Bayard Taylor commented on the prevalence of disease among the miners he saw in San Francisco.
number of men who had landed only a few months before, in the fullness
of hale and lusty manhood, were walking about nearly as shrunken and
bloodless as the corpses they would soon become." And of one in
particular, "He was sitting alone on a stone beside the water, his bare
feet purple with cold on the cold, wet sand . .. He seemed unconscious
of all that was passing; his long matted hair hung over his wasted
face; his eyes glared steadily forward, with an expression of suffering
so utterly hopeless and wild, that I shuddered at seeing it."