Thursday, May 30, 2019

T. D. JUDAH & THE BIG FOUR by Zina Abbott

This is part of an ongoing series about the first Transcontinental Railroad which will be shared on three blogs for which I post, and will eventually all end up on my own Trails & Rails blog.

Although there were many who advocated for a transcontinental railway system starting as early as the 1840’s, one of the earlier promoters of the enterprise was an engineer who dreamed of crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains, one of the steepest, most difficult mountain ranges in the United States. He may be credited with getting the ball rolling in California years before anything substantial had been organized and put into motion in the East.

T. D. Judah promotes a National Railroad and Organizes the Central Pacific.

Theodore D. Judah
Congress was in a gridlock, but the dream of a Transcontinental Railroad lived on through the efforts of private enterprise. In 1854, skilled engineer, Theodore D. Judah, left his secure job in the East and moved to Sacramento, California, to pursue his dream of locating a route over the Sierra Nevada range for a Transcontinental Railroad. He believed that it was “the most magnificent project ever conceived,” and he was obsessed with bringing it to fruition. He took a job as chief engineer for the Sacramento Valley Railroad and, as a result of his skill and engineering, the first railroad west of the Mississippi was operating to the Placer mines in February 1856.

Theodore  Dehone Judah was born in 1826 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Mary (Reece) and The Rev. Henry Raymond Judah, an Episcopal clergyman. After his family moved to Troy, New York, Judah studied engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

At age 21 Judah married Anne Pierce on May 10, 1847. Theirs was the first wedding in the then new St James Episcopal Church of Greenfield, Massachusetts.

After the Sacramento Valley Railroad, Judah resigned in order to devote full time to realizing his dream. Almost everything he did from then until the day of his death was for the great Continental Pacific Railway, and it was all done at his own expense. Judah knew that only the federal government had the resources to finance such an ambitious venture, and in 1856, he and his wife, Anna, made the first of four trips east to solicit federal support. In 1857, he wrote a pamphlet entitled A Practical Plan for Building the Pacific Railroad and distributed it to every member of Congress. He urged them to donate alternate sections of land to help finance the enterprise. The legislators were unable to reach consensus, and Judah return to California without success.

Although some called him “Crazy Judah,” he did not abandon his dream. On October 28th, 1859, he and Anna sailed to Panama and then continued to cross the Isthmus by land on their third trip to the East. On December 6th, Judah held an interview with President James Buchanan. The president was in favor of the Pacific Railroad, but Congress was still not behind the project. Theodore and Anna had brought charts, maps, ore samples, and fossils that had been gathered on their Sierra expeditions. With these, they opened a Pacific Railway Museum on Capitol Hill. However, the legislators doubted that a railroad could ever cross the formidable Sierra.

As the chief engineer of the Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR), Judah surveyed the route over the Sierra Nevada along which the railroad was to be built during the 1860s. Failing to raise funds for the project in San Francisco, he succeeded in signing up four Sacramento merchants, known as the "Big Four."

The Big Four

The Big Four of the Central Pacific Railroad Company of California: Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins

"The Big Four" was the name popularly given to the famous and influential businessmen, philanthropists and railroad tycoons who built the Central Pacific Railroad, (C.P.R.R.), which formed the western portion through the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains. Composed of Leland Stanford, (1824–1893), Collis Potter Huntington, (1821–1900), Mark Hopkins (1813–1878), and Charles Crocker, (1822–1888), the four themselves personally preferred to be known as "The Associates." With T. D. Judah as their primary motivator and chief engineer, they managed financing and construction of the CPRR.

Realizing that they needed more detailed information to sway Congress to their cause, Theodore and Anna returned to California. Under Judah's direction, four parties of engineers went into the Sierra early in 1861 to survey an exact route over the mountains. Part of the road followed the old Donner Trail and continued over Donner Pass. Judah used the surveyors’ reports to solicit local funding for the incorporation of the Central Pacific Railroad of California. He interested the “Big Four,” Leland Stanford, Collis P. Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker in the project. In April 1861, against the advice of friends, the four partners threw their entire resources and personal credit into the Central Pacific.

Leland Stanford, with a law degree and his new bride, Jane, had followed his adventurous inclinations to the West and settled in California in 1852. There he became a dealer in groceries and provisions. Today he is known for Stanford University, which was named for his son, Leland Stanford, Jr. Collis P. Huntington and Mark Hopkins were partners in a large and thriving hardware business in Sacramento. Huntington ultimately bore the responsibility of obtaining financing. He is known today for the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Charles Crocker and his brother, Edward, were prosperous dry goods merchants. The Crocker National Bank of San Francisco is part of their legacy.

