Table of Contents
Collection Overview +/-
Collection Inventory +/-
box 1: Reel 1, pp. 1-800
The Colorado riverbed case records has been digitized and it available for research online.
folder 1-8: Digest of Testimony Taken before Charles Warren, Special Master
box 2: Reel 1, pp. 801-939; Reel 2, pp. 940-1600
box 3: Reel 2, pp. 1601-1869; Reel 3, pp. 1870-2400
box 4: Reel 3, pp. 2401-2693; Reel 4, pp. 2694-3200
box 5: Reel 4, pp. 3201-3665; Reel 5, pp. 3666-4000
box 6: Reel 5, pp. 4001-4437; Reel 6, pp. 4438-4800
box 7: Reel 6, pp. 4801-5346; Reel 7, pp. 5347-5600
box 8: Reel 7, pp. 5601- 6321; Reel 8, pp. 6322-6400
box 9: Reel 8, pp. 6401-7200
box 10: Reel 8, pp. 7201-7208; Reel 9, pp. 7209-7558
box 11: Reel 10, Letter to the Secretary of War to Appendix C, Plates 1-37
folder 1: Letter to Secretary of War
folder 2: Diary and Miscellaneous Notes, Exhibit 2
folder 3: "The Upper Colorado River and Its Utilization," Exhibit 65
folder 4: Treaty with the Navajo Indians, Exhibit 71
folder 5: United States Geographical Surveys, Exhibit 73
folder 6: "Report of Special Survey and Examination of the Green and Colorado Rivers," Exhibit 75
folder 7: "Rapids, Rapid Water, and Quiet Water, Colorado, Green, and San Juan Rivers," Exhibit 80
folder 8: "Characteristics of Colorado, Green, and San Juan Rivers: Current Meter Discharge Measurements," Exhibit 82
folder 9: "Profile Tables, Colorado, Green, and San Juan Rivers," Exhibit 83
folder 10: "Comparison of the Slopes of Colorado, Green, and San Juan with other Rivers," Exhibit 84
folder 11: "Brief Description of Colorado, Green, San Juan Rivers and Tributaries," Exhibit 85
folder 12: "Stream Flow Characteristics Base Gaging Stations," Exhibit 88
folder 13: Exhibits 137 and 507
folder 14: Miscellaneous Notes and Documents
folder 15: Index of Witnesses and Exhibits; Complete List of Complainant's Exhibits
folder 16: Appendix C, Plates 1 to 37, Accompany Report on Special Survey and Examination of Green and Colorado Rivers
box 12: Reel 10, The Times Independent , 17 September 1925; Reel 11, The Times Independent , 17 September 1925 to No. 14 Original, vol. 1, p. 748
folder 1-3: Colorado River News Items, Moab, Utah Paper, 1896-1927, Exhibit 460
folder 4: "The Colorado River Plateau"
folder 5-6: Appendix A, Photographs #1 to #13 and Plate #1 to Report of Special Survey and Examination of Green and Colorado Rivers
folder 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
box 13: Reel 11, No. 14 Original, vol. 2, pp. 749-1005; Reel 12, No. 14 Original, vol. 2, p. 1006 to Defendant's Expectations
folder 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
folder 5: No. 14 Original, Brief for the United States of America (1930)
folder 6: No. 15 Original, Brief of Defendant, the State of Utah (1929)
folder 7: No. 15 Original, Brief of the United States (1929)
folder 8: No. 14 Original, The United States of America, Complainant vs the State of Utah (1931)
folder 9: No. 14 Original, Defendant's Expectations to the Report of the Special Master (1930)
Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-
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 Description +/-
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.
Collection Use +/-
Restrictions on Access:
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.
Restrictions on Use:
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.
Permission to publish material from the Colorado riverbed case records must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator.
Initial Citation: Colorado riverbed case records, Accn 1702, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Following Citations:Accn 1702.
Administrative Information +/-
Arranged to the folder level.
Gift of John Weisheit in 1997.
Donated by John Weisheit in 1997.
Processed by Heather Harkness and John Weisheit from 1997-1999.
Collection materials are in English.
6.25 linear feet
Language of the Finding Aid:
Finding aid encoded in English in Latin script.
Author of the Finding Aid:
Finding aid created by Heather Harkness and John Weisheit
EAD Creation Date: