a pacifist group founded upon the initiative of William Ladd, in New York City, May 8, 1828. It was formed by the merging of many state and local societies, from New York, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, of which the oldest, the New York Peace Society, dated from 1815. Ladd was an advocate of a "Congress and High Court of Nations." It was the first nationally based secular peace organization in the United States history. began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The first to hear confirmed information of the gold rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), and Latin America, and they were the first to start flocking to the state in late 1848. All in all, the news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. Of the 300,000, approximately half arrived by sea and half came from the east overland on the California Trail and the Gila River trail.