The diary kept by the young surveyor indicates that there were already many squatters, largely of German origin, along the South Branch of the Potomac. Christopher Gist, a surveyor in the employ of the first Ohio Company (see Ohio Company), which was composed chiefly of Virginians, in1751-1752explored the country along the Ohio river north of the mouth of the Kanawha, and the company sought to have a fourteenth colony established with the name " Vandalia."
As in every western city, particularly those in mining regions whose sites attained speculative values, Denver had grave problems with " squatters " or " landjumpers "in her early years; and there was the usual gambling and outlawry, sometimes extra-legally repressed by vigilantes.
The Silverado Squatters was published in 1883, and also the more important Treasure Island, which made Stevenson for the first time a popular writer.
Extremely well suited for sheep-farming, the natural pastures of the country were quickly parcelled out into huge pastoral crown leases, held by prosperous licensees, the squatters, who in many cases aspired to become a country gentry by turning their leases into freeholds.
For two years after that date a constant stream of squatters with their sheep flowed in from around Sydney and Tasmania to settle in the Port Phillip district, and by 1841 the population of the town had grown to 11,000.
In 1818, however, many citizens were in debt for their lands, and "squatters" invaded the rights of settlers.
In parts of the state it became impossible to get a jury composed of these small squatters to convict anybody for stealing or killing cattle, and so bad did this become that, in 1892, certain cattlemen formed a small army of mounted men and invaded the central part of the state with the avowed intention of killing all the men generally considered to be stock thieves, an episode known as the Johnson County Raid.