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Gold Rush 1
The Gold Rush
Gold Rush 2
The Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush is among the most significant event that occurred in the earlier
years in the 19th century. Discovery of the gold nuggets during early 1848 in the Sacramento
Valley was what sparked the event. This occurrence in history shaped the country's history in the
first parts of the 19th century. When news spread concerning the discovery, droves of people
traveled through land and sea to San Francisco and neighboring areas. At the end of 1849, the
foreign population in the California territory reached 100,000 which was an increase compared
to the original population which was less than 1,000. On the mining side, the precious metal's
worth that got extracted in the region was $2 billion1 .
In 1848, James Marshall who was a carpenter found some gold flakes in American River.
During that time, he was constructing a sawmill alongside the river in the present-day
Sacramento. Marshall was constructing the water-powered sawmill that John Sutter owned.
Sutter was born in Germany but had Swiss citizenship. The discovery got reported in the
newspapers in March. However, it also caused an insignificant stir since many never believed the
account.2 The event that ignited the gold rush was in May in 1948 after a storekeeper, Sam
Brannan, showed a bottle full of gold dust in San Francisco while displaying to the public and
shouting “Gold ..from the American River." The residents then had proof, and the stampede
marching towards the gold fields ensued. The harbor in San Francisco would soon get cluttered
with ships that got deserted by crews. Many workers left their jobs as more people got struck
Holliday, James S. The world rushed in: The California gold rush experience. University of Oklahoma Press, 2015.
Swain, William. "Archives of the west." PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.
Gold Rush 3
with the gold fever. The coastal population got depleted as people headed to the gold fields.
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