Pike’s Peaker in full regalia. The first illustration to appear in the Rocky Mountain News

Two main groups of gold-seekers came to Colorado in the summer of 1858. The “Russell” group from Georgia founded Auraria while the “Lawrence” group from Lawrence, Kansas laid out Montana City near where present West Evans Avenue crosses the Platte River in Denver. The “City” was abandoned by the winter and the group laid out the St. Charles townsite on the East bank of Cherry Creek. This letter was sent by a member of the Lawrence group.

    Earliest reported cover from the Colorado Gold Region

    30 November 1858 Montana, Cherry Creek Gold Mines, Kansas Territory to Michigan

    Privately to Fort Kearney, Nebraska Territory where it entered the mails a month later

    Miner’s letter mentions:

    “Here I am in the Gold Mines (so called) & I guess it is properly named, for I have seen the gold…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.”