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June 19, 1861: San Francisco

June 21, 2011

Six o’clock [this] morning found me in the stage for San Francisco, where I arrived at seven in the evening. The region passed through, especially about fifty miles of the Santa Clara Valley, is the garden of California—a most lovely valley, settled by Americans, with fertile fields and heavy crops, beautiful gardens and thriving villages.

There were the usual accompaniments of a stage ride—various passengers, bristling landlords running out at the stations, dust, dirt, politics, and local news. Professor Whitney had invited me to stay at his house, where I went after taking a bath and buying and putting on clean clothes—a “biled shirt” was a luxury not enjoyed for a long time before.

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