Moving West Letters (Life in the West Journal)

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To those back home, I send greetings, to momma, hoping that she gets better, shake papas hand for me and thank him for supporting my stand against slavery. It has been two years since this Civil War ended and it has been extremely hard to find a job. I traveled north to the factories, but they paid you awfully low wages, and I could not support myself on those wages. I then tried my hand at farming but farming it proved to be hard both physically and economically since buying land is so very expensive back home. I am now traveling to California, where they say that you can find gold in the streams if you just go and pick it up. The government is also helping me reach my goal since they are selling land in California for only a fraction of what it is back home. The now deceased president Lincoln also made it possible for me to own land for free. All I have to do is find me a good wife, farm the land for five years, live in it half a year every year, and build a house on it. I am not sure weather I want to reach California or just find another mining spot in the Kansas or Colorado territories. They say that there is gold to be found "everywhere you stick your shovel." These are strong incentives for me to move out west like I did, and many more are also doing so. There is also talk of going to Texas where you can start to cattle ranch, saying there is some good money to be made. They say that the Mexicans are teaching the cowboys to ranch a different type of cow, the Texas longhorn. I was hoping to see some buffalo, and I did, on our short train ride some hunter went hunting. One hunter even boasted having "killed 106 buffalo before breakfast." At the rate that these animals are being slaughtered I am frankly surprised that there is still buffalo out on the trail. Some say that by killing the buffalo we are helping to make room for us settlers, and making those Indians settle down and live a peaceful life. I heard of the Indian battles between the settlers and...
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