The apparently insuperable

“_Around the man who seeks a noble end
Not angels, but divinities attend._”

“_In the deep heart of man a poet dwells
Who all the day of life his summer story tells;
Scatters on every eye dust of his spells,
Scent, form, and color: to the flowers and shells
Wins the believing child with wondrous tales;
Touches a cheek with colors of romance,
And crowds a history into a glance;
Gives beauty to the lake and fountain,
Spies over-sea the fires of the mountain;
When thrushes ope their throat, ’tis he that sings,
And he that paints the oriole’s fiery wings.
The little Shakespeare in the maiden’s heart
Makes Romeo of a plough-boy on his cart;
Opens the eye to Virtue’s starlike meed
And gives persuasion to a gentle deed._”


Not even the starry splendor of Colorado skies or the untold magic
of the atmosphere vibrating with unwritten music, pictorial with
such scenes as no artist ever put on canvas; not even the scientific
achievements in feats of civil and electrical engineering; not even any
advancement of the arts and the development of industries, commerce, or
economics that bring the general life into increasing harmony with the
physical environment,–none of these things, important and significant
as they are, touch the profoundest interest of Colorado. For this
supreme interest is that of the noble men and women whose lives have
left to the state the legacy of their hopes, their efforts, their
earnestness, and their faith. “Much is made of the Pilgrim Fathers who
landed on Plymouth Rock,” editorially remarked the “Denver Republican”
in an article on “Pioneers’ Day,” in June of 1906; “and if there had
been phonographs in those days to preserve the record of the speech of
one of those old fugitives from European persecution, with what delight
the men and women of this generation would listen to the tones which
come from the instrument! But, after all, were the Pilgrim Fathers,
canonized by nearly three hundred years of tradition, any braver, any
more venturesome, any more worthy of honor, than the pioneers who
fought Indians and struggled against adverse fortune of every kind
while they laid in fear and hope the foundations of this great state?”

Among the poems of Walt Whitman is one entitled “The Beginners,” which
interprets a high quality of life. The lines are as follows:

“How they are provided for upon the earth (appearing at intervals):
How dear and dreadful they are to the earth:
How they inure to themselves as much as to any–what a paradox appears
this age:
How people respond to them, yet know them not:
How there is something relentless in their fate, all times:
How all things mischoose the object of their adulation and reward,
And how the same inexorable price must still be paid for the same great

The price was paid by the pioneers of Colorado. They poured out
lavishly all their hope, their indomitable energy, their patience,
which was faith, as well. They planted, knowing that not to themselves
would come the harvest. They builded that those yet to come might
have shelter. They gave to Colorado such an endowment of potent
but invisible force that its momentum pervades the air to-day. The
accelerated ratio of power with which spiritual forces proceed defies
even the ablest of the statisticians.

In all the chapters of American history there are none more thrilling
than the story of the early life in Colorado; there are no chapters
that more vividly demonstrate the absolutely present and practical aid
of the divine guidance of God acting through His messengers,–those who
have lived on earth and have gone on into the life more abundant.

The lives of the remarkable men and women who have been canonized by
the church have left the world the better for their being and humanity
the richer for the inheritance of their experience. Their history is
not to be held merely as tradition or as superstition. Let one visit
in Italy Assisi, the home of St. Francis; Siena, the home of St.
Catherine, and follow the footsteps of others whose names enrich the
church calendar, to their homes and haunts, and their record becomes
vivid and vitalized as, to a stranger visiting Boston, might become
the footsteps of her noble and consecrated lives which are yet almost
within universal personal remembrance: the lives of Lydia Maria Child,
William Lloyd Garrison, Emerson, Whittier, Lucy Stone, Lowell, Mary A.
Livermore, James Freeman Clarke, and Phillips Brooks,–men and women
whom Boston may well hold as her prophets and her saints. They, too,
were of the order of “The Beginners.” They sowed the seeds of the
higher life. They were receptive to all high counsels from the ethereal
world, from the divine realms; they listened to great truths which the
multitude did not hear, and they gave it anew by voice and by pen, till
all the world might hear and read and receive it. They were, indeed,–

“God’s prophets of the Beautiful.”

Such persons were living a twofold life during their entire earthly
pilgrimage, and we may well recall their lives and link them with those
of the great and the holy men and women of all ages and all climes.

The pathfinders of human progress do not live for personal ease,–

“The hero is not fed on sweets.”

These are royal natures, who come into the world not to enjoy ease and
prosperity, but who bring with them the high destiny of sacrifice.
Their lives are companioned with struggle and conflict. Of such
experiences as theirs well might be asked the question so impressively
conveyed in these noble lines by America’s great woman poet,–our poet
who sang the song of the nation’s “Battle-Hymn,”–Julia Ward Howe:

“What hast thou for thy scattered seed,
O Sower of the plain?
Where are the many gathered sheaves
Thy hope should bring again?”
“The only record of my work
Lies in the buried grain.”

“O Conqueror of a thousand fields!
In dinted armor dight,
What growths of purple amaranth
Shall crown thy brow of might?”
“Only the blossom of my life
Flung widely in the fight.”

“What is the harvest of thy saints,
O God! who dost abide?
Where grow the garlands of thy chiefs
In blood and sorrow dyed?
What have thy servants for their pains?”
“This only–to have tried.”

These Shining Ones are on earth to serve as co-workers with the divine
power; to serve through good fortune or ill fortune; through evil
report or good report,–still to serve; still to follow The Gleam.
These are the men who

“… make the world within their reach
Somewhat the better for their being
And gladder for their human speech.”

The names of many of these heroic pioneers of Colorado may be unwritten
save in the pages of the Recording Angel; but they live and are
immortal in the influence they have left as a heritage to succeeding
generations, in the trains of thought and purposes they initiated,
and in all that potent power of generous aims and noble ideals,–for
all advancing civilization rests on lofty ideals. “While the basis of
civilization must be material,” says the Rev. Dr. Charles Gordon Ames
of Boston, “its life must be spiritual. Its end and object must be the
soul, and not the body; and it will provide all best things for the
body, that the soul may be worthily housed and served. The higher and
chief interests of society will always be intellectual, affectional,
aspirational–human and humane. The true, the beautiful, and the
good–almost unknown to the barbarian, and often mocked at by the
Philistines of modern society–will be sought for as men seek for gold
and pearls of great price. Wealth will bring its offering to the altars
of education and art and worship. Science, as it searches the worlds of
matter and of mind, will find new and sacred parables and gospels of
grace. Learning will be a priestess of truth. The imagination of man
will wander and wander in the wide creation, free, fearless, and glad,
knowing that the Father’s house is everywhere, and that his child may
be everywhere at home.”

In many of the pioneer households of Colorado, whether those of
plenty or of privation, the children had the inestimable advantage of
the refined and beautiful atmosphere of a home in which high ideals
and lofty devotion to intellectual progress and spiritual culture
prevailed. If schools were insufficient, there were the trained
educational methods of both the father and the mother under which they
were reared and taught; and poverty of purse cannot greatly matter
where there is no poverty of the spirit.

