Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/386

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During this voyage he twice mentions in his diary, with evident satisfaction,—"great rest."

Owing to some mismanagement, his tour in California was not successful. The lectures had not been advertised, and his audiences were small in San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento. From Sacramento he took train for Portland, Ore. He delivered only two lectures on his return trip, one at Tacoma, March 28, and another at Butte City, on the 30th, repeating his first successes, and going home full of admiration for the natural resources and enterprising population of the great Northwest. He had accomplished the chief object of his visit, that of seeing for himself the great possibilities of a region toward which he hoped to divert the stream of Irish-American emigration. He saw how the energetic and honest men of his race, starting with no capital but their native "bone and sinew and brain," had prospered beyond their wildest dreams in the new, fair land, whose balmy climate resembled that of their birthplace. The same men, left stranded amid the poverty and temptations of an Eastern city, might have remained poor and hopeless to the end, for lack of the opportunity which was so easily found in the new Western States. He never tired of singing the praises of that region, and had intended to make another journey to the Pacific Coast in the following year.

He returned to Boston on April 5. Shortly afterward, in his paper, he wrote of the Northwest, and of the State of Washington in particular:

That matchless country, as large as an empire, and filled with all kinds of natural wealth, contains only about as many people as the City of Boston. It has all the political machinery of a State; but no one there dreams of turning the wheels of political machinery for a living. Men there are all engaged in active and profitable employments. Washington will have two millions of people in fifteen years, and the few hundred thousand who are there now have all they can do to prepare for the coming flood. Unlike California in 1849, this grand State is drawing from a population of seventy millions, and the railroads are already opened for the human freight. It took California forty years