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“People are arriving and departing daily and hourly. I have no doubt 400 people have already arrived from Oregon. They usually camp for a day or so near us, look about, swear at the high prices and disappear in the grand vortex.…It is impossible to get at anything like truth, but that the amount of gold in these mountains exceeds any previous calculation I have no doubt.…”

Letter from Lieutenant William Tecumseh Sherman, near Sutter’s Fort, October, 1848 .