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 Turkey War

This was impressed upon my mind even more strongly when there broke out among us what was known as the Turkey War.

What with that vast host passing through our settlement on their way to the mines, and disappointed ones returning, we frequently had among us reckless men, who, knowing they were in a country where there was no form of law to restrain them, acted oftentimes in as high-handed a way as did the Missourians who fed their cattle upon our corn, and tried to supply their needs by force from those who were weaker than they.

It chanced that a party of hunters from the southern portion of what was known as the Territory of Jefferson, came in with a large number of wild turkeys to sell, arriving at Auraria at a time when there was a greater number than usual of ruined, reckless men loafing about the settlement. These last some of them, perhaps, not having money with which to buy food, set upon the hunters and took, or stole, if you please, before the owners' eyes the greater number of the turkeys.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

It was only natural that the hunters should defend their property, and the better class of citizens, both in Denver and Auraria, joined forces with the men who had been robbed, to drive the outlaws from the town.

The result of it was that all the lawless people combined against the hunters, and against our citizens who strove to see justice done them, and during three or four days the two parties were actually arrayed against each other.

They would have fought to the death but for the cooler heads among us, who insisted that there must be no such blot upon the settlements as that we shot down people without due cause, and finally this Turkey War was brought to an end by our driving from the two towns the ringleaders of these ruffians.

Following this example, the Claim Club of Denver took up a similar line of action, and notified the claim jumpers that they must leave the settlements, or suffer such punishment as would be dealt out by those whom they had wronged.