While looking for the article regarding proper winter wear for traveling to Leadville in 1879, I found several other references to the "Leadville craze" as reported in other Colorado newspapers and picked up in the Denver Daily Tribune, February 4, 1879, edition.
First, from the same article in the Colorado Miner that detailed travel fashion:
The journey to Leadville at this season of the year is not what may properly be denominated a "pleasure trip." Few men would undertake it except with the view of bettering their financial prospects, or because because they have been attacked with what is known as the "Leadville craze," a variety of that feverish excitement which carried thousands into White Pine and made it the liveliest camp in the world for a short time; which filled the Black Hills with thousands who came to their senses and walked out or got out the best they could. But the fact remains that the excitement "catches" hundreds...And, from the Boulder News and Courier:
The tendency of the average American is, like that of sheep, to go in herds. It is only necessary for some bell-wether to strike off at a lively gait in a given direction, to have an immense following who have taken him as their guiding star. How many disappointed and disgusted ones will come away from Leadville, no one is paid to tell or undertakes to chronicle. The number who go and are going is constantly dinned into our ears, but the sequel of their going is never told. Those who "strike it rich" are noisy and jubilant; those who miserably fail and lose what money they took with them, are silent and despairing; so that the record is made up from the former class...True, there's a slight whiff of "sour grapes" about these comments (particularly in the Boulder piece, which goes on to say: "...It is no exaggeration to say that Boulder county contains as much rich ore as any county in the State..."). Still, these are observations of human nature that are true not only for 19th century mineral rushes such as those in aforementioned White Pine and the Black Hills, but for recent booms (i.e., high-tech, business, and real-estate). Remember the stories of the "golden boys and girls" during the dot.com boom or the Wall Street high-flying financiers, for instance? Not much was reported about those who didn't "make it"... at least, when things were going gangbusters.
Next up: A little preview on what I discovered during the writing of Leaden Skies about "the law" in 1880 Leadville and the state of politics during that time...