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N One mile. Dispelling myths about the Cotopaxi Colony N.

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Presentation on theme: "N One mile. Dispelling myths about the Cotopaxi Colony N."— Presentation transcript:

1 N One mile

2 Dispelling myths about the Cotopaxi Colony N

3 One mile In 1882, Jewish pioneers came to farm in Cotopaxi, supported by the New York charity, HEAS, in a colony initially managed by a local businessman, Emanuel Saltiel The bare facts N

4 One mile Morris Tuska was a board member of HEAS, a New York Charity, established the year before to accommodate Jewish migrants from Russia. Emanuel Saltiel owned a mine and other property in Cotopaxi. He agreed with HEAS to establish the colony there and defrayed $5,000 of its unbudgeted expenses. Julius Schwarz was Tuska’s nephew, who served as the colony’s clerk for three months from May 1882 and its manager for ten weeks after August. George Kohn was a Denver Lawyer, who took up the colonists’ cause after January 1883 and negotiated their way out of their financial predicament. Eleazar Hart was Saltiel’s second cousin whose local store advanced the colonists $2,000 of goods on credit. His son, Meyer, wrote a rebuttal to Kohn. People N

5 One mile  May to July: Saltiel in charge. 8 May: Colonists arrive. End of June: Saltiel goes to New York to warn HEAS that colony is running out of money; gets a dusty answer.  End of July: Tuska inspects and criticises Saltiel. Replaces him with colony’s clerk - his nephew, Schwarz. Asks HEAS for more money; also comes up dry.  August to mid-October: Schwarz in charge. He too ends up in New York asking for more money. Gets nowhere.  After October: HEAS breaks off contact with colony till January, when settlers wheel in their lawyer. Sequence N

6 One mile Four places to bear in mind, with much to-ing and fro-ing. Oak Grove Creek Wet Mountain Valley Third Division Cotopaxi Locations N

7 One mile The colony always had more than the intended number of twelve families. There were 14 from the outset, rising to 18 after five months. Maximum Minimum N Arrivals & departures

8 One mile The colonists turned up owing $10,000 to HEAS for supplies and transport and almost no personal cash. They bore losses immediately, losing an ox-team on arrival. They then had to rely upon local credit for store-bought food plus communal and religious necessaries. More settlers than intended arrived in summer, adding to expense - as did to-ing and fro-ing between tracts. The colony itself ran out of money In early August. Appeals to HEAS by Saltiel, Tuska and Schwarz all came up empty. Even so, local credit was found for cows and wire. After Schwarz’ October report fell on deaf ears in New York, all such credit ceased. This left the colonists decisively in debt and the colony busting its budget by 100%. Debts N

9 One mile N

10 Newman M Shames Schneider Korpitsky Four colonists displaced by neighbours in June All colonists rejected “bottom lands” at outset N

11 One mile Nudelman Zedek Minkovsky M Shuteran I Shames 98 days SchneiderNewman Torplitsky Korpitsky 196 days N

12 One mile N

13 N

14 Unbudgeted expenditures now to those myths… N

15 One mile we should heed the time-honored stories N

16 One mile not smart they’re plain unreliable N

17 One mile Report to HEAS from Morris Tuska Letter from EH Saltiel Report to HEAS from Julius Schwarz Letter from Meyer Hart Letter from HS Henry, HEAS the most hair-raising author, Satt, never saw key sources… …which demolish her bogus theories... N

18 One mile …based on histrionics from the colony’s babies… …some not yet born! N

19 One mile mean old Saltiel “shrugged” at the colonists’ distress N

20 One mile far from it he cabled their woes to HEAS within days… … and after eight weeks took the train to New York to plead their cause personally unknown to the colonists themselves N

21 One mile scheming Saltiel planned the colony’s failure to get cheap miners N

22 One mile bunkum! …with four of them recorded as unable to claim lands as minors, multiple claimers or late arrivals all attempts to get cash out of New York had failed, so the settlers needed work… …some chose the railroad; six out of 23 men chose the mine… N

23 One mile unscrupulous Saltiel denied the colonists “rebates” N

24 One mile N in fact the colonists were most worried about the money they owed all round $10,000 to HEAS $7,000 in Cotopaxi are you kidding?

25 One mile and that’s what it’s all about N

26 One mile the colonists needed to get out from under so they dipped into their $1,000 war-chest and brought in a sharp lawyer Attorney Kohn N

27 One mile Attorney Kohn’s job to persuade HEAS to eat losses of some $17,000, just when it was overwhelmed by Russian refugees. N

28 One mile He would succeed by working on the charity's remorse for neglecting Cotopaxi over the winter and opening the door to apply costs to Saltiel. N his insight

29 One mile his argument “Never mind my clients breaking their word; just feel their pain and blame the bad guy.” N

30 One mile  four families with good titles gave them up  two families had occupied tracts without titles  (locations approximated) first, he tried for yardage with complaints about titles in Cotopaxi, but these were for houses - executed or to be “had for the asking”. His play masked problems for tracts on government lands, where one claim was made in the name of a settler not yet in Cotopaxi; and  multiple occupancies by namesakes risked similar challenges.  three settlers definitively made duplicate claims, clouding title Nudelman Zedek Minkovsky M Shuteran Lauterstein Torplitsky I Shames S Chuteran S Chorosky Newman M Shames Schneider Korpitsky M Shuteran S Chueran M Shames I Shames S Chuteran S Chorosky A N Other S Chrovsky S Chuteran SchneiderNewman Korpitsky Schneider Newman the title gambit N

31 One mile then he revisited the summer complaints, turning them to argue that houses were overpriced Nothing shows that HEAS took Kohn’s charges seriously. But seventy years later, Satt revived them to salt the mine for her “sweated labour” fallacy. N the house gambit …with twelve 16x20 houses built to accommodate families this mistook six 10x12 cabins built to satisfy the Homestead Act… $100 each $280 each

32 One mile N Attorney Kohn knew his stuff he whipped up a campaign in Cotopaxi and New York, plus the local and “Russian-Jewish” press

33 One mile he got the colonists off their debts…plus a grubstake they moved on to make their way elsewhere his tactics sullying Saltiel to this day N and he succeeded handsomely

34 One mile N so who was Saltiel? no evil genius Romantic He came from London to New Orleans as a teenager. He bought into the agricultural utopianism of his times. Principled He started in the West by blowing the whistle on his drunken thief of a Cavalry CO He hastened to tell HEAS when things went wrong. Generous He was a founding donor of Denver’s National Jewish Hospital. This very episode was a tragic failure of philanthropy. Resourceful He went from nothing but the clothes on his back to a Rocky Mountain businessman. No quitter, still litigating left and right at the time of his early death.

35 One mile N and who were the settlers? no babes in the wood Romantic They too bought into agricultural utopianism. They travelled 5,500 miles to make new lives. Principled They strained themselves to keep kosher from the outset. Within weeks of arriving at Cotopaxi, they built a synagogue. Generous They saved communally for mutual support, including for those moving on. Resourceful They enlisted a lawyer to grab HEAS’ attention after a winter of neglect. They went on to success throughout the West.

36 N One mile Not so very different

37 One mile N


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