Col. D. H. Huyett. "The Kansas Gold Region-View of Auraria and Denver City, Cherry Creek, Near Long's Peak. From Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. December 15, 1860. 9 x 14. Wood engraving by Holcomb Davis. Very good condition. Denver.
A best overall view of Denver from the early days of the city, based on a first-hand sketch by Col. D. H. Huyett. Denver was first settled in late 1858, when two groups of miners set up towns (Auraria and St. Charles) on either side of Cherry Creek where it enters the Platte River. St. Charles was soon renamed as Denver City (after the governor of the Kansas Territory). After a very crude beginning, and enlarged by a population drawn to Denver by the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, the settlements grew with impressive speed, merging into one in April 1860. This image shows Denver as having grown into a reasonably prosperous community (looking much cleaner and neater than it actually was), though still covering a small area and with farms and Indian teepees on the immediately edge of town. $275
Go to page with other illustrated newspaper views of Colorado and the gold rush.
Views by Theodore R. Davis. For "Journeying on the Plains." From Harper's Weekly. New York, January 27, 1866. Wood engravings. Very good condition. Denver.
At the end of 1865, Harper's Weekly sent a team to report on the gold fields in the new territory of Colorado. Over a number of issues the newspaper published articles with images on Denver and the mining towns. Most of the scenes were drawn by Theodore R. Davis, who had made his reputation working for Harper's during the Civil War. In this print, Davis shows the interior of a gambling house in Denver. The city was known for its many such establishments, where the miners were soon separated from much the profits they had earned. As reported in J.E. Wharton's History of Denver (1866), in a chapter called "Gambling Hells of Denver,"
James F. Goodkins. "Life on the Plains." From Harper's Weekly. New York: October 13, 1866. 9 x 13 3/4. Wood engraving. Very good condition. Denver.
A series of eight views by James F. Goodkins, most related to the experience of emigrants to the gold fields and two of Denver itself. The images related to the emigrants include a violent storm on the prairie and emigrants being attacked by Indians. The latter is related to the numerous Indian attacks on emigrants heading to the Pike's Peak gold rush. In the lower left corner is an image of "Fort Wicked." This was a trading post on the South Platte run by Holon Godfrey and got its name from the Cheyenne because of Godfrey's staunch defense of it when (allegedly) 200 or so Indians attacked in January 1865, giving up after two days having lost a number of their party. Godfrey himself was thereafter known as "Old Wicked." His post was the only one along the route not captured or burned during the 1865 Indian raids.
Two of the views show Denver. One is of the Assay Room at the Denver mint and the other is a street scene, showing the mint building on the right and with the Rocky Mountains in the background. The artist commented that though Harper's Weekly had previously "published one or two street scenes in Denver I send the one herewith, which gives a good view of the mountains beyond. It is a different view from any hitherto published, and I think from a better point." $150
H.J. Bagley. "Colorado Sketches--The City of Denver" and "Forest on Fire." From Harper's Weekly. New York, November 15, 1879. 6 5/8 x 9 1/8 and 6 5/8 x 5 3/8 respectively. Wood engravings. Very good condition. Denver.
This is an interesting pair of views of Colorado from 1879, inspired by the forest fire which devastated a region near the Ute Reservation on Eagle River. The other view shows Denver from a point three miles to the north, with the Platte River cutting across the foreground. A large smelting-works ("the largest in the United States") appears at left and the Rockies, with Pike's Peak prominent, in the background. The text comments about Denver that "as its climate is dry and salubrious, it is the resort of many person who are in search of health." $125
Hughson Hawley. "The Proposed Capitol of Colorado." From Harper's Weekly. New York: May 1, 1886. 7 x 9 1/4. Wood engraving. Very good condition. Denver.
A print showing the design for the Colorado state capitol building by Elijah E. Myers, issued just before work commenced on the site in July 1886. The story of the state house began even before Colorado became a state. In 1867 most in Colorado assumed Denver would become the eventual state capital, so a commission was formed to secure land for the planned capitol building. Henry C. Brown, a prominent Denver real estate developer, gave ten acres just at the edge of the city, both from civic duty and the belief that it would enhance the value of the land surrounding, which he owned. In 1876, Colorado was admitted as a state and five years later a general vote established Denver as the capital city. After a few false starts, a competition to select an architect for the capitol was won by Elijah E. Myers, who submitted his final plans on January 2, 1886-this print reflects that design. Work started on the site in July of that year, but the cornerstone wasn't laid until July 4th, 1890. Four years later the state government was finally able to move in, though work on the building continued until 1908, when the dome was finally leafed with gold and an electric bulb installed at the peak. $55
Charles Graham. "The City of Denver, and Mountain Scenes in Colorado." From Harper's Weekly. April 23, 1887. 13 1/2 x 19 5/8. Wood engraving. Small rubbed spot in centerfold. Else, very good. Denver.
This image was drawn by Charles Graham, who made a number of trips for Harper's to provide its readers with views of the burgeoning American West. This composite image has a panoramic view of Denver in the center, surrounded by vignettes of Denver houses, mining scenes and the local terrain. A wonderful image of Denver and region at a period when the city was becoming a sophisticated urban center, though still situated in the West. $285
Views of Denver Colorado. 1890. O.O. Howard, Jr., 1890. Octavo with original paper covers. 25 two-toned, lithographed views, with text. Lithographs by Collier & Cleveland Lith. Co., Denver, Colo. Some wear at spine and edges of paper covers; else very good condition. Back cover separated. Denver.
A souvenir view book of Denver, "The Queen City of the Plains," from 1890, filled with wonderfully detailed views, mostly based on photographs. Included is a panoramic view of the city and then 24 other illustrations showing street scenes, buildings, and residents. Each page has facing text with interesting information on all aspect of Denver. A wonderful souvenir book produced in Denver and documenting the city just before the end of the century. $95
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