What Was the Gold Rush? (What Was?)

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California's population consisted of about 6, Californios people of Spanish or Mexican decent , foreigners primarily Americans , and , Native Americans, whose numbers had been cut in half since the arrival of the Spanish in The Californios lived on vast ranches that had been granted by the Mexican government. On February 2, , the Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo was signed, formally ending the war and handing control of California to the United States. Neither side knew that gold had recently been discovered at the sawmill Swiss immigrant John Sutter was building near Coloma.

Incredulity When news of gold reached San Francisco first, it was met with disbelief. Then entrepreneur Sam Brannan marched through town waving a vial of the precious metal as proof. By mid-June, stores stood empty. Most of the male population of San Francisco had gone to the mines. The rest of California soon followed. Mason sent his report and a tin of gold to Washington, a trip of many months. Spreading the Word Word of the gold next reached places most accessible to the California coast by ship.

The Gold Rush of - Facts, Summary & Video - HISTORY

Europeans would soon follow. State of the Union On the East Coast newspapers first published accounts of the gold discovery in mid-summer Never Dreamt of Wealth Suddenly, thousands of Americans mostly men borrowed money, mortgaged homes, or spent their life savings to take advantage of an opportunity they never dreamed possible. In a society that was becoming increasingly based on wage labor, the idea that a person could alter his destiny by collecting gold off the ground proved irresistible.

Some American women, among them Luzena Wilson, went to California, but most stayed home.

Aborigines & the gold rush

The women left behind took on responsibilities they had never anticipated, such as caring for families alone, running businesses, and managing farms. A Rush of Gold Seekers By , the non-native population of California had grown to almost , people. Nearly two-thirds were Americans. Upon arrival in California, immigrants learned mining was the hardest kind of labor. They moved rock, dug dirt and waded into freezing streams.

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They lost fingernails, got sick and suffered malnutrition. Many died of disease or by accident. Sucker Flat Despite the relentless work, the promise of gold drew more miners west every year.

outer-edge-design.com/components/kegunaan/2272-cell-number.php Gold seekers traveled overland across the mountains to California 30, assembled at launch points along the plains in the spring of or took the round-about sea routes: either to Panama or around Cape Horn and then up the Pacific coast to San Francisco. A census of San Francisco then called Yerba Buena in April reported the town consisted of 79 buildings including shanties, frames houses and adobes.

Defining Moments: Gold rush

By December the population had mushroomed to an estimated , The massive influx of fortune seekers Americanized the once Mexican province and assured its inclusion as a state in the union. Shufelt was one of those gold-seekers. All that we know about Mr. Shufelt is contained in a letter he wrote from the gold fields to his cousin in March We don't know if he struck it rich or whether he ever returned to his wife and home - we don't even know his first name.


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On May 11, he boarded the steamer Panama in New York City along with about fellow fortune hunters risking all on a gamble in California. Behind him he left a wife and child in Windham, NY near the Catskills. Shufelt reveals his motivation when he tells his cousin that: "I have left those that I love as my own life behind and risked everything and endured many hardships to get here.