KanColl: The Kansas Historical Quarterlies




Gold Fever in Kansas Territory:
Migration to the Pike's Peak
Gold Fields, 1858-1860

by Calvin W. Gower

Spring, 1973 (Vol. 39, No. 1), pages 58 to 74
Transcribed by Christopher H. Wynkoop; digitized with permission of
the Kansas State Historical Society.
NOTE: The numbers in brackets are links to footnotes for this text.

IN JUNE, 1860, a correspondent for the Lawrence Republican, writing from what is now Denver, Colo., declared: "Eastern Kansas-especially Leavenworth-is very largely represented here. It is difficult, during business hours, to walk half a square in Denver, without meeting some familiar face from your section." Many residents of Kansas territory went to the so-called Pike's Peak gold fields from 1858 to 1860, and this migration created some alarm in eastern Kansas which was already suffering from the depression of the late 1850's. However, the Pike's Peak gold rush, which significantly affected the political and economic situation in Kansas, did not drain a massive portion of the population out of eastern Kansas. Instead, the gold rush may have directly and indirectly helped to increase the population in Kansas by the time congress made the area a state in 1861. [1]
     The Territory of Kansas extended from the western border of Missouri to the crest of the Rocky mountains and included much of present-day eastern Colorado. The "Pike's Peak gold rush" was a misnomer, since the early gold seekers traveled to the mouth of Cherry creek in present-day Denver, and even the later moves into the mountains were to areas other than that around Pike's Peak. Although the distance from the eastern border of Kansas to Cherry creek was over 600 miles, settlers in Kansas lived closer than most Americans to the gold region. A number of these people moved to Denver and vicinity from 1858 through 1860. They engaged in many different occupations, both in eastern Kansas and in the gold fields, with many of them ignoring gold seeking and, instead, developing business establishments there. Also, people from Kansas were leaders in setting up churches in the gold region. In addition, former residents of Kansas participated in political activities and in town promotion moves in the newly opened area. Definitely, gold seeking was not the only attraction which stimulated the migration of some of these individuals. These Kansans ranged from a mid-19th century feminist, Julia Archibald Holmes, to a person who became one of the wealthiest men in Colorado, Horace A. W. Tabor. This migration was a significant development in the history of Kansas territory, and probably is of some importance in helping to explain the moves to gold regions in general.
     In the summer and autumn of 1858 three parties went from eastern Kansas to the gold region, but the large numbers of hopeful fortune seekers did not leave until the spring of 1859. One of the first groups of prospectors to go to the mining area in 1858 was a party consisting primarily of men from Lawrence. Nevertheless, possibly the best-known member of this group in later years was a woman, Julia Archibald Holmes. Her father, John Archibald, had been a member of the first party sent out to Kansas by the New England Emigrant Aid Company, and settled in Lawrence. James H. Holmes came to the Osawatomie community in 1856 and joined the radical wing of the Free-State party under John Brown. Julia Archibald married Holmes in 1857, and she and her husband and her brother, Albert, joined the Lawrence group in the spring of 1858 to journey to the mountains. [
2]
     Julia Holmes was an advocate of increased rights for women. Among other reforms, she was interested in dress reform, and thus on her trip to far western Kansas she wore a bloomer outfit, consisting of a calico dress reaching a little below the knees and calico bloomers. In August, 1858, Julia Holmes and her husband climbed Pike's Peak, and she is credited as the first white woman to do so. [
3]
     Some members of the Lawrence party began laying out townsites and securing claims at the mouth of Cherry creek in September, 1858. Two other Kansas groups which proceeded to the gold region in 1858 were the Leavenworth or Larimer party and the Lecompton group made up of Arapahoe county officials. Both joined forces before they reached Cherry creek. The Larimer party consisted of prospectors from Leavenworth. The Lecompton group was supposed to establish a county government in the gold fields. Several members of these parties became prominent in gold field affairs. Best known of the Larimer party both at the time it made the trip to the Pike's Peak gold fields and in later years was William Larimer, Jr. He came west from Pennsylvania in 1854 and settled in Nebraska. In Pennsylvania he had been a business man and a major general in the Pennsylvania militia. In 1858 he went to Kansas and in the autumn of that year went to the Pike's Peak area. He was a friend of Horace Greeley and Sam Houston, and was active in the Civil War. Larimer spent the last years of his life in Kansas and from 1867 to 1870 was a member of the Kansas state senate. [
4]
     In the gold fields William Larimer was one of the chief founders of Denver and a prominent leader in the newly developed area. At a meeting held in Denver in August, 1859, to discuss such important matters as the Pacific railroad and the telegraph questions Larimer was one of the speakers. In July, 1860, Larimer headed the committee to arrange for the celebration of the Fourth of July, and in the fall of 1860 he ran for the office of delegate to congress from Jefferson territory. In the early spring of 1861 Larimer was reportedly one of those under consideration for the governorship of the new Territory of Colorado. [
5]
     The names of members of the Larimer party and of some of those of the Lecompton group appeared in connection with various matters in the gold fields from time to time during 1859-1860. Shareholders in the Denver City Company in March, 1859, included William H. H. Larimer, William Larimer, Jr., R. E. Whitsitt, Fulsom Dorsett, and M. M. Jewett (all of the Larimer company), and Hickory Rogers, E. W. Wynkoop, Hampton L. Boon, H. P. A. Smith, and J. L. McCubbin (members of the Lecompton group). Many of these Larimer and Lecompton party men as well as other Kansans participated in the incorporation of several towns besides Denver in the gold fields. Included among the towns incorporated within the present-day boundaries of Colorado by Kansans in 1859 and 1860, were Auraria, Denver, El Paso, Jefferson, Montana, Pennington, Rochester, St. Charles, Saratoga, and Sopris City. Some of the Kansans involved in the incorporations included S. F. and L. N. Tappan, J. J. Ingalls, S. O. Hemenway, W. J. King, A. Cutler, William O'Donnall, J. T. Younker, L. I. Winchester, E. W. Wynkoop, William Larimer, Jr., and C. Lawrence. [
6] Primarily through the Lawrence, Larimer, and Lecompton parties Kansas residents had considerably helped to open the gold fields in 1858.
     However, in 1859 many more Kansans journeyed to the gold region than had gone there in the previous year. Various Kansas newspapers described the many departures. Leavenworth, the largest town in Kansas at that time, contributed a considerable number of emigrants. In February a party consisting of a man and his wife and child and several others left that town for the gold fields. Thomas Hazen, who owned the news depot at the post office in Leavenworth, announced in March that he was selling out because he intended to travel to the gold fields. Another business firm, that of Anderson & Snider, broke up in April because Snider decided to go to the gold region. The Leavenworth Times announced May 10 that the emigration to Pike's Peak was continuing and noted, "Several of the latest departures are old residents of Leavenworth. . . ." Two more businessmen of Leavenworth left to seek their fortunes in the Rocky mountain region in the latter part of 1859. Clay Thompson sold his stock of the O. K. Grocery, and Charles R. Thorne announced in August that he and M'lle. Haydee and Sisters (a theatrical troupe) would make their last appearance at the National Theatre on August 15 and then go to the gold region. Two former residents who returned to Leavenworth in the autumn of 1859 were M. M. Jewett and F. R. Ford but both planned to go back to the mining area in the spring of 1860. [
7]