For the Central Pacific Railroad, Stanford was president; Huntington, vice president; Hopkins, treasurer; Judah, chief engineer; and Crocker, general superintendent of construction. Free enterprise had provided start-up funds for the fledgling company, but the railroad could not be built without land grants and subsidies from the federal government.

Charles Nordhoff

Charles Nordhoff wrote a handbook in 1882 titled California—for Health, Pleasure and Residence—a handbook for travelers and settlers. This history originally appeared in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine in 1872. He used the wordy and effusive language style of the day, but offered some interesting insights into the formation and operation of the Central Pacific Railroad:

The story of the building of the Central Pacific Railroad is one of the most remarkable examples of the dauntless spirit of American enterprise. The men who built it were merchants, who probably knew no more about building railroads, when they had past middle age and attained a respectable commence competence by trade, than a Colusa Pike knows about Greek. Huntington and Hopkins were hardware merchants. Stanford was at one time or a wholesale dealer in groceries, the later governor of the state; the two Crockers were dry goods men. These five, all at or past middle age, all living in Sacramento, then an insignificant interior town of California, believing in each other, believing that the railroad must be built, and finding no one else ready to undertake it, put their hands and heads and their means to the great work, and carried it through.

Mr. Nordhoff considered there to be five men, as he included Edward Crocker, brother to Charles, who was co-owner of the family retail business. Evidently, Edward minded the store while Charles was the one mostly involved with the railroad venture. Charles Nordhoff, again:

Moreover, you are to remember that these five Sacramento merchants, who undertook to build a railroad through eight hundred miles of an almost uninhabited country, over mountains and across an alkali desert, were totally unknown to the great money world; that their project was pronounced impractical by engineers of reputation testifying before legislative committees; that it was opposed and ridiculed at every step by the moneyed men of San Francisco; that even in their own neighborhood they were thought sure to fail; and a “Dutch Flat Swindle,” as their project was called, was caricatured, written down in pamphlets, abused in newspapers, spoken against by politicians, denounced by capitalist, and for a long time held in such ill repute that it was more than a banker's character for prudence was worth to connect himself with it, even by subscribing for its stock.

Everybody knows what is the common fate in this country of railroad projectors. A few sanguine and public-spirited men procure a charter, make up a company, subscribe for the stock, drag all their friends in, get the preliminary surveys made, begin the work—and then break down; and two or three capitalist, who have been quietly waiting for this foreseen conclusion-- foreseen by them, I mean—thereupon step in, buy the valuable wreck for a song, and build and run and own the road. This is a business in itself. Dozens of men have made millions apiece by this process, which is perfectly legitimate; for, as the French say, in order to succeed you must be successful; or, as we say in this country, to the victors belong the spoils.

The “Big Four” refused to be caught in that trap. They were businessmen who had built up their wealth using sound fiscal management. They were not playing at building a railroad for the glory and prestige; they understood the importance of having a means of transporting people and goods across the country for the sake of building up California and the businesses in that state. However, they, along with Judah, realized they needed government backing for a project of that size.

Eventually, T. D. Judah and the Big Four of California received enough of what they needed to get the project started. Mr. Nordhoff again:

Theodore Judah monument, Sacramento
Now the projectors of the Central Pacific Railroad completed it, and today control and manage it; they did not let it slip out of their fingers; and, what is more, being only merchants, totally inexperienced in the railroad building and railroad managing, they did their work so well that, in the opinion of the best engineers, their road is today one of the most thoroughly built and equipped and best managed in the United States. Their bonds sell in Europe but little if any below United States government bonds, and their credit as a company, in London, Frankfurt, and Paris, is as high as that of the government itself.

Unfortunately, Theodore Judah lived only long enough to see construction begin on the railroad to which he had been so devoted. He contracted malaria while crossing the Isthmus of Panama while traveling to New York to seek alternative financing to buy out the Big Four investors. He died in New York City on November 2, 1863. Anna took his body back to Greenfield, Massachusetts, where he was buried in the Pierce family plot in the Federal Street Cemetery.

Although it does not involve the Transcontinental Railroad directly, the nearest Transcontinental Railroad rail connection to the locality in the series, The Widows of Wildcat Ridge, is in Evanston, Wyoming. My book, Diantha, is now available on Amazon in both ebook format and print. Please CLICK HERE to access the book description and purchase link.

