Denver Inside and Out

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Denver Inside and Out
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Denver Inside and Out
Bennett, Virginia
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Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
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Auraria Library
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Auraria Library
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Denver Inside and Out | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 11:07:38 AM] Home Denver Inside and OutDenver Inside and OutSubmitted by cowestadmin on 2-23-2012 09:08 AMAuthor: Larry Borowsky Publishing: Colorado History Series, Vol. 16. Denver, CO: Colorado Historical Society, 2011. 124 pages. Foreword by William J. Convery III. Black-and-white photographs, drawings, maps, notes. 6" x 9". $15.95 paperback. Reviewer: Virginia Bennett A lot goes into building a city. Denver Inside and Out is a collection of eleven essays that were originally presented during the 2009 Denver Inside and Out symposium, which itself was a part of the Denver: Imagine a Great City exhibit commemorating Denver's 150th anniversary. The essays range in subject from early hospitals, to prostitution, to summer mountain homes. Each essay gives insight into one of the many pieces which had to come together in order to build a city.This reviewer found two essays especially interesting. The first is Rails to the Rockies: How Denver Got Two Railroads (Sort of), but Not the One It Really Wanted by Eric L. Clements. This essay discusses the difficulty Denver had in securing railroad access, which it needed in order to grow and remain economically viable. Local boosters tried to convince the Union Pacific Railroad that Denver would be an ideal stop along the transcontinental route, but the railroad surveyors were unconvinced. Why spend thousands of dollars dealing with 11,000 foot passes west of Denver when Wyoming's passes were only 8,000 feet?Eventually, in 1865, Denvers business leaders decided to simply create their own railroad line, the Denver Pacific Railway & Telegraph Company, if for no other reason than to keep Golden from doing it first. After some initial difficulty in securing a contract with a railroad company that was sufficiently solvent to keep its end of the bargain, the Denver Pacific signed a construction, operating, and revenue-sharing agreement with the apparently financially secure Kansas Pacific. Denver finally got its railroad in 1870. By 1880, its population had risen by more than 30,000 people (8).I am not typically interested in railroad history. However, Clements was able to find the comical in what could have been an extremely dry subject. I was also struck by the huge savings in both time and money that the railroad provided. Before the railroad reached Denver, a trip from Kansas City by stagecoach or ox-wagon could take weeks and cost at least two hundred dollars. A train trip from Kansas City to Denver took thirty-two hours and thirty-eight dollars.The second essay that I fancied is Assembling a More Perfect Machine: Denver as the Birthplace of Women in Party and Electoral Politics, 1893 by Marcia Tremmel Goldstein. This essay discusses the efforts of Denver women to secure a political voice separate from the voting booth.Many newly enfranchised women did not want simply to vote, they wanted to be able to make an informed decision about whom to vote for. They wanted to be able to ask questions about voting protocol and receive respectful answersnot just reassurances not to worry their pretty little heads. With those goals in mind, some enterprising women retooled their existing knowledge of social and charitable clubs to form new, politically focused clubs, like Colorado's Non-partisan Equal Suffrage Association and Colorado Womens Political Club. Clubwomen (both partisan and nonpartisan) gave speeches and traveled door-to-door encouraging voters to go to the polls and actually vote. Denver's politically minded women constructed their own apparatus through which they established direct access to female (and male) voters and were able to influence political parties and determine the EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanCasimiro Barela, state senator for over 37 years, fought to ensure Colorados first constitution was published in English, Spanish and German.


Denver Inside and Out | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 11:07:38 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us outcome of elections(43).As both a woman and a historian, I was very interested in Goldsteins essay. The women she discusses were constrained by what society deemed appropriate, but they were able to take something old (charitable clubs) and transform it into something new and innovative (political clubs). In that way, they managed to exert their newly won political power in a way that did not threaten societys expectation of True Womanhood. I was also amused by Goldsteins opening sentence: On the morning of April 3, 1894, nine hundred women dutifully cast their ballots in their own sweet way in Highlands, a middle-class suburb of Denver(36).Historians Jeanne Abrams, Betty Jo Brenner, Michael Childers, B. Erin Cole, Rebecca Hunt, Azusa Ono, Melanie Shellenbarger, Shawn Snow, and Cheryl Siebert Waite also contributed informative essays. On the whole, Denver Inside and Out is an entertaining and informative study of the many individual pieces that go into the construction of a successful city. To be functional, a city needs hospitals, schools, transportation, and cooperative land. More importantly, a city needs a participatory populace who is willing to put down roots and contribute. Denver Inside and Out gives each of those parts a voice. Reviewer Info: Virginia L. Bennett received her BA in history from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, and her MA in history with an option in public history from the University of Colorado Denver. She eventually hopes to work in the museum field in archives or collections. In the meantime, she volunteers extensively and works as an assistant teacher at the Primrose School of Centennial. Add new comment