Papers of Edward P. Costigan: Relating to the Progressive Movement in Colorado, 1902-1917

By Colin B. Goodykoontz | Go to book overview

I
GOVERNMENT OF, BY, AND FOR THE PEOPLE

Edward Prentiss Costigan, who was of Irish descent through his father and Spanish by his mother, combined in his nature traditional Celtic wit and charm with Iberian fervor and passion. Son of George and Emilie Sigur Costigan, he was born in Virginia in 1874. While he was still a small boy his parents moved to Colorado and settled in the San Juan country. There his father practiced law, served as judge, and engaged successfully in mining ventures. In the 1880's the family moved to Denver where Edward and his older brother George, who later became a distinguished teacher of law and the editor of several standard case books, attended East Denver High School. Edward, after an outstanding record in scholarship and oratory, was graduated with the class of 1892. In the autumn of that year he entered Harvard College, but his studies there were interrupted by a long illness. The months and even years of absence from the Yard in Cambridge were spent in travel in Europe and the study of law in Utah. He was in that state--it had just been admitted to the Union--during the stirring political campaign of 1896, and as a first voter enthusiastically supported McKinley. Restored in health and back in Harvard when war with Spain came in 1898, the ardent youth was with difficulty dissuaded by his mother from volunteering for the army; but "Cuba Libre," a poem he wrote at this time, expressed his passionate enthusiasm for the cause of the Cuban patriots. After his graduation from Harvard in 1899 he returned to Denver and soon opened a law office, having already been admitted to the bar in Utah. In 1903 he married Miss Mabel Cory of Denver, who sympathized so deeply with her husband's ideals and who shared so fully in his political activities that to a degree rare even in the happiest marriages the interests of the two were one.

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