Museum Memories, Volume 1 (Salt Lake City, Utah: International Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 2009), Pgs. 398-401.
Southern Pacific First Century (San Francisco: Southern Pacific Public Relations Department, 1955) 3-8; Ambrose, Nothing Like It, 42 - 62.

Nordhoff, Charles, The Central Pacific Railroad, (Silverthorne, Colorado: Vista Books, 2008) originally published in 1882 by Charles Nordhoff.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019


I am so thrilled to have a western short story that made the “short list” in the Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards this year! My story is called THE GAMBLE, and it was published in a western anthology called THE UNTAMED WEST. Let me tell you, there are a ton of great stories in that book alone, not to mention the many other entries that were received in the Peacemaker competition. That’s why I’m so proud to have my story be chosen as one of only FIVE finalists, along with Troy Smith, Michael Ritt, Jeff Mariotte, and Ron Schwab.

Now I will be waiting like a nervous Nellie until June 15 when the winners are announced. No matter who wins the award in this category, I’m just thrilled to have made the finalist list among so many excellent stories and talented authors who submitted stories. Wish me luck!

Here's an excerpt from THE GAMBLE starting with the "set up" of what's going on: A wounded man, Jake Kelly, has ridden onto the homestead of Lizzie and Ethan Riles, an older sister and younger brother whose parents have died not long before. Lizzie takes her responsibility to see to Ethan's safety seriously, but how can she turn away a wounded stranger who needs help?

When Jake came to, it was dark as hell. He was disoriented for a moment, wondering where he was. But the smell of stew came to him… and then, the raw pain in his thigh and side brought a maelstrom of memories rushing back to him that made no sense, at first.

As he lay in the blackness of the warm July night, he let everything sort itself out and fall into place. What was it about this cabin? Calm engulfed his spirit, and he took a long, deep breath, then let it out slowly.

“Are you in pain?”

He started at the female voice. Lizzie. His eyes were growing accustomed to the darkness, but he could smell the sweet vanilla scent she carried before he could make out her features.

A cool, work-roughened hand came across his forehead, lingering briefly, hesitating as if she were trying to be certain—
“Fever?” he asked through dry lips, his tongue thick.

“I’m afraid so. Your thigh wound was becoming infected.”

“No wonder it hurts like it does.”

“I had to cauterize it,” she said, somewhat defensively.

“You—you did it?”

“Well, who else did you think might do it, Mr. Kelly? Ethan?”

“Lizzie—Miss Riles—I don’t mean anything. Just tryin’ to get my head on straight. I didn’t know—”

“Thankfully,” she interjected, a hint of laughter in her tone. “I promise you, it was much better you didn’t know a thing about—about what was happening.”

“Well…you’re right about that. There’s been a time or two I’ve gone through that and remembered every second of it.”

“Here…” She pressed a cup of water to his lips as she lifted his head.

He let the water slide down his throat, relishing the fresh crispness of it—cold, even on such a warm night as it was.
“Thank you, ma’am,” he said, when he’d finished.

“Lizzie. Nobody ever called me ‘ma’am’ before—not too much, anyhow.” Her voice had turned self-conscious, and he felt her rise from beside him where she’d sat on the floor.

“Can you sleep now?” she asked.

“I think so. I’m still dog tired.” He watched her pause as if she had something more to say. Before she could, he went on. “Lizzie, you have nothing to fear from me. I’m much obliged for the hospitality you’ve shown and the care you’ve given me. If I could just stay a day or two—rest up before I move on—that would sure help.”

“Are you a dangerous man, Jake?” She leaned down again earnestly. “Be honest. I can’t have trouble here. Ma and Pa both passed this last year. So it’s just me and Ethan, now. He depends on me to keep him safe, and I aim to do it—no matter what it takes.”

Jake nodded in the darkness. “I understand. Look, I won some money at cards in Mosquero a few nights back---can’t even remember how long ago, now… Anyhow, fella I won from took offense, but—” he added quickly—“I didn’t cheat. I beat him fair. His ol’ man has a lot of money—he’ll never miss what he lost—but it hurt his pride.”

“Is he after you?”

“I—honestly don’t know. Last I saw of him, the sheriff was putting cuffs on him and marching him off to jail. But…I’ve heard he holds a grudge easy, so—yeah. It’s a possibility. I’ll…try to clear out soon’s I’m able.”

There was silence between them, and then he said softly, “You—been in here with me all this time?”

There was hesitation, as if she were trying to decide how to respond. Then, “Of course I have been! I—I had to watch your fever. Somebody had to take care of you. I said I would, and I…I did. Best I could.” As she turned to go, she added, “You’ve been asleep for two days. I’m glad to see you’re feeling better.”

“Twp days…” And she’d watched over him all that time? “Thank you, Lizzie.” Jake barely got the words out of his mouth before he drifted back to sleep again.

This would make a great Father's Day gift for someone, or just plain ol' good reading for yourself. It's available in the Kindle version as well as paperback.


Sunday, May 26, 2019


Under the spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands…. Did you have to memorize that in school? Do they even memorize poetry now days? My impression of a blacksmith formed from that poem and the print my parents had hanging in their living room. The print of the painting by Paul Detlefson came first, so when I had to learn the poem, I visualized red barn as being the village smithy. The painting is actually titled "Horse and Buggy Days" but I didn't know that then.

I have no idea if the large tree
is a chestnut but to me it was.

I’ve seen a fair number of historic western blacksmith shops. My husband lets me drag him through living history museums wherever we find them. Actually, he’s very interested in history but I don’t think he needs as much first-hand frontier information as I require for research.

For the purpose of this article, let me define that a blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects from wrought iron or steel. He forges the metal by using tools to hammer, bend, and cut. Blacksmiths produce objects such as gates, grilles, railings, furniture, tools, agricultural implements, nails, chains, and weapons. In many Old West towns, the blacksmith was also a gunsmith.

The term “blacksmith” comes from the black firescale, a layer of oxides that forms on the metal surface during heating. Some sources state the word “smith” may come from the old English word “Smythe”, meaning to strike. Other sources say the word may have originated from the Proto-German “smithaz” meaning “skilled worker”.
Prior to the industrial revolution, a "village smithy" was a staple of every town. Factories and mass-production reduced the demand for blacksmith-made tools and hardware.
The original fuel for forge fires was charcoal. Coal did not begin to replace charcoal until the forests of first Britain (during the 17th century), and then the eastern United States of America (during the 19th century) were largely depleted. Coal can be an inferior fuel for blacksmithing, because much of the world's coal is contaminated with sulfur. Sulfur contamination of iron and steel make them "red short", so that at red heat they become "crumbly" instead of "plastic". Coal sold and purchased for blacksmithing should be largely free of sulfur.
I’ve looked online for a photo that matches the image in my head for the blacksmith/gun repair shop in my latest release, A BRIDE FOR GIDEON, but I can’t find one. Sadly, I don’t draw well enough to illustrate what the concept in my mind.  Here is the closest I could find.

During the first half of the nineteenth century, the US government included in their treaties with many Native tribes, that the US would employ blacksmiths and strikers at Army forts, with the expressed purpose of providing Native Americans with iron tools and repair services. I have to admit this fact came as a surprise. By the way, a blacksmith's striker is an assistant (frequently an apprentice), whose job it is to swing a large sledgehammer in heavy forging operations, as directed by the blacksmith. In practice, the blacksmith holds the hot iron at the anvil (with tongs) in one hand, and indicates where to strike the iron by tapping it with a small hammer in the other hand. The striker then delivers a heavy blow to the indicated spot with a sledgehammer. Let's hope he didn't miss.
During the early to mid-nineteenth century, European armies as well as both the U. S. Federal and Confederate armies employed blacksmiths to shoe horses and repair equipment such as wagons, horse tack, and artillery equipment. These smiths primarily worked at a traveling forge that comprised wagons specifically designed and constructed as blacksmith shops on wheels to carry the essential equipment necessary for their work.
In frontier/Old West towns, a blacksmith was an important person. Movement by horse or wagon depended on him being able to shoe horses and repair wagons. Building depended on him. He also made nails, hinges, locks, gates, and other metal objects needed for everyday life.

That's my ancestor standing at the far right.
Maybe he had to
repair that wagon on the left.
One of my ancestors on my father’s side, pictured above, was a farmer/rancher who worked as a blacksmith at his home near Duke, Oklahoma. Looks more as if they're having a party with so many people, doesn't it? To his wife’s annoyance, he didn’t charge his neighbors and spent a lot of time working for free. Supposedly, she (pictured below) was very pleased when they moved into town.
His wife, who is working with the cows.
Blacksmiths work by heating pieces of wrought iron or steel until the metal becomes soft enough for shaping with hand tools, such as a hammer, an anvil and a chisel. Heating generally took place in a forge fueled by coal or charcoal.
Color is important for indicating the temperature and workability of the metal. As iron heats to higher temperatures, it first glows red, then orange, yellow, and finally white. The ideal heat for most forging is the bright yellow-orange color that indicates forging heat. Because they must be able to see the glowing color of the metal, some blacksmiths work in dim, low-light conditions, but most work in well-lit conditions. The key is to have consistent lighting, but not too bright. Direct sunlight obscures the colors.

