THE GOLD RUSH
Ads created to get settlers to go out west. The gold rush was a big attention getter for the companies trying to get people to book passage on their ships. Advertisements like these helped the population of the west grow from 26,000 people in 1848 to 380,000 people by 1860 and the west continues to grow today.
The above picture is a Sierra County miner panning for gold.
Approximately 16,000 settlers came to the Sierra Valley between
1848 and 1860. Due to the settlement of the miners, communities
grew and people began to raise cattle which provided meat and
diary products. Hay was also produced for the ranchers. By the
1880’s, Sierra Valley, California was a well known agricultural
region as well as a gold mining town.
Water Development by the Forty-Niners
Miners needed water to help get the gold out.
So they dug flumes and ditches to change the water flow
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However, historians now
believe that the first person to find gold
was Elizabeth Jane Wimmer, but no one
believed her. In 1842, Francisco Lopez
discovered gold and started a mini-gold
rush in the Placenta Canyon of the San
Gabriel Mountains in Southern California.
3. There was several ways to get to California.
You could go by sea routes or overland.
The Oregon Trail was a well used route.
4. A miner could claim a piece of land by
staking, registering and then owning it.
If a person tried to take your land, it was
called claim jumping which was a serious
5. Miners could mine gold two different
ways. One way was to dig a shaft into
the side of the hill or down in the ground.
This was called lode mining. Miners who
used water and pans, monitors or long toms
to sift though the dirt were placer mining.
6. It was very expensive to live in the gold rush
days. For example, a piece of land could cost
$16.50 in 1848 and by 1849 it would cost $6,000.
Crime was a problem also due to the wealth of the
gold. Angry citizens would hang or banish a thief.
7. In the 1850’s, Elizabeth Farnham organized moment
of women to California since men outnumbered women
10 to 1.
8. The gold in California helped finance the Union side
in the Civil War.
9. In 1860, the Pony Express was started. The Pacific
Railroad Act was passed by Congress in 1862, however,
the railroad did not begin until 1865 after the Civil War.
The railroad was completed in 1869.
The Miner’s Dream is the songs of the
California Gold Rush such as “Miner’s
Dream”, “Shenandoah” and “O! California”.
James W. Marshall found gold near
Sutter’s sawmill on the American
River in Northern California on
January 24, 1848. He was cleaning
a canal leading the water to the sawmill.
Mr. Sutter and James Marshall decided
to keep the gold a secret. People in California
knew about it in a week. “The New
York Herald” wrote about the gold
strike on August 19, 1848 which caused
the strike to become known around the