Well may these pioneers of Colorado be held as belonging to that order
of humanity which the poet calls “The Beginners.” Some of them were
unlettered and untaught save in the great school of life itself; some
of them were rich in learning and culture; but they all shared in
common a devotion to progress differing only in degree or conception:
they shared common sacrifices; they gave their best energies to the
development of a great and beautiful state whose increasing rate of
progress is to them an immortal monument. These leaders of humanity
whom the poet so finely characterizes as “The Beginners” are an order
of people always appearing on earth. They are of those who hear the
Song in the air and behold the Star in the sky. They are the persons
who discern–and follow–The Gleam. Their lives are rich in service
and sacrifice. Their kingdom is not of this world. Their lives are not
unfrequently cheerless and cold, but on their altar fires glows the
living coal sent down from heaven. They fast that others may feast.
They accept privations that others may revel in possessions. They pay
the inexorable price for the same great purchase. They are those who
are sent on earth peculiarly set apart to co-operate with God in the
larger fulfilment of the divine laws. They pay the inexorable price of
toil and labor and sorrow and sacrifice. They rise into the everlasting
triumph and the beauty and the joy of spirituality of life. They give
all for this; they find all in it. But let no one resign his hopes or
his dreams. Let no one doubt, for an instant, that all of goodness and
beauty and sweetness and joy that he longs for is on its way toward
him. It is only a question of time. Let him be patient, which is not a
mere passive and negative condition, but one full of intense activities
and serene poise; let him be patient and believing, and make room in
his life for that immortal joy which no man taketh from him.

The town of Greeley, with its felicitous location midway between the
two state capitals, Denver and Cheyenne, fifty miles from each, and
which is already the principal town of Northern Colorado as Pueblo is
of the southern part of the state, has a romantic and thrilling story
connected with its founding. In the history of Colorado, among the
many men whose lives stand out in noble pre-eminence, was that of the
founder of Greeley, Hon. Nathan Cook Meeker, whose personal life is
inseparably associated with the interesting town which owes to him its

The Meekers trace their ancestry to men who went to England from
Antwerp about 1500. In 1639 Robert and William Meeker came to this
country and settled in New Haven. Thirty years later William Meeker
removed to New Jersey, and the town of Elizabeth was founded by him
and named for his wife. He was a leader in the affairs of the day,
held prominent office, and in 1690 he died, leaving the old Meeker
homestead in Newark, New Jersey, which is still in the possession of
his descendants. One of his sons was Joseph Meeker, also prominent
in promoting the conditions of progress, and he was the grandfather
of Nathan Cook Meeker, the founder of Greeley, who inherited the
qualities that have made the family a marked one in America. When he
was but seventeen he carried on an extensive correspondence with Henry
Clay, John Tyler, George D. Prentice, and other noted men of the day,
discussing with them subjects of importance, and he was a contributor
even in these early years to the “Louisville Journal,” then edited
by George D. Prentice, and now the “Courier-Journal,” edited by the
brilliant Colonel Henry Watterson; to the New Orleans “Picayune,” and
other leading papers. Even in his early youth Mr. Meeker seems to have
been a man of perpetual aspiration and honorable ambition carried out
to achievement, and by means of his own energy and persistence he
graduated in 1840 from Oberlin College, became a teacher, and later
(for literary work was his dominant gift) became a regular contributor
to the “New York Mirror,” edited by N. P. Willis, the poet, and the
most brilliant man of letters of his day. Mr. Meeker wrote both prose
and poetry,–essays, romance, and verse alike flowing from his facile
pen. He is the author of three books, one of which he dedicated to
President Pierce, and which is in the Boston Public Library among the
choice and rare works not allowed for general circulation but kept
intact for the special use of scholars and researchers. He became one
of the leading writers of the day on sociology, advancing many ideas
which are to-day maintained by thoughtful students of the questions
involved in this subject.

Founding towns seemed to “run in the family,” and even as his
great-grandfather founded the town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, so Nathan
Cook Meeker felt the impulse to stamp his own strong and progressive
individuality on new communities. He became the secretary and librarian
(in 1844) of the Ohio Trumbull Phalanx, a colony founded to realize in
practical form the theories of Fourier, and somewhat similar to the
famous Brook Farm experiment. Mr. Meeker also co-operated in founding
the Western Reserve Institute, of which, many years afterward, Hon.
James A. Garfield became president.

About this time he married Arvilla Delight, a daughter of Levi Smith of
Connecticut and a descendant of Elder Brewster; a woman whose singular
force, exaltation, and beauty of character may be traced through a
notable New England ancestry. The family soon removed to the Western
Reserve in Ohio. Mrs. Meeker had been known in her sweet girlhood as
the beauty of the town. She was a woman of exceptional refinement
and culture; for many years a teacher, and, more than all, of a
spirituality of character that added to her life its dignity and grace.

The spell of destiny, the burden always laid upon “The Beginners,”
seemed to be on Nathan Cook and Arvilla Delight Meeker; for no history
of the work of the husband could be written that did not include that
of the wife. Like Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne, their lives were
conjoined in that perfect mutual response of spiritual sympathy which
alone makes the mystic marriage a divine sacrament.

Horace Greeley became interested in Mr. Meeker’s work and invited him
to a place on the editorial staff of “The Tribune,” a position which he
filled with conspicuous ability for several years; but in common with
all idealists, Mr. Meeker was haunted and beset by his visions of a
more Utopian future for humanity. A Colorado journal, recently giving
some reminiscences of the life of its great citizen, said:

“In the fall of 1869 Mr. Meeker made a trip to the West for the
‘Tribune,’ writing interesting letters by the way. On his return
to New York he was full of the idea of establishing a colony in
Colorado. He mentioned his ambition to John Russell Young, who
talked it over with Mr. Greeley, and that great man, at the first
opportunity, said to the returned correspondent: ‘I understand you
wish to lead a colony to Colorado.’ When Mr. Meeker answered ‘Yes,’
Greeley added, ‘I think it would be a great success. Go ahead; “The
Tribune” will stand by you.’

“With such encouragement Mr. Meeker spent the following day in
writing the article announcing his purpose and outlining the plan
which was afterwards adopted as the constitution of the colony.
Mr. Greeley suggested a few minor changes, after which the article
was printed and kept in type for a week, in order, as its author
said, ‘that there might be due reflection and no haste.’ It was
published in the ‘Tribune’ of December 14, 1869, with an editorial
indorsement of the plan and its originator. Nine days later the
colony was organized, and yet in that short time more than a
thousand letters had been received in answer to the article. On
the 15th of the next April the certificate of organization of ‘The
Union Colony of Greeley’ was filed for record.”

In less extended detail some outline of the life of the founder of
Greeley, the “Garden City” of Colorado, has already been narrated by
the writer in a previous book;[1] but no adequate reference can be
made to the state in which Mr. Meeker’s life and work remains as so
remarkable a contribution and so fundamental a factor, which does not
present in full the story of his relation to its development; and the
matter is thus presented even at the risk of some minor repetitions.

In the spring of 1870 Mr. Meeker led his colony to Colorado. The
colonists wished to give the town the name of its founder, but he
himself insisted that it should bear the name of Greeley, after the
great editor of the “Tribune,” of whose staff he was still a member.
Into all the sacrifice and the hardships of this pioneer life Mrs.
Meeker, a woman gently born and bred, entered with the utmost heroism.
From the very inception the undertaking was a signal success. But Mr.
Meeker conceived of still another extension of his activities in the
problem then so prominently before the country,–the civilization of
the Indians. He was appointed agent of the northern Utes, in possession
of the great park region of the Rocky Mountains, on White River. To
it he went in the same spirit in which General Armstrong entered on
his work at Hampton. He had matured certain theories regarding the
proper treatment of the Indians, in bringing them within the pale of
the civilized arts,–theories so wise, so just, so humane, that they
might be studied with advantage. These theories he put to the test. His
youngest daughter, a beautiful and gifted girl, opened a free school
for teaching the Indians. His wife united with him in every kindly and
gracious act by which he strove to win the confidence of the race.
This kindness and gentleness was unmeasured. The family lived a life
of constant sacrifice and effort for the education and training of
the Utes. But the Indian nature is one that wreaks its revenge,–not
necessarily on the aggressor, but on the first comer. Other agents had
been lax, and a number of causes of discontent to which allusion cannot
here be made fanned the smouldering fire. Their chief complaints were
that they were required to work, and to abandon a bit of pasturage,
only a few acres, for the new agency grounds and gardens. Events drew
on like the fates in a Greek tragedy, and on the morning of September
29, 1879, Mr. Meeker was cruelly massacred.

