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Collection M 126:
Edmund Scott papers inventory

Years this material was created: 1884 - [circa 1899]; bulk 1884-1888
Quantity: .5 linear shelf feet (in 1 document case)
 ©1998, 2003, 2007 by Fort Lewis College Foundation, Center of Southwest Studies account

Links to contents

Scope and contents
Biographical note
Series descriptions
Container list

Administrative information


Transcriptions of letters

Center of Southwest Studies collection inventories
Center of Southwest Studies

Introduction/ Scope and contents

M 126
1884-1899; bulk 1884-1888

.5 linear shelf feet (approximately 200 items, in 1 document case)  Includes correspondence (88 letters and 107 mailed envelopes), 1884-1888, from E. W. Scott, miner in Breckenridge and Durango regions, to Samuel I. Scott, dentist in D.C./Maryland area, about mining operations and life in early La Plata County.  Also, a mine diagram and 7 pages of photocopies of biographical information about the Scott family..

This collection contains correspondence and other printed materials from an Easterner who was doing speculative mining in the La Plata Basin near Durango and in other areas of Colorado.  It is useful for its detailed descriptions of an early miner's everyday life in the La Plata County region.  He described mining operations, life in town (Durango), hunting and fishing, miners' social life (including their relationships with women), the weather, and the procurement of supplies and clothing. 

Subjects:  Mining and mineral resources--Colorado--La Plata County

Due to the inherent acidity of the papers used and their chemical deterioration as a result of temperature/humidity fluctuations and re-folding of the letters over the past century, this collection is in fragile condition and must be handled carefully.

Biographical note

Edmund Scott, from Sandy Spring, Maryland,  was engaged in speculative mining in the vicinity of the Baltzley Tunnel and elsewhere, under the auspices of the Washington and La Plata Mining Company of Colorado.  The Company was digging the Baltzley Tunnel to access the Laura A, Cora G, Monitor, and other lodes of silver, gold and lead ore.  A photocopy of the Company's stock certificate issued on March 3, 1886, contains a view of the Baltzley Tunnel Property.  Scott wrote to his relative Samuel I. Scott, a dentist in the Washington, D.C./Maryland area, describing his work for the company.

Administrative information

Acquisition of this collection:  The Center of Southwest Studies acquired this collection through the efforts of Fort Lewis College history professor Duane Smith and Durango citizen Tom Shine (accessions 1993:05005 and 1993:08009).  According to Shine's brother Michael Shine from whom the collection was purchased in May of 1993, the papers were found in an old house owned by Ester Scott in Sandy Spring, Maryland.  Ester Scott was the daughter of Samuel Scott to whom the correspondence was addressed. Ester, who died in 1986, apparently was the last of the Scott family; she had no children.  After authorized persons removed other items from the estate, Howard Beye of Rockville, Maryland, purchased the remainder in 1987-88.  The Scotts were Quakers and members of the Sandy Spring Friends Meeting.  Ester Scott donated her land to the Friends, who bulldozed the house in about 1989.

Provenance of this collection:  The Edmund Scott papers are part of the family correspondence from the Scott homestead.  According to Michael Shine, Howard Beye pulled many interesting items out of the old house (part of which dated to the 1790s), including thousands of pieces of correspondence.  As he proceeded through the Scott Estate, Beye first encountered some old Washington and La Plata Mining Company stock certificates and showed them to Shine.  Shine sent a stock certificate, to his brother Tom in Durango.  When Beye discovered Edmund Scott's correspondence from Colorado, he informed Michael who contacted Tom who notified Duane Smith at Fort Lewis College.

About the organization of this collection:  The series, boxes, and folder titles are numbered in one single numbering scheme starting with 1.

Processing information:  This inventory was prepared by J. Todd Ellison, September 18, 1998 (he also did the arrangement and description, including housing each item in a polyester sleeve); initial html conversion was done by Jesse Davila, September 22, 1998.  The following members of Ellison's Public History class (SW 190) produced partial transcriptions during February-April 2003: Matt Bryson, Charlie Higbie, Anthony Konkol, and Evan Manning.  Student archival assistant Haley Sladek produced the hyperlinks from the index to the folder lists, October 2005.

