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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.

十九世紀中期,奴隸制的存廢問題使美國南北雙方繼續走向分裂。北方人警告說,他們絕對不允許奴隸制的進一步擴張。南方人則威脅要退出聯邦,除非南方的權利能夠得到保障。

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,在美國大西部,這一激烈的爭論似乎并不存在,因為那里的土地和氣候都不適合使用奴隸的農耕活動,所以美國西部根本就沒有奴隸。

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.

美國西部迅速崛起。十年前金礦的發現,吸引成千上萬的淘金者到加州定居。新的金礦和銀礦還把人們引向了科羅拉多、亞利桑那和內華達。

"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."

紐約論壇報警告說,“如果你有工作或是有農場,就千萬不要去西部。如果你二者都沒有,但是能找到50美元的話,就到科羅拉多去吧!”

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,美國因為一年前嚴重的經濟衰退,既沒有工作、又沒有農場的人比比皆是,工作很難找,很多人因此決定離開東部的大城市。

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.

第一批達到科羅拉多的人傳話回來說,黃金遍地都是,只要你吃苦耐勞,一天就能找到相當于5到10美元的金子,有時候還更多。

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.

聞訊趕來的人很快發現,金子并沒有想象的那么多。從山上流下來的溪流里越來越難找到金子,要想淘金,必須上山采石,而且需要大型挖掘機。這樣的機器價格很昂貴,一般人買不起。

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.

在這種情況下,一些采礦的人自發組織起來,聯合成立公司,從東部的大銀行貸款,或是讓公司上市集資。短短幾年后,科羅拉多開采出來的金礦就幾乎全部來自采礦公司了。

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來,種地或是開店。另外一些人繼續西進,到內華達和加州去找金子。一些人砍伐樹木,販賣木材,俄勒岡和華盛頓地區的木材不僅賣到了加州和墨西哥,甚至還遠銷中國和夏威夷。

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.

有些人因此意識到了交通系統的重要性。當時的工程師們策劃了四條鐵路線,但是南、北雙方領導人在先修哪條鐵路的問題上無法達成共識。鐵路建成前,物資的運輸完全依靠馬車和牛車。

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,拉塞爾、梅杰斯和沃德爾三個人聯合成立了一家運輸公司,專門將政府物資運送給西部的士兵。公司成立之初,只有500輛車,三年后,猛增到3千5百輛車和4萬頭牛。

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世紀50年代,往西部寄信非常麻煩。郵船每個月兩次將信件經海路送往舊金山,馬車每個月一次從密蘇里的圣路易斯將信件送往加州。

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.

聯邦政府決定,每星期要經陸路往加州送兩次信,并把這項工作交給了一家叫“陸路郵遞”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.

信件經火車或船只送往圣路易斯,然后被裝上陸路郵遞公司由四匹馬或六匹馬拉的馬車。馬車沿著一條4千公里長的南方路線,穿過阿肯色、德克薩斯、新墨西哥和亞利桑那,最后抵達加州的洛杉磯,全程歷時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.

其實,這并不是最直接的路線。當時的郵政總局局長布朗是南方人。他認為,馬車的郵遞路線最終會發展成為鐵路線。他希望看到一條通往加州的南方鐵路線。布朗說,南方鐵路線是唯一一條一年四季隨時可以運營的路線,其它路線都會因為冬季的風雪而中斷服務。

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.

陸路郵遞公司的馬車可以帶四名乘客,但是沒有多少人長途跋涉坐馬車去加州。這些馬車在一個地方不會停留很久,一般就是更換一下馬匹和駕車的人。沿途吃飯的地方也不多,而且經常有不友好的印第安人出沒,非常危險。

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.

其實,從密蘇里到加州最近的路線是橫穿美國中部。拉塞爾、梅杰斯和沃德爾公司決定,要證明這條路線也可以全年運營,于是啟動了一個郵件快遞服務,取名“小馬快遞”。

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.

“小馬快遞”的郵遞員快馬遞送郵件,沿途每24公里設有驛站。郵遞員每到一個驛站就要更換馬匹,每120公里換下一個郵遞員,往返于加州和密蘇里之間,“小馬快遞”遞送的第一批郵件從加州到密蘇里只用了10天。

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

“小馬快遞”服務只持續了18個月,因為通往舊金山的電報線開通了。

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.

隨著交通和通訊系統的改善,政府也在不斷加強對西部地區的控制,這引起了摩門教徒的反感。

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.

摩門教是由一個叫約瑟夫•史密斯的新英格蘭年輕人創辦的。1823年,年僅18歲的史密斯聲稱,一個天使告訴他,有一本金色的書,里面記載了上帝對美洲人祖先的教誨。史密斯說,他閱讀并把書中奇怪的文字翻譯成英語,就是《摩門經》。

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.

史密斯建立教會,自己做教會領袖,很多人加入了摩門教。摩門教徒相信,自己是上帝挑選的特殊群體,他們工作努力,互相幫助。

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.

不贊成摩門教理念的人不喜歡摩門教徒。面對日益加深的矛盾,約瑟夫•史密斯最終只好率領自己的追隨者從紐約搬到俄亥俄,然后又搬到密蘇里。

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.

摩門教徒以為終于在伊利諾伊找到了自己的家。他們興建了自己的城鎮諾伍,自己管理自己,建立自己的保安部隊。在摩門教徒的努力下,諾伍很快就成為了伊利諾伊發展最快的城市。

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,史密斯聲稱從上帝那里得到了新的指示,允許摩門教徒實行一夫多妻制。這遭到了幾乎所有人的反對,最終導致了摩門教的分裂。

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.

一些分裂出去的摩門教徒發行了一份報紙,批評史密斯和其它摩門教領袖。史密斯下令自己的追隨者搗毀報社的印刷設備,結果引起了非摩門教徒的抗議示威,要求嚴懲史密斯。史密斯和他的兄弟被雙雙投入監獄。憤怒的暴民沖擊監獄,開槍打死了史密斯兄弟倆人。

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.

伊利諾伊州長勒令摩門教徒離開伊利諾伊州。他表示,只有這樣做才能避免暴力沖突的進一步升級。摩門教徒沒有辦法,只好離開伊利諾伊。

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.

摩門教徒推選楊伯翰擔任新領導人。楊伯翰決定率眾西行,尋找新的落腳處。他希望找到一個安全的地方,不會有人干涉他們的宗教信仰。

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.

楊伯翰告訴摩門教徒說,他做了一個夢,夢見了他們的新家。他說,他們要往西走,尋找一個寬廣而美麗的峽谷,他看見了就會知道。

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.666321.live. 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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