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Collection M 126:
Edmund Scott letters: transcriptions

Transcribed by students of Todd Ellison's Public History class (SW 190), February-April 2003:
Matt Bryson, Charlie Higbie, Anthony Konkol, and Evan Manning.

 ©2003 by Fort Lewis College Foundation, Center of Southwest Studies account

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"Truly a mountain man, Edmund Scott lived, worked, and wrote about the rugged landscape of Colorado from the summer of 1884 through 1889.  His typical week was spent mining in the La Plata mountain range and hunting or fishing on the weekend, with occasional trips into town for supplies.  His dangers were mountain lions, bears, and the very real threat of freezing to death in the winters.  Often, his letters were delayed in the winters because of weather, and his family back east worried about him. Edmund Scott was mining for gold, trying to strike it rich, but like most miners of the day, he was working just to make it, or more likely, make it out of debt.

"Several of the details in his letters are legacies that we live with today in Colorado.  He mentions the Denver and Rio Grande (D&RG) railroad, which lives on today as the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&.SNGR)  The railroad engineers could not get a regular rail through the mountain passes nearly as cheaply as they could get narrow gauge, so the ‘baby rail’ was used.  The flurry of activity from the development of a railroad often led to land sales and some deals that would be considered unethical today, but at the time, without laws, and without precedence, it was considered a legitimate deal.

"...The rugged life that Edmund Scott lived was something all the men of his time were trying to eliminate.  Today, that same type of lifestyle is called recreation and people try to capture the adventure he lived.  Others are content just to read about them in the letters from the frontier."  (Source: the preceding three paragraphs were written by Anthony Konkol, Fort Lewis College student in SW 190 Introduction to Public History, April 2003)


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.:

Washington, D.C. Aug. 6, 1884

Dear Doc,

            Tilghman’s report and a map came just after I got in yesterday. (I made the trip in one hour and 59 minutes, how’s that) I cannot do better than send you a copy of the map & report. By studying them they explain themselves.  The wrath [width?] of the veins is immense, and it seems as if this spur of the mountain and the mountain itself is nothing but a chimney of minerals.  These 4 veins they have [] only take up 400 feet of ground on the line of our tunnel which is 3000 feet long.  They therefore represent 1/3 mineral of the whole distance 400 feet, and I have no doubt it gets better and richer beyond on the line of the tunnel.  The next vein which is not laid out on the map but one which at one point they run the instrument is the largest of any they ran across.  I have no doubt now but this mountain is a chimney of mineral like the [] Bill only infinitely larger.  Being 2000 feet high by over 3000 feet wide and 5000 to 7000 feet through north to south on the line of our tunnel.  Where the [] Bill is only about 500 feet high and that much in diameter but it is a solid body, almost of mineral.  We can surmise what ours would be if it averaged one third mineral.  But as I am pushed for time will hurriedly copy Tilghman’s letter:

Durango, Col. July 30. 84. [] Baltzley Scy. Dear Sir, The following will be my report on Mr. Beach’s explorations of our mine. In the first phase he showed by his instrument where the longest body of mineral was in the Laura A Lode, which proved to be in the mountain east of the tunnel.  So that he could not possibly get any idea of the location of our developed vein and with the intention of misleading and thoroughly testing him when we started out to our work after his arrival I took him back of the cabin and away from the vein up through the woods so that he could neither see the tunnel nor the Cora G workings and when we had gotten past these []about 1200 feet [] a parallel line with the vein but away below it we turned directly toward the vein, Beach using his instrument all the while.  When we crossed the vein the instrument indicated it at once but showed that it, the Cora G was weak at that point, but his instrument kept pointing down toward our tunnel and above it.  Beach kept wanting to go down there all of the time, so I let him take his own course.  We went west as far as the Cora G shafts when he said he found there was a belt of mineral making a bend around the front of the mountain.  These Cora G shafts one about 200 ft east of the end lines of our Laura A lode, the east end line of our Laura A lode is 400 feet from our tunnel.  From the Cora G shafts we went west tracing and following on the line of a mineral deposit around and above where we supposed the Laura A lode was.  Beach said it was a good one.  This was near the east end line of the Laura A claim (A “claim” is 300 feet wide. a “lode” is the mineral in the boundaries of the claim, mark the distinction, so that you will not get confused in interpreting the report. E.B.)  Then we came down the mountain, at this point, a few feet, when he said there was another vein but not as strong as the other.  Then I had him trace out the lines to that lode and found it was the Laura A as he went over the points of my measurement for the developed positions of the Laura A.  He traced the elbow as perfectly as if the vein had cropped out in the top of the ground.  From there, the line of the Tunnel, we went up the mountain nearly to the bluffs and found altogether including the Laura A that there was 5 veins of mineral all of them several times larger than the Laura A.  The map that I will send you will show you the distance from one vein to the other and the width of each vein.  Then we went to the house and laid over until Monday morning. Monday morning we went to the east end of the claim and found the width and the distance apart of each lode.  The notes along the red lines of the map in four places show the width of each vein and the distance each is apart at the different places.  The elbow in all the veins is not so acute, though they bend around the spur.  Mr. Beach’s map will be more earnest.  I send you this one so you will get an idea sooner than if you wait for Mr. Beach’s report for he said he may be very busy when he returns so he could not report under a few weeks.  You can see by the map where all of the vein shows widest and weakest.  You can see that the Laura A lode is the smallest of any of them, and the next one to it straight in the mountains is a good one and that they keep getting better and better the further up the mountain they are.  You can see by the map the boundaries of the Laura A claim.  The boundaries as I have them represented are as they should be; not as they are.  The Laura A runs up the hill further than I supposed and the lower end of the claim runs right along the edge of the claim so we will have to make an amended location and survey.  As you instructed [] for me to go to work where Beach told me to, and his advice was to run the main tunnel ahead into those other veins. I have done as directed.  Beach said even if we could make the Laura A pay, it was no use to work for one dollar then we could get twenty by running a short distance ahead so I am following his instructions and it will probably be 40 days or less before we get the other vein.  If you knew as much about Mr. Beach and his instrument as I do you would feel away up, and russel money and push things on short notice.  I tested Mr. Beach thoroughly and have the utmost confidence in his instrument to indicate mineral.  I am well pleased with him and his operations and the results.  He said he was very much disappointed in our property but it was a happy disappointment.  He says there is the best body of mineral in out mountain that he has run across for some time.  Mr. Beach went home this morning.  He would have stayed at the mine until today, but his hands were so sore from using the instrument that if he had stayed he would have had to rest his hands two or three days before he could do anything more, and by that time his time to be back to Breckenridge would be up, so he thought under the circumstances he would go home.  He said he had done us a good job and that he could not do anything more of importance on our property, that he was not able to prospect over the country and he was obliged to get back to Breckenridge by the 1st of August. I gave him $30 which makes his bill $110.00 I don’t think his bill is any out of the way and I would recommend that when his bill is presented to the Board that it be audited without any question as to what the exact amount of his expenses were. I think it is the most profitable $110 we have ever spent, and by all means don’t refer the back to him or insinuate in any way that you think his bill too much. I paid his board here and horse time to the mine.  The Laura A lode is not a spur, it is a distinct lode, but it is very small compared with those ahead of it. Referring to my map V stands for vein and the letter B stands for banner ground the figures represent so may feet. My advice is to get a potent on the Laura A as soon as possible, then locate the other claims as soon as we cut them.  You can see by the map there are two good lodes besides the Laura A on our present claim.  There are more lodes further up in the mountains than represented on the map.  I found one large one about 100 feet from the last one shown on the map.  This stronger than any of the rest, and the instrument indicates large bodies of mineral in the mountain.  Mr. Beach thinks enough money can be taken out of the first vein beyond the Laura A to pay all expenses of its own development into a larger mine and to rn the tunnel to all the other lodes. Sincerely Yours, Lewis C Tilghman. Supt.

