Frederic L. (Frederic Logan) Paxson.

A preliminary bibliography of Colorado history online

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Reprinted from University of Colorado Studies, Vol. Ill, No. 3,
Boulder, Colo., June, 1906.




The materials relating to the history of Colorado have never been
described in a systematic manner and remain unnoticed in our libraries
in the form of books, chapters, and magazine articles. The official
records of the state have received some attention in "The Public
Archives of the State of Colorado," by F. L. Paxson, in the Annual
Report oj the American Historical Association, 1903, Vol. I, pp. 414-
437. A beginning has also been made in the bibliography of formal
books relating to the history of the state, by the same writer in his
"The Historical Opportunity in Colorado," in the University oj Col-
orado Studies, Vol. Ill, pp. 19-24. But no attempt has thus far been
made to arrange the magazine articles and public documents in any
sort of order. This last work is the purpose of this present paper,
but no claim for an exhaustive bibliography is here made. It is hoped
that the most important articles have been found and listed, but in
some directions the collection is avowedly partial, while in all it is
only preliminary.

The land which is incorporated in Colorado has been acquired
at various times from France, Mexico, and Texas, the steps being
recorded in F. L. Paxson, "The Boundaries of Colorado," in the
University of Colorado Studies, Vol. II, pp. 87-94. The actual survey
of the southern boundary touching New Mexico and Oklahoma was
long deferred, the attempts to provide for it being described in H.
Doc. 604; 57C.i; Serial 4377; May, 1902, x and H. Doc. 120; 57C.2;
Serial 4489; December, 1902. So much of the land as lies between
the Rio Grande and the Arkansas, and the meridians of their
sources, was bought from Texas on September 9, 1850. The exist-
ence of various Mexican grants in this region has been a source of

1 This reference, and all others to the public documents, should be expanded in this manner: House
Document 604; Fifty-seventh Congress, First Session; Serial No. 4377.

2 / 1


annoyance to the United States because of a confusion as to lands
eatft and west of the Rio Grande, the latter having been acquired from
Mexico in 1848, and the grants therein being under the guarantee
of the treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo. In 1886 the Committee on
Private Land Claims recommended the erection of a special tribunal
to handle these claims, H. Rep. 1380; 49C.i; Serial 2439. Two
years later this same committee presented a second report to the same
effect, stating that three millions of acres of Colorado lands were claimed
under grants from Spain and Mexico, H. Rep. 675; 5oC.i; Serial
2600; and finally in 1892 the same committee again reported to the
House on the status of litigation over the Vigil, Maxwell, St. Vrain.
and other grants, calling attention to the fact that the land policy of
the United States had overlooked the Texan origin of the Colorado
lands east of the Rio Grande, H. Rep. 1253; 52C.i; Serial 3045.

The geographical and geological foundations for the history of
Colorado are well laid in the government documents. In general,
it is necessary to call attention to the irrigation papers among the Bul-
letins of Experiment Stations, Department of Agriculture, and to the
Bulletins of the United States Geological Survey, many of which relate
to Colorado. There is a good bibliography of the various exploring
parties that have worked in Colorado in pp. 18-26 of. G. H. Girty,
"The Carboniferous Formations and Faunas of Colorado," H. Doc.
479 ; 57C.2; Serial 4511; pp. 546. A resolution of the legislature
of Colorado asking for a federal department of mines, with the comment
of the Director of the Geological Survey upon the request, is in Sen.
Doc. 170; 55C.i; Serial 3563; pp. 8. The Secretary of War reported
to Congress in 1897 upon reservoir sites in Wyoming and Colorado,
giving a general history of irrigation works, H. Doc. 141; 5$C.2;
Serial 3666; pp. no; while A. L. Fellows, in Water Supply and Irri-
gation Papers, No. 74, has an exhaustive description of the "Water
Resources of the State of Colorado," H. Doc. 200; 57C.2; Serial
4500; pp. 151. The economic historian will find much comfort in
the annual Statistics of Mines and Mining, prepared by the federal
Commissioner of Mining Statistics, the eighth annual being 1875*
H. Ex. Doc. 159; 44C.i; Serial 1691.


