“At that time [1849] so demoralizing was the effect of the gold-mines that everybody not in the military service justified desertion, because a soldier, if free, could earn more money in a day than he received per month.  Not only did soldiers and sailors desert, but captains and masters of ships actually abandoned their vessels and cargoes to try their luck at the mines.  Preachers and professors forgot their creeds and took to trade, and even to keeping gambling-houses.” — William Tecumseh Sherman, “Early Recollections of California,” from Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman

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