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

At Pueblo

When we arrived at Pueblo, the first settlement of any size we had come to since leaving Lawrence, I supposed that we had reached our journey's end, and a feeling of disappointment swept over me as I gazed about me, for it was by no means the kind of a country I had expected to find.

Although I could not call myself an expert farmer, I knew that the soil which we had left behind us in Lawrence was much more fertile than the sandy bottom lands about Pueblo, and I began anxiously to debate the question as to how any one could earn a living in such a forlorn place.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

As Mrs. Middleton told me, shortly after we came to a halt, this settlement had been established by the Mexicans, who later had practically abandoned it, although there were still four or five families living in the less ruinous of the houses.

The buildings were all made of sun dried brick which the Mexicans call adobe, but the greater number of them had fallen into a state of decay. Some of the houses were roofless; the side walls or chimneys of, others had tumbled in, and only now and then might one find a dwelling that would come somewhere near to being weather tight.

It was a scene of ruin and desolation, and in despair I asked myself whether, after struggling so hard to reach this wretched spot, I could do better than to find some means of retracing my steps, long and wearisome though the journey had been.

It was foolish of me to borrow trouble concerning this place, as I soon came to know. The leaders of our company had stopped there only to decide upon some definite course, for, as I learned then, they had left their homes without any clear plan of action, save that they were all of one mind as to their intention of reaching the gold country.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

When we turned our backs on Lawrence I had understood that nearly all the people with whom I journeyed were looking forward to tilling the land, believing that the soil of Colorado would be found to be more generous than that of Kansas; but now that we had actually come into the land of treasure I soon gathered that there had been aroused in the minds of many of the men a keen desire to try gold digging, while but few, and among them Mr. Middleton, still held firm to the resolution they had made before setting out.