The California Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush

The Gold Rush is a very big part in American history due to what  happened during the rush. It started with a man named John Sutter wanting to make a sawmill in the new California territory. He hired construction workers to help him with it, but it was John Marshal who saw a few flakes of Gold in the river near the building site in 1848. He told Sutter immediately and they swore secrecy to each other, but soon word got out and even the president, Polk Taylor, announced the finding. But since news traveled so slow back then, gold was found in 1848, but the rush started in 1849. This incited the nickname for the travelers, forty-niners. The journey to California was expensive and dangerous, and most men who embarked on it would leave their families behind. By the end of 1849 California’s population went from 800 in March of 1848 , to 100,000. When collecting gold sifting the first few layers was enough to gather a few nuggets, but soon it became more difficult to find gold, and some men wouldn’t find gold at all. But when the rush was over, an estimated 750,000 pounds of gold was found in California. Though The Gold Rush helped California’s population grow, there are many problems with the Rush that are often overlooked. First, Eastern families were left to fend for themselves, the Native Americans who were in that territory were forced to leave by the settlers, and the migrating Chinese who arrived at the western coast were forced into slavery. But soon after, the areas around the gold fields were developed into responsible cities, and California was later admitted as a state in 1850. In the end, this all started with John Sutter and his wanting to build a sawmill, which was probably never finished anyways.


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