The "Father of Interstate River Compacts," Delph E. Carpenter (1877-1951) served the state of Colorado as a lawyer, state senator, and river commissioner. He negotiated the Colorado River Compact, among others, following service as lead counsel in the Wyoming v. Colorado suit 259 U.S. 419 (1922). The archival collection documents Carpenter’s professional activities, as well as his personal life and family. The archival collection includes correspondence, minutes, legal briefs, financial papers, reports, publications, speeches, diaries, clippings, photographs, maps, certificates, scrapbooks, and artifacts. For more information see the finding aid,

This digital collection, with materials dated 1861 to 2005, includes professional correspondence, documents concerning river compacts and water legislation, diaries, speeches, reports, glass plate negatives, maps, audio recordings, and Carpenter family artifacts, photographs, records, and newspaper clippings. Carpenter’s Colorado River Compact documents are of particular interest.

Recent Submissions

  • Preliminary report: Gotthelf Interception Ditch System and Gotthelf Highline Canal from Saguache Creek 

    Author(s):Meeker, R. I. (Ralph Inman), 1878-
    Ralph Inman Meeker's preliminary report of the Gotthelf Interception Ditch System and Gotthelf Highline Canal from Saguache Creek discusses the history, changes, technical details, and results of surveys performed in 1921 ...
  • Greeley-Poudre Irrigation District 

    Author(s):Tew, Charles F.; Carpenter, Delph
    Letter from Charles F. Tew and Delph Carpenter to the Honorable J. C. Gunter answering questions about the Laramie-Poudre Tunnel, the Greeley-Poudre Irrigation District, and the completion of a map showing the Laramie River ...
  • Colorado State Water Users Protective Association 

    Author(s):Sabin, Fred A.; Pointer, Vena; Carpenter, Delph
    Correspondence between Delph Carpenter, Fred A. Sabin, and Vena Pointer regarding potential legislation and various meetings concerning Colorado's watersheds
  • Colorado Water Users Association, folder 1 of 2 

    Author(s):Carpenter, Delph
    Delph Carpenter's correspondence with R. G. Hosea, Lyman E. Bishop, H. G. Clark, A. H. Cutler, and others and financial transactions directed to Carpenter for the Colorado Water Users Association of the South Platte and ...
  • Colorado Water Users Association, folder 2 of 2 

    Author(s):Carpenter, Delph
    Delph Carpenter's correspondence with R. G. Hosea, Lyman E. Bishop, Charles A. Lory, A. H. Cutler, and others for the Colorado Water Users Association of the South Platte and Its Tributaries concerning The Western Irrigation ...
  • Service as commissioner 

    Author(s):Carpenter, Delph
    Letter from Delph Carpenter to Senator Charles Colwell regarding payment for services
  • South Platte River 

    Author(s):McCune, Addison J.
    Letter from Colorado state engineer Addison J. McCune to George A. Jones regarding the South Platte River and the beginning of compact discussions
  • Rio Grande -- "S. 1501" 

    Author(s):Carpenter, Delph
    Correspondence between Delph Carpenter and various state and federal government officials regarding S. 1501, the bill for approval of the Rio Grande Compact
  • Service as commissioner 

    Author(s):Carpenter, Delph
    Letter from Delph Carpenter to Colorado Governor William Adams regarding compensation for services
  • Hoover, Herbert 

    Author(s):Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964; Carpenter, Delph
    Herbert Hoover's congratulations to Delph Carpenter for the Colorado River Compact and Carpenter's thanks. Later letters include Carpenter's request that Hoover "act in a paternal capacity" while Carpenter's son Donald A. ...
  • Davis, Stephen B. 

    Author(s):Davis, Stephen B. (Stephen Brooks), 1874-1933
    Letter from Secretary of Commerce Steven B. Davis to Delph Carpenter in which Davis encloses a check and provides his new address in New York City
  • Federal Land Bank of Wichita 

    Author(s):Carpenter, Delph; Federal Land Bank of Wichita
    Documents and letters regarding purchasing land through the Federal Land Bank of Wichita
  • Stone, Clifford 

    Author(s):Stone, Clifford H., 1888-
    Letter from Clifford Stone enclosing his January 8, 1940, address to the Denver Bar Association entitled, "Federal v. State Control of Water Resources" and Delph Carpenter's reply urging Stone to publish the speech
  • Legal, miscellaneous 

    Author(s):Carpenter, Delph; American Society of Civil Engineers
    Correspondence collected by Delph Carpenter concerning legal matters, such as miscellaneous cases with which Carpenter was associated, payment of bills, the American Society of Civil Engineers Special Committee on a National ...
  • Wyoming vs. Colorado 

    Author(s):Carpenter, Delph; Brooks, Franklin E.; Wright, Fred R.
    Letter from Fred R. Wright to Delph Carpenter regarding two briefs of defendants (Colorado) upon demurrer, and correspondence between Carpenter and Franklin E. Brooks concerning whether an 1898 decision in U.S. Freehold ...
  • Cahill, Luke 

    Author(s):Cahill, Luke; Buffalo Bill, 1846-1917
    Letter from National Indian War Veterans National Commander Luke Cahill to Colorado State Senator Delph Carpenter which introduces an accompanying December 3, 1918, letter written in pencil by Cahill to U.S. Senator John ...
  • Rio Grande 

    Author(s):Carpenter, Delph
    Correspondence between Delph Carpenter and others regarding the Rio Grande and applications for the Vega-Sylvester Reservoir and the Conejos Reservoir in particular. Main correspondents are Ralph Carr, Pearce Rodey, New ...
  • Department of the Interior press releases 

    Author(s):United States. Department of the Interior; Weeks, John W. (John Wingate), 1860-1926; Work, Hubert, 1860-1942; Wallace, Henry Cantwell, 1866-1924
    Two memoranda for the press and a letter to Chairman of the House Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation Addison T. Smith concerning proposed legislation for reclamation projects on the Colorado River, including the Boulder ...
  • Diamond Creek 

    Author(s):Carpenter, Delph
    Documents, a copy of bill H.R. 2903, letters, and notes regarding James B. Girand's application for a potential power project at Diamond Creek on the Colorado River
  • DEC statement 

    Author(s):Carpenter, Delph
    Statement by Delph Carpenter, read by Colorado Attorney General William L. Boatright, asking Congress to abstain from authorizing construction of large water projects on the Colorado River until the lower basin states ...

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