James William Denver was a lawyer and a soldier. In the spring of 1850, attracted by the
gold discoveries in California, he traveled to Sacramento by way of Salt Lake and engaged
in trading. He was elected state senator and served during 1852-53. In 1852 Gov. Bigler
placed him in command of the supply trains which had been provided for the assistance of
overland immigrants who were pouring over the mountains and meeting with great hardships.
Bitter criticism of the project by Edward Gilbert, editor in chief of the Daily Alta
California, resulted in a duel between Gilbert and Denver on Aug. 2, 1852, in which
Gilbert was killed.