The first few years of the life of the Territory of Colorado were
passed in an obscurity that has rarely been driven away. Little interest
was shown in the territory at the time, or since, and thus few articles
have to be recorded for the period. Among the most interesting articles
upon the period of settlement is the avowed forgery by "Fitz-Mac,"
which appeared in the -Colorado Magazine, Vol. I, pp. 281-297, July
1893. This local magazine, which lived for only five months in the
summer of 1893, was far beyond most similar journals in typographical
and literary character. The article in question purported to be a
series of six letters, written chiefly in the years 1859-1860, by early
settlers in Denver. Although the author admitted that the letters
were an honest fabrication, the descriptive value of the series is great,
for " Fitz-Mac" showed an intimate acquaintance with the person-
nel and conditions of the short-lived territory of Jefferson.

Much of the literature produced in these first years was called forth by
the various attempts at statehood made in the Pike 's Peak country. As
early as February, 1861, this matter was stirred up by B. D. Williams,
who appeared in Washington and sought recognition as a territorial
delegate. The memorials which he presented to Congress contain
descriptions of the new settlements and a copy of the message of Rich-
ard W. Steele, governor of the provisional territorial organization of
Jefferson Territory. They may be found in H. Misc. Doc. 10; 36C.i;
Serial 1063. The same spontaneous territorial movement is described
in a brief paper on "The Territory of Jefferson," by F. L. Paxson,
in the University of Colorado Studies, Vol. Ill, pp. 15-18. The origi-
nal materials for the period are not copious. The message of General
Gilpin, the first territorial governor, is printed in H. Ex. Doc. 56;
37C.2; Serial 1131; while in the same month, February, 1862, a six-
page report from the Committee on Ways and Means, H. Rep. 36;
37C.2; Serial 1144, advocates the establishment of a branch mint
in Denver. The great production and use of raw gold, together with
the existence of a private mint, were the reasons leading the committee
to its recommendation.

From 1864 to 1867 various attempts to bring Colorado into the
United States occupy most of the time. An enabling act was passed


in 1864, but the constitution framed in accordance with it was rejected
at the polls. The following summer saw a change of feeling, bringing
with it a new and ratified constitution; but President Johnson declined
to issue the proclamation of admission on receiving it, on the ground
that the time for such action had expired. He transmitted the constitu-
tion with extracts from the reports of the convention and his reasons
for refusing to act in Sen. Ex. Doc. 10; 390.1; Serial 1237, on Jan-
uary 12, 1866. Congress followed this message by passing a second
enabling act for the territory, only to receive back this act with a veto
message of May 16, 1866. The printed message, Sen. Ex. Doc. 45;
39C.i; Serial 1238, contains a copy of the vetoed act. A third enabling
act was passed the following January by this same Congress, and was
likewise vetoed by the President. The second veto message, Sen.
Ex. Doc. 7; 39C.2; Serial 1277, contains elaborate reasons for the
veto, the chief ground being the small population of the territory, its
recent shrinkage in numbers, and the injustice of such admission to
the older states.

While the statehood agitation was in progress, the territory suffered
from constant Indian attacks. Incidental to these attacks are the
investigation into the Indian finances of Governor A. B. Cummings,
H. Misc. Doc. 81; 39C.2; Serial 1302, and the statement of the expen-
ses of the First Colorado Regiment in a campaign of 1865, H. Ex. Doc.
7; 4oC.2; Serial 1330.

The interest of Congress in the territory and its Indian troubles
is followed by the beginning of popular curiosity as to the new country.
Among the articles which cater to this demand are two which are found
in Harper's Magazine for June and July, 1867. In the latter issue*
Vol. XXXV, pp. 137-150, there is an account of the trip across the
plains by F. R. Davis, entitled "A Stage Ride to Colorado." The
life of the pioneer emigrant is described in this account of a journey
by the Smoky Hill route from Omaha to Denver. Some interesting
statements are made as to the condition of the railroad end of the
route. A month earlier than the account of Davis, A. W. Hoyt has
in the same magazine, Vol. XXXV, pp. 1-21, a brief description of
a similar trip "Over the Plains to Colorado," of which the more impor-


tant part consists of a description of the mining camps then existing
in the territory.

Greeley, settled in 1869, is remarkable among frontier commu-
nities in that it was deliberately planted in lands which could easily
be put under ditch. The village from the start was occupied by an
eminently moral and temperate population, under the leadership of
Meeker, and under the countenance of Horace Greeley. Its resulting
prosperity is described by Richard T. Ely in "The Story of a 'Decreed '
Town," in Harper's Magazine, Vol. CVI, pp. 390-401, February, 1903.