Modern blacksmith at work
The techniques of smithing can be roughly divided into forging (sometimes called "sculpting"), welding, heat-treating, and finishing. Forging is the process smiths use to shape metal by hammering the iron into shape. Even punching and cutting operations (except when trimming waste) by smiths usually re-arrange metal around the hole, rather than drilling it out.
The five basic forging processes are often combined to produce and refine the shapes necessary for finished products. For example, to fashion a cross-peen hammer head, a smith would start with a bar roughly the diameter of the hammer face. The handle hole would be punched and drifted (widened by inserting or passing a larger tool through it), the head would be cut (punched, but with a wedge), the peen would be drawn to a wedge, and the face would be dressed by upsetting.
Welding is the joining of the same or similar kind of metal. This is not the acetylene torch of today. In forge welding, the pieces to join are heated to what is generally referred to as welding heat. For mild steel most smiths judge this temperature by color—the metal glows an intense yellow or white. At this temperature the steel is near molten.
Depending on the intended use of a piece, a blacksmith may finish it in a number of ways: a simple jig (a tool) that the smith might only use a few times in the shop may get the minimum of finishing—a rap on the anvil to break off scale and a brushing with a wire brush. Files bring a piece to final shape, removing burrs and sharp edges, and smoothing the surface. Heat treatment and case-hardening achieve the desired hardness. The wire brush can further smooth, brighten, and polish surfaces. Grinding stones, abrasive paper, and emery wheels can further shape, smooth, and polish the surface.
A range of treatments and finishes can inhibit oxidation and enhance or change the appearance of the piece. An experienced smith selects the finish based on the metal and on the intended use of the item. Finishes include (among others) paint, varnish, bluing, browning, oil, and wax.
As demand for their products declined, many more blacksmiths augmented their incomes by taking in work shoeing horses. A shoer-of-horses was historically known as a farrier in English. 
With the introduction of automobiles, the number of blacksmiths continued to decrease. Many former blacksmiths became the initial generation of automobile mechanics. That’s what happened in my ancestry. The son of the blacksmith pictured near Duke, Oklahoma above became a mechanic in Tulare, California.
Auto Mechanics - What happened to a lot of blacksmiths.
The low point of blacksmithing in the United States was reached during the 1960s, when most of the former blacksmiths had left the trade, and few if any new people were entering the trade. By this time, most of the working blacksmiths were those performing farrier work, so the term blacksmith was effectively co-opted by the farrier trade.

Caroline Clemmons writes historical and contemporary western romance. Her latest, A BRIDE FOR GIDEON, is #16 of the popular, multi-author Proxy Bride Series, is a historical romance. The gorgeous cover was designed by Virginia McKevitt.

Keira desperately wants to belong somewhere
Gideon is haunted by a secret too horrible to share
Fate conspires against them…    

Keira Cameron came to Boston from Scotland after the death of her parents. She wanted a job, a husband, and eventually a family. She feels rejected because at almost six feet she’s too tall, Her Scottish burr makes her appear too foreign. She is too pretty for any wife to want Keira working near the woman’s husband. Were her expectations unreasonable? Her cousin convinces her to enter a proxy marriage to his friend, Gideon Ross, who lives in Montana Territory. Out of options, she agrees and hopes her goals will be realized.

Gideon Ross is a large man at five inches over six feet. His business is a smithy and gun repair shop. The war left him with a terrible scar on his face. He wears a beard to try to conceal the scar but still hears people whisper he’s a monster and a giant. Do they think he has no feelings? He’s haunted by the war and has terrible nightmares. Reluctantly, he agrees to wed Keira by proxy.

Outside forces work against the couple. Keira and Gideon must find the key to the attack on their lives. Can they defeat the enemy before they’re too late?

A BRIDE FOR GIDEON is free in KU and available in e-book and print at the Universal Amazon link 
Reviews include:

"I enjoyed reading this captivating story that is fantastically written with charismatic characters. Their story has a wonderful HEA."
Sharon H

"In depth writing, a complete story tying everything together. No loose ends hanging to wonder what about...? Great work! Great writing, great story." Serene Susan 

Friday, May 24, 2019


In the last two years, I have read so many wonderful historical western romances set in Creede, Colorado. When I was asked to write for the Proxy Bride series, I decided that Creede would be a wonderful spot to set my book. This began my search for interesting tidbits about the town.

Early into my online search, I happened on an entry in the Colorado Encyclopedia about the Creede Museum ( After reading that article, my mind was set on the time and place. I wanted to set my book in 1893.

Why that year, you might ask? The fire!

According to Creede’s website, (, before 1890, the area around Creede drew tourists. It was a popular fishing area as well as being a spa. People came to bathe in the hot springs as well as to drink that water. Ugh! By 1883, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad transported these tourists. It must have been popular to have the railroad extended to it.

At first called Jimtown, the town changed quickly after silver was found in 1890. Its population boomed and, by the time the name was changed to Creede, the town had an estimated population of 10,000. That’s the Creede I wanted to imagine in my book.

But back to the fire…

One cold night a fire started in rooms above a barbershop. This spread quickly through the wooden buildings and destroyed much of the town. Because of the speed of the fire business owners weren’t able to even rescue their tills. Cash burned and the coins melted together. A great description of the fire was written twelve years later in an article for the Creede Candle (

This photo of Creede was taken in 1893, one year after a fire destroyed much of the mining town. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad depot, which currently serves as a museum, is the wood frame building under construction in the center of the photo. Boxcars are lined up to its right, and Main Street is in the foreground. (taken from the Colorado Encyclopedia)

After researching the fire, I imagined my hero as a business owner struggling to reestablish himself after the fire. Once I started writing the book, the size of the town of Creede was beyond what I wanted to depict in A Bride for Darrell. The great thing about being an author is the freedom to invite towns. So, I created Silver Town. I used the railroad history of Creede and even set Silver Town on the same branch line.

About Marisa Masterson

Marisa Masterson and her husband of thirty years reside in Saginaw, Michigan. They have two grown children, one son-in-law, and two old and lazy dogs. 

She is a retired high school English teacher and oversaw a high school writing center in partnership with the local university. In addition, she is a National Writing Project fellow.

Focusing on her home state of Wisconsin, she writes sweet historical romance. Growing up, she loved hearing stories about her family pioneering in that state. Those stories, in part, are what inspired her to begin writing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

MAY 14, 18??

Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

USGS photo of early Colorado
For this post I thought it might be interesting to look back over events on May 14 in the history of Colorado.

As you can see, in 1859 as the area was just being settled, the language and sensibilities were flowery and formal, even for a story of horse thieves. It appear this was a problem in the Cherry Creek area.  You will note, they talk about pursuing them to the 'states'. Colorado was still part of many Western territories at this time. It did not become its own territory until February 18, 1861.

Block image
May 14, 1859
Rocky Mountain News Weekly

Photo Property of the Author
For those who don't know Grace Greenwood, she was an author, speaker and traveler on the early days of the Colorado Territory. She, Isabella Bird and Helen (Hunt) Jackson all traveled in the area in the early 1870s. Grace's real name was Sara Jane Lippencott. For a quick overview of her life, here is a link to the Wikipedia page Grace Greenwood  Below is the beginning of an article she wrote about President Grant.

User clipping image
May 14, 1870
Rocky Mountain News

Lest we forget that many came to Colorado for their health. Colorado was one of the states that had a reputation for the curative powers of its climate and mineral waters, both the hot springs and those you drank. Because of that reputation, Colorado from almost the beginning tried to devlope a medical society. The Colorado Medical Society had its beginnings in 1871.

User clipping image
May 14, 1879
Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle

Of course, most know Colorado was a magnet for women's suffrage. Some of the early female physicians, such as Dr. Alida Avery, came to the region for their chosen profession and to support the cause of women's rights. The article below is from one of the early publications that promoted women's equality.
User clipping image
May 14, 1890
Queen Bee- Denver CO
So May 14, over the early years of Colorado's history is full on interesting facts. In addition it gives us a look at the thoughts, the people and the change in language as more and more people arrived. Sometimes it is good to look back at what was and know that is the foundation of the history we now live.

In my latest novel, "The Outlaw's Letter", I made use of events, and history of Colorado in 1880. It was exciting to have my characters be a part of Colorado's history.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
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