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Title: Seventy Years on the Frontier
Author: Majors, Alexander
Language: English
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[Illustration: Alexander Majors.]


    OF A




    Seventy Years on the Frontier


    W. F. CODY




        PREFACE, BY BUFFALO BILL                         9
        NOTE TO READER                                  13
        I. Reminiscences of Youth                       15
       II. Missouri in Its Wild and Uncultivated State  25
      III. A Silver Expedition                          32
       IV. The Mormons                                  43
        V. The Mormons' Mecca                           63
       VI. My First Venture                             71
      VII. Faithful Friends                             78
     VIII. Our War with Mexico                          85
       IX. Doniphan's Expedition                        90
        X. The Pioneer of Frontier Telegraphy           99
       XI. An Overland Outfit                          102
      XII. Kit Carson                                  107
     XIII. Adventures of a Trapper                     119
      XIV. Trapping                                    125
       XV. An Adventure with Indians                   128
      XVI. Crossing the Plains                         137
     XVII. "The Jayhawkers of 1849"                    150
    XVIII. Mirages                                     157
      XIX. The First Stage into Denver                 164
       XX. The Gold Fever                              168
      XXI. The Overland Mail                           173
     XXII. The Pony Express and Its Brave Riders       182
    XXIII. The Battle of the Buffaloes                 194
     XXIV. The Black Bear                              201
      XXV. The Beaver                                  215
     XXVI. A Boy's Trip Overland                       221
    XXVII. The Denver of Early Days                    228
   XXVIII. The Denver of To-day and Its Environs       232
     XXIX. Buffalo Bill from Boyhood to Fame           243
      XXX. The Platte Valley                           247
     XXXI. Kansas City before the War                  253
    XXXII. The Graves of Pioneers                      258
   XXXIII. Silver Mining                               267
    XXXIV. Wild West Fruits                            272
     XXXV. How English Capitalists Got a Foothold      277
    XXXVI. Montana's Towns and Cities                  285
   XXXVII. California's Great Trees                    290
  XXXVIII. The Flowers of the Far West                 294
    XXXIX. Colorado                                    304
       XL. The Surgeon Scout                           317
           Conclusion                                  320

[Illustration: W. F. Cody
"Buffalo Bill."]


As there is no man living who is more thoroughly competent to write a
book of the Wild West than my life-long friend and benefactor in my
boyhood, Alexander Majors, there is no one to whose truthful words I
would rather accept the honor of writing a preface.

An introduction to a book of Mountain and Plain by Mr. Majors certainly
need hardly be written, unless it be to refer to the author in a way
that his extreme modesty will not permit him to speak of himself, for he
is not given to sounding his own praise, being a man of action rather
than words, and yet whose life has its recollections of seventy years
upon the frontier, dating to a period that tried men's souls to the
fullest extent, and when daring deeds and thrilling adventures were of
every-day occurrence. Remembrance of seventy years of life in the Far
West and amid the Rocky Mountains!

What a world of thought this gives rise to, when we recall that a
quarter of a century ago there was not a railroad west of the Missouri
River, and every pound of freight, every emigrant, every letter, and
every message had to be carried by wagon or on horseback, and at the
risk of life and hardships untold.

The man who could in the face of all dangers and obstacles originate and
carry to success a line of freighter wagons, a mail route from the
Atlantic to the Pacific, and a Pony Express, flying at the utmost speed
of a hare through the land, was no ordinary individual, as can be well
understood. And such a man Alexander Majors was. He won success; and
to-day, on the verge of four score years, lives over again in his book
the thrilling scenes in his own life and in the lives of others.

Family reverses after the killing of my father in the Kansas War, caused
me to start out, though a mere boy, in 1855 to seek to aid in the
support of my mother and sisters, and it was to Mr. Alexander Majors
that I applied for a situation. He looked me over carefully in his
kindly way, and after questioning me closely gave me the place of
messenger boy, that was, one to ride with dispatches between the
overland freighters--wagon trains going westward into the almost unknown
wild dump of prairie and mountain.

That was my first meeting with Alexander Majors, and
up to the present time our friendship has never had a break
in it, and, I may add, never will through act of mine.

Having thus shown my claim to a thorough knowledge of my distinguished
old friend, let me now state that his firm was known the country over as
Majors, Russell & Woddell, but it was to Mr. Majors particularly that
the heaviest duties of organizing and management fell, and he never
shirked a duty or a danger, as I well remember.

Severe in discipline, he was yet never profane or harsh, and a Christian
and temperance man through all; he governed his men kindly, and was wont
to say that he would have no one under his control who would not
promptly obey an order without it was emphasized with an oath. In fact,
he had a contract with his men in which they pledged themselves not to
use profanity, get drunk, gamble, or be cruel to animals under pain of
dismissal, while good behavior was rewarded. Every man, from wagon-boss
and teamster down to rustler and messenger-boy, seemed anxious to gain
the good will of Alexander Majors and to hold it, and to-day he has
fewer foes than any one I know, in spite of his position as chief of
what were certainly a wild and desperate lot of men, where the revolver
settled all difficulties.

It was Mr. Majors' firm that originated and put in the Pony Express
across the plains and made it the grand success it proved to be.

It was his firm that so long and successfully carried on the business of
overland freighting in the face of every obstacle, and also the Overland
Stage Drive between the Missouri River and Pacific Ocean, and in his
long life on the border he has become known to all classes and
conditions of men, so that in writing now his memoirs, no man knows
better whereof he speaks than he does.

In each instance where he has written to his old-time comrades for data,
he has taken only that which he knew could be verified, and has thrown
out material sufficient to double his book in size, where he felt the
slightest doubt that it could not be relied upon to the fullest extent.

His work, therefore, is a history of the Wild West, its pages authentic,
and though many of its scenes are romantic and thrilling, it is what has
hitherto been an unwritten story of facts, figures, and reality; and
now, that in his old age he finds his occupation gone, I feel and hope
that his memoirs will find a ready sale.

    W. F. CODY,
    "Buffalo Bill."


In preparing the material of my book, I desire here to give justice
where justice is due, and express myself as under obligations for
valuable data and letters, which I fully appreciate; and publicly thank
for their kindness in this direction those whose names follow:

    COL. W. F. CODY ("Buffalo Bill") of Nebraska.
    COL. JOHN B. COLTON, Kansas City, Mo.
    MR. V. DEVINNY, Denver, Colo.
    MR. E. L. GALLATIN, Denver, Colo.
    JUDGE SIMONDS, Denver, Colo.
    MR. JOHN T. RENNICK, Oak Grove, Mo.
    MR. GEO. W. BRYANT, Kansas City, Mo.
    MR. GEORGE E. SIMPSON, Kansas City, Mo.
    MR. JOHN MARTIN, Denver, Colo.
    MR. DAVID STREET, Denver, Colo.
    MRS. NELLIE CARLISLE, Berkeley, Cal.
    MR. A. CARLISLE, Berkeley, Cal.
    MR. GREEN MAJORS, San Francisco, Cal.
    MR. ERGO ALEX. MAJORS, Alameda, Cal.
    MR. SETH E. WARD, Westport, Mo.
    ROBERT FORD, Great Falls, Mont.
    DOCTOR CASE, Kansas City, Mo.
    BENJ. C. MAJORS, May Bell P. O., Colo.
    PROF. ROBERT CASEY, Denver, Colo.
    JOHN BURROUGHS, Colorado.
    EUGENE MUNN, Swift, Neb.
    REV. DR. JOHN R. SHANNON, Denver, Colo.
    THOS. D. TRUETT, Leadville, Colo.

    Yours with respect,

Seventy Years on the Frontier.



My father, Benjamin Majors, was a farmer, born in the State of North
Carolina in 1794, and brought when a boy by my grandfather, Alexander
Majors, after whom I am named, to Kentucky about the year 1800. My
grandfather was also a farmer, and one might say a manufacturer, for in
those days nearly all the farmers in America were manufacturers,
producing almost everything within their homes or with their own hands,
tanning their own leather, making the shoes they wore, as well as
clothing of all kinds.

My mother's maiden name was Laurania Kelly; her father, Beil Kelly, was
a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and was wounded at the battle of

I was born in 1814, on the 4th day of October, near Franklin, Simpson
County, Kentucky, being the eldest of the family, consisting of two boys
and a girl. When I was about five years of age my father moved to
Missouri, when that State was yet a Territory. I remember well many of
the occurrences of the trip; one was that the horses ran away with the
wagon in which my father, myself, and younger brothers were riding. My
father threw us children out and jumped out himself, though crippled in
one foot at the time. One wheel of the wagon was broken to pieces, which
caused us a delay of two days.

After crossing the Ohio River, in going through the then Territory of
Illinois, the settlements were from ten to twenty miles apart, the
squatters living in log cabins, and along one stretch of the road the
log cabin settlements were forty miles apart. When we arrived at the
Okaw River, in the Territory of Illinois, we found a squatter in his
little log cabin whose occupation was ferrying passengers across the
river in a small flatboat which was propelled by a cable or large rope
tied to a tree on each side of the river, it being a narrow but deep
stream. The only thing attracting my special attention, as a boy, at
that point was a pet bear chained to a stake just in front of the cabin
where the family lived. He was constantly jumping over his chain, as is
the habit of pet bears, especially when young.

From this place to St. Louis, a distance of about thirty-five miles,
there was not a single settlement of any kind. When we arrived on the
east bank of the Mississippi River, opposite the now city of St. Louis,
we saw a little French village on the other side. The only means of
crossing the river was a small flatboat, manned by three Frenchmen, one
on each side about midway of the craft, each with an oar with which to
propel the boat. The third one stood in the end with a steering oar, for
the purpose of giving it the proper direction when the others propelled
it. This ferry would carry four horses or a four-horse wagon with its
load at one trip. These men were not engaged half their time in ferrying
across the river all the emigrants, with their horses, cattle, sheep,
and hogs, who were moving from the East to the West and crossing at St.
Louis. Of course the current would carry the boat a considerable
distance down the river in spite of the efforts of the boatmen to the
contrary. However, when they reached the opposite bank the two who
worked the side oars would lay down their oars, go to her bow, where a
long rope was attached, take it up, put it over their shoulders, and let
it uncoil until it gave them several rods in front of the boat. Then
they would start off in a little foot-path made at the water's edge and
pull the boat to the place prepared for taking on or unloading, as the
case might be. There they loaded what they wanted to ferry to the other
side, and the same process would be gone through with as before.
Reaching the west bank of the river we found the village of St. Louis,
with 4,000 inhabitants, a large portion of whom were French, whose
business it was to trade with the numerous tribes of Indians and the few
white people who then inhabited that region of country, for furs of
various kinds, buffalo robes and tongues, as this was the only traffic
out of which money could be made at that time.

The furs bought of the Indians were carried from St. Louis to New
Orleans in pirogues or flatboats, which were carried along solely by the
current, for at that time steam power had never been applied to the
waters of the Mississippi River. Sixty-seven years later, in 1886, I
visited St. Louis and went down to the wharf or steamboat landing, and
looking across to East St. Louis, which in 1818 was nothing but a
wilderness, beheld the river spanned by one of the finest bridges in the
world, over which from 100 to 150 locomotives with trains attached were
daily passing. Three big steam ferryboats above and three below the
bridge were constantly employed in transferring freight of one kind or
another. What a change had taken place within the memory of one man!
While looking in amazement at the great and mighty change, a nicely
dressed and intelligent man passed by; I said to him:

"Sir, I stood on the other bank of this river when a little boy, in the
month of October, 1818, when there was no improvement whatever over
there" (pointing to the east shore). I also stated to him that a little
flatboat, manned by three Frenchmen, was the only means for crossing the
river at that time. The gentleman took his pencil and a piece of paper
and figured for a few moments, and then turning to me said: "Do you
know, sir, those three Frenchmen, with their boat, who did all the work
of ferrying, and were not employed half the time, could not, with the
facilities you speak of, in 100 years do what is now being done in one
day with our present means of transportation."

Since that time, which was six years ago, another bridge has been built
to meet the necessities of the increasing business of that city, which
shows that progress and increase of wealth and development are still on
the rapid march.

The next thing of note, after passing St. Louis, occurred one evening
after we camped. My mother stepped on the wagon-tongue to get the
cooking utensils, when her foot slipped and she fell, striking her side
and receiving injuries which resulted in her death eighteen months

On that journey my father traveled westward, crossing the Missouri River
at St. Charles, Mo., following up the river from that point to where
Glasgow is now situated, and there crossed the river to the south side,
and wintered in the big bottoms. In the spring of 1819 he moved to what
afterward became La Fayette County, and took up a location near the Big
Snye Bear River.

In February, the winter following, my dear mother died from the injuries
she received from the accident previously alluded to. The Rev. Simon
Cockrell, a baptist preacher, who at that time was over eighty years of
age, preached her funeral sermon. He was the first preacher I had ever
seen stand up before a congregation with a book in his hand. Although
my mother died when I was little more than six years of age, my memory
of her is apparently as fresh and endearing as though her death had
occurred but a few days ago. Many acts I saw her do, and things I heard
her say, impressed me with her courage and goodness, and their memory
has been a help to me throughout the whole career of my long life. No
mother ever gave birth to a son who loved her more, or whose tender
recollections have been more endearing or lasting than mine.

I have never encountered any difficulty so great, no matter how
threatening, that I have not been able to overcome fearlessly when the
recollection of my dear mother and the spirit by which she was animated
came to me. Even to this day, and I am an old man in my eightieth year,
I can not dwell long in conversation about her without tears coming to
my eyes. There are no words in the English language to express my
estimate and appreciation of the dear mother who gave me birth and
nourishment. I would that all men loved and held the memories of their
mothers more sacred than I think many of them do. One of the greatest
safeguards to man throughout the meanderings of his life is the love of
a father, mother, brother and sister, children and friends; it is a
great solace and anchor to right-thinking men when they may be hundreds
and thousands of miles away. Love of family begets true patriotism in
his bosom, for, in my opinion, there is no such thing as true patriotism
without love of family.

Returning to the events of 1821, we had in the neighborhood of the Snye
Bear River a great Indian scare. This happened in the month of August,
when I was in my seventh year, after my father had built a log cabin for
himself in that part of the country which afterward became Lafayette
County, Mo. My mother had died the winter before, leaving myself, the
eldest, a brother next, and a sister little more than two years old.

Mrs. Ferrin, a settler who lived on the outskirts of the little
settlement of pioneers, was alone, except for a baby a year old. She
left the child and went to the spring for water. When she had filled her
bucket and rose to the top of the bank, she imagined she saw Indians.
She dropped her bucket, ran to the cabin, took the child in her arms,
and fled with all her might to Thomas Hopper's, the nearest neighbor. As
soon as she came near enough to be heard, she shouted "Indians" at the
top of her voice. Polly Hopper, a young girl of seventeen, hearing Mrs.
Ferrin shouting "Indians," seized a bridle and ran to a herd of horses
that were near by in the shade of some trees, caught a flea-bitten gray
bell mare, the leader of the herd, she being gentle and easier to catch
than the others, mounted the animal without saddle, riding after the
fashion of men, and started to alarm the settlement.

My father was lying in bed taking a sweat to abate a bilious fever. A
family living near by were caring for us children, and nursing my father
in his sickness. My brother and I were playing a little distance from
the cabin when we heard the screams of the woman, shouting "Indians"
with every jump the horse made, her hair streaming out behind like a
banner in the wind. We were on the very outside boundary of the
settlement, and some signs of Indians had been discovered a few days
previous by some neighbors who were out hunting for deer. This fact had
been made known to the little settlement, and the day this scare took
place had been selected for the men to meet at Henry Rennick's to
discuss ways and means for building a stockade for the protection of
their families in case the Indians should make an attempt of a hostile
nature. So the first thoughts of the families at home were to start for
Rennick's, where the men were. This accounts for the young woman going
by our house, as she had to pass our cabin to reach that place. My
father, sick as he was, jumped out of bed when she passed giving the
alarm, took a heavy gun from the rack, hung his shot pouch over his
shoulder, took my little sister in his arms, and, like the rest, started
for Rennick's, my little brother and I toddling along behind him.

A family living near by, consisting of the mother, Mrs. Turner, two
daughters, a son, and a little grandson, also started for Rennick's.
They would run for a short distance, and then stop and hide in the high
weeds until they could get their breath. The old lady had a small dog
she called Ging. He was on hand, of course, and just as much excited as
all the rest of the dogs in the neighborhood, and the people themselves.
The screams of the girl Polly Hopper, and the ringing of the bell on the
animal she was riding, aroused the dogs to the highest pitch of
excitement. In those days dogs were a necessity to the frontiersman for
his protection, and as much of a necessity on that account as any other
animal he possessed, and consequently every settler owned from three to
five dogs, and some more. They were the watch-guards against Indians and
prowling beasts, both by night and day, and could not have been
dispensed with in the settling of the frontier.

To return to our trip to Rennick's: When the old lady and her flock
would run into the weeds to hide and regain their breath, this little
dog Ging could not be controlled, for bark he would. The old lady when
angry would use "cuss words," and she used them on this dog, and would
jump out of her hiding-place and start on the trail again. Of course
when the dog barked he exposed her hiding-place. They would run a little
farther, and when their breath would fail, they would make another
hiding in the weeds, but would scarcely get settled when the dog would
begin his barking again. The old lady, with another string of "cuss
words," would jump out of the weeds and try the trail again a short
distance. This was repeated until they reached Rennick's almost
prostrate, as the distance was considerably over a mile, and the day an
exceedingly hot one about noon. My father, though sick, was more
fortunate with his little group of children. When he felt about to
faint, he would turn with us into the high weeds and sit there quietly,
and, not having any dog with us to report our whereabouts, we were
completely hidden by the high weeds, and had a hundred Indians passed
they would not have discovered our hiding-place.

In due time we arrived safe at Rennick's, and strange to say, my father
was a well man, and did not go to bed again on account of the fever.

When Polly Hopper reached Rennick's and ran into the crowd, she was in a
fainting condition. The men took her off the horse, laid her on the
ground, and administered cold water and other restoratives. She soon
regained consciousness and strength, and of course was regarded as a
heroine in the neighborhood after that memorable day. One can well
imagine the excitement among the men whose families were at home and
exposed, as they thought, to the mercies of the savages. They scattered
immediately toward their homes as rapidly as their horses would carry
them, fearing they might find their families murdered. For hours after
we reached Rennick's there continued to be arrivals of women and
children, many times in a fainting condition, and all exhausted from the
fright, the heat, and the speed at which they had run.

Mr. Rennick, who was one of the first pioneers, soon had more visitors
than he knew what to do with, and more than his log cabin could shelter.
These people remained in and around the cabin for two days, and until
the men rode the country over and found the alarm had been a false one
and there were no Indians in the neighborhood.

One of the first occurrences of note in the early settlement of the West
was the visitation of grasshoppers, in September, 1820, an occurrence
which had never been known by the oldest inhabitants of the Mississippi
Valley. They came in such numbers as to appear when in the heavens as
thin clouds of vapor, casting a faint shadow upon the earth. In
twenty-four hours after their appearance every green thing, in the
nature of farm product, that they could eat or devour was destroyed. It
so happened, however, that they came so late in the season that the
early corn had ripened, so they could not damage that, otherwise a
famine would have resulted. The next appearance of these pests was over
forty years later, in Western Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas, which all
well remember, as there were two or three seasons in close proximity to
each other in the sixties when Western farmers suffered to a great
extent from their ravages.

For five years, from 1821 to 1826, nothing worthy of note occurred, but
everything moved along as calmly as a sunny day.

In the month of April, 1826, a terrible cyclone passed through that
section of the country, leaving nothing standing in its track.
Fortunately the country was but sparsely settled, and no lives were
lost. It passed from a southwesterly direction to the northeast, tearing
to pieces a belt of timber about half-a-mile wide, in that part of the
country which became Jackson County, and near where Independence was
afterward located, passing a little to the west of that point.

The next cyclone that visited that country was in 1847; this also passed
from the southwest to the northeast, passing across the outskirts of
Westport, which is now a suburb of Kansas City. The third and last
cyclone that visited that section of the country, about eight years ago,
blew down several houses in Kansas City, and killed a number of children
who were attending the High School, the building being demolished by the

[Illustration: POLLY'S WARNING.]



There was about one-fourth of the entire territory of Missouri that was
covered with timber, and three-fourths in prairie land, with an annual
growth of sage-grass, as it was called, about one and one-half feet
high, and as thick as it could well grow; in fact the prairie lands in
the commencement of its settlement were one vast meadow, where the
farmer could cut good hay suitable for the wintering of his stock almost
without regard to the selection of the spot; in other words, it was
meadow everywhere outside of the timber lands. This condition of things
would apply also to the States of Illinois, Iowa, and some of the other
Western States, with the exception of Missouri, which had a greater
proportion of timber than either of the others mentioned. The timber in
all these States grew in belts along the rivers and their tributaries,
the prairie covering the high rolling lands between the streams that
made up the water channels of those States.

Many of the streams in the first settling of these States were bold,
clear running water, and many of them in Missouri were sufficiently
strong almost the year round to afford good water power for running
machinery, and it was the prediction in the commencement of the
settlement of these States by the best-informed people, that the water
would increase, for the reason that the swampy portions in the bottom
lands, and where there were small lakes, would, by the settlement of the
country, become diverted, its force to run directly into and strengthen
the larger streams for all time to come. And to show how practical
results overthrow theories, the fact proved to be exactly the reverse of
their predictions. There has been a continuous slow decline in the
natural flow of water-supply from the first settlement of the country.
Many places that I can now remember that were ponds or small lakes, or
in other words little reservoirs, which held the water for months while
it would be slowly passing out and feeding the streams, have now become
fields and plowed ground. Roads and ditches have been made that let the
water off at once after a rainfall. The result has been that streams
that used to turn machinery have become not much more than outlets for
the heavy rainfalls that occur in the rainy season, and if twenty of
those streams, each one of which had water enough to run machinery
seventy years ago, were all put together now into one stream, there
would not be sufficient power to run a good plant of machinery. The
numerous springs that could be found on every forty or eighty acres of
land in the beginning, have very many of them entirely failed.

The wells of twenty or thirty feet in depth that used to afford any
quantity of water for family uses, many of them in order to get water
supplies have to be sunk to a much greater depth. Little streams that
used to afford any quantity of water for the stock have dried up, giving
no water supply, only in times of abundance of rain. All the first
settlers in the State located along the timber belts, without an
exception, and cultivated the timber lands to produce their grain and
vegetables. It was many years after the forest lands were settled before
prairie lands were cultivated to any extent, and it was found later that
the prairie lands were more fertile than they gave them credit for being
before real tests in the way of farming were made with them. The sage
grass had the tenacity to stand a great deal of grazing and tramping
over, and still grow to considerable perfection. It required years of
grazing upon the prairie before the wild grass, which was universal in
the beginning, gave way, but in the timber portions the vegetation that
was found in the first settling of the land gave way almost at once. In
two years from the time a farmer moved upon a new spot and turned his
stock loose upon it, the original wild herbs that were found there
disappeared and other vegetation took its place. The land being
exceedingly fertile, never failed to produce a crop of vegetation, and
when one variety did appear and cover the entire surface as thick as it
could grow for a few years, it seemed to exhaust the quality of the soil
that produced that kind, and that variety would give way and something
new come up.

The older the country has become, as a rule, the more obnoxious has been
the vegetation that the soil has produced of its own accord. But there
has been in my recollection, which goes back more than seventy years, a
great many changes in the crops of vegetation on those lands, showing to
my satisfaction that there is an inherent potency in nature, in rich
soil that will cover itself every year with a growth of some kind. If it
is not cultivated and made to produce fruit, vegetables, and cereals, it
will nevertheless produce a crop of some kind.

The first settlers in the Mississippi Valley were as a rule poor people,
who were industrious, economizing, and self-sustaining. From ninety-five
to ninety-seven per cent of the entire population manufactured at home
almost everything necessary for good living. A great many of them when
they were crossing the Ohio and Mississippi to their new homes would
barely have money enough to pay their ferriage across the rivers, and
one of the points in selling out whatever they had to spare when they
made up their minds to emigrate was to be sure to have cash enough with
them to pay their ferriage. They generally carried with them a pair of
chickens, ducks, geese, and if possible a pair of pigs, their cattle and
horses. The wife took her spinning wheel, a bunch of cotton or flax, and
was ready to go to spinning as soon as she landed on the premises, often
having her cards and wheel at work before her husband could build a log
cabin. Going into a land, as it was then, that flowed with milk and
honey they were enabled by the use of their own hands and brains to make
an independent and good living. There was any quantity of game, bear,
elk, deer, wild turkeys, and wild honey to be found in the woods, so
that no man with a family, who had pluck and energy enough about him to
stir around, ever need to be without a supply of food. At that time
nature afforded the finest of pasture, both summer and winter, for his

While the people as a rule were not educated, many of them very
illiterate as far as education was concerned, they were thoroughly
self-sustaining when it came to the knowledge required to do things that
brought about a plentiful supply of the necessities of life. In those
times all were on an equality, for each man and his family had to
produce what was required to live upon, and when one man was a little
better dressed than another there could be no complaint from his
neighbor, for each one had the same means in his hands to bring about
like results, and he could not say his neighbor was better dressed than
he was because he had cheated some other neighbor out of something, and
bought the dress; for at that time the goods all had to come to them in
the same way--by their own industry. There was but little stealing or
cheating among them. There was no money to steal, and if a man stole a
piece of jeans or cloth of any kind he would be apprehended at once.
Society at that time was homogeneous and simple, and opportunities for
vice were very rare. There were very few old bachelors and old maids,
for about the only thing a young man could do when he became twenty-one,
and his mother quit making his clothes and doing his washing, was to
marry one of his neighbor's daughters. The two would then work together,
as was the universal custom, and soon produce with their own hands
abundance of supplies to live upon.

The country was new, and when a young man got married his father and
brothers, and his wife's father and brothers, often would turn out and
help him put up a log cabin, which work required only a few days, and he
and his spouse would move into it at once. They would go to work in the
same way as their fathers had done, and in a few years would be just as
independent as the old people. The young ladies most invariably spun and
wove, and made their bridal dresses. At that time there were millions of
acres of land that a man could go and squat on, build his cabin, and
sometimes live for years upon it before the land would come into market,
and with the prosperity attending such undertakings, as a general thing
would manage in some way, when the land did come into market, to pay
$1.25 per acre for as much as he required for the maintenance of his

Men in those days who came to Missouri and looked at the land often
declined to select a home in the State on account of their having no
market for their products, as above stated, everybody producing all that
was needed for home consumption and often a surplus, but were so far
away from any of the large cities of the country, without transportation
of either steamboats or railroads, for it was before the time of
steamboats, much less railroads--for neither of them in my early
recollections were in existence--to make them channels of business and
trade. Men in the early settlement often wondered if the rich land of
the State would ever be worth $5 per acre.

Missouri at that time was considered the western confines of
civilization, and it was believed then that there never would be in the
future any white settlements of civilized people existing between the
western borders of Missouri and the Pacific Coast, unless it might be
the strip between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Pacific Ocean,
which the people at that time knew but little or nothing about.

In 1820 and 1830 there were a great many peaceable tribes of Indians,
located by the Government all along the western boundary of Missouri, in
what was then called the Indian Territory, and has since then become the
States of Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma Territory. I remember the names
of many of the tribes who were our nearest neighbors across the line,
and among them were the Shawnees, Delawares, Wyandottes, Kickapoos,
Miamis, Sacs, Foxes, Osages, Peorias, and Iowas, all of whom were
perfectly friendly and docile, and lived for a great many years in close
proximity to the white settlers, even coming among them to trade without
any outbreaks or trespassing upon the rights of the white people in any
way or manner worth mentioning.

There was a long period existing from 1825 to 1860 of perfect harmony
between these tribes and the white people, and in fact even to this day
there is no disturbance between these tribes and their neighbors, the
whites. The Indian troubles have been among the Sioux, Arapahoes,
Cheyennes, Apaches, Utes, and some other minor tribes, all of which, at
the present time, seem to have submitted to their fate in whatever
direction it may lie. There is one remark that I will venture here, and
it is this, that while the white people were in the power of the Indians
and understood it, we got along with the Indian a great deal better
than when the change to the white people took place. In the early days
white men respected the Indian's rights thoroughly, and would not be the
aggressors, and often they were at the mercy of the Indians, but as soon
as they began to feel that they could do as they pleased, became more
aggressive and had less regard for what the Indian considered his
rights. Then in the early days Indians were paid their annuities in an
honest way, and there was no feeling among them that they were
mistreated by the agent whose duty it was to pay them this annuity.

I was acquainted with one Indian agent by the name of Major Cummings,
who for a long time was a citizen of Jackson County, and for a great
many years agent for a number of the tribes living along the borders of
Missouri. There never was a complaint or even a suspicion, to the best
of my knowledge, that he or his clerks ever took one cent of the
annuities that belonged to the Indians. The money was paid to them in
silver, either in whole or half dollars, and the head of every family
received every cent of his quota. Therefore we had a long period of
quiet and peace with our red brethren. It is only since the late war
that there has been so much complaint from the Indians with reference to
the scanty allowances and poor food and blankets.



In the summer of 1827 my father, Benjamin Majors, with twenty-four other
men, formed a party to go to the Rocky Mountains in search of a silver
mine that had been discovered by James Cockrell,[1] while on a
beaver-trapping expedition some four years previous.

At that time, men attempting to cross the plains had no means of
carrying food supplies to last more than a week, or ten days at the
outside. When their scanty supply of provisions was exhausted, they
depended solely upon the game they might chance to kill, invariably
eating this without salt. These twenty-five men elected James Cockrell
their captain, as he was the only man of the party who had crossed the
plains. Being the discoverer of what he claimed was a rich silver mine,
they relied solely upon him to pilot them to the spot. The only
facilities for transportation were one horse each. Their scant amount of
bedding, with the rider, was all the horse could carry. Each man had to
be armed with a good gun, and powder and ball enough to last him during
the entire trip, for the territory through which they had to pass was
inhabited by hostile Indians. No cooking vessels were taken with them,
as they depended entirely upon roasting or broiling their meat upon the
fire. When they could not find deer, antelope, elk, or buffalo they had
to do without food, unless they were driven to kill and eat a wolf they
might chance to get. When they reached the buffalo belt, however, 200
miles farther west, there was no scarcity of meat. The country where
they roamed was 400 miles across, reaching to the base of the Rocky
Mountains, and extending from Texas more than 3,000 miles, very far
north of the Canadian line. The buffalo were numbered by the millions.
It often occurred in traveling through this district that there would be
days together when one would never be out of sight of great herds of
these animals. They stayed in the most open portion of the plains they
could find, for the country was one vast plain, or level prairie. The
grass called buffalo grass did not grow more than one and one-half to
two inches high, but grew almost as thick in many places as the hair on
a dog's back. Other grasses that were found in this locality grew much
taller, but one would invariably find the buffalo grazing upon the short
kind, especially so in the winter, as the high winds blew the snow away
from where this grass grew. There were millions of acres of this grass.
The buffalo's teeth and under jaw were so arranged by nature that he
could bite this short grass to the earth; in fact no small animal, such
as a sheep, goat, or antelope, could cut the grass more closely than the
largest buffalo. Strange to say this short grass of the prairie is
rapidly disappearing, as the buffaloes have done. In crossing the plains
with our oxen in later years we found it impossible for them to get a
living by grazing on the portions of the plains where this grass grew.

The party in question soon reached the Raton Mountains not far from
Trinidad, now on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé Railroad. It is proper
to state that after leaving their homes in Jackson and Lafayette
counties, Mo., they traveled across the prairie, bearing a little south
of west, until they reached the Big Bend, or Great Bend, as it is lately
called, of the Arkansas River. At this point they found innumerable
herds of buffalo, and no trouble in finding grass and water in plenty,
as well as meat. They followed the margin of the river until they
reached the foot-hills of the Rocky Mountains; then their captain told
them he was in the region where he had discovered the mine. He found
some difficulty in locating the spot, and after many days spent in
searching, some of the party grew restless and distrustful, doubting as
to whether he ever discovered silver ore, or if so, if he was willing to
show them the location, and became very threatening in their attitude
toward him. He finally found what he and they had supposed was silver
ore. This fact pacified the party and perhaps saved his life, as it was
a long way for men to travel through peril and hardships only to be
disappointed, or, as they expressed it, "to be fooled." They were
disappointed, however, when they found nothing but dirty-looking rock,
with now and then a bright speck of metal in it. Not one of them had
ever seen silver ore, nor did they know anything about manipulating the
rock in order to get the silver out of it. Many of them expected to find
the silver in metallic form, and thought they could cut it out with
their tomahawks and pack home a good portion of wealth upon their
horses. They thought they could walk and lead their horses if they could
get a load of precious metal to carry, as their captain had done a few
years before, when he sold his beaver skins in St. Louis, took his pay
in silver dollars, put them in a sack, bought a horse to carry it, and
led him 300 miles to his home.

It must be remembered that this was the first prospecting party to look
for silver that ever left the western borders of Missouri for the Rocky
Mountains. After finding what they supposed was a silver mine, each one
selected some of the best specimens and left for their homes. Everything
moved along well with them until they arrived at about the point on the
Arkansas River where Dodge City now stands. They camped one evening at
the close of a day's travel, ate a hearty supper of buffalo meat, put
their guard around their horses, and went to bed. Two men at a time
guarded the horses, making a change every three hours during the night.
This precaution was necessary to keep the Indians, who were in great
numbers and hostile, from running off their horses. But on that fatal
night the Indians succeeded in crawling on their bellies where the grass
was tall enough to conceal them from the guard. It was only along the
river bottoms and water courses that the grass grew tall. When they got
between the guard and the horses, they suddenly rose, firing their guns,
shaking buffalo robes, and with war-whoops and yells succeeded in
frightening the horses to an intense degree. Then the Indians who were
in reserve, mounted on ponies, ran the horses off where their owners
never heard of or saw them afterward. Part of the Indians, at the same
time, turned their guns upon the men that were lying upon the bank of
the river. They jumped out of their beds, over the bank and into the
water knee-deep. The men, by stooping under the bank, which was four
feet perpendicular, were protected from the arrows and bullets of the
enemy. There they stood for the remainder of that cold October night.
One of the party, a man named Mark Foster, when they jumped over the
bank, did not stop, but ran as fast as he could go for the other side.
The water was shallow, not being more than knee-deep anywhere, and in
some places not half that depth. The bottom was sandy, and at that place
the river was some 400 yards wide. In running in the dark of the night,
with the uneven bottom of the river, Mr. Foster fell several times. Each
time it drew a yell from the Indians, who thought they had killed him,
for they were shooting at him as he ran. After being three times ducked,
he reached the other side and dry land. His clothes were thoroughly
drenched, and his gun, which was a flint-lock and muzzle-loader,
entirely useless. Just think of a man in that condition--his gun
disabled, apparently a thousand wolves howling around him in all
directions, the darkness of the night, the yelling of the Indians on the
other side, and 400 miles from home; the only living white man, unless
some of his comrades happened not to be killed. He remained there
shivering with the cold the rest of the night. When daylight appeared he
started to cross the river to the camp to find out whether his comrades
were dead or alive. He reached the middle of the river and halted, his
object being to see, if possible, whether it was the Indians or his
party that he could see through the slight fog that was rising and
slowly moving westward and up the river. His comrades, who fortunately
were alive, could hear, in the still of the morning, every step he made
in the water. After standing a short time he decided that the men he saw
moving about were Indians, and he was confirmed in the belief that all
his party were killed, so he ran back to where he had spent such a
doleful part of the night and there remained until the fog entirely
cleared away. He then could see that the men at the camp from where he
fled were his comrades. He returned within about sixty yards from where
they were, stopped and called to my father, who answered him, after some
persuasion from the rest of the party, for they all felt ugly toward
him, thinking he had acted the coward in doing as he did. When my father
answered his call, he asked if they would allow him to join them. After
holding a consultation it was agreed that he might come. He walked
firmly up to them and remarked:

"I have something to say to you, gentlemen. It is this: I know you think
I have acted the d--d coward, and I do not blame you under the
circumstances. When you all jumped over the bank I thought you were
going to run to the other side, and I did not know any better until I
had got so far out I was in greater danger to return than to go ahead.
For, as you know, the Indians were sending volleys of bullets and arrows
after me, and really thought they had killed me every time I fell. Now,
to end this question, there is one of two things you must do. The first
is that you take your guns and kill me now, or if you do not comply with
this, that every one of you agree upon your sacred honor that you will
never allude, in any way, or throw up to me the unfortunate occurrences
of last night. Now, gentlemen, mark what I say. If you do not kill me,
but allow me to travel with you to our homes, should one of you ever be
so thoughtless or forgetful of the promise you must now make as to throw
it up to me, I pledge myself before you all that I will take the life of
the man who does it. Now, I have presented the situation fairly, and you
must accept one or the other before you leave this spot."

The party with one accord, after hearing his story, agreed never to
allude to it in any way in his presence, and gave him a cordial welcome
to their midst. They treated him as one of them from that time on, for
he was a brave man after all. Think of the awful experience the poor
fellow had during the night, and in the morning, to reach an amicable
understanding with his party. One can readily see that he was a man of
very great courage and physical endurance, or he could not have survived
the pressure upon him. It was a sad time for those twenty-five brave men
for more reasons than one. Knowing that they were 400 miles from home,
late in the fall, without a road or path to follow, no stopping place of
any kind between them and their homes on the borders of the Missouri,
which was as far as civilization had reached westward. The thought that
impressed them most deeply was in reference to one of their comrades by
the name of Clark Davis, whom they all loved and honored. He was a man
weighing 300 pounds, but not of large frame, his weight consisting more
of fat than bone. It was the universal verdict of the party that it
would be impossible for him to walk home and carry his gun and
ammunition as they all had to do. They would go aside in little groups,
so he would not hear them, and deplore the situation. They thought they
would have to leave him sitting in the prairie for the wolves to devour,
or hazard the lives of all the rest of the party. Some actually wept
over the thought of the loss of such a dear comrade and noble-hearted
man. Should they chance to reach their own homes, for they were all men
with families, the idea of telling his family that they were obliged to
leave him was more than they felt their nerves could endure. In my
opinion there never was a more brave and heroic group of men thrown
together than were those twenty-five frontiersmen. All were fine
specimens of manhood, physically speaking, between thirty and forty
years of age, and with perfect health and daring to do whatever their
convictions dictated.

They went to work and burned their saddles, bridles, blankets, in fact
everything they had in camp that they could not carry with them on their
backs. This they did to prevent the Indians from getting any more
"booty." After all their arrangements were made for leaving their
unfortunate camping-place, they started once more for their homes. They
traveled at the rate of twenty to twenty-five miles per day. They could
have gone farther, but for the fact that they had no trail to walk in.
The grass in some places, and the drifting sand in others, made it
exceedingly irksome for footmen.

My father was frequently asked after his return:

"Was there no road you could follow?"

He would answer:

"No, from the fact that the drifting sand soon filled every track of a
passing caravan and no trace was left of a trail a few hours afterward."

A few years later on this shifting of sand discontinued, and grass and
small shrubbery soon began to grow and cover many places that were then
perfectly bare. One-half of the distance they had to walk was covered
with herds of buffalo, the other half was through desolate prairie
country, where game of any kind was seldom seen. It was on this part of
their journey that they came near starvation. It only took them a few
days after leaving the buffalo belt to consume what meat they had
carried on their backs, as men become very hungry and consume a great
deal of meat when they have long and tiresome walks to make. In the
first week of their march their convictions in regard to Clark Davis
were confirmed, as they thought, for his feet blistered in a terrible
manner, his fat limbs became exceedingly raw and sore, so he of
necessity would lag. Then they would detail of a morning when they
started, a guard of five or six men to remain with him for protection
from the Indians. The rest of the party would walk on to some point they
would designate for camping the next night, and he with his little guard
would arrive some three or four hours later. This went on for seven or
eight days in succession, each day they expecting the news from the
guard that he had given up the hope of going any farther. But in time
his feet began to improve, in fact his condition every way, and he would
reach camp sooner each day after the arrival of the party. After they
had passed the buffalo belt, where meat was abundant, and struck the
starvation belt in their travels, Mr. Davis' fat proved a blessing and
of great service. When fatigue and want were to be endured at the same
time, he began to take the lead instead of the rear of the party.
Several days before they reached home they would have perished, but for
the fact that he alone had sufficient activity and strength to attempt
to hunt for game, for they had seen none after leaving the buffalo. They
had reached a place called Council Grove--now a city of that name--in
the State of Kansas, about one hundred and thirty miles from their
homes. After so many weeks of hard marching they thought they could go
no farther, and some dropped on the ground, thinking it useless to make
the attempt. At this juncture Clark Davis said:

"Boys, I will go and kill a deer."

My father said the very word was tantalizing to a lot of men who were
almost dying of hunger. They did not know there was a deer in the
country, or anything else that could be eaten, not even a snake, for
cold weather was so near even they had disappeared. Davis, however,
determined on his hunt, left his comrades, and had traveled only a few
hundred yards until he saw two fine deer standing near. Directly the men
in the camp heard the report of his gun, and as soon as he could reload
they heard a second report, and then a shout, "Come here, boys! there is
meat in plenty." You may imagine it was not long until every one joined
him. They drank every drop of blood that was in the two deer, ate the
livers without cooking, and saved every particle, even taking the marrow
out of their legs. This meat tided them over until they were able to
reach other food.

Never before in the history of the past, nor since that time, did 150
pounds of surplus fat--so considered until starvation overtook
them--prove to be of such great value, and was worth more to them than
all the gold and silver in the Rocky Mountains. When the test came, it
was found to be one of nature's reservoirs that could be drawn upon to
save the lives of twenty-five brave men when all else failed them. Mr.
Davis, as well as the rest of the party, no doubt often wished it could
be dispensed with, as after losing his horse he carried it with great
suffering and fatigue, before they learned its use, and that it was to
be the salvation of the party. We often hear it said that truth is
stranger than fiction, and this certainly was one of the cases where it
proved to be so.

They finally reached home without losing one of their party; but they
all gave the man whom they expected to leave to the wolves in the start
the credit of saving their lives. When Mr. Davis reached his family the
first thing his wife did was to set him a good meal. When he sat down to
the table he said, "Jane, there is to be a new law for the future of our
lives at our table." She said, "What is it, Clark?" He answered, "It is
this. I never want to hear you or one of my children say bread again."
"What then must we call it?" asked his wife. "Call it bready," said he,
"for when I was starving on the plains it came to me that the word bread
was too short and coarse a name to call such sweet, precious, and good a
thing, and whoever eats it should use this pet name and be thankful to
God who gives it, for I assure you, wife, the ordeal I have passed
through will forever cause me to appreciate life and the good things
that uphold it."

The outcome of this trip was drawing the party together, like one
family, and they could not be kept long apart. It is a fact that mutual
suffering begets an endearment stronger than ties of blood. It was
interesting to me as a boy to hear them relate their experiences in
reference to their hard trials and forebodings that were undergone, with
no beneficial results. Some of them sent their specimens to St. Louis to
be tested for silver, but received discouraging accounts of its value.
If a very rich mine had been found at that time it would not have been
of any practical value, for they were more than thirty years ahead of
the time when silver-mining could be carried on, from an American
standpoint, with success. There was no one west of the Alleghanies with
capital and skill enough to carry on such an enterprise, and there were
no means whatever for transporting machinery to the Rocky Mountains.


[1] An uncle of Senator Cockrell of Missouri.



Nothing of very great note occurred in the county of Jackson, after the
cyclone of 1826, until the year 1830, when five Mormon elders made their
appearance in the county and commenced preaching, stating to their
audiences that they were chosen by the priesthood which had been
organized by the prophet Joseph Smith, who had met an angel and received
a revelation from God, who had also revealed to him and his adherents
the whereabouts of a book written upon golden plates and deposited in
the earth. This book was found in a hill called Cumorah, at Manchester,
in the State of New York. They selected a place near Independence,
Jackson County, Mo., in the early part of the year 1831, which they
named Temple Lot, a beautiful spot of ground on a high eminence. They
there stuck down their Jacob's staff, as they called it, and said: "This
spot is the center of the earth. This is the place where the Garden of
Eden, in which Adam and Eve resided, was located, and we are sent here
according to the directions of the angel that appeared to our prophet,
Joseph Smith, and told him this is the spot of ground on which the New
Jerusalem is to be built, and, when finished, Christ Jesus is to make
his reappearance and dwell in this city of New Jerusalem with the saints
for a thousand years, at the end of which time there will be a new deal
with reference to the nations of the earth, and the final wind-up of the
career of the human family." They claimed to have all the spiritual
gifts and understanding of the works of the Almighty that belonged to
the Apostles who were chosen by Christ when on his mission to this
earth. They claim the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues or
languages spoken in an unknown tongue. In their silent meetings, the one
who had received the gift of an unknown tongue knew nothing of its
interpretation whatever, but after some silence some one in the audience
would rise and claim to have the gift of interpretation, and would
interpret what the brother or sister had previously spoken. They also
claimed to have the gift of healing by anointing the sick with oil and
laying on of hands, and some claimed that they could raise the dead; in
fact, they laid claim to every gift that belonged to the Apostolic day
or age. They established their headquarters at Independence, where some
of their leading elders were located. There they set up a printing
office, the first that was established within 150 miles of Independence,
and commenced printing their church literature, which was very
distasteful to the members and leaders of other religious denominations,
the community being composed of Methodists, Baptists of two different
orders, Presbyterians of two different orders, and Catholics, and a
denomination calling themselves Christians. In that day and age it was
regarded as blasphemous or sacrilegious for any one to claim that they
had met angels and received from them new revelations, and the religious
portion of the community, especially, was very much incensed and aroused
at the audacity of any person claiming such interviews from the
invisible world. Of course the Mormon elders denounced the elders and
preachers of the other denominations above mentioned, and said they were
the blind leading the blind, and that they would all go into the ditch
together. An elder by the name of Rigdon preached in the court house one
Sunday in 1832, in which he said that he had been to the third heaven,
and had talked face to face with God Almighty. The preachers in the
community the next day went en masse to call upon him. He repeated what
he had said the day before, telling them they had not the truth, and
were the blind leading the blind.

The conduct of the Mormons for the three years that they remained there
was that of good citizens, beyond their tantalizing talks to outsiders.
They, of course, were clannish, traded together, worked together, and
carried with them a melancholy look that one acquainted with them could
tell a Mormon when he met him by the look upon his face almost as well
as if he had been of different color. They claimed that God had given
them that locality, and whoever joined the Mormons, and helped prepare
for the next coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, would be accepted and all
right; but if they did not go into the fold of the Latter Day Saints,
that it was only a matter of time when they would be crushed out, for
that was the promised land and they had come to possess it. The Lord had
sent them there and would protect them against any odds in the way of
numbers. Finally the citizens, and particularly the religious portion of
them, made up their minds that it was wrong to allow them to be printing
their literature and preaching, as it might have a bad effect upon the
rising generation; and on the 4th of July, 1833, there was quite a
gathering of the citizens, and a mob was formed to tear down their
printing office. While the mob was forming, many of the elders stood and
looked on, predicting that the first man who touched the building would
be paralyzed and fall dead upon the ground. The mob, however, paid no
attention to their predictions and prayers for God to come and slay
them, but with one accord seized hold of the implements necessary to
destroy the house, and within the quickest time imaginable had it torn
to the ground, and scattered their type and literature to the four
winds. This, of course, created an intense feeling of anger on the part
of the Mormons against the citizens. At this time there were but a few
hundred Mormons in the county against many times their number of other
citizens. I presume there was not exceeding 600 Mormons in the county.

Immediately after they tore down the printing office they sent to the
store of Elder Partridge and Mr. Allen, who was also an elder in the
church, and took them by force to the public square, stripped them to
their waists, and poured on them a sufficient amount of tar to cover
their bodies well, and then took feathers and rubbed them well into the
tar, making the two elders look like a fright. One of their names being
Partridge, many began to whistle like a cock partridge, in derision.
Now, be it remembered that the people who were doing this were not what
is termed "rabble" of a community, but many among them were respectable
citizens and law-abiding in every other respect, but who actually
thought they were doing God's service to destroy, if possible, and
obliterate Mormonism. In all my experience I never saw a more
law-abiding people than those who lived where this occurred. There is
nothing, however, that they could have done that would have proved more
effectual in building up and strengthening the faith of the people so
treated as this and similar performances proved to do. For if there is
anything under the sun that will strengthen people in their beliefs or
faith, no matter whether it is error or truth, if they have adopted it
as true, it is to abuse and punish them for their avowed belief in
whatever they espouse as religion or politics.

A few months after the tearing down of the building, a dozen or two
Mormons made their appearance one day on the county road west of the Big
Blue and not far from the premises of Moses G. Wilson. Wilson's boy rode
out to drive up the milk cows in the morning, and saw this group of
Mormons and had some conversation with them, and they used some very
violent language to the boy. He went back and told his father, and it
happened that there were several of the neighbors in at the time, as he
kept a little county store; and in those days men generally carried
their guns with them, in case they should have a chance to shoot a deer
or turkey as they went from one neighbor's to another. It so happened
that several of them had their guns with them; those who did not picked
up a club of some kind, and they all followed the boy, who showed them
where they were. When they got in close proximity to where the Mormons
were grouped, seeing the men approaching with guns, the Mormons opened
fire upon them, and the Gentiles, as they were called by the Mormons,
returned the fire. There was a lawyer on the Gentile side by the name of
Brazeel, who was shot dead; another man by the name of Lindsay was shot
in the jaw and was thought to be fatally wounded, but recovered.
Wilson's boy was also shot in the body, but not fatally. There were only
one or two Mormons killed. Of course, after this occurrence, it aroused
an intense feeling of hate and revenge in the citizens, and the Mormons
would not have been so bold had it not been for their elders claiming
that under all circumstances and at all times they would be sustained by
the Almighty's power, and that a few of them would be able to put their
enemies to flight. The available Mormon men then formed themselves into
an organization for fighting the battles of the Lord, and started to
Independence, about ten miles away, to take possession of the town. On
their way, and when they were within about a mile of Independence, they
marched with all the faith and fervor imaginable for fanatics to
possess, encouraging each other with the words, "God will be with us and
deliver our enemies into our hands." At this point they met a gentleman
whom I well knew, by the name of Rube Collins, a citizen of the place,
who was leaving the town in a gallop to go home and get more help to
defend the town from the Mormon invasion. He shouted out as he passed
them, "You are a d--d set of fools to go there now; there are armed men
enough there to exterminate you in a minute." They were acquainted with
Collins, and supposed he had told them the truth; however, at that time
they could have taken the town had they pressed on, but his words
intimidated them somewhat, and they filed off from the big road and hid
themselves in the brush until they could hold a council, and I presume
pray for light to be guided by. During this time there were runners
going in all directions, notifying the citizens that the Mormons were
coming to the town to take it, and every citizen, as soon as he could
run bullets and fill his powder horn with powder, gathered his gun and
made for the town; and in a few hours men enough had gathered to
exterminate them had they approached. In their council that they held
they decided not to approach until they sent spies ahead to see whether
Collins had told them the truth or not. They supposed he had, from the
fact that they found the public square almost covered with men, and
others arriving every minute. As quickly as the citizens had organized
themselves into companies (my father, Benjamin Majors, being captain of
one of them), they then sent a message by two or three citizens to the
Mormons, where they were still secreted in the paw-paw brush, and told
them that if they did not come and surrender immediately, the whole
party that was waiting for them in the town would come out and
exterminate them. This message sent terror to their hearts, with all
their claims that God would go before them and fight their battles for
them. After holding another council they decided the best thing they
could do was to go and surrender themselves to their enemies, which
they did. I never saw a more pale-faced, terror-stricken set of men
banded together than these seventy-five Mormons, for it was all the
officers could do to keep the citizens from shooting them down, even
when they were surrendering. However, they succeeded in keeping the men
quiet, and no one was hurt. They stacked all their arms around a big
white-oak stump that was perhaps four feet in diameter, and at that time
was standing in the public square. Afterward the guns were put in the
jail house for safe keeping, and were eaten up with rust, and never to
my knowledge delivered to them. They then stipulated that every man,
woman, and child should leave the county within three weeks. This was a
tremendous hardship upon the Mormons, as it was late in the fall, and
there were no markets for their crops or anything else that they had.
The quickest way to get out of the county was to cross the river into
Clay, as the river was the line between the two counties. They had to
leave their homes, their crops, and in fact every visible thing they had
to live upon. Many of their houses were burned, their fences thrown
down, and the neighbors' stock would go in and eat and destroy the crop.

[Illustration: NATURE'S TABERNACLE.]

It has been claimed by people who were highly colored in their prejudice
against the Mormons that they were bad citizens; that they stole
whatever they could get their hands on and were not law-abiding. This is
not true with reference to their citizenship in Jackson County, where
they got their first kick, and as severe a one as they ever received, if
not the most severe. There was not an officer among them, all the
offices of the county being in the hands of their enemies, and if one
had stolen a chicken he could and would have been brought to grief for
doing so; but it is my opinion there is nothing in the county records
to show where a Mormon was ever charged with any misdemeanor in the way
of violation of the laws for the protection of property. The cause of
all this trouble was solely from the claim that they had a new
revelation direct from the Almighty, making them the chosen instruments
to go forward, let it please or displease whom it might, to build the
New Jerusalem on the spot above referred to, Temple Lot. And, as above
stated, whoever did not join in this must sooner or later give way to
those who would.

I met a Presbyterian preacher, Rev. Mr. McNice, in Salt Lake City a
number of years ago at the dinner table of a mutual friend, Doctor
Douglas. It was on the Sabbath after hearing him preach a very bitter
sermon against the Mormons, denouncing their doctrines and doings in a
severe manner, and while we were at the dinner table, the subject of the
Mormons came up, and I told him that I was thoroughly versed in their
first troubles in Missouri, and he asked me what the trouble was. I told
him frankly that it grew out of the fact that they claimed to have seen
an angel, and to have received a new revelation from God which was not
in accord with the religious denominations that existed in the community
at that time. He hooted at the idea and told me he had read the history
of their troubles there, and that they were bad citizens with reference
to being outlaws, thieves, etc., who would pick up their neighbors'
property and the like. He insisted that he had read their history, and
showed a disposition to discredit my statements. I then told him _I_ was
history, and knew as much about it as any living man could know, and
that there were no charges of that kind against them; they were
industrious, hard-working people, and worked for whatever they wanted to
live upon, obtaining it by their industry, and not by stealing it from
their neighbors. He then scouted at the idea that people would receive
such treatment as they did merely because they claimed to have seen
angels and talked with God and claimed to have a new revelation. I then
referred him to the fact that fifty or sixty years previous to that time
the public mind in America lacked a great deal of being so tolerant as
it was at the time of our conversation; that not more than one hundred
years ago some of the American people were so superstitious that they
could burn witches at the stake and drag Quakers through the streets of
Boston on their backs, with a jack hitched to their heels; that the
Mormons to-day could go to Jackson County, Mo., and preach the same
doctrines that they did then, and the result would be that they would be
laughed at instead of mobbed as they were sixty years ago.

I was sitting in a cabin with my father's miller, a Mr. Newman, a
Mormon, at the time of this trouble. Mr. Newman's mother-in-law, who
lived with him, was named Bentley; she had a son in the company that
surrendered at Independence, and who walked six miles that evening and
came home. The young man walked in and looked as sad as death, and when
asked what the news was he stood there and related what had taken place
that day at the surrender. They all sat in breathless silence and
listened to the story, and when he was through with his statement and
said the Mormons had agreed to leave the county within three weeks, the
old lady, who sat by the table sewing, raised her hand and brought it
down upon the table with a tremendous thud, and said:

"So sure as this is a world there _will be_ a New Jerusalem built."

I relate this little incident to show that even after they had met with
such a galling defeat how zealous even the old women were with reference
to their future success. But it is my opinion that the more often a
fanatic is kicked and abused, the stronger is his faith in his cause,
for then they would take up the Scriptures and read the sentences
expressed by Christ:

"But before all these they shall lay their hands on you and persecute
you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, being brought
before kings and rulers for my name's sake." "But take heed to
yourselves, for they shall deliver you up to councils, and in the
synagogues ye shall be beaten; and ye shall be brought before rulers and
kings for my sake for a testimony against them."

From such passages they have always drawn the greatest consolation, and
one would ask one another, "Where are the people the blessed Lord had
reference to?" Another brother, with all the sanctity and confidence
imaginable for a fanatic to feel, would answer, "Well, brother, if you
do not find them among the Latter Day Saints you can not find them upon
the face of this green earth, for we have suffered all the abuses the
blessed Lord refers to in the Scripture you have just quoted."

I have said before that the Mormons all crossed the Missouri into Clay
County, where they wintered in tents and log cabins hastily thrown
together, and lived on mast, corn, and meat that they would procure from
the citizens for whom they worked in clearing ground and splitting
rails, and other work of a like character.

In the spring they were determined to return to their homes, although
they were so badly destroyed, and claimed again as before that God would
vindicate them and put to flight their enemies. The people of Jackson
County, however, watched for their return, and gathered, at the
appointed time, in a large body, on the opposite side of the river to
where the Mormons, were expected to congregate and cross back into the
county. Their spies came to the river, and seeing camps of the citizens,
who had gathered to the number of four or five hundred strong (I being
one of the number) to prevent their crossing, then changed their
purpose and sent some of their leading men to locate in some other part
of the State, for the time being, with the full understanding, however,
that at the Lord's appointed time they would all be returned to Jackson
County, and complete their mission in building the city of the New
Jerusalem. The delegation they sent out selected Davis and Colwell
counties as the portion of the State where they would make their
temporary rally until they became strong enough for the Lord to restore
them to their former location.

During that spring the citizens of Jackson County, feeling that there
had been, in many cases, great outrages perpetrated upon the Mormons,
held a public meeting at Independence and appointed five commissioners,
whose duty it was to meet some of the leading elders of the Mormons at
Liberty, the seat of Clay County, and make some reparation for the
damages that had been done to their property the fall before in Jackson
County. They met, but failed to agree, as the elders asked more and
perhaps wanted to retain the titles they had to the lands, as they
thought it would be sacrilege to part with them, for that was the chosen
spot for the New Jerusalem. During the time that elapsed between the
commissioners crossing the river in the morning and returning in the
evening, the ferryman (Bradbury), whom I have often met, a man with a
very large and finely developed physique, a great swimmer, was supposed
to be bribed by the Mormons to bore large auger-holes through the
gunwales of his flatboat just at the water's edge. The boat having a
floor in it some inches above the bottom, there could be no detection of
the flow of the water until it was sufficiently deep to cover the inner
floor. The commissioners went upon the boat with their horses, and had
not proceeded very far from the shore until they found the water coming
up in the second floor and the boat rapidly sinking. This, of course,
produced great consternation, for the river was very high and turbulent.
Bradbury, the owner of the ferry, said to his two men:

"Boys, we will jump off and swim back to the shore."

As above stated, he was a great swimmer, and had been known to swim the
Missouri upon his back several times not long before this occurred. When
the water rose in the boat so that it was necessary for the
commissioners to leave it, three of them caught hold of their horses'
tails, after throwing off as much clothing as they could before the boat
went down with them. The other two men who could swim attempted to swim
alone, but the current was so turbulent that they were overcome and were
drowned. Those who hung on to the tails of their horses were brought
safely to shore. One of the men drowned was a neighbor of my father's
and as fine a gentleman and good fellow as ever lived. His name was
David Lynch.

I remember well their names, and was well acquainted with two of the men
who were pulled through by their horses, S. Noland and Sam C. Owens, the
foremost merchant of the county, a man who stood high in every sense,
and of marked ability.

This occurrence put the quietus on any further attempt to try to settle
for the damages done the Mormons when driven from the county, for it
caused in the whole population the most intense feeling against them,
and they never were remunerated.

When Bradbury jumped off the boat he swam for the shore, but was
afterward found dead, with one of his hands grasping the root of a
cottonwood tree, so there was no opportunity for trying him for the
crime, or finding out how it was brought about. It was supposed that he
was bribed, as no one knew of any enmity he had against the

The town the Mormons started, which they selected for their home in
Paris County, they called Far West. This was the first experience that
the people of Western Missouri had with the emigrants of the Eastern or
New England States. Brigham Young, who afterward became the leader of
the Mormons, was from Vermont, and many others composing the early
pioneers of the Mormon church were from the New England States; some,
however, from Ohio and Illinois, as well as some proselytes from
Missouri. Up to the time of their appearance in Western Missouri the
entire population was from some one of the four States--Virginia, North
Carolina, Tennessee, or Kentucky.

It has been claimed by some that one of the causes of the
dissatisfaction was that the Mormons were Abolitionists. This, however,
played no part in the bitter feeling that grew up between them and their
neighbors, for at the time of their coming to Jackson County there were
but very few slaves, the people generally being poor farmers who lived
from the labor of their own hands and that of their families. And then,
when the Mormons were driven entirely from Missouri to Illinois, which
was a free State, they soon got into difficulty with their neighbors
there, as they had done in Missouri. It is claimed now, universally, by
the people of this country that polygamy, or the plurality-wife system,
is the only objection that good citizens can have to Mormonism. This was
not the cause of their difficulties or their trouble in Illinois and
Missouri, as they had never, up to the time they left Nauvoo, Ill.,
proclaimed polygamy as being a church institution. And as I have
previously stated, it was their clannishness, as is natural for a church
to do, more or less, only they carried it to a greater degree than other
denominations. Also the new doctrine they were preaching, stating that
they were the only and chosen people of God, and that they had the key
of St. Peter, which was lost during the dark ages and was revealed
again to Joseph Smith, their prophet; that the Lord would stand by them
and enable them to prevail in their undertakings as against any array of
opposition, no matter how much greater the numbers might be than their

They built up the city of Far West, of several thousand people, and
while there increased very rapidly, having missionaries in many parts of
the country preaching their doctrine. As quickly as an individual would
accept their faith, they would at once rally to the headquarters, and in
the course of a few years they had put a great deal of the prairie lands
into cultivation and increased their numbers until they were so
formidable that when they began to be odious to their neighbors by
showing a hostile attitude toward any power that might interfere with
them, they got into trouble much in the same way as they did in Jackson

A party of Gentiles and Mormons met at a point called Horn's Mill, and
became involved in a quarrel, when there were some killed on both sides.
This created such a feeling in the community that both Mormons and
Gentiles felt insecure, living neighbors to each other as they were, and
the trouble went on until it culminated in the Governor, Lilburn W.
Boggs, calling out a portion of the militia of the State and ordering
them to Far West, the Mormon center. The Mormons were drilling
continuously, and increasing their facilities for fighting, when the
militia reached the place designated, and organizing, placed themselves
in battle array. The Mormons were also drawn up in long lines, and for a
short time it looked as if a bloody battle was unavoidable, but before
any engagement occurred the Mormons again surrendered. They then agreed
to leave the State of Missouri, and in April, 1839, the last of the band
left Far West, moved across the Mississippi into Illinois, where they
afterward located and built the city of Nauvoo, but with no better
results with the people in the free State than they experienced in
Missouri. This shows that slavery had nothing to do with the hard
feelings and prejudice they aroused in every community in which they

The Mormons' new village was named Nauvoo, which means Peaceful Rest.
While there, having increased to fifteen thousand souls, they built a
temple to the Lord, which was, perhaps, the finest building that had
ever been erected in the State up to that time. During the year 1844,
trouble arose between them and the Gentiles, to suppress which the
militia was called out, and in June of that year a writ was sworn out
for the arrest of the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith. His brother Hiram
and Elder Taylor, who, after Brigham Young's death, became president of
the church, accompanied him to Carthage, Ill., where he went to give
himself up. Arriving at Carthage, all three were put in jail, where a
mob succeeded in killing the two brothers and seriously wounding Taylor,
who carried some of the bullets in his body during the remainder of his
life. On the death of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young was chosen by the
church as its prophet, president, and leader.

After three severe experiences in establishing settlements in Missouri
and Illinois, they determined in their councils to emigrate farther west
and start a colony which would be composed of Latter Day Saints, where
they would be entirely distinct and separate from any antagonizing
elements. At that time Salt Lake Valley, being under Spanish dominion
and a thousand miles from any white settlement, was ultimately chosen as
the spot best suited for their purpose.

After leaving Nauvoo, Ill., they went to Council Bluffs, Iowa (called
by them Kaneville), traveling through the State of Iowa, and undergoing
the greatest hardships and sufferings any people were ever called upon
to endure, being without money, some of them without the proper means of
transportation, destitute of almost all the necessities of life, and a
great many sick on account of exposure to the elements. Arriving at the
place above named, on the Missouri River, they went into winter
quarters, and the next spring planted and raised crops in that vicinity,
the greater number of the emigrants remaining there for the next two

In the spring of 1847, at the time war was being carried on between the
United States and Mexico, Brigham Young started west with a band of from
seventy to seventy-five pioneers, having, I believe, an impression that
in Salt Lake Valley might be found the Mecca of their hopes. They
arrived in Salt Lake Valley on the 21st day of July of that year.
Previous to this, in 1846, at the call of the President for troops for
the Mexican War, Brigham Young raised a regiment of a thousand
volunteers to go to Mexico, under a stipulation with the United States
Government that, when the war was over, the survivors should receive
their discharges in California. This agreement was made in view of the
fact that they had already resolved to go west into Spanish territory.

The treaty of peace between the United States and Old Mexico, at the
close of the war, resulted in the Government of Mexico giving up to the
United States all the territory possessed by it lying north of the
present boundary line between the two countries, so that, after all the
exertions the Mormons had made to effect a settlement on Spanish
territory, in less than a year they found themselves still in the United
States, where they have ever since remained, having built cities and
towns on the colonizing plan in every available portion of the
Territory of Utah, and having quite a number of colonies in other
Territories, with one at present established in Mexico, as I have lately
been informed.

I have met in later years and become familiarly acquainted with many of
the leading spirits of the Mormon church, and have had large business
transactions with Brigham Young and many other prominent Mormons, among
whom were Captain Hooper, General Eldridge, Ferrimore Little, William
Jennings, John Sharp, Lew Hills, Gen. Daniel H. Wells, Wilford Woodruff
(now president of the Mormon church), Joseph Smith, and George Q.
Cannon, and a fairer, more upright set of gentlemen I never met.

I have heard all the leading elders of the Mormon Church preach,
including Brigham Young, Heber Kimball, George Q. Cannon, George A.
Smith (the historian), John Taylor, Orson Pratt, and Elder Woodruff, who
is now president of the church.

Orson Pratt was the ablest expounder of the Scriptures, particularly of
the prophecies, in the Mormon church. He was the man chosen by Brigham
Young and his counselors to discuss the subject of polygamy, from a
Bible standpoint, with the Rev. John P. Newman, who was at that time
pastor of one of the Methodist churches in Washington, D. C. I, among
many other Gentiles, was present and heard the discussion, which took
place in the Mormon Tabernacle.

President Young, as he was invariably called by his own people, was the
boldest, most outspoken man I ever saw in the pulpit. I remember hearing
him one Sabbath day when he was preaching in the Tabernacle, which seats
13,000 people, and on that day was packed to its full capacity,
there being probably one hundred and fifty or more strangers
present--excursionists from the East on their way to California, who had
stopped over Sunday to visit the Mormon church, and listen to the
immense organ and singers, but whose greatest desire was to hear Brigham
Young expound the Mormon doctrine. These strangers were given the most
prominent seats by the ushers, and this is the only church in which I
remember strangers having precedent over the regular church members in
being seated. When Brigham Young was well along in his discussion, it
occurred to him that the strangers present would want to know the size
of his family, as that was a question often asked by visitors, so he
ceased his discourse and said: "I suppose the strangers present would
like to know how many wives and children I have," and then proceeded to
say he had sixteen wives and forty-five living children, having lost
eight or ten children, I believe. He then proceeded to finish his

I was present on another occasion when he was preaching to a very large
congregation, and he said to them:

"Brethren, we have thieves, scoundrels, perjurers, and villains in our
church, but the day will come when the tares will be separated from the
wheat and burned up with unquenchable fire; if this were not so,
however, we could not claim to be the church of Jesus Christ, for he
said that the kingdom of God was like a great net, which, being cast
into the sea, brought all manner of fishes to the shore." He was the
only preacher I ever heard make such remarks to his own people, and
recognize the church as being the true one because of the tares that
grew among the wheat.

The Mormon church taught regeneration through baptism by immersion. In
the commencement of their service a chapter from either the Old or New
Testament was generally read, and during the discourse frequent
reference was made to the Book of Mormon and to Joseph Smith, their

President Young was one of the smartest men, if not the ablest man, it
was ever my fortune to meet. He was a man well posted on all subjects
relating to the business interests of the country, and especially to his
own people. His bishops and himself settled all manner of difficulties
arising out of business or church matters without the assistance of
courts, and he always insisted that every difficulty should be settled
by arbitration of the members of the community in which the disputants

In the ten years I lived in Salt Lake City, which was from 1869 to 1879,
I never heard any talk among the Mormons about the gift of speaking the
unknown tongue, or the interpretation thereof, as they claimed to have
in Missouri. They, however, claimed to possess all the gifts of the
Apostolic age and, as I have stated in another place, the keys of St.
Peter. They believed in church authority, as do the Catholics, and in a
personal God; they differ widely, however, from their Catholic brethren
when they come to the marriage relation, the Mormons believing their
bishops and elders should each have many wives, the Catholics, on the
other hand, denying marriage to their priests.

Mormon communities, like all others, are made up of those who are
reliable and those who are not--in other words, the good and the bad.
Polygamy, which was practiced among them for more than a quarter of a
century, they claimed upon scriptural authority was practiced in the
Apostolic days. Let that be as it may, perhaps there never was a time in
the march of civilization when to adopt such a practice would have been
in more direct opposition to the moral sense of the civilized world than
the present one of the nineteenth century.

In by-gone days, when the people depended upon their own and home
productions for their living, the larger a man's family, with every one
a worker, the easier it was for him to get along. Not so now, however,
but it is just the reverse.

The Mormons believed that church and state should be one, and that the
laws of God should be the laws of the land; therefore many of them
persisted in practicing polygamy after Congress passed laws prohibiting
it, preferring, as they said, to practice the higher law in disobedience
to the laws made by men, and many of them have gone, singing and
dancing, to the penitentiary, consigned there by the courts for
violating the statutes because of their belief.



The new Mormon temple marks the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints from the day when Brigham Young and his few followers
first set foot in the new promised land. It is a work commenced in the
wilderness, and completed forty years afterward.

The laying of the cap-stone of the temple recorded the culmination of a
work the Mormon people have been eagerly anticipating for nearly two
generations. It recalls, too, many chapters of history abounding in
interest. It tells a tale of patience, industry, and unswerving devotion
to an object and a religious principle.

It is forty years ago since the corner-stones of this temple were laid,
and although there have been occasional lapses of time when nothing was
done, and often only a few men employed, the work has practically been
going on continuously.

Not more than a few days after the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the
Great Salt Lake Basin, the prophet, Brigham Young, was strolling about
in the vicinity of his camping-place in company with some of the
apostles of his church. The days previous had been employed in exploring
the valley to the north and south. These explorations satisfied them
that there was no more favorable location to commence the building of a
new city in the wilderness than the one on which they had first pitched
their tents. The night when Brigham took that stroll was at the end of a
perfect day in July. Looking to the south the valley stretched away
into magnificent distances and beautiful vistas as lovely as eye ever
beheld. Over in the west was the Great Salt Lake, with its huge islands
rising from the mirrored surface of its waters, and burying their
mountainous heads in the white of the clouds and the blue of the sky. In
the east were the cold and rugged ranges of the Wasatch. To the north
were the brown hills that guarded the city in that direction. It was a
scene to inspire beautiful and poetic thoughts, and Brigham gazed about
him, apparently delighted with the sublimity of the glorious prospect.

Turning his eyes to the east he struck his cane into the earth and said,
"Here is where the temple of our God shall rise." Not a word of dissent
was heard to his proclamation. There were no suggestions that better
sites might be had. Brigham had issued his edict, and when he had spoken
it was law to his people, so solemn that all indorsed it. From that
moment the Temple Square was looked upon as sacred to the purpose to
which it had been dedicated.

Remembering with what matchless courage this great Mormon leader had
conducted his insignificant army across the desert from the Missouri
River, and through the mountain defiles into this then wilderness, it is
impossible to still the thought, "Did his imagination's eye peer through
the mist of years and see the gray and solemn pile which is now the

But that July night when Brigham Young struck his cane on the ground was
in 1847, and nothing was done toward building the temple until six years
afterward. Still it is doubtful if the original intention had ever been

At first it was intended to build it of adobe, but when a mountain of
granite, fine in its quality and most beautiful in color, was found some
miles from the city, that material was substituted. On a panel just
above the second-story window of the east end of the temple is this

    COMMENCED APRIL 6, 1853,
    COMPLETED ---- ----

Below the word "completed" there is a blank line where, when the last
piece of stone has been chiseled and the frescoer has applied the last
touch of his brush, a date will be cut into the marble slab. That date
may not be inscribed for two or three years yet, for there is still very
much to do on the interior.

April 6, 1853, was a bright day in the history of Zion. Not only was the
semi-annual conference of the Mormon church in session, but the
corner-stone of the great temple was to be laid with imposing
ceremonies. The first company of Mormon pioneers to enter the Salt Lake
Valley only numbered 143, but six years afterward the city had a
population of nearly 6,000 people. It was a city, too, peculiar and
unique in its customs and the character of its residents. By that time
Utah had many large settlements, and from the most remote of these the
saints came to assemble at the center stake of Zion. They came wearing
their brightest and best garments and their happiest faces. Presumably
their souls were possessed of that sweet peace which passeth all
understanding. A grand procession was formed in honor of the ceremony
about to be celebrated.

An old program of that parade, and the exercises of the day, is yet in
existence, and it is notable that the church dignitaries were the most
conspicuous figures in the pageant. There were the presidents, apostles,
and bishops, the high priests, the counselors, the elders, and all the
lesser degrees of Mormon ecclesiastical authorities.

Flags were flying, bands were playing--there were two bands in Utah,
even then. Four corner-stones were laid, four dedicatory prayers
offered, in which the Almighty was invoked to bless the building then
begun, and four orations were delivered.

There are many conflicting stories in regard to the designer of the
temple. A man by the name of Truman C. Angell was the first architect,
and he drew the plans, but it was in the fertile genius of Brigham Young
that the ideas of form and arrangement were conceived. These he
submitted to Angell, who elaborated them. Doubtless Brigham had based
his conceptions on the descriptions he had read of Solomon's temple, but
however much of the plans he may have cribbed, to him belongs the
credit. He claimed the design of the temple, even to the smallest
detail, had been given him by a revelation from God.

Angell devoted his life to this building. After him two or three others
directed the construction, but for the past four or five years Don
Carlos Young, a son of Brigham's, has been the architect.

For many years the progress was exceedingly slow. The foundations were
sunk sixteen feet below the surface. There was a great yawning hole to
be filled with rock, every one of which had to be pulled by ox teams.
Many people remember how slowly the building rose. They say it was
several years before the walls could be seen above ground. But there was
no hurry and nothing was slighted, for the temple when completed was
intended to be as enduring as the mountains from which the stone it was
built of was quarried.

No better illustration of the infinite patience, the ceaseless industry,
and the religious zeal of the Mormon people could be given than they
have manifested in this work. It was a stupendous undertaking. They
possessed no modern mechanical appliances; everything had to be done by
the crudest methods. Considering these difficulties, and the immense
character of the work, it inspires wonder and admiration.

The temple quarries are in a mountain-walled cañon called Little
Cottonwood, twenty-two miles from the city. For many years, or until
1872, every stone had to be hauled that distance by ox teams. The wagons
were especially constructed for that purpose, and some of the stones
were so large that four or five yoke were required to pull the load. How
slow and expensive a building of this magnitude must have been, when
such methods were employed, can readily be appreciated. But in 1872 a
branch railroad was built from the Temple Square to the quarries; since
then the construction has been more rapid and less expensive.

Figures only give a suggestion of its gigantic proportions. It is only
when seen from a distance that its massiveness manifests itself. Then it
towers above the other tall buildings of the city like a mountain above
the level plain--it stands out solemn, grand, majestic, and alone. It is
99 feet wide and 200 feet long. The four corner towers are 188 feet
high; to the top of the central western tower is 204 feet. The main, or
eastern tower, is 211 feet to the top of the great granite globe, and on
that the statue of the angel Gabriel stands, the figure itself being 14
feet high. Above all these points are the supplementary spires, on which
the electric lights will be fixed. The lights on these sky-piercing
spires will be interesting, for they will be so powerful as to penetrate
the darkest corner of the valley, and will be like unto a beacon to a
watching mariner. That on the main, or eastern spire, will be placed
below the statue of the angel, and will be reflected upward, surrounding
the figure with a brilliant halo.

In the designing of the temple, no startling architectural innovations
seem to have been attempted. The exterior has a poverty of
ornamentation, yet perhaps that is the most attractive feature. But the
interior is exceedingly interesting. There are all manner of
eccentricities and queer unexpected places. In the four corner towers
are winding stone staircases reaching to the roof, each having 250
steps. These were all cut by hand at a cost of $100 apiece, and they are
anchored in walls of solid masonry. The largest room is in the top
story, and is 80 x 120 feet and 36 feet high. This is to be used as an
assembly hall, and will have a capacity to seat 1,000 people. The other
rooms are much smaller. There is the fount-room, where baptisms are
performed, for the Mormons, like the Baptists, believe in immersion.
They baptize for the remission of sins, and the living, acting as
proxies, are baptized for the dead.

As understood, if a person has some dear friend or relative who has
passed into the beyond without having had the saving rite of baptism
administered, the living can attend to that little formality so as to
insure the dead a peaceful sojourn in the agreeable climate of the

The uninitiated do not understand the purposes of Mormon temples. They
are not intended to be used for public worship. Services of that
character are never held in them. They are designed to be used for the
meeting of the priesthood and for the performances of ordinances and
ceremonies of marriage, baptisms, etc., and for the administering of
ecclesiastical rites--the conferring of priestly degrees.

Thousands of people have seen this great monument which has been built
by this peculiar people to their more peculiar religion, and have
described the impressions it made on them. Some, in a too-pronounced
enthusiasm, have declared it to be a wonder in architecture--a triumph
in its way--as something grand, almost marvelous in its conception. It
is not. There is little that is exceptionally remarkable about it. True,
there is much to impress one, but it is rather its bigness and general
appearance of solemnity than anything else. Then there is something in
its historical associations, the great difficulties overcome, and the
great zeal displayed in its construction that inspires admiration.

Rudyard Kipling, who once saw it, in a vein of his keenest satire
characterized it as "architecturally atrocious, ugly, villainously
discordant, contemptuously correct, altogether inartistic and
unpoetical," and other adjectives equally as forcible and
uncomplimentary. But he was probably more severe than just in his
criticism. There is nothing about it to shock the artistic eye, and
there are a few things to please.

A word about the statue that is perched on the topmost pinnacle.
Certainly that is pleasing to the artistic soul. It is the work of a
finished sculptor, who is even now not wholly unknown to fame. He is C.
E. Dallin, and was born in Salt Lake City not much over thirty years
ago. But the statue: It is not of marble, but of hammered copper,
covered with gold. To the eye it looks as if it were made entirely of
that metal. It is a very fascinating piece of work, and on its high
pedestal it glistens in the sunlight as if made of fire. One prominent
Mormon has said the statue is not intended to represent Gabriel, but the
angel Moroni proclaiming the gospel to all the world. It was the angel
Moroni, it will be remembered, who showed the golden plates to Joseph
Smith from which the Book of Mormon was written.

From Dallin's boyhood he began to display the artistic bent and
temperament of his nature. Before he ever had any instruction, he
modeled in clay with such success as to attract attention to his work.
Then he went abroad to study, and at the Paris Salon of 1888 he received
the medal of "Honorable Merit" for his "Peace Signal," that being a
full-sized figure of an Indian brave on horseback holding his lance in
such a manner as to be a signal to his fellow warriors at a distance
that all was well. He has also done other meritorious work, and is at
present engaged on a statue to be built on one of the corners of the
Temple Square in honor of Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers.

There have been many extravagant statements made concerning the cost of
this temple. Figures have been placed as high as $6,000,000, which is
nearly double its actual cost. As it stands to-day, $3,000,000 have
probably been expended, and not more than half a million will be
required to complete it.

The laying of this cap-stone practically completes the temple. There is
not another stone to be laid, all that remains to be done being confined
to the interior, and that is mostly in a decorative way. In its
fulfillment there is great rejoicing in the hearts of the Mormon people.
It has been a work requiring the toil of years, the manifestation of
much self-denial, and the display of religious earnestness and sincerity
almost without a parallel.



When I grew up and became a married man, with daughters who were to be
clothed and educated, I found it impossible to make, with the labor of
one man on a farm, sufficient money to meet my growing necessities. I
was raised on a farm and had always been a farmer, but with increasing
expenses I was compelled to go into business of some kind, where I could
accumulate a sufficiency for such purposes.

As I was brought up to handle animals, and had been employed more or
less in the teaming business, after looking the situation all over, it
occurred to me there was nothing I was so well adapted for by my past
experience as the freighting business that was then being conducted
between Independence, Mo., and Santa Fé, New Mexico, a distance of 800

At that time almost the entire distance lay through Indian Territory,
where we were likely, on a greater portion of the trail, to meet hostile
Indians any moment.

Being a religious man and opposed to all kinds of profanity, and knowing
the practice of teamsters, almost without an exception, was to use
profane and vulgar language, and to travel upon the Sabbath day, another
difficulty presented itself to my mind which had to be overcome.

After due reflection on this subject I resolved in my innermost nature,
by the help of God, I would overcome all difficulties that presented
themselves to my mind, let the hazard be whatever it might. This resolve
I carried out, and it was the keynote to my great success in the
management of men and animals.

Having reached this determination, and being ready to embark in my new
business, I formulated a code of rules for the behavior of my employees,
which read as follows:

"While I am in the employ of A. Majors, I agree not to use profane
language, not to get drunk, not to gamble, not to treat animals cruelly,
and not to do anything else that is incompatible with the conduct of a
gentleman. And I agree, if I violate any of the above conditions, to
accept my discharge without any pay for my services."

I do not remember a single instance of a man signing these "iron-clad
rules," as they called them, being discharged without his pay. My
employes seemed to understand in the beginning of their term of service
that their good behavior was part of the recompense they gave me for the
money I paid them.

A few years later, when the Civil War had commenced, I bound my employes
to pay true allegiance to the Government of the United States, while in
my employ, in addition to the above.

I will say to my readers that, had I had the experience of a thousand
years, I could not have formulated a better code of rules for the
government of my business than those adopted, looking entirely from a
moral standpoint. The result proved to be worth more to me in a money
point of view than that resulting from any other course I could have
pursued, for with the enforcement of these rules, which I had little
trouble to do, a few years gave me control of the business of the plains
and, of course, a widespread reputation for conducting business on a
humane plan.

I can state with truthfulness that never in the history of freighting on
the plains did such quiet, gentlemanly, fraternal feelings exist as
among the men who were in my employ and governed by these rules.


It was the prevalent opinion, previous to the time I started across the
plains, that none but daring, rough men were fit to contend with the
Indians and manage teamsters upon those trips. I soon proved to the
entire contrary this was a great mistake, for it was soon observable
that both men and animals working under this system were superior, and
got along better in every way than those working under the old idea of

It is my firm conviction that where men are born commanders or managers
there is no need of the cruelty and punishment so often dealt out by so
many in authority. With men who have the key of government in their
natures there is little trouble in getting employes to conform strictly
to their duty.

I have seen, to my great regret and dislike, such cruelty practiced by
army officers in command, and managers upon steamships on the seas and
steamboats on the rivers, as well as other places where men were in
charge of their fellow beings and had command over them, as should
receive the most outspoken protest, and ought not to be tolerated in

If men in charge would first control themselves and carry out, in their
management of others, the true principles of humanity and kindness,
pursuing a firm and consistent course of conduct themselves, wearing at
the same time an easy and becoming dignity, it would do away with all
the cruelties that have so often shocked humanity and caused needless
suffering to those who were compelled to endure them. I found that an
ounce of dignity on the plains was worth more than a pound at home or in
organized society.

With all the thousands of men I had in my employ it was never necessary
to do more than give a manly rebuke, if any one committed any
misdemeanor, to avoid a repetition of the offense.

In all my vast business on the plains I adhered strictly as possible to
keeping the Sabbath day, and avoided traveling or doing any unnecessary
work. This fact enabled me to carry out perfectly the "iron-clad rules"
with my employes. When they saw I was willing to pay them the same price
as that paid for work including the Sabbath day, and let them rest on
that day, it made them feel I was consistent in requiring them to
conduct themselves as gentlemen.

In later years, when my business had so increased and the firm of Majors
& Russell was formed, I insisted on carrying my system of government and
management into the business of the new firm, and the same course was
pursued by the firm of Russell, Majors & Waddell as I have above

Notwithstanding the disagreeable features mentioned, I selected this
avocation, and on the 10th day of August, 1848, with my first little
outfit of six wagons and teams, started in business.

At that time it was considered hazardous to start on a trip of that kind
so late in the season; but I made that trip with remarkable success,
making the round run in ninety-two days, the quickest on record with ox
teams, many of my oxen being in such good condition when I returned as
to look as though they had not been on the road. This fact gave me quite
a reputation among the freighters and merchants who were engaged in
business between the two points above mentioned.

I was by no means the first to engage in the trade between Mexico and
the United States, for as early as 1822 Captain Rockwell started in the
trade, carrying goods in packs on mules.

The next notable era in the line of this trade was the introduction of
wagons in the year 1824. This, of course, was an experiment, as there
were no beaten roads, and the sand on some portions of the route was so
deep (the worst part being in the valley of the Cimarron) that it was
doubted whether wagons could be used with success. But the experiment
proved to be so much superior to packing that it did away entirely with
the former mode; and wagon-makers at St. Louis and Independence, Mo.,
commenced to build wagons adapted solely to that trade.

It was not long after the adoption of wagon trains on that route until
there was a wide and well-beaten road the entire distance, the country
over which it passed being level plains, requiring no bridges; but
little work of any kind was necessary to keep the thoroughfare in good
traveling condition.

On a large portion of the route there was an abundance of grass and
water for the work animals. In those early days a belt of at least 400
miles was covered with herds of buffalo.

This crossing with large and heavy trains so well established the route
that, by the year 1846, the people on the west border of Missouri were
equipped and prepared in every way for transporting the supplies for
Colonel Doniphan's army, when he was ordered to cross from Fort
Leavenworth, Kan., to Santa Fé, N. M., at the commencement of the war
between the United States and Mexico.

To return to my own operations in the freighting business, it will be
seen by the foregoing dates mentioned in this article that two years
later I made my first start, and I met on my outward-bound trip many of
the troops of Colonel Doniphan returning home, the war being over and
peace having been made between the two countries.

I continued in the freighting business continuously from 1848 to 1866,
most of the time in the employ of the United States Government, carrying
stores to different forts and stations in the Western Territories, New
Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Having freighted on my own account for about
seven years, in 1855 I went into partnership with Messrs. Russell &
Waddell, residents of Lexington, Lafayette County, Mo., my home being
still in Jackson County, Mo. We did business three years under the firm
name of Majors & Russell. In 1858, when we obtained a contract from the
Government for transporting supplies to Utah, the name of the firm was
changed to Russell, Majors & Waddell.

At this time freighting for the Government had increased enormously on
account of General Johnston, with an army, having been sent to Utah. All
of the supplies for the soldiers and much of the grain for the animals
had to be transported in wagons from the Missouri River. However, one of
the conditions of the contract the firm made with the Government,
through the Quartermaster-General at Washington, was that they should
have another starting-point other than Fort Leavenworth, the established
depot for supplies going west.

I made this proposition to General Jessup, knowing, from my long
experience in handling that kind of business, that it would be next to
impossible to handle the supplies from one depot, as there were not
herding grounds within a reasonable distance to keep such a vast number
of cattle as the business would require when conducted from one point.

My partner, Mr. Russell, remarked to me that if he had to make a station
higher up the river I would have to go and attend to it, for he could
not. My answer was I would willingly do so, for I knew that loading
hundreds of thousands of pounds of supplies daily would create a
confusion at one point as would retard the business.

It was then and there agreed between the quartermaster and ourselves
that one-half the entire stores should be sent to another point to be
selected by his clerk and myself.

Immediately after the contract was signed I went to Fort Leavenworth,
and with Lieutenant Dubarry of the Quartermaster's Department set out to
locate another point. We traveled up the Missouri River as far as
Plattsmouth, when we concluded Nebraska City, Neb., was the most
available point upon the river for our business. I at once arranged with
the citizens of that town to build warehouses, preparatory to receiving
the large quantities of supplies the Government would soon begin to ship
to that point.

The supplies sent to Utah in the year 1858 were enormous, being over
sixteen million pounds, requiring over three thousand five hundred large
wagons and teams to transport them. We found it was as much as we could
do to meet the Government requirements with the two points in full

As agreed, I took charge of the new station and moved my family from my
farm, nine miles south of Kansas City, Mo., to Nebraska City, where I
bought a home for them and commenced to carry out my part of the

The firm of Russell, Majors & Waddell conducted the business for two
years, and in the spring of 1860 I bought out my partners and continued
the business in my own name that year.

In Nebraska City I found a very intelligent, enterprising, and clever
people, among whom were S. F. Knuckle, J. Sterling Morton, Robert Hawk
Dillon, Colonel Tewksberry, McCann, Metcalf, Rhodes, O. P. Mason, Judge
Kinney, Rinkers, Seigle, and a great many others of integrity and
enterprise. I never did business more pleasantly than with the gentlemen
whom I met during my residence of nine years there.



To one who has had to make friends of the brute creation, it is natural
for him to claim companionship with those domestic animals with which he
is constantly drawn by day and night, such as horses, oxen, mules, and
dogs. The dog is most thoroughly the comrade of those who dwell upon the
frontier, and a chapter regarding them will not, I feel, be
uninteresting to the reader.

I have always been a great admirer of a good dog, but my knowledge of
them is a general one, such as you and a great many other Western men
have. I have never made him a scientific study, but I think he is the
only domestic animal, and I don't know but the only animal that takes a
joint ownership in all of his master's property so far as he can
comprehend it, whether it be personal, portable, or realistic; in other
words, the man owns the dog and his other property, and the dog seems to
claim or own the man and all of his other effects, so far as he can
comprehend them.

I had a Shepherd dog that would not allow a stranger to take hold of me
or my horse, saddle, bridle, rope, spurs, gun, or anything else that he
thought belonged to _us_, without making a fuss about it, and he seemed
to think stepping upon a rope or blanket, or anything of that kind, was
just the same as taking hold with the hands, and yet he was very
good-natured with strangers otherwise.

He was very fond of playing with other dogs, especially young ones on
the pup order, but if they ever took any freedom with our _joint_
property, there was sure to be trouble. He would not allow them to take
hold of, or sleep on, or lay down in the shade of a horse, wagon, buggy,
or do anything that he thought was taking too much liberty with his
peculiar rights. He would go almost any distance to hunt anything that I
would lose, and was very quick to pick up anything that I would drop,
and give it to me without mussing it, whether I was walking or on

He was a good retriever, either on land or water, and would cross a
river to get a goose or duck if it fell on the opposite side after being
shot. He would also take hold of one hind leg of a deer or antelope and
help me all he could to drag it home or to where I would leave my horse,
but he was more help in driving and handling stock than in any other
way. He would also go after a horse that would get away, with a bridle
or rope on, and catch him by the rein or rope and bring him back if he
could lead him, or if not, he would try and hold on until I would come
up. He had a great many other minor tricks to make sport for the boys in
camp, such as speaking, jumping, waltzing, etc., and he would also carry
in wood to make fires with, and thus save the men trouble.

I have also had experience with the Newfoundland and the Setter dogs,
and found them fully as easy to train and as faithful as the Shepherd
dog I have written about. A Newfoundland that I brought down from
Montana with me would do almost anything that it was possible for a dog
to do. When living in Salt Lake City I saw my daughter send him after an
apple once when she was sitting in a room up stairs. He went down and
found the doors all fastened, so he came back and went out at an
upstairs window and onto a lower roof and from there down on a common
rung ladder to the ground and out into some one's orchard, got an apple,
and returned the same way, and did it quicker than any boy could
possibly have performed the same thing. But of course he knew where the
ladder was, and had climbed up and down it many times before that. I
used to see the children in our neighborhood sending this dog over in
the orchards after apples, while they remained at the fence outside, and
he would keep going and returning with the apples until they were
satisfied. The people never objected that owned the fruit, as they
thought it so smart in the dog to steal for the children that which he
did not eat himself.

It came to my knowledge once of a dumb beast that showed the
intelligence of a human being.

He was only a dog, but a remarkably clever one. He belonged to the class
known as Shepherd dogs, which are noted for their sagacity and fidelity.
His master was a little Italian boy called Beppo, who earned his living
by selling flowers on the street.

Tony was very fond of Beppo, who had been his master ever since he was a
puppy, and Beppo had never failed to share his crust with his good dog.
Now, Tony had grown to be a large, strong dog, and took as much care of
Beppo as Beppo took of him. Often while standing on the corner with his
basket on his arm, waiting for a customer, Beppo would feel inclined to
cry from very loneliness; but Tony seemed to know when the "blues" came,
and would lick his master's hand, as much as to say: "You've got me for
a friend. Cheer up! I'm better than nobody; I'll stand by you."

But one day it happened that when the other boys who shared the dark
cellar home with Beppo went out early in the morning as usual, Beppo was
so ill that he could hardly lift his head from the straw on which he
slept. He felt that he would be unable to sell flowers that day. What to
do he did not know. Tony did his best to comfort him, but the tears
would gather in his eyes, and it was with the greatest difficulty that
he at last forced himself to get up and go to the florist, who lived
near by, for the usual supply of buds.


Having filled his basket, the boy went home again and tied it around
Tony's neck; then he looked at the dog and said: "Now, Tony, you're the
only fellow I've got to depend on. Go and sell my flowers for me, and
bring the money home safe; don't let anyone steal anything."

Then he kissed the dog and pointed to the door.

Tony trotted out to the street to Beppo's usual corner, where he took
his stand. Beppo's customers soon saw how matters stood, and chose their
flowers, and put their money into the tin cup in the center of the
basket. Now and then, when a rude boy would come along and try to snatch
a flower from the basket, Tony would growl fiercely and drive him away.

So that day went safely by, and at nightfall Tony went home to his
master, who was waiting anxiously for him, and gave him a hearty
welcome. Beppo untied the basket and looked in the cup, and I should not
wonder if he found more money in it than ever before. This is how Tony
sold the rosebuds, and he did it so well that Beppo never tired of
telling me about it.

A farmer's dog who had been found guilty of obtaining goods under false
pretenses is worthy of mention. He was extremely fond of sausages, and
had been taught by his owner to go after them for him, carrying a
written order in his mouth. Day after day he appeared at the
butcher-shop, bringing his master's order, and by and by the butcher
became careless about reading the document. Finally, when settlement day
came, the farmer complained that he was charged with more sausage than
he had ordered. The butcher was surprised, and the next time Lion came
in with a slip of paper between his teeth he took the trouble to look at
it. The paper was blank, and further investigation showed that whenever
the dog felt a craving for sausage, he looked around for a piece of
paper, and trotted off to the butcher's. The farmer is something out of
pocket, but squares the account by boasting of the dog's intelligence,
which enabled him to deliberately steal for him, and deceive the butcher
to do so.

While in Edinburgh, Scotland, where my wife and I remained for a year,
our apartments were cared for by an English maid, who owned a very fine
Scotch terrier. Whenever she would come to our rooms the dog accompanied
her, and soon became very much attached to me, and would come into our
apartments whenever an opportunity offered, to pay his respects to me.
My wife had a great aversion to dogs of all kinds, and particularly
objected to having one in the room with her, as she declared she could
feel fleas immediately upon the appearance of a canine, no matter how
far away they were from her.

One morning, while I was quietly reading, my wife being busy in another
part of the room, the dog slipped in and succeeded in establishing
himself under my chair, without either of us being aware of his
presence; but before many minutes had passed my wife discovered him, and
remonstrated with me at once for allowing him to come in, when I knew so
well how she detested him. I assured her of my ignorance as to his
presence, but said nothing whatever to the dog. He arose with a
crestfallen air, and with his tail tucked between his legs, walked
slowly across the room, stopping in the doorway to look once at Mrs.
Majors, with the most reproachful, abused expression I have ever seen on
any creature's face.

After that he always endeavored to make his calls upon me when Mrs.
Majors was absent, and would often come up and wait in one end of the
hall until he would see her go into the adjoining room, when he would
come to see me, but immediately upon hearing her opening the door of the
other room, he would make a break for the door, making his escape before
she would reach the room; and this, too, when she had never been unkind
to him except in what she said of him.

One morning while the landlady and her servant were "doing up" our
sleeping apartment, the dog as usual accompanying the servant, Mrs.
Majors stepped into the room to speak to the landlady, and the servant,
knowing the dog's fondness for me, said:

"Prince, ask Mrs. Majors if you can't go in to see Mr. Majors." He
turned around, went up to Mrs. Majors and commenced jumping up and down
in front of her, asking as plain as dogs can speak for the coveted
permission. My wife could not help laughing, and said, "Well, sir, you
have won me over this time; you can go," whereupon he made a rush for
the other room, leaped upon my lap, and seemed fairly wild with joy. I
could not understand his unusual demonstrations until Mrs. Majors came
in and explained.

A friend who owned a very fine dog was one morning accosted by a
neighbor, who accused the dog of having killed several of his sheep in
the night. The owner said he thought it was a mistake, as he had never
known the dog to be guilty of such tricks, and after some discussion it
was decided to examine the dog's mouth, and if wool was found sticking
in his teeth, they would believe him guilty, and the man who had lost
the sheep could kill him. They called the dog up while talking about it,
and the master opened his mouth, and to his grief, found the evidence of
his crime between his teeth. The neighbor knew the man's attachment for
the dog, and not wishing to kill him in his presence, said he would
defer the execution until a more convenient time. The dog heard the
conversation, appeared to understand the situation perfectly, and when
the neighbor tried later to find him, he had disappeared, and neither
the owner nor the neighbor ever heard of him again. He fled to parts
unknown, thus showing his wisdom by putting himself out of harm's way.

It is hardly possible to say enough in the praise of the dog family,
especially regarding their services to the pioneers in the settlement of
the Mississippi Valley and frontier. At that time, bears, panthers,
wolves, and small animals of prey were so thick that without the aid of
dogs the stock, such as pigs, lambs, poultry, and such small animals,
would have been completely destroyed in one single night. The dogs were
constantly on guard, night and day, storm or sunshine, and upon the
approach of an enemy, would warn the pioneers, giving them a sense of
security against danger. They knew by the smell, often before hearing or
seeing an enemy, and would give out the warning long before the pioneers
themselves could have known of the proximity of the wild beasts. As a
rule those faithful friends and protectors of our race have not been
appreciated, more especially, as above stated, in the settlement of the
frontier, for without them it would have been impossible for the
pioneers to have saved their stock and poultry from the ravages of the
wild beasts. I could write a volume upon the sagacity, faithfulness, and
intelligence of these remarkable animals, as during my life in the Wild
West I learned to fully appreciate them.



On the 18th of June, 1846, A. W. Doniphan was elected colonel of the
regiment that he commanded in the Mexican War. In his speech at
Independence, Jackson County, Mo., on July 29, 1837, he declared he had
not been a candidate for office for seven years, and did not expect to
be for the next seventy years to come. The passage by the American
Congress of the resolutions of annexation, by which the republic of
Texas was incorporated into the Union as one of the States, having
merged her sovereignty into that of our own Government, was the prime
cause which led to the war with Mexico. However, the more immediate
cause of the war may be traced to the occupation by the American army of
the strip of disputed territory lying between the Nueces and the Rio

Bigoted and insulting, Mexico was always prompt to manifest her
hostility toward this Government, and sought the earliest plausible
pretext for declaring war against the United States. This declaration of
war by the Mexican government, which bore date in April, 1846, was
quickly and spiritedly followed by a manifesto from our Congress at
Washington, announcing that a state of war existed between Mexico and
the United States. Soon after this counter declaration, the Mexicans
crossed the Rio Grande in strong force, headed by the famous generals,
Arista and Ampudia. This force, as is well known, was defeated at Palo
Alto on the 18th, and at Resaca de la Palma on May 9, 1846, by the
troops under command of Major-General Taylor, and repulsed with great
slaughter. The whole Union was in a state of intense excitement. General
Taylor's recent and glorious victories were the constant theme of
universal admiration. The war had actually begun; and that, too, in a
manner which demanded immediate action. The United States Congress
passed an act about the middle of May, 1846, authorizing President Polk
to call into the field 50,000 volunteers designed to operate against
Mexico at three distinct points, namely: The southern wing, or the "Army
of Occupation," commanded by Major-General Taylor, to penetrate directly
into the heart of the country; the column under Brigadier-General Wool,
or the "Army of the Center," to operate against the city of Chihuahua;
and the expedition under the command of Colonel (afterward
Brigadier-General) Kearney, known as the "Army of the West," to direct
its march upon the city of Santa Fé. This was the original plan of
operations against Mexico, but subsequently the plan was changed.
Major-General Scott, with a well-appointed army, was sent to Vera Cruz,
General Wool effected a junction with General Taylor at Saltillo, and
General Kearney divided his force into three separate commands; the
first he led in person to the distant shores of the Pacific. A
detachment of nearly eleven hundred Missouri volunteers, under command
of Col. A. W. Doniphan, was ordered to make a descent upon the State of
Chihuahua, expecting to join General Wool's division at the capital,
while the greater part was left as a garrison at Santa Fé, under command
of Col. Sterling Price. The greatest eagerness was manifested by the
citizens of the United States to engage in the war, to redress our
wrongs, to repel an insulting foe, and to vindicate our national honor
and the honor of our oft-insulted flag.

The call of the President was promptly responded to, but of the 50,000
volunteers at first authorized to be raised, the service of about 17,000
only were required. The cruel and inhuman butchery of Colonel Fannin and
his men, all Americans, the subsequent and indiscriminate murder of all
Texans who unfortunately fell into Mexican hands; the repeated acts of
cruelty and injustice perpetrated upon the persons and property of
American citizens residing in the northern Mexican provinces; the
imprisonment of American merchants without the semblance of a trial by
jury, and the forcible seizure and confiscation of their goods; the
robbing of American travelers and tourists in the Mexican country of
their passports and other means of safety, whereby they were in certain
instances deprived of their liberty for a time; the forcible detention
of American citizens, sometimes in prison and other times in free
custody; the recent blockade of the Mexican ports against the United
States trade; the repeated insults offered our national flag; the
contemptuous ill treatment of our ministers, some of whom were spurned
with their credentials; the supercilious and menacing air uniformly
manifested toward the Government, which with characteristic forbearance
and courtesy had endeavored to maintain a friendly understanding;
Mexico's hasty and unprovoked declaration of war against the United
States; the army's unceremonious passage of the Rio Grande in strong
force and with hostile intentions; her refusal to pay indemnities, and a
complication of lesser evils, all of which had been perpetrated by the
Mexican authorities, or by unauthorized Mexican citizens, in a manner
which clearly evinced the determination on the part of Mexico to
terminate the amicable relations hitherto existing between the two
countries, were the causes which justified the war.

On the 18th day of August, 1846, after a tiresome march of nearly 900
miles in less than fifty days, General Kearney with his whole command
entered Santa Fé, the capital of the province of New Mexico, and took
peaceable possession of the country, without the loss of a single man or
shedding a drop of blood, in the name of the United States, and planted
the American flag in the public square, where the stars and stripes and
eagle streamed above the Palacio Grande, or stately residence of
ex-Governor Armigo.

On the 29th of July, 1847, Captain Ruff was dispatched by General Smith
with a squadron composed of one company of the Second Dragoons under
Lieutenant Hawes and his own company of mounted riflemen, in all
eighty-six men, to attack the town of San Juan de los Llanos. In this
engagement the Mexicans lost forty-three killed and fifty wounded. Only
one American was wounded and none killed. At the battle of San Pascual,
on the morning of the 6th of December, General Kearney commanding, with
Captains Johnson, Moore, and Hammond as principal aids, drove the enemy
from the field. Loss not known. American loss, seventeen killed and
fourteen wounded. On the 5th of November, 1846, a small detachment of
forty-five volunteers, commanded by Captains Thompson and Burrows, met
and totally defeated 200 Californians on the plains of Salinas, near
Monterey. American loss, four killed and two wounded. On the 8th of
January General Kearney and Commodore Stockton, with 500 men, met the
insurgents, 600 strong, to dispute the passage of the river San Gabriel.
This action lasted one hour and a half. The next day the Mexicans were
again repulsed. Their loss on both days estimated in killed and wounded
not less than eighty-five; American, two killed and fifteen wounded. A
battle commanded by Doniphan was fought on Christmas day at Brazito,
twenty-five miles from El Paso. Mexican loss was seventy-one killed,
five prisoners, and 150 wounded, among them their commanding general,
Ponce de Leon. The Americans had none killed and eight wounded. On the
27th the city of El Paso was taken possession of without further
opposition. On the 13th a battle with the Indians occurred. Americans
lost none; Indians had seventeen killed and not less than twenty-five
wounded. On the 19th of January, Governor Bent was murdered with his
retinue. On the 24th Colonel Rice encountered the enemy. Our loss was
two killed and seven wounded. The Mexicans acknowledged a loss of
thirty-six killed and forty-five prisoners. On the 3d of February, met
the enemy at Pueblo de Taos. The total loss of the Mexicans at the three
engagements was 282 killed--wounded unknown. Our total was fifteen
killed and forty-seven wounded. On the 24th, in an engagement at Las
Vegas, the enemy had twenty-five killed, three wounded; our loss, one
killed, three wounded. At Red River Cañon we were vigorously attacked by
a large body of Mexicans and Indians; Americans lost one killed and
several wounded; Mexicans and Indians, seventeen killed, wounded not
known. At Las Vegas Major Edmondson charged the town; there were ten
Mexicans slain and fifty prisoners taken. On the 9th of July a
detachment of Captain Morin's company was attacked; five of our men
killed and nine wounded. On the 26th of June Lieutenant Love was
attacked and surrounded by Indians; they cut their way through with a
loss of eleven; the Indians lost twenty-five. On the 27th of October
Captain Mann's train was attacked; American loss, one killed, four
wounded; Indian loss not known.



On Sunday, the 28th of February, a bright and auspicious day, the
American army, under Colonel Doniphan, arrived in sight of the Mexican
encampment at Sacramento, which could be distinctly seen at the distance
of four miles. His command consisted of the following corps and
detachments of troops:

The First Regiment, Colonel Doniphan, numbering about eight hundred men;
Lieutenant-Colonel Mitchell's escort, ninety-seven men; artillery
battalion, Major Clark and Captain Weightman, 117 men, with light field
battery of six pieces of cannon; and two companies of teamsters, under
Captains Skillman and Glasgow, forming an extra battalion of about one
hundred and fifty men, commanded by Major Owens of Independence, making
an aggregate force of 1,164 men, all Missouri volunteers. The march of
the day was conducted in the following order: The wagons, near four
hundred in all, were thrown in four parallel files, with spaces of
thirty feet between each. In the center space marched the artillery
battalion; in the space to the right the First Battalion, and in the
space to the left the Second Battalion. Masking these, in front marched
the three companies intending to act as cavalry--the Missouri Horse
Guards, under Captain Reid, on the right; the Missouri Dragoons, under
Captain Parsons, on the left; and the Chihuahua Rangers, under Captain
Hudson, in the center. Thus arranged, they approached the scene of

The enemy had occupied the brow of a rocky eminence rising upon a
plateau between the river Sacramento and the Arroya Seca, and near the
Sacramento Fort, eighteen miles from Chihuahua, and fortified its
approaches by a line of field-works, consisting of twenty-eight strong
redoubts and intrenchments. Here, in this apparently secure position,
the Mexicans had determined to make a bold stand, for the pass was the
key to the capital. So certain of the victory were the Mexicans, that
they had prepared strings and handcuffs in which they meant to drive us
prisoners to the City of Mexico, as they did the Texans in 1841. Thus
fortified and intrenched, the Mexican army, consisting, according to a
consolidated report of the adjutant-general which came into Colonel
Doniphan's possession after the battle, of 4,220 men, commanded by
Major-General Jose A. Heredia, aided by Gen. Garcia Conde, former
Minister of War in Mexico, as commander of cavalry; General Mauricia
Ugarte, commander of infantry; General Justiniani, commander of
artillery, and Gov. Angel Trias, brigadier-general, commanding the
Chihuahua Volunteers, awaited the approach of the Americans.

When Colonel Doniphan arrived within one mile and a half of the enemy's
fortifications (a reconnaissance of his position having been made by
Major Clark), leaving the main road, which passed within the range of
his batteries, he suddenly deflected to the right, crossed the rocky
Arroya, expeditiously gained the plateau beyond, successfully deployed
his men into line upon the highland, causing the enemy to change its
first position, and made the assault from the west. This was the best
point of attack that could possibly have been selected. The event of the
day proves how well it was chosen.

In passing the Arroya the caravan and baggage trains followed close upon
the rear of the army. Nothing could exceed in point of solemnity and
grandeur the rumbling of the artillery, the firm moving of the caravan,
the dashing to and fro of horsemen, and the waving of banners and gay
fluttering of guidons, as both armies advanced to the attack on the
rocky plain; for at this crisis General Conde, with a select body of
1,200 cavalry, rushed down from the fortified heights to commence the
engagement. When within 950 yards of our alignment, Major Clark's
battery of six-pounders and Weightman's section of howitzers opened upon
them a well-directed and most destructive fire, producing fearful
execution in their ranks. In some disorder they fell back a short
distance, unmasking a battery of cannon, which immediately commenced its
fire upon us. A brisk cannonading was now kept up on both sides for the
space of fifty minutes, during which time the enemy suffered great loss,
our battery discharging twenty-four rounds to the minute. The balls from
the enemy's cannon whistled through our ranks in quick succession. Many
horses and other animals were killed and the wagons much shattered.
Sergeant A. Hughes of the Missouri Dragoons had both his legs broken by
a cannon ball. In this action the enemy, who were drawn up in columns
four deep, close order, lost about twenty-five killed, besides a great
number of horses. The Americans, who stood dismounted in two ranks, open
order, suffered but slight injury.

General Conde, with considerable disorder, now fell back and rallied his
men behind the intrenchments and redoubts. Colonel Doniphan immediately
ordered the buglers to sound the advance. Thereupon the American army
moved forward in the following manner, to storm the enemy's breastworks:

The artillery battalion, Major Clark in the center, firing occasionally
on the advance; the First Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonels
Jackson and Mitchell, composing the right wing; the two select
companies of cavalry under Captains Reid and Parsons, and Captain
Hudson's mounted company, immediately on the left of the artillery; and
the Second Battalion on the extreme left, commanded by Major Gilpin. The
caravan and baggage trains, under command of Major Owens, followed close
in the rear. Colonel Doniphan and his aids, Captain Thompson, United
States Army, Adjutant De Courcy, and Sergeant-Major Crenshaw acted
between the battalions.

At this crisis a body of 300 lancers and lazadors were discovered
advancing upon our rear. These were exclusive of Heredia's main force,
and were said to be criminals turned loose from the Chihuahua prisons,
that by some gallant exploit they might expurgate themselves of crime.
To this end they were posted in the rear to cut off stragglers, prevent
retreat, and capture and plunder the merchants' wagons. The battalion of
teamsters kept these at bay. Besides this force there were a thousand
spectators--women, citizens, and rancheros--perched on the summits of
adjacent hills and mountains, watching the event of the day.

As we neared the enemy's redoubts, still inclining to the right, a heavy
fire was opened upon us from his different batteries, consisting in all
of sixteen pieces of cannon. But owing to the facility with which our
movements were performed, and to the fact that the Mexicans were
compelled to fire plungingly upon our lines (their position being
considerably elevated above the plateau, and particularly the battery
placed on the brow of the Sacramento Mountain with the design of
enfilading our column), we sustained but little damage.

When our column had approached within about 400 yards of the enemy's
line of field-works, the three cavalry companies, under Captains Reid,
Parsons, and Hudson, and Weightman's section of howitzers, were ordered
to carry the main center battery, which had considerably annoyed our
lines, and which was protected by a strong bastion. The charge was not
made simultaneously, as intended by the colonel; for this troop having
spurred forward a little way, was halted for a moment under a heavy
crossfire from the enemy, by the adjutant's misapprehending the order.
However, Captain Reid, either not hearing or disregarding the adjutant's
order to halt, leading the way, waved his sword, and rising in his
stirrups exclaimed: "Will my men follow me?" Hereupon Lieutenants
Barnett, Hinton, and Moss, with about twenty-five men, bravely sprang
forward, rose the hill with the captain, carried the battery, and for a
moment silenced the guns, but were too weak to hold possession of it. By
the overwhelming force of the enemy, we were beaten back, and many of us
wounded. Here Maj. Samuel C. Owens, who had voluntarily charged upon the
redoubt, received a cannon or musket shot, which instantly killed both
him and his horse. Captain Reid's horse was shot under him, and a
gallant young man of the same name immediately dismounted and generously
offered the captain his.

By this time the remainder of Captain Reid's company, under Lieutenant
Hocklin, and the section of howitzers under Captain Weightman and
Lieutenants Choteau and Evans, rose the hill, and supported Captain
Reid. A deadly volley of grape and canister shot, mingled with yager
balls, quickly cleared the intrenchments and redoubt. The battery was
retaken and held. Almost at the same instant Captains Parsons and
Hudson, with the two remaining companies of cavalry, crossed the
intrenchments to Reid's left and successfully engaged with the enemy.
They resolutely drove him back and held the ground.

All the companies were now pressing forward, and pouring over the
intrenchments and into the redoubts, eagerly vying with each other in
the noble struggle for victory. Each company, as well as each soldier,
was ambitious to excel. Companies A, B, C, and a part of Company D,
composing the right wing, all dismounted, respectively under command of
Captains Waldo, Walton, Moss, and Lieutenant Miller, led on by
Lieutenant-Colonels Jackson and Mitchell, stormed a formidable line of
redoubts on the enemy's left, defended by several pieces of cannon and a
great number of well-armed and resolute men. A part of this wing took
possession of the strong battery on Sacramento Hill, which had kept a
continued cross-firing upon our right during the whole engagement.
Colonels Jackson and Mitchell and their captains, lieutenants,
non-commissioned officers, and the men generally, behaved with
commendable gallantry. Many instances of individual prowess were
exhibited. But it is invidious to distinguish between men, where all
performed their duty so nobly.

Meanwhile the left wing, also dismounted, commanded by Major Gilpin, a
gallant and skillful officer, boldly scaled the heights, passed the
intrenchments, cleared the redoubts, and, with considerable slaughter,
forced the enemy to retreat from its position on the right. Company G,
under Captain Hughes, and a part of Company F, under Lieutenant Gordon,
stormed the battery of three brass four-pounders strongly defended by
embankments and ditches filled by resolute and well-armed Mexican
infantry. Some of the artillerists were made prisoners while endeavoring
to touch off the cannon. Companies H and E, under Captains Rodgers and
Stephenson, and a part of Hudson's company, under Lieutenant Todd, on
the extreme left, behaved nobly, and fought with great courage. They
beat the Mexicans from their strong places, and chased them like
bloodhounds. Major Gilpin was not behind his men in bravery--he
encouraged them to fight by example.

Major Clark, with his six-pounders, and Captain Weightman, with his
howitzers, during the whole action rendered the most signal and
essential service, and contributed much toward the success of the day.
The gallant charge led by Captain Reid, and sustained by Captain
Weightman, in point of daring and brilliancy of execution, has not been
excelled by any similar exploit during the war.

General Heredia made several unsuccessful attempts to rally his
retreating forces, to infuse into their minds new courage, and to close
up the breaches already made in his lines. General Conde, with his troop
of horse, also vainly endeavored to check the advance of the
Missourians. They were dislodged from their strong places, and forced
from the hill in confusion.

The rout of the Mexican army now became general, and the slaughter
continued until night put an end to the chase. The battle lasted three
hours and a half. The men returned to the battle-field after dark,
completely worn out and exhausted with fatigue. The Mexicans lost 304
men killed on the field, and a large number wounded, perhaps not less
than five hundred, and seventy prisoners, among whom was
Brigadier-General Cuilta, together with a vast quantity of provisions,
$6,000 in specie, 50,000 head of sheep, 1,500 head of cattle, 100 mules,
twenty wagons, twenty-five or thirty caretas, 25,000 pounds of
ammunition, ten pieces of cannon of different caliber, varying from four
to nine pounders; six culverins, or wall pieces; 100 stand of small
colors, seven fine carriages, the general's escritoire, and many other
things of less note. Our loss was Major Samuel C. Owens, killed, and
eleven wounded, three of whom have subsequently died.

Thus was the army of Central Mexico totally defeated, and completely
disorganized, by a column of Missouri volunteers. The Mexicans retreated
precipitately to Durango, and dispersed among the ranchos and villages.
Their leaders were never able to rally them.

In this engagement Colonel Doniphan was personally much exposed, and by
reason of his stature was a conspicuous mark for the fire of the enemy's
guns. He was all the while at the proper place, whether to dispense his
orders, encourage his men, or use his saber in thinning the enemy's
ranks. His courage and gallant conduct were only equaled by his clear
foresight and great judgment. His effective force actually engaged was
about nine hundred and fifty men, including a considerable number of
amateur fighters, among whom James L. Collins, James Kirker, Messrs.
Henderson and Anderson, interpreters, Major Campbell, and James Stewart,
deserve to be favorably mentioned. They fought bravely. It was
impossible for Captains Skillman and Glasgow to bring their companies of
teamsters into the action. They deserve great honor for their gallantry
in defending the trains. The soldiers encamped on the battle-field,
within the enemy's entrenchments, and feasted sumptuously upon his
viands, wines, and pound-cake.

There they rested.

Colonel Doniphan, not like Hannibal loitering on the plains of Italy
after the battle of Cannæ when he might have entered Rome in triumph,
immediately followed up his success and improved the advantage which his
victory gave him. Early the next morning (March 1st) he dispatched
Lieutenant-Colonel Mitchell, with 150 men under command of Captains Reid
and Weightman, and a section of artillery, to take formal possession of
the capital, and occupy it in the name of his Government. This
detachment, before arriving in the city, was met by several American
gentlemen escaping from confinement, who represented that the Mexicans
had left the place undefended, and fled with the utmost precipitation to
Durango. The Spanish consul, also, came out with the flag of his country
to salute and acknowledge the conqueror. This small body of troops
entered and took military possession of Chihuahua without the slightest
resistance, and the following night occupied the Cuartel, near Hidalgo's
monument, which stands on the Alameda.

Meanwhile Colonel Doniphan and his men collected the booty, tended the
captured animals, refitted the trains, remounted those who had lost
their steeds in the action, arranged the preliminaries of the
procession, and having marched a few miles encamped for the night. On
the morning of March 2d Colonel Doniphan, with all his military trains,
the merchant caravan, gay fluttering colors, and the whole _spolia
opima_, triumphantly entered the city to the tunes of "Yankee Doodle"
and "Hail Columbia," and fired in the public square a national salute of
twenty-eight guns. This was a proud moment for the American troops. The
battle of Sacramento gave them the capital, and now the stars and
stripes and serpent eagle of the model republic were streaming
victoriously over the stronghold of Central Mexico.



It is thirteen years since Edward Creighton, the pioneer of frontier
telegraphy, died, and that he is so well and honorably remembered in the
Omaha of to-day--aye, his memory respected by the thousands who have
gone there since he was no more--but illustrates how great was his
service to the community, how broad and enduring a mark he made upon his
time. No man did so much to sustain Omaha in its early and trying days
as Edward Creighton. His career was a notable one in its humble
beginning and splendid triumph in the flush of manhood. He was born in
Belmont County, Ohio, August 31, 1820, of Irish parentage. His early
days were passed upon a farm, but at the age of twenty he took the
contract for building part of the national stage road from Wheeling, W.
Va., to Springfield, Ohio. He continued in the contracting business, but
it was not until 1847 that he entered upon that branch of it in which he
achieved his greatest success and laid the foundation of his after
fortunes. In that year he received the contract for and constructed a
telegraph line between Springfield and Cincinnati. To this business he
devoted his time and energies for five years, being successfully engaged
in the construction of telegraph lines in all parts of the country,
completing the line from Cleveland to Chicago in 1852. In 1856, while
engaged in telegraph construction in Missouri, Mr. Creighton visited
Omaha, and his brothers, John A., James, and Joseph, and his cousin
James, locating there, he returned to Ohio, where he wedded Mary
Lucretia Wareham of Dayton, and in 1857 he also went to Omaha and
located. He continued in the telegraph construction business,
completing, in 1860, the first line which gave Omaha connection with the
outer world via St. Louis.

For years Mr. Creighton entertained a pet project--the building of a
line to the Pacific Coast--and in the winter of 1860, after many
conferences with the wealthy stockholders of the Western Union Company,
a preliminary survey was agreed upon. In those days the stage-coach was
the only means of overland travel, and that was beset with great danger
from Indians and road agents. In the stage-coach Mr. Creighton made his
way to Salt Lake City, where he enlisted the interest and support of
Brigham Young, the great head of the Mormon church, in his project. It
had been arranged to associate the California State Telegraph Company in
the enterprise, and on to Sacramento, in midwinter, Mr. Creighton
pressed on horseback. It was a terrible journey, but the man who made it
was of stout heart, and he braved the rigors of the mountains and
accomplished his mission, and in the spring of 1861 he returned to Omaha
to begin his great work. Congress, meanwhile, had granted a subsidy of
$40,000 a year for ten years to the company which should build the line.
Then a great race was inaugurated, for heavy wagers, between Mr.
Creighton's construction force and the California contractors who were
building eastward, to see which should reach Salt Lake City first. Mr.
Creighton had 1,100 miles to construct and the Californians only 450,
but he reached Salt Lake City on the 17th of October, one week ahead of
his competitors.

On October 24th, but little more than six months after the enterprise
was begun, Mr. Creighton had established telegraphic communication from
ocean to ocean. He had taken $100,000 worth of the stock of the new
enterprise at about eighteen cents on the dollar, and when the project
was completed the company trebled its stock, Mr. Creighton's $100,000
becoming $300,000. The stock rose to 85 cents, and he sold out $100,000
worth for $850,000, still retaining $200,000 of the stock. He continued
in the telegraphic construction business until 1867, when his great
cattle interests, in which he had embarked in 1864, and his great plains
freighting business, established before the building of the Union
Pacific and continued even after its completion, to the mining regions
of Montana and Idaho, exacted his attention. During all these years of
great business success, Mr. Creighton was firm in his allegiance to
Omaha. He was the first president of the first national bank in the
city, and was ever ready to aid, by his means, and counsel, and
enterprise, the furthering of Omaha's interests. He commanded the
confidence of all the people, his sterling integrity and unwavering
fidelity combining with his generous and charitable nature to make him a
very lovable man. No man has an unkind word to say of Edward Creighton,
and his memory is revered to this day as an upright, just, and kind man,
who, out of his own sterling qualities, had wrought a successful and
honorable career. He was stricken with paralysis and died November 5,
1874. To his memory Creighton College was erected and endowed by his
widow, in response to his own wish, expressed during his lifetime, to
found a free institution for the non-sectarian education of youth--the
institution to be under Catholic control.



The organization of a full-fledged train for crossing the plains
consisted of from twenty-five to twenty-six large wagons that would
carry from three to three and a half tons each, the merchandise or
contents of each wagon being protected by three sheets of thin ducking,
such as is used for army tents. The number of cattle necessary to draw
each wagon was twelve, making six yokes or pairs, and a prudent
freighter would always have from twenty to thirty head of extra oxen, in
case of accident to or lameness of some of the animals. In camping or
stopping to allow the cattle to graze, a corral or pen of oblong shape
is formed by the wagons, the tongues being turned out, and a log chain
extended from the hind wheel of each wagon to the fore wheel of the next
behind, etc., thus making a solid pen except for a wide gap at each end,
through which gaps the cattle are driven when they are to be yoked and
made ready for travel, the gaps then being filled by the wagonmaster,
his assistant, and the extra men, to prevent the cattle from getting
out. When the cattle are driven into this corral or pen, each driver
yokes his oxen, drives them out to his wagon, and gets ready to start.
The entire train of cattle, including extras, generally numbered from
320 to 330 head and usually from four to five mules for riding and
herding. The force of men for each train consisted of a wagonmaster, his
assistant, the teamsters, a man to look after the extra cattle, and two
or three extra men as a reserve to take the places of any men who might
be disabled or sick, the latter case being a rare exception, for as a
rule there was no sickness. I think perhaps there was never a set of
laboring men in the world who enjoyed more uninterrupted good health
than the teamsters upon the plains. They walked by the side of their
teams, as it was impossible for them to ride and keep them moving with
regularity. The average distance traveled with loaded wagons was from
twelve to fifteen miles per day, although in some instances, when roads
were fine and there was a necessity for rapid movement, I have known
them to travel twenty miles. But this was faster traveling than they
could keep up for any length of time. Returning with empty wagons they
could average twenty miles a day without injury to the animals.

Oxen proved to be the cheapest and most reliable teams for long trips,
where they had to live upon the grass. This was invariably the case.
They did good daily work, gathered their own living, and if properly
driven would travel 2,000 miles in a season, or during the months from
April to November; traveling from 1,000 to 1,200 miles with the loaded
wagons, and with plenty of good grass and water, would make the return
trip with the empty wagons in the same season. However, the distance
traveled depended much upon the skill of the wagonmasters who had them
in charge. For if the master was not skilled in handling the animals and
men, they could not make anything like good headway and success. To make
everything work expeditiously, thorough discipline was required, each
man performing his duty and being in the place assigned him without
confusion or delay. I remember once of timing my teamsters when they
commenced to yoke their teams after the cattle had been driven into
their corral and allowed to stand long enough to become quiet. I gave
the word to the men to commence yoking, and held my watch in my hand
while they did so, and in sixteen minutes from the time they commenced,
each man had yoked six pairs of oxen and had them hitched to their
wagons ready to move. I state this that the reader may see how quickly
the men who are thoroughly disciplined could be ready to "pop the whip"
and move out, when unskilled men were often more than an hour doing the
same work. The discipline and rules by which my trains were governed
were perfect, and as quick as the men learned each one his place and
duty, it became a very pleasant and easy thing for him to do. Good moral
conduct was required of them, and no offense from man to man was
allowed, thus keeping them good-natured and working together
harmoniously. They were formed into what they called "messes," there
being from six to eight men in a mess, each mess selecting the man best
fitted to serve as cook, and the others carrying the water, fuel, and
standing guard, so that the cook's sole business when in camp was to get
his utensils ready and cook the meals.

We never left the cattle day or night without a guard of two men, the
teamsters taking turns, and arranging it so that each man was on guard
two hours out of the twenty-four, and sometimes they were only obliged
to go on guard two hours every other night. This matter they arranged
among themselves and with the wagonmaster. The duty of the wagonmaster
was about the same as that of a captain of a steamboat or ship, his
commands being implicitly obeyed, for in the early stages of travel upon
the plains the men were at all times liable to be attacked by the
Indians; therefore the necessity for a perfect harmony of action
throughout the entire band. The assistant wagonmaster's duty was to
carry out the wagonmaster's instructions, and he would often be at one
end of the train while the master was at the other, as the train was
moving. It was arranged, when possible, that no two trains should ever
camp together, as there was not grass and water sufficient for the
animals of both, and thus all confusion was avoided.

The average salary paid the men was $1 a day and expenses. Most of the
traveling in the early days of freighting was done upon what was called
the Santa Fé road, starting from Independence, Mo., and unloading at
Santa Fé, N. M. The rattlesnakes on that road, in the beginning of the
travel, were a great annoyance, often biting the mules and oxen when
they were grazing. At first, mules were used altogether for traveling,
but they would either die or become useless from the bite of a
rattlesnake, and the men would sometimes be sent ahead of the caravan
with whips to frighten the snakes out of the pathway, but later on, the
ox-teamsters, with their large whips, destroyed them so fast that they
ceased to trouble them to any great extent. It has been claimed by men
that the snakes and prairie-dogs, who were also found in great numbers
upon the plains, lived in the same houses, the dog digging the hole and
allowing the snake to inhabit it with him; but I do not think this is
correct. Men came to this conclusion from seeing the snakes when
frightened run into the dog-holes, but I think they did it to get out of
the way of danger, and they lived, too, in the houses that had been
abandoned by the dogs. It is a fact that the prairie dogs would only
live in one hole for about a year, when they would abandon it and dig a
new one, leaving the old ones to be taken possession of by the
rattlesnakes and prairie owls. As far as I have been able to find out,
there is no creature on earth that will live with a rattlesnake. They
are hated and feared by all living animals.

The following are the names of the men who were employed on our trains,
in one capacity and another, and a number of them are still alive:

    Dr. J. Hobbs,
    Jim Lobb,
    Alex Lobb,
    Aquila Lobb,
    Joel Dunn,
    Mitchell Wilson,
    Hank Bassett,
    George W. Marion,
    N. H. Fitzwater,
    George Bryant,
    Tom A. Brawley,
    Peter Bean,
    James L. Davis,
    William Hickman,
    A. W. Street,
    Joel Hedgespeth,
    Charles Byers,
    Nathan Simpson,
    R. D. Simpson,
    Ben Tunley,
    Hiram Cummings,
    John Ewing,
    Rev. Ben Baxter,
    A. and P. Byram,
    Frank McKinney,
    John T. Renick,
    John D. Clayton,
    William Wier,
    Frank Hoberg,
    Gillis of Pennsylvania,
    David Street,
    Joel Lyal,
    Albert Bangs,
    Elijah Majors,
    Aquila Davis,
    Samuel Poteete,
    William Hayes,
    George A. Baker,
    James Brown,
    William Dodd,
    Mr. Badger,
    Green Davis,
    John Scudder,
    Jackson Cooper,
    Samuel Foster,
    Robert Foster,
    Chat. Renick,
    John Renick,
    Mr. Levisy,
    Dick Lipscomb,
    James Aiken,
    Johnson Aiken,
    Stephen De Wolfe,
    Linville Hayes,
    Sam McKinny,
    Ben Rice,
    Ferd Smith,
    Henry Carlisle,
    Alexander Carlisle,
    Robert Ford,
    Joseph Erwin,
    Daniel D. White,
    Johnny Fry,
    Alexander Benham,
    Luke Benham,
    Benjamin Ficklin,
    John Kerr.



Kit Carson, as he was familiarly known and called, was born in Madison
County, Ky., on the 24th of December, 1809.

During the early days of Carson's childhood his father moved from
Kentucky to Missouri, which State was then called Upper Louisiana, where
Kit Carson passed a number of years, early becoming accustomed to the
stirring dangers with which his whole life was so familiar.

At the age of fifteen years he was apprenticed to a Mr. Workman, a
saddler. At the end of two years, when his apprenticeship was ended,
young Carson voluntarily abandoned the further pursuit of a trade which
had no attractions for him, and from that time on pursued the life of a
trapper, hunter, and Indian fighter, distinguishing himself in many ways
and rendering invaluable service to the Government of the United States,
in whose employ he spent a large part of his life, in which service he
had risen to the rank of colonel and was breveted brigadier-general
before his death, which occurred at Fort Lyon, Colo., on the 23d of May,
1868, from the effects of the rupture of an artery, or probably an
aneurism of an artery in the neck.

Carson as a trapper, hunter, and guide had no superior, and as a soldier
was the peer of any man.

The following from the life of Kit Carson will be found most interesting
reading regarding this great scout:

"With fresh animals and men well fed and rested, McCoy and Carson and
all their party soon started from Fort Hall for the rendezvous again,
upon Green River, where they were detained some weeks for the arrival of
other parties, enjoying as they best might the occasion, and preparing
for future operations.

"A party of a hundred was here organized, with Mr. Fontenelle and Carson
for their leaders, to trap upon the Yellowstone and the headwaters of
the Missouri. It was known that they would probably meet the Blackfeet,
in whose grounds they were going, and it was therefore arranged, that
while fifty were to trap and furnish the food for the party, the
remainder should be assigned to guard the camp and cook. There was no
disinclination on the part of any to another meeting with the Blackfeet,
so often had they troubled them, especially Carson, who, while he could
be magnanimous toward an enemy, would not turn aside from his course if
able to cope with him; and now that he was in a company which justly
felt itself strong enough to punish the 'thieving Blackfeet,' as they
spoke of them, he was anxious to pay off some old scores.

"They saw nothing, however, of these Indians; but afterward learned that
the smallpox had raged terribly among them, and that they had kept
themselves retired in mountain valleys, oppressed with fear and severe

"The winter's encampment was made in this region, and a party of Crow
Indians which was with them camped at a little distance on the same
stream. Here they secured an abundance of meat, and passed the severe
weather with a variety of amusements, in which the Indians joined them
in their lodges, made of buffalo hides. These lodges, very good
substitutes for houses, were made in the form of a cone, spread by means
of poles spreading from a common center, where there was a hole at the
top for the passage of smoke. These were often twenty feet in height and
as many feet in diameter, where they were pinned to the ground with
stakes. In a large village the Indians often had one lodge large enough
to hold fifty persons, and within were performed their war dances around
a fire made in the center. During the palmy days of the British Fur
Company, in a lodge like this, only made instead of birch bark, Irving
says the Indians of the North held their 'primitive fairs' outside the
city of Montreal, where they disposed of their furs.

"There was one drawback upon conviviality for this party, in the extreme
difficulty of getting food for their animals; for the food and fuel so
abundant for themselves did not suffice for their horses. Snow covered
the ground, and the trappers were obliged to gather willow twigs, and
strip the bark from cottonwood trees, in order to keep them alive. The
inner bark of the cottonwood is eaten by the Indians when reduced to
extreme want. Besides, the cold brought the buffalo down upon them in
great herds, to share the nourishment they had provided for their

"Spring at length opened, and gladly they again commenced trapping;
first on the Yellowstone and soon on the headwaters of the Missouri,
where they learned that the Blackfeet were recovered from the sickness
of last year, which had not been so severe as it was reported, and that
they were still anxious and in condition for a fight, and were encamped
not far from their present trapping grounds.

"Carson and five men went forward in advance 'to reconnoiter,' and found
the village preparing to remove, having learned of the presence of the
trappers. Hurrying back, a party of forty-three was selected from the
whole, and they unanimously selected Carson to lead them, and leaving
the rest to move on with the baggage, and aid them if it should be
necessary when they should come up with the Indians, they started
forward eager for a battle.

"Carson and his command were not long in overtaking the Indians; and
dashing among them, at the first fire killed ten of their braves; but
the Indians rallied and retreated in good order. The white men were in
good spirits, and followed up their first attack with deadly results for
three full hours, the Indians making scarce any resistance. Now their
firing became less animated, as their ammunition was getting low, and
they had to use it with extreme caution. The Indians, suspecting this
from the slackness of their fire, rallied, and with a tremendous whoop
turned upon their enemies.

"Now Carson and his company could use their small arms, which produced a
terrible effect, and which enabled them to again drive back the Indians.
They rallied yet again, and charged with so much power and in such
numbers, they forced the trappers to retreat.

"During this engagement the horse of one of the mountaineers was killed,
and fell with his whole weight upon his rider. Carson saw the condition
of the man, with six warriors rushing to take his scalp, and reached the
spot in time to save his friend. Leaping from the saddle he placed
himself before his fallen companion, shouting at the same time for his
men to rally around him, and with deadly aim from his rifle, shot down
the foremost warrior.

"The trappers now rallied around Carson and the remaining five warriors
retired, without the scalp of their fallen foe. Only two of them reached
a place of safety, for the well-aimed fire of the trappers leveled them
with the earth.

"Carson's horse was loose, and as his comrade was safe, he mounted
behind one of his men and rode back to the ranks, while by general
impulse the firing on both sides ceased. His horse was captured and
restored to him, but each party, now thoroughly exhausted, seemed to
wait for the other to renew the attack.

"While resting in this attitude, the other division of the trappers came
in sight, but the Indians, showing no fear, posted themselves among the
rocks at some distance from the scene of the last skirmish, and coolly
waited for their adversaries. Exhausted ammunition had been the cause of
the retreat of Carson and his force, but now, with a renewed supply, and
an addition of fresh men to the force, they advanced on foot to drive
the Indians from their hiding places. The contest was desperate and
severe, but powder and ball eventually conquered, and the Indians, once
dislodged, scattered in every direction. The trappers considered this a
complete victory over the Blackfeet, for a large number of their
warriors were killed, and many more were wounded, while they had but
three men killed and a few severely wounded.

"Fontenelle and his party now camped at the scene of the engagement, to
recruit their men and here bury their dead. Afterward they trapped
through the whole Blackfeet country, and with great success, going where
they pleased without fear or molestation. The Indians kept off their
route, evidently having acquaintance with Carson and his company enough
to last them their lifetime.

"With the smallpox and the white man's rifles the warriors were much
reduced, and the tribe, which had formerly numbered 30,000, was already
decimated, and a few more blows like the one dealt by this dauntless
band would suffice to break its spirit and destroy its power for future
and evil.

"During the battle with the trappers the women and children of the
Blackfeet village were sent on in advance, and when the engagement was
over and the braves returned to them so much reduced in numbers, and
without a single scalp, the big lodge that had been erected for the war
dance was given up for the wounded, and in hundreds of Indian hearts
grew a bitter hatred for the white man.

"An express, dispatched for the purpose, announced the place of the
rendezvous to Fontenelle and Carson, who were now on Green River, and
with their whole party and a large stock of furs, they at once set out
for the place upon Mud River, to find the sales commenced before their
arrival, so that in twenty days they were ready to break up camp.

"Carson now organized a party of seven and proceeded to a trading post
called Brown's Hole, where he joined a company of traders to go to the
Navajo Indians. He found this tribe more assimilated to the white man
than any Indians he had yet seen, having many fine horses and large
flocks of sheep and cattle. They also possessed the art of weaving, and
their blankets were in great demand through Mexico, bringing high prices
on account of their great beauty, being woven in flowers with much
taste. They were evidently a remnant of the Aztec race.

"They traded here for a large drove of fine mules, which, taken to the
fort on the South Platte, realized good prices, when Carson went again
to Brown's Hole, a narrow but pretty valley, about sixteen miles long,
upon the Colorado River.

"After many offers for his services from other parties, Carson at length
engaged himself for the winter to hunt for the men at this fort, and, as
the game was abundant in this beautiful valley, and in the cañon country
farther down the Colorado, in its deer, elk, and antelope reminding him
of his hunts upon the Sacramento, the task was a delightful one to him.

"In the spring Carson trapped with Bridger and Owens, with passable
success, and went to the rendezvous upon Wind River, at the head of the
Yellowstone, and from thence, with a large party of the trappers at the
rendezvous, to the Yellowstone, where they camped in the vicinity for
the winter without seeing their old enemy, the Blackfeet Indians, until
midwinter, when they discovered they were near their stronghold.

[Illustration: KIT CARSON'S GRAVE.]

"A party of forty was selected to give them battle, with Carson, of
course, for their captain. They found the Indians already in the field
to the number of several hundred, who made a brave resistance until
night and darkness admonished both parties to retire. In the morning,
when Carson and his men went to the spot whither the Indians had
retired, they were not to be found. They had given them a 'wide berth,'
taking their all away with them, even their dead.

"Carson and his command returned to camp, where a council of war decided
that, as the Indians would report at the principal encampment the
terrible loss they had sustained, and others would be sent to renew the
fight, it was wise to prepare to act on the defensive, and use every
precaution immediately; and accordingly a sentinel was stationed on a
lofty hill near by, who soon reported that the Indians were upon the

"Their plans matured, they at once threw up a breastwork, under Carson's
directions, and waited the approach of the Indians, who came in slowly,
the first parties waiting for those behind. After three days a full
thousand had reached the camp about half a mile from the breastwork of
the trappers. In their war paint, stripes of red across the forehead and
down either cheek, with their bows and arrows, tomahawks and lances,
this army of Indians presented a formidable appearance to the small body
of trappers who were opposed to them.

"The war dance was enacted in sight and hearing of the trappers, and at
early dawn the Indians advanced, having made every preparation for the
attack. Carson commanded his men to reserve their fire till the Indians
were near enough to have every shot tell; but, seeing the strength of
the white men's position, after a few ineffectual shots, the Indians
retired, camped a mile from them, and finally separated into two
parties, and went away, leaving the trappers to breathe more freely,
for, at the best, the encounter must have been of a desperate character.

"They evidently recognized the leader who had before dealt so severely
with them, in the skill with which the defense was arranged, and if the
name of Kit Carson was on their lips, they knew him for both bravery and
magnanimity, and had not the courage to offer him battle.

"Another winter gone, with saddlery, moccasin-making, lodge-building, to
complete the repairs of the summer's wars and the winter's fight all
completed, Carson, with fifteen men, went past Fort Hall again to the
Salmon River, and trapped part of the season there, and upon Big Snake
and Goose creeks, and selling his furs at Fort Hall, again joined
Bridger in another trapping excursion into the Blackfeet country.

"The Blackfeet had molested the traps of another party who had arrived
there before them, and had driven them away. The Indian assailants were
still near, and Carson led his party against them, taking care to
station himself and men in the edge of a thicket, where they kept the
savages at bay all day, taking a man from their number with nearly every
shot of their well-directed rifles. In vain the Indians now attempted to
fire the thicket; it would not burn, and suddenly they retired, forced
again to acknowledge defeat at the hands of Kit Carson, the 'Monarch of
the Prairies.'

"Carson's party now joined with the others, but concluding that they
could not trap successfully with the annoyance the Indians were likely
to give them, as their force was too small to hope to conquer, they left
this part of the country for the north fork of the Missouri.

"Now they were with the friendly Flatheads, one of whose chiefs joined
them in the hunt, and went into camp near them with a party of his
braves. This tribe of Indians, like several other tribes which extend
along this latitude of the Pacific, have the custom which gives them
their name, thus described by Irving, in speaking of the Indians upon
the Lower Columbia, about its mouth:

"'A most singular custom,' he says, 'prevails not only among the
Chinooks, but among most of the tribes about this part of the coast,
which is the flattening of the forehead. The process by which this
deformity is effected commences immediately after birth. The infant is
laid in a wooden trough by way of cradle; the end on which the head
reposes is higher than the rest. A padding is placed on the forehead of
the infant, with a piece of bark above it, and is pressed down by cords
which pass through holes upon the sides of the trough. As the tightening
of the padding and the pressure of the head to the board is gradual, the
process is said not to be attended with pain. The appearance of the
infant, however, while in this state of compression, is whimsically
hideous, and its little black eyes, we are told, being forced out by the
tightness of the bandages, resemble those of a mouse choked in a trap.

"'About a year's pressure is sufficient to produce the desired effect,
at the end of which time the child emerges from its bandages a complete
flathead, and continues so through life. It must be noted, however, that
this flattening of the head has something in it of aristocratic
significance, like the crippling of the feet among the Chinese ladies of
quality. At any rate it is the sign of freedom. No slave is permitted to
bestow this deformity upon the head of his children. All the slaves,
therefore, are roundheads.'"

In December, 1846, after a severe battle with the Mexicans and the
condition of General Kearney and his men had become desperate, a council
of war was called. After discussing a variety of measures, Carson showed
himself "the right man in the right place." He said, "Our case is a
desperate one, but there is yet hope. If we stay here we are all dead
men; our animals can not last long, and the soldiers and marines at San
Diego do not know of our coming, but if they receive information of our
condition, they will hasten to our rescue. I will attempt to go through
the Mexican lines, then to San Diego, and send relief from Commodore

Lieutenant Beale of the United States Navy at once seconded Carson, and
volunteered to accompany him. General Kearney immediately accepted the
proposal as his only hope, and they started at once, as soon as the
cover of darkness hung around them. Their mission was to be one of
success or of death to themselves and the whole force. Carson was
familiar with the customs of the Mexicans, as well as the Indians, of
putting their ears to the ground to detect any sound, and therefore knew
the necessity of avoiding the slightest noise. As it was impossible to
avoid making some noise wearing their shoes, they removed them, and
putting them under their belts crept over bushes and rocks with the
greatest caution and silence. They discovered that the Mexicans had
three rows of sentinels, whose beats extended past each other, embracing
the hill where Kearney and his men were held in siege. They were
doubtless satisfied these could not be eluded, but they crept on, often
so near a sentinel as to see his figure and equipment in the darkness,
and once, when within a few yards of them, discovered one of the
sentinels, who had dismounted and lighted his cigarette with his flint
and steel. Discovering this sentinel, Kit Carson, as he lay flat on the
ground, put his foot back and touched Lieutenant Beale, as a signal for
him to be still, as he was doing. The minutes the Mexican was occupied
in this way seemed hours to our heroes, who momentarily feared they
would be discovered. Carson asserted they were so still he could hear
Lieutenant Beale's heart beat, and, in the agony of the time, he lived a
year. But the Mexican finally mounted his horse and rode off in a
contrary direction, as if guided by Providence to give safety to these
courageous adventurers.

For full two miles Kit Carson and Lieutenant Beale thus worked their way
along upon their hands and knees, turning their eyes in every direction
to detect anything which might lead to their discovery; and, having
passed the last sentinel and left the lines sufficiently far behind,
they felt an immeasurable relief in once more gaining their feet. But
their shoes were gone. In the excitement of this perilous journey
neither had thought of his shoes since he first put them in his belt,
but they could speak again and congratulate themselves and each other
that the great danger was passed, and thank heaven that they had been
aided thus far. But there were still many difficulties in their path,
which was rough with bushes, from the necessity of having to avoid the
well-trodden trail, lest they be discovered. The prickly pear covered
the ground, its thorns penetrated their feet at every step, and their
road was lengthened by going out of the direct path, though the latter
would have shortened their journey many a weary mile.

All the day following they pursued their journey onward without
cessation, and into the night following, for they could not stop until
they were assured relief was to be furnished their anxious and perilous
conditioned fellow soldiers.

Carson pursued so straight a course and aimed so correctly for his mark
that they entered the town by the most direct route, and answering
"friends" to the challenge of the sentinel, it was known from whence
they came, and they were at once conducted to Commodore Stockton, to
whom they related their errand, and the further particulars we have
already narrated.

Commodore Stockton immediately detailed a force of nearly two hundred
men, and, with his usual promptness, ordered them to go to the relief of
their besieged countrymen by forced marches. They took with them a piece
of ordnance, which the men were obliged themselves to draw, as there
were no animals to be had for this work.

Carson's feet were in a terrible condition, and he did not return with
the soldiers; he needed rest and the best of care or he might lose his
feet; but he described the position of General Kearney so accurately
that the party sent to his relief could find him without difficulty, and
yet had the commodore expressed the wish, Carson would have undertaken
to guide the relief party upon its march.

Lieutenant Beale was partially deranged for several days from the
effects of the severe service, and was sent on board a frigate lying in
port for medical attendance, and he did not fully recover his former
health for more than two years.

The relief party from Commodore Stockton reached General Kearney without
encountering any Mexicans, and very soon all marched to San Diego, where
the wounded soldiers received medical assistance.



Fifty years ago, when Kansas City consisted of a warehouse and there was
not a single private residence of civilized man between the Missouri
River and San Francisco, S. E. Ward, a trapper, landed from a steamer at
Independence. He was a penniless youth of eighteen years, direct from
the parental home in Virginia, filled with eager desire to gain a
fortune in the far West. Now, at sixty-eight years of age, Mr. Ward is
almost twice a millionaire and one of the most respected citizens of
Western Missouri. He is one of the pioneers that are left to speak of
the struggles and triumphs of early Western life. The family home is a
spacious two-story brick house, 2½ miles south of Westport, on the old
Santa Fé trail. The house stands upon a farm of 500 acres at the edge of
the great prairie which stretches away through Kansas to the base of the
Rocky Mountains. On this very spot where he now lives Mr. Ward camped
more than once on his return from trading expeditions, years ago, in the

He has had experiences that do not fall to the ordinary lot of man.
Thrown by circumstances into a new country in his earlier life, he has
traveled thousands of miles alone through the mountains and across the
prairies, and often spent weeks without meeting a single human being.
Exposed to snow, sleet, and rain, with no shelter but a buffalo robe,
and at times with starvation staring him in the face, the chances seemed
slight indeed of ever coming out alive. During his experience in the
West he met Fremont in his expedition through the mountains, saw Brigham
Young on the Platte River as he was on his way to found a Mormon empire,
passed through the stormy period of the Mexican War, the California gold
excitement, the Civil War, and witnessed the opening of the Pacific
Railroad, and the mighty influx of population on the plains of the great

The first seven years of his life on the frontier were passed largely in
intercourse with Indian tribes, extending from the Red River on the
south to the upper waters of the Columbia and Yellowstone on the north.
Hunting, trapping, and trading were the only occupations open to white
men west of the Missouri River in those days. In little bands of from
two to twelve the hunters and trappers roamed through the vast region
with but little fear of the redskins. The Indians had not contracted the
vices of civilization, and were a different race of people from what
they are to-day. The cruelties we read of as practiced by them in later
years were unknown. I never knew of a prisoner being burned at the
stake, and ordinarily the hunter felt as safe in an Indian country as in
his own settlement. The Indians were armed with bows and arrows, not
more than one in fifty being the possessor of a gun. When an Indian did
use a gun it was usually a light shotgun that proved ineffective at any
great distance. An experienced frontiersman considered himself safe
against any small number of Indians.

By means of the sign language we were able to talk with the Indians upon
all subjects; and as they were very great talkers and inveterate
story-tellers, many is the hour I have passed seated by the camp-fire
hearing their adventures or the legends of their nations. I have often
wondered why the sign language, as recognized and perfected by the
Indians, was not adopted among civilized people instead of the deaf and
dumb alphabet. The Indian's method of communicating his ideas is much
more impressive and natural. The Cheyennes and Arapahoes were especially
noted for their skill in sign language.

In some respects the Indians were superior to the whites as hunters.
They knew nothing of trapping beaver until taught by the whites, but
they could give valuable points on bagging the large game on the plains.
Forty or fifty years ago the plains were swarming with buffalo. I have
often seen droves so large that no eye could compass them. Their numbers
were countless. The Indian hunter riding bare-backed would guide his
horse headlong into the midst of the herd, singling out the fattest and
in an instant sending the deadly arrow clean through his victim. In a
single day's hunt they sometimes killed 3,000 to 4,000 buffalo. The dead
bodies would lie scattered over the prairie for miles. It required the
greatest diligence to save the skins and dry the meat for use in winter.
They made wholesale slaughter of antelope by forming a "surround." This
required the presence of several hundred Indians to make a complete
success. Early in the morning the men and boys would form a circle miles
in diameter, riding round and round, making the circle smaller at every
revolution and growing closer together. All the game within the ranks
was gradually collected into a body which was driven to an inclosure
formed by weeds piled high up at the sides, behind which were the women
and old men. As the game passed the reserve force these bobbed up and
set up unearthly shrieks and yells that caused the frightened animals to
plunge forward over a precipice to which the inclosure conducted. The
slaughter was terrible. Indians stationed below gave the quietus to such
game as made the descent with but slight injury. At the close of the day
a great feast was held, and nobody enjoys a feast more than an Indian.

I have been asked if marriage was a success among the aborigines. I
never heard it hinted that it was otherwise. The Indian had the
privilege of taking as many wives as he was able to support, and if he
married the oldest sister in a family, all the remaining sisters were
considered his property as they became of age. Under favorable
circumstances, in some tribes, a warrior took a new wife every two or
three years. A separate lodge was provided for each wife, as the women
would fall out and scratch each other if kept together. A peculiarity in
the Indian family relations was that as soon as a wife found herself to
be with child her person was considered sacred, and she lived apart from
all the rest of the household until the child had been born and had
weaned itself of its own accord. This exclusion extended even to the
master of the house, and was never violated. The children were fairly
idolized among the more advanced tribes. The parents seemed to live for
their children, more particularly when the children were boys.

An Indian's wealth was known by the number of his horses. There were
both rich and poor Indians, but the latter were never allowed to want
when there was anything to be had. After a great hunt the poor man was
granted the privilege of taking the first carcasses nearest the camp.

Some Indians kept their lodges nicely painted and beyond criticism as to
cleanliness. The lodges were renewed every year, as frequent moving and
exposure to weather made the skins leaky. The Indians' range extended
anywhere that game and food for their animals could be found. It was a
rare occurrence for them to remain a month in a single vicinity. The
monotony of hunting and moving was varied by occasional forays upon an
unfriendly tribe, stealing their horses, and carrying off scalps and
prisoners. Unless these captives were children they were put to death.
The children were usually adopted and treated with the greatest
kindness. The older prisoners, both men and women, were dispatched with
little ceremony. The killing was usually deferred for several days after
the prisoners were brought into camp. A young Pawnee Indian who was
killed by a party of Comanches was taken into the open air, his hands
were tied to his legs, and he was shot through the heart. He uttered not
a word or groan. After the killing, a warrior stepped forward and raised
the dead Pawnee's scalp, then the war dance was held. A Crow Indian was
dispatched even more expeditiously. Trapper Ward called on the captain
in the lodge where he was confined, and they talked together by signs.
He said he knew he must die, but felt perfectly resigned to his fate, as
he would inflict the same penalty on his enemies if he had the chance.
While they were talking, a warrior appeared at the door and made a
motion. The Crow stepped forward and was shot within a few feet of the
spot he had occupied the moment before. After the scalping and war dance
he was tied up in a standing position, with his hands stretched as far
apart over his head as possible, making a ghastly spectacle, and left as
a warning to all the enemies of his executioners.

The winter of 1838 and 1839, Mr. Ward says, was vividly impressed upon
his mind, being his first experience as a trapper. After a journey of
600 miles from Independence, he arrived at Fort Bent, and early in the
fall the different hunting and trapping parties started out for a long
sojourn in the mountains. He was fortunate in being one of a party of
twelve, of which Kit Carson was a member. They made headquarters in
Brown's Hole, on the Colorado River, where it enters the mountains.
Trapping proved hard work, but he never enjoyed life more, and knew no
such thing as sickness. Their clothes were made (by their own hands) of
buckskin. Their food was nothing but meat cooked on a stick or on the
coals, as they had no cooking utensils. Antelope, deer, elk, bear,
beaver, and, in case of necessity, even the wolf, furnished a variety
that was always acceptable to eat. At night they gathered round a
roaring fire, in comfortable quarters, to listen to the stories which
such men as Kit Carson could tell.

At the close of three months a successful trapper was often able to show
a pack of 120 beaver skins, weighing about 100 pounds. As he made two
trapping expeditions during the year, in the spring and fall, he would
show 200 pounds, worth $6 per pound, as his year's work. In addition to
this, the musk-stones of the beaver were worth as much as the skins, so
that some of them made $3,000 per year as trappers. It was a poor
trapper that did not earn half as much. But few of them ever saved any
money. The traders from the States charged them enormously for supplies,
and Western men were inveterate gamblers. Sugar was $1.50 per pound,
coffee the same, tobacco $5 per pound, and a common shirt could not be
bought for less than $5, while whisky sold for over $30 a gallon. With
flour at $1 per pound, and luxuries in proportion, it was a question of
but a few days at the rendezvous before the labor of months was used up.
The traders were often called upon to fit out the men upon credit, after
a prosperous season.



To be a successful trapper required great caution, as well as a perfect
knowledge of the habits of the animals. The residence of the beaver was
often discovered by seeing bits of green wood and gnawed branches of the
basswood, slippery elm, and sycamore, their favorite food, floating on
the water or lodged on the shores of the stream below, as well as by
their tracks or foot-marks.

These indications were technically called "beaver signs." They were also
sometimes discovered by their dams thrown across creeks and small,
sluggish streams, forming a pond in which were erected their

The hunter, as he proceeded to set his traps, generally approached by
water, in his canoe. He selected a steep, abrupt spot in the bank of the
creek, in which he excavated a hole with his paddle, as he sat in the
canoe, sufficiently large to hold the trap, and so deep as to be about
three inches below the surface of the water, when the jaws of the trap
were expanded. About two feet above the trap, a stick, three or four
inches in length, was stuck in the bank. In the upper end of this stick
the trapper cut a small hole with his knife, into which he dropped a
small quantity of the essence of perfume, which was used to attract the
beaver to the spot. This stick was fastened by a string of horse-hair to
the trap, and with it was pulled into the water by the beaver. The
reason for this was that it might not remain after the trap was sprung,
and attract other beavers to the spot, and thus prevent their seeking
other traps ready for them.

This scent, or essence, was made by mingling the fresh castor of the
beaver with an extract of the bark of the roots of the spice-bush, and
then kept in a bottle for use. The making of this essence was kept a
profound secret, and often sold for a considerable sum to the younger
trappers by the older proficients in the mysteries of beaver-hunting.
Where trappers had no proper bait, they sometimes made use of the fresh
roots of the sassafras or spice-bush, of both of which the beaver was
very fond.

It is said by old trappers that the beaver will smell the well-prepared
essence the distance of a mile, their sense of smell being very acute,
or they would not so readily detect the vicinity of man by the scent of
his trail. The aroma of the essence, having attracted the beaver to the
vicinity of the trap, in his attempt to reach it he has to climb up on
the bank where it is sticking. This effort leads him directly over the
trap, and he is usually caught by one of his fore legs.

The trap was connected by an iron chain, six feet in length, to a stout
line made of the bark of the leather wood, twisted into a neat cord
fifteen or twenty feet in length. These cords were usually prepared by
the trappers at home, or at their camps, for cords of hemp or flax were
scarce in the days of beaver-hunting. The end of the line was secured to
a stake driven into the bed of the creek under water, and in the
beaver's struggles to escape he was usually drowned before the arrival
of the trapper. Sometimes, however, he freed himself by gnawing off his
own leg, though this rarely happened.

When setting the trap, if it was raining, or there was a prospect of
rain, a leaf, generally of sycamore, was placed over the essence stick
to protect it from the rain.

The beaver was a very sagacious and cautious animal, and it required
great care in the trapper in his approach to his haunts to set his
traps, that no scent of his hands or feet should be left on the earth or
bushes that he touched. For this reason the trapper generally approached
in a canoe. If he had no canoe it was necessary to enter the stream
thirty or forty yards below where he wished to set his trap, and walk up
the stream to the place, taking care to return in the same manner, lest
the beaver should take alarm and not come near the bait, as his fear of
the vicinity of man was greater than his appetite for the essence.

Caution was also required in kindling a fire near the haunts of the
beaver, as the smell of smoke alarmed them. The firing of a gun, also,
often marred the sport of the trapper.

Thus it will be seen that, to make a successful beaver hunter, required
more qualities or natural gifts than fall to the share of most men.



In the early part of June, 1850, I loaded my train, consisting of ten
wagons drawn by 130 oxen, at Kansas City, Mo., with merchandise destined
for Santa Fé, N. M., a distance of about eight hundred miles from Kansas
City, and started for that point. After being out some eight or ten days
and traveling through what was then called Indian Territory, but was not
organized until four years later, and was then styled Kansas. Arriving
one evening at a stream called One Hundred and Ten, I camped for the
night. I unyoked my oxen and turned them upon the grass. Finding the
grass so good and the animals weary with the day's work, I thought they
would not stroll away, and therefore did not put any guard, as was my

At early dawn on the following morning I arose, saddled my horse, which,
by the way, was a good one, and told my assistant to arouse the
teamsters, so they could be ready to yoke their teams as soon as I drove
them into the corral, which was formed by the wagons. I rode around what
I supposed to be all the herd, but in rounding them up before reaching
the wagons, I discovered that there were a number of them missing. I
then made a circle, leaving the ones I had herded together. I had not
traveled very far when I struck the trail of the missing oxen; it being
very plain, I could ride my horse on a gallop and keep track of it.


I had not traveled more than a mile when I discovered the tracks of
Indian ponies. I then knew the Indians had driven off my oxen. I thought
of the fact that I was unarmed, not thinking it necessary to take my gun
when I left the wagons, as I only expected to go a few hundred yards. We
had not yet reached the portion of the territory where we would expect
to meet hostile Indians, so I went ahead on the trail, thinking it was
some half-friendly ones that had driven my oxen away, as they sometimes
did, in order to get a fee for finding and bringing them back again.

I expected to overtake them at any moment, for the trail looked very
fresh, as though they were only a short distance ahead of me. So on and
on I went, galloping my horse most of the time, until I had gone about
twelve miles from my camp. I passed through a skirt of timber that
divided one portion of the open prairie from the other, and there
overtook thirty-four head of my oxen resting from their travel.

About sixty yards to the east of the cattle were six painted Indian
braves, who had dismounted from their horses, each one leaning against
his horse, with his right hand resting upon his saddle, their guns being
in their left. I came upon them suddenly, the timber preventing them
from seeing me until I was within a few rods of them. I threw up my
hand, went in a lope around my oxen, giving some hideous yells, and told
the cattle they could go back to the wagons on the trail they had come.
They at once heeded me and started. I never saw six meaner or more
surprised looking men than those six braves were, for I think they
thought I had an armed party just behind me, or I would not have acted
so courageously as I did. So I followed my cattle, who were ready to
take their way back, and left the six savages standing in dismay. The
oxen and myself were soon out of sight in the forest, and that is the
last I saw of the six braves who had been sent out by their chief the
night before to steal the oxen.

Very soon after I got through the timber and into the prairie again I
met, from time to time, one or two Indians trotting along on their
ponies, following the trail that the cattle made when their comrades
drove them off. When within a short distance of the herd they would
leave the trail and leave plenty of space to the cattle, fall in behind
me, and trot on toward the six braves I had left. I will say here that I
began to feel very much elated over my success in capturing my cattle
from six armed savages, and being given the right-of-way by other
parties also armed. But I did not have to travel very far under the
pleasant reflection that I was a hero; when I was about half-way back to
the wagons I looked ahead about half-a-mile and saw a large body of
Indians, comprising some twenty-five warriors, who proved to be under
the command of their chief, armed and coming toward me. I then began to
feel a little smaller than I had a few minutes previous, for I was
entirely unarmed, and even had I been armed what could I have done with
twenty-five armed savages?

My fears were very soon realized, for when they arrived within a few
hundred yards of me and the chief saw me returning with the cattle he
had sent his braves to drive off, he commanded his men to make a descent
upon me, and he undertook the job of leading them. They raised a hideous
yell and started toward me at the top of their horses' speed. If my oxen
had not been driven so far and become to some extent tired, I would have
had a royal stampede. The animals only ran a few hundred yards until I
succeeded in holding them up. By this time the Indians had reached me
and my cattle. The braves surrounded the cattle, and the chief came at
the top of his horse's speed directly toward me, with his gun drawn up
in striking attitude. Of coarse I did not allow him to get in reaching
distance. I turned my horse and put spurs to him; he was a splendid
animal and it was a comparatively easy matter for me to keep out of the
reach of the vicious chief, who did not want to kill me, but desired to
scare me, or cause me to run away and leave my herd, or disable me so I
could not follow him and his band if they attempted to take the cattle.

This chasing me off for some distance was repeated three times, I
returning in close proximity to where his braves surrounded the cattle
on every side, some on foot holding their ponies, others on horseback.
Those who had alighted were dancing and yelling at the tops of their
voices. The third time I returned to where the chief and one of his
braves, armed with bow and arrows, were sitting on their horses, some
distance from the cattle and in line between me and the group of braves.
When I got within thirty or forty yards of him he beckoned me to come to
him, for all the communication we had was carried on by means of signs;
I did not speak their language nor they mine. I rode cautiously up side
by side, a short distance from the chief, with our horses' heads in the
same direction. When I had fairly stopped to see what he was going to
do, his brave who was on the opposite side from me slid off his horse,
ran under the neck of the chief's, and made a lunge to catch the bridle
of my horse. His sudden appearance caused the animal to jump so quick
and far that he had just missed getting hold of the rein. Had he
succeeded in the attempt they would have taken my horse and oxen and
cleared out, leaving me standing on the prairie. When he found he had
failed in his attempt, he returned to his horse, mounted, and he and the
chief rode slowly toward me, for I had reined up my horse when I found I
was out of reach. I sat still to see what their next maneuver would be.
The brave changed from the left of the chief to the right as they came
slowly toward me. When they got within a few feet of me, with the heads
of our horses in the same direction, they reined up their ponies and
the brave suddenly drew his bow at full bend, with a sharp-pointed steel
in the end of the arrow. He aimed at my heart with the most murderous,
vindictive, and devilish look on his face and from his eyes that I ever
saw portrayed on any living face before or since. Of course there was no
time for doing anything but to keep my eye steadfast on his. To show the
influence of the mind over the body, while he was pointing the arrow at
me I felt a place as large as the palm of my hand cramping where the
arrow would have struck me had he shot. While in this position he
pronounced the word "say" with all the force he could summon. I did not
at that time understand what he meant. The chief relieved my suspense by
holding up his ten fingers and pointing to the oxen. I then understood
that if I gave him ten of my animals he would not put the dart through
me. I felt that I could not spare that number and move on with my train
to its destination, and in a country where I had not the opportunity of
obtaining others, so I refused. He then threw up five fingers and
motioned to the cattle. Again I shook my head. He then motioned me to
say how many I would give, and I held up one finger. The moment I did so
he gave the word of command to his braves, who were still dancing and
screaming round the cattle, and they, whirling into line, selected one
of the animals so quickly that one had hardly time to think, and left
thirty-three of the oxen and myself standing in the prairie. I had held
them there so long, refusing to let them go without following them, I
think they were afraid some of my party would overtake me. There was no
danger of that had they only known it, for on my return I found all my
men at the wagons wondering what had become of me. I had left the camp
at daylight and it was after noon when I returned.

In conclusion, I will say that never at any time in my life, and I have
encountered a great many dangers, have I felt so small and helpless as
upon this occasion, being surrounded by twenty-five or thirty armed
savages and with whom I could communicate only by signs. To surrender
the animals to them was financial ruin, and to stay with them was
hazarding my life and receiving the grossest abuse and insults. The
effect of passing through this ordeal, on my mind, was that I became so
reduced in stature, I felt as if I was no larger than my thumb, a
hummingbird or a mouse; all three passed through my mind, and I actually
looked at myself to see if it was possible I was so small.

No one can tell, until he has been overpowered by hostile savages, how
small he will become in his own estimation. However, when they left me,
I at once came back to my natural size and felt as if a great weight had
been lifted from me.

Although the Indians were nothing more nor less than specimens of
nature's sons, without any education whatever of a literary nature, they
were very shrewd and quick to see and take up an insult. They were
remarkable for reading faces, and although they were not able to
understand one word of English, they could tell when looking at a white
man and his comrades when in conversation about them, almost precisely
what they were saying by the shadows that would pass over their faces,
and by the nodding of heads and movement of hands or shoulders, for the
reason that they talked with each other and the different tribes that
they would meet by signs, and it was done generally by the movement of
the hands.

They had but few vices, in fact might say almost none outside of their
religious teachings, which allowed them to steal horses and fur skins,
and sometimes take the lives of enemies or opposing tribes. Persons who
were not thoroughly acquainted with Indian character and life might
wonder why there were so many different tribes--or bands, as they were
sometimes called--and if it could be there were so many nationalities
among them. This is accounted for solely and truly upon the fact that
when a tribe grew to a certain number it became a necessity in nature
for them to divide, which would form two bands or tribes and at that
point of time and condition it became necessary for the one leaving the
main tribe to have a name to designate themselves from the family that
they had of necessity parted from, for as soon as a tribe reached such a
proportion in numbers that it was inconvenient for them to rendezvous at
some given point easy of access, their necessities in such cases
demanded a new deal or different arrangements; hence the different names
by which tribes were called.

These tribes differed in their methods of living according to the
conditions with which they were surrounded. Indians who lived along the
Atlantic Coast and made their living from fishing, as well as from
hunting, were very different from the Indians of the plains and Rocky
Mountain regions, who live almost solely upon buffalo and other
varieties of game that they were able to secure.

The Indians from the Atlantic and Mississippi valleys were more
dangerous, as a rule, when they came into a combat with white soldiers,
than were the Indians of the plains and Rockies. The Shawnee and
Delaware Indian braves a hundred years ago, when my grandfather was an
Indian fighter in Kentucky, were considered equal to any white soldiers
and proved themselves in battle to be so. Their mode of warfare,
however, was not on horseback, as was the mode of warfare with the
Indians of the plains. They were "still" hunters, as they might be
called, and when they met with white men in battle array, would get
behind trees, if possible, as a protection, and remain and fight to the
bitter end. When these tribes became overpowered, it was easy, compared
with the Indians of the plains, to bring them under some of the
conditions of civilization; therefore the Cherokees, Seminoles,
Chickasaws, Choctaws, Shawnees, Delawares, Wyandottes, Kickapoos, Sacs,
Foxes, the Creeks, and many others whose names I can not now recall,
have become somewhat civilized, and many of them semi-civilized tribes,
but the Indians of the plains and Rocky Mountain regions have been very
slow to accept what we term civilization. They seem somewhat like the
buffalo and other wild animals that we have never been able to
domesticate. It looks to one like myself that has known them for so many
years, that before they are civilized they will become almost
exterminated; that is to say that civilized life does not agree with
them, and they die from causes and conditions that such life compels
them to exist under, and in my opinion the day will come when there will
be few, if any, in the near future, left of the tribes that were known
to belong to the territory west of the Mississippi River and extending
to the Pacific Coast. There was often among the wildest tribes of
America many good traits. If they found you hungry and alone and in
distress, as a rule they would take care of you, giving you the very
best they had, and never with a view of charging you for their kindness.
If they had a grudge against the white race for some misdemeanor some
white man may have committed, they might kill you in retaliation. For
this reason white men always felt, when they were among them, that their
safety depended largely upon how the tribe had been treated by some
other white man, or party of white men. As far as I know, throughout the
entire savage tribes retaliation is one of the laws by which they are
governed. The women, as a rule, were very generous and kind-hearted,
and I know of one case where a friend of mine, Judge Brown of Pettis
County, Mo., had his life saved and his property restored to him through
the instrumentality of an Indian woman. The Indians were at that time
quite hostile toward the whites, and had held council and determined to
kill him, as they had him a prisoner and at their mercy. This woman
seemed to be one of great influence in the tribe, and when the braves
held their council and decided to take his life and property, she rose
to her feet and plead for the life of my friend. Of course he could not
understand a word she said, but he saw in her face a benevolence and
kindness that gave him heart, for he had about despaired of ever living
another hour. From the way in which she looked, talked, and gestured, he
felt certain that she was assuming his cause, and he in relating the
circumstances to me and others said he never saw a greater heroine in
the appearance and conduct of any woman in his life. Of course this he
had to judge largely of from appearances, as the Indians judge of the
white people that I before alluded to.



Everything worked along smoothly on my westward way, after my adventure
with the Indians, until I reached Walnut Creek, at the Big Bend of the
Arkansas River. At that point the buffalo, running past my herd of oxen
in the night, scattered them, part running with the buffalo and crossing
the river where it was very high, it being the season of the year when
the channel was full of water, from the melting of the snow in the
mountains from which it received its waters. The next morning, as
before, at the One Hundred and Ten, I found a portion of my herd
missing, but not so many this time as to prevent me from traveling. I
had the teams hitched up, some of them being a yoke of oxen minus, but
sufficient remained to move the wagons, and I started my assistant, Mr.
Samuel Poteet, one of the most faithful of my men, on the road with the
teams, and I took my extra man to hunt for the missing oxen. We crossed
the river where it was almost at swimming point and at the place where
the buffalo had crossed the night before, for we had followed their
trail for several miles. After losing the trail, for they had so
scattered we could not tell which trail to take, we wandered around for
a time in the open prairie, expecting Indians to appear at any moment;
but in that we were happily disappointed. I finally found my cattle all
standing in a huddle near a pond. We soon surrounded them and started
driving them to the river, crossed them and reached the road, following
the train, until we overtook it a little before sundown that evening.
From that point there was nothing to trouble or disturb our movements
until we reached the Wagon Mounds, beyond the borders of New Mexico, now
a station upon the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé Railroad. There we came
upon the ruins of a stage-coach which had been burned; the bones and
skeletons of some of the horses that drew it, as well as the bones of
the party of ten men who were murdered outright by the Indians. Not one
escaped to tell the story, and they were, I think, a party of ten as
brave men as could be found anywhere. Whether there were any Indians
killed while they were massacring this party is not known, for it was
some few days before the news of the affair was known, as there was
little travel over the road at that season of the year.

This party had passed me on the road some weeks before, and being able
to travel three times as far per day as I could, had reached the point
of their fate several weeks before, so we could see nothing but the
bones the wolves had scratched out of the ground where they had been
buried. In fact there was nothing to bury when we found them. The wolves
would not even let them lie at rest. It seemed there was no flesh the
wolves could get hold of they were so fond of as the flesh of an
American or white man, and, strange to say, they would not eat a Mexican
at all. It frequently happened that when the Indians killed a party on
the Santa Fé Road there were both Mexicans and Americans left dead upon
the same spot. When found the bodies of the Americans would invariably
be eaten, and the bodies of the Mexicans lying intact without any
interference at all.

There were various speculations with travelers along that road as to why
this was so. Some thought it was because the Mexicans were so saturated
with red pepper, they making that a part of their diet. Others thought
it was because they were such inveterate smokers and were always
smoking cigarettes. I have no suggestions to make on the subject any
further than to say such was a fact, and there are many American boys
to-day who would not be eaten by wolves, so impregnated are they with

After passing this gloomy spot at the Wagon Mounds, which almost struck
terror to our hearts to see the bones of our fellow-men who had been
swept away by the hand of the savages, without a moment's warning, we
pursued our way to Santa Fé, N. M., and delivered my freight to the
merchants. They paid me the cash, $13,000 in silver--Mexican
dollars--for freighting their goods to that point, a distance of 800
miles from the place of loading at Kansas City, Mo. I returned home
without any further drawbacks or molestations on that trip.

On arriving home I found that Maj. E. A. Ogden of Fort Leavenworth
desired to send a load of Government freight to Fort Mann, 400 miles
west on the same road I had just traveled over, at about the point on
the Arkansas River where Fort Dodge now stands. I agreed with him on
terms at once, and loaded my wagons for that point. Lieutenant Heath of
the United States Army was in command of the little post at Fort Mann. I
arrived in good time, with everything in good order, and when the
Government freights were unloaded he expressed a desire that I should
take my entire train and go south about twenty-five miles, where there
was some large timber growing near a stream called Cottonwood, for the
purpose of bringing him a lot of saw-logs to make lumber for the
building of his post. A more gentlemanly or clever man I never met in
the United States Army or out of it--thoroughly correct in his dealings,
and kind and courteous as could be. I made the trip and brought him a
fine lot of cottonwood and walnut saw-logs, for these were the only
kinds of timber that grew along the stream, unloaded them at his camp
and returned home without losing any men or animals. The men were all in
fine health and good spirits, as men generally are when everything moves
successfully in their business, and particularly a business which hangs
upon so many contingencies as our trips across the plains did.

In the year 1851 I again crossed the plains with a full outfit of
twenty-five wagons and teams. This trip was a complete success; we met
with no molestations, and returned home without the loss of any animals,
but, owing to the cholera prevailing to some extent among the men who
were on the plains, I lost two men by that disease. Several would have
died, perhaps, but for the fact that I had provided myself with the
proper remedies before leaving Kansas City. In 1852 I corraled my
wagons, sold my oxen to California emigrants, and did no more work upon
the plains that year. In 1853 I bought a new supply of work-cattle and
again loaded my wagons at Kansas City for Santa Fé, N. M., as I had
previously been doing. I was very successful in my operations that year,
meeting with no loss of men and no animals worth mentioning. I also made
a second trip that year from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Union, in New
Mexico, returning to my home near Westport, Mo., late in November.
During the year 1854 I also went upon the plains as a freighter,
changing my business from freighting for the merchants in New Mexico to
carrying United States Government freights. At this time I added to my
transportation, making 100 wagons and teams for that year, divided into
four trains. Everything moved along this year in a most prosperous way,
without loss of life among my men, but I lost a great many of my
work-cattle on account of the Texas fever. The loss was not so great,
however, as to impede my traveling. The Government officers with whom I
came in contact at either end of the route were well pleased with my
way of doing business as a freighter, for everything was done in the
most prompt and business-like manner.

In 1855 W. H. Russell of Lexington, Mo., and I formed a partnership
under the name and style of Majors & Russell. That year we carried all
the Government freight that had to be sent from Fort Leavenworth to the
different posts or forts. The cholera prevailed among our men that year.
Not more than two or three died, however, but quite a delay and
additional expense were caused on account of this dire disease among our
teamsters, with a train load of freight for Fort Riley. This was in
June, and the train was almost deserted. Another train was entirely
deserted, the sick men being taken to some of the farmers in the
neighborhood, the well ones leaving for their homes, our oxen scattering
and going toward almost every point of the compass. It was not long,
however, until we got straightened again, and the train started for its

Not long after this Maj. A. E. Ogden, the United States quartermaster at
Fort Leavenworth, was taken with the cholera, and died at Fort Riley. A
more honest, straightforward, and Christian gentleman could not be found
in any army, or out of it. He had more excellent qualities than are
generally allotted to man, and his death was much mourned by all who had
the pleasure of his acquaintance. He left a very estimable wife and
several children to mourn his death.

After the cholera disappeared that year, the freighting business moved
along nicely and resulted in a prosperous year's work, after all the
drawbacks in the early part of the season.

We also did a large business in freighting in 1856. I think that year we
had about three hundred to three hundred and fifty wagons and teams at
work, and our profits for 1855 and 1856 footed up about three hundred
thousand dollars. This sum included our wagons, oxen, and other
freighting and transportation outfits, valuing them at what we thought
they would bring the beginning of the freighting season the next year.

In 1857 the Government extended the contract to Majors & Russell for one
year longer, and it was during this year the United States Government
determined to send an army to Utah to curtail the power that Brigham
Young was extending over the destiny of that country; many complaints
having reached Washington through the Government officials who had been
sent to the Territory to preside as judges in the United States Courts.
This resulted in a very great increase of transportation that year, and
great difficulties were encountered, to begin with, which required quite
an increase in the facilities for transportation, which had to be very
hurriedly brought together. Before all the Government freight reached
Fort Leavenworth, it became too late for trains to reach the
headquarters of the army before cold weather set in, in the high
altitude of Fort Bridger and that portion of the country where the army
was in winter quarters; therefore many of the animals perished on
account of having to be kept, under army orders, where grass and water
were sometimes scarce, and they suffered more or less from severe cold
weather. The result was great loss of the work-animals and an entire
loss of the previous two years' profits.

A party of Mormons, under command of Col. Lott Smith, had been sent out
by the Mormon authorities in the rear of Johnston's army to cut off his
supplies. They captured and burned three of our trains, two on the
Sandy, just east of Green River, and one on the west bank of Green
River. They gave the captain of each train the privilege of taking one
of his best wagons and teams and loading it with supplies, to return
home or back to the starting point. They committed no outrage whatever
toward the men, and, as soon as the captain of each train told them he
had all the food necessary to supply him to get back to the starting
point, they told him to abandon the train, and they were set on fire and
everything burned that was consumable. The captains of the trains, with
their teamsters, returned to the States in safety. The cattle were
driven off by the Mormons, and those that were not used for beef by the
hungry men were returned in the summer to the company after peace had
been made between the Mormons and the Government. The loss to the army
was about five hundred thousand pounds of Government supplies. This loss
put the army upon short rations for that winter and spring, until they
could be reached with supplies in the spring of 1858.

That spring, our firm, under the name of Russell, Majors & Waddell,
obtained a new contract from the United States Government to carry
Government freight to Utah for the years 1858-59. That year the
Government ordered an immense lot of freight, aggregating 16,000,000
pounds, most of which had to be taken to Utah. We had to increase the
transportation from three or four hundred wagons and teams we had
previously owned to 3,500 wagons and teams, and it required more than
forty thousand oxen to draw the supplies; we also employed over four
thousand men and about one thousand mules.

Our greatest drawback that year was occasioned by floods and heavy rains
upon the plains, which made our trains move tardily in the outset. We
succeeded admirably, however, considering the vast amount of material we
had to get together and organize, which we could not have done had we
not had so many years' experience, previous to this great event, in the
freighting enterprise; and especially was this so with me, for I had
had, previous to this, a great many years' experience in handling men
and teams, even before I crossed the plains ten years before. We
succeeded this year in carrying everything to the army in Utah, fifty
miles south of Salt Lake City, to Camp Floyd, the headquarters of Sidney
Johnston's command, a distance of 1,250 miles.

After unloading the wagons at Camp Floyd, they were taken to Salt Lake
City and placed as near as they could stand to each other in the suburbs
of the city, and covered many acres of ground, where they remained for
one year or more, when our agent sold them to the Mormon authorities for
$10 apiece, they having cost us at the manufacturers' $150 to $175
apiece. The Mormons used the iron about them for the manufacture of
nails. The oxen we sent to Skull Valley and other valleys near Camp
Floyd, known to be good winter quarters for cattle and mules. During the
year 1859, while our teams were at Camp Floyd we selected 3,500 head as
suitable to drive to California and put on the market, and they were
driven to Ruby Valley, in Nevada, where it was intended they should
remain, that being considered a favorable winter locality; and in the
spring of 1860 they were to be driven to California, the intention being
to let them graze on the wild oats and clover in the valleys of the
Sacramento, and convert them into beef-cattle when fully ready for the
market. A very few days after the herders reached the valley with them,
which was late in November, a snow-storm set in and continued more or
less severe, at intervals, until it covered the ground to such a depth
that it was impossible for the cattle to get a particle of subsistence,
and in less than forty days after the animals were turned out in the
valley they were lying in great heaps frozen and starved to death. Only
200 out of the 3,500 survived the storm. They were worth at the time
they were turned into the valley about $150,000, as they were a very
superior and select lot of oxen. This was the largest disaster we met
with during the years 1858 and 1859.

[Illustration: A ROUGH TRAIL.]

In 1857 the Indians attacked the herders who had charge of about one
thousand head on the Platte River, west of Fort Kearney, which is now
called Kearney City, in Nebraska, killing one of the herders and
scattering the cattle to the four winds. These were also a complete

We had very little trouble with the Indians in 1857, 1858, and 1859 in
any way, owing to the fact that Johnston's army, consisting of about
five thousand regulars, besides the teamsters, making in all about seven
thousand well-armed men, had passed through the country in 1857, and
they had seen such a vast army, with their artillery, that they were
completely intimidated, and stayed at a very respectful distance from
the road on which this vast number of wagons and teams traveled. Each
one of our wagons was drawn by six yoke, or twelve oxen, and contained
from five to six thousand pounds of freight, and there was but one wagon
to each team. The time had not yet come when, what was afterward
adopted, trail wagons were in use. This means two or three wagons lashed
together and drawn by one team. Twenty-five of our wagons and teams
formed what was called a train, and these trains were scattered along
the road at intervals of anywhere from two to three miles, and sometimes
eight to ten miles, and even greater distances, so as to keep out of the
way of each other.

The road, until we reached the South Pass, was over the finest line of
level country for traveling by wagons, with plenty of water and grass at
almost every step of the way. Crossing the South Platte at what was then
called Julesburg, and going across the divide to North Platte, at Ash
Hollow, we continued in the valley of the North Platte to the mouth of
the Sweetwater, and up that stream until we passed through the South
Pass. After passing that point it was somewhat more difficult to find
grass and water, but we were fortunate enough all along the road to get
sufficient subsistence out of nature for the sustenance of our animals,
and were not obliged to feed our oxen. They did the work allotted to
them, and gathered their own living at nights and noon-times.

In the fall of 1857 a report was sent by the engineers who were with
General Johnston's army at Fort Bridger, and who had crossed the plains
that year, to the Quartermaster's Department at Washington, stating it
was impossible to find subsistence along the road for the number of
animals it would require to transport the freight necessary for the
support of the army. General Jessup, who was then Quartermaster of the
United States Army at Washington, and as fine a gentleman as I ever met,
gave me this information, and asked me if it would deter me from
undertaking the transportation. I told him it would not, and that I
would be willing to give him my head for a football to have kicked in
Pennsylvania Avenue if I did not supply the army with every pound that
was necessary for its subsistence, provided the Government would pay me
to do it. We satisfied him after the first year's work had been done
that we could do even more than I assured him could be done.

There is no other road in the United States, nor in my opinion
elsewhere, of the same length, where such numbers of men and animals
could travel during the summer season as could over the thoroughfare
from the Missouri River up the Platte and its tributaries to the Rocky
Mountains. In fact, had it been necessary to go east from the Missouri
River, instead of west, it would have been impossible in the nature of
things to have done so, owing to the uneven surface of the country, the
water being in little deep ravines and, as a rule, in small quantities,
often muddy creeks to cross, at other times underbrush and timber that
the animals could have roamed into and disappeared, all of which would
have prevented progress had we started with such an enterprise east
instead of west. But the country west of the Missouri River for hundreds
of miles, so far as making roads for travel of large numbers of animals
is concerned, is as different from the east as it is possible for two
landscapes to be. The whole country from the west border of the
Missouri, Iowa, and Arkansas was thoroughly practical, before inhabited
by farmers, for carrying the very largest herds and organizations of
people on what one might term perfectly natural ground, often being able
to travel hundreds of miles toward the sunset without a man having to do
one hour's work in order to prepare the road for the heaviest wagons and

The road from Missouri to Santa Fé, N. M., up the Arkansas River, a
distance of 800 miles, was very much like the one up the Platte River,
and over which millions of pounds of merchandise were carried, and where
oxen almost invariably, but sometimes mules, did the work and subsisted
without a bite of any other food than that obtained from the grasses
that grew by the roadside.

The roads all running west from the Missouri River came up the valleys
of the Platte, Kansas, or Arkansas rivers, running directly from the
mountains to the Missouri River. These rivers had wide channels, low
banks, and sandy bottoms, into which a thousand animals could go at one
time, if necessary, for drink, and spread over the surface, so as not to
be in each other's way, and whatever disturbance they made in the water,
in the way of offal or anything of that kind, was soon overcome by the
filtering of the water through the sand, which kept it pure, and
thousands of men and animals could find purer water on account of these

Then again the first expedient in the way of fuel was what was called
buffalo chips, which was the offal from the buffalo after lying and
being dried by the sun; and, strange to say, the economy of nature was
such, in this particular, that the large number of work-animals left at
every camping-place fuel sufficient, after being dried by the sun, to
supply the necessities of the next caravan or party that traveled along.
In this way the fuel supply was inexhaustible while animals traveled and
fed upon the grasses.

This, however, did not apply to travel east of the Missouri River, as
the offal from the animals there soon became decomposed and was entirely
worthless for fuel purposes. This was altogether owing to the difference
in the grasses that grew west of the Missouri River on the plains and in
the Rocky Mountains and that which grew in the States east of the
Missouri. Thus the fuel supply was sufficient for the largest
organizations of people who, in those days, were traveling on the
plains. Armies, small and great, that found it necessary to cross the
plains, found sufficient supply of this fuel, and it seemed to be a
necessity supplied by nature on the vast open and untimbered plains
lying between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains, far beyond the
Canadian line to the north, without which it would have been practically
impossible to have crossed the plains with any degree of comfort, and in
cold weather would have been absolutely impossible.

The small groups of timber growing along the streams would soon have
been exhausted if used for fuel, and there would have been nothing to
supply those who came later.

History records no other instance of like nature, where an immense area
of country had the same necessity and where that necessity was supplied
in such a manner as on the vast plains west of the Missouri River. These
chips would lay for several years in perfect condition for fuel.



In this year a number of gentlemen made up a party and started for the
far West. During that fearful journey they were lost for three months in
the "Great American Desert," the region marked on the map as the
"unexplored region." General Fremont, with all the patronage of the
Government at his command, tried to cross this desert at several points,
but failed in every attempt. This desert is bounded by the Rocky
Mountains and Wasatch range on the east and the Sierra Nevada on the
west. From either side running streams sink near the base of the
mountains, and no water exists except alkali and the hot springs
impregnated with nitre.

The party arrived at Salt Lake late in the season of '49. It was thought
by the older members of the company to be too late to cross the Sierra
Nevada by the northern routes. No wagon had ever made the trip to the
Pacific Coast by way of the Spanish Trail from Santa Fé to the Pacific,
but it was determined to undertake this perilous journey. Captain Hunt,
commander of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War, agreed to pilot
the train through to Pueblo de los Angeles for the sum of $1,200. The
weather south being too warm for comfortable travel, the party remained
in Salt Lake City two months, leaving that place October 3, 1849. Upon
their arrival at Little Salt Lake, a few restless comrades, angry that
the party did not go through by the northern route, formed a band and
determined to cross the desert at all hazards, and thus save hundreds
of miles' travel via Los Angeles route. The sufferings they endured can
not be described.

The survivors have since been scattered through the country, and have
never come together since they separated at Santa Barbara, on the
Pacific, February 4, 1850, until the twenty-third anniversary of their
arrival was celebrated at the residence of Col. John B. Colton. The
following letter will explain:

    GALESBURG, ILL., January 12, 1872.

    DEAR SIR: You are invited to attend a reunion of the
    "Jayhawkers of '49," on the 5th day of February next at 10
    o'clock in the forenoon, at my house, to talk over old times
    and compare notes, after the lapse of twenty-three years from
    the time when the "Jayhawkers" crossed the "Great American

    In the event that you can not be present, will you write a
    letter immediately on receipt of this, to be read on that
    occasion, giving all the news and reminiscences that will be of
    interest to the old crowd?

    Yours fraternally,

A short sketch of the party's wanderings may not be amiss. On the 5th of
April, 1849, a large party of men, with oxen and wagons, started from
Galesburg, Ill., and vicinity for the then newly discovered gold-fields
of California. To distinguish their party from other parties who went
the same year, they jestingly took the name of "Jayhawkers," and that
name has clung to them through all the years that have come and gone.

They encountered no trouble until after leaving Little Salt Lake, when
taking the directions given them by Indian Walker and Ward--old
mountaineers, who gave them a diagram and told them they could save 500
miles to the mines in California by taking the route directed--the
Jayhawkers branched off from the main body. They found nothing as
represented, and became lost on the desert, wandering for months,
traversing the whole length of the Great American Desert, which Fremont,
with all the aid of the Government at his call, could not cross the
shortest way, and laid it down on the map as the "unexplored region."

They cut up their wagons on Silver Mountain and made of them
pack-saddles for their cattle. Here thirteen of their number branched
off, on New Year's day, taking what jerked beef they could carry, and
started due west over the mountains, which the main party could not do
on account of their cattle, but when they came to a mountain they took a
southerly course around it. Of these thirteen, but two lived to get
through, and they were found by ranch Indians in a helpless condition,
and brought in and cared for. They had cast lots and lived on each other
until but two remained. When questioned afterward in regard to their
trip, they burst into tears and could not talk of it.

The main body of Jayhawkers kept their cattle, for they were their only
hope; on these they lived, and the cattle lived on the bitter sage-brush
and grease-wood, except when they occasionally found an oasis with water
and a little grass upon it. The feet of the cattle were worn down until
the blood marked their every step. Then the boys wrapped their feet in
raw hides, as they did their own. Many died from exposure, hunger, and
thirst, and were buried in the drifting sands where they fell, while
those who were left moved on, weak and tottering, not knowing whose turn
would be next. But for their cattle, not a man could have lived through
that awful journey. They ate the hide, the blood, the refuse, and picked
the bones in camp, making jerked beef of the balance to take along with
them. People who are well fed, who have an abundance of the good things
of life, say: "I would not eat this; I would not eat that; I'd starve
first." They are not in a position to judge. Hunger swallows up every
other feeling, and man in a starving condition is as savage as a wild

[Illustration: ALEXANDER MAJORS.
JOHN B. COLTON.               W. F. CODY ("Buffalo Bill").]

After many desert wanderings and untold suffering, they at last struck a
low pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and emerged suddenly into the
Santa Clara Valley, which was covered with grass and wild oats and
flowers, with thousands of fat cattle feeding, a perfect paradise to
those famished skeletons of men. There were thirty-four of the party who
lived to reach that valley, and every one shed tears of joy at the sight
of the glorious vision spread before them and the suddenness of their

The boys shot five head of the cattle, and were eating the raw flesh and
fat when the ranch Indians, hearing the firing, came down with all the
shooting irons they could muster, but seeing the helpless condition of
the party, they rode back to headquarters and reported to Francisco, the
Spaniard who owned the ranch and cattle. He came down and invited them
to camp in a grove near his home, bade them welcome, and furnished the
party with meat, milk, grain, and everything they needed, and kept them
until they were recruited and able to go on their way. Verily, he was a
good Samaritan. They were strangers, and he took them in; hungry, and he
fed them; thirsty, and he gave them drink. In the grand summing up of
all things, may the noble Francisco be rewarded a thousandfold.

They reached the Santa Clara Valley the 4th of February, 1850, and on
that day each year they celebrate their deliverance by a reunion, where
in pleasant companionship and around the festive board they recount
reminiscences of the past, and live over again those scenes, when young
and hopeful, they lived and suffered together.

There are but eleven of the survivors of that party alive to-day, and
these are widely scattered east of the Rocky Mountains and on the
Pacific Slope. Some are old men, too feeble to travel, and can only be
present in spirit and by letter at the annual reunions. Gladly would
every Jayhawker welcome one and all of that band, bound together by ties
of suffering in a bond of brotherhood which naught but death can sever.

The names and residences of the original party are as follows:

  John B. Colton, Kansas City, Mo.
  Alonzo C. Clay, Galesburg, Ill.
  Capt. Asa Haines, Delong, Knox County, Ill., died March 29, 1889.
  Luther A. Richards, Beaver City, Neb.
  Charles B. Mecum, Perry, Greene County, Iowa.
  John W. Plummer, Toulon, Ill., died June 22, 1892.
  Sidney P. Edgerton, Blair, Neb., died January 31, 1880.
  Edward F. Bartholomew, Pueblo, Colo., died February 13, 1891.
  Urban P. Davidson, Derby P. O., Fremont County, Wyo.
  John Groscup, Cahto, Mendocino County, Cal.
  Thomas McGrew, died in 1866, in Willamette Valley, Ore.
  John Cole, died in Sonora, Cal., in 1852.
  John L. West, Coloma, Cal., since died.
  William B. Rude, drowned in the Colorado River, New Mexico, in 1862.
  L. Dow Stevens, San José, Cal.
  William Robinson, Maquon, Ill., died in the desert.
  ---- Harrison, unknown.
  Alexander Palmer, Knoxville, Ill., died at Slate Creek, Sierra County,
      Cal., in 1853.
  Aaron Larkin, Knoxville, Ill., died at Humboldt, Cal., in 1853.
  Marshall G. Edgerton, Galesburg, Ill., died in Montana Territory
      in 1855.
  William Isham, Rochester, N. Y., died in the desert.
  ---- Fish, Oscaloosa, Iowa, died in the desert.
  ---- Carter, Wisconsin, unknown.
  Harrison Frans, Baker City, Baker County, Ore.
  Capt. Edwin Doty, Naples, Santa Barbara County, Cal., died
      June 14, 1891.
  Bruin Byram, Knoxville, Ill., died in 1863.
  Thomas Shannon, Los Gatos, Santa Clara County, Cal.
  Rev. J. W. Brier, wife, and three small children, Lodi City,
      San Joaquin County, Cal.
  George Allen, Chico, Cal., died in 1876.
  Leander Woolsey, Oakland, Cal., died in 1884.
  Man from Oscaloosa, Iowa, name not remembered, died in California.
  Charles Clark, Henderson, Ill., died in 1863.
  ---- Gretzinger, Oscaloosa, Iowa, unknown.

A Frenchman, name unknown, became insane from starvation, wandered from
camp near the Sierra Nevada Mountains, captured by the Digger Indians,
and was rescued by a United States surveying party fifteen years after.

The following are to-day the sole survivors of the Jayhawk party
of 1849:

  John B. Colton, Kansas City, Mo.
  Alonzo G. Clay, Galesburg, Ill.
  Luther A. Richards, Beaver City, Neb.
  Charles B. Mecum, Perry, Iowa.
  Urban P. Davidson, Derby, Wyo.
  John Groscup, Cahto, Cal.
  L. Dow Stevens, San Jose, Cal.
  Rev. J. W. Brier and Mrs. J. W. Brier, Lodi City, Cal.
  Harrison Frans, Baker City, Ore.
  Thomas Shannon, Los Gatos, Cal.

The last reunion of the Jayhawkers was held at the home of Col. John B.
Colton of Kansas City, Mo., just forty-four years after the arrival of
the party upon the Pacific Slope.

Of the eleven survivors there were but four able to be present, but the
absent ones responded to their invitations with their photographs and
letters of good will.

Among the invited guests to meet these old heroes were Col. W. F. Cody
(Buffalo Bill), Col. Frank Hatton of the Washington _Post_, General Van
Vliet, Capt. E. D. Millet (an old ranger), and the writer, who wishes
the remnant of the little hero band may yet live to enjoy a score more
of such delightful meetings.



About September 1, 1848, on my way from Independence, Mo., to Santa Fé,
N. M., I met some of the soldiers of General Donaldson's regiment
returning from the Mexican War on the Hornather or dry route, lying
between the crossing of the Arkansas and Cimarron. It was about noon
when we met. I saw them a considerable distance away. They were on
horseback, and when they first appeared, the horses' legs looked to be
from fifteen to eighteen feet long, and the body of the horses and the
riders upon them presented a remarkable picture, apparently extending
into the air, rider and horse, forty-five to sixty feet high. This was
my first experience with mirage, and it was a marvel to me.

At the same time I could see beautiful clear lakes of water, apparently
not more than a mile away, with all the surroundings in the way of
bulrushes and other water vegetation common to the margin of lakes. I
would have been willing, at that time, to have staked almost anything
upon the fact that I was looking upon lakes of pure water. This was my
last experience of the kind until I was returning later on in the
season, when one forenoon, as my train was on the march, I beheld just
ahead the largest buffalo bull that I ever saw. I stopped the train to
keep from frightening the animal away, took the gun out of my wagon,
which was in front, and started off to get a shot at the immense fellow,
but when I had walked about eighty yards in his direction, I discovered
that it was nothing more nor less than a little coyote, which would not
have weighed more than thirty pounds upon the scales.

The person who imagines for a minute that there is nothing in the great
desert wastes of the Southwest but sand, cacti, and villainous reptiles
is deluded. It is one of the most common fallacies to write down these
barren places as devoid of beauty and usefulness. The rhymester who made
Robinson Crusoe exclaim, "Oh, solitude, where are the charms that sages
have seen in thy face?" never stood on a sand-dune or a pile of volcanic
rock in this Southwestern country just at the break of day or as the sun
went down, else the rhyme would never have been made to jingle.

To one who has never seen the famous mirages which Dame Nature paints
with a lavish hand upon the horizon that bounds an Arizona desert, it is
difficult to convey an intelligent portrait of these magnificent
phenomena. And one who has looked upon these incomparable transformation
scenes, the Titanic paintings formed by nature's curious slight-of-hand,
can never forget them. They form the memories of a lifetime.

Arizona is rich in mirage phenomena, which, owing to the peculiar
dryness of the atmosphere, are more vivid and of longer duration than in
other parts. The variety of subjects which from time to time have been
presented likewise gives them an unusual interest. Almost every one who
has lived in the Territory any length of time, and one who has merely
passed through, especially on the Southern Pacific Route, is familiar
with the common water mirage which appears at divers places along the
railroad. The most common section in which this phenomenon may be seen
is between Tucson and Red Rock, and through the entire stretch of the
Salton Basin from Ogilby to Indio.

Here in the early morning or in the late afternoon, if the atmospheric
conditions be right, lakes, river, and lagoons of water can be seen
from the train windows. Ofttimes the shimmering surface is dotted with
tiny islands, and the shadows of umbrageous foliage are plainly seen
reflected in the supposed water; yet an investigation shows nothing but
long rods of sand-drifts or saline deposits.

Animals as well as men are deceived by these freaks of the atmosphere.
Many instances are recorded where whole bands of cattle have rushed from
the grazing grounds across the hot parched plains in pursuit of the
constantly retreating water phantom, until they perish from exhaustion,
still in sight of running brooks and surging springs. Prior to the
advent of the railroad through this region, when overland passengers
passed by on the old Yuma road to San Diego, scores of adventurous
spirits perished in chasing this illusive phantom. It is said that one
entire company of soldiers was thus inveigled from the highway and
perished to a man.

One of the most interesting sights of this class is to be seen almost
any time of the year in Mohave County, down in the region of the Big
Sandy. Here for leagues upon leagues the ground is strewn with volcanic
matter and basalt. It is one of the hottest portions of the continent,
and except in the winter months it is almost unendurable by man or

At a point where the main road from the settlements on the Colorado to
Kingman turns toward the east, there are a number of volcanic buttes. At
these buttes just before sunrise the famous cantilever bridge which
spans the Colorado River near the Needles, seventy miles distant, is
plainly visible, together with the moving trains and crew. The train has
the appearance of being perhaps an eighth of a mile distant, and every
motion on board, the smoke, the escaping steam, are as natural and vivid
as though not a hundred yards away.

At this same point huge mountains are seen to lift themselves up bodily
and squat down again in the highway. Near these buttes, which are known
as the Evil Ones, away back in the sixties a small force of cavalry was
making its way from Fort Yuma to Fort Whipple. Owing to the extreme heat
during the day, and as a further precaution against the hostile Indians,
they were obliged to march at night, finding shelter in some mountain
cañon during the day.

Shortly after daybreak, as they were preparing to go into camp, a whole
legion of painted devils appeared on their front and hardly a quarter of
a mile distant. The troops were thrown into confusion, and an order was
immediately given to break ranks, and every man concealed himself behind
the rocks, awaiting the attack which all felt must necessarily end in

For some minutes the Indians were seen to parley and gesticulate with
each other, but they gave no signs of having noticed their hereditary
foe. The unhappy troopers, however, were not kept in suspense long. As
the great red disk of the day began to mount slowly up over the
adjoining mountains, the redskins vanished as noiselessly and as
suddenly as they had appeared.

Used as they were to treachery, and fearing some uncanny trick, the
soldiers maintained their position throughout the long hot day, nor did
they attempt to move until late in the night. Some weeks later it was
learned from captives that on that very morning a band of nearly one
thousand Chinhuevas and Wallapais were lying in wait for this same
command but ninety miles up the river, expecting the soldiers by that

The most remarkable of all the mirages which have been witnessed in
Arizona, at least by white man's eyes, was seen some years ago by an
entire train-load of passengers on the Southern Pacific Railroad, near
the small eating station of Maricopa, thirty-five miles below Phoenix.
The train was due at the eating station at 6.30 A. M.

At 6.15 o'clock it stopped at a small water-tank a few miles east.
During this stop the trainmen and such of the passengers as were awake
were amazed to see spring out of the ground on the sky a magnificent
city. The buildings were of the old Spanish and Morisco architecture,
and were mostly adobe. Spacious court-yards lay before the astonished
lookers-on, filled with all varieties of tropical fruits and vegetation.

Men and women clothed in the picturesque garbs of Old Spain were seen
hurrying along the narrow, irregular streets to the principal edifice,
which had the appearance of a church. Had the astonished spectators been
picked up bodily and landed in one of the provincial towns of Seville or
Andalusia, they would not have seen a more dazzling array of stately
senoras and laughing black-eyed _muchachas_ of the land of forever

But the vision lasted much less time than it takes to write of the
strange occurrence. It vanished as mysteriously as it came. Of course
all of the hysterical women fainted. That is one of woman's
prerogatives, in lieu of an explanation.

This phenomenon remained unsolved for two or three years. About that
time, after the mirage was seen, a young civil engineer who was among
the witnesses was engaged on the Gulf coast survey from the headwaters
below Yuma to Guaymas. In the course of his labors he found himself at
the old Mexican pueblo of Altar, and there he saw the original of the
picture in the sky seen three years before near Maricopa Station. The
distance, as a buzzard flies, from Maricopa to Altar is more than a
hundred miles.

The native tribes are very superstitious concerning the mirage, and
when one is once observed, that locality receives a wide berth in the

In the secluded Jim-Jam Valley of the San Bernardino Mountains there are
the most marvelous mirages known to the world. The wonderful mirages of
the Mojave Desert have been talked about a great deal, and they are
entitled to all the prominence they have had. But those of the Jim-Jam
Valley are far more wonderful than these.

It is called Jim-Jam Valley because of the strange things seen there,
and I defy any man, however sound of mind he may be, to go in there and
not think he has "got 'em" before he gets out.

This valley is about twenty-five miles long by fifteen miles wide. It is
uninhabited. It is bordered by the main San Bernardino range on the
east, and by a spur of the Sierra Magdalenas on the west. There is no
well-defined trail through the heart of it. The valley is a desert. The
surrounding mountains are terribly serrated and cut up. The peaks are
jagged. Altogether the surroundings are weird and forbidding.

Leaving Fisk's ranch on the trail at the foot of the Sierra Magdalenas,
you climb an easy grade to Dead Man's Pass, the entrance to the valley.

Go in, and pretty soon you see lakes, and running rivers, and green
borders, and flying water-fowl. Willows spring up here and there, and in
the distance you see water-lilies.

What you behold contrasts finely with the rugged mountains, and you are
charmed with it, and go on thinking you have struck an earthly paradise.
Indian camps appear in view, and little oarsmen propel fantastic crafts
upon the waters. Advancing still farther, dimly outlined forms may be
seen, and the pantomime reminds you of a strange hobgoblin dance.

Sometimes a storm brews in the valley, and then the scene is all the
more terrible. Forked lightning blazes about, and strange, uncouth
animals, differing from any you have ever read about, are to be seen

These phenomena are seen for a stretch of about fifteen miles, up and
down the middle of the valley principally, and they have been viewed by
a great many people. They can not understand why the forms of the
mirage, if such it may be called, are so much more strange there than on
the Mojave Desert.

Everybody is in awe of the valley, and there are mighty few men, however
nervy they may be ordinarily, who care to go there a second time.



In the winter of 1858, while my partner, Mr. W. H. Russell, John S.
Jones, a citizen of Pettis County, Mo., and myself were all in
Washington, D. C., which was about the time that the Pike's Peak
excitement was at its highest pitch, Messrs. Jones and Russell conceived
the idea (I do not know from which one it emanated), and concluded to
put a line of daily coaches in operation between the Missouri River and
Denver City, when Denver was but a few months old. They came to me with
the proposition to take hold of the enterprise with them.

I told them I could not consent to do so, for it would be impossible to
make such a venture, at such an early period of development of this
country, a paying institution, and urgently advised them to let the
enterprise alone, for the above stated reasons. They, however, paid no
attention to my protest, and went forward with their plans, bought 1,000
fine Kentucky mules and a sufficient number of Concord coaches to supply
a daily coach each way between the Missouri River and Denver. At that
time Leavenworth was the starting point on the Missouri. A few months
later, however, they made Atchison the eastern terminus of the line and
Denver the western.

They bought their mules and coaches on credit, giving their notes,
payable in ninety days; sent men out to establish a station every ten to
fifteen miles from Leavenworth due west, going up the Smoky Hill fork of
the Kansas River, through the Territory of Kansas, and direct to

The line was organized, stations built and put in running shape in
remarkably quick time.

They made their daily trips in six days, traveling about one hundred
miles every twenty-four hours. The first stage ran into Denver on May
17, 1859. It was looked upon as a great success, so far as putting the
enterprise in good shape was concerned, but when the ninety days expired
and the notes fell due they were unable to meet them. And in spite of my
protests in the commencement of the organization as against having
anything to do with it, it became necessary for Russell, Majors &
Waddell to meet the obligation that Jones & Russell had entered into in
organizing and putting the stock on the line. To save our partner we had
to pay the debts of the concern and take the mules and coaches, or, in
other words, all the paraphernalia of the line, to secure us for the
money we had advanced.

The institution then having become the property of Russell, Majors &
Waddell, we continued to run it daily. A few months after that, we
bought out the semi-monthly line of Hockaday & Liggett, that was running
from St. Joseph, Mo., to Salt Lake City, thinking that by blending the
two lines we might bring the business up to where it would pay expenses,
if nothing more.

This we failed in, for the lines, even after being blended, did not
nearly meet expenses. Messrs. Hockaday & Liggett had a few stages,
light, cheap vehicles, and but a few mules, and 110 stations along the
route. They traveled the same team for several hundreds of miles before
changing, stopping every few hours and turning them loose to graze, and
then hitching them up again and going along.

I made a trip in the fall of 1858 from St. Joseph, Mo., to Salt Lake
City in their coaches. It was twenty-one days from the time I left St.
Joseph until I reached Salt Lake, traveling at short intervals day and
night. As soon as we bought them out we built good stations and stables
every ten to fifteen miles all the way from Missouri to Salt Lake, and
supplied them with hay and grain for the horses and provisions for the
men, so they would only have to drive a team from one station to the
next, changing at every station.

Instead of our schedule time being twenty-two days, as it was with
Hockaday & Liggett, and running two per month, we ran a stage each way
every day and made the schedule time ten days, a distance of 1,200
miles. We continued running this line from the summer of 1859 until
March, 1862, when it fell into the hands of Ben Holliday. From the
summer of 1859 to 1862 the line was run from Atchison to Fort Kearney
and from Fort Kearney to Fort Laramie, up the Sweet Water route and
South Pass, and on to Salt Lake City.

This is the route also run by the Pony Express, each pony starting from
St. Joseph instead of Atchison, Kan., from which the stages started. We
had on this line about one thousand Kentucky mules and 300 smaller-sized
mules to run on through the mountain portion of the line, and a large
number of Concord coaches. It was as fine a line, considering the mules,
coaches, drivers, and general outfitting, perhaps, as was ever organized
in this or any other country, from the beginning.

And it was very fortunate for the Government and the people that such a
line was organized and in perfect running condition on the middle route
when the late war commenced, as it would have been impossible to carry
mails on the route previously patronized by the Government, which ran
from San Francisco via Los Angeles, El Paso, Fort Smith, and St. Louis,
for the Southern people would have interfered with it, and would not
have allowed it to run through that portion of the country during the

It turned out that Senator Gwin's original idea with reference to
running a pony express from the Missouri River to Sacramento to prove
the practicability of that route at all seasons of the year was well
taken, and the stage line as well as the pony proved to be of vital
importance in carrying the mails and Government dispatches.

It so transpired that the firm of Russell, Majors & Waddell had to pay
the fiddler, or the entire expense of organizing both the stage line and
the pony express, at a loss, as it turned out, of hundreds of thousands
of dollars. After the United States mail was given to this line it
became a paying institution, but it went into the hands of Holliday just
before the first quarterly payment of $100,000 was made. The Government
paid $800,000 a year for carrying the mails from San Francisco to
Missouri, made in quarterly payments.

The part of the line that Russell, Majors & Waddell handled received
$400,000, and Butterfield & Co. received $400,000 for carrying the mails
from Salt Lake to California. During the war there was a vast amount of
business, both in express and passenger traveling, and it was the only
available practicable line of communication between California and the
States east of the Rocky Mountains.



During the winter of 1858-59 the public generally, throughout the United
States, began to give publicity to a great gold discovery reported to
have been made in the Pike's Peak region of the Rocky Mountains.

From week to week, as time passed, more extended accounts were given,
until the reports became fabulous.

The discovery was reported to have been made in Cherry Creek, at or near
its junction with the South Platte River, and one of the newspapers at
the time, published in Cleveland, Ohio, came out, giving a cut which was
claimed to be a map of the country. Pike's Peak was given as the central
figure. The South Fork of the Platte River was represented as flowing
out from the mountain near its base, and Cherry Creek as coming out of a
gorge in the mountain's side, and forming a junction with the Platte in
the low lands, at which point Denver was designated.

Reports went so far as to state that gold was visible in the sands of
the creek-bed, and that the banks would pay from grass roots to bed

People became wild with excitement, and a stampede to Pike's Peak
appeared inevitable.

The great question with the excited people was as to the shortest,
cheapest, and quickest way to get to the country, with little thought of
personal safety or comfort, or as to how they should get back in the
event of failure. But the problem was soon believed to have been solved
to the satisfaction of all concerned.

A brilliant idea took possession of the fertile brain of an energetic
Buckeye citizen, and a plan was conceived and to an extent put in
execution. A canal-boat which had been converted into a steam tug was
secured, not only for the purpose of transporting the multitudes from
Cleveland to Denver, but to transport the millions of treasures back to
civilization, or, as it was then put, "to God's country." Passengers
were advertised for at $100 per head; the route given as follows: From
Cleveland, Ohio, via the lake to Chicago, thence via Illinois Canal and
River to the Mississippi River, then to the mouth of the Missouri River
and up the Missouri to the mouth of the Platte River, and, thence up the
Platte to Denver, and it was with pride that this boat was advertised as
the first to form a line of steamers to regularly navigate the last
named stream.

Of course this trip was never made, for in fact, at certain seasons of
the year, it would be difficult to float a two-inch plank down the river
from Denver to the Missouri, and yet this is but illustrative of the
hundreds of visionary, crude and novel plans conceived and adopted by
the thousands of so-called Pike's Peakers who swarmed the plains between
Denver and the border during the early part of 1859.

Having caught the fever, and there being no remedy for the disease equal
to the gold hunter's experience, horses and wagon were secured and, with
traveling companions, the trip was made by land. Many novel experiences
to the participants occurred during that trip.

At Leavenworth one of my companions concluded to economize, which he did
by piloting six yoke of oxen across the plains for me. He drove into
Denver in the morning and drove out of it in the evening of the same
day, fully convinced (as he himself stated) that all reports of the
country were either humbugs or greatly exaggerated, and that he had seen
and knew all that was worth seeing and knowing of that land. I
suggested the advisability of further investigation before moving on,
but not being favorable to delay, and suiting himself to his means, he
secured an ox and cart that had been brought in from the Red River of
the North, and loading it with all necessary supplies headed for Denver,
with a determination so aptly and forcibly expressed in the usual motto,
"Pike's Peak or bust." All went well until he reached the Little Blue
River in Kansas, when he "busted," or at least the cart did, and the
result was the location of a ranch on that stream and an end to his
westward career.

Thus Kansas is largely indebted for her early and rapid settlement to
the discovery of gold in Colorado, and to the misfortunes of many of the
Pike's Peakers who, for some cause, failed to reach the end desired, and
who were thus compelled to stop and become settlers of that now great

Shortly before the time of which I write, June, 1859, Horace Greeley
passed through Leavenworth en route for Denver, and thousands of people
were to be found in every principal town and city, from St. Louis to
Council Bluffs (there was no Omaha at that time), who were awaiting his
report, which was daily expected, and for once, at least, the New York
_Tribune_ was in demand on the borders. I may say here that Horace
Greeley was _dead-headed_ through to California.

In the early part of July came a favorable report in the _Tribune_, and
at that time a shipment of gold was made from Denver and put on
exhibition in one of the banks at Leavenworth.

Thus new life was given to the immigration movement, and soon the towns
along the border were largely relieved of their floating population, and
the plains at once became alive with a moving, struggling mass of
humanity, moving westward in the mad rush for the gold-fields of Pike's

Among my friends an association was formed and the following party
organized, viz.: Alfred H. Miles and his wife, their son George T., and
two daughters, Fannie D. and Emma C. Miles, with William McLelland and
P. A. Simmons.

They outfitted with two wagons, four yoke of oxen, two saddle-mules, one
cow, and all supplies presumed to be sufficient for at least one year.
On the first day of August, 1859, they moved out from Leavenworth, happy
and full of "great expectations" for the future. Forty-nine days were
spent in making the drive, and then they landed in Denver on the
eighteenth day of the following month. And here let me say, that I
believe this party of seven proved an exception to the rule, in this,
that every member of it became a permanent settler, and for the last
thirty-three years they have been actively connected with, and
identified in, the various departments of life and business, both public
and private.

All are yet living and residents of the State, except Mrs. Miles, who
recently passed to a higher life, respected and loved by all who knew
her; and I here venture the opinion that no other party of emigrants in
this country, of equal number, can show a better record.

Many novel events occurred on this trip also, but to mention all the new
and novel experiences incident to an expedition of that kind would
require more than the allotted space for a chapter. I will, therefore,
confine the account to one incident alone which will make manifest the
radical changes that are sometimes wrought in the individual lives of
people, in a sometimes radically short space of time. Two of the ladies
of the party before mentioned arrived in Leavenworth about one month
previous to their departure on this trip. They were just graduated from
a three years' course of study in a female seminary, and in thirty days
from that time they were transported from their boarding-school
surroundings to the wilds of the Great American Desert, and after
passing into the timberless portion of the great desert, the great query
with them was as to how and where they were to secure fuel necessary for
culinary purposes; and when informed that it would be necessary to
gather and use buffalo chips for that purpose, their incredulity became
manifest, and their curiosity was rather increased than satisfied. When
called upon to go, gunny-sack in hand, out from the line of travel to
gather the necessary fuel, it was difficult to persuade them they were
not being made the victims of a joke; but when finally led into the
field of "chips," and the discovery made of their character, the
expression upon the face of each would have been a delight to an artist
and amusing to the beholder; and to say that the distance between the
chip-field and the camp was covered by them in the time rarely, if ever,
covered by the native antelope, is to speak without exaggeration.

As before stated, all of the seven members of this party, on their
arrival in Denver, became residents and actively identified in the
various departments of life and business, and to each and every one
there is no spot on the face of this globe that is quite so good, so
grand, and so dear as the Centennial State, of which Denver is the
center of their love.



Over thirty-two years ago, when a bachelor occupied the President's
mansion at Washington, and there was no Pacific Railroad and no
transcontinental telegraph line in operation over the Great American
Desert of the old schoolbooks, and the wild Indian was lord of the
manor--a true native American sovereign--St. Joseph, Mo., was the
western terminus of railway transportation. Beyond that point the
traveler bound for the regions of the Occident had his choice of a
stage-coach, an ox-team, a pack-mule, or some equally stirring method of
reaching San Francisco.

Just at that interesting period in our history--when the gold and silver
excitement, and other local advantages of the Pacific Coast, had
concentrated an enterprising population and business at San Francisco
and the adjacent districts--the difficulty of communication with the
East was greatly deplored, and the rapid overland mail service became an
object of general solicitude. In the year 1859 several magnates in Wall
Street formed a formidable lobby at Washington in the interests of an
overland mail route to California, and asked Congress for a subsidy for
carrying the mails overland for one year between New York and San

The distance was 1,950 miles. Mr. Russell proposed to cover this
distance with a mail line between St. Joseph, Mo., and San Francisco,
that would deliver letters at either end of the route within ten days.

Five hundred of the fleetest horses to be procured were immediately
purchased, and the services of over two hundred competent men were
secured. Eighty of these men were selected for express riders.
Light-weights were deemed the most eligible for the purpose; the lighter
the man the better for the horse, as some portions of the route had to
be traversed at a speed of twenty miles an hour. Relays were established
at stations, the distance between which was, in each instance,
determined by the character of the country.

These stations dotted a wild, uninhabited expanse of country 2,000 miles
wide, infested with road-agents and warlike Indians, who roamed in
formidable hunting parties, ready to sacrifice human life with as little
unconcern as they would slaughter a buffalo. The Pony Express,
therefore, was not only an important, but a daring and romantic
enterprise. At each station a sufficient number of horses were kept, and
at every third station the thin, wiry, and hardy pony-riders held
themselves in readiness to press forward with the mails. These were
filled with important business letters and press dispatches from Eastern
cities and San Francisco, printed upon tissue paper, and thus especially
adapted by their weight for this mode of transportation.

The schedule time for the trip was fixed at ten days. In this manner
they supplied the place of the electric telegraph and the lightning
express train of the gigantic railway enterprise that subsequently
superseded it.

The men were faithful, daring fellows, and their service was full of
novelty and adventure. The facility and energy with which they journeyed
was a marvel. The news of Abraham Lincoln's election was carried through
from St. Joseph to Denver, Colo., 665 miles, in two days and twenty-one
hours, the last ten miles having been covered in thirty-one minutes. The
last route on the occasion was traversed by Robert H. Haslam, better
known as "Pony Bob," who carried the news 120 miles in eight hours and
ten minutes, riding from Smith's Creek to Fort Churchill, on the Carson
River, Nevada, the first telegraph station on the Pacific Coast.

On another occasion, it is recorded, one of these riders journeyed a
single stretch of 300 miles--the other men who should have relieved him
being either disabled or indisposed--and reached the terminal station on
schedule time.

The distance between relay riders' stations varied from sixty-five to
one hundred miles, and often more. The weight to be carried by each was
fixed at ten pounds or under, and the charge for transportation was $5
in gold for each half of an ounce. The entire distance between New York
City and San Francisco occupied but fourteen days. The riders received
from $120 to $125 per month for their arduous services. The pony express
enterprise continued for about two years, at the end of which time
telegraph service between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was
established. Few men remember those days of excitement and interest. The
danger surrounding the riders can not be told. Not only were they
remarkable for lightness of weight and energy, but their service
required continual vigilance, bravery, and agility. Among their number
were skillful guides, scouts, and couriers, accustomed to adventures and
hardships on the plains--men of strong wills and wonderful powers of
endurance. The horses were mostly half-breed California mustangs, as
alert and energetic as their riders, and their part in the
service--sure-footed and fleet--was invaluable. Only two minutes were
allowed at stations for changing mails and horses. Everybody was on the
_qui vive_. The adventures with which the service was rife are numerous
and exciting.

The day of THE FIRST START, the 3d of April, 1860, at noon, Harry Roff,
mounted on a spirited half-breed broncho, started from Sacramento on his
perilous ride, and covered the first twenty miles, including one change,
in fifty-nine minutes. On reaching Folson, he changed again and started
for Placerville, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain, fifty-five
miles distant. There he connected with "Boston," who took the route to
Friday's Station, crossing the eastern summit of the Sierra Nevada. Sam
Hamilton next fell into line, and pursued his way to Genoa, Carson City,
Dayton, Reed's Station, and Fort Churchill--seventy-five miles. The
entire run, 185 miles, was made in fifteen hours and twenty minutes, and
included the crossing of the western summits of the Sierras, through
thirty feet of snow. This seems almost impossible, and would have been,
had not pack trains of mules and horses kept the trail open. Here "Pony
Bob"--Robert H. Haslam--took the road from Fort Churchill to Smith's
Creek, 120 miles distant, through a hostile Indian country. From this
point Jay G. Kelley rode from Smith's Creek to Ruby Valley, Utah, 116
miles; from Ruby Valley to Deep Creek, H. Richardson, 105 miles; from
Deep Creek to Rush Valley, old Camp Floyd, eighty miles; from Camp Floyd
to Salt Lake City, fifty miles; George Thacher the last end. This ended
the Western Division, under the management of Bolivar Roberts, now in
Salt Lake City.

Among the most noted and daring riders of the Pony Express was Hon.
William F. Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, whose reputation is now
established the world over. While engaged in the express service, his
route lay between Red Buttes and Three Crossings, a distance of 116
miles. It was a most dangerous, long, and lonely trail, including the
perilous crossing of the North Platte River, one-half mile wide, and
though generally shallow, in some places twelve feet deep, often much
swollen and turbulent. An average of fifteen miles an hour had to be
made, including changes of horses, detours for safety, and time for
meals. Once, upon reaching Three Crossings, he found that the rider on
the next division, who had a route of seventy-six miles, had been killed
during the night before, and he was called on to make the extra trip
until another rider could be employed. This was a request the compliance
with which would involve the most taxing labors and an endurance few
persons are capable of; nevertheless, young Cody was promptly on hand
for the additional journey, and reached Rocky Ridge, the limit of the
second route, on time. This round trip of 384 miles was made without a
stop, except for meals and to change horses, and every station on the
route was entered on time. This is one of the longest and best ridden
pony express journeys ever made.

[Illustration: A FRONTIER VILLAGE.]

Pony Bob also had a series of stirring adventures while performing his
great equestrian feat, which he thus describes:

"About eight months after the Pony Express commenced operations, the
Piute war began in Nevada, and as no regular troops were then at hand, a
volunteer corps, raised in California, with Col. Jack Hayes and Henry
Meredith--the latter being killed in the first battle at Plymouth
Lake--in command, came over the mountains to defend the whites. Virginia
City, Nev., then the principal point of interest, and hourly expecting
an attack from the hostile Indians, was only in its infancy. A stone
hotel on C Street was in course of erection, and had reached an
elevation of two stories. This was hastily transformed into a fort for
the protection of the women and children.

"From the city the signal fires of the Indians could be seen on every
mountain peak, and all available men and horses were pressed into
service to repel the impending assault of the savages. When I reached
Reed's Station, on the Carson River, I found no change of horses, as all
those at the station had been seized by the whites to take part in the
approaching battle. I fed the animal that I rode, and started for the
next station, called Buckland's, afterward known as Fort Churchill,
fifteen miles farther down the river. This point was to have been the
termination of my journey (as I had been changed from my old route to
this one, in which I had had many narrow escapes and been twice wounded
by Indians), as I had ridden seventy-five miles, but to my great
astonishment, the other rider refused to go on. The superintendent, W.
C. Marley, was at the station, but all his persuasion could not prevail
on the rider, Johnnie Richardson, to take the road. Turning then to me,
Marley said:

[Illustration: "PONY BOB."]

"'Bob, I will give you $50 if you make this ride.'

"I replied:

"'I will go you once.'

"Within ten minutes, when I had adjusted my Spencer rifle--a
seven-shooter--and my Colt's revolver, with two cylinders ready for use
in case of an emergency, I started. From the station onward was a lonely
and dangerous ride of thirty-five miles, without a change, to the Sink
of the Carson. I arrived there all right, however, and pushed on to
Sand's Spring, through an alkali bottom and sand-hills, thirty miles
farther, without a drop of water all along the route. At Sand's Springs
I changed horses, and continued on to Cold Springs, a distance of
thirty-seven miles. Another change, and a ride of thirty miles more,
brought me to Smith's Creek. Here I was relieved by J. G. Kelley. I had
ridden 185 miles, stopping only to eat and change horses.

"After remaining at Smith's Creek about nine hours, I started to retrace
my journey with the return express. When I arrived at Cold Springs, to
my horror I found that the station had been attacked by Indians, and the
keeper killed and all the horses taken away. What course to pursue I
decided in a moment--I would go on. I watered my horse--having ridden
him thirty miles on time, he was pretty tired--and started for Sand
Springs, thirty-seven miles away. It was growing dark, and my road lay
through heavy sage-brush, high enough in some places to conceal a horse.
I kept a bright lookout, and closely watched every motion of my poor
horse's ears, which is a signal for danger in an Indian country. I was
prepared for a fight, but the stillness of the night and the howling of
the wolves and coyotes made cold chills run through me at times, but I
reached Sand Springs in safety and reported what had happened. Before
leaving I advised the station-keeper to come with me to the Sink of the
Carson, for I was sure the Indians would be upon him the next day. He
took my advice, and so probably saved his life, for the following
morning Smith's Creek was attacked. The whites, however, were well
protected in the shelter of a stone house, from which they fought the
Indians for four days. At the end of that time they were relieved by the
appearance of about fifty volunteers from Cold Springs. These men
reported that they had buried John Williams, the brave station-keeper of
that station, but not before he had been nearly devoured by wolves.

"When I arrived at the Sink of the Carson, I found the station men badly
frightened, for they had seen some fifty warriors, decked out in their
war-paint and reconnoitering the station. There were fifteen white men
here, well armed and ready for a fight. The station was built of adobe,
and was large enough for the men and ten or fifteen horses, with a fine
spring of water within ten feet of it. I rested here an hour, and after
dark started for Buckland's, where I arrived without a mishap and only
three and a half hours behind the schedule time. I found Mr. Marley at
Buckland's, and when I related to him the story of the Cold Springs
tragedy and my success, he raised his previous offer of $50 for my ride
to $100. I was rather tired, but the excitement of the trip had braced
me up to withstand the fatigue of the journey. After the rest of one and
one-half hours, I proceeded over my own route, from Buckland's to
Friday's Station, crossing the western summit of the Sierra Nevada. I
had traveled 380 miles within a few hours of schedule time, and
surrounded by perils on every hand."

After the "Overland Pony Express" was discontinued, "Pony Bob" was
employed by Wells, Fargo & Co., as a pony express rider, in the
prosecution of their transportation business. His route was between
Virginia City, Nev., and Friday's Station, and return, about one hundred
miles, every twenty-four hours, schedule time ten hours. This engagement
continued for more than a year; but as the Union Pacific Railway
gradually extended its line and operations, the pony express business as
gradually diminished. Finally the track was completed to Reno, Nev.,
twenty-three miles from Virginia City, and over this route "Pony Bob"
rode for over six months, making the run every day, with fifteen horses,
inside of one hour. When the telegraph line was completed, the pony
express over this route was withdrawn, and "Pony Bob" was sent to Idaho,
to ride the company's express route of 100 miles, with one horse, from
Queen's River to the Owhyee River. He was at the former station when
Major McDermott was killed, at the breaking out of the Modoc war. On one
of his rides he passed the remains of ninety Chinamen who had been
killed by the Indians, only one escaping to tell the tale, and whose
bodies lay bleaching in the sun for a distance of more than ten miles
from the mouth of Ive's Cañon to Crooked Creek. This was "Pony Bob's"
last experience as a pony express rider. His successor, Sye Macaulas,
was killed the first trip he tried to make. Bob bought a Flathead Indian
pony at Boise City, Idaho, and started for Salt Lake City, 400 miles
away, where his brother-in-law, Joshua Hosmer, was United States
Marshal. Here "Pony Bob" was appointed a deputy, but not liking the
business, was again employed by Theodore Tracy--Wells-Fargo's agent--as
first messenger from that city to Denver after Ben Holliday had sold out
to Wells, Fargo & Co.--a distance of 720 miles by stage--which position
Bob filled a long time.

"Pony Bob" is now a resident of Chicago, where he is engaged in



During the winter of 1859, Mr. W. H. Russell, of our firm, while in
Washington, D. C., met and became acquainted with Senator Gwin of
California. The Senator was very anxious to establish a line of
communication between California and the States east of the Rocky
Mountains, which would be more direct than that known as the Butterfield
route, running at that time from San Francisco via Los Angeles, Cal.;
thence across the Colorado River and up the valley of the Gila; thence
via El Paso and through Texas, crossing the Arkansas River at Fort
Gibson, and thence to St. Louis, Mo.

This route, the Senator claimed, was entirely too long; that the
requirements of California demanded a more direct route, which would
make quicker passage than could be made on such a circuitous, route as
the Butterfield line.

Knowing that Russell, Majors & Waddell were running a daily stage
between the Missouri River and Salt Lake City, and that they were also
heavily engaged in the transportation of Government stores on the same
line, he asked Mr. Russell if his company could not be induced to start
a pony express, to run over its stage line to Salt Lake City, and from
thence to Sacramento; his object being to test the practicability of
crossing the Sierra Nevadas, as well as the Rocky Mountains, with a
daily line of communication.

After various consultations between these gentlemen, from time to time,
the Senator urging the great necessity of such an experiment, Mr.
Russell consented to take hold of the enterprise, provided he could get
his partners, Mr. Waddell and myself, to join him.

With this understanding, he left Washington and came west to Fort
Leavenworth, Kan., to consult us. After he explained the object of the
enterprise, and we had well considered it, we both decided that it could
not be made to pay expenses. This decision threw quite a damper upon the
ardor of Mr. Russell, and he strenuously insisted we should stand by
him, as he had committed himself to Senator Gwin before leaving
Washington, assuring him he could get his partners to join him, and that
he might rely on the project being carried through, and saying it would
be very humiliating to his pride to return to Washington and be
compelled to say the scheme had fallen through from lack of his
partners' confidence.

He urged us to reconsider, stating the importance attached to such an
undertaking, and relating the facts Senator Gwin had laid before him,
which were that all his attempts to get a direct thoroughfare opened
between the State of California and the Eastern States had proved
abortive, for the reason that when the question of establishing a
permanent central route came up, his colleagues, or fellow senators,
raised the question of the impassability of the mountains on such a
route during the winter months; that the members from the Northern
States were opposed to giving the whole prestige of such a thoroughfare
to the extreme southern route; that this being the case, it had actually
become a necessity to demonstrate, if it were possible to do so, that a
central or middle route could be made practicable during the winter as
well as summer months. That as soon as we demonstrated the feasibility
of such a scheme he (Senator Gwin) would use all his influence with
Congress to get a subsidy to help pay the expenses of such a line on
the thirty-ninth to forty-first parallel of latitude, which would be
central between the extreme north and south; that he could not ask for
the subsidy at the start with any hope of success, as the public mind
had already accepted the idea that such a route open at all seasons of
the year was an impossibility; that as soon as we proved to the
contrary, he would come to our aid with a subsidy.

After listening to all Mr. Russell had to say upon the subject, we
concluded to sustain him in the undertaking, and immediately went to
work to organize what has since been known as "The Pony Express."

As above stated, we were already running a daily stage between the
Missouri River and Salt Lake City, and along this line stations were
located every ten or twelve miles, which we utilized for the Pony
Express, but were obliged to build stations between Salt Lake City and
Sacramento, Cal.

Within sixty days or thereabouts from the time we agreed to undertake
the enterprise, we were ready to start ponies, one from St. Joseph, Mo.,
and the other from Sacramento, Cal., on the same day. At that time there
was telegraphic communication between the East and St. Joseph, Mo., and
between San Francisco and Sacramento, Cal.

The quickest time that had ever been made with any message between San
Francisco and New York, over the Butterfield line, which was the
southern route, was twenty-one days. Our Pony Express shortened the time
to ten days, which was our schedule time, without a single failure,
being a difference of eleven days.

To do the work of the Pony Express required between four hundred and
five hundred horses, about one hundred and ninety stations, two hundred
men for station-keepers, and eighty riders; riders made an average ride
of thirty-three and one-third miles. In doing this each man rode three
ponies on his part of the route; some of the riders, however, rode much
greater distances in times of emergency.

The Pony Express carried messages written on tissue paper, weighing
one-half ounce, a charge of $5 being made for each dispatch carried.

As anticipated, the amount of business transacted over this line was not
sufficient to pay one-tenth of the expenses, to say nothing about the
amount of capital invested. In this, however, we were not disappointed,
for we knew, as stated in the outset, that it could not be made a paying
institution, and was undertaken solely to prove that the route over
which it ran could be made a permanent thoroughfare for travel at all
seasons of the year, proving, as far as the paramount object was
concerned, a complete success.

Two important events transpired during the term of the Pony's existence;
one was the carrying of President Buchanan's last message to Congress,
in December, 1860, from the Missouri River to Sacramento, a distance of
two thousand miles, in eight days and some hours. The other was the
carrying of President Lincoln's inaugural address of March 4, 1861, over
the same route in seven days and, I think, seventeen hours, being the
quickest time, taking the distance into consideration, on record in this
or any other country, as far as I know.

One of the most remarkable feats ever accomplished was made by F. X.
Aubery, who traveled the distance of 800 miles, between Santa Fé, N. M.,
and Independence, Mo., in five days and thirteen hours. This ride, in my
opinion, in one respect was the most remarkable one ever made by any
man. The entire distance was ridden without stopping to rest, and having
a change of horses only once in every one hundred or two hundred miles.
He kept a lead horse by his side most of the time, so that when the one
he was riding gave out entirely, he changed the saddle to the extra
horse, left the horse he had been riding and went on again at full

At the time he made this ride, in much of the territory he passed
through he was liable to meet hostile Indians, so that his adventure was
daring in more ways than one. In the first place, the man who attempted
to ride 800 miles in the time he did took his life in his hands. There
is perhaps not one man in a million who could have lived to finish such
a journey.

Mr. Aubery was a Canadian Frenchman, of low stature, short limbs, built,
to use a homely simile, like a jack-screw, and was in the very zenith of
his manhood, full of pluck and daring.

It was said he made this ride upon a bet of $1,000 that he could cover
the distance in eight days.

One year previous to this, in 1852, he made a bet he could do the same
distance in ten days. The result was he traveled it in a little over
eight days, hence his bet he could make the ride in 1853 in eight days,
the result of that trip showing he consumed little more than half that

I was well acquainted with and did considerable business with Aubery
during his years of freighting. I met him when he was making his famous
ride, at a point on the Santa Fé Road called Rabbit Ear. He passed my
train at a full gallop without asking a single question as to the danger
of Indians ahead of him.

After his business between St. Louis and Santa Fé ceased, his love for
adventure and his daring enterprise prompted him to make a trip from New
Mexico to California with sheep, which he disposed of at good prices,
and returned to New Mexico.

Immediately upon his return he met a friend, a Major Weightman of the
United States Army, who was a great admirer of his pluck and daring.
Weightman was at that time editor of a small paper called the Santa Fé
_Herald_. At their meeting, as was the custom of the time, they called
for drinks. Their glasses were filled and they were ready to drink, when
Aubery asked Weightman why he had published a damned lie about his trip
to California. Instead of taking his drink, Weightman tossed the
contents of his glass in Aubery's face. Aubery made a motion to draw his
pistol and shoot, when Weightman, knowing the danger, drew his knife and
stabbed Aubery through the heart, from which blow he dropped dead upon
the floor.

The whole affair was enacted in one or two seconds. From the time they
started to take a friendly drink till Aubery was lying dead on the floor
less time elapsed than it takes to tell the story.

This tragedy was the result of rash words hastily spoken, and proves
that friends, as well as enemies, should be careful and considerate in
the language they use toward others.

In the spring of 1860 Bolivar Roberts, superintendent of the Western
Division of the Pony Express, came to Carson City, Nev., which was then
in St. Mary's County, Utah, to engage riders and station men for a pony
express route about to be established across the great plains by
Russell, Majors & Waddell. In a few days fifty or sixty men were
engaged, and started out across the Great American Desert to establish
stations, etc. Among that number the writer can recall to memory the
following: Bob Haslam ("Pony Bob"), Jay G. Kelley, Sam Gilson, Jim
Gilson, Jim McNaughton, Bill McNaughton, Jose Zowgaltz, Mike Kelley,
Jimmy Buckton, and "Irish Tom." At present "Pony Bob" is living on "the
fat of the land" in Chicago. Sam and Jim Gilson are mining in Utah, and
all the old "Pony" boys will rejoice to know they are now millionaires.
The new mineral, gilsonite, was discovered by Sam Gilson. Mike Kelley is
mining in Austin, Nev.; Jimmy Bucklin, "Black Sam," and the McNaughton
boys are dead. William Carr was hanged in Carson City, for the murder of
Bernard Cherry, his unfortunate death being the culmination of a quarrel
begun months before, at Smith Creek Station. His was the first legal
hanging in the Territory, the sentence being passed by Judge

J. G. Kelley has had a varied experience, and is now fifty-four years of
age, an eminent mining engineer and mineralogist, residing in Denver,
Colo. In recalling many reminiscences of the plains in the early days, I
will let him tell the story in his own language:

"Yes," he said, "I was a pony express rider in 1860, and went out with
Bol Roberts (one of the best men that ever lived), and I tell you it was
no picnic. No amount of money could tempt me to repeat my experience of
those days. To begin with, we had to build willow roads (corduroy
fashion) across many places along the Carson River, carrying bundles of
willows two and three hundred yards in our arms, while the mosquitoes
were so thick it was difficult to discern whether the man was white or
black, so thickly were they piled on his neck, face, and hands.

"Arriving at the Sink of the Carson River, we began the erection of a
fort to protect us from the Indians. As there were no rocks or logs in
that vicinity, the fort was built of adobes, made from the mud on the
shores of the lake. To mix this mud and get it the proper consistency to
mold into adobes (dried brick), we tramped around all day in it in our
bare feet. This we did for a week or more, and the mud being strongly
impregnated with alkali (carbonate of soda), you can imagine the
condition of our feet. They were much swollen, and resembled hams.
Before that time I wore No. 6 boots, but ever since then No. 9s fit me

"This may, in a measure, account for Bob Haslam's selection of a
residence in Chicago, as he helped us make the adobes, and the size of
his feet would thereafter be less noticeable there than elsewhere.

"We next built a fort of stone at Sand Springs, twenty-five miles from
Carson Lake, and another at Cold Springs, thirty-seven miles east of
Sand Springs.

"At the latter station I was assigned to duty as assistant
station-keeper, under Jim McNaughton. The war against the Piute Indians
was then at its height, and we were in the middle of the Piute country,
which made it necessary for us to keep a standing guard night and day.
The Indians were often seen skulking around, but none of them ever came
near enough for us to get a shot at them, till one dark night, when I
was on guard, I noticed one of our horses prick up his ears and stare. I
looked in the direction indicated and saw an Indian's head projecting
above the wall.

"My instructions were to shoot if I saw an Indian within shooting
distance, as that would wake the boys quicker than anything else; so I
fired and missed my man.

"Later on we saw the Indian camp-fires on the mountain, and in the
morning saw many tracks. They evidently intended to stampede our horses,
and if necessary kill us. The next day one of our riders, a Mexican,
rode into camp with a bullet hole through him from the left to the right
side, having been shot by Indians while coming down Edwards Creek, in
the Quakenasp bottom. This he told us as we assisted him off his horse.
He was tenderly cared for, but died before surgical aid could reach him.

"As I was the lightest man at the station, I was ordered to take the
Mexican's place on the route. My weight was then 100 pounds, while now
I weigh 230. Two days after taking the route, on my return trip, I had
to ride through the forest of quakenasp trees where the Mexican had been
shot. A trail had been cut through these little trees, just wide enough
to allow horse and rider to pass. As the road was crooked and the
branches came together from either side, just above my head when
mounted, it was impossible to see ahead more than ten or fifteen yards,
and it was two miles through the forest.

"I expected to have trouble, and prepared for it by dropping my bridle
reins on the neck of the horse, put my Sharp's rifle at full cock, kept
both spurs into the flanks, and he went through that forest like a
'streak of greased lightning.'

"At the top of the hill I dismounted to rest my horse, and looking back,
saw the bushes moving in several places. As there were no cattle or game
in that vicinity, I knew the movements must be caused by Indians, and
was more positive of it when, after firing several shots at the spot
where I saw the bushes moving, all agitation ceased. Several days after
that, two United States soldiers, who were on their way to their
command, were shot and killed from the ambush of those bushes, and
stripped of their clothing, by the red devils.

"One of my rides was the longest on the route. I refer to the road
between Cold Springs and Sand Springs, thirty-seven miles, and not a
drop of water. It was on this ride that I made a trip which possibly
gave to our company the contract for carrying the mail by stage-coach
across the plains, a contract that was largely subsidized by Congress.

"One day I trotted into Sand Springs covered with dust and perspiration.
Before reaching the station I saw a number of men running toward me, all
carrying rifles, and as I supposed they took me for an Indian, I stopped
and threw up my hands. It seemed they had a spy-glass in camp, and
recognizing me had come to the conclusion I was being run in by Piutes
and were coming to my rescue.

"Bob Haslam was at the station, and in less than one minute relieved me
of my mail-pouch and was flying westward over the plains. Some of the
boys had several fights with Indians, but they did not trouble us as
much as we expected; personally I only met them once face to face. I was
rounding a bend in the mountains, and before I knew it, was in a camp of
Piute Indians. Buffalo Jim, the chief, came toward me alone. He spoke
good English, and when within ten yards of me I told him to stop, which
he did, and told me he wanted 'tobac' (tobacco). I gave him half I had,
but the old fellow wanted it all, and I finally refused to give him any
more; he then made another step toward me, saying that he wanted to look
at my gun. I pulled the gun out of the saddle-hock and again told him to
stop. He evidently saw that I meant business, for, with a wave of his
hand, he said: 'All right, you pooty good boy; you go.' I did not need a
second order, and quickly as possible rode out of their presence,
looking back, however, as long as they were in sight, and keeping my
rifle handy.

"As I look back on those times I often wonder that we were not all
killed. A short time before, Major Ormsby of Carson City, in command of
seventy-five or eighty men, went to Pyramid Lake to give battle to the
Piutes, who had been killing emigrants and prospectors by the wholesale.
Nearly all the command were killed in a running fight of sixteen miles.
In the fight Major Ormsby and the lamented Harry Meredith were killed.
Another regiment of about seven hundred men, under the command of Col.
Daniel E. Hungerford and Jack Hayes, the noted Texas ranger, was raised.
Hungerford was the beau ideal of a soldier, the hero of three wars, and
one of the best tacticians of his time. This command drove the Indians
pell-mell for three miles to Mud Lake, killing and wounding them at
every jump. Colonel Hungerford and Jack Hayes received, and were
entitled to, great praise, for at the close of the war terms were made
which have kept the Indians peaceable ever since. Jack Hayes died
several years since in Alameda, Cal. Colonel Hungerford, at the ripe age
of seventy years, is hale and hearty, enjoying life and resting on his
laurels in Italy, where he resides with his granddaughter, the Princess

"As previously stated, it is marvelous that the pony boys were not all
killed. There were only four men at each station, and the Indians, who
were then hostile, roamed all over the country in bands of 30 to 100.

"What I consider my most narrow escape from death was being shot at one
night by a lot of fool emigrants, who, when I took them to task about it
on my return trip, excused themselves by saying, 'We thought you was an

"I want to say one good word for our bosses, Messrs. Russell, Majors &
Waddell. The boys had the greatest veneration for them because of their
general good treatment at their hands. They were different in many
respects from all other freighters on the plains, who, as a class, were
boisterous, blasphemous, and good patrons of the bottle, while Russell,
Majors & Waddell were God-fearing, religious, and temperate themselves,
and were careful to engage none in their employ who did not come up to
their standard of morality.

"Calf-bound Bibles were distributed by them to every employe. The one
given to me was kept till 1881, and was then presented to Ionic Lodge
No. 35, A. F. & A. M., at Leadville, Colo.

"The Pony Express was a great undertaking at the time, and was the
foundation of the mail-coach and railroad that quickly followed."

During the war J. G. Kelley was commissioned by Gov. James W. Nye as
captain of Company C, Nevada Infantry, and served till the end of the
war, after which he resumed his old business of mining, and is still
engaged in it.



It was the afternoon of a day in early summer, along in 1859, when we
found ourselves drifting in a boat down the Missouri. The morning broke
with a drizzling rain, out of a night that had been tempestuous, with a
fierce gale, heavy thunder, and unusually terrific lightning. Gradually
the rain stopped, and we had gone but a short distance when the clouds
broke away, the sun shone forth, and the earth appeared glistening with
a new beauty. Ahead of us appeared, high up on the bluffs, a clump of
trees and bushes.

As we drew near, a sudden caprice seized us, and shooting our boat up on
the shelving bank, we secured it, and then climbed the steep embankment.
We intended to knock around in the brush a little while, and then resume
our trip. A fine specimen of an eagle caught our eye, perched high up on
the dead bough of a tree.

Moving around to get a good position to pick him off with my rifle, so
that his body would not be torn, I caught sight through an opening of
the trees of an immense herd of buffaloes, browsing and moving slowly in
our direction. We moved forward a little to get a better view of the
herd, when the eagle, unaware to us, spread his pinions, and when we
looked again for him he was soaring at a safe distance from our rifles.

We were on the leeward side of the herd, and so safe from discovery, if
we took ordinary precaution, among the trees. It was a fine spectacle
which they presented, and, what was more, we were in just the mood to
watch them. The land undulated, but was covered for many acres with
minute undulations of dark-brown shoulders slowly drifting toward us. We
could hear the rasping sound which innumerable mouths made chopping the
crisp grass. As we looked, our ears caught a low, faint, rhythmical
sound, borne to us from afar.

We listened intently. The sound grew more distinct, until we could
recognize the tread of another herd of buffaloes coming from an opposite

We skulked low through the undergrowth, and came to the edge of the
wooded patch just in time to see the van of this new herd surmounting a
hill. The herd was evidently spending its force, having already run for
miles. It came with a lessening speed, until it settled down to a
comfortable walk.

About the same time the two herds discovered each other. Our herd was at
first a little startled, but after a brief inspection of the approaching
mass, the work of clipping the grass of the prairies was resumed. The
fresh arrivals came to a standstill, and gazed at the thousands of their
fellows, who evidently had preëmpted their grazing grounds. Apparently
they reached the conclusion that that region was common property, for
they soon lowered their heads and began to shave the face of the earth
of its green growths.

The space separating the herds slowly lessened. The outermost fringes
touched but a short distance from our point of observation. It was not
like the fringes of a lady's dress coming in contact with the lace
drapery of a window, I can assure you. Nothing so soft and sibilant as
that. It was more like the fringes of freight engines coming in contact
with each other when they approach with some momentum on the same

The powerful bulls had unwittingly found themselves in close proximity
to each other, coming from either herd. Suddenly shooting up from the
sides of the one whose herd was on the ground first, flumes of dirt made
graceful curves in the air. They were the signals for hostilities to
commence. The hoofs of the powerful beast were assisted by his small
horns, which dug the sod and tossed bunches that settled out of the air
in his shaggy mane.

These belligerent demonstrations were responded to in quite as defiant a
fashion by the late arrival. He, too, was an enormous affair. We noticed
his unusual proportions of head. But his shoulders, with their great
manes, were worth displaying to excite admiration and awe at their
possibilities, if they could do nothing more.

Unquestionably the two fellows regarded themselves as representative of
their different herds, the one first on the ground viewing the other as
an interloper, and he in his turn looking upon the former as reigning,
because no one had the spirit to contest his supremacy and show him
where he belonged. They sidled up near each other, their heads all the
while kept low to the ground, and their eyes red with anger and rolling
in fiery fury. This display of the preliminaries of battle drew the
attention of an increasing number from either herd. At first they would
look up, then recommence their eating, and then direct their attention
more intensely as the combatants began to measure their strength more
closely. And when the fight was on they became quite absorbed in the
varying fortunes of the struggle.

At last the two huge fellows, after a good deal of circumlocution, made
the grand rush. I reckon it would be your everlasting fortune if one of
you college fellows who play football had the force to make the great
rush which either one of these animals presented. The collision was
straight and square. A crash of horns, a heavy, dull thud of heads. We
thought surely the skull of one or the other, or possibly both, was
crushed in. But evidently they were not even hurt.

Didn't they push then? Well, I guess they did. The force would have
shoved an old-fashioned barn from its foundations. The muscles swelled
up on the thighs, the hoofs sank into the earth, but they were evenly

For a moment there was a mutual cessation of hostilities to get breath.
Then they came together with a more resounding crash than before.
Instantly we perceived that the meeting of the heads was not square. The
new champion had the best position. Like a flash he recognized it and
redoubled his efforts to take its full advantage. The other appeared to
quadruple his efforts to maintain himself in position, and his muscles
bulged out, but his antagonist made a sudden move which wrenched his
head still farther off the line, when he went down on his knees. That
settled the contest, for his enemy was upon him before he could recover.
He was thrown aside and his flank raked by several ugly upward thrusts
of his foe, which left him torn and bruised, all in a heap. As quick as
he could get on his feet he limped, crestfallen, away.

The victorious fellow lashed his small tail, tossed his head, and moved
in all the pride of his contest up and down through the ranks of his
adversary's herd. How exultant he was! We took it to be rank impudence,
and though he had exhibited some heroic qualities of strength and
daring, it displeased us to see him take on so many airs on account of
his victory.

But his conquest of the field was not yet entirely complete. As he
strode proudly along his progress was stopped by a loud snort, and,
looking aside, he saw a fresh challenge. There, standing out in full
view, was another bull, a monster of a fellow belonging to his late
enemy's herd. He pawed the earth with great strokes and sent rockets of
turf curving high in air, some of which sifted its fine soil down upon
the nose of the victor.

As we looked at this new challenger and took in his immense form, we
chuckled with the assurance that the haughty fellow would now have some
decent humility imposed upon him. The conqueror himself must have been
impressed with the formidableness of his new antagonist, for there was a
change in his demeanor at once. Of course, according to a
well-established buffalo code, he could do nothing but accept the

Space was cleared as the two monsters went through their gyrations,
their tossings of earth, their lashings of tail, their snorts and their
low bellows. This appeared to them a more serious contest than the
former, if we could judge from the length of the introductory part. They
took more time before they settled down to business. We were of the
opinion that the delay was caused by the champion, who resorted to small
arts to prolong the preliminaries. We watched it all with the most
excited interest. It had all the thrilling features of a Spanish
bull-fight without the latter's degradation of man. Here was the level
of nature. Here the true buffalo instincts with their native temper were
exhibiting themselves in the most emphatic and vigorous fashion. It was
the buffalo's trial of nerve, strength, and skill. Numberless as must
have been these tournaments, in which the champions of different herds
met to decide which was superior, in the long ages during which the
buffalo kingdom reigned supreme over the vast western prairies of the
United States, yet few had ever been witnessed by man. We were looking
upon a spectacle rare to human eyes, and I confess that I was never more
excited than when this last trial reached its climax. It was a question
now whether the champion should still hold his position. It stimulates
one more when he thinks of losing what he has seized than when he thinks
of failing to grasp that which he has never possessed. Undoubtedly both
of these animals had this same feeling, for as we looked at this latest
arrival, we about concluded that he was the real leader, and not the
other that limped away vanquished.

While these and other thoughts were passing through our minds, the two
mighty contestants squared and made a tremendous plunge for each other.
What a shock was that! What a report rolled on the air! The earth fairly
shook with the terrific concussion of buffalo brains, and both burly
fellows went down on their knees. Both, too, were on their feet the same
instant, and locked horns with the same swiftness and skill, and each
bore down on the other with all the power he could summon. The cords
stood out like great ropes on their necks; the muscles on thighs and
hips rose like huge welts. We were quite near these fellows and could
see the roll of their blood-red fiery eyes. They braced and shoved with
perfectly terrible force. The froth began to drip in long strings from
their mouths. The erstwhile victor slipped with one hind foot slightly.
His antagonist felt it and instantly swung a couple of inches forward,
which raised the unfortunate buffalo's back, and we expected every
instant that he would go down. But he had a firm hold and he swung his
antagonist back to his former position, where they were both held
panting, their tongues lolling out.

There was a slight relaxation for breath, then the contest was renewed.
Deep into the new sod their hoofs sunk, neither getting the advantage of
the other. Like a crack of a tree broken asunder came a report on the
air, and one of the legs of the first fighter sank into the earth. The
other buffalo thought he saw his chance, and made a furious lunge toward
his opponent. The earth trembled beneath us. The monsters there fighting
began to reel. We beheld an awful rent in the sod. For an instant the
ground swayed, then nearly an acre dropped out of sight.

We started back with horror, then becoming reassured, we slowly
approached the brink of the new precipice and looked over. This battle
of the buffaloes had been fought near the edge of this high bluff. Their
great weight--each one was over a ton--and their tremendous struggles
had loosened the fibers which kept the upper part of the bluff together,
and the foundations having been undermined by the current, all were
precipitated far below.

As we gazed downward we detected two moving masses quite a distance
apart, and soon the shaggy fronts of these buffaloes were seen. One got
into the current of the river and was swept down stream. The other soon
was caught by the tides and swept onward toward his foe. Probably they
resumed the contest when, after gaining a good footing farther down the
banks of the Missouri, they were fully rested.

But more probably, if they were sensible animals, and in some respects
buffaloes have good sense, they concluded after such a providential
interference in their terrific fight that they should live together in
fraternal amity. So, no doubt, on the lower waters of the Missouri two
splendid buffaloes have been seen by later hunters paying each other
mutual respect, and standing on a perfect equality as chief leaders of a
great herd.



My father, being one of the very first pioneers of Jackson County,
Missouri, abundant opportunity was afforded me to become acquainted with
the habits of wild animals of every description which at that time
roamed in that unsettled portion of the country, such as elk, deer,
bear, and panther.

Among these animals the most peculiar was the black bear, which was
found in considerable numbers. Bears, in many respects, differ from all
other animals; they are very small when born, and when grown the
females, in their best state of fatness, will weigh from two hundred and
fifty to three hundred and fifty pounds. The male bears weigh at their
best much more; from four hundred to five hundred pounds. They are
remarkably intelligent animals, and are very wild, wanting but little to
do with civilization, for as soon as white people made their appearance
in the regions of country inhabited by them, it was not long before they
migrated to other portions of the country. To the early settlers of the
new country bear meat proved of great value, being very fat, and on
account of this great fatness particularly useful to them in the
seasoning of leaner meats, such as wild turkey, venison, etc., which
constituted much of the living of the early settlers or pioneers of the
Mississippi and Missouri valleys.

The bear's life each year is divided into three distinct periods. From
the first of April to the middle of September they live upon vegetables,
such as they can find in the wild woods, fruits of every description,
and meats of every kind, from the insect to the largest animal that
lives; periwinkles, frogs, and fish of all kinds; all living things in
the water as well as on the land. From the middle of September they
cease to eat of the various things they have lived on during the summer,
and take entirely to eating mast, that is, acorns, beech-nuts, pecans,
chestnuts, and chincapins. On commencing to eat mast, they begin to
fatten very rapidly. I should have remarked that during the summer
months, the season in which they live on insects and meats of every
variety, they lose every particle of the fat they had accumulated while
eating mast. On account of his abstemious habits the prohibitionists
should value the bear as emblematical of their order. Coming out of
their long sleep the first of April, or when the vegetation has grown
sufficient for them to feed upon, they commence to eat herbs, meats, and
fruits of every kind. They are remarkably fond of swine at this period,
and unlike the wolf, who seeks to catch the _young_ pigs, the bear picks
up the mother and walks off with her. She affords him a splendid
opportunity for so doing, it being a trait of the mother hog, as it is
of the mother bear, to fight ferociously for her young. The strength of
the bear is phenomenal. They can take up in their mouths and carry off
with perfect ease an ordinary sized hog, calf, or sheep. During this
season they frequent corn fields, devouring the corn when it comes to
the size of roasting ears. Indeed there is little to be found that is
edible by man or beast that the bear at some period of his life does not
eat. When they commence eating mast, which is about the middle of
September or the first of October, as stated, they eat nothing else
until about the 15th to the 20th of December, by which time most of them
become exceedingly fat; so much so, indeed, that in some cases it is
difficult for them to run very fast, not half as fast as they could
before becoming so fat. All of the very fat ones, about the middle of
December, cease to eat or drink anything, make themselves beds and lie
down in them, preparatory to going into their caves or dens for their
long sleep. They lie in these beds, which may be several miles from the
caves in which they intend to take their winter sleep, several days, or
sometimes a week, and by this temporary stay in the open air, nature is
given time to dispose of every particle of water and food in the body.
After this time has elapsed, they leave these temporary beds and go as
straight as the crow flies to their intended quarters, which are
generally caves in the rocks, if such can be found in the regions they
inhabit. This sleep is taken when the animals are the very fattest. None
but the very fat ones go through the period of hibernating. They do not
lose one pound's weight during this sleep, unless it be in respiration,
which is a very small quantity compared with the entire mass, for no
excretions are made during that period. Entering the caves they remain
there from three to four months, this being their dormant or hibernating
period, and for this reason they are known among hunters as one of the
family of seven sleepers. Each makes his bed in the bottom of the cave
by scratching out a large, round, basin-shaped place in the dirt; these
beds after being once made remain intact, as the caves are invariably
dry, and are used by the same bear year after year if he is not
disturbed; and after his demise will be adopted by another of his kind.
Some of these caves have been perhaps for ages during the winter time
the abode of a number of these "seven sleepers."

In my opinion there is no animal in the world that is so healthy, and
the meat of which is more beneficial to mankind, than is the meat of the
black bear. The doctors invariably recommend it for patients who are
troubled with indigestion or chest diseases. Bear's oil (for that is
what it really is) is considered a better curative and much preferable
on account of its pleasant taste, to cod-liver oil, which is very

In settling the Mississippi Valley, when bear's meat was such a factor
in the way of food, each of the frontiersmen kept a pack of dogs--all
the way from three to half-a-dozen--partly for bear hunting, which was a
very exciting sport, in fact the most of any other game hunting. I have
been long and well acquainted with the courage shown by dogs in hunting
and fighting game, and there is nothing I ever saw a dog undertake that
arouses his courage so much as a contest with a bear. The dog seems to
think a fight with a bear the climax of his existence. One familiar
with, and accustomed to, bear hunting can tell at long distances whether
the dogs are having a combat with a bear or some other animal, by the
energy they put into their yelping. When fighting a bear the dogs
continually snap and bite at his hind legs, as this is the only way they
have of exasperating and irritating him, as they dare not approach him
in front.

The full-grown bear is able to stand off any number of dogs that can get
around him. So strong are they that if they can get hold of a dog in
their forearms or mouth, he is very likely to be killed. The large
she-bear can take an ordinary sized dog in her fore paws and crush him
to death, and they can strike with such force as to send the sharp nails
of their paws fairly through the dog. On account of the adeptness with
which bears use their fore paws, the dogs try constantly to be in their
rear, and the bears are always trying to confront them. The bear in
moving his paws to strike never draws them back, but invariably makes a
forward movement, which is a surprise to the dogs, as it gives them no
warning, hence the aim of the former to confront the enemy, and of the
latter not to be confronted.

I have stood several times, when a boy, upon the doorstep of my father's
log-cabin and watched the men and dogs in their chase after a bear, only
a few hundred yards away. This was, of course, only a few months after
the first settlers came into the country, for it was the habit of these
bears to leave as soon as they knew the white people had come to stay.

Bears roam in the very thickest woods and roughest portions of the
country, and it is difficult to find one so far away from the rough
woods that he can not reach such locality in a very few moments after he
is attacked; and unlike other game that was found on the frontier,
instead of trying to get into the open prairie, where they can run, they
make at once after being disturbed for the cliffs of the rivers and
creeks and the canebrakes; in fact into the very roughest places they
can find, and take the shortest cut to get to them.

Bears do not depend on the senses of sight and hearing for their
protection as much as upon the sense of smell, by which they can
distinguish perfectly their friends or enemies. The scent of man would
strike terror to their hearts as much as the sight of him, and they
scent him much farther than they can see him, especially when they are
in the thick woods or canebrakes, where they often feed.

Frequently instead of fighting dogs on the ground, when tired, the bear
climbs a tree, sometimes going up fifty feet, and there rests, lodged in
a fork or upon a limb, surveying with complacency the howling pack of
dogs, and they in turn, becoming more bold as the distance between their
victim and themselves increases, defiantly extend their necks toward
their black antagonist in the tree. Notwithstanding the bear's dread of
the howling pack of dogs in waiting for their prey, if he sees a _man_
he loses his hold and drops, falling among the dogs, sometimes falling
on one or more and killing them.

I have known the hunter to be so cautious in showing himself that before
he came near enough to shoot he would select the trunks of large trees,
hiding behind them as he approached, until being near enough, and
concealed from the bear by one of these trunks, he moved his head a
little to one side to take aim; the moment he moved his head sufficient
to do so, if the bear chanced to be looking that way, he would let go
his hold and drop, showing that, after all, he knew where the real
danger was.

It is very desirable in bear hunting that the bear should climb a tree
and give his pursuer an opportunity to fire at him there, for while he
is in the fight with the dogs it would be almost impossible for the
hunter to shoot the bear without taking the chance of injuring or
killing one or more of the dogs. The dogs are also in great danger when
a bear weighing from three to five hundred pounds falls a distance of
forty or fifty feet, be the bear dead or alive. No other animal that I
know of could fall such a distance and not be more or less hurt, but
bears are not injured in the least, being protected by their immense
covering of fat, which forms a complete shield, or cushion, around the

The bear can stand on his hind legs just as easily as a man can stand on
his feet, and in their fights with dogs they shield themselves by
standing up against large trees, cliffs, or rocks, so that the dogs have
no chance at them except in front. In this position they can stand off
any number of dogs, and the dogs well know the danger of approaching
from the front. No body of drilled men could act their part better than
the dogs do, without any training whatever, which is a great proof of
their intelligence.

The moment a bear shows that he is about to climb a tree in order to get
out of the ground scuffle with his opponents, the dogs, and attempts to
do so, the dogs with one accord pitch at him, until there are so many
hanging to his hind legs that often he can not climb, and falls on his
back to rid himself of and to fight them. He can fight when on his back
as well as in any other position, for he embraces them in his arms, by
no means gently.

He may try climbing a tree three or four times before he can
sufficiently rid himself of the dogs; even then, perhaps, he may have
one or two hanging to his legs, which he carries with him maybe ten or
twelve feet up the tree, and the dogs, under the greatest excitement,
keep perfect consciousness of the distance, and they are able to fall
without being injured.

Let us now turn our attention to the mothers, or she-bears. They become
mothers during the period of their hibernation, going into the caves at
the time already mentioned when the other fat bears hibernate, and lie
dormant until the time their cubs are born, which is about the middle of
February. These require a great deal of the mother's attention, and she
is faithful and follows her motherly instincts to her own death, if need
be. After the cubs are born she goes once every day for water, which,
with her accumulated fat, produces milk for the sustenance of her young,
she having selected her cave near a stream of running or living water.

She does not eat a particle of any food from the first of December to
the middle of April. By the time she leaves her bed, where she has been
for four months in solitude, the cubs are sufficiently large to follow
the mother, and should any danger threaten them, to climb a tree, which
they are very quick to do, and if they do not do so at the bidding of
the mother at once, she catches them up in her fore paws and throws them
up against the tree, giving them to understand they must climb for their
protection. The male bear is the greatest enemy the mother and the cubs
have to look out for; for unless protected by the mother, he will seize
and eat the cubs, during the season of the year when bears eat meat, but
he is not disposed to hurt the mother bear, unless in a scuffle in
trying to get hold of the young; therefore it is necessary for her to
have her little ones with her every moment after they come out of the
cave where they are born, and where they stay for more than two months
before they are brought out into the sunlight.

Should danger threaten, and there is a small tree near, she will
invariably make her cubs climb it, where they are safe, because the
large male bear can not climb very small trees. If she is compelled to
send her cubs up a large tree, she stands ready and willing to sacrifice
her life for the protection of her young, and not in the annals of
natural history can there be found a mother which shows such desperation
in the protection of her young as does the mother bear.

Nothing daunts her when her cubs are imperiled, and neither man nor dogs
in any number will avail in driving her from them. I have seen mother
bears stand at the roots of trees up which their cubs had climbed,
cracking their teeth and striking their paws, which sounded like the
knocking of two hammers together, as warning to their enemies they would
fight till they dropped dead, or killed their antagonist.

They all fast during the entire period of hibernation. Bears bring forth
their young but once in two years, and nature has wisely designed it so.
In order to protect the cubs from the male bear, and other enemies, the
mother's constant presence and care are necessary until they are old and
large enough to protect themselves. On this account she keeps them with
her until they are over a year old, and they generally hibernate the
first year with her, after which they leave her, to roam where they


As my knowledge of the bear was obtained by being brought up and living
in the portion of the State of Missouri they inhabited, it was natural
when I grew up that I became a bear-hunter. I have killed them at all
times of the year; when in their caves, shortly after they have come out
in the spring, and while in their beds, before going to their caves. I
have traced them by their tracks in the snow from their temporary beds
to their winter caves. On account of my own experience, and my
association with the best and oldest bear-hunters, I have had good
opportunities to learn the nature and habits of black bear. Although I
have seen a great many bears of the Rocky Mountains, and have had some
little experience with the cinnamon, the brown, and the silver-gray
bear, I am not as familiar with their modes of life as I am with those
of the black bear that were found in such numbers in the Mississippi
Valley when the white people first emigrated to that country. Bears of
the Rocky Mountains, and especially grizzly bears, are very much larger
than black bears, and, as far as I have been able to learn from those
who have hunted them, their meat, as food, does not compare with that of
the black bear.

One of my personal experiences in bear hunting occurred about the 15th
of December, 1839, in Taney County, Missouri, where I then lived. After
a deep snow had fallen, I had provided myself with some bread, a piece
of fat bear meat, and a little salt, and some corn for my horse, and
unaccompanied, except by my horse and four dogs, I started out to try
and kill a bear. On reaching that part of the mountains where I expected
to find them, I came across a number of trails, and soon found one which
I knew must have been by a very fat bear. Hunters know by the trail
whether the bear is fat, for if fat he makes two rows of tracks about a
foot apart, while a lean bear makes only one row of tracks, similar to
that of a dog. I spent part of one day in tracking this animal, which I
was sure would be well worth my pains. While on this trail I was led to
the deserted bed of one of the largest bears I ever saw, for I afterward
had ample opportunity of judging of its size and weight. He had lain in
his temporary bed during the falling of the snow, after which he had
gone in a bee-line to the cave for his intended hibernation. Feeling
sure he was such a large animal, I followed the trail four or five
miles, going as straight as if I had followed the bearings of a compass.
On a very high peak at the mouth of one of those caves, of which there
are so many in that country, his trail disappeared. The openings of many
of these caves are so small that it is often with great difficulty a
large bear effects an entrance. However, though the openings are so
small, the caves are broad and spacious. In these caves bears hibernate.
This particular cave had a very small and irregular opening, so that I
could not enter it with my gun; but, as is the custom with bear-hunters,
I cut a pole ten or twelve feet long, sharpened one end, and to this
tied a piece of fat bear meat, set fire to it, and made another attempt
to enter the cave. Finding I could not do this, on account of the
opening being so irregular, I abandoned the idea of shooting him in his
cave, and proceeded to kindle a fire at the mouth, and putting a pole
across the opening, hung my saddle-blanket and a green buckskin that I
procured the day before, when getting meat for my dogs, upon it. This
covering drove the smoke from the fire into the cave, which soon
disturbed the animal, so that he came and put the fire out by striking
it with his paws. Instead of coming out of the cave as I supposed he
would, after putting out the fire, he went back to his bed. He had
gotten such draughts of the suffocating smoke that he made no other
attempts to get to the mouth of the cave, where my four dogs were
standing, ready, nervous, and trembling, watching for him, and I was
standing on one side of the mouth of the cave, prepared to put a whole
charge into him if he made his appearance. I waited a few moments after
I heard him box the fire for him to return, but as he did not, I took
the covering from the mouth of the cave and found the fire was entirely
out. I then rekindled it and replaced the coverings, and it was not long
after until I heard him groaning, like some strong-chested old man in
pain. I listened eagerly for his moanings to cease, knowing that he must
die of suffocation. It was not, however, very long until all was still.
I then uncovered the mouth of the cave to let the smoke out. It was some
time before I could venture in; before I did so I relit my light, and
going in I found my victim not twenty feet from the mouth of the cave,
lying on his back, dead; and, as before stated, he was the largest
animal of the kind I ever saw or killed. It took me seven or eight hours
to slaughter him and carry the meat out of the cave, as I could not
carry more than fifty pounds at a time and crawl out and in.

When I opened the chest of this big bear, I found two bullets. These
were entirely disconnected with any solid matter. They had been shot
into him by some hunter who knew precisely the location of a bear's
heart, which is different from what it is in other animals. His heart
lies much farther back in his body, being precisely in the center of the
same, while the heart of all other quadrupeds, and I think I have known
all those of North America, lies just back of their shoulders; in other
words, in the front part of the chest.

These bullets, from the necessity of the case, must have been shot into
the animal when he was the very fattest, and when he was ready for
hibernation, because they were not lodged in the flesh, but entirely
loose in the chest, each one covered with a white film, and tied with a
little ligament, about the size of a rye straw, to the sack that
contained the heart. When the bear lay down, these bullets could not
have been more than half or three-quarters of an inch from each other,
for each one was covered separately, and had a separate ligament
attaching it to the sack above alluded to; and the two ligaments, where
they had grown to the sack, were not more than a quarter of an inch
apart. I cut out the piece containing both the bullets, and taking it in
my fingers reminded me of two large cherries with the stems almost
touching at the point where they were broken from the limb. What I have
just described would indeed have been an interesting study to the
medical fraternity, as perhaps there has never been anything like it. It
could not have occurred in this particular way, except where the bear
had gone through the preparation peculiar to him before hibernating, and
after leaving his temporary bed he could lie dormant and give nature
ample opportunity to restore the injury to the system which the bullet
had caused. The above facts proved that it was just at the season of the
year when the bear was ready to hibernate.

In this article at the outset, I mentioned the fact that the bear is a
peculiar animal. Indeed he is the most peculiar of any quadruped with
which I am familiar. He has many marked characteristics. He assumes in
twelve months three different modes of life, each one thoroughly
distinct from the other. He hibernates, during which time he abstains
entirely from food and water. On coming out of this dormant condition he
commences to eat food of every kind, peculiar to that season of the
year. After living for months on anything and everything he can get, he
ceases to eat any of these various things, and begins a totally
different kind of diet, eating only mast--acorns and nuts of every kind.
Another of their peculiarities is the cubs are not permitted to see the
light for sixty days after being born, as they are in the dark solitude
of a cave in the ground. Still another characteristic is the mother bear
takes care of her young until they are fourteen months old, they
hibernating with her the second winter of their lives.

The bear differs from other quadrupeds in being able to stand or walk on
his two hind feet as well as on all-fours, and in this position he can
make telling efforts at protecting himself. He climbs trees, and thus
gets the mast by breaking the branches and picking off the acorns. He is
also so constituted that he can fall great distances, even from the top
of a tree, without injuring himself in the least. The mother bear has,
as far as I know, generally two, never more than three, cubs at a time;
when young these cubs can be easily tamed, and become in time very
devoted to their owner. They are very intelligent, so that with proper
training they will learn the tricks any animal has been known to learn.
When small they are great playmates for boys, and will wrestle with them
and enter into sports with great intelligence. They are never dangerous
until grown, and not then unless crossed or abused. Wild bears are not
considered dangerous unless they are attacked and are unable to make
their escape. Under no circumstances, as already stated, does the mother
bear forsake her young when they are in danger. In teaching bears
tricks, one lesson is sufficient, as they seem never to forget. A
friend of mine owned a pet bear which became so familiar about the
place and so attached to all, that he could be turned loose with a chain
several feet long dragging after him. He conceived the idea of
scratching a hole beside the wall, where he could go and hide himself to
take his naps. One day his owner wanted to show him to some one while he
was asleep in his hole, and took hold of the chain, which was lying
extended for some distance, and pulled the little bear out. This
gentleman stated to me that this never occurred but once. After this,
whenever the bear went to take his nap, the first thing he did after
getting into the hole was to pull the chain in after him. His owner had
a post set in the yard fifteen or twenty feet high, with a broad board
nailed on the top. The bear would climb this post and lie down on the
board. The first thing he did after lying down was to pull that chain up
and put it in a coil at his side. His owner told me that one lesson
sufficed to teach him anything. I have repeated many of these facts in
order to bring them more clearly and forcibly to the mind of the



In the settlement of the Western States and Territories one of the
sources of income, and the only industry which commanded cash for the
efforts involved, was that of beaver trapping, the skin of the beaver
selling as high as fifteen or twenty dollars. The weight of the beaver
is from thirty to sixty pounds, and it is an animal possessed of great
intelligence, as the amount and kind of work accomplished by it shows.
It is a natural-born engineer, as connected with water; it can build
dams across small streams that defy the freshets, and that hold the
water equal, if not superior, to the very best dams that can be
constructed by skilled engineers.

In making their dams the sticks and poles which they use in the
construction of the same are cut with their teeth, of which they have
four, two in the upper part of the mouth and two in the lower.

These poles they place across each other in all directions. They build
their dams during the fall usually, and should they need repair, the
work is done before the very cold weather commences, working only at
night if danger is near.

In the month of October they generally collect their food, which
consists largely of the cottonwood; this is cut in lengths of from two
to six feet, the diameter being sometimes six inches, and carry it into
their ponds made by the dams, and sunk in the deepest portion of the
same. I should have stated that the higher up the stream they go, their
dams are built correspondingly higher; hence a dam built at an altitude
of 1,000 feet would not be built as high as one built at an altitude of
3,000 feet, in order to overcome the deeper freezing at that point, for
in constructing these dams they must be of sufficient height to give
plenty of room to get at their food in the water under the ice. The
beaver does not eat a particle of meat of any kind. The popular idea is
that as they are animals that live in and about the water, that they
live upon fish, but this is not so; for, as above stated, their
principal food is the bark and the tender-wood of the cottonwood, and
they also eat of other barks.

They are one of the most cleanly animals that lives. They live in the
purest water that can be found, generally selecting streams that take
their rise in the mountains, and where they can have an abundance of
water the year round to live in. They dam up the streams in order to
make ponds of sufficient depth to swim in under the ice to obtain their
food, for the bottom of this pond is their store-room during the winter

Beavers are exceedingly wild, seldom showing themselves, and from the
bottom of their pond they make a tunnel leading to the house where they
sleep, so that they can pass to the same unobserved by man or beast.
When they make their ponds where the banks are low, they make their
house upon the top of the ground, sometimes a rod or more from the edge
of the pond, cutting timber of the size of a finger to two or three
inches in diameter, placing the sticks in very much the same way as they
do in building their dams, crossing and recrossing them so that it is
quite a job to tear one of their houses to pieces; in fact no one but a
man would undertake the task, and one that has never had any experience
would find it very difficult to accomplish. If one does it in the hope
of catching the animal, he toils in vain, for he is soon scented, and
the beaver takes refuge in the pond, passing through the underground
tunnel. Where they find high banks, they start a tunnel several feet
below the surface of the water and run it ascending, so as to reach a
point in the bank six or eight or may be ten feet above the surface of
the water underground, stopping before reaching the top of the ground,
and at which point they take out dirt until they have a place
sufficiently large for their bed. This kind of a house they much prefer
to one made with sticks on the surface of the ground, as they are
completely hidden from observation or the possibility of interruption
from any one.

The beaver's feet are webbed for the purpose of swimming, and there are
nails on his feet, so that he can scratch the earth almost equal to a
badger. He has a paddle-formed tail, which on a large full-grown beaver
is from ten to twelve inches long and from six to seven inches broad,
and without any hair on it. These are tough and sinewy, and when cooked
they make a very fine food, the flavor reminding one of pig's feet or
calf's head. They make considerable use of their tail in performing
their work as well as in swimming.

The beaver reproduces itself each year. The offspring are generally two
in number, and these can be easily tamed.

The trappers in trapping for the beaver have to use great precaution in
approaching the place where they intend to set the traps, often getting
into the stream above or below and wading for some distance. If they
walked upon the bank the beaver would scent them from the footprints.
Beavers, like all other wild animals, dread the sight or scent of man
more than anything else. In setting the traps the trappers invariably
choose as deep water as they can find, so that when a beaver is caught
he will drown himself in his struggles to get free from the trap; for
if this does not occur, he has often been known to cut off, with the
sharp chisel used in cutting timber, the foot that is caught in the
trap, so that it is not infrequent when the trapper comes in the morning
to find a foot of the beaver instead of the beaver himself, and often he
catches a beaver with only three feet.

The beaver, considered as an engineer, is a remarkable animal. He can
run a tunnel as direct as the best engineer could do with his
instruments to guide him. I have seen where they have built a dam across
a stream, and not having a sufficient head of water to keep their pond
full, they would cross to a stream higher up the side of the mountain,
and cut a ditch from the upper stream and connect it with the pond of
the lower, and do it as neatly as an engineer with his tools could
possibly do it. I have often said that the buck beaver in the Rocky
Mountains had more engineering skill than the entire corps of engineers
who were connected with General Grant's army when he besieged Vicksburg
on the banks of the Mississippi. The beaver would never have attempted
to turn the Mississippi into a canal to change its channel without first
making a dam across the channel below the point of starting the canal.
The beaver, as I have said, rivals and sometimes even excels the
ingenuity of man.

Another of the peculiarities of the beaver is the great sharpness of its
teeth, remaining for many years as sharp as the best edged tool. The
mechanic with the finest steel can not make a tool that will not in a
short time become so blunt and so dulled as to require renewed
sharpening, and this, with the beaver, would have to be repeated
hundreds of times in order to do service with it during the whole of its
lifetime, which is from ten to fifteen years if it is permitted to live
the allotted years of a beaver.

In one of my trips on a steamer of the Upper Missouri, one day while the
boat's crew were getting their supply of wood, I took my gun and started
along the river-bank in the hope of seeing an elk or deer that I might
shoot. I came to a place on the river where the banks were very high,
and I observed that a lot of cottonwood saplings from six to eight
inches in diameter had been felled and cut into sections. I saw that it
had been recently done, and I at first supposed that it had been done by
some one with an ax, but when I reached the spot, I saw that it was the
work of the beavers and that some of the wood had been dragged away. I
followed the trail for a few steps, when I came to the mouth of a
tunnel, and discovered that the timber had been dragged through it. The
tunnel had an incline of about thirty-five degrees, and was as straight
as if it had been made with an auger. This was in the month of October,
at the time when it was their custom to stow away their food for the
winter. They had no dam at this point, as the water was deep, and they
were drawing the timbers down through the tunnel and sinking them in the
deep water, so that they could have access to it during the period when
the river would be frozen over. The reason for the tunnel, of which I
have spoken, was that the river-bank for some distance was high and
almost perpendicular, and the beaver, being a very clumsy animal with
short legs, his only alternative was to make a tunnel in order to get
his winter food. They have a way of sinking the cottonwood and keeping
it down in their pond or simply in the deep water when they do not make
dams. This family of beavers evidently had their house far under the
surface of the ground, for the place was admirably adapted for them to
make such a home, the banks being so high above the water. One could see
no trace whatever of the beaver, or have a knowledge of where he was,
more than the opening of the tunnel and where the timber had been cut;
indeed, one might pass hundreds of times and not be conscious that
beavers were living right under one's feet. I picked up one of the chips
which the beaver had cut, measuring about seven inches in length, and
carried it home with me as a curiosity.



Remembering my own love of adventure as a boy, I can not refrain from
giving here a chapter contributed by my son, Green Majors, which will be
found both instructive and interesting. He says: "At the inexperienced
age of twelve years I was seized with a strong desire to go overland to
Montana. For a number of years I had lived at Nebraska City, on the
Missouri River, a starting point in those days for west-bound freight
and emigrant wagon trains; and having so long seen the stage-coaches go
bounding over the hills and rolling prairies, headed for the golden
West, it was with a feeling of great satisfaction that on the morning of
April 26, 1866, I was seated on top of one of those same coaches, as a
fellow passenger with my father, Alexander Majors, bound for the Rocky
Mountains, and Helena, Mont., in particular. To my boyish fancy the
never-ceasing rocking to and fro of the overland coach of early days was
a constant delight. Denver we reached in six days and nights of
incessant travel. Rain nor shine, floods nor deserts, stopped us. If a
passenger became too sleepy or exhausted to hold on and sleep at the
same time on the outside, he could get inside by submitting to the
'sardining' process. But inside, the clouds of dust and the cramped
position necessary to assume made one at times feel like the coach were
spinning round like a top in the dark. At Denver we laid in a big supply
of luncheon material, for the next continuous ride, without a town, was
for 600 miles, to Salt Lake City. However, before we reached Zion, our
troubles were many, one of which was being caught in a violent
snow-storm one dark night while bowling along over Laramie Plains. Our
driver and his mules both lost the road. He so notified us, and we got
out to wade through the innumerable drifts to see if we could feel the
hard-beaten trail with our feet. But it was of no use. So for fear we
might wander away from the emigrant road too far, or that he might drive
over some precipice or into some hole or other in the blinding storm, we
unhitched his four mules and tied each one with its head to a wheel, so
there could be no runaway, and then all hands got back into the coach,
tucked our wraps about us as best we could, and there we sat, like
Patience on a monument, smiling at grief, with the wind whistling in all
its many sad cadences through the flapping wings of that desolate coach,
until the longest night I ever saw went by. Next morning we found two
and a half feet of 'the beautiful' on the level, and the struggle to
gain another station began. We tramped snow and broke trails for that
coach to get through the drifts for about ten or fifteen miles, before
we got to a lower altitude, out of the path of the storm, for all of
which distance we of course paid the stage company 25 cents a mile fare,
with no baggage allowance to speak of.

"Not a great ways farther on, we struck the famous Bitter Creek country,
a section that was the terror of travelers, because of poor grass, water
that was foul and bitter, and alkali plains that were terrific on man
and beast. At one place along Bitter Creek its water was as red as
blood, at another as yellow as an orange; but generally its color was a
dark muddy drab, and highly impregnated with vegetable and earthy
matter. I suppose Bitter Creek is the only place on earth where
highwaymen had the cold-blooded nerve to charge travelers $1.50 for
nothing but fat bacon, poorly cooked, and an inferior quality of
mustard, as a meal's victuals, but the stage station-keepers had it
there. By the time we finished our Bitter Creek experience we were proof
against peril, so that subsequent floods in the cañons from melting
snows in the mountains, sitting bolt upright with three on a seat to
sleep over the rough mountain roads at night, and passing over long
stretches of country with no water fit to drink, were trivial

"After a thirty-day siege of this sort of experience, we alighted on the
gravelly streets of Helena, Mont., then a town of canvas houses and
tents, and log huts. Helena at that time was the liveliest town I have
ever seen in my life, either in America or Europe, over the whole of
both of which I have since traveled. At that time her business houses
were largely propped up on stilts, while underneath the red-shirted
placer miner was washing the blue gravel soil for gold-dust. Her
streets, in many places, were bridged over, to allow of the same thing.
Sunday was the liveliest day in the week for business. The plainest meal
at a restaurant cost $1.50, and bakery pies, with brown paper used for a
crust, cost 75 cents each. Everybody had money, and nobody appeared to
want to keep what he had. Gold-dust was the money of the country, no
greenbacks nor coin being used. A pennyweight of the yellow dust passed
for a dollar, but expert cashiers, at the gaming places and stores, were
said to know how to weigh the article so deftly that $100 of it in value
would only go $50 in distance. However, wages were very high, and so was
everything else, so that if a man were robbed pretty badly, he could
soon recuperate his lost fortunes. There were no churches in Helena
then, if, indeed, there were any in the Territory. The first Sunday
after arriving there, I remember attending divine service in a muslin
building, but the blacksmith's hammer next door and the lusty
auctioneer's voice in the street made so much noise the congregation
could not understand the divine's injunctions, so that church-going
there, at that time, was attended with considerable annoyance.
Everything was crude and primitive, everybody was cordial, generous, and
open-hearted, and anything or anybody justly appealing to those roughly
appareled yeomanry for aid or sympathy invariably opened the floodgates
of their plenty and fired the great, deep, warm heart-throbs of their
noble natures.

"But they were as prompt in meting out retributive justice to the
wrong-doer as in loosing their purse-strings to a worthy applicant, and
many were the wayward souls jerked into eternity through the deadly and
inexorable noose of the ubiquitous vigilante, whose will was law, and
the objects of whose adverse edicts were soon plainly told to recite
their last prayers in the body.

"Cattle-raising on the rich, nutritious bunch-grass of the broad valleys
of the Territory also soon grew to be a very lucrative business, to
supply the numerous placer-mining towns of Montana, a number of which
were quite important and thrifty camps at that time. Farming was also
followed to a limited extent. Inasmuch as potatoes, cabbage, and other
vegetables were largely imported from Salt Lake, about five hundred
miles, all sorts of soil products yielded handsome returns.

"Montana has had her periods of depression as well as of prosperity. For
after her then-discovered and easily accessible placer ground became
washed out, which took several years, times there grew very dull, but
not until something like $200,000,000 worth of gold had been washed from
her auriferous gulches and hillsides. Quartz mining was rare in those
days, because freight and everything else was so high that few had the
means to engage in that kind of mining. From a State of such prosperous
activity in the sixties, with a large and well-to-do population, in
1874-75 it grew so dull and so many had left the Territory that those
remaining wished they could get away too. In the Centennial year of
1876, however, Montana's true era of prosperity dawned, when rich silver
quartz was discovered at the now famous city of Butte, styled 'the
greatest mining camp on earth.' The Territory's business in every avenue
soon rose from its low ebb to an affluent flood, all kinds and lines
almost immediately feeling its vitalizing, stimulating influence. From
an isolated mountain fastness it forthwith again became the theater of
activity and thrift, and the stream of precious metals that it again
poured into the world's commercial channels not long after required the
capacity of a line of railroad to handle its vast volume. Chicago, New
York, Boston, and other Eastern centers recognized Montana merchants as
among their heaviest and best-paying customers, again demonstrating that
mining for the precious metals is the great vanguard of a rapid and
substantial civilization. The Utah & Northern was the pioneer railroad
into her confines, but its business soon grew to such enormous
proportions that the Northern Pacific followed in three or four years,
and then Jim Hill swooped in with his Great Northern Road. So that that
apparently isolated section has three transcontinentals now running east
and west through her entire length, with the Chicago, Burlington &
Quincy on her eastern border, impatient to share her immense traffic,
and the Butte, Boise & San Francisco soon to give her a direct outlet to
San Francisco Bay.

[Illustration: SUNRISE IN CAMP.]

"But to return to the early days of Montana, certainly one of the
grandest and richest sections of the Union. It is in this State that the
muddy Missouri River has its source, although in the mountainous part of
its course its water is as clear as crystal. Here, also, the broad and
majestic Columbia has its inception, the heads of these two noble
streams bubbling up out of her lofty mountains quite close together. And
it is a striking coincidence that the same section that sends these two
noble streams down through fertile fields to the sea, bearing on their
mighty bosoms the wealth and water supply of empires, should also
possess the largest and richest deposits of the precious metals that the
world has ever known. But such is the case. Speaking of precious metals
recalls some of the 'stampedes' to newly discovered mining camps in
early days. A 'stampede' is a panic reversed, usually instigated by the
wild and rainbow-colored statements of over-enthusiastic persons, and
often those statements had utterly no foundation in fact. Men would rise
from their beds in the middle of the night, if thought necessary, and
with insufficient food, clothing, or implements, afoot or horseback,
climb dark mountains or cañons, swim floods, tramp over alkali plains,
or submit to any and all kinds of hardships, all for the sake of being
among the first on the ground of newly discovered 'diggins.' 'First
come, first served,' was the rule, and each man was determined, as
nearly as possible, to be first served. In the famous Sun River
stampede, in the winter of 1866-67, with the mercury coquetting with the
30-degree-below-zero point, it was said men actually started out in
their shirt sleeves to make a hundred-mile journey through the deep snow
to the reputed new camp without food supplies to carry them through. And
as it often proved in other cases, there wasn't a particle of truth in
the reputed rich fields. Dame Rumor, that ever versatile and
fertile-brained jade, had had an inning, and she batted hard, firing her
hot balls of deception to all quarters of the field. In those days
buffalo were plentiful on the plains of Eastern Montana. I think I have
seen from twenty to fifty thousand in a single herd there. They
blackened the hills and plains with their shaggy coats, they swarmed the
rivers in their peregrinations, and raised clouds of dust like a simoon
in their journeys across the country. I have seen hundreds of them in a
group mired down in the quicksands along the Upper Missouri River.
Hunters walked on their backs and shot the fattest of them as trophies
of the chase, and the ever ubiquitous, keen-scented wolves came and
gnawed their vitals while they were yet alive, but helpless, in their
inextricable positions. At that time bands of stately elk also abounded
there. Deer were plentiful, and the fleet-footed antelope bounded over
every plain. Mountain sheep, whose tender meat was fat and juicy,
climbed the terraced rocky cliffs in great numbers, while ducks, geese,
pheasants, fool hens, and many other table fowl were to be had for a
little effort on the part of the hunter. A fool hen is a species of bird
weighing about two pounds, that is so foolish as to allow the gunner to
lay aside his fire-arms and kill the whole flock with sticks and stones,
so closely can it be approached without taking flight. Its meat is

"Many volumes could be written on Montana's early reminiscences, her
vast resources, her brilliant past, and her glorious prospective future.
But the brief space allotted me precludes the possibility of detailed
mention of people, places, or things, and I reluctantly stop sharpening
my pencil. Montana has been great in the past, but her future will be
much grander and greater still."



Henry Allen was the first postmaster of Denver, so called, and charged
50 cents for bringing a letter from Fort Laramie. The first Leavenworth
and Pike's express coach arrived there on May 17, 1859, having made the
trip in nineteen days. This company reduced the postage rates on letters
to 25 cents. The first postmaster of this concern was Mr. Fields, who
was succeeded by Judge Amos Steck in the fall of 1859.

On June 6, 1866, Horace Greeley, of the New York _Tribune_, arrived in
Denver by express coach en route to California, and addressed the
citizens that same Monday evening. The next day he straddled a mule for
the Gregory mines in company with A. D. Richardson, then a Western
correspondent of the _Tribune_. On the 11th, they returned from Gilpin
County mines, and published under Greeley's signature in a _News_ extra
his views concerning the extent and richness of the gold diggings which
he had just witnessed with his own eyes. The circulation of this extra
along the routes to the States soon caused another immense immigration
to return there that fall.

On October 3d the first election for county officers was held under
provisional government. B. D. Williams was then elected to represent the
new Territory of Jefferson in Congress.

The first marriage took place in Aurora (West Denver) October 16, 1859,
Miss Lydia R. Allen to Mr. John B. Atkins, Rev. G. W. Fisher
officiating. The first school ever started in Denver was by O. J.
Goldrick, October 3, 1859, in a little cabin with a mud roof, minus
windows and doors; and the first Sunday-school was organized October 6,
1859, by Messrs. Tappen, Collier, Adrian, Fisher, and Goldrick, in the
preacher's cabin on the west bank of Cherry Creek.

The first theater, called Apollo, was opened in Denver October 3, 1859,
by D. R. Thorn's troupe from Leavenworth, with Sam D. Hunter for leading
man and Miss Rose Wakely for leading lady. Old-timers will remember her
well. She was considered the most beautiful lady that had graced Denver
City in the first years of its existence.

The first election for territorial officers and legislative assembly
occurred October 24, 1859, when R. W. Steele, a miner, was made first
governor. Over 2,000 votes were cast in the twenty-seven precincts of
the Territory at that election.

The first legislature assembled in Denver November 7, 1859, comprising
eight councilmen and nineteen representatives. On New Year's, 1860,
Denver had about 200 houses and Aurora (now West Denver) nearly 400,
with a total combined city census of over 1,000 people, representing all
classes, creeds, and nationalities; hence its cosmopolitan style from
that day to this. Many brick and frame buildings, stores, hotels, shops,
and dwellings were put up in both towns during 1860. One was the banking
house of Streeter & Hobbs, corner of Eleventh and Laramie streets. The
rate of interest charged by them at that time was from 10 to 25 per cent
per month, according to the collateral security, and from 10 to 25 cents
per hundred pounds was the rate from the Missouri River for freight by
ox or mule train.

On the 8th of December, the day of the adjournment of the first
legislature, an election was held by those in favor of remaining under
the Kansas regime, and Capt. Richard Sopris was sent as representative
in the Kansas legislature.

John C. Moore was elected the first mayor of Denver, December 19, 1859,
under a city charter granted by the first provisional legislature. In
the fall of '59 there were no particular politics there. The great
question of the day was: "Are you a Denver man or an Aurorian?" Rivalry
ran high between the two towns until the consolidation of Denver,
Aurora, and Highlands, April 3, 1860. The first officers of the Aurora
town company were W. A. McFadding, president, and Dr. L. J. Russell,
secretary. Those of the Denver town company were E. P. Stout, president,
and H. P. A. Smith, secretary. Strange to say, not a single one of these
property holders is now living there, or is now the owner of a single
lot in this large city.

I must not forget an event that happened in Denver then. A family
arrived there from the East, consisting of father, mother, two
daughters, and a son. One of the young Denverites took a fancy to one of
the young ladies, but parents and son were opposed to the young man; yet
he was not to be got rid of. One evening he took advantage of the
absence of the parents and married the girl, and on the return of the
parents in the evening the mother and son started to look for them, and
threatened to kill the young man if they could find him. They found them
at the Platte House, on Blake Street. The mother of the girl went to
break in the door, but finally concluded not to do so, and left for her
home. The parties are still living in Denver, and are well off and
greatly respected.

On November 10, 1859, a lager-beer brewery was established by Solomon,
Tascher & Co. It was said that the beer was drinkable. It was as
innocent of malt and hops as our early whisky was of wheat or rye.

Thirty-three years ago next July the patriotic pioneers celebrated the
Fourth of July in this city. It took place in a grove near the mouth of
Cherry Creek. One Doctor Fox read the Declaration, and James K. Shaffer
delivered an oration. There was music by the Council Bluffs band.

July 12, 1860, a series of murders and violence began there by
desperadoes who had infested Denver during the summer. They tried to
muzzle the mouth of the press, which bravely condemned their dastardly
outrages, and as a consequence they raided the _Rocky Mountain News_ and
tried to kill its proprietor.

The first regular United States mail arrived there on August 10, 1860;
P. W. McClure, postmaster. The first Odd Fellows lodge was instituted
there on Christmas Eve, 1860.

The close of the year 1860 saw 60,000 people in the Territory, 4,000 of
whom were in and around Denver.

At this juncture of time Denver was tolerably well favored with the
three great engines of civilization, to wit, schools, churches, and
newspapers. There were three day schools, two or three newspapers, and
the following church denominations, each with a place for holding
services: Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal South, Roman
Catholic, Presbyterian, and Protestant Episcopal. The latter
denomination was well and truly cared for by the Rev. J. H. Kehler, who
established St. John's Church in the wilderness, as he then called it.
Therefore, to the praise of our pioneers let it be recorded that though
then remiss in many of the modern enterprises, their liberality
encouraged religion, morality, and popular education. They claimed that
Whittier's apostrophe to Massachusetts might and should apply equally to
Colorado in these regards:

    The riches of our commonwealth
    Are free, strong minds and hearts of health;
    And more to her than gold or grain
    The cunning hand and cultured brain.
    Nor heeds the sceptic's puny hands,
    While near the school the church-spire stands;
    Nor fears the blinded bigot's rule,
    While near the church-spire stands the school.



The Denver of to-day, the capital of Colorado, has a population of
160,000, and it stands at an elevation of 5,196 feet.

In 1858 the Pike's Peak gold excitement caused a rush from the East to
Colorado, and a camp was pitched at the junction of Cherry Creek and the
Platte. From this small beginning sprang Denver, the "Queen City of the
Plains." Beautiful in situation, with the great range of the Rocky
Mountains towering in the west, and the illimitable plains stretching
600 miles to the Missouri River on the east, Denver is worthy of the
attention and admiration of all who behold it. It is one of the greatest
railroad points in the West, twelve railroads centering here and
radiating to all parts of the United States, thus giving Denver almost
unsurpassed facilities for transcontinental traffic. The foot-hills of
the Rocky Mountains are only fourteen miles distant, and Long's Peak,
James' Peak, Gray's Peak, and Pike's Peak are in plain view, connected
by the gleaming serrated line of the Snowy Range. Parks, boulevards,
opera houses, and costly and elegant public buildings and private
residences are a few of the most obvious signs of wealth, cultivation,
and luxury which are to be found in Colorado's capital. Among the
principal places of interest may be mentioned the Tabor Grand Opera
House, erected at a cost of $850,000, and which is the finest building
of its kind in America, having but one rival in the world, the Grand
Opera House in Paris; the United States Mint; the County Court House, a
most elegant and costly structure occupying an entire block with the
buildings and grounds; the City Hall, University of Denver, St. Mary's
Academy, Wolfe Hall, Trinity M. E. Church, St. John's Cathedral, College
of the Sacred Heart, Jarvis Hall, Baptist Female College, Brown's Palace
Hotel, and hotels and business blocks, any of which would do credit to
any of the metropolitan cities of the East. The city has extensive
systems of street cars, motor lines and cables, is lighted by gas and
electricity, has excellent waterworks, a well-disciplined and effective
paid fire department, good police force, and telephone communication in
the city and with suburban towns to the distance of 120 miles. The
discovery that artesian wells can be sunk successfully has added much to
the attractiveness of the city. The water is almost chemically pure, and
is forced to a great height by hydrostatic pressure. Denver is the
objective point for a large tourist travel, and it is estimated that the
arrivals during the year will average 1,000 daily. The climate is
healthful and invigorating, and invalids find this an excellent place to
regain their health. There is always some pleasing attraction to divert
the mind. The theaters are open the year round, and the best companies
and stars from the East appear upon their boards. The churches are
presided over by clergymen of talent and culture. The newspapers are
metropolitan in size and management. In a word, Denver is one of the
most pleasant residence cities in the world. Rapid as has been the
growth of this wonderful city, it is evident that it is but on the
threshold of its prosperity, and that the future holds for it much more
and greater success than has been vouchsafed it in the past.

Thirty-three miles south of Denver, on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad,
is Castle Rock. It is a picturesque little village, and derives its name
from a bold and remarkable promontory which springs directly from the
plain and under whose shadow the village stands. This promontory always
attracts the attention of tourists, and is therefore worthy of special

Perry Park is situated within half an hour's drive of Larkspur Station,
and in natural attractions has few if any superiors in the State.
Bountifully supplied with pure and sparkling water, and protected on the
west by the Front Range of mountains, it forms a quiet and romantic
resting-place for those who wish a pleasant summer's outing free from
the annoyances of business. The park is filled with many remarkable rock
formations equal in unique grandeur to those of the better known but not
more attractive Garden of the Gods.

Palmer Lake is situated on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, about
midway between Denver and Pueblo, the two principal towns of Colorado.
It was formerly called "Divide," a very significant and appropriate
title, as on the crest of this summit the waters divide, flowing
northward into the Platte, which empties into the Missouri, and
southward into the Arkansas as it wends its way to the Mississippi.

The traveler will enjoy a most delightful variety of scenery. On either
side are rolling plains dotted with numerous herds of sheep and cattle,
agricultural settlements with cultivated ranches, giving evidence of
enterprise and thrift. Now and then we catch a glimpse of the river
threading its way amid valleys and glens, while stretching away in the
distance the cliffs and towering peaks of the Snowy Range, in their
dazzling whiteness, appear like fleecy clouds upon the horizon, and form
a striking contrast with the blue-tinted foot-hills, which, as we near
them, appear covered with oak shrubbery, bright flowers, castled rocks,
scattered pines, and quaking aspen glimmering in the sunshine.
Gradually ascending the mountain pathway we reach the summit (2,000 feet
higher than either Denver or Pueblo), and entering a gap in the
mountains, before us lies Palmer Lake. Nestled here in this mountain
scenery, sparkling like a diamond in its emerald setting, this lake is a
delightful surprise to the tourist--a rare and unlooked-for feature in
the landscape.

Glen Park, the Colorado Chautauqua, is within half a mile of Palmer
Lake, in a charming park-like expanse between two mountain streamlets,
and at the mouth of a beautiful cañon, fifty-three miles from Denver.
One hundred and fifty acres are comprised in the town site. The park is
at the foot of the Rocky Mountain range, and is sheltered at the rear by
a towering cliff, 2,000 feet high, and on two sides by small spurs of
the range. A noble growth of large pines is scattered over the park. A
skillful landscape engineer has taken advantage of every natural beauty,
and studied the best topographical effect in laying out the streets,
parks, reservoirs, drives, walks, trails, and lookout points. It is a
spot that must be seen to be appreciated, and every visitor whose
opinion has been learned has come away captivated. There are building
sites for all tastes. Some have a grand outlook, taking in a sweep of
the valley for a distance of fifty miles.

Colorado Springs is the county seat of El Paso County, has a population
of 12,000, and stands at an elevation of 5,982 feet. This delightful
little city is essentially one of homes, where the families of many of
the most influential business men of the State reside. It is a
temperance town, with charming society, and an elegant opera house,
built as a place of enjoyment rather than as an investment, by some of
the most successful citizens. There are many points of scenic interest
within an hour's ride of the city. Among them may be mentioned Cheyenne
Cañons, Austin's Glen, Blair Athol, Queen's Cañon, and Glen Eyrie. No
more delightful places can be found in which to enjoy the beautiful in
nature and to breathe the health-giving and exhilarating air than these
mountains and Pike's Peak. There are a number of smaller hotels and a
good supply of comfortable and home-like boarding houses, in different
parts of the town; also fine livery stables, where riding and driving
horses and carriages of the best are furnished at reasonable rates.

Colorado City, the first Territorial capital of Colorado, and at present
a thriving railroad town, is situated on the Denver & Rio Grande
Railroad, midway between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs,
seventy-eight miles from Denver.

Manitou Springs. Of all nature's lovely spots few equal, and none
surpass, in beauty of location, grandeur of surroundings, and sublimity
of scenery this veritable "Gem of the Rockies." As a pleasure resort it
presents to the tourist more objects of scenic interest than any resort
of a like character in the Old or New World; while its wonderful
effervescent and mineral springs, soda and iron, make it the favorite
resting-place for invalids. The great superiority of Manitou's climate
is found in its dryness and the even temperature the year round. In
summer the cool breezes from the mountains temper the heat, the nights
always being cool enough to allow that refreshing sleep so grateful to
all and most needed by the invalid.

There are more points of interest near Manitou than any other watering
place in the world. The following is a partial list, with the distances
in miles from town attached:

    Ruxton Creek to Iron Springs and Hotel        1
    Ute Pass to Rainbow Falls and Grand Cavern    1½
    Red Cañon                                     3
    Crystal Park                                  3
    Garden of the Gods                            3
    Glen Eyrie                                    5
    Monument Park by trail                        7½
    Monument Park by carriage                     9
    Seven Lakes by horse trail                    9
    Seven Lakes by carriage road                 12
    North Cheyenne Cañon                          8½
    South Cheyenne Cañon                          9
    Summit of Pike's Peak                        12

In addition to these well-known localities there are scores of cañons,
caves, waterfalls, and charming nooks which the sojourner for health or
pleasure can seek out for himself.

The Garden of the Gods has been described and photographed more than any
other place of scenic interest in Colorado, but words or pictures fail
to give even the faintest idea of its wealth of gorgeous color, or of
the noble view which its gateway frames. The portals of the gateway
spring from the level plain to a height of 330 feet, and glow with the
most brilliant coloring of red. There is an outer parapet of pure white,
and there are inner columns of varied hues, the whole suggesting the
ruins of a vast temple, once the receptacle of the sacred shrine of the
long-buried gods. Within the garden the rocks assume strange mimetic
forms, and the imagination of the spectator is kept busy discovering
resemblances to beasts or birds, of men and women, and of strange freaks
in architecture.

Glen Eyrie is situated at the entrance to Queen's Cañon, and is a wild
and romantic retreat, in which is built the summer residence of a
gentleman of wealth, whose permanent home is now in the East. Within the
glen, which is made sylvan by thickly growing native shrubbery, covered
with wild clematis, are a great confusion of enormous pillars of
exquisite, tinted pink sandstone.

Cathedral Rock and the Major Domo, which have gained a world-wide fame
through pictures and descriptions, are to be found in Glen Eyrie, as are
also "The Sisters," "Vulcan's Anvil," and "Melrose Abbey." These are all
grand and impressive shapes of stone glowing with the most brilliant
hues of red and pink, and cream and white, and umber.

Blair Athol is about a mile north of Glen Eyrie, and resembles the
latter, with the exception of shrubbery and water. No residence has been
erected here, as the difficulty of obtaining water has been too great to
be successfully overcome. The quaint forms of rock and their brilliant
color, together with the frequent shade of evergreen trees, make this an
interesting and attractive spot.

Bear Creek Cañon is reached by taking the road to Colorado Springs and
turning to the right just before reaching Colorado City. This is a
beautiful drive of five miles, at the end of which the Government trail
to Pike's Peak carries the horseman and footman to the summit. The cañon
is a picturesque wooded glen, with a dashing torrent and abounding in
wild flowers. Bears are still frequently seen here, but they shrink
modestly from forcing their attention upon strangers, and retire
precipitately when made aware of the vicinity of callers.

The Cheyenne Cañons are favorite resorts for picnic and pleasure
parties. Both these cañons give one a good idea of the gorges which
abound in the fastnesses of the Rocky Mountains. They are deep gashes in
the heart of Cheyenne Mountain, and display grand faces of magnificent
red granite hundreds of feet in height. The Douglas spruce, the Rocky
Mountain pine, the white spruce, and that most lovely tree of all, the
_Picea grandis_, grow in great numbers in both cañons, while the
Virginia creeper, two species of clematis (mauve and white), and other
climbers add grace and charm to the scene. A stairway at the Seven Falls
in South Cañon leads to the last resting place of "H. H." (Helen Hunt
Jackson), who selected this spot for her grave. The stream in North
Cheyenne Cañon is larger than that in the southern gorge, but the latter
forms a magnificent cascade, descending 500 feet in seven leaps.

Seven Falls is the name given to the cascade referred to above, and it
is well worthy the admiration its beauty always excites.

The Cheyenne Mountain toll-road is well worth seeing. It ascends the
mountains about one-half mile south of the entrance to South Cheyenne
Cañon, winding, with easy grades, through very fine scenery, and at
times affording glimpses down in the cañon below.

The Seven Lakes are reached by means of the last described road. The
lakes are picturesque, and such sheets of water usually are among the
mountains, and there is a hotel for the accommodation of visitors.

"My Garden" is a very favorite resort, discovered by "H. H.," the
authoress and poet. Take the Cheyenne road one and one-half miles from
Colorado Springs, then follow due south past Broad Moor Dairy Farm half
a mile, then through a gate across the "Big Hollow," and "My Garden" is
reached, a lovely pine grove crowning the plateau, with an exquisite
view of the range behind it.

Monument Park, Edgerton Station, sixty-seven miles south from Denver and
eight miles northward from Colorado Springs and Manitou, is a pleasant
day's excursion. "The Pines" is a comfortable hotel, situated in the
center of the park, one-half mile from the depot, commanding a fine
view of Pike's Peak and Cheyenne Mountain Range; is open at all times
for the accommodation of guests, and can furnish saddle-horses and
carriages on premises. This park is chiefly remarkable for its very
fantastic forms, in which time and the action of air and water have worn
the cream-colored sandstone rocks which the valleys have exposed,
forming grotesque groups of figures, some of them resembling human
beings, viz.: Dutch Wedding, Quaker Meeting, Lone Sentinel, Dutch
Parliament, Vulcan's Anvil and Workshop, Romeo and Juliet, Necropolis,
or Silent City, The Duchess, Mother Judy, and Colonnade. All of these,
and many others too numerous to mention, are within easy walking
distance of "The Pines."

A very pleasant drive can be taken to Templeton's Gap, which is situated
just north of Austin's Bluffs, and is a sharp depression in the
surrounding hills, characterized by quaint monumental forms of rock.

Ute Pass leads westward from Manitou over the range into South Park. It
is now a wagon road cut in many places from the face of the cliff, the
rocks towering thousands of feet above it on one side and on the other
presenting a sheer descent of nearly as many feet down to where the
fountain brawls along over its rugged channel. The pass was formerly
used as a pony trail by the Ute Indians in their descent to the plains
and in their visits to the "Big Medicine" of the healing springs--the
name given Manitou by the aborigines. No pleasanter ride or drive can be
taken than up Ute Pass. The scenery is grand and the view one of great

Rainbow Falls are only a mile and a half from Manitou up the Pass, and
are well worthy of a visit. They are the most accessible and the most
beautiful on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, and are visited
by thousands of tourists every season.

The Great Manitou Caverns have added an attractive feature to the
diversified wonders of nature surrounding Manitou Springs. The caverns
are located one and a half miles from Manitou Springs. They were
discovered by their present owner, Mr. George W. Snider, in the year
1881, but were only opened to the public in 1885.

The cog-wheel railroad to the summit of Pike's Peak, which was completed
and put in operation in July, 1891, is the most novel railway in the
world. When it reaches its objective point above the clouds, at a height
of 14,147 feet above sea-level, it renders almost insignificant by
comparison the famous cog-way up Mount Washington and the incline
railway up the Rhigi in Switzerland. From its station in Manitou, just
above the Iron Springs, to the station on the summit of Pike's Peak, the
Manitou & Pike's Peak Railway is just eight and three-quarters miles in
length. The cost of construction of the road was a half million dollars.
While it could have been built for many thousands of dollars less by
putting in wooden bridges and trestles, light ties and light rails,
those in charge of the building of the road would not consent to the use
of any flimsy material for the sake of saving any sum of money--a
substantial road that would insure absolute safety being economical, as
well as a guarantee for putting the road from the start on a paying
basis. The road-bed is solid and from fifteen to twenty feet wide,
leaving fully five feet on each side of the cars. The culverts are solid
masonry; the four short bridges are of iron girders resting on
first-class masonry. There are an extra number of ties, which are extra
heavy and extra long. The rails are standard "T" rails, with a double
cog rail in the center. This cog rail weighs 110 tons to the mile, which
is unusually heavy. The rail is built in sections, each being put into a
lathe and the teeth cut. The contract requires that each tooth shall be
within the fifteenth part of an inch of the size specified. At intervals
of every 200 feet the track is anchored to solid masonry to prevent any
possibility of the track slipping from its bed. The cars are designed to
hang low, within eighteen inches of the rails. Each engine built by the
Baldwin Locomotive Works has three cog and pinion appliances, which can
be worked together or independently. In each cog appliance is a double
set of pinion brakes that work in the cog, either one of which when used
can stop the engine in ten inches, going either way, on any grade and at
the maximum speed, eight miles an hour. The cars are not tilted, but the
seats are arranged so as to give the passenger a level sitting. The
engine pushes the cars instead of drawing them, which is of great
advantage. And such is Denver to-day, and its attractive surroundings,
changed from a border wilderness to civilization and grandeur within
thirty years.



It may not be amiss just here, while writing of this "Land of the
Setting Sun," its changes from savagery to civilization, to refer to one
who has done so much to aid those who followed the Star of Empire toward
the Rocky Mountains.

I refer to Col. W. F. Cody, known in almost every hamlet of the world as
Buffalo Bill, one upon whom the seal of manhood has been set as upon few
others, who has risen by the force of his own gigantic will, his
undaunted courage, ambition, and genius, to be honored among the rulers
of kingdoms, as well as by his own people.

Nearly forty years ago, in Kansas, a handsome, wiry little lad came to
me, accompanied by his good mother, and said that he had her permission
to take a position under me as a messenger boy.

I gave him the place, though it was one of peril, carrying dispatches
between our wagon-trains upon the march across the plains, and little
did I then suspect that I was just starting out in life one who was
destined to win fame and fortune.

Then it was simply "Little Billy Cody," the messenger, and from his
first year in my service he began to make his mark, and lay the
foundation of his future greatness.

Next it became "Wild Will," the pony express rider of the overland, and
as such he faced many dangers, and overcame many obstacles which would
have crushed a less strong nature and brave heart.

Then it became "Bill Cody, the Wagonmaster," then overland stage driver,
and from that to guide across the plains, until he drifted into his
natural calling as a Government scout.

"Buffalo Bill, the Scout and Indian Fighter," was known from north to
south, from east to west, for his skill, energy, and daring as a ranger
of mountain and plain.

With the inborn gift of a perfect borderman, Buffalo Bill led armies
across trackless mountains and plains, through deserts of death, and to
the farthest retreats of the cruel redskins who were making war upon the

Buffalo Bill has never sought the reputation of being a "man killer."

He has shunned difficulties of a personal nature, yet never backed down
in the face of death in the discharge of duty.

Brought face to face with the worst elements of the frontier, he never
sought the title of hero at the expense of other lives and suffering.

An Indian fighter, he was yet the friend of the redskin in many ways,
and to-day there is not a man more respected among all the fighting
tribes than Buffalo Bill, though he is feared as well.

In his delineation of Wild West life before the vast audiences he has
appeared to in this country and Europe, he has been instrumental in
educating the Indians to feel that it would be madness for them to
continue the struggle against the innumerable whites, and to teach them
that peace and happiness could come to them if they would give up the
war-path and the barbarism of the past, and seek for themselves homes
amid civilized scenes and associations.

Buffalo Bill is therefore a great teacher among his red friends, and he
has done more good than any man I know who has lived among them.

Courtly by nature, generous to a fault, big-hearted and brainy, full of
gratitude to those whom he feels indebted to, he has won his way in the
world and stands to-day as truly one of Nature's noblemen.

One of the strongest characteristics of Buffalo Bill, to my mind, was
his love for his mother--a mother most worthy the devotion of such a
son. His love and devotion to his sisters has also been marked
throughout his lifetime.

When he first came to me he had to sign the pay-roll each month by
making the sign of a cross, his mark. He drew a man's pay, and earned
every dollar of it.

He always had his mother come to get his pay, and when one day he was
told by the paymaster to come and "make his mark and get his money," his
face flushed as he saw tears come into his mother's eyes and heard her
low uttered words:

"Oh, Willie! if you would only learn to write, how happy I would be."

Educational advantages in those early days were crude in the extreme,
and Little Billy's chances to acquire knowledge were few, but from that
day, when he saw the tears in his mother's eyes at his inability to
write his name, he began to study hard and to learn to write; in fact
his acquiring the art of penmanship got him into heaps of trouble, as
"Will Cody," "Little Billy," "Billy the Boy Messenger," and "William
Frederic Cody" were written with the burnt end of a stick upon tents,
wagon-covers, and all tempting places, while he carved upon wagon-body,
ox-yoke, and where he could find suitable wood for his pen-knife to cut
into, the name he would one day make famous.

With such energy as this on his part, Billy Cody was not very long in
learning to write his name upon the pay-roll instead of making his mark,
though ever since, I may add, he has made his mark in the pages of

All through his life he was ever the devoted son and brother, and true
as steel to his friends, for he has not been spoiled by the fame he has
won, while to-day his firmest friends are the officers of the army with
whom he has served through dangers and hardships untold, as proof of
which he was freely given the indorsements of such men as Sherman,
Sheridan, Gen. Nelson A. Miles, Generals Carr, Merritt, Royal, and a
host of others.



From the dawn of history to the present time, civilization has followed
the valleys. From the Garden of Eden which was in the valley of the
Euphrates to modern times the water courses have been the highways of
civilization, and made the Tiber and the Thames, the Rhine and the Rhone
famous in the annals of the world's progress. In our own country this
fact has been especially illustrated. The valley of the Rio Grande del
Norte was the pathway of the Spaniard in his march to the northward, and
it is one of the curious facts of history that, before the Pilgrims had
landed on Plymouth Rock, the adventurous cavaliers of Spain had
penetrated the center of the continent and discovered the sources of the
great river in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado.

It was along the Connecticut and the Hudson, the Delaware and the
Susquehanna, the Ohio and the Mississippi, that the pioneers of the
republic pushed their way westward and planted the civilization which
has enjoyed so substantial and prosperous a growth. And when the pioneer
resumed his westward march to the Rocky Mountains, his trains lay along
the Missouri, the Arkansas, and the Platte, thus giving to the valley of
the Platte an historic place in the records of the nation's advancement.

The Louisiana Purchase, within whose boundaries lay the great valley of
the Platte and its tributaries, was completed in 1804, by President
Thomas Jefferson. It was an act of statesmanship worthy of the man who
had drafted the Declaration of Independence, and assured the young
republic a future little dreamed of by the men of that day, but which we
have lived to realize. Two years later, in 1806, Lieut. Zebulon Pike
received an order to explore the newly acquired national possessions,
and to find the headwaters of the Platte River. In pursuance of the
order, Lieutenant Pike marched up the Arkansas to the Fountaine Qui
Bouille, discovered and ascended the great peak which bears his name,
entering the South Park from the present site of Cañon City by the
Current Creek route. Aside from his discovery of the headwaters of the
Platte, Lieutenant Pike's expedition was more largely devoted to the
Arkansas and the Rio Grande than to this valley.

The second expedition up the Platte Valley was ordered in 1819 by John
C. Calhoun, Secretary of War for President James Monroe, and was under
the command of Major Stephen S. Long, of the corps of topographical
engineers. Leaving Pittsburg, Pa., in April, 1819, Major Long proceeded
westward and established his camp near the present site of Council
Bluffs, Iowa, to which was given the name of Engineer Cantonment. Thence
on June 6, 1820, with a number of scientists and a small detail of
regular troops, he marched toward the mountains. On June 30th the party
sighted the magnificent range of the Rocky Mountains, a view of which
burst upon them in the full glory of the morning light. On July 3d they
passed, as Long's annals read, "the mouth of three large creeks, heading
in the mountains and entering the Platte from the northwest." These were
undoubtedly the Cache la Poudre, the Thompson, and the St. Vrain. On
July 5th they camped on the present site of Fort Lupton, and on July 6th
on the present site of Denver, at the mouth of Cherry Creek. Thence the
party followed the valley to the Platte Cañon, and, proceeding southward
along the base of the mountains, returned eastward along the Arkansas.


Twenty-two years later, in 1842, came Lieut. John C. Fremont, the
famous pathfinder, who traversed the Blue toward the Platte, reaching
the valley at Grand Island, a portion of the party going up the North
Fork toward Fort Laramie, and the larger part marching up the South Fork
to Fort St. Vrain, which had then been established a number of years,
and had become a noted rendezvous for trappers, hunters, and plainsmen.
The following year the intrepid explorer left St. Louis on his second
expedition, traveling the valleys of the Kaw and the Republican,
reaching the Platte at the mouth of Beaver Creek, and arriving at Fort
St. Vrain on July 4, 1843. I quote the words of Lieutenant Fremont as
prophetic of the future of the valley. "This post," he says, "was
beginning to assume the appearance of a comfortable farm. Stock, hogs
and cattle, were ranging about the prairie. There were different kinds
of poultry and there was the wreck of a promising garden in which a
considerable variety of vegetables had been in a flourishing condition,
but had been almost entirely ruined by recent high water."

Between the dates of the expeditions of Long and Fremont three noted
trading posts had been established along the Platte in the immediate
vicinity of the spot on which we are now assembled. The first of these
was Fort Vanquez, built by Louis Vanquez in 1832, at the mouth of Clear
Creek, then known as Vanquez Fork of the Platte. The next was Fort
Lupton, a portion of whose walls are still standing, and the third was
Fort St. Vrain, built in 1840. These forts, as they were called, were
trading posts at which a large traffic in skins and furs was conducted,
and which became the headquarters of such famous frontiersmen as Kit
Carson, Jim Bridger, Jim Baker, Jim Beckwourth, and others, who in those
days constituted the vedettes of the civilization of the country. I have
not time to dwell upon their exploits, but I note their names as
indicating that we stand upon historic ground, and that here in this
valley were planted the first germs of the prosperous growth which
to-day enfolds it in every department of its social, industrial, and
commercial life.

In 1847 the Platte Valley became the highway of the Mormons in their
exodus from Illinois to Utah. Two years later its trails were broadened
by the California pioneers en route to the shores of the Pacific to
share in the golden discoveries of Sutter and his companions.

In 1857 came the expedition of Col. Albert Sidney Johnston marching to
Utah to sustain the laws and authority of the United States.

But a greater movement was now organizing to traverse and possess the
valley of the Platte. In the fullness of time the crisis of its destiny
had arrived. The year of 1859 dawned upon a nation fast drifting into
the vortex of a civil war. The irrepressible conflict which for half a
century had been going on between free and slave labor was nearing the
arbitrament of arms, and absorbed all men's minds to the exclusion of
events which were happening on the distant frontier. In the summer of
1858 Green Russell and a party of adventurous prospectors had discovered
gold in Cherry Creek, a tributary of the Platte. The news spread, and
grew as it spread, until the people living along the Missouri, which was
then the frontier of the Republic, became excited over the richness of
the discoveries.

They were ripe for adventure, desperate almost in their determination to
reëstablish the fortunes that had been wrecked by the financial panic of
1857, which had swept with disastrous effect along the entire borderland
of the entire nation. In the spring of 1859 the march of the pioneers
began. The Platte Valley was their grand pathway to the mountains, whose
summits they greeted with exultant joy, and beneath whose protecting
shadows they camped; here to make their homes, here to lay the
foundations of the future State.

Thus in a little over half a century from the date of its purchase by
the Federal Government, the Platte Valley had become the home of
civilized man, and the work of its development begun. As gold was first
discovered in this valley, so was quartz mining first begun on one of
the tributaries in Gilpin County.

The first pioneer's cabin was erected in Denver; the first school-house
was built at Boulder; the first church was consecrated at Denver; the
first colony located at Greeley, and the first irrigating ditches taken
out, all within the Platte Valley. As the valley had been the route of
Major Long and other of the early explorers, so, following in the train
of the pioneer, came first the pony express, then the stage-coach, then
the locomotive and the Pullman car. And it is a fact which I believe has
never yet been published, that the last stage-coach of the great
overland line was dispatched from the town of Brighton to Denver, thus
associating its name with an act, insignificant in itself, but
far-reaching in its importance, when it is remembered that that act
marked the end of our pioneer period and ushered in the new growth of
the railroad era.

We stand to-day at the distance of three-fourths of a century from the
date when the foot of the white man first trod the valley of the Platte.
The names of Pike and Long are perpetuated by the two magnificent peaks
which raise their summits to the clouds and stand as guardians of the
plains below. Fremont lived to see his wildest dreams realized in the
progress of the West, but whatever fame he may have achieved as a
soldier and a statesman, his name will longest be remembered as the
pathfinder of the Rocky Mountains. Wheat-fields now flourish where once
stood the trading-posts of Vanquez and St. Vrain. The trails of the
early explorers and of the pioneers of 1859 are almost obliterated, and
grass is growing upon their once broad and beaten pathways. A happy,
contented, prosperous people possess the land. A great line of railway
now rolls the traffic of a continent along the valley where once the
stage-coach and ox-trains of Russell, Majors & Waddell wended their slow
and weary way. Thriving towns and villages and cities dot the plain, and
reflect in the activity of their commercial life the industrial
development by which they are surrounded.



In August, 1838, there appeared in the far West a newspaper published at
Liberty, in Clay County, Missouri, the only newspaper within many miles,
a notice which read as follows: "Circuit Court of Jackson County,
Missouri, at Independence, August term, 1838." Then followed a
description of lands now included in what is known as the "old town" of
Kansas City. Then continues: "The above mentioned lands are situated in
the county of Jackson, one and one-half miles below the mouth of the
Kansas River, and five miles from the flourishing town of Westport. The
situation is admirably calculated for a ferry across the Missouri River,
and also one of the best steamboat landings on the river, and an
excellent situation for a warehouse or town site. The terms of sale will
be a credit of twelve months, the purchaser giving bond and approved
security, with interest at the rate of 10 per cent from day of sale. All
those wishing to invest capital advantageously in landed estate will do
well to call upon Justice H. McGee, who is guardian for the heirs.


The purchasers were William L. Sublette, John C. McCoy, William Gillis,
Robert Campbell, and others, and the price paid for the entire tract,
extending along the Missouri River from Broadway to Troost Avenue,
containing 156 acres, was $4,220.

These gentlemen put their purchase into lots and blocks and called it
"Kansas," but very little was done toward founding a city until some
eight years later, when a new company was organized by H. M. Northup,
who is still living; John C. McCoy, who died within the past few months;
Fry P. McGee, Jacob Ragan, William Gillis, Robert Campbell, who have
been dead but a few years respectively; Henry Jobe, W. B. Evans, and W.
M. Chick, who have been dead much longer.

The first sale of lots was had in April, 1848, at which sale 150 lots
were sold at an average price of $55.65 per lot.

The business of the city was confined almost entirely, for a number of
years, to the levee, and was of the general character of that done in
all river towns in their early history, pretty rough, pretty
miscellaneous, and not altogether unmixed with "wet goods." Prohibition
was an unknown element in social science, and the proportion of whisky
consumed in the retail trade, compared with that of tea or coffee, was
very like that described by Shakespeare in referring to Falstaff's
"intolerable deal of sack to the half penny worth of bread." But very
few men of those days remain nowadays; yet, as I have said, H. M.
Northup still lives, vigorous and active. Dr. I. M. Ridge still
continues to practice his profession, although less extensively than
forty years ago. John Campbell traverses our streets, but has long since
turned his well-known and faithful old sorrel mule out to grass. William
Mulkey looks hale and hearty, but has discarded his former buckskin
suit, though he still maintains a portion of his farm in the center of
the city. Once in a long while one of the old French settlers of those
early days, or even an old plainsman, ventures into the busy city and
looks about him in a bewildered sort of way for a day or two, and then
disappears again into the nearest wilderness or prairie, as being far
more congenial to his tastes and habits of life. Not all of them,
however, are of this character and disposition. It is but a few weeks
since I met one of our most noted pioneer plainsmen and freighters
across the prairies of Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, in the earliest
of the days I have been speaking of. In those times no name was better
or more widely known than that of Seth E. Ward, the post trader at

The descendants of most of the original owners of the "Town of Kansas,"
as it was first called, or "Westport Landing," as it was nicknamed
later, still remain there, and are among its most prominent and
respected citizens to-day.

Ten years later the "western fever" struck Ohio, and hundreds of young
men of my acquaintance left there for Kansas and Nebraska. Omaha was a
favorite objective point, and a town named Columbus was founded still
farther west than Omaha, which was almost entirely colonized by people
from Franklin County, Ohio. One of my friends, Dr. Theodore S. Case,
also holding the rank of colonel, was studying medicine at the time in
Columbus, Ohio, and resisted the fever until the following year, 1857,
when, with a few books and a sheepskin authorizing him to write M. D.
after his name, and to commit manslaughter without being called to
account for it, started for the West. He knew nothing of the West, but
had a general idea that he would go to St. Louis, or Keokuk, or Des
Moines, or Omaha, or Council Bluffs, or possibly to "Carson City," Kan.;
for a sharper, originally from Columbus, had been out West and came back
with a lithographic map of a city by that name, fixed up very
attractively, and with all the modern improvements of court house, city
hall, depots, churches, colleges, steamboats, etc., and he bought some
$15 worth of lots on one of the principal thoroughfares of the city not
far from the depot. However, before he got as far west as St. Louis, he
had learned the manners and tricks of such gentry, and did not go to
"Carson City." By some accidental circumstance his attention was called
particularly to the geographical location of Kansas City, and he at once
determined to give it a look anyhow. There being no railroad nearer than
Jefferson City at that time, he took the steamer Minnehaha at St. Louis,
along with some other 299 fellows who were going "out west to grow up
with the country," and four days afterward landed at Kansas City, May 1,
1857, almost thirty-five years ago.

The first view of Kansas City was by no means prepossessing, as it
consisted principally of a line of shabby looking brick and frame
warehouses, dry-goods stores, groceries, saloons, restaurants, etc.,
strung along the levee from Wyandotte Street to a little east of Walnut
Street, the whole backed up and surmounted by a rugged and precipitous
bluff, from 100 to 150 feet high, covered with old dead trees, brush,
dog fennel and jimson weeds, with an occasional frame or log house
scattered between and among them, and a few women and children,
principally darkies, looking down at the boats.

To a young man, however, the levee, with its three or four steamers,
huge piles of Mexican freight, prairie schooners, mules, greasers,
Indians, negroes, mud clerks, roustabouts, Frenchmen, consignees,
emigrants, old settlers, tenderfeet, hotel drummers, brass bands,
omnibuses, etc., presented attractions not easily resisted.
Notwithstanding all the tooting for hotels, there were really but two in
the place, one on the levee, then known as the American Hotel, now
remembered more familiarly as the "Gillis House," and the other the
"Farmers' Hotel," on Grand Avenue, between Sixteenth and Seventeenth
streets. The first was technically known as the "Free State Hotel,"
having been built by the New England Aid Emigrant Society, and the other
as the "Pro-Slavery," or "Border Ruffian House," as it was or had been
the headquarters of the pro-slavery party in the border war of 1854 and
1856 between the free state and pro-slavery contestants for the
possession of political control of the Territory of Kansas.


All travelers, however, who knew the ropes dodged both these hotels and
took the omnibus for Westport, where two really good hotels were kept.
To show the amount of travel toward Kansas at that time I may say that
at the American Hotel alone there were 27,000 arrivals in the year

Such was Kansas City in early days and the experience there of a
tenderfoot, but now an honored citizen of what is really to-day a great



Many an Eastern city has more dead people than living. Instead of the
West being young, the East is growing old. The antiquities of the
Eastern cemetery are often more interesting to the Westerner than the
life and energy of the living city. How the old names of Concurrence,
Patience, Charity, Eunice, Virtue, Experience, Prudence, Jerusha,
Electra, Thankful, Narcissa, Mercy, Wealthy, Joanna, Mehitable, on the
tombstones of the old Puritan grandmothers have been supplanted by the
new names of these modern times! And the old-time grandfathers--well,
their names suggest a scriptural chapter on genealogy. These old-time
names, with quaint and queer epitaphs, on less pretentious monuments
than the costly ones now erected, make an interesting study, for the
ancient dates and names show that the cemetery has a history from the
earliest settlement. The ancestral bones from the Mayflower down to the
present have been saved. It is true that the great Western cities now
have costly, beautiful, and often magnificent monuments for the dead,
for the modern cemetery is becoming aristocratic.

But for the reason it might be considered almost a sacrilege, the model
of a typical New England graveyard, with its odd names and quaint
epitaphs, would be an interesting historical study at the World's Fair.
In fact it would be as much of a curiosity to millions of people in the
West as Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show was in the East.

In all the cities of the West there are more live people than dead
ones, which is not always true of the East, where the cemetery
population is often larger. With the exception of some of the old
Spanish mission cemeteries, those of the West are all new, unless one
would wish to explore the ancient homes of the mound-builders and
cliff-dwellers. A white man's graveyard is a new thing for the West.
There are many thousands among the 17,000,000 people west of the
Mississippi River who can tell of the days when Kansas City, Omaha, St.
Paul, Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake, Galveston, Dallas, Helena, San
Francisco, Portland, and Seattle hardly had a cemetery. Even St. Louis
and New Orleans have been American cities less than a century.

But during all this time many millions have been added to the silent
cities of the dead in the East, and the older the cemetery the more
there is to it that is new to a Western tourist. One born in the West,
on making his first trip to the East, finds almost as much of interest
in a New England burial-ground, and often views it with as little
reverence as does the Bostonian in gazing upon the mummies and
antiquities of Egypt.

It is interesting to contrast the frontier funeral and burial-ground in
the West with that of the East. The cemetery, the necessary but last
adjunct to the organization of a civilized community, follows in the
wake of immigration and empire. No monuments mark the last resting-place
of those buried in the first five great cemeteries in the far West. They
are in the region of nameless and unknown graves.

Those five historic cemeteries, where thousands from the East and South
died and fill unknown graves, are the Missouri River, and the Santa Fé,
Oregon, California, and Pike's Peak trails. The trans-Alleghany, and
later the trans-Mississippi pioneers, followed, in the main, the
water-courses. There was no prairie-farming, and hence the term,
"backwoodsman." It was a kind of a Yankee trick in the West, in later
years, to leave the forests and begin plowing the prairies, and save the
time that had been hitherto used in log-rolling and clearing the
river-bottoms for agriculture. The early trappers, hunters, and fur
dealers followed up the Missouri River and its tributaries. Only with
great difficulty could a corpse be concealed from wolves and coyotes,
the latter animal always having been known as the hyena of the plains
country. Hence many an old hunter, when far from the borderland of
civilization, has buried his "pard" in the Missouri River! Landsmen and
plainsmen with a seaman's burial--a watery grave! The body wrapped in a
blanket--when the blanket could be spared--and tied to rocks and
boulders, was lowered from the drifting canoe into the "Big Muddy," as
that river is commonly known in the West. Many an old hunter and trapper
has been buried in the mighty rushing waters of the great Western river,
even as the faithful followers of De Soto lowered his remains into the
bosom of the Mississippi. When it was necessary or convenient to bury
the dead on land, the greatest precaution was taken to protect the body
from wolves and coyotes, which were especially dangerous and ravenous
when off of the trail of the buffalo. Rocks and large pieces of timber
were placed on the newly made grave, but often these hyenas of the
plains could be seen scratching and growling at this debris before the
comrades of the dead man were out of sight. With these facts so well
known, it is not strange that many in those early days preferred a
burial in the rivers to that of the land. It seems almost paradoxical to
thus find in the old trapper some of the instincts and traditions of the
sailor. Far out on the plains cactus was often put in the grave, just
over the corpse, as a protection against the wolves and coyotes.

The earlier expeditions starting from St. Louis went up the Mississippi
a few miles, to the mouth of the Missouri River, and then followed the
latter stream. For some time the old Boone's Lick country, now known as
Howard County, Mo., and Old Franklin, was the frontier commercial head.

The town of Old Franklin, where was the original terminus of the old
Santa Fé trail, when Kit Carson was only an apprentice to a saddler and
harness-maker, is now the bottom of the Missouri River, for there a
current of seven miles an hour has cut away the old town site.

But the pioneers became bolder. Instead of following the river they
began to venture out from St. Louis overland, about the time of the old
Boone's Lick settlement. It was considered a brave and hazardous journey
to start from St. Louis overland in those days, for it was a village
town, and all of the country to the west was a wilderness. It was about
the year 1808 that the Workman and Spencer party started from St. Louis,
and far out on the plains, before reaching the Rocky Mountains, one of
the party sickened and died.

The Indians rendered what assistance they could in bringing herbs and
such crude medicines as they used for fevers. The poor fellow died, and
they dug for him a grave, which was among the first, if not the first,
burial of a white man on the great plains of the West.

It was a novel sight for the Indians to see the hunters and trappers
wrap up their dead comrade in a blanket, and put the body into a deep
hole they had dug. They piled up brush and what heavy things they could
find, and placed on the grave, carved his name in rude letters, and went
on their way. But they had hardly resumed their journey before the
wolves began to dig at the grave.

Were it not foreign to the purpose of this article, it would be
interesting to relate at some length the fate of this expedition. The
most of the party were slain in battles with the Indians, and Workman
and Spencer are reported to have gone through the grand cañons of the
Colorado River to California in 1809, but that remarkable feat is
discredited by some, leaving honors easier with Major Powell, whose
expedition through these cañons was in more modern times.

This lonely and desolate grave dug by the Workman and Spencer party is
supposed to have been somewhere in what is now Kansas or Nebraska. It
was the beginning of making graves on the plains and in the mountains,
but time, wind, rain, and sand made them unknown.

Many thousands perished on the old-time trails to Santa Fé, the Rocky
Mountains, and the Pacific Coast. Exposure, sickness, thirst,
starvation, and massacre were the dangers the immigrants had to face.
Many of their graves were marked with slabs, but the inscription was
soon effaced. These graves are as unknown in the great ocean of plain,
prairie, and mountain as though the pioneer dead had been buried at sea.

The most fatal days was when the cholera raged on the Western trails.
Sometimes an entire train would be stricken and the captain would be
compelled to corral the wagons until aid could be obtained from other
caravans on the desert, then so called, or the teamsters recovered to
continue the journey. Women sometimes helped to dig the graves and
assisted in burying the dead, and have then taken the dead teamster's
place at the wagon, driving the oxen until men could be employed.

With the opening of the Western trails for wagons, a larger number were
buried in boxes made from rude pieces of lumber, or sometimes a part of
the sideboard of the wagon was utilized for that purpose. The earlier
expeditions were on horseback, and hence at that time the best that
could be done would be to roll the body in a blanket. Only those in the
East who have seen a burial at sea, although they may never have been
on the plains, can realize the sadness and desolation of those who left
their friends in the nameless graves of the old-time American desert.
Many of the babies lived that were born on the California and Oregon
trails, but the saddest of all was when the pioneer mother and babe were
added to the thousands of nameless graves. The death-couch was a pile of
straw and a few blankets in an old freight wagon. If the angels ever
hover over the dying, there never would have been a more appropriate
place for their ministrations. Nameless graves! Unknown! Only the
drifting sands and the ceaseless flow of the mighty Western rivers know
the place of their nameless dead. These are the famous cemeteries of the
far West. There are no granite shafts or beautiful emblems carved in
marble. Heroic men and women! They died unknown to fame and honor, but
they gave their lives that a new civilization and a new empire might be
born in the far West. The brave men, North and South, who fell in
battle, have their graves marked "unknown" when they could not be
identified, but no one knows where sleep the thousands who died on these
trails. Even a slab to the "unknown" could not be placed, for who knows
the grave? Farm-houses, fertile fields, cities and towns, and the
rushing railway car now mark the spot. The path of civilization and the
rapid building of empire in the West is their only living monument.

During the cholera days there was a heavy loss of life on the Western
steamboats. On the Missouri River some of the old boats had a burial
crew. At night-time, when the passengers were hardly aware of what was
going on, the boat would stop near a sand-bar. The bodies of those who
had died during the day were taken to the sand-bar, where they were
quickly buried. What would have been the use of putting up even a pine
board, for the rising waters would soon have washed it away?

But this is not simply Western history. It is a part of the history of
the North and the South, for those who came never to return were from
those sections. In many an Eastern and Southern home it is as unknown to
them as to the people of the West where sleep their dead on those old
trails of the Western empire.

The emigrants and gold-seekers were population in transit. Their
burial-places were as fleeting. With the building of new towns and
cities were established cemeteries, but there still continued to be the
thousands of unknown graves. A father, brother, husband, or son dies
away from home. His name may not have been known, or if it was, the
pencil-marks on the pine board soon lost their tracing in the
weather-beaten changes that time brings. How often in my own experience
in the mining camps I have seen men die far away from the tender and
loving care of mother, wife, and sister. How terrible then is the
struggle with death! The desire to live and to see the old home-faces
again becomes a passion. In their delirium the passion becomes a
reality. In their feverish dreams I have seen the dying miner in his
cabin fancy he was home again. He talks to his wife, and with words of
endearment tells her that he has found a fortune in the mines. I never
knew of a miner who, in the delirium of death, when he was talking of
the mines, but what he was rich. He had struck the precious metal. He
tells his people at home about it, and many a poor fellow has seemingly
died content, founded on the fancy that he had a mine and that his wife
and family would always have plenty. Out of many instances I will relate
but one.

A young man from Galena, Ill., eleven years ago, was taken sick and soon
the fever was upon him. He grew rapidly worse, but bravely fought the
pale reaper, for he wanted to see home again. But courage was not equal
to the task. The poor fellow had to die, and when the fever was at its
height, he imagined that he was with his wife and baby. How tenderly he
spoke to his young wife. He thought he had a rich mine, and told her
where it was located. Then he imagined that his pillow was his baby, and
that he was running his fingers through the child's curly hair, and
would fondle the child up to his bosom. As I gazed on the bronze and
weather-beaten faces of those present in the cabin, I saw tears come
into the eyes of some when the dying man was murmuring child-love talk
to the baby.

At the time of the great Leadville rush, many came who never returned.
Unknown, many of them sleep in their last resting place--in the gulches,
on the mountain sides, and under the shadows of the pine trees and
granite peaks. Exposure and not being prepared to guard against the
sudden changes of climate caused many to die of pneumonia and fevers.
The writer went through a hard attack of typhoid pneumonia in one of the
mining camps. After the worst was over and I was conscious again, one of
the boys said to me, "Hello, pard, when you were in the fever you
thought you had found enough gold mines to have bought out the Astors
and Vanderbilts."

The greatest number of deaths for a while seemed to come from what was
known as the "sawdust gang." In the wild excitement of a new mining camp
boom, people rush in by the hundreds and thousands. Many have only
enough money to get there, and are compelled to sleep on the sawdust
floor of the saloons. Thus they caught cold, which turning into
pneumonia often proved fatal. And the cowboys--how often on the long
Texas-Montana drives they have dug a hasty grave and with the lassos
lowered their dead pard into it.

The sporting and theatrical element always have a swell funeral in the
booming mining camps. The musicians from the dance-halls turn out, play
dirges, and with due pomp and ceremony the funeral is conducted. The
band returns from the new cemetery usually playing some lively air. The
deceased has had a fine funeral and a good sendoff, and now to business.
The dance-halls are crowded again, the music goes on, and men and women
gamble, dance, and drink, unmindful of what has occurred.

Those were days of death, hell, and the grave. But what will not men
undergo and dare for gold? They have braved anything for it in the past,
and will in the future. Friendships and home ties are broken, and in the
wild, mad rush for fortune, thousands of gold hunters have lost their
lives, and fill nameless and unknown graves in the far West. There is
something of romance in the death of a humble prospector searching for
wealth on the mountain side. Whether rich or poor the old gold hunter
often sees wealth ahead in his last hours. And, perchance, through the
fading light on the mountain peaks, may he not see a trail leading to a
city where the streets are golden? Who knows?

In 1849 and 1850, all along the trail of the overland freighters' route,
were scattered unknown graves, clear into California, my dear father
being one of the pioneers who died and filled an unknown grave. In the
fall of 1850, on the east bank of the San Joaquin River, he died of
cholera, and was buried, and his grave is unknown.

Another instance that I recall was of the death of one of the women of
the party. She was buried at the South Pass, and they built a pen of
cottonwood poles over the grave, placing her rocking chair to mark the
spot, and which had her name carved on it.



My son Benjamin and I worked as contractors almost a year in 1868, upon
the building of the Union Pacific Railroad, and we were present at the
Promontory when the Union and Central Pacific roads met, and saw the
gold and silver spikes driven into the California mahogany tie. It was
regarded at that time as the greatest feat in railroad enterprise that
had ever been accomplished in this or any other country, and it was a
day that will be remembered during the lifetime of all that were present
to witness this great iron link between the two oceans, Atlantic and
Pacific. My calling as a freighter and overland stager having been
deposed by the building of telegraph lines and the completion of a
continental railway, I was compelled to look after a new industry, and
as the silver mining at that time was just beginning to develop in Utah,
I chose that as my next occupation, and my first experience in
prospecting for silver mines was in Black Pine District north of Kelton
some twenty-five miles, and I believe in the northwest corner of Utah.
The district proved to be a failure, but leaving it, I met with Mr. R.
C. Chambers, who, upon acquaintance, I found to be a very pleasant
gentleman. I left the camp and went to Salt Lake City, and wrote Mr.
Chambers that I thought mines in the mountains were a better show for
prospectors than the Black Pine District, and in a few days he came to
Salt Lake City, and we then engaged in prospecting in the American Fork
and Cottonwood districts, which lay in the Wasatch Mountains,
twenty-five or thirty miles southeast of Salt Lake City. We had some
success, but were not able to find anything in the way of bonanzas. We
were connected with each other more or less until 1872, when a gentleman
came to me one day in July of that year and told me that he had a bond
upon McHenry mine, in Park District, and that the mine was a remarkably
rich one. He desired me to telegraph to Mr. George Hearst of San
Francisco to come to Salt Lake City and go and see the mine. He said
that he wanted me to send the message because he knew Mr. Hearst, with
whom I had become acquainted through Mr. Chambers, would come for my
telegram, when he would perhaps pay no attention to his. I sent the
message, and received a reply forthwith that he would start at once for
Salt Lake City. He arrived in due time, and we together went to the
McHenry mine. Upon arrival we found it was not what was represented. We
were thoroughly disappointed in our expectations. But while sitting,
resting on a large boulder, a man by the name of Harmon Budden (who a
day or two before had discovered and located the Ontario mine)
approached us and spoke to Mr. Hearst. Mr. H. said he did not remember
him, but Mr. Budden said he had previously met him in some mining camp
in Nevada, and remarked that he had a prospect that he would like us to
look at, only a short distance away. We went with him to the location.
His shaft was then only about three feet deep, and when Mr. Hearst
jumped down into the hole that he had dug, the surface of the ground was
about as high as his waist, and he could jump in and out by putting his
hands on the earth. I saw that he was very much interested in the
appearance of the ore, which at that depth and at that time did not show
more than a streak of eight or ten inches of mineral. I was at that time
what they called a "tenderfoot," and had not been in the mining business
long enough to be an expert, and to my inexperienced eye there was
nothing unusual in the appearance of the ore, but Mr. Hearst did see
something, and he determined then and there to purchase the Ontario
prospect, and arranged when we returned to Salt Lake City with Mr.
Chambers to keep a watch over its development, and purchase it when he
saw an opportunity to do so. Mr. Budden and his associates asked $5,000
for the prospect when we were there, but Mr. Hearst thought it might be
bought for less, as it was nothing but a prospect. But as the
development of the mine progressed they raised their price for it $5,000
every time they were asked the terms, until at last it was up to
$30,000, when Mr. Chambers purchased it for Mr. Hearst and his
associates in San Francisco, Messrs. Tebis and Haggin. Mr. R. C.
Chambers was made superintendent of the mine, and has remained its
manager from that period until the present, he being one of the
stockholders, as well as the superintendent. The mine has grown and
developed until it is one of the great mines of the Rocky Mountain
region, and under Mr. Chamber's supervision has been extremely
successful and profitable to its owners. Its output, up to 1892, has
been over $26,000,000, over $12,000,000 of which has been paid in
dividends to the stockholders. This showed that Mr. Hearst was an
expert, for he was really one of the best judges of minerals I ever met.

Utah has furnished the mining industry with some very remarkably rich
silver mines, among them the Eureka, in Tintick District; the Eureka
Centennial; the Chrisman Mammoth, a large gold and silver mine, and the
Beck and Hornsilver, in the Frisco District; the Crescent; the Daly, in
Park City District; and Ontario, as well as a great many smaller mines
in the various parts of Utah. In Montana we have one of the greatest
copper mines in America, called the Anaconda. It is the leading mine in
Butte City, though they have many other remarkable mines in that
district. Then there is the Granite Mountain, the Drumlummen, in
Marysville District, also in Montana. But the greatest output from any
mine yet discovered was the Comstock, in Virginia City, Nev. It has
produced more millions of dollars than any other silver mine in the
United States, its output being about one-third gold. The mining
industry of the Rocky Mountain States and Territories is only in a fair
way for development. The State of Colorado furnishes some very rich
mining camps; also New Mexico and Arizona.

In Colorado there is the Central City and Black Hawk, and the adjacent
mining district, from which there has been millions of dollars in gold
extracted; also the Leadville, which has produced its millions in silver
and lead; the Aspen District, with its Molly Gibson and other immensely
rich mines. Then there is the Crede District, with its Amethyst and
others, now producing large amounts of silver and some gold; the
Silverton, where there are a great many rich mines being opened; the
Ouray District and Cripple Creek, a newly discovered gold camp, with
various others in that State too numerous to mention. Nearly all of the
entire mining camps of the State produce both gold and silver in greater
or less proportions, and with more or less galena or lead contained in
the ores with the precious metals, and this great mining industry, when
it is allowed to go on as it did before the demonetization of silver,
will prove to be among the greatest and best paying industries in the
whole Rocky Mountain region.

The Black Hills mining district of South Dakota is a very large mining
camp, where millions and millions of dollars in gold and silver have
been taken out, and where, no doubt, hundreds of millions more will be

Idaho has also proven to be a very rich State in mineral wealth, both
gold and silver, with many places where gold is washed out of the sands
and gravel of the valleys.

Silver City, in New Mexico, has produced a great many millions in gold
and silver, and at present seems to be a mining camp of great merit.

The mining industry of the mountains has, of course, been the means of
influencing the building of numerous railroads through and into some of
the most difficult mountain ranges; in fact wherever there has been a
flourishing mining district the railway people have found a way, with
capital behind them, to build a road to it, and it has now become
apparent that a rich mining camp will have a railway connection sooner
or later, no matter how difficult of access it may be. I think the men
and the companies who have had the building of roads through and into
the Rocky Mountains, and the interests of the country at heart, are
deserving of great praise. No doubt, as many camps are discovered, it
will be necessary to build many more roads than are now in existence,
without which the mining industry could not be conducted with profit.

I may, in concluding this chapter on mining, speak of the great future
there is for both Washington and Oregon as mineral States.



It is still within the memory of boys when it was almost universally
agreed that nothing was more impossible than successful fruit raising in
Colorado, with the exception of certain varieties of small fruits. It is
easy to see how such a belief grew up, for even now in many places it
requires ocular demonstrations to convince that, in parched valleys
where frequently even cactus and sage-brush are but sparsely
represented, fruit can be grown that in lustrous bloom and richness of
flavor can not be surpassed in any country or climate. That such is the
case, however, has already been so thoroughly proven, and the proof is
being so persistently repeated year after year, and in widely separated
localities, that to longer disbelieve or cavil is sufficient evidence
either of ignorance or determination not to believe.

When travelers first crossed the prairies and followed the sandy or
adobe river bottoms they could hardly be expected to think of the barren
tracts as covered with orchards and gardens within a few years. Yet
there were indices even then, and had not every mind been wholly
absorbed in the search for gold, some one might have drawn a lesson from
the laden plum and cherry trees that lined every foot-hill, cañon, and
ravine, sometimes following the stream far out on the prairie. In the
mountains, too, were raspberry patches, sometimes covering thousands of
acres and yielding almost incalculable quantities of luscious fruit
that, having no more appreciative pickers than bears and birds, annually
decayed among the rocks and fallen logs.

There were, and still are, countless numbers of huckleberries, and in
every part of the mountains grow more or less wild strawberries,
raspberries, currants, gooseberries, thimbleberries, huckleberries, and
numerous varieties of cherries, plums, and nuts. Considering these
things it would not have required a great stretch of imagination of some
old fruit man from the East to have foreseen something of the
possibilities now beginning to be almost phenomenally realized in every
part of the State.

A history of horticulture in the Centennial State has not yet been
written, and it is impossible to say when and where the first domestic
fruit was grown, or to whom is due the honor of having taken the initial
step in the industry that from its rapid development and the enthusiasm
already enlisted bids fair to outstrip all other pursuits in the State.
In rapidity the growth has been much like that of our magic capital
city, and as fruit is one of the things with which a luxury-loving
people will not dispense, it may fairly be predicted that the infant
industry, without any protection or coddling, will keep pace with the
State and city.

It is not difficult to find good reasons for believing that its progress
will not only exceed that of any other industry in the State, but that
it will be out of proportion to that of the State itself. Irrigating is
an expensive process, and whatever crop will bring the greatest return
for the least outlay in that direction is the one to which the energy of
the Colorado people should logically be directed. Not only can fruit be
raised with much less water than any other crop, but a good yield in a
single year after the trees are fairly well developed will reimburse the
purchase price of the land and the other expenses, besides leaving a
handsome profit.

If any one argues that only the southern half of the State can be relied
upon for fruit, a visit to Larimer County will promptly and effectually
convince him of his error. If he believes only in the western slope, let
him follow the Arkansas River from several miles above Salida to where
it enters Kansas, or the Platte from the foot-hills to Nebraska,
examining the embryo orchards that enrich nearly every farm on his

It is readily conceded that certain locations are, by nature, better
adapted than others to certain kinds of fruits. To fit the varieties to
the localities most suitable to their respective natures requires years
of experiment. The fruit industry of Colorado is now in that
experimental stage. To conduct the experiment so as to secure the best
results, men of skill, long experience, and indomitable energy are
necessary. Such men do not at present average one to the county. This
fact does not reflect discredit on the men who are growing fruit. No one
could realize the truth more fully than they do themselves. Hundreds of
them who are succeeding with orchards scarcely knew one tree from
another until they began putting them out on their farms.

The fact that so much has been accomplished without the experience and
skill so essential to success in every country is the strongest possible
evidence that the natural elements are here in the right combination and
ready to do their part, and more, to win for the Centennial State a
greater distinction as a fruit producer than has for years been hers as
the silver queen. Just as sure as the conditions of climate and soil
remain as they are, will this new industry eventually hold first place
in every respect. In the immediate vicinity of the capital city, where
only a few years ago was nothing but barren prairie, there are now
hundreds of acres in orchards and vineyards. Apples, pears, plums,
cherries, and numerous varieties of grapes are grown in abundance, and
with such success that the fruit acreage is annually increasing. Up and
down the Platte, on Cherry Creek and Clear Creek, on the prairie
wherever water can be had for irrigating, farmers are putting out more
and more in standard and small fruits. The never-failing demand for good
fruit, to fill which California annually ships thousands of car-loads,
is encouragement enough, for it insures good prices without the trouble
and expense of shipment.

Westward the same conditions are manifest, and the limited area of
tillable land shows a yearly increasing number of fruit trees. Here
close to the foot-hills a single acre, mostly in cherry trees, has
yielded a cash return of $1,000 from one year's crop just harvested. It
is but a matter of a few years until many another acre will yield as
much or more, either English Morello cherry trees, as in this case, or
from other varieties of standard fruits.

Boulder County has long been known as the home of small fruits. Last
year the county furnished 184,300 pounds of grapes and 304,810 quarts of
berries. In a walk through the streets of Boulder more grapes of the
finer varieties, such as Delaware, can be seen than in the market of any
other city in the State, without excepting even Denver in the present
year. Nor is the county's output confined to small fruits, for in last
year's report were 25,622 bushels of apples, 102 of peaches, and 143 of
pears, besides 4,745 quarts of plums and 1,905 of cherries.

The same condition prevails in all the counties in the northwest part of
the State, though, with the exception of the Greeley neighborhood and
the Platte Valley, the country is too recently settled to have made much
progress in the culture of fruit. In the last few years the blight has
been causing considerable discouragement in the Platte Valley and up the
tributary streams in Larimer and Boulder counties. Like other diseases,
it has struck hard in a few specially valuable places, and in the riot
of its march has caused more annoyance through fear than through actual
ravages. It may thin out a few susceptible varieties of trees, but when
it shall have run its course, the orchards that remain and those that
will grow up in the future will be practically impregnable to its
attacks. There are many varieties of fruits that will flourish just as
well as apples and pears, and which the blight never touches. Men who
are ready to drop the business when the fruit pest appears are not the
ones who will win success. Many of the trees from which the finest
apples are picked this year were badly blighted last year or the year



There are thousands, if not millions, of people in the United States
who, if asked how they accounted for the fact that there are so many
millionaires in the United States, could not give us a satisfactory
explanation of the phenomenon.

It is a fact that there are hundreds who have amassed fortunes ranging
from $1,000,000 to $100,000,000 each, within the last thirty years, and
but very few people have any idea how they have made such immense
fortunes in so short a time.

Not only our own people have made these vast fortunes, but hundreds of
foreigners have accumulated immense wealth in this country, and now hold
it. To give an idea of the immensity of these fortunes, I will call the
attention of the reader to some well-known facts. First, to the fact, as
is shown by Poor's Railroad Manual, that there is now about
$5,500,000,000 of railroad bonds and floating debt, and there is about
$4,500,000,000 of railroad stock, making a total of about
$10,000,000,000, and this vast wealth is in the hands of comparatively
few people.

Then there are national bonds to the amount of about $600,000,000. In
addition to these are the bonds that have been issued by the States,
counties, cities, towns, and school districts, amounting in the
aggregate to probably $3,000,000,000. Then there are, according to the
last census, about 9,000,000 of mortgages upon the farms, homes, and
property of the people. The aggregate of these 9,000,000 of mortgages is
probably not less than $5,000,000,000, and all of this vast amount of
bonds, stocks, and mortgages draw interest, requiring about
$1,000,000,000 each year to pay interest.

All of this wealth is in the hands of but a small percentage of the
people, and what is incomprehensible to the masses is the fact that a
very large per cent of it is in the hands of foreign capitalists. Of the
$10,000,000,000 of railroad bonds and stocks, it is a conservative
estimate to say that one-half of it belongs to foreign, principally
English, capitalists. The question is often asked, How did they acquire
this property? What did they give us in exchange for it? Was it gold,
silver, or merchandise? If neither of these, what did we get? To prove
that they did not send us either gold, silver, or merchandise in payment
for at least $5,000,000,000 of our railroad bonds, we have only to refer
to the report of the Secretary of the United States Treasury for 1891,
and we find that since the close of the war, in 1865, our exports of
gold, silver, and merchandise have exceeded our imports in the sum of
$872,000,000; so that it is very clear that we have been sending them an
enormous amount of money and merchandise over and above the amount we
have imported from them, and whatever may have been received from the
railroad bonds is still to be accounted for. To understand how they have
acquired this hold upon the resources of the country, imposing a burden
on the people that is surely and certainly reducing them to the
condition of paupers and serfs, we shall have to go back to the days of
the war, and review the financial policy of the Government, and point
out how the laws have been framed exclusively in the interest of

During the war the Government issued many kinds of paper money, such as
greenbacks, seven-thirty notes, one-year notes, compound-interest
notes, and one, two, and three year notes, all amounting to nearly
$2,000,000,000. This money was put in circulation by paying it out at
its full face value to the soldiers, sailors, and creditors of the
United States, but the Government would not receive it back in payment
of duties upon imports, but would receive it from any one who wished to
purchase five-twenty Government bonds, taking it at its face value.

The interest on these bonds was 6 per cent, payable in coin. This
continued until February, 1863, when the laws were enacted that provided
that after July 1, 1863, the paper money should not be received in
exchange for bonds having interest payable in coin. The result of this
was that shortly after the law went into effect the paper issued by the
Government rapidly depreciated, and very soon it was worth only about 40
cents on the dollar, but our soldiers were still compelled to take it at
its full face value, that is, 100 cents on the dollar.

At the close of the war, in 1865, our Government issued many hundreds of
millions of their depreciated paper and paid it out to the soldiers,
sailors, and other creditors of the Government at its full face value,
100 cents on the dollar.

After the soldiers had been paid off in the depreciated currency of the
Government, and it had gone into general circulation, one of the most
gigantic schemes ever concocted by the money-power was then devised.

The object was to destroy the money of the country, and issue in its
place many hundreds of millions of dollars of Government bonds drawing 6
per cent interest in coin, payable semi-annually.

During the winter of 1865-66, an agent of the Rothschilds went to
Washington and secured the enactment of a law providing that any person
might take any of the depreciated paper that had been issued by the
Government for the purpose of paying off the soldiers and the other
expenses of the war, and exchange it at its full face value for bonds of
the United States drawing 6 per cent interest in coin, payable
semi-annually, and that the money paid for such bonds should be
destroyed within three years after the close of the war. By this means
nearly $1,000,000,000 of the currency of the country was withdrawn from
circulation and destroyed, and an equal amount of 6 per cent coin bonds
were issued in place of the currency that was so destroyed.

No laws that were ever enacted, and no decrees that were ever
promulgated by any tyrant that ever sat upon a throne, ever enabled a
few to amass wealth as rapidly as they were enabled to do under the
provisions of these laws.

Under the provisions of the laws of 1863 the currency was depreciated to
less than 50 cents on the dollar, and under the law of 1866 hundreds of
millions of dollars were bought up by the Rothschilds and other English
and European bankers, at from 40 to 60 cents on the dollar, and were
converted into five-twenty United States bonds drawing 6 per cent
interest in coin, the interest to be paid semi-annually. This was
equivalent to 12 per cent upon the actual cash paid for the depreciated
paper with which they bought the bonds.

But this was only a part of the profit they were enabled to make. The
interest was paid every six months in gold. The interest on
$1,500,000,000 every six months was $45,000,000, and as the law that
required the duties on imports to be paid in coin had never been
repealed, gold was for many years at a high premium. The bondholders
could take their $45,000,000 every six months to the gold-room in Wall
Street and sell it for 50 per cent premium. This was equivalent to 9
per cent on the face value of the bonds and 18 per cent on the coin they
had paid for the currency with which they had bought the bonds.

But this was not all the profit they were enabled to make, for still
other laws had been framed in the interests of capital and speculators.

Congress had assumed all the power that was claimed by the kings of old
who claimed to rule by divine right; that is to give away the land of
the nation to whomsoever they saw proper, and exempt it from all
taxation for a term of years. In the exercise of this right they had
given to individuals and corporations more land than there is in Great
Britain; more land, in fact, than any king of England ever claimed to
own. This land was given for the purpose of enabling these favored
corporations to build railroads for themselves (not for the people); the
people had no interest in the roads, and could only use them on such
terms as the railroad companies might dictate.

Railroad companies could not build railroads with land; it took money to
build them; but the English bondholders had $50,000,000 or $60,000,000
coming in every six months for interest on their United States bonds,
and they were willing to lend it to the railroad companies and take
railroad bonds, secured by mortgage upon the railroad and their lands.
Now, as there were a great many railroad companies that wanted to borrow
money, they began to offer extra inducements to secure loans; they
offered their bonds at 10, 15, and often 20 per cent discount. These
railroad bonds usually drew 6, 7, and even 8 per cent interest, which
was paid semi-annually. The profits made by these English capitalists
were immense. Never in the world's history had such profits been made.
The wildest dreams of John Law and the South Sea schemers were more than

To fully understand this, let us take the actual results of one year's
operations. The English capitalists, we will say, in 1867, invested
$500,000,000 in the purchase of $1,000,000,000 of our depreciated
currency. They took it to the United States Treasurer and exchanged it
for United States bonds drawing 6 per cent interest in coin. At the end
of six months they drew $30,000,000 in gold coin, and took it to the
gold-room and sold it for $45,000,000 in greenbacks. Then they exchanged
their greenbacks for railroad bonds at 20 per cent discount. They would
thus receive about $54,000,000 of railroad bonds drawing 7 per cent
interest. At the end of the next six months they would draw another
$30,000,000 in coin and sell it for $45,000,000 in greenbacks, and
exchange them for another $54,000,000 in railroad bonds. They would also
draw 7 per cent interest on the first $54,000,000 of railroad bonds,
which, for six months, would be $1,840,000. The account of the first
year would stand as follows: $500,000,000 in gold brought $1,000,000,000
of depreciated currency, and was exchanged for $1,000,000,000 of United
States bonds; one year's interest on $1,000,000,000 amounted to
$60,000,000. This was sold in the gold-room for $90,000,000 in
greenbacks. Then the greenbacks were exchanged for railroad bonds at 20
per cent discount on the bonds. In this way at the end of the first
year, for their investment of $500,000,000, they found themselves in
possession of $1,000,000,000 of United States bonds, and $108,000,000 of
railroad bonds, and $1,840,000 in cash for the first six months'
interest on the first $54,000,000 of railroad bonds. Nor was this all
the profit of the English capitalists, for in 1869 they secured the
passage of a law by Congress pledging the Government to pay not only the
interest but the principal of the United States bonds in coin. This
rapidly increased the value of the bonds, and in a few years they were
eagerly sought for by English capitalists, and they rose to a premium of
25 per cent in gold on their full face value.

Within five years after the passage of the law of 1866, the bonded debt
of the United States reached the sum of over $1,800,000,000. The
interest was paid in coin, and was sold in the gold-room in Wall Street
at a premium until 1878, and the profits realized upon the sale of this
gold were simply enormous. These profits were promptly invested in
railroad bonds at a discount of from 5 to 25 per cent.

In 1866 the bonded indebtedness of the railroads had got up to
$2,165,000,000, and was in the hands principally of English capitalists,
who had paid for them with the profits they had made on the United
States bonds they had bought at a discount of from 40 to 60 per cent.

Not only the British capitalists made enormous profits, but our railroad
corporations and speculators made still greater profits. For every
dollar of the bonds they sold to the English capitalists they issued a
dollar or more of the railroad stocks, so that in 1876 the amount of
railroad stock reached the sum of $2,248,000,000.

From 1876 to 1890 the English and European capitalists continued to
invest the interest they drew upon their Government and railroad bonds
in the new issues of railroad bonds, so that, in 1890, they had secured
the enormous sum of $4,828,000,000 of railroad bonds, and it took
$219,877,000 to pay the interest annually. During the same time the
railroads had increased the amount of railroad stock to $4,495,000,000
and it took $80,000,000 to pay the dividends.

The railroad people not only made vast fortunes out of the
$4,495,000,000 of watered stock (for it was in reality nothing but
water, for the actual cost of building the roads was no more than was
received from the sale of their bonds to the English capitalists), but
they made hundreds of millions of dollars from the sale of the lands
that had been given to them by the Government, and had not cost them one
cent, not even for taxes. They ran their roads through their lands for
thousands of miles, and wherever they thought proper they would lay out
towns and cities and sell the lots at fabulous prices.

They also induced towns, counties, and cities to issue millions of
dollars of bonds and give to the companies, as a bonus, to run their
roads through such towns and cities.

When we look at these facts, that are matters of history and can not be
gainsaid, is it not plain to every man of common sense, that the policy
of the Government for the last quarter of a century has been in the
interest of capitalists and speculators, and against the interest of the
producing classes, who, either directly or indirectly, must pay the
interest annually on this vast accumulation of wealth that is in the
hands of the favored few?

And to pay this vast amount of interest in gold, as these capitalists
insist upon, and are trying to compel the people to do by using every
means in their power to prevent the free and unlimited coinage of
silver, will, in the near future, reduce the producing classes to the
condition of serfs.



The "Bonanza" State, young as she is to-day, has more towns and cities
than such old and well developed States as Wisconsin, Illinois, or
Minnesota had at a period in their history at which they might easily
have expected to be far better developed, as regards population, than
Montana could reasonably expect.

A half-century marks the time when the great Chicago of to-day was Fort
Dearborn, planted, as it were, on a boundless prairie to watch a few
blanketed Indians and traders at the mouth of the Chicago River. This
was the nucleus of the great city--the second in rank of the many
wonderful cities of the United States. Fifty years ago the pioneers of
the Badger and Prairie States were doing what the old-timers and
pioneers of Montana are doing to-day, building towns and founding
cities. In the Eastern pioneer States where a few straggling hamlets
were first fashioned by the efforts of the early emigrants, there are
thousands of towns and cities, where the unpretentious log cabins and
town sites were no more inviting than those of the early settlers of

Dating the first settlement of our State at twenty eight years ago, it
may be said, without contradiction, that no Eastern State from its
foundation to the twenty-eighth year of its age was half so marked or
half so prosperous as Montana, with her hundred towns and cities at no
greater age. If the State of Illinois has produced a Chicago at fifty
years of growth, and Wisconsin a Milwaukee at a less number of years,
and Minnesota the dual cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis in a much
shorter time, what may not be expected of Montana, whose boundaries
embrace probably the richest country in the world, and whose area equals
that of the New England States and New York combined?

We see with open eyes what a half-century of American genius and Western
enterprise has wrought; may we not see by a prophetic vision a grander
half-century's work as the future of Montana? As certain as history
repeats itself, the prospector's wickie-up will become the mining camp,
the corral of the round-ups will furnish the location for rustic
villages, the villages will become towns, and scores of towns will
become cities, each one of which must be larger than the other, and one
of which must be the great metropolis of the Northwest.

Following is a list of the towns and cities of the State, arranged in
counties, together with the assessed valuation of those counties:

BEAVERHEAD COUNTY.--Assessed valuation for 1890, $3,175,949. County
seat, Dillon; Bannack, Glendale, Redrock, Spring Hill, Barratts.

CASCADE COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $12,383,864. County seat, Great
Falls; Sun River, Cascade, Sand Coulee.

CHOTEAU COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $5,364,264. County seat, Fort
Benton; Chinook, Choteau, Harlem, Shonkin.

CUSTER COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $6,350,915. County seat, Miles City;
Rosebud, Forsyth.

DAWSON COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $3,025,332. County seat, Glendive;

DEER LODGE COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $7,359,589. County seat, Deer
Lodge; Anaconda, Beartown, Blackfoot, Drummond, Phillipsburg, Elliston,
Granite, Helmville, New Chicago, Pioneer, Warm Springs, Stuart.

FERGUS COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $4,186,555. County seat, Lewiston;
Cottonwood, Utica, Maiden, Neihart.

GALLATIN COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $6,170,381. County seat, Bozeman;
Three Forks, Gallatin, Galesville, Madison.

JEFFERSON COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $4,917,382. County seat, Boulder;
Jefferson City, Radersburg, Basin, Placer, Elkhorn, Whitehall, Alhambra,

LEWIS AND CLARKE COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $31,081,030. County seat,
Helena; Marysville, Unionville, Rimini, Cartersville, Augusta, Dearborn,

MADISON COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $2,948,046. County seat, Virginia
City; Fullers Springs, Sheridan, Twin Bridges, Laurin, Silver Star,
Pony, Red Bluff, Meadow Creek.

MEAGHER COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $5,239,882. County seat, White
Sulphur Springs; Neihart, Castle, Martinsdale, Townsend, Clendennin,

MISSOULA COUNTY.--Assessed valuation $8,815,854. County seat, Missoula;
Demersville, Kalispel, Stevensville, Columbia Falls, Ashley, Grantsdale,
Corvallis, Horse Plains, Thompson Falls, Camas Prairie.

PARK COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $4,936,451. County seat, Livingston;
Red Lodge, Cook City, Cokedale, Big Timber, Melville.

SILVER BOW COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $32,426,794. County seat, Butte
City; Melrose, Silver Bow, Divide.

YELLOWSTONE COUNTY.--Assessed valuation, $3,823,140. County seat,
Billings; Park City, Stillwater.

WEALTH OF MONTANA.--Nothing speaks louder for the future of Montana than
the figures that tell of her wealth and of the rapid increases which the
last few years, as they rolled along one by one, have shown.

The increase during the last year has been no exception to this rule.

From a total assessable valuation of $116,767,204 in 1890, her wealth
has increased to a total of $142,205,428 for 1891, a gain of over
twenty-five millions. The valuation of the State, given by counties, is
as follows:

    County of Beaverhead              $ 3,175,949
      "    "  Cascade                  12,383,864
      "    "  Choteau                   5,364,264
      "    "  Custer                    6,350,915
      "    "  Dawson                    3,025,332
      "    "  Deer Lodge                7,359,589
      "    "  Fergus                    4,186,555
      "    "  Gallatin                  6,170,381
      "    "  Jefferson                 4,917,382
      "    "  Lewis and Clarke         31,081,030
      "    "  Madison                   2,948,046
      "    "  Meagher                   5,239,882
      "    "  Missoula                  8,815,854
      "    "  Park                      4,936,451
      "    "  Silver Bow               32,426,794
      "    "  Yellowstone               3,823,140
           Total                     $142,205,428

But even this vast sum does not tell the whole story, for Montana's
additional real wealth is not included in the assessable property of the
State, as the vast millions of the intrinsic value of the silver, gold,
copper, coal, and lead mines, and their precious output, are not
assessable for taxation--only the improvements. So if the value of all
of Montana's mines were put in the calculation of her wealth, what a
vast amount of money-value would be placed to her credit. Of the
hundreds of her gold and silver mines, two are valued at $25,000,000

The above assessment value of $142,205,428 is made up of real estate,
acre property, town lots, railroad rolling stock, road-bed and
improvements, and personal property.

Montana's present ratio of population is not quite one person to the
square mile, so with an assessment of over $142,000,000 with a
population (according to the census of 1892) at 140,000, what will be
the value of the State when its population shall have increased to ten
persons to the square mile? The calculation is easily made--so within
the next decade Montana's population may reach 1,440,000, and if the
assessed value then is equal to the present wealth per capita of her
citizens, the assessed value will reach the prodigious volume of
$1,203,000,000--a calculation not unreasonable, since Montana's
population in the last ten years increased 235 per cent.



Not only is California the land of gold, the garden of fruit, and the
home of the vine, but its rich soil is the footing for the greatest
trees in the world. The redwoods of California are known all over the
earth, and their fame is deserved, for they are the loftiest, the
grandest trees that ever raised their crests to heaven, swayed in the
breeze, and defied the storm. Though usually spoken of as the redwoods,
these big trees are of two varieties. The redwood proper is the _Sequoia
sempervirens_ of the botanist, and the sister tree is the great
Washington _Sequoia_, Wellington _Sequoia_, or _Sequoia gigantea_, being
known by all three names, the last being the most correct. Another
forest giant of a different nature to either, and yet commanding
attention, on account of its giant size and age, is the _Pinus
lambertiana_, the great sugar-pine of California. These three are the
greatest trees on earth.

To single out the largest individual tree, it is probable that the
_Sequoia sempervirens_ would have to be awarded the palm; while to the
greatest number of very large trees, the palm would have to be awarded
to the _Sequoia gigantea_. Redwood trees (_Sequoia sempervirens_) are
found only on the Coast Range, and _Sequoia giganteas_ only in the
Sierra Nevada Mountains. There are no redwoods south of Monterey County
or north of Trinity County. The trees are different in foliage, and in
their cones the _Sequoia gigantea_ has a larger, more compact, firm cone
than the _Sequoia sempervirens_, the cone of which is small and split
open, though the similarity in form of the cones is noticeable. It is
not generally known that "_sequoia_" is the name of the _genus_, just
like oak, cypress, maple, and hence that the _gigantea_ and
_sempervirens_ are species of the same _genus_. The name _sequoia_ comes
from _Sequoyah_, a Cherokee Indian chief of mixed blood, whose wisdom
raised him as much above his fellows as the redwoods tower above other

As to the age of the trees, it is conceded by botanists that the
concentric rings interpret their annual growth. Objection has been taken
to this on the ground that the distance between the rings varies very
much in different trees of the same species. This fact has, however, no
weight. The closer the rings the thriftier the tree, and their distance
apart has no more to do with their age than a man's height or weight
have to do with his age. Differences in soil and location account for
the closeness of the rings, but, unquestionably, every added ring
represents an added year of growth. In some cases there are but six or
eight rings to the inch, in others thirty to forty. The ages of the big
trees in the Calaveras and Mariposa groves range from 1,000 to 4,320
years of age. One can scarcely conceive what this means; and the
historic incidents of the days when these trees were already old may
help to convey an idea of their age. When Carthage was founded some of
these trees were centuries old; before Solomon built his temple, or
David founded Judea, some of these forest giants fell crashing to earth,
and have lain prone there ever since. All through the ages of
Christianity the changing winds have shaken their tapering tops, and
have swayed their crests in the gentle zephyrs, or rocked them to and
fro in the gale, and now man, the pigmy, with his piece of jagged steel,
his span of life three score years and ten, comes along, cuts through
the forest giant, and the growth of thousands of years, that has defied
storm and tempest, falls a victim to the pigmy.

The largest stump extant is in Mill Valley, Marin County, half an hour's
ride north of San Francisco. This remnant of a great tree belongs to the
redwood family; is, in fact, a genuine _Sequoia sempervirens_. How high
it may have been it is impossible to say. Its circumference now is 135
feet, and measures across, on an average, 43 feet 6 inches. The saplings
which stand round the ruin measure from 3 to 10 feet in diameter. The
largest standing tree is the "Mother of the Forest," in the Calaveras
grove. It now measures, without the bark, at the base 84 feet, and the
full circumference, with the bark, which was stripped off in 1854 for
exhibition purposes, was 90 feet. Its height is 321 feet, and the tree
is estimated to contain 537,000 feet of inch lumber, allowing for saw
cuts. Close to it, prone upon mother earth, lies the "Father of the
Forest." When standing, it is accredited with having been 400 feet high,
with a circumference at the base of 110 feet, and he unquestionably was
once king of the grove. "The living and representative trees of the
Calaveras groves," says J. M. Hutchings, in "The Heart of the Sierras,"
"consist of ten that are each 30 feet in diameter, and over seventy that
measure from 15 to 30 feet at the ground." About six miles to the
southeast of the Calaveras grove (in Calaveras County, Cal.) is the
South grove. It contains 1,380 _Sequoias_, ranging from 1 foot to 34
feet in diameter.

In the Mariposa grove, in Mariposa County, Cal., there are many large
trees, among them the "Grizzly Giant," measuring 91 feet at the ground,
and 74 feet 6 inches three feet six inches above the ground, and is 275
feet high. Many very large trees and many interesting facts might be
mentioned relative to them.

The _Sequoia gigantea_ in the Sierras, in addition to the differences in
cone and flower from the _Sequoia sempervirens_, has this one that,
while the former grows only from seeds, the latter grows from both seeds
and suckers, though mainly from the latter. The _Sequoias_ of the
Sierras rise to a height of 275 or even 350 feet, and are from 20 to 30,
or even in rare cases 40 feet in diameter.



For centuries the rose--the queen of flowers--has been a never ceasing
inspiration to poets and writers. Every bard has sung his lay to the
majesty of this peerless flower.

Every ancient country has its rose traditions. Fashions do not assail
the rose, only in specialty and variety.

The unanimity characterizing its nomenclature is but another feature in
the unvarying and universal popularity of the rose.

All research fails to reveal the white rose as known to the ancients;
the Greek word "rodon," ruddy, being used synonymously by all countries.

It was the flower dedicated to love--to Cupid and Venus. Cupid bestowed
it as an emblem upon Harpocrates, the god of silence, to bind him not to
betray the evil of his mother, Venus. In consequence the rose became
symbolical of silence, and was gracefully distributed on the guest-table
as a delicate reminder that all confidences should be respected. Comus,
deity of the table, Hebe and Ganymede, nectar-bearers to the gods, were
crowned with roses. The rose is typical of youth as well as beauty.

During the greatest opulency of the ancient empires its purity was often
sullied by effeminacy and sensuality.

Who has not heard of the roses of the valley of Cashmere? Who has not
longed to behold their exquisite perfection? Who, in contemplating the
forms and colors, the lights and shadows of Flora's choicest blooms, has
not found language failing in fineness to express the delicate
eloquence of the rose? Who, in cultivating it, has not felt solicitude
and affection for these creatures of the garden? Who has not had his
anger excited in beholding a bud ruthlessly torn by sacrilegious hands
and has not looked upon the broken stem as he would upon a bleeding
artery? Who, in cultivating roses, has not spiritually felt the better
for it? The subtlety of its fragrance, the grace of its form, the
perfect harmony of its tones appeal to the imagination like music to the
soul. In the whole range of nature's variety and completeness nothing so
satisfies the idea of perfection as the rose. 'Tis grace idealized and
the quintessence of beauty in its flowing lines and curves.

The relative position of the rose to its stem suggests majesty; its
color in contrast to its leaves, completeness; the unfolding of its
petals, grace; its tintings fulfill that esthetic delight, harmony; its
fragrance, the sublimated breath of a fairer existence. In all candor,
does it not more than satisfy the degree superlative?

Nature has richly endowed the earth with roses. Every country can offer
its wild-rose tributes on Flora's shrine, with but one single exception,
and that Australia. There are over eighty varieties of the wild rose
known, the greater number being indigenous to Asia.

With experimenting and cultivating, varieties of roses have multiplied
by hundreds; and rose culture, like everything else in this nineteenth
century, has become a science.

Roses are like children, requiring warmth and affection. In a mild
climate, where the seasons do not vary greatly in regard to temperature,
the rose outvies tradition itself, and unfolds and matures with a
regularity quite astonishing.

California climate is nature's elected home for roses. In almost any
portion of the State removed from the immediate harsh influences of the
coast, roses revel, from the tiniest boutonniere rose, with its pert
little face, to that great lusty fellow, big as a large saucer and as
hardy as a cabbage.

To the old residents, no rose in California appeals more to the poetical
sense than the old Castilian, one of the oldest varieties in the State,
and one now greatly despised by its more fortunate and voluptuous
sisters. The fragrance of this rose is incomparable, its color an
intense glowing old pink, its foliage painfully disappointing. Having
such a vigorous and healthy trunk and lusty system of roots, the
Castilian is employed largely to graft other stock upon.

An ideal climate should produce nothing but ideal forms. This natural
and just hypothesis is amply proven in presenting the full array of
California roses as evidence. What better class of evidence could be

There are several general groups into which California roses are usually
divided: Tea roses, Bourbon roses, hybrid perpetual roses, China or
Bengal roses, moss and climbing roses.

Of these classes, but several can be mentioned. Roses, as a theme, are
practically inexhaustible, and the few kinds that appeal most strongly
to the writer's sympathies will receive a passing word.

A rose-covered cottage, the material expression of peace, lowliness,
beauty, and picturesqueness; a picture that most of us mirror in our
minds in youth as connected with great and simple happiness. Many of the
old Spanish houses of California are overrun with climbing roses. These
old houses, simple in style of architecture, broad and square in
appearance, are inviting abodes for the clinging loveliness of
California's climbers.

Some fine April morning take a little trip to San Rafael, one of San
Francisco's suburban villages. In this hill-girth town blooms the
fairest rose of all the climbers. Some call it the "San Rafael Rose,"
others the "Beauty of Blazenwood."

The trunk rises bare and sturdily from the ground; as it approaches the
top of a porch it spreads and bursts forth into a cloud of tawny yellow
loveliness. Each rose presses hard upon its neighbor until special fancy
is lost in the bewildering mass of bloom.

In this rose, the palest cream tint to the richest glowing apricot tones
are observable. Frequently here a dash of color almost vermilion is
discovered; there a long slender-necked bud thrusts forth its head, as
in derision to its closely-packed companions.

These roses are not very double, and a mass of their bloom presents
features of ragged, wild grace; the vivid colors enthrall, hasty steps
are slackened to gaze at this golden corona of smiling April.

The brilliant William Allen Richardson, the mellow-toned and
sweet-breathed Salina Forrester, the lusty-growing and superb bearing
Reve d'Or, the daintily flowering and enameled-leaved single white
Cherokee, the prolific blooming and tiny-flowered Lady Banksia, and
California's old stand-by, the Lamarque, a profusely bearing, many
petaled white rose, perfect in all stages of development, and very
handsome foliage.

In many of the old towns of California may be seen rose trees of really
enormous size.

The writer saw a Duchesse de Brabant rose tree in Colusa County at least
nine feet high and thirty feet or more in circumference. It was covered
with hundreds of silvery pink roses; the trunk looked scraggy, and was
probably twelve inches in circumference. Such a case is rare, however.

The Loretta is a rose of exquisite texture, of a creamy tone, and
petals as clear-cut and dainty as a cameo. Too much praise can not be
showered upon this long-stemmed vigorous grower. Such a galaxy of
beautiful roses, each clamoring for recognition, that the only way to
render justice is to stop right short and write nothing more.

The La France roses, Perle de Gardin, Marie Van Houtte, Archduc, Charles
Catharine Mermet, Homer, Papa Gontier, Jacqueminot, and hundreds of
others that nothing short of a book can satisfy their vanity and express
their many graces.

The western coast of Europe and the western coast of America have about
the same annual mean temperature--50° Fahrenheit, with a limit of 51°
30" of north latitude.

The Pacific Coast has greatly the advantage over western Europe, in that
the extremes of heat and cold are nearer together, a characteristic that
is attributable to two paramount causes: Firstly, the Japanese current
emanating from the Indian Ocean. The main body of this heated water
sweeps toward the west coast of America, turns easterly and southerly,
helping to produce a delightful insular climate along the coast of
Oregon and California. Secondly, the mountain barriers upon the east and
north; the sheltering influences of the Sierra Nevadas and Cascade
mountains as they reach the coast of Alaska encircling its southern and
western coasts, thus cutting off the polar winds that would otherwise
flow over Oregon and California.

The State possesses three distinct climates, that of the coast, valleys,
and mountains, similar in the matter of seasons, but otherwise totally

Degrees of latitude have no bearing upon fruit culture in California,
for it is an ascertained fact that fruits ripen earlier in the north
than in the south of the State.

Horticulture and geographical situations have nothing in common. In
other regions one is quite dependent upon the other, but in California
horticulture laughs at geographical boundaries.

These surprising conditions depend wholly upon topography, and consist
not in parallels of latitude, but by topographical curves varying in
direction and governed by deposit and natural formation, altitude,
rainfall, and temperature.

What is known as the Citrus Belt of California is a great valley lying
between the Coast Range on the west and the Sierra Nevadas on the east,
and runs in a direction northwest to southeast, and extends from Red
Bluff on the north to the Tejon Mountains on the south. The total area
is about 17,200 square miles. This great valley contains about one-half
of all the fruit trees and a third of all the vines in the State. Within
the limits of this belt to the northernmost boundaries, in favored spots
the orange flourishes side by side with the apple.

Immense tracts of this great valley are used for agricultural and
pasturage purposes, and, as yet, orchards occupy but an insignificant
area of this immense valley.

Several characteristics of the California climate and soil conjoin not
only to produce glorious flowers, both wild and cultivated, but the
greatest possible variety of fruits and berries. The abundant heat,
almost perennial sunshine, and dry atmosphere, together with the fine
adaptability of the soil and the great length of the growing season,
join forces to produce fruits of superior size and excellence. The trees
are amazingly prolific bearers, and also produce mammoth fruit.

All conscientious horticulturists resort to the "thinning out" process
in order to preserve the quality and size of what they allow to remain
on the trees.

The fruit industry in California, in spite of the immense crops matured
every year, is but in its infancy. Millions of trees and vines are not
yet in bearing, or only yielding third, fourth, and fifth year crops.

Since the formation of the Fruit Growers' Union in 1881, when the first
law was enacted to protect California horticulturists, there has been
steady progress and practical expenditure of brains and money to further
the interests, in every way possible, of the fruit growers of

Horticulture has been reduced to a science by disseminating knowledge
and a hearty coöperation of fruit growers to extend the interests of the
State in every way possible.

The history of horticulture in the State of California almost up to the
present time has been one of experimenting, ascertaining the
adaptability of the soil to certain kinds of fruits, and testing what
European and Eastern trees do well in this climate, for many varieties
make utter failures, while others are improved beyond recognition.

Californians have had to learn also that a horticultural precedent has
been established here, independent of what obtains in other countries.
Although ideas and methods have been gleaned from abroad, application to
local and special needs have metamorphosed them to a great extent.
Hap-hazard planting in California is humbug unless wedded to Yankee

Know your soil and its elements, the atmosphere, heat, and moisture and
exposure; then ascertain what fruits do well under those limitations.

Clear your land, plow and sow a crop of something to mellow up the soil,
the next year plant your young trees. Climate will be your fellow-worker
and steadfast friend. Nine-twelfths of the year a man can sit down and
watch nature work. The man who complains of climate in California should
be banished from this paradise, for even the golden fruit of Hesperides
would be but clay to one whose birthright is discontent.

What will constitute California's future glory will be the division of
the lands into small holdings of from twenty acres up to about two
hundred acres; where owners give their personal supervision; where the
excellence of the fruits should be the consideration, over and above the
profits; where men who resort to practices in the business that cheapen
the standard of fruits should be forced out of the market; where every
man works for the good of the whole; where the pride of the
horticulturist, and not the greed of the speculator, obtains, and where
the specialist and student flourish. If these conditions will not make
California the greatest fruit-producing country on earth, then human
ingenuity is at fault, and not climate.

Many a tourist in coming to San Francisco, and it might be said it is
the exception when it is not so, has wondered if California fruits can
make no better showing than the sour, half-ripened fruit he partakes of;
last, but not least, the prices he pays for this fruit are so
incredulously high that he wonders if it can be possible he can be
eating imported fruit, and not the production of the California soil.
Then he compares his experience here with that abroad; at the forts
along the Mediterranean for a cent or two he can entirely satisfy a
robust appetite with luscious fruit.

California fruit growers are so busy at present over their export trade
that home consumption is relegated to the leavings, under the same
principle a cobbler's children have no shoes.

Great things are expected of the olive industry of this State. Although
the last returns showed but little over eleven thousand gallons of oil
from the last crop, there are thousands upon thousands of young trees
not yet in bearing. The oil produced is of a superior quality, and
leads the sanguine to believe that the olive crown will yet rest upon
our brows.

Fruit curing is, and will continue to be, one of the first industries of
the State. The figures for the season just passed will aggregate
48,700,000 pounds of dried fruit, nearly four-fifths of which will
represent French prunes; this is but a mere bagatelle to what the crop
will be several years hence.

The prune industry is centered in Santa Clara County; the biggest prune
orchard in the State is now in the Salinas Valley, San Luis Obispo
County. In this orchard there are 300 acres of prune trees planted in a
body, representing 324,000 trees. Prune trees make such quick returns,
four-year-old trees bear heavily.

All temperate zone and semi-tropical fruits are raised with equal
facility. Berries do superbly; strawberries, however, are too often

Fruits in California, where irrigation methods are too much employed,
depreciate in quality; the fine flavor is sacrificed for the early
ripening--a too frequent method of producers, that should be cried down.
Flavor is what makes fine fruit. Size and beauty do much in their way,
but flavor is the nectar of the gods. Size and beauty constitute the
shell, flavor is the subtle spirit that animates it.

In many localities the orchards are merely cultivated, that is, plowed
and harrowed three or four times a year, but never irrigated
artificially. In portions of the State where midsummer irrigation is
required, and where the country presents a level surface, as in Yolo
County, whole orchards are flooded with an abundant supply of water.

The raisin of late years has received a greater impetus than any other
fruit in the State. The ease with which raisin vines are propagated, the
early profits, immense crops, and excellent prices induce hundreds to
engage in the industry. About a thousand acres are set to raisin vines.
Fresno County is the center of this industry. Over 50,000,000 pounds
were produced this year, and one-third only of the vines are in bearing.

The orange crop was enormous; lemons, figs, apricots, nuts, pears,
peaches, and cherries each and all have made excellent records for

The shipping record for the year 1890 was 16,191 car-loads, which would
make a continuous train of cars 123 miles long.

The report of the State Board of Horticulture says: "It is a significant
fact that while our wheat output has not materially increased from 1880
to 1890, our fruit output has increased more than thirty times, and is
growing with great rapidity. While the showing here made still keeps
California in the front rank of wheat-growing States, being third in the
rank, it demonstrates the great advantages of the State as a
fruit-producing country.

"In 1880 our exports of fruit brought us probably about $700,000, while
they now amount to about $20,000,000. This wonderful result has brought
with it what is above all computation, to wit: the demonstration that
fruit-growing in this State is very profitable, and is almost absolutely
safe from frosts and other drawbacks, and has practically no limit."



It is a mistake to believe that, because Colorado has a high elevation,
the mercury in the thermometer drops down below zero in the winter
season and stops there, and that the snow mounts up with the altitude.
The fact is that the average precipitation of moisture at Denver during
the entire year is only 14.77 inches. With such a slight precipitation
there is practically no danger of snow blockades on the railroads, save
at a few points exposed to drifts, and these points have been amply
protected. This is especially true of the through line of the Denver &
Rio Grande Railroad from Denver to Salt Lake City and Ogden.

Facts speak louder than words, and the fact is that travel over "the
Scenic Line of the World" has gone on with less interruption from snow
during the last five winters than it has on the plains lines, which are
popularly supposed to be more free from such delays than the mountain

A winter's residence in Colorado will banish forever the false
impression that this is a boreal region, given over to inclemency and
snow-drifts. There is more sunshine in Colorado than in Florida; there
is less snow than in any State east of the Missouri River. A single trip
over the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad from Denver to Ogden, in
midwinter, will disabuse the mind of the tourist or transcontinental
traveler of the erroneous notion that mountain railroads suffer from
delays by snow to any greater extent than do the trains upon the less
attractive, and by far more bleak, plains.

The glories and pleasures of a summer trip by rail through the Rocky
Mountains have been lauded _ad infinitum_, and, indeed, too much can not
be said in this direction; but winter adds new grandeur to the scene,
lends a new charm to the massive bulwarks of the gigantic ranges, and
introduces a new element of variety and beauty to these unsurpassed and
unsurpassable wonders of nature. These sights can be enjoyed, these
wonders witnessed, with no dangers of delay and no anticipation of
vexatious detentions. There are those, however, who, knowing that the
Denver & Rio Grande Railroad climbs great passes over the mountains, are
apprehensive of snow blockades at these points. Here facts come to the
rescue. The trains are not delayed, for the exposed places of this
character have been amply protected, and the experiences of years prove
that delay of trains from snow is a rarer event on this
mountain-climbing system than on the level, and in fact more exposed,
lines of the East.

For the benefit of those who are unacquainted with the peculiarity of
the mountain-base climate, it may be well to mention some of its
characteristics. In summer the days are seldom hot, and it is rare to
see the thermometer reach 90° at Manitou. The farther one moves eastward
from the foot-hills, the greater are to be found the extremes of
temperature. Omaha, although much lower in elevation, experiences far
greater extremes of heat and cold.

In the dry air of the Colorado plateau the feeling of heat and cold is
much less marked. One is not oppressed at all by a temperature of 90°,
nor does almost any amount of cold produce the chilliness in the open
air, which is really the distressing and objectionable feature of a low
temperature. The nights in summer are always cool and refreshing.

It must not be supposed that the climate of Colorado is an equable one,
or that there is a distinct dry and rainy season, as in California and
on the Pacific Coast. The contrary is true. The diurnal range of
temperature, as in all high countries, is great; and there are rains
throughout the warm parts of the year and snows in winter, but both are
moderate in quantity.

A glance at the reports compiled by the United States Signal Service
shows the remarkable fact that 340 out of 365 were "sunny days" in

It is not necessary to add an elaborate argument. The conclusion is
self-evident and inevitable. The winter climate of Colorado, on the
whole, presents advantages for the invalid and the pleasure-seeker that
can not fail to command attention. The Denver & Rio Grande is not alone
a summer road. Its trains run on schedule time all the year round, and
give to the travelling public all the comforts, conveniences,
elegancies, and luxuries to be found on any line, with the added
attraction of scenery the grandest in the world.

Climate and health go together so closely associated that they have
become almost synonymous terms. So beneficial have been found the
climatic influences of Colorado that her fame as a sanitarium has become
world-wide, and this reputation has been so well-founded in recent years
that thousands of people from all parts of America and Europe--from many
parts of the world, in fact--are now coming annually to Colorado for
recuperation or permanent residence. The dryness and lightness of the
air, and its invigorating character, together with the almost constant
prevalence of sunshine, impart new energy to the well and a fresh lease
of life to those whose constitutions are impaired. All the conditions of
life to the newcomer in Colorado are fresh and inspiring, and even
wasted and shattered constitutions are restored to vigor. This is
illustrated daily by the experiences of thousands who have sought the
benign influences of Colorado climate with scarcely a hope, in the
beginning, of recovery. These climatic influences are especially
beneficial to persons suffering from all kinds of lung diseases, except
to those in the last stage of consumption. That the climate itself is a
preventative of consumption is evidenced in the fact that phthisis does
not originate here. The places of peculiar advantage in seeking health
are the towns and cities on the plains, and parks and pleasure resorts
on the mountains. The plains in some instances are the most beneficial
for a permanent residence, while in other cases the mountains are
preferable. There are not exceeding an average of sixty-five cloudy days
per year in Colorado, while there are scarcely twenty days that the sun
is all the day invisible at any given point. Summer weather usually
continues till October, and the autumn till January. Usually the winters
are mild, followed by an early spring. In summer the temperature rarely
reaches 90° and is normal at 70°. Colorado climate is beneficial not to
consumptives alone, but persons of kidney and liver and kindred diseases
are benefited both by climate and the mineral waters which everywhere
abound in the State, and are especially numerous and available on the
Denver & Rio Grande Railroad lines.

The supply of coal in Colorado is inexhaustible, the lignite or brown
coal area extending from St. Vrains on the north to the Raton Mountains
on the south, about 220 miles in length and varying from twenty to
twenty-five miles in breadth, along the eastern base of the mountains.
Large portions of this field have been swept away by floods resulting
from melting glaciers. The principal developments of this vast field
have been made in the vicinity of Trinidad and Walsenburg, Cañon City,
Coal Creek, Colorado Springs, Golden, Loveland, Erie, and Boulder.
Lignite also exists in North Park and at various points on the divide
between North and Middle parks. Jet, or the black variety of coal,
occurs in seams from one-half to six inches in width in the shale about
Cañon City and Little Fountain Creek. The most important mines of
bituminous coal are the Trinidad group and the mines at Crested Butte.
Anthracite coal appears to be confined mainly to the coal basins in the
Elk Mountain. Native coke is found near Crested Butte, where a dyke of
lava has intruded the coal strata. Official geological surveys give a
coal-bearing strata of 40,000 square miles, or one-third of the entire
area of the State. In 1873, when coal-mining began to take shape as an
industry, the output was 69,977 tons; to-day the output is 2,373,954
tons, which comparison gives the reader some idea of the rapidity of its

It has been said, with a great deal of truth, that all of Colorado is a
health resort. With its gorgeous peaks and lovely valleys, its beautiful
cities on the plains, its forests and its streams, its broad green parks
and charming crystal lakes amid the mountains, with its sunshine and
pure air, it is certainly a land for man's health and pleasure. The most
desirable resorts in the world are upon the lines of the Denver & Rio
Grande Railroad. Only eighty miles from Denver, or five miles from
Colorado Springs, and nestling at the foot of Pike's Peak, is situated
Manitou, that delightful resort for health and pleasure seekers, as
popular to-day as Newport or Saratoga, attracting tourists from all
parts of the United States and Europe. It has wonderful effervescent and
medicinal springs, and is surrounded by more objects of attraction than
any other spot in the world, including the Garden of the Gods, Glen
Eyrie, Red Rock Cañon, Crystal Park, Engleman's Cañon, Williams Cañon,
Manitou Grand Caverns, Cave of the Winds, Ute Pass, Rainbow Falls, and
Bear Creek Cañon, all places of great attraction to the visitor. Palmer
Lake is a local pleasure resort. Poncha Springs, five miles from
Salida, are the noted hot springs--altitude, 7,480 feet--a great health
resort. Wagon Wheel Gap, in the picturesque San Luis Valley; hot springs
of great curative qualities. It is a favorite health and pleasure
resort; the best place in the West for trout fishing. Glenwood Springs
is a fine town and a watering place and health resort, having extensive
hot springs of great curative properties. Formerly the Mecca of the
Indians. Elevation 5,200 feet. Twin Lakes, a beautiful body of crystal
water, a pleasure resort and place of entertainment; fine boating and
fishing; near Leadville, and reached by the Denver & Rio Grande. Trimble
Hot Springs, nine miles from Durango; hot springs noted for remedial
qualities. Ouray, hot and cold mineral springs; summer resort. The Great
Salt Lake, the famous hot springs of Albuquerque, and numerous other
attractions are reached by the Denver & Rio Grande.

The number of irrigable acres in Colorado is placed at 35,000,000 in
round numbers, an area fully one-seventh larger than the State of New
York. Ten years ago there were but 600 miles of irrigating ditches; now,
including canals and laterals, there are 34,000 miles, and $9,500,000
have been expended in their construction. With these figures one can not
but be impressed with the possibilities of the future, and believe with
the most enthusiastic in the ultimate reclamation of the so-called arid
land. It has been by the aid of irrigation that agriculture has been
made to vie with mining as the chief industry of the State, and in the
future, through its agency, the waters of the mountains will be more
generally distributed by reservoir systems. The first of these
reservoirs is now being constructed on the line of the Denver & Rio
Grande Railroad, between Castle Rock and Palmer Lake. It will irrigate a
large portion of the divide country. Of so vast an extent is this
reservoir that the projectors contemplate the erection of a hotel and
the various appurtenances of a mountain resort. When the Government puts
into execution its vast plan of irrigation the seed so modestly planted
ten years ago will have its fruition. The number of square miles and the
acreage under irrigation are found in the following table:

                                    | Sq. Miles. |   Acres.
    San Luis Valley                 |     3,096  |  1,981,440
    Southwestern Colorado           |     1,080  |    691,200
    Grand River Valley              |       360  |    230,400
    Gunnison and Uncompahgre Valleys|       720  |    460,800
    Northwestern Colorado           |     1,980  |  1,267,200
    North Central Colorado          |       720  |    460,800
    Small areas                     |     3,600  |  2,304,000
    Eastern Colorado                |    41,868  | 26,795,520
                                    |    54,000  | 34,560,000

In addition to these irrigated lands may be placed the Arkansas Valley,
from Pueblo to the Kansas State line, and the country between Cherry
Creek and the foot-hills, and from Cherry Creek Cañon to Denver. During
the past twelve months there has been an increased activity in this sort
of construction. It is a record unprecedented in irrigation, and taken
in connection with the organization of new companies, this fact
indicates no limit to this species of development.

Even the people of Colorado do not comprehend that in this State may be
grown fruit of a superior quality to that raised in the orchards of
California. The pears and peaches are more luscious, and all the boasted
varieties of California grapes are here grown successfully. The truth of
these statements was satisfactorily demonstrated at the recent State
fair in Pueblo, and by the fruit exhibit made by the Bureau of
Immigration and Statistics at Chicago last fall. The apple, for
luxurious growth and flavor, is without a superior in any State, and the
orchards of this fruit alone aggregate half a million trees. The success
with which grape culture has been conducted indicates for the future a
great vintage industry. Fruit-tree planting is progressing at an
enormous rate. It is profitable. In 1891 the number of trees planted was
200,000, the yield of apples was 60,000 bushels, and the largest yield
from a single orchard of 2,000 trees was 15,000 bushels. The yield last
year almost doubled that of the year previous. Strawberries,
raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, and currants are prolific, and
for size and flavor are unsurpassed. They grow on the highest mountain
and in the lowest valley, and the yield is from 3,000 to 6,000 quarts
per acre. One of the most profitable of the recent plantings, in the
direction of fruit-plants, is that of the watermelon. In the Arkansas
Valley they grow in great abundance, and are of superior merit to the
Georgia melon. In fact most varieties of fruit indigenous to the
temperate zone are successfully grown in Colorado. Fruit culture is no
longer an experiment; it is a great success, and in the future will take
its place as a distinctive and most profitable industry.

Colorado's future as a great manufacturing State is assured. In her
hills, upon her mountain sides, on the plains, and in the valleys, her
deposits of raw material abound, both in variety and richness, second to
no other State in the Union. In fact she stands alone in this respect.
At present these resources are undeveloped; the surface has been merely
touched, and yet this superficial view reveals to the observer
possibilities beyond conception. As this empire, of which Colorado is
the geographical center, becomes settled more thickly, the demand upon
these resources will increase, and with this increasing demand
manufactures will multiply, and soon every article known to the trade
will be furnished direct from her vast deposits. Not only will she
supply the wants of her own and contiguous territories, but in time
markets remote will come to Colorado for supplies. The abundance of the
raw material and the economy in manufacturing will level competition,
and the high quality of the product will place her supreme in the
world's commercial marts. The results of last year, aggregating
$50,000,000 in the reported values of the manufacturing product in
eighteen cities, give some conception of Colorado's manufacturing
future; and it has only been a very short time since, in the whole
breadth of the State, when not a single article was manufactured, and
everything used was shipped from eastern cities at enormous prices.
Within the past year the following manufactories have been added: A
paper-mill, a match factory, a cotton-mill, a woolen-mill, a boot and
shoe factory, an overall factory, and a knit-underwear establishment.
The manufactured product of 1892 will not fall below $75,000,000.

Colorado continues to be the paradise of the sportsman. Its myriads of
streams teem with mountain-trout; the forests are, as ever, the domain
of the elk, deer, and other game; and its many lakes, while abounding in
fish, are the haunts for the wild feathery tribe, and offer great
attraction for both rod and gun. Everywhere on the various lines of the
Denver & Rio Grande the tourist and the pleasure-seeker at home may find
a field of sport to his liking. Should he choose a day of recreation
after small game, he may stop off in the valleys among the farms, and a
bag of birds and rabbits will be his trophy. For elk and deer he may
follow the valley of the Upper Arkansas, deploying to the near-by hills,
or go to the valleys and mountains of Southern Colorado, or follow the
line of the Denver & Rio Grande down to Gunnison, or cross the range to
Glenwood, and search the wooded hills and the glens and valleys of the
Yampa and the Grand; thence southward, via Ouray, he may follow the
Dolores from the San Miguel to the San Juan and Muncos, following the
footsteps of the Indians, now departed, upon their favorite
hunting-grounds. For the angler, as has been stated, fish are abundant
in all the streams and lakes reached by the Denver & Rio Grande; but for
the best sport and most enjoyable entertainment Wagon Wheel Gap, on the
Rio Grande del Norte, in Rio Grande County, is conceded to be the choice
of all places. This is both a pleasure and a health resort, affording at
the same time rest and recreation for the sick and weary, and rare
amusement for the invalid and the tourist alike. At this point the
finest of mountain-trout are always abundant, and the angler may enjoy
himself with the speckled beauties to his heart's content. The Gunnison
River likewise abounds in fine trout, and there are many points of
advantage on this as many other streams along the line of the Denver &
Rio Grande.

Ores are found under all conceivable conditions in Colorado, and, as a
rule, in sufficient quantities to admit of their profitable extraction.
In the metamorphosed granite mountains of the main range the typical
fissure veins, with well-defined and nearly perpendicular walls, are
found often aggregated in great numbers, and universally mineralized to
a profitable degree. In the trachytic and porphyric districts rich
fissures also prevail, running very high in silver as a rule, while
occasionally the precious metals are associated with such quantities of
lead or copper ore that the base metals more than pay all cost of mining
and treating the ore. In other sections, again, where there have been
large overflows of porphyry upon the carboniferous or silurian
limestone, great deposits of silver lead ore are found, often covering
many acres of ground like vast coal-beds. To this latter class belong
the mines of Leadville, which in the past ten years have yielded over
$100,000,000. Also the mines about Aspen, Robinson, Red Cliff, Monarch,
White Pine, and Rico. Wherever the deposits, however, and whatever the
character of the mineral, the result is the same--an increase in the
wealth of the State where developed. A number of valuable and important
discoveries of gold and silver have been made this year (1892). The
enormous deposits of silver at Crede promise to make it a rival of
Leadville, while the immense gold-fields at Cripple Creek, near the line
of this road, will add millions of dollars to the yellow metal wealth of
the country. Rico, in the San Juan country, will produce millions of
dollars more this year than ever before in its history. The quantity of
the precious metal and the prosperity of the mining sections are only
measured by the energy of the communities themselves and the extent of
the capital employed. The record of the mining industry last year can be
gleaned in the subjoined table:

                            1889.         1890.
    Silver, ounces      21,119,613    25,788,819
    Gold,     "            194,908     4,016,229
    Lead, tons           3,166,970     3,932,814
    Copper, pounds       3,127,739     2,422,000

The estimate for 1889 does not include the metals contained in the ore
shipped out of the State, while that for 1890 does include them.

Colorado has exceeded every other section in the growth of her farming
industry. This growth has been phenomenal. In 1880 the State imported
500,000 bushels of wheat, 2,000,000 bushels of corn, 500,000 bushels of
potatoes, 1,000,000 bushels of oats, and 100,000 tons of hay. Last year
there were produced in the State about 10,000,000 bushels of cereals,
and instead of importing, the State exports; and in eastern markets
Colorado wheat and oats command a premium. So great has been the
development that authorities on agriculture assert that the agricultural
output exceeds that of mining, which assertion is contradicted by mining
people. But be this as it may, no other section presents a parallel to
the rapid advance of agriculture in this State. One-half of the
66,880,000 acres of land in Colorado is estimated as agricultural land,
of which 12,000,000 acres can be turned to the plow. There are now
2,000,000 acres under cultivation. The remarkable feature of this
progress is the success attained by the "rain belt," which only a few
years since was considered irreclaimable land. All over the State
farming has been profitable, and by the contiguity of markets prompt
returns for the products are the rule. This has induced immigration, and
is one of the contributory causes of the influx of settlers into every
section where cheap lands may be obtained.

IRON.--The largest deposit of iron in Colorado is in Gunnison County,
and when taken in connection with the fact that in this locality cheap
fuel abounds, it is a deposit of magnitude unequaled anywhere in this
country. By this fortuitous combination of deposits, No. 1 Bessemer pig
iron can be produced at Gunnison for a cost not exceeding $12 per ton,
or 50 per cent less than the price at Pittsburg. The deposit is near
Sargent, on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. With an outcrop that is
enormous and high in grade, it extends at intervals for a mile on the
mountain side. A number of openings have been made, one of which is a
tunnel run across the vein ninety-seven feet and an open cut exposing a
face of forty feet all in solid iron. There are about fifty acres in
the five iron claims which compose the White Pine deposit. There are
iron beds on Gold Hill and Cebolla rivers. At the latter place the iron
lies in an immense ledge of unknown depth. Iron abounds in other
portions of the State, especially in Chaffee County, where the Colorado
Coal & Iron Company of Pueblo have been drawing material for the
manufacture of railroad iron, merchant bar, and steel. Iron and steel
can be manufactured as cheaply in Colorado as in any other section of
the United States, and the advantages that contribute to the State's
superiority in this respect are the increasing demands, which can not be
affected by the overproduction of the East and South; no rival point
west of the Rocky Mountains claiming competitive facilities and an
advantageous position as the geographical center of a vast territory; an
intelligent class of labor; an abundance of building material and the
most extensive fields of coking and fuel coal, and the only anthracite
found west of Pennsylvania.

The annual production of 1,000,000 tons of crude pig iron, representing
a value of say $14,000,000, the evolution of that 1,000,000 tons of pig
iron into its higher products of bar iron, and steel, and sheets, and
plates, and machinery, and cars, and locomotives, and pipes, and plows,
and other farm implements, and all the long list of appliances and
commodities of iron and steel, aggregating in value, at a lower
estimation than can be legitimately placed, more than $50,000,000, means
more for Colorado than many of her most sanguine advocates have



While dwelling upon the scenes and incidents of my life upon the
frontier, and speaking of those with whom I came in contact, I wish to
refer to one whose meeting with me toward the latter days of overland
travel began with a sincere friendship that has lasted until this day,
and will continue to the end of our lives.

The person to whom I refer is Dr. D. Frank Powell, an army surgeon in
those days, and whose gallant services as an officer and scout, as well
as his striking appearance, gained for him the border cognomens of
"White Beaver" (by which he is as frequently called to-day as by his own
name) and "The Surgeon Scout," "Mighty Medicine Man," and "Fancy Frank."

Doctor Powell was the firm friend of Buffalo Bill, and his valuable
services, rendered as a scout, guide, and Indian-fighter, made him
famous as the Surgeon Scout.

His dash and handsome style of dress also gained for him the name of
"Fancy Frank," while the other two appellations by which he was known
were gained by his skill and service as a surgeon and physician.

When the Indians were stricken with an epidemic of smallpox, although at
the time at war with the whites, Surgeon Powell conceived the idea of
boldly entering their village and checking the dread disease.

Leaving the fort upon his perilous mission, Surgeon Powell made his way
alone to the Indian country, and rode forward at sight of them, making
signs of peace.

The astonished redskins received him with amazement, but, assured that
he was in their power, they listened to the bold proposition he had to
make them, and which was that he would check the epidemic then raging or
forfeit his own life.

[Illustration: D. Frank Powell.
"White Beaver."]

Struck with the boldness of the man, whom they knew so well as the
comrade of Buffalo Bill, and who spoke their language fluently, the
chiefs listened to all he had to say and then put him to the test.

Then it was that the strange circumstance occurred of a pale-face foe
and medicine man _vaccinating_ the Indians, young and old, all except
the medicine men of the tribe, who would have nothing to do with him.

The result of Doctor Powell's work was that the dread disease was soon
checked, and under his care many desperate cases of sickness were cured,
and he became the ideal of his friends, who held a grand pow-wow, and
presented him with a robe of sixteen white beaver-skins--the white
beaver being a sacred animal among them.

Nor was this all, for they made him a mighty medicine man, or chief of
their tribe, and bestowed upon him the name of "White Beaver," which he
uses to-day in connection with his own name.

A resident now of La Crosse, Wis., Doctor Powell has a large practice
there, resides in an elegant home, and is for the fourth time mayor of
that beautiful city, and one of the most popular men in the State,
socially and politically.

The doctor has been a most extensive traveler, in this country and
abroad, and yet each year, for a couple of weeks, entertains as his
guests the tribe of Winnebago Indians, of whom he is still the medicine
chief, and who make a pilgrimage to see him, consult him as to the
affairs of their people, and show him devoted respect during the time
they are encamped upon his grounds, where he has a place set apart for

A handsome man, of splendid physique, one who has known a strange life
of adventure, he is yet as gentle as a woman, and ever generous to those
with whom he comes in contact; and this tribute to his worth as a man
and skill as physician and surgeon he most justly deserves.



There was but little occurred of very great note west of the Mississippi
during the twenties. The State of Missouri was admitted into the
sisterhood of the States in the beginning of the twenties; after that
there was very little of note that transpired during the twenties, with
the exception of a few Indian scares on the frontier of Missouri, which,
as a rule, were brought about without any real cause, and some trapping
expeditions going west to the Rocky Mountains to trap for beaver fur,
and also trading expeditions to Santa Fé, in New Mexico. With those
exceptions, everything went along as quiet and almost as calm as a
summer morning. In those days the entire community west of the
Mississippi River, as well as the States east of it, were
self-sustaining, producing all that they consumed in clothing and food,
in their own homes, and I might say that this state of things also
existed during the term of the thirties. Very little of note occurred
outside the regular course of events save the Blackhawk war upon the
Upper Mississippi and the appearance of steamboats in the Missouri
River, as far west as the west border of the State of Missouri, which
commenced in the early thirties, and became a very large source of
transportation and passenger travel, and there was also, in the
commencement of the thirties, some Mormon elders that came to the county
of Jackson, in Missouri, bringing with them the revelations of their
prophet Joseph Smith, and claimed that they had been sent to that county
by the direction of the Lord to their prophet to establish the Zion of
the Lord, or a "New Jerusalem," and, of course, a new church, which has
since kept its existence until the present time, with its headquarters
now in Salt Lake City, Utah. With the arrival of steamboats in the Upper
Missouri, farmers commenced to raise hemp and other commodities that
they could ship to St. Louis and New Orleans upon the steamers, which
was the commencement of the people in that State to market the surplus
that they could produce upon their farms; but the advantage of this
trade or business only applied to the farmers and producers living in
the river counties (I mean the counties located on the river), as it was
too costly to haul their products upon wagons and with teams for any
great distance; so the steamboat transportation could only be very
beneficial to the counties, as above stated, the interior portions of
the State having to plod along very much as was the case before
steamboats came into use. There was no finer passenger travel ever
inaugurated than the accommodations that travelers enjoyed as passengers
upon those floating palaces, and I have lived to see them come and go,
so far as their operations upon the Missouri is concerned. The Missouri
afforded nearly 3,000 miles of water navigation, measured by the
windings of the river. I have traveled on steamboats from its mouth, or
St. Louis, to the head of navigation at Fort Benton, in Montana.


Now, commencing with the forties, there was nothing of great moment
happened until the great freshet of '44, which was the largest flood
that has been known in the Missouri, about the mouth of the Caw, in the
last seventy-five years, and I think that there never has been in the
history of the country as great a flood in the Missouri at that point.
In '46 the Mexican War came up, and produced quite a stir among the
business men upon the west border of the Missouri, as at that time there
was no Kansas and Nebraska, the whole country being called "the Indian
Territory" west of the State of Missouri. The Santa Fé trade, by this
time, had become a regular annual business, and men had learned how to
outfit wagons and teams so as to carry large amounts of merchandise and
Government stores from the Missouri River to Santa Fé, N. M. and when
General Donathan organized his regiment of troops, by the authority of
the Governor of the State of Missouri, to march to Santa Fé, N. M., he
found no trouble, neither did the Government, in securing all the
transportation necessary to meet any emergency that might arise, with a
plain and well-beaten road the entire route that they had to travel,
this road having been opened by the merchant-trains in previous years.

In '47 the Mormon leader, Brigham Young, with a company of his elders
and members of the church, left the Missouri River in the early spring
and traveled 1,000 miles into the interior of the country, and formed a
colony in that year in Salt Lake Valley, and named the city that they
found Salt City, which proved to be a half-way house, as we might call
it, between the Missouri River and the Pacific Coast, which proved of
great advantage to the emigrants who left the Missouri in the spring of
'49 to reach the gold-fields of California; for it was in '49, or rather
the winter of '48, when the placer gold in California was discovered,
and it was on this account that '49 became one of the most eventful
years of the forties, the Mexican War having closed, and peace
negotiations established in '48, which gave the United States the entire
domain of the Pacific Coast lying north of the line now dividing Old
Mexico from the United States. There were vast numbers of brave and
daring citizens from almost every State in the Mississippi Valley who
attempted to reach California by the overland route, and at no time, not
even during the Mexican War, up to '49, had there ever been any overland
travel to compare with that of '49. Tens of thousands of emigrants or
gold-hunters left the west border at that time, outfitting themselves,
some with ox-teams and some with mules and the best wagons that could be
found in the market, loaded to the guards with supplies of food and
clothing to make the trip and return, for at that time none of them
expected to remain or make their homes in California; if so, it must
have been a very small percentage of the number. Many of them died with
cholera on the way; the large majority, however, reached their
destination, but many of them through great suffering and privation from
one cause or another. One of the misfortunes that attended the majority
of them was want of experience in traveling their animals; they started
off in too big a hurry, and pressed their teams too much at the outset,
the result of which was, many of their animals died from fatigue, caused
by overtraveling, long before they reached the Pacific Coast, the result
of which was to leave on the road, or rather in the road, often the
valuables that they had secured in the outset for their comfort and
preservation when they reached the land of gold.

The year '50 was also a very fatal year to emigration, for it did not
cease with '49, but the success of the "forty-niners" in gathering gold
proved to be a great inducement to the country to continue the movements
of '49 in the way of outfitting and emigrating to the Pacific Coast; in
fact, it continued in a greater or smaller degree during the entire
fifties; but in the year '50, as in '49, there were great numbers died
with cholera. It was fatal among the emigrants from their starting point
from Missouri till they would reach the Rocky Mountains, after which
time the cases of death from cholera were very few compared with what
they suffered upon the plains before reaching the mountains. There were
but few cases that occurred after they reached the Sacramento Valley in
California. Instead of returning, as the most of the gold-seekers
intended to do on leaving their homes, they found California a
delightful climate, with rich and fertile valleys, and many, very many
of them concluded, after having a year's experience in the country, to
become citizens, and a little later in the fifties, there were a great
many people in the Western States who sold their homes and started with
their families for the golden shores of the Pacific--in other words, for
California--in view of adopting that State for their future homes. I was
acquainted with numbers who did so, and who I have since met at their
homes in California, who were delighted with the change that they made,
and it is a very common thing now, after the country has been settled so
many years, to find numbers of people there who think that California is
the only country fit to live in.

Returning to the fifties, there was nothing of great note happened until
the admission of Kansas and Nebraska in 1854, when floods of emigrants,
mostly from the Northern States, passed into those Territories. A
number, however, were from the Southern States, and held pro-slavery

In '56 what is known as the Kansas war occurred, from the invasion of
men from Missouri and other States.

In '57 and '58 the Mormon war occurred, when Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston
was sent to Utah with an army of 5,000 regulars.

In 1859 the great Comstock mine was developed, and it added to the
currency of the world between one and two hundred millions of dollars in
gold and silver. Also in '58 began the Pike's Peak excitement, which
resulted in the settlement of Denver.

In 1860 the election of Abraham Lincoln was followed, in '61, by the
breaking out of the Civil War.

In '62 the initial steps for the establishment of the Union and Central
Pacific railroads were taken, and the idea was fulfilled in '69. Daily
stages were put on in 1859 from the Missouri River to Denver and Salt

It was during the sixties that the telegraph was established across the
continent, following in the track of the Pony Express.

Gold was discovered in Montana in the sixties, resulting in the
settlement of that Territory.

During the seventies and eighties, the most important happenings in our
country were the remarkable growth of the railroad interests.


_Issued in the Rialto Series. 50 Cents Each._

Vigorous, natural, entertaining.--_Boston Times._
A notable performance.--_Chicago Tribune._
No one can fail to become interested in the narrative.--_Chicago Mail._
A very strong story indeed.--_Chicago Times._
Marah Ellis Ryan is always interesting.--_Rocky Mountain News._

A story of mountain life of remarkable interest.--_Louisville Times._
Full of exciting interest.--_Toledo Blade._
A genuine art work.--_Chicago Tribune._

Beautifully pictured.--_Chicago Times._
The word-painting is superb.--_Lowell Times._
One of the cleverest stories that has been issued in many a
moon.--_Kansas City Times._

It is an entertaining book, and by no means an unprofitable
one.--_Boston Times._
There are imagination and poetical expression in the stories, and
readers will find them interesting.--_New York Sun._
An unusually clever piece of work.--_Charleston News._

We can not doubt that the author is one of the best living orators of
her sex. The book will possess a strong attraction for women.--_Chicago
This is the story of the life of an actress, told in the graphic style
of Miss Ryan. It is very interesting.--_New Orleans Picayune._
A book of decided literary merit, besides moral tone and vigor.--_Public
Opinion_, Washington, D. C.
It is an exciting tragical story.--_Chicago Inter Ocean._


Leland's Chicago Beach Hotel


This Elegant New Hotel has 450 Outside Rooms, with Bath Rooms attached.
Located on the

Shore of Lake Michigan

A frontage of 455 feet on Fifty-first Street Boulevard.
Four blocks from ...


Fifteen minutes' ride to the heart of the city. Trains every five
minutes. Will be kept on European and American plans. Furnished
throughout in solid Mahogany. Rooms secured by letter or telegram.

Rates (American) $5.00 per Day and Upward. Address

Hotel Ingram

World's Fair,
Chicago, Ill.

Located Sixtieth Street and Washington Avenue, facing Midway Plaisance;
70 feet from World's Fair entrance, 200 feet from great Exposition
station of the Illinois Central Railroad; all electric lines terminate
here, affording direct and speedy communication with every part of the
city. The hotel contains 400 rooms in main building, with 500 additional
rooms in close proximity.


With restaurant accommodations for 1,000 people at a time. Located in
hotel is a bureau of information with interpreters speaking all
languages. Orchestral music daily....

W. W. INGRAM, Owner.
WARREN LELAND, Jr., Manager.

The World's Inn Chicago

A frontage of 300 feet on (Sixtieth Street) Midway Plaisance, 250 feet
on Madison Avenue....


Situated one block from Sixtieth Street Station, Illinois Central, half
block from cable cars, and two blocks from elevated railroad.


Cafe attached. Rooms can be secured by letter or telegram.

CHAS. E. LELAND, Manager.

Renfost Hotel

Washington Park and
the Boulevards.


$2.00 per Day and Upward.      Cafe open Day and Night.

This new and elegant hotel contains 490 splendidly furnished rooms,
single and en suite, and all modern improvements. Twenty minutes to
heart of the city, and seven minutes to World's Fair grounds. Rooms
secured by letter or telegram. W. U. Telegraph office, Long Distance
Telephone, and Bureau of Information in hotel.

HENRY J. REYNOLDS & CO., Proprietors.

Transcriber's Notes

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Hyphen removed: "crestfallen" (p. 82), "football" (p. 146), "redskins"
(p. 318), "smallpox" (p. 317), "to wit" (p. 231).

P. 20: "Mrs. Ferrins" changed to "Mrs. Ferrin".

P. 68: "assemby" changed to "assembly" (used as an assembly hall).

P. 72: "employes" changed "employees" (the behavior of my employees).

P. 87: "an" changed to "and" (The cruel and inhuman butchery).

P. 88: "Lianos" changed to "Llanos" (San Juan de los Llanos).

P. 90: "beween" changed to "between" (spaces of thirty feet between

P. 93: "calvary" changed to "cavalry" (three cavalry companies).

P. 124: "dear" changed to "deer" (Antelope, deer, elk, bear, beaver).

P. 139: "litttle" changed to "little" (the little post at Fort Mann).

P. 159: "were" changed to "where" (At a point where the main road).

P. 233: "heathful" changed to "healthful" (The climate is healthful and

P. 249: "Jim Beckwouth" changed to "Jim Beckwourth".

P. 310: The totals in the table are not correct but have not been

P. 313: "prophyry" changed to "porphyry" (large overflows of porphyry).

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