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#86: Search for Gold Drives Settlers to the West

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Welcome to the MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English.

As we reported in our last program, slavery supporters failed to push through Congress a bill to make Kansas a slave state. Congress, instead, let the people of Kansas vote on the statehood constitution written by pro-slavery men. The people rejected the constitution. And slavery supporters gave up the fight for Kansas.

Here are Steve Ember and Bob Doughty to continue the story.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The problem of slavery continued to divide the North and South. Northerners warned that slavery could spread no farther. Southerners threatened to leave the Union unless southern rights were protected.

十九世纪中期,奴隶制的存废问题使美国南北双方继续走向分裂。北方人警告说,他们绝对不允许奴隶制的进一步扩张。南方人则威胁要退出联邦,除非南方的权利能够得到保障。

In the far West, one could forget this bitter dispute. There were no slaves in the West. The land and the weather were not right for the kind of farming that used slaves.

然而,在美国大西部,这一激烈的争论似乎并不存在,因为那里的土地和气候都不适合使用奴隶的农耕活动,所以美国西部根本就没有奴隶。

VOICE TWO:

An engraving of miners in the Gregory area of Colorado in 1859
An engraving of miners in the Gregory area of Colorado in 1859

The west was growing quickly. Gold had brought thousands of settlers to California ten years earlier. New discoveries of gold and silver now were leading men to Colorado, Arizona and Nevada.

美国西部迅速崛起。十年前金矿的发现,吸引成千上万的淘金者到加州定居。新的金矿和银矿还把人们引向了科罗拉多、亚利桑那和内华达。

"Don't go," warned the New York Tribune, "if you have a job or a farm. But if you have neither," it said, "and can get fifty dollars, then go to Colorado."

纽约论坛报警告说,“如果你有工作或是有农场,就千万不要去西部。如果你二者都没有,但是能找到50美元的话,就到科罗拉多去吧!”

There were many men without jobs or farms in the summer of eighteen-fifty-eight. The country had suffered a serious economic depression the year before, and jobs were difficult to find. Thousands left cities in the east.

1858年夏天,美国因为一年前严重的经济衰退,既没有工作、又没有农场的人比比皆是,工作很难找,很多人因此决定离开东部的大城市。

The first ones to reach Colorado reported that gold was easy to find. They said any man who worked hard could find five to ten dollars worth of gold a day, and sometimes even more.

第一批达到科罗拉多的人传话回来说,黄金遍地都是,只要你吃苦耐劳,一天就能找到相当于5到10美元的金子,有时候还更多。

VOICE ONE:

The thousands who rushed to Colorado soon found that there was not as much gold as expected. The valuable metal became harder to find. No longer could it be washed from the bottoms of mountain streams. Men had to dig into the mountains of rock to get it. Huge digging machines and crushers were needed to get the gold from the rock. These machines were expensive. Few men had enough money to buy them.

闻讯赶来的人很快发现,金子并没有想象的那么多。从山上流下来的溪流里越来越难找到金子,要想淘金,必须上山采石,而且需要大型挖掘机。这样的机器价格很昂贵,一般人买不起。

Some of the miners organized companies. They borrowed money from eastern banks or sold shares of their companies. In a few years, almost all of the gold from Colorado came from the mining companies.

在这种情况下,一些采矿的人自发组织起来,联合成立公司,从东部的大银行贷款,或是让公司上市集资。短短几年后,科罗拉多开采出来的金矿就几乎全部来自采矿公司了。

VOICE TWO:

Many of those who went west to search for gold stayed to become farmers or storekeepers. Others moved farther west to find gold in Nevada or California. Some cleared the ground of trees and cut them into wood for houses. Such timber from the forests of Oregon and Washington was sold in California and Mexico, even in China and Hawaii.

到西部去淘金的人很多都留了下来,种地或是开店。另外一些人继续西进,到内华达和加州去找金子。一些人砍伐树木,贩卖木材,俄勒冈和华盛顿地区的木材不仅卖到了加州和墨西哥,甚至还远销中国和夏威夷。

A few men recognized the need for transportation across the nation. Engineers planned four railroads. But northern and southern leaders could not agree on which one to build first. Until a railroad could be built, supplies were carried west in wagons pulled by horses or oxen.