The little town of Meeker marks the site of the Meeker massacre. Here
is a little village of a thousand inhabitants, located on White River,
among the most beautiful of the mountain ranges,–the location being
very much like that of Florence, in Italy,–which is the centre of a
very rich agricultural and grazing region. Meeker is now forty-five
miles from a railroad, the nearest station being Rifle, on the Denver
and Rio Grande, a few miles from Glenwood Springs; but the Moffet road
brings to it railroad connection with Denver. There is an extensive
stage line of over one hundred miles, starting from Rifle and going
on through Meeker up into the mountains, where the hunting attracts a
great number of travellers, and especially many Englishmen. It is in
this region that President Roosevelt’s happy hunting-grounds lie, and
he is a familiar and favorite figure in Meeker.

There is a little gray-stone Episcopal church among other churches that
adorn this town, which has laid out a handsome park and which has the
perpetual adornment of the beautiful river that flows through it. The
mountains about supply streams that make irrigation easy, and the great
fields of wheat, potatoes, and alfalfa are fertile and prosperous.
Irrigation makes it everywhere possible to control the climatic

Meeker is the county seat of Rio Blanco County, in which uranium has
been discovered in two different places; and two oil wells, each at a
cost of four thousand dollars, a creamery, costing nearly six thousand
dollars, and water-works at a cost of sixty thousand dollars, have been
established within the past two years. Fifteen reservoirs and eighty
miles of irrigation ditches were constructed in 1905, and in that year
was harvested, in this county, a quarter of a million bushels of wheat,
oats, and rye.

The basis on which Greeley was founded is thus outlined in the official
documents drawn up by Nathan Cook Meeker:

“I propose to unite with proper persons in the establishment of a
Union colony in Colorado territory. A location which I have seen
is well watered with streams and springs; there are beautiful
pine groves, the soil is rich, the climate healthful, grass will
keep stock the year round, coal and stone are plentiful, and a
well-travelled road runs through the property.”

Mr. Meeker proceeded to note the cost of the land,–eighteen dollars
for every one hundred and sixty acres,–and he especially called
attention–for he had the poet’s eye–to the grandeur of the Rocky
Mountain scenery, and he added:

“The persons with whom I would be willing to associate must be
temperance men and ambitious to establish good society, and among
as many as fifty, ten should have as much as ten thousand dollars
each, or twenty should have five thousand dollars each, while
others may have from two hundred dollars to one thousand dollars
and upward. For many to go so far without means could only result
in disaster.”

The practical wisdom of this clause will be appreciated. The true
idealist is the most practical and wisest of counsellors. It is only
false idealism that leads to destruction. Mr. Meeker’s idea was to
make the settlement a village, with ample building lots, and then to
apportion to each family from forty to one hundred and sixty acres
outside for agriculture.

On such a basis as this the Union Colony of Greeley was founded. A
constitution was adopted that is a model of the condensation of the
duties of good citizenship. Industry, temperance, education, and
religion were the pillars on which the superstructure was raised. It
is little wonder that the social quality of Greeley to-day–thirty-six
years after its inauguration as a community–is of the highest type and
exceptional among all the cities of the United States.

Irrigation was the first necessity. A canal thirty miles long was dug,
costing sixty thousand dollars. The Cache la Poudre was first examined
and then tapped to furnish water. The elevation of the surrounding high
bluffs secured the needed descent for the flow of water. The life began.

Greeley is now a town of some seven thousand inhabitants; the seat of
the State Normal College, which its president, Dr. Z. X. Snyder, has
made one of the great educational institutions, not only of Colorado,
but of the United States; a college that draws students from almost
every section, even from New England, so able is President Snyder’s
course of instruction and so admirable are the opportunities it
affords for subsequent connection with the fine public school system
in Colorado. A position in any of these offers a higher salary than
can be obtained in the East, to say nothing of many other advantages
associated with the work. Dr. Snyder was one of the eminent educators
of the East; and when some sixteen years since he accepted his present
responsible office, he brought to it the best traditions of Eastern
culture and united them with the zeal and freedom and infinite
energy of the West. The Normal campus of forty acres on high ground,
overlooking the town, with President Snyder’s residence in the grounds
and other college buildings near, comprise a beautiful feature of
Greeley. The western view, both from the college and from the home of
President and Mrs. Snyder, over the mountain range including Long’s
Peak, is one of almost incomparable beauty. The faculty of the State
Normal comprises thirty specialists; there is a library of thirty
thousand volumes; the laboratory has the latest scientific equipment
of the day; the art department and the music course are admirably
conducted; French, German, and Italian are taught according to the
latest language methods; and athletics, domestic science, nature
studies, all receive due recognition. The “Training School” of the
State Normal College has an attendance of nearly five hundred, and the
graduates of this institution begin work on salaries ranging from five
hundred to twenty-five hundred dollars annually. The tuition is free to
all citizens of Colorado.

The many churches, the excellent public schools, the clubs and
societies for social enjoyment and improvement, indicate the high
quality of life in Greeley. There are three newspapers; and of these
the “Greeley Tribune,” founded by Mr. Meeker and now under the able
editorship of Mr. C. H. Wolfe, has created for itself more than a
local reputation. Financially, Greeley stands well, with its several
banks and its solidity of resources.

There is hardly a shabby house to be found in all the town, whether of
residence or business. Every building has a neat and thrifty aspect,
and the art of architecture has been especially studied, for almost
without exception every house, whether large or small, is tasteful and
attractive. A bay window is thrown out here, a little balcony there,
a piazza, a loggia, an oriel window, and the eye is gratified. But,
besides this dainty and tasteful architecture, the one great feature
of Greeley is her beautiful streets. These are due directly to the
taste and the direction of the founder, Mr. Meeker. The streets are one
hundred feet wide, lined invariably–every street in the town–with a
double row of shade trees, giving coolness, beauty, and contributing
much to the modification of the temperature. Every deed granted in
Greeley forbids the sale of any intoxicating liquor. There is not a
saloon in the place. There is not a loafer or a criminal, nor are there
any poor in the unfortunate sense of the large cities. No police are
needed. The jail is locally known as a mere ornamental appendage to the
fine forty thousand dollar courthouse.

