Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vigilantes Disbanded, Delegate Candidates Abound, Miners Stalled by Deep Snow

Rover, our "sesquicentennial correspondent" whom we heard from on April 7th and 12th, wrote another letter on April 16, 1863. He first noted that the Lewiston “Protective Association” (Vigilance Committee) had met and voted to disband. Members judged that the county government “was now thoroughly organized, and the various offices filled by competent men.”

During the Association’s tenure, the vigilantes had “hanged three murderers and highwaymen, and exiled 200 thieves and gamblers.” Because of their work, Rover went on, “Not a single crime of any kind has been committed in Lewiston during the past five months.”

Another sign of progress: “In anticipation of the early organization of the new Territory of Idaho, candidates for Delegate to Congress are beginning to feel the public pulse as to their chances for honor and glory.”

Eventually, nearly a dozen candidates would vie for the job. As historians Beal and Wells put it, “Idaho did not suffer from any lack of candidates for delegate to Congress in the first territorial election.”

Rover observed that little mining progress had been made around Florence or Warren’s Diggings: “The snow in that region is three feet deep, and not thawing enough to afford water for mining purposes.”
Idaho Mountain Snow. National Park Service photo.

Also, parties that had tried to get through to the Boise Basin had turned back “owing to the deep snow” in the mountains. In fact, Rover reported, “A number of pack trains and a large number of miners [are] camped at the foot of the mountains.”

References: [B&W]
Rover, “Letter from Lewiston,” Evening Bulletin, San Francisco, California (May 5, 1863).

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