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

Fears Regarding the Future

It was when our people had hardly recovered from the effects of the fire that this flood came upon us. There were many, like Mr. Middleton and me, who had asked for credit in the east to continue their business, and were not yet sufficiently on their feet to meet this new disaster.

Because of the Civil War, the easterners were no longer flocking in such numbers to the gold fields, and again, what we call placer mining had seemingly come to an end, the supply having been exhausted. Therefore almost on the last wave of the flood came the knowledge that there was no longer anything in our city of Denver, or in the other towns of Colorado, which had flourished like green bay trees, to attract miners or settlers from the states.

Now you must know that placer mining means simply the digging of gold out of the soil, where it has been washed by streams or by floods from some parent mass. At that time miners had no notion of how to crush the metal from the quartz. In fact, ignorance of the methods of treating ore was universal, so that it seemed as if the wealth of our territory of Colorado had suddenly been destroyed or exhausted, not only by fire and by flood, but by the thousands upon thousands who had delved in valleys and on the hillsides, until in all that vast area the natural deposit of gold near to the earth's surface had been used up.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

It makes my heart swell with pride when I remember that all these discouragements failed to break the spirit of those brave pioneers who had built up this city in the wilderness.

A few faint hearts may have given over the struggle and gone east again; but if such was the case, I failed to hear of it.

All whom I saw or heard stood ready to fight for the life of their city, as they would for their own lives, and it is no exaggeration to say that in those dark days our city seemed threatened with annihilation.