For many years it has been felt that some expression should be made in
honor of the memory of the founder of Greeley, and this has now taken
form in the project for the “Meeker Memorial Library,” which is in
preparation. The beautiful young city is itself, however, the best
memorial of its noble founder. It is a living monument of perpetually
increasing greatness and beauty; and who to-day can wander under the
shade of the beautiful trees which in a double row line every street
and boulevard–trees planted in 1870 under Mr. Meeker’s personal
superintendence–without hearing amid the rustle of their whispering
leaves the poet’s words, that fall like a benediction:

“Be of good cheer, brave spirit; steadfastly
Serve that low whisper thou hast served; for know,
God hath a select family of sons
Now scattered wide thro’ earth, and each alone,
Who are thy spiritual kindred, and each one
By constant service to that inward law,
Is weaving the sublime proportions
Of a true monarch’s soul. Beauty and strength,
The riches of a spotless memory,
The eloquence of truth, the wisdom got
By searching of a clear and loving eye
That seeth as God seeth. These are their gifts,
And Time, who keeps God’s word, brings on the day
To seal the marriage of these minds with thine,
Thine everlasting lovers. Ye shall be
The salt of all the elements, world of the world.”

The glamour of romance can never fade from Colorado, whose entire
history is one of heroic deeds and splendid energy; but the primitive
stage of the state is already left far behind with the nineteenth
century. In its intellectual and scientific development the years of
the twentieth century have almost exceeded its twenty-four years
of life as a state in the nineteenth. The tide of immigration still
continues, but from being the objective point of mining activities
where fortune hunters rushed to find a royal road to riches, it is
now a state of agriculture and of commerce. Social conditions are
thus altered; and though some of these conditions are those of mining
regions, as in the Cripple Creek district, they have altered from the
typical Bret Harte mining-camp life to those of orderly progress,–to
the life dominated by twentieth-century ideals of humanity; the
life whose framework is seen in public-school systems, in religious
observance, in the liberal reading of periodical and other literature,
and in the maintenance of public libraries as a necessity in every

The dawn of literary and artistic development in Colorado is very
evident,–a dawn that is already of such radiant promise as to forecast
the day when this state shall contribute to our greatest national
literature. A large number of individual writers could already be named
whose work in books, magazine articles, and excellent journalism might
well be held as typical of the best culture of the entire country. The
first wild turmoil of a new and richly varied state has given way to
a prosperous, progressive commonwealth. Material progress must still
always precede the higher growth, yet the air is vital with ideas,
and the vision of Colorado is always toward the stars. The beauty
and majesty of the environment cannot but react upon the people. The
growth of women’s clubs has been one steady factor of progress, with
most favorable effect on all the general life of intellectual and moral
advancement. The public libraries in every centre establish and develop
the reading habit. While a love for beauty is an element in human life,
the influence of the transcendent majesty and incomparable sublimity
of the Colorado scenery will continue to prove a source of inspiration
to the mental and moral life of the people. The changing colors of
the mountains are a constant delight. Colorado offers a perpetual
feast of beauty. Her resources are infinite. Colorado combines all
the exaltation of the untried with an abundance of the conveniences
and luxuries of the older civilization; and of this Centennial State
it is difficult to record facts and statistics that do not seem to
suggest the tales of a thousand nights. With resources and with scenic
loveliness which no language could exaggerate, it is still only to
those who themselves know and appreciate the grandeur of this state
that any interpretation of it will appear as rather within than as
at all beyond the limits of the most statistical and demonstrable
facts. The East has already outgrown the tradition that the entire
trans-Mississippi region is a howling wilderness. Colorado is no longer
as vague as is Calcutta to the average mind. Dr. Edward Everett Hale
exclaimed that he desired his sons to know that there was something in
the world besides Beacon Street, and this ambition has of late years
become too prevalent to leave even the extreme East in any absolute and
total ignorance of the wonderful West. Still it may be true that the
flying visions from Pullman-car windows are marvellously extended and
intensified by increasing familiarity with the almost incredibly swift
progress of this region.

A typical illustration of the fallibility of human judgment is seen in
the attitude taken in 1838 by the great Daniel Webster on the floor of
the United States Senate against an appropriation for a post route west
of the Missouri River.

“What do we want,” said he, “of this vast worthless area,–this region
of savages and wild beasts, of deserts, shifting sands, and whirlwinds
of dust, of cactus and prairie dogs? To what use could we ever hope to
put these great deserts, or these endless mountain ranges, impregnable
and covered to their base with eternal snow? What use have we for such
a country? Mr. President, I will never vote one cent from the public
treasury to place the Pacific Coast one inch nearer Boston than it is

It is a far cry from this “vast worthless area,” as Mr. Webster termed
it in 1838, to the grand and richly promising state of to-day, with its
splendid young cities where art and science unite with literature and
ethics in the rapid development of social progress; with its mountain
ranges climbed in palace cars; its electric transit and electric
lighting; its vivid and forceful achievements, that even in each
decade concentrate the progress of a century, as seen in the past.

It is not a mere vagary, but rather a practical and momentous fact,
that Colorado is peculiarly the realm receptive to invisible potencies
and mental impressions. Science is now confronted with the question
as to whether thought and electricity may be identified as the same
force under different degrees of manifestation. “There is an elemental
essence–a strange living force–which surrounds us on every side, and
which is singularly susceptible to the influence of human thought,”
says an English scientist, and he continues: “This essence responds
with the most wonderful delicacy to the faintest action of our minds
or desires; and this being so, it is interesting to note how it is
affected when the human mind formulates a definite thought or desire.”
All the significance of a thousand years may be concentrated in an
instant’s thought, as all the heat stored up in all the forests of the
world is concentrated in a small quantity of radium. Emerson embodies
this truth in the stanza:

“His instant thought a poet spoke,
And filled the age his fame;
An inch of ground the lightning strook
But lit the sky with flame.”

It is intensity, not duration, that is of consequence, and that
determines results. To state that there is something in the Colorado
air that incites active and lofty thought; that uplifts the soul and
enables one to discern the practical processes for identifying the
most marvellous scenic grandeur of the civilized world with the most
advanced processes of applied industries, is to state a simple fact.
Phillips Brooks once said:

“I know no ideal humanity that is not filled and pervaded with
the superhuman. God in man is not unnatural, but the absolutely
natural. That is what the incarnation makes us know…. The truths
of heaven and the truths of earth are in perfect sympathy…. The
needs of human nature are supreme, and have a right to the divinest

The early explorers and pioneers in Colorado felt this truth, so
finely stated by Bishop Brooks, even if they did not formulate it in
words. The apparently insuperable obstacles of a land where the desert
disputed the space with the Titanic mountain ranges piled against the
sky, incited them to effort rather than paralyzed their energy. It
is fitting that this most ideal state, rich in resources of almost
undreamed-of variety and importance, should present a significant
object lesson in the working out of the problem involved in the higher
civilization of the twentieth century. The future of Denver, of Pueblo,
Colorado Springs, Greeley, and other important centres, is a most
important part of the future of the nations. The Star of high destiny
shines on the Centennial State.

“_But my minstrel knows and tells
The counsel of the gods,
Knows of Holy Book the spells,
Knows the law of Night and Day,_

* * * * *

_What sea and land discoursing say
In sidereal years._”


New Mexico is the scene of surprises. Traditionally supposed to be
a country that is as remote as possible from the accepted canons of
polite society; that is also an arid waste whose temperature exceeds
the limits of any well-regulated thermometer,–it reveals itself
instead as a region whose temperature is most delightful, whose
coloring of sky and atmosphere is often indescribably beautiful, and
whose inhabitants include their fair proportion of those who represent
the best culture and intelligence of our country. New Mexico has a
mixed population. To a hundred and sixty thousand Americans there are a
hundred and twenty-five thousand of Spanish or Mexican descent; a few
hundred Chinese and Japanese, and some thirteen thousand Indians, who
are, however, peaceful and industrious, and a proportion of whom
have been educated in the Government schools for the Indians.

