April 13, 1863: Porterville
April 13, 2013
[Today] we left Visalia and came on to Tule River, about thirty miles, still along the plain, here very barren, but the Sierra rose quite near us. We stopped at a little tavern and store, with miserable accommodations, but poor as it was, it was to be our last for near a hundred miles. I spent the evening in reading Les Miserables—a returned miner was reading Shakespeare. I question if the next generation here will care for Shakespeare, or any other author, growing up in ignorance, far from school, church, or other institution of civilization. The Tule River is a small river, easily forded, with wide stretches of barren sand on either side.