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

My Great Loss

In those happy days when I would have changed places with no lad whom I knew or had ever heard of, the blow suddenly came which left me orphaned. Within one week both my father and mother died of a fever, and it was as if the sun had been blotted out from the heavens. I could see no ray of light anywhere, and young though I was, my one desire was to join my loved parents, for it seemed as if this world held no place for Seth Wagner.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

There were many in Lawrence who befriended me in that time of sorrow, and the one who tried the hardest to comfort me was Mrs. Middleton, a dear soul who had boys of her own, although they were younger than I. I believe she was all the more tender to me because of asking herself what her little sons would do if, in the short space of a week, they should be deprived of both father and mother.

Kind though she was, and doing her best to lighten the sorrow which hung about me like a black cloud, there was small consolation for me from words; but in time I became accustomed in a certain measure to the loss which had befallen me.