Emigration of 1849

“Before the last of the tired emigrants of ’48 had come stumbling into Lassen’s ranch, the gold fever was raging in the East. An era had ended. In the early years of the the trail a few wagons had moved eastward, across the rolling prairie and among the desert sand hills, as lonely as men left swimming in mid-ocean from a sunken ship. But in ’49 the diarists wrote of continuous trains six miles long. In a single year the numbers so increased that for one person who traveled the trail to California in ’48 fifty traveled it in ’49.”

George R. Stewart, The California Trail, p. 217