Yesterday I returned to the Colorado State Archives. Once again I asked for the file on the Elijah Gibbs trial in Denver. Once again the clerk checked an index and said, "I'm sorry, I don't see it here."
But then he glanced down the page, "Wait a minute! Here it is. They started renumbering the files."
The clerk brought out a small packet of folded papers with a rubber band around it. It was the original papers from the trial. I opened the packet and found a witness list. No Christisons were on it, but several of the names were interesting. The next paper I looked at was the verdict by the jury, filed November 6th, 1874 at 9:30 a.m., "We the jury in the above entitled case find the defendents not guilty." Signed by H.A. Tarpening, Foreman.
Along with the subpoenas for the witnesses, the packet contained the Judge's detailed instructions to the jury. This reveals some of the nuances of the trial, but I had hoped for more information.
It was interesting to hold the papers in my hand and know that the outcome of this trial changed not only Elijah Gibbs life, but the lives of his family and friends. Just one piece of paper that read "not guilty."