            On the same mail I received a short note from Beach.  Below is a copy of it.

            Denver, Col, Aug.1 1884. Edward Baltzley [] [] Dear Sir, I arrived here yesterday pretty well used up.  We had a very hot and dusty trip of it. I leave for Breckenridge tomorrow morning.  Some friends from the east are wanting to go up with me and may take up some of my time for a few days, but I will get up the map, report and expense a/c just as soon as I can get off for a day, so please be patient with me, for you struck me at a very busy time.  Mr. Tilghman has given you a rough idea of what we found, and I will add, that the amount of mineral we found on that mountain not only surprised me, but astounded me.  Mr. Tilghman told me that the President of your company may come to Colorado this month and may visit Breckenridge, if so I shall be only too happy to make it as pleasant for him as I can and give him all the information I can.  Yours [] truly, E. Beach.

            So Doc all of this speaks for itself, there is little else to be told.  Tilghman is pushing the tunnel forward as fast as possible and will reach the first vein within 40 days.  We must do everything with our pool before that time and before this information becomes general. It is difficult to keep such important information from leaking so we must work fast while it is not generally known.  To do that we will have to have all our pool money on deposit, so get yours here just as quickly as you can.  Don’t worry any.  Two members of the Board cannot be relied on to keep matters quiet.  The report has to be submitted to the Board.  We meet tonight. I was asked by these members whether I had received the report from Tilghman and of course told them I had but that I did not want anything said outside of the Board to a single person and they promised secrecy. [] an hour afterward a stockholder came in and Blake said to him in a mysterious way, “Look here, take my advice, don’t sell a single share of your stock.”  As this man was a depecton and a good man I should have told him the same thing at the proper time, but Blake had been requesting not to say a word.  A stockholder just came in while I am writing and addressing McNeill said[,] “What’s the news.”  “Good news” said Mc “There are large and rich veins ahead in the tunnel” and would have continued but I looked at him quickly in [] surprise when he  recalled his pledge of secrecy.  Tonight at the meeting I will have the Board [] a pledge if possible.  Let me hear from you soon.

Yours truly,

E.                  Baltzley

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.

Denver Colo. Oct. 14th 1884

Dear Scott.                                                                                                                              10 A.M. Mt. Time

Watson and Al arrived at 7:30 this A.M. & while he is looking up some of his folks I am resting & will write - one or two letters.

Our trip from Kans. City was much more pleasant than to K.C. and only occupied from 10 A.M. to 7:30 am or including the ch. From Central to Mt. Time 22 hours and a half.

I wrote a P.C. to you or Baizley or both of you fr. K.C. & put it in the mail at Atchison’s store. I find Watson quite pleasant and agreeable so far & expect that we will get along very well. Thou it is too soon to be positive of the fact yet.

Present prospects – we will go down to Breckenridge tomorrow morning. As it is going to examine some mining operations which he thinks we may work some time in the future.

There is some snow on the Mts. While when I write to you as I cant afford to keep up a very spirited correspondence and work hard too.

I will try to let you know all about important matters and you can keep me posted.

I am tired know & cant find a great deal to tell as I do not know as yet how we will be situated.

I will write to members of the syndicate as soon as I collect material for the letters after my arrival in B.

In the mean time if at any time a work should elapse & you don’t hear from me do not be at all alarmed.

Yours always



Breckenridge Colo. Oct. 19 1884

Dear Doc.

I guess you will be ready to hear from us here by the time this comes to hand.

We arrived on Wednesday after noon and have about got ready to start.

I had a rather tiresome & very expensive trip but am feeling well & can go to work with a good will and clear conscience.

Did my first work on Friday in the second shaft and spent Saturday in cutting logs for our cabin. Will be ready to go into winter quarters some time this week unless snow should stop us. The weather has been splendid so far but is not likely to last as it is know late for good weather at an elevation of 10.000 feet.

Our first shaft is down about 37 feet & the second one ten and our best miner thinks we have struck the vein in No. 2. but it does not pan well yet. If it does I will let you know right away.

Watson & I cut enough logs for our cabin yesterday & will get them up tomorrow I hope. We had a light snow on the range to-day but only a few inches of rain here.

Game is not plenty nearer than 40 or 50 miles but there is scads of it . Elk, deer, antelope & Mountain trout are plentiful in town & deer & Elk can be bought for 5 or 6 cents a lb.

Have been eating Elk & trout plenty last week.

My cold is about gone and I am getting a Mountain appetite.

