Traveling with Twain

In Search of America's Identity

Julesburg, CO

On July 30, 1861, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and his brother Orion stopped for an hour in Julesburg, or Overland City, a Colorado town on the South Platte River. They were 470 miles into their stagecoach ride west from St. Joseph, Missouri. In Roughing It, Twain called Julesburg “the strangest, quaintest, funniest frontier town that our untraveled eyes had ever stared at and been astonished with.” Originally established in 1859 as a trading post named for Jules Beni, a French trader, Julesburg was known by the time of Twain’s visit for Jack Slade, desperado (reportedly killer of twenty-six people) and division agent at Julesburg for the overland stage company; one of Slade’s victims was Beni.

November 30

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