Series descriptions

Series 1: Historical and biographical materials, 1886-[circa 1899], 2 folders. Photocopies of materials in possession of the seller, including Washington and La Plata Mining Company stock certificate (1886, with drawing of Baltzley Tunnel property), and biographical sketches and portraits of Dr. Samuel Scott, circa 1899.

Series 2: Correspondence to Samuel I. Scott, 1884 August 6 - 1889 Jan. 13, 35 folders. The letter in folder 15 (from January 30, 1886) is a photocopy of the original still in the seller's possession; all the other letters are originals. Most are accompanied by the envelopes in which they were mailed, which in some cases were annotated by the sender or recipient. Topics include mining operations, mines and mineral resources, hunting, fishing, the Durango fire of June 1886, passenger railroad fares, transportation, snow, mountain lions and other perils of life then in that region. Arranged chronologically.

Series 3: Envelopes to Samuel I. Scott, 1884 October 20 - 1894 May 15, 2 folders. The accompanying correspondence was already missing when the Center purchased this collection in May of 1993. Includes handwritten postal cancellations on two envelopes mailed at now-nonexistent Parrott City, Colorado in 1887 and 1888. Arranged chronologically.

Container list

Box 1:  Historical and biographical materials

Folder 1    Washington and La Plata Mining Company stock certificate (1886, with drawing of Baltzley Tunnel property).

Folder 2    Biographical sketches and portraits of Dr. Samuel Scott, circa 1899 {photocopy only}.

Folders 3-37: Correspondence to Samuel I. Scott, 1884 August 6 - 1889 Jan. 13. Predominant topics include mines and mineral resources, miners, mining, mine speculation, mining finance, weather, and (by folder):

Folder 3    1884 Aug. 6: Cora G Lode, Laura A Lode.

Folder 4    1884 Oct. 10, 14, Nov. 6, 27 and 3 pages of mine tunnel diagrams: women of the West, hunting, game animals, travel, Breckenridge, transportation, Laura A Lode, tunnels (mines), Baltzley Tunnel, sketches, diagrams, Gibson Hill Mine, shooting matches, Sharps Hammerless rifle.

Folder 5    1885 Jan. 4, 9, 17: Gibson Hill Mine, mining businesses, health, illness, mine closures, land uses.

Folder 6    1885 Jan. 21, 27: Gibson Hill Mine, marriage, La Plata (Colo.), Triumph Concentrator, Governor Mine, mills, stamps, mining machinery.

Folder 7    1885 Feb. 4, 5, 14 (and a second letter on the 14th, to "Mr. B"): miners--poverty, snow, mining claims, transportation, railroads--costs. Click here to view a digital image of the 2/14/1885 letters.

Folder 8    1885 Mar. 6, 9, 26: transportation--Colorado, railroads, New Markham Hotel (Denver, Colo.), women, Gibson Hill Mine, firearms--costs, Washington and La Plata Mining Company, hotels--costs, meals--costs, tunneling.

Folder 9    1885 Apr. 12, 19, 24, 26: weapons, firearms, land sales, hunting, clothing, health, chilblains, tunneling, snow, mountain lions.

Folder 10    1885 May 11 and June 5: Baltzley Tunnel, snow, mountain lions, miners--loneliness, mine closures, Cumberland Lode, travel.

Folder 11    1885 July 4/7, 24, Aug. 23: boots, hunting, girlfriends, women, clothing, Baltzley Tunnel, Laura A Lode, Eureka Mine, tunneling, fishing.

Folder 12    1885 Sep. 16, Oct. 29, 31: miners--labor force.

Folder 13    1885 Nov. 12, Dec. 11, 28: Gibson Hill Mine, Cumberland Lode, snow, Monitor Lode, mining supplies.

Folder 14    1886 Jan. 4, 19: avalanches, snow, Monitor Lode.

Folder 15    1886 Jan. 30 {photocopy only}: deaths, avalanches, snow, mail delivery, Fort Lewis, hunting.

Folder 16    1886 Feb. 8, 20, 21: Cumberland Lode, Burleigh drill, mining machinery, tunneling, Arkansas--land sales.

Folder 17    1886 Mar. 4, 18/19: Arkansas--land sales, Southern Utes--land, food, mining forms, ranching, mining vs. ranching, Eastern investors.

Folder 18    1886 Mar. 26 (2 letters), 31: mail delivery.

Folder 19    1886 Apr. 2, 8, 11: gunfights, Durango (Colo.)--social life and customs, Heck, L., Creek, La Plata (Colo.), mail delivery, hunting, mountain lions, mine leases, mosquitoes, railroad travel, passenger fares, dogs, fishing, trout.

Folder 20    1886 May 3, 12, 12/17: La Plata (Colo.), Daylight Disaster, Indians--ponies, miners--loneliness, hunting, Baltzley Tunnel, snow slides, avalanches, miners--journals.

Folder 21    1886 May 30, June 1: Baltzley Tunnel, blasting powder, deaths, murders, Durango--social life and customs, transportation, railroad travel.

Folder 22    1886 June 2, 12, 25: hunting, Washington and La Plata Mining Company, Baltzley Tunnel, railroad travel, Durango--transportation, Durango--fire of 1886 June, fires, fire fighting, snow, women, pack mules.

Folder 23    1886 July 1, 3, 9, 16: Baltzley Tunnel, gold discoveries, Cora G Lode, Laura A Lode, mining accidents.

Folder 24    1886 July 20 (assay record), 26, 29: assays--records, Baltzley Mine, ore samples, silver ore, gold ore, lead ore.

Folder 25    1886 Aug. 1, 13: Dundee Mine, Baltzley Mine, silver--prices.

Folder 26    1886 Sep. 5, 19, 27: Bear Creek, miners--wages, wages, hunting, fishing, travel.

Folder 27    1886 Oct. 5: hunting--prices.

Folder 28    1887 Mar. 27, 29, Apr. 14, 28, 30: women, miners--social life, Denver and Rio Grande Railroad--accidents, railroad accidents, Dundee Mine--ores, ores.

Folder 29    1887 June 12, 26 (2 letters): saloons, Eureka Mine, hunting, target shooting, Parrott City (Colo.).

Folder 30    1887 July 10, 15 (receipt), 18: railroad travel--fares, Dundee Mine--ores, assays, Monitor Mine, receipts.

Folder 31    1887 Aug. 7, 10, 21

Folder 32    1887 Sep. 10 (telegram), 20: telegrams, Baltzley Tunnel, land sales, mail delivery.

Folder 33    1887 Oct. 11, 25: Baltzley Tunnel, ore samples, assays.

Folder 34    1888 May 15: businesses, Stevenson & Smith, Assayers (La Plata, Colo.), assayers.

Folder 35    1888 June 1, 5: businesses.

Folder 36    1889 Jan. 13: Arkansas--land sales.

Folder 37    Undated [circa 1885-1888]: mine patents, ores.

Folder 38    Envelopes mailed from Edmund Scott to Dr. S. I. Scott, 1884-1885, which are lacking their accompanying correspondence

Date and place of postmark of envelopes in folder 38:
Oct. 20 (from Breckenridge)

Oct. 25 (from Breckenridge)

Nov. 5 (from Breckenridge)

Nov. 14 (Breckenridge)

Nov. 24 (Breckenridge)

Dec. 3 (from Breckenridge)

Dec. 23 (Breckenridge)

Jan. 14 (from Breckenridge)

Feb. 15 (from Breckenridge)

Feb. 24 (from Breckenridge)

Mar. 16 (from Durango)

Apr. 27 (from La Plata)

Jun. 28 (from La Plata)

Jul. 13 (from La Plata)

Jul. 21 (from La Plata)