With love to all of the folks I am yours



Nov. 6th 1884

Dr S. J. Scott

Washington DC

Dear Doc,

Yours of Oct 31st at hand, will say in that I cannot exactly tell just how much the Barren vein pitches, but it is a very little to the North, I will enclose a diagram of Locations, Also another of the Laura A Lade and the second vein which is the Barren one as we cut them in the Tunnel, In diagram No 1 where Beache located, the lines with indelible pencil along the line of the tunnel represents the distance from the south side of each mine to the south side of the one next to it – and so the number of feet from vein to vein is represented by diagrams in red. Diagram No 2 represents tha Laura A and the vein that we have cut. From the south side of the Laura A to the South side of the Barren vein is so near as I can recollect 85 – feet. So you can see the veins are getting further apart where we cut them than they are on top of the ground. Have I explained matters so you can understand them, I have tried to do my best as near as I know how although I may have not explained matters as you asked them. I have got nearly every thing at the mine for the winter work I am going to the mine in a few days for the winter after I get my wife fixed comfortable, I hoped to run the tunnel on to the third vein.

Sincerely Yours

Lewis W Tilman


Gibson Hill Nov. 27th 84

Dear Doc,

I was down in town to-day for a little holiday and Thanksgiving as I thought I had fully earned it.

I sent Mr. B. my axe from Nov 22 and he will no doubt show it to you. I will try to get op the axe from the first but think it is "riding a free horse", dam’d hard and I wish you would say as much to B.

I went down in town to take a hand in a rifle match Breckenridge to Denver – Had to shoot for my place on the team and won it on a score of 45 out of 50 – 200 yds off hand Shanks hammerless rifle – military- so you see I can make yet.

Had to change guns for the match and use a david old eaten gun and so only made 39 but I did no worse than some of the rest the score ran 43-42-42-41-40-40-39-39-38 = 297 – I made out my axe after the match and left with Mr Beach to fish. You are all anxious to know about B’s wish. Now I can tell you very little about it as I have not had time to see it used except on our own grounds and Mr. B. has been out too much with hie eyes to go around and show me how it works and I have been to busy to leave our workings. I work like any of the rest of the men and when a man is up at six and puts in ten hours of hard work he does not feel like walking 5 or 6 miles to see something that will do him no good. You ask about success in mining, from all I can learn one man in ten who will strick will make money eventually but of the No. who start into the business only about one in fifty make it pay and thousands are spent for each good mine strick.

I am tired now & must go to bed so Au voir.

Love to all

Yours in haste


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

Gibson Jan. 9th 85

Dear Doc,

As I am laid off from work will try to fill in a little of the time by writing to you.

I was in a sick spell on Wednesday morning and had to quit work and am not able to resume yet, Tho[ugh] I expect to try it in the morning have had an awful cold and don’t know how I caught it. As I have been fairly careful, but the fact remains and I have been ¾ of the time in bed for 3 days & nights – but am in a fair way to recover now.

Dec. 3oth in regard to the "Witch Hazel" – I have told you al I can about it from a resent indications we will not get any mineral here for as I told you in my last we had spent last Sat. night $173.41 and to to-morrow night will make about $210.50 and as we are not likely to get any more money I am going to shut down; and if you make later arrangements – and get money, we can start up again, but I am as deep in the mud as I am going with the present outfit. We are in about 76 or 77 feet and have not yet cut the "Milly B." and I do not now feel sanguine that we will cut it this week – still the rim is there and time will prove to you that there is more than a forked stick to prove it.

I imagine that Watson is trying to break the outfit but it may be he is working according to his best lights – if so they are did poor ones.

Now for a few words in strict confidence. I am not ready to give up this business because and I am not ready to come East yet so I am going to try to find a job here and when the time comes to do assessment work in the claims I will get a good and trusty man to work it out with me and if they refuse I can take the property for myself. I don’t tell you this to give away so you’d best turn this letter for fear of it’s finding it’s way into public notice.

How in hell does it happen that you owe all of the balances of funds we have only so far received $715.00 leaving $785.00 to make up $15.00 – and you surely did not have to furnish $1,000 for 30/320 int. If so you had better let what you have put in go and tell the rest of them that you will not put up so much for nothing. How is it anyway Griggs, Brooks, Minelle each have 40/320 or /20 shares Baltz. I have made a mistake it is as follows – Griggs 54 Minelle 54 Baltz 40 Watson 40 Beach 40 S&S 30 Brooks 27 Self 20 and now for what B writes – you must owe the balance and if you pay 785 for 30/320 or less than one tenth int. it ought to give us a big capital to work in say over 8,000 – I guess you may rest assured of one thing – "you have got your foot in it" and if shutting down will help you out let me know as soon as you get this and I will make my arrangements to correspond. If the work is ………… here in direct opposition to Beach & I. I don’t want to cut the next view nor do I want to work out the mineral over the E. drift as I will want them to work on later. Don’t get in a stew over this letter and go & tell all you know but just say to yourself – he is not going to work for nothing and is guilty getting all things in shape to pay himself - now split if you dare and I’ll go for you.

Now in regard to the amt. – of money to be paid in but where it stops at 715 I of course am bound to look out for my good ………… and so will not incur anymore Exp.[ense] till all we owe is paid up. If I am not right in this right me.

Let me advise you in one more matter connect Ed with the enterprise. You don’t believe in Beach’s wing wang – so let it drop for if I tell you anything it only raises yr spunk and you argue against it. For as you say "if B. cannot or will not explain the working of the ………….. on scientific principles" etc. (& c).

As long as you have no faith in it let us drop the discussion and I am going to tell you once for all the views in the hill attract the ………….. and that is as much as I can say and as little.

If I ask B. how his …………. Is made he would of course laugh at me and tell me he did not work for four years and spend six thousand dollars in the thing to give it away to the first man that asked for it.

If you have not sent me a watch before you get this send my old one back and I will send to me of the CO’s direct and trade the old one for what I can get for it.

With kind regards to all of our friends I am yours always.



Gibson. Jan. 4th 1885

Dear Doc,

Your letter of some days since to hand saying you had not heard from me etc. I have written pretty regularly & and if you failed to get my letters it has been due to storms which blockaded the R. roads.

Perhaps you will think part of your letter would be a surprise to me, but it was not was I knew all about Watts.- goings on. I will have no congratulations to offer him and I often think of one of his favorite sayings – "No fool like an old fool" – "But he means …………" – as the Scotch say and the best thing to hope for him is that he may be a widower soon. I am in hopes ………… that the time is not too far distant when I may offer you my sincere congratulations as I think if you have any luck you will present your mother with a daughter and the rest if us with a dear sister. You need not put it down that I am ……….. that I am complimentary at Exp. If the truth.

Now for business. I am sorry that Ellie did not come to time with the money as I had her word that it would be in hand before needed. But I know how far to trust womens word.

