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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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 46 of 53)
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COLORADO, 'FROM McCOOK TO PITKIN.



4-'3



bowlders in tlie sluice boxes were tcx) heavy for the current to
move. One day it occurred to W. 1 [. Stevens, the manager, to
have, an assay made. Taking samples of the heavy rock to an
assayer it was found to be lead carbonate, carrying from twenty
to sixty ounces of silver to the ton. A search was at once begun
for the main body of the ore. from which the bowlders had
become detached, and it was found on Dome hill. Similar
deposits were found on Iron hill, and at other places in the
vicinity. Two shoemakers named Hook and Rische, grub-staked
by II. A. W. Tabor, discovered the Little I'ittsburg mine, which
soon yielded fortunes to its owners. Tabor was a third owner
of the Little Pittsburg, and from keeping the post office and a
small store at Oro City became a millionaire. News of the dis-
coveries sjjread, as such news always docs. The city of Lcadville
was founded and within a twelvmonth became "the richest mining
camp in the wcnld." During the fifteen years immediately fol-
lowing the carbonate discoveries one hundred and eighty million
dollars was taken from the mines. Three years afterward there
were lifteen large smelting works in operation and the population
was about .?o,0(jo. Hotels, theaters, banks and hospitals that
would reflect credit on man)' an older city were established,
water and gas works undertaken, and a number of line residences
built. And all tlii^i witliont railroad communication, for the
Denver and Rio Grande branch to Leatlville was not completed
until .August 1880.

Judge Wells of the supreme court resigned within a few
montlis after his election, leaving a vacancy on the bench.
Oi-tober _', 1877, •'" election was to be held for county and other
local othcers, and both political parlies agreed to leave the nomina-
tion of his successor to the bar of the state, instead of making
the selection by the ordinary method of a party convention. The
choice of the bar association fell on Wilbur F. Stone, and,
although several ran as independent candidates, he received
22,047 votes, out of a total of 22,342.

According to the provisions of the constitution the first general
assembly was recpiired to submit to the voters of the state the
question of extending to women the right of suffrage. In har-
mony with that jjrovisicMi the first legislature passed an act which
was V('ied on at the October election in 1877. The proposition
was di I. ated by a voir of 14,055 to 6,610.

In i;'/8 (he slati- (njo\ed all llie excitement of a political cam-
paii^ii liii the llrsl time, luiallended by coniM essional supervision.
July 17, the Democrats held a convention at I'ucbk.) for the nom-



LSI.



iVA



424



riiB rRoriNCii and the status.



ination of a state ticki-t. Thomas AI. Patterson was renominated
for congress; \V. A. 11. Lovelanil was named for governor;
; Thomas ]M. Field for lienlenant-^overn.jr ; J. S. Wheeler for

secretary of stale; Xehon llalloek lor treasurer; John II. Har-
rison for auditor; Caldwell Yeamaii for attorney-general, and
] O. J. Coldriek for snperinten.lent of public instruction. In the

; platform the canlinal principles of the Democratic faith were

\ declared to be "A strict construction of the ct)nhtitution with all

*' its amendments ; the supremacy of the civil over the military

] power; a comjjlete severance of Church and Slate; the eiiuality

• of all citizens before the law; opposition to all subsidies,

? monopolies, and class le^islalion ; the ])reservation of the luiblic

' lands for the bona hde settler; the maintenance and protecti(jn

I of the coiumon school s_\slem ; and um-eslricled home rule uutler

J the Constitulion to llie citi/.eiis of every Stah: in the American

1 Union."

\ The platform further declared that the commercial and indus-

I trial depression that had so long- prevailed throughout the

I countr\- wa^ the legiliinale result of ihe \'icious financial legisla-

•^ lion of the money jjowei-, elfecle<l through the agency of the

^ J-Ieiniblicau pari)' in congi-ess. It denounced the act exempting

"^ the Ihiited Slates bonds from taxation; demanded the free and

unlimilcd coinage (d" silver, the repeal of the resnmplion act, the

substitution of L'nited Slates legal-lender \k\\kt for national

()ank notes, and asked congress to establish a mini in Colorado.

The Reiudtlicans held their stale conwnlion at Denver

Am;nsl S, ;ind nomin:iled ibe fnlfiwing liekil: Imit coii;m-(.'>s,

I, lines I'.. IMford; ;:o\eiiior, I'lederick W, I'llkin; benleiianC

i;overuor, II. A. W. Tabor, ^ec^e^,u■y of si. He, Norman II.

iMt'ldrum; Ireasurt-r, N'. S. CuKer; auditor, 1\. 1\. Slimson;

attorney-general, C. W. Wright, and superintendent (jf [niblic

instruction, J. C. Shattuck. The platform asserted that "the

General Covernment sbouUl provide and be rcs]ionsible for honest

n.ilioiial money, sufriclenl for all the' legitimate needs of the

country, with gold, silver, and pa])er etjnal in \alue, ami alike

receivable for all debts public ami ])rivate. The interest-bearing

debt of the iiation should be as soon as iiossible reconverted into

a popular loan, represented b)' small bonds, or notes within the

reach of every citizen." C.overnor Koult's adiiiinistralion was

endorsed; ,i mint \v;is asked for the stale; and the ccjiiveiuion

])ledged il^. li lo work for the election of the nominees.

/\ C.reenl.pl. liekil was iiominaled at Denver on ihe l.^lh of
August. I'onrleen eoiiiuies were ri-jiresented in the convention.



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col. Oh'. mo, I'RO.M hh'COOK TO PIT KIN. 425

R. Ci. P>iicking"hani was iKMiiiiialcil f(ir <^ovoriior ; 1'. A. Simmons
for licutcnant-i^ovcniur ; J. J'!. W'asiiburn for secretary of slate;
\V. 1). Aniett for treasurer; C. \V. Kins' for auditor; Alpheus
W'rij^lil for ait«irne\-,L;eneral ; A. J. Chittenden fur superintendent
of pulilie inslnietidU, and I lenr\- ('. (.'iiild,^ for e>.n,i4re.->. 'i'lie
Democrats were eliar^ed with advt)eatini;- and supp< irlini;- the
institution of chattel slaver}-, and the Uepuljhcans were accusetl
of lej^islatinq' ir. the interest of the mone\- i)o\ver and aiiainst tlie
general good of the ])eO])le. Demands were made for the issue
of an ahsohite paper nuiney b\- the govermnent, and the iia\nient
of the whole of the interest-hearing debt in such currency. l!ond
issues were unalterably opjjosed and an income tax was advocated.

The election occurred on the first Tuesday in October. The
vote for governor was a^ follows: Pitkin, 14,308; Doveland,
11,535; lUickingliam, 2,783. I'.elford ilefeatetl l^atterson for
ct)ngress by a plurality of about 2.J00. A lively contest ensued
for members of the legislature. Sixty-three members in the two
branches were to be elected. The Republicans in order to have
a majority had to elect thirty of thcnew members and the Demo-
crats would have to elect thirty-four. The 1 )emocrals and Green-
backers elected but fourteen, which gave the i\epublicans a
large majority on joint ballot and injured' the election of a Repub-
lican to succeed j. Ik Cdiaffee in the Lhule<l States senate. The
second session of the slate legislature was convened at Denver on
the first day of Jamiar\', i87(). One of the tirst acts of the
assentbly, after the organi/atiou, was the inauguration oi the
new executive ol'licer^.

I'redeiick Walker I'itkin, the second state governor of Colo-
rado, was born in Manchester, Conn., August 31, 1837. In 1858
he was graduated from the Wesleyan university, iMiddletown,
Conn., and entered the Albany law school from which he received
his degree the following year and was admitted to the bar. For
a long time he was a member of the law firm of Palmer, Hooker
& Pitkin, of Milwaukee, Wis. \\\ 1872 he withdrew from active
practice on account of his health. After a trip to Europe ami a
winter spent in Florida trying to reg-ain his health, but without
satisfactory results, he was advised to try the climate of Colorado.
For three years he roughed it in the mining camps in the high
mountains of Southern Colorado, and recovered his health so far
as to enalilr him to again engage in business for himself. While
governoi ,,!' (Ik: slatt' he was called on I0 settle the Ute ui)rising
at the \,ni;r river .igency, and to f|uell the riots growing out of
the miikr.^' strike at Peadville. In the Litter case lie caused



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426 THE I'ROVlNCli AND THE STATES.

martial law to be proclaimed in Leadville which many of his
friends thong-ht would certaiidy defeat him for re-election. In
this they were mistaken for he received the nomination of his
party and was elected in l8So by a larger majority tlian he had
received two years before.

On"January 14 the general assembly held an election for United
States senator. The Republican candidate was Nathaniel P. Mill,
the Democrats supported W. A. II. Loveland, and the one Green-
back member voted for R. CI. lUickingham. Hill received 53
votes to 19 for Lovelantl and was declared elected. A conven-
tion at Denver on the 5th of December, 1878, had brought the
question of irrigation prominently before the people. An act
was passed by the legislature of 1879 authorizing the county com-
missioners of each county to hear all applications for the use of
water and fix the charges therefor. The act also fixed penalties
for polluting the streams of the state. A memorial to congress
was adopted asking for the donation of all the i)ublic domain,
except mineral lands, in Colorado for the inirpose of constructing
a system of irrigation. Carbonate county was created, with
Leadville as the county seat, but three days later the name was
chang-ed to Lake. Acts were passed for the protection of fish,
and for regulating mining and the branding of cattle.

The year 1879 ''^ill remain memorable in the annals of Colorado
as the year of ihe Lhe war. To get at the causes that led to the
outbreak it will be neccssars to go back several years, and notice
the relations that existed between the Utes and the white men.
.\s eaiK .i.s 18(10 exiiloiiug panies peneti.Uetl iiiui what i^ know-n
as the San Juan coumi\, which wa> afterward included in the
lUe reservation, but no gold was found, and the conclusion was
reached that there was n(;ne there. About the years 1867-68 a
eontrovers)- came up between Colorailo and New Mexico regard-
ing the territory comprising Costilla and Conej(W couiuies. The
dispute was finally settled in favor oi Colorado, and the survey of
the southern boundary was made in 1868, about the time the Lite
treaty was made. In 1869, Governor Pile of New Mexico, as
an act of re])risal, sent an exjiloring party to the head waters of
the San Juan. No discoveries of importance were made that
season, but the next summer they pushed westward and dis-
covered the Little Giant gold lode. The district was soon
crowded .lud by the siunmer of 1871 .several valuable silver lodes
had ber.i l,,iNid. The hidi.ins coiiiplainrd to \\\v govirniiieut of
the tres| . ami in 187.; tnn.ps were sent to evict the miiieis and
prospecttus who had gone on the- i\servation without authority.



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COLORADO, FROM McCOOK TO I'lTKlN. 427

Tliis only increased tlie desire (o work the newly discovered
mines, and a conniiission was sent to treat with the Indians for
the |)ureliase of the mineral lands aloni,'- the San Jnan range, bnt-
they alisolutely refnsed to sell.

It was now the tnrn of the whites to complain. The various
bands of Utes iield as a reservation a tract of land that, if divided
up, would give to every brave, squaw and papoose about four
thousand acres. They would not adojit the customs of civilization
and put the land to its best use, for of all their vast reserve they
had less than one hundred acres under cultivation. In the hills
were deposits of valuable metals that they would not work them-
selves nor allow others to develop. They , were permitted to
keep innumerable ponies, and were fed i)y the government while
they s])cnt their time in hunting and horse-racing.

All this talk had its etifect and in 1873 hVlix Urunot was sent to
talk to the Indians and if possii)le jK-rsuade them to relin(|uish
their title to the mineral lands. 1:1)' claiming great friendshij)
for them he induced them to cede a1)nut 6,000 sciuare miles in
the San Miguel and San Juan omntry, with the understanding
that it was tu include only mineral land.-.. Congress ratilied the
Brunot agreement in April, US7.4. liy its provisions tiie white
people were to be excliKkd from the reservation, according to the
stipulati(jns of the treaty of iS^xS; an agtiicy was to be e.-tabli.-.hed
for the .southern bands, which \\\y to this time liad been connected
with tlie agencv at Los i'inos; the Indians were to allow the con-
struction ol o\w road tlu-ougli the reservation to the ceded lauds,
and in lelmn ibev were to leceive an annual pa\iui'i\l of tweiU\-
live Ibousand dollars, forever. Congress i.rovided for the annu-
ity by placing securities to the credit of the triiie in sufticient
amount that the interest would meet the payments as they fell
due. Under this arrangement the first payment was overlooked.
No appro]M-iation was made for it, and, as no interest would be
due for one year, the Indians were compelled to wait. Failure
to receive the first payment caused many of the tribe to become
dissatisfied with their bargain. Then trouble arose over the
boundaries. The official sru'vey, which inchuled part of the Ute
farms and Uncompabgre park, did uo\. correspond to llrunot's
representations. This injustice, as the Ctes regarded it, was
afterward ccurected by IMesident (ir.-mt, who, in August, iS;*),
added lo llkir reserve a tract fom" miles scpiare, to compensate
tin.,. i,,r the 1..SS of Ihe park. Settlers upon tlu' lonr mile tract
qu> lionetl the president's power to m.ake the addition and refused
to vacate. In the spring of 1877 troops were sent to evict them.



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V '.ill i.u,KitjiO'j nj



421



rilE I'ROI'INCB J.VD THE STATES.



Senator Teller interested himself in behalf of the settlers and
wrote a letter to Carl Schnrz, then secretary of the interior, ask-
ing for six months grace to give the settlers an ojiportnnity to
harvest their crops. The request was granted, hut instead of
those who were there going away more came in. .\nother order
for their removal was i>sued in the .spring of iIS/iS, and troo|)S sent
to enforce it. 'Jhe whites, knowing that a commis>iwn had been
appointed to treat for the loin - mile tract, threatened to kill
enough Indians to bring on a war if they were molested l.iefure
the conunission made its report, h'earing that Ihev would carry
out their threat the IndicUi aL;ent recjnesled the withdrawal of the
soldiers.

The commissitni met the hulians in August and had nc; dirhculty

in securing- a cession of about i,8o(j,o()0 acres in the southern ])art

of the reservation, but uu argument could inllneiice them to give

! up the four miles square, which was the principal bone of con-

■ tention. Tlie following winter some of the chiefs were taken to

Washington, and a deal was consummated b_\- which the tract

'. was restored to the public domain.

i Muvc than one njad was opened through the reservation for

!'■ the transportation of supplies to the mining camps that had sprung

i up in the new cession, and the Indians looked \\ith ai)prehensi()n

y upon this move, which the}- regarded as an encrdachmenl cm their

i rights, and createil more dissatisf.iction.

I Meantime trouble was brewing at the W bile riser agenc)-. The

agent there was l\. C Meeker, freciuentlv referred to as 'T'allier
Meeker." J le went to Colorado in i8()<), as (he head of the
I'nion colony that founded the town of Cueelev, and in i\L'iy,
1878, on his own solicitation, was appointed agent for the Wdiite
river Lites. He was an hcjnest man, of excellent motives, but
one who knew little of Indian character, ^\'hen he ajiplicd for
the agency it was his purpose U) civilize the Indians that came
under liis care and protection. His tirst act was to remove the
agency about twenty miles down the river, to a place called
Powell's bottom, wliere there was land suitable for tillage. This
location was. a favorite winter camp of the Utes, because it
afforded good pasturage for their numerous jjonies, and they
looked upon the removal with disfavor. The next step was to
construct a ditcli for the irrigation of the soil. Meeker tried to
get the Indi.in^ to allow the appropriation of some ni their money
b)r this i Ml pose on (be grounds that tlu' ditch was for their
benefit, .\-.mi he was (,pp(.si-d b)' the Indians, but the work
went on ne\ erilieless. Some of those belonging to Chief Doug-



COLORADU, P'ROM McCOOK TO I'llKI.W



4-^9



las's band even assisted in dig-giny the ditch, but those under
Chief Jack refused tu work, sa)ing- it was the place of the white
men to do all the work, and that the Utes at Los Tinos never per-
formed any labor. The establishment of a schoul, with Miss Jose-
])liine Meeker as teacher, was another cause for dissatisfaction.

'Inhere were still other and deeper-sealed sources of ihsconteiit.
When the treaty of 1<S08 was made, the White river Utes were
very much disap])(jinted over the ap])ointmeut of t )uray, the
LJncompahgre, as head chief, instead of one of then- own chiefs.
There were a numl)er of White ri\er leaders \\ ho would gladly
have accepted the head chieftainship, l^'oremost among them
were the chiefs Colorow, I:)ouglas, Jack, Antelope and John-
son. Not only was each of tliese chiefs displeased with the
appointment of Ouray, but they were jealcjus of each other. This
was esi)ecially true (jf the factions led by Jack and Douglas, autl
Meeker used it t(; his advantage. W'hatesH'r one faction fa\'ored
the other oiJiXJSc'd, and by i)it(ing one against the other the agent
managed to get along fairly well for awhile with his notions ui
reform and civilization. Sometimes the government was not
promjit in the payment of annuhies au<l this added to the rising
spirit (jf revolt, tlu' White river bands attributing the delay to
the inlluence of ( )urav, and at one time a C(jnh[Jirac)- was formed
kill him.

Still Meeker never wavered in the course he had ma]i]ied out.
In December, 1.S78, he wrote to Senator Teller: "When 1 get
round to it in a \ear or so, it 1 sta\' as long, 1 .shall ])roi)ose to
cut e\i'r\ Indian do\s n to bare slar\atiou luiint if he will not
work. The 'gettmg round to it' means to have [ileuty of tilled
ground, pleut\' of work to do, and to ha\e labor organized so
that whoever will shall be able to earn his bread."

Thus matters stood on Jaimar\- 1, 1870, when the legislature
was convened, and the situation led to the adoption of a memorial
to congress, representing "ddiat the present IJte reservation,
e.xtending .along the wistern boundary of this State,, includes
an area three times as great as that of the State of Massachusetts,
and embraces more than twelve millitm acres of laiul, ami is occu-
pied and possessed by three thousand Indians, who cultivate no
land, pursue no useful occui)ation, and are supi)orted by the
Federal Government. . . . That the territory embraced
within said reservation will support a population of many thou-
.suids, and i- desdiied to bvcoiiie one of the most prosperous
divisions ■>l our Stale. . . . 'I'hal the only approach by
wagonrtKids tc; live extensive and productive mining districts is



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430



THE PROVINCE AND THE STATES.



across saiti reservation. Tliat the Indians view witli distrust and
jealousv all supposed encruachnicnts now necessaril\- nuulc in
conuiuniicating- with the mining districts aforesaid, and that the
transportation of machinery and supplies to said districts, and
communication with them, is attended hy K'''-'it i''-^'^ '^"*1 danger
to life and property. . . . That the interest upon a small
portion of the moneys which will be derived 1>\- the (Jeneral (iov-
ernment for the sale of lands in said reservation will supjiort
its present occu])ants on another or luss extensive reservation.
. Your memorialists therefore most respectfully urge and
pray your honorable body to take such action as may be ncces-
taiv for the opening of said reservation to settlement and the
removal of the Indians therefrom."

The adoption of this memorial was but giving official endorse-
ment to a popular demand. All through the spring of 1879 the
general cry was, "The Utes must go!'' Some of the Colorado
newspapers kept it standing at the head of their columns. Evcn
school children, wh(3 comprehendeil little of its true meaning,
could be heard rejieating the slogan, "The Utes must go!"

During the summer of 1871; the land at T'owell's bottom was
subdividetl, by Meeker's orders, to be allotte<l t(; those Indians
who might show a disposition to work and become civilized. The
first chief to avail himself of the offer was Johnson, who boasted
"two wives, three cows and a hundred and fifty ponies." A log
h(^use was built for him, but instead of plcjwing the land, he used
it to pasture his jionies, and continued to draw sui)plies from the
government. In ."^e'ptenibe'r Meeker determined lo plow the land
liimself, but some of the Indians went out with their j^uns and
forbade the work to i)re)ceeil. Meeker tried the old tactics of
trying to win one of the factions to his siele, but this time the
scheme failed to work.

On September 10 Johnson went to the agency and on some
trivial pretext assaulted Meeker, who would in all probability
h.avc br, n killrd h;id he nut hrcu n'S( urd from the irate chief
by some of tlu- .-i,miie\' emi)lo\cs. This improvoked assault
caused Meeker to change his \iews regarding Indian character.
To Col. J(jhn W. Sl.;eli.', an agciit of the post-dlTux- drpartment
he said: "[ came to this agency in the full In lief that 1 could
teach them to work and beccjuie self-sui)|jorting. 1 thought I
coid<l esl:d)lish schools ;in<l interest tiie Indi.ins and tluir ehildren



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 46 of 53)