From At Home and Abroad
By Bayard Taylor
New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1862

In the outskirts of the village were encamped companies of newly-arrived emigrants, among their shattered wagons and their weary cattle, and we met numbers of others on the way. From Luther's Pass at the head of the Carson Valley, a trail turns southward, crosses the Sierra, and passing down the ridge above Silver Valley to the Big Trees, forms the most direct road from Carson River to the Southern mines. These emigrants were now at the end of their toil and sufferings; but, instead of appearing rejoiced at the deliverance, their faces wore a hard and stern expression, with something of Indian shyness. The women, as if conscious that their sun-browned faces and their uncombed hair were not particularly beautiful, generally turned their heads away as we passed. Dirty, dilapidated, and frowsy as many of them were, they all wore hoops! Yes, even seated in the wagons, on the way, their dusty calicoes were projected out over the whiffle-trees by the battered and angular rims of what had once been circles! It was an exhibition of sacrifice to fashion, too melancholy for laughter.

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