[Illustration: ACOMA, NEW MEXICO]

The altitude of New Mexico seldom falls to less than five thousand
feet, so that the air is cool and exhilarating. The rock formations
partake of the same rich hue that characterizes those in Colorado and
in Arizona, and as the soil is rich there is a continual play of color.
The scenery is one changeful, picturesque panorama of mountains, rock,
or walled cañons, vast mesas, uncanny buttes, and lava fields left by
some vanished volcanic fires. The ancient Indian pueblos are still
largely inhabited, and strange ruins of unknown civilizations add
their atmosphere of mystery. The mouldering remains of the old Pecos
church and the strange communistic dwellings in the old Pueblo de Taos;
the ruins of the fortress and the seven circular mounds, which were
the council-chambers and halls for mystic rites of the prehistoric
civilization; and the fabled site of the ancient Aztec city where
tradition says Montezuma was born,–all contribute to a unique interest
in this “land of the turquoise sky,” as New Mexico is called.

Acoma, the ancient pueblo perched on a perpendicular precipice four
hundred feet high, with its terraced dwellings of adobe, its gigantic
church, its reservoir cut out of solid rock, and its inhabitants with
their strange customs, is fairly accessible to the traveller from
Albuquerque by a drive of some twenty miles. Mr. Lummis calls it “the
most wonderful pueblo,” and “the most remarkable city in the world,”
as compared, of course, with other pueblos and ruined cities. Acoma has
a present population of some four hundred Indians, and its romantic
beauty of location is unparalleled. There are scientists who incline
to believe that the original Acoma was built on the top of the _Mesa
Encantada_,–the “Enchanted Mesa,”–a sheer, precipitous rock seven
hundred feet high which is now practically unscalable; although Mr.
F. W. Hodge, of the Bureau of Ethnology, achieved this apparently
impossible feat, and found what is, in his convictions, unmistakable
evidence of human habitation, supporting the traditions regarding this
colossal rock. Some mighty cataclasm of nature swept the approach away;
but if ever there were human habitations on the “Enchanted Mesa,” the
period is lost in prehistoric ages.


The colossal church in Acoma is a striking feature. Its walls are ten
feet in thickness and sixty feet high, and the church and yard in
which it stands consumed forty years in their construction. It was
only reached by rude stairs cut in the rock. Dim traditions, which are
perhaps hardly more than speculative theory, suggest that these steps
of approach were suddenly swept away by some convulsion of nature at
a time when the men of this prehistoric pueblo were away hunting, or
otherwise engaged in procuring means of sustenance, and that the women
and children were thus cut off from all supplies and aid and left to
starve. Mr. Lummis has a theory that seems to him possible, if not
probable, that there was a ledge of neighboring rocks which served as
ladders to the _Mesa Encantada_, and that these rocks were swept away
by some frightful storm, or some sudden convulsion of nature, during
the absence of the men; and that a new city–the present Acoma–was
then built on the lesser rock on which it now stands. Acoma was old
even when Coronado, in 1540, made his expedition through the country,
from which period the authentic history of New Mexico begins with the
meagre records of the heroic friars and the memorials of the Spanish
conquerors. Laguna, a pueblo founded in 1699, lies twenty miles from
Acoma on the Santa Fé route, of which it is one of the interesting
features. All these old Spanish missions, which are found in more or
less degrees of preservation in all this chain of pueblos in the valley
of the Rio Grande, contain ancient paintings and statues of saints.
Largely, the paintings are crude and worthless, but there exist those
that have legitimate claim to art as the work of Spanish artists not
unknown to fame. Among these is the painting of San José in the mission
at Acoma, a painting presented by Charles II of Spain. This mission
was founded by Friar Ramirez, who dedicated it “To God, to the Roman
Catholic Church, and to St. Joseph,”–who was the patron saint of this

There is an amusing legend that Laguna, submerged in all manner of
disasters, looked on the prosperity of Acoma and ascribed it wholly to
the influence of this picture of the saint before which the people made
their daily adorations and laid their votive offerings. Laguna believed
that San José would invest it with the same felicities enjoyed by the
neighboring city, could they only secure the portrait, and their urgent
plea to borrow it for a time was granted by Acoma. Their confidence in
the saint was justified; peace and plenty again smiled on Laguna, and
they made their daily devotions before the great picture. At length, so
runs the legend, Acoma reminded Laguna that a loan was not a gift,–to
be held in perpetual fee, and demanded its return. The faithless people
of Laguna declared it was their own,–and the case actually went into
litigation and was tried in Court. Judge Kirby Benedict, after hearing
all the evidence, decided in favor of Acoma, but the picture had
mysteriously disappeared. The messengers sent from Acoma to bring the
sacred treasure at last discovered it under a tree half-way between
the two pueblos. They instantly recognized that the saint, rejoiced
at the righteous decision, had started on his homeward journey of his
own volition. The last one of the Franciscan friars to minister in New
Mexico was Padre Mariano de Jesus Lopez, whose work was in Acoma, the
“city in the sky.” Of all the cliff-built cities, Acoma is the most
marvellous. Its terraced dwellings seem, as Mr. Lummis so graphically
says, to be “the castles of giants,” for “the lapse of ages has carved
the rocks into battlements, buttresses, walls, columns, and towers,
and the view from this cloud-swept city is one never to be forgotten.
On this cliff the sand rises and falls like the billows of the sea.”


No latter-day interest of contemporary life, either in the romantic
scenery or the potential development of New Mexico, can exceed the
richness of its prehistoric past and the marvels of this ancient
civilization that yet remain. Alluding to these wonderful monumental
remains, Colonel Max Frost, of Santa Fé, who knows his territory in
every aspect of its life and its attractions, says:

“The Pajarito Cliff-dwellers’ Park, the Chaco Cañon, the Gila
Cañon, western Valencia and Socorro counties abound in cliff and
communal buildings, the age of which has puzzled scientists, but
which are older than any other ruins on the American continent, and
probably in the world. The most accessible cliff-dwellers’ region
is the Pajarito Park, only one day’s overland trip from Santa Fé or
Española, in which twenty thousand cliff-dwellings and caves are
situated within a comparatively small area. The scenery of this
natural park is superb; ‘wonderful’ is the only adjective that
will do justice to the caves in the cliffs, high and inaccessible
almost as eagles’ nests, but showing many other signs of occupation
besides the peculiar picture writings in the soft volcanic tufa of
which the cliffs are composed. In addition to the cliffs, there are
remains of communal buildings of later occupation, some of them
containing as high as twelve hundred rooms. There are also burial
mounds with remains of ancient pottery. Along the eastern foot of
this steep plateau flows the Rio Grande and lie the villages of
San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, and San Juan, while to the west rise
the stupendous mountain masses of the Valles, the Cochiti and
Jemez ranges, with their deep forests and cañons, their famous hot
springs, their Indian villages, and their mines. Where else on
earth is there so much of the beautiful in scenery, of romance,
of historic monuments, of prehistoric remains, of the ancient,
the unique, the picturesque, the sublime, to be found as within a
radius of fifty miles of Santa Fé? One day’s trip will take the
wanderer from the historic Old Palace and San Miguel Church in the
City of the Holy Faith, over the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo
range, from which rise in full view mountain peaks almost thirteen
thousand feet high, into the picturesque Tesuque Valley and by the
ancient Indian pueblo of Tesuque. The road winds through sandhills
that the air and the rain have cut into grotesque shapes, huge as
Titans and weird as the rock formations in the Garden of the Gods.
Then come once more fertile fields and the village of Cuymungue,
formerly an Indian pueblo, now a native settlement. Along the
Nambe River, with its grand falls, close by the Indian pueblo of
Nambe to the pueblo of San Ildefonso on the Rio Grande; then along
that river through the laughing Española Valley, past the Black
Mesa, a famous Indian battleground, into the large Indian pueblo
of Santa Clara and its mission church to Santa Cruz, also with a
quaint and ancient church building, threads the wagon road across
the river into Española. From there the road ascends the wildly
beautiful Santa Clara Cañon, along a rippling trout stream up to
the steep cliffs of the Puye and the Shufinne, with their hundreds
and thousands of prehistoric caves and communal buildings. And
all that in one day’s journey overland! If the trip be prolonged
another day or two, the remarkable hot springs at Ojo Caliente and
the hot springs in the deep chasm of the Rio Grande at Wamsley’s,
the Indian pueblos of Picuris and Taos, the finest trout streams
and best haunts of wild game, or the Jicarilla Indian Reservation,
as well as busy lumber and mining camps, can be visited. And that
is only in one direction from Santa Fé! Going south, one day’s trip
will pass through the quaint settlements of Agua Fria, Cienega,
and Cieneguilla, by the Tiffany turquoise mines, the old mining
camp of Bonanza, the smelter at Cerrillos, the Ortiz gold placers,
worked a hundred years before gold was discovered in California and
still yielding gold dust and nuggets, the coal mines at Madrid,
where bituminous and anthracite coal have been mined from the same
hillside, the placer and gold mines of Golden and San Pedro, not to
speak of sheep and cattle ranches and the beautiful scenery of the
Cerrillos, Ortiz, San Pedro, and Sandia mountains.

“Another trip of one day from Santa Fé will take the traveller
by the pueblo ruins of Arroyo Hondo over Apache hill, the
battlegrounds of Apache Springs, the interesting native settlement
of Cañoncito, over Glorieta Pass and the battlefield of Glorieta,
to the upper Pecos River, by the ancient and historic Pecos church
ruins, the village of Pecos, and through the most beautiful
summer-resort country in the Southwest, where trout streams babble
in every cañon and where from one summit can be surveyed the hoary
heads of eleven of the twelve highest peaks in New Mexico.

“Another day’s trip out of Santa Fé will take the visitor up the
rugged Santa Fé Cañon, by the large reservoir and the Aztec mineral
springs to the Scenic Highway, which crosses the Santa Fé range
into the upper Pecos Valley and unfolds at every step new mountain
views and panoramas magnificent beyond description. Nor do these
trips exhaust the interesting points in and about Santa Fé. Almost
every other town in the territory offers sights and scenes of equal
interest to the tourist and sightseer.

“The prehistoric ruin of the Chaco Cañon and Pueblo Bonito, in
southeastern San Juan County, as well as those at Aztec, in the
same county, are more fully excavated than those of the Pajarito
Park, and in some respects are more palatial and more impressive.
They can best be reached from Gallup or Thoreau on the Santa Fé
Railway in McKinley County.

“The prehistoric ruins on the Gila Forest Reserve, as well as those
in western Valencia and Socorro counties, have not been thoroughly
explored thus far, being distant from the highways of travel;
but on this very account they should have a special charm and
attraction for the student of archæology.



“Coming to more recent, although still ancient days, the ruins
of the Gran Quivira and of nearby abandoned pueblo villages,
between the Jumanes Mesa and the Mal Pais and Jornado del Muerto,
are of great historic interest. They are best reached from the
station of Willard at the junction of the Santa Fé Central and
Eastern Railway of New Mexico. Similar ruins are found in western
Valencia, Socorro, and other counties, and divide the interest of
the tourist with the many present-day Indian pueblos and Spanish
settlements boasting of considerable antiquity. The Zuñi, Navaho,
Jicarilla, and Mescalero Indian reservations are well worthy a
visit, and upon the first two named are many prehistoric ruins.

“Foremost in interest and value in historic archæology are the
old mission churches of the Franciscans. In every occupied Indian
pueblo and at the site of almost every abandoned pueblo, there
is one of the monuments of those pioneers of Christianity and
civilization, the Franciscan Fathers. Many of these are in a good
state of preservation, while others are in ruins, but every one is
an object of historic interest.

“The old mission church of San Diego, which is the oldest of the
California missions, was founded in 1769. It is almost a total
ruin; only the front remains in a good state of preservation. The
side walls are still standing, but no portions of the roof or
interior remain. This is the most venerable and venerated historic
monument in the state of California, and is annually visited by
thousands of tourists. It has stood for one hundred and sixty-four
years. It marks the beginning of civilization and Christianity
in California. And yet, in New Mexico, on the upper Pecos,
thirty-five miles west of Las Vegas, at the site of the abandoned
Pueblo of Cicuye, are the ruins of the old Pecos church. The church
is three hundred years old. It was nearly one hundred and fifty
years old when the San Diego mission was founded. It was projected
before the Spanish Armada was destroyed and antedates the coming of
the Mayflower and the settlement of Jamestown. All that is said of
the old Pecos church may be said of that of Jemez. They were built
at the same time. The one at Gran Quivira was founded in 1630, and
is a fairly well-preserved ruin. The churches at San Ildefonso and
Santa Clara are in a complete state of preservation. They are nine
years older than the oldest of the California ruins. The old San
Miguel mission in Santa Fé has been rebuilt. Its walls date from
1650, the roof from 1694, or possibly a few years later. From the
old church at Algodones was taken a bell, cast in Spain in 1356,
and at the Cathedral at Santa Fé and other churches are ancient
relics and art treasures of old Spanish and Italian masters. These
are only a few examples selected at random from the large number
of ancient churches of equally great interest scattered over New
Mexico. Inscription Rock, on the old road to Zuñi, and every one of
the pueblos from Taos on the north to Isleta on the south, and from
the Rio Grande pueblos in the central part to Zuñi in the west, are
worthy of a visit, both for historic and present-day interest.

“Nor is there any other building in this country to compare in
historic interest with the Old Palace at Santa Fé, which has been
more to New Mexico than Faneuil Hall to Massachusetts or Liberty
Hall to Pennsylvania, nor is there any other town in the United
States which offers so much of interest to the tourist as the city
of St. Francis d’Assisi.”