     Several people departed from Lawrence for the gold fields in the fall of 1858, and in February, 1859, Cpt. A. Cutler, city engineer of Lawrence, led a company west. Sometime in 1858 or 1859 William Quantrill, who in 1863 led the guerrilla sack of Lawrence, went to the Pike's Peak area to escape indictment for grand larceny and robbery. C. Stearns advertised in April, 1859, "WISHING TO GO TO THE MINES, I will lease for one year, MY STORE, No. 25 Massachusetts Street." Late in that year F. E. LaHay who owned a farm five miles from Lawrence advertised it for sale or rent, since he intended to go to the diggings the following spring. [8]
     A sizeable number of Topeka residents made preparations to go to the gold fields in December, 1858. And in February, 1859, the Topeka Tribune stated, "Large numbers of men, women, and children will leave Topeka and vicinity for the mines in the Spring." The Tribune itself lost an associate editor to the gold field emigration. On May 5 the Tribune noted that a company of about 25 Topekans had left recently for the gold region. [
9]
     At Lecompton all those who planned to make a spring trip to the gold fields held a meeting April 9, 1859. At this meeting it was decided to go by the Santa Fe route and the departure date was set for April 28. They chose E. W. Wynkoop as superintendent of the company. This group apparently started but returned because of the unfavorable reports which were coming back from the gold region in the spring of 1859. Nevertheless, Wynkoop led a group of Lecompton citizens to the gold fields in the autumn of 1859. [
10]
     Other Kansas towns reported emigration from their localities in 1858 and 1859. The Elwood Weekly Press asserted in September, 1858, "A party leaves here about the last of next week for Pikes Peak or Cherry Creek, their fortunes to seek." One of the members of this party was John L. Merrick of Elwood, who had been connected with the Weekly Press. Merrick went to the gold fields, started a newspaper, the Cherry Creek Pioneer, published only one issue, and then sold out the press and office to the Rocky Mountain News. Merrick did a little mining and also was a deputy sheriff in the gold fields before becoming marshal of the Territory of Jefferson. Other companies from Elwood started in 1858 for the gold region. Parties from Atchison and Wyandotte were planning to leave in 1858. A man near Manhattan reported in May, 1859, that he was having a difficult time securing help on his farm. One worker had left for the Pike's Peak gold fields just when he was most needed. In the Emporia area several companies planned to leave in the spring of 1859. All in that vicinity who considered going to Pike's Peak held a mass meeting in February in Emporia. At that time groups were reported to be organizing in Emporia, Eagle Creek, Neosho Falls, and Forest Hill. In April prospective gold seekers from the Emporia area met again to make final plans. Part of the group decided to start on April 26, but by this time many had determined not to go because of the discouraging news received from the Pike's Peak area. Some did carry out the earlier plans, and several came back in the autumn with favorable reports from the diggings. [
11]
     The diary of James B. Stewart who lived in Burlingame from 1854 until 1868 illustrates the intense interest in the gold rush which prompted some Kansans to go to the mountainous area, and also the disappointment created by rumors of fraud which caused some of the emigrants to turn back. Stewart noted on September 6, 1858, that he "had thoughts of going to the gold mines. . ." Then March 2, 1859, he wrote, "have notion of going to Pikes Peak this spring, think I must do so." Again on March 11 he noted that he had a "strong notion of going to the Gold mines this spring" and on March 13 "had [done] good deal of thinking about the Gold mines. . . ." Finally, after all this thinking, Stewart made arrangements and started for the mines. The weather was rainy, the roads were bad, and news from the gold fields unfavorable. As a result, Stewart turned back after only six days on the trail. He wrote, "Pressed on towards home this morning very much cast down, heard nothing all [day] but bad news, thousands returning from the outrageous humbug." [
12]
     No accurate estimate can be made of the numbers who left from Kansas for the gold region in 1859. The editor of the Herald of Freedom hoped the gold rush would end the raiding by "Jayhawkers" in southern Kansas. He stated on February 26, 1859, "most of the young men, who have been engaged in Jay-Hawking, will undoubtedly go to Pike's Peak, thus enabling the honest settlers in that region to recuperate. . . ." Albert D. Richardson, a newspaper correspondent, reported on Kansans in the gold fields late in 1859. In November he stated that Lucien Bliss and Oscar Totten of Leavenworth, A. J. Allison of Doniphan, and John Merrick of Elwood had received positions as officials of Jefferson territory. Kansans elected to Arapahoe county offices in November, 1859, were C. Lawrence, J. M. Ferrell, D. C. Collier, and Richard E. Whitsitt. Writing to the Lawrence Republican late in 1859, Richardson listed some of the Lawrence people in the gold region. In addition, he named a few of the people there from other Kansas towns and stated that there were many from Leavenworth and many others from eastern Kansas not named by him. [
13]
     In 1860 the gold fields apparently attracted even more Kansans. Leavenworth again furnished many emigrants. F. Cavorac advertised his entire stock of wines and liquor for sale in February, 1860, because he intended to start for the mines by April 1. In March the Leavenworth Weekly Herald reported that a company of 50 young men had organized and would start for the gold region April 1. A letter to the Herald in March, from a former Leavenworth resident in the gold region stated, "I have had the pleasure of taking by the hand a large number of Leavenworth friends. . ." On March 23 the Times reported that two former Leavenworth men had engaged in a skirmish in the gold fields and one had murdered the other. The Leavenworth Weekly Herald asserted March 31, "Many of our prominent and best citizens are preparing to seek homes in the land of gold. . . . Leavenworth has already supplied much of the talent and enterprise, as well as bone and sinew of the embryo Mountain State. . ." [
14]


Pikes Peak Ho! -- 1860 travel circular

A travel circular for points West in 1860,
courtesy the Newberry Library, Chicago.

Denver and Auraria in 1860

Denver and Auraria in 1860 as sketched in
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, New York, December 15, 1860.


     The emigration from Leavenworth continued as 1860 advanced. In April George W. Houston left with a company. Houston was a former deputy register of deeds. In addition, three newspaper men, Buckingham and Anderson of the Times and Pope of the Herald, went to seek their fortune. The Right Reverend Dr. Miege, the Roman Catholic bishop of Leavenworth, George W. Purkins, chairman of the territorial central Democratic committee, and J. C. Murphy, member of the last territorial legislature from Leavenworth, passed through Manhattan on the way to the gold fields in May. Other prominent Leavenworth citizens who went to the gold fields in 1860 were Scott J. Anthony, former register of deeds of the county, George W. McLane, once editor of the Leavenworth Daily Ledger, Fox Diefendorf, a land agent, L. L. Weld, a lawyer and a writer, L. L. Todd, formerly with Smoot & Russell's bank, Benson and Schollkoff, formerly bankers, and M. A. Clark, of the banking firm of Clark, Gruber & Co.
     A. D. Richardson wrote from the mining region in June telling about the large number of people there from Leavenworth. Richardson reported in July that a "People's Court" had convicted a former citizen of Leavenworth and Atchison, A. C. Swift, for forging a deed. His punishment was expulsion from Eureka district where the offense occurred. In August Richardson wrote from the gold region, "A former banker from Leavenworth is now in the mines, engaged in selling pies. He was a deacon in one of the Presbyterian churches in Eastern Kansas; here, he retails whisky on Sunday." [
15]
     Atchison sent many emigrants to the gold area in 1860 also. In May the Freedom's Champion noted that a party of well-known "old residents" of Atchison would start within a few days, taking with them some valuable machinery and mining utensils. Many trains of emigrants from Atchison were on the road in late May. A letter writer from Denver stated in June that innumerable Atchison men lived in that town. The writer named about 30 and said many others were there. [
16]
     Lawrence was well represented in the gold region in 1860. The Lawrence Republican on May 3 declared, "The rush for Pike's Peak continues. Many of our citizens have already left, and many more are preparing to follow." In June A. D. Richardson reported in a letter from the gold fields that he knew of several old Lawrence residents in the area. In a July letter he appended a list of the principal Lawrence people in the gold region: 18 in Denver, over 20 in Gregory's diggings, one at Mt. Vernon, five in Tarryall diggings, three at Montana, two in the Arkansas diggings, and five at Colorado City. Richardson related the interesting activity of one of these former Lawrence residents, G. W. Collamore. Collamore ransomed a Ute boy who was about seven or eight years old from the Arapahoes who had captured him. Collamore planned to take the boy back to Boston and provide him with an education. The ransom was a showy horse, 37 half dollars, and other presents, with the entire ransom valued at $100. [
17]
     Other towns in eastern Kansas contributed emigrants to the gold fields in 1860. Several companies departed in May from Emporia, nearby Forest Hill, and Americus. The Rocky Mountain News noted on March 28 the arrival of "S. C. Hemenway and family, David Doyle, Joseph McCubben [McCubbin], from Lecompton. . ." On May 10 the Lecompton Kansas National Democrat stated, "Today some thirteen families leave this city for the Peak, among whom are Dr. Ellis and family, J. M. Locknane, P. McLaughlin, R. Berry, all men of family, and many other families and single men whose name [sic] we have not learned." August 9 this same newspaper commented, "The population of Lecompton is about 500 at the present time. Like any other town in Kansas, this place has furnished a large delegation to the Gold Mines at Pike's Peak during the past year." Newspapers in Topeka, Wyandotte, Manhattan, Fort Scott, Council Grove, and Burlington noted the departures of citizens to the gold fields in the spring and summer of 1860. One of the most publicized gold seekers from eastern Kansas was A. J. "Andy" Dawson from Oskaloosa. He went to the gold fields in 1858, but his trip in 1860 was the one which has received the most attention. Dawson invented a "wind wagon" with a sail and mast like a boat and a crank to propel the vehicle by man power if the wagon became becalmed. The wind wagon made the trip through to Denver in 20 days or so according to a report received from the gold fields in May, 1860. Another group in Oskaloosa, encouraged by Dawson's success, built a wind wagon and tried it out near the town. The wagon gained too much speed, the axletrees broke, and everybody was thrown out with aches and pains resulting. Observers estimated that the machine had gone 40 miles per hour. [
18]
     The total number of Kansans in the gold fields in 1860 cannot be definitely stated. The two leading Denver newspapers kept track of emigrant arrivals for a time in the spring and summer of 1860, but the names of only a few people from Kansas appeared in these columns. Also, the census report for 1860 listed only 197 natives of Kansas in the gold region which had a total population of 34,277. However, since in this classification "native" meant born in a certain place, Kansas which had been in existence only six years would not score heavily in this category. On the other hand, under the section in the 1860 census reports titled "Course of Internal Migration," which recorded the states or territories to which the people of specific states or territories had emigrated, only Kansas listed Colorado territory (the gold fields) as the area to which the second largest number of its emigrants had gone (the most went to Missouri). No other state or territory listed Colorado as either first or second. [
19]
     Newspaper reports provided a continuing and more comprehensive, but probably sometimes inaccurate, account of the flow of people from Kansas to the gold fields. In addition to those reports concerning individual towns which have already been mentioned, several items discussed the movement as a whole. The Kansas National Democrat in April, 1860, stated that a large train had recently left for the gold fields from Lecompton "made up of the hardy settlers of Southern Kansas, who came to the Land Office here to pre-empt their lands, and then turned their faces toward the golden hills of Western Kansas." Emigration was springing up all over Kansas, asserted the Democrat. A correspondent of the Rocky Mountain News visited Leavenworth in June, 1860, and reported the town was suffering a depression. The chief cause of the depression, according to the correspondent, seemed to be the loss of population in both the town and the territory alike. "The former [Leavenworth] lost some two thousand, the latter [Kansas] some twenty thousand inhabitants, in consequence of the stampede to the mines." These figures might have been too high, but A. D. Richardson reported to the Lawrence Republican that many Kansans were present in the gold fields in August, 1860. He declared:

