Loss of Romance of the Trail

And partly what Burton saw along the trail reflected the change that had come in the trail itself. By 1860 much of the romance had gone out of an overland crossing, along with much of the uncertainty and danger. The human race had begun already to pollute its new environment; frontier naturalness and health and freedom had begun already to give way to the second stage of settlement, which is generally merely backward, dirty, and deprived. The Saints who stuck with the Gathering, and lived in tight Saintly communities in one of the valleys of Zion, had a much better chance to retain or to develop the qualities that Richard Burton would have thought civilized than those who “went Gentile” out along the trail.