southern Oregon and Ne\ada, 
he remained in the neighborhood of Camp McDermit 
and received rations from the military department." 8 
It is quite certain that in the Modoc war of 1872-3 
the Modocs looked for assistance from the Pah Utes 
and Shoshones in that quarter. A tract in eastern 
Oregon containing 1,800,000 acres was set apart in 
1870 for a reservation on which to place the Mal- 
heur and Warner lake Shoshones, and the rest- 
less Pah Utes of northern Nevada. A few were 
gathered upon it in 1873, among them Winnemucca's 
band, who still spent the summers in roaming through 
Nevada and Idaho, and were fed whenever they 
applied for rations at Camp McDermit. During the 
wars of 0.877-8 in Idaho and eastern Oregon, Winne- 
mucca's band was hovering on the edges of the hostile 
field, yet sustaining a neutral character. The war of 
1878 caused the abandonment of the Malheur reser- 
vation, the Indians having destroyed the agency. At 
the conclusion of the war the Shoshones and Pah Utes 
were removed to the Simcoe reservation in Washing- 
ton, where they were not wanted by the Yakimas, 
who made them miserable by various systematized 
oppressions, causing them in 1880 to return to 
Nevada. The Malheur reservation was ordered to 
be sold, and the money applied to the benefit of the 
Indians. 29 

The treaty made in October 1863, between the 
Indians of eastern Nevada on one side and governors 
Nye and Doty, of Nevada and Utah respectively, on 
the other, contained an article authorizing the presi- 
dent of the United States to select a reservation for 

Tyler's Posts and Stations, 2; Ind. Aff., 1874, 3-4, 53-4, 104-79, 278-84; 
Id., 1873, 336^6; Nev. Sen. Jour., 1873, app. no. 6, 18; Sen. Doc., 42, i., 
43d cong. Istsess.; House Ex. Doc., 157, xii., 43d cong. 1st sess. 

28 Winnemucca died in Oct. 1882. Reno Gazette, Oct. 27, 1882. 

29 Winnemucca Silver State, July 10, 1880; Reno Gazette, Nov. 27, 1880. 


the western Shoshones. This reservation was estab- 
lished in 1877 at Duck valley, between the forks of 
the Owyhee river, in Elko county. The only other 
was the Moapa river reservation in the south-eastern 
corner of the state, established in 1875. 19 

30 In Feb. 1871 congress passed an act to provide for the disposition of 
useless military reservations, in which Camp McGarry, Nevada, was named. 
Ex. Doc., 1013, 1180, vol. 26, 46th cong. 3d sess.; Cong. Gbobe, 1870-1, app. 
341. Total area of military reserves 22,195.33 acres. Ex. Doc., 253, vol. 25, 
46th cong, 3d sess. 




WHAT advantage to Nevada has been her mountain 
of silver? What advantage her organization as a 
state ? Some, no doubt, but more to individuals than 
to the commonwealth at large. To the later inhabi- 
tants, the merchant, the miner, the farmer, the pro- 
fessional man, it is not a matter of great moment, the 
fact that millions of money have been taken from 
somewhere about Sun Peak, leaving hills of debris 
and ghastly holes in the ground money squandered 
by lucky gamblers in New York and Paris, and used 
for purposes of political bribery and social corruption 
in Virginia City and San Francisco. Less than the 
least of the tailings of all this vast output of wealth 
has gone to benefit Nevada. California assumed in 
the beginning, and kept until the end, the mastery of 
affairs. San Francisco without the Comstock was a 
different city from San Francisco with a long list of 
Nevada mines, paying large dividends, on the stock- 

I wish I could say that Comstock ethics were likely 
to mend ; but the truth must be told, which is that 



the managers, when they had appropriated to them- 
selves the bonanza, erected a multitude of mills, and 
kept on reducing the lower grade ores at a cost to 
themselves of $5 a ton, but to the other stockholders 
of $14, when perhaps the rock only yielded $14, 
or at any rate it was reported at that figure. A 
thousand Comstocks at this rate would be of little 
value to a state. Some good, in spite of all this, 
remains from bonanza days. S. L. Jones, brother of 
Senator Jones, has worked several of the Gold Hill 
mines from the 350 foot level to the 1,700 foot level, 
systematically and economically, and Evan Williams 1 
has shown great skill and wisdom in the working of 
low grade ores. Had the same business like methods 
prevailed in former days it would have been better 
for all interested. In 1885 the state was redistricted 
for judicial purposes and in 1887 the old fee system 
revised, and by these wholesome measures much 
expense was saved to the state, without any detriment 
to the public service. 2 

But after all, the real wealth of Nevada lies in the 
improvements made; in developments that are in fact 
improvements; in farms and manufactures; inroads 
and systems of irrigation ; which are due rather to 

1 Williams was born in Blossburgh city, Penn., of Welch parentage, Jan. 
13, 1844. He came to Nevada in 1868, and for some years was prominent 
in educational matters. He was subsequently a senator from Ormsby 
county for years. Noted for his ability and common sense; a fearless and 
just man, wholly reliable, very public spirited, of a generous nature, and 
deservedly popular ; became wealthy by intelligent land investmeuts ; he 
did much to develop the Owen river section of Inyo co., Cal. 

3 M. D. Foley, who participated in this legislation as state senator, was 
born at St Andrews, New Brunswick, October 22, 1849, of Scotch-Irish 
parentage; came to Nevada in 1867 and participated in the White Pine 
excitement; removed to Eureka, Nevada, in 1870, where he still resides. 
He has taken an active part in various enterprises of importance, notably 
in the affairs of the Richmond Mining company, is of the firm of Remington, 
Johnson & Co., successors to the well-known house of Walker Bros., Salt 
Lake City, Utah, with a branch of the business in Eureka; is president of 
the Bank of Nevada, Reno, in which he is a large stockholder; is interested 
in ranching and stock-raising. He served two terms in the state senate, of 
which body he was a useful member, especially in legislation on economic 

HIST. NEV. 15 


the absence of enormous mineral developments, such 
as paralyze puny effort, invite speculation, and turn 
the heads of men from patient, plodding effort. Far 
greater general progress has been made since the 
Comstock mines ceased their fabulous yield than 
before. But this is not meant to deny the value of 
legitimate mining to Nevada. 

With regard to transportation, always an important 
subject in an undeveloped country, Nevada was for a 
long time unfortunate. It is true that a road to Cali- 
fornia existed before the discovery of mines in west- 
ern Utah, and the same trail led backward to the 
Missouri frontier. But the distance in one direction 
and the high sierra in the other gave the territory an 
isolation which retarded development, and added to 
the cost and inconvenience of living. It was neces- 


sary to make provision in the summer for the sub- 
sistence of the people through the winter season, 
during which they were cut off by snow from 
travel in either direction through an uninhabited 

As early as 1851 the United States mail was car- 
ried by a contract with Woodard and Chorpening of 
Sacramento, from that place to Salt Lake City, 
going and returning once every month, the mail-bags 
being transported on the backs of mules, and the dis- 
tance being 750 miles. The route was via Folsom, 
Placerville, the old immigrant road through Straw- 
berry and Hope valleys to Carson valley, through 
Genoa, Carson City, Dayton, Ragtown, across the 
forty mile desert to the Humboldt river near the sink 
of the Humboldt, thence along the south side of the 
river to the point where Stone House station of the 
Central Pacific railroad was placed ; thence south of 
east by the Hastings cut-off to Salt Lake City. 
Woodward and two of his men were killed at Stone 
House station in the autumn of 1851, but Chorpen- 
ing continued to carry the mail until the expiration of 
his contract in 1853. Snow-shoes began to be used 


in crossing the Sierra in the spring of 1853 by the 
carriers, Fred Bishop and Dritt, succeeded by George 
Pierce and John A. Thompson. The latter distin- 
guished himself by his feats on snow-shoes, being a 
Norwegian by birth. The shoes used were ten feet 
long, and of the Canadian pattern.) 

In 1854 the legislature of -California appointed 
commissioners to lay out a road from Placerville to 
Carson valley. The contract for carrying the mails 
for four years was again given to Chorpening in com- 
pany with Ben Holladay, with permission to use 
a covered wagon and four-mule team, and to carry 
passengers, which was the best means^ of travel in 
western Utah prior to 1857^ when 6. B. Crandall 
established a tri-weekly line of stages between Placer- 
ville and Genoa, which carried the mail between these 
places, connecting with Chorpening's line at Genoa. 
This was the Pioneer Stage Line which became so 
great an institution in early times. It was transferred 
to Lewis Brady & Company in 1858, who established, 
a semi-weekly line between Sacramento and Genoa:) 
and George Chorpening secured the mail contract 
from Placerville to Salt Lake, where it connected 
every week with the overland mail from that city to 
St Joseph, Missouri, thus completing a transconti- 
nental mail and stage line between the Missouri and 
Sacramento rivers. The first eastward bound coach 
left Placerville June 5, 1858; and the first arrival 
from the east at Placerville was on the 19th of July 

The improvement in mail communication was rapid. 
Letters from the east came through overland a week 
sooner than by ocean transit. The amount of mail 
matter that was sent by stage increased, and new 
routes were sought to shorten the distance, the stage 
stations being moved south in the autumn ofjM359. 
to the Simpson route. /During the winter a new stage 
line between Placervifie and Genoa was started by 
John A. Thompson and Child, who used sleighs 


between Strawberry and Carson valleys, keeping the 
road open all winter for the first time.) 

The pony express was the next step. It was the 
conception of F. A. Bee, 3 W. H. Kussell and B. F. 
Ficklin, managing officers of the Central Overland 
and Pike's Peak Express company, incorporated by 
the Kansas legislature in the winter of 1859-60, to 
keep messengers going for over 1,700 miles, flying at 
the rate of from seven to nine miles an hour for ten 
days. Stations were first established twenty-five 
miles apart, but the distance between was subse- 
quently shortened. The messengers were required to 
ride seventy-five miles, but the ponies were changed 
at every station. Not more than ten or twelve pounds 
of mail were allowed to be carried, five dollars being 
charged on each letter. Newspapers printed on tissue 
paper were allowed. The mail was wrapped in oiled 
silk and carried in pockets in the four corners of the 
mochila, or leathern saddle cover, which, with the 
saddle, went through from St Joseph to Sacramento 
without change. The first pony express from the east 
brought eight letters, and made the distance in ten 
days, having started April 3, 1860. The first from 
the west left Sacramento April 4th, and arrived at 
St Joseph on the 13th. The route followed was 
nearly straight, and through Nevada pursued the 
Simpson trail via Ruby valley. The expense of 
maintaining this line through an unsettled country 
was extraordinary. /As an enterprise it was unpro- 
ductive, and the object of its founders has never been 
distinctly made known. They claim, however, to 
have shown that the central route across the conti- 
nent was feasible for railroad operating at any time of 
the year, which had been doubted. The view taken 
by Walter Crowinshield of Nevada, who assisted to 

'Bee was born Sept. 9, 1826, at Clinton, Oneida co., N. Y. He came 
to Cal. in 1849. Was early identified with telegraphic matters and later 
gained distinction by being the third in rank as consul of the Chinese 
government. He was a man of striking personal appearance and tenacity 
of purpose, 


restock the road after the Pah Ute outbreak in 1860, 
is that it was with a view of obtaining the mail con- 
tract over that route when its feasibility was demon- 
strated. Yet this company made no effort in that 
direction, but suffered the old Butterfield contractors 
to obtain the route west of Salt Lake under the name 
of Wells, Fargo & - Co. and Ben Holladay to secure 
the eastern portion.) But other considerations besides 
climatology settle"a the location of the first overland 
road placing it out of the reach of the confederate 

In the spring of 1860 another advance was made 
in staging. Louis McLane having purchased the 
Pioneer line from Genoa to Placerville, sold it to 
Wells, Fargo & Co., who then had control of the 
entire route to Salt Lake. McLane, however, in 
1862 purchased an opposition line to Placerville owned 
by A. J. Rhodes, who introduced six-horse coaches, 
and lowered the fare from forty to twenty dollars. 

In 1861 a daily overland mail was established from 
the Missouri river to San Francisco, over the central 
route, in lieu of the southern daily overland mail 
through northern Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and 
southern California, established in 1858, which was 
discontinued July 1, 1861. To avoid the expense of 
transporting feed, etc., the company opened a farm at 
Ruby valley, and raised an abundance of barley, oats, 
potatoes, and vegetables, this being the first experi- 
ment at farming in eastern Nevada. Congress in 
making the change required the letter mail to be car- 
ried through in twenty days, with as much newspaper 
mail as would make one thousand pounds daily. 
Other matter was allowed thirty -five days, besides 
the privilege to the contractors of sending the excess 
bi-monthly by steamer. .The contractors were also 
required during the continuance of their contract, or 
until July 1, 1864, to run a pony express semi-monthly, 
schedule time ten days, carrying five pounds of mail 
for the government, with the privilege of charging 


the public $1.50 per half ounce. The contract also 
required the performance of a tri- weekly mail service 
to Denver and Salt Lake City. The maximum price 
allowed for the overland service, including the pony 
express, was $1,000,000. The quickest time ever 
made across the continent was in 1861, when Presi- 
dent Lincoln's inaugural address was brought to Sac- 
ramento in five days and eighteen hours. The last 
pony to Denver was but twenty-one and a half min- 
utes in running ten miles and eighteen rods. These 
were the achievements of pioneer times. 

In September 1861 the telegraph line from Denver 
to Sacramento, via the stage route, was completed, 
this being the first wire toward the east, although 
the Carson and Placerville division, built by F. A. 
Bee, had been in use since 1859. It was necessary 
to the proper protection of^t 16 road, as well as a con- 
venience to the public. (There never was any stage 
service in the world more complete than that between 
Placerville and Virginia City. A sprinkled road, 
over which dashed six fine, sleek horses, before an 
elegant Concord coach, the lines in the hands of an 
expert driver, whose light hat, linen duster, and 
lemon-colored gloves betokened a good salary and an 
exacting company, and who timed his grooms and his 
passengers by a heavy gold chronometer watch, held 
carelessly, if conspicuously, on the tips of his fingers 
these were some of its conspicuous features. This 
service continued until it was supplanted by the Cen- 
Pacific railroad from Sacramento. 

On the 4th of July, 1858, the Placerville and Hum- 
boldt Telegraph company erected the first pole on the 
line of a transcontinental telegraph, and the wire was 
extended to Genoa that autumn, to Carson City in 
the following spring, and to Virginia City in 1860. 
Congress then passed an act directing that the secre- 
tary of the treasury advertise for sealed proposals for 
the construction of a line from the Missouri river to 


San Francisco, to be completed within two years from 
July 31, 1860, to be for the use of the government 
for ten years, the bids not to exceed $40,000 per year. 
This offer caused a concert of action between the 
California State Telegraph company and the Overland 
Telegraph company, which immediately organized 
with a capital of $1,250,000. The line was under 
the general superintendency of James Gamble, who 
completed its construction from Sacramento to Salt 
Lake City, where it connected with the eastern divi- 
sion, between the 27th of May and 22d of September, 
1861. It was built along the central or overland 
stage route, and was in use until May 13, 1869, when 
the stage route was abandoned, and the railroad be- 
gan to carry the mail. 

In June 1863 a telegraph line was completed from 
San Francisco to Aurora, via Genoa. In February 
1864 a franchise was granted to John B. Watson to 
construct a line of telegraph from Unionville and 
Star City to San Francisco, via Austin, Virginia, 
Gold Hill, and Carson, in Nevada, and Nevada City, 
Marysville, and Sacramento in California, which was 
constructed and put in operation within the year. A 
second overland telegraph line was erected in 1866 
by the Atlantic and Pacific company of New York, 
which pushed ffcs line westward nearly to Denver the 
first year, and from the western end to Virginia City 
in the same time. This line was carried from Vir- 
ginia to Austin along the former overland route. 
Telegraphic rates were held very high so long as 
there was but one line. The charge, from Aurora to 
San Francisco, for ten words was $2.50, and to the 
eastern cities as high as $7. To encourage competi- 
tion, the Nevada legislature enacted in 1866 that any 
persons or corporations might construct and maintain 
telegraph lines over public or private lands when they 
did not interfere with the use or value of the same.* 
With the construction of the Central Pacific railroad 

* Nevada Cvmp, Laws, ii, 310-12. 


came the erection of the Western Union transcon- 
tinental telegraph line, which followed the railroad 

With the first contract to carry the mail over the 
Sierra in wagons, it became necessary to improve the 
old immigrant road, which, in 1856, was done by par- 
tially rebuilding it. The road to Salt Lake had also 
to be furnished with bridges, and made passable. 
Numerous toll-roads were chartered. John Reese 
and Israel Mott were the first grantees of toll privi- 
leges under the provisional government. The first 
territorial legislature granted six franchises for toll- 
roads, the second twenty-five, and the third twenty- 
nine. It would seem from this that the traveller 
could not proceed far in any direction without paying 
toll. From Gold Hill down Gold canon to Dayton, 
a distance of seven miles, was a toll-road in 1859, 
owned by H. C. Howard, S. D. Bosworth, and G. D. 
Roberts. As most of the quartz extracted from the 
Comstock lode passed over it to the various mills, it 
was a paying property, and cost about $20,000. 5 

As early as 1860 an application was made for a 
railroad franchise from Carson City to Virginia City, 
the petitioner being Leonard L. Tread well. Several 
projects were before the first legislature, which granted 
charters to four companies, namely, the Nevada Rail- 
road company, with the privilege of constructing a 
road from the western to the eastern boundary of the 
territory, to Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, Collis 
P. Huntington, Lucius A. Booth, Mark Hopkins, 
Theodore D. Judah, James Bailey, and Samuel Silli- 
man ; the Virginia City and Washoe company ; Vir- 
ginia, Carson, and Truckee company; and the 
Esmeralda and Walker River company. Henry A. 
Cheever and associates received the franchise for the 

5 Another, extending from Gold Hill half way to Carson, was built at a 
cost of $12,000 by Waters, Blanchet, and Carson in 1861. Kelly's Nev. Dir. t 
1872, 174. 


Virginia and Washoe road ; J. H. Todman, R. R. 
Moss, C. W. Newman, William Arrington, Hiram 
Bacon, Joseph Trench, John A. Hobart, Frank 
Drake, William Hayes, William Gregory, J. P. 
Foulks, and associates the grant for the Virginia, 
Carson and Truckee road ; and P. G. Vibbard, John 
P. Foulks, and John Nye the grant for the Esmer- 
alda and Walker River road. Only the first of these 
roads was built under these legislative grants. Even 
at that early period the people protested against too 
much power in the hands of a few. 

So eager were men for cheap and rapid transit to 
and from the Pacific that in the first state constitu- 
tion, which was rejected, a clause was introduced 
which permitted the legislature to give $3,000,000 
in bonds to the first company that should connect 
Nevada with navigable waters. Though the clause 
was stricken out, the first state legislature took 
measures to ascertain what was being done by rail- 
road companies, and whether any company was 
actually intending to construct a railroad to tide- 
water in California. The Central Pacific had at this 
time built only thirty miles on its selected route, 
while another company, the San Francisco and 
Washoe Railroad, had constructed thirty-eight miles 
from the head of navigation on the Sacramento river 
to Latrobe in California, which was on a nearly direct 
line with Carson City. It was therefore resolved by 
both houses that congress should be asked to enact a 
law giving $10,000,000 in United States bonds,at dates 
of thirty years or less, to the corporation which should 
first complete a railway line, in good running order, 
from navigable water on the Sacramento river to 
Carson valley. This proposition had no other effect 
than to stimulate the company in possession of the 
congressional subsidy to greater effort. Their road 
was completed to and beyond the Nevada line in 
December 1867, and to Reno in May 1868. On the 
10th of May 1869, the Central and Union Pacific 


lines were united by driving a golden spike, with 
elaborate ceremonials, about fifty miles west of 
Ogden, in Utah. 

Strange as it may appear, the legislature of 
Nevada, which of all the states and territories 
received perhaps the most benefit from the construc- 
tion of the railroad, failed to appreciate the patriotic 
arid disinterested motives of the builders, and a vio- 
lent opposition early appeared. The average legisla- 
tive mind is unable to penetrate far beneath the 
surface of things. The resources of the directors, no 
less than their designs, were brought in question, 
and a leadirrg engineer declared before the Nevada 
legislature that it could not be completed within 
twenty years though its promoters had at their com- 
mand all the gold in the bank of England. 

In a letter written by this engineer in February 
1865, in answer to the request of a joint committee 
on railroads of the Nevada legislature, he says : "The 
celebrated engineering work built for the Austrian 
government a railway crossing the Alps from Vienna 
to Trieste is a bagatelle as compared with the pro- 
jected line to Dutch Flat. Comparing the estimated 
cost of the Central Pacific with the actual cost of 
such eastern lines as the Baltimore and Ohio and the 
Boston and Worcester, and allowing for the difference 
in the price of labor and materials, and for the greater 
physical obstacles to be overcome, " It is my firm con- 
viction," he writes, " that the Central Pacific will cost 
$250,000 to $300,000 per mile before it is completed 
to the Truckee, stocked and equipped as a first-class 
railroad." Now while a few miles passing through 
the heart of the Sierra may have cost perhaps $300,- 
000 per mile, the average cost to that point was less 
than half this amount, while the average cost of the 
entire road was little more than $100,000 per mile. 
Not least among the opposing elements was the 
hostility of the owners of toll-roads and stage lines 
across the Sierra, all of whom were arrayed against 


a project which would absoro their profits on the rich 
traffic of the Nevada mines. To supply them vast 
quantities of provisions and machinery were for- 
warded from San Francisco and other distributing 
centres. In 1862 no less than 3,000 teams were 
employed on the wagon-road across the mountains in 
El Dorado county, the tolls for that year amounting 
to $693,000. Connected with it was a railway, by 
which the competition of the Central Pacific must 
be keenly felt. From Sacramento to Virginia City 
freight in the same year was $120 per ton, and the 
total freight money amounted to nearly $5,000,000. 
Many other enterprises, individual as well as cor- 
porate, were also threatened by the transcontinental 
line, on which all of them joined in making war, with 
a persistency worthy of a better cause. 

When the Central Pacific was at length completed 
and in running order, it was complained by the people 
of Nevada that while the tariffs were low enough to 
discourage former methods of transportation, they 
were still so high as to prohibit a free use of the 
road, and that discrimination was also exercised to 
the disadvantage of her business community. Thus 
the company charged more for a carload of goods 
forwarded from New York to eastern Nevada than 
for carrying them six hundred miles farther to San 
Francisco. In answer to this the railroad company 
claimed that the line with its equipments and land- 
grants was the property of the stockholders, and not 
of the state or nation ; that it belonged to them as 
fully and completely as if it had been built entirely 
at their own expense. The subsidies were granted 
on condition that they should build a road to be 
owned by themselves. They were granted at a time 
when the railroad was a national necessity, and one 
that could not be supplied without offering such 
inducements as would secure the services of able 
and responsible men. It is from this standpoint they 
claimed that the charges of discrimination and of 


what might seem to be excessive rates of fare 
and freight should be considered. The railroad man, 
they said, like the merchant, is compelled by the 
very nature of his business to discriminate between 
his several classes of customers. Just as the mer- 
chant demands less for his wares when sold by the 
ton than by the pound, demands more when he 
knows that he alone can supply the article required, 
so does the railroad man charge a lower freight for 
large than for small quantities, and less for points 
where there is competition as by steamer and sailing 
vessel than for those where none exists. For one 
carload of goods shipped from New York to the 
towns of eastern Nevada probably a hundred are 
forwarded to San Francisco, and no one will dispute 
that goods can be conveyed at cheaper rates in large 
quantities than in small, and handled more readily at 
terminal points than at intermediate stations. 

Then as to local traffic it should be remembered 
that the portion of the line which crosses the Sierra 
was by far the most expensive section to construct, 
and is perhaps the most expensive to operate of any 
in the United States. Between Sacramento and 
Rocklin, where the grades are moderate, forty- five 
loaded freight cars can be drawn by a single engine, 
while from Rocklin to Truckee, a distance of ninety- 
seven miles, only nine can be hauled by the most 
powerful locomotive. 6 If we take into consideration 
also the extra wear and tear occasioned by heavy 
grades and curves, it will be found that the cost of 
maintenance and operation on this division is probably 
seven or eight times as much as for the same distance 
on level ground. 

The first, second, third, and fourth franchises 
granted for the construction of a railroad from Vir- 
ginia City to the Truckee river failed of their purpose. 

6 From Rocklin to the summit of the Sierra the rise is 6,768 feet, and th 
work to be overcome equal to 420 miles of a level road-bed. 


Yet it was of "vital importance to connect the towns 
on the Comstock lode and Carson and Washoe valleys 
with the Central Pacific railroad. At length a com- 
pany was formed which would build the road as 
desired, provided the counties of Washoe and Ormsby 
would take $200,000 worth of stock each. At the 
head of this scheme was William Sharon, and between 
him and Thomas Sunderland, and the commissioners 
of the two counties in question> an agreement to this 
effect was made, which, however, was not carried out. 
The Virginia and Truckee Railroad company filed 
articles of incorporation March 5, 1868, the survey 
was completed with estimate of costs, and in Decem- 
ber it was announced that Sharon would build the 
road from Virginia to Carson if the people of Ormsby 
county would donate $200,000 and the people of 
Storey county $300,000. As an inducement to make 
this present to the company, it was shown that the 
property of a single county, Ormsby, would be bene- 
fited $1,000,000. The people caught at the gilded 
fly, and asked the legislature to permit them to give 
their bonds for the amount, with interest at seven per 
cent, permission being granted at the following ses- 
sion. With this Sharon constructed a portion of the 
road, and by mortgaging the whole raised money to 
complete it. 7 

The cost of the Virginia and Truckee railroad for 
the first twenty-one miles to Carson was set down at 
$83,333 per mile ; but the total cost of the whole to 
Reno, and equipment, was more fairly stated after- 
wards at $52,107 per mile. In 1880 the company in 
its report to the state made its cost per mile, to Reno, 
52 20-100 miles, $93,027. It had received in gifts 
from Ormsby and Storey counties and the Comstock 
mining companies $887,383.53, equal to $17,065 per 
mile. Instead of increasing the taxable property of 
the county of Ormsby $1,000, 000, the property of the 

T Nev. Laws, 1869, 43, 49j Carson Appeal, Sept. 25, 1873; Wright's Big 
Bonanza, 228. 


company in that county was given to the assessor at 
$130,350. In order to induce the people to give 
their bond for $200,000 the company had promised to 
permit themselves to be taxed on $40,000 per mile. 
So far from growing any richer through the posses- 
sion of a railroad, which was making $12,000 a day, 
the total tax paid to the county by the company in 
twelve years was very little more than the interest 
the county had to pay to the company on its bonds 
presented to the company. I have already spoken of 
the struggle of Storey county with the Virginia and 
Truckee railroad, or in other words the bank of Cali- 
fornia. That Nevada assessors, sheriffs, legislators, 
and shareholders have assisted these railroads to 
oppress the commonwealth cannot be gainsaid. The 
example to other railroad corporations, which are in 
a manner compelled by the larger companies to adopt 
similar tactics, has been and is extremely injurious to 
the best interests of the state, by defeating the true 
purpose of railroads, which is cheap as well as rapid 
tran sportation. 

The Nevada Central, narrow gauge, railroad was 
projected in 1874 by M. J. Farrell of Austin, and 
after five years of unceasing effort was completed in 
1880. The surveying engineer was Lyman Bridges 
of Chicago ; president, W. S. Gage of San Francisco ; 
vice-president, R. L. S. Hall of New York ; treas- 
urer, A. A. Curtis of Austin ; secretary, J. D. Negus 
of Battle Mountain ; directors, D. B. Hatch of New 
York, James H. Ledlie of Utica, M. J. Farrell, M. 

E. Angel, and A. Nichols; assistant superintendent, 

F. W. Dunn. Governor Bradley vetoed the franchise 
bill in 1875 on account of a subsidy from Lander 
county of $200,000 granted by the legislature, but 
the bill was passed over the veto. 8 

The road extended from Battle Mountain south 
along Reese river to Ledlie, two miles from Austin. 

*Ncv. Jour. Sen., 1875, app, no. 1, 18-20; Id. Jour., 15, 121. 


From Ledlie to Austin and the Manhattan company's 
mines, a distance of three miles, was another narrow 
gauge, owned by the Austin City company. Another 
branch was the Battle mountain, called the Battle 
mountain and Lewis railroad, running from Galena 
through Lewis and Bullion to Quartz mountain, a 
distance of eleven miles. 9 

The Eureka and Palisade, narrow gauge, company 
was organized in November 1873 to construct ninety 
miles of road between these two places. The incor- 
porators were Erastus Woodruff, William H. Ennor, 
Monroe Salisbury, John T. Gilmer, C. H. Hempstead, 
and J. R Withington. In 1874 the franchise passed 
to a company of Californians, who also purchased the 
Eureka and Ruby Hill railroad, five miles long, simi- 
lar to the Austin City road, and operated both with 

The Pioche and Bullionville narrow gauge, was in- 
corporated in February 1872. It was twenty-one 
miles long, and completed in 1873, its use being to 
transport the ores of that region to the mills at Bui 
lionville. When the mines were exhausted it was no 
longer operated. Another short road was eight and 
three-fourths miles, constructed to carry lumber and 
cord wood from Glenbrook on Lake Tahoe to the 
eastern summit of the Sierra, whence it was conveyed 
in a flume to Carson City. It was built by H. M. 
Yerrington and D. L. Bliss. There are points on it 
remarkable for scenic effect. 

The Carson and Colorado narrow gauge railroad 
was incorporated in May 1880, to run from Mound 

9 Farrell, the projector of the road, was a native of Mount Hope, Morris 
cp., N. J., born March 29, 1832, of Irish parentage. He came to San Fran- 
cisco in May 1853, going to the mines in Nevada co., Cal. In 1863, after a 
varied experience, he went to Reese river, Nev., locating himself at Austin, 
in Lander co. He was at one time part owner in the Eureka Consolidated 
and Richmond mines, but sold out before they were developed. In 1867 he 
became secretary to the Manhattan Mining co., and in 1872 was elected 
clerk of Lander co. He was elected to the state senate in 1 878 and reflected 
in 1880. In all relations to society he was a public spirited and high 
minded citizen. His wife was Miss L. C. Peterson of Austin. 


house, on the Virginia and Truckee railroad, along 
the Carson river, through Mason valley, to Walker 
river and lake ; thence through the mineral region of 
Esmeralda county, the borax and salt fields of Rhodes 
Marsh, to Belleville and Candalaria; and thence 
over the White mountains into Owens river valley, 
in Colorada, to the sink of Owens river, and event- 
ually to the Colorado river. 19 

The Nevada and Oregon Narrow Gauge company 
was organized in June 1880, to construct a road from 
Aurora, via Bodie, north to Carson City, and Reno ; 
thence to Honey Lake valley, Madeline plains, Pit 
river, and Goose lake ; and thence to the Oregon line, 
whence it was expected it would proceed to the 
Columbia river. The directors were A. J. Hatch, 
George L. Woods, James McMechan, C. A. Bragg, 
John Sunderland, R. L. Fulton, and C. P. Soule. 
Hatch was president, Woods vice-president, Sunder- 
land treasurer, T. S. Coffin secretary, H. G. Me- 
Clellan chief engineer of construction, and Thomas 
Moore of New Jersey contractor. Ground was broken 
at Reno in December, but owing to mismanagement, 
no material progress was made, and in April 1881 the 
franchise was transferred to a New York company. 
Besides the railroads actually completed and in prog- 
ress there were several incorporated companies mak- 
ing surveys in different parts of the state, and per- 
haps no better proof could be given of the resources 
of Nevada than this investment of capital in railroads 
where the population is still much below 100,000. 

Transportation by water is impracticable in Nevada, 
except upon the lakes of the western portion, where 
small steamers may be employed with some little 

M Surveyor-General's Rept, 1884, 27-8; Candalaria True Fissure, Sept. 25, 
1880; Reno State Jour., May 6, 1880; Carson Times, June 7, 1880; Silver City 
Times, Aug. 28, 1880; Sutro Independent, Sept. 13, 1880; Eureka Leader, Oct. 
13, and Dec. 29, 1880; White Pine News, Jan. 21, 1881; Etmeralda Herald, 
May 28, 1881; Tuscarora Times Review March 7, 1881; Reno Oazette, April 4, 


benefit to commerce. Efforts have been made to 
navigate the Colorado, which bounds the state on the 
south-east, but without much success. The rivers of 
Nevada are useful for irrigation, and future genera- 
tions may possibly see their powers utilized in manu- 
factures, and other branches of industry. 

In January and April 1879 the California fish com- 
mission placed 500,000 young trout and 7 5, 000 young 
salmon in the Truckee river, which is partly in that 
state, and in May 1880 several thousand more trout. 
In March 100,000 white fish was placed by the same 
commission in Lake Tahoe, and the waters of Washoe 
lake, Humboldt river, Walker river, Eureka pond, 
Reese river, and other waters in different parts of the 
state stocked with catfish and salmon. In 1880, 70,- 
000 pounds of trout were taken from Lake Tahoe in 
October. This result was encouraging. Further 
experiments followed in 1881, and in 1882 a hatchery 
for eastern brook-trout was established, with fish- 
spawn from Maine and Vermont. These were planted 
in presumably the best locations, and with flattering 
results. In 1881 Truckee trout were shipped to New 
York. The following year salmon weighing seven 
pounds were caught in the Truckee, and it is said that 
a trout taken in Lake Tahoe weighed thirty pounds. 
Considerable shipments of trout were made from this 
lake, and canneries were established at Wadsworth, 
thus opening a new source of revenue as well as food 

I have already spoken of the mountains rich in 
metals, and the plains abounding in those minerals 
which have been deposited in water salt, soda, sul- 
phur, soap, mica, arsenic, and manganese. 

Coal was found as early as 1860 in Carson valley, 
and has since been proved to exist in different locali- 
ties, along the line of the Central Pacific railroad, on 
the route of the Nevada and Oregon railroad, near 
Tuscarora and Argenta in Elko county, and in El 

HIST. NEV. 16 


Dorado canon. Immense tracts of peat, one bed cov- 
ering 15,000 acres, extend along the Humboldt river, 
valuable for fuel, particularly in a country destitute of 
timber like this valley. 

Of the ores of metals used in manufactures, Nevada 
furnishes many. Iron, although known to exist on 
the Carson river as early as 1862, on Reese river in 
1865, and in the Pea vine district of Nye county in 
1865, has been neglected. Copper, discovered first in 
Carson valley in 1856, and quarried in specimen blocks 
a few years later, was little heeded by mining men 
until recently. Copper ore is found on Walker river, 
in Elko county, and near Soda springs in Esmeralda 
county. The copper mines of Elko county were the 
first to be developed. Lead production has increased 
so rapidly in a few years as to place Eureka at the 
head of the lead producing districts of the United 
States. Cinnabar was discovered in Washoe and 
Nye counties in 1876. It is found in a crystalized 
state and also in amorphous masses. Nickel mines 
exist in Humboldt county, the discovery being made 
in 1882, and immediately worked. Ten car-loads of 
the ore were shipped within a month after it was 
found. Tin ore has been known to exist in Nevada 
since 1863, but it has never been worked or its value 
determined. Antimony was discovered as early as 
1876, but does not appear to have been mined until 
1882, when there was a shipment of the ore from 
Elko county. Bismuth is another metallic product 
of which at present not much is known. 

Notwithstanding this extraordinary richness of 
mineral productions, or perhaps because of it, few 
specimens of precious stones have been found in 
Nevada, and those of an inferior quality. A ruby 
from the Comstock lode weighing one carat, after 
cutting, was discovered in 1882, and occasionally, 
opals and turquoise have been found, of little value 
Of the distribution of the precious metals, the most 


important part of the mineralogy of Nevada, I shall 
speak in giving the productions of counties. 11 

Nevada is a better agricultural country than at first 
glance one might expect to find. Time was when the 

11 On the subject of resources and physical features the authorities are more 
numerous than for most new political divisions, because it has been directly in 
the line of travel during the whole period of the settlement of the Pacific coast 
by Americans. Of these Lieut George M. Wheeler's U. S. Survey Report, 1877, 
upon the geology, geography, and mineralogy of the country, must be consid- 
ered of the highest value, as well as upon other branches of natural science. 
Wheeler's first expedition in Nevada was in 1871, and began in the extreme 
southern part of the state, with headquarters at Camp Independence. He 
was assisted by Lieutenants R. L. Hoxie and William L. Marshall in 1873. 
The last published report, in 1878, embraced the botany of Colorado, New 
Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. The reports of the Geological Explo- 
ration of the Fortieth Parallel, Clarence King director, begun in 1867, bearing 
particularly upon the subject of mining and minerals, their distribution and 
relative situation, and especially the features of the Comstock lode, are also 
of great importance in forming an estimate of the resources of Nevada. 
George F. Becker, geologist in charge, devotes an entire volume to the Com- 
stock; and James D. Hague, another geologist and mineralogist, in a large 
volume called Mining Industry, considers all the mining districts of the state 
in a minute and careful manner. The Mines and Mining Interests of the 
United States, by William Ralston Balch, 1882, is a compilation of articles 
upon this subject, and contains a vast amount of information in its 1,200 
pages of quarto size, in which Nevada comes in for its shares. L. Simonin, 
the French author of La Vie Souterraine, 1867, contrives to give some hints of 
what may be found in Nevada, albeit, it is nothing of more importance than 
that the natives do not work in the mines. TJie Great West, by E. V. Hay- 
den, formerly U. S. geologist, discusses climate, health, husbandry, educa- 
tion, the Indian question, the Chinese question, and the land laws, besides 
giving descriptions of the scenery, geography, and geology of the intramon- 
tane states and territories, of which Nevada comes in for its share. The 
West; Census of 1880, by Robert P. Porter, whose specialty in the labor of 
taking the census was upon the wealth, debt, taxation, and railroads, assisted 
by Henry Gannett, geographer of the 10th census, and William P. Jones, is 
a reliable authority upon the material development of Nevada. The Unde,- 
veloped West, by J. H. Beadle, is a work of little value; and the same may 
be said of Where to Emigrate and Why, by Frederick B. Goddard. Greater 
Britain, 1869, by Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, an Englishman, follows the 
stereotyped rule of English travellers, and instead of giving discriminative 
observations upon real things, occupies all his space, 22 pages of Nevada, 
with absurd and exaggerated pictures of American life. The only touch of 
reality in it is a description of Nevada staging, which is a fair account of pio- 
neer travel. A better book, because containing more matter of a useful na- 
ture, is that of another Englishman, Richard F. Burton, TJie City of the 
Saints, meaning Salt Lake. Burton, however, was travelling to acquire in- 
formation, and, having acquired it, imparted such as he had gained in a style 
honest if not altogether correct. He passed through Nevada in 1860, and 
gives a general description. Life on the Plains and Among the Diggings, by 
A. Delano, 1861, devotes about 50 pages to the incidents of immigrant travel 
through Nevada in 1849. The book is a history of a journey overland, with 
its hardships and sufferings, familiar to thousands before this book was writ- 
ten. An Excursion to California, over the Prairie, Rocky Mountains and 
Great Sierra Nevada, trith a Stroll through the Diggings and Ranches of That 
Country, is the long title of a 2-volume book, by William Kelly of England, 


whole expanse of plain at the eastern base of the 
Rocky mountains was represented to be a desert ; yet 
out of that desert how many states and territories 
have been carved whose wealth and importance are 
now understood. Eastern Oregon and Nevada have 
been considered little better than deserts, although it 
was known that the Indians pastured large herds 
upon their nutritious grasses. Wherever the pas- 
turage is rich the soil may be converted to the growth 
of cereals, and often only water is required to make 
the driest and most barren-looking sections fruitful 
fields. The overtopping influence of the mining 
interest has kept back the agricultural. 12 

and sufficiently describes the work without saying more. Heap's Cen- 
tral Route to the Pacific from the Valley of the Mississippi to California: Jour- 
nal of the Expedition of E. f. Beale, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in 
California, and Gwin Harris Heap, from Missouri to California, in 1853. 
The route called central in this work is by the old trail from Westport to 
near Bent's fort; thence to the Huerfano river, in the Sangre de Cristo moun- 
tains, arid through them to Fort Massachusetts, on Utah creek, in New Mex- 
ico. Leaving Fort Massachusetts, the route lay up the San Luis valley to 
the Saguache valley, through the Cochetopa pass in the Saguache moun- 
tains, and down the River Uncomphagre to the Grand river fork of the Col- 
orado in Utah; thence across the Bunkard river and the Green river fork 
of the Colorado, through the Mormon settlements near Little Salt Lake and 
the Vegas de Santa Clara; thence along the old Spanish trail from Abiquitf 
across the desert to the Mohave river, into the Tulare through Walker pass 
in the Sierra Nevada. Except that the route was an unusual one, and the 
Pah Utes were found to be the worst horse thieves on the continent, there is 
nothing worthy of note in the book. California and its Conditions (Califor- 
nien und Seine Verhaltnisse), by A. F. Oswald, is a hand book containing a 
sketch of the history, geography, statistics, climate, soils, commerce, laws, 
modes, and routes of travel, etc., with a map of the United States, 1849. 
The references to Nevada are of the briefest. Appletons Hand Bool' of 
Travel, 1861, makes a brief notice of Utah territory, without mentioning 
the separation of the territory of Nevada from Utah. The traveller could 
not have gained much information from Appleton. The Overland Guide, by 
Hosea B. Horn, 1852, is a mere road book from Council Bluffs to Sacramento, 
and as such must have been of much use to immigrants, as it gave all the 
river crossings, camping places, etc., with the distances between. There are 
some striking inaccuracies in the distances, however, on the western end of 
the route. Albert G. Bracket, in the Western Monthly, a magazine, Chicago, 
April, 1869, has an article on Nevada and the Silver Mines, which contains a 
very particular description of the western portion of the state, and remarks 
upon the then new district of White Pine, made from personal observation. 
There might be mentioned also Remy and Brenchley, i. 168, ii. 382-49; 
Craw's Top Mem., in U. 8. H. Doc., 114, 1859; Rossfs Souvenirs Voy. en 
Oregon, 258-60; Mayer's Mexico; Aztec, Span., and Rep., ii. 374-5; Kneeland's 
Wonders of Yosemite, 23; Hall's Guide to the Great West, 55-60; and Victors 
Manifest Destiny in the West, in Overland Magazine, Aug. 1869. 

12 In 1860 Nevada had less than 100 small farms; in 1870 there were over 


The first observed earthquake since settlement was 
in 1857. On the 29th of May, 1868, there were four 
shocks at Carson between nine and 'ten o'clock at 
night. They were distinctly felt in the mines, but 
did no damage, though they displaced bricks at the 
top of the court-house. On the night of December 
26, 1869, a series of severe shocks were experienced, 
commencing at six o'clock in the evening, and con- 
tinuing at intervals through that night and the next 
day. Some buildings were injured, and at Steam- 

1,000, and in 1879 nearly 1,500, ranging from 10 acres to 1.000 or more. 
That there are farms in the state equal to the best anywhere is sufficient 
evidence of what may yet be. In Nevada Biography, MS., 4, by William 
M. Cradlebaugh, brother of Judge Cradlebaugh of Circleville, Ohio, who 
came to Cal. in 1852, and to Nevada in 1859, is mention of his farm of 
between 400 and 500 acres in Carson valley. This MS. is devoted in great 
part to the history of early times and Judge Cradlebaugh's contest with the 
Mormon authorities in relation to the Mountain Meadows massacre. In 
Nevida Miscellany, MS., containing several contributions upon the physical 
features of the country, B. H. Reymers of Hanover. Germany, who came 
to Nevada in 1870, speaking of farming, says that he gets 4 tons of alfalfa 
to the acre in two crops, 45 bushels of wheat, 30 to 40 bushels of barley, and 
raises some blue joint grass, 2 tons to the acre, all in Mason valley. Accord- 
ing to this author the finest draught horses in the state are raised in Lyon 
county, which will yet be famed for its production of English Coach, Clyde, 
and Morgan stock. Richard Kinnan and T. B. Rickey of Antelope valley 
have as fine farm and stock raising property as can be found in the world. 
T. B. Smith of Smith valley in Lyon county, born in Mass in 1834, came to 
Cal. in 1853, and to Nevada in 1859. He first settled the valley in company 
with R. B. Smith and C. Smith, whence the name. According to his state- 
ment wheat yields in Smith valley 30 to 60 bushels; barley 25 to 40 bushels; 
oats about the same. Apples, prunes, pears, currants, etc., do well. T. 
Winters of Reese river in 1864 had 110 acres in barley, 75 in oats, 30 in 
potatoes, 20 in Hungarian grass, 350 in native grasses, and 10 in vegetables. 
The yield is not given. Austin Reese River Reveille, June 21, 1864. Within a 
radius of 100 miles of Pioche, excluding the Mormon settlement of St 
George, are 150 farms. Pioche Record, Feb. 13, 1873. Judge Perley of Pioche 
purchased 640 acres in Steptoe valley for the purpose of raising fruit, grain, 
and blooded stock. John Guthrie in Humboldt county, brought his farm of 
640 acres to be one of the most valuable on the coast. Winnemucca Silver 
State, May 25, 1882. This data was gathered for me by Geo. H. Morrison. 

The climate is dry and healthful. Cloud bursts are occasional. There 
were three in 1872. Overland Monthly, 1873, 464-6. The most remarkable 
one occurred in 1874, on the 18th of August. A mass of water 8 feet in 
height came rolling down the canon where Austin was located, sweeping 
through the town like an avalanche, and carrying $100,000 worth of prop- 
erty before it. The people being warned by a swift rider, escaped to the 
hills. Sacramento Bee, Aug. 19, 1874. On the 24th of July a similar flood 
overtook Eureka without warning. Many lives were lost in this cloud burst. 
Mary.wille Appeal, Aug. 1, 1874; Reno State Journal, Aug. 1, 1874; Amador 
Dispatch, Aug. 1874. A flood resulting from a violent rainstorm, which 
probably followed a cloud burst in the mountains, destroyed 100,000 worth 
of property at Austin in August 1868. 


boat springs the geysers were unusually active. The 
mines were not at all affected by the shocks, although 
the boilers of the steam hoisting-works blew off steam 
afc each vibration, much to the consternation of the 
engineers, who could not account for the phenomenon. 
At the Savage mine the engineer stopped the large 
pumping engine, and alarmed the miners underground 
by this action more than the earthquake had done. 
In March 1872 there were two heavy shocks in White 
Pine county. This was probably what is known as 
the Inyo earthquake, which was felt at the coast. 
On November 5, 1873, a heavy shock was felt at 
Unionville and four at 'Virginia City between 9 A. M. 
and 7 P. M. The disturbance continued two days, 
during which time there were eight distinct shocks 
about the sink of the Carson, the waters of which 
were much agitated. In August 1868 Mount Butler, 
near Virginia City, was observed to be given signs of 
volcanic disturbance, flames breaking out in a cave, 
but probably from the ignition of gases. 

Of the indigenous productions of the soil in 
Nevada, the timber is first in importance, and is 
found in the mountains exclusively. First on the 
ranges comes a belt of the juniper and nut-pine ; 
next above, the white pine and balsam fir ; then the 
Douglas spruce, and on Wheeler peak and elsewhere 
the Rocky mountain spruce. Groves of aspen occur 
at a height of 9,500 feet in the Troy range, the height 
of the timber belt being nearly 11,000 feet in central 
Nevada. Occasional cedars and cottonwoods, with 
willows, and mountain mahogany, complete the list of 
trees. Their size relatively to those of the same 
species in California and Oregon is inferior. Trees 
fifty feet in height, and twelve to fourteen inches in 
diameter are of the average size cut for milling. 
The number of acres of timber, including woodland, 
was reported in 1879 at 1,426,410, with somecounties 
to hear from. Congressionahand state legislation has 
endeavored to protect the forestry, which with j udicious 


management may be largely preserved. The flora of 
Nevada is much more extensive than at first sight 
might be supposed, there being over 1,200 plants cata- 
logued without completing the list. The obtrusive- 
ness of the artemesia, or sage-brush, obscures every- 
thing more modest. 

Wild game is more plentiful now than thirty years 
years ago, being protected by game laws, and not 
so much needed by the Indians for food as formerly. 

It would be erroneous to conclude that because few 
animals have chosen Nevada for their home that there 
was not support for animal life ; for next in import- 
ance to its mines at present is the trade in cattle, and 
stock subsist almost entirely upon the native grasses. 
Their low hills and the loftiest summits of the moun- 
tains furnish bunch-grass, of which there are two 
varieties, that growing on the lower hills being coarser 
and more thinly set than that which grows further 
up, and which bears an oat-shaped seed. Native 
clover, blue-joint, red-top, and one kind of bunch- 
grass are found in the valleys. On all the creeks of 
the northern part of the state are extensive patches 
of rye-grass, which grows often six feet high, and 
makes excellent hay. The number of acres classified 
as grazing land in 1878, some counties not being 
heard from, was 7,508, 060. 13 

13 The cattle herded upon these natural pastures make the best of beef, 
or which at least cannot be equalled except upon similar ranges in the 
bunch grass regions of eastern Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, and superior 
to that produced with careful farming in the eastern states. I have given 
so full particulars of stock raising for market in my History of Montana 
that it is unnecessary to repeat the account here, except to say that Nevada 
is vastly superior to Montana on account of the milder winters. The facts 
are in general the same, and the profits similar. The common stock of the 
country was graded somewhat by bulls kept by immigrants, but has been 
greatly improved more recently by imported animals. The average weight 
of cattle has been increased ten per cent, and the Nevada herds in 1886 
were about half thoroughbred. Some examples may not be out of place. 
W. J. Marsh had a stock farm at the head of Carson valley of high bred 
cattle. T. D. Parkinson of Kelly's creek imported in 1881 six car loads of 
improved stock. He had imported several lots before. Daniel Murphy 
had 60,000 acres of land in Nevada, from which he shipped 6,000 head of 
cattle yearly. Murphy was a California pioneer of 1844, and the largest 


The number of sheep in Nevada in 1884 was 300,- 
000. The wool clip of Nevada was given in 1876 at 
100,000 pounds. In 1880 the crop in Paradise valley 
alone was 84,000 pounds. The shipment from Battle 
Mountain for the year was 200,000 pounds, a falling 
off from previous years, owing to large sales of sheep 

stock owner in Nevada, as well as the largest land owner in the world. He 
owned 4,000,000 acres in Mexico and 23,000 in California. He died at Elko 
Oct. 22, 1882. The combined herds of Glenn and his partners aggregated 
about 30,000 head. Todhunter and Devine had 25,000 head, and shipped 
6,000 annually. They had over 100,000 acres of land. Riley and Hardin 
own about 30,000 cattle. Burns, Stoffal & Co. 8,000. E. W. Crutcher's 
stock range covered all the meadow land and water on a section of country 
61 by 42 miles. He had 15,000 head of cattle and 1,000 head of horses. 
Hardin of Humboldt county shipped 30 car loads of beef cattle monthly to 
California. Wells & Co. near Rabbit creek were the heaviest cattle dealers 
in that vicinity. Altogether there were in 1885, 500 stock raisers in Nevada, 
large and small. Hansens Mining About Eureka, MS., 4. 

One of the first persons to discover the advantages of keeping cattle on 
the Nevada ranges was Harry Gordier, a Frenchman, who was killed in 
1858 by Edwards and Thorrington that they might get possession of the 
eattle he had driven over the mountains from California, and was fattening 
in Carson valley. But he was not the only person feeding California cattle 
on Nevada pastures, for as early as 1855 the practice of driving stock over 
the mountains in summer was well known. Huffaker's Early Cattle Trade, 
MS., 1-2, 5-6. G. W. Huffaker bought cattle at Salt Lake City, and drove 
them to the Truckee meadows in 1856, fattening them and selling beef to 
the miners in the early days of the Comstock excitement, when prices ruled 
high. Cattle were first wintered on the Humboldt in 1859-60, and were of 
the common Texas species. Long Valley in White Pine county was first oc- 
cupied for herding cattle in 1869 by Alvaro Evans and Robert Ross. In that 
year several thousand head were driven from Texas to stock the Nevada 
ranges. The laws of Nevada encourage stock raising, and shield the owners 
of cattle from the penalties which should follow injury to crops through 
trespass by them. No act having been passed defining a lawful fence, the 
supreme court decided in 1880 that owners of stock were not liable for dam- 
age done to crops by their cattle unless the land was so fenced as to exclude 
ordinary animals. This decision placed the burden of protecting crops en- 
tirely upon the agriculturalist, and saved the cattle raiser the expense of 
herdsmen. Again, cattte must be taxed at the owners' residence, and not 
in the localities where they were grazed; by which decision the county was 
often defrauded of its proper revenue. The law of 1873 reqnired each 
owner to have a brand, and also a counter-brand in case of sale. A law of 
1881 provides for an inspector of hides, who may enter premises and search 
for hides, reporting to the district attorney as to the brands. This act in- 
sures equal justice to all. The number of cattle in Nevada in 1884, as esti- 
mated by stock raisers, was about 700,000. English capital was being used 
in purchasing ranges to a large amount. 

The finest draft horses in the state in 1886 were raised in Mason valley. 
Fox's Mason Valley Settlers, MS., 1, in Nevada Miscellany. J. J. Fox, born 
in 1834 in Baden, Germany, immigrated to the U. S. in 1854, and to Vir- 
ginia City in 1860. In 1864 he settled east of Dayton, but the following year 
removed to Mason valley, and raised stock. J. A. Perry imported Norman 
stallions in 1880. Scott and Hank imported 3 English stallions of the Shire 
breed in 1881. J. S. Trask, W. W. Williams, and W. L. Pritchard raised 


to Montana. From Winnemucca the shipment for 
1880 was 140,000 pounds instead of the usual amount 
of 250,000 or 300,000 pounds. These figures give 
some idea of where the sheep pastures are to be found. 
The total shipment by railroad in 1882 was 349,585 
pounds, the bulk of which was sold to eastern dealers 
at from sixteen to twenty cents per pound. Angora 
goats were increasing rapidly in Nevada. In 1869 
there were 25 of these animals reported to be in the 
state. In 1879 there were several bands of several 
thousand each. The sage brush land was found well 
adapted to pasturing these hardy creatures the 
one animal which thrives upon this coarse diet. 
The long silky wool finds a ready market, and the 
hides are sold to the Angora Glove company of 

In 1861 an attempt was made to domesticate the 
camel. A band of a dozen was first employed in this 
year to bring salt from Teel's marsh, in Esrneralda 
county, to the Washoe silver mill, a distance of 200 
miles. They proved well suited to the labor, but on 
the discovery of a nearer salt deposit, wagons were 
used, and the camels turned loose to take care of 
themselves. This they did, increasing in number and 
condition. The camels taken to Nevada in 1861 were 
part of a herd of thirty-four which was sold at 
Benicia, California, by the government to Samuel 
McLaughlin, who had been intrusted with the care of 
them. They were brought to the United States for 
use on the plains, and increased after their arrival. 
In 1876 the band was taken to Arizona, with the ex- 
ception of a pair placed on a rancho in Carson valley, 
where they increased to twenty-six in a few years. 
But it was found impracticable to use them on the 

blooded horses. In 1882 the latter shipped 8 thoroughbreds to Cal. This 
year 300 horses were sold to go east. J. W. Dean of Eureka county was 
the largest horse raiser in the east range of Cortez mountains. In 1881 a 
car load of jacks and jennies was imported from the western states by 
William Billups; mule raising having become a considerable branch of stock 


highways, horses being frightened by them, and suits 
for damages following, for which reason the legisla- 
ture in 1875 prohibited their running at large or 
being upon the public roads. A part of the herd 
was disposed of to the Philadelphia zoological 

An experiment in ostrich farming was made in 1879 
by Theodore Glancy, whose land was southwest of 
the Bismark range, near the old route from Carson 
to Bodie. Failing to hatch the eggs in sand by solar 
heat, he obtained a pair of birds from which, in 1881, 
he raised ten others. The use intended to be made 
of the birds, was in transporting provisions and other 
parcels. Their plumage alone would make them 

Hog raising proved profitable. H. C. Emmons in 
1882 had 400 at the sink of the Humboldt, which was 
the largest herd in the state. There were several 
others near Lovelocks, and James Guthrie near Win- 
nemucea was raising Berkshires extensively. Poultry 
raising likewise prospered, George W. Chedec, at 
Carson City, having in 1882 twenty-six different 
breeds on his poultry farm. From these beginnings, 
small when compared with the area of the state, 
enough may be learned to remove the impression that 
only metals and minerals can be produced in 

Something should be said here of the public sur- 
veys and land laws. I have already mentioned that 
John W. North was the first surveyor-general ap- 
pointed. Acts of March 14 and May 30, 1862, united 
Nevada to the California surveying service, to take 
effect July 1, 1862. On the 2d of July congress es- 
tablished the land district of Nevada, and authorized 
the appointment of a register and receiver. A joint 
resolution of the Nevada legislature prot jsted against 
being united to California, and asked to have the 
office of surveyor-general restored, with an ap- 

LANDS. 251 

propriation for the survey of the public lands. 
An act of congress approved July 2, 1864, at- 
tached Nevada to Colorado for surveying pur- 
poses. Another act, on March 2, 1865, attached 
Nevada once more to the California surveying dis- 
trict. It was not until July 4, 1866, that a United 
Stated surveyor-general of Nevada was again author- 
ized by congress with a salary of $3,000. The con- 
stitution of Nevada, adopted in 1864, provided for the 
election of a surveyor-general with a salary of $1,000. 
S. H. Marlette was chosen at the first state election 
to hold office, according to the constitution, for four 
years. By a special law of March 9, 1866, it was 
enacted that the state officers should be chosen at the 
general election for that year, and on every fourth 
year thereafter. Marlette was reflected. The du- 
ties of the state surveyor-general were to select and 
dispose of the lands granted to the state, and act as 
ex-officio register. The same law fixed the minimum 
price of the lands belonging to the state, except the 
lands embraced within the twenty mile limit of the 
Central Pacific Railroad, at $1.25 per acre, and the 
minimum price of all lands falling within that limit at 
$2.50; but the board of regents of the state had the 
power to fix a higher price upon any unsettled lands 
not already applied for. By an act of congress ap- 
proved June 8, 1868, Nevada was authorized to select 
from the alternate even numbered sections within the 
limits of any railroad grant, lands in satisfaction of 
the several grants to the state made in the organic 
act, the act of admission, and the act of July 4, 1866, 
granting university lands and agricultural college 
lands. The public lands of Nevada were not subject 
to entry, sale, or location under any laws of the 
United States, except the Homestead act of May 20, 
1862, and preemption law, until after the state should 
have received her full quota of lands ; and she should 
have two years after the survey should have been 
made in which to make her selection, in tracts of not 


less than forty acres, but could not sell in tracts of 
more than 320, and to actual settlers. 

The state had selected all the land granted by the 
government in 1877, except the sixteenth and thirty- 
sixth sections, or common-school lands. In these 
sections was included a large amount of desert, alkali, 
and mountain land which the public surveyors pro- 
nounced unfit for cultivation, and therefore left un- 
surveyed. In 1877, 780 townships only had been 
surveyed, and the available area out of 17,971,200 
acres was 10,762,237 acres. The state in consequence 
lost 7,208,963 acres, which were pronounced unfit for 
cultivation, and the school fund in proportion. Out 
of the 10,762,237 acres of land surveyed as cultivable, 
the sixteenth and thirty-sixth sections contained 
608,307 acres. Of this amount only 64,528 acres had 
been sold in 1877. 

The whole state of Nevada contained 3,113 1 6 1 town- 
ships, or an area of 71,737,741 acres, which upon the 
above basis would afford of available land 42,960,889 
acres, and of school lands 2,428,252 acres, instead of 
3,984,640 acres, which, if the whole were available, 
would belong to the school land. At the rate at 
which the sixteenth and thirty-sixth sections were 
selling, it was evident that not more than 257,581 
acres would have been sold within the time allotted 
for reserving the public lands for selection by the 
state, when the opportunity of securing indemnity 
lands would be lost. State surveyor-general Charles 
S. Preble recommended to the legislature to take 
some action to secure a grant of land in lieu of the 
sixteenth and thirty-sixth sections for school purposes. 
This advice was acted upon, and congress granted 
2,000,000 acres of land to be selected by the state in 
place of those sections. For this service the state 
owes Mr Preble a lasting recognition of his talents. 
This grant placed the state as well as the school fund 
upon a better basis, no waste land being chosen, and 
sales being much more numerous. From July 1, 


1830, to January 1, 1883, 1,031 applications were 
filed, covering 166,800 acres of school lands. 

The meridian and base of Mount Diablo were used 
for the standard in the survey of Nevada. Guide 
meridians were established in all the principal centres 
of population. The first land district was that of 
Carson. The second land-office was located at Aus- 
tin in 1867; the third at Aurora in a district includ- 
ing the counties of Esmeralda, Nevada, and Mono 
and Inyo, California, in 1868 ; the fourth at Belmont, 
in 1869, removed to Pioche in 1874; the fifth at Eu- 
reka, in 1873, removed from Austin; there being but 
four local land-offices in the state. In March 1872 
the Elko land district was established. 

The amount of mineral land in the state was ap- 
proximately given, from the incomplete returns of 
counties in 1876, as being 1,679 acres. The total 
amount of salt, soda, and borate of lime lands was re- 
ported in 1871 at 52,000 acres. The legislature of 
1873 asked congress to permit Nevada to select saline 
lands under previous acts, and subsequently fixed the 
value of salt and borax lands at five dollars per acre, 
maximum. An act of congress concerning desert 
lands, passed in 1877, provides that a settler may 
acquire title to six hundred and forty acres by irri- 
gating the tract for three years, and paying $1.25 per 
acre. Capitalists were quick to see the advantages 
of this law to acquire large tracts of country, which 
by the simple cost of irrigating canals became of great 
value. In 1879 an act of congress provided for a 
public lands commission, to consist of the commissioner 
of the general land office, the director of the geological 
survey, and three civilians, to report to congress a 
system of classification of public lands, and a codifica- 
tion of existing laws relating to such lands. 

The territory of Nevada established by a legisla- 
tive act, on the 25th of November, 1861, nine coun- 
ties, and on the 29th fixed their capitals. Douglas, 


with the county seat at Genoa, contained the oldest 
settlements, and is therefore entitled to the first place 
on the list. Extending on the west to the eastern 
summit of the Sierra, it includes 50,000 acres of tim- 
ber and wood lands, from which have been drawn 
vast quantities of wood and lumber by means of flumes 
constructed at great expense for this purpose. Glen- 
brook, situated on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe, 
is the principal lumber manufacturing point in the 
state. It was first settled in 1860 by G. W. Warren, 
N. E. Murdock, and R Walton. In 1861 A. W. 
Pray .erected a saw-mill, which was run by water 
conducted half a mile through a flume and ditch, 
which served until 1864, when a steam-mill was 
erected. Fray's mill was the second one built at 
Lake Tahoe, the first being on the California side, in 
1860. Other mills followed, and in 1873 the firm of 
Yerington and Bliss began the lumber business at 
Glenbrook, and threaded the entire timber belt of 
Lake Tahoe and the surrounding slopes with flumes 
and chutes, conveying wood and lumber to the towns 
about. The lumber product of Douglas county was 
about 12,000,000 feet annually. It cannot be classed 
with the mining counties, although some mining en- 
terprises have been attempted there. Agriculturally 
it is one of the foremost sections of the state, pro- 
ducing grains, fruits, and vegetables in variety arid 
abundance, and having about 40,000 acres of arable 
land, 200,000 acres of grazing land, and 100,000 of 
reclaimable desert lands. In 1885 the county had 
six saw-mills, two hundred miles of irrigating ditches, 
made forty thousand pounds of butter annually, and 
had farms to the value of over half a million. Genoa 
was made the county seat. The extraordinary snows 
of 1882 caused an avalanche which came near destroy- 
ing the town of Genoa. The towns and settlements 
not before mentioned are Bridge House, Carter, Car- 
son Valley, Cradlebaugh's bridge, Double Spring, 
Hot Springs, Hoyes' Store, Job, Mollville, Mammoth, 


Mottville, Mountain House, Sheridan, Spooner Sta- 
tion, Sprague, Summit Camp, Thornton, Tisdell, 
Twelve-mile House, Valley View, Van Sickle's, 
Walker River, and Warren's. 

Ormsby county, a small shire sandwiched between 
Douglas and Washoe, but of an importance not pro- 
portioned to its size, contains about ten thousand acres 
of arable land, half of which was under cultivation in 
1885, and excellent grazing lands. It shared largely 
in the lumber and wood trade, was the seat of numer- 
ous quartz-mills, contained the capitol of the state, 
the penitentiary, mint, and other public institutions, 
and in 1876 paid taxes on $2,673,066. Carson City, 
incorporated in 1875, is both the county seat and 
state capital, and is pleasantly situated, with wide 
streets which are bordered with trees. It has, besides 
the public buildings, a number of fine structures for 
business purposes, half a dozen churches, and many 
handsome residences. Its water- works were erected 
in 1860. The towns and settlements not named are 
Brunswick, Clear Creek, Empire City, Lookout, Mc- 
Raey, Merrimac, Mexican, Mill Station, Santiago 
Mill, Swift's Springs, and Vivian Mill. 

Washoe county, also one of the first subdivisions of 
Carson county, contains 75,000 acres of agricultural, 
400,000 of grazing, 80,000 of timbered, and 20,000 of 
mineral lands, and pays taxes on $4,165,210 of real 
and personal property. One of the farm products in 
which Washoe excelled was honey. The crop in 
1884 was not less than 37,000 pounds. Hops also 
did well in this county, which produced 40,000 pounds 
the same year. The first county seat was at Washoe 
City, but was removed to Reno by vote of the people 
in 1870, and an act of the legislature in 1871. Reno 
was founded by the Central Pacific Railroad company 
in 1868, in the Truckee valley, and named in honor 
of General Reno, who fell at the battle of South 
Mountain. It has been twice nearly destroyed by 
fire, once in 1873, and again in 1879. A court-house 


was erected of brick in 1872-3. A poor- farm and 
hospital were provided by the county commissioners in 
1875, who purchased forty acres for the purpose on 
the south side of the Truckee, one mile east of Reno, 
with water for irrigating purposes. A free iron 
bridge was constructed across the river in 1877 in 
place of a toll-bridge, which had been in use since 
1863. An asylum for the insane is located a short 
distance from the town ; also the state board of agri- 
culture, the state university, and a fine school for 
girls under the management of the episcopal church, 
named after Bishop Whittaker, who founded it. The 
Truckee river, which is near the town, will some 
day, no doubt, invite manufactures. The first settle- 
ment on the site of Reno was made by C. W. Fuller 
in 1859, who kept a hotel, and built the first bridge 
across the Truckee at this place in 1860. Fuller 
also owned a toll-road, and sold the whole of the 
property to M. C. Lake, from whom the place took 
the name of Lake's crossing. The name still sur- 
vives in Lake house, a hotel on the original location 
of Fuller. Among the prosperous stock-raisers may 
be mentioned Jacob Stiner, a native of Ohio, who 
came to California by sea in 1853, mined on the Yuba 
at Park's bar, subsequently settled in S utter county 
on the Sacramento river, giving the name of Stiner's 
bend to that portion of the stream. The towns and 
settlements of Washoe county not named above are 
Anderson's, Brown's, Clark's, Crystal Peak, Essex, 
Galena, Glendale, Huffaker's, Lake View, Little Val- 
ley, Long Valley, May burg Store, Mud Lake, Ophir, 
Pleasant Valley, Poeville, Salvia, Steamboat, Three- 
mile Station, Two-mile Station, Vista, Verdi, Wads- 
worth, and Winnemucca valley. 

Storey county, named in honor of Edward Faris 
Storey, who was killed in an attack on the Pah Ute 
camp in 1860, has been the theatre of the most stir- 
ring events of mining life in Nevada, and still main- 
tains much of the prestige acquired when the Comstock 


was at its highest point of development. It was or- 
ganized in 1861, and contains seven hundred and fifty 
acres only of farming land, twenty thousand acres of 
grazing land, the remainder being classed with min- 
eral lands. Much of its history has already been given. 

Virginia City, the county seat, being 6,205 feet 
above sea-level, and 2,000 feet above the Humboldt 
plains, perched on the eastern slope of an isolated 
mountain, whose altitude is 7,827 feet, the only water 
supply of the city came at first from natural springs, 
A few wells were added as the town increased in size. 
At length a company was formed, which collected in 
wooden tanks the water flowing from mining tunnels, 
and distributed it by means of pipes through the 
town. But in time the tunnels ran dry, and it became 
necessary to pierce the hills for new water deposits, 
which in turn became exhausted, until the town waa 
threatened with a water famine. Prospecting for 
water brought out the fact in topography that it waa 
in the flat-topped hills it would be found, rather than 
in the conical ones. Miles of tunnelling were done 
with no other object than to find water, and many 
thousands of dollars were expended in this work, and 
in dams and bulkheads to hold the water formed by 
meltingsnow. 14 

All the institutions of Virginia City were cosmo 
politan compared to other towns. The hotels, banks, 
churches, school houses, theatre, opera house, court 
house, city hall, odd fellows' hall, hospital, stores, and 
business places and residences still give evidence of 
the enterprise and money which have been expended 
there. "After the discovery of silver mines," say a 
Clarke, " two enterprising men of San Francisco took 
advantage of the excitement, surveyed and staked out 

14 In 1872 the Virginia and Gold Hill Water company employed H, 
Schussler, engineer of the S. F. water-works, to make a survey of the coun^ 
try to the first available streams in the Sierra Nevada, twenty-five miles 
west of Virginia City. Athwart the route lay the Washoe valley, an obsta* 
cle requiring unmistakable skill to conquer. The works were completed iii 
1873 at an estimated cost of $2,000,000. 
HIST. NEV. 17. 


all the unoccupied land where Virginia City now stands 
and sold off the lots as mining claims, though no mine 
existed there, nor any symptoms of it. They actually 
sold off $25,000 worth of stock." It was built 
upon ground with such a pitch that what was the 
second story of a house in front became the first at 
the back. The assessed valuation of the whole 
county of Storey, given in 1884, was $2,885,356, be- 
ing less than that of Washoe, but its finances were in 
a healthy condition, without debt of any kind. The 
towns and settlements in Storey county, aside from 
Virginia and Gold Hill, are American Flat, Baltic, 
Bonanza City, Gold Canon, Louisetown, Mound 
House, Washington, and Valley Wells. 

Lyon county was organized in 1861, but had its 
boundaries changed in 1864. It has 128,000 acres of 
agricultural, 100,000 of grazing, 5,000 of mineral, and 
2,000 of timbered lands. It has 200 miles of irrigat- 
ing ditches, which water 17,500 acres. Its property 
valuation in 1884 was $1,336,659. The general sur- 
face of the county is mountainous, all the arable land 
being upon the Carson river, except about eight miles 
of Mason valley in the southeast corner. Dayton, 
the county seat, is one of the oldest towns in Nevada. 
Being situated at the mouth of the canon leading to 
the Comstock mines, it became the site of numerous 
quartz mills, and shared in the general prosperity of 
that lode. In the mineral district of Palmyra, south- 
east from Dayton about ten miles, in an elevated val- 
ley, in 1863-4, was the mining town of Como and its 
sister Palmyra. Como grew rapidly, its hopes being 
based on the supposed richness of its mines. It was 
made the county seat of Lyon county, and had a 
quartz mill and a newspaper, the Como Sentinel 
Gradually the town was abandoned by every inhabi- 
tant except one, G. W. Walton. On the 22d of No- 
vember, 1873, the last inhabitant perished in the 
flames of his solitary residence. The deserted houses, 
haunted by the ghosts of dead hopes, open to the 


winds of summer, and buried under the snow drifts of 
winter, offer a sad commentary on human expecta- 
tions. Silver City, settled before Virginia City, was 
incorporated in 1877. There were, in 1885, four 
quartz mills, six tailings mills, two arastras, and one 
smelting furnace in the county, and seven miles of 
mining ditches. The towns or settlements not men- 
tioned above in Lyon county are Buckland's, Cleaver, 
Eureka, Fort Churchill, Hayward's, Hot Spring, 
Johnstown, Mound House, Mountain, Palmyra, and 

Esmeralda county, organized in 1861, has, approxi- 
mately, 100.000 acres of agricultural, 150,000 of graz- 
ing, 150,000 of timbered, and 300,000 of mineral 
lands. The value of its real and personal property in 
1884 was given in by the assessor at $1,158,365, or 
nearly $200,000 less than the previous year. Mining 
began early, Esmeralda mining district, about the 
present town of Aurora, being organized in August 
1860. No less than seventeen quartz mills, costing 
over $1,000,000 were erected at Aurora, and bullion 
to the amount of $16,000,000 has been produced in 
this district. Aurora, for twenty years the county 
seat, was first settled by J. M. Carey, James M. 
Brady, and E. R Hicks in 1860. The value of its 
taxable property in 1880 was $200,000. One news- 
paper, the Esineralda Herald, was published there. 
Hawthorne, a new town, twenty-eight miles distant 
on the Carson and Colorado railroad, was made the 
county seat in 1883. Belleville, situated at an alti- 
tude of 5,000 feet, on the slope of the Monte Christo 
mountains, was founded in 1873. Marietta, another 
mining camp, lies ten miles northwest of Belleville. 
Candelaria, the railroad terminus, had, in 1885, a 
school house, church, hotel, stores, and other places 
of business. It was named after a mine discovered 
in 1865 by Spanish prospectors, and was surveyed for 
a town in 1876 by J. B. Hiskey. The White Moun- 
tain Water company of Nevada was organized under 


the laws of New York to do business in Nevada, 
Henry A. Gildersleeve president, James A. Prit- 
chard secretary, John Aandroth treasurer. The dis- 
tance to the springs was twenty-one miles. The Can- 
delaria Tnie Fissure newspaper was first published 
June 5, 1880, by John Dormer. Columbus was set- 
tled in 17-fljf and a quartz mill erected. In 1872 the 
Pacific Borax company commenced operations on the 
Columbus marsh, and in Fish Lake valley in 1875. 
This company suspended work on the borax marshes ; 
but the Teel salt marsh was worked by Smith Broth- 
ers, and Rhoades salt marsh by A. J. Rhoades. 
Walker lake, with a part of the Pah Ute reservation, 
is in Esmeralda county. The only agricultural town 
in the county is Greenfield, or Mason valley, in the 
bend of Walker river. It was first settled by W. R. 
Lee in 1869. Its growth has been permanent and 
healthy, with church, school, and mail privileges. 
The settlements not above mentioned in Esmeralda 
county are Birch Agency, Alicia Valley, Alum Creek, 
Black Mountain District, Cambridge, Chase, Cory- 
ville, Coal Valley, Cottonwood Well, Dead Horse 
Well, Durant's Mill, East Walker, Elbow, Fish Lake, 
Five Mile Station, Gillis Mountain, Gold Net, Hog's 
Back, Hot Spring, Hulche Canon, Johnson, Lida, 
Lobdell, McGeer, Mammoth Ledge, Marietta, Me- 
tallic, Military Station, Miller, Montezuma, Mount 
Grant, New Boston, Nine Mile House, Palmetto, 
Pick Handle, Pine Grove, Rockland, Sand Spring, 
Santa Fe, Silver Peak, Soda Springs, Swe^twater, 
Sylvania, Virginia, Volcano, Walker River, Washing- 
ton, Wellington, Wheeler, Whiskey Springs, Wildes. 
Gold Mountain is a new town in the southern part of 
the county, which took its birth and growth from the 
recent development of an old gold discovery called 
the State Lime mine, remarkable for the richness 
and extent of the fissure on which it is located. This 
lode was discovered in 1864 by Thomas J. Shaw, who 
abandoned it on account of the distance from water 


or mills. It was relocated in 1865, and sold to Jog- 
gles Wright, who worked it for some time, with only 
partial success, arid it was neglected until recently. " 
Churchill county, created by the legislature of 

1861, with the county seat at Buckland, was attached 
to Lyon for judicial purposes. Before it was organ- 
ized it lost a portion of its area by the creation of 
Lander county, and only came to be an independent 
district in 1864. It lost another part of its territory 
in 1869 to Nye county. What is left is largely desert, 
marsh land, and alkaline lakes, but contains 25,000 
acres of excellent hay land, and 20,000 acres of 
arable land, of which there are perhaps 5,000 acres 
under cultivation, on Carson slough. The first flour 
mill in the country was erected in 1881 by J. T. 
Walker & Co. The first farm was started by Asa L. 
Kenyon in 1854, who settled on the Carson at Rag- 
town. The principal resources of Churchill county 
are salt, soda, sulphur, and stock-raising. Its asses- 
sable property is reported as less than that of any 
other county in the state, being only $486,432 in 

La Plata, a mining town on the eastern confines of 
the county, was the first county seat after organiza- 
tion, but having become deserted by its inhabitants 
about 18^6, the county seat was removed to Still- 
water, in the farming region, in 1868. The founder 
of Stillwater was J. C. Scott, who settled there in 

1862. Wadsworth, on the Central Pacific railroad, 
was the shipping point for the agricultural region of 
Carson slough. The wood supply was obtained in 
the Silver Hill range, from twelve to twenty miles 
distant. In 1863-5 considerable gold and silver min- 
ing was done in the mountains of the east part of the 
county, but on the discovery of White Pine these 
mines were abandoned. They never paid higher than 
twelve or fifteen dollars to the ton. The settlements 
besides those mentioned are Alan, Clan Alpine Mill, 
Coates Wells, Cold Spring, Desert, Desert Well, 


Eagle Salt Works, East Gate, Hill's station, Hot 
Springs, La Plata, Mirage, Mountain Well, Murphy 
Station, Ragtown, Salinas, Shoshones Spring, Sink 
Station, Soda Lake, Soldiers' Spring, St Clair, West 
Gate, White Plains, and White Rock House. 

Roop county has no separate existence, but is 
attached to Washoe for judicial and revenue purposes. 
It has thousands of acres of land valuable for farm- 
ing could water be brought to it. At present its 
valleys are used for the pasturage of stock, of which 
20,000 head are herded in the county. The settle- 
ments in Roop are Buffalo Meadows, Chalk Hill, 
Church's Camp, Duck Flat, Fish Springs, Lewis 
Rancho, Millers, Sheep Head, and Smoke Creek 
Depot. Several land claims were taken on Duck 
Flat, at Dry Lake, Dry Valley, Little Winnemucca, 
and Winnemucca valley proper, and at Murphy's 
Salt Marsh. Grain is raised and dairy-farming car- 
ried on in the last-named valleys. 

Humboldt, the last of the original nine counties, is 
of great extent and varied resources. It contains 
30,000 acres of agricultural, 50,000 of grazing, 8,000 
of timbered, and 508,000 acres of mineral lands. It 
has 10 miles of mining and 400 miles of irrigating 
ditches. The largest single enterprise of this kind 
was the Humboldt canal, projected in 1862 by J. 
Giuacca, an Italian, the founder of the town of Win- 
nemucca. He formed a company in San Francisco. 
The first 28 miles cost $100,000, and there was no 
more money forthcoming. Humboldt county had in 
1885 10 quartz mills and 2 smelting-furnaces, 3 steam 
grist-mills, and 2 water-power mills. It had in 1884 
of stock cattle 28,000 head, besides work oxen, 57,000 
heeps, 866 hogs, a few cashmere and angora goats, 
5,600 horses, 200 mules, 10 asses, 300 milch cows, 
4,500 calves on the ranges, and 1,348 beef -cattle. 
The amount of land actually cultivated in 1884 was 
9,218 acres. The wheat raised was 86,000 bushels; 
of barley, 125,000; of oats, 5,230 ; of corn, 40 bush- 


els. There were raised also 8,170 bushels of potatoes, 
and of hay, 21,175 tons were cut. The product of 
the dairy was 1,800 pounds of butter. The wool crop 
was 240,000 pounds. There were growing 5,000 
apple, 2,500 peach, 250 pear, 200 plum, 50 cherry, 10 
nectarine, 40 quince, 20 apricot, and 20 prune trees. 
Of shade or transplanted trees there were 6,020. Of 
the small fruits there were 7,000 bushels; grapes, 200 
vines. Thousands of acres of wild sugar-cane grow 
about the sink of the Humboldt; and a textile called 
hemp, but of a stronger fibre and longer staple, is 
abundant in the Humboldt valley. In fruit and 
transplanted trees the county of Washoe alone sur- 
passes Humboldt. The assessed valuation of the 
county, real and personal, for 1884, was $3,152,692, 
which is a good showing for the population. The 
mining property of Humboldt county is of much less 
value than its farm property, a fact which I have 
endeavored to show in detail. Yet there are good 
mining districts, one of which, the Buena Vista, has 
yielded its millions in bullion 15 

Unionville, which owes its existence to mining 
prospectors of 1861, was the first county-seat. A 
majority of its founders being confederates, it was 
originally called Dixie, but as union men became 
prominent, the name was changed. In 1873 the 

15 John H. Hoppin, engaged in cattle raising in Humboldt co. , was born 
iu Lanesboro', Berkshire co., Mass., Feb. 9, 1821, and brought up on a farm 
in the town of Eldridge, Onandaga co., N. Y. He was educated at Monroe 
acdaemy, and taught school for a while after completing his studies. In 
1844 his father and all his family removed to Niles, Michigan, where they 
resided until 1849, when John H. Hoppin set out for Cal., overland, and 
reached the Yuba diggings in the autumn, mining during the winter at a 
place now called Washington. The following year he started in merchandis- 
ing on the North Yuba at Goodyear's bar, in connection with Woodruff.*. 
Duncan & Co. Later he was joined by his brother Charles R., and they 
purchased 409 head of cattle from the immigration, which they fattened and 
sold. Ths brothers purchased a 6-league grant at Yolo, where they were 
joined by two more of their brothers, Henry L., and Thaddeus C., John and 
Charles going to Texas in 1870 to buy cattle to stock grazing land in Nevada. 
They own 15,000 acres in Humboldt co., on which are from 12,000 to 15,- 
000 sheep, and from 2,500 to 3,000 head of cattle. In 1872 John H. was 
elected to the legislature on the republican ticket, and helped to elect John 
P. Jones for U. S. senator. He is laboring for the plan of storing water for 
use in farming, and believes Nevada will yet be a wheat growing state, 


county seat was removed to Winnemucca, wnich until 
1868 was known only as French Bridge or Ford. In 
that year it was named to commemorate the Pah Ute 
chief by C. B. O. Bannon, a nephew of the secretary 
of the interior. 

The other towns and settlements in Humboldt 
county are Adobe, Barbersville, Bartlett Creek, Bata- 
via City, Brown's, Buffalo Station, Cane Spring, 
Canon Station, Centreville, Clark's, Coin, Cumber- 
land, Derby's Dun. Glen, Fairview, Fort McDermit, 
Gem City. Granite Creek, Grass Valley, Griggsville, 
Hardin's Ranch, Hillyer, Humboldt City, Indian 
Creek, Iron Point, Isabella, Jersey City, Junction, 
King River Valley, Lancaster, Little Humboldt, 
Lovelock, McCulley, Mason, Mill City, Mountain 
Spring, O'Connor Station, Oreana, Panther Canon, 
Paradise Hill, Paradise Valley, Pine Forest, Pleasant 
Valley, Queen City, Queen River Valley, Raspberry 
Creek, Rock Spring, Rockwell Station, Rocky Canon, 
Ross Creek, Rye Patch, Santa Clara, Scottsville. 
Smith Ford, Spring City, St Mary, Star City, Trin^ 
ity, Tule, Vandewater, Varyville, Ward, Willow 
Creek, Willow Point, and Winnemucca Spring. 

Lander county, created December 19, 1862, was 
cut off from the eastern portion of Humboldt and 
Churchill counties in obedience to the demand of a 
small army of miners, who, according to their tradi- 
tions, made a rush in the previous May for Reese 
river, hitherto unknown except to the Indians, the 
military, and the overland-stage and pony-express 
companies. The road crossed Reese river at Jacob 
station. Almost directly east of the station was a 
pass known as Pony Canon, because the riders of this 
express often shortened their route by taken it instead 
of the usual pass through the Toiyabe range. Wil- 
liam M. Talcott, who had been a pony-express rider, 
being in this canon May 2, 1862, discovered a quartz 
vein, some ore from which was sent to Virginia City 
to be assayed. Reese river mining district was inline- 


diately organized, and in the following December a 
county was also created, and named after F. W. 
Lander, in acknowledgment of his services to the 
government and the territory. From Lander county, 
which was enlarged by the change of boundary 
between Utah and Nevada, so many districts have 
been carved that it has been called the mother of 

The amount of surveyed land in Lander county is 
small, whence it may be inferred that the agricultural 
interest is small accordingly. It is, indeed, princi- 
pally as a mineral region that it is known, its wealth 
having been dug out of its quartz mines, which, unlike 
those of some other portions of the state, remain 
productive. Its total valuation in 1879 was given at 
$1.038,373, and its population at 3,624. The great 
cost of living, and of working mines so far in the 
interior has been the main difficulty to be overcome 
in Lander county, which, until 1880, when the 
Nevada Central railroad was completed to Austin, 
remained unchanged. During the eighteen years 
while freight-wagons drawn by horse or mule teams 
performed all the transportation to the mines of the 
Toiyabe range, quartz ledges that yielded no more 
than $100 per ton were almost worthless, the cost of 
extracting the bullion being equal to that for the first 
few years, and never having come down to the rates 
at which the Comstock mines were worked. With 
all these disadvantages, the Reese river mines have 
paid for working. Battle Mountain district furnishes 
galena ores assaying $400 per ton in silver and 70 per 
cent of lead. The average yield is $150 per ton silver 
and 50 per cent of lead. It has been found in some 
combinations to contain from $3,000 to $4,000 in 
silver. The copper ores of this district are also of a 
high grade. The same may be said of Jersey district, 
south-west of Battle Mountain station. The ores 
from these districts were concentrated and shipped 
east for reduction. Lewis district, distant 16 miles 


from Battle Mountain, was connected by rail with the 
Nevada Central and Central Pacific railroads. 

Reese river district was the principal as it was the 
first organized in the county. Since it creation two 
other districts have been consolidated with it, Amador 
and Yankee Blade. The number of locations re- 
corded was over 8,000. The veins were contained in 
gneiss of granite, and run northwest and southeast, 
dipping northeast 35. The ores were silver bearing, 
although a small percentage of gold was found in 
some mines ; also galena, antimony, copper, iron, and 
zinc. The chief mines of this district were King 
Alfred, Chase, New Pacific, Magnolia, Morris and 
Caple, Patriot, and the Manhattan company's claims. 
The King Alfred mines were owned by an English 
company. An English company also owned a copper 
mine in Battle Mountain district. The first mine lo- 
cated was the Pony. The deepest shaft in 1884 was 
700 feet, and was on the Oregon, one of the Manhat- 
tan company's mines. The veins of this district were 
narrow but rich, two and a half feet being the widest, 
and all require chlorination. The gross bullion yield 
of this district, from its discovery to 1865, is estimated 
at $2,000,000, since which time it has yielded $19,- 
591,551.18. ranking third in the state for productive- 
ness. 16 

The amount of land cultivated in Lander county in 
1880 was 2,700. The productions were 1,080 bush- 
els of wheat, 43,000 of barley, 775 of oats, 62,000 of 

16 The Marysville mines in Lander co. were discovered by William Stanage 
Wilson, who, with his sons, owns the group. Mr Wilson is of Scotch 
descent, his grandfather arriving in America about 1775, and helping to fight 
the battles of the revolution. Mr Wilson was born in Logan co. , Ohio, Dec. 
30, 1821, but at the age of 11 years removed to Elkhart co., Ind. In 1848 
he volunteered for the Mexican war, but peace being soon after declared, he 
was discharged. Ha came to the Pacific coast in 1852 along with the immi- 
gration to Oregon, residing in that state until 1874, when he removed to 
Carico valley, Lander co., about GO miles from Austin. Having made a com- 
fortable fortune in mining and cattle raising, he left the care of the large 
Carico farm to his sons, and devoted himself to prospecting, which he fol- 
lowed for eight years before he found what satisfied him. He later became 
a resident of Reno, his large family being provided for, and all the result 
of his indomitable energy and sagacity. 


potatoes, 9,500 tons of hay, and a few hundred fruit 
trees. Of live stock, it owned 2,100 horses, 400 
mules, 4,624 cattle, 23,000 sheep, and some other 
farm stock. The first town and county seat was 
Jacobsville, at the overland stage station. But Austin 
in 1863 superseded it. In December 1862 two men, 
named Marshall and Cole, were the sole occupants of 
the site, being engaged in running a tunnel on the 
south side of the Pony canon, on the Highland Mary 
claim, near the centre of the present town. In that 
same month John Frost, " Felix O'Neil, J. Q C. Van- 
derbosch, and George Buffet located the Oregon, North 
Star, and Southern Light mines in the same lo- 
cality, and in the following spring erected a log 
cabin. 15 

A survey was made of a town site, which was in- 
tended to secure the water and mill rights, but the 
property was sold in 1865 to a New York company, 
under the name of Manhattan, Frost being retained 
as superintendent, and having charge of all the ma- 
chinery put up on Lander Hill for many years. Mar- 
shall also located a town site, and another was taken 
up by D. E. Buell, W. C. Harrington, E. Welton, 
and I. C. Bateman. The citizens united to construct 
a graded road from the lower town, or Clifton, to the 
upper town, or Austin, and soon the majority of the 
population was at the higher point, and practically 
there was but one town, which was Austin. In April 
1863 a hotel, newspaper, and post office were added 
to the new city. A pony express was started by G. 
L. Turner to the various mines, and Wells, Fargo & 

17 John Frost, born in Monroe co., N. Y., in 1829, and educated at the 
common schools, came to Cal. in 1846 in a whaler, touching at Valparaiso 
and Monterey. He was 2 years before the mast, and 2 years 3d mate of 
the vessel, the voyage lasting 4 years and 8 months. In 1851 he made an- 
other voyage to Cal., and arrived, for the third time, in Dec. 1852, in the 
clipper ship Thomas Watzon, when he went to the mines on Yuba river, re- 
maining there until 1860. In that year he erected a hotel in the Henness 
pass of the Sierra Nevada, but removed to Pony, now Austin, in 1862, in 
company with Vanderbosch, O'Neil, and Buffet. This company, known as 
the Oregon Mill and Mining co., erected a ten-stamp mill, which ran for two 


Co. established an express office. Being directly upon 
the overland route, Austin had stage communication 
with the east and west, besides which special lines 
were established. The passenger traffic for 1865 was 
estimated at 6,000 fares between Virginia City and 
Austin, at $40 a fare. The freight carried over the 
road cost $1,381,800 for transportation from this di- 
rection alone, besides what came from Salt Lake. 
Lumber transported from the mills of the Sierra cost 
$250 per thousand feet, and that sawed out of the na- 
tive pinon, $125 per thousand. Brick manufactured 
at Reese river cost $12 to $18 per thousand, and other 
things in proportion. The treasure carried by the 
express company that year aggregated $6,000,000. 
Three banking houses were in operation. Men of 
the learned professions flocked there, and Austin was 
that anomaly of modern times, a city in the midst of 
a wilderness, grown up like a mushroom, in a night. 
It was incorporated in 1875, and disincorporated in 

Battle Mountain, the town next in importance to 
Austin, is simply a shipping point on the Central Pa- 
cific railroad, and the northern terminus of the Ne- 
vada Central. Its position with reference to the 
Humboldt valley is favorable to its growth. Irriga- 
tion is converting the desert lands in its vicinity into 
fertile fields. 18 

18 John Ansel Blossom, the first settler of Battle Mountain, was born in 
Ohio in 1836, went to St Louis in 1857, and remained there until 1860, when 
he came to Cal. In 1862 he went to Nevada with barley and hay, starting a 
livery-stable at Star city. In 1867 he removed to Dun Glen, whero he 
mined, and went next year to French bridge, now Winnemucca. This bridge, 
the first on the Humboldt, was erected by the Lay Brothers, and a French- 
man named Frank Band. Burned out at Winnemucca, in 1869, he went to 
Battle mountain, Nathan Levi, a merchant of Winnemncca, assisting him to 
start anew. His house was the first in Battle Mountain, after the railroad 
buildings; and the town received its name from Robert Macbeth, a pioneer 
who was conversant with the early history of the spot. In 1871 Blossom be- 
gan stock raising on an extensive scale. He was the contractor who built 
the Nevada Central railroad from Battle Mountain to Austin. 

Another early settler of Battle Mountain was John W. McWilliams, born 
in Ohio in 1835, and in 1854 came to California, and in 1863 to Nevada, set- 
tling first at Unionville, where he was county recorder. In 1870 he located 
himself at Battle Mountain, where J. A. Blossom had a tent, and Thomas 


The settlements in Lander county, otherwise than 
those mentioned, are Addington^ Amador, Ansonia, 
Argenta, Artesian, Bailey, Campbell, Canon City, 
Canton's, Cooper's Canon, Curtis, Deep Creek Sta- 
tion, Dodge ville, Empire, Galena, Geneva, Grass 
Valley, Halls vale, Helena, Lander, Ledlie, Lewis, 
Piute, Ravenswood, Reese River, Santa Fe, Skunk- 
town, Smoky Valley, Stoneberger's. Lewis has re- 
cently become a well-known mining town. 19 

Nye county, organized in 1864 out of Esmeralda 
county, and named in honor of Governor J. W. Nye, 
occupied at that time all that portion of Nevada south 
of the thirty-ninth parallel not remaining in Esmer- 
alda, a large and almost unknown area. Its bounda- 
ries have been several times changed, and it remains 
a large county still, its present area being 18,432 
square miles. The discovery of a new mining district, 
sixty miles south of Austin, in the Shoshone range, 
was the occasion of the subdivision, and the town of 
lone, in Union district, became the county seat, which 
honor it enjoyed for three years, when the county 
records were removed to Belmont, a town founded in 

W. Rule a small shop. E. T. George, J. H. Green, and a few others, had 
taken land claims. In 1872 he was elected county commissioner. J. C. Fall, 
with whom McWilliams had been associated in business at Dun Glen, had 
presented his interest in the firm to his son-in-law, J. H. Kinkead, which 
interest was purchased from the latter in 1873, and the concern carried on by 
McWilliams until 1880, when he sold to A. D. Lemaire, and retired. 

19 B. F. Wilson, born in Canada in 1832, came to Cal. in 1854, and in 
1868 to Nevada, settling at Galena and looking for mines, in which he was 
successful, opening up some good prospects. On the Hamburg mine he 
erected in 1885 a mill with a capacity of 15 tons per day, running by steam 

Thomas G. Morgan, locator of the Pittsburg Consolidated and other 
mining properties in Lander co., was born in Wales in 1845, and came to 
the U. S. in childhood, residing at Massillon, Ohio, from which state he came 
to Virginia, Nevada, in 1873. Subsequently he removed to Galena in 
Lander co., and engaged in mining, beginning operations in 1880, and being 
associated with several others. He purchased the interests of his associates 
excepting that of J. A. Blossom, who sold the Pittsburg to a London com- 
pany for $160,000, and had left the Evening Star, Cumberland, Ida Hen- 
rietta, and Lady Carrie. These claims are gold bearing. In 1883 Mi- 
Morgan married Miss Carrie Bertrand, whose brother discovered the Geddes 
Bertrand, near Eureka. He has faith in the resources of Nevada, both min- 
eral and agricultural, he has many important and valuable mining claims in 
the Lewis district, and steps aro now being taken to work them. 


