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 Town of Denver

As has already been said, Mr. Middleton and I had decided that Auraria was the settlement in which we would set up our shop, because it seemed as if we stood less chance there of being molested, and yet we made a mistake, as can be told by what I read in print very shortly after the sign of Middleton & Wagner had been nailed up over a building containing a stock of hardware and carpenter's materials.

This is what was set down concerning Denver, which was once called St. Charles, copied word for word as Mr. John Cotton Dana wrote it, lest you should think I have been drawing a long bow:—

"Denver was a rival of Auraria. Her supremacy was settled early in 1859 by thirty wagons which came up the Platte and unloaded their merchandise on the Denver side of Cherry Creek. In the spring of 1859 a large company, perhaps one thousand, were encamped in and about the new town. The Pikes Peak excitement became intense. A new gold fever was on. Mr. William M. Byers reached Denver April 21, 1859, with a printing outfit, and issued the first number of the first paper printed in Colorado April 23rd. On his way across he met the returning tide. Report said one hundred and fifty thousand started that spring across the plains; fifty thousand turned back; one hundred thousand went on to the mountains; not over forty thousand of them stayed. The early months of 1859 were troublous times; the foolish, reckless gold seekers, set west on half knowledge, tried to lay the blame for their folly on the shoulders of others. Gold in paying quantities was as yet far from common."

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

Well, of course, we were not able to look ahead to see the day when Auraria would be swallowed by Denver, but settled ourselves on the outskirts of the town, looking about for a claim where we might build a store. I took it upon myself to search for a location, and if opportunity had offered I would have bought any piece of land at a reasonable price, without waiting for Mr. Middleton's opinion.