The number of Lawrence people in the diggings is very large, including many families. I sometimes felt inclined to wonder, while meeting so many of your old familiar faces, whether you had anybody left at home! Nearly all of your former citizens, whom I met, seemed well satisfied. So far as I am aware, they all conduct themselves creditably, with a single exception. One well known former denizen of Lawrence was warned out of Denver last winter, for stealing turkeys!
     Leavenworth is very largely represented, both in the towns and in the diggings. Yearly all the river towns have sent heavy contributions of people. In Spring Gulch I found five old neighbors from Sumner, whose stores are located side by side; and thirty or forty former residents of the town. A street in the city which has just been laid off there, is very properly called Sumner street. All Quindaro seems to be here, with the exception of Dr. Charles Robinson and Mr. S. N. Simpson-of whom, I am gratified to notice, a kind Providence has not yet bereaved you. Wyandot, Grasshopper Falls and Atchison are largely represented; but I meet with comparatively few persons from Southern Kansas. [
20]

     Thus large numbers of Kansans moved to the gold fields during the rush period. Some of these returned during the winters and remained in eastern Kansas. Some visited the eastern part in the winters but returned to the gold fields in the following spring. Some did nothing but mining; others engaged in other types of business in the gold region. The latter formed an important segment of the business people of that area.
     The first city directory of Denver and Auraria, compiled in 1859, listed the business men in those two towns and gave the former residence of each. Three bricklayers in Denver and Auraria came from Kansas, two from Lawrence and one from Leavenworth. Two butchers were from Leavenworth. G. P. Buell, a civil engineer and surveyor, came from Leavenworth. Five lawyers in Denver and Auraria came from eastern Kansas: A. J. Allison and J. A. Gray of Troy, D. C. Collier from Wyandotte, and H. R. Hunt and D. C. Johnson from Leavenworth. C. A. Lawrence and C. R. Summers of Leavenworth ran a livery stable in Denver. D. C. Oakes & Co., and Travilla & Wilhite of Kansas (no town given) were lumber merchants in Auraria. General merchants in the two towns included Russell, Majors & Waddell; Clayton, Lowe & Co.; C. A. Cook & Co.; Fenton, Auld, Iliff; Jones & Cartwright; L. Mayer & Co.; and Moorehead & Russell. Most of these general merchants came from Kansas with a majority of them from Leavenworth. Real estate agents in Denver included D. C. Collier from Wyandotte and William Larimer, Jr., and R. E. Whitsitt from Leavenworth. Three saloon and restaurant keepers in Auraria were former Leavenworth citizens, as were G. Fuller, a watchmaker in Denver, H. S. Buckley, a clerk in the express office, and William Rumsey, a salesman for Jones & Cartwright. [
21]
     Other Kansans in business in the gold fields in 1859 received notice in a letter from Denver in August. These included four couples from Leavenworth who owned boarding houses and two men who were operating a billiard saloon. In the autumn of 1859 an announcement discussed the gold receipts of various Denver and Auraria merchants during the previous summer. Several of these businesses belonged to former Kansans. [
22]
     Throughout 1860 business and professional men left eastern Kansas and founded businesses or practices in the gold fields. Spotswood & Jacobs of Atchison sent several loads of groceries and provisions to the gold fields in 1860 and apparently established a store in that area to sell these goods. Haas & Brother, a cigar and tobacco establishment of Leavenworth, started a train of three wagons loaded with their goods to the gold fields April 21. They opened a branch of their store in the gold region. G. H. Hurd, a Leavenworth dentist, went to Denver and opened a practice there. Scott J. Anthony, former chief engineer of the fire department and register of deeds in Leavenworth, journeyed to the gold region and became chief engineer of the fire department of Denver and a real estate and land agent in partnership with another Leavenworth man, Frank Palmer. Lewis N. Tappan of Lawrence opened general stores in Denver and Colorado City. S. O. Hemenway of Lecompton ran a hotel in Denver. B. F. Dalton, a clothing store owner in Lawrence, took a stock of clothes to the mining areas in May and located a store at Gregory's diggings. A Leavenworth man, William Loeb, Jr., who had owned a store in that town, opened one in Denver with a large stock of wines, liquors, groceries, and provisions. A correspondent from Denver stated on August 9 that many of the business houses in Denver were branches of houses in Leavenworth, including Haas & Brother; Snedecor; Clayton, Lowe & Co.; and Foard & Foard. [
23]
     Probably one of the largest of the businesses in the gold fields which had connections with eastern Kansas (especially with Leavenworth) was Jones & Cartwright. This firm opened a provision store and wholesale grocery in August, 1859. The concern hauled its goods to Denver in large trains from the East. By late September four of these had arrived and two more were expected. By the first day in February, 1860, Jones & Cartwright had reportedly sold nearly a thousand tons of goods since their opening. In August this firm finished a new storeroom in Denver. It was 30 by 132 feet, 12 feet high, one story, with brick walls 22 inches thick. In 1860 the business again brought large stocks of goods overland from Leavenworth. In November, trains number 17 and 18 (for the year 1860) of 27 wagons each arrived. In October, 1860, the firm had over 6,000 sacks of flour on hand. John S. Jones of Leavenworth was a partner in this business, just as he was in the Jones & Russell express company. [
24]
     Another important business operated by Leavenworth people in the gold fields was Clayton, Lowe & Co. In June, 1859, Percival G. Lowe, George Washington Clayton, and Jerry Kershaw all of Leavenworth had formed a co-partnership to open a store in the gold fields. Clayton, who had a men's clothing store in Leavenworth, furnished the goods; Kershaw, a broker, provided the money; and Lowe, a teamster, supplied the team and wagons. The firm rented a store on Blake street in Denver and sold clothing, boots, shoes, and miners' goods. Later, the company built the first frame store in Denver on a lot at the corner of Larimer and 15th. In the spring of 1860 Kershaw sold out his interest to William M. Clayton, George's brother, and in December, 1860, or January, 1861, Lowe disposed of his interest in the business. The firm sold a large amount of goods in these years. [
25]
     People from Kansas territory also played an important role in the religious activities of the gold region. The Rev. G. W. Fisher of Oskaloosa, a Methodist, preached the first formal sermon in the mining area. Later the Rev. William H. Goode, who was sent to the Rocky mountain area by the Kansas and Nebraska conference of the Methodist Church, organized a church in the gold region. The Methodists first called the field comprising the gold area "The Pike's Peak and Cherry Creek Mission," but later designated it "The Auraria and Denver City Mission." The first organized church was one at Central City. The Rev. Jacob Adriance accompanied and assisted Goode in the establishment of this church and took charge when Goode left in August, 1859. Just before Goode departed he and Adriance instituted the first church in Denver. For the first few years this group was actually a society rather than an organized church. In February, 1860, Adriance left to attend the Methodist Episcopal conference in Leavenworth. The delegates at that conference established a "Rocky Mountain District" with J. M. Chivington as presiding elder and Jacob Adriance in charge at Golden City and Boulder. [
26]
     Kansas people were also active in the organizing efforts of Presbyterians and Catholics in the mining area. In 1860 William Larimer, Jr., wrote to the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions asking for a minister, and the board sent the Rev. A. T. Rankin. Rankin had preached in eastern Kansas in the fall of 1859 and winter of 1859-1860 and on June 26, 1860, received the letter from the Board of Home Missions asking him to go to the gold region. He left for the area within a month and preached his first sermon there August 5. The Presbyterians organized a church in the gold fields in September, 1860, with four Kansans, Larimer, R. E. Whitsitt, D. C. Collier, and George W. Clayton, serving on the seven man board of trustees. The Catholics initiated their program in the gold region in the early summer of 1860 with the arrival of Bishop Miege of Leavenworth. A group of Catholics made plans at that time for the establishment of a church. [
27]
     Probably one of the best-known Kansans who traveled to the gold fields was A. D. Richardson, whose newspaper correspondence was cited earlier. Richardson was born in Franklin, Mass., October 6, 1833. He went to Kansas in 1857 where he served as a correspondent for the Boston Journal, and he spent part of both 1859 and 1860 in the gold region. In 1860 he was a correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune and several Kansas newspapers and edited (with Thomas W. Knox) the Golden City Western Mountaineer. In the winters of 1859-1860 and 1860-1861 Richardson lectured in the East on the subjects of "Out West" and "Pike's Peak." [
28] Richardson deserves much credit for publicizing both eastern and far western Kansas.
     One of the most conspicuous Kansans in the gold fields at the time of the rush was John D. "Jack" Henderson. Henderson received much publicity while he was in the gold region due to his alleged plan to organize a fraud in the November, 1859, election of a delegate to congress from the Territory of Kansas. He had been editor of the Leavenworth Journal in 1857 and was chosen as printer by the Lecompton Constitutional Convention. After the election on the Lecompton Constitution he was accused of having fraudulently added names to the Delaware Crossing returns in order to increase the Proslavery vote total. An investigating committee decided Henderson was guilty of fraud, and he left the territory. In the spring of 1859 Henderson traveled to the gold fields. He was one of the leaders in establishing farming claims in that area, locating his claim on "Henderson Island," 12 miles below Denver in the Platte river. Besides his ranch, Henderson built a hotel there. He sold the ranch for $6,000 in the summer of 1860 and returned to eastern Kansas. [
29]
     Some of the Kansas people who went out to the gold fields in the gold rush years remained there permanently and became prominent citizens of the Territory and State of Colorado. Jerome B. Chaffee, who became a United States senator from Colorado, organized the Elmwood Town Company in Kansas in 1857. Then in 1860 he went to the gold fields. Horace A. W. Tabor was another Kansan who participated in the gold rush. Tabor enlisted as a pilgrim in the Emigrant Aid Society in the spring of 1855 and came to Kansas. He squatted on 160 acres near Manhattan but did not do well as a farmer. He was active in Free-State work, however, and was elected to the Free-State legislature held in Topeka in 1856. In April, 1859, Tabor and his family went to the gold region. In the 1880's Tabor became probably the richest man in Colorado. He also served in several political positions and was United States senator. [
30]
     Lewis Ledyard Weld was another person who left eastern Kansas for the gold fields in the rush period. He had gone to Leavenworth in 1858, but in 1860 joined the rush. Later, he became the first secretary of the Territory of Colorado and designed the official seal of the territory. Richard E. Whitsitt was one of the first settlers in Leavenworth. In 1858 he traveled to far western Kansas and later served as secretary, treasurer, and donating agent of the Denver Town Company. During the Civil War he was adjutant general of the Territory of Colorado. Another Kansan who "made good" in the Territory of Colorado was Lewis N. Tappan. He opened a general store in Lawrence, in 1857, which became a well-known Free-State headquarters. Tappan was elected secretary of the senate under the Topeka Constitution. He traveled to the gold fields in October, 1859, and he and his brother established general stores in Denver, Golden, and Central City, which specialized in hardware and miners' supplies. He was a member of the Denver City Council several times. [
31]
     The biographical section of the History of the City of Denver published in 1880 by O. L. Baskin lists many men who lived in Kansas territory before making the trip to the gold fields in 1859 or 1860. They include Webster D. Anthony, a Leavenworth resident, who later was speaker in the Colorado house of representatives, Joseph L. Bailey, Joseph W. Bowles, F. Adolph Brocker, Fred Charpiot, George M. Collier, Frank M. Cobb (who was a member of the Lawrence party), C. C. Gird, Cyrus H. McLaughlin, Frank Palmer, S. A. Rice, Anton Schindelholz, Adolph Schinner, and Oliver A. Whittemore. [
32]
     The migration of Kansans to the Pike's Peak gold fields was a natural occurrence, since the Kansans lived a shorter distance than other people from the gold region. Also, Kansas was a newly settled territory at the time the gold rush occurred, and thus the population there was fairly fluid. In addition, some Kansas people undoubtedly hoped to improve themselves financially by going to the gold region. The economic difficulties of many Kansans were severe due to the Panic of 1857 and various local troubles stemming from the backwardness and remoteness of the territory and the unfavorable weather conditions which prevailed during much of the territorial period. [
33] As a result, some of the Kansas people went to the mining area hoping for economic gains.
     When the rumors of gold finds first reached eastern Kansas, some people in the territory feared that a Pike's Peak gold rush would seriously deplete the population of Kansas. One newspaper stated in October, 1858, "New companies are going every day and should present expectations be realized, Eastern Kansas will be nearly depopulated of young men next season by the fever." Another asserted in January, 1859, that if a heavy migration to eastern Kansas did not occur, "Eastern Kansas will be left depopulated." On the other hand, other Kansans believed the gold rush would increase the population of Kansas. One paper declared, "Not only will people come to dig gold, but also to make farms. . . ." As the unfavorable news began to come back from the gold region, various Kansas newspapers reported that many of the returning Peakers were settling in eastern Kansas. "Emigration is pouring into Linn and Bourbon counties very fast, a large portion of it returned Pike's Peakers, who are supplied with land warrants, and are locating them in those counties." Other newspapers carried similar reports about returning emigrants. Horace Greeley who was traveling through Kansas in 1859 heard that many returning Peakers had settled in Kansas, especially in the southern part. Besides these returned gold seekers, some Peakers reportedly settled in Kansas without even going on out to the gold fields. [
34]
     Therefore, the Pike's Peak gold rush took some people out of Kansas but induced others to come into the territory. The rush significantly affected the movement of population from, to, and through Kansas. In 1859 and 1860 the number of people in Kansas did not decrease sharply, and, by 1861, clearly was large enough to justify the admission of Kansas to statehood. Nevertheless, the Pike's Peak gold rush had exerted a considerable influence on the Kansas population and, for about three years, had created an extensive amount of interest among Kansans and about Kansas.
     In addition, the people from Kansas who migrated to the gold region participated in a variety of activities in the new settlements there. The former Kansans did not limit themselves to the search for gold, but also took part in political, business, and religious endeavors. The Pike's Peak gold rush, similar to others, involved considerably more than prospecting for precious metals, and the varied reactions of the settlers who came from Kansas illustrate this point.

