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

The Claim Club

Now because there came up, day after day, complications caused by this claim jumping, a number of men of Denver banded themselves together in what they called a Claim Club, the members being bound to defend the original settlers of the land against the squatters.

There was no written law in all this matter, because we had as yet no regularly organized government; but people took affairs into their own hands, settling the claims as if they really constituted a court of law, and in this way trouble was as a rule averted.

Mr. Middleton made a point of joining this club, so that there might be no danger of the claim which he had bought in the Denver settlement being disputed by claim jumpers.

To those who have never gone into a new country, the idea that a man's land may be taken from him by force seems almost ridiculous, and yet such wrong was often done, so that to us on the banks of Cherry Creek it was of the utmost importance that we should have some semblance of law.

Before coming to Colorado I had never realized how sorely people need the machinery of government. It had always seemed to me that a governor, a legislature, a sheriff, and judges were of no great importance to peaceable citizens, except as they served to make up what we call a state. Perhaps I looked upon a government as an ornament, rather than as a necessity.

But once I came to a place where there was no one authorized to assure equal justice to all, I began to understand that the machinery of a state was fully as necessary as churches and schools. In fact, I learned for the first time what is meant by government; how nearly it affects the least among us, and how exceedingly difficult it is for a community to get along without certain forms as the means of enforcing good behavior upon its citizens.