Colorado riverbed case records [microfilm], 1920-1931  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Title
Colorado riverbed case records [microfilm]
Dates
1920-1931 (inclusive)
Quantity
6.25 linear feet
Collection Number
ACCN 1702
Summary
The Colorado riverbed case records (1920-1931) consist of microfilm and microfilm printouts from this court case which determined who legally owned the riverbed of the Colorado River.
Repository
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
84112-0860
Telephone: 801-581-8863
special@library.utah.edu
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Colorado riverbed case, sometimes known simply as "the Riverbed Case," grew out of a desire by the State of Utah to determine, legally, who owned the bed of the Colorado River. The State of Utah wished to develop the bed of the river by drilling for oil and for other economic purposes. First, however, it had to be determined who owned the bed of the river: the State of Utah or the United States. This hinged on whether the Colorado could be declared a navigable or a non-navigable river. The plaintiff was the United States, and the defendant was the State of Utah. The court, presided over by Charles Warren, a Special Master of the U.S. Supreme Court, began acquiring testimony in October 1929. The final decree was issued in 1931, giving possession of the riverbed to the United States in non-navigable sections of the Colorado River Basin in Utah. Possession of the riverbed in navigable sections of the basin was given to the State of Utah.

The decision of the court was dependent on the testimony of individuals who had personal experience with the Colorado River in Utah. Most of the witnesses were river runners, both professional and recreational. Much of the testimony came from scientists and engineers who worked for the United States Geological Survey or the Reclamation Service (later the Bureau of Reclamation). Other testimony came from petroleum geologists and placer miners. Persons of notable historic importance include Frederick Dellenbaugh, a member of the second Powell expedition; Franklin Nims, photographer of the Brown-Stanton expedition; various members of the James Best expedition; photographer Ellsworth Kolb; members of the Clyde Eddy expeditions; and members of the Pathe-Bray film expedition, to name a few. A history of powered boats, both gasoline and steam driven, is also included in the testimony. It could be said that the Colorado Riverbed Case is the largest known oral history of the men and women who utilized the Colorado River basin in Utah prior to 1929.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Colorado riverbed case records (1920-1931) consist of microfilm and microfilm printouts from this court case which determined who legally owned the riverbed of the Colorado River.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Reel 1, pp. 1-800Return to Top

The Colorado riverbed case records has been digitized and it available for research online.

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 1-8
Digest of Testimony Taken before Charles Warren, Special Master

Reel 1, pp. 801-939; Reel 2, pp. 940-1600Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
2 1-3
Digest of Testimony Taken before Charles Warren, Special Master
2 4-8
Digest of Evidence Introduced and Proceedings Had upon the Hearings before Charles Warren, Special Master

Reel 2, pp. 1601-1869; Reel 3, pp. 1870-2400Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
3 1-8
Digest of Evidence Introduced and Proceedings Had upon the Hearings before Charles Warren, Special Master

Reel 3, pp. 2401-2693; Reel 4, pp. 2694-3200Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
4 1-8
Digest of Evidence Introduced and Proceedings Had upon the Hearings before Charles Warren, Special Master

Reel 4, pp. 3201-3665; Reel 5, pp. 3666-4000Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
5 1-8
Digest of Evidence Introduced and Proceedings Had upon the Hearings before Charles Warren, Special Master

Reel 5, pp. 4001-4437; Reel 6, pp. 4438-4800Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
6 1-8
Digest of Evidence Introduced and Proceedings Had upon the Hearings before Charles Warren, Special Master

Reel 6, pp. 4801-5346; Reel 7, pp. 5347-5600Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
7 1-8
Digest of Evidence Introduced and Proceedings Had upon the Hearings before Charles Warren, Special Master

Reel 7, pp. 5601- 6321; Reel 8, pp. 6322-6400Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
8 1-8
Digest of Evidence Introduced and Proceedings Had upon the Hearings before Charles Warren, Special Master

Reel 8, pp. 6401-7200Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
9 1-8
Digest of Evidence Introduced and Proceedings Had upon the Hearings before Charles Warren, Special Master

Reel 8, pp. 7201-7208; Reel 9, pp. 7209-7558Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
10 1-4
Digest of Evidence Introduced and Proceedings Had upon the Hearings before Charles Warren, Special Master

Reel 10, Letter to the Secretary of War to Appendix C, Plates 1-37Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
11 1
Letter to Secretary of War
11 2
Diary and Miscellaneous Notes, Exhibit 2
11 3
"The Upper Colorado River and Its Utilization," Exhibit 65
11 4
Treaty with the Navajo Indians, Exhibit 71
11 5
United States Geographical Surveys, Exhibit 73
11 6
"Report of Special Survey and Examination of the Green and Colorado Rivers," Exhibit 75
11 7
"Rapids, Rapid Water, and Quiet Water, Colorado, Green, and San Juan Rivers," Exhibit 80
11 8
"Characteristics of Colorado, Green, and San Juan Rivers: Current Meter Discharge Measurements," Exhibit 82
11 9
"Profile Tables, Colorado, Green, and San Juan Rivers," Exhibit 83
11 10
"Comparison of the Slopes of Colorado, Green, and San Juan with other Rivers," Exhibit 84
11 11
"Brief Description of Colorado, Green, San Juan Rivers and Tributaries," Exhibit 85
11 12
"Stream Flow Characteristics Base Gaging Stations," Exhibit 88
11 13
Exhibits 137 and 507
11 14
Miscellaneous Notes and Documents
11 15
Index of Witnesses and Exhibits; Complete List of Complainant's Exhibits
11 16
Appendix C, Plates 1 to 37, Accompany Report on Special Survey and Examination of Green and Colorado Rivers

Reel 10, The Times Independent , 17 September 1925; Reel 11, The Times Independent , 17 September 1925 to No. 14 Original, vol. 1, p. 748 Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
12 1-3
Colorado River News Items, Moab, Utah Paper, 1896-1927, Exhibit 460
12 4
"The Colorado River Plateau"
12 5-6
Appendix A, Photographs #1 to #13 and Plate #1 to Report of Special Survey and Examination of Green and Colorado Rivers
12 7-10
No. 14 Original. Abstract in Narrative Form of the Testimony Taken before the Special Master, and filed in His Court by Him, vol. 1, pp. 1-748

Reel 11, No. 14 Original, vol. 2, pp. 749-1005; Reel 12, No. 14 Original, vol. 2, p. 1006 to Defendant's ExpectationsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
13 1-4
No. 14 Original, Abstract in Narrative Form of the Testimony Taken before the Special Master, filed in His Court by Him, vol. 2, pp. 479-1426
13 5
No. 14 Original, Brief for the United States of America
1930
13 6
No. 15 Original, Brief of Defendant, the State of Utah
1929
13 7
No. 15 Original, Brief of the United States
1929
13 8
No. 14 Original, The United States of America, Complainant vs the State of Utah
1931
13 9
No. 14 Original, Defendant's Expectations to the Report of the Special Master
1930

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Mines and mineral resources--Environmental aspects--Utah
  • Geographical Names :
  • Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
  • Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)--Environmental conditions
  • United States--Trials, litigations, etc.
  • Utah--Trials, litigation, etc.