1865, by Antonio Bozquez, the first settler, and A. 
Billman, H. G. C. Schmidt, J. M. Reed, C. L. 
Straight, R. Kelley, D. R. Dean, L. Martin, O. 
Brown, S. Tollman, J. Grover, D. E. Buel, William 
Geller, Charles St Louis, J. W. Gashwiler, S. M. 
Burk, and others. The situation was upon a plateau 
of the Toiyaba range, at an altitude of 8,000 feet, 
where wood and water were abundant, and the scenery 

There are several good mining districts in the 
county, which has produced $8,000,000 in bullion, 
and has a permanent population of two thousand, 
with an economical and healthy county administration, 
yet owing to its want of transportation the progress 
of any kind of enterprise has been slow. 

The number of acres under cultivation in 1880 was 
2,300; of bushels of wheat raised, 4,328; of barley, 
33,212; oats, 5,000; potatoes, 18,000. It had com- 
paratively little stock, about ten thousand head hav- 
ing been driven away in the two previous years, owing 
to a failure of grass from over-feeding. Fruit does 
well in this region, and is extensively cultivated. The 
total assessed valuation of real and personal property 
in Nye county in 1880 was not much over $1,000,000, 
the decrease being in personal property, which, being 
largely mining property, has failed to hold its own, 
while farming property has not declined. The gross 
yield of the mines for the last half of 1880 and the 
first half of 1881 was respectively 4273,881 and 

Mining having reached a depth at which capital 
and improved methods must be applied, a temporary 
abandonment followed, this being the history of the 
great majority of mining districts, just as hydraulic 
mining not being known or applied, the placer gold 
mines were deserted when the bars had been washed 
off. The settlements in Nye county to be named are 
Argenta, Barcelona, Blue Eagle, Centennial City, 
Central City, Cherry Creek, Cloverdale, Danville, 


Doyle, Duckwater, Dutch Flat, East Belmont, Ells- 
worth, Grant, Grantville, Jett, Junction, Kiney, 
King's House, Knickerbocker, Lodi, Logan, Milton, 
Morey, New Philadelphia, Northumberland, Peavine, 
Rattlesnake, Reese River, Reveille, Sacramento, San 
Antonio, San Augustine, San Juan, Seymour, Spauld- 
ing, Toyah, Troy, Tucker's Station, Tybo, Union, 
Ural Canon, Washington, and Yokum. 

Lincoln county, cut off from Nye February 26, 
1866, is a mining county of much historic interest, 
having been first traversed by the white race when 
the Spaniards, between 1540 and 1775, made explora- 
tions through the interior of the continent. In 1863 
4, an Indian brought to William Hamlin, in Meadow 
valley, a specimen of silver ore, which on being sent 
to Salt Lake caused several expeditions to visit that 
region, the first of which, under J. M. Vandermark 
and Stephen Sherwood, organized the Meadow valley 
mining district in April 1864. Not to be dispossessed 
by Gentiles, Brigham Young ordered Erastus Snow 
from St George to Meadow valley with a company of 
men, who in the temporary absence of the mining 
recorder, organized a new district with new rules. A 
third company, consisting chiefly of men from the 
California volunteers, followed, and the former rules 
were ultimately restored ; but the presence of so many 
Mormons making the place distasteful, the district 
was abandoned by the gentiles after some work had 
been done on the Panaca, the original discovery ledge, 
and on the Mammoth. 

Pahranagat district was next organized, in 1865, 
hundreds of locations made, and one million feet of 
ground sold to W. H. Raymond for eastern capital- 
ists. The legislature having created the county of 
Lincoln, Governor Blasdel and suite proceeded to 
Pahranagat to complete the organization. On the 
way, having taken a roundabout course through 
Death valley, and become involved in barren wastes 
without food or water, they narrowly escaped destruc- 


tion. As it was, one life was lost, and much suffer- 
ing endured by the party. The governor found that 
there was not the number of legal voters required in 
the county, which after all this trouble was not or- 
ganized until the following year. Its original boun- 
daries were twice changed, in March 1867, when a 
strip ten miles wide was ceded to Nye on the west, 
and in 1875, when it received some territory from 
Nye on the north. The county seat was first decreed 
to be at Crystal Springs, but in 1867 was changed to 
Hiko in the same district, and ultimately to Pioche. 
This town was situated on a spur of the Ely moun- 
tains, and faced north. It was first settled by Joseph 
Grange and E. M. Chubard, who in 1868 erected a 
small furnace for the reduction of ore, but failing in 
their expectations, abandoned the location. In 1869 
the Meadow valley district was reorganized and named 
Ely district, in honor of John H. Ely, who with W. 
H. Raymond, placed a five-stamp quartz mill, rented 
from a New York company, in Meadow valley, at 
the site of Bullionville, the nearest point where suffi- 
cient water could be obtained. A company consisting 
of P. McCannon, L. Lacour, and A. M. Bush laid 
out the town in the same year, which was surveyed 
by E. L. Mason, a civil engineer, and named by Mrs 
Carmichael Williamson after F. L. A. Pioche of San 
Francisco, who owned largely in the mines. In 
1870-1 it was the most active town in Nevada, and 
consequently infested by the criminal element, which 
ever followed in the wake of honest enterprise in the 
mining districts. On the 15th of September, 1871, 
it was ravaged by fire, and $500,000 worth of prop- 
erty destroyed. An explosion of three hundred 
pounds of blasting powder killed thirteen men, and 
wounded forty-seven others. But the town was 
quickly rebuilt in a more substantial manner, only to 
lose another $50,000 by the same terrible agency in 
May 1872. On the 22d of August, 1873, a rain 
flood caused a loss of $10,000, and in 1876 a fire again 


destroyed $40,000 worth of property. Pioche reached 
the height of its prosperity in 1872-3, when the pop- 
ulation was estimated at six thousand, and there were 
one hundred and ten stamps crushing ore in the dis- 
trict, with a narrow-gauge railroad to Bullion ville, to 
carry ore to the mills. Bullionville itself had a pop- 
ulation of five hundred, but it declined when, on the 
completion of the water-works, Pioche was liberally 
supplied with water, and the mills were removed to 
that place. A revival began in 1880, when new 
smelting and concentrating works were erected at 
Bullionville to work the tailings deposited by the 
mills. The nearest railroad station where goods are 
received or bullion shipped is Milford, on the Utah 
Southern, which renders Lincoln county a dependency 
of Chicago chiefly, though some trade is carried on 
with San Francisco. After producing $20,000,000 
of bullion, the Ely district was almost deserted, 
Pioche having not more than eight hundred inhabi- 

O O 

tants in 1880. The Pahranagat, Colorado, Freyburg, 
Pennsylvania, Silver Springs, Silver King, Groom, 
St Thomas, Timber Mountain, Pah Ute, Wheeler, 
Southeastern, and Yellow Pine districts all contain 
good mines, which may yet be developed. Pahrana- 
gat, which means watermelon, has been the most 
noted of these, but is at present nearly deserted. 19 

The population of the county in 1884 was 2,200, an 
increase of four hundred over 1883, and the assessed 
valuation of real and personal property $488,004. 
The affairs of the county have been extravagantly 
managed, and the indebtedness in 1880 was $300,000. 
Of the several towns, nearly all of which are mining 

l9 Hiko Silver Mining Company's Kept, 1866, 1-22, 34-6; The Miner, i. 27; 
Quincy Union, June 23, 1866. There are several valleys which with Irrigation 
would produce good crops. Meadow Springs, Ash, Clover, Eagle, Dry 
Muddy, Rose, and Pahranagat valleys are all susceptible of cultivation. 
The best farmers are Mormons, who have several times been recalled by the 
church, when their improvements passed into other hands. About 1880 they 
commenced to return and take up land, which is a promise of an increase in 
agriculture. The soil and climate in the valley of Muddy creek, a tributary 
of Rio Virgen. are adapted to cotton raising. William Anderson in 1873 had 
HIST. NEV. 18 


centres, one which is not a mining town is Callville, 
founded by Anson Call and a few associates from 
Utah, at the head of navigation on the Colorado river, 
in 1864. It is not a lovely situation, being among 
the barren sand-hills of this desolate region, with 
nothing to recommend it except its importance as a 
place of transfer and storage whenever navigation 
shall be permanently established on the Colorado. 
There are men who see evidences of a prehistoric race, 
possessing many of the arts of scientific civilization, 
bordering on the Colorado, and having large cities, 
canals, aqueducts, and highways, and who understood 
mining. As faith is given each one of us we will be- 
lieve. As with the footprints of a man of giant pro- 
portions in the sandstone quarry at the Carson stato 
prison, more is suggested than proved. 2 ' 

The towns and settlements not described in Lincoln 
county are Bristol, Bunkerville, Camp El Dorado, 
Clover Valley, Cotton wood, Dutch Flat, Eagle Valley, 
Parmington, Flag Spring, Freyburg Mines, Hillside, 
Homer, Lake Valley, Las Vegas, Logan, Long Val- 
ley, Lyonsville, Mayflower, Mesquit, Midey Valley, 
Montezuma, Overton, Panaca, Pahrock, Patterson, 
Potosi, Royal City, Silver City, St Joseph, St 
Thomas, Tern Piute, West Point. 

Elko county, created March 5, 1869, was cut off 
from Lander, and combprises, esides a large extent of 

10 acres, and Mr Carter 20 acres in this staple, which grows and yields well. 
At Washington, Utah, is a cotton factory. Pioche Record; Carson Appeal, 
July 22, 1873. 

' 20 A man who has labored to improve Lincoln county is Eugene Howell, a 
member of the llth session of the Nevada legislature, elected in 1882 on the 
democratic ticket. He was the originator of a petition to congress to appro- 
priate money for the improvement of the Coiorado river. The matter was 
not acted upon by congress, and Gov. Adams vetoed a bill introduced in the 
Nev. legislature by Howell and passed, to appoint a commissioner to gather 
statistics on the subject to be presented to congress. The navigation of the 
Colorado would be a great boon to the mineral and agricultural regions bor- 
dering on it. Howell was the democratic nominee for state senator in 1884, 
but was defeated. In 1886 he declined the nomination of state comptroller. 
As a mining man Howell has been connected with firms in Bristol, in the 
Pahranagat district, and the White Pine district. He was born in Eureka, 
Plumas co., Cal., on March 21, 1858, and was educated for a practical metal- 
lurgist, although he has been engaged in merchandising in Bristol. 


mineral land, a larger amount of good agricultural 
and grazing land than any other county in Nevada, 
16,124 acres being under cultivation in 1880, or five 
hundred more than Douglas, the most productive 
county of the west tier. It should be borne in mind 
that farming in Nevada has no other object than the 
local supply, on account of the enormous railroad tar- 
iff, which places an embargo upon grain growing for 
distant markets. The different policy of the Northern 
Pacific has encouraged the cultivation of the grain 
lands of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, while in 
Nevada the management of the Central Pacific actu- 
ally prohibits it. For this reason a large proportion 
of cultivable territory lies idle, and what is cultivated 
is not made to produce as it might. The average 
product of farms in Elko county is 30 bushels of 
wheat, 35 of barley, 60 of oats, and 100 of potatoes 
to the acre. Elko county raised in 1880 of wheat 
30,000, of barley 150,000, of oats 370, of potatoes 
370,000 bushels, and of hay 50,000 tons were cured. 
The county contained upon its ranges 70,520 cattle, 
17,200 horses, 4,150 mules, 10,000 sheep, and 1,400 
hogs. In 1884 it had 3 flouring-mills, and made 
5,470 barrels of flour. It had 460 miles of irrigating 
ditches, 21 miles of mining ditches, 9 quartz-mills, 
and 2 smelting-furnaces. There were crushed in 1884, 
5,124 tons of quartz and smelted 1,412 tons. The 
population was over 6,000, and the county upon a 
good financial basis. Like all the other counties, it is 
divided into valleys with a general north and south 
trend, excepting the Humboldt, which is not an agri- 
cultural valley. Its mines of argentiferous galena 
and other metals are found in the ranges separating 
the valleys, and are numerous. There are no less than 
26 mining districts in the county, of which Kingsley 
district, discovered in 1862, in the Antelope range, by 
Felix O'Neil, is the oldest. A furnace for smelting 
ore was erected here. The Tuscarora district, organ- 
ized in July 1867, lies 45 miles north of Carlin on 


the headwaters of the Owyhee river, and is the next 
in point of time. It was discovered by the Beard 
brothers, who worked the placer diggings for gold. 
The quartz is free milling, and carries gold near the 
surface, which diminishes as depth iso btained. The 
Grand Prize mine is down 600 feet, and the Independ- 
ence has a tunnel 1,500 feet in length. There are 
500 miners in this district. Island Mountain district, 
75 miles north of Elko, was discovered in 1873 by 
E. Penrod, one of the original owners of the Ophir 
mine on the Comstock. It is worked chiefly for the 
gold in the placers, and is supplied with water from a 
canal 10 miles- in length, constructed by Penrod. 

Carlin is the oldest town in the county, having 
been settled in July, 1868, by J. A. Palmer, and soon 
after by S. Pierce, C. Boyen, and James Clark. A 
town sprang up with the completion of the Humboldt 
division of the Central Pacific railroad, and the loca- 
tion of the company's round-house and shops. Elko, 
the county-seat, was first settled by George F. Pad- 
dleford in December 1868. In the following year it 
became the point of disembarkation for White Pine 
and Tuscarora mines. 21 

The towns and settlements not before mentioned in 
Elko county are Antelope Station, Aurora, Arthur, 
Blythe City, Bradley, Brown, Bruno, Buel, Bullion, 
Cedar, Cloverdale, Columbia, Coral Hill, Cornucopia, 
Deeth, Dolly Varden, Elaine, Excelsior, Fair Pla}^, 
Falcon, Fort Halleck, Friend's Station, Golconda, 
Gerald, Good Hope, Heenans, Hicks District, High- 
land, Hoolon, Huntington, Independence, Island 
Mountain, Kinsley's Springs, Lamoille, Lamoille Val- 
ley, Lone Mountain, Loray, McPeters, Marshall Sta- 
tion, Moleen, Montello, Moors, Mountain City, Nat- 

21 A town was laid off by William T. Ballon, Bailouts Adv., MS., 24, and 
had a rapid growth. In 1885 it had a population of 800 taxable property to 
the amount of $341,400, a daily and weekly newspaper, the state university, 
a good common school building, a church, several lodges of different socie- 
ties, a brick jail, mineral soap factory, flouring mill, water company, and 
other useful institutions. It sustained a loss of about $100,000 by fires. 


chez, North Ruby, Osino, Otego, Owyhee, Peko, 
Pequop, Robber's Roost, Ruby Valley, Salmon City, 
Shoemakers, Stickney Town, Tacoma, Toano, Toll 
Gate, Tulasco, Tuscarora, William, and Wyoming. 22 
White Pine county which was created out of 
Lander, April, 1869, consists of a succession of val- 
leys between high ranges, Diamond range on the west 

being tipped with snow. In the autumn of IF 65 a 

. . 

party of prospectors from Austin being attracted to 
the region east of this range by the view of moun- 
tains covered with white pine timber, discovered some 
mines of silver, lead, and copper, and organized the 
district of White Pine October 10th of that year. 
Robert Morrill and Thomas J. Murphy were promi- 
nent in these proceedings. The first discovery was 
in the region near the present town of Hamilton, 
others following in its neighborhood. The succeed- 
ing year Murphy and Crawford went to Philadelphia 
with ores from mines in White Pine district, and 
formed the Monte Cristo Mining company, which 
sent out a superintendent in 1867, who put up a mill 
and proceed to work the ores. In the autumn, after 
snow had fallen on the mountains, an Indian, for some 
trifling favor bestowed by A. J. Leathers, the black- 
smith of the original company, gave him a piece of 
ore which being melted produced a button of silver. 
He was induced to show the place from which he had 
brought the specimen, which proved to be the Hidden 
Treasure mine from which Treasure Hill near Hamil- 

22 An important man at Tuscarora was Americus Vespuccius Lancaster, 
born in Belfast, Me, Sept. 5, ]835. He came to the Pacific coast in 1855, and 
after mining in various localities in Cal. and British Columbia, visiting Cen- 
tral America, and liu former home in Me. , where he married, he returned to 
this coast, and in 1867 settled at Tuscarora, then a new place, where he took 
contracts to supply wood and ties to the C. P. R. R., and with the proceeds 
set up in the grocery business, and also bought gold dust of the miners, 
making a profit which enabled him in a few years to improve some valuable 
mining property. The Young America and Young America south were 
located and patented by Lancaster and others, and the town of Tuscorora 
is on their ground. He owned in the Navajo and North Belle Isle, both of 
which produced well; and al^o greatly enlarged his mercaatile interests. In 
1880 he removed to Alamerla, Cal., to give his children the advantages 
which his liberal means enable him to bestow, 


ton took its name. The Hidden Treasure was located 
January 3, 1868, by Leathers, Murphy, and March- 
and, and sold in January 1860 for $200,000, to G. E. 
Roberts & Co. Soon after the discovery of the Hid- 
den Treasure, T. E. Eberhardt of Austin, discovered 
the famous chloride deposit on Treasure hill, which 
was known as the Eberhardt mine, although in mak- 
ing locations with some friends the richest portion did 
not fall to him. The Eberhardt mine was disposed of 
in 1868 to a company which took several tons of the 
ore to Austin for reduction, where it was found to 
yield from $450 to $27,000 per ton. Ore working 
$3,000 was constantly taken from the Eberhardt, 
Keystone, and Blue Belle mines, which was banked 
up for smelting, when furnaces should be erected. 
On the 25th of September the Defiance mine produced 
in one day ore that would yield $40,000 worth of 
bullion, and had $75,000 in sight. These prodigies 
of wealth created the greatest fever of excitement 
known since the discovery of the Com stock. Thou- 
sands of men hastened to White Pine, rich and poor 
alike, and the prospector's pick was heard in all direc- 
tions, while every canon of the bare and rugged 
mountains about Treasure Hill had its sides adorned 
with miners' cabins, hanging like bird cages from its 
rocky sides. The excitement culminated in the win- 
ter and spring of 1868-9. A question in mining law 
was raised which was never before brought up, and 
arose out of the discovery that the Eberhardt group 
of mines were not upon any ledge which could be 
measured off and its extensions taken up, but were a 
single horizontal deposit, the chloride layers being 
separated by layers of limestone, and bounded by 
walls like a vault. These deposits have since become 
familiar in Colorado and are called contact, or blanket 
lodes. Supposing that this arrangement of ore must 
continue downward to the depth of other silver mines, 
a movement was made to compel those in possession, 
after working out one deposit, to allow another claim- 


ant to take the next under it, and so on. The move- 
ment, however, did not prevail, and the Chloride Flat 
group of mines was suffered to remain in the hands 
of its fortunate owners, who sold or worked them as 
seemed best. Suits at law grew out of the peculiar 
formation after it was discovered that there had been 
different locations made, by croppings, on what proved 
to be the same body of ore, that is, not divided by 
any wall. One of these cases, brought in the courts 
of Lander county to which the district then belonged, 
was among the causes celebres of that country. The 
bank of California made haste to secure the manage- 
ment as in the Comstock mines, purchasing several 
claims, but it never obtained the controlling interest. 
In the autumn of 1869 the mines of White Pine were 
producing monthly about $500,000 in bullion. The 
rich deposit which set the world agog proved not to 
be a deep one. Some millions of dollars were taken 
out, but at the depth of 100 feet the body of almost 
pure silver was exhausted. The Eberhardt was 
purchased in connection with the Aurora mine by 
an English company, by which it was worked with 
energy and varying fortune. A shaft was puc down 
1,400 feet, and over a mile of tunnelling made into 
the heart of the mountain. There were about twenty- 
four mining districts in White Pine county which 
were sufficiently tested to prove the value of the 
mines, which were of silver, gold, lead, copper, and 
other metals. In most of the districts wood and 
water could be obtained with little difficulty. 

Agriculture was neglected for want of transporta- 
tion, more than 2,500 acres being under cultivation in 
1885. There were in the county in 1884 of stock- 
cattle 3,000, cows 2,000, calves 900, sheep 10,000, 
lambs 8,000, hogs 400, horses 1,200, and mules 150. 
The amount of good farming land was estimated at 
12,000 acres. Of grazing land, much of which, with 
irrigation, would produce crops, there are 4,776,160 
acres; of timbered land, 500,000 acres, and of min- 


eral land, about the same amount. The population 
of the county was 2,500, and its assessed valuation 

Hamilton, the county seat of White Pine county, 
is situated on the northern slope of Treasure Hill, 
near the foot. Its altitude is 7,977 feet above the 
sea level, and the site commanding. It was laid off 
for a town by W. H. Hamilton, Henry Kelly, and E. 
Goben, in May 1868. Previous to this, and while 
only a rendezvous for prospectors, who dwelt in turf- 
houses quite as often as anything, it was called Cave 
City, but since received the name of Hamilton. Such 
was the rush of population in 1868-9 that houses 
could not be provided for the 10,000 inhabitants, but 
canvas was made to do duty for wood and brick. 
Hamilton was incorporated in 1869, and disincorpo- 
rated in 1875. A brick court-house and jail was 
erected in 1870 at a cost of $50,000. A water com- 
pany was formed which supplied Hamilton and Treas- 
ure hill with water brought from Illapah springs, in 
Momoke Hill, three miles east of Hamilton, where 
2,000,000 gallons of water per day flow out of the 
rock. Steam pumping-works had to be used to force 
the water two miles through a 12 -inch pipe and lift it 
to a reservoir 1,000 feet high. This cost $380,000, 
and the original company sold to the Eberhardt and 
Aurora Mining companies in 1878. In 1873 a fire 
destroyed $600,000 worth of property at Hamilton, 
this devastation having been caused by the owner of 
a cigar store who set fire to his premises to get the 
insurance, having first turned off the water to disable 
the fire company. In Applegarth's Canon, at the 
foot of Treasure hill, on the south side, is Eberhardt, 
with 100 inhabitants. On the western slope, near 
the top, and often above the clouds that overhang 
Hamilton, is Treasure City. It had 6,000 inhabitants 
in 1869, and 50 in 1885. Shermantown, situated at 
the mouth of a canon dividing Treasure Hill from 
White Pine Mountain, five miles south of and at a 


much lower altitude than Hamilton, was the seat of 
two saw-mills, five quartz-mills, and four furnaces in 
1868-9, and had 1,000 inhabitants. It was incorpo- 
rated in 1870, and had a newspaper of its own, but is 
to-day deserted by all but a single family. Swansea, 
three-fourths of a mile north of Shermantown, had 
two quartz-mills and smelters, and several hundred 
people, of whom none remain. Such was the rise 
and decline of White Pine district, the most remark- 
able of any in eastern Nevada. 

Cherry creek became the principal town* in White 
Pine county. It was situated at the mouth of Cherry 
Creek canon, on the eastern slope of the Eagan 
range, at an elevation of 6,300 feet. It owes its rise 
to the mines of that district, which were discovered in 

1872. Ward is another mining town whose growth 
began in 1876. It is 62 miles south-east of Hamil- 
ton. Both towns support newspapers of their own. 
The settlements of White Pine county not above 
named are Aurum, Centreville, Clayton, Cooper, 
Diamond, Eagan, Ely, Glencoe, Hendrie's Mill, 
Hunter, Indian Queen, Kingston, Lehman, Maryland, 
Mineral City, Mosier, Newark hill, Osceola, Pianum, 
Picotillo, Piuma, Queen's Station, Rubyville, Schell- 
bourne, Shoenbars, Simpson, Tiermont, Warner, West 
Ely, and White Pine City. 

Eureka county, created out of Lander March 1, 

1873, owes its separate existence to its mineral re- 
sources. These began to be known immediately after 
the settlement of Reese river, which formed abase of 
operations and supplies. The district was located on 
Mt Tenabo, the highest elevation of the Cortez 
mountains, thirty miles south-east of Beowawe, or 
Gravelly ford, where one of the largest mineral- 
bearing belts ever found in Nevada was discovered. 
The formation consists of granite and limestone. 

A dike of quartzite 500 feet in width was named 
' The Nevada Giant/ and excited great expecta- 
tions. This mineral belt was subsequently developed 


and its promised wealth realized, under the owner- 
ship of Simeon Wenban, 23 one of the original discov- 
erers. It appears 3,000 feet above the valley, and 
stretches its enormous body diagonally down the 
mountain in plain view for about 19,000 feet, the 
south end dipping down and disappearing in the val- 
ley below. The district has proved one of the most 
important in the state. 

The first mines were located in the granite on what 
was called * Bullion Hill'; an eight-stamp mill was 
erected in- 1864 by the Cortez Company for the pur- 
pose of reducing the ores found in the granite forma- 
tion, and was operated by this company until 1867, 
when it was purchased by Wenban, who increased 
the capacity to ten stamps, and continued to operate 
it on ore taken from his mines located in the lime- 
stone formation, of which there were many; the most 
E-oininent being the Arctic, Idaho, Garrison, and St 
ouis. These mines have proved of great value. 
In 1886 this mill was superseded by works to re- 
duce ores by the leaching process, having a capacity 
of about fifty tons per day, erected under the per- 
sonal supervision of Wenban. In the granite forma- 
tion the veins running through the quartz were found 
to be rich but narrow. The whole mineral zone was 
productive, but it was in the limestone that Wenban 
found his great wealth. The ores required roasting 
before amalgamating, and carried both gold arid sil- 
ver. Wood and water were brought a distance of 
eight miles. Eureka district, discovered in 1864, 
produced great wealth, which increased the population 
of Lander county, and caused a division of the same. 

23 Mr Wenban was born in England in the parish of Hawkhurst, county 
Kent, May 18, 1824, and was the son of a wheelwright. In 1828 his parents 
immigrated to the U. S., residing in Utica, N. Y., and later in Cleveland, 
Ohio. In 1854 he came to the Pacific coast, mining for a while in Cal., but 
removing to Nevada in 1862. In 1863 he made one of a prospecting party 
which discovered the Cortes district, in which he owns about thirty mines. 
Mr Wenban has done everything to prove the wealth of that region, and in 
doing it has made himself a millionaire several times over, and without prac- 
tising any selfish greed to the injury of his neighbors. His character stands 
as deservedly high as his success has been deservedly great. 


The town of Eureka, which was founded in 1869 by 
W. W. McCoy and Alonzo Monroe was made the 
county seat. 24 

Eureka town, nearly 7,000 feet above the sea, is 
situated at the head of a canon four miles long and 
200 yards wide, from the sides of which parallel lines of 
steep hills rise one above the other to a height of from 
500 to 1,200 feet, from whose crests numerous smaller 
canons run down to the main one. Where this gorge 
spreads out among the lesser hills and ravines at the 
top the town site was located. It rapidly acquired 
population. A line of stages from Austin to Hamil- 
ton passed through it, and a post office was established 
in 1870. In the same year the town obtained direct 
connection with the Central Pacific railroad by En nor 
and Woodruffs stages from Hamilton to Palisade. A 
fast freight line to Palisade was established in 1871, 
and in 1874 the Eureka and Palisade railroad was 
begun, which was completed the following year. 
With its completion Eureka became the centre of 
freight and passenger traffic for a large area of country. 
By a steady growth the population had increased 
to 5,000 in 1880. Stone quarries adjacent to the town 
furnished superior material for building, the public 
edifices as well as residences being partly constructed 
of this material. Brick was also much used in build- 
ing. In 1879 a court house costing $53,000 was 
erected. There were two daily papers, two banks, 
and good schools. All the ores of this district were 
brought to Eureka for reduction in its sixteen fur- 
naces. They carried from 15 to 60 per cent of lead, 
and sufficient iron and silica to obviate the necessity 
for importing foreign flux. The yield of Eureka dis- 
trict for 1879,was $10,000,000, and the total yield for 
the seven years, including 1879, was $20,000.000. 
The town of Eureka has been three times visited by 

24 This section has been thought of sufficient importance to justify the 
publication by Molinelli & Co. of a bound volume of 109 pages entitled 
Eureka and its Resources, 1879, 


fire, the first, in 1872, causing the organization of a 
fire department ; the second, in 1878, which destroyed 
$1,000,000 worth of property ; and the third in 1880. 
A cloud burst in July 1874 destroyed considerable 
property, with the loss of seventeen lives. From 
these disasters the community recovered with the 
vigor imparted by conscious resources. Ruby Hill, 
two and one half miles west of Eureka, in 1880 had a 
population of 2,165. It was the residence of about 
900 miners, who had a miners' union, and supported 
a newspaper, churches, schools, a theatre, and other 
popular institutions. Palisade, the northern terminus 
of the Eureka and Palisade railroad, had 200 inhabi- 
tants. It was furnished with water from the moun- 
tains to the north. The railroad company's shops 
were located here for manufacturing cars. 

Although specifically a mining county, Eureka is 
self-supporting, and might be made productive of 
agricultural wealth to a much greater extent. The 
amount of land enclosed in 1885 was 27,940 acres, of 
which 9,255 were in hay, grain and vegetables. It 
had 18 miles of irrigating ditches. The average 
yield of wheat was 40 bushels to the acre. It raised, 
in 1884, 10,000 tons of hay, made 15,000 pounds of 
cheese, 50,000 pounds of butter, 55,335 gallons of 
beer, and sheared 74,000 pounds of wool. Its live 
stock was 2,425 horses, 466 mules, 7,577 stock cattle, 
12,400 sheep, 366 cows, 210 hogs. The valuation 
placed upon real and personal property was $3,099,- 
429. The product of the mines in bullion was $1,- 
647,289, the net yield being set down at $218,286. 
Charcoal burning was carried on to a considerable 
extent. In 1879 the mine superintendents at Eureka 
rebelled at paying 30 cents a bushel for this indis- 
pensable article, and fixed the price at 27 cents. The 
Charcoal Burners' association immediately declared 
war, refused to permit any to be delivered at the 
smelters, and took possession of the town of Eureka, 
threatening destruction to their enemies, the mine 


managers. Governor Kinkead was informed by tele- 
graph of the danger to the public peace, and "a suffi- 
cient force of the second brigade of the state militia 
to insure a restoration of order " was authorized to be 
called out. On the 18th of August, Deputy-sheriff 
J. B. Simpson attempted to arrest some persons be- 
longing to a coal camp at Fish creek, thirty miles from 
Eureka. Five coal burners were killed, and six 
wounded severely, in resisting arrest. Much excite- 
ment followed ; but the coroner's jury brought in a 
verdict of justifiable homicide. Little doubt existed 
that the charcoal burners had suffered injustice at the 
hands of the contractors who delivered coal at the 
smelters, and made their measurements to meet their 
own interests. Added to this, a reduction in price 
brought on the riot which culminated so sadly in what 
is known as the Fish Creek war. The price of char- 
coal was reduced subsequently to 22 cents. In 1884, 
165,000 bushels were burned. The nut pine wood, 
from which it was produced, yielded 28 bushels to a 
cord. The towns and settlements not above named 
are Allison, Alpha, Antelope, Beowawe, Blackburn, 
Boulder, Bullion, Cedar, Cluro, Colman, Cortes, 
Corwiri, Devil's Gate, Diamond, Evans, Garden Pass, 
Goodwin, McLeod, Mineral Hill, Newtown, Oak, 
Pine Station, Pleasant Valley, Shipley, Shoshone, 
Silverado, Spring, Springville, Sulphur Spring Sta- 
tion, Summit, Vanderbilt, and Willards. 

To sum up the condition of the state in 1883-6, it 
ranked third in the production of gold and silver, 
coming next after California and Colorado. It pro- 
duced" in twenty years about $600,000,000 of the 
precious metals. There was in the state $27,625,- 
257 in real and personal property, at the assessor's 
valuation, distributed among 62,000 inhabitants. The 
state sold of its land grants 85,000 acres, showing the 
prospective increase of farming. It had been rather 
the custem to disparage Nevada, because with only 


inhabitants enough to make one small city, were they 
all gathered together, it did not go on producing at 
the rate of $600,000,000 in twenty years from the 
mines, in addition to its other products ; but the sub- 
ject was coming to be better understood, and in every 
ordinary sense the state is yet only in its infancy. 
Oregon had in 1860 about the same number of inhabi- 
tants that Nevada had in 1880, and raised of the dif- 
erent cereals 1,820,278 against Nevada's crop in 1880 
of 782,519 bushels ; but Oregon was preeminently an 
agricultural state, and her wheat fields stood in the 
place of Nevada's mines; and while it is impossible 
that the latter should ever compete with the former 
in grain raising, it is also improbable that Oregon 
should ever show much more wealth per capita than 
it does at present, which is, at assessors' valuation, 
$402, while in Nevada at the same valuation it is 
$444, notwithstanding the wastefulness which attends 
mining in new countries, and which for the future 
must be overcome. 

Of manufactures in Nevada there is not much to be 
said. The assessors' reports for 1884, from which 
two counties must be subtracted as not sending in 
any abstracts, and others of which are visibly imper- 
fect, give 18 grist-mills, making 22,270 barrels of flour, 
besides which they ground 7,000 bushels of corn, and 
22,000 of barley; 121 quartz-mills, crushing 349,688 
tons of quartz; 24 smelting furnaces, reducing 64,076 
tons of ore ; 8 saw-mills and 3 planing-mills ; 8 borax 
factories, reducing 1,460 tons of the salt; and 25 
breweries, manufacturing 246,354 gallons of beer. 
The Nevada foundry, established at Johntown near 
Silver City in 1862 by Mead, McCone, and Tascar, 
formerly of Placerville, was the pioneer iron works of 
Nevada. The firm removed to Silver City in 1864, 
where they erected a stone building at a cost of 
$125,000, employing from seventy-five to one hundred 
men in the foundry afterwards. The establishment 
was burned in 1872, when McCone, having purchased 


the entire interest, again removed to Virginia City, 
where he bought out the Fulton foundry, erected in 
"1863 by Thomas K. Jones. There was cast at this 
foundry, December 11, 1880, a fly-wheel centre for 
the Yellow Jacket hoisting works weighing 44,500 
pounds, the largest casting hitherto made on the Pacific 
coast. It was here that the first engine and pump 
made in Nevada were constructed for the Bullion 
company in 1864. In 1862 Oliver Hyde started the 
Pioneer foundry at Gold Hill, and in 1864 another 
was opened at the same place by Greely, called the 
Gold Hill foundry, which cast the iron flag- staff 
erected on Mount Davidson in 1878. It was eighty 
feet high, made in three tubular sections, and replaced 
a wooden mast erected in 1863. The Pioneer cast 
the first Nevada cannon, an eight-pounder, in 1864. 
In 1869 Mead established the Union foundry, and in 
1878 Frazer & Cummingrs established the Virginia 

O O 

foundry, which was removed to Reno in 1880. 25 

The first iron foundry of eastern Nevada was erected 
at Bullionville, in February 1873, for the railroad 
company. Iron works were opened at Eureka in 
1880. The figure eight does not by any means rep- 
resent the number of saw-mills in Nevada, although 
it appears upon so authentic a document as the asses- 
sor's report to the surveyor-general. White Pine 
county alone had five in 1884, and other counties in 
proportion to their timber and population, But the 
manufacture of lumber is carried on to a greater ex- 
tent in Washoe than in any other, and in this business 
that modern invention, a wood and lumber flume, 
plays an important part. As I have before mentioned, 
the flume is V-shaped, wherein lies its great conduct- 
ing power. Flumes of a box shape were common 

25 John Kewes in 1876 started a brass foundry at Virginia City, which 
suspended after about a year. Machinists received $6 per day in these 
foundries, blacksmiths $6.50, pattern makers $5.50, and other workmen 
$3.50 and $4. Kelly s Nev. Dir., 1862, 174; Dayton Lyon County Sentinel, July 
16 and Aug. 13, 1864; Gold Hill News, March 21, 1865; Virginia City Chrvni- 
ide, Feb, 6, 1878; Reno Gazette, Dec. 14, 1880; Id., Jan. 31, 1883. 


enough, and had been used, to float timber down the 
mountains in California, but the wood lodged, and 
caused waste and destruction ; the V form allowed it 
to move swiftly without obstruction. The first flume 
for transporting wood in Nevada was projected in 
1865, to run from the west Carson river, in Alpine 
county, California, to Empire City, in Ormsby county, 
Nevada, thirty -two and a half miles, the fall being 
nine hundred and seventy-six feet. Among those 
who contemplated this scheme was J. W. Haines, 
who adopted the V-shaped flume, and on being satis- 
fied of its advantages patented it, in September. 1870. 
At that time there were about twenty -five miles of lum- 
ber flumes in the state, which increased as their econ- 
omical value became known. In 1872 J. W. Haines 
sued William Sharon for an infringement of patent; 
but he was beaten in court on its being shown that 
certain persons, for economical reasons, had used 
flumes constructed similarly, though without having 
any idea of the superlative merit of this form over the 
box flume. 26 

In 1874, several other companies having been 
formed in the mean time, the bonanza firm, for them- 
selves and other mining operators on the Comstock, 
having by their agent surveyed and purchased twelve 
thousand acres of the finest timbered land on the 
summits of the Sierra, formed the Pacific Wood, Lum- 

26 James W. Haines was born in Stanstead, Canada, near the Vermont 
line, on the 17th of Aug., 1826, his father being a Vermonter of English 
descent, and his grandfather a revolutionary soldier. In 1833 they left Can- 
ada for Ashtabula county, Ohio, where they lived upon a farm. When he 
was 20 years of age he began to follow the lakes, and remained in that ser- 
vice for about three years, when news of the gold found in Cal. brought him 
to this coast with a company from Ohio. After a brief experience of min- 
ing he opened a restaurant in Sac., and made considerable money; went 
into merchandising with Z. Lake, also from Ohio, and later with A. J. Web- 
ster. During the squatter riots he was on the squatter side of the quarrel, 
and was arrested and sent to the prison brig, but was soon released. Having 
made about $20,000, he returned home and married, but on revisiting Cal. 
found times somewhat changed. Cholera carried off his wife and numerous 
friends in 1852. His partner sold out to him and he took another. In 1854, 
during the excitement caused by the know-nothing party in politics, he was 
elected marshal of Sac. by that party. In 1857 he purchased an interest in 
a hay rancho of 8,000 acres, his partner being Alonzo Cheaney. In 1859 he 


ber and Flume company, whose name explains its 
purpose. At a great outlay of labor and capital the 
machinery for a steam saw-mill was transported to 
the middle fork of Evans creek, half way to the sum- 
mit, where it was set up, and began making the lum- 
ber to be used in the flume. Another mill, two miles 
further up the mountains, was erected immediately 
after the first. The flume was made V-shaped, of 
twenty-four-inch plank two inches in thickness, and 
had a capacity of five hundred cords of fire-wood, or 
500,000 feet of lumber, daily. To gain a uniform 
grade it was necessary to build it on a trestle-work 
and stringers the whole distance. To make it strong 
enough to support heavy timber, it was braced longi- 
tudinally and across, the supports set in mud-sills. 
It was fifteen miles in length when opened, terminat- 
ing in the Truckee meadows at Huffaker's, and the 
water supply came from Hunter creek, being dammed 
up in reservoirs. Great as was the expense, the out- 
lay was soon returned in savings and profits. It was 
estimated that in twenty years $80,000,000 worth of 
timber had been taken from the forests on Lake 
Tahoe and Truckee river, and that the supply remain- 
ing in the basins of the Truckee and its tributaries 
was 5,000,000,000 feet, after having cut 40,000,000 
annually for ten years. It will be seen from this that 
the lumber manufacture of the treeless state is, after 
all, a very important one. The total length of wood 
flumes in Douglas, Ormsby, and Washoe counties is 

sold his store, and again visited the east. On returning he found great ex- 
citement prevailing concerning silver, and everybody going to Nevada. He 
followed with fat cattle and sheep for the miners, and through this business 
became interested in the young state, finally purchasing a rancho of 800 
acres in what is now Douglas co. He was elected a member of the first and 
second constitutional conventions. In 1870 he was elected to the state sen- 
ate, and was chosen presidential elector for Grant. He was also appointed 
by Grant to receive the C. P. railroad on its completion, together with W. 
T. Sherman of S. F. and F. A. Tritle of Nevada. Gov. Bradley appointed 
him commissioner to the centennial exposition at Phila, and he was a second 
time elected to the state senate. His influence has always been used in 
securing the best interests of the people of Nevada. A man of strong indi- 
viduality and great activity. His landed interests in Nevada and California 
are large. 

HIST. NKV. 19 


over eighty miles; the lumber transported in 1879 
33,300,000 feet, and the wood 171,000 cords. Large 
tracts of timber land have been purchased by capital- 
ists, and the tendency is toward moneyed men owning 
and controlling those two great natural resources, 
timber and water, in addition to a monopoly of graz- 
ing and desert lands. 

There is, perhaps, no section of the union in which 
agricultural development is so largely dependent on 
irrigation as the state of Nevada. Though in -the 
report of the state surveyor-general for 1888 30,000 
acres were classed as agricultural land, with the ex- 
ception of a narrow strip on the banks of the larger 
watercourses, its entire surface is practically unavail- 
able for tillage without other moisture than is sup- 
plied by the rainfall. With a water area of more 
than 1,000,000 acres, and with at least 10,000,000 
acres of irrigable land, little, as yet, has been accom- 
plished in this direction, except in the Carson and 
Humboldt valleys. Within recent years, however, 
numerous projects have been considered, among 
which is a tunnel through the eastern slope of the 
Sierra, starting from a point near Genoa, and tap- 
ping Lake Tahoe, whereby an immense volume of 
water would be furnished, not only for irrigating 
vast sections of the country, but for manufacturing 
and other purposes. 

In 1888 the sum of $100,000 was appropriated 
by the state legislature for a hydrographic survey, 
and a state board of reclamation and internal im- 
provement appointed, of which Senator Evan Wil- 
liams was made chairman, the remaining members 
of the board being senators Bradley, Blakeslee, and 

Artesian wells have been successful in some local- 
ities and have failed in others, though in the great 
valleys the conditions are such that the existence of 
vast subterranean basins is assured beyond a perad- 
venture, for to these valleys there are no outlets, and 


the greater portion of the vast streams of water that 
flow from the mountains sinks below the surface. In 
1872 a bill was introduced in Congress by Kendall, 
of Nevada, to authorize the sinking of wells on the 
public domain, with a view to the reclamation of 
desert lands. Congress subsequently offered a grant 
of one hundred and sixty acres to every person who 
obtained a flowing well, which stimulated experi- 
ment in this direction. The cost of sinking wells 
to a great depth has varied from three or four 
dollars to twenty, according to the nature of the 
rock to be penetrated. The Nevada legislature in 
1879 enacted a law providing for a bounty of two 
dollars per foot for sinking a flowing well in any part 
of the state below a depth of five hundred feet. Per- 
sons who at the passage of the act had already sunk 
three hundred feet were included in the bounty. 
Congress was also asked to make liberal donations of 
arable land to such persons. 

The social condition of Nevada has undergone all 
those transitions for which mining communities are 
noted, and in which recklessness and crime are more 
conspicuous than honor and virtue. Not because 
miners are worse than other men, or because the 
criminal classes outnumber the law and order class, 
but as the shadow of that small satellite, the moon, 
being nearer, obscures at times the broad face of the 
sun, so a little evil ofttimes obscures much good. The 
non-productive, labor-shirking leeches of society swarm 
where they expect to draw rich blood. The prospec- 
tor, on the contrary, is a serious-minded man, willing 
to toil over the mountains and through the rugged 
canons, where nature hides her treasures, and it is he 
who has developed Nevada, and not the stock-gam- 
blers, faro-dealers, lawyers, and whisky-sellers. From 
1846 to 1880 there were over four hundred homicides. 
Comparatively few were downright murders for rob- 


bery, but many were from hasty quarrels over mining 
or land claims, and were from the excitement caused 
by intoxicating drink and mingling in the heterogene- 
ous crowds of new towns where there were no com- 
fortable homes. 

The Chinese were never welcomed to Nevada, and 
were discriminated against in the laws and the con- 
stitution of the state, their employment being also 
prohibited by the charters of the railroads constructed 
within the state after 1871. They were first intro- 
duced in 1858, to work on the ditch which Orson 
Hyde began and J. H. Rose completed, to take water 
from the Carson river to use in mining at the mouth 
of Gold canon. Once in the country they could not 
be expelled. In 1859 they were working in the mines 
of Walker river and other localities, but were never 
tolerated on the Comstock, where the miners' union 
took care of the question. They were employed in 
building the Virginia and Truckee railroad, whose 
franchise was granted before restrictive laws were 
passed, and also by the Central Pacific, in grading its 
road-bed, a kind of work which Americans by common 
consent have usually left to foreign laborers. But 
when other industries were approached, the race 
prejudice showed itself; yet in vain, for in spite of 
miners 7 unions, legislative enactments, and popular 
feeling, the scarcity of house-servants compelled their 
employment in that capacity, as well as in that of 
laundrymen, farm-hands, and wood-choppers. Nor 
was it possible to prevent them from working in the 
mines where there was no organization against them. 
An anti-Chinese society was formed in Virginia City 
in 1879, and further legislation was had against em- 
ploying them, and yet in 1882 they held their ground 
in spite of leagues, had begun to engage in quartz 
mining, and were applying to purchase state lands. 

I have already referred to the manner in which the 
state supported a common school system, by paying 
interest on a large loan from the school fund derived 


from the sale of the school lands. The common-school 
laws of Nevada are enlightened arid liberal, and a 
certain amount of education is compulsory. The total 
number of public schools in the state in 1880 was 
195 ; total number of districts, 109 ; average monthly 
pay of male teachers, $100, of female teachers, $77; 
whole number of primary schools 81, of intermediate 
11, unclassified 81, grammar schools 19, high schools 
3. The average rate of county school tax on $100 was 
3 3f cents. There was also a number of private schools, 
with a total attendance of about 1,000 pupils, promi- 
nent among them being the seminary established at 
Reno in 1876, mainly through the efforts of Bishop 
Whitaker, of the episcopal church. The state uni- 
versity, originally located at Elko, and in 1886 re- 
moved to Reno, had two years later 115 students 
in attendance, with a corps of zealous and efficient 
teachers, and included a business department, a nor- 
mal school, and schools of liberal arts, agriculture, 
mechanic arts, and mining. Under judicious man- 
agement its land grant of 90,000 acres, together with 
state appropriations, furnished ample funds for its 
support. In connection with it was the agricultural 
experiment station, for which, as in other states and 
territories, $15,000 was appropriated by the general 
government. The appropriation for an agricultural 
college was diverted, with the consent of Congress, 
,to found a college of mining and kindred sciences. 

After the Mormons, the pioneer of religion in Ne- 
vada was Jesse L. Bennett, a methodist, who preached 
in Carson valley in 1859. In that year a methodist 
society was organized at Genoa by A. L. Bateman, 
and another at Carson by Bennett, who also preached 
the first sermon ever delivered in Virginia City, on 
C street, in 1861. When the collection was taken 
up, the humble itinerant was surprised to find he had 
nearly a hatful of gold and silver coins. Soon after 
Samuel B. Rooney was appointed to preach regularly 
at Virginia City, and Bennett was stationed at Washoe. 


Rooney built a small wooden church at Virginia, on 
the corner of Taylor arid D streets, costing only 
$2,000. In 1862 C. V. Anthony, his successor, 
erected a brick edifice costing $45,000, which was 
dedicated February 14, 1864, and paid for by John 
C. Fall and Ex-governor Blasdel. A parsonage was 
also erected, at a cost of $2,000. Nevada had been 
made a district by the California conference in 1861, 
N. E. Peck presiding elder; and in 1864 it was erected 
into an independent conference, whose first annual 
session was held at Virginia in September 1865, and 
its sixteenth in September 1880. In July 1871 a 
high wind unroofed the methodist church at Virginia, 
and blew down one of the wails. Before repairs were 
begun, a fire completed the destruction, and a frame 
building, costing $8,000, was substituted by T. H. 
McGarth; but on Christmas eve, 1872, another wind 
wrought $3,000 damage, and in the great fire of 1875 
this building was entirely consumed. Finally, in 
1876, a frame church, costing $20,000, was erected on 
the old site. A society was organized among the 
negroes of Virginia in 1873, under the jurisdiction of 
the African methodist conference, which in June 1875 
completed a small church, only to have it destroyed 
in the great fire of October. 

