stance in point.
"Tliat the executive and judicial powers of the Territory of Kansas are too far
removed to be available for the ordinar.v purposes of government, and that the
people residing within the Territory of Jefferson are consequently without any form
of government, or any established judiciary, civil or criminal.
"That large numbers of people have congregated in the mountains and on
the plains of said Territory, and have there made their homes, that property has
been acquired, commerce established, farms opened and cultivated, towns built and
communities formed, for the purpose of trade and social comfort, and absolutely re-
quire the safeguards of a regularly established government for tlie protection of
their numerous interests.
"That the emigration from the States in the spring will be large, and the
business transactions of the country proportionally extended, imperatively demand-
ing a positive and well-defined judiciary for their regulation; therefore the under-
signed would respectfully and earnestly recommend that the voters of the several
precincts do, on the first Monday in October, appoint or elect delegates, on the
ratio of one delegate from each precinct, and an additional delegate for each fifty
voters, to meet in convention in the city of Denver, on the second Monday in Octo-
ber, to form such Provisional Government.
"The committee would further respectfully suggest that the proposed Pro-
visional Government should consist of an Executive Department, embracing a Gov-
ernor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and
HISTOEY OF COLORADO 3i5
Territorial Marshal ; of a Legislative Department, consisting o' an Assembly, to be
known as the Provisional Assembly; of a Judiciary, consisting of three Judicial offi-
cers, to be known as the Supreme Judges of the Territory of Jefferson; and that
the several departments of government shall liave such powers as are entrusted to
like ofBcersin territorial governments, with such modifications as may be determined
upon by the Convention."
"JOHN C. MOORE,"
"S. W. WAGONER,"
"J. H. GEST,"
The following reference to and comments upon these preparatory pro-
ceedings for the organization of a Provisional Territorial Government,
appeared as an editorial article in the Rocky Mountain News, in its issue of
September 29th (1859) :
"It will be observed from the proceedings of a Mass Convention, and an address
to the voters of the Territory, published elsewhere in this paper, that the people, in
their wisdom, are taking steps for the organization of a Provisional Territorial Gov-
ernment. This we think an excellent movement, and the only one for the security
of our lives and property that can now be adopted. We are heartily in favor of it,
and say, by all means, go on, and speedily, so that we may have some kind of law
and order, and do away with the lawlessness and disorder vnhich now exists through-
out the country. Send up your delegates and let us have a rousing Convention on
the tenth of October.
"One thing puzzles us: We cannot for the life of us, see how men who so bit-
terly opposed a State organization, can now take up with a Provisional Territorial
organization ; one is as much at variance with the laws of Congress as the other,
and equally as expensive to the people. Claiming the rights of a State, we would
have three representatives knocking for admission at the doors of Congress and
urging our claims and rights there, whilst as a Territory we can have but one, and
under present circumstances with no better credentials than might have had our
three. It must be that these Territorial champions are in favor of rotation io
office, or hope for rapid promotion, so, perforce, we must have a Provisional Terri-
torial Oovernment for, say six mouths, then a Territorial Government under an or-
ganic Act of Congress for, perhaps six months longer, by which time we have no
doubt every mother's son of them will be clamorous for a State Organization, and
we will have population sufficient to demand recognition without delay. There may
be 'nothing in a name', but we would prefer living in a State to a Territory, when
the expense is the same ; neither is recognized by Congress, and cither has an equal
chance with the other of being so recognized. But let us go forward now and have
the best possible organization, and urge our claims for something better."
In response to the appeal sent forth by the "mass"-meetings of Septem-
ber 24th, elections for delegates to the proposed Territorial convention were
held in a majorit}' of the "precincts", including some that were unlinown
before, on the first Monday in October â the third day of the month, and an
appointed election-day in Kansas Territory. Of this opportunity for voting,
advantage was taken to hold two other elections, one of which was for a
"Delegate in Congress from Jefferson Territorr', and which had been
i^uggested and urged by the liochj Mountain News. In its issue of Septem-
ber 17th, in an editorial article commenting upon the defeat of the State
project, that masterful pioneer newspaper had said :
". . . It now remains for the people of Jefferson to elect a Delegate to Con-
gress at the October election. Let him be a good man and true â a man who will
command respect in the Federal Capitol and the Congress of the nation â one who
will work untiringly, and for the interest of the Territory; and let every man in the
346 HISTOEY OF COLORADO
Territory east his vote, so that our delegate may take his place, backed by a con-
stituency so numerous that it will command the immediate attention of Congress,
and secure his early recognition; then we may expect something. A territorial gov-
ernment, post routes, militarj- protection on our frontier, extinguishment of the In-
dian title, and a survey of the government lands, are all of vital importance to our
"We learn that it is understood by some that members of a Territorial Legis-
lature are to be elected in October. Such is not the ease. There is no provision for
the election of any officer except Delegate to Congress, and that is only by resolution
of the [State] Constitutional Convention.
"Rememher the first Motiday in October, and let every man who is entitled to
a vote cast it for Delegate to Congress.
"Should the candidates be announced before our next, we may take occasion
to canvass their merits."
The "State" constitutional convention had made no "provision" for tlie
election of a "Delegate to Congress". The onl}^ proposition that was
brought before that body for such an election was contained in the report
of the minority of the Select Committee appointed to consider "the proper
course for this convention to pursue", which report was rejected by the
convention. Therefore this election was "unauthorized".
Nevertheless, there were seven candidates for the position of ambassa-
dor at Washington â Samuel Adams, Hiram J. Graham, C. A. Roberts, R. W.
Steele, J. H. St. Matthew, Beverly D. Williams, and George M. Willing.
The election was conducted recklessly, w-ith "terrible ballot-box stuffing"
as one of the accompaniments, and "returns" were sent in from several
alleged "precincts" of which no one ever had heard before. However,
Beverly D. Williams, who had come to Denver late in the spring of that
year as pioneer local manager of the Leavenworth & Pike's Stage and Ex-
press Company, emerged from the scrape with a large plurality of the
honest votes. It was in behalf of Willing that the worst of the frauds had
been committed, and nominally he was elected. But after the returns had
been sifted and upw-ard of 2,000 bogus votes thrown out the result stood
as follows: Williams, 1,911; Graham, 682; Adams, 528; Roberts, 486;
Steele, 433; Willing, 265; St. Matthew, SOâ a total of 4,385. In the
report of the "Board of Canvassers" it is said tliat "George M. Willing
personally appeared before us, and stated tJiat he did not wish the com-
missioners to count any votes for him which they thought were fraudulent,
and stated that some of these were fraudulent". But Williams did not get
his "Certificate of Election" without noisy protest. All the returns were
questioned more or less, their validity disputed, the "Board of Canvassers"
was reviled, and there was much wrangling over the result as at last formally
determined. But the entire proceedings were without authority of law.
That part of the Pike"s Peak region lying within the limits of Kansas and
Nebraska Territories had been, was, and would be represented at Washing-
ton by the Delegates from tliose Territories, who would continue lawfully to
represent them until Congress decreed otherwise.
The other "extraneous election" held on that politically-busy first Mon-
day in October was for a complement of county officers for Arapahoe County
of Kansas Territory. This was instigated by a small group of men who
understood and appreciated at its full value the legal status, or lack of legal
status, of all that was going on in local politics. Although "]\Iontana
County", as well as the others, of the Kansas act of February 7, 1859,
practically had become reminiscences, these men knew that if any county
HISTORY OF COLORADO H7
existed in the Pike's Peak countiT it was a county of Kansas Territory;
and they decided that the old Arapahoe County still lived. The outfit of
county officers "elected" in the previous March had not been superseded hy
any other form of county organization, but had, in a more or less nominal
manner, together with the miners' and other emergency "courts", partici-
pated in supplying such of the substance of local "government" â which
was not much â as had thus far been available in the new mining-region.
Alleging that the "election" of A. J. Smith to the Legislative As.^embly of
Kansas Territory, in November, 1858, and also the "county election" of
the previous March, had been held by the Pike's Peakers as citizens of
Kansas Territory, the leaders in this new county -enterprise quietly arranged,
on the eve of the election for delegates to the "Jefferson" Territorial con-
vention, a full county ticket for the ancient Arapahoe County. The move-
ment resulted in the "election" of the following-named officers : C. E. Bis-
seU, Probate Judge; John H. Kehler, Sheriff; E. F. Clewell, Register of
Deeds ; L. "W. Bliss, Treasurer ; D. C. Collier, Attorney ; E. L. Wootton, C.
A. Lawrence, and J. M. Ferrell, Supervisors. There is no record of a vote
for Representative in the Kansas Legislative Assembly.