It is no exaggeration to say that in many respects the archæological
interest of New Mexico, its atmosphere, its historic color, is as
distinctive as that of Egypt or of Greece, Italy, or Spain. When,
on December 15, 1905, the first long-distance telephone in Santa Fé
established communication _viva voce_ with Denver, while within a
radius of fifty miles, ruins of prehistoric civilization fascinated
the tourist,–surely the remote past and the latest developments of
the present met and mingled after the fashion of “blue spirits and
gray.” Very curiously mixed is the civilization of New Mexico. It can
almost be said to lie in strata, like geologic testimony. The ancient
peoples whose very name is lost,–shrouded in antiquity that has closed
the chapters and refuses to turn the pages for the twentieth-century
reader; the Indian population; the Spanish, whose explorers–Alvar
Nuñez, Cabeza de Vaca, Coronado, Juan de Oñate, and others–and whose
missionaries, from the ranks of the Franciscan friars, brought to the
savage land the first message of modern civilization; and the American,
which within almost the past half-century has established itself since
that August day of 1846 when General Kearny floated the stars and
stripes from the “Old Palace” in Santa Fé. The American civilization
and high enlightenment has poured itself into this “Land of the Sun
King,”–the “Land of the Turquoise Sky.” For now, as Colonel Frost
has so ably and comprehensively noted, “New Mexico is strictly up to
date in its government, in its hotels, its railroad accommodations, in
the protection the law affords, in its universities, colleges, public
schools, sanitariums, charitable institutions, its progress, and in
its prosperity. Churches are found in every settlement, newspapers in
every town, together with fine stores, banking institutions, and every
safety, comfort, and luxury that the centres of civilization of the
East afford.” If that vivid and inspiring group of the Muses,–the
muse of History, of Science, of Philosophy, and others,–painted by
Puvis de Chavannes to adorn the court of the grand stairway of rich
Siena marble in the Public Library of Boston,–an achievement in modern
art that alone would immortalize the great painter of France,–if
these Muses could visit New Mexico, the specialty of each would be
found. The richly historic past that has left its various records; the
present, that has impressed into its service every power of science,
of engineering, of architectural construction, of agriculture, and of
social progress, would furnish to each a vast field in its own especial

A work published in Paris somewhere about the middle of the nineteenth
century, entitled “_Memoires Historiques sur La Louisiane_,”–a
book that has never been translated,–gives an account of a French
expedition in New Mexico in search of a mine of emeralds and their
encounter with the Spanish forces; but although in this engagement
the Spanish troops suffered disaster, the Spanish civilization still
continues, while there is little permanent trace of the French in New
Mexico. It is a curious fact, however, that the present continues this
varied and strangely assorted grouping of races which characterized the
country in its earliest days.

New Mexico reminds one of Algiers. There is the same Oriental
suggestion of intense coloring, of dazzling brilliancy of sky, of
gleaming pearl, of floating clouds.

There is one feature of this trans-Continental trip which is of the
first importance to the tourist, and this is the line of artistic and
beautiful hotels built after the old mission design, the architecture
felicitously harmonizing with the landscape,–those Harvey hotels
built in connection with the Santa Fé stations at principal points, as
at Trinidad, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and others, all christened with
Spanish names,–the “Cardenas,” the “Castañeda,” the “Alvarado,”–all
of which are conducted with a perfection of cuisine and service
that is rarely equalled. The social and the picturesque charm of
the long journey is singularly enhanced by the leisurely stops made
for refreshment; the leaving the long train–with its two engines,
one at either end–for the little exercise in fresh air gained by
going into the dining-rooms; being able to procure papers at the news
stands, fruit, or other delicacies, and enjoying the scenery and
gaining some knowledge of the place. In connection with the Alvarado,
at Albuquerque, are two buildings: one that offers a most interesting
museum of Indian archæological and ethnological collections, and
the other showing native goods from Africa and the Pacific islands.
Salesrooms connected with these enable the traveller to purchase any
souvenir from a trifle, to the costly baskets, richly colored Navajo
blankets, the strange symbolic pottery, or the objects of religious

A day’s delay at Albuquerque enables the traveller to visit four
interesting pueblos,–Santa Ana, Sandia, Zia, and Jemez,–in a day’s
stage ride between Jemez and Albuquerque. At all these important
stations on the route the Santa Fé has established free reading-rooms
for its employés, fitted up with every comfort.

New Mexico, while partaking in the general fascination that invests all
the great Southwest, is especially not only a land of enchantment, but
a land of opportunities. It is a country of untold latent wealth, of
uncalculated resources. There are vast tracts of soil that are ready
for the cultivation they will so bountifully repay; there are over
three hundred mining districts, few of which are developed. Six million
sheep are grazing upon its thousand hills, which would furnish raw
material for a large number of woollen mills. The land is favorable for
the culture of the sugar beet, and manufactories for this product are
needed. A local authority states that “the rubber plant is indigenous
and mineral products are of such extent and variety that industries
that need them for raw material, or incidentally in the process of
manufacture, will find in this part of the United States a location
much more favorable than most of the Eastern manufacturing centres.
There exist large deposits of iron ore, fluxing material and fuel for
furnaces, steel mills and smelters, and there are but few branches
of manufacture which could not be established with profit in this
part of the Southwest. Besides the raw material there are offered the
water-power, the fuel, the cheap labor, special inducements, such as
exemption from taxation for the first five years and a low assessment
thereafter, favorable legislation, cheap building sites, railroad
facilities, freedom from excessive competition, the increasing home
demand of a growing commonwealth of vast resources, and proximity to
the markets of Mexico and the Orient….

“Farmers are urged to come to till the fertile soil under the most
favorable conditions, and with home markets that pay better prices
than can be obtained anywhere else. Only a quarter of a million of
acres are under cultivation, and most of these only in forage plants
or in products that demand little attention; four times that area is
immediately available for agricultural purposes. Not one-half of the
flowing water is utilized, and not one-fiftieth of the flood water is
stored. There are undeveloped possibilities of farming by the Campbell
or dry-soil method. New Mexico raises the finest fruit in the world,
and every other crop that can be produced anywhere in the temperate
zone. Yet it imports annually millions of dollars’ worth of flour,
alfalfa, hay, potatoes, fruit, garden produce, poultry, eggs, butter,
cheese, honey, beef, pork, and other products of the farm and dairy
that it can and should raise at home. Free lands, the finest climate
in the world, irrigation, churches, schools, railroad facilities, home
markets, good prices, and extensive range, are all factors which help
to make the life of the farmer and stock grower in New Mexico pleasant
and prosperous.”

The visitor from the East enters New Mexico through a long tunnel;
and in Raton, a prosperous city of some eight thousand people located
in the Raton Mountains, is found the centre of an enormous coal belt,
and also a promising oil field. Raton is called the “Gate City.” It
exports ice of a very pure quality, the water being from a reservoir
of a capacity of over fifty million gallons. The streets of Raton are
graded and have electric lighting; there is a fine park, long-distance
telephonic connection with Colorado and New Mexican cities, and its
schools and churches are numerous. A new Raton tunnel is now in
process of construction by the Santa Fé line that will enter New
Mexico through the mountains at a lower point. The work is being done
by electric drills that offer a most interesting spectacle in their
process. The tunnel will cost a million dollars. Most beautiful is
the landscape and the coloring of air and sky between Raton and Las
Vegas. The Cimarron range is silhouetted against the western sky;
picturesque points on the old Santa Fé trail are seen; and Mora Cañon,
through which the journey lies, has its romantic attractions. From
the lofty plateau of Raton’s Peak the deep, dark valley of Rio Las
Animas Perdidas is disclosed; the matchless Spanish Peaks, “Las Cumbres
Españolas,” lift their heads into the blue sky; Pike’s Peak gleams like
a monumental shaft in the clouds, and the Snowy Range, for more than
two hundred miles, is within the luminous landscape.