The census of 1870 gave some support to the contention of Presi-
dent Johnson, since it reported a population of only 39,841 for the
territory. But the figures were attacked by the settlers in Colorado.
There is to be found in Sen. Misc. Doc. 40; 410.3; Serial 1442, a
statement signed by territorial governor McCook, which denies the
accuracy of the census. It gives various tables showing taxable values,
agricultural statistics, railway growth, etc., and closes with an inac-
curate abstract of the legislative history of the statehood movement.
The early years of the seventies saw considerable settlement in the
territory, and twice between 1870 and 1875 did the^ House Committee
on Territories report in favor of the admission of Colorado. The
former report is in H. Rep. 8; 420.3; Serial 1576, dated January
6, 1873. The second comes May 28, 1874, in H. Rep. 619; 43C.i;
Serial 1626. This latter report, by Chaff ee, gives valuable figures
as to the condition of the territory, based on a census of 1873. Its
figures of railways are specially interesting.

Colorado became a state in 1876, and the framing of its constitu-
tion is the subject of an article by E. H. Meyer in the Iowa Journal
of History and Politics for April, 1904, Vol. II, pp. 256-274, with the
title "The Constitution of Colorado." The admission of the state was
by presidential proclamation, in accordance with an act passed at
the end of the Forty-third Congress. In the following Congress the
point was raised as to the constitutionality of this method of admission,
and the House Committee on Judiciary presented majority and minority
reports to the house upon the propriety of seating James W. Belford
as representative from Colorado without further legislation, H. Rep.


67; 440.2; Serial 1769; pp. 24. The majority report advised the
seating of the delegate, while both reports went into the details of
the territorial policy of the United States.

The admission of the new state brought into a new prominence
the problem of the military control of the Southwest, with the result
that exploration and survey of new routes advanced rapidly. The
lines of communication between southern Colorado and points in
Arizona and New Mexico inspired a report from the Secretary of War
on March 31, 1876, H. Ex. Doc. 172; 440.1; Serial 1691; pp. 34.
The next Congress saw a similar report on communication between
Colorado and New Mexico, based upon a reconnaissance of the San
Juan country in 1877, H. Ex. Doc. 66; 450.2; Serial 1806; pp. 38.
This report includes three maps, one of which shows the outlines of
the Ute Indian reservation at the time. And another map, published
in a report of the same department in May, 1878, H. Ex. Doc. 88;
450.2; Serial 1809, shows all the surveys and explorations made west
of the hundredth meridian during the ten years then ending.

The earliest prominence of Colorado in the magazines came with the
discovery of the large deposits of silver in and near Leadville, about
1877. Before these discoveries, the federal surveys had inspired a
description of the work of the "Wheeler Expedition in Southern Col-
orado, "-by W. H. Rideing, in Harper's Magazine, Vol. LII, pp. 793-
806, May, 1876. But this account of a party which started from
Pueblo and crossed to the southwest in search of wagon routes, is excep-
tional, and it is not until about 1880 that a real interest is aroused.
The new Leadville camp drew visitors from all the United States,
and among them was Helen Hunt Jackson, who then lived in Colorado
Springs, and told of her trip "To Leadville" in the Atlantic Monthly
for May, 1879, Vol. XLIII, pp. 567-579. This, like other articles
from the same pen, is light and discursive, valuable not for its con-
tribution to facts, but for its contribution to color. E. Ingersoll's "Camp
of the Carbonates," in Scribner's Monthly for October, 1879, Vol.
XVIII, pp. 801-824, is more serious than Mrs. Jackson's article, and
gives some useful accounts of definite conditions in Leadville. a Grub
Stakes and Millions, " by A. A. Hayes, in Harper's Magazine, for Febru-


ary, 1880, Vol. LX, pp. 380-397, is of similar character. More serious
than any of these is an article on "Colorado" which appeared in the
Fortnightly Review for January, 1880, Vol. 'XXXIII, o. s., pp. 119-129,
over the name of J. W. Barclay. Here, prepared for an English public,
is an account of the conditions prevailing throughout the state, with
special and conservative reference to the possibilities of the state in
mining, agriculture, and grazing; while the appeal of the mountains to
the hunter and sportsman is sounded by the Earl of Dunraven in the
Nineteenth Century for September, 1880, Vol. VIII, pp. 445-457, with
the title "A Colorado Sketch."

The silver interests are not the only ones which attracted the visitor
about 1880. A. A. Hayes described "The Cattle Ranches of Colo-
rado" in Harper's Magazine for November, 1879, Vol. LIX, pp. 877-
895. The grazing possibilities of the Arkansas valley are exploited
in this paper, while its general argument is carried a step further
by the same author in Harper's for January, 1880. Vol. LX, pp. 193-
210, with the similar title, "Shepherds of Colorado," and his "Vaca-
tion Aspects of Colorado" found place in the issue for May, Vol. LX,
pp. 542-556. The same year which saw these articles of Hayes saw
further papers from Mrs. Jackson, who journeyed out from her home
in Colorado Springs to various points of interest, and continued to
write little discursive sketches of camps and scenery and people. Her
"A New Anvil Chorus," in Scribner's Monthly for January, 1878,
Vol. XV, pp. 386-395, tells of a visit to Fort Garland and the San Juan
valley, of racial types and railway construction; "Little Rose and
the House of the Snowy Range," in the same monthly for May, 1878,
Vol. XVI, pp. 55-58, carries her to the Sangre di Cristo range and
the Wet Mountain valley; and finally she contributed to the Atlantic,
in December, 1883, Vol. LII, pp. 753-762, an account of her trip to
Crested Butte and the Gunnison fields of 1880, with the title " O-Be-
Joyful Creek and Poverty Gulch."

Parallel to the mining interest of the Leadville boom came a desire
to explore the lands of the southwestern part of Colorado, and a demand
that the Ute Indians be removed from the state by the federal gov-
ernment. The Secretary of War replied to a resolution of the House


with a message of May 23, 1878, H..Ex. Doc. 91; 450.2; Serial 1809;
pp. 4, in which he described the means taken for the protection of
residents of western Colorado and gave a map showing parts of the
Ute reservation, with the portion in dispute in the Uncompahgre country.
As a result of this pressure the removal was provided for by Congress,
and the lands in question were ceded by the Utes June 15, 1880. A
letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs tells of the condition of
the Indians to be removed, H. Misc. Doc. 57; 45C.2; Serial 1820;
pp. 5; while after the bill had been passed, the Committee on Public
Lands, through T. M. Patterson, advocated the survey of the boun-
dary between Colorado and New Mexico, on the ground that the
mineral deposits in the new territory made such a survey necessary,
H. Rep. 708; 450.2; Serial 1825. Four years later, the removal
having been accomplished, on August 28, 1881, the Committee on
Public Lands again brought up the matter of the Ute agreement, and
asked for legislation to protect the settlers in their titles in the old reser-
vation, its boundaries not having been surveyed, and the land itself
not yet having become a part of the public lands, H. Rep. 561; 47C.i;
Serial 2066. The same report, with slight verbal changes, is found
also in Sen. Rep. 186; 47C.i; Serial 2004. The question of titles
in these lands was long a matter of confusion, a homestead bill for
them being considered in 1902, and advocated by Shafroth of Colo-
rado, H. Rep. 1275; 57C.i; Serial 4403.

The decade of the eighties is one of rapid development in all direc-
tions, bringing as a by-product many difficult questions concerning
the administration of the public lands. The common occurrence
of agricultural school lands turning out to be mineral lands produced
in 1880 a report from the Committee on Public Lands, Sen. Rep. 256;
46C.2; Serial 1893, and another in 1898, H. Rep. 792; 550.2; Serial
3719. Similarly, the confusion among the railway land grants to the
Union Pacific and the Denver Pacific Railways is responsible for a
bill introduced to protect purchasers of such lands in their titles, H.
Rep. 2846; 5oC.i; Serial 2605. All of the agricultural lands received
a new value as irrigation progressed. The proposal to lease the arid
lands of Colorado evoked in 1882 majority and minority reports from


the Committee on Public lands, H. Rep. 197; 470.1; Serial 1065.
The Secretary of the Interior made an estimate in 1889, the year after
the formal irrigation survey had begun under the Geological Survey,
of the irrigation capacities of the Platte and Arkansas valleys, Sen.
Ex. Doc. 120; 500.2; Serial 2612, in response to a call from the Sen-
ate; and the House Committee on Public Lands, in the same session,
recommended the establishment of three new land offices in Colorado,
to meet the demands of increasing sales, H. Rep. 3617; 5oC.2; Serial
2673. The establishment of forest reserves created complications
in mining lands, a bill to open such reservations to mining claims
receiving in 1896 favorable reports from both of the committees, Sen.
Rep. 191; 54-C.i; Serial 3362, and H. Rep. 152; 54-C.i; Serial 3457.
The early nineties saw a considerable degree of interest in Colorado,
inspired by the great discoveries at Cripple Creek, and the prominent
part played by the great discoveries at Cripple Creek, and the promi-
nent part played by the state in the prevailing monetary discussions.
The general question of mining and mining education came in for con-
sideration, and the latter extracted from the House Committee on Mines
and Mining a recommendation that a portion of the proceeds from
the sale of public lands should be turned over to the aid of the School
of Mines in the state in which the lands were sold, H. Rep. 1136;
5iC.i; Serial 2810. The Nation on October 5, 1893, Vol. LVII,
pp. 245-246, gave space to a geographical and romantic description
of " Pike's Peak and Colorado Springs" by Mabel L. Todd; and
Harper's Magazine for May of that year had already printed, Vol.
LXXXVI, pp. 935-948, a description by the New York correspondent
of the London Times, Julian Ralph, of " Colorado and its Capital."
More specific accounts of the mining excitement of this year are Cy
Warman's "Story of Cripple Creek," in the American Review of
Reviews for February, 1896, Vol. XIII, pp. 161-166, with its descrip-
tion of the early rush into the camp and the resulting construction of
railways; and his similar article in the Colorado Magazine, Vol. I,
pp. 67-76, April, 1893. Warman had already contributed to the
Colorado Magazine, Vol. I, pp. 163-172, May, 1893, an article on
"Crede," describing the discovery of the Amethyst vein in 1891, the


