Excerpt from Autobiography of Isaac Jones Wistar, 1827-1905, Vol. 2 of 2
The more vigorous of the emigrants were scattering out into the mountains with their teams; and the present site of the city, or at least the lower part of it down on the ¿ats, contained a residuum of th... e unfortunate, the sick, idle and lazy, many of whom were anxious to sell their cattle at any price to get money enough for a return passage by the stage-line, recently established. I soon saw that I had brought machinery to that population about a year too soon. No doubt there would be demand enough in time, but affairs absolutely required my presence in Philadelphia, the coming winter and I concluded to sell for what I could get,uo matter at what loss, and use the proceeds as well as some bank drafts which I had brought with me, to purchase emigrant cattle. This happy thought repaid all my losses and ultimately yielded large profit. I bought the cattle for from $10 to $15 a yoke, choosing those least run down, as far as practicable, and retaining one wagon, hired returning adventurers at low wages, and started back driving very slowly and carefully, selecting each camping ground, frequently several days in advance. On this trip we saw no buffalo, though passing over ground which ten years previously had been darkened as far as the eye could reach, with their far spreading masses. Now, not even a single one came in sight of the road. The deer and elk hunting in the Platte bluffs, was however about as good as in 1849, and these animals with antelope, and nearer the settlements, turkey and grouse, kept the camp pretty well supplied with meat. On many days the cattle were not moved more than a mile or two, and as much time was afforded for hunting and fishing as though it was merely a sporting trip.
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