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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in le.irnlii;' I have jdven mv best ellorts to this I'ud, always
Inaliu); o.rin knidiy l>nl lii mly. Tiiey ji.ive e.ilen .il my table
an.l ieee,..,.l conlmual l.indiiess from my uile and daiiKhler and

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all employes about tlic at;ciu-\ . Their complaints liavc been heard
patiently, and all reasonable recjuests have been granted them,
and now the man for whom I have done the most, for whom
I have built the only Indian hou.se on the reservation, and who
has fretiuenth' eaten at ni\- table, has turned on me without the
slii^hlest proxocatiiin, and would have killed me but for the white
laborers who g"(.)t me awa\'.""

Colonel Steele adxised Meeker Xo lea\e the ai,^enc_\-, but instead
he telej^raidieil to the Indian commissioner and (dowrnor I'itkin for
Iroojis, and on the same day wrote to his friend \V. N. ll)ers,
of Denver: "I thiid< they will sidjmit to nothing but force. How
many are rebellious I d(j not know ; but if oidy a few are, and
the rest laugh at their outrages, as they do, and think nothing of
it, all are implicated. I didn't come here to be kicked and
hustled out of my house by savages, and if the government cannot
j)rolect me, let some one else try it."

'idle Indians siion found out the agent hatl sent for trcx)ps to
protect him, ami they began secretly preparing for an outbreak.'
They kept themselves fully informed of all that was going on.
Wdien tliey learned that Maj. T. T. Thornburgh, with three
companies of cavalry and one of infantry, had left Fort Laramie,
Wyoming ter., a party of five IJtes, including Jack and Colorow,
went out to meet him and urge him not to come to the agency.
On September 26 this enibass)' met Thornburgh on Bear river.
A ])arley was held and the Indians denied that there was any
trouble at the agencw They insisted that the troops should
remain at Hear river while Major Thornburgh should go on to
i'.>weHV billion; to satisfy himself that they were telling the truth.
Major Thornlnugh explained to them that he must obey orders
and go on, Ijut that he wouKl halt his troops a day's march from
the agency and go on alone. The Indians retired, apparently
satisfied with this arrangement, but they hurried back to the
agency and demanded of IMeeker that he stop the troops from
coming on (he reservation. Meeker wrote to Thornburgh,
infornaing himi of the Indians' demand, and suggested that he
leave his command at the boundary of the reservation on Milk
creek, and come 011 to the agency accompanied by five men.
Thornburgh reidied : "I have carefully considered wliether or not
it would be advisable to have my command at a point as distant
as that desired by the Indians who were in my camj) last night,
and liave r. .n lu-d the conclusion that, under ni}' orders, which
require me 10 march this command to your agency, I am not at

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Tin: I'ROi-lNCE A\'L) Till: STATICS.

lil)i.rl\ in leave it ;u a point where it would not be a\ailal)lc in
ease of trouble."

-\t an early boar on Ainuila)- morning-, September -'ij, a lar^e
nmubiT ol Indians lel't tbe aj4ene\', taking- witb tbeni tlu-ir i;un.s
and aninuinilion, ostensibly to bunt. 'I'iie same nioniiuL;- tbe
soldiers under 'riiornbur.L^b erossed tbe boundary of tbe reserva-
tion. About lialf a mile after erossini.;- Milk ercek tbe road rail
through a ravine called Red canon. AIoiil;- tbe sides and top of
this canrjii was a heavy growth of shrubbery in which lay con-
cealed tile hunting- party that had left tbe agency early in the
iHorning. As the troops entered the canon a small detachment,
under lieutenant Cherr)-, acting as advance guard, saw some
Indians along the top oi tbe ridge and started to reconnoitre.
An old scout named Rankin bccnted an ambush and urged
Major Tboniburgh to fire on tbe Indians in sig-Jit. Thonibnrgh
replied that he had positive orders not to fire first and tliat he
dreaded a court-martial, with its consetiueiit tlisgrace, more
than lie feared an Jndian ambush, lie bail not long- to wait
until iie could obey orders, bir when bientenant Cherry's coin-
|)aiiy was disco\ercd in i)ursuit of tbe Indians on the ridge an
Indian fired bis gun and the engagement wah on. The wagon
train was some tlistance in tbe rear and Major Thornburgli,
seeing the Indians massing to cut oil iiis suiiplies, ordered the
men to fall back to the train. In cliarging the Indians that had
secured a i)osition in the rear, Major Tbornburgh and tbirleeii
of bis iiii-n were killed. 'I'lie command then devolved upon
C.iplain I'.iMie, as ibe .senior oflicer, and afler a lo<s of b)rtv-t\\o
wounded he re.icbed the wagons. The whole force was put to
work digging ireiicbo and conslmcling breastworks out of such
malerial.s a.s they could liiid. Wagons, boxes, bniulles, sacks of
Hour and grain, were all hurriedly thrown together to afford a
shelter frtnn tbe g-alling lire of tbe b.owling- mob around them.
Even the bodies of their fallen comrades and the carcasses of
horses were jiiled uj) and covered with earth to strengthen the
fortifications. The liicli;ins ibeii attempted to dislodge them by
setting hre to tbe sage brush and tall gras.-, about the improvised
fort. ]'nv a time tbe sitnalion of the heroic little band was pre-
carious in tlie exlr( me. iNo' water was at hand to extinguish the
flames which tbe wind wa> bearing swiftly toward them. Still
they did iioi dc,p;iir. Willi blaiikel.s, ovrivo;,ls, aiiylbing that
\V"nld a . .-,,,- ilu- pinpoM'. ihev sniollured lb.- liiv .uid ib.i'l <lan-
>■.'!■ \\- I" I. In III.- riid llu liie proved .1 ble.ssMig |o iIk'hi.
I'.v bm-iHg Ibe tall gias.^ the Indians destroyed their only chance

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of being able to approach under cover and were compelled to take
up a position oti the bluti'^. Here they were so far away that
their shots did little or no daniag-c. Their next move was to try
drawing the fire of the soldiers by exposing themselves, in the
hope of exhausting the supply of ammunition in the fort, but
Captain I\ayne gave orders to tire only when it was actually neces-
sary, which blocked that scheme. Toward sunset the Utes tried
storming the works, but were rei)ulse(l with loss. The warfare
tlien settled down to a siege.

That night Rankin, the scout, stole out untler coN'cr of dark-
ness, found a horse and started for J^awlins, one hundred aiid
sixty miles awa)'. lie arrived at Kawlins on Wednesday morn-
ing, October i, after nu>re than thirty-six hours in the saddle.
From Riawlins a telegram was sent to Governor Pitkin conveying
the first news of the uprising. About the same time a similar
desi)atch was received frtjm J-^ort Laramie. The governor imme-
diately sent the following telegram to the secretary of war:

"Dispatches just received from Fort Laramie and Rawlins
inform me that White River Utes attacked Colonel Thornburgh's
command twenty-five miles from Agency. Colonel Thornburgh
killed and all his officers but one killed or wounded, besides many
of his men and most of his horses. Dispatches stale that whole
command is imperiled, 'i'he State of Colorado will furnish you,
immediately, all the men you require to settle pennanently this
Indian trouble. I have sent couriers to warn settlers."

^^'hen the contents of the despatches received by the governor
became known the excitement in Denver v/as intense. Old pio-
neers and snlislaniial business men went in crowds to the gover-
nor's ollice to oiler their services to quell the insurrection. Little
groups gathered here and there on the streets to talk of the out-
break and on every hand could be heard the old cry of "The Utes
must go!" It was no longer a meaningless phrase, for the men
of Colorado stood ready to make sacrifices if need be to drive the
Indians from the state. "The Utes must go!"

At the lime .Major Thoniljurgh was ordered to White river
Captain Dotlge, with a troop of colored cavalry was scouting
along the bonlers of the reservation. On September 27 he
receiveil orders to join Thornburgh at the agency, lie reached
Milk creek ( )clober _', where hi' found Captain I'avne and his
men hc'siegc I. I'.reai.ing throuj;h the Indian lines bis men roilc
SIX hundred \ards through a rain of lead, in which not a single
man was i.ii, and joined I'ayne in his intreiiclnncnts. As the


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Indians witlulrcw to a safe distance at night tlic soldiers utilized
tiie opportunity to provide a supply of water, for the next day,
from an adjacent si)rin<4-.

When the war department recei\ed Governor Pitkin's telegram
Col. Wesley Merritt, with a ft)rce of 550 men, was orderetl to
Captain Payne's relief. After a forced march of seventy miles
in twenty-four hours he reached Red canon about five o'clock on
Sunday morning, (Jctober 5. in order to avoid being mistaken
for Indians in the dim light of the early morning he ordered the
bugles to sound the night bignal of the Filth cavalry, io which
Captain Payne and most of iiis men belonged. The sound was
welcome iiuisic to the i)eleaguered f(jr it told ihem that relief was
at hand. A cheer answered the bugles, Merritt marched into the
intrenchments, and the six days biege was over. Not a man had
been lost after the tirst attack on the preceding Monday. The
total loss to the whites that day was 14 killed and 43 wounded.
The exact Indian loss was not ascertainetl but it is known that
35 were killed.

ScK^n after the fighting began at Milk creek, on the 29th, an
Indian runner started for the agency with the news. He arrived
there about one o'clock, Init said nothing to the whites of the
attack on Thornburgh's forces. Douglas ate dinner that day with
Meeker and had left the agent's house only a short time before
the arrival of the messenger. Thirty minutes later the agency
was attacked by some of the Indians belonging to Douglas' band.
Agent Aleeker and all the male emj)loyes, eleven in number, were
immeiliately killed, and the women carried into a captivity worse
than death. The buildings were then robbed and set on tire.

News of the outbreak was carrieil, as soon as possible, to
Ouray, fie was out on a hunting expedition when the messen-
ger found him, but he returned at once to the Los Finos agency.
From there Joseph P>rady, the agency miller, and tlie chief Sapa-
vanari were sent with Ouray's orders to the White river chiefs
to stop fighting, lirady arrived at Milk creek just as the
Indians were preparing to attack Merritt and delivered the
order, which put an end to hostilities. After burying the dead
at Milk creek, Merritt marched to the agency and performed the
same sad office for those who had been killed there. Meeker's
body was foimd naked, with a bullet through the brain, and a bar-
rel stave ihiven down bis throat. The next thing was to rescue
llu! w(>iiieii This task was entrusted to ('b;irles Adams, a special
agent 01 ihe hiiliaii drpartmenl. Adams w.is a ptisoual frienil
of Ouray, who worked with him to secure the release of the

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prisoners. The hostilos had estabhshed a camp on the Grand
river. Tliither Adams went, under tlie protection of an escort
furnished by Ouray, and after a six Iiour "medicine talk," in
which some of the young men wanted to kill the whole party,
the captives were given up to be restored to their friends.

Early in October, while the trouble at White river was still
unsettled, a telegram from Lake City announced that Oinay had
acknowledged his inability to control the Indians and warned
settlers to protect themselves. On the same date despatches from
Silverton, to Governor I'itkin, said the Indians were setting
lires between the I. a I 'lata and tlie San Juan and threatening
to burn the coimtry over. The governor was asked if the ])co-
ple had the right to drive them back to the reservation. To this
question he sent the following re])!)-: "hulians off their reserva-
tion, seeking to destroy your settlements by lire, are game to
be hunted and destroyed like wild beasts. Send this word to
the settlements. Gen. Dave Cook is at Lake City in command
of the State forces and General Ilatch is rushing regulars to San

The arrival of the regulars sent by General Hatch, and the
presence of the militia under General Cook, checked further hos-
tile demonstrations on the part of the Southern Utes, and gave
Ouray the better opportunity to assist in the settlement of affairs
at White river. Some time was spent in negotiations, in which
the government insisted upon the Indians who had been most
active in the uprising being turned over to the authorities for
liuiiishment. .\V) ])ositive proof of guilt could be adduced in
the case oi individual, and the Indians denied all knowletlge of
who were the leaders. At last General Hatch demanded the sur-
render of thirteen, that the evidence ])ointed to as being guilty,
but only a part of them were ever arrested. Douglas was con-
fined for awhile in the prison at Fort Leavenworth, where he went

In the congress of 1879-80 Senators Teller antl Hill, and Rep-
resentative Ik'lford introduced measures looking to the removal
of the Utes from Colorado. On March 6, 1880, a delegation of
Ute chiefs, in Washington, agreed to relinquish the reservation
if the consent of three-fourths of the men in tlie different bands
could be obtained. The consent of the requi.site number was
secured an.l, on Septinilier 11, the agreement oi March was suj)-
plemented \i\ another by whiih the While river lUes were trans-
ferred to I'le Uintah agency in Utah; the Los i'inos Indians were

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given a new reservation just east of the Uintah reserve; and the
Southern Utes were given lands in scvcraUy in Southern Colo-
rado. This settled the Indian question in Colorado.

Early in the morning of May 26, 1880, several hundred miners
got together at Leailville and went from mine to mine calling
out the men on strike. By the middle of the afternoon 5,000
of the 7,000 men empkjycd in the different mines were out, and
those who had not struck (juit work and retired to their homes.
The demand of the strikers was for an increase of wages from
three dollars to four dollars a day and a reduction of hours from
ten to eight. The mine owners placed guards at the shafts and
took other necessary measures to protect their properly. At the
end of two weeks luatters began to look serious. Threats led
to the organization of a citizens committee of one hundred on
June II, and the next day business was suspended while a large
procession of citizens marched through the streets for the purpose
of demonstrating tlieir solid strength anil awing the lawless
elements into obedience to established authority. In front of
the opera hotise the ])rocession halted anil a proclamation from
the citizens committee was read declaring that all who desired
to return to work would be protected. An effort was made to
adopt a resolution embodying tlie declarations of the proclama-
tion, but the strikers and their symi)athizers had gathered in
sufficient strength to vote it down. The demonstration of the
citizens excited the ire uf the strikers ami the threats became
louder and more freciuent. A riot was imminent, when Covernor
l^itkin was ])revaik(l on {o proclaim martial law, ami the morn-
ing of June 14 found (he militia, under command of General
Cook, in control of the city, (^n the 15th Michael Mooney, the
president of the strikers' association, was arrested in Denver
while attending a political convention. IMartial law and Mooney's
arrest were too much for the strikers. On the 22d all had returned
to work and the civil authority was reslorecl to power.

On May 25th a Republican convention met at Denver and
selected tlelegales to the national convention. They were
instructed to supj^ort (ieneral (irant for the presidential nomi-
nation, with James (1. lilaine as the sec(;nd choice. The Demo-
crats selected their national delegates on the 3d of June. IJoth
conventions adopted resolutions favoring the free and unlim-
ited coiiKU'c of silver, and (he speedy removal .-f the UUs. The
lirs( p;nl> lo noiiiinair c.niididatis for liu' stale ollices was the
Creenbaei.. i.s. ( )n ]\\\\v 15, a conveiiludi was held at iJenver,

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resolutions were adopted endorsiny- the platform and candidates
of the national convention, and a state ticket was nominated with '!

Rev. A. J. Chittenden as the j^ubernatorial candidate. "J'tie Demo-
cratic State convention was held at Lcadville, August 18. John S.
Hough was nominated for governor ; \V. S. Stover, for lieuten-
ant governor; Charles <). Lining, for secretar)' ; I\. Ci. 15ray, for
auditor; A. Y. Hull, for treasurer; J. C. Stallcui), for attorney- i

general, and K. S. Morrison, for congress. On the _'()lh of
August, the kepuMieans met at the same ])laee and nominated k

the following ticket: I'or governor, l'>ederick \V. I'itkin ; lieu- \

tenant governt)r, ( K'orge W. Kobinson ; secretary, Norman 11. Mel- »

drum; auditor, Joseph \. Davis; treasurer, \V. l\ Sanders; rej)- n

resentati\e in congress, James 1!. llelford. .\t the election |

I'itkin leceived .-'<S,4()5 votes; Hough, -'3,547, and Chittenden, ?.

1,408. The entire Kepuhlican state ticket was elected by a simi- )

lar vote, h'or president, Garheld ran about a thousand votes |

behind Governor Pitkin, and Hancock ran about the same num- *

ber ahead of Hough. An amendment to the constitution, that \

had been adopted by the general assembly of 1879, was ratified \

at this election, ll ]>rovided for the exemption from taxation of I

personal projjcrty to the value cjf two hundred dollars for each !

citizen of the state. |

On the last da\' oi (Jctober an ;mli-("hinese riot occurred in '

the cit\' of Denver. The immnliate cause of the trouble was ^

a fight in a saloon between a Chinaman and a white man, though
for some time the workiugmen of Colorado, in common with
those o\ other We.strrn .statrs, had felt that the immigration of
i-ot.lies li.id a IrudcncN' to leducr wages. As a natural result of
this feelmg the hatri'd of tiie Chinese increased as lime v.eut
on, and an oi)portunil)- was oidy needed to fan the embers of
hatred into the tknne of riot. That opportunity came when the
fight in the saloon occurred. In an incredibly short space of
time a mob of fifteen hundred men was on its way to the Chi-
nese <|uarter of the city. There were about one hinidred and
sixty Cliinese in Ihe city at the time. Several were severly beaten
and two were killed outright. The mayor ordered two thousand
special policemen sworn in and the lire (kpartment was called
out to tlrench the rioters. Most of the Chinese were taken to
the jail for safe-keeping. The next morning several oi the riot-
ers were arrested and the rest, concluding that discretion was
the luiter part of valor, gave up the fight.

(^1! iVovember 29 lieutenant-governor i-K'cl, Ceorge 1!. Kobin-

y VfV



son, was shot by one of tlic guards at his own mine through a
mistake, the guard taking him for a mine jumper. His death
gave Lieutenant-Governor Tabor another term. The census of
1880 showed a population of 194,649, while the value of taxable
property had doubled in the last three years. Notwithstanding
the Indian troubles, the miners' strikes and the Chinese riots, the
year closed with Colorado on the high road to prosperity.

^l'.'V?. av

COLORADO l-ROM iSSi TO iS^?. 439


Events from 1881 to 1892

GOVJ£RNOR I'lTKIN'S second administration commenced
with the opening o£ the third session of the state legis-
lature, which assembled on January 5, 1881. In his
inaugural address he spoke feelingly of the death of Lieutenant-
Governor fvobinson and recommended legislation that would make
the business of mine jumping more hazardous and decrease the
necessity for guards to protect mining property. The assembly
was in session imtil February 15. The most important bill passed
during the session was one redistricting the state for members of
the general assembly. By its provisions the legislature was made
to consist of twenty-six senators and forty-nine representatives.

An election was lielil on November 8 for district judges and
district attorneys. In accordance with a constitutional provision
the people voted at this election fur the permanent location of the
state capital. The constitution fixed the capital at Denver until
1881 when the question was to be decided by popular vote. Sev-
eral towns entered the contest, for the seat of government, and
a lively campaign was conducted, though it was recognized from
the start that Denver had an advantage. The vole stood:
Denver, 30,248; Pueblo, 6,047; Colorado Springs, 4,700; Canon
City, 2, 788; and Salida, 695.

Three tickets were jilaced in tlie field in the campaign of 1882.
The Republicans nominated Ivniesl L. Campbell for governor;
William Meyer for lieutenant-governor; Alelvin lulwards for sec-
retary of state; John C. Abbott for auditor; Frederick Walseu
for treasurer; D. F. Umiy for attorney-general; J. C. Shattuck
for sui criutendent of ])ublic instruction; J. B. Belford for con-
gress, aj<l Joseph C. lielm for judge of the supreme court, The


£ pH « o)

440 Tin: j'KuriNct: .i\i) rui£ sT.iriis.

Dcniocnilic tiLkcl was as follows; Governor, James 15. Grant;
licutciianl-i^ovcrnor, J(;lin Iv. i'rowcrs; secretary, Frank C. John-
son; aiulitor, Ansel W'atrous; treasurer, Dennis Sullivan; attor-
ne\-i;eneral, 11. K. .Monlooniery ; superintendent, Frank AI.
]!ro\vn; rcijresentative in cunorc^s, S. S. Wallace; jud^^e of the
supreme court, X'incent I). Alarkliain. The Greenhackers nomi-
nated George W. Wav for o(,vernor; Theodore Saunders for lieu-
tenant-i^-overnor ; William N. Hachelder for .Nccretary ; Amos K.
Frost for auditor; John L. lierzini^er for treasurer; A. II.
JJrcman for atlorney-<ieneral ; Mrs. A. L. Washburn for superin-
tendent of public instruction; Leland W. theen for congress, and
L. F. liollingsworth for judge of the supreme court. All parties

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 47 of 53)