有些人因此意识到了交通系统的重要性。当时的工程师们策划了四条铁路线,但是南、北双方领导人在先修哪条铁路的问题上无法达成共识。铁路建成前,物资的运输完全依靠马车和牛车。

Three men -- Russell, Majors, and Waddell -- formed a transportation company in eighteen fifty-five to carry government supplies to soldiers in the West. They started with five hundred wagons. Three years later, the company had three thousand five hundred wagons and forty thousand oxen.

1855年,拉塞尔、梅杰斯和沃德尔三个人联合成立了一家运输公司,专门将政府物资运送给西部的士兵。公司成立之初,只有500辆车,三年后,猛增到3千5百辆车和4万头牛。

VOICE ONE:

Getting letters to and from the west was not easy in the eighteen fifties. Ships brought mail to San Francisco two times a month. And once each month, mail would arrive in California after a slow trip by wagon from Saint Louis, Missouri.

19世纪50年代,往西部寄信非常麻烦。邮船每个月两次将信件经海路送往旧金山,马车每个月一次从密苏里的圣路易斯将信件送往加州。

The federal government decided to send mail overland two times a week to California. It gave the job of carrying the letters to a new company -- the Overland Mail Company.

联邦政府决定,每星期要经陆路往加州送两次信,并把这项工作交给了一家叫“陆路邮递”的新公司。

The mail was carried by train or boat to St. Louis. Then it was put on overland company stage coaches -- light wagons pulled by four or six horses. The company was told to take the mail along a four-thousand-kilometer southern route through Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The mail arrived in Los Angeles twenty-four days after it left St. Louis.

信件经火车或船只送往圣路易斯,然后被装上陆路邮递公司由四匹马或六匹马拉的马车。马车沿着一条4千公里长的南方路线,穿过阿肯色、德克萨斯、新墨西哥和亚利桑那,最后抵达加州的洛杉矶,全程历时24天。

VOICE TWO:

There was a shorter way across the country. But the postal chief was a southerner, A. V. Brown. He believed stage coach travel might lead the way for a railroad. And he wanted a southern railroad to California. Brown said the southern route was the only one that could be kept open in all seasons. He said the other routes would be closed by snow in winter.

其实,这并不是最直接的路线。当时的邮政总局局长布朗是南方人。他认为,马车的邮递路线最终会发展成为铁路线。他希望看到一条通往加州的南方铁路线。布朗说,南方铁路线是唯一一条一年四季随时可以运营的路线,其它路线都会因为冬季的风雪而中断服务。

The overland stage coaches were large enough to carry four passengers. But not many people went to California in the coaches. The coaches never stopped for very long -- only to change horses or drivers. And there were not many places to eat. Also, the trip was dangerous, because of hostile Indians.

陆路邮递公司的马车可以带四名乘客,但是没有多少人长途跋涉坐马车去加州。这些马车在一个地方不会停留很久,一般就是更换一下马匹和驾车的人。沿途吃饭的地方也不多,而且经常有不友好的印第安人出没,非常危险。

VOICE ONE:

An announcement seeking riders for the Pony Express
An announcement seeking riders for the Pony Express

The shortest distance between Missouri and California was across the central part of the country. The Russell, Majors and Waddell Company decided to show that this central route could be used all year. It began a speedy mail service called the Pony Express.

其实,从密苏里到加州最近的路线是横穿美国中部。拉塞尔、梅杰斯和沃德尔公司决定,要证明这条路线也可以全年运营,于是启动了一个邮件快递服务,取名“小马快递”。

Letters were carried by riders on fast horses. Stations with fresh horses were built about twenty-four kilometers apart, all along the way. A rider would change horses at each station until he had traveled one hundred twenty kilometers. Then he would give his letters to another rider. In this way, the letters would be carried between California and Missouri. The first letters sent by Pony Express from California took ten days to reach Missouri.

“小马快递”的邮递员快马递送邮件,沿途每24公里设有驿站。邮递员每到一个驿站就要更换马匹,每120公里换下一个邮递员,往返于加州和密苏里之间,“小马快递”递送的第一批邮件从加州到密苏里只用了10天。

The Pony Express lasted only eighteen months. It was no longer needed after a telegraph line was completed to San Francisco.

“小马快递”服务只持续了18个月,因为通往旧金山的电报线开通了。

VOICE TWO:

As communications and transportation improved, the government was able to increase its control over the West. But closer ties were not welcomed between the government and a religious group known as the Mormons.

