March 17, 2011

The Denver City Hall War

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Following are some photographs and drawings of the infamous City Hall War in Denver 1894. I won’t get into talking about the event itself very much as the story, in great detail, can be found in chapter 12 of my book, Alias Soapy Smith. Craig and Scott Johnson also did a wonderful job dealing with the “war” on their website. I strongly suggest visiting it if you don't already have my book.

My post today is about the additional detail and comparisons between some of the city hall war photographs found in my book and some drawings not in my book that I recently found while researching the pages of The Rocky Mountain News.



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The photograph, from my book, showing the front line and the cannons behind them is my favorite from the war. I found that comparing the photograph from my book, to the drawing published in the Rocky Mountain News showed striking similarity, a complement to the artist. Everything recorded in the drawing matches up with the photograph perfectly. I had read and reported on the Gatling guns brought in by the National Guard but knew nothing of their location. For the first time, since finding the drawings, I can see the Gatlings in the photograph.




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In looking at the two different newspaper front pages it is easy to see that one copied the other in reference to the "thug" and "Soapy" carrying the dynamite to city hall.





1894: Soap Gang member Billy Larimer dies. In honor of his death Soapy writes a poem and it is published in the Denver Mercury.











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2 comments:

  1. Very nicely put together. It does seem strange to me though that the Gatling's were in a support position rather than a lead with cannon as support. Just sayin...

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    1. Thank you "Sourdough." Your comments are appreciated, but I don't know anything of nineteenth century military methods. It is a guess, that the canon were placed up front as they have more fear factor associated with them. It's great that you can see them so clearly in the photograph.

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