[COLORADO]. [Wrapper title:] Laws of the Gregory District, Enacted February 18 and 20, 1860. Denver City [Colorado]: W.N. Byers & Co., 1860.
8o (197 x 138 mm). 12 pages. Sewn as issued in orange printed wrappers, back wrapper with an advertisment for The Rocky Mountain News published by the printer W.N. Byers (a few top edges a bit roughly opened); brown quarter morocco slipcase.
FIRST EDITION, ONE OF THE EARLIEST COLORADO IMPRINTS. A VERY FINE COPY IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS. The Gregory District was named for John H. Gregory, who first discovered rich gold placers in a gulch in Clear Creek Canyon, some 40 miles west of the little settlement of Denver on 6 May 1859. His discovery set off the Colorado gold rush. Three days after his strike, the Gregory District was formed. Newspaper reports of the discovery were published throughout the nation, and in months the Gregory District was inundated by miners and prospectors. Lawlessness was rife, and on 11 February a three-man committee was asked to draw up a code of laws: "In accordance with the duties imposed upon them, the committee report the following acts, regulating the rights of persons and of property, and the manner in which those rights may be preserved" (p. 1). The detailed code defines the district boundaries, sets rules for mining and placer claims, proposes rules for the election of a President and a recorder and sets up a "Miner's Court," with broad judicial powers. In the case of legal judgements, the sheriff is not to seize certain items: "all tools for mining, bedding, clothing, cooking utensils and necessary provisions for three months," as well as "household furniture," "a Bible, family pictures and relics" (p. 11). The Streeter copy had variant wrappers, without the word "enacted." McMurtrie & Allen Colorado 6; Streeter IV:2140 (an ex-library copy, wrappers stamped and worn).