Jul. 31 (from La Plata)

Aug. 28 (from La Plata)

Sep. 12 (from Durango)

Sep. 29 (from La Plata)

Oct. 2 (from Durango)

Oct. 6 (from Durango)

Oct. 13 (from La Plata)

Oct. 16 (from La Plata)

Oct. 26 (from Durango)

Nov. 3 (from La Plata)

Nov. 30 (from Durango)

Folder 39    Envelopes mailed from Edmund Scott to Dr. S. I. Scott, 1886-1894, which are lacking their accompanying correspondence
Date and place of postmark of envelopes in folder 39:
Jan. 2 (from Durango)

Feb. 5 (from Durango)

Apr. 25 (from Durango)

May 19 (from Durango)

Aug. 16 (from Durango)

Oct. 26 (from Durango)

Apr. 14 (from Durango)

May 4 (from Durango)

July 8 (from Parrott [City])

Nov. 11 (from Durango)

Nov. 21 (from Durango)

Dec. 12 (from Cortez)

Jan. 18 (from Mancos)

Mar. 12 (from Cortez)

Mar. 22 (from Cortez)

Mar. 26 (from Cortez)

Mar. 30 (from Cortez)

Apr. 30 (from Dolores)

June 5 (from Parrott [City])

July 23 (from Durango)

May 15 (from ____osasa)

    (click on hyperlink to move to folder description) Arkansas--land sales

Baltzley Mine
Baltzley Tunnel
Baltzley Tunnel--sketches
Bear Creek
Biographical sketches
Blasting powder
Breckenridge (Colo.)
Burleigh drill

Cora G Lode
Correspondence to Samuel I. Scott, 1884 August 6 - 1889 Jan. 1 4
Cortez (Colo.)
Cumberland Lode

Daylight Disaster
Denver and Rio Grande Railroad--accidents
Dolores (Colo.)
Dundee Mine
Dundee Mine--ores
Durango (Colo.)
Durango (Colo.)--social life and customs
Durango--fire of 1886 June
Durango--social life and customs

Eastern investors
Eureka Mine

Fire fighting
Fort Lewis

Game animals
Gibson Hill Mine
Gold discoveries
Gold ore
Governor Mine

Heck, L.



La Plata (Colo.)
Land sales
Land uses
Laura A Lode
Lead ore

Mail delivery
Mancos (Colo.)
Mine closures
Mine leases
Mine patents
Mine speculation
Mine tunnel diagrams
Miners--labor force
Miners--social life
Mines and mineral resources
Mining accidents
Mining businesses
Mining claims
Mining finance
Mining forms
Mining machinery
Mining supplies
Mining vs. ranching
Monitor Lode
Monitor Mine
Mountain lions

New Markham Hotel (Denver, Colo.)

Ore samples

Pack mules
Parrott City (Colo.)
Passenger fares

Railroad accidents
Railroad travel
Railroad travel--fares

Scott, Samuel I.
Sharps Hammerless rifle
Shooting matches
Silver ore
Snow slides
Southern Utes--land
Stevenson & Smith, Assayers (La Plata, Colo.)

Target shooting
Triumph Concentrator

Washington and La Plata Mining Company
Washington and La Plata Mining Company of Colorado
Washington and La Plata Mining Company--stock certificates

Doing your own research: This description of a portion of the collections at the Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies is provided to inform interested parties about the nature and depth of the repository's collections.  It cannot serve as a substitute for a visit to the repository for those with substantial research interests in the collections.

This collection is located at the Center of Southwest Studies on the campus of Fort Lewis College.  Researchers wanting more information about using this material at the Delaney Southwest Research Library at the Center may email the archivist at archives@fortlewis.edu or click here to use our E-mail Reference Request Form (or phone the archivist at 970/247-7126).  The Center does not have a budget for outgoing long-distance phone calls to answer reference requests, so please email if you wish to receive a response from the Center.  To request reproductions/copies, click here for instructions.

Page last modified: December 05, 2007