Early Gilpin County Miners' Code
As appearing in The Gold Nugget, February 2000
submitted by Dick Oakes

Here are the minutes of a meeting held in the Gregory District of Gilpin County, Colorado, on June 8, 1859 (complete with spelling, capitalization, and punctuation inconsistencies, including the two spellings of the president's last name!).

      At a meeting of the miners of Gregory Diggings on the North Fork of Clear creek, K.T., on the evening of the 8th inst., Wilk Defrees was elected President and Joseph Castro, Secretary.
      1st. Resolved that this Mining District shall be bounded as follows: Commencing at the mouth of the North Fork of Clear creek, and following the divide between said stream and Rallston Creek running seven miles up the last named stream to a point known as Miners Camp. Thence South West to the Divide between the North Fork of Clear Creek and the South Branch of the Same to a place of beginning.
      2nd. Resolved that no miner shall hold more than one claim except by purchase or discovery, and in any case of purchase the same shall be attested by at least two disinterested witnesses and shall be recorded by the Secretary and the Secretary shall receive in compensation a fee of one dollar.
      3rd. Resolved, that no claim which has or may be made shall be good and valid unless it be staked off with the owner's name, giving the direction, length, breadth also the date when said claim was made, and when held by a company the name of each member shall appear conspicuously.
      4. Resolved that each miner shall be entitled to hold one mountain claim, one gulch claim and one creek claim for the purpose of washing, the first to be 100 feet long and fifty feet wide, the second 100 feet up and down the river or gulch and extending from bank to bank.
      5. Resolved that Mountain claims shall be worked within ten days from the time they are staked off, otherwise forfeited.
      6. Resolved that when members of a company constituted of two or more, shall be at work on one claim of the company the rest shall be considered as worked by putting notice of the same on the claim.
      7. Resolved, each discovery claim shall be marked as such, and shall be safely held whether worked or not.
      8. Resolved, that in all cases priority of claim when honestly carried out shall be respected.
      9. Resolved, that when two parties wishing to use water on the same stream or ravine for quartz mining purposes, no person shall be entitled to the use of more than one half of the water.
      10. Resolved, that when disputes shall arise between parties in regard to claims the party agrieved shall call upon the Secretary who shall designate nine miners being disinterested persons from whose number the parties shall alternately strike off one untill the names of three remain who shall at once proceed to hear and try the case, and should any miner refuse to obey such decision, the Secretary shall call a meeting of the miners and if their decision is the same the party refusing to obey shall not be entitled to hold another claim in this district, the party against whom the decision is given shall pay to the Secretary and referees the sum of $5.00 each for their services.
      11. Resolved, that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the Rocky Mountain News, and a collection be taken up to pay for 100 extra copies for the use of the miners.

      Joseph Castro, Sec.               Wilk Defree, Pres't.

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