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

Letters from Home

How often have I stood in our shop door watching those homesick miners as they waited for the coming of Russell and Major's teams, hoping to receive letters from kinsmen and friends in the East, and perhaps also expecting to receive remittances so that they might be able to return to their homes wiser, and certainly sadder, men.

At such times when we had reason to believe the wagon was near at hand, the street near the post office would be thronged with anxious-looking, expectant men, many of whom I have seen trembling as with an ague fit, while watching the postmaster sort out the mail matter for delivery.

Then long lines would be formed, reaching far up the street, the men waiting patiently, moving pace by pace, being perhaps two or three hours before they could gain the post-office window, to find, in many cases, that there was nothing for them. I have seen men, who had failed to receive any word from the loved ones at home, turn away with heartsickness written plainly on their faces.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

You must bear in mind that we of Auraria considered our town much the more important of the two, because we had a post office and Russell and Major's storehouses, while Denver claimed no such elegances of civilization. They on the east side of the creek, however, had a hotel, not much better to be sure than a log building with a canvas roof, perhaps thirty feet wide and a hundred feet long; but nevertheless it was a hotel, and we in Auraria were decidedly jealous because we could boast of no such structure.