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Articles by Henry Allen, correspondent for the Weekly Council Bluffs Bugle.

MAY 25, 1859

By Monday evening's mail, we received the following letter [from] Henry Allen reasserting all his former statements with additional and better news from the Gold Mines.

This Henry Allen is the same Henry Allen that some vagabond representing himself to be a Cherry Creek Miner, reported as having been killed by the disappointed Miners, on account of his letters heretofore written for and pblished in the Bugle. His letter bears date several days after the time he was reported to have been killed, and the town of Auraria burned to ashes. This shows how little reliance can be placed in the reports of a set of stampeded emigrants.

Henry Allen still lives! Here is his letter - the original can be seen at our office.

Auraria, K. T., April 24, '59.

Editors, Council Bluffs Bugle -

You will before this reaches the Bluffs, see some of those who have returned from this country discouraged, and will no doubt hear all kinds of stories about the Mines; people, etc. Some that have come out here say that they did so on the strength of a letter that I wrote to my family, dated Dec. 19 h, '58, and they blame me.  Well, all I have to say is simply this. All that I wrote is strictly true, and was at that time.

The first companies that came through this spring, were hand-cart trains. They were out of provisions, foot sore and out of spirits. As soon as they arrived, they wanted work. We had no extra tools nor provisions to give them. We had been here all winter among the Indians, that we had to feed, rather than have a difficulty with them; consequently were nearly out of provisions ourselves when the first train arrived. The most of these men started back without even prospecting, and reported along the road that there was no gold here, and that we were starving.

The next trains were horse and mule trains. They came in after meeting those that were returning, and not seeing plenty of gold iin our streets, and large stores of provisions, their minds being already prejudiced by those they met on the road, readily concluded that there was nothing here, and some after staying one day, some two days and some sooner, started back for the States. This is about the truth of the whole matter.

A great many calculated that they could make a fortune in a few days, and when they came out, finding that it was going to take work to do it - they were in a wild country - no female society - no provisions but wild game - they began to think of their happy homes in the States, and commenced singing "Do they miss me at home" and at once started off to see if they were missed.

Now Messrs. Editors, for the gold news. I am running one sluice on Dry Creek, which is paying very well, and to-morrow I shall send up two more. THESE DIGGINGS PAY FROM THREE TO FIVE DOLLARS PER DAY TO THE HAND, CLEAR OF EXPENSES. On Clear Creek, they make about the same. On Cherry Creek, near Russelville, there is a company mining and doing well, in fact better, than we are doing on Dry Creek. On the Platte, they are making from THREE to EIGHT dollars per day, according to the manner they are working.

You will probably see some that were here. If you do they will tell you that they could get the "color" anywhere, and those that went with me, will tell you that I always got from two to ten cents to the pan; but the dirt was to carry from one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet. They complained that there was too much stripping or that the water was too far off, and so they took the back track.

In my letter of Dec 19, 1858, I did not say that the gold and water were together. I distinctly stated that there was a fortune here for all who would come and work for it, and had energy and would go ahead, and I say so yet.

We have not the right kind of mining tools - no ditches yet - in fact there has been nothing done of any consequence but prospecting. We want a few men of capital and energy with the right kind of Machinery, and then we could go to work right. One thing I will state. Any man that will work will make from three to five dollars per day with a Rocker in the diggings outside of the Mountains, and the diggings in the Mountains will pay far better. With this letter I send you a Newspaper, in which you see that Mr. Langly, Henderson, Palmer Goodwin and others, have just returned from the Mountains, and have brought seven or eight ounces of coarse gold and Auriferous Quartze. Mr. Langley has been in the Mountains about eighty miles from here the most of the winter, and you may depend upon what he says being true. He is an old California Miner - He reports the Snow so deep in the gulches that they cannot be worked to advantage for forty or fifty days. I have examined the gold brought in by him -  It is coarse rough and altogether different from that we get in the mines here. I need not say anything more about the Mountains as you will see the news from them in the paper sent you.

Now, Messrs. Editors, I wish before closing, to say that I do not desire to persuade any one to come here; but if you have any persons in Council Bluffs, who wish to make money, and are willing to work for it, they can do so by coming here and bringing tools with them and going to work; but if they calculate to make a fortune by coming out here and drinking whiskey, or loafing, then let them stay where they are - this is no place for them.

There is a great deal of suffering on the Smoky Hill route - a company arrived last night. The Indians stole their cattle - they packed a part of the weight, and thirty hours before they came in they eat the last of their pony.

Another company of ten on that route have burried three of their number, and I think will soon bury two more. They report no water for one hundred miles, only that found in Buffalo holes.

Yours truly,

Henry Allen


Col. Babbitt - Dear sir: -

I pledge you my word and honor, that what I say about the gold is true - there is plenty of it here, all it wants is labor to get it - yes it wants a man to be in good spirits to do well here or anywhere else. I think Col., in fact, I know you could make a fortune here. I wish you would come out here, if it was only for a few days. I get the Bugle about once a month.

I am yours truly,

Henry Allen

JUNE 29, 1859
$3 TO $10 PER PAN!

Through the politeness of Mr. Glenn, who is just from the Mines, we are enabled to lay before our readers, in an Extra, the following letter from Henry Allen, Esq., the much abused Correspondent of the Bugle. We have but few comments to make - the letter speaks for itself.

All former statements made by Mr. Allen, through the Bugle, are fully confirmed. He says in a private note to us, accompanying the letter, which was not intended for publication:

"Private - Dear Col. Babbitt: -

You may depend on the above being true, and in fact, I have not told all, for fear that you might think that I had stretched it a little; but the fact is, California never developed itself half as fast as this country. I have seen two men take out two hundred and fifty dollars in a half a day, and we are now making OVER A HUNDRED DOLLARS A DAY TO THE MAN; what will it be when we get machinery?

Come out, Col., it will not take you over one month to make the trip here and back by the Express. I will pay your expenses and pay you for your time if you don't make it pay."

We have had the most unlimited confidence in what Mr. Allen has heretofore written us, and we fully believe what he writes us now. Let all read and judge for themselves.

Our city is in a perfect blaze of excitement.

Auraria, June 4, 1859.

Dear Bugle: -

Since I last wrote you, I have again been in the Mountains, and to give you all the news of that trip would probably subject you to some considerable leisure, as you have some in Council Bluffs WHO HAVE BEEN TO THE GOLD MINES - "seen the Elephant" and returned to tell all about the Rocky Mountain Gold Fields - the Burnt Cities - the men lynched, &c.,&c., and are now telling yarns they do not believe themselves. I am very sorry for some of them, as I know they have made big calculations from the reports they have received here, and would have done well if they could only have been prevailed upon to stay. No doubt I have received my share of curses, from some, for they have done it here before they left! Well, here is the news since I last wrote; and what I write you, you may depend upon, as I have been to the diggings myself, and worked them, and have now three companies there at work. The Editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and myself, went prospecting, and for the result of the trip, I refer you to his and Mr. Gibson's report in the Rocky Mountain News. Since then I have been sick.

Foster, Slaughter and Shanley, are in the mountains and are making money - not by the dollar, but by the hundreds of dollars!
The diggings pay from THREE TO TEN DOLLARS TO THE PAN! this is certain! It is Quartz diggings, and there is no knowing how extensive they are. One thing is certain, I have traced some of the leads nine miles - and there is plenty of them. I have found them from twenty-five yards to thirty rods apart, and running parallel for miles, and all pay about the same. Now you can tell whether there is any Gold in the country or not, and now near the truth we have been writing in the Bugle. I always told you that what I wrote, should be the truth, and I have never wrote you one word respecting the gold mines that I have to take back! Mr. Kinesman, through whose kindness you will receive this, will give you by experience in the mines - and you may rely on what he says, for he was in the mines, and that is more than a great many who have gone back with their big yarns about there being nothing here.

I can hear nothing of my family, I fear they have gone back with the Stampede - though I hope not.

The Constitutional Convention for the formation of a new State, met on Monday. I will post you of its progress.

Health is very good. Provisions tolerably plenty just now; flour, $15 per hundred.

Yours truly,

Henry Allen