EXTENT OF THE GOLD REGION.
ONE thousand steamers are constantly ply-ing up and down the Mississippi and its tri-butaries, averaging from two hundred and fifty to fourteen hundred tons burden. Mr. Catlin, in a late lecture, said that he had crossed and recrossed the great valley of the Mississippi in nearly every latitude, and he could plant in that valley fifty millions of human beings. He describes California as one thousand miles square. He had been over a greater part of the country between the Great Salt Lake, the Sierra Nevada, and the Rocky Mountains ; and said this tract (four hundred miles east and west, and six hundred to eight hundred north and south), he had found, for the great part of the way, to be most beautifully variegated, fine and fertile. In a great part it was watered with fine fresh streams. He believed this tract to be equally rich in gold with that west of the Sierra Ne-vada, where they were now digging; nay, he believed gold would be found and worked with equal success east of the Rocky Mountains. Thirty thousand Mormons, who had been the first diggers in the present gold region, had suddenly left it to go to the Great Salt Lake neighborhood. This meant something. By the last accounts it appeared that they had discovered gold near the lake, still more abun-dant than upon the banks of the Sacramento, at a distance of from four hundred to eight hundred miles up that river. He believed that the three mountain chains of the Sierra Ne-vada, the Rocky Mountains and the Allegha-nies, had all been upraised by some great vol-canic or other subterranean forces, and in being upheaved they broke the crust of white, milky quartz, lying horizontally all over the country, and which experience had shown to be the na-tive bed of gold. The upheaved mountains would shed this quartz and its ores into the valleys on both sides ; and hence the latest accounts from the gold region described them as breaking the lumps of quartz with sledge-hammers and picking out the gold with bowie-knives. The Rocky Mountains must have shed this quartz with its gold deposit to the east as well as the west. He mentioned finding the Camanches, the Kioway, and other tribes of Indians, wearing large lumps of gold as neck ornaments ; and one old Kioway chief told him it was found seven days travel west of his village, and offered, if he would stay, to send his young men with him to the place ; but Mr. Catlin being attacked with a bilious fever, and meeting with a party of dragoons, just then returning, made his way back to New Orleans. The place indicated would be east of the Rocky Mountains. The present gold region had an area not less than that of Great Britain ! and he firmly believed that in six months a tract of not less than a thousand miles square would be found to contain, and would be dug or mined for, gold. He referred to the liberality of the United States Govern-ment, opening the gold region to all the world, on condition of each adventurer paying to it only four per cent. of the gold he got; and expressed his conviction that a distant coun-try like England would benefit more by ob-taining a fair share of the gold in exchange for manufactures, than the country near the "diggins," where rash and wild speculation would prove ruinous to thousands.
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