When Henry Teller arrived at Central in April 1861, territorial politics already showed signs of the beliefs and policies that would would dominate the next fifteen years. Colorado had been organized during the first weeks of the Lincoln administration; consequently, political appointments had fallen heir to the new party. In fact, for almost the next three decades the Democrats wandered in the wilderness, awaiting the arrival of a Moses to lead them to the promised land of political dominance. If one desired to get ahead politically, the safe path was the Republican path.
Mining controlled the destiny of the territory, and mining men jockeyed for political control and vied for election to the one national office available—delegate to Congress. When Colorado finally became a state, almost all important offices well into the twentieth century went to these gentlemen.
Despite the dominance of mining, its representatives did not hold their fate in their hands. In the territorial period one man—the president in Washington—aided by his party, controlled most local spoils. Therefore, Colorado Republican leaders tended to fragment into cabals as they vied for the chief executive's favor. During the years 1861—1876 they were all Republicans—Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses Grant.
Denver, the territorial political heart if not always the actual capital, moved vigorously to command political affairs. With the territory's only