Date of this Version
When in the early autumn of 1856, from the bluffs near Elkhorn City, my eye first beheld this portion of the great Platte valley, I thought I had never seen so goodly a landscape. For many miles the windings of the Elkhorn and Platte rivers were outlined by a fringe of timber, bounding the valley on either side, while the meanderings of the now classic Rawhide were as distinctly traceable by an occasional tree and clump of bushes. The sight filled me with rapture and made the blood fairly bound in my veins. In all my life I had never seen its like and I never expect to again. Here was this grand, and beautiful, and fertile country, spread out like a map at my feet. And what made it more fascinating was the fact that it was unoccupied except by Indians and wild beasts. What wonder that those who saw this valley then should be seized with a strong desire, as was Moses of old, to go in and possess the land.