Las Vegas, the second city in importance in New Mexico, is a
fascinating place. There are really three towns of Las Vegas–the old
Spanish town, still retaining its ancient convent and missions; the
new, up-to-date Las Vegas, with its Castañeda Hotel–beautiful in the
old Moorish architecture, with spacious piazzas and balconies; and
Las Vegas Hot Springs, connected by trolley cars. Thus there is the
particular paradise of the invalid, or of those who take prevention
rather than cure and a sunny winter in order not to be invalids; for at
Las Vegas Hot Springs, to which a branch railroad of this omnipresent
Santa Fé conveys the traveller–only six miles–the Hot Springs boil
and bubble like the witches’ caldron. Here the guests may immerse
themselves in boiling mineral water, or lie all day in the sunshine,
or whatever else they prefer; and the medicinal waters, internally
and externally administered, are said to make one over altogether.
Rheumatic and tubercular affections flee, it is said, before this
treatment and the wonderful air; and apparently if Ponce de Leon had
only chanced upon Las Vegas he would not have searched in vain for his
fabled fountain.

Albuquerque is an exceedingly “smart” town. Its residents are almost
entirely Eastern capitalists, who are living here that they may keep
an eye on their possessions, mines, ranches, and the things of this
world in general. However largely they have laid up their treasures
in heaven, they have a goodly amount also on earth, over which they
perhaps keep closer watch and ward than over their more immaterial
possessions. At all events, Albuquerque is a sort of Newport of the
West, where people drive and dance and dine from one week to another,
and the women are so stylish as to suggest some occult affinities with
the Rue de la Paix.

In this brilliant and thoroughly up-to-date young city of Albuquerque,
the metropolis of New Mexico; in Las Vegas, one of the fascinating
towns of the continent; in Raton and Gallup, and in its capital, Santa
Fé, the territory has a galaxy of exceedingly interesting towns.

Albuquerque is the trade centre of a region exceeding in area all New
England. With a population estimated at some eighteen thousand; the
seat of the University of New Mexico, whose buildings occupy a plateau
two hundred feet above the town, commanding a beautiful view; with a
scenic background of the Sandia and the Jemez mountains; with the most
extensive free Public Library in the territory; two daily journals and
a number of weekly papers in both Spanish and English, and several
monthly publications; with its splendid railway facilities both to
the North and the South, as well as on the great trans-continental
line from the East to the Pacific; with the shops of the Santa Fé road
employing over seven hundred men, as the junction point of three lines
of this superb system; and with the beautiful Alvarado hotel, in the
old Spanish mission architecture, from whose wide piazzas the view
comprises a host of mountain peaks piercing the turquoise sky, and
whose beauty and comfort is a masterpiece of the magician of the Land
of Enchantment; with the Musée of Indian relics and souvenirs of the
Moki, the Navajo, the Zuñi, Pima, and Apache; the fine Mexican filigree
work; the model of an Indian pueblo, and other curios,–with all these
and many other interesting aspects, Albuquerque fascinates the tourist.
In the “Commercial Club” it has a unique institution representing the
combination of business and social life. The broad streets are well
lighted by electricity; there is electric transit and a fine water
system. Albuquerque has also extensive manufacturing interests, in
foundry, lumber, and other directions, which aggregate an investment of
over two millions of capital with an annual productive value of more
than four millions.

Returning to Las Vegas; with its ten thousand inhabitants, its large
floating population drawn by the medicinal hot springs, and the seat
of the territorial Normal School. As a noted wool centre, and with its
daily papers, good schools, and many churches, it is another alluring
point. One feature of important interest is the new “Scenic Highway”
that is in process of completion between Las Vegas and Santa Fé, across
the Pecos Forest Reserve, which will offer some of the grandest views
in any of the mountain regions of the West. It will be to Santa Fé
and Las Vegas what the beautiful drive between Naples, Sorrento, and
Amalfi is to Southern Italy. This scenic road will wind up to the
Dalton Divide, nine thousand five hundred feet high, where Lake Peak,
glittering with snow, Santa Fé Cañon, and other peaks and precipices
and cañons, are all about, and the Pecos River is seen far below as a
thread of silver. This drive will be one of the famous features of the
entire West when completed. New Mexico monopolizes the greatest belt of
coal deposits west of the Missouri, while Arizona has the monopoly in
pine forests.

The reclamation work in the southern part of the Rio Grande Valley is
now in successful process, and near Engle a reservoir forty miles in
length will be established, having a capacity of two million acre-feet.
It is estimated that a hundred and ten thousand acres of land will thus
be put under irrigated agriculture which will yield marvellous returns
in alfalfa, cereals, vegetables, and fruits.

The government has also purchased the system of the Pecos Irrigation
Company, which is now transferred to the Reclamation Service of the
United States. This is the largest irrigation scheme in New Mexico. It
is located on the Pecos River, which is fed from springs many of which
gush forth from the earth with such force as to indicate that their
source must be in high, snow-crowned hills.

New Mexico’s railroad facilities may be estimated from the fact that
not a county in the territory is without a railroad, while many have
the benefit of three lines. With twenty-five hundred miles of railroads
within the territorial limits already in operation, it is confidently
expected that this number will be increased to four thousand miles
within two years, as much of this anticipated increase is already under
construction. Of the present railways eleven hundred miles belong to
the Santa Fé system alone. The matchless scenery of the Denver and
Rio Grande route between Ontonito and Santa Fé offers the tourist one
of the most enjoyable of trips through Española, Caliente, and other
points of beauty with the mountain peaks of San Antonio, Taos, Ute, and
others within the horizon, often appearing like islands swimming in a
faint blue haze.

There is space and to spare in New Mexico. There are almost unlimited
possibilities, with much to get and as much to give, and the latter is
by no means less important in life than the former. Out of a total area
of over seventy-eight million acres only about a quarter of a million
are under irrigation agriculture, and the field for reclamation is as
unlimited as it is promising. The land is fertile and the productions
are abundant. The sky is a dream of color and of luminous beauty, and
the climate is one of the most delightful in the entire world. Nor
does New Mexico suffer from that which is the greatest deprivation of
Arizona,–the lack of water. There is an abundance of the mountain
flood waters that now go to waste which would store vast reservoirs;
there is the flow of copious streams and large river systems, and
there are artesian belts of water all ready for mechanical appliances.
The Campbell dry culture, which is increasingly in use in the eastern
part of Colorado, has been successfully introduced into New Mexico.
Fruit-growing is already becoming an important industry, and the
apple orchard, of all other varieties of horticulture, is the most
successful. At the Paris Exposition in 1900 New Mexico made an exhibit
of apples, and also at Buffalo in 1901, receiving from the former the
award to rank with those of the best apple-growing regions in any part
of the United States, and from the latter the first prize. Peaches,
pears, and apricots grow well; the cherry does not thrive in New
Mexico, but grapes are grown with conspicuous success.

The mineral resources of New Mexico are varied, and include gold,
silver, copper, lead, and other minerals. In precious stones there is
promise of untold development. The Tiffanys own large turquoise mines,
whose supply, thus far, has proved inexhaustible; and the opal and
the moonstone are found in many places. But it is as an agricultural
commonwealth, and as the repository of vast coal belts, that New Mexico
is chiefly distinguished.

It was early in February, 1880, that the first train over the Santa
Fé railroad entered the territorial capital and initiated its
transformation from the mediæval Spanish town to that which is, in
part, the theatre of the progressive American life. In Santa Fé one
of the landmarks pointed out to-day to the visitor is the old Santa
Fé Trail, whose story was told so vividly, some years ago, by Colonel
Henry Inman,[2] who has described the majestic solitude of this highway
and has narrated the mingled experiences of the early pioneers and the
soldiers who thus marched through the wilderness. History and romance
mingle in the wonderful past of New Mexico, and it needs no sibyl of
old to proclaim from the _Mesa Encantada_ the promise of the future to
this beautiful Land of the Turquoise Sky.