Eldorado; Or, Adventures in the Path of Empire
The Eldorado that Bayard Taylor imagined in his youthful poetry was not half so fabulous as the California he finally saw in the historical year of ... Show synopsis The Eldorado that Bayard Taylor imagined in his youthful poetry was not half so fabulous as the California he finally saw in the historical year of 1849. He joined the flood of Forty-niners, not as a fortune-seeker but as a journalist, sailing from New York on a crowded steamer. The sight of San Francisco dazzled him: the simmering mountains and water and air, the few hundred houses that seemed to multiply before his very eyes, and the streets teeming with people "of a diverse and bizarre character." Real estate was booming, and fortunes were being made, lost, and remade in two months. Before Taylor returned to New York via Mexico in 1850 he would tour the missions, mining camps, and scattered ranches farther inland; note the agricultural potential of the valleys; and talk with the overland emigrants. Taking the feverish pulse of a pitched-together society, he would, like everyone else, be changed by California.