It Happened in Denverby Stephen Grace
A fascinating collection of twenty-five compelling stories about events that shaped the Mile High City, It Happened in Denver describes everything from a nineteenth-century gold rush that turned a tent city into a bustling frontier outpost to the mid-1990s construction of a baseball stadium and the urban renewal that accompanied it. In an easy-to-read style that is entertaining as well as informative, It Happened in Denver will interest people of all ages.
Read an Excerpt
In the early winter of 1862, as a blizzard swirled through the sky, a volunteer army departed Denver. Trudging through deepening snow, the men climbed into the mountains. Though they were exhausted and cold, they wouldn’t stop marching. The fate of the Union depended on them crossing Raton Pass. Just six weeks after Colorado became a territory, the Civil War began. Confederate sympathizers flew a rebel flag over a store in Denver; Unionists tore it down. Most Denverites had immigrated to the West from Northern states, so the majority of the town’s citizens were loyal to the Union. Denver’s first mayor, however, was a Confederate. When the Civil War began he fled Denver and returned to the South. William Gilpin, a strong defender of the Union, was appointed Colorado’s first territorial governor by President Abraham Lincoln. Afraid that Confederate sympathizers within Colorado would attack the territory, and afraid Confederate Texans would take over the Southwest and then head north toward Rocky Mountain goldfieldsand even afraid that his own life might be in danger from Confederates lurking in ColoradoGilipin decided to act immediately. He would do what needed to be done; he would worry about the consequences later. Gilpin raised Union volunteers, most of them miners from the mountains around Denver, and he issued $375,000 in federal promissory notes to pay for the formation of the First Regiment of Colorado Volunteer Infantry. Though Gilpin lacked the authority to issue these promissory notes, he believed the U.S. Government would gladly honor them because the notes were being used to finance the defense of the Union.
Meet the Author
Stephen Grace previous employment has ranged from deckhand on Mississippi riverboats to neuropsychological research assistant to whitewater rafting guide. He has led numerous trips, including snowboarding adventures for at-risk youth and a volunteer project in China for college students. A resident of Colorado, he divides his free time between Denver's museums and its mountains. His first novel, Under Cottonwoods (The Lyons Press, 2004), was a Book Sense 76 selection. He is currently at work on a new novel.
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