NOTES
     Calvin W. Gower, native of Colorado, with a Ph. D. degree from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, is professor of history at St. Cloud State College, St. Cloud, Minn.

     1. A. D. Richardson to the editor, June 16, 1860, Lawrence Republican, June 28, 1860; for more on the political and economic effects of the gold rush on Kansas see: Calvin W. Gower, "The Pike's Peak Gold Rush and the Smoky Hill Route, 1859-1860," Kansas Historical Quarterly, v. 25 (Summer, 1959), pp. 158-171, and "Kansas Territory and the Pike's Peak Gold Rush: Governing the Gold Region," ibid., v. 32 (Autumn, 1966), pp. 289-313. [Back]

     2. Agnes Wright Spring, ed., A Bloomer Girl on Pike's Peak, 1858, Julia Archibald Holmes . . . (Denver, 1949), pp. 5-7, 9. [Back]

     3. Ibid., pp. 8-9, 16; Lawrence Republican, October 7, 1858. [Back]

     4. Calvin W. Gower, "Kansas Territory and the Pike's Peak Gold Rush," unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Kansas, 1958, pp. 8-11. The members of the Lecompton party were H. P. A. Smith, Edward W. Wynkoop, John W. St. Matthew, John Larimer, Hickory Rogers, Joseph McCubbin, Lucillius I. Winchester, and Hampton L. Boon. These men were sent to organize a Kansas county (Arapahoe county) government in the gold fields, but they encountered a considerable amount of opposition. The members of the Larimer party were C. A. Lawrence, Fulsom Dorsett, R. E. Whitsitt, M. M. Jewett, William Larimer, Jr. and William H. H. Larimer.-Herman S. Davis, comp., Reminiscences of General William Larimer and of His Son William H. H. Larimer . . . (Lancaster, Pa., 1918), pp. 47-48; John W. Jordan, ed., Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania . . . (New York, 1911), pp. 1510-1512. [Back]

