Excerpt from Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 35: June to November, 1867
Over the hills as far as the eye can reach, and up and down the valleys, stand the lonely stamp-mills, with their high iron chimneys tied up with iron strings, from only a few of which could smoke be seen to issue. N ow and then from one here, and another there, came a dull heavy sound, like the falling of a huge weight on some solid body, showing that some of the stamps were in motion, though most of them were silent as the tomb; no smoke, no sound, and no living thing seen about the innumerable mining tenements.
At first I was greatly puzzled at what I saw about me in every direction. If the gold mines were really rich as report declared, why were they not extensively worked? If not rich, why were they not abandoned entirely? And why, after years of experimenting with other ma chinery, were the old stamp-mills apparently coming into use again To comprehend this I had to look back through the insane mining fever through which the country had passed, and see how the Eastern people, without any exercise of their brains, madly and foolishly rushed into mining speculations, often purchas ing Without the least examination any thing that was offered them called a gold mine in Colorado. And as soon as the purchases were made they would form a Joint Stock Company with a capital of a million or more dollars, and a small working capital, purchase steam-boilers.
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