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Identifier: WH164


The Charles R. Green Papers include typescript copies of his correspondence, notebooks and diaries.

The collection contains correspondence sent and received by Green during the expedition regarding family, colleagues, weather conditions, Indian attacks and company politics. Additional correspondence after the survey dating from 1869 to 1911 is included. Correspondence from 1931 to 1938 regarding publication of the diaries is also included.

The following quotes are taken directly from the correspondence and diaries. No changes have been made to the original spelling or grammar.

Letter dated June 29, 1867

“On the 29th, as we were going to breakfast, the Indians came down on us trying to drive away our stock 100 to 150 of them. I tell you we went for our arms and more than scratched gravel for a while. Our Escort 50 cavalry gave chase and about 3 miles away the Indians turned and for an hour it was a hard fight, both parties being mounted they fought over a great breadth of ground and the Indians had a good chance to cut off and kill our boys. Our loss was 12, one missing 6 buried and 5 wonded. Where they had the opportunity they performed the most barbarious acts on the bodies of our dead. Not satisfied with stripping the dead of their scalps and clothes they cut them all to pieces. One, a sergeant in particular, scalped, brains beat in with a tomahawk, nose cut off, throat cut from ear to ear, body cut open from which they tore out the heart, long slices of flesh from each leg and gashes all over the body let alone six arrows which were sticking in him.”

Diary entry - 1867

“We found the Mexican settlements and towns extending out more than 90 miles westward guarded by Fort Wingate whose military always had to be on the look out for incursions from the Apaches of Arizona. They had often made raids into New Mexico driving away flocks of sheep. We passed Laguna a Pueblo Indian town about the 28th. These and the Isleta Indians are of the old Aztec Race. They are an agricultural race of semi civilized people who at sunrise always were seen standing on their house tops which were all adobe, or walls 2 or 3 stories high with ladders with their faces to the rising sun watching for Montezuma. They think some morning he will come and lead them to their ancient land. They also keep a fire burning before an altar in their “Estufu” that has not gone out these hundred years.”
SERIES 1 CORRESPONDENCE 1867-1869 BOX 1 (FF1-15) This series contains correspondence sent and received by Charles R. Green during and after the expedition. Family and friends wrote to him about home and he in return wrote about his adventures on the survey.
SERIES 2 DIARIES 1867-1911 BOX 1 (FF16-22) Material includes excerpts from Green’s diaries and notebooks describing his experiences throughout the survey and correspondence from former expedition members.
SERIES 3 PUBLICATION OF DIARIES 1931-1938 BOX 1 (FF23) The series consists of correspondence regarding publication of the diaries.


  • 1867-1939


The collection is open for research.


Records are the physical property of the Denver Public Library


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.


Green joined a survey party, led by William Wierman Wright, chief engineer of the eastern division of the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Wright was replaced by William Jackson Palmer, treasurer of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, soon to become the Union Pacific Railroad’s eastern division. The survey party explored possible routes for the Union Pacific Railroad between Kansas and California during 1867 and 1868. In January 1868, the survey to San Francisco had been completed. The Kansas Pacific never made use of the Palmer survey because it never built west of Denver. Palmer recognized that Denver, having been bypassed by the main line of the Union Pacific needed rail facilities of its own. He concentrated on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, which linked the city with connections to the South and West.


1 box (1 linear foot)

Language of Materials



Source unknown.


Number of Boxes: 1




Jo Anne Lee

March 2001


Merrie Jo Schroeder

March 2005


Ellen Zazzarino
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States