The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 67
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Mexican Land Grants in the Arkansas Valley
aridity of the major portion of the Vigil-St. Vrain grant and the
remoteness of a market for an agricultural surplus, had it been
practicable to produce such, would have served to discourage the
settlement of a large number of farmers on this tract at this time.
In spite of all of these obstacles, however, squatters invaded the
grant. Their presence is indicated clearly by the act of February
25, 1869, which shows incidentally that the claims of bona fide
homesteaders and pre-emptors were to be respected.24 The
columns of the Colorado Chieftain, during 1871, carry scores of
notices to the effect that certain persons would appear before the
Register and Receiver of the Pueblo. Land Office at stated times to
prove their right to enter specified tracts within the original limits
of the Vigil-St. Vrain grant.25
It must be conceded that settlers within the original limits of
the Vigil-St. Vrain grant, prior to the confirmatory act of Febru-
with the Indians were magnified by interested and false newspaper reports
into terrible massacres. The character of our settlers was systematically
maligned. All the news that selfish interest and malignity could invent
was exhausted to prevent the development of this portion of the Territory.
A prolonged and united effort, looking to that end, was to a great extent
successful. The tide of immigration, which was rolling in, was stopped or
turned elsewhere. Another calamity overtook us. Chivington made what
he afterwards boastingly called his 'raid' through Southern Colorado.
Unnecessarily, wantonly, and brutally, he despoiled the country of stock,
taking in many instances every head from the farms, and causing their
abandonment by their owners. He told his troops to 'remember that
they were in the enemy's country.' " The Colorado Chieftain, published
in Pueblo since the summer of 1868, is the upper Arkansas Valley's oldest
permanent newspaper. The article quoted here appeared in the issue of
July 9, 1868 (p. 1), when Pueblo was beginning to aspire to replace
Denver as the capital of Colorado Territory. That the Indians, incited
to widespread and more determined hostility by Chivington's raid (1864),
had become a real menace, was recognized by the Chieftain in an editorial
of September 10, 1868, demanding that war be prosecuted against each
offending tribe until its strength and spirit should be effectually crushed.
The ranches of Kit Carson, Jno. W. Prowers, Thos. O. Boggs, William
Bent, and E. R. Sizer, in the lower Purgatoire Valley, were among those
raided by the Indians (Colorado Chieftain, September 17, 1868, p. 2).
Five Indian nations-Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, Apaches, and
Comanches-claimed lands and hunting privileges in the upper Arkansas
Valley in the 1860's and their claims had to be quieted and their removal
effected to clear the way entirely for white settlers. This was accom-
plished by a series of treaties, beginning with the treaty of Fort Wise
(Bent's New Fort), signed February 18, 1861, and ending with the
treaties of Council Camp, which were made effective in the fall of 1868.
All of these treaties may be found in Indian Affairs, Laws, and Treaties
(Senate Document, No. 152, 57 Cong., 1 Sess.), II, 614 ff.
"4United States Statutes at Large, XV, 440.
"2See also a notice issued by the Pueblo Land Office and published in
the Colorado Chieftain, February 9, 1871, p. 3.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937, periodical, 1937; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/m1/75/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.