Of this "election" and of the extremely muddled state of political
affairs by which the Pike's Peakers now were confronted, the Rocky Moun-
tain News, in an editorial article, in its issue of October 6th, said :
". . . On the eve of the election, a county ticket for the â¢'county of Arapa-
hoe, territory of Kansas', was started, and a full board elected by a small vote in
two or three precincts, thus recognizing Kansas laws. So it goes ; one day we under-
stand that we are cut off from Kansas, the next, we have cut ourselves off, and will
pay no regard to Kansas Legislation, but have an independent provisional govern-
ment of our own; and the very next, when there is a chance for a petty office under
Kansas laws, there are hundreds ready to enter the lists, and before their certificates
of election are dry in their pockets, you will hear them lustily advocating 'inde-
pendent government', and let Kansas go to the dogs. When this county scheme was
started, why was it not carried out, and members of the Kansas Legislative As-
sembly elected also? Nobody seemed to have thought of that excepting two or three
shrewd ones, who, we learn, received a few votes for representative, and under them
will claim seats in the next Kansas Legislature, not the representatives of the people,
but of a few of their friends.
"Here we go, a regular tripple-headed government machine; south of 40 deg.
[40th parallel], we hang on to the skirts of Kansas; north of 40 deg., to those of
Nebraska; straddling the line, we have just elected a delegate to the LTnited States
Congress, from the 'Territory of -Jefferson', and ere long we will have in full blast
a provisional government of Rocky Jlountain growth and manufacture. This last
we hope may succeed, and swallow up the delectable uncertainty of law now existing;
where one man claims he lives in Arapahoe county, whilst his neighbor asserts that
he is in Montana [ilontana County, of the act of February, 1859.] where one man
acknowledges Kansas laws and another says he is on Indian land where no law can
reach. A compact of the people under any name, state, territory, or provisional gov-
ernment, if either can be effected, is better than the present ; and if some such is
not soon adopted, with a determination to abide by. and respect it. we bid fair to
out -Kansas Kansas herself."
The small total of votes cast at the elections on Octoljer -Sd afforded
further evidence of the depletion of the Pike"s Peak country's poinilation,
and was a profound surprise to everv one who had jiersonally taken part
in the political movements, for at least five-sixths of the people who had
entered the country in that year were qualified to vote. The several candi-
dates for the position of "Delegate to Congress" had made rather an active
348 HISTORY OF COLORADO
campaign during the intervening week, and it was commonly supposed that
they would "get out a full vote". On the face of the returns from the
election for "county ofRcers", tlie number of ballots alleged to have been
cast was greater than the aggregate reported for the candidates for the
ambassadorship at Washington, including the frauds. The largest vote in
the county election was for Sheriff, for which place there were three candi-
dates, two of whom were "sporadic". Of the total of 8,089 votes returned
for these. John H. Kehler was credited with 7,395. But it is probable that
not less than two-thirds of them were fictitious.
The delegates elected to the Territorial convention assembled at Den-
ver City on the appointed day. There were many new names and faces
among them, for the majority of the number had not been members of the
body which had framed the defeated constitution for a State ; nor were they
so orderly in their methods and proceedings. Of their transactions in con-
vention, the following is a copy of the "official" report :
"Proceedings of the Convention to Form a Provisional Government for the
Territory of Jefferson."
"Monday, October 10, 1859. â The Convention met at Apollo Hall, in Denver,
at ten o'clock, A. M., and was called to order by the nomination of Mr. R. W.
Steele, Chairman, and Mr. L. VV. Bliss, Secretary, pro tern. After some discussion
of the proper mode of piucedure in the premises, it was moved that a committee of
five be appointed upon Credentials. A motion to amend by substituting 'one from
each Precinct' was carried after a lengthy debate and the Committee was appointed.
On motion adjourned to two o'clock, P. M.
"Afternoon. â A session of the Committee on credentials extended beyond the
hour for assembly. On the Convention assembling, H. P. A. Smith, Chairman of the
Committee on Credentials, reported the following persons as being entitled to seats
in the Convention.
"Empire Ranch. â George W. Weed.
"Nevada Gulch.â J. N. Odell, L. W. Link, S. M. Link, J. R. Beverly, R. C.
Booth, Samuel Delaney.
"Rocky Mountain City. â Frank DeLaMar.
"Jefferson. â A. J. Allison, George W. Brown.
"Golden Gate.â W. G. Preston, S. W. Lincoln, Ed. Van Endart, H. J. Humley.
"Tarryall.â Jos. A. Gray.
"Beaver aeek.â D. C. Collier.
"Highland.â E. R. Parks.
"Illinois Central.â A. M. Smith, R. Barton, W. D. Arnett, G. W. Clearland.
"Denver.â Hickory Rogers, Wm. P. McClure, Samuel Bennett, John C. Moore,
P. Talbut, A. G. Baber, S. W. Wagoner, B. D. Williams, G. M. Willing, 0. B. Tot-
ten, Drake ISIcDowell, C. H. Blake.
"Shian Pass. â R. S. Parks.
"Arapahoe.â E. R. Harris, G. B. Allen, A. S. White, E. Fitzgerald, J. Hatte-
man, J. C. Hark, H. Foot.
"Sanders' Ranch. â John Shear.
"Fort Eyrie. â Henry H. McAfee.
"Colona.â Wm. S. Foster.
"Auraria. â Wm. M. Slaughter, Thos. H. Warren, Charles L. Goldsir, Henry
Allen, R. L. Wootton, Thos. Pollock, H. R. Hunt, J. M. Clark, W. H. Middaugh, M.
G. Hickman, . . . Jeffards.
"St. Vrain.â C. P. Hall.
"Russellville.â N. G. Wyatt, M. C. Fisher.
"Huerfano. â B. F. Jeffries, A. N. Michee.
"Golden City.â J. M. Ferrell. A. L. Grey, L. W. Bliss, D. K. Wall, Wm. F.
"Smith's Ranch. â George E. Spencer.
"Spanish Bar. â A. Sagendorf.
HISTORY OF COLORADO 349
"Pleasant Valle}-. â E. J. Frazier, D. Shaffer.
"Mountain City. â H. P. A. Smith, E. P. McGloshin, James Rariden, William
Simpson, C. H. Noble, C. R. Bissell, Wm. Clancy, W. Smith, G. \V. Cook, J. L. Mer-
rick, J. H. Kehler, Charles McDuffie, E. Harris.
"Russell's Gulch.â G. L. Wood.
"Blue River. â J. M. Piper, S. G. Jones, J. Vanduzen.
"Gregory's Point. â . . . Storms.
"The report of the Committee on Credentials was adopted, and on motion a
Committee on Permanent Organization was appointed. The Committee reported the
najues of the following officers: â President, R. W. Steele; Vice Presidents, H. P. A.
Smith, J. M. Ferrell, H. Allen, G. E. Spencer, W. G. Preston; Secretaries, 0. B.
Totten, G. L. Wood.
"H. P. A. Smith requested his name withdrawn as an officer, not recognizing
the Convention as necessary or proper.
"Report of Committee adopted.
"The Convention then went into Committee of the Wliole, to consider the pro-
priety of forming a Provisional Government. The Committee reported that it was
expedient to form such government. Report adopted.
"Tuesday Forenoon [October 11th]. H. P. A. Smith spoke at large, denouncing
the movement for the formation of a Provisional Government, and he entered the
following protest against the action of the Convention :
" 'Protest of H. P. A. Smith.' "
" 'The undersigned, on the part of his office in this convention, hereby solemnly
protests against the action of this Convention in attempting to organize a Provisional
Government, for the following reasons, viz. :
" '1st. We now have all the laws that exist in Eastern Kansas, adopted under
the Constitution of the United States.
"'2d. We have no legal right to form such a Government.
" '3d. This is not called for by the People, nor is it necessary or proper.
" '4th. It will abrogate all legal rights, and throw the country upon the re-
sults of a gigantic Vigilance Committee.
" '5th. Before such a government can be formed we shall have a proper and
legal government from Congress.
" '6th. We have elected a Delegate to Congress asking for a Territorial form
of Government, and are repudiating at the same time the laws of the United States.'
" ' Respectfully,
"'H. P. A. Smith.'"
"N. G. Wyatt, on leave, read a plan for a Provisional Government, and on
motion a Committee was appointed on said plan, which they reported recommending
its adoption. Adopted.
"On motion the Convention proceeded to nominate officers [candidates for ex-
ecutive and judicial positions in the proposed provisional government], when the
following names received the annexed votes for Governor:
"R. W. Steele, 51; J. H. St. Matthew.s, 35; H. Allen, 3; F. DeLaMar, 1; G.
Brown, 1; H. H. McAfee, 1. Mr. Steele was declared nominated.
"Afternoon. â On motion a Committee was appointed to apportion the Ter-
ritory into Council and Representative districts. Tlie Committee reported the fol-
lowing districts :
"1st Dist. The Precincts of Denver, Russellville 1 Coun.
"2d " Auraria, Plum Creek, Fort Eyrie 1 "
"3d " Golden City, Golden Gate, Arapahoe, Highland, Boulder 1 "
"4th " Dutch Gap, Snowy Range, Russell's Gulch 1 "
"5th " Pleasant Valley, Illinois Central, Nevada Gulch 1 "
"6th " Mountain City, Eureka, Gregory's point, Hull's Ranch 1 "
"7th " Colorado City, Two Blues, Tarrj'all, Fountain City, Huerfano.. 1 "
"8th " Fort Laramie, Colona, Jefferson City, Douglas City, St. Vrain,
Fort Lupton, Sanders' Ranch, Empire Ranch 1 "
350 HISTOEY OF COLORADO
"1st Dist. Denver, Russellville 2 Reps.
