Taking the Census: Letters from the Territories

Census records give us some perspective on early day Colorado, but only if we understand “Colorado” at that time.
          Colorado did not yet exist when the 1860 census count was taken. Parts of the future Colorado Territory lay in the Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and New Mexico Territories. The individuals recorded in the “Colorado” census were found in the Nebraska Territory communities of Boulder, Boulder Creek, Denver, Gold Hill, Platte River and Miraville. 
          A unique look at those pre-Territorial days through letters, postmarks and stamps is found at  http://www.coloradoterritory.org/  conference logo
          One of my favorite entries on this site is the November 30, 1858 postcard with the return address “Montana, K.T. ,  Cherry Creek Gold Mines.”  Montana City was an early mining settlement located “where present West Evans Avenue crosses the Platte River in Denver.” K.T. stood for Kansas Territory. The writer tells his family back home in Michigan, “There is quite a rush here to the mines, as there are within a few miles of this place over 500 persons. There were only about 30 or 40 when we arrived.”


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