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California Gold Rush

1848 gold was discovered by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill, in Coloma, California. News of the discovery soon spread, resulting in some 300,000 men, women, and children coming to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. These early gold-seekers, called "forty-niners," traveled to California by sailing boat and in covered wagons across the continent, often facing substantial hardships on the trip. San Francisco grew from a small settlement to a boomtown, and roads, churches, schools and other towns were built throughout California. A system of laws and a government were created, leading to the admission of California as a state in 1850

Forty-Niners

People who went to California looking for Gold (They left in 1849)

Boom Towns

These grew near all the major mining sites. Eventually, restaurants, hotels, and other places were built in order to accommodate the miners.

California in 1849

Inflow of thousands of miners to Northern California after news reports of the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in January of 1848 had spread around the world by the end of that year. The onslaught of migrants prompted Californians to organize a government and apply for statehood in 1849. (419)

Sutter's Mill

Where gold was first discovered in 1848; marked the beginning of the Gold Rush

James W. Marshall

He discovered gold in 1848 at Sutter's Mill in a canal near the mill.

New Methods of Transportation in California

New methods of transportation developed as steamships came into regular service and railroads were built. Agriculture and ranching expanded throughout the state to meet the needs of the settlers. At the beginning of the Gold Rush, there was no law regarding property rights in the goldfields and a system of "staking claims" was developed. The Gold Rush also had negative effects: Native Americans were attacked and pushed off traditional lands and gold mining caused environmental harm.

Flickr Creative Commons Images

Some images used in this set are licensed under the Creative Commons through Flickr.com. Click to see the original works with their full license.

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