September 17, 1863: Genesee
We stopped here three days, examining the region, looking at some copper mines just found here, and collecting fossils….
We camped on the ranch of a Mr. Gifford. I found that he was from Aurora, New York, and knew many of my old acquaintances, and we revived old memories by spending an evening talking about them….One meets here people apparently out of their station. I met a Mr. Wilson—evidently a man of intelligence—dressed in dirty duck pants, dirty gray shirt, with shoes and hat to match. Yet he was once in the navy, a graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, was on General Somebody’s staff, had spent three years in the Mediterranean, had seen much of the world, had resigned and had gone into railroad making. He became rich, but lost all in unfortunate speculation, and is now here, in this out-of-the-way place, among uncongenial companions, away from family and old associations, prospecting for copper and hoping to retrieve his fallen fortunes.
We were here four nights, and each night it froze—the temperatures were 27°, 27°, 21°, and 22°.