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Westward Mountain Man

It wasn’t until I had read “Wagons West, Nevada!” that I finally came to realize what the lure of Nevada could have been back in the old west days. When I saw Nevada for my first time two years ago, all I saw was blackish mountain ranges, sometimes snow-covered mountains, sagebrush and rocks. At that time, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the allure of settling in Nevada – what attracted the likes of Kit Carson, anyway?  Did they really have to pull wagons over sagebrush/rock covered mountains for mile upon mile? Why did they do that?

It was the great gold and silver hunt to fund the Civil War, of course. Well, I have never felt so lacking in my knowledge of American history as I did at that revelation. There was so much gold and silver in Virginny City and the Comstock Lode that Abraham Lincoln granted statehood to Nevada despite the fact that there were not enough residents in Nevada to merit it. When the silver ore was found, it was worth over $2,000 a ton – 1859 prices – so it’s not at ll surprising that President Lincoln wanted Nevada to join the Union.

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