Weston Arthur Goodspeed.

The province and the states, a history of the province of Louisiana under France and Spain, and of the territories and states of the United States formed therefrom (Volume 4) online

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COLORADO TERRITORY PRIOR TO 1870. 405

in time came to ck-sire his removal. Complaints wore carried to
President Johnson, who in October, 18G5, requested his resigna-
tion and appointed Alexander Cummings to succeed him. Cum-
mings had come into political prominence in 1862 as the founder
of the A'c-w York Daily World. A great many of Governor
Evans's friends disai>proved of the change and did what they
could to oppose the new administration. As a result of this
opposition Governor Cunnnings was never p()i)ular with the peo-
ple. Soon after the ailvent of Governor Cummings a general
change was made in the territorial officers. Frank Hall, wdio had
been a resident of Colorado since i860, succeeded Samuel H.
Elbert as secretary; Afoses Ilallett became chief justice; Will-
iam H. Gale and Charles F. Holly, associate justices and
George W. Chamberlain, attorney-general.

Another effort was made in the summer of 1865 to form a state
government. A second constitutional convention met at l^enver,
August 8, and after a session of five days adopted a constitution
which was submitted to the people on the fifth of September.
There was no law authorizing such a proceeding, and only eleven
of the seventeen counties were represented in the convention. At
the election a very light vote was ixilled. There were three thou-
sand and twenty-five votes cast for the constitution, and two
thousand eight hundred and seventy against it. According to
the constitution an election for state officers and members of the
legislature was held in Noveml)er. William Gilpin was elected
governor; George .\. Hinsdale, lieutenant-governor; Josiah H.
( H'st, sccrelary oi ^tate ; AKxander W. Atkins, treasurer ; Kufus K.
iM-isliee, ^.\lperiuteIldent of public instruction; U. 1!. lloUoway,
attorney-general; William II. Gorsline, Allen A. Bradford, and
J. Bright Smith, justices of the supreme court, and George M.
Chilcott, representative to congress. The legislature chosen at
this time met at Golden City, on the second Tuesday in December,
and elected ex-Gov. John Evans and Jerome R. Chaffee to repre-
sent the new state in the United States senate.

January 18, 1866, a bill was introduced in the senate of the
United States to admit Colorado into the Union. It was not
passed, however, until the latter j)art of April, and within a week
was passed by the lower branch of congress. The friends of
statehood felt somewhat encouraged at the prospect, but on
May 15 the jiresident returuL-d the hill with the objections that the
welfarr <.i the jjcople ilid not, at that time demand the erection of
Coloi;;'!.) into a state; that the pi(i|ile of the trrrilory were divided



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406 THR PROVINCn AXD THE STATES.

on the question and that many of them did not desire the change;
that the poi)ulation was not sufficient to justify the passage of the
bill ; and that the restriction of the elective franchise to the white
citizens was out of harmony with the Federal constitution. The
bill couKl not he passed ovc-r the wUy and the pecjple took up the
old territorial regime until such time as a president could he
found who would take a more favorable view uf the situation. In
the light of subsequent events it is quite likely that some of these
objections were due to the attitude of Governor Cummings.

Two sessions of the legislature were held in the year 1866. The
first, which met at Golden City on New Years day, but ailjourned
the next day to Denver, passed a bill authorizing the assessors to
take a census of the territory. This census, when complete,
showed the population to be little below twenty-five thousand,
though the ones who were urging the admission of the state
claimed from fifty to sixty thousand. When the second session
of the year met December 3, Governor Cummings referred to this
in his message, and, in further discussing Llic question of admis-
sion, said :

"During the past year, owing to the action of the different
departments of the national Government, the people have been
excited on the subject of the admission of Colorado as a state into
the Union. It would be idle to attempt to conceal the fact that
there are two parties to this issue in the Territory, although a
strenuous effort has been made to create the imjjression abroad
that the i)eoi)le were united on the (pKstion. Hut here, where the
I'vidence is readily attainable, it would be equally iille to deny that
the |)arty desiring a State guvenmieiit forms a very small portion
of the population, antl is represented by those who seek personal
aggrandizement and place, at the expense of the welfare of the
Territory."

Whatever may have been the truth of this statement there is no
doubt that its utterance, under the conditions just then existing,
served to increase the governor's unpopularity. Another act of
his a little later still further strained the relations between him
and the people. An election for delegate to congress took place
in August, and George M. Chilcott, the Republican candidate
received three thousand five hundred and twenty-nine votes to
three thousand four hundred and twenty-one for A. C. Hunt, who
ran as the Democratic and administration candidate. Nr;twitli-
standing ( liiKdtl received a inajortN' of the votes, and was declared
elected j. \\u- hoard i){ canvassers, the governor issued a cerlili-



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COLOK.IIK) TlLKRirORY I'k'lOR I'O iS;

cato of election to Hunt on various g
cx-Confetlerate soldiers had voteil for L
was seated hy conj^re.^s.

January 9, 1X67, a bill passed the United States senate, hy a
vote of twenty-three to eleven, to admit Colorado into the Union.
On the i6th it passeil the house, by a vote of ninetv to fortv-one,
after the following- aniendnient had been added; "That this act
shall not take effect except upon the fundamental condition that
within the State of Colorado there shall be no denial of the elective
franchise or any other rights to any person by reason of race or
color, excepting- Indians not taxed ; and upon the further funda-
mental condition that the l-egislature elected under said State con-
stitution, by a solemn public act, shall declare the assent of said
State to the said fundamental condition, and shall transmit to the
President of the United States an authentic copy of said act ui)on
the receipt whereof the ['resident, b) proclamation, shall forthwith
announce the fact, whereu))()n said fumlaiuental condition shall be
held as a part of the organic law of the Slate; and tlu-reu])on, and
without any further proceeding on the part of Congress, the
admission of said State into the Union shall he considered as com-
plete."

The amendment of the house was concurred in by the senate
and on the same day the bill was sent to the president for his
approval. Again the bill was vetoed. President Johnson assign-
ing as a reason for his action that the proceedings were irregular.
An effort was made to pass the bill over the vet(i, but it failed in
the senate by one vote. r~)uring the )ear the po]iulation had
increased \ery materially, as was shown by the vole at the August
elections w hen uearl)- ten thousand votes were cast. The election
at that time was for members of a state legislature, according to
the provisions of the new constitution, but because of the presi-
dent's veto the legislature had no power to pass laws, and was
inoperative from the start. In May, 1867, Governor Cumniings
was succeeded by A. C. Hunt.

Alexander Cameron Hunt, the fourth governor of Colorado,
was born in the city of New York, on Christmas day, 1825. When
he was nine years of age his father removed to Frecport, 111.,
where Alexander received the major part of his education in the
district schools of the town. At the age of sixteen he made the
trip overland to California, and nine years later returned to Free-
jiort a rich m in. He embarked in the grain and commission busi-
ness, and in 1856 was elected mayor of ]'"ree|)ort. The ])anic of
1857 brouf^.lit reverses and the following year he again started out



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4o8 Til II PROriXCE AND THE STATES.

to seek fortune in tlie West. This time he concluded to try
Pike's Peak. With his young wife and chihJ, he crossed the
plains with an ox team, and in the fall of 1858 reached Auraria,
where he (j])ened a restaurant in a rude cahin without door or
window. Innding the husiness improfitahle he engageii in the
Imnher trade witii JHtter success. In i8()0 he was elected presid-
ing judge during the vigilance committee trials, anil in 1862 was
appointed United States marshal for the territory. As governor
of Colorado he was ex-officio sui)erintendent of Indian affairs.
He adopted a policy that established friendly relations with the
different tribes, and brought about the treaty with the Utes by
which they were induced to cede their lands to the Ignited States.
When he retired from the office of governor he turned his atten-
tion to railroad building, and was one of the originators of the
Denver and Rio Granile railway system, His wife died in 1880,
anil he went to Mexico where he afterward became interested in
the construction of the International railroad. In 1891 he was
stricken with paralysis, while in the city of Chicago, and for nearly
three years he lay heli)less and speechless. He was taken to
Washington, D. C. where he died May 14, 1894, and was buried
in the Congressicjual cemetery.

In spite of the treaty with the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, in
October, 1865, they continued their ilepredations, and the spring
of 1867 found them associated with the Sioux in committing petty
outrages along the Platte. The troops belonging to the regular
army were present in \\w cunntry in suffR-ienl numbers ti) prevent
an\ Ciinsid>,Tal>le tKiiionstraln.ii, but the srtllers li\i'd tlirongh the
earlier pait ol' tin,' \tar in eon^lant fear of a genei-al outbreak.
'Phis had a de|)res.sing effect on the industries of the new country,
to such an extent that soiue became discouraged and left the state.

The seventh session of the territorial legislature met at Golden
December 2, and organized by electing Williaiu W. Webster presi-
dent of the council, and C. II. McLaughlin .speaker of the house.
After a session of one week at Gohlen they removed to Denver
for the remainder of the term. Aside from the amendment of
the Illinois practice code, which bad been adopted by one of the
early legislatures, very little important legi.slation was accom-
plished by this assembly.

During all the troubles with the Indians of the j^lains the dif-
ferent bands of lUe Indians, inhabiting the region west of the
Pocky n; xiMlains, had remaiiie(l neutral, lh(nu;h Ihey rejoiced at

llic pinn ul unled oul (o Ihe Cheyennes and the Arai.ahoes

with whom (hey had ion;; hi-en at enmitv. A (reatv was made



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COLORADO rURRITORV PRIOR TO 1S70. 409

with the Tahcg-uache Utes in 1863, and that band was ^ivcn a
reservation in Western Colorado. Sonic of the otlier bands grew
tlissatislied, because they were not inckided in the treaty, and in
1863 a council was held with the Utes of Middle Park. Nothing
was accomplished, chiefly because of the inferior character of the
goods furnished in paying the Tabcguache annuities. In 1868
N. G. Taylor, Kit Carson, and Governor Hunt were appointed
commissioners to treat with all the Ute tribes. March 2, of that
year, a treaty was made, the Indians agreeing tij relin(|uish all
their lands in Colorado, excejjt that part of the territory lying
south of the fortieth parallel, and west of the one huntlred and
seventh meriilian, which was to be forever held by them as a
reservation, and which was divided among the principal bands
as follows: The Yanipah, or Jjcar River, and the Grand River
bands were located on the northern part. Their agency was
established on White river, and they became generally known as
White River Utes. The Uncompahgres and the Tabeguaches
occupied the central portion of the reservation, with their agency
at Los Pinos. In the southern i)art were the Weeminuches,
Muaches and Capotes, though no sei)arate agency was established
for them until five years later. The government agreed to expend
not to exceetl sixty thousand dollars a year for the support of the
tribes until sucli time as they should become able to support them-
selves. One half of the annuity was lo be ])aid in cluthing, blank-
ets and utensils, and the remainder in provisions. Ouray, a chief
of the Uncompaligre band, was ajipointed head chief over all the
cimfederated tribes, with a salary of one thousand dollars a year.

July 3, 1808, a council was held, at bort Bridger, Utah Ter.,
with the eastern bands of the Shoshone and Ikuniock Indians.
The result of the council was the cession of a large tract of land
including that part of Colorado lying north of the Yampah river
and west of the North Platte. All the lands in Colorado, except
the Ute reservation mentioned, were now in the i)ossession of the
United States government, and were opened to white settlers as
soon as the treaties were ratified by congress.

In September, 1868, a war party of about seventy-five Cheyennes
and Arapahoes, having passes issued by the commanders of Fort
Larned and Fort Wallace, crossed Colorado, entered the Ute
country by way of the Ute pass, and killed a numlxr of the Indian
inhabitants, 'in their return they stole abmit one hundred and
twenty he- > m a thinly sttlled pait of the territory, where they
tliouj.;!it IIa , wi-uld be free from pursuit. The alarm spread over
the country and a com])any of scouts went after the Indians to



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4IO ' THE PROriNCE AND TIIU STATES.

recover tlie horses. They were surrouinkHl hy the IikHuiis and
were on the verge of annihihition when a volunteer company from
Denver came to their rcHef. As the IncHans were belter mounted
than the whites they escaped without difficuUy. A few days later
another party ina^Ie a raid ow Monument creek, in El Paso county,
burned one residence, killed three persons and ran off all the live
stock they could collect. This was the last invasion of Colorado
by the Indians of the plains, for they were soon afterward removed
to their reservation in the Indian territory.

Both political parties nominated candidates in June for delegate
to congress. The Republicans selected Allen A. Bradford as their
standard bearer, and the Democrats nominated D. D. Belden.
The election was very close Bradford receiving four thousand and
ninety-two votes, and Belden four thousand and seventy-five. A
resolution was adopted by the Republican convention, asking con-
gress to admit Colorado on such terms as might be deemed expe-
dient. The Democratic convention divided on the question, some
opposing admission entirely if negro suffrage was made one of
the conditions.

In reorganizing the counties of Pueblo, Huerfano and Las
Animas the legislature left a strip of territory outside the bound-
aries of any county, and without civil government of any sort. In
April, 1869, three negroes, Giles Lidle, Marshall Williams and
John IMurray, killed a man named Crevier within the limits of
this strip. The marshal of the territory arrested them and
brougiit them to trial in the Third judicial di.-trict. The judge
ruled liial no court had jurisdiction o\er the criminals, althougii
they were amenable to the laws of the territory. Tiiey were
accordingly taken to jail to await the meeting of the general
assembly. The eighth session met at Denver January 3, 1870, and
in his message the governor recommended the creation of a new
county, or the changing of boundaries to correct the error. Febru-
ary II an act was passed establishing the counties of Bent and
Greenwood, which rectified the mistake and the criminals were
brought to punishment. During the session, which adjourned on
the nth of February, George A. Hinsdale was president of tlie
council, and George W. IMiller was speaker of the house.
Memorials to congress \vere adopted asking that lands be parti-
tioned f(/r the suiJiMMt of the university, that thirty per cent of
the intiiii.d revniue ((illcrted in the ttrritor\' be rrtainrd for the
beneiil ..1 ti-rritoiial inslilulioiis, (hat [\\v abandoned military
reservation of Camp Collins be transferred to tlie territory, and
that a military jx^sl be established at the conlhKiicc of the Blue



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COLORADO TIlUKITORY PRIOR TO iSjo.



411



aiul Grand rivers. An act was passed establishing a board of
ininiigratiun cuinniissi(Miers, and J. ['. L. Shirnier, J. W. Sher-
wood, A. \y. Archibald, anti D. C. Collier were appointed the
first members of the board. During the ne.xt year more than
fifty thousand i)amphlets, setting forth the resources ami advan-
tages of Colorado were distributed, many of them being sent to
Europe.

Meantime I^resident Grant had succeeded Johnson, and in
June, 1869, Governor Hunt was removed, and lidward M. McCook
was appointed in his place. The only other change made by the
new administration was the appointment of Lewis C. Rockwell,
United States district attorney.



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412 THE PROVINCE .-LVD THE STATES.



CHAPTl^R III



From McCook to Pitkin



EDWARD MOODY McCOOK, fifth, and also seventh gov-
ernor of the Territory of Colorado, was born Juno 15,
1835, at the town of Steubenville, O. At the age of
sixteen he went to Minnesota and remained there until the excite-
ment following the discovery of gold at Pike's Peak took him to
Denver, which was then Kansas territory. In 1859 he was
elected representative to the Kansas legislature from Arapahoe
county. During his term of office Kansas was admitted into the
Union as a state, and he went to \\'ashington, where he played
a prominent ])art in seeming the organization of Colorado Terri-
tory. Immediately after Vovi Sumter was fired ui)ou he went to
Washiii-lon and jciiied the Kansas legion. The Maryland troops
having cut off comiinmication with the North he volunteered to
carry Cicneral Scott's dispatches, and for this service he was com-
missioned second lieutenant in the First cavalry. He was soon
afterward promoted to the rank of first lieutenant, and from that
time rose rapidly until in 1865 he was brevetted brigadier-general.
In 1866 he resigned his command, having in the meantime
reached the rank of major-general, to acce])t the appointment of
minister to the Hawaiian islands. Although he had but a com-
mon school education, as governor of Colorado he organized the
common school system of the territory on a substantial basis. He
was the first governor of Colorado to advocate woman suffrage,
which was afterward adopted in the state. Ai one time he was
the hc-,i\i<st taxfiayer in Colorado, and was ideiilified with several
largr . I l> rprises id Denver. Upon llie dealh of Cm, CeorKV II.
ThoiiKi.'^, (iovernor iMcCook was lujnored with the invitation to
deliver the funeral oration.



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COLORADO, l-'KOM McCOOK TO PITKIN.



413



In 1870 there was a lively contest for the election of a delegate
to congress. The Republicans held a convention, July 13, and
nominated Jerome B. Chaffee. Resolutions were adopted endors-
ing the administration of President Cirant; favoring the encour-
agement of immigration, but denouncing the importation of
Chinese coolies ; and asking aid from the general government in
the construction of public works. July 26 the Democrats met
and nominated George \V. Miller. A long platform was adopted, .
the principal features of which were the resolutions denouncing
the Indian policy of the national administration and declaring that
Indian outrages were permitted to go unpunished ; fa\'oring the
taxation of United States bonds on the same basis as other forms
of property; and opposing a high protective tariff. At the election
Chaffee received six thousand four hundred and fifty votes and
Miller five thousand and ilfty-eight, this being the largest luunber
of votes ever cast in the territory up to this time.

The census of 1870 showed a population of thirty-nine thousand
eight hundred and sixty-four, with property having an assessed
value of nearly eighteen million dollars. On June 15 the first
railroad locomotive rolled into Denver, and was the signal for
great rejoicing. At the close of the year there were about four '
hundred miles of railroad in ojjcration in the territory, and a num-
ber of other lines either under constructiuii or in pros])ect.

The ninth session of the legislature met at Denver on January i,
1872, and organized by the election of George M. Chilcott presi-
dent of the council, and Alvin i\Iarsh speaker of the house. In
tlu' conncil there wfre nine Republicans and (our l^emocrats, and
in the house ^ixleeii lve|)uiilicaiis and ten Democrats. The most
iinporl.int measure passed during the session was one appointing
the governor, secretary and chief justice a connnission lo arrange
for the building of a capitol. They were authorized, whenever
private donations to the amount of ten thousand dollars were paid
in and deposited in bank, to sell the lots set apart for the purpose
of providing a building fund, and i)r(K-eed witli the erection of the
building. This was the beginning uf the magnilicent structure
which was not completed until many years afterward. y\nother
attempt was made at the session of congress in 1871-72 to have
Colorado admitted into the I'nion as a state, but the bill failed to
pass. A strong memorial was sent uj) by the legislalnri' oi 1872,
asking for the passage' of an en.iblini; ;ui. .At the time that
l(7',islatnre w;, convened Coloiado presenle(l the uinisnal but
gratifying condition of having not ;i doihii- o[ indeliteduess and a
surjilus oi fifty ibonsaud dollars in tlu' trt'asury. An act was



4M '^''^^' I'RuriNCE AND Tllli STATUS.

passed by the asscniMy tliat no taxes should l)e levied for 1872,
and that the taxes of ICS73 should be only fifteen eents on each
I hundred dollars of taxable property.

Early in the year 1873 Governor McCook was charged with

irregularities in conducting the oflice of superintendent of Indian

affairs and an investigation was made. Nothing to the discredit

{ of the governor was disclosed but the public got the impression

* that the investigation was a farce, and in March, IMcCook was

\ removed, Samuel H. Elbert being appoined his successor.

Samuel Hitt Elbert, sixth governor of Colorado during the ter-
ritorial period, was born in Logan county, O., April 3, 1833.
When only seven years of age he went with his parents to Iowa
where he passed his boyhood working on the farm and attending
the public schools. In 1854 he graduated from the Ohio Wes-
» leyan university, and began the study of law with one of the lead-

:^ ing firms of Dayton, O. Two )ears later he was admitted to the

I bar, and in the spring of 1857 began the practice of his profes-

sion at Plattsmouth, Neb. He was a delegate to the Republican
convention which nominated Lincoln for |)resident in i860, and
in 1862 was appointed, by 1^-esident Lincoln, secretary of Colorado
territory. Wliile secretary he was several times called on to per-
form the duties of governor, and he took an active part in the
formation of the Second and Third Colorado regiments. After
serving as secretary four years he retired and formed a law part-
nership with J. O. Charles, and in 1869 was elected to the ter-
ritorial legislature. Governor Elbert devoted much of his time
to the study of irrigation, and in 1873 called a convention of dele-
gates to consider the subject. Every state west of the Missouri
was represented. Before the matter could be fully iiresented to



Online LibraryWeston Arthur GoodspeedThe province and the states, a history of the province of Louisiana under France and Spain, and of the territories and states of the United States formed therefrom (Volume 4) → online text (page 44 of 53)