7 Dec 2012
1849 Gold Rush
In the Early 1840’s a wealthy man by the name of John Sutter headed West to a place very few people had ever seen or heard of, called California. His plans were to start his own private empire. Then gold was discovered. People came from all over the world to find the mother-lode of gold. Gold was a very valuable substance and back then even a little bit could satisfy you for life, therefore triggering a stampede of half a million people.
There were two men who founded this gold. There names were John Sutter and James Wilson Marshall. At the time, James Wilson Marshall was working for John Sutter on making a water powered sawmill in Coloma, California when he saw the flakes of gold. Marshall said, “It made my heart thump, for it was gold! Then I saw another... ” (The Start of the California Gold Rