Front Matter How I Came to Write my Story Who I am My Great Loss My Worldly Wealth Plans for the Future The Gold Fever My Great Disappointment Cured of the Gold Fever My Opportunity How I Might Work My Way Keeping My Bargain At Pueblo A Welcome Time of Rest Outbreak of Gold Fever Opportunity for Money Middleton Agrees With Me Middleton's Proposition Gold Seekers Land Claims Our Ranch Building a Dwelling Corn and Gold Dreams of a Harvest Disappointed Prospectors Returning Evil for Good Striving to Save Our Corn Defending Our Own A Council of War Interview With The Enemy Missouri Miners Make Sport How to Collect The Debt Possession of Cattle Night Before the Battle A War of Words The Prospectors Try to Kill Us A Real Battle A Truce Terms of Peace The Enemy Surrenders The Prospectors Depart The Growth of Our City Farming Or Mining My Share of the Harvest Middleton Goes on a Journey Auraria and Denver Middleton Turns Trader Middleton's Plan A Weighty Problem Middleton's Partner A Change of Homes Arrival At Auraria The Town of Denver We Hire a Shop I Regret Turning Merchant How We Transported Goods Middleton's Advice The Tide of Emigration Finding Goods By the Roadside Gold in Colorado How the Cities Grew A Post Office in Auraria Letters From Home Our Business Flourishes Denver Outstripping Auraria Claim Jumping The Claim Club The Turkey War The Need of Government Union of Denver and Auraria What Others Thought of Us Territory of Colorado Good Citizenship Civil War Breaks Out Need of a Jail Denver in Flames Our Loss By Fire Mrs. Middleton Consoles Us Good Resulting From Evil Middleton's Honesty Rebuilding Denver The Flood Destruction of the Town In Great Peril The City Destroyed Our Lives Are Spared Fears Regarding the Future Uprising of the Indians Begging for Help A Famine Threatens Horrors of an Indian War My Duty at Home Beginning Over Again My Story is Done

Seth of Colorado - James Otis

The City Destroyed

When morning came, even I who knew our city so well would hardly have recognized it had I been suddenly taken from some distant place and set down near by the banks of that swollen creek.

So furious had been the onslaught of the water that the stream was no longer confined to its old bed, but cutting out a new channel for itself, it had now turned farther to the northward, making a clean sweep of all that blocked its path.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

Of our beautiful city only the dwellings to the westward were still standing as well as those on the extreme easterly border, while between rolled the muddy torrent, and we who stood gazing at the scene in comparative security, trembled as we questioned how many of our people, how many of those whom we knew and loved, had been swept away to sudden death.

Let me quote from a printed account which seems to me to give a fair idea of that terrible time:—

"The surging waters overflowed the bottoms till the valley of the Platte looked like an inland sea. A terrific gale was blowing, and added to the horrors of the situation. A dozen or more persons were drowned, and the property loss was upwards of a million dollars. Some barely escaped with their lives, losing everything they had, even the land on which their houses had stood. But the flood had the effect of wiping out sectional jealousy and rivalry. Henceforth Denver east of the creek forged ahead; people preferred to settle on the higher ground."