Front Matter How I Came to Write my Story Who I am My Great Loss My Worldly Wealth Plans for the Future The Gold Fever My Great Disappointment Cured of the Gold Fever My Opportunity How I Might Work My Way Keeping My Bargain At Pueblo A Welcome Time of Rest Outbreak of Gold Fever Opportunity for Money Middleton Agrees With Me Middleton's Proposition Gold Seekers Land Claims Our Ranch Building a Dwelling Corn and Gold Dreams of a Harvest Disappointed Prospectors Returning Evil for Good Striving to Save Our Corn Defending Our Own A Council of War Interview With The Enemy Missouri Miners Make Sport How to Collect The Debt Possession of Cattle Night Before the Battle A War of Words The Prospectors Try to Kill Us A Real Battle A Truce Terms of Peace The Enemy Surrenders The Prospectors Depart The Growth of Our City Farming Or Mining My Share of the Harvest Middleton Goes on a Journey Auraria and Denver Middleton Turns Trader Middleton's Plan A Weighty Problem Middleton's Partner A Change of Homes Arrival At Auraria The Town of Denver We Hire a Shop I Regret Turning Merchant How We Transported Goods Middleton's Advice The Tide of Emigration Finding Goods By the Roadside Gold in Colorado How the Cities Grew A Post Office in Auraria Letters From Home Our Business Flourishes Denver Outstripping Auraria Claim Jumping The Claim Club The Turkey War The Need of Government Union of Denver and Auraria What Others Thought of Us Territory of Colorado Good Citizenship Civil War Breaks Out Need of a Jail Denver in Flames Our Loss By Fire Mrs. Middleton Consoles Us Good Resulting From Evil Middleton's Honesty Rebuilding Denver The Flood Destruction of the Town In Great Peril The City Destroyed Our Lives Are Spared Fears Regarding the Future Uprising of the Indians Begging for Help A Famine Threatens Horrors of an Indian War My Duty at Home Beginning Over Again My Story is Done

Seth of Colorado - James Otis

Land Claims

I learned then for the first time that a newcomer into this country , was allowed to take up what is called a land claim, that is, he could stake out a given number of acres and enter claim to them at the office of the nearest government land agent, without paying more than the regular fees which, at that time, amounted to about twenty-five cents an acre. The whole sum might be paid by installments within a certain, number of years, in case the settler was not able to complete the transaction at once.

The question rose again in my mind as to whether I might not start out for myself at once, venturing all the little money I had in cattle and seed, and perhaps in the hiring of one man, for I could not hope to do all the work without help, if I cultivated many acres.

Once more I decided that it would be better to serve Mr. Middleton, at least until we had proved whether our plan of selling our crops to the gold seekers was feasible, for there would be no other way of disposing of them, and I had grave doubts as to whether the prices for corn and potatoes, which we had been told were willingly paid by the miners, would continue to hold. Our project appeared to me so much like a speculation that I judged it a wise plan to remain under Mr. Middleton's wing. It was well I did so, as will speedily be seen.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

Out of our entire number, there were but five men who held to the original agreement not to waste their time gold hunting. This small company Mrs. Middleton being the only woman, and her children and myself the only young people, set off once more on our travels, journeying by slow stages until we came to a river with the odd name of Fontaine qui Bouille, the boiling spring, where all of us believed we had found what we were looking for.