extension of the Denver & Rio Grande tracks to the camps in the
autumn of that year, and the resulting fortunes for Crede, the discov-
erer, and Moffat, his partner. A little later, Francis Lynde published
in Scribner's Magazine, which is to be distinguished from the earlier
Scribner's Monthly, a narrative description of "Cripple Creek" in
the issue for May, 1900, Vol. XXVII, pp. 603-616. And, finally, the
Colorado College Studies, General Series, No. 17, June, 1905, pp. 1-48,
presents a paper on "The Cripple Creek Strike of 1893," bv B - M -
Rastall, with an introduction by Professor T. K. Urdahl.

On the monetary situation there are magazine articles without
number, only a few calling for mention here. In September, 1893,
when the question of silver had come into existence, the Review of
Reviews presented a friendly account of "The Silver Situation in Col-
orado," Vol. VIII, pp. 276-280, by E. W. Bemis, of the University
of Chicago. The North American Review brought out in January,
1894, Vol. CLVIII, pp. 24-29, an article ^by the new Populist governor
of Colorado, Davis H. Waite, on "Are the Silver States Ruined?"
and in its next number, February, 1894, Vol. CLVIII, pp. 247-249,
allowed J. E. Leet to reply to Governor Waite with "Colorado's
Bright Outlook". The "Situation in Colorado" was again discussed
in May, 1896, in the Yale Review, Vol. V, pp. 50-57, by L. R. Ehrich,
who saw the manner in which gold production was gaining upon silver,
and changing the financial balance of the state.

The struggle for women's suffrage in Colorado began long before
the admission of the state, but became successful only during the Pop-
ulist period in 1893. James H. LeRossignol, in the Annals of the
American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. XVIII, pp. 552-
556, has a brief article on "Woman's Suffrage and Municipal Pol-
itics," with a useful bibliography. Later, Elizabeth McCracken
contributed to the Outlook, Vol. LXXV, pp. 737-744, November,
28, 1903, in her series "The Women of America," a distinctly witty
and unfriendly statement upon the workings of "Women's Suffrage
in Colorado," which evoked from Mary G. Slocum, wife of the presi-
dent of Colorado College, an indignant, but dignified, refutation in
the Outlook, Vol. LXXV, pp. 997-1000, December 26, 1903. Women's


suffrage, like the silver question, cannot receive more than a suggestive
bibliography in this place.

In an international way Colorado provoked remonstrance from
Baron Fava, the Italian minister, and from Secretary of State Olney,
when certain Italian subjects were lynched in Walsenberg in March
1895. The lynching arose out of a murder of an American saloon-
keeper named Hixon, and became the occasion of an extensive cor-
respondence between the United States, Italy, and Governor Mclntire
of Colorado, parts of which are printed in H. Doc. 195; 54-C.i; Serial
3420, pp. 20. Six years later a mob destroyed a fish hatchery belong-
ing to one William Radcliffe, a British subject, at Delta, and again
the intervention of the federal government was provoked. In this
case President Roosevelt, in a message of March 14, 1904, recom-
mended an indemnity of $25,000 to the victim, and transmitted the
documents in the case to Congress, Sen. Doc. 271; 58C.2; Serial
4592; pp. 40.

Of slight importance in the history of Colorado, but of some conse-


Online LibraryFrederic L. (Frederic Logan) PaxsonA preliminary bibliography of Colorado history → online text (page 1 of 2)