Collection: Illustrated History of the State of Idaho

Idaho Mines and Mining

Idaho is essentially a mining territory. It was her mines that first stimulated immigration to within her borders, and it is to the results of the mines that her present prosperity is due in a great measure. Now that mining has been reduced to a legitimate occupation, there is less reckless speculation, perhaps, than of old, but more solid, substantial business. The days of stock gambling in mining properties are about over. Science, aided by practical experience, has taught the best methods of treating ores. Capitalists no longer purchase prospects for fabulous prices on the strength of picked specimens or the vicinity of rich claims. It is a fortunate circumstance for Idaho that mining has been for the most part a steady, productive industry, yielding rich returns to the patient and intelligent prospector, and that it has not been necessary to rely on fictitious “booms.”

Political Secessionism And Crime

Before the mining period, commencing in 1862, Idaho was a comparatively unknown region belonging nominally to Oregon and afterward to Washington. During the years 1862-3 such was the rush of immigration to this section that Idaho was erected into a territory of the United States government. The enabling act to organize as such was passed by congress in the spring of the latter year, and on the 22d of September William H. Wallace, late delegate to congress from Washington, who had, on July l0th preceding, been appointed governor of Idaho by President Lincoln, issued his proclamation for organizing the territory,

The Snake River Valley Reminiscences of the Early Days

In 1833 Captain Bonneville, an officer in the army, secured leave of absence and spent about two years here, mostly in the Snake river valley. He left his horses for the winter with some Indians at a camp near where St. Anthony is now located. He and his men made their way down Snake river in boats till they reached Black Rock canyon, where now is Idaho Falls, the thriftiest town in southeast Idaho: but they dared not venture in their boats through the canyon. Captain Bonneville found a desolate sage-covered valley, holding out no promise of ever being more

The Growth Of Quartz Mining Discoveries

Prospecting early indicated that the future mineral wealth of Idaho would depend upon quartz mining, and accordingly efforts were early made to develop that feature of Idaho’s principal industry. In the autumn of 1863 it was found that thirty-three claims of gold and silver quartz-mines had been made on the south Boise alone, ail of which promised well. The Ida Elmore, near the head of Bear creek, the first and most famous of the south Boise quartz mines in that year, was discovered in June. In an arastra it yielded two hundred and seventy dollars to the ton of rock;

The First Settlements the March of Progress

The first settlements made by whites with-in the present boundaries of Idaho were effected by Jesuit missionaries, as is true throughout the Pacific coast region; and previously to 1863, the beginning of a new era in this region, there were but two or three settlements made by others. In the primeval stage the country was not at all inviting to civilized people. The almost omnipresence of red savages precluded all thoughts of prospecting in the mountains for valuable minerals, while the valleys seemed to be only arid deserts absolutely irreclaimable for agricultural purposes. In the outside world ideas as to

Idaho Historical and Descriptive

As to the exact time and period in which the United States acquired possession of what is now the state of Idaho there seems to have been somewhat of confusion in the minds of historical writers, and while it is scarcely demanded that we enter into a consideration of the various theories and conjectures that have been advanced, it is proper that the matter receive due attention and that the most authentic evidence be recognized. The majority of writers and text-books have assigned the region as a part of the vast area included in the Louisiana purchase, to which due

Rival Claims and Pretensions

The claims of the European nations to ownership of the lands and resources of America rested on a somewhat flimsy basis in right. Its morality was that of might. There was a quasi yielding to these claims as against each other on grounds of discovery and formal occupancy. At the same time not one of these powers stopped for a moment to consider what rights of these people that were found there when they came would be violated by their assumptions. Barbaric nations never had any rights that nations calling themselves civilized have felt bound to respect. England, France, and

Idaho, the Gem of the Mountains, Origin of the Name

The Mountains have ever been the bulwarks of freedom. Valor is born there; virtue is cherished there, and these are the seeds of song and story. No land ever yet had a literature to endure that had not these for its theme, these off-springs of the pure, sweet atmosphere and sublime splendor of inspiring Mountains; and the more glorious the Mountains, the more glorious the song and story. What then may we not prophesy for Idaho when her torn and devastated placer fields all are terraced vineyards, as in Savoy, and the peace and rest of the old pastoral days

Geological Agencies

In General it may be said that the mountain ranges of Idaho are volcanic upheavals, the mighty bending upward of the crust of the earth’s surface when its inborn fires were lashed to unwonted fury in some stormy age of old eternity. The valleys were doubtless formed by this upheaval of its enclosing ranges, leaving the floor of the surface here comparatively undisturbed. This really rests on a foundation of aqueous rock of unmeasured thickness, on which the alluvial matter that forms its soils has been deposited. With this there are, in many places, deep deposits of water-worn pebbles and

Early Explorations

During the long period of time in which the Pacific coast of North America was being slowly brought to the knowledge of civilized man, the course of narrative shows that the Frenchman and Spaniard were the pioneers of exploration in this region, both by sea and land. Spain led the maritime nations in distant and successful voyages. The voyage of Columbus, under the auspices of Ferdinand and his noble queen, Isabella, whose reign over the united kingdoms of Castile and Aragon gave Spain so much glory in that adventurous and chivalrous age, had kindled every maritime Spaniard into a very