随着交通和通讯系统的改善,政府也在不断加强对西部地区的控制,这引起了摩门教徒的反感。

Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith

The Mormon religion was started by a young New England man named Joseph Smith. In eighteen-twenty-three, at the age of eighteen, Smith claimed that an Angel told him of a golden book. He said the book contained God's words to the ancient people of America. Smith said he was able to read the strange writing in this book and put it into English. He called this work the Book of Mormon.

摩门教是由一个叫约瑟夫•史密斯的新英格兰年轻人创办的。1823年,年仅18岁的史密斯声称,一个天使告诉他,有一本金色的书,里面记载了上帝对美洲人祖先的教诲。史密斯说,他阅读并把书中奇怪的文字翻译成钱柜娱乐qg999,就是《摩门经》。

VOICE ONE:

He organized a church and made himself its leader. Many people became Mormons. They believed themselves to be a special people chosen by God. Mormons worked hard. They helped each other and shared with those in need.

史密斯建立教会,自己做教会领袖,很多人加入了摩门教。摩门教徒相信,自己是上帝挑选的特殊群体,他们工作努力,互相帮助。

People who did not agree with the beliefs of the Mormons did not like them. Trouble developed between Mormons and other people. Joseph Smith was forced to move his people from New York to Ohio and then to Missouri.

不赞成摩门教理念的人不喜欢摩门教徒。面对日益加深的矛盾,约瑟夫•史密斯最终只好率领自己的追随者从纽约搬到俄亥俄,然后又搬到密苏里。

The Mormons seemed finally to have found a home in Illinois. They built their own town and called it Nauvoo. They governed themselves and had their own defense force. The Mormons did so well that Nauvoo became the fastest-growing city in Illinois.

摩门教徒以为终于在伊利诺伊找到了自己的家。他们兴建了自己的城镇诺伍,自己管理自己,建立自己的保安部队。在摩门教徒的努力下,诺伍很快就成为了伊利诺伊发展最快的城市。

Then some members of the group split apart, because of a new message Smith claimed to have received from God. Smith said God gave permission for Mormons to have more than one wife. This was polygamy. And it was opposed by almost all people.

然而,史密斯声称从上帝那里得到了新的指示,允许摩门教徒实行一夫多妻制。这遭到了几乎所有人的反对,最终导致了摩门教的分裂。

Some of the Mormons who left the church published a newspaper criticizing Smith and the other Mormon leaders. Followers ordered by Smith destroyed the newspaper's publishing equipment. This caused non-Mormons to demonstrate and demand that Smith be punished. Smith was arrested and put in jail in Carthage, Illinois. His brother also was arrested. An angry mob attacked the jail and shot both Smith and his brother to death.

一些分裂出去的摩门教徒发行了一份报纸,批评史密斯和其它摩门教领袖。史密斯下令自己的追随者捣毁报社的印刷设备,结果引起了非摩门教徒的抗议示威,要求严惩史密斯。史密斯和他的兄弟被双双投入监狱。愤怒的暴民冲击监狱,开枪打死了史密斯兄弟俩人。

Brigham Young
Brigham Young

The governor of Illinois ordered the Mormons to leave his state. He said only this would prevent further violence. There was no choice. They had to leave.

伊利诺伊州长勒令摩门教徒离开伊利诺伊州。他表示,只有这样做才能避免暴力冲突的进一步升级。摩门教徒没有办法,只好离开伊利诺伊。

The Mormons had a new leader: Brigham Young. Young decided to take his people west and find a new home for them. He wanted a place where they would be safe -- where no one could interfere with their religion.

摩门教徒推选杨伯翰担任新领导人。杨伯翰决定率众西行,寻找新的落脚处。他希望找到一个安全的地方,不会有人干涉他们的宗教信仰。

Brigham Young told his people that he had seen their new home in a dream. He said they would search for it in the West, for a wide beautiful valley. He said he would recognize it when he saw it.

杨伯翰告诉摩门教徒说,他做了一个梦,梦见了他们的新家。他说,他们要往西走,寻找一个宽广而美丽的峡谷,他看见了就会知道。

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Steve Ember and Bob Doughty. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs are online, along with historical images, at www.unsv.com. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION - an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #86 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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