     5. Denver Rocky Mountain News, August 27, 1859, June 27, August 22, 1860; Leavenworth Daily Times, March 2, 1861. Jefferson territory was a "provisional government" established by some people in the gold region because of the ineffectiveness of Kansas government in that area. [Back]

     6. "Copy of the Records of the Denver City Company from December, 1858, to March, 1861," pp. 31-32, Document division, Denver Public Library, Denver; Gower, "Kansas Territory and the Pike's Peak Gold Rush," pp. 90-91; Kansas Historical Collections, v. 12, p. 471. [Back]

     7. Leavenworth Daily Times, February 24, March 24, April 19, May 10, July 14, August 13, November 1, 16, 1859. The migration to the gold fields was from both the towns and the farms of Kansas, but since better records exist on the flow of people from the towns this feature of the movement has received more attention. However, mention of moves from rural areas does occur below. In addition, when writers discussed the general emigration from a certain town, they undoubtedly often meant from the town and its vicinity. [Back]

     8. Lawrence Herald of Freedom, September 4, 1858, October 15, 1859; Lawrence Republican, February 24, April 21, 1859; W. A. Johnson, "Early Life of Quantrill in Kansas," Kansas Historical Collections, v. 7, p. 213. [Back]

     9. Topeka Tribune, December 23, 1858, February 3, May 5, 1859; Leavenworth Daily Times, April 5, 1859. [Back]

     10. Lecompton Kansas National Democrat, April 14, July 28, September 1, 1859. [Back]

     11. Elwood Weekly Press, September 25, October 9, 1858, November 26, 1859; Denver Rocky Mountain News, May 14, 1859; Atchison Freedom's Champion, September 18, 1858; Wyandotte Western Argus, October 9, 1858; Emporia News, February 19, April 16, October 15, 1859; T. C. Wells to his father, May 14, 1859, Thomas C. Wells, "Letters of a Kansas Pioneer, 1855-1860," Kansas Historical Quarterly, v. 5 (November, 1936), p. 398. Little evidence exists to substantiate any contention that the Pike's Peak gold rush caused a widespread labor shortage in Kansas. One reason none occurred probably was that many of those who emigrated to far western Kansas only stayed a few months, but even more important was the fact that during the first part of 1859 a heavy migration to eastern Kansas took place. [Back]

     12. "The Diary of James R. Stewart, Pioneer of Osage County . . . Part Three: May, 1858-July, 1859," Kansas Historical Quarterly, v. 17 (August, 1949), pp. 267, 282-284, 287-290. [Back]

     13. A. D. Richardson to the editor, November 3, 1859, Lawrence Republican, November 17, 1859; A. D. Richardson to the editor, November 10, 1859, in ibid., November 24, 1859; A. D. Richardson to the editor, November 7, 1859, in ibid., December 1, 1859; Lawrence Herald of Freedom, February 26, 1859. The "jayhawking" did lessen in 1859, but the importance of the gold rush in this decline is difficult to determine. Growing domination in the area by Free-Staters plus weariness over the fighting were probably the chief factors in the abatement of raiding. [Back]

     14. Leavenworth Daily Times, February 14, March 23, 1860; Leavenworth Weekly Herald, March 17, 31, 1860; "Platte" to the editor, March 31, 1860, ibid., March 17, 1860. [Back]

     15. Leavenworth Daily Times, April 11, July 21, 1860; Leavenworth Weekly Herald, April 14, May 12, 1860; Manhattan Express, May 5, 1860; A. D. Richardson to the editor, June 16, 1860, in Lawrence Republican, June 28, 1860; A. D. Richardson to the editor, July 3, 1860, in ibid., July 26, 1860; A. D. Richardson to the editor, August 7, 1860, in New York Daily Tribune, August 21, 1860. [Back]

     16. Atchison Freedom's Champion, May 12, 1860; "K." to the editor, May 29, 1860, in ibid., June 9, 1860; "K." to the editor, June 15, 1860, in ibid., June 30, 1860. [Back]

     17. Lawrence Republican, May 3, 1860; A. D. Richardson to the editor, June 22, 1860, in Lawrence Republican, July 5, 1860; A. D. Richardson to the editor, July 10, 1860 in ibid., July 26, 1860; A. D. Richardson to the editor, June 26, 1860, in ibid., July 19, 1860. [Back]

     18. Emporia News, May 19, 1860; Denver Rocky Mountain News, March 28, 1860; Lecompton Kansas National Democrat, May 10, August 9, 1860; Topeka Tribune, May 5, 1860; Wyandotte Western Argus, May 12, 1860; Manhattan Express, April 7, 1860; Fort Scott Democrat, quoted in the Leavenworth Weekly Herald, March 10, 1860; Council Grove Kansas Press, April 16, 30, 1860; Burlington Neosho Valley Register, July 28, 1860; A. J. Dawson to "Gentlemen," December 15, 1858, Leavenworth Weekly Herald, January 29, 1859; Marysville Platform, quoted in the Leavenworth Weekly Herald, April 7, 1860; St. Louis Missouri Democrat, quoted in the Topeka State Record, May 26 1860; Leavenworth Weekly Herald, May 12, 1860. [Back]

     19. Denver Rocky Mountain News, May 16, June 6, 1860; Denver Rocky Mountain Herald, May 26, June 9, 1860; Joseph C. G. Kennedy (superintendent of the census), Population of the United States in 1860; compiled From the Original Returns of the Eighth census . . . (Washington, 1864), pp. xxxiv, 549. The migration of Kansans to Missouri probably consisted to a large extent of former Missourians returning home or of discouraged emigrants traveling to the nearest area which had been settled for some time (in contrast to Kansas). The drought which began in Kansas in June, 1859, probably induced some of these people to go to Missouri. [Back]

     20. Lecompton Kansas National Democrat, April 5, 1860; letter to the editor, June 18, 1860, in Denver Rocky Mountain News, July 4, 1860; A. D. Richardson to the editor August 7, 1860, in Lawrence Republican, August 23, 1860. [Back]

     21. Nolie Mumey, History of the Early Settlements of Denver, (1599-1860), With Reproductions of the First City Directory . . . (Glendale, Calif., 1942). Pages 22-28 constitute the reproduced Denver City and Auraria, The Commercial Emporium of the Pike's Peak Gold Regions, in 1859, directory. [Back]

     22. Letter to the editor, August 11, 1859, Leavenworth Weekly Times, August 27, 1859; Denver Rocky Mountain News, September 22, 1859. [Back]

     23. Atchison Freedom's Champion, March 3, 10, May 5, September 1, 22, 1860. Several items describe Spotswood & Jacobs sending the goods, but no item clearly states that the firm established a store; Leavenworth Weekly Herald, April 21, 1860; Leavenworth Daily Times March 6, April 7, June 14, 15, 1860; Denver Daily Rocky Mountain News, September 1, 1860; Denver Rocky Mountain News, June 6, 27, 1860; Denver Rocky Mountain Herald, May 12, June 16, 1860; O. Hemenway to the editor, April 19, 1860, in Lecompton Kansas National Democrat, May 10, 1860; Lawrence Republican, May 31, 1860; "Jones" to the editor, August 9, 1860, in Leavenworth Daily Times, August 20, 1860. [Back]

     24. Denver Rocky Mountain News, August 20, 27, September 3, 17, 22, 1859, February 1, August 22, October 17, 1860; Denver Daily Rocky Mountain News, November 14, 1860; Raymond W. and Mary Lund Settle, Empire on Wheels (Stanford, Calif., 1949), p. 52. [Back]

     25. Percival G. Lowe, Five Years a Dragoon ('49 to '54), and Other Adventures on the Great Plains (Kansas City, Mo., 1906), pp. 354-356; Percival G. Lowe to Moses Hallett, August 24, 1899, letter of Percival G. Lowe, "George Washington Clayton and Early Merchandising in Denver," Colorado Magazine, Denver, v. 19 (July, 1942), pp. 136-139. [Back]

     26. Leavenworth Weekly Times, February 12, 1860; "Events in the History of Trinity M. E. Church," prepared by Peter Winne from material sent by the Rev. Jacob Adriance, The Trail, Denver, v. 7 (February, 1914), pp. 10-12; Denver Rocky Mountain News, February 22, 1860; Leavenworth Weekly Herald, March 24, 1860. Chivington later led the Colorado troops in the Sand Creek massacre. [Back]

     27. Peter Winne, "Historical Gleanings," The Trail, v. 8 (August, 1915), p. 10; "Diary of Reverend A. T. Rankin, 1859-1860," Manuscript division, Colorado State Historical Society library, Denver; Denver Daily Rocky Mountain News, September 7, 1860; Leavenworth Weekly Herald, June 16, 1860. [Back]

     28. [Mrs. Albert D. Richardson, ed.] Garnered Sheaves From the Writings of Albert D. Richardson . . . (Hartford, Conn., 1871), pp. 18, 32-33, 43-44; Leavenworth Daily Times, November 29, 1859; Denver Rocky Mountain News, March 14, 1860; Lawrence Republican, November 8, 1860. [Back]

     29. Gower, "Kansas Territory and the Pike's Peak Gold Rush," pp. 143-146; Roy Franklin Nichols, The Disruption of American Democracy (New York, 1948), pp. 117, 121; A. T. Andreas and W. G. Cutler, History of the State of Kansas . . . (Chicago, 1883), p. 167; Albert D. Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi . . . (Hartford, Conn., 1873), pp. 102-103; diary of David Kellogg, "Across the Plains in 1858," The Trail, v. 5 (January, 1913), p. 10; Davis, comp., Reminiscences of General William Larimer . . ., p. 144; Denver Rocky Mountain News, November 3, 1859, February 1, August 22, 1860; St. Joseph (Mo.) Gazette, quoted in the Denver Daily Rocky Mountain News, January 9, 1861. [Back]

     30. Portrait and Biographical Record of Denver and Vicinity, Colorado . . . (Chicago, 1898), pp. 129, 137-138; David Karsner, Silver Dollar, The Story of the Tabors (New York, 1932), pp. 8-9, 15, 28; Lewis Cass Gandy, The Tabors, a Footnote of Western History (New York, 1934), pp. 29, 31, 37, 41, 85, 87. [Back]

     31. LeRoy R. Hafen, "Lewis Ledyard Weld, and Old Camp Weld," The Colorado Magazine, v. 19 (November, 1942), pp. 201-202; Richard E. Leach, "Richard E. Whitsitt," The Trail, v. 4 (November, 1911), pp. 16-18; Richard E. Leach, "Lewis N. Tappan," The Trail, v. 4 (December, 1911), pp. 19-21. [Back]

     32. [O. L. Baskin, publisher] History of the City of Denver, Arapahoe County, and Colorado . . . (Chicago, 1880), pp. 310-311, 318, 326, 349, 380, 391, 394, 395, 451, 522, 523, 552, 561, 580, 594, 648. [Back]

     33. George L. Anderson, "Some Phases of Currency and Banking in Territorial Kansas," Territorial Kansas . . . (Lawrence, 1954), pp. 103-107; Joseph G. Gambone, "Starving Kansas," The American West, Palo Alto, Calif., v. 8 (July, 1971), pp. 30-31. [Back]

     34. Emporia News, October 23, 1858, April 16, 1859; Lawrence Herald of Freedom, January 8, June 18, 1859; White Cloud Kansas Chief, September 30, 1858; Lawrence Republican, June 16, 1859; Mound City Herald, quoted in the Leavenworth Weekly Times, June 18, 1859; Topeka Tribune, June 30, 1859; Elwood Free Press, quoted in the Lawrence Republican, July 7, 1859; Horace Greeley, An Overland Journey, From New York to San Francisco, in the Summer of 1859 . . . (New York, 1860), pp. 55, 73. [Back]



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