the north by the 41st parallel of north latitude; on the east by the 102d meridian;
on the south by the 37th parallel of north latitude; and on the west by Green
river; containing about 12.5,000 square miles, and a population of from 15,000
"Now, in regard to the population of this Territory of Idaho, commonly called
Pike's Peak, fifteen thousand American citizens have been thrown into that wild
region, and are left to rely upon mob law for their own protection. They are under
the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress of the United States ; and is it
not a dereliction of duty for Congress to leave any portion of American citizens
exclusively under its jurisdiction without the safeguards of law and the protection
Vol. I â€” 20
306 HISTORY OF COLOEADO
of an organized government? By organizing this system of Territorial courts, officers
and civil government are provided for these pioneers. . . .
"Congress organizes a government and pays its expenses, because the first set-
tlers who go into a new Territory to people the wilderness are not able, either in
numbers or wealth, for some years at least, to pay the expense of supporting an
organized government. . .
"It seems to the Committee on Territories that it is the duty of the House to
provide temporary governments for the people who have been lured to the base of
the Rocky Mountains in large numbers in the pursuit of gold, as well as for that
other numerous people at the base of the Sierra Nevada. . . ."
There was a prolonged debate upon the bill. Some members insisted
that there was no necessity for organizing so many Territories, but thought
a government for "Arizona" to be the only one tliat the circumstances of the
time required. However, the slaveiT question was the principal bone of
contention, and the pro-slavery members together with the northern tem-
porizers constituted a majority. Among the vigorous supjMrters of the bill
was Representative Samuel E. Curtis, of Iowa, who, in the course of a brief
"There are more than a thousand persons daily crossing the Missouri for the
purpose of making their homes in the Rocky Jlountains. Shall they go there without
any laws to protect them? Shall they have no benefit of civil government; and
stand day and night in fearful apprehension of the robber and assassin? . . .
Is it not the duty of Congress to provide for the safety of their hearths and homes?
JIany have lived there for the last two or three winters and summers, struggling
for the purpose of developing the rude, uncultivated wilderness, and to carve out
mountain homes in the groves and golden gorges of the Sierra Jladre. They have
been there without law; without your protection: without an army, and without
aid; and they are compelled to sit, night and day, without compensation, or a
kind look, from the country to which they liold allegiance, to guard their property
and persons, their wives and little ones, from the dangers that surround them."
Here, Representative James Craig, of Missouri, interposed the remark :
"I only desire to say that I would vote for all these bills, if my constituents
were allowed to take their negroes with them into these Territories". To
this, Mr. Curtis responded:
"Now I hope that the gentleman from Missouri will not interrupt the progress
of the West â€” will not interrupt the settlement of the coimtry directly west of his
home, a country which now has from ten to fifteen thousand inhabitants in it â€” merely
for the consideration of protecting negroes. It is for the white men who are there
that I want protection. I am sorry that the negro question has been in any way,
either directly or indirectly, introduced into these bills. But since it is there, let it
come up for a fair hearing, and let a vote be taken on it."
Representative John A. Bingham, of Ohio, now obtained the floor and
reported a bill to repeal that part of a law recently enacted by the New
Mexico Legislative Assembly recognizing slavery in that Territory, and
upon which he demanded the previous question, under which it passed the
House, amid great excitement and confusion. While the Senate took no
action upon it, its passage by the House so incensed the southern members
that they resolved to kill all the pending measures for new Territories.
In this they were aided by some northern men, among whom was Repre-
sentative Thayer, who wanted "Land Districts" instead of Territories, and
who had been elected as a Republican member. He moved that the bill be
laid upon the tal)le, which motion prevailed by 102 ayes to 73 nays, and
which ended the brief career of this "Idaho" measure. Mr. Grow then
HISTOKY OF COLORADO 307
reported successively his cojiimittee's bills for the four other Territories,
and each in turn was ordered to be laid upon the table, by a vote substan-
tially the same as that upon the "Idaho" proposal.