The second methodist church in Nevada was erected 
at Dayton in 1863 by J. N. Maddox. An incendiary 
fire destroyed the building in 1876. In 1863 a church 
and parsonage were erected at Washoe by McGarth, 
who preached there for two years. The building was 
donated to the school trustees about 1873. The 
methodist church at Gold Hill was erected in 1865 
by A. F. Hitchcock, and was a small wooden build- 
ing. On the llth of April, 1873, Valentine Kight- 
myer, pastor of this church, died of lingering starvation, 
having a small salary, a large family, and too much 
pride to reveal his extreme want, a sacrifice all the 
more cruel and needless in a community where plenty 
and liberality were the rule. The methodist church 


at Austin was built by the management of J. L. Tre- 
fen in a peculiar manner. When mining shares were 
subscribed, as they often were, he accepted them 
gratefully, and pooling the stock organized a metho- 
dist mining company, of which he became agent, sell- 
ing the claims in the east, and realizing $250,000 on 
paper. Out of this amount a brick church was erected, 
with a fine organ and a commodious parsonage, costing 
$35,000. But the shares had been sold on install- 
ments, and the mining furore had subsided, so that no 
further collections could be made, leaving the concern 
$6,000 in debt. The church was sold to the county 
for a court-house, but subsequently redeemed, the 
society clearing itself from debt. The methodists of 
Carson City had no church edifice till 1867, when, on 
September 8th, Bishop Thompson of Ohio dedicated 
a stone structure which had cost $10,000, and which 
had been built chiefly by the exertions, and not a little 
by the personal labor of, Warren Nims. In 1874 the 
building was repaired and improved. The only meth- 
odist house of worship at White Pine was the broker's 
hall at Treasure City, where episcopal service were first 
held, which building was purchased for a meeting 
house in 1872, but subsequently abandoned. No 
other church has supplanted it. Winnernucca had 
a frame church, built by George B. Hinckle about 
1873; Union ville a frame church, built by L. Ewing ; 
and Reno a frame church, erected in 1870 by A. R. 
Ricker. Eureka had a church and parsonage, erected 
by John A. Gray in 1875, which were destroyed in 
the fire of 1879. Being partially rebuilt soon after- 
ward, the church was again burned in another con- 
flagration in 1880. Another edifice was erected, 
under the charge of J. T. Ladd, which was dedicated 
April 17, 1881. At Ruby Hill the methodist so- 
ciety erected a church in 1876, completing and paying 
for it before any preacher had come among them. 
Their first pastor was R. A. Ricker. Mason valley 
has had a small frame church and a parsonage since 


1880 ; the former the result of the exertions of Mr 
Ladd. Methodist societies were established in Tus- 
carora and Elko. The membership of the methodist 
church in 1880 was 470, with 13 preachers, and the 
value of church property $67,300. Losses by fire 
aggregate $59,600, and abandoned property in de- 
serted mining camps $6,500. These figures do not 
represent all that has been spent in church property, 
which is $160,500. 

The first catholic church edifice in Nevada was 
erected at Genoa in 1860 by Father Gallagher, on 
King street. It was blown down in 1862, and an- 
other erected in its place. In 1861 the first religious 
services were held in Virginia City, by Mr Smeath- 
man, an episcopal clergyman, and in the following 
year Franklin S. Rising, of New York, began a mis- 
sion for his church in Nevada, which was followed by 
a visit from the bishop of the north-west territories, 
Talbot of Indiana, who held services at Aurora Octo- 
ber 4, 1863, and organized a parish with William H. 
Stoy as its pastor, who was not able long to keep his 
restless flock together. Sfc Paul's episcopal church 
at Virginia City was consecrated by Bisop Talbot on 
this visit, and received as its rector Ozi William 
Whitaker, afterwards bishop. St John's church was 
erected at Gold Hill in 1864, and occupied December 
18th. It was taken charge of in 1865 by H. D. 
Lathrop of Ohio, and dedicated October 13, 1867, by 
Bishop Kip of California. An episcopal church was 
erected at Silver City in 1874-5 by W. R. Jenvey. 
Trinity church, Carson, was erected in 1868, and con- 
secrated June 19, 1870, by Bishop Whitaker, George 
B. Allen rector. A parish was organized at Dayton 
December 26, 1863, under the name of church of the 
ascension. Bishop Talbot held services at Austin in 
1863, and Marcus Lane of Michigan ministered there 
in 1868; but the parish of St George was not organ- 
ized until 1873, with Christopher S. Stephenson in 
charge, who was succeeded by S. C. Blackiston, of 


Colorado. The church of St George at Austin, built 
of brick, was the gift of Allen A. Curtis, superinten- 
dent of the Manhattan mine. The bell was presented 
by John A. Pax ton and N. S. Gage, and the organ 
by James S. Porteous. The cost of the church and 
rectory was $17,000. The first episcopal services in 
White Pine district were held in Broker's hall, Treas- 
ure City, in the morning of June 10, 1869, and in a 
justice's court room at Hamilton, on the evening of 
the same day, by Bishop Whitaker. In September 
St Luke's parish was organized at Hamilton, with 
Samuel P. Kelly, of Rhode Island, rector. A small 
wooden church was erected and consecrated July 14, 
1872. Bishop Whitaker visited Pioche September 
13, 1870, preaching in a drinking saloon to a large 
congregation. A year afterward H. L. Badger of 
Ohio, commenced a mission at that place. The town 
had just been destroyed by fire, and services were 
held at private residences until July 21, 1872, when 
a small frame church and rectory were completed. 
Eureka also received a visit from the bishop of Ne- 
vada September 28, 1870, who held services in a 
canvas restaurant at nine o'clock in the evening, ow- 
ing to a delay caused by an accident to the coach 
conveying him. During the following winter, Mr 
Kelly, of Hamilton, preached occasionally. In May, 
1871, St Jarnes parish was organized, and the corner 
stone of the church laid by the bishop. A rectory 
was completed that year, and occupied by W. Hen- 
derson ; but the church, which was built of stone, was 
not consecrated until July 28, 1872. In February 
1873 the parish of Trinity church was organized, and 
services held by the bishop in the court house for 
three years. In the meantime, William Lucas of 
Ohio was installed as rector, and a church edifice com- 
pleted June 8, 1878. The first episcopal services 
were held at Belmont in 1872 by Mr Kelly, S. B. 
Moore of Pittsburgh taking charge of St Stephen's 
parish the following year, which was incorporated 


February 16, 1874. and a neat wooden church erected. 
It was consecrated in 1875 by Daniel Flack, of 
Rochester, New York. The cost of the episcopal 
churches of Nevada has been about $140,000. 

The first catholic church building at Genoa, as I 
have said, was blown down in 1862, not being entirely 
completed at the time. Patrick Manogue then took 
charge of Virginia parish, and erected a better one, 
which was consecrated to St Mary of the mountains. 
The passionists in 1862-3 erected a frame church 
between Virginia and Gold Hill, which was afterward 
removed to Gold Hill ; but being too small for the 
congregation, Father O'Reilly in 1864 erected a 
larger one. A catholic church was erected in Austin 
in 1864 by Father Monte verde ; and at Hamilton in 
1868-9 by Father Phelan. The church erected at 
Virginia City by Father Gallagher in 1860 being un- 
suited to the population of 1868, a brick church cost- 
ing $65,000 was erected in that year, by Father 
Manogue, who was appointed vicar-general of the 
diocese of Grass Valley, which included the state of 
Nevada. In 1870 Father Grace built the church of 
St Teresa at Carson. In 1871 a church was erected 
at Pioche by Father Scanlan, and in 1872 at Belmont 
by Father Monteverde, who also built the frame 
church of St Brendan, at Eureka in 1871, which was 
replaced three years afterward by a brick church, 
erected by Father Hynes. In 1871, also, Father 
Merrill built the first catholic church at Reno. The 
great fire of 1875 at Virginia City destroyed the 
church erected by Manogue, who in 1877 replaced it 
by another, costing only a little less than the first, 
and beautifully decorated in the interior. The Reno 
church having been consumed in the fire of 1879, was 
rebuilt in an improved form. Up to 1885, the catho- 
lics expended about $250,000 in churches and chari- 
table institutions. 

The new school branch of the presbyterian church 
is the one which took root in Nevada. As early as 


the spring of 1861 W. W. Brier, exploring agent of 
the assembly's committee of home missions, visiting 
Nevada, held a meeting at Carson in the stone school 
house, and organized a society. Subscriptions to the 
amount of $5,000 were obtained for a church edifice, 
and A. F. White of California removed to Carson the 
same year. The building was begun in 1862, and 
dedicated May 1864, Mr White officiating, assisted 
by Nims of the methodist church, and W. C. Pond 
of California. The presbyterian society of Virginia 
City was organized September 21, 1862, by Mr Brier, 
and in December D. H. Palmer of New York took 
charge of it. No church building was erected before 
1867, when a neat edifice costing $4,700 was dedi- 
cated July 7. It was built with money obtained 
by a successful deal in mining stock purchased with 
the church funds, one of the few examples of stock 
gambling by a religious society, as such. The trustees 
purchased four lots on C street, and erected stores for 
rent on either side of the meeting house, the rental 
of which left but little to be supplied toward the 
support of a minister. This property escaped the fire 
of 1875. The membership at Virginia City is 105. 
The Gold Hill presbyterian society was organized 
Nov. 1, 1863, and W. W. Macomber was the minis- 
ter in charge, though the first sermon was preached 
by Frederic Buell. This society never erected a 
church. A presbyterian society was organized at 
Austin January 3, 1864, at the court house by L. P. 
Webber. No church was ever built, and the society 
was assigned to the Sacramento presbytery. On the 
26th of March, 1870, John Brown, of Glasgow, Scot- 
land, organized a society at Elko with only seven 
members, and the Central Pacific company presenting 
it with four lots, money was raised to erect a small 
church, an organ being presented by Henry Ward 
Beecher. The presbyterians of Eureka organized 
with six members in August 1873, and W. C. Mc- 
Dougal was their first pastor, under whose charge a 


church was erected. J. P. Egbert organized the so- 
ciety of presbyterians at Pioche in January 1873, 
with twelve members. It never had a meeting house, 
and in 1879 it was taken off the roll of churches. 
The total membership of the presbyterian church in 
Nevada is less than 200, and the value of their church 
property $15,000. 

The first congregational church of Reno was or- 
ganized February 19, 1871, by the society which was 
formed a month earlier. A. F. Hitchcock was elected 
pastor. A building was erected in which the society 
of odd fellows had their hall, and consecrated to re- 
ligious services. 

The Cumberland presbyterians formed a church in 
1878 at Winneinucca, but after two or three years 
dissolved the society. For two or three years also, 
1874-5, the Welsh miners held services in their 
native language at Miners' Union hall in Virginia 
City The Christian church also had its representa- 
tives at Virginia in 1873. 

The baptists first organized at Virginia in 1863 
with a membership chiefly of colored people, Satchell 
pastor. The church was dissolved in 1866. Another 
society called the tabernacle baptist church was formed 
in 1865, McLafferty pastor, which held its services 
in the court-house. In June 1873 C. L. Fisher of 
California preached in any public hall obtainable, 
until the middle of December, when the first baptist 
church of Virginia was organized. In April 1874 
ground was purchased on C street, and a house of 
worship finished in July. In 1875 Fisher organized 
a church at Reno, in the opera-house. In the follow- 
ing January he built a modest meeting-house, which 
was first occupied on the 7th of May. This church 
was destroyed in the fire of 1879, and a larger one 
erected. The total value of baptist church property 
in Nevada in 1880 was $5,000. A bequest of $20,- 
000 was received by the American Church Mission- 
ary Society, for Nevada, from Miss Sarah Burr of 


New York, who died March 1, 1882, to be applied 
to the support of struggling churches. The Bible 
society of California had an agent in Nevada until 
1872, when the Storey County Bible society was 
formed, which was merged in the Nevada Bible 
society October 19, 1873, at its organization. The 
parent society in New York presented the Nevada 
offshoot with $2,000 worth of bibles in many different 
languages, and H. Richardson acted as agent in their 
distribution. At the west Shoshone reservation there 
was a school and some missionary work attempted, 
but without important results. The baptist church 
had control of the Indian missions in Nevada, though 
the catholics labored among the Washoes and Pah 
Utes off the reservations. 

Benevolent societies have always found ready sup- 
port in Nevada. In charitable work every religious 
denomination took part, and the world's people most 
of all, the money being chiefly contributed by the 
non-sectarian public. Among the first organized 
efforts at benevolence was the formation of the St 
Vincent de Paul society in 1863 by the catholic citi- 
zens of Virginia City, which numbered 500 members, 
and was organized by Manogue. Its charities were 
extended to all, irrespective of religious prejudices. 
The Nevada orphan asylum, St Mary's hospital, St 
Mary's school for girls, and St Vincent's school for 
boys were charitable institutions under the care of the 
sisters of charity, and founded in 1864 by Manogue. 
The grounds for the hospital were a gift from Mrs 
John W. Mackay, who, with her husband, was fore- 
most in every good work for many years. The Jew- 
ish population were notably benevolent among their 
own race, and contributed liberally to many pu 1 lie 
charities. A society was organized by them at Reno, 
April 23, 1878, called the Chebra B'rith Sholom, for 
religious and benevolent work, but their property was 
burned in the fire of that year, and the society dis- 
solved. On the 10th of August, 1879, the Reno 


Hebrew Benevolent society was formed, with twenty- 
one members, for the same purposes. It owned a 
cemetery near the city. In February 1881 the 
Nevada Benevolent association filed papers of incor- 
poration, the object of which was to give public enter- 
tainments of a musical and scientific character, to 
sell tickets to such entertainments, and to purchase 
hold, and distribute among the ticket-holders certain 
prizes in real estate or other property, to raise a fund 
to be devoted to charitable purposes, particularly the 
care of the insane; and the legislature was induced to 
pass a special act in aid of the enterprise, permitting 
the association to give five entertainments. But the 
constitution of Nevada distinctly forbids lotteries, 
and the supreme court deciding the law to be con- 
stitutional the association abandoned its purposes. 

The first lodge of free-masons was established by 
a dispensation of the grand lodge of California, Feb- 
ruary 3, 1862, and chartered May 15th of the same 
year. In January 1865 the grand lodge of Nevada 
was organized, and Carson City Lodge No. 154 be- 
came Carson Lodge No. 1 under the new jurisdiction. 
Washoe Lodge No. 2 also derived its authority to 
organize from the California Grand Lodge July 25, 
1862, and chartered May 14, 1863. Virginia Lodge 
No. 3 received a dispensation January 15, 1863, and 
was chartered May 14th following, All these lodges 
were prosperous and dispensed many thousands of 
dollars in charity. But in the great fire of 1875 
Virginia Lodge No. 3 lost its temple, and thereupon 
it was resolved to hold a lodge upon the top of Mount 
Davidson, with all the pomp and ceremonies of the 
order, which unique intent was carried out in Sep- 
tember, when a large number of visitors were pres- 
ent. The jewels of the officers, made of Ophir bullion, 
had been recovered from the ashes of their former 
lodge, and though injured, were worn on this occasion. 
Soon the society was refurnished and redomiciliated. 27 

27 Amity Lodge No. 4 of Silver City; Silver Star Lodge No. 5 of Gold 
Hill; Esmeralda Lodge No. 6 of Aurora; Escurial Lodge No. 7 of Virginia 


A state library was provided for by the first terri- 
torial legislature, which prescribed a fee of ten dol- 
lars from every person receiving a license to practice 
law, the money to go toward purchasing books for 
the territory. After the state was admitted an act 
was passed requiring each officer commissioned, except 
commissioners of deeds and notaries public, to pay 

City; Lander Lodge No. 8 of Austin; and Valley Lodge No. 9 of Dayton, 
all received their dispensations and charters from California in 1863 and 
1864. Austin Lodge No. 10 (1865) of Austin; Oasis Lodge No. 11 (1867) of 
Belmont; Douglas Lodge No. 12 (1868) of Genoa; Reno Lodge No. 13 (1869) 
of Reno; St John's Lodge No. 13, colored, (1875) of Carson; White Pine 
Lodge No. 14 (1869) of Hamilton; Elko Lodge No. 15 (1871) of Elko; 
Eureka Lodge No. 16 (1872) of Eureka; Humboldt Lodge No. 17 (1871) of 
Unionville; St John Lodge No. 18 (1871) of Pioche; Winnemu oca Lodge No. 
19 (1874) of Winnemucca; Palisade Lodge No. 20 (1876) of Palisade; Tus- 
carora Lodge No. 21 (1878) of Tuscarora; and Hope Lodge U. D. (1880) of 
Mason valley, all derived their charters from the Nevada grand lodge, ex- 
cept No. 13, which is working under the jurisdiction of the sovereign grand, 
lodge of California. A masonic association was formed at Ward in 1876, 
which never asked for a dispensation. On the 16th of January, 1865, thf 
grand lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Nevada was organized at Vir 
ginia City. On the 25th of January, 1866, some masons of Salt Lake City 
petitioned the Nevada grand lodge for authority to institute Mount Moriah 
Lodge in that place. Three chapters of the eastern star order have been 
established in Nevada, to which women are admitted. There are several 
chapters of masons under different names, a general grand chapter, and 
several commanderies of knights templar in the state. The order has dis- 
pensed about $75,000 in charities; owns $110,813 in property; and has lost 
by fires $50,000. 

Lodges of Odd Fellows were organized in the following order: Wildey 
Lodge No. 1, Gold Hill, April 1, 1862; Silver City Lodge No. 2, April 14. 
1862; Mount Davidson Lodge No. 3, Virginia City, April 22, 1862; Carson 
Lodge No. 4, Carson City, April 25, 1862; Dayton Lodge No. 5, June 2, 
1863; Esmeralda Lodge No. 6, Aurora, September 16, 1863; Nevada Lodge 
No. 7, Virginia City, January 15, 1864; Washoe Lodge No. 8, Washoe City, 
January 18, 1864; Austin Lodge No. 9, Austin, January 23, 1864; Virginia 
Lodge No. 10, Virginia, May 18, 1865; Alpha Lodge No. 11, Austin, March 
14, 1867 (disincorporated); Olive Branch Lodge No. 12, Virginia, April 4, 
1867; Parker Lodge, No. 13, Gold Hill, October 8, 1868; Truckee Lodge No. 
14, Beno, October 28, 1868; Genoa Lodge No. 15, Genoa, December 25, 1868; 
Humboldt Lodge No. 16, Winnemucca, August 29, 1869; Hamilton Lodge 
No. 17, Hamilton, April 26, 1870; Elko Lodge No. 18, Elko, October 19, 
1870; Reno Lodge No. 19. Reno, May 18, 1871; Capital Lodge No. 20, Car- 
son, July 28, 1871; Buena Vista Lodge No. 21, Unionville, October 26, 1871; 
Eureka Lodge No. 22, March 14, 1872; Pioche Lodge No. 23, September 10, 
1872; Belmont Lodge No. 24, March 5, 1873; Paradise Lodge No. 25, Para- 
dise valley, October 17, 1873; Palisade Lodge No. 26, Palisade, April 13, 
1874; Mountain Lodge No. 27, Eureka, May 11, 1875; Tybo Lodge No. 28, 
Tybo, April 17, 1877; Cornucopia Lodge No. 29, Cornucopia, May 31, 1877; 
Tuscarora Lodge No. 30, Tuscarora, June 7, 1878; Battle Mountain Lodge 
No. 31, Battle Mountain, March 19, 1879. At Grantsville and Cherry- 
Creek there are odd fellows' associations for the relief of the order, which 
will be chartered in the future. The first ten lodges were formed under the 
jurisdiction of California, but on the 21st of January, 1867, the grand lodge 


five dollars to the library fund; and all fines and 
forfeitures for non-compliance with the law were 
devoted to the same purpose. The number of bound 
books in the state library in 1878 was 9,498; of 
unbound books, 663 ; and the number of newspapers 
on file, 15, A library was organized at Wadsworth 
in 1879 by the locomotive engineers. A circulating 
library was opened at Eureka in 1872. A literary 
and scientific society existed at Gold Hill as early as 
1865, and encouragement was also given to the attain- 
ment of knowledge, especially of the sciences. The 
Nevada state medical society was formed in April, 
1878, as a branch of the national American medical 
association. Twenty-four physicians were enrolled at 
the organization, the number increasing to 38inl 880. 

of Nevada was organized at Virginia City. There were in 1885 ten encamp- 
ments in the state, the first six deriving their organization from the grand 
encampment of California, the 7th from the sovereign grand lodge, and 
three from the grand lodge of Nevada, organized December 28, 1874, at Car- 
son. Two Rebekah degree lodges were instituted the Colfax Lodge at Vir- 
ginia City, and Esther Lodge of Austin. 

The Knights of Pythias order had 12 lodges in 1885: Nevada Lodge No. 
1, Virginia City, organized March 23, 1873, by authority of the supreme 
chancellor, H. C. Berry of Chicago; Damon Lodge No. 2, Carson City, July 
18, 1873; Mystic Lodge No. 3, Gold Hill, Nov. 24, 1874; Carson Lodge No. 
4, Carson City, December 20, 1873; Humboldt Lodge No. 5, Genoa, March 
1, 1874; Lincoln Lodge No. 6, Virginia City, March 29, 1874; Beatific 
Lodge No. 7, Eureka, September 22, 1874; Amity Lodge No. 8, Reno, Jan- 
uary 31, 1875; Toiyabe Lodge No. 9, Austin, November 9, 1875; Argenta 
Lodge No. 10, Battle Mountain, July 20, 1876; Triumph Lodge No. 11, Vir- 
ginia City, October 20, 1879; Lyon Lodge No. 12, Dayton, October 15, 1880. 
A grand lodge was organized at Carson City March 31, 1874. 

The ancient order of United Workmen, ancient order of Hibernians, in- 
dependent order of Red Men, independent order of Foresters, Caledonian 
club, Virginia Turnverein, and Grand Army of the Republic, all have their 

The Miners' Union was organized at Virginia City June 6, 1863, with R. 
D. Ferguson president, W. C. Bateman vice-president, and B. J. Shay secre- 
tary. The Gold Hill branch was organized August 6, 1864, with William 
Woodburn president. Woodburn was afterward member of congress. The 
union has a library, established December 28, 1877. Its first board of di- 
rectors was composed of William H. Parker, B. Colgan, T. P. Roberts, Jo- 
seph Josephs, John F. McDonald. Secretary and librarian, B. Colgan. The 
library building was erected in 1876, and took the place of the miners' union 
hall, which was destroyed by the fire of 1875. There were set apart a chess- 
room and dancing-hall, and a public hall used by several societies, namely, 
the mechanics' union, ancient order of Hibernians, knights of the Red 
Branch, and Montgomery guards. The library contained in 1880, 2,200 books, 
worth $6,000, and the building and ground were worth $15,000 more. It 
was free to members of the union, but a fee of fifty cents a month was 
charged other persons using the books. Ruby Hill also had a miners' union. 


The legislature in 1861 appropriated $500 for the 
purpose of collecting and sending specimens of ores 
from Nevada to the world's fair at London. A com- 
missioner was also authorized to be appointed by the 
governor to represent Nevada at the Paris exposition 
in 1867. The legislature of 1875 appropriated $20,- 
000 to constitute a centennial fund, for the purpose of 
erecting a quartz-mill at the Philadelphia exposition 
in 1876, and to exhibit mineralogical specimens 
thereat. At the Paris exposition of 1878 there was 
displayed one of the largest and most interesting col- 
lections of minerals ever exhibited, the display hav- 
ing been made possible by the liberality of J. W. 
Mackay. As early as 1866 the legislature provided 
for the maintenance of a school of mining, and created 
the office of state mineralogist. The law was repealed 
in 1877, and it was made the duty of the superintendent 
of public instruction to be ex officio curator of the state 
museum of mineralogical, geological, and other speci- 
mens which had been collected during eleven years, 
and which, 2,000 in number, were kept at Carson. 28 

28 Nevada was not far behind the other Pacific states in her pioneer or- 
ganizations. The society of Pacific Coast Pioneers, formed at Virginia City 
June 22, 1872, admits 3 classes; those who were residents of the coast prior 
to January 1, 1851, their male descendants in the direct line, and honorary 
members. Their hall, cabinet of minerals, and library were consumed in 
the conflagration of 1875. The money loss was $20,000; but the value of 
what could not be replaced was incalculable. They had later a building 
costing $22,000, and were collecting another cabinet and library. The society 
of Reese River Pioneers was organized June 11, 1873, composed of males 
who resided in Reese river mining district prior to December 31, 1864, the 
object being to collect and preserve the early history of the district, and per- 
petuate the memory of their dead comrades. 

I have mentioned elsewhere some of the earlier newspapers of Nevada. 
The number of journals of all kinds published, for a greater or less time, 
shows great intellectual activity, and a liberal disposition on the part of the 
people. Without repeating the former list, I will give, so far as I am able, 
by counties, the newspaper history of the state. The politics is indicated, 
where known, by the letters r. and d. ; daily and weekly by d. and w. 


First Issued. Name. Name of Founder. Discontinued. 

1865, Sept. 5. .Nevada Republican, w..J. H. Hill, r 1865, Oct. 

1865, Oct. 7. . .Douglas Co. Banner, w.. Richard Wheeler, r..l866, Jan. 

1875, Feb. 20. .Carson Valley News, w. A. C. Pratt, r 1860, July 16. 

1880, July 23.. Genoa Wkly Courier, w.Boynton Carlisle, r. 

1880, April Genoa Journal, w J. H. Cradlebaugh,d.l881, Jan. 1. 

HIST. NKV. 20 



1869, May Elko Independent, d. . . -| E A ] 

1870, Dec. 

1870, June 5 . . .Elko Chronicle, s-w . . . . 

1875, Sept. 11 ..Elko Weekly Post ..... 

18"?, March lO.Tuscarora Times, w. . ..E A. Littlefield, r. 

1877, May. . . ' " G - C ' S ' Wri g ht ..... 1878 ' 

J r & | 1881 > A P riL 

T i (Tuscarora Times-Re- \ Dennis Fair-child^ 
, Jan. 1 ... - (consolid > td)) d -j & Wright f 


1862, May 10. .Esmeralda Star, w ...... E. A. Sherman & Co. 1864, March. 

1864, March 21. Esmeralda Daily Union. J. W. Avard, r ..... 1868, Oct. 

1863, April. . . .Aurora Times, d. & w. . J K |?' Qfen^d 1 ^! 1865 ' April * 

1877, Oct. 13. .Esmeralda Herald, w. ..Frank Kenyon, r. 

1873, Aug ..... Borax Miner, w ........ Wm. W. Barnes, d. . 1877. 

1877 ......... Belleville Times ........ Mark W. Musgrove.,1878, July. 

1880, June 5. .. | ^tsurl? [ ' J ' M ' D er - 

1881, Sept. 1... Oasis (Hawthorne), w. .0. E. Jones. 


1870, July 16. .Eureka Sentinel, d ..... A. Skillman & Co., d. 1885, May. 

1878, Jan. 1 . . Eureka Dy Republican. J. C. Ragsdale ....... 1878, June 24. 

I F. E. Canfield & ) 
1878, June 25. .Eureka Daily Leader . . -j F E Figk> r j- 

1880, April 26. . . Eub ^. Mil1 - } James E. Anderson. 


lftR o -vr o j Unionville Humboldt ( W. J. Forbes & C.^ 18fiq M 

1863, May 2 -j Register, w. \ L. Perkins, iiid. f l !69 ' Md>y ' 

!869 Oct. 30 \ Winnemucca Hum- I E. D. Kelly M ) D 

iby, Uct rfU -| boldt Register, w. ( S. Bonmfield, d. j 

1868. . . .Winnemucca Argent Jno. &. Jo. Wasson, r. 1868, Nov. 

1870, March 

1869, Aug. 18 ... 
1879. Mav 10.. 

Unionville Silver 
State, w. & d. 
Winnemucca, Hum- 
boldt National. 
Paradise Reporter . . 

H. A. Waldo, d. 

J. A. Booth, d... 
H. Warren, d. . , 

. . 1880, Nov. 


First Issued. Name. Name of Founder. Discontinued. 

1863, May 16. .Reese River Reveille, s-w. . W. C. Phillips, r. 
1873, Dec. 26.... \ ^^J^"" { W. J. Forbea ....... 1875, 0* 

1877, May 19. .Battle Mtn Messenger. .M. W. Musgrove, r. 
1881, Aug ..... Battle Mtn Free Press. . 

1881, Nov. 23. .Lewis Weekly Herald. . 


1870, Sept. 17. .Pioche Ely Record, s. w. W. H. Pitchford & Co. 
1872. Sept. 17. .Pioche Daily Record ..... Pat. Holland, d. 

. . . . 

1872, Sept. . . .Pioche Review, d ....... j F " j^,*, ' \ 

1874, Dec. 15. .Pioche Journal ........ -,LJw* ! 1876 ' May 



1864, April 16.Como Sentinel, w j ^A^ah^m * r T ' [ 1864 > 3 ^' 

1864, July 9... -j Sentinel, w. & Paine. j- 1866. 

1874, July Lyon Co. Times, t-w Frank Kenyon 

1876, March 10. Silver City D. Mg Reptr. Reporter Company. .1876. 

1875, July.... Sutro Independent | A ^Picott"! T ' \ 1880 ' NoV * 


1864, June 25. .lone Nye Co. News, w. j J> g e ^^ * H j 1867, May. 

1864, Sept ..... lone Advertiser, w ....... John Booth, d ....... 1864, Nov. 

1867, March SO.Silver Bend Reporter, w j ' \ %^f^ \ 1868, July. 


1868, June 6. . . | ^^ | W. F. Myres, r. . . .1869. 
1874, Feb. 11 . .Belmont Courier, w. . . . ] VsES^* } 

1886, May ____ Tybo Sun,w ............ J. C. Ragsdale ........ 1879, Nov. 

1878, Dec. ____ Grantsville Sun, w ...... D. L. Sayer, ind ...... 1879, June. 

,-. . T> ( A. Maute and S. } 

1880 .......... Grantsville Bonanza. . . . j Donald> ^ \ 

ORMSBY COUNTY ( S66 ubt Supra). 

STOREY COUNTY ( see ubi supra). 

1863, July 7. . .Virginia Evg Bulletin, d.H. P. Taylor & Co., r. 1864, May. 
1863. Aug. 10. . Dy Democratic Standard j f ' ^tMcunf f 1863 >' Oct 
1863 .......... The Occidental. ...... . .Thomas Fitch. ...... 1863, May. 

1863, Oct. 12 . . Gold HiU Daily News . . | ^f ^^S^ [ 

1864, March 31 .Nevada Pioneer, s-w. . . . J. F.' Hahnlen, d.'. . . . 1864, Oct. 

Virginia Constitution. . 

1864, July 3. . . . Washoe D. Evg Herald j T ^ 1 ^' J^^ [ 1864, July27. 

1864, Oct. 28. . .Nev. Staats Zeitung, w.H. M. Bien, r. . .' ..... 1864. 

STOREY COUNTY (continued). 
First Issued. Name. Name of Founder. Discontinued. 

1865, April 17 . .Two O'clock News ..... John P. Morrison ____ 1865. 
1886, Oct. 16. . . Deutsch Union ......... J. F. Hahlen ........ 1866. 

1872, Oct. 8. . . Virginia Evg Chronicle. | ** \ 

1876, Sept ..... Comstock D. Record. . . . W. Frank Stewart. . .1876, Sept. 
188 .......... Virginia Footlight ..... 


1862, Oct. 18. . .Washoe Times, w ....... G. W. Derickson, r. . . 1863, Dec. 12. 

1863, Dec. 12. . .Old Pah Ute ........... John K. Lovejoy, r. . 1864, Apr 16. 

1864, April 16. .Daily Old Piute ........ Wilson & Gregory.. . . 1865, Jan. 8. 

1865, Jan. 8. . . .Washoe Weekly Times. .De Lashmutt & Co.. . . 1865, Nov.20. 
1878, Aug. 5. . .Reno Daily Record ..... H. A. Waldo & Co. . .1878, Nov, 1. 

1870, Nov. 23. . | Nev n a ^ ^ e w T Ur - | J. G. Law & Co., r. 

1876, March 28. Reno Evening Gazette. .J. F. Alexander, r. 
1881, March . . .The Plaindealer ........ M, H. Hogan, ind. 



1868, Dec. 26.. - 
1870, Jan 

1869, Feb 

White Pine News ) W. H. Pitchford ) , Q7n T 

(Treasure City), f & B. W. Simpson. \ lb70 ' Jan ' 

White Pine News ) 

(Hamilton). f 

W. J. Forbes, r 1878, Nov. 


Ayres, r. . . 1870, Nov. 

1869, Deo 

1869, March 
1872, July 
1876, Oct 

Pat. Holland, r 


. .Shermantown Reporter. .McEl wain & Allen. . .1870, May. 
Schell Creek Prospect. . .Forbes & Pitchford. . . 1873, Jan. 
Ward Miner ........... Mark W. Musgrove . . 1877, April. 

1877, April 19. .The Ward Reflex, w ____ R. W. Simpson, ind. 

1878, Jan. 1 ____ Cherry Crk Independent. B. M. Barney, ind.. .1878, March. 

j Cherry Creek White ( W. R. Forrest, 
** Jan ...... } Pine News. } W. L. Davis. 

Spirit of the West (Ward). 
Union (Ward). 
Watchman (Ward). 

The histories of all these newspapers, which, by their itinerant habits, 
well illustrate the restless vitality of a mining population, as well as their 
varying fortunes, would be a history of the state from a political and finan- 
cial point of view, and would contain a great deal of the most interesting 
biography of the country; but it would form a volume of itself. I have in 
my collection iiles of all the more important journals; for several of which I 
am indebted to 0. R. Leonard and James Crawford of Carson. 

Reference has been made in this chapter to the following works: Ten 
Years in Nevada, 1870-80, by Mrs M. M. Mathews, which is a narrative of 
family life, and speaks of Nevada incidentally, but none the less truthfully 
for that. The Two Americas by Sir Rose Lambert Price, Bart, illustrated, 
1877, is a book of travel in South and North America, superficial in observa- 
tion, and of trifling interest. The Mormons and the Silver Mines by J. Bon- 
wick, 1872, another hasty book by an English tourist, the most noticeable 
feature of which is the credulity of the author as to the fallibility of every- 
thing un-English. The chapter on Nevada silver mines is the best part of 
the book. The Woman in Battle. A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures. 
and Travels of Madam Loretta Janetta Velasquez, otherwise known as Lieuten- 
ant Harry L. Buford of the confederate army, edited by C. J. Worthinyton, 
The title explains the nature of this book. It is only to be added that after 
her adventures as a spy the subject of the narrative married a miner in Aus- 
tin, Nevada, and offers some slight remarks upon life in that and other 
western towns. Resources and Prospects of America, Ascertained during a Visit 
to the United States in the Autumn of 1805, by Sir S. Morton Peto, Bart, 1866, 
is a book of nearly 400 pages, containing some facts and some absurdities. 
What shall we say of a man supposed to be in his senses who visits Nevada 
and writes thus: ' This district is said to have been actually untraversed 
before 1859. In the spring of that year it was explored by Mr Horace 
Greeley, and in the month of September following by a party of young men 
from Illinois.' This party was probably the young man with his associates, 
to whom Horace said ' Go West. ' Westward by Rail- the New Route to the 
East, by W. F. Rae, 1870, is another book by an English tourist, this time a 
very good-natured one. Thirty-three pages are devoted to sights and inci- 
dents along the line of the Central Pacific. All the Western States and Terri- 
tories from the Alleghanws to the Pacific, and from the Lakes to the Gulf, by John 
W. Barber and Henry Howe, 1867, is a history from their earliest times, 
with pioneer incidents, biographical sketches, and geographical description, 
illustrated. Twelve pages are devoted to Nevada, and the brief sketch is in 
general correct. Barber's work is worthily done where he deals with terri- 
tory within his reach, and is an excellent epitomized history, Exploration 


Mineralogique Des Regions Mexicaines, suive De Notes ArcMologiques et Eth- 
noyrapfwjucs, par M. E. Guillemin Tarayre, etc., 1869, is a careful report on 
these subjects to the minister of public instruction at Paris. Nevada is 
merely touched upon in the work, a chapter being given to the Indian tribes, 
and a few pages to the geography and mineralogy of the state. Also Pacific 
Coast Mining Review, 1878-9; Hayne, in Kings Survey, iii. 316, 394, 409, 423; 
Grote in Haydens Geological Survey, vi. no. 2, 255-77; Overland Monthly, 
March 1869, 273-80; Cculwalader Guide, etc.; Williams' Pac Tourist, 175, 
205-7; Safford's Narr., MS., 31-2; Thorntons Oregon and California, i. 170- 
88; ii. 100-20; Beckwith, in Pac R. R. Report, ii. 25-39, 62, 68, 88-9; Reise 
Durch die felsenebirge, 130-9; notes of travel through Nevada; Galaxy (mag.), 
xxi. April 1876; Galveston News, Dec. 1, 1884; Brackett, in Western Monthly, 
239; WheelocVs Guide to Reese River; Austin Directory, 1866, 26-40; New Mex- 
ico Scraps, 58-60; Directory Pacific Coast, 1871-3, 343-76; Blatchlys Rept on 
Mineral Resources of Reese River, 5-6, 35, 48; Harpers Mag., June 1866, 27-8, 
34; De Groot's Report on the Mineral Deposits and Other Properties of the Nevada 
Consolidated Borax Company; Fox's Mason Valley Settlement, MS. , 1 ; National 
Almanac, 1864, 452; Message of Governor Adams, 1885; Meteorological Observa- 
tions, made at Carson observatory, 1883-4; Adventures in the Far West and 
Life Among the Mormons, by Mrs C. V. Waite, 1882, describes among other 
things the society of Carson City, 262-71; Greeley's Overland Journey, 270- 
80; Life and Labor in the Far, Far West, by W. Henry Barneby, is * notes of a 
tour in the western states, British Columbia, Manitoba, and the north-west 
territory, ' with glances at Nevada. The writer of the last named work is 
English, and an industrious observer of wayside scenes and local customs. 
The book is good of its kind. From Wisconsin to California and Return, by 
James Ross and George Gary. A Comprehensive View of our Country and its 
Resources, by James D. McCabe, Jr, 1876, gives a brief outline of the his- 
tory of the nation and each of the states separately, with descriptive mat- 
ter and present resources. From the Orient to the Occident, or L. Boyers Trip 
Across the Rocky Mountains in April 1877, is the title of a book of 145 pages 
describing what was seen upon the journey. A few pages are given to Fair 
& Mackay's lumber flume. Crofutt's Overland Tourist is a travellers' guide 
book, and gives a brief history of each station on the railroad, and also of 
other points of interest in the state. White Pine, its Geographical Location, 
Topography, Geological Formation, Mining Laws, Mineral Resources, Towns, 
etc., by Albert S. Evans, 1869, is a pamphlet of 49 pages, which keeps the 
promise of its title page better than many a more pretentious book. Six 
Months in California, by J. G. Player Frowd, an English traveller, is a pleas- 
ant account of a summer jaunt, and is devoted chiefly to California, but con- 
tains a chapter on the mines of Nevada, with here and there a bit of descrip- 
tion worth reading. From the Atlantic to the Pacific Overland is a series of let- 
ters by Demas Barnes describing the journey, and also the ocean voyage 
home by the isthmus of Panama. A dozen pages are given to mining in 
Nevada out of 135 in all. Ten Thousand Miles of Travel, Sport, and Adven- 
ture, by F. French Townshend, capt 2d Life Guards, is a running account of 
what the writer saw and heard in his sea and land travel, with some hunting 
on the plains, and some remarks upon mining in Nevada. Adventures in (he 
Apache Country; A Tour Through Arizona and Sonora, with Notes on the Silver 
Regions of Nevada, deals with the descriptive and historical in a clear and 
very readable style. Fifty -three pages are given to the southern portion of 
Nevada. Reports of the State Controller of Nevada, Attorney-general of Nevada. 
State Treasurer of Nevada, and Secretary of State of Nevada, for 1884. 





FOLLOWING the excitement of the bonanza period, 
and the struggle in congress over the silver question, 
was a period of quiet adjustment to existing condi- 
tions. Nevada had begun its career under those cir- 
cumstances which foster a spirit of recklessness in 
expenditure, and had for some time been making 
endeavors to bring the cost of county and state gov- 
ernment down to a level of reasonable economy. Only 
one defalcation of importance had occurred to stain 
the records of the state that of the treasurer, Eben 
Rhoades, in 1869, when $106,432.58 of the state's 
money were feloniously converted to his use. The 
bonded state debt in 1872 amounted tto $500,000, 
bearing fifteen per cent interest per annum, then nearly 
due, with very little in the treasury to meet it. 

To remedy this unfortunate condition of affairs the 
legislature of 1871 had passed a law authorizing the 
state to borrow $280,000, and to issue its bonds there- 
for, payable in 1881, with interest at ten per cent per 
annum. A loan of $160,000 was negotiated in April 
1871, and a further loan of $120,000 at nine and a 
half per cent, payable in 1882. In 1875 the legisla- 
ture authorized the purchase and cancellation of these 


bonds, and $119,600 were so cancelled at that time. 
The state moneys were also applied to the purchase 
of United States and California state bonds, the inter- 
est on which was devoted, with the principal, to extin- 
guishing the debt of Nevada. But there was also 
what was known as the territorial debt amounting to 
$380,000, which the legislature of 1871 provided for 
in a manner similar to that adopted for the state debt, 
by borrowing and issuing bonds at nine and a half 
cents interest, and payable in 1887. United States 
bonds to the amount of $100,000 were also purchased 
toward the extinguishment of this debt during the 
years previous to 1878. With a view to the cancel- 
lation of the territorial debt, which congress had 
repeatedly been asked to assume, 1 the legislature of 
1877 passed a state law authorizing the application to 
this purpose of the assets of the territorial interest and 
sinking fund, the bonds belonging to the state school 
fund, and $50,000 from the general fund. 

This law contemplated the issuance by the state to 
the school fund of an irreducible bond, bearing five 
per cent interest per annum, for the sum of $380,000, 
which was considered to be the best application of the 
assets in the state school fund that could be made in 
the interest of the public schools. But the holders 
of the territorial bonds refused at that time to accept 
this exchange. The debt, however, was virtually 
extinguished, as the means were in hand to pay the 
bonds whenever surrendered. 

There was in Nevada at this time a singular dis- 
proportion of revenue to expenses, notwithstanding 
the refusal of the bonanza mine-owners to pay taxes 
according to law, there being in 1879 a surplus " far 
beyond the wants of the state," 2 besides the mining 

ir The legislature of 1867 endeavored to have congress assume this iudebt- 
edness. Nev. Laws, 1867-83; and again in 1869 memorialized to the same 
effect. Id. 1869; 293. These claims were still unsettled in L687, but 
then nnder consideration, and have since been paid. \ ^\ ^)L * 

2 Governor Eradky's Message to tJie Legislature 1879 p. 6. 


tax due amounting to $290,275.95, and a penalty 
for refusal to pay off $101,596.57, for which suits 
were pending in the state courts, 3 and the territorial 
debt due from congress, and notwithstanding the leg- 
islature of 1875 had reduced the tax for all state pur- 
poses from a dollar and twenty-five cents on every 
$100 to ninety cents, which reduction amounted to 
half a million in the four years following. Clearly, 
taxes were inordinate when the state treasury was 
overflowing. However, the valuation of real and 
personal property fell off between 1873 and 1878 from 
$26,466,505 to $21,342,663. This simply showed 
that other resources of the state had been neglected 
to give undue attention to mining, and also that min- 
ing property was not taxed as it should have been. 
The state had produced an annual average of $25,000,- 
000 in bullion ever since its admission, doing more to 
help resume specie payment after the war than many 
of the older states, and had asked and received less 
in appropriations than any other commonwealths, 
maintaining also a clean record as to its public trusts. 
Nothing was wanting but a little time to bring min- 
ing to a legitimate basis, and to develop the agricul- 
tural and other resources of the state. In 1882 
the valuation had again risen to $27,000,000. 
Yet, a bill was before congress in that year to abolish 
the state of Nevada and attach the territory to Cali- 
fornia ! It was quite the fashion in some quarters, 
after the failure of the bonanza mines, to disparage 
the battle-born member of the republic/ which had so 
speedily relieved the government by its support ; but 
this fashion proceeded solely from the spleen common 
to humanity when any prodigal gift once enjoyed is 

Senator W. W. Hobart of Eureka county intro- 
duced a bill, which passed the legislature in 1881, 
reducing the public expenses about $26,000 annually, 

3 These taxes were finally paid according to the decsion of the supreme 


first by diminishing the number of legislators from 
seventy-five to sixty, and secondly by reducing the 
salaries of the state officers. 4 The pay of the latter 
having been adjusted to the cost of living in the early 
territorial and flush mining times, and to the expectation 
that the state would become populous and wealthy, 
could very properly be made to conform to later condi- 
tions without an exhibition of parsimony. With a view 
to re forms, the legislature of 1883 submitted to the peo- 
ple the question of calling a convention to revise the 
constitution, but the proposition was negatived, and 
Hobart's bill took its place. 5 

At the close of 1888 the finances of Nevada were 
in a sound condition. It had between $600,000 and 
$700,000 in cash in the treasury, arid $600,000 in 
United States bonds. The school funds, chiefly in- 
vested in United States and Nevada state bonds, 
amounted to $1,250,000. The revenue was still 
considerably in excess of expenses. The state owed 
little except its debt to the school fund, which there 
was money in the treasury to meet, and which 
amounted to about $400,000, of which $380,000 
was in the form of a five per cent irreducible 
bond, the interest on which was payable semi-an- 
nually, and the remainder in forty-five $1,000 bonds 
at four per cent. This conversion of the school fund 
into a fund for the support of the state was found 
to be beneficial to both. It at least prevented specu- 
lations in the school fund which were carried on to a 
considerable extent in another of the Pacific States. 
All that the state owed in 1885 was due to this fund 
which was irredeemable, as well as irreducible, and 
the interest alone applicable for educational purposes. 

Public buildings in Nevada have kept pace with 

4 SaysGov. Adams: 'We find a system of state government much too 
cumbersome for our present wants, and requiring an annual expenditure en- 
tirely out of proportion to our taxable resources.' Biennial Message, 1886. 

5 The salaries of sup. judges were reduced from $7,000 to $5,000; govern- 
or's salary from $6,000 to $5,000; secretary's salary from g3,600 to $3,000; 
treasurer's the same, and smaller salaries in proportion. The mileage of the 
legislators was reduced from 40 to 25 cents. The law went into effect in 
1883. Gw. Message, 1885; Trcas. Rept, 1884, 


the general progress of the state. The United States 
branch mint erected at Carson was founded Septem- 
ber 25, 1866, and its machinery put in motion Novem- 
ber 1, 1869. It is a handsome structure, built of sand- 
stone, with a front of 90 feet, and two and a half stories 
high. 6 In January 1869 the legislature appropriated 
$100,000 to erect a capitol of sandstone, the corner- 
stone of which was laid on the 9th of June, 1870. 7 The 
state prison was also located at Carson, where a stone 
quarry marked by the footprints of primeval man furn- 
ished the material for its construction. Curry was the 
owner of the land, of whom the legislature pur- 
chased the site, and was the first warden appointed 
before the purchase, while the property was under a 
lease. The state in 1864 paid $80,000 for twenty 
acres with the buildings and appurtenances as they 
then existed. In 1867 the buildings were destroyed 
by fire, together with the records. The stone for the 
new prison was quarried by the convicts, and over 
$72,000 was spent in its erection, besides the labor 
and material on hand. 8 But in 1873 the political 
exigencies of the democratic party in the state, and 
the wishes of the inhabitants of Washoe county, 
caused the legislature to assume that there was a suf- 


6 The block of granite contributed by Nevada to the national monument 
expressed the temper of the people. It was a simple slab 2x3 feet and 6 
inches in thickness, with a raised panel highly polished, inscribed: ' All for 
our country,' the letters being lined with gold and arranged in a semicircle, 
with the date 1881 beneath. Across the face is the word Nevada in letters 
4 inches in height of native silver set in the stone. 

7 Nev. Laws, 1869, 73-5. Contract awarded to Peter Cavanaugh for 
$84,000, to be completed in Jan. 1871. 

8 Nev. Jour. Sen., 1869, 181-6. Id., 1879, 103-4. In 1870 a number of 
prisoners attempted to escape, and several persons were wounded. A still 
more serious uprising took place in 1871, in which Lieut.-gov. Denver and 4 
guards were seriously wounded, F. M. Isaacs, guard, and Matthew Pixley, 
a prominent citizen, killed, and 29 of the most desperate characters escaped. 
The militia were called out. After that, in 1873. there was what was known 
as the state prison war. when Denver, who was warden, refused to surrender 
the prison to his successor, P. C. Hyman. Gov. Bradley called out the 
militia in this instance, also, and 60 armed men under Maj.-gen. Van Bok- 
kelen, with one piece of artillery, were ordered to place the new incumbent 
in possession, even at the cost of life. Denver then surrendered. In 1877 
there was a third attempt at escape, made by 8 men employed in a shoe fac- 
tory, which had been added to the prison, in which one convict was killed, 
and the deputy warden, captain of the guard, and one prisoner wounded. 
An attempt was made to burn the prison in Aug. 1879, which was detected. 


ficiently urgent need for more room for prisoners to 
justify the expenditure necessary to the project, and 
an act was passed providing for a new prison at Reno. 
For this purpose a state building fund was created. 
Into this fund the law transferred any surplus re- 
maining in the state capitol fund, and a tax of one- 
eighth of one per cent, was levied for its special use, 
the first $100,000 so obtained to be devoted to the 
purchase of the necessary lands and the erection of 
buildings to accomodate not less than 300 prisoners. 
The labor of the prisoners was to be utilized in the 
prosecution of the work. The commissioners pro- 
ceeded to purchase 200 acres of land on the Truckee 
river, at Reno in a good location for mills and ma- 
chinery, the foundations were laid, and the walls 
erected. But notwithstanding the better financial 
condition of the state subsequently, no further pro- 
gress has been made. In 1888, convicts were ac- 
commodated in the old prison at Carson which proved 
sufficiently large under a different administration, and 
it was discovered that while undoubtedly the site at 
Reno was an excellent one, there was some doubt 
about the advisability of bringing prison labor in 
competition with wage workers, as they must be at 
Reno. And as nothing occurred to determine the 
question, the subject remains in abeyance. But in 
the meantime an asylum for the insane was erected 
at Reno ; and the mentally afflicted were recalled 
from California hospitals and provided for at home. 

Nevada received from the general government the 
usual grant of seventy-two sections of land to aid in 
establishing a state university, and 90,000 acres for 
the maintenance of a college of agriculture and 
mechanic arts. In the case of the latter grant the 
appropriation was converted with the consent of con- 
gress to the maintenance of a mining college. 9 The 
university was located at Elko, remote from the ex- 

9 Nev. Jour. Sen., 1869, app, no, 1, p. 20; no, 8, p. 12-14, 43-9. 


isting centres of population, and was for a long time 
no more than a preparatory school or academy. The 
citizens of Elko in order to secure the university 
offered to erect a brick edifice with accommodations 
for one hundred pupils as the initial foundation of the 
state colleges. A school was first opened there in 
1874, and taught for four years by D. R. Sessions, 
A. M. and B. A. of Princeton college. With but 
meagre appropriations by the state, the university 
languished until 1887, when, it having been removed 
to Reno, a more eligible locality, the legislature ap- 
propriated $30,000 for its support, and started it upon 
a more useful career. 

Congress had been liberal to Nevada in the matter 
of land grants. The school lands amounted to 3,925,- 
000, acres, of which the state had sold previous to 
the 16th of June, 1880, 16,967 acres. By relinquish- 
ing to the United States all the remaining 16th and 
36th sections, many of which were not agricultural, 
the state secured the privilege of selecting 2,000 ? 000 
acres of any unappropriated non-minaral lands, to be 
disposed of under such laws and regulations as the 
legislature should prescribe. 10 The grants besides 
those above mentioned were 500,000 acres for internal 
improvements, 12,800 for public buildings, and 12,800 
for a penitentiary. 

The state made provision for public charities, erect- 
ing an orphanage u at Carson in 1869. In 1873 Geo. 
H. Morrison was the author of assembly bill 29, 
which greatly enlarged the usefulness of the institu- 
tion, since which time it has been one of the best 
charities on the Pacific coast. 12 There is an asylum for 

19 Surveyor-genera? s Rept, 1884. 31. 

u-Neo. Jour. Assem., 1866 247-9; Nee. Jour. Sen., 1873, app. no. 9, 10; 
Reno State Journal, Jan. 27, 1877; Gold Hill News, April 13, 1881; White 
Pine Neivs, Dec. 24, 1881; Eureka Leader, April 9, 1881. 

12 Morrison was born in Calais Maine, Nov. 8, 1845. He came to Nevada 
in 1864; was assessor of Virginia City in 1866; represented Storey county in 
the state legislature in 1873; was chief clerk of the assembly in 1883; mar- 
ried Mary E. Howard of Boston in 1870. In 1889 he was elected director 
of the Bancroft- Whitney law publishing co., and director and secretary of 
the History company.- He rendered me valuable aid in gathering data for 
my historical work. 


the insane at Reno. Until 1882 insane patients were 
sent to California asylums at the expense of the state; 
but the legislature at length appropriated $80,000 to 
found a proper sanitarium for brain-sick members of 
the body politic, and in 1881 was laid the corner- 
stone of the Nevada asylum. The deaf, dumb, and 
blind were sent to California institutions for instruc- 
tion, the number of such unfortunates in Nevada's 
population not justifying the expenditure of a large 
sum for state schools. 13 

A favorite idea with Senator Stewart was the 
annexation of southern Idaho, with its mines and 
population. There were better ways of obtaining 
population, as the neighboring territories and youth- 
ful states with boards of trade and immigration 
bureaux have reminded him, than by any arbitrary 
proceedings. In anticipation of a possible consolida- 
tion, perhaps, and remembering that a large number 
of the citizens of southern Idaho were Mormons in 
faith, the Nevada legislature of 1877, by a joint con- 
current resolution, amended the constitution so as to 
exclude from the privilege of electors any bigamist 
or polygamist, or any person who belonged to or 
affiliated with any order or organization inconsistent 
with or hostile to the government of the state or of 
the United States, or which sanctioned or tolerated 
bigamy or polygamy. This was turning the cold 
shoulder to Idaho, which half inclined to come into 
the arrangement with Nevada for the sake of achiev- 
ing statehood. If the Mormons of Idaho saved that 
long-tried territory from being deprived of its indi- 
vidual existence, they served it better than they knew, 
and left the burden of increasing Nevada's strength 
and honors where it properly belonged. 

The legislature of 1887 took a step in the right 
direction when it enacted laws encouraging the sink- 

l3 Nev. Jour. Sen., 1869, app. no. 8; Carson Appeal, Feb. 21, 1881; White 
Pine New*, June 24, 1882; Elko Independent, June 14, 1882; Eureka Sentinel, 
July 4, 1882; Reno Gazette, July 1, 1882; Nev. Statutes, 1869, 103; Nev. Sen. 
Jour., 1877, app. no. 7, 23-4, and no. 12, 8. 


ing of artesian wells, and the storage of water from 
the snow-fall of winter. For the soil only awaited a 
sufficiency of moisture to change its condition from 
one of sterility to that of fertility, as had been dore 
in the sfcate of Colorado and the territory of Wyom- 
ing. Another important bill looked to the mining 
interests of the state by authorizing the appointment 
of a board of commissioners to hear and consider 
testimony as to the most economical and best methods 
of treating and reducing ores of gold and silver found 
and reduced in the state thereafter. Rewards were 
authorized to be paid out of the general state fund 
for the most economical method, and the most suc- 
cessful method, separately, economy taking the first 

Mining, although causing less excitement than in 
the early history of the state, was by no means on 
the decline as an industry. The amount of bullion 
returned for taxation in 1887 was $7,000,000, which 
did riot represent more than half the actual output, 
but even at the assessor's figures this sum divided 
among a population of 60,000, which was the census of 
1880, would give every inhabitant $116 from mining 
alone. New discoveries were frequently made, the 
country never having been thoroughly prospected; 
hence the law of 1887 to stimulate this industry and 
reduce it to a scientific basis. 14 

Nothing in the history of Nevada ever gave greater 
satisfaction than the passage of the interstate com- 
merce bill of congress, compelling the railroads to 
cease discrimination against the owners of short-haul 
freight, compelling a merchant at Battle Mountain, 
for instance, to pay a higher rate from New York 
than the San Francisco merchant whose goods 

14 A new concentrating process was employed in the Reese river district 
with great success in 1887. It was invented by Hanchett and applied by 
Hanchett and Whipple to the dump of mills in that district, making a sav- 
ing of $6,000,000 from ore that without this method would be wasted, the 
former mills reducing no ores assaying less than $40 per ton, while the tail- 
ings thus discarded often held $30, of which the concentrator saved 80 per 


were carried for two days' time farther west. This 
heavy tax upon the people of the state, dependent 
entirely upon railroad transportation, was sufficient of 
itself to prevent the undertaking of various enter- 
prises which would otherwise have been set on foot 
for the development of the state's resources, and the 
relief felt and expressed at the passage of the relief 
bill of congress was universal. 

Railroads, the great want of this state, as of every 
other in this era of rapid movement, were now thrice 
welcome. Fortunately for Nevada, 1887 was a year 
of great activity in railroads, which were spying out 
new lines in all directions, anticipating the growth 
which they were, more than any other agency, to pro- 
mote. 15 Such was the business on the Central Pacific 
in this year that blockades of freight were frequent, 
more cars being loaded for the west than the com- 
pany had locomotives to move. There was the same 
condition on the other transcontinental roads, showing 
that with the half dozen eastern roads to the Pacific 
there was room for more. Naturally, Nevada looked 
to have her hopes gratified, when the Chicago, Bur- 
lington and Quincy company "the old reliable," as 
it was fondly named by the expectant Wyoming and 
Nevada people, had surveying parties in the field who 
actually had made more than one reconnoissance over 
the Sierra into California She had hope also of the 
Utah Central, which was understood to have a stake 
in California. And the finger of prophecy pointed 
besides to the Northwestern which was hesitating at 
a point in Wyoming whether to go northwest to 
Oregon, or west to California. The year of 1888 
went by, however, and no definite measures were 

15 The legislature of 1887 enacted a law providing that narrow gauge 
roads should be assessed at $6,000 per mile, and standard gauge $10,000 
per mile. This settled cue question for the assessors who had been taking 
such property at the valuation of the owners; but a better law would have 
been to assess them at their actual value, and tax them at as low a figure 
as the public interest required. 


taken by any company to parallel the Central Pacific 
through Nevada. Neither was there much mileage 
added to the local railways, for until interoceanic 
roads should parcel out the great area of the state 
between them, there would be little use for merely 
local lines. 

But whatever drawback there may have been to 
the progress of the silver state, which I have or have 
not pointed out, its honor has never been assailed ; 
its representatives in the national legislature have 
been men of mark ; its people loyal to the American 
idea of progressive government. The republican 
legislature of 1887 16 elected William M. Stewart to 
succeed James G. Fair in the United States senate, 
making him the colleague of John P. Jones, both 
strong on the silver question in which the state had so 
great an interest, and on which the best financial talent 
in the country still remained at variance. By their 
united efforts, joined with those of Teller of Colorado, 
and a few other friends of bi-metalism, the demonet- 
ization of silver was prevented. Stewart also effected 
some important changes in the mining laws of con- 
gress, desirable from the standpoint of the miner. " 

At the general election of 1886 William Woodburn 
was elected to succeed himself in congress. C. C. 

16 The republican majority in the senate in 1887 was 8; in the assembly 

17 As the law was amended, the amount of work necessary to hold a 
placer claim was reduced to 50 per annum, and the amount of land which 
might be included in a patent to 160 acres. It fixed the hour of noon on the 
1st day of August as the common cement and close of the year for annual 
work, instead of midnight on the 3 let of Dec., darkness and cold having 
proven favorable to perjury. Relocations by the same persons were forbid- 
den, thus preventing the fraudulent practice of making a new location on 
the same ground to avoid doing the amount of work required by law. Right 
of way was reserved through or over any mining claim for roads, ditches, 
tunnels, canals, or cuts, the damages oocasioned to be assessed and paid in 
the manner provided by statute for the condemnation of private property 
for public use ia the states and territories in which the mines are situated. 
No person should acquire in any manner more than one mining claim on the 
same vein. This restriction was meant to be in the original law, which was 
so worded, however, that it was often construed otherwise. Other minor 
changes made the mining law clearer and stronger in the interest of the 
actual miner. 


Stevenson, 18 who for many years had been closely iden- 
tified with the political history of Nevada as senator, as 
chairman of numberless committees, and as a leader of 
the republican party, was elected governor after a 
eharp but friendly contest with J. W. Adams, 19 not 

"Charles C. Stevenson is a native of Ontario co., N. Y., whence in 1830, 
being then four years of age, he went with his parents to Canada, a few 
years afterward removing to Michigan. In 1859 he joined a party bound 
for Pike's peak, but on account of discouraging reports decided to push on to 
Nevada, and was one of the first to arrive on the Comstock. At this date, 
July, 1859, Virginia City then called Ophir consisted of a single tent and 
a brushwood saloon, while Gold Hill contained one log-bouse and two miners' 
cabins. After mining for a time at the latter point with fair success, he pur- 
chased in 1881 a half interest in the first quartz- mill erected in Nevada, 
known as the Coover and Stevenson mill, and has ever since been engaged 
in mining and milling. In 1867, and again in 1869 and 1873, he was a mem- 
ber of the state senate, serving also in the first of these years on the state 
central committee. In 1872 he was elected a delegate to the national con- 
vention at Philadelphia, and in 1875 a member of the board of regents of the 
state university. It was largely through his efforts as governor and ex officio 
one of the regents that this institution was afterward placed on a solid foun- 
dation. Through his instrumentality an appropriation of $520,000 was secured 
for the proper representation of the state at the centennial exhibition, and 
as chairman of the board and superintendent of the department he gave his 
services free of charge, returning to the state treasury $1,000 of the appro- 
priation. In 1880 and also in 1884 he was chosen a delegate to the national 
convention at Chicago, in the latter year being appointed chairman. For a 
number of years, as chairman of the Storey county and state central com- 
mittees, he was one of the most active workers in the interests of his party. 
As chairman of the Nevada silver convention, held at Carson City in 1885, 
and of the Nevada silver association, he rendered good service to the state. 
By the latter thousands of documents were published and distributed in all 
parts of the union, advocating the free coinage and restoration of silver to 
its former standard. As president of the state agricultural society, which 
office he held for several years, he devoted his time and means to the farm- 
ing and stock-raising interests of Nevada, introducing at his own expense 
the best grades of blooded Jersey cattle. Governor Stevenson is widely 
estsemad, not only as a ruler and statesman, but also as one of the most public- 
spirited men in his adopted state. 

19 Gov. Adams was born in Vermont, Aug. 6, 1835; came to California in 
1852, and to Nevada in 1884; was married "in 1878 to Miss Emma E. Lee; 
was amo.ig the early Comstock pioneers, coming there from Mariposa co., 
Cal, and eagxged in the various phases of mining industry until elected 
lieut-gov. in 1874. A keen active politician, yet a thoroughly clean, hon- 
est citizan. For eight years lieutenant-governor and president of the 
senate, during which pariol he was in the most intimate relations with Gov. 
Bradley, as aiviser, and on many important occasions the chief executive, 
in fact; aho, during his own four years of gubernatorial control, he was, at 
all points, the actual servant of the people. In all matters of an economic 
nature, esp3cially as a member of various boards, having in charge the dis- 
bursement of the state funds, he looked exclusively to the best interests of 
the people, regirding their affairs as a sacred trust in his hands, and hence 
ignoring every distracting consideration of partisan feeling or personal affil- 
iation. He served the state faithfully and with honor. His friends are 
numerous and as intense in their regard for him as he has shown himself in 
his loyalty to them, but in this his fourth candidacy it was found, as is true 
HIST. NEV. 21 


a single unkind word or act marring the friendship 
which had long existed between the rival candidates; 
H. C. Davis was chosen lieutenant-governor; ' J. M. 
Dormer secretary of state; George Tufly treasurer; 
J. F. Hallock comptroller; J. F. Alexander attorney- 
general, and W. C. Dovey superintendent of public 
instruction. Under the provisions of the statute 
of 1865, whereby the judicial districts of Nevada 
were reapportioned, Richard Rising, A. L. Fitz- 
gerald, and H. G. Bigelow were elected judges. In 
1888 the appointment of an additional judge was 
authorized by the legislature, Thomas H. Wells, the 

fovernor's private secretary, being the man selected, 
n 1889 the supreme judiciary consisted of Thomas 
P. Hawley, C. H. Belknap, and M. J. Murphy, the 
position of chief justice being held in rotation by each 
of the members as provided by law. In this placidly 
prosperous condition I leave the silver commonwealth, 
whose greatness, although it makes haste slowly, is 
marching forward to meet and crown her none the 
less surely. 

in the experience of all men of his positive character and uncompromising 
temper, his enemies had become sufficiently numerous to defeat him by a 
small majority. Mrs Adams, a most refined and worthy lady, was in every 
sense the ornament of the Governor's mansion, and continues to occupy a 
warm place in the esteem and affections of the best men and women of the 
silver state. 






IN the gradual upheaval of the continent from a 
deep sea submersion, the great Sierra Madre, or 
mother range, of old Mexico first divided the waters, 
and presented a wall to the ocean on the west side. 
The San Juan range of Colorado is an extension of 
the Sierra Madre, and the oldest land in this part of 
the continent. Then at intervals far apart rose the 
Sangre de Cristo range, the Mojada or Greenhorn 
range, and lastly the Colorado, called the Front range 
because it is first seen from the east; and northeast 
from this the shorter upheavals of Wind river and 
the Black hills, each, as it lies nearer or farther from 
the main Rocky range, being more or less recent. 

The longer slope and greater accessibility of the 
mountains on their eastern acclivity has come from 
the gradual wash and spreading out of the detritus of 
these elevations in comparatively shallow water, while 
yet the ocean thundered at the western base of the 
mother range. The salt waters enclosed by the bar- 
rier of the Rocky mountains, and subdivided after- 
ward by the later upheavals into lesser seas, were 
carried off through the canons which their own 
mighty force, aided by other activities of nature, and 



by some of her weaknesses, opened for them. For 
uncounted ages the fresh water of the land flowed 
into the inland seas, and purged them of their saline 
flavor, washing the salts and alkalies into the bed of 
the ocean on the west, where after the emergence of 
the Sierra Nevada, and the elevation of the interven- 
ing mountains of the great basin, they largely remained, 
having no outlet. Gradual elevation and evaporation, 
with glacial action, completed the general shaping of 
the country. Subsequent elemental and volcanic 
action has left it with four parallel mountain ranges, 
from which shoot up 132 peaks, ranging from 12,000 
to 14,500 feet above sea level, and from 9,000 to 
10,000 feet above the general level of the state, with 
many lesser ones; with large elevated valleys called 
parks, walled about with majestic heights, covered 
with luxuriant grasses, threaded by streams of the 
purest water, beautified by lakes, and dotted with 
groups of trees ; with narrow, fertile valleys skirting 
numerous small rivers, fringed with cottonwood and 
willow ; with nobler rivers rushing through rents in 
the solid mountains thousands of feet in depth, and 
decorated by time and weather, with carvings such as 
no human agency could ever have designed, their wild 
imagery softened by blended tones of color in harmony 
with the blue sky, the purple-gray shadows, and the 
clinging moss and herbage ; with forests of pine, fir, 
spruce, aspen, and other trees, covering the mountain 
sides up to a height of 10,000 or 12,000 feet; with 
wastes of sand at the western base of the Snowy range, 
or main chain, and arid mesas in the southeast, where 
everything is stunted except the enormous cacti; with 
grassy plains sloping to the east, made gay with an 
indigenous flora, and other grassy slopes extending to 
the mountains toward the west, each with its own 
distinctive features. It is, above all, a mountain 
country; and with all its streams, which are numerous, 
it is a dry one. In the summer many of its seeming 
water-courses are merely arroyos dry creek beds; 


others contain some water flowing in channels cut 
twenty or more feet down through yellow clay to a 
bed of shale ; and still others run through canons, 
with narrow bottoms supporting rich grass, and wil- 
low, thorn, cherry, currant, and plum trees. Sloping 
up from these may be a stretch of rolling country 
covered sparsely with low, spreading cedars; or a 
table-land, with colonies of prairie-dogs scattered over 
it, and moving about upon it herds of wild horses, 
buffaloes, deer, and antelopes. Up in the mountains 
are meadows, having in their midst beaver-dams over- 
grown with aspens, and little brooks trickling from 
them. Several other fur-bearing animals are here, also. 
In still other localities are fine trout streams, and game 
about them is abundant, elks, mountain sheep, bears, 
lynxes, wolves, panthers, pumas, wild-cats, grouse, 
pheasants, ptarmigans, and birds of various kinds 
having their habitat there. 

But these were not the first inhabitants of these 
mountains. In the bed of one of the ancient seas 
west of the San Juan mountains, before mentioned, 
in a deposit three thousand feet thick, now hardened 
into rock, are the fossil skeletons of the first verte- 
brates of the American continent, species until recently 
unknown to science. As their bones are very numer- 
ous, being scattered over three thousand square miles, 
it is safe to conclude that Colorado supported a vast 
amount of animal life at that period when the rivers 
now dry washed down their remains to that ancient 

Here, too, about the shores of this primeval lake, 
which was encircled by upturned ridges of white gyp- 
sum and sandstone of various colors, yellow, vermilion, 
gray, and blood red, on sharp ridges, with precipitous 
sides, sometimes hundreds of feet high, dwelt the first 
men who inhabited this region of whom there is any 
trace. Their dwellings were of unhewn stones, ce- 
mented with a mortar containing a large portion of 
volcanic ashes. Their form was oval, like a bee-hive, 


and they enclosed usually a cedar stump, the use of 
which is purely conjectural. So numerous were these 
dwellings, that the population must have been dense 
which occupied them; yet all were in these inacces- 
sible situations. About them were scattered a few 
domestic implements, including large water-jars sunk 
in the ground, and some arrow-heads. But as no 
water can now be found within twenty-five miles of 
the cliff-dwellings, a long time must have elapsed to 
account for the change of climate which has taken 
place. Why this ancient people found it necessary or 
desirable to dwell on the top or in the face of the 
cliffs is unanswerable, unless we accept the almost in- 
credible theory that, like the lake-dwellings of Swit- 
zerland, these houses were erected when the water of 
the now dried-up lake reached up to them. This be- 
lief might go far to account for the great number of 
bones of animals found in the lake bed, for they must 
have subsisted upon animal food. The few human 
bones found have been fossilized, which is in itself 
evidence of the long period of time since they were 
clothed in flesh. 

I should be afraid to say this primitive race were 
capable of comparing the beauties of the great canons 
over which modern Coloradans grow enthusiastic ; or 
that they would understand what to-day is meant by 
Garden of the Gods, the place being conspicuous for 
the absence of both garden and gods; yet more strik- 
ing, perhaps, than the Olympic mount, as here we 
have, if the imagination be strong enough, sandstone 
columns sculptured by the elements into the simili- 
tude of giant human forms, divinely tall if not divinely 
fair. Of the eight or more principal canons which 
were opened for the waters in the infancy of this 
early world, the most wonderful and beautiful are 
west of the main range; and Black canon, on Gun- 
nison river, which is a branch of Grand river, itself 
a branch of the great stream of the west, with the 
longest and deepest canon in the world, is the grand- 


est of them all. So many aspects has it that any 
mood may be satisfied in regarding its varied features. 
The walls have an average width of three hundred 
feet, the rock being stratified, and continuing for 
miles. In places it rises one, two, or three thousand 
feet, with level summits, surmounted by a second 
wall of prodigious height. The level of the Gunnison 
river at Mountain creek, above the canon, is 7,200 
feet above the sea, that of the mesa on the north side 
8,000, the wall of the canon here being 1,600 feet, 
and a little lower, on the opposite side, 1,900. Still 
further down, the wall rises 3,000 feet, the lower 
1,800 being of gneiss rock. The elevation of the 
mesa at this point is 9,800 feet. But these figures 
represent only height and depth ; they convey no im- 
pression of the gorge itself, which sometimes narrows 
down to the width of the river, and is all gloom and 
grandeur, and again broadens out into a park, with 
waterfalls dashing down its inclosing walls, needles 
of highly-colored sandstone pointing skyward, trees 
growing out of the clefts in the palisades, huge rocks- 
grouped fantastically about, curious plants sheltering 
in their shadows, and the brilliant, strong river dart- 
ing down in swift green chutes between the spume- 
flecked boulders, dancing in creamy eddies, struggling 
to tumble headlong down some sparkling cataract, 
making the prismatic air resound with the soft tinkle 
as of merry laughter. Again, it surges along in half 
shadows, rushing as if blinded against massive abut- 
ments, to be dashed into spray, gliding thereafter 
more smoothly, as if rebuked for its previous haste, 
but always full of light, life, and motion. The grand- 
eur, beauty, and variety of the views in Black canon 
make doubly interesting the reflection that through 
this channel poured the waters of that great primal 
sea which once spread over western Colorado. A rival 
to it is the canon of the Uncompahgre, in the same 
division of the state; and on the eastern slope are 


those of Boulder, Clear, and Cheyenne creeks, and 
the Platte and Arkansas rivers. 

The western slope is drained entirely, excepting 
some small streams falling into the San Luis lakes, 
by the affluents of the Rio Colorado of the west. All 
of the principal of these, except the main river and 
some of the branches of Green river, have their 
sources in the Rocky ranges, in the state of Colorado, 
most of them in the Park, the Saguache, the Elk, or 
the San Juan mountains. The Grand river rises in 
the Middle park, and after receiving the tributaries 
that drain Egeria park, and the northern slopes of 
the Elk mountains, cuts its way in mighty canons 
through the plateaus of western Colorado, while its 
two chief affluents, the Gunnison and Rio Dolores, 
with their branches, drain all the western slopes lying 
between latitude 37 30' and 39 north. In the ex- 
treme southwest the Rio San Juan and its tributaries 
perform this office for a large extent of country. 

On the east side of the great divide, the South 
Platte river, with about forty tributaries, rises well 
up among the peaks of the Front, or Colorado, range, 
and flowing north-northeast and easterly, drains ,a 
large extent of country, whilo the North Platte, ris- 
ing in the Park range, drains the whole of tke North 
park toward the north. The eastern slope of Colo- 
rado is watered and drained by the royal river Ar- 
kansas, with its sixty or more tributaries, some of 
which are of considerable volume. It heads in the 
high region of the Saguache range, interlacing with 
springs of the Grand river, quite as the Columbia 
and the Missouri rise near each other farther north. 
Republican river, an affluent of the Kansas, itself 
having four tributaries, flows northeast down the 
long descent to its union with the main stream, near 
its junction with the Missouri, and in the south the 
Rio Grande del Norte, starting from the summits of 
the same range which feeds the Gunnison branch of 
Grand river on the opposite side, flows toward the 


gulf of Mexico. Such is the river system of Colo- 

The series of high valleys, to which in Colorado are 
given the name of parks, and of which I have 
spoken, are of various dimensions. North park has 
a diameter of thirty miles, and an elevation of 8,500 
feet. Middle park has a length of sixty-five miles 
by a breadth of forty-five, with an altitude of 8,000 
feet. South park is but little less in size, and is 842 
feet more elevated than its neighbor. San Luis park, 
still further south, is nearly as large as all the other 
three just named, and has an altitude of 7,500 feet. 
In it are the San Luis lakes. These elevated valleys 
are separated from each other, and surrounded by 
the several mountain chains, and their spurs or cross- 
ranges, except San Luis, which is opened toward the 
east. Through them course the tributary streams 
which feed the great rivers. Egeria, Estes, Animas, 
and Huerfano parks are small valleys of great beauty, 
at a general elevation of 8,000 feet. 

What, then, shall be said of this country so grandly 
organic and so interesting in its cosmical history? 
That it illustrates the condition of the lower valleys 
and plains when they shall be as old as these oldest 
lands in America ? For with all its numerous streams 
as I have said, Colorado is a dry country. The air 
has little humidity in it. The summer heat of the 
plains is excessive by day, but owing to the altitude 
the nights, even in midsummer, are cool. The sum- 
mer mean temperature ranges from 64.6 to 69.2, and 
the winter mean from 31.3 to 32.8. The maximum 
heat of summer ranges from 93 to 99, with from 
six to thirty days above 90 ; and the minimum of 
winter from 3 to 12, with from six to ten days when 
the mercury is below zero; which grves an extreme 
range for the year from 96 to 110; and the rain- 
fall averages 18.84 inches. With a surface composed 
of mountains and plains, ranging in altitude from 


about 3,000 to more than 14,000 feet above the 
level of the sea, Colorado possesses many varieties of 
climate. The sharp extremes of heat and cold are 
perceptible to the senses only in a limited degree, on 
account of the large preponderance of sunny days and 
the dryness and tonic properties of the atmosphere, 
which is at once healthful, bracing, and exhilarating. 
The winter is the season of greatest charm, for then the 
bright sunshine gives balminess to the air, while in the 
blue dome of the sky is no cloud to stain its purity. 

From the small amount of moisture distributed over 
the surface, and the great general elevation, it is nat- 
ural that the agricultural area should be limited, and 
that only by a good system of irrigation could the soil 
be made to produce food enough to supply a dense 
population. Yet the soil is exceedingly rich with its 
mineral constituents of plants, and also deep, and 
must yield, when supplied with water, large and fine 
crops of cereals. On the eastern slopes of the state, 
in the parks, and west of the mother range, are graz- 
ing lands for countless herds of herbivorous animals. 
By and by all this will be changed ; the herds will 
give way to the superior demands of the soil, a way 
meanwhile having been found to overcome the ster- 
ility of nature. 

The effect of climate is visible in the forests of 
Colorado, which cover perhaps a tenth part of the 
area. The trees are not majestically tall arid straight, 
like those of the more northern and western regions, 
but squat and branching, and of no great size. 
Neither are they in any great variety, but they will 
serve for fuel and lumber as well as the trees of 
many of the trans-Missouri states. 

To find out where the natural wealth of this won- 
derful and beautiful country is hidden we must search 
beneath the soil and break open the rocks. The 
geology of the plains is cretaceous, or post-cretaceous, 
with the exception of areas of tertiary formation in 
the northern portion and on the Arkansas divide. 
At the base of the mountain the strata are turned 


up, forming hog-backs in which the cretaceous 
and Jura trias are exposed, coal being found in the 
latter. All this is very simple ; but in the mountains 
all the formations known are represented, and the 
arrangement is complex. The Front, most of the 
Park, all of the Mojada, and part of the Sangre de 
Cristo ranges are of granite and allied metamorphic 
rocks. The southern portion of the Sangre de Cristo 
is carboniferous, with here and there an intruded vol- 
canic rock. The San Juan mountains are volcanic, 
with an area of quartzite peaks in their midst, 
and flanking the range on the south is an area 
of carboniferous and cretaceous rocks, while the Elk 
mountains are a medley of volcanic peaks thrown up 
among the silurian and carboniferous, flanked by 
cretaceous areas. 

The North and Middle parks rest upon the tertiary 
formation, througn which have been thrust up moun- 
tains of volcanic rock, while South park is an inde- 
scribable jumble, and San Luis is of recent formation. 
Volcanic rock overlies the high plateau on White 
river, in the western part of the state, beneath which 
may be found every formation down to the tertiary. 
Still further west and north the plateaux are tertiary. 
The Uintah mountains, which project into the state, 
consist of cretaceous, Jura trias, carboniferous, and 
silurian. In some places small groups of igneous 
upheavals have been pushed up through the sedimen- 
tary rocks. South of the San Juan mountains a large 
tertiary area is enclosed by cretaceous beds. And so 
on. Granite, gneiss, and sandstone might be said to 
be country rock, with impure limestone, slates, shales, 
and trachyte. It would seem hopeless to search for 
treasure with so confusing a stone guide-book to take 
our directions from. The younger world in Colorado 
has been resentfully pushed aside and overflowed by 
the older in so rude and violent a manner that much 
labor must be expended in fitting together again the 
dislocated strata and reading the story they should 


teach. First by accident, and afterward by search, 
the clue was discovered which led to the knowledge 
of the mineral wealth of this portion of the Hocky 
mountains, for so long a time unsuspected. 

The minerals of Colorado were not easy to come at. 
Gold, which was found in gneiss principally, existed 
in many refractory combinations, with sulphur and 
iron, with copper and sulphur, with zinc, tellurium, 
and other metals and minerals. If it were free 
milling it contained silver, and sometimes lead. In 
the trachyte mines of the south-west there was a 
chloridized combination of gold, silver, iron, maganese 
and gray copper. Silver, which was found in both 
gneissic and granite rocks, was chiefly in the form of 
a compound sulphuret of silver and lead called argen- 
tiferous galena, but existed also in combinations with 
carbonates of lead, carbonates and sulphurets of cop- 
per, zinc, tellurides of gold, nickel, iron, copper, man- 
ganese, antimony, arsenic, and sometimes in the form 
of a chloride, or as horn silver. 

Nor was there any rule of nature known to miner- 
alogists which applied to the situation of mines in 
Colorado, and old traditions were entirely at fault. 
Gold, which had always been found in placers washed 
down from the mountain veins, or in fissure veins of 
granite, or at the deepest, silurian rocks, filled with 
fragments of quartz or conglomerate, among which 
grains of gold were mingled, or deposited by water, 
was here found in metamorphic rocks, and also in the 

Silver, too, was equally eccentric in its situations. 
One of its remarkable deposits, found in the Lead- 
ville region, was in horizo^' il flat veins, from a few 
inches to a foot in thioKness, separated from each 
other by layers of barren rock of a depth of a few 
hundred feet blanket lodes they are called. They 
extended quite through lofty heights, cropping out 
on either side ; but whether they were so deposited 


or were formed in the rocks, which by some convul- 
sion of the mountains were split open and turned 
over, is still conjectural. Almost equally surprising 
was it to find silver in trachyte rocks, or enveloping 
pebbles and bowlders like a crust, or still more re- 
markable, in fine threads or wires. These were prob- 
lems for the scientists, as the modes of extracting the 
metals from their matrices was for the practical met- 

The trend of the fissure veins in Colorado is north- 
east and south-west. They have in general clearly 
defined walls, some of them remarkably smooth and 
regular, and correspond in direction with the cleav- 
age of the eruptive rocks, and with the dikes which 
extend long distances across the plains. There is 
another cleavage of the rnetamorphic rocks in a south- 
east and north-west direction, which was made at an 
earlier period than the cleavage of the eruptive rocks, 
as is shown by the eruptive material overlying the 
metamorphic in large areas, a combination of facts 
which seems to fix the age of the deposit of the ores 
in fissures at a date more recent than the cleavage of 
the metamorphic rock. In a few instances short veins 
are found running east and west, or north and south ; 
but though sometimes rich, they soon pinch out. 

Coal in immense quantities has been formed in Col- 
orado. It is of several geologic eras, some of it 
merely lignite, some beds petroleum-bearing, and in 
the western portion of the state anthracite in large 
areas. Iron is placed in juxtaposition, as also lime- 
stone, hydraulic lime, and a variety of rocks used in 
building or manufacturing. Of the different crystals 
of quartz which are scattered liberally over the 
country the varieties are numerous, though none 
more valuable than carnelian, chalcedony, onyx, jas- 
per, sardonyx, chrysoparse, and trope, rose-quartz, 
black-quartz, moss-agate, and aventurine. 

After all, nothing interests many of us like the 
mountains, which will always draw men from the 


ends of the earth that they may climb as near to 
heaven as may be by their rocky stairs. Take a 
position on Gray's peak there are really two of them 
shooting up from a single base in the midst of a wil- 
derness of mountains which is won by ascending 
from the plains to the timber-belt, then following the 
course of rapidly descending creeks to where no trees 
can grow, but scant grass and lowly flowering plants 
have the zone to themselves ; higher still to the belt 
of starving mosses; and yet higher among great 
blocks of loose, broken rock with patches of snow 
between them, and chilly springs in their shadows ; 
and then to the windy pinnacle above the snow I 

The view begins nowhere and ends nowhere. It is 
infinite. Mountains beyond mountains, unbounded 
plains belittled to look like parks, the great South 
park like a pleasure ground, range after range west- 
ward, silvered with the lingering snow, although it is 
August for we must not attempt the high peaks 
before the summer heat has done its utmost to modify 
the climate at their altitude. Among the more 


western mountains stand some covered with almost 
perpetual snow, and one which fixes the eye on ac- 
count of the snow-field having taken the form of a 
cross, that symbol of life eternal alike among pagan 
and Christian philosophers, and which could have 
found no more fitting place to be displayed than on 
these everlasting hills. Yet here more than almost 


anywhere are the* eyidences of change which we call 
decay, the proof that eternity is but a comparative 
term. Gorge and ledge, shattered cliff, and weird 
shapes in stone, furrows cut by avalanches, torrents 
hurrying down from .the melting snow-drifts, washing 
earth and gravel into the basins below, generations of 
forest fallen like slain warriors on a hard fought field, 
all point to a continual transformation, and show that 
the most heaven-inspiring heights are destined to lower 
their proud heads before time and the elements, that 
the grandeur of the past and the present is constantly 


passing away. Lower, this consciousness becomes 
less oppressive, until it is lost in the enjoyment of 
what the decay of the higher zone has done for the 
lower. Tiny parks, gem-like lakes, green groves, beds 
of flowers, miniature presentments of the grander val- 
leys, forests, and lakes still farther down. 

In a general way one mountain is like another; yet 
they have their differences, dependent upon the kind 
of rock of which they are formed, its hardness, friable- 
ness, stratification, color, and condition of upheaval. 
The variety of rocks and their singular displacement 

fives a corresponding variety to the mountain scenery, 
n one place is a cluster of low cones, broken down 
and rounded, so grouped as to resemble the rim of a 
mighty peak broken roughly off; in another an almost 
smooth round top, and in its immediate neighborhood 
a needle-like peak. The other features of each are 
likely to correspond somewhat to the character of the 
summits, which are approached either by circuitous 
trails, by long slope after slope, or by wild ravines 
leading from bench to bench, but everywhere grand 
and impressive scenery meets the eye. Many are the 
passes by which the mother range may be crossed, 
but only seven are below 10,000 feet, five are over 
12,000, and one is 13,000 feet above sea-level. Some 
of the high mountains to which names have been 
given, none of which are less than 14,000 feet high, 
are Blanca, Harvard, Massive, Gray's, Rosalie, Torrey, 
Elbert, La Plata, Lincoln, Buckskin, Wilson, Long's, 
Quandary, Antero, James, Shavano, Uncompahgre, 
Crestones, Princeton, Bross, Holy Cross, Baldy, 
Sneffles, Pike's, Castle, Yale, San Luis, Red Cloud, 
Wetterhorn, Simpson, ^Eolus, Ouray, Stewart, Ma- 
roon, and Cameron. Of those over 13,000 feet which 
have received names, Handie lacks but three feet of 
belonging to the first class, then Capital, Horseshoe, 
Snowmass, Grizzly, Pigeon, Blaine, Frustrum, Pvra- 
mid, White Rock, Hague, R. G. Pyramid, Silver 
Heels, Hunchback, Rowter, Homestake, Ojo, Spanish 


Peaks, Guyot, Trinchara, Kendall, Buffalo, Arapahoe, 
and Dunn. The nomenclature of these peaks betrays 
its unromantic, unscientific, undescriptive, and often 
commonplace origin, the accident of a mineral discov- 
ery by prospectors frequently giving the appellative ; 
for the precious metals lie far up among the eruptive 
rocks, and the gnomes of these lofty peaks are often 
the Smiths and the Joneses. 

The lakes of Colorado, with the exception of the 
San Luis group, lie from eight to eleven thousand 
feet above sea, and may therefore be reckoned a part 
of the mountain scenery. At the foot of the Saguache 
range, near the source of the Arkansas, are the Twin 
lakes, one three and a half miles by two and a half in 
extent, the other one third as large, and both furnish- 
ing delicious trout, while the surrounding mountains 
abound in game. Not far distant, at the foot of 
Mount Massive, set in terraces of the mountain, sur- 
rounded by gently sloping shores, is a group of silvery 
sheets of purest water, which pass under the collec- 
tive and inappropriate name of Evergreen lakes, one 
lake being five hundred feet above the principal group, 
of which it is a feeder, and the lower arid larger single 
lake occupying a terrace to itself. None are large, 
this one being but about fifty acres in extent, but all 
are highly picturesque, with clear water which lets 
the speckled trout be plainly seen. The middle ter- 
race furnishes some rare mineral springs, the water of 
which bubbles sparklingly out of the earth around 
the lake, adding to the other attractions of the place. 
The view overlooks the valley of the Arkansas river, 
with clumps of trees upon its banks contrasting with 
the bright mineral stains upon its banks, while above 
all towers the background of ever-present mountains. 

On the west side of Front range, in the edge of 
Middle park, occupying the trough of a glacier basin, 
is Grand lake, in the immediate shadow of Roundtop 
mountain, which, with other high peaks, guards its 
solitudes. It is three miles long by two in breadth, 


and hundreds of feet in depth. On its dark face are 
mirrored the surrounding mountains and the clouds 
that crown them. Down from the gorges sweep 
windy currents which would make navigation danger- 
ous. So awe-inspiring is it that the Indians fear to 
approach, leaving it to our irreverent race to violate 
the God-like loneliness of the place. 

Chicago lakes, the highest yet discovered, being 
11,500 feet above the sea, are near the headwaters of 
Chicago creek, on the eastern flank of the Rocky or 
mother range. They are two in number, and, like 
Grand lake, surrounded by peaks, and of unknown 
depth, but are of small area. Their origin was un- 
doubtedly the same. San Luis lake, in the lower and 
more extensive San Luis park, is the only large body 
of water in Colorado, and has the additional peculiar- 
ity of being without any outlet, although receiving 
the water of sixteen tributaries. It is situated in the 
middle of the park, and extends sixty miles north and 
south. About its borders are vast deposits of peat. 
Stories are told of a subterranean lake in Colorado, 
ten acres in extent, covered with eighteen inches of 
soil, which has a corn-field on it; and if one digs a 
hole, and drops a hook and line, a fish without eyes 
or scales, but otherwise resembling a perch, is caught. 
In a country so abounding in minerals, springs with 
medical qualities, both hot and cold, should be looked 
for, and here, indeed, we find them. They are of all 
ingredients and proportions, and with the invigorat- 
ing air of the mountains make the state a vast sani- 

Time was when, if you believed travellers' tales, the 
great American desert stretched up to the foot of 
the Stony mountains, and all was unfruitful and for- 
bidding. How, little by little, this obloquy was re- 
moved, and Colorado made known to the world in its 
true and very different character, it is my pleasant 
task to relate. 

HIST. NKV. 22 




PROBABLY the inquisitive and not well-behaved fol- 
lowers of Coronado, in their marches from New Mexico 
in search of Quivira, did not set foot within the pres- 
ent limits ^ of Colorado. If they did, they have left 
no record of their explorations, and no sign of them 
remains ; and though they affirm having found struc- 
tures similar to the ruins which exist in southern Col- 
orado, they found them in what is now New Mexico. 
The expedition of the Spanish captain, in 1541, at the 
instance of a native of fabled Quivira, brought him 
possibly across the extreme southeast corner of the 
state; but since the guides complained that in his 
march he went too far east, it is hardly probable. 
Changing his course, he found Quivira, an Indian 
village not different from those we may see to-day, in 
latitude 40, but far out on the plains, among the 
northern tributaries of the Arkansas. A few persons, 
priests and their attendants, remained with the Ind- 
ians ; some of them in time returned to Mexico, and 
some died by the hands of their converts. Many 
narrators, who have hastily glanced over an account 



given by some previous writer as careless as them- 
selves, state confidently that Coronado was the first 
European in Colorado, and so he would have been 
had he been there at all. 1 

About the middle of the eighteenth century con- 
siderable interest was manifested by the authorities 
of New Mexico in the country to the north of Santa 
Fe, and Cachupin, who was governor for a long time 
in the last half of the century, set on foot one or 
more expeditions, the object of which was to ascer- 
tain the true character and value of the minerals to 
be found in what is now known as the San Juan 
country. After these came the expedition of Juan 
Maria Rivera in 1761, which was prosecuted as far 
as the Gunnison river. He was accompanied by 
Don Joaquin Lain, Gregorio Sandoval, Pedro Mora, 
and others. There is no donbt that a number of expi- 
ditions, of only local importance, were made into 
what is now Colorado, both east and west of the con- 
tinental divide. About fourteen years after Rivera's 
tour, Padre Junipero Serra, president of the Cali- 
fornia missions, urged the ecclesiastics of New Mexico 
to undertake the exploration of a route from Santa 
Fe to the coast of upper California. With this ob- 
ject in view, Padre Francisco Silvestre Velez Esca- 
lante, ministro doctrinero of Zuni, and Padre Atana- 
cio Dominguez, visitador comisario of New Mexico, 
organized an expedition in 1776, which consisted, be- 
sides themselves, of Pedro Cisneros, alcalde mayor of 
Zuni, Bernardo Miera y Pacheco, capitan miliciano of 
Santa Fe', Don Joaquin Lain, who having accompa- 
nied Rivera, was official guide of this expedition, and 

1 Greenhow, who is usually well informed, says Quivira was probably the 
region about the headwaters of the Arkansas and Platte rivers, but Corona- 
do's route would not have brought him so far west and north. Or. and CaL, 
63. Some of the Spanish writers have committed serious blunders in geog- 
raphy, making the sea visible from Quivira. See Hist. North Mex. States. 
Inman, Stories of the Santa F6 Trail, 1 1-59, has an account of Coronado's 
march, and gives his course quite correctly. This is a well written and cap- 
tivating series of legends and tales of the great historic highway of the 
plains, by Henry Inman of Kansas, 1881. 


five soldiers, Lorenzo Oliveras, Lucrecio Muniz, An- 
dres Muniz, Juan de Aguilar, and Simon Lucero. 

They set out from Santa Fe July 29th, and pro- 
ceeded to Abiquiti on the Rio Chama, from whence 
they took a north course to the Rio San Juan, reach- 
ing it three leagues below the junction of the Navajo 
August 5th. The place of contact was called Neus- 
tra Senora las Nieves, and, although not the first 
place named in Colorado, as we shall see, is the first 
whose date is unquestioned. From Nieves they took 
a course north-west, across the several affluents of the 
San Juan, which lay between them and the Rio de 
Nuestra Senora de los Dolores, the names of which 
have been retained to the present as Piedra Parada, 
Pinos, Florida, and Las Animas. The eastern section 
of the La Plata range was called by Escalante 
Sierra de la Grulla. The La Plata river he called 
the San Joaquin, and in the canon, says his narrative, 
were the mines sought for by Cachupin's explorers, 
and which gave the name to the mountains, supposed 
to contain silver. 

Escalante's descriptions of the country passed over 
avoid dwelling upon the exceeding roughness of this 
region, dwelling rather upon the beauty and fertility 
of the small valleys, the grandeur of the forests of 
pine which grew upon the high benches and moun- 
tain sides, and the abundance of water, even that 
which fell from the clouds, of which he complained a 
little. At the Rio Mancos, or San Ldzaro, he again 
heard reports of mines. At the Rio Dolores he be- 
held ruined habitations high up in the south bank. 
On this river he met with some difficulty in travelling, 
being sometimes at a distance from the stream, and 
at other times apparently confined to its canon. The 
stations or camps along the Dolores were named 
Asuncion, Agua Tapada, Canon Agua Escondida, 
Miera Labarinto (in honor of the capitan), and Ancon 
San Bernardo. At the latter place he found son e 
Utes, from whom he obtained a guide ; and observing 


three paralyzed women of the tribe at the junction of 
a small stream with the Dolores, he named it the 
Paraliticas. It was at this point, or near it, that he 
left the canon of the river, and carne out in Gypsum 
valley, or Cajon del Yeso, still so called. Climbing 
upon a mesa, he travelled six leagues north-east to 
the next station, San Bernabe. Six leagues north 
from this point brought him, through a canon, to the 
San Miguel, or, as he called it, Rio San Pedro. En- 
camping at stations on the north side named San Luis, 
San Felipe (where were traces of Rivera's passage), 
Fuenta de la Guia, and passing through the canada 
Honda, which was doubtless the Uncompahgre park, 
to Ojo de Lain (named in honor of the official guide), 
he reached the Uncompahgre river, spelled by him 
Ancapagari, and named Rio San Francisco. Esca- 
lante gives the distance travelled from the San Miguel 
to the Uncompahgre as twenty-four and a half leagues, 
which is proof conclusive, if any other than descrip- 
tions were needed, of his long detour through the 
Uncompahgre country. His first station beyond was 
San Agustin. The distance from the crossing of the 
Uncompahgre, in a north-east course, was ten leagues 
to the Gunnison river, which he said was called by 
the natives Tomichi, but which was called by him 
San Javier. His probable crossing of the Gunnison 
was near the junction of the south and north forks. 
To this region Rivera's explorations had reached, and 
farther down a cross had been cut in the rock of the 
river bank. Four leagues up the Gunnison, in a 
north-east direction, he came to a stream, which he 
named Santa Rosa ; and proceeded further, in the 
same course, to Rio Santa Monica, which corresponds 
to the north branch of the north fork of the Gunni- 
son. Following the direction of this stream, he came 
to the Rio San Antonia Martir, which is the Divide 
creek of the present. Even the two buttes, known 
as the North and South Mam, are named San Silves- 
tre (after Escalante himself), and Nebuncari. The 



Mam creek of the present day was at that time called 
Santa Rosalia. Near here he forded the San Rafael 
or Grand river, the course of the travellers seeming 
to lead over Book cliffs, and thence north-west to 
White river, called by them Saa Clemente, where 
they arrived September 9th, about a,t the point where 
it crosses the boundary of Utah, having spent a little 
more than two months on the journey, and travelled 


from the Dolores 86^ leagues. In two places on his 
route Escalante mentioned other roads, and especially 
that there was a shorter way from the Gunnison to 
the Grand river than the one he was taking. He 
crossed this road near the stream he called Santa 
Rosalia. Beyond White river be found hills of 
loose slate, passed through a long canon, on the wall 
of which were painted three shields and a spear, and 
two warriors in combat ; saw veins of metal, and 
found buffalo trails, from w T hich he named this defile 
Arroyo del Cibolo. At Green river he found a group 


of six large cottonwood trees, and one lone tree. On 
one of these Lain carved his name and the date, 1776, 
with a cross above and below. The company returned 
from Utah by a more southern route, and the Span- 
ish trail was established not far north of the 37th 
parallel in Colorado, crossing southern Utah, and 
thence southwest to Los Angeles. A trail to Salt 
Lake was, however, established at a later period, 
which crossed the boundary of Colorado and Utah 
on the south side of Rio Dolores, which was surveyed 
as late as 1857 by Captain J. N". Macomb for the 
United States Government. 2 

In the beginning of the seventeenth century France 
claimed the sovereignty of the country, and dur- 
ing that period several expeditions were undertaken 
toward the Spanish frontier, a not very clearly defined 
boundary. 3 The most important of these was con- 
ducted by Monsieur La Salle, who first having in 1682 
explored the Mississippi from the Illinois region to 
the gulf of Mexico, arid named the region contiguous 
Louisiana, in 1685 took formal possession of Texas, 
and founded a colony or two near the gulf, on the 
Guadalupe and Colorado rivers. But La Salle was 
assassinated, arid the only effect of his settlement was 
to carry the western boundary of Louisiana as far 
west as these rivers.* In the mean time the country 
west of the Mississippi had again changed hands, 
Spain claiming it from 1762 to 1800, when it was 
retroceded to France, and sold by the first Napoleon 
to the United States three years afterward. Still the 
boundary was unsettled, and in 1806 an arrangement 
was entered into between the Spanish and American 
authorities that the former should not cross the Sabine, 
nor the latter approach to it, To prevent collisions, 

*Dominguez and Escalante, Diario y derrotero para descubi-ir el camino 
desde Santa Ft d Monterey. In Doc. Hist. Hex., 2d ser., i. 375-558. See 
also Hist. Utah, this series. 

3 Among these few are mentioned one by Col Wood in 1654, and another 
by Capt. Bolt in 1670; but they were productive of nothing in particular. 

* U. S. Laws and Docs, 1817, 5. 


orders were given not to survey the public lands west 
of the meridian of Natchitoches, or Red river. 

But the curiosity of the new proprietors of Louisi- 
ana concerning the regions toward the Rocky moun- 
tains could not be restrained; and President Jefferson, 
also desiring to know something of them, encouraged 
exploration. It happened that Zebulon Montgomery 
Pike, son of Zebulon Pike of New Jersey, an officer 
in the revolutionary army, who at the age of twenty 
had been appointed an ensign in his father's company, 
and was a lieutenant at twenty-six, was serving under 
General Wilkinson in the west, at the time when 
Lewis and Clarke were fitting out their expedition to 
the head waters of the Missouri and Columbia in 1804. 

General Wilkinson, whose military duties included 
keeping peace with the Indians, thought to serve his 
country and gratify the president by sending young 
Pike to explore the upper Mississippi, under the pre- 
tence of communicating with Indian tribes in that 
region. To this end, in August 1805, a keel-boat 
seventy feet long, manned by a crew of one sergeant, 
two corporals, and seventeen privates, under Lieuten- 
ant Pike, left St Louis to discover the source of the 
Mississippi, being provisioned for four months. He 
had started late for such an undertaking, encounter- 
ing many difficulties, and performing the last part of 
the journey with sledges drawn by his men. On the 
last of January 1806 he reached the utmost source 
of the great river, arriving at a fort of the North- 
west Fur company, by whose officers he was gener- 
ously entertained. He returned to St Louis about 
the last of April. 

General Wilkinson had meanwhile found cause for 
another expedition, having on his hands some rescued 
captives of the Kaw nation, who lived on the Osage 
river, a southern branch of the Kansas, and whom he 
had promised to restore to their people. On this 
errand, possibly, Pike set out July 15th, after a brief 
rest at home with his family. 


His party consisted of one lieutenant, one surgeon, 
one sergeant, two corporals, sixteen privates, and an 
interpreter, besides fifty-one Indians of all ages, and 
both sexes. He ascended the Missouri in two boats, 
taking six weeks to this part of the journey, which 
brought him to the Osage river. Here he landed his 
expedition, purchased horses, loaded them with pro- 
visions and presents, and set out north-westward 
across the plains, delivering his Indian wards to their 
people as previously agreed upon. Having performed 
this part of his duty, he entered upon the more inter- 
esting one of exploration. Crossing the country to 
the Arkansas river he ascended that stream, finding 
the plains black with buffaloes. At two o'clock on 
the afternoon of the 15th of November he first dis- 
cerned a small blue cloud, which being viewed with a 
spy -glass he perceived to be a mountain. A half 
hour later the range came into view, and his men gave 
" three cheers for the Mexican mountains." 

It was already too late in the autumn for mountain 
travel, but Pike knew nothing of fear or discourage- 
ment. Pressing eagerly forward for yet another 
week, he at length reached the most eastern ridge of 
the Colorado range, thinking to come to the base of the 
peak which bears his name; but finding, when with 
great toil and suffering from struggling through snow 
that he was still distant fifteen miles from this moun- 
tain, he relinquished the attempt, his men being with- 
out proper clothing, and having quite worn out their 
stockings. Before beginning the ascent Pike had 
established a depot at or near the mouth of Fontaine- 
qui-Bouille, where he left most of his party; thence he 
moved camp nearer to the foot of the Sangre de 
Cristo range, about where Canon city now stands. 
The cold was severe, and many of the men were frost- 
bitten. Leaving these in camp he began exploring 
for a river by which he might return to the Missis- 
sippi, it having been specially charged upon him to 
discover if possible the sources of the Red river. 


Coming to the South park by the present route 
from Canon City, he called the first stream he reached 
the Platte, in which curiously enough he was correct ; 
but in his wanderings striking the head of Grand 
river, he believed it to be the Yellowstone. Other 
errors were entered on his chart, given in chapter 
XV of my Arizona and New Mexico. The geography 
of the west was very vague as yet ; and toiling about 
in the mountains with the mercury below zero was 
but a poor way to improve it. 

But in the South park he made a discovery that 
white men and Indians had been there before him, 
and that recently. Not wishing to fall into the hands 
of Mexicans or Indians, he retreated toward the south, 
and became entangled among the canons of the upper 
portion of the Arkansas river, but finally reached 
camp with only one horse able to travel. After a 
little rest he again set out, this time on foot, in search 
of Red river, and crossing the Arkansas, violated the 
terms of the recent arrangement by entering Mexican 
territory. Marching up the Wet Mountain valley, 
leaving disabled men by the way in improvised shelt- 
ers, he moved straight to and up the Sangre de Cristo 
range, and from its summits looked down on San Luis 
park and the Rio Grande del Norte, which he believed 
to be the Red river. Greatly rejoiced, he descended 
to the valley, erected a fortified camp, and sent back 
a detachment of his little party to pick up the 

Not long did he enjoy his dreams of success. The 
Mexican authorities had been on the lookout for his 
expedition, which had become known to them, and a 
few days after completing the above arrangements he 
was politely arrested by a squad of Mexican soldiers, 
and persuaded to accompany them to Santa Fe, El 
Paso, and subsequently to Chihuahua, more than a 
year being . consumed in this courteously managed 
captivity, during which the most valuable portion of 


his papers were lost, and his command scattered. 
They were finally returned to the United States 
through Texas. 

One thing pertinent to the subsequent history of 
Colorado, Lieutenant Pike discovered during his 
detention in New Mexico. An American, James 
Pursley, of Bairdstown, Kentucky, 5 whom he met 
there, showed him lumps of gold brought by himself 
from the South park; and he learned that the traces 
of white men and Indians seen by him, and which had 
turned him southward, related to gold discoveries in 
that region. 6 In 1807 Pike was permitted to return 
home, and in the second year of the war of 1812 was 
killed at the assault on Toronto, after having been 
previously promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. 7 
The peak which bears his name was measured by him, 
on the base of a mile, and on the presumption that 
the plains were 8,000 feet above sea-level. He made 
the height of the mountain to be 18,581 whereas it is 
really but 14,147. Most early explorers exaggerated 
the height of mountains, whether purposely or not. 

5 Pursley went up the Platte In 1803 or 1804, and was conducted by Ind- 
ians to Santa Fe. A French Creole, La Lande, took some goods up the 
Platte in 1804 for his employer, Morrison, a merchant of Kaskaskia; but he 
took the goods to Santa Fe, and established himself in business, where he 
remained. Barber's Hist, West. States, 549.. 

6 W. B. Vickers, in Hayden's Great West, 98, says there is no evidence to 
show that there were any settlers in Colorado previous to 1843, or any knowl- 
edge of the treasures hidden in the soil or rocks at that time. This is a 
hasty conclusion. The Spanish-Mexicans would conceal as much as possible 
any such knowledge from Americans; but it existed. The American referred 
to above discovered the gold on the head of the Platte while a captive in the 
hands of the Indians; and he assured Pike he had been frequently solicited 
to go and show a detachment of Mexican cavalry where to find it, but re- 
fused. It was probably this detachment which had just left the park when 
Pike arrived in it. Appendix to An Account of an Expedition to the Sources of 
the Mississippi, and Through the Western Part of Louisiana, etc;, in the Years 
1805, 1806, and 1807; Philadelphia, 1810. I have seen it stated that old de- 
serted shafts had been found in southern Colorado, together with some cop- 
per vessels, the writer attributing these evidences of mining to the ancients 
who inhabited the ruined cities and the cliffs; but these people used only 
stone implements, and clearly knew nothing of mining. The prospect holes 
were undoubtedly made by the Mexicans about the beginning of the 

7 James Parton, in TJie Discoverer of Pike's Peak, MS., 7, an abridgement 
of Parton's account of Pike's expeditions. See also Denver Rocky Mountain 
Herald, Aug. 21, 1875. 


Probably the cold had something to do with the 
reported altitude of Pike's peak. 8 

No further official explorations of the country at 
the base of the Rocky mountains were ordered until 
after the treaty of the 22d of February, 1819, by 
which the boundary between the possessions of Spain 
and the United States was definitely settled,' giving 
to the latter the northern two thirds of the present 
state of Colorado, with all the country north of the 
Arkansas river. Immediately after the confirmation 
of the Florida treaty, Secretary-of-war Calhoun or- 
dered an expedition more complete in equipment than 
any which had preceded it, comprising besides military 
officers a number of men of science. The company, 
commanded by Major Stephen H. Long, left Pitts- 
burgh May 30, 1819, and proceeded by a steam-vessel^ 
constructed especially for the purpose, to St Louis, 
and thence by land travel to Council Bluffs, on the 
Missouri, where they wintered. In the following 
June, Long explored the Platte valley to the junction 
of the north and south forks, where he took the di- 

8 From the original Pike's Expedition for a biographical notice of which 
see my History of the Northwest Coast come scores of accounts which follow, 
such as is found in the Colorado Gazetteer for 1871. This book, which con- 
tains besides a brief history of the state, a comprehensive account of its 
mining, agricultural, commercial, manufacturing interests, and climate, will 
be frequently referred to for statistics on these subjects. Notice of Pike's 
expedition is found in Thomas B. Corbetfs Colorado Directory of Mines, 1879, 
p. 34. This also is an important book of reference, containing a description 
of the mines and mills, and the mining corporations. The Northwest, by 
Samuel J. Parker, son of Samuel Parker, explorer and missionary to the 
Oregon country in 1835, is a manuscript history of the north-west country, 
compiled partly from the father's writings and partly from the accounts of 
other explorers. It is, like the other missionary writings, very bitter against 
the fur companies. A writer in Harper's Magazine, xli. 372, gives a good 
brief account of Pike's expeditions. 

9 U. S. Laws and Treaties, 1815-21, vi. 614-29. This boundary, which 
was changed by conquest and purchase, subsequently gave the U. S. the 
Florida territory east of the Mississippi. West of the Mississippi the line 
began at the mouth of the Sabine river, continuing north along the west 
bank of that stream to the 32d degree of north latitude, thence due north to 
the Red river, which it followed up to the degree of longitude 23 west from 
Washington, running thence due north again to the Arkansas river, which 
it followed to its source in latitude 42 north, and thence it was drawn west- 
ward on that parallel to the * South sea.' It will be seen that this boundary 
supposed the Arkansas river to be two degrees longer than it really was, and 
left the actual boundary from central Colorado northward to the 42 still in 


rection of the southern branch, which brought him to 
the South park by a route different fro nit hat of Pike's. 
The high peak first seen by Lieutenant Pike received 
the name of E. James, botanist of the expedition, 10 
he being the first man known to have reached a sum- 
mit of the Colorado mountains. He also measured 
it, and made it almost as much too low as Pike had 
made it too high. 11 Long descended the valley of 
the Arkansas to the Mississippi, having gained much 
valuable geographical information of the country ex- 
plored. But his account was not one pleasing to the 
secretary of war, or to the government. He repre- 
sented the whole country drained by the Missouri, 
Arkansas, Platte, and their tributaries as unfit for 
cultivation, and uninhabitable in consequence. Ho 
found all between the 39th and 49th parallels, and 
for five hundred miles east of the Rocky mountains, a 
desert of sand and stones, whereupon this region was 
represented on maps as the Great American desert. 
The report of Long was a stumbling-block in the way 
of the advocates of the American claim to Oregon in 
congress for many years, for no sooner did an advocate 
of that claim open his mouth than he was reminded 
of Major Long's scientific observations and explora- 
tions, and asked what value could attach to a desert. 
This impression was to some extent the key which 
kept Colorado a locked treasure-house until Oregon 
and California had both been settled, and proved to 
be rich agricultural countries, even where they had 
appeared as much deserts as Colorado. 

It should be borne in mind that small parties of 
adventurers, like Pursley, had already penetrated the 
Rocky mountains in advance of either of the above- 

w The name of Pike has been retained, but to James and Long were 
given peaks elsewhere. For Long's note on the subject see Lamjs Exped. 
Rocky Mountains, ii. 45. Another peak has been named after Lieut Graham 
of Long's party, and the hot springs on the Arkansas after Captain Bell. 
Col GrizeMeer, 21; Fremont's Explor. Exp&L, 30. 

11 James called Pike's peak 11,500 feet high. Fremont in 1843, made it 
14,300. Its present received measurement was made in 1862 by Parry, 
whose careful examination of the country entitles his work to credit. 


named expeditions, 12 and that previous to that of 
Long's, a number of traders had established posts on 

l2 -See Hist. Northwest Coast, this series. A little work by David H. 
Coyner, first published in 1847, and republished in Cincinnati in 1859, called 
The Lost Trappers, gives a particular account of the wanderinge of a com- 
pany of 20 men who left St Louis in 1807, intending to cross the Rocky 
mountains. The leader was Ezekiel Williams, and this was the first over- 
land expedition to the Pacific of the kind ever undertaken. It proceeded to 
the Mandan village under the guidance of a chief of that tribe, Big White, 
who had accompanied Lewis and Clarke to Washington, and was returning 
to Fort Mandan. From this point Williains's party proceeded by land to 
the mouth of the Yellowstone, up which they travelled looking for beavers. 
Soon after finding a locality where beavers were plenty in the streams and 
buffaloes upon the plains, a hunting party of ten men went out, but were 
set upon by Indians, whom they believed to be Blackfoot, and five of them 
slain, the other five escaping to camp. The company at once set off again 
southward until they fell in with the Crows, by whom they were so well 
treated that a man named Rose, who had joined the party at St Louis, but 
whose character as an outlaw was not known to Williams, determined to re- 
main among them, and did so until 1823, being the first white man who had 
a residence in the Yellowstone country. He returned as guide to Fitzpat- 
rick and Sublette, and afterward joined the American Fur company, but 
was ever one of those unprincipled men who gave to the trappers the unsa- 
vory character dwelt upon by the Parkers. Williams' party, now reduced to 
14 members, proceeded in a direction toward the South pass, and when upon 
the headwaters of the north Platte were attacked by Crows and sustained 
another loss of five men. In the first attack one Indian had been killed; in 
this fight, for which the company were prepared by the the theft of their 
horses, twenty or more of their enemies were killed. The party now re- 
duced to ten, their horses being gone, hastened on foot out of the vicinity of 
the battle-ground, caching their furs and such things as they could not carry 
on a long march, and moved southward, wandering about until spring, when 
they found themselves on the sources of the south Platte, and of course in 
Colorado. One after another of them were cut off by the Comanches until 
only three remained, Williams, James Workman, and Samuel Spencer, who 
determined to return to St Louis if they could. But as often happens, mis- 
fortune had made them not only reckless, but at enmity with one another; 
and the three wanderers separated, Williams journeying down the Arkan- 
sas, which he mistook for Red river, in a canoe, and by travelling at night 
arrived safely among the Kansas, who directed him to Fort Cooper, on the 
Missouri. Here he found an Indian trader of the U. S., C. Cibley, about to 
; pay the Indians their annunities, and who first compelled the Kansas to re- 
turn to William 3 several packages of furs they had stolen from him after 
his departure from their village. In the following year, 1809, Williams re- 
turned to the mountains with a party and recovered the furs cached by his 
company on the Platte. Workman and Spencer in the meantime had made 
their way to the Arkansas, which they also mistook for the Red river, and 
in following which toward its source they discovered the trail of Pike's party 
of the year before, who had cut in the rocks the name of Red river, which 
confirmed them in their error. Hoping to find that its headwaters were in a 
range by crossing which they would find themselves at Santa Fe in New 
Mexico, they followed up this stream, coming in sight of Pike's peak, which 
they said seemod so high 'that a cloud could not pass between its top and 
the sky.' They became entangled among the mountains and canons of Col- 
orado, passing many weeks in endeavoring to find the sources of the Rio 
Grande Del Norte, but coming instead to the Rio Colorado, which they fol- 
lowed believing it would take them to Santa Fe until they came to a 
crossing and a plain trail, which they resolved to follow. Meeting a Mexi- 


the Arkansas and other rivers, 18 forerunners of the 
more powerful fur companies. A profitable trade 
was also carried on between the merchants of St 
Louis and the inhabitants of New Mexico, of which 
all of Colorado south of the Arkansas river was a 
part. The Indians on the Santa Fe route the Co- 
manches of the plains gave traders and travellers 
much trouble; and in 1823 the government ordered 
an escort, commanded by Captain Riley, to meet the 
Santa Fe train, and conduct it to the Missouri fron- 
tier. 1 * He advanced to the crossing of the Arkansas, 
and conducted it to Independence, the eastern termi- 
nus of the Santa Fe trail, the first military expedition 
by United States troops west of the Missouri and 
north of Texas. Four years afterward Fort Leaven- 
can caravan bound to Los Angeles, California, two days afterward, they 
joined it, and the following spring returned with it to Santa Fe, where they 
remained trading for 15 years. When Workman and Spencer set out to de- 
ficend the Colorado it was by canoe. From the description given by them to 
the author of the Lost Trappers, I think they were upon the Gunnison 
branch of the Colorado, and that it was the black canon which interrupted 
their navigation. The crossing of the Spanish trail could not have been far 
from the present crossing of the Salt Lake road. At all events, they were 
the first Americans to float upon the waters of this stream, or, so far as I 
have discovered, to cross the Rocky mountains south of Lewis and Clarke's 

13 Manuel Lisa, a Mexican, enjoyed a monopoly of the Indian trade west 
of the Missouri at the beginning of the century under a grant of the Mexi- 
can government. Peter Choteau, a rival trader and U. S. agent for the 
Osages, managed to separate a part of that nation from their adherence to 
Lisa, and established a post among them on the Verdigris branch of the Ar- 
kansas in 1808. It was, however, removed in 1813, and it was not for ten 
years afterward that a regular fur trade to the Rocky mountains was begun. 

u This was inconsequence of the capture of the previous year's train from 
Santa Fe, commanded by Capt. Means, who, with several of his men, was 
killed. Coyner relates that in 1823 the Mexican government, having ban- 
ished several citizens of importance for alleged treasonable designs, per- 
mitted them to go to the U. S. with the annual Santa Fe train, and sent as 
an escort a company of 60 men, Mexicans and Pueblo Indians, under Capt. 
Viscarro, who was to conduct the exiles along the road until he met Capt. 
Riley. When near the Cimarron river, 60 miles from the crossing of the 
Arkansas, he was attacked, and 8 or 10 of his command killed. Viscarro 
himself is accused of cowardice. The Pueblos and two Americans named 
Barnes and Wallace fought and pursued the Comanches, inflicting severe 
loss upon them. The company hoping to meet Riley at the Arkansas, yet 
fearing that he might be gone, sent a detachment, consisting of the Pueblos, 
Wallace, Barnes, and Workman, to overtake him. They found he had moved 
away from the river, but overtook him in two days' travel, and detained 
him until the train came up, after which they were under the protection of 
American troops, and Viscarro with his depleted force turned back to Santa 
Fc. Coyner' s Lost Trappzrs, 170-86. 


worth was established on the west bank of the Mis- 
souri, twenty miles above the mouth of the Kansas 
river, and near enough to the Santa Fe trail to afford 
protection to travellers. For many years this was- 
the initial point of expeditions west and northwest- 
ward, as all books of travel show. In 1829 Major 
Kiley, with four companies, escorted a caravan as far 
as Bent's fort, on the Arkansas. Captain Wharton 
was on the trail in 1834, and Captain Cook in 1843, 
The establishment of a fort in the Indian country 
did not precede but followed the adventures of private 
individuals and associations in the public territory of 
the United States, to which I have already referred. 
Among those who followed their pursuits in Colorado 
were the Bents, St Vrain, Vasquez, Bridger, Carson, 
Lupton, Pfeiffer, Nugent, Pattie, Baker, Beckwourth r 
Sarpy, Wiggins, the Gerrys, Chabonard, and others. 
Bonneville's company of trappers and explorers passed 
through the Arkansas country in 1834. 15 

15 See Victor's River of the West, 157, and Hist. Northwest Coast, this 
series. It is difficult to give satisfactory accounts of men who lead a wander- 
ing life in an unsettled country. Only scraps of information are preserved, 
whose authenticity may well be questioned. From the best information ob- 
tainable the following biographies have been gathered: James P. Beckwourth 
was born in Virginia of a negro slave mother and an Irish overseer. His 
white blood impelled him to run away from servitude in or about 1817, and 
he joined a caravan going to New Mexico. Some years afterward he was 
in the service of Louis Vasquez in Colorado, and subsequently so ingrati- 
ated himself with the Crows that they made him head chief, an office in 
which he used to give the American Fur company much trouble. Later in 
life he severed his connection with savagery, and became interpreter and 

uide to government expeditions. He resided for a time in a valley of the 
ierra Nevada, but being implicated in certain transactions which attracted 
the notice of the vigilants, fled and went to Missouri. When the migration 
to Colorado was at its height in 1859, he proceeded to Denver, and was 
taken into partnership with Vasquez and his nephew. Being tired of trade, 
he went to live on a farm, and took a Mexican wife; but fell out with her, 
and finally relapsed into his former mode of savage life, dying about 1867. 
Montana Post, Feb. 23, 1867, Bridger, Carson, Pattie, and others have been 
frequently spoken of in other volumes of this series. The last named came 
to the mountains of Colorado in 1824 with a company of 120 men. He was 
a youth at the time. The company fell apart, and drifted in various direc- 
tions through New Mexico and Arizona. Pattie and a few companions de- 
scended the Colorado, and reached the coast at San Diego, naked and starv- 
ing. They were arrested by the Mexican authorities and imprisoned, 
suffering much; but Pattie, on account of his knowledge of the Spanish lan- 
guage, was employed as an interpreter, and escaped back to the states. James 
Baker came out, probably with Bridger, and roved about in the mountains 
until he finally settled on Clear creek, four miles north of Denver, I do not 

FORTS 353 

No forts of importance were erected "within the 
present limits of Colorado before 1832, when the 
Bent brothers erected Fort William on the north 
branch of the Arkansas river, eighty miles northeast 
from Taos, and one hundred and sixty from the moun- 
tains. 16 They traded with the Mexicans and the Co- 
know exactly at what date; but he is recognized as the first American set- 
tler in Colorado. He had an Indian wife and half-caste children grown to 
manhood in 1859. The occupation of the country displeased him, and he 
left Clear creek for the mountains of Idaho, where he ended his days. O. 
P. Wiggins, a Canadian, formerly a servant of the Hudson's Bay Co., came 
to Colorado in 1834, and was employed by the American Fur Co., and sta- 
tioned at Fort St John. He became a wealthy citizen of Colorado. Peter 
A. Sarpey was one of the French families of St Louis. He had one trading- 
post in Colorado, and another at Belle vue in Nebraska; a small, wiry, mer- 
curial-dispositioned man, who lived among savages simply to make money, 
which furthered no enterprises and purchased no pleasures such as a man of 
good family should value. Col Ceran St Vrain began trading to New Mex- 
ico in 1824, working up into American territory a few years later, where he 
built a fort named after himself. He died at Mora in New Mexico, in Octo- 
ber 1870, to which country he returned on the 'decline of the fur trade. 
Godfrey and Elbridge Gerry were lineal descendants of Gov. Elbridge Gerry, 
one of the signers of the declaration of independence. They came to the 
Rocky Mountains while quite young men, and spent their lives on the fron- 
tier. After settlement began, Godfrey built an adobe residence on the 
Platte, and kept a station of the Overland Stage Co. During the Indian 
disturbance of 1864 his station was besieged it went by the name of Fort 
Wicked for days by a large force of the savages, who endeavored to fire 
the buildings. With no help but his own family he successfully resisted all 
their attempts to reduce his fort, and killed many of the besiegers. The 
Indians also conspired to capture Elbridge Gerry and Iris large band of 
horses, but his Indian wife having discovered the plot, informed him of it, 
and he, too, saved his life and property. These brothers were among the 
earliest settlers in Colorado. Byers Hist. Col, MS., 61-8. Elbridge Gerry 
died in 1876. Kit Carson, Bill Williams, Pfeiffer, the Autobeas brothers, 
John Paisel, and Roubideau were all noted mountaineers. Carson rendered 
himself a second time famous during the civil war. He died at" Fort Lyon 
in June 1868. Denver Rocky Mountain News, June 3, 1868. Williams was 
killed by the Utes in south-western Colorado in 1850. Folsom (Cal.) Tele- 
graph, Oct. 28, 1871. And so died many a brave man. But none who went 
to the mountains in those early times were better known than the Bent fam- 
ily of St Louis. There were six brothers, John, Charles, William, Robert, 
George and Silas. Robert and George died in 1841. Charles was the first 
American governor of -New Mexico, and was killed in the massacre at Taos 
in March 1847. Silas, the youngest, was a member of the expedition to 
Japan under Perry, and made a report to the Geographical Society of New 
York concerning the warm current from the Japan sea, which touches the 
coast of North America. The other brothers were fur traders, and William 
was subsequently government freighter. He died May 19, 1869, the last of 
the original firm. Colorado Paper, in Montana Democrat, June 17, 1869; Ar- 
kansas Vol. Hist., 830. 

16 It is i elated, and is probably true, that Maurice, a French trader from 

Detroit, built a fortification on Adobe creek in Arkansas valley in 1830, 

which would give him precedence in point of time. He collected a Mexican 

settlement, and erected 13 adobe cabins around a square or plaza, in Mexi- 

HIST. NEV. 23 


manches, Che3 r ennes, Arapahoes, and Utes. Fort 
William, after which the other trading-posts were 
modelled, consisted of an enclosure 150 by 100 feet in 
extent, surrounded by an adobe wall seven feet thick 
and eighteen feet high. At the north-west and south- 
east corners stood bastions ten feet in diameter and 
thirty feet high, with openings for cannon and small 
arms. A partition wall divided the interior, two- 
thirds of which was devoted to the necessary shops, 
storehouses, and dwellings, the remaining third being 
a corral in which the horses and mules were secured 
from theft at night. In the east wall was a large 
gate, with heavy plank doors, opened only on certain 
occasions. Adjoining the wall on the west was a 
wagon-house, made to shelter a dozen or more large 
wagons used in conveying goods from and peltries to 
St Louis. The tops of the houses were flat and grav- 
elled, and served for a promenade in the evenings, 
like the house-tops of Egypt. There were about 
sixty persons employed in the affairs at Fort William, 
and many were the dangers they incurred and adven- 
tures they encountered ; 17 for the region was the com- 
mon ground of several of the most warlike tribes of 
the plains. Here, too, at different times were enter- 
tained travellers of every description and rank for a 
period of more than twenty years. In 1852 Bent 
blew up Fort William and moved his goods down the 

can fashion, one of which was used as a church. In 1838 the Sioux and 
Arapahoes attacked the place, and were fought by the Utes, whose assistance 
had been sought. The battle was a bloody one, resulting in the victory of 
the Utes. This Mexican settlement was not entirely broken up until 1846. 
Arkansas Vol. Hist., 545-6. Among those earliest in the service of the fur 
companies were Bill Williams, John Smith, a young man of good education 
from Philadelphia, Ben. Ryder, C. de Bray, Metcalfe, and William Brans- 
ford, who later lived in Las Animas county. 

17 Farnhams Travels in the Great Western Prairies, 35. The author of this 
book was at Fort William in 1839, and wrote accurately of what he saw. 
He says: 'In the months of June, August, and September there are in the 
neighborhood of those traders from 15,000 to 20,000 savages, ready and 
panting for plunder and blood. If they engage in battling out old causes of 
contention among themselves the Messrs Bent feel comparatively safe in 
their solitary fortress. But if they spare each other's property and lives 
there are great anxieties at Fort William; every hour of day and night is 
pregnant with danger.' 


Arkansas to the mouth of Purgatoire river, where he 
erected a new fort, which was leased to the govern- 
ment in 1859, when it was occupied by troops and 
called Fort Wise, after the governor of Virginia. 

Another trading-post erected in 1832 was that of 
Louis Vasquez, five miles north-east of the site of 
Denver, at the junction of Vasquez fork or Clear 
creek with the Platte river. A nephew of Vasquez 
resided with him at the fort from 1832 to 1836, and 
was one of the first settlers in Colorado. Fort Sarpy 
was erected soon after the two above named, and was 
situated. on the Platte, five miles below Vasquez's 
post. Five miles below Sarpy 's post was another 
fort, whose name has been forgotten, and fifteen miles 
further down the river was Fort Lancaster, erected 
by Lupton, which in 1886 was in a good state of 
preservation. Fort St Vrain, ten miles below Lup- 
ton, at the confluence of the Cache le Poudre river 
with the Platte, was erected in 1838. The Bent 
brothers also had a post on the Platte before reaching 
the junction of the next stream below: So thickly 
clustered rival establishments in the first ten or fif- 
teen years of trade in the Rocky mountains. Five 
miles above Fort William toward the mountains was 
El Pueblo, a Mexican post, although owned in part 
by Americans, and constructed very much on the 
plan of Fort William. It was not, like the others, a 
trading establisment, but a farming settlement, 
intended to supply the trading-posts with grain, veg- 
etables, and live stock. The proprietors irrigated 
their farm with water from the Arkansas, and were 
undoubtedly the first agriculturists in this region ; 
but as they neglected to water their potions of alco- 
hol sufficiently at the same time, their enterprise did 
not flourish as it should, even in 1838. 18 

18 Stone, General View, MS., 20-21, mentions a Col Boone, who had a 
trading post known as Hardscrable in the Arkansas valley, contemporary 
with St Vrain and others. Another post was on the site of Trinidad in Las 
Animas county. The St Vrain mentioned here, 1 have no doubt, was one of 
v the family of that name which became po^oesoed of a grant to certain lead 


Somewhere between 1840 and 1844 another settle- 
ment was made on Adobe creek, further up the 
Arkansas on the south side, in what was later Fre- 
mont county. It was under the patronage of an 
association of traders, among whom were Bent, Lup- 
ton, St Vrain, Beaubien, and Lucien B. Maxwell, 
Beaubien having charge, and being the owner of a 
large grant of land from the Mexican government. 
The settlement was broken up in 1846 by the Indians. 

A feature of the period to which I have just 
alluded was the obtaining of grants from the Mexican 
authorities for the purpose of colonization and devel- 
opment. As I have shown, success had not attended 
their efforts, but 'the grants were valid notwithstand- 
ing. The Vigil and St Vrain grant embraced nearly 
all of what is now Colorado south of the Arkansas 
river and east of the mountains, excepting the Nolan 
grant, a tract fifteen miles wide by forty miles in 
length, lying south of Pueblo. Under the treaty of 
1848 the title to these lands was undisturbed, except 
that the United States government thought best to 
cut them down to eleven square leagues each, as 
enough to content republican owners. I shall have 
occasion to refer again to them in this history. On 
the Vigil and St Vrain grant James Bonney in 1842 
founded the town of La Junta. 

In 1841 the first immigrant wagon bound to the 
Pacific coast passed up the Platte valley, and taking 
the North fork, crossed the Rocky mountains into 
Oregon by the South pass ; and soon it became the 
usual route instead of that by the Arkansas valley, 
being safer from Indian depredations. But whatever 
route was taken, no settlers came in these days from 
the United States to make their homes in the Rocky 
mountains ; and even the hunters and trappers, whose 

mines in ' upper Louisiana ' by authority of the Baron de Carandolet, sur- 
veyor-general of Louisiana in 1796. This was James Ceran St Vrain, and 
the mines were in Tennessee. 


numbers had once been that of a respectable army, 
were being killed off by the Coinanches or absorbed 
by the half civilization of the Mexican border. 

The first government expedition since Long's was 
set on foot in 1842 under Fremont, but did not more 
than touch Colorado this year. Returning in 1843-4, 
some explorations were made of this portion of 
United States territory. The only persons encoun- 
tered in the Rocky mountains by Fremont 19 at this 
time were the few remaining traders arid their former 
employes, now their colonists, who lived with their 
Mexican and Indian wives and half-breed children in 
a primitive manner of life, usually under the protec- 
tion of some defensive structure called a fort. 20 

The first American families in Colorado were a 
part of the Mormon battalion of 1846, who, with 

19 Enough has been said about Fremont's expeditions elsewhere. He made 
no important discoveries in Colorado, those which he did make being noted 
under other heads. His expedition was very completely furnished. He left 
the Platte with a part of his command after reaching Fort Laramie, and fol- 
lowing the South fork, caine in sight of Long's peak July 8, 1842. He con- 
tinued up the valley as far as St Vrain's fort, 17 miles east of that mountain, 
where he remained for three days only, returning on the 12th to rejoin his 
company. In 1843 he took a different route to the mountains, via the valley 
of the Kansas river and Republican fork, crossing thence to the Smoty Hill 
fork, and proceeding almost directly west to Fort St Vrain by the well-worn 
trails of the fur companies. From St Vrain, where he arrived July 4th, he 
continued up the Platte, seeing Pike's peak covered with new-fallen snow on 
the morning of the 10th. Crossing the divide between the Platte and Ar- 
kansas, he arrived on the 17th at Fontaine-qui-Bouille, or Soda Springs, 
near the eastern base of the peak, the same which Long had named after 
Capt. Bell. On the 19th he left this spot, and descending the river to the 
eastern fork, which was hastily surveyed, the party returned to Fort St 
Vrain, whence they proceeded north to Fort Laramie. Fremont mentions 
the fort called El Pueblo, and explains that the inhabitants were, at that 
time at least, a number of mountaineers, principally Americans, who had 
married Mexican women, and occupied themselves in farming and carrying 
on a desultory trade with the Indians. In 1844 he returned by a course 
which took him through the north-west corner of the state, through North 
park, which he called New park, through the South park, and to the Ar- 
kansas river, by which route he reached St Louis in the autumn. Explor. 
Exped., 116. His 3d and last expedition in 1848 was a disastrous one, in 
which he lost most of his men, animals, and stores in an attempt to cross the 
mountains to Grand river in the dead of winter. 

20 Captain Gunnison in 1853 noticed a small settlement in the Culebra 
valley, and on the banks of the Costilla, where he found a little farming, 
wheat, corn, beans, and watermelons being among the productions. Six 
Mexican families were settled on the Greenhorn river, and at Sangre de 
Cristo pass an American named Williams was herding some stock. Bechwitk 
in Pac. M. . Kept, ii. ch. iii 


their wives and children, resided at Pueblo from Sep- 
tember to the spring and summer of the following 
year, when they joined the Mormon migration to Salt 
Lake. A number of persons later living in Utah 
were born at Pueblo in 1846-7. 21 

A number of houses " were erected by them for 

21 See Hist. Cal. and Hist. Utah, this series. From Tyler's Mormon Bat- 
talion, 126, JI take the following names of persons who were quartered at 
Pueblo during this period: Gilbert Hunt, Dimick B. Huntingtou, Montgom- 
ery Button, John Tippets, Milton Kelley, Nicholas Kelley, Norman Sharp, 
James Brown, Harley Morey, Thomas Woolsey, S. C. Shelton, Joseph W. 
Richards, James T. S. Allred, Reuben W. Allred, Marvin S. Blanchard, 
James W. Calkins, David Garner, James H. Glines, Schuyler Hulett, Elijah 
E. Holden, Charles A. Jackson, Barnabas Lake, Melcher Oyler, Caratat C. 
Roe, John Sessions, John P. Wriston, Elam Ludington, John D. Chase, 
Franklin Allen, Erastus Bingham, William Bird, Philip Garner ; Harmon D. 
Persons, Lynian Stephens, Dexter Stillman, William Walker, Charles 
Wright, Orson B. Adams, Alexander Brown, Jesse J. Brown, William E. 
Beckstead, William H. Carpenter, Isaac Carpenter, John Calvert, Francillo 
Durphy, Samuel Gould, John C. Gould, Jarvis Johnson, Thurston Larson, 
Jabez Nowlan, Judson A. Persons, Richard Smith, Milton Smith, Andrew 
J. Shupe, James Shupe, Joel J. Terrill, Solomon Tindall, David Wilkin, Da- 
vid Perkins, John Perkins, Thomas S. Williams, Arnold Stephens, Joshua 
Abbott, Jonathan Averett, William Costo, Abner Chase, James Davis, Ralph 
Douglas, William B. Gifford, James Hirous, Lorin E. Kenney, Lisbon Lamb, 
David S. Laughlin, Peter J. Meeseck, James Oakley, William Rowe, John 
Steel, Abel M. Sargent, William Gribble, Benjamin Roberts, Henry W. 
Sanderson, Albert Sharp, Clark Stillman, John G. Smith, Myron Tanner, 
Almon Whiting, Edmund Whiting, Ebenezer Hanks, Samuel Clark, George 
Cummings, Luther W. Glazier, J. W. Hess, Charles Hopkins, Thomas Kar- 
ren, David Miller, William A. Park, Jonathan Pugmire, Jr, Roswell Steph- 
ens, Bailey Jacobs. These were detached and sent to Pueblo on account of 
sickness; first detachment from the crossing of the Arkansas, and a second 
one from Santa Fe. Those who had families were ordered to send them to 
Pueblo, except such as were retained for laundresses; bnt as their names are 
given but once, and that before the division, it is impossible to give the num- 
ber of women who wintered in Colorado. There were 34 married women 
with the battalion, with children of all ages, to the number of 60 or 70. 
There were also several men, not enlisted, with the families, as John Bosco, 
David Black, James P. Brown, and others. Milton Kelley, Joseph W. 
Richards, John Perkins, Norman Sharp, Arnold Stephens, M. S. Blanchard, 
Milton Smith, Scott, and Abner Chase, died in Pueblo, or on the road to 
thatplace. The first white American born in Colorado was Malinda Cather- 
ine Kelley, daughter of Milton and Malinda Kelley, in Nov., soon after the 
death of her father, whose first child she was. Subsequently Mrs Fanny M. 
Huntingdon, wife of Captain Dimick B. Huntington, gave birth to a child, 
which died in a few hours. Eunice, wife of James P. Brown, bore a son, 
John; Mrs Norman Sharp a daughter; Albina, wife of Thomas S. Williams, 
a daughter, Phebe. A child of Capt. Jefferson Hunt, by his wife, Celia, 
died and was buried at Pueblo, and probably others, whose names have been 
forgotten; but from this record it is easy to imagine the remainder of a sad 
story of privation, death, and burial in a savage land, and children born to 

23 See Stone's Gen. View, MS. ; Byers* Hist. Colo, MS. The detachment 
sent from Santa Fe built 18 rooms 14 feet square, of timbers cut in the 
woods. Tyler s Hist. Mormon Battalion, 171. The first detachment may have 
built others. 


winter quarters, and here were born, married," and 
buried a number of their people. Driven out of 
Illinois at the point of the bayonet, seeking homes on 
the western side of the continent, they had accepted 
service under the government, which had failed to 
protect them in their direst need, for the sake of being 
provisioned and having their families transported 
across the continent. Of their strange history the 
winter in Pueblo was but an incident. 2 * Another 
portion of General Kearny's army, under Colonel 
Price and Major Emory, travelled up the Arkansas 
as far as Bent's fort, where it turned off to Santa 
Fe by the Raton pass. This force consisted of 1,658 
men, including Doniphan's 1st regiment of Missouri 
mounted volunteers. 

Meanwhile there were no real military establish- 
ments in the whole region west and north-west of Fort 
Leaven worth ; although, to protect the Oregon immi- 
gration, a chain of posts across the continent had been 
much talked of in congress ; and it had been announced 
that Fremont's explorations were ordered with the 
design of establishing a permanent overland route, 
and selecting the sites for the posts which were to 
guard and render it safe. I have shown in my history 
of Oregon that this was not actually done before 1849, 
the intervention of the war with Mexico diverting 
the army to that quarter. But measures were taken 
early in March 1847 to select locations for two United 
States forts between the Missouri and the Rocky 
mountains, the sites selected being those now occupied 
by Kearney City and Fort Laramine, the latter being 

23 Almira, daughter of Capt. Nelson Higgins, was married to John Chase 
at Pueblo. 

24 1 have noticed some erroneous statements concerning the Mormon bat- 
talion in my Colorado manuscripts. It was commanded in the first place 
by a regular officer, Col James Allen, 1st dragoons, though it was an in- 
fantry force. He died soon after the battalion left Leavenworth, and the 
command was taken by Lieut A. J. Smith, who reported to Col Doniphan at 
Santa Fe, the whole being under the command of Gen. Kearny. From 
Santa Fe to Los Angeles Col P. St George Cook commanded the battalion. 
See Hist. Cal and Hist. Utah, this series. 


purchased from the American Fur company. 26 The 
work of constructing and garrisoning these forts pro- 
gressed slowly/ 6 and it was not until some months 
after the close of the Mexican war that troops were 
stationed at them, although in 1847-8 there was a con- 
siderable force kept moving on the plains. In 1 850 Fort 
Massachusetts was erected on Ute creek, at the west 
base of the main chain of the Rocky mountains, near 
Sangre de Cristo pass ; the site being chosen the 
better to intercept the raiding bands of Utes, and was 
occupied, although the situation proved unhealthful, 
until 1857, when the present Fort Garland was sub- 
stituted. 27 

In 1853 congress passed an act authorizing a sur- 
vey of railroad routes from the Mississippi river to 
the Pacific ocean, that between the 38th and 39th 
parallels being entrusted to Captain J. W. Gunnison, 
of the Topographical engineers. Captain Gunnison 
began his survey at the mouth of the Kansas river, 
proceeded westward to Bent's fort, up the Arkansas 
to the Apishapa and Huerfano affluents, through 
Sangre de Cristo pass into San Luis park, the 
Saguache valley, and Cochetopa pass, down the Gun- 
nison branch of the Colorado to its junction with 
Grand river, thence westward across the Wasatch 
range, in Utah, as far as the valley of Sevier lake 
and river, where he, with several of his party, was 
murdered October 26th 88 by Pah Utes. Gunnison's 

25 Fort Laramie was sometimes called Fort John. Byrse in his Hist. Colo, 
MS,, 66, says it was St John, and that the government changed its name to 
Laramie. But it was known to travellers as Laramie a number of years be- 
fore the purchase; and in JBonnevilles Adventures it is called Fort William, 
probably after William Sublette, who built it in 1834, in conjunction with 
Robert Campbell. They sold it the following year to Milton Sublette and 
James Bridger, who went into partnership with the American Fur Company. 
There is a more complete account of Fort Laramie in my History of Wyoming, 
this vol. Hastings, in his Or. and CaL, 136, mentions Ft John as being one 
mile south of Fort Laramie. 

26 Kept of W. L. Marcy, sec. -war, in NileJ Reg., Dec. 13, 1848. 

27 Fort Garland is located in latitude 27 35' north; longitude 27 20' west; 
with an altitude of 7,805 feet. The reservation comprises 4 square miles, 
and lies between Sangre de Cristo and Ute creeks in San Luis park. Surgeon- 
gen, Circ., 1870-4, 257; Beckwith, in Pac R. R. Kept, ii. 38. 

28 Gunnison had an escort of a dozen mounted riflemen, Co. A, under 
Capt. Morris. On the morning of Oct. 25th Gunnison, with F. Creutzfeldt 


survey of the mountain passes of Colorado rendered 
it conclusive that there was no route equal to that 
travelled by the immigration through the great 
depression about the 42d parallel;' 9 although the 
apprehension of obstruction from snow in this lati- 
tude continued to govern the views of those in 
authority, and in spite of the survey of the Northern 
Pacific railroad line, until the civil war forced the 
abandonment of the more southern routes. 

botanist, R. H. Kern topographer, William Potter guide, John Bellows, and 
a corporal and 6 men, left camp to explore the vicinity of Sevier lake. On 
the next morning, most of the party being at breakfast, the Indians fired 
upon them from a thicket, and stampeding the horses, prevented their es- 
cape. Only 4 out of the 12 survived the attack. The corporal, who was 
able to mount, gave the first information to Capt. Morris, and the escort ar- 
rived on the scene of the massacre that evening too late to collect the re- 
mains of the murdered, which had been mangled by the savages, though not 
scalped, and torn and almost devoured by wolves during the night. Beck- 
with in Pac R. R. Rept, ii. 73-4; Olympia Wash. Pioneer, Jan. 21, 1854. See 
Hist. Utah, this series. 

29 See Hist. Northwest Coast, this series. The other government expedi- 
tions which have surveyed Colorado have been those military reconnoissances 
connected with railroads and mail routes. In 1854 Steptoe, on his way to 
Oregon with 300 troops, surveyed the country from New Mexico to Salt 
Lake City, and expended $25,000 in improving the route from that place to 
the southern California coast by the way of the Rio Virgen and Muddy 
river and the Cajon pass. U. S. Ex. Doc., 34th cong. 1st sess., i. pt2, 504-7. 
The overland mail was carried over this route for several years, or until the 
war with the south compelled the adoption of the central route. In 1857 the 
government sent out an expedition under William M. Magraw to locate a 
wagon-road through the South pass. It was accompanied by a corps of sci- 
entific men, who made collections of the plants, minerals, and animals of the 
country. Smithsonian Rept, 1858, 50. Congress had at different times made 
appropriations for the exploration of the Rocky mts in the interest of science, 
and especially of geology. An expedition to the lower Yellowstone, under 
the command of G. K. Warren, of the U. S. Eng. corps, as early as 1856, 
was the first to become interested in the marvellous reports of the Yellow- 
stone country through the medium of the fur-traders. James Bridger offered 
to guide the command to the head of the river, but the undertaking was not 
entered upon at that time. Warren had planned an expedition to Yellow- 
stone lake for the years of 1859-60, but was superseded in command by Col 
Reynolds of his corps. Prof. F. V. Hayden was connected with the expedi- 
tion of 1856, and had charge of the geological department in 1859-60; but 
Reynolds failed to make the passage of the Wind River mts, from which side 
he made his approach. At the same time a small party under Cook and 
Folsom, by approaching by the valley of the Yellowstone, crossed the divide 
into the geyser basin of the Madison river, but not until after W. W. De 
Lacy, as I have shown in my History of Montana, had penetrated to that spot 
from the head of Snake river, in 1863. In 1870 the sur.-gen. of Montana, 
Henry D Washburne, with a party of settlers reached the upper geyser 
basin, at the head of the Yellowstone, and N. P. Langford, one of the party, 
published an account of the discoveries made by the expedition in the May 
and June numbers of Scribner's Magazine for 1871. An army officer who 
accompanied the excursion in command of a small escort Lieut G. C. Doane, 
2d cav. made an official report to Gen. Hancock, who forwarded it to the 


sec of war, Belknap. These revelations of the wonders of the Rocky mts 
greatly stimulated research. Under the direction of the sec. of the int., 
Delano, the geological survey was resumed in 1871 in the mountain regions, 
Prof. Hayden being in charge. He proceeded from Odgen to Fort Hall, and 
thence to Fort Ellis, Montana, where he obtained an escort and made the 
long-contemplated visit to the geyser basin, of which there is a description 
in his report for 1871,, being the 5th of the series. In the following year 
Hayden, with his photographer, W. H. Jackson, made a tour through a part 
of Colorado, and in his report for 1872 gave a brief general sketch of the 
scenery and the geological features, with analyses of the mineral springs; 
but his explorations were confined principally to the country north of the 
41st parallel. In 1873 and 1874 the survey of Colorado was prosecuted with 
zeal. The headquarters of the company was at Denver, but it was separated 
into 7 divisions to prosecute specifically the work of the topographical, geo- 
logical, botanical, zoological, archaeological, paleontological, and photo- 
graphical branches of the service, which in all respects was of great value to 
the country and to science at large. Hayden's report for 1874 contains, 
besides the strictly scientific history of the state, many interesting observ- 
ations on the conditions of the country and its development at this date. All 
of his reports are written in a popular style, which enables the least studious 
reader to find some churm in them. Daly's Address Am. Geoy. Soc., 1873, 
9-12, 55-6. In 1880 Hayden piiblished a volume of general and scientific 
information concerning the intramontane states and territories which he called 
The Great West, containing over 500 pages, and made up of selected matter 
from other sources, with some descriptive matter from his own, in which 75 
pages are devoted to Colorado. In 1873 an expedition was thrown into the 
field by the war department, under the general charge of Lieut George M. 
Wheeler, the primary object being to discover the most available routes for 
the transport of troops and wagons between interior posts, and incidentally to 
conduct researches in geology, zoology, botany, archaeology, and other 
special branches of science. The expedition was in the field three years, and 
a part of it in Colorado most of the time. The force for 1875 was divided 
into two sections, one under the immediate direction of Wheeler, to start 
from Los Angeles for the survey of southern Cal. and Arizona, and another 
under Lieut William L. Marshall, to start from Pueblo for the survey of the 
southern part of Colo, and New Mex. I have referred in my Histo>-y of 
Nevcula to Wheeler's work in that state. Marshall's route from Pueblo 
meandered the sage plains east of the mountains, rounded the base of Pike's 
peak, through the Sangre de Cristo pass to Conejos, on the Cone j as branch 
of the Rio Grande del Norte, where the real work of the expedition for Colo, 
began. The topography of the whole country west of the 100th meridian 
and between the parallels was secured by triangulation, and a series of maps 
made which omitted 110 faintest trail or smallest stream. Wheeler's publi- 
cations consist of reports, maps, and photographs, and are of great geogra- 
phical value. In 1867 the government ordered the geological survey of the 
40th parallel, and the explorations were placed in charge of Clarence King, 
a man of many attainments, to whose work and that of his party I have re- 
ferred in my History of Nevada. A large octavo volume published in 1870 
at Washington on mining industry contains chapters on gold and silver min- 
ing in Colorado, by James D. Hague, with general and particular histories 
of the most noted mines and mineral districts, with illustrations, the whole 
being of much interest and value. 




UP to 1853 Colorado's scant population still lived 
in or near some defensive establishment, and had been 
decreasing rather than increasing for the past decade, 
owing to the hostility of the Indians. 1 The great 
wave of population which rolled westward after the 
gold discoveries in California had its effect on this 
intermediate territory. Traditions of gold nuggets 
carried in shot-pouches of mountaineers are of early 
date, a Frenchman named Duchet 2 being one of the 
careless finders of the royal metal, " away back in 
the thirties." These stories were wafted abroad, and 
piqued the curiosity of the California bound pilgrims, 
who prospected, as opportunity offered; anywhere 
along the branches of the Platte river. 3 A party of 
Cherokees being en route to California, looking not 
only for gold, but for a new country in which to 
locate their people who had been invited to sell their 

1 Fremont, in his Explor, Exped., 1843-4, mentions the taking of Roubi- 
deau's fort, on the Uintah branch of Green river, in northwestern Utah, 
by the Utes, soon after he passed it in 1814. The men were all killed and 
the women carried into captivity. Bent's fort was also captured subse- 
quently, and the inmates slaughtered. The absence of the owners alone pre- 
vented their sharing the fate of their employes. 

2 Holfoter's Mines of Colorado, 6; Stuart's Montana, 68-9. 
* Colorado Rein, in San Juan, MS., 1. 



lands in Georgia, taking the Arkansas valley route, 
and the trail by the Squirrel creek divide to the head 
of Cherry creek, made the discovery that gold 
existed in the streams of this region. The party 
continued on to California, and returned in time to 
Georgia, where they attempted to organize an expe- 
dition for the Rocky mountains. The news came to 
the ears of W. Green Russell, a miner of Dahlonega, 
Georgia, who also projected an expedition to this 


In the meantime a Cherokee cattle trader from 
Missouri, named Parks, in driving his herds along 
the trail, and having had his eyes sharpened by the 
report of the previous company of his people, dis- 
covered gold in 1852, on Ralston creek, a small afflu- 
ent of Vasquez, or Clear creek.* A column of troops 
marching through the country a few years later made 
a similar discovery, on Cherry creek, on the south- 
west corner of the present state of Colorado; and in 
1857 other troops made the same report concerning 
Cherry creek in the Platte region. 5 Still, but little 
gold was found, and no excitement followed at that 

Early in the spring of 1858 the Cherokees organ- 
ized for a prospecting expedition to the vicinity of 
Pike's peak. W. Green Russell joined their company 
"with a party of white men. Some difficulties occur- 
ring in passing through the country of the Osages, 
part of the Cherokees turned back. The expedition, 
as finally organized for the plains, consisted of twelve 
white persons and thirty Indians, among whom were 
George Hicks, Sen., 6 leader of the company, George 
Hicks, Jr, John Beck, who had organized the expedi- 
tion, Ezekiel Beck, Pelican Tigre, and others. The 

Colo, as an Agricultural State, 21-22; King's Geol. Explor., iii. 

5 Richardson's Hist. Gunnison County, MS., 4; Gilpins A Pioneer of 1842, 
MS.. 3; Corbett's Legis. Manual, 36; Hay den's Great West, 99-100; Harpers 
Mag., xli. 373-4. 

6 Hicks was a lawyer by prof ession, had served on the bench as judge, and 
was a notable man among the Cherokees. 


white persons were George McDougal, brother of 
Governor McDougal of California, who had a trading 
post on Adobe creek, a Mr Kirk, wife and two chil- 
dren, Levi Braumbaugh, Philander Simmons, a moun- 
taineer of a dozen years' experience, arid Messrs 
Brown, Kelly, Johns, Taylor, and Tubbs. Kelly had 
a Cherokee wife, who with her sister accompanied 
him. The company left the Missouri frontier May 
12th, and arrived at Bent's new fort in good season; 
but the winter had been severe and the spring late, 7 
which made travelling difficult. Nor were their 
labors rewarded that season, though they prospected 
from the head of the Arkansas to the Platte, and 
thirty miles to the north ; and only "Russell remained, 
with half a dozen men, who ultimately found diggings 
where they took out fair wages, on a dry creek put- 
ting into the Platte seven miles south of the mouth 
of Cherry creek. 

The fame of the Cherokee expedition spread through 
the Missouri riyer towns, and soon other companies 
were on the road to the mountains, without waiting 
for confirmation of the rumored discoveries. A com- 
pany left Lawrence, Kansas, soon after the passage of 
the Hicks and Russell parties, consisting of fifty men, 
two of whom, Holmes and Middleton, had families, 
and went by the Arkansas valley route to the foot- , 
hills of the Front range. At Pueblo they found a! 
few Mexicans, and at Fountain City a mixed settle-' 
ment of Americans and Mexicans, presided over by 
George McDougal. The company prospected south- 
ward as far as the Sangre de Cristo pass, some cross- 
ing the mountains to Fort Massachusetts for supplies, 
lie turning northward along the base of the mountains, 
they remained two or three months in the Garden of 
the Gods at the foot of Pike's peak, which a party, 
including Mrs Holmes, ascended, this woman, being 

7 Simmons relates that in the Squirrel creek pineries they found the de- 
serted camp of Capt. Marcy, who, on his way to join Jonnson's army, lost 
several men and a large number of sheep by the cold and snow encountered 
here. Arkansas Vol. Hist., 548. 


the pioneer of her sex upon this lofty summit. Their 
camp at this place was called by them Red rocks. 

While in this vicinity, the Lawrence company laid 
out a town at the site of Colorado springs, which they 
called El Paso, from its location at the mouth of the 
Ute pass of the mountains, Some of the company 
took land claims along the Fontaine-qui-Bouille river, 
above El Paso town site, covering portions of the 
site where Colorado City now stands. But as no one 
came to purchase lots, and as no gold had been found 
in the vicinity, El Paso town company became rest- 
less, and moved northward to the Platte, a number 
of them encamping five miles above the present city 
of Denver, where they again laid out a town, putting 
up eighteen or twenty cabins, and calling it Montana. 8 
Here the company finally disbanded. Part of them 
again engaged in a real estate venture, laying out tLe 
town of St Charles, the site of which embraced 1,280 
acres of the ground now occupied by Denver, pos- 
session of which was subsequently acquired by the 
Denver people.' The greater portion of the Law- 
rence company returned to Kansas, some in the 
autumn and others in the following spring. A few 
wintered at Pueblo, 1 * and while there were joined by 
other companies ll from the Missouri border. 

8 There was also a place called The Eleven Cabins, 14 miles below Denver, 
on the Platte, but of its history I learn nothing, except the name of the 
builder, John Rothrack, of Pa. 

*The would-have-been founders of St Charles were Frank M. Cobb, Ad- 
nah French, William Smith, and William Hartley. Cobb returned later in 
the autumn to Kansas, leaving Charles Nichols in charge of the new town. 
On his reappearance on Cherry creek in 1859, he found the Denver company 
in possession. Cobb mined for three years, and was sutler from 1861 to 1865 
to the army in the south, after which he went to Worcester, Mass., where he 
was engaged in business until 1869, when he embarked in cattle raising and 
mining in the Gunnison country. He was born at Minot, Maine. 

u Among those who returned to Pueblo to winter were George Peck, Mid- 
dleton, wife and child, and one McClellan. They returned to the states in 
the spring, and to Colorado in the autumn of 1859. Peck, with a brother, 
went to farming on the Goodnight rancho, where he remained till 1865, at 
which time he engaged in mercantile business in the east. In 1872 he re- 
turned once more to Colorado, settling at Las Animas, where he again en- 
gaged in farming and cattle raising. In 1880 he was elected probate judge 
for Bent county. He married Mary E. Rice in 1871. Arkansas Val Hist., 

11 Few of the names of the Lawrence party have been preserved. John 
T. Younker was one of those who remained. He was a native of Ohio, born 


Meanwhile several other parties had set out from 
various points along the Missouri, arriving at Cherry 
creek in the autumn, by the route up the Platte. 
Foremost among these was a little company from 
Mills county, Iowa, consisting of D. C. Oakes, 12 H. 
J. Graham, George Pancoast, Abram Walrod, 13 and 
Charles Miles. They arrived on the 10th of Octo- 
ber on the site of Denver, and after paying a visit to 
W. Green Russell at Placer camp, pitched their tents 
at this place. 

Two weeks later a company of fifteen men arrived 
on Cherry creek, encamping on the west side of the 
stream. Among them was Henry Allen from Coun- 
cil Bluffs, Iowa, a practical surveyor, whose talent 
and instruments were soon called into the service of 
town companies. Small parties continued to arrive 
every few days, encamping for the most part on the 
west side of Cherry creek, which suggested, of course, 
a town ; and Auraria was duly organized in the latter 
part of October, with Allen as president of the com- 
pany. The town plat was surveyed by him, assisted 
by William Foster. The first building erected was 
by Anselm H. Barker. 14 To add to the population, 

Aug. 28, 1833, and bred a farmer. From farm life he went to school teach- 
ing, and next to telegraphy. He emigrated to Kansas just in time to be- 
come involved in the troubles there, joining the free state men, and fighting 
' border ruffians.' After the failure of the Lawrence company to find gold, 
he took a land claim on the Platte, five miles from Denver, where he resided 
until 1879, when he removed to the city. In 1867 he married Annie R. 

12 D. C. Oakes was born at Carthage, Maine, April 3, 1825. At the age 
of six yeare he removed with his parents to Gillion, Ohio, four years later to 
Ind., and the following year to Iowa. In 1849, his parents having died, 
young Oakes accompanied Abram Walrod to Cal., and mined on American 
river in partnership with A. R. Colton. Returning home after a few years 
of life in the mines, he married, and settled at Glenwood, Iowa, as a con- 
tractor and builder, remaining there until 1858, when he started for Pike's 
Peak. From this time his life is a part of the history of Colorado. Denver 
Hist., 538. 

13 Abraham Walrod was born in N. Y., Jan. 22, 1825, bred a farmer, and 
educated at the common schools. In 1843 he removed to Iowa, and in 1849 
accompanied D. C. Oakes to Cal., working in the mines for two years. On 
returning to Iowa he settled at Glenwood, whence he came to Colo in 1858, 
and engaged in mining. In 1852 he married Emily A. Cramblet of 111. His 
daughter Mary was the first white girl born in Denver. Denver Hist., 644-5. 

14 Barker was a native of Ohio, born in Gallia county, Nov. 23, 1822, and 
bred a farmer and blacksmith, He married Aug. 7, 1843, and removed to 


the settlers at Montana were persuaded to move their 
cabins to Auraria 15 and become incorporated with the 
prospective city, 16 every settler being allowed as many 
lots as he would build upon. 

Iowa soon after. In 1857 he again removed to the new town of Plattsmouth 
in Neb., whence he came to Colorado, where he remained and worked at his 
trade. Among his discoveries was the Total Eclipse mine at Leadville. He 
was sergeant-at-arms of the constitutional convention of 1876. 

10 Auraria was named after a town in Lumpkin county, Georgia, by some 
persons from that mining region. Some authorities state that it was named 
after some person, for which assertion I find no ground. There were many 
miners from Georgia who would wish to compliment their former residence 
or preserve their home memories in this way. I quote Byers' Hist. Colo., MS., 
17; Sopris' Settlement of Denver, MS., 1. In Hollister's Mines of Colorado, 
10, it is said that J. L. Russell of Auraria, Geogia, named the place. 

16 Richard Sopris, one of the Auraria town company, was born in Bucks 
co., Pa., June 26, 1813. He was bred a farmer, and learned the trade of a 
carpenter. On the 5th of June, 1837 he married Elizabeth Allen, of Trenton, 
N. J., and removed to Ind., changing his residence frequently, as he took 
canal and railroad contracts in various parts of the state. He arrived at 
Cherry creek Feb. 1, 1859, in company with Parks. He took an active part 
in public affairs in Colorado; was a capt. in the first Colo inf. ; first president 
of the Colorado Agricultural society; for two years sheriff of Arapahoe 
county, 1864r-6; assisted in building the railroads of the state; and has been 
mayor of Denver, and president of the Pioneer association. I found him in- 
telligent and reliable authority on Colorado affairs, and his contribution of 
The Settkment of Z>ercwr,MS., very important. His family consisted in 1884 
of five sons and three daughters. 

Andrew J. Williams was a native of N. Y., born Nov. 22, 1833. When 
the Pike's peak gold fever broke out he left for the mountains in the autumn 
of 1858, in company with Charles H. Blake after whom Blake street, 
Denver, was named having four wagons drawn by four yokes of oxen each, 
carrying merchandise. They arrived Nov. 1st with the first stock of goods, 
and erected the first store in Auraria, or West Denver. In Dec. they joined 
the Denver town company, and helped to survey the ground, removing to 
the east side of the creek in the spring of 1859, where they erected the first 
hotel, a log house, 110 by 32 feet, and roofed with canvas, situated on Blake 
street near 15th street. It was burned in 1863. In 1859 Williams engaged 

:ico, which he fol- 

in freighting and contracting in Colorado and New Mexico, 
lowed until 1865. He also bought large herds of cattle whi 
Colorado from Texas, making good profits. He became one of the incorpo- 

lowed until 1865. He also bought large herds of cattle which he drove to 

~ " ofits. 

rators and directors of the Exchange bank in 1876, and president in 1878. 

Judson H. Dudley, born in N. Y., April 8, 1834, in 1857 went to Neb., 
and from there to Pike's peak, where he arrived October 20, 1858, and assisted 
in organizing the town company of Auraria, of which he was vice-president. 
Subsequently he joined the Denver company. On the breaking out of the 
war he was appointed quartermaster with the rank of major. He was owner 
of the Moose mine, and manager of the reduction works at Dudley for five years. 

William Cole, a native of N. Y., was born Feb. 16, 1836, and educated at 
a common school. After a brief experience as a salesman in a mercantile es- 
tablishment, he travelled through several of the western states, and being 
caught by the current setting toward the new gold region, found himself on 
the 20th of October, 1858, at Cherry creek, and when Auraria was being or- 
ganized joined the town company. Then he went to Missouri to purchase 
beef and stock cattle, and soon after obtained contracts for furnishing the 
government posts. In 1865 he engaged in stock raising on a large scale. 
With Williams & Co. he built 40 miles of the Kansas Pacific railroad. 


Some time during the winter there arrived at 
Auraria a party from Leavenworth, which had come 
by the Arkansas route. It consisted of Kichard E. 
Whitsitt, 17 George William Larimer, William Lari- 
mer, Jr, Charles A. Lawrence, Folsom Dorsett, M. 
M. Jewett, E. W. Wynkoop, Hickory Rogers, and 
H. A. P. Smith, the last three having been picked up 
at Pueblo by the Leavenworth party. Immediately 
on viewing the situation of Auraria, and the relation 
of Cherry creek to all the routes of travel, these new- 
comers jumped the town site of St Charles on the 
opposite or east side of the creek, and organized a 
company to build a town, which was to be called Den- 
ver, after the governor of Kansas. A number of the 
Auraria company joined the Denver company, and 

John D. Rowland, another of the Auraria company, was a native of 
Zanesville, Ohio, born May 7, 1843, and educated at Marietta college. In 
1857 he took up his residence among the Sioux, in order to paint mountain 
scenery. He enlisted in the 1st Colo Cavalry, serving four years, and then 
went to Europe. On returning from abroad he made his home in Colorado, 
acting as secretary of the peace commission to the northern Sioux in 1867, 
and serving as a government scout for a number of years. After this he 
gave himself up to his art, having his studio in Denver. 

George C. Schleier, a native of Baden, Germany, who immigrated to the 
U. S. in 1833 at the age of six years, was one of a party of 30 which left 
Leavenworth in Sept. 1858, arriving at Auraria Dec. 1st, where they win- 
tered. In Schleier, Teutonic phlegm and American enterprise were happily 
united, making him a typical pioneer. He acquired a fortune by these 
qualities, and became an influential citizen of his adopted state. D. C. 
Collier, Frank D orris, George Le Baum, and Cyrus Smith were members of 
this Leavenworth company, which travelled the Arkansas route. 

Matthew L. McCaslin, a native of Pa, wintered at Auraria in 1858-9. 
He went to Gold hill the following summer, where he mined for four years, 
after which he settled on a land claim on St Vrain creek, where he secured 
750 acres of land. He is a wealthy cattle owner. 

William R. Blore, of English ard German parentage, was born in N. Y., 
July 27, 1833, and removed to Pa in childhood. In 1856 he went to Neb., 
and thence to Colorado, being one of the Auraria town company. After 
putting up some buildings he went to Gold run, and in company with Mc- 
Caslin and Horsfal, discovered the famous Horsfal lode at Gold hill. He 
became president of the Gold Hill Mining co. in 1860, and realized a fortune. 

George R. Williamson was another pioneer of 1858. He was born July 
14, 1824, removed to Nebraska, and was elected sheriff of Decatur county in 
1856. Thence he went to the Pike's peak country. In 1861-2 in company 
with H. C. Norton he built the Bear canon toll road. In 1875 he discovered 
and located the Yellow Pine mine, and the Nucleus, Gray Copper, and Duroc 
lodes, in Sugar Loaf district. They yielded him over half a million dollars. 

17 Whitsitt was a native of Ohio, born March 30, 1830. He was bred to 
mercantile pursuits, and removed to Kansas on the organization of that ter- 
ritory, settling at Leavenworth, where he operated in real estate. This prob- 
ably suggested to him the course he took in Colorado. Denver Hist., 631. 
HIST. NKV. 24 


when the founder of St Charles returned from a visit 
to Kansas in the spring he was compelled to take 
shares in the new company or lose all, his agent hav- 
ing already been overpowered. The first secretary of 
the company was P. T. Basset. He was followed by 
Whitsitt, who was secretary, treasurer, and donating 
agent until a grant was obtained from the govern- 
ment, all the deeds passing through his hands. The 
town was surveyed by E. D. Boyd, Larimer and A. 
J. Williams -carrying the chain. It was this survey- 
ing which was assumed to give the new company the 
superior right. Larimer built the first house 18 after 
a stockade occupied by William McGaa. 19 It was 
a log cabin 16 by 20 feet, with a ground floor, 2 ' 
and probably a turf roof. It stood near the corner 
of Larimer and Fifteenth streets. The second 
house was erected by Moin and Rice, carpenters and 
wagon-makers, on Fifteenth street, opposite Larimer, 
which goes to show that this part of town became 
the business centre. 

The first trader in Denver was John Smith, who 
was acting as agent for Elbridge Gerry, one of the 
brothers before mentioned as a wealthy fur-trader. 
When Blake and Williams opened their stock of 
goods, Gerry hastened from Fort Laramie and took 
charge of the business. 21 A tin-shop was the third 

18 Sopris 1 Settlement of Denver, MS., 3. There is some doubt about the 
builder of the first house in Denver. Like so many first things, it has sev- 
eral claimants. David C. Collier, a native of Mina, N. Y., born Oct. 13, 
1832, a descendant of puritan ancestors, a student of Oberlin college, in 
Ohio, is one of those who built the first house on the east side of Cherry 
creek.' Clear Creek and Boulder County Hist., 444. Collier drove an ox-team 
from Leavenworth, and was the first lawyer who offered his professional ser- 
vices in Colorado. He erected several houses in Denver. He explored a con- 
siderable portion of Gilpin and Clear Creek counties, White and Uncom- 
pahgre rivers, and the head waters of the Del Norte and Arkansas rivers, 
and also the San Juan country. In 1862 he removed to Central city, and 
besides practising law, edited the Reyister. He was connected with the 
educational interests of Colorado as supt of the public school,'} for Gilpin 

19 Hollister's Mine of Colorado, 16. 

20 The first building having a wooden floor was at the store of Wallingf ord 
and Murphy, at the corner of Larimer and 17th street. Moore's Early Days 
in Denver, MS., 3. 

21 Denver Rocky Mountain Herald, Jan. 8, 1876. 


business place opened, kept by Kinna and Nye, who 
had brought a small stock of tin and sheet-iron to 
make into such articles as were required by miners. 
They began business in Auraria in November, but 
were soon induced to remove to Denver. The first 
stove in Colorado was made by them out of sheet- 
iron for Blake and Williams' public hall, known as 
Denver hall, for which they were paid $150. On 
Christmas 1858 a train of six large wagons belong- 
ing to Richard Wooten and brother arrived from New 
Mexico, loaded with provisions, and these goods being 
placed on sale, made the third trading establishment, 
and the last before immigration began in 1859. The 
next large stock of goods which arrived belonged to 
J. B. Doyle and Fred Z. Salomon, and came from 
' the States.' It consisted of twelve large wagon - 
loads of groceries, provisions, boots and shoes, and 
miners' tools. A warehouse was erected in Auraria, 
and an active rivalry in trade was carried on between 
the two towns, Denver soon after receiving almost as 
large a st6ck from New Mexico, belonging to St Yrain 
and St James, whose store was on Blake street, and 
was the largest in Denver at the time. It furnished 
women's and children's shoes, the first offered in Col- 

Women and children were not reckoned among the 
inhabitants of the Pike's peak mining region in 1858, 
although there were five of the former who saw the 
beginning of Denver. They were Mrs and Miss 
Rooker from Salt Lake ; Mrs H. Murat ;" Mrs 
Smoke, who afterward went to Montana ; and Mrs 
Wooten, a native of Mexico. To these were added 
in August 1859 Mrs W. N. Byers,Mrs Henry Allen, 
and two daughters. Before winter of that year there 
were many of all classes in Denver. The first child 

22 H. Murat, commonly called 'the count,' was a lineal descendant of 
Marshal Murat, king of Naples. The countess washed, and the count 
shaved men's beards occupations more useful than noble personages usually 
engage in. He later became an inmate of the Arapahoe county hospital 
Byers' Hist, Colo, MS,, 82, 


>rn in the town was a half-caste son of McGaa, 28 one 
>f the original town company, who voted to name it 
ifter his friend, the governor of Kansas, and to give 
him a share in the town site." 

The destiny of east Denver as against Auraria 
was settled in the autumn of 1859 by the arrival of 
two trains from Leavenworth, aggregating thirty 
wagons, loaded with merchandise, belonging to Jones 
and Cartwright, who opened stores on Blake 
street. " Now," said the Denver partisans, " no more 
Mexican trash for free Americans. No more one 
hundred per cent. The trade is ours, and Denver is 
saved." They made good their word, as it afterward 
proved all but the one hundred per cent. 25 

23 McGaa went by the name of Jack Jones among mountain men. It is 
said by Moore in his Early Days in Denver, MS. , 9, that he was the son of 
an Irish baronet, but Byers, in Hist. Colo, MS., 73, says he was an American. 
At all events he was an educated man, aud a good writer. He was a friend 
and guide of Gen. J. W. Denver, and a shrewd business man. But he fell 
into dissipated habits, and lost his standing. The town company hastened 
his final end by changing the name of McGaa street to Holladay street in 
honor of Ben Holladay. This insult broke his heart. At least, so says 
Moore, quoted above. McGaa died about 1866. 

24 Denver did not visit the place, or claim his lots in accordance with the 
terms of the grant, until 1882, when his share had been taken possession of, 
and divided among some of the other members of the company. He would 
not disturb titles, as the property had passed to innocent purchasers. 

25 1 find mention of a number of the pioneers of 1858 belonging to the set- 
tlement of Denver who have not been here recorded. William M. Slaughter, 
from Plattsmouth, Neb., later mayor of Central City, was one of the early 
arrivals. John J. Reithmann, born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1838, came 
to the U. S. at the age of 10 years, and was educated in the public schools of 
Indianapolis, where he was employed in the bank of the capital. In 1858 
the family removed to Council Bluffs, from which place he soon after emi- 
grated with his brother, L. D. Reithmann, to Colorado. They did not go to 
Cherry creek, but the latter wintered at a place known as Rough and Ready, 
2^ miles below the mouth of Cherry creek, on the Platte, while the former 
returned to Council Bluffs, carrying the first mail between Colorado and Iowa. 
In the spring of 1859 he recrossed the plains to Denver, where he engaged in 
manufacturing crackers; and in 1868 began selling drugs. He made a for- 
tune, and spent it freely in travel and the education of his children. He was 
president of the German bank later the German National bank of Denver, 
which position he resigned to go abroad. Louis D. Reithmann was also a 
Swiss, although not of the same family. Brought up in Ohio, he lived after- 
ward near Indianapolis, and removed to Council Bluffs in 1856, whence he 
came to Colorado in 1858. He mined until 1865, went to Salt Lake, and 
thence to Montana, where he opened a bakery in company with Frank Hogert, 
but three years afterward returned to Colorado and engaged in dairy farming, 
and later in the grocery trade in Denver. Henry Reitz, a German by birth, 
learned the trade of a baker in London, after which he came to the U S., 
working as a painter for a time. On arriving in Colorado, he sold his ox- 
team, and with the money, opened a bakery, making $3,500 in a few months, 


But I will not further anticipate. D. C. Oakes 
having obtained possession of a journal kept by W. 
Green Russell, who returned with him late in the 
autumn to the states, published the same with a way- 
bill, under the title of Pike's Peak Guide and Journal; 
and although it was printed in the little town of 
Pacific City in Mills county, Iowa, it was widely cir- 
culated with similar publications, causing a large emi- 
gration to set out for the mountains as soon as the 
grass began to start in the spring, and even before. 
On the white covers of thousands of wagons was 
inscribed " Pike's Peak," often with the addition of 
some jocose legend; 26 this conspicuous landmark, in 
the absence of an official name for this region, stand- 
ing for all the country from which this mountain was 

In April 1859 there were ten or twelve hundred 
persons encamped at Aurariaand Denver, the advance 
of that army stretching across the great plains from 
the Missouri river in different lines, but principally 
up the Platte valley. Among the first to arrive was 
D. C. Oakes, with a saw-mill, which he placed on 

after which he went to mining, and accumulated a comfortable fortune by 
that means, and by painting. Edmund A. Willoughby, son of Gen. Frank- 
lin Willoughby, was born in Groton, N. Y., Jan. 6, 1836, and removed in 
1857 to Omaha, Neb. In 1858 he joined a party for Pike's peak, which ar- 
rived Oct. 27th at Cherry creek, where he associated himself with M. A. 
Avery in contracting and building, erecting, among other structures, Denver 
hall, famous in early times. He manufactured the Willoughby brick. He 
was sheriff of Arapahoe county in 1873, and two years alderman of the 4th 
ward of Denver. Andrew Sagendorf was born in N. Y., Aug. 26, 1828, and 
bred a farmer. In 1856 he removed to Neb., and in 1858 he left Omaha for 
Pike's peak, and arrived at Cherry creek November 5th, remaining there over 
winter. In the spring he went prospecting, and with others discovered 
Spanish bar, where he mined until July. Returning to Auraria he was 
elected, secretary of the town company, which office he held for two years. 
He wac; also weighing clerk in the mint at Denver in 1863. In 1866 he was 
appointed postmaster for Denver, holding the office three years. He subse- 
quently erected the government buildings at the White River Ute agency, 
and afterward engaged in stock raising in Douglas county. In 1874 he re- 
moved to Colorado Springs, and for two years ran the express and transfer 
line, and finally went into the drug business in this place. 

26 One wagon bore the inscription, 'Pike's Peak or bust!' The disap- 
pointed gold seeker returned soon after with his addenda: 'Busted, by 
Thunder ! ' emblazoned on his wagon cover. Elbert's Public Men and Measures, 
MS., 2; IwjersoWs Knockiny around the Rockies, 6; Sopris' Settlement of Denver, 
MS., 1. 


Plum creek, twenty miles south of Denver, and which 
furnished the first lumber for the improvement of that 
town on the 21st of April. 27 On that same day there 
arrived from Omaha a newspaper company with a 
printing press, which was destined to do as much 
toward building up the town of Denver as the saw- 
mill, though in a different way. The head of the 
company was William N. Byers, who, like Oakes, had 
published a Guide to Pike's Peak, which had been 
extensively sold to the immigrants. 28 It happened 
that before he arrived at Cherry creek signs of a 
panic began to appear, and he encountered persons 
who threatened to have satisfaction of him for having 
raised expectation by his Guide which had not been 
fulfilled. Oakes was regarded with still greater dis- 
favor, because he had been the first to represent Pike's 
peak as a mining region, and his name was mentioned 
with execrations. 2 ' Henry Allen and William Lari- 

27 The first lumber was purchased by Richard Wooten, who came to Colo- 
rado in 1838, and Thomas Pollock, who erected the first frame houses. Den- 
ver Hist., 186. Wooten was living in Trinidad in 1882. Denver Colorado 
Antelope, April, 1882. The 2d saw mill was erected by Little, and the 3d by 
Whittemore. Sopris Settlement of Denver, MS., 12. 

28 Mr Byers had a most important influence in shaping the history of Col- 
orado. I am indebted to him for very valuable material, collected during a 
tour through the state of Colorado in 1884, in four different manuscript con- 
tributions; namely, History of Colorado, The Newspaper Press of Colorado, 
The Sand Creek Affair, and The Centennial State, each filled with the very 
essence of history. Byers was born in Ohio, Feb. 22, 1831. At the age of 
19 he removed to Iowa, and joined a government surveying party for Cal. 
and Or. in 1851, returning to Washington in 1853, after which he settled 
at Omaha, then in its infancy. He continued surveying until he came to 
Colo. In changing his occupation he followed the natural bent of his mind, 
and made the best use of his talents. He founded the Rocky Mountain News, 
the first newspaper issued in Colorado. The first number appeared April 
22d, the day after his arrival, and proceeded by 20 minutes the Cherry Creek 
Pioneer, owned by Jack Merrick of St Joseph, who, being beaten in the race, 
sold to Thomas Gibson, also of the News, and never issued a second number 
of his paper. This left a clear field for Byers and Gibson, which they im- 
proved. George C. Monell of Omaha had an interest in the News, but turned 
back 011 his way to Denver, and sold it. Byers' Hist. Colo, MS. 

29 The following distich was made familiar to thousands on the plains: 
' Here lies the body of D. C. Oakes, 
Killed for aiding the Pike's Peak hoax.' 

Hill's Tales of Colo Pioneers, 27. His effigy was buried by the wayside, and 
on a buffalo skull planted at the head was written: 

' Here lies the bones of Major Oakes, 
The author of this God damned hoax. ' 


mer came in for a share of blame also. There was 
as little reason in this revengeful feeling as there had 
been in the unbounded credulity which had led them 
on the first unproved statement of a bookmaker to 
hasten to place themselves in the front rank of gold- 

But their panic was not groundless. Gold had not 
yet been found in amount to justify any excitement, 
although it was the belief of old miners on the ground 
that it was there. Very few of those who came to 
mine knew anything of indications, or the methods of 
mining. They needed to be taught; but until mining 
had been begun they could learn nothing. Other 
employments there were none at that early date. 
The last argument for quitting the country was fur- 
nished on the 16th of April, when a man named John 
Scudder killed another named Bassett in a quarrel. 
If a course of outlawry was about to commence, they 
would none of that country ; so away they went like 
senseless steers senseless in coming or in returning 
stampeding down the Platte sixty or seventy 
strong, swearing they would kill D. C. Oakes and 
W. N. Byers if peradventure they could lay hands 
on them. 

On foot, unfurnished with transportation or pro- 
visions for a journey of such length, the backward 
moving men kept on. The stories they told of Pike's 
peak affairs were at least as exaggerated as the rep- 
resentations of the guide-books which they condemned, 
big lies in their minds seemingly being neccessary to 
counteract the effect of big lies. And every man 
they turned back added to the apparent weight of 
evidence, gaining like a rolling snow-ball. If sixty 
could turn back sixty, twice sixty could turn back 
their own number at least, and 240 might be able to 
influence not only 480, but, by that power which 
crowds have to create a state of feeling, a much 
larger number could be made to share in the alarm. 
Of the 150,000 persons on the plains in the spring 


and summer of 1859, not less than 50,000 were thus 
turned back. This was doubtless the greatest suc- 
cess these sixty men ever achieved ; and their reward 
was free transportation for themselves, and provisions 
for the journey. The return began far up the Platte., 
and many who had loaded their wagons with mer- 
chandise to sell in the mines, or property for their 
own use, threw it away rather than tax their tired 
oxen to drag it back five or six hundred miles to the 
Missouri river. The route was strewn with goods of 
every description for hundreds of miles, and of the 
100,000 that pushed on to the mountains, less than 
40,000 remained there. Some tarried but a few 
weeks, and others remained all summer, going home 
when cold weather approached. 

But there was really something back of all this 
running to and fro, this seemingly wasted effort. It 
was slow in appearing, revealing itself little by little 
in a tantalizing fashion which is sufficient apology for 
the discontent of those who imagined gold could be 
picked up like pebbles. On the 15th of January 
1859 ; gold was discovered in a small affluent of 
Boulder creek, to which the name of Gold run was 
given ; and about the end of January a discovery was 
made in a gulch filled with fallen timber, on the south 
Boulder, and called Dead wood diggings. 39 In the 
spring J. D. Scott discovered a gold-bearing quartz 
vein, and named it after himself, the Scott, and the 
place Gold hill. Out of these discoveries grew the 
town of Boulder 

On the 6th of May a party of Chicago men, headed 
by George Jackson, a California miner, made a rich 
discovery on a branch of Clear creek. The diggings 
took the name of Chicago bar. or Jackson diggings, 
and soon overflowed with anxious miners, many of 

30 Compare Moore's Early Days in Denver, MS.; Sopris 1 Settlement of Den- 
ver, MS.; Byers* Hist. Colorado, MS.; Bradford's Hist. Colorado, MS.; and 
Hollisters Mines of Colorado. 


whom were compelled to look further for want of 
room. A short distance above the mouth of Fall 
river and Chicago bar was Spanish bar, so called 
because there were evidences of former mining at that 
place ; in the vicinity were Fall river and Grass Val- 
ley mining camps. But the principal camp on this 
part of Clear creek was opposite Jackson diggings, 
and became the foundation of the town of Idaho 
Springs, which began to take shape the following year. 
On the 10th another party, led by John H. Greg- 
ory, a Georgian, 31 made a discovery just over the 

31 Gregory was a lazy fellow from Gordon county, Georgia, and drove a 
government team from Leaven worth to Fort Laramie in 1858, intending to 
go to Fraser river, but being detained at Laramie by want of means had 
drifted off to Clear creek, and with some others had encamped at a point 
between Denver and Golden, and called the place Arapahoe. It is said by 
Hollister, in his Mines of Colorado, 63, that he prospected in January, and 
found the color in the north fork of Clear creek; and that being out of pro- 
visions he was forced to return to camp. It does not appear that he made 
any further effort for several months. He was finally ' grub staked ' (furnished 
with provisions for an interest in his success) by David K. Wall, and induced 
to lead a party, consisting of Wilkes De Frees, his brother, and Kendall, to 
the mountains and the stream where he had seen the color. The party set 
out in April, proceeding from Arapahoe up the north forth of Vasquez or 
Clear creek, climbing many successive ridges, and floundering through snow 
banks, until they came to the mouth of a gulch near the head of the creek, 
and consequently well up in the mountains. Here Gregory suggested that 
it would be well to dig and look for float gold. While the other men dug he 
looked on. They obtained a fair prospect, and went on excavating. Then 
said Gregory to Wilkes De Frees, who had grub staked him, ' Bring your 
shovel, and come with me.' They went about 300 feet further up the side of 
the gulch, when Gregory pointed to the ground and said, 'Here is a good 
looking spot; stick your shovel in there, Wilk.' De Frees obeyed, turning 
over a few shovelfuls of earth. 'Give me some in the pan,' said Gregory 
again, and De Frees filled the pan half full of dirt, which the Georgian pro- 
ceeded to wash at the little stream running through a gulch close at hand. The 
product of that half pan of dirt was half an ounce of gold ! Gregory went back 
for another panful, with the same result. Claims were immediately staked 
off. The effect of his extraordinary fortune crazed the weak brain of poor 
Gregory. All through the night sleep deserted him, and his companions 
heard his self-communings. He sold his discovery claim, under the impres- 
sion that he could easily find another as good. The price he obtained, $22,- 
000, was a fortune to him. At length, in 1861-2, he disappeared from a 
hotel in Illinois, and was never seen again. The man to whom Gregory sold 
his mine was Edward W. Henderson. He was born in Austinburg, Ohio, 
Nov. 29, 1818, and bred a farmer, receiving a common school education. In 
1844 he removed to Iowa, and from there he went to Pike's peak, where he 
arrived in April 1859. After prospecting for a few weeks, he went to Greg- 
ory gulch on the 16th of May, and on the 29th, in company with Amos 
Gridley, he purchased the Gregory claims, paying for them out of the pro- 
ceeds of the mine. It was a fortunate venture, although he lost some of the 
money he made in other ones. He erected a quartz mill in 1861, where the 
Eureka foundry later stood, in company with D. A. January, Ely R. Lack- 
land, and Judge Lackland, in which was a loss. He afterward purchased a 


mountains west of Jackson bar, on the north fork of 
Clear creek, the richest ever found in Colorado, and 
one of the richest in the world. These discoveries 
arrested the backward flow of immigration to some 
extent. Not less than 30,000 persons hastened after 
Jackson when they heard of Chicago bar, and when 
Gregory point was made known they threw them- 
selves in there pell mell, each striving to be first. 

But the Gregory party had taken the precaution 
before giving their discovery publicity to admit their 
friends and organize a district, with rules and regula- 
tions by which all future claimants should be gov- 
erned. 32 Comparatively few of those who came found 
ground to work; 33 for which reason much discontent 
was exhibited, and a mass meeting was called to change 
the laws of the district. 3 * The new-comers were 
unable to cope with the more experienced miners, and 
were surprised to find that the committee appointed 
by themselves to revise the laws made no material 
change in them. They had failed to perceive that 
the pioneers were mingling with the assemblage in 
every part, nominating their men on the committee. 
Not knowing the nominees, the malcontents voted 

mill at Gregory point in company with Gridley, but lost in this transaction 
also. He finally consolidated his claims with four others, and sold out to a 
New York company, his share of the price obtained being $100,000, In 1873 
he was appointed receiver of the U. S. land office at Central City. Clear Creek 
and Boulder Val Hist., 454-5. 

8i The mining laws adopted were nearly identical with those of California, 
defining the boundaries of the district; forbidding the taking of more than 
one claim of a kind, except by purchase properly attested; fixing the extent 
of a mountain claim at 100 feet on the lode and 50 feet in width; and of a 
gulch or creek claim at 100 feet along the creek or gulch, and extending from 
bank to bank; limiting the time of holding without working to 10 days; giv- 
ing the discoverer a ' discovery claim, ' in addition to his working claim, which 
he could work or not as he chose; dividing the water of a stream eqiially be- 
tween miners, etc. Disputes were to be settled by arbitration. On the 9th 
of July another meeting was held, at which it was resolved to elect by ballot 
a president of the district, a recorder of claims, and a sheriff. Richard 
Sopris was chosen president, C. A. Roberts recorder, and Charles Peck 
sheriff. A committee was also appointed to codify the laws of the district. 

Hol&ter's Mines of Colo, 77-9. 

Taschuer hired Gregory at a high price to prospect 
and together they found the celebrated Bates lode. Colo Gazetteer, 174. 

33 Bates and Taschuer hired Gregory at a high price to prospect for them, 

34 Byers, who was present at this meeting, describes it as looking like a 
'flock of blackbirds,' so thickly were the sides of the gulch covered with 
men. Hist. Colo, MS. 34. 


them into office, and accepted their report because 
they had done so, with a suspicion that they had been 

Prospecting continued in the mountains, a number 
of discoveries being made on the headwaters of north 
Clear creek, Boulder, south Clear creek, and the 
Platte. Early in June W. Green Russell commenced 
mining on a tributary of north Clear creek, a little 
south of, but parallel with, the Gregory claims, in a 
ravine which took the name of Russell gulch. Six 
man in one week took out seventy-six ounces of gold, 
worth from sixteen to eighteen dollars to the ounce. 35 
Something over 200 men were at work in Nevada 
and Illinois gulches and Missouri flat, tributaries of 
Gregory and Russell gulches, who were producing an 
average of $9,000 a week. In the latter part of Sep- 
tember there were about 900 men at work in Russell 
gulch, taking out an average of $35,000 a week. 
Water becoming scarce, ditches were constructed to 
bring it from Fall river to Russell and Gregory 
gulches, which cost the miners $100,000. The dis- 
tricts discovered in 1859 in what were later Clear 
creek and Gilpin counties were, besides Gregory, 
Russell, Spanish bar, and Jackson, Nevada district, 
Lake gulch, Griffith, Illinois Central, Enterprise, 
Central, Eureka, and Virginia. The discoveries in 
these districts were numerous enough to employ 
many, 36 but by no means all who sought for claims. 

35 William Green Russell remained in Colorado until 1862, and made con- 
siderable money. On his way east he was arrested for a confederate at Santa 
Fe, but he was released and returned to Colorado, where he remained until 
1875, when he removed to the Cherokee country, his wife being a woman of 
thab nation, and died a few years afterward. Bradford's Hist. Colo, MS., 4; 
SopriS Settlement of Denver, MS., 2. 