You will have received my watch some days since and I hope attended to getting a new one for me. I have no a/c to send in this week as I have received no money since the 21st of December and there is only enough to keep things going. I have written all I intend to in regard to money so if I say nothing about it you will know the reason.

We are now in 65 feet on the W. drift and Ere long will cut the Milly B. lode and if I find it advisable to telegraph to you I want you to say no word of it to anyone as you may get a chance to turn a penny by keeping your mouth shut.

Do not say too much in your letters about parties here as I never know when my letters may come open and I don’t want them to know what I have said. As I would rather not raise a rumpus .

I will send all letters relating to business matters to you and you can use yr judgement as regards showing them to the rest.

Will send you specimens of ore as soon as we cut the ……….. and I do not want you and B. to play jackass and invite the town in to hear the result of the assays. For you may get a chance to make money by playing shut mouth. You seem to gather. That Watson is a fearful kind of fellow. But then you are mistaken, he is as good as the common …………. But a regular d[amne]d fool as regards having his own way, and thinks it beneath his notice to listen to any suggestions from anyone. Even when backed with good reasons. You will no doubt get all of the points from ………… but do not do anything rashly or that may cause ill feeling in time to come . B. wrote to me that incase we had to close down here he had a proposition to make to me, so get home to split it out, for I’d like to be in a situation to asset my views if worst comes to worst here.

I am now on my last ten dollars as I have advanced the last balance of $27 ………….. looths to the CO. and about $20 since on my own act of which I will make a note in my next statement.


Gibson Hill Col. Jan’y 17th 85

My dear Doc,

You will see by the heading of this that I am on the hill and keeping bachelors hall. I am going down to town today to look up my mail so drop a few lines. I am about as well as ever and imagine a week of comparative rest has done me good, but if I could have enjoyed it with an easy mind it would have been done me more good. G.B. is down in town helping one of his old chums to keep store so he is not losing anything by laying off.

I wish I knew a little of what B. has told him in the last letters for you must know he does not compromise his dignity by telling me one word of what is said & as B. does not tell me I only know what he writes to Beach & I.

Beach of course consults me on all matters relating to the business and I him. I also consult with Watson i.e. I have heretofore until I shut down – Now I do not expect to offer him any news till all of this, business is settled on a firm basis and then if he is …………….. I may go back to the old ways.

As I told B. I am out of money as I div all I had with the boys up to the time they quit work ; so I am in a measure compelled to stay in town it will cost me from 2.50 to 3.50 a week, and I want to save that to get out of the dirt.

Stratton & Johnny went down the Blue on Thursday fully equipped for work and I expect they will get into it, full sail my Monday. I hope they will get good pay soon to get the spirits of the Wash. Men up a little.

I said long ago I thought we had cut the pay …………. In out East drift & so far I see no reason to change my opinion as Watson panned a lot of last Tuesday to get an assay and it showed both gold and silver.

I of course can do nothing alone but if I think $200 – will put 500 worth of pay dirt on the dump; but this if course will not pay dividends and it will take all that 3 or 4 men can get out till about July or Aug. to get the property developed and put in a shape to pay thereafter. In one way it might be made to pay - ………….. – to lease to some good party and get it fr 10 to 20 % of royalty. But then they would of course take out all of the pay mineral they could get at and not try to develop any ………………. .

I hope all will be settled and a man put in who will push the work and keep expenses as low as possible till’ one can get ore on the dump and get a good mile run or two – then we can afford to use more money and develop faster .

I told you Beach had resumed 2 good claims for the "good time coming" – and if this arrangement ends in smoke and I can raise money enough for a "great stake" and get a good man to take hold with me I will try a little prospecting on my own a/c this summer.

Let me know what you are doing and what you intend to do – provided ………. Can ………….. out for I will want to know do soon as I can find out. I don’t want to be kept in the dark, and I have a lot of new projects sprung on me without warning. I want to be kept advised as to what is likely to recur, so as, to be in a measure prepared for anything.

It still shows and blows – but not enough to stop the trains on the R.R. and it is likely they will keep the road open from now on. Of course a heavy snow may block them for a good day or two, but fr what old residents – say we are most likely to get some good weather from Feb. 1st to Mar. 1st.

I don’t know if I describe the situation of B. ridge to you.

It lies in the valley of the Blue and to the N. & E. lies the main range, (We are on the Pacific slope) so when the wind is from the E. or N.E. it does not bring much snow – as the ……….. catch it before the wind can get over and come down to us.

West of us is the Ten Mile Range about 3000 feet or more above B. ridge and when the wind comes from the W. or N.W. it brings the clouds up the valley of the Blue and over the Ten Mile and pours the snow on this side of the range till you can’t rest. The mts take the snow out of the clouds and then the wind takes it up the valleys and gulches like mad.

I never saw a real snow storm till I came here and I don’t wonder that many of the people go East to spend the winter. We have so far had no intense cold –25 (degrees) being about the lowest. But I look for it as soon as the snow lets up and it clears off. Let me know about matters as soon as possible and as fully. Yours always.


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


G[ibson] Hill Jan. 21 “85

Dear Doc,

            Yours of 11th & 14th to hand also B’s of 13 and telegram.  B. ought to have saved the cost of tel. as you must have known I had “shut down”.  I am now on the hill to save expense as I must eat and as we have the provisions here I don’t care to spend much for the sake staying in town.  But it is too lonely to stay here all of the time so I divide it and spend 2 or 3 days here and 2 or 3 in town.  We of course are doing nothing.  I at least, G.B.W. is taking charge of a shore in town for one of his friends so it devolves on me to keep the cabin warm to keep the potatoes fr. freezing.

            You say I must go slow in drawing on you and I intend to.  I will return you the money for the watch as soon as I get a remittance fr. Wash.  As the Co. owe me over $50 and I will send on my a/c as soon as I pay part of the debts now owing.

            I am going to inquire into the mill business as soon as I can see some of the men that can tell me about it.  B. has said in his last letter that they might want me to go to La Plata, hence my desire to find out in regard to machinery.

            I guess Walt’s p is hard in anticipation of tomorrow and I hope all may turn out well. I guess he thinks I take it very cool, and so I do.  I’d much rather see him get a woman and one that could help him, but perhaps I am mistaken-“quien sabe”.

            I am glad to see that my opinion carries weight with the management in W. but for all that I am in a very tight place - for it was on my own responsibility that I “shut down”- and I guess it will be the same if we “shut down” again.

            I dislike to take such autocratic power into my hands as it looks too much like Watson’s role and perhaps a little like usurpation, but I am doing for the best and think I am right.

            I do wish W. was out of the concern and then we could go on and develop the thing as it should be-but I guess there is no chance to get rid of him.  So we may as well make the best of a bad bargain as I told B. go ahead till the money is gone.

I will enclose you a piece cut from the Summit Co. journal.  Write when you feel like it.

Yours always,



G[ibson] Hill Jan 27th 85

Dear Doc,

             I wrote a short letter to you on the 24th and was going to return Watson’s letters to B. but I thought I might have use for them so concluded to keep them for the present.

            Watson is engaged at present in keeping store for one of his friends so is not in any hurry to get away, but all of that may change in a few days.

            I had to come up here today to fire up & keep things fr. freezing as it is, or has been, very cold and stormy for some days. I have put off giving down the blue on a/c of the boy’s getting to work. I want to see what they get out of the hole and as they could not begin hoisting dirt until today I have waited.

            I will go down one day this week and also go to see the Triumph Concentration at work 8 miles fr. B-ridge at the Goreman mine. I think 5 stamps run steadily would reduce all of the ore they can take out at the La Plata but in case they put up works it will cost but little more to put in 5 stamps as they will have the machinery and they will reduce all of the ore they can get out in 3 days or 30 hours running time and allow 3 days in the week for custom work. I just drop this as a hint.

            In case they put in a mill and concentration of course they would run by water and a 24 rich turbine whell with 15 ft. head will run 15 stamps and two or three tables with power to spare. I will try to ascertain cost etc. of concentrating machinery when I go to see it.

            From what I can find out about the nature of La Plata ore of course all of it will need to be stamped as it is in hard rock. Much of the ore near here, (i.e. silver) is soft and does not need to be crushed but only ore over the tables to wash the dirt away.

            Do you know anything said in regard to send me any money? I’d like to be settling up the debts of the concern here so as to make some of them think I was going soon. It might bring matters to a focus. I am going to offer to sell my interest in Gibson Hill to Watson as soon as I go down to town again which will be tomorrow and I may in that way get him to offer to sell.

            I am sorry matters have turned out as they have here on a/c of W. having been put in here on Mrs. B.’s recommendation, but all I have had to do was to report matter as they were and work for the benefit of the parties in Wash. If W. leaves the camp before I do I intend [unless?] our trade is consummated any my services are in demand at La Plata to go to work here until all preliminaries are settled as I think I can get a job at 1.75 a day and board.

            Let me know as soon as practicable how soon the money is likely to be forthcoming to pay up.

            Kind regards to the new member and give any love to Maimie and giver her two kisses for me- one for now and one for the time left to come to Washington. My watch is a daisy I guess for I set it the day I got it Friday and it has run to a few seconds now over 5 days.

Yours always

E. W. Scott

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.

B-ridge Feb. 4th 85

 Dear Doc,

            Tell Mr. B. I will have every thing fixed for a start by the time I can hear fr. him again but I want to fix up money matters if at all possible before I leave.  Watson smells a mice for he is making his arrangements to stay with the avowed purpose of leasing a mine but I know very well his idea is to see what is going to be done on G. Hill.  I have got the remainder of provisions down and as I did not want to keep them to spoil I let Stratton and Dewers take them they will amount to about $16.00 besides what I kept to eat and have eaten.

            I am sick and tired of this piece of business and hope to get out of it as soon as I can. I have been down the Blue to see the claims and hope to hear good news soon. Beach has the map nearby ready to send on and is putting all of his time on it for some days past.

            He will tell B. of Hamilton’s strike $158.00 to the ton. It is snowing like hell again.  I will try to get tools [rc] down as soon as it lets up, and leave them with Beach.  I am awfully nervous today and can’t write at all.

            I will try to look more into the mill business in a few days.

            If I am to go to La Plata I can get ready to go in about a week so tell Mr. B. to send the rhino and let me get off.

            If after reading my last letter he changes his mind I will look out for a prospect here as I think B.ridge [Breckenridge] will have a boom in the spring.

            I know when I can drop on a good claim or two if I can raise a grub stake and it might put big money into some ones pocket to stake me for ½ of my finds. I am now dead broke and must have the money I have advanced for a man can’t live on credit here.

            I don’t want to run any risks of making the a/c larger and it won’t do to leave bills any longer as some of the parties are getting uneasy.

Yours in haste


            I have kept W.’s letter and the answers to them for fear I may need them.  Will return them as soon as I hear from you.

Click here to view a digital image of this letter.  Evidently short of paper, Scott wrote in both directions on each side of this page.

Breckenridge, Colo. Feb 14th 1885

Dear Doc,

            I wrote in a hurry this a.m. to Baltzley and enclosed to you as I was afraid he was away from Wash. and thought perhaps had left the bus. in your charge.  You will see that I have consented to go to La Plata on his terms and trust to luck to get safe out of it.  I don’t wonder that they want me to go down on their time for if we make nothing out of the mine of course we will get nothing.  You asked in one of your letter if my advance was included in the $210.00-yes-but you know I have to live on the mean time and if I change all of my necessary expenses it will amt. to about $216.00 and if I am kept here 20 or 30 days longer of course will keep increasing.  With what is brought down off of the hill and tunnel over to S.& Dewers immediately or sooner I can manage to square up with $200.  We have only rec’d so far 715 leaving $135 to come besides yr. note.  Who owns the $135.00 and why can’t Baltzley get it and send it on.  I have sent 3 or 4 statements of amt. due to the different parties and will try and send them once more.  I can’t see for the life of me why you folds tell when I put it down in plain words and figures how we stand and have to ask if my dues are incl. in the total amt.  I am now out of pocket as per last statement rendered $27.12 besides $12 advanced to Stratton and $8 adv. to Johnny Dewers and my washing and meat etc. to eat since our stock gave out and I have pretty near lived up all of my wash bill 50 [cents] per week has amt’d to $3.50 and bread, oatmeal, meat and few canned goods to about $7.00 since last time and I get along as cheap as I can too.  So you will see the concern is indebted to [] the sum of about $57.52 and still it grows.

            You will perceive I am out of pocket more than twice what the a/c shows for the reason I advanced $20 to Stratton $ Dewers for which I did not as yet take any rect [receipt] on a/c its being out of my own private funds.  According to the books the z/c stand about this-due Stratton $38.75 Dewers $31.00-Watson $30.75 Scott $27.12 Hamilton $8.00 Hartman about $6-in all to Jan. 10th $212.00. in reality the amt. owing to Stratton is $2675 and to Dewers $213.00 and the difference in the amt. of $20 is due me as cash advanced.

                                                             [E. W. Scott]


B-ridge Feb. 14th 85

 My Dear Mr. B,

            Yours of 5th to hand on the 13th-8 days on the way.  I hasten to reply.  I will take all chances and go down & do all I can for you ar La Plata.

            I would rather have a fight though than to go away fr. B.ridge & leave the bills unpaid. So send me what you can raise and let me pay as far as I can.

            You will have rec’d my letter of the 12th and will know I am in a hell of a tight place.

            I will have to return to Denver & take the D.&R.G. to Durango and the cost will be 9.35 to Denver and 28.75 fr. Denver to Durango and board. I amy be able to reach the Tunnel on $45-but if you can do so it will be best to send me $50 as I now have not a cent of my own.

            I am in hast to mail this and will write more fully soon.

            Beach does not want me to quit Summit Co. but “I can’t help it”.

In haste yours,
E. W. Scott

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.

Durango Apr. 2 1886

Dear Doc,

The dead quiet and serenity of this town was somewhat disturbed last evening by a shooting spree in 1st St.  The principals in the affair were M.L. Heck, Ex-city Marshal and a …………… ……………… gambler and …………….. ……………. Creek.

Heck was armed with a short 41-5 shot pistol and creek with a colt’s 45. All of the shootings was done with the men less than 70 ft. of each other and resulted in each of them getting 2 bullets into them. Heck was shit in the right side and out through the back near the spine cutting one lobe of the liver badly and one bullet in the right shoulder – he is not expected to live. Creek was shot in the foot and in the belly, neither wound being dangerous. 10 shots fired.

Some excitement prevailed last Ere and 12 extra men were placed on duty by the Sheriff for fear of mob violence – but all is quite to day: I am very anxious to get out of town and up to the mine but see no prospect for some days yet.

You will have my letter of Mar. 31st and see what I propose to do.

If B. or E. will stake me with 25 or 30 I will sign that lease and get some meat up to the mine to last till’ deer come in and get to work by May 10th at the latest but if not I must get work elsewhere and do the best I can.

I have made up my mind to one of 3 things - Either you are sick or away fr town or else like yr letter of Mar. 12 are sending my mail to La Plata.

No mail has gone to La Plata since Dec. & none will go till July 1st but it goes to Fort Lewis and stays there unless called for.

If I go to work I want my mail still sent to Durango and I will get parties to bring it to me till July & after that will get it fr La Plata.

If you are alive let me know and ans my frequent letters.

Yours always



Durango Col. Apr. 8th 86

Dear Doc,

Your letters of Mch. 26-27 forw’d from Ft Lewis & one of the Apr 1st to hand to day – If you have kept my letters and will refer to one written about the 15 of Feb. you will find a request to direct my letters to Durango but not in care of McC.

I have nothing of importance to write so will pen you a few lines in regard to the game etc to help prop yr "Castles in the Air" –

I sent the lease to-day & it will no doubt come to hand with this letter. I will start for the mine on Monday – weather permitting.

I have said a good deal in regard to the hunting but will say a few more things

First – A man does not want to come here to hunt in mid-summer on a/c if skeeters which are often ……………. Enough to darken the air – and do away with all the pleasure of hunting – but they go as quick as they come and by the last week in Aug. are about gone – then too the water is lower and clear enough to catch trout which is more fun than hunting. If you could come and could get an unlimited return ticked to California over the A.T.&S.F. to Pueblo and D.& R.G. to Salt Lake and thence on C.P. you could come at a minimum cost. Say $60 – for a return ticket. Add $120 for grub.

All a man wants is a gun like mine or like the Mil for which I have plenty of ammunition and I can kill anything in this neck of the woods with the Mil & loan my ……………. To a friend. If I make any money out of the mine I will see that you come out next Aug. & spend a few weeks anyway but if I can’t make more than wages it may be years before I see you again. All one wants is his gun and rod and a good field glass one suit of rough clothes and a stout pr of shoes & leggings all of which you have without buying a $ worth.

A man don’t want a dog for it is more in the way than he would do good and it costs like …………….. to take dogs and one can’t see much when he has any kind of ……………. To look after

I have watched pistol & c etc as of old my watch has …………… within a few seconds of the regulator for over 40 days and it would be perfectly safe for a man to risk his life on as I don’t think it will vary 2 minutes in a year.

I expect to kill meat enough to do me after the 15th of June so all I will in ……………. Will be enough bacon to last me till then.

Don’t your mouth water for trout? Just think of ten pounds of trout in 3 hours to one rod, and no minnows but 3 of them will make a full meal for a working man. And don’t you forget it a man that goes over these little hills and hunts like a man will think he has done a full days work.

Deer and trout are not all the game, for once in a while you come across a big cinnamon or even mtn lion.

Did I tell you of the lion that wanted to chase me as I came down down from the mine. He was not over 5 or 6??? from me and as my gun was down below Parrott where I had left it on my way up I skinned out as fast as my snow shoes would slide.

I don’t want to go up and down that gulch again with no gun.

I sent word that one of the principals in the late – shooting spree was dead and now it is reported that the other cannot live long.

Well enough of this for the present. Do you tell all of the folks of the sale – I am keeping it all to myself at least for the present.

I will make arrangements to get my mail up from Durango after I go to the mine.

Yours always

E. S.


Durango Apr. 11th 86

Dear Doc,

As the weather has again changed for the worse and I may have to stay in town till Tuesday or Wednesday I will put in an hour or two in writing by way of killing time. I can’t afford to start in a storm as I will have to carry grub to last me till game comes in which will not be before June 1st – till then I will live on bread coffee tea and bacon. After June 1st I can get deer or other meat.

Deer staid in there till about the middle of Nov. last fall but I only hunted 2 days after I killed my big buck in Oct. B.M. Hampton of La Plata killed six deer in one day after the first snow in Nov. and had venison all winter. I never had had the buck to kill more than one in a day but as soon as I got one I’d stop hunting and getmy meat home or to camp.

So far as a sport goes I’d rather fish but all depends on the state of the larder. Mr. Kelphart is boss fisherman in this part of the world and he caught one trout last fall that weighed 5 ½ lbs. I never caught one yet of over 1 lb.

It is no uncommon thing in the fall to find trails in the rank weeds and grass where an old cinnamon has gone along and if one goes for bears he will be more than likely to find them.

It is a common expression among all kinds of men in this country that they have not lost any bears – I have a little curiosity on the subject and would like to interview one of them with my new gun.

For all kinds of game in these mtns I would feel safer Tho with the old Mil for one charge from it will do more to paralyze a bear than ten 40 cal bullets – but I can shoot close enough to kill safe and sure with either of them. It is quite laughable to listen to ……………….. of source of the men in Colo about their many encounters with different varmuts.

I have no fear if any of these except mtn lions and only of them when I am without arms or in the night as they seldom if ever attack a man in daylight.

They say that the bears down on the Mancos often come into men’s camps and get away with all of their grub and knock their cooking outfits galley west.

Bill Keough tells of one coming to where he and another man were camped and …………….. them ……………… as they lay covered up in their blankets - I take his tale ……………….. ………………….. …………………… .

If you come out I will get 2 horses or burrows and take a camping outfit and we will go on a short prospecting trip for a week or so and hunt and fish till we’re tired of it.

One can’t leave the camp i.e. The …………… in the morning and get to good hunting ground in less than 3 or 4 hours and only then when he has got used to the light air of these high altitudes.

Where I fish essayed climbing Gibson Hill at B. ridge it was a fearful task but I had got so by last fall that I could go to the top of any of the divides and keep my wind.

For the first week here you would have to ride a horse or burrow to keep up with me or any one else used to mt air. How would like to see about 4 good fellows out here from the East for about a month next fall say from Aug. 25 to Sept. 25th. The time is fast coming when the mts here will be as near devoid of game as in Va.??? But as yet deer are plenty as are also bears and grouse.

Trout are only plenty in a few streams, but still afford good sport in many of the streams if you pick yr days to fish. One of the queer things about this country is the rain in the rainy season I have been out a No. of times when it rained like the ………….. and yet I have experienced but one rain storm that was a disagreeable as a drizzle would be back East.

Where the air is so light the rain does not seem to penetrate like it does at sea level. Still, rubber goods are often a necessity on a camping excursion to insure comfort.

During the rainy season one can wade thro the grass and get as wet as a sop to his middle and stand round the campfire till dry and experience no ill effects and I often stood by a thick spruce tree while the rain was pouring down and as soon as it was over go to wading through the grass again up to my middle.

I have a strong notion if I can make money enough to keep me going and some to spare, that I will put in next winter either down in Arizona or Southern Cal or else go as far East as old Missouri – one thing you may bet yr life on is I am not going to stay up at timber line like I did last winter - till in Feb. Dain Thorton is down from the Cumberland and says old man …………. Told him that a slide had come over our cabin but I think that impossible.

Any way I will know soon now

I want to help you along all I can and if you really need my part of the oney I can make some shift to get on without it. But I can make from 12 to 25 % on it and that with the last of security.

The bank here gets 1 ½ % a Mo on all loans and then will only loan for 60 days.

I know a man here who will give 1 ½ % a Mo for $500 – and give a mortgage on a house cost $6,000 - Hotel building and lot 50 & 150 feet as security.

Perhaps we had best make a deal with him when we get the money.

The only objection to it is the money would be tied up for 3 years and no chance to get it to spend or use on any thing else.

Well I will nor be able to send another letter for maybe a Mo so don’t be uneasy if you do not hear from me again soon. Direct as before to Durango and I will make some arrangements to get my mail once in a while through McCloskey –

Yours always


Mother and the girls say Walt. Seems to think it damned strange that I don’t write to him. I will tell you why I don’t. as soon as he turned a fool and out his hand in a halter. I wrote and asked him to send me a packet of letters out of the desk – he wrote back that he had them etc – but ……….. a letter would he ever send To I asked for them 3 dif times. If he see proper to comply with my oft repeated request it may be to his future advantage if not he may keep them and be ……………… & no questions asked.

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.

May 30, 1886, Baltzley Tunnel

Dear Doc,

Yours of May 12th came to hand on Friday the 28th inst.

I have spent a week in the tunnel and broken some rock and expect to get some grub and powder. All danger from snow slides is over now till next Nov. and I will know before long if I am going to stay here for another year.

I don’t know anything about the Tinnium[?] land bus. In 16 but presume that Carr made a trade of the land south of the main hollow for land in 16 on his own side of the creek.


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.


Durango June 2, 1886

Dr. Doc,

            I came down to get some grub etc. & to sign deed but so far cannot find it. If you act on my suggestion you will fill up another deed and perhaps the same notary will take your acknowledgement and not charge you for it. Some queer developments here. I left a note with my goods here in town and do not find it now but have made affidavit of its loss and got the money. You need not tell any one that I got any money except for B. as I want them to thin I am very hard up. If I get food returns for my ore I will let them know in good season.

            If you send another deed send it registered & I will then be seen to get it.

            Tell B. I will write again soon. Try and keep the folks cool at home and I may write to them again soon.

Yours E.S.

            If you get a ticket to Frisco over D&R G you can lay off at Pueblo and come to Durango and back to Pueblo for one fare or about $280. This is cheaper than to come to Montrose and by way of Ouray & Silverton besides being all rail.

Yours E.S.



June 12th 1886.

Baltzley Tunnel

 Dear Doc,

            Yours of 4th wish cause to hand yesterday. You will have read my letter for Durango or now.

            I had the good luck to get a pony to ride down back so it was not a hard trip on me.

            You will know of the big fire in D. [Durango] by the papers. I tell you it was quick work and the dry goods store was gutted in less than an hour although 5 streams of water with a 400 foot head were playing on it. I helped to man one hose and got as wet as a rat no ill effects however.

            I am through [with] one more weeks work but have not taken any ore out of the tunnel for snow is still too many feet deep at the north and on the level round the cabin is still about 5 ft. deep. This time last year it was not over 2 ft. The mts. [mountains] are beginning to get bare when the sun can strike fair and in a week grass and weeds will be six inches to a foot high across the creek and in sight of the cabin. By the bye you had best write to Lauren and let him know I did not rec [record] the deed or he will think something is wrong. I will go down to town as soon as I can get my ore out and sort and suck it. If you have a new deed there by that time I will sign and send on as soon as I get it.

            I want the balance paid on the Jones note as soon as you ore the money. Then look over our a/c [account] and see how we stand on the old a/c and I guess we can make some arrangements in regard to balance of money.

