An Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco in the Summer of 1859

By Horace Greeley | Go to book overview

XXX.
CALIFORNIA PHYSICALLY CONSIDERED.

SAN JOSE, Cal., Aug. 27, 1859.

THE state of California may be roughly characterized as two ranges of mountains--a large and a small one-- with a great valley between them, and a narrow, irregular counterpart separating the smaller from the Pacific ocean. If we add to these a small strip of arid, but fertile coast, and a broad sandy desert behind it, lying south-west of California proper, and likely one day to be politically severed from it, we have a sufficiently accurate outline of the topography of the golden state.

Such a region, stretching from north latitude 32° 30' up to latitude 42°, and rising from the Pacific ocean up to perpetually snow-covered peaks fifteen thousand feet high, can hardly be said to have a climate. Aside from the Alpine crests of the Sierra, and the sultry deserts below the Mohave and Santa Barbara, California embodies almost every gradation of climate, from the semiarctic to the semi-tropical. There are green, fertile valveys in the Sierra which only begin to be well grassed when the herbage of the great valley is drying up, and from which the cattle are driven by snows as early as the first of October--long before grass begins to start afresh on the banks of the Sacramento. There are other valleys upon and near the sea-coast, wherein frost and

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An Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco in the Summer of 1859
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents xv
  • Preface xvii
  • I. from New York to Kansas. 7
  • Ii. Notes on Kansas. 20
  • Iii. More Notes on Kansas. 35
  • Iv. More of Kansas. 50
  • V. Summing Up on Kansas. 61
  • Vi. on the Plains. 71
  • Vii. the Home of the Buffalo. 80
  • Viii. Last of the Buffalo. 86
  • Ix. the American Desert. 98
  • X Good-Bye to the Desert. 107
  • Xi. the Kansas Gold-Diggings. 115
  • Xii. the Plains--The Mountains. 128
  • Xiii. the Gold in the Rocky Mountains. 139
  • Xiv. "Lo! the Poor Indian!" 149
  • Xv. Western Characters. 157
  • Xvi. from Denver to Laramie. 166
  • Xviii. Laramie to South Pass. 182
  • Xviii. South Pass to Bridger. 190
  • Xix. from Bridger to Salt Lake. 198
  • Xxi. Two Hours with Brigham Young. 209
  • Xxii. the Mormons and Mormonism. 219
  • Xxiii. Salt Lake, and Its Environs. 230
  • Xxiv. the Army in Utah. 245
  • Xxv. Rom Salt Lake to Carson Valley. 258
  • Xxvi. Carson Valley--The Sierra Nevada. 275
  • 1xxvii. California Mines and Mining. 283
  • Xxviii. California--The Yosemite. 295
  • Xxix. California--The Big Trees. 310
  • Xxx. California Physically Considered. 322
  • Xxxi. California-Her Resources. 334
  • Xxxii. California-Summing Up. 344
  • Xxxii. California---Final Gleanings. 361
  • Xxxiv a Railroad to the Pacific. 368
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