"2d " Auraria, Plum Creek, Fort Eyrie 2 "
"3(1 " Golden City '. 1 "
"4th " Mountain City 1 "
"5th " Nevada 1 "
"eth " Russell 1 "
"7th " Golden Gate 1 "
"8th " Tarryall 1 "
"9th " Two Blues 1 "
"10th " Colorado [Oity] 1 "
"11th" Boulder 1 "
"r2th " Jefferson. Deadwood, Gold Hill 1 "
"1.3th " Illinois Central, Pleasant Valley 1 "
"14th " Cheyenne Pass. Colona, Fort Laramie 1 "
"15th " Arrappahoe, Highland 1 "
"16th " Fountain City 1 "
"17th " Spanish Bar, Snowy Range, Dutch Ranch, Jackson's Diggings.. 1 "
"18th " Jefferson, Fort Lupton, Sanders' Ranch, St. Vrain. Douglas City,
Empire Ranch, Mouth of Beaver 1 "
"19th " Eureka, Hull's Ranch, Gregory's Point 1 "
"It was resolved that Precincts not mentioned shall be attached to the nearest
"On motion a Committee was appointed to draft a Constitution for the Terri-
"Evening [Tuesday]. The nomination of officers was proceeded with; and â -
G. W. Bliss [C. R. Bissell] was nominated for Auditor; R. J. Frazier, Attorney
General ; J. L. Merrick, Marshal ; H. H. McAfee, Superintendent of Public Instruc-
tion ; 0. B. Totten, Clerk of the Supreme Court. [The record is incomplete as to the
"Wednesday [October 12th]. The Committee on the Constitution reported a
Constitution which was received and discussed.
"Afternoon. A resolution endorsing the officers elected at the late election,
was offered, and gave rise to a great deal of very warm discussion, but finally a
compromise was effected so that the names of the elected candidates were omitted.
"Evening. The Constitution was adopted, and a Committee on Phraseology
and Arrangement appointed, which Committee was instructed to request the publica-
tion of this report, and the Constitution in the Rocky Mountain News, the Gold
Reporter [at Mountain City], St. Louis Republican, St. Louis Democrat, and in all
other papers favorable to an organization.
"After the passage of Complimentary Resolutions and paying for the hall,
the Convention adjourned sine die."
"R. W. Steele, Prea."
"0. B. Totten, Sec."
"The officers elected at tlie late election", referred to in the resolution
which "gave rise to a great deal of very warm discussion" on Wednesday
afternoon, were the county officers for Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory,
who had been "elected" on October 3d.
In ex]:)lanation of the causes of the very "scrappy" character of the
foregoing report of the Territorial convention's transactions, the members
of the Committee on Phraseology and Arrangement appended to it the
"The Committee on Phraseology and Arrangement would say that no regular
report of the proceeding.? was kept by the Secretary and the Committee had, only,
the fragments to make up a report from.
"In doing this, we have taken the liberty to bring together matters in the re-
port which were separated by other proceedings, and in view of the diflSculties in
HISTOEY OF COLORADO 351
the way of making a perfect report, the Committee would ask the indulgence of their
former colleagues in the Convention."
"A. J. Allison."
"J. A. Gray."
"H. H. McAfee."
On the da}' after the conveutiou adjourned, the candidates nominated
by it for election to the several executive and judicial positions in the pro-
posed new government issued a public address, as follows :
"To the People of the Territory of Jefferson."
"Denver, October 13, 18.59."
"The undersigned regular nominees of the Convention wliicli met at Denver
on Monday, Oct. 10th, 1859. to form a Provisional Government for the Territory of
Jefferson, would bespeak the careful attention of the people of the Territory to
the following facts :
"1st. The laws of Kansas do not extend over us until the Indian title to the
lands is extinguished; for proof of this we refer to the latter clause of See. 19th, of
the Organic Act of Kansas.
"2d. We have no Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction or of Appeal, and the so-
called County organization of the County of Arapahoe cannot be sustained by law
if questioned in its authority. Beside, a portion of our population reside within the
Territorial limits of Nebraska, without even the semblance of law for their pro-
"'.'>d. Pending the action of Congress in our case we liave.no protection for life