            I could use it to good advantage and get 15% for it here but if you need it I can get along without. I did intend to send the women some but as long as the act the d-f I will be in no hurry to help set them straight. As for Walt and his menagerie of women they may all go to hell in the same boat for all I care for I am going henceforth to treat every body exactly as they treat me and if they don’t like it they may go to hell.

            I have not seen a deer yet this spring but may take a little hunt next week as I am hungry for venison.

            I packed up 42 pounds fr. [from] La Plata when I came fr. town and expect the burro punchero will bring up the balance tomorrow. The jacks can walk on the snow early in the morning as it is nearly as hard as ice.

            If my ore runs well I will pay $50 toward your expenses if you want come out to Col. And perhaps I may be able to spare $50 any way. I will see as soon as I can let you know.

            I thought this camp was going to have a kind of boom this summer but damn me if I can see any summer yet and we have a little ice nearly every night yet and rain and hail every day but four since May 29th or 11 days out of 15.

            I hope it has cleared off to stay clear till rainy season sets in, usually about July 4 to 7th.

            I am going to kill a bear this yr. if I live and keep my health. Kind regards to all our friends and don’t expect to hear very often.

Yours always

E. S.


June 25th, 1886

Dear Doc,

            Your two letters of June 7th & 9th came to hand some time since.

            I will work on the idea advanced and you need say nothing more about it. Spring is coming at last and there are a few patches of bare ground round the cabin. I have used up all of my powder and are now getting my ore out.

            To all appearances the quality is food but it is woefully small in quantity. I expect to have over a ton and if all works well in a month from the 4th of July will have out 2 tons more. And yet I am not happy.

            I went over to Bear Cr. on Wednesday and killed a deer and packed the saddle in on my back six & ½ miles 37 lbs. with guns, blanket & etc. 55 lbs. I tell you I was tired.

            My next hunt I will get a burro to carry my game and am going to try for a bear. I crossed the trails of 2 on Weds but did not have time to hunt them as I was after meat and wanted to make a quick trip. I left the cabin at 7 a.m. & got back at 7 p.m. 12 hours and went 13 miles 6½ each way and when you take into consideration over 2000 ft. of mtn. climbing it was quick work. It hailed like damn in the afternoon and was so cold I had to tie my ears up and pull on gloves.

            I wish you were in a fix to come out and see this country but perhaps it will be better as it is.

            I have only hard work to look forward to from now till snow flies and then I am going to quit the mts. till summer again. But of this more hereafter.

Love to all in haste

Yours always,


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.

[Written on letterhead of James Stevenson, Stevenson & Smith, Assayers, P.O. Parrott City, La Plata, Colo.]

June 1st, 1888

Dear Doc,

I have not had any word from you for a long time and conclude you are very busy so will drop you a line.

I am in rec’t of letters from Ellie and Mother saying that Ellie was east for a settlement or sale &c etc.  Now if you have not agreed on a basis of settlement I am not anxious to set the pace but if it will help you any toward a solution of existing difficulties give me $1,200 Twelve Hundred doll[er]s and take my part as I do not want to incur any debt in the settlement.  I want you to have the place and keep it while Mother lives and after that I do not care how soon you sell out and get your 9 or 10 thou.

I am anxious for a settlement one way or the other and as I said before I want  to start for W[estern]. Ter[ritory].  soon and if you do not want to buy us out I will sell in Mo.

Let me know your decision soon as I want to get out of this.

I rec’d a letter from Muldrow of the [Department of the] Interior saying he had sent me a map and Mr. E. Baltzley had made the deposit of $1.50 in payment.  Was it Edward or Edwin

Deer are fairly plenty and we have part of one on cooking.

Write on rec’t of this

Yours always

E. W. Scott 

N.B.  I got no word from Baltzley or anyone connected with the dead (?) Mining Co. so suppose they want nothing done.

It would be as well for the holders of the mortgage to hold on to the stuff as to have it carried off piecemeal, but in the absence of instructions I can not move in the premises.  E.S.


[two-page letter dated June 5th 88’ is not yet transcribed – the following was on a separate page with it]

Monday Eve. Reel line & hooks rec’d to-day -- many thanks -- will try them soon.

We have a 3 in[ch] vein on face of  tunnel with Falcose Cay (?) gaugue (?) and from 3/4 to an inch of quartz -- shows soon specks of mineral silver glance -- in haste

Yours E.S.

Damn this pen

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

Dear Doc                                                                                                                                  Jan. 13th,, 188[8]

Yours of 2nd inst. rec’d.

I do not know how to say in regard to your proposition in regard to a trade for one very simple reason -- I do not want the Ark[ansas] land and the price I would be willing to pay for it would look so small that you would think I was working for the up per hand in the matter – when the facts are as I stated I don’t want in and would sell for less than it is worth rather than keep it.  In making the balance due me do you deduct the ½ of am’t paid in the ___ sent.  I would be willing to give 125 for your ½ of the Harlin (?) 40 in exchanges but I think it best to not move too fast in the matter of the home place as I do not think Ellie will be in haste to push things to extremities and I think best to sell the Ark land and then I can get money enough for all present needs and be rid of an eternal bother.  By the way I do not see how in hell I am to raise money to pay Ank land tax this year for I am about broke and no chance to get a dollar till spring and that will come in May. while the tax must be paid by April.

I am on the fence in regard to taking up land here for while I know it will be a good spec[ulation] still it will entail some hard work and no pay for a time and I want pay now.  Now a few words in regard to the value of the Ark land.  what we sold we got over 11$ an acre for but the balance would be well sold at 5.00 an a[cre] or $ 1000 and if we can get that inside of the next year I would say sell it.  I owe on the Brannan 70 [acres] $100 to Lizzie and 150 to mother and as you say $127+ is about your share at a fair valuation.  I think I will go back to Mo. [Missouri] next fall and try to raise money enough to fence the 70 [acres] and build me a house and live on it.  As I can make as easy a living there as any place.  and as good climate too.  I hope to hear of you doing well with your patent and that it will give you a lift out of the mud.

In the mean time I think it will be as well to let matters rest in status quo.

In good heath

Yours always


Do not fail to keep Ellie’s letter acknowledging rec’t of the money as she has sent me no deed and I suppose does not intend to.

Folder 37 undated [ca. 1885-1888]: mine patents, ores.

This inventory was prepared by J. Todd Ellison, April 2003.

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