[from Alta Letter 34]
    Williamsburgh, Canaan, (Ain-Mellahah,) September, 1867.

[Palestine vs America]

It almost warrants the unbiblical enthusiasm of the spies of that rabble of filibusters who captured Dan. They said: "We have seen the land, and behold it is very good....A place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth."

Well, I suppose they were pardonable. They hadn't seen any country but Palestine, and surely this was very good for Palestine. They thought that little patch was plenty for their six hundred men and their families. They do say that in the good old Bible times Palestine had a population of six million souls--Palestine, the promised land, a small strip of rocks and deserts and mountains, not equal in [area] to the State of Massachusetts, (which one cannot always see on the map of the United States without shutting one eye, Mrs. A.J.M.)--Palestine, where every hundred acres of arable land is protected by three mountains on each side and a desert at each end to keep it from bolting for want of company. I supppose Dutch Flat struck the filibustering spies as something extraordinary in the way of wide-extended fertility. At the same time, though, they drew it just a little strong when they said it was "a place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth." That was a little strong. A good deal of the north end of the farm had the boulders of original creation bedded in the soil as thick as nail-heads in a hair trunk, and they are there yet. Other portions of the farm lacked many things that are in the earth, and likewise lacked the capacity to produce those things. Still, it was a good piece of country for Palestine.

[Daily Alta California, 5 January 1868]

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