Most of the members of the House were surprised when, on the next
day (May 12th), Cheirman Grow called up for further consideration the
"Idaho" bill of May 10th. They sup}X)sed that they had laid away all
projects for organizing new Territories by the tabling proceedings on the
11th. But it was not so. The slight change in the text of the second
"Idaho" bill having made it a different measure, and as further considera-
tion of the first had been postponed to the 12th. the latter was now due
to lie taken up in the regular order of business. Mr. Grow was accused of
â€¢ having practiced deceit and trickery, but as parliamentary law and the
rules of the House sustained him in what he had done the bill had to be
taken up. In reply to the numerous protests against his methods ef pro-
cedure he said:
"... I wanted the House to take this bill, where there are fifteen or twenty
thousand people without a government, and establish some system of government
for them ; and when they had considered the case of this people, as the most meritori-
ous of all the eases to be presented, I proposed to be governed by their decision.
Hence I introduced the bill yesterday, after the refusal of the House to consider first
the existing Territories, for the organization of the Territory of Idaho, supposing
that, if any one did not want the bill introduced, he would object; because a similar
bill was postponed for to-day. I thought, if you wanted new Territorial govern-
ments, I was entitled to have tlie sense of the House upon the most meritorious one,
instead of taking one of the least meritorious."
Having heard expressions of "the idea that the people of a Territory
of the United States can form a government without first having authority
of Congress", and of an assumption that the Pike's Peak people needed no
action by the National Legislature, because they had already .set up and
were living under an organized government, Mr. Grow went on to say :
"Here are fifteen or twenty tliousand people witliout any government, except
such as they make for themselves without any authority of any recognized law-
making power. It is the most chimerical idea ever heard of, that any numliier of
people may go into our Territories and build up a government outside of the Juris-
diction of the United States, and without its authority. If they can do that, they
can go on and annex themselves to any Government upon earth. If they have no
authority from Congress for their action, then they are outside of your jurisdiction,
and no man can present a ease in the local courts that he can bring before the courts
of the United States. There is no provision for an appeal to the United States
courts, and cannot be until a law of Congress passes to organize the Teriitory, or
in some other way to give them that authority. . . .
". . . You have in Idaho a portion of territory cut off by the organized
State government of Kansas. The people . . . are really without a government,
if Congress does what I believe it is its duty to do â€” give to the people of Kansas its
own State government, that they have formed, and ratified as the ballot-box [Kansas
entered the Union in the following January] â€” then these people in Idaho will be
outside of any organized government. They are now so, in reality, if not in theory.
They would be compelled now to travel si.x hundred miles to get to the seat of
government within the jurisdiction of Kansas. Is it just that these fifteen or twenty
thousand American citizens, who have gone forth into the wilderness to drive out
the savage and the wild beast, and to build up a great empire for you and your
children, should be left with no protection save mob law? Is it discharging the
obligations which you owe as men to your fellow-citizens, and as legislators of a
great empire, to leave them without an organized government?
"I leave this bill to the House, to do with it as they please ; trusting to their
308 HISTORY OF COLORADO
good judgment and sense of duty to furnish tliis people a legal government for the
protection of their rights."
In the debate that followed, and which continued far into the after-
noon, the "slavery question" was the principal subject, and was threshed
over and over again by some of the members, as the bill contained the
same proviso with respect to slaves as that which was carried by the "Idaho"
measure that had been tabled on the day before. Others thought there
was no immediate necessity for organizing a new Territory in the Pike's
Peak country, pointing out that the region still was under the jurisdictions
of existing Territories. "Every foot of it is within the Territories of
Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Utah." Finalh% Representative George
S. Houston, of Alabama, moved to lay the bill upon the table. The yeas
and nays being demanded, the motion was carried in the affirmative by a
vote of'91 to 82. Representative James H. Thomas, of Tennessee, then
moved to reconsider the vote; and also moved to lay the motion to recon-
sider upon the table. The latter motion w^as agreed to.
After this bottling-up of the first "Idaho" bill, no further attempts
were made in the House during that session to organize new Territories;
and the Pike's Peak people were left to do the best tliey could under their
home-made government of "Jefferson Territory".-
"An Act making Appropriations for the Current and Contingent
Expenses of the Indian Department, and for fulfilling Treaty Stipulations
with various Indian Tribes, for the year ending June 30th. 1861", approved
June 19, 1860, contained the following clause:
"For the purchase and transportation of provisions and presents, and to meet
expenses necessary in holding a council with the Arapahoe and Chienne Indians south
of the Platte, east of the Rocky Jlountains, and north of the Arkansas river, thirty-
five thousand dollars."
This appropriation was to provide means for arranging a necessary
preliminary to the organization of a new Territory in the Pike's Peak
region. The council with the Arapahoes and Cheyennes was held at the
Big Timbers, on the Arkansas River, during the following winter, wdien
tliese Indians ceded to the United States their lands in the district indi-
cated in the appropriation-clause, excepting a reservation, which, in the
main, laid between the present Big Sandy Creek and the Arkansas, and
which is now included in the areas of our Otero, Bent, Prowers, Kiowa,
Cheyenne, Lincoln, and Elbert counties.
When the Thirty-sixth Congress assembled, on December 3, 1860. for
its short and last session, the country at large was in a state of deep agita-
tion over the critical political situation, and the Legislatures of two of
the southern States, South Carolina and Georgia, already had by law â€¢
authorized conventions to be held to consider the question of their secession
from the Union. However, Congress, anticipating that some means would
be devised to avert the threatened national calamity, proceeded with its
business in the usual manner.
Although President Buchanan, in his message to that session of
Congress, had made no recommendations as to new Territories, the inten-
tion of the House Committee on Territories to submit new bills for the
organization of Territories was brought to the notice of the House in the
second week of the session. On December 12th, Chairman Grow made the
HISTOEY OF COLORADO 309
"The Committee on Territories â€” and I suppose it is proper to stats .v â€” piv-
pose, when we have an opportunity, to submit to this House bills for organizing
Territories for the people in the region around Pike's Peak; for the people in the
region of the Washoe silver mines, called Nevada ; for the people of what is called
Arizona ; and for the people of Dakota Territory, and for the Territory above it ;
which will cover all the territory of the Nation ; and thus arranging the whole
matter, we shall get rid of this whole Territorial legislation. And we propose to
report those bills in the usual form, except that the Governor's veto may be over-
ruled by a majoritj' of the Legislature; and that, when the people within the limits
of those Territories shall amount to twenty-five thousand, they shall elect all their
own officers ; and until that time, the officers are to be appointed by the President,
as heretofore. We thought that twenty-five thousand people would be a sufficient
number to maintain a form of government without imposing a burden of excessive
taxation ; and that they would be capable of electing their own officers to take the
place of those appointed by the President."
Eepresentative Samuel S. Cox, of Ohio, here inquired :
"And do they propose the same proviso in respect to slavery that was con-
tained in the former bills ? Tliat is the point."
To this, Mr. Grow replied :
" We shall, I take it, report the same proviso as before, with the privilege of
any member to move to strike it out : and if a majority is against us upon that
question, we propose to vote for those bills. If the majority shall strike the clause
out, then you have not a word in the bills against slavery â€” no reference to it what-
ever. We propose to leave it to be settled by a majority of the House, whether they
will retain that proviso or not; and if a majority say no, it will be out of the bills.
Still, we believe that the people should have governments, and should therefore vote
to give them governments; for, to-day, there is no doubt that there are at least
forty thousand people in what is known as Pike's Peak, and they are there without
any government, and with no law but mob law.
"Sir, does the Government of the country discharge its duty to the pioneers
who go forth and people the wilderness, in thus leaving them exposed to mob law as
their only protection ?"
On December 17th, Mr. Grow asked "the unanimous consent of the
House to make the usual order setting two days for the consideration of
Territorial business". This having been agreed to, the 19th and 20th were
set apart for that purpose. He then asked unanimous consent to have th6
bills for the proposed Territories "numbered and printed in the same
manner as if they had been reported"'. As consent was given, this virtually
was a reporting of the measures. On the next day, and in accordance with
these arrangements, Mr. Grow presented from the Committee on Terri-
tories, "in order that they may be printed", four bills: the first (H. R. No.
887) "to provide a temporary government for the Territory of Idaho"; the
others being for the proposed Territories of "Nevada", "Dacota" and
On the first of the appointed days, Mr. Grow had the consideration of
Territorial business postponed until the 8th and 9th of January. When
the first of these dates were reached, the consideration was put off, at his
request, until the 15th and 16tli; and then there was another postponement,
to the 29th and 30th. However, the bills were not taken up on either of
these last-named days, nor was anything said or done in the House about
new Territories until another week had elapsed.
At that time the House was much demoralized by the secession move-
ment and by the withdrawal of many of its members representing southern
310 HISTOEY OF COLORADO
States. But this was not altogether the cause of the delay, as the Senate,
in the meantime, with Mr. Grow's knowledge and approval, had taken
action upon a measure to organize a Territory for the Pike's Peak People.
On February 6th, the House received no'^'ee that "the Senate have passed a
bill providing a temporary government foi the Territory of Colorado", and
in which the House was asked to concur.
The bill that had passed the Senate was the one which had been re-
ported from the Senate Committee on Territories on the 3d of the previous
April, and which, with the Senate's bill for "Arizona", had been carried
over to the second session as unfinished business.
The first action upon Territorial affairs by the Senate in the second
session had been to agree, on December 17th (1860), to a motion by
Senator Green, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Territories, to set
apart two days of the next week for consideration of Territorial business.
In support of his motion Mr. Green had said :
"We have had no hearing of our Territorial business ; and it is very important
that Congress should take some action, for Dacotah, for JeflTerson, for Arizona, Ter-
ritories, and for the Carson Valley [Nevada] people. I do not pretend to say what
we shall press, but I think the Territorial business ought to be considered. I move
that Wednesday and Thursday of next week be set apart for it. . . . If the Senate
do not take it up then, they v.i\\ give me some other day."
The "Arizona" bill was taken up on December 27th and considered by
the Senate as in Committee of the Whole; and again on the 31st. But the
Pike's Peak bill was not reached until January 30th. On that day. Senator
Green obtained consent "to take up the bill to j^rovide a temporary gov-
ernment for the Territory of Jefferson, merely for the purpose of making
it a special order". Senators Jacob Collamer, of Vermont, and Heni-y
Wilson, of Massachusetts, here suggested that the Senate "go on with it
now". As there was no objection, consideration of the bill proceeded. The
following is quoted from the Senate's record :
"Mr. Green. 'I have conferred with a gentleman from there who desires a
change of the boundaries'."
"Mr. Collamer. 'I have that in writing here'."
"Mr. Green. 'I ask for the reading of the bill'."
[The bill was read.]
"The Presiding Officer. 'The bill (Senate No. 306) to provide a temporary
government for the Territory of Colorado, is now before the Senate as in Com-
mittee of the Whole'."
"Several Senators. 'That is not it'."
"Mr. Green. 'That was the way it was reported last session. This session we
agreed to change the name to .Jeft'erson. Now there is an intention to move a differ-
ent name. I care nothing about the name'."
"Mr. Collamer. 'Will the gentleman allow me to move that change now?'."
"Mr. Green. 'I wish to propose a substitute for the bill. I offer what I hold
in my hand as a substitute, because I think it is more simple, and I have made some
little clianges; one in the boundarj-, and one in a clause, which I will name to the
Senate so they will understand it. This change is to strike out the words, "when
admitted as a State, they may come in with or without slavery" '."
"Mr. Collamer. 'In all other respects is it the same?'."
"Mr. Green. 'I think it is ; but it may be read and compared. I think it
ought to be read; for we want to legislate understandingly. I send to the Chair a
substitute for the whole bill'."
[The substitute was read.]
"Mr. Collamer. 'I desire to amend that substitute merelv ir the name. I
HISTOKY OF COLORADO 311
move, at the request of the people of that country, that wherever the name of Jeffer-
son occurs, Idaho be substituted for it'."
"ilr. Green. 'Several citizens from there came to me, and desired the name
to be Jefferson; and that was the reason I inserted that name; but I care nothing
at all about the name. Inasmuch as I promised them to propose the name of Jeffer-
son, I must vote against the Senator's amendment. Idaho is a very good name.
In the Indian language it signifies "Gem of the ilountains". Some had proposed the
name of Colorado, because the Colorado river is in that region; but Idaho being an
Indian name, and its meaning being "Gem of the Mountains", as so much mineral
is found there, it may be very appropriate'."
"The Presiding Ofiicer. 'The question is on the amendment offered by the
Senator from Vermont, to strike out "Jefferson" wherever it occurs in the substitute
proposed by the Senator from Missouri, and insert "Idaho" '."
The yeas and nays having been asked for. the Secretary proceeded to
call the roll. In responding to the call of their names, certain Senators
spoke briefly in explanation of their votes, as follows :
"Mr. Douglas. [Senator Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois.] 'I do not like either
name. I prefer to call it Jeffersonia to either. I vote against this amendment'."
"Mr. Lane. [Senator .Joseph Lane, of Oregon.] 'I am sorry that any motion
was made to change the name. If it had been Idaho originally, perhaps I should
never have objected to it. Tliat is said to be an Indian word, and to have a sigmfi-
cation â€” gem of the mountains. I do not believe it is an Indian word. It is a cor-
ruption. No Indian tribe in this nation has that word, in my opinion'."
"Mr. Collamer. 'I do not understand Indian'."
"Mr. Lane. 'It is a corruption certainly, a counterfeit, and ought not to be
adopted. I vote nay'."
"Mr. Cameron. [Senator Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, who at first had
voted in the negative.] 'I change my vote to gratify my friend from Vermont, who
understands this subject a great deal better than I do. I have great faith in him'."
The amendment to make "Idaho" the name of the proposed Territory
in the Pike's Peak Country was adopted by 24 ayes to 13 nays. As thus
amended. Senator Green's substitute then was agreed to without roll-call,
the Senate still acting as in Committee of the Whole.
In its original form, as reported in April, I860, the bill had provided
that the proposed Territory should be bounded upon the east by the
102d meridian (the western line of the then contemplated State of Kansas) ;
upon the north by the 41st parallel ; upon the west by the Green and Colo-
rado rivers; and upon the south by the 37th parallel. Excepting the
western, these proposed boundaries were the same as those of the present
State. At that time, the 37th parallel was ^ew Mexico's northern boundary
from California to the Continental Divide. Here the line turned and
ran northward by the sinuous course of the divide to the 38th parallel,
where it turned again and ran east along that parallel to the 103d meridian,
which, for the most part, was, as it still is, the eastern boundary of that
Territory. This northward projection of one degree of New Mexico soil,
between the divide and the 103 meridian, made a rectangular "notch"' in
the area now forming our State, and left a small tract, one degree square,
hanging down between it and the western line of Kansas, which division
had been admitted into the Union on the day before Senator Green called
up the "Colorado" bill and submitted his substitute for it. The latter
retained the original's eastern, northern, and southern boundaries, but
made the llOth meridian the western boundaiT of the proposed Territory
instead of the Green and Colorado rivers. Therefore the area within these
bounds still included the New Mexico "notch".
31-? HISTORY OF COLORADO
The clause that Senator Green omitted from his sulDstitute flas the
final provision of the first section of the original bill, and read as follows :
"And provided further, Tliat when admitted as a State, the said Territory, or
any portion of tlie same, shall be received into the Union -vvith or without slavery, as
their constitution may prescribe at the time of their admission."
Beyond an ineffective attempt more sharply to define the taxing powers
of the proposed Territory's Legislature, further consideration of the substi-
tute bill for the "GJeni of the Mountains"' went over. On February 2d, there
was an agreement to Mr. Green's motion "to take up the bill organizing
the Territorj' of Idaho, merely for the purpose of having it left as un-
finished business"'. '"I want"', he continued, "to keep it alive; that is all."
Its consideration was resumed on February 4th, when Senator Green said
that "friends of the Territories of New Mexico and Utah"' had suggested
some changes in the boundaries, as set forth in an amendment which he