36 1 give herewith the names of mines and their discoverers in 1859: In 
(rilpin county, the Alger, by William Alger; American Flag; Barrett, by 
Wesley Barrett; Burroughs, Benjamin Burroughs; Briggs, Briggs Brothers; 
Butler, James D. Wood; Connelly and Beverly, Connelly and Beverly; Dean- 
Castro, Dean and Castro; Gaston, James Gaston; Gunr.ell, Harry Gunnell; 
Hill House, Payne & Co.; Ingles, Webster & Co.; Indiana, Thomas Brothers; 
Jennings, Thomas Jennings; Kansas, James Madison; Kentucky, Jones and 
Hardesty; Miller, A. Miller; Mack, W. Mack; Missouri; Roderick Dim, 
Sevens and Hall; Smith, A. A. Smith; Snow, James Snow; Tarryall; To- 
peka, Joseph Hurst; Tucker, John Nichols; Virginia, J. Oxley; Whiting, 



A rumor of discovery, and they swarmed at that 
place, alighting like locusts upon a field which could 
not furnish ground for one in a thousand of those who 
came. Finding themselves too late, they swarmed 
again at some other spot, which they abandoned in a 
similar manner. 

Out of this ceaseless activity grew worthy results. 
From Araphoe 37 at the mouth of Table mountain 
canon, where they had gathered during the winter, 


Whiting & Co.; Wood, Robert Wood; Leavenworth, Harsh Brothers; Cali- 
fornia, Hutchinson; French F. Terndull; St Louis. In Clear creek county 
the Griffith, George F. Griffith, and the Virginia. These were discoveries 
which proved to be real lodes, called at first ' mountain diggings ' to distin- 
guish them from the gulch and bar diggings; but these were not all. There 
seems to have been a good uniform yield, but never an extraordinary pro- 
duction as in some parts of Idaho and Montana. Hollister, in Mints of Colo, 
66-7, gives the yield of the decomposed quartz in these mountains diggings 
as follows: the highest day's income from the Gregory, working it with a 
sluice, was $495, and the lowest $21. Zeigler, Spain, & Co. cleaned up in 
three weeks on the Gregory $2,400. De Frees & Co., cleaned up $2,080 in 12 
days with one sluice. Kehler, Patton, & Fletcher averaged with 5 hands 
$100 a day on the Bates lode. From $125 to $450 a day were obtained from 
single sluices, working four men; and so on. 

37 Arapahoe was staked off by George B. Allen. It contained in 1859 
nearly 100 houses, but was soon after deserted and converted into farm3. 
Clear Creek and Boulder Vol. Hist., 547. Allen became a resident of a farm 
near Golden. He was born in Albany, N. Y., May 17, 1825. In 1846 he 
removed to Akron, Ohio, and subsequently to Defiance, where he remained 


went the founders of Golden, 38 Golden Gate, Mount 
Vernon, Central City, and Nevada, 3 ' all on the afflu- 
ents of Clear creek. .Golden Town company was 
formed in the spring of 1859, and was an after thought 
of its organizers, who were encamped at the Gate of 
the Mountains, or the mouth of the canon of Clear 
creek. The trail to the mines crossed the creek 
here,* and the water being high, J. M. Ferrell con- 
structed first a foot-bridge and then a toll-bridge for 
teams, and improved the road, making his bridge a 
good piece of property, as well as the first of its kind 
in Colorado. Many persons gathered there, attracted 
by the natural beauties of the scenery, or encamped 
preparatory to entering the mountains, suggesting 
thereby a town, when a company was formed, consist- 
ing of D. Wall, J. M. Ferrell. J, C. Kirby, J. C. 
Bowles, Mrs Williams, W. A. H. Loveland, H. J. 
Carter, Ensign Smith, William Davidson, P. W. Bee- 
bee, E. L. Berthoud, Stanton, Clark, and Garrison. 
They called themselves the Boston company ; and 
having selected two sections of land laid out half a 
section in lots and blocks, the remainder not being 
surveyed until the following year. A saw -mill and 

five years. Having lost a stock of goods by fire he engaged in brokerage and 
then in buying and selling stock. In 1857 he removed to Doniphan, Kansas, 
but on account of failing health determined to cross the plains. After laying 
out Auraria and Arapahoe, he became interested in quartz and lumber mills. 
He moved his sawmill across the mountain into California Gulch in 1861, and 
'blew the first whistle across the range.' In 1864 he took 160 acres of land 
on Clear creek where he made himself a home. 

38 The first settlers of Golden were W. A. H. Loveland, John M. Ferrell, 
Fox Deifenderf, P. B. Cheney, Dr Hardy, George Jackson, Charles M. Fer- 
rell, John F. Kirby, T. P. Boyd, William Pollard, James McDonald, George 
West, Mark Blunt, Charles Remington, E. B. Smith, J. C. Bowles, Daniel 
McCleary, I. B. Fitzpatrick, and W. J. McKay. 

39 J. M. Beverly built the first cabin in Nevada, and was elected recorder 
of the district in the autumn, besides being sheriff and justice of the peace. 
During the winter he located Beverly's discovery on the Burroughs lode. In 
1862 he erected a quartz mill in Nevada gulch. He returned to Chicago in 
1868 and was married there; but in the great fire of 1871 he lost all his accu- 
mulations and began the study of the law. After being admitted to the bar 
he revisited Colorado, where he located and purchased a number of mines, 
which were profitably worked. Beverly was born in Culpepper county, Vir- 
ginia, in 1843. 

40 It is mentioned by several writers that Horace Greeley visited the mines 
this year; and it is related that he attempted to swim his mule across Clear 
creek, and would have been drowned but for assistance rendered him. 


shingle-mill in the pineries furnished material for 
building, which went on rapidly, the town having 
seven or eight hundred inhabitants before winter.* 1 

Golden Gate, two miles north of Golden, where the 
Denver and Gregory road entered the mountains, was 
a flourishing settlement. At the mouth of Left Hand 
creek was a town, later abandoned, called Davenport 
in 1859. Mountain City at Gregory point was laid 
out early in May, the first house being started on the 
22d by Richard Sopris, who, with J. H. Gest, was 
one of the Mammoth quartz mining company, which 
owned thirty claims on that lode. A near neighbor 
to Mountain City on the south was a miner's camp 
called Black Hawk, and adjoining it on the north, in 
Kendall gulch/ 2 was Central City, so named by W. 
N. Byers, its first inhabitant* 3 after its founders, 
Harrison Gray Otis, Nathaniel Albertson, and John 
Armor.** Central finally absorbed the other two 

41 Helm's Gate of the Mountains, MS., 1; Early Records, MS., 4. TJie Rocky 
Mountain Gold Reporter and Mountain City Herald, of Aug. 6, 1859, says that 
Golden at that date, when it had been surveyed but one month, had 50 
houses, 1,930 men, and 70 women. Most of these must have been transient, 
if indeed that might not be said of all. Helm says the first garden he knew 
of in Colorado was at Golden. This of course applies to the mining popu- 

42 Named after Kendall in Gregory's company. In seems the honors were 
divided by naming the gulch after Kendall and the hill or point after Gregory. 

43 Sopm' Settlement of Denver, MS., 7; Bradford's Hist. Colo, MS., 4. 

4 * Thomas Gibson of the Rocky Mountain News had a newspaper office at 
Central city in July 1859, and published the Rocky Mountain Gold Reporter 
on the press purchased of Jack Merrick, a cap size lever machine. It had a 
brief existence of five months, when it was discontinued, and the press sold 
to the Boston company of Golden, whose managers established the Western 
Mountaineer, which a few months later was enlarged and printed on a new 
press. Among its editors in the winter of 1859-60 where A. D. Richardson 
and Thomas W. Knox, both of whom afterward achieved national reputations 
as newspaper correspondents. While the press was in Central City it occu- 
pied part of a double log house owned by George Aux, author of Mining in 
Colorado and Montana, MS., in my collection. Aux was born in Marryat, 
Pa, in 1837. At the age of 14 years he removed to Cleveland, Ohio. Five 
years afterward he went to Kansas, and May 1850 to Pike's peak. He went 
to Gregory point, or Mountain city, where he remained until he enlisted in 
Gilpin's reg. of volunteers raised to keep the territory in the union. In 1864 
he went to Montana, with his wife and infant, in an ox wagon, but soon 
returned and engaged in farming and stock raising in Douglas county. His 
manuscript is an account of early settlements and military matters chiefly. 
Benjamin P. Haman erected and kept the first hotel in Central City. Haman 
was born in Vt and immigrated from Iowa. He married Rachel Berry in 
1847. Hugh A. Campbell opened the first stock of goods in Mountain City 


places. On the headwaters of Clear creek George 
F. Griffith laid out a town and called it after himself, 
Georgetown. It did not grow much that season, nor 
for several seasons thereafter, but its importance was 
demonstrated after the discovery of silver mines a few 
years later. 

A part of the population spread across the range, 
and located Breckenridge on a tributary of Blue 
river, in what is now Summit county, where several 
hundred miners were soon congregated. Others pene- 
trated the South park, and a miner named W. J. 
Holman discovered on a branch of the Platte the 
Pound diggings/ 5 which had a great reputation, the 
name signifying, as some thought, that a pound of 
gold a day was their average-production an opulence 
which nature does not often bestow upon diggings 
anywhere. So magnanimous were the first locators 
in the prospect of sudden riches that they gave the 
place and the creek on which the placers were situ- 
ated the inviting name of Tarry all. So many tarried, 
and such was the squabbling over claims that a por- 
tion of the population determined to seek for mines 
elsewhere, and to their delight soon discovered them. 
But the first party of eight men which left Tarryall 
was killed by the Indians, except one, while passing 
through a ravine, which took from this circumstance 
the name of Dead Men's gulch. 46 

It was decided that there should be no cause for 
dissension in the new district, but that even-handed 

in a brush tent, and was the first to place a sign above his place of business 
with the new name of Central City upon it, and to have his letters addressed 
to Central City, by which means the P. O. department was brought at last 
to recognize the change. He built the Atchison house in Denver in the 
winter of 1859. He discovered the Cincinnati lode on Casto hill, and became 
the owner of 40 acres of Placer mines on Quartz hill, besides other mining 
property. He was born in Adams county, Pa, and married Mattie W. 
Whitsitt, of Centreville, Ohio. 

45 Named after Daniel Pound. The amount actually taken out by the 
Mountain Union company in one week, with 4 men, was $420. Holman, 
with 5 men, took out $686 in the same time. Bowers & Co. took out in one 
week $969, with 3 men 57 ounces worth $17. 

* 6 W. N. Byers, in Out West, Oct. 1873; Dead Men's Gukh and Other 
Sketches, MS., 1. 


justice should rule the camp, and to emphasize this 
determination it was named Fair Play. 47 Eight miles 
north-west of Fair Play a discovery was made by a 
mountaineer, whose characteristic dress of tanned 
skins gave him the descriptive appellation of Buck- 
skin Joe, and the Buckskin Joe mines next attracted 
the unsatisfied. This camp became the town of Alma. 
Hamilton and Jefferson followed in South park the 
same season, the latter becoming a town of several 
thousand inhabitants in the first few years. 48 

47 Sopris Settlement of Denver, MS., 8. There are several stories to account 
for this name, all of them far fetched and inaccurate. 

* 3 Before proceeding further with the history of settlement, I will record 
the names of some of the pioneers of this part of Colorado in 1859. Joseph 
M. Brown, born in Maryland in 1832, was with General Walker in Nicaragua 
in 1855. He returned, drifted west, and became a farmer and stock-raiser. 
Samuel W. Brown, born near Baltimore Dec. 23, 1829, removed to New 
York in 1844, became a cabinet-maker, served in the Mexican war, going 
from these battle-fields to Cal., and afterward to Chicago. He followed 
Walker to Nicaragua, and furnished supplies to the army for one year. In 
1857 he married a daughter of John Perry, at Olathe, Iowa. On coming to 
Colorado he secured 500 acres and went to farming. Thomas Donelson, a 
native of Ohio, was born June 20, 1824, and bred a farmer. After several 
removes westward he came to Colorado, where, after one season of mining, 
he brought out his family and settled on the Platte, 17 miles below Denver. 
Henry Crow, born in Wis., bred a merchant, came to Colorado in 1859, and 
after mining for a season returned to Iowa for his family, and located at 
Central City. He served in the Indian war of 1864, after which he removed 
to Georgetown. Selling his mines at that place he settled in Denver and 
organized the City national bank in 1870; but in 1876 withdrew from the 
presidency of that institution and returned to Georgetown to engage in min- 
ing. Charles G. Chever was born at Salem, Mass., Sept. 13, 1827, went to 
Cal. in 1849, where he resided 10 years in the mines, and then removed to 
Colorado. In 1861 he was elected clerk and recorder of Arapahoe county. 
He has ever since been in the real estate business. S. B. Morrison, born in 
Oneida Castle, N. Y., May 2, 1831, removed to Jefferson, Wis., at the age 
of 10 years, and in 1859 came to Colorado, where he turned his attention to 
farming and stock-raising, 3 miles north of Denver. He also erected some 
quartz-mills in Gilpin and Park counties. John H. Morrison graduated from 
Rush Medical college, Chicago, and after coming to Colorado he resided first 
on a farm and then in Denver, where he died July 21, 1876. Jasper P. Sears 
was born in Ohio, in 1838, and educated at Delaware, after which he removed 
to St Paul, Minnesota, where he traded with the Sioux. In Sept. 1858, he 
started for Pike's peak with a stock of merchandise, but did not arrive for a 
year afterward, owing to sickness and Indian hostilities. In company with 
C. A. Cook he opened a store at the corner of 15th and Larimer streets, Den- 
ver. After 4 years of prosperous trade they opened a banking-house. In 
1869 Sears became a government contractor, and dealer in real estate, and 
made a fortune. Thomas Skerritt, born in Ireland, in 1 828, immigrated in 
1848 to the U. S. and Canada. In 1855 he married Mary K. Skerritt, who 
was one of the first women to go to Central City, and accompanied her hus- 
band across the mountains to Breckenridge. In the autumn of 1859 he took 
a land claim on the Platte river, but all his improvements were swept away 
by the flood of 1864. What remained of the land itself was purchased by 


Peter Magnus for the site of the Harvest Queen Mill, and Skerritt settled 
upon another claim 6 miles from Denver, where he cultivated 200 acres. 

Edward C. Sumner, a native of La Fayette, Ind., joined the rush to Pike's 
peak, and found permanent employment in the Denver post-office. Alfred 
H. Miles, born in Cleveland, Ohio, Sept. 4, 1820, set out with his family for 
Cal. in 1859, but stopped in Colo and selected a farm on Clear creek, 9 miles 
from Denver. He remained there for 7 years, when he moved to Cherry 
creek and finally to Denver. He has been one of the most successful farm- 
ers of Colorado. Isaac E. McBroom a native of Ind., born April 22, 1830, 
removed to St Joseph, Missouri, at an early age, and in 1850 to Iowa. He 
came to Colo with the first mining immigration, and settled on a farm near 
Denver. John Milheim, baker and steel polisher, a native of Switzerland, 
born in 1835, came to the U. S. in 1849, to Neb. in 1856, and from there to 
Pike's peak. Just before leaving Omaha, he was married to Miss Reithmann, 
whose brothers also became citizens of Denver, and with whom he opened 
the first bakery there, which laid the foundation of his fortune. James W. 
Richards, a native of Ohio, worked on a farm in 111., and thence went to the 
Colo mines. In 1865 he established a fast freight line between Denver and 
Central City, remaining in the business 7 years, when he went into a flour and 
grain trade He shipped the first car-load of grain over the Kansas Pacific 
railroad to Denver, and established the first line of transfer wagons in the 
city, upon which he, with W. J. Kinsey, had a patent. Peter Magnus, born 
in Sweden, in 1824, bred a farmer, came to the U. S. in 1852, and in 1859 to 
Colo, and selecting a farming claim brought out his family. The flood of 
1864 took his improvements, and grasshoppers in 1873-4-5, nearly destroyed 
his crops, yet he prospered. He received all the medals at the agricultural 
exhibition of Colorado in 1870. He was county commissioner for Arapahoe 
in 1867-9. Mason M. Seavy, born in Maine in 1839, removed to 111., and 
thence started with other gold-seekers for Pike's peak in 1859, but turned 
back at Fort Kearny, and did not reach the mountains until the following 
year, when he settled in Golden and went into the grocery trade, doing well 
until he lost a large and valuable train by the Arapahoes, which compelled 
him to suspend business. He began a second time in Central City, but failed 
again, owing to commercial complications. In 1872 he settled in Denver, 
and again prosecuted the grocery business, this time with better success. 
Daniel J, Fulton,, a native of Va, removed to Ohio in 1836, and a few years 
later to Iowa. In 1849 crossed the plains to Cal. where he mined for 3 years, 
returned to the states, and in 1859 came to Colo. After mining for a year, 
and trying his fortunes in Idaho, he settled upon a farm on the Platte, 16 
miles below Denver. George W. Hazzard was born at Elk Grove, Wis., 
Dec. 7, 1837, came to Denver in 1859, and went to the mines of Gregory 
point and Missouri flats, where, with his brother, he took out gold enough 
to start in farming 16 miles from Denver. John W. Iliff, a native of Ohio, 
born in 1831, bred a farmer, and educated at Delaware college, came to Col- 
orado in 1859 with a small train of provisions, purchased with a few hun- 
dred dollars which his father gave him, and selling out invested in a small 
herd of cattle. He followed up the cattle business for 18 years, mastering 
all its details, and making a large fortune. He owned 200,000 acres of pas- 
ture lands, took government contracts, and shipped cattle to eastern mar- 
kets at the rate of 13,000 a year. He died February 9, 1878. Libeus Bar- 
ney, a native of Vt, crossed the plains in the first coach of the Denver and 
Pike's peak passenger line. After mining, with a brother, he tried house- 
building, and erected the hall in which the first provisional legislature met. 
Farming was next attempted, but a grocery store in Denver was the final 
resort after these ventures, and in that he did well. 

Caleb S. Burdsal,, from Ohio, mined near Golden in 1859, and in 1864 
was appointed surgeon of the 3d Colo reg. Since then he has practised 
medicine in Denver. He discovered and named Soda lakes, near Morri- 
son. Joseph W. Bowles, born in Rockford, N. C., came to Denver in 1858. 
He located a mine on Quartz hill, in the Nevada district, on Clear creek, 


where he worked for three years on an extension of the Burroughs' lode. 
He was twice elected sheriff for the district under the miners' organization. 
In 1862 he purchased a rancho on the Platte, 10 miles above Denver, near 
the present village of Littleton. George W. Drake, born in Ohio, came to 
Colo in 1859, and opened a hotel on the old Gregory road 7 miles from Black 
Hawk, at Cold Spring rancho, in partnership with Homer Medbury, of 
Ohio. In 1863, he became agent for Gibson's pony express between Den- 
ver and the mountain towns. In 1864 he set up a store in Black Hawk, and 
in 1870 joined the colony at Greeley, which he helped to build up. Three 
years later he settled in Denver, where he purchased a marble-yard in 
1874. Charles Eyser, a native of Holstein, Germany, born in 1822, came 
to Colo in 1859, opened a provision store in the mines, but returned to Den- 
ver in 1863, where he kept a boarding-house, which in 1869 was washed away 
by a flood. After that he settled at farming. E. W. Cobb, born in Boston, 
was sent to Cal. as the first agent of Adams' Express co. After two years 
he went to Australia, returning to Boston in 1857, then to Denver, where he 
sold groceries for two years, then carried on the Elephant corral a year or so, 
and after that mined for a few years, until in 1869 he was appointed chief of 
the mineral dept of the sur. -gen. office. John W. Cline, a native of Canada, 
mined during the summer of 1859 in Russell gulch and at Breckenridge, but 
in the autumn took a piece of land 7 miles north of Denver, where he made 
himself a home. Samuel Brautner, born in Md, came to Cal. in 1 852, and 
finally to Colo, where he engaged in mining and farming. His oldest child 
is said to be the first white girl born in Colo, but I have shown that white 
children were born here before the gold discoveries. George L. Henderson, 
born in 1836, in 1859 came to Central City, and in 1860 to California 
gulch. He was the first postmaster at Leadville, which camp was thus 
named at his suggestion. 




WHILE the valleys and head waters of the Platte 
and its tributaries were being actively explored by 
one part of the immigration, another part began to 
occupy the Arkansas valley. A portion of the Law- 
rence party of 1858 had wintered five miles above 
Denver, where afterward was Younker's rancho. 
They contemplated making a town there, and erected 
a few houses ; but before spring they became restless, 
and some returned to the Arkansas valley, with the 
design of going back to Kansas. This party of about 
a dozen persons, among whom were Charles Gilmore, 
Julian Smith, George A. Bute, and Anthony Bott, 
crossed the ridge between the Platte and Arkansas 
rivers when the snow on the summit was three feet 
deep; but on coming to the spot overlooking the 
southern slope, and seeing a sunny valley below, they 
changed their purpose, and selected a site for a town 
in the delightful region of the Fontaine-qui-Bouille, 
which they called El Dorado. 

On hearing what had been done, others of the 
original company who had located land claims on the 
Fontaine-qui-Bouille the previous autumn, some of 
which covered the new town site, came over from the 



Platte to dispute for possession of the ground. The 
quarrel ran high, but a compromise was effected by 
admitting the land claimants into the town company, 
all joining in the erection of a large log house as the 
nucleus of their future city. 1 

This being done, Bute, with two others of the El 
Dorado company, and Tucker, a squatter on Fontaine- 
qui-Bouille, with two associates, making a party of six, 
set out to search for a route into the South park, 
where they believed gold existed. Following the 
Indian trail westward to Soda springs, where the 
Lawrence company had located the town of El Paso 2 
the previous autumn, the explorers encamped for two 
days to admire and enjoy the natural charms of the 
place, after which they proceeded as far on their way 
as the Petrified stumps ; but falling short of provis- 
ions, returned and loaded a wagon with supplies. 
This wagon they took into the park, its wheels being 
the first to print the sod in this beautiful mountain 
basin. Gold, as I have shown, was discovered in the 
park during the summer, 3 the mines drawing away 

1 El Paso Co., etc., MS., 6. 

2 There was at this time a log cabin at these springs, which had been 
erected by Richard Wooten, as evidence that he claimed the site before the 
El Paso town was projected. Sometime in 1859 Wooten sold his claim to 
R.E. Whitsitt & Co., for $500. A year or two later, Whitsitt's partner sold his 
interest to the Tappan Brothers from Boston. They bought about the same 
time 480 acres on the west side of Monument creek, which was known as the 
Boston tract, and was only put into market as an addition to Colorado springs 
in 1874. Whitsitt and Tappan lost their right to the springs by abandon- 
ment, and they were jumped by one Slaughter, son of a methodist minister 
from Illinois, who erected a frame house on the claim. He in turn aban- 
doned it, and it was again taken by Thompson Girter, who secured the sul- 
phur springs in South park. He made some improvements and sold to Col 
Chivington for $1,500, and he to hia son-in-law, Pollock, who made a trans- 
fer of the property to some other person as security for a debt, this person 
selling the springs for $1,500. George Crater of Denver subsequently 
organized a company which purchased the property, paying $10,000 for it, 
and afterward sold the 80 acres on which are the soda springs for $26,000 to 
the company which finally founded the present town of Colorado Springs, of 
which further mention will be made in the proper place. El Paso County, etc., 
MS., 9-11. It has been stated that H. A. W. Tabor built the first house at 
Colorado Springs in the winter of 1859; that he came back to Denver in the 
following year, and endeavored to organize a company to go down and lay off 
a town, but failed. The statement is erroneous, but that Tabor was at some 
time about this date interested in the place is perhaps true. 

3 A writer in the Colorado Springs Gazette of May 23, 1874, ascribes the 
discovery of gold at Fair Play to this party. The discovery was made in 


all the settlers at El Dorado City, which was aban- 
doned. The richness of the South park diggings, 
however, caused the revival of the town in the autumn 
under a new name. It had been observed by certain 
enterprising persons that the pass of the Fontaine-qui- 
Bouille seemed to offer the most practical wagon route 
for the immigration to these mines, thousands of per- 
sons travelling through it during the summer, a succes- 
sion of delightful park-like valleys furnishing a natural 
and easy road into the main park. A company was 
formed at Denver and Auraria consisting of L. J. 
Winchester, Lewis N. Tappan, Anthony Bott, George 
A. Bute, Melancthon S. Beech, Julian Smith, H. M. 
Fosdick, D. A. Cheever, R E. Whitsitt, S. W. 
Wagoner, W. P. McClure, P. McCarty, A. D. 
Kichardson, T. H. Warren, C. W. Persall, A. B. 
Wade, George W. Putnam, John S. Price, John T. 
Parkinson, G. N. Woodward, Charles F. Blake, E. 
P. Stout, Clark and Willis, Mr Cable, and Higgins 
and Cobb, with two or three others, with the object 
of founding a city on the deserted site of El Dorado. 
The president of the company was Winchester, and 
the secretary Tappan. 

One of the peculiar phases of squatter sovereignty 
in Colorado in 1859 was an organization known as 
El Paso Claim club/ shadowing forth the provisional 
government. A meeting having been called in the 
Arkansas valley to deliberate upon the best method 
to be pursued in holding land in the absence of law 
and land-offices, El Paso Claim club was the result. 
The limits over which the club had jurisdiction, and 
the powers and duties of its officers, were defined; a 
president and secretary were chosen, and provision 
made for the selection of jurors to decide upon cases 
under arbitration. A book of records was kept, 5 and 

Aug. by miners from Tarryall; but there were other parties in the park at 
the time, who joined in working the ground if not in the discovery. 

* Fowler, Around Colorado, MS., 3, 6; Helm, Gate of the Mountains, 
MS., 4. 

6 The names of A. D. Richardson, D. A. and C. B. Chever, Samuel Tap- 
pan, William Larimer, S. W. Wagoner, and other prominent men may be 


on its pages was recorded the declaration of the Colo- 
rado City company's claim of 1,280 acres, signed by 
the secretary of the club, H. J. Burghardt, arid dated 
December 20, 1859. The following summer there 
were three hundred houses in the town, and lots were 
sdling at four hundred dollars. 6 It was a short-lived 
prosperity. The breaking out of the civil war, and 
other causes, forced travel away from the Arkansas 
valley to the Platte route, and built up Denver at 
the expense of Colorado City, which lost its hold 
upon the car of progress, and was left behind in the 
race. 7 

It will be remembered that Robert Middleton and 
family, and a few others of the Lawrence company of 
1858, wintered at or near Pueblo, where they were 
joined by others in 1859, who had arrived early in 
that year. A number of these persons, rightfully 
judging that when corn was worth from five to fifteen 
cents a pound, farming was as profitable as mining, 
and much less laborious, determined to put in crops 
in the rich Arkansas bottoms. Accordingly they 
constructed a ditch which conducted the water of the 
Fontaine-qui-Bouille over their fields, and planted 
corn. 8 When the corn had reached a good height, 
and waved temptingly in the wind and sun, a com- 
pany of disgusted prospectors, returning to Missouri, 
encamped near the settlement, which was called Fon- 
taine City, and foraged their lean and hungry cattle 
on the glistening green blades and juicy stalks. The 

seen. Houses were erected on the Fontaine-qui-Bouille by R. B. Willis, H. 
S. Clark, John Bley, Hubbard Talcott, William Campbell, the last three of 
whom opened farms in 1860. Arkansas Vol. Hist., 420. 

6 The first store in Colorado City was owned by Gerrish and Cobb, in 
charge of William Garvin, the original claimant of the Garden of the Gods. 
John George, who still resides in the old town, opened the first saloon. Tap- 
pan & Co. put up the first frame house in 1860, which was still standing in 
1874. It was occupied as the county court-house before the removal of the 
county seat to Colorado springs. El Paso County, etc., MS., 19. 

7 Tabors Cabin Life in Colo, MS., 1-2; Howberfs Indian Troubles, MS., 2. 

8 The first farmers in this region, other than the fur-traders, were Robert 
Middleton, George Peck, Charles D. Peck, Josiah F. Smith, Otto Winneka, 
Frank Doris, George Lebaum, William H. Green, and William Kroenig- 
Arkawas Vol. Hist., 766, 


ranch meu remonstrated, but the Missourians outnum- 
bered them. The settlers then demanded pay, which 
was refused, and whenever opportunity came drove 
the cattle into the field, where they were kept and 
guarded as indemnity for the loss of their corn. Then 
followed a struggle on the part of the Missourians to 
recover their teams ; but the settlers had entrenched 
themselves, and prepared to fight. In the battle 
which ensued some of the Missourians were killed, 
and some on both sides were wounded. The victory, 
however, was with the farmers, who received at last 
payment of damages, and restored the cattle to their 
owners. The Missourians were glad to get away, 
having apparently no further use for the fighting 
farmers of Fontaine City.' 

In October a town was laid off at the mouth of the 
Arkansas river pass of the mountains, called Canon 
City. 10 Its founders were Josiah F. Smith, Stephen 
S. Smith, William H. Young, Robert Bearcaw, 
Charles D. Peck, and William Kroenig. They erected 
a single log house on the level ground above the hot 
springs, which were found here, as well as at the pass 
of the Fontaine-qui-Bouille ; and Robert Middleton 
and wife went to reside in it, this being the actual 
first family of Canon City. The following year the 
house was taken as a blacksmith shop by A. Rudd. 

In the spring of 1860 the town site was jumped by a 
company from Denver, whicn magnanimously retained 
some of the former claimants. They relocated the 
town, making it embrace 1,280 acres, and in April it 
was surveyed into lots and blocks. The new com- 
pany consisted of William Kroenig, E. Williams, W. 
H. Young, A. Mayhood, J. B. Doyle, A. Thomas, 
H. Green, J. D. Ramage, Harry Youngblood, W. W. 

9 The first store in Fontaine City was opened by Cooper and Wing. Some 
of the first settlers after the Lawrence party were S. S. Smith, W. H. 
Young, Matthew Steel, O. H. P. Baxter, George M. Chilcott, John W. 
fehaw, Mark G. Bradford, George A. Hinsdale, Francisco, and Howard. 

^RudcVs Early Affairs, MS., 1-9; Fowkrs Around Colorado, MS,, 1-8; 
A Woman's Experience, MS., 3-8; Helm's Gate of the Mountains, MS., 12; 
P^cott's Through Canon de Shea, MS., 2-3. 


Rainage, J. Graham, M. T. Green, Alvord and Com- 
pany, St. Vrain and Easterday, and Buel and Boyd, 
surveyors. Having jumped a town site claim them- 
selves, they organized a claim club for their protec- 
tion, in which those taking up agricultural lands 
joined. 11 Coal creek, in the coal region, was, in 1885, 

11 The first grist-mill in Fremont county was erected by Lewis Conley in 
1860 on Beaver creek, and was washed away in 1862. No other was built 
till 1866 or 1867, 4 miles east of Canon City. In 1872 a grist-mill was 
erected in the town. The first saw-mill was built the same year by J. B. 
Cooper, J. C. Moore, Karkins, and A. Chandler, on Sand creek, above the 
soda springs. As a premium they were presented with an original share in 
the town of Canon City. R. R. Kirkpatrick ran a shingle-machine in con- 
nection with the mill. The first merchants were Dold & Co., whose stock 
was presided over by Wolfe Londoner; Doyle Co. . represented by Solomon 
brothers; C. W. Ketchum and brother; Stevens & Curtis; Majors & Russell, 
who built a stone store 100 feet in length; R. O. Olds, J. A. Draper, James 
Gormly, James Ketchum, G. D. Jenks, Paul brothers, Harrison & Macon, 
and D. P. Wilson. These were all in business in Canon City in 1860, before 
the decline of its early prospects. G. D. Jenks also opened the first hotel. 
Custer and Swisher kept the first meat-market, and E. B. Sutherland the 
first bakery. W. C. Catlin established the first brick-yard about 1872, to 
employ the prisoners in the penitentiary. The first newspaper was the 
CaHon City Times, issued in Sept. 1860 by Millett, since of Kansas City. The 
first postmaster was M. G. Pratt. In 1870 there were but two post-offices 
in the county. The first district court was held at Canon City in the spring 
of 1863 by B. F. Hall, who held but one term before resigning. He found 
that men who had conducted people's courts were hard to awe into respect 
for imported judges. The discoverer in 1862 of the oil springs 6 miles from 
Canon City was Gabriel Bowen. He sold them to A. M. Cassidy, who man- 
ufactured in 1862-5, and shipped to other parts of the country 300,000 gal- 
lons of superior quality of illuminating and lubricating oil. Since that time 
prospecting has been going on to find flowing wells. Some of the first set- 
tlers in Fremont county, outside of Canon City, were George and Al. Toof, 
John Pierce, Hiram Morey, John Callen, John McClure, and Foster, on 
Beaver creek; J. Witcher, T. Virden, William Irwin, Ambrose Flournoy, 
and Robert Pope, on Ute creek; B. M. Adams, M. D. Swisher, Ebenezer 
Johnson, Sylvester H. Dairs, James Murphy, Jesse Rader, and Mills M. 
Craig, in Oil Creek valley; Philip A. McCumber, John Smith, James A. 
McCandless, Ira Chatfield, Stephen Frazier, Gid. B. Frazier, Jesse Frazier, 
B. F. Smith, John Locke, Jacob R. Reisser, and William H. May, in the 
vicinity of Florence; James Smith, Bruce, and Henry Burnett, on Hard- 
scrabble creek. 

I have said that the town site of Canon City was jumped in the spring 
of 1860. The company remained in possession till 1864, when all abandoned 
it, and sought newer fields of enterprise in the mining camps. Three fam- 
ilies only remained in the town. Not long afterward the government sur- 
veyed the township and the town site, whereupon it was preempted by Ben- 
jamin Griffin, W. C. Catlin, Jothan A. Draper, Augustus Macon, and A. 
Rudd, who deeded to the owners of improvements the lots on which they 
were placed, and proceeded to set affairs again in motion. These men belonged 
to a company of 20 families, which migrated from Iowa that year, and who 
were known as the resurrectionists, because they brought back life to Canon 
City. They were Thomas Macon, who, while a member of the legislature of 
1867-8. secured for his town the location of the penitentiary; Mrs Ann Har- 
rison, Mrs George, John Wilson, Joseph Macon, Fletcher, Augustus Sartor, 


next to Canon City in size, having a population of 
five hundred. 

The first farm located in what is now Fremont 
county was by J. N. Haguis, on the 1st of January, 

Zach. Irwin, and others with their families. Anson Rudd was one of the 
three original settlers who would not forsake the place of his choice. He 
was sheriff, county commissioner two terms, provost-marshal, oil in- 
spector, postmaster, clerk of the people's court, candidate for lieut-gov., and 
blacksmith for the county. He was one of the locators of the roads to Wet 
Mountain valley, to which he guided the German colony; of the road to the 
upper Arkansas region, and to Currant creek and South park; was for sev- 
eral years president of the Canon City Ditch company, and was the first 
warden of the penitentiary after the admission of the state, as well as one 
of the commissioners to locate it. The first child born was a son of M. D. 
Swisher, who died in ipfancy. W. C. Catlin was also of the original set- 
tlers, as was J. A. Draper, who was second postmaster, and county treas- 
urer, collecting the first taxes ever gathered in the county. He gave the 
ground on which the penitentiary was placed. When he sold a tract to the 
Central Colorado Improvement company it was with the intention of reserv- 
ing for the use of the public the soda springs; but through some inadvert- 
ance in the deed he failed to do so. Other early Canonites were William H. 
Green, captain of the 1st Colorado regiment; Folsom, who also enlisted, and 
was crippled for life; Piatt, W. R. Fowler, author of Around Colorado, MS.; 
J. Reid, Benjamin F. Griffin, S. D. Webster, county surveyor, judge, and 
member of the legislature; Frank Bengley, who, although a Canadian, en- 
listed in the union arrny; Albert Walthers, first keeper of the penitentiary; 
S. H. Boyd, hotel-keeper; H. W. Saunders, W. H. McClure, who built the 
McClure house and ruined himself by the help of the D. & R. G. railroad 
company; B. Murray, who kept the house, and S. W. Humphrey. The first 
church organized in Canon City was in 1860-1, by Johnson of Kansas, a 
methodist, with about ten members. None of these were left when the 
Iowa colony arrived, and George Murray again organized a church, with 45 
members, who purchased a stone building and fitted it up for worship. In 
1865 the missionary baptists formed a church, with B. M. Adams pastor, 
and 18 members, who in 1869 built a small church edifice. In 1867 the 
Cumberland presbyterians organized under their elders, B. F. Moore, 
Stephen Frazier, and J. Blanchard. In 1872 the presbyterians were organ- 
ized by Shelden Jackson, J. K. Brewster being ruling elder, and soon built 
a small but pleasant church. In 1874 or 1875 the renowned episcopal 
bishop, Randall, organized that church, which after a few years erected a 
brick edifice. 

The public schools of Canon City were somewhat late in securing a 
proper building, which was not erected until 1880. It was of stone, fine, 
and commodious. The board that secured the bonds for its erection con- 
sisted of Charles E. Waldo president, Mrs M. M. Sheets secretary, John 
Wilson treasurer. The fire department was organized in Jan. 1879, consist- 
ing of the Relief Hook and Ladder company No. 1, of 20 members. The 
following year H. A. Reynolds Hose company of 13 members was added to 
the department. Mount Moriah lodge No. 15 of masons was instituted in 
Nov. 1867, under a dispensation of Henry M. Teller, M. W. G. Master of 
Colorado, and chartered Oct. 7, 1868. In 1881 there were 72 members. 
Canon City lodge No. 7 of odd fellows was instituted Nov. 10, 1868, the first 
lodge south of the divide. It had in 1881 46 members. Grand Canon En- 
campment No. 18, July 29, 1881. The united workmen organized Royal 
George Lodge, No. 7, June 25, 1881, with 24 members. 

Canon City was incorporated April 1, 1872. In 1879 a board of trade was 
organized, which greatly assisted the city government in purifying morals by 
forcing out of town certain disreputable characters, a function which, if un- 


1860. It was recorded by B. H. Bolin, and was 
taken previous to the organization of the claim club, 
whose constitution was dated March 13, I860. 13 The 
pretensions of Canon City to become the metropolis 
of the future state were founded similarly to these of 
Colorado City, and were rendered nugatory by the 
same causes. The first company surveyed a road to 
the Tarryall mines, setting up mile posts the whole 
distance of eighty miles. A large part of the immi- 

g ration of 1860 took this route to the mines, and 
anon City enjoyed for a year or two a prosperous 
growth; and there, for the time, it ended. 13 

In the winter of 1859-60 the American town of 
Pueblo was laid off, on the site of the abandoned 
Pueblo of Mexican times, by a company composed of 

usual for such a board, proved beneficial. In Dec. of that year a joint stock 
company was organized, with a capital of $50,000, to construct water works, 
consisting of James Clelland, James H. Peabody, George R. Shaeffer, Ira 
Mulock, August Heckscher, Wilbur K. Johnson, David Caird, and 0. G. 
Stanley. On July 9, 1881, was laid the corner stone of the court house, a 
handsome edifice, the county commissioners managing the business being 
Edwin Tobach, Louis Muehlbach, and Joseph J. Phelps; also of the masonic 
temple, another fine structure both of brick. In 1881 there were 25 stores 
in Canon City, well stocked, some carrying a trade of over $300,000 an- 
nually, besides shops of all kinds. 

12 This claim was taken on the north side of the Arkansas river, on a 
creek whose name is not given. Two brothers named Costans took claims 
on the south side, 7 miles below Canon City. On the record they were de- 
scribed as ' situated in Mexico. ' The names of M. V. B. Coffin and B. F. 
Allen occur among the inhabitants of Canon City precinct in 1860. 

13 Towns and settlements of Fremont county, besides those mentioned, 
are Badger, Barnard Creek, Carlisle Springs, Clelland, Coal Junction, Copper 
Gulch, Cotopaxi, Fairy, Fidler, Florence, Galena, Galena Basin, Glendale, 
Grape Creek Junction, Greenwood, Hayden, Hayden Creek, Haydenville, 
Hillsdale, Howards, Juniper, Labran, Lake, Marsh, Mining Camp, New Chi- 
cago, Oak Creek, Parkdale, Park Station, Pleasant Valley, Rockvale, Sales- 
burgh, Spike Buck, Texas, Texas Creek, Titusville, Tomichi, Twelve Mile 
Bridge, Vallie, Webster, Williamsburgh, and Yorkville. Among the con- 
tributors to this part of my work are Eugene Weston, W. A. Helm, and 
Anson S. Rudd. Weston was born in Maine in 1805, and came to Colorado 
in 1860, and to Canon City the same year, where I found him in 1884. He 
is the author of TJie Cohrado Mines, MS. , treating of placers and early trans- 
portation. Helm was born in Pa in 1831. After migrating to several of the 
western states, he came to Colorado in 1860, and in 1861 settled in Canon 
City with his family. On the ' resurrection ' of that town he opened a hotel. 
He is the author of The Gate of the Mountain, MS., well filled with reminis- 
cences. Rudd, who furnished Early Affairs in Canon City, MS., and whose 
account forms the basis of early history here, was born in Erie co., Pa, in 
1819, and after learning the printer's trade visited Kansas, Mexico, and Cal- 
ifornia, coming to Colorado in 1860, and settling at Canon City. How he 
acted his part as pioneer, I have said, 

PUEBLO. 395 

Belt, Catterson, Cyrus Warren, Ed. Cozzens, J. 
Wright, 1 * Albert Bearcaw, W. H. Green, and others. 
It was surveyed by Buell and Boyd, who laid it out 
on a broad scale, and the former name was retained. 
It did not at first, however, extend over the bottom 
land in front of the town subsequent additions hav- 
ing been made by other companies and railroad cor- 
porations. 16 

u Stones Gen. View, MS., 19. Wright built the first house in Pueblo, on 
the corner of Front street and Santa Fe avenue. Dr Catterson 's cabin was 
on Second street, near the avenue. The first family in Pueblo was that of 
Aaron Sims, and the second that of Josiah F. Smith. Jack Allen opened a 
small grocery and drinking saloon. A stock of other goods was opened in a 
etore on Santa Fe avenue, over which Dr Catterson presided, and the town 
was launched upon the sea of commerce. Emory Young, son of W. H. 
Young, was the first male child born in Pueblo, and Hattie Smith the first 
girl. Rice's Politics in Pueblo, MS., 1 ; Rudd's Early A/airs in Canon City, MS. ; 
Westons Colorado Mines, MS.; Helm's Gate of the Mountains, MS. 

15 Of the pioneers of Arkansas valley the following mention may be made 
in this place ; Harry Youngblood came out with Robert Middleton, and went 
under an assumed name from some connection he was alleged to have had 
with the death of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. George W. 
Hepburn, a native of N. Y., in 1855 went to Omaha, where he owned an in- 
terest first in the Nebraskian, and then in the Times. In 1867 he settled in 
Pueblo, where he started, in 1871, a newspaper called The People. Charles, 
Nachtrieb, a German, brought a small stock of goods to Colorado in 1859. 
Jesse Frazer, from Mo., settled in the spring of 1860 on the Arkansas, 8 
miles below Canon City, and was the first to turn a furrow in that region, which 
he did with a forked cottonwood limb. Reuben J. Frazier, a native of Ind., 
started a farm in the upper Arkansas valley in the spring of I860. 

There are many more pioneers, known and unknown, of 1859. Of those 
of whom something is on record, not elsewhere mentioned, are the follow- 
ing: Lewis W. Berry, a capt. in the Mexican war, was born in N. Y., mined 
at Central City, and finally settled at Idaho Springs. Corbit Bacon, born in 
N. Y. , erected a plank house with a shake roof in Denver in the winter of 
1858-9, and went to Central City in the spring. John W. Edwards, a Welsh- 
man, resided at Idaho springs. Then there were Thomas Cooper, an English- 
man, miner; David D. Strock of Ohio, miner. Anthony Tucker, from Pa, 
set up a saw mill engine for Bentley and Bayard of Central City the first 
steam mill in Colorado; Andrew H. Spickerman, from N. Y., stock raiser on 
Turkey creek. D. D. Mcllvoy, from Ky, farmer and miner; Frank J. Wood, 
from Chico, opened the first drug store in Georgetown; William M. Allen, 
of New Brunswick, farmer; Joseph S. Beaman, from Germany, brewer, 
Central City; Reuben C. Wells, from 111., purchased the Golden Paper mill, 
the first establishment of the kind in the state; Jay Sternberg, from N. Y., 
erected the Boulder City Flouring mills in 1872; Hiram Buck, from Ohio, 
farmer; August Burk, a Swede, opened a bakery in Denver in 1859; Wil- 
liam Arbuthnot from Pa, farmer; Norman R. Howard, from 111., farmer; 
Robert Niver, a native of N. Y., farmer; Henry B. Ludlow, from Ohio, 
farmer; Thomas J. Jones, born hi 111., merchant; John Reese, from Pa, far- 
mer; L. A. Williams, from Vt, erected a steam saw mill at Denver; George 
C. Griffin, born in Ct, farmer; Edwin Lobach, born in Pa, freighter and 
farmer; Henry Burnett, from Mass, farmer; Francis R. Ford, from Maine, 
miner and farmer; B, F, Sahaffer, from Pa. caroenterj Robert L. Lambert, 


Late in the autumn a party of prospectors consist- 
ing of C. F. Wilson, Rafferty, Stevens, Abram Lee, 
Currier, Slater, and two others, crossed the range on 
the west of South park, and discovered good dig- 
gings in a gulch on the headwaters of the Arkansas, 
river, which they named California, 16 and which at- 
tracted thousands to that locality 17 in the spring fol- 
lowing. The first house erected in the new mines 
was on the present site of Leadville, and the place 
was called Oro City. The post-office, which was es- 
tablished at this place, being removed in 1871 two 
and a half miles up the gulch, the name followed it, 
and Oro City left its first location open for subsequent 
development by other town locators. California gulch 
was thickly populated for six miles, 18 and had two un- 
important towns besides u Oro; namely, Malta and 

freighter and stage owner; Aaron Ripley, from Ohio farmer; Emmett Nuckolls, 
a native of Va, stock dealer, N. C. Hickman, born in Mo., miner; David Clark, 
born in 111., stock raiser; Rufus Shute, a native of N. Y., cattle raiser; J 
W. Lester, born in Pa, miner. George Rockafellow, v.-as a capt. in the 
6th Mich, cavalry during the war, ana served afterward under Gen. Conner 
in the Powder river expedition against the Indians. 

16 Three men in three months took out $60,000. Westons Colo Mine*, 
MS., 2. 

17 Among the first was H. A. W. Tabor, a man of remarkable enterprise 
and ability, whose biography is given elsewhere 111 this volume. If not one 
of the actual discoverers, he has contributed more than any single individual 
to the prosperity of the Leadville district. In 1860, When first he removed 
to its site, it contained only a single log cabin. Before the close of the 
following year its population exceeded 10,000, and the place was acknowl- 
edged as the mining centre of Colorado. When the placers had long been 
exhausted, and the huge bowlders that obstructed their working were found 
to contain the richest kind of carbonate ores, we again find him at the front, 
and as a Denver journal remarks, ' not only Leadville, but the whole Btat^ 
of Colorado, is under obligations of gratitude to Mr Tabor for his unflagging 
faith in the Leadville mines.' 

18 Says Wolfe Londoner, in his Colorado Mining Camps, MS., 7. * Cali- 
fornia gulch, in 1860 and 1861, had a population of something over 10 : 000, 
and was the great camp of Colorado. It was strung all along the gulch, which 
was something over 5 miles long. . . There were a great many tents in the 
road and on the side of the ridge, and the wagons were backed up, the people 
living in tjiem. Some were used as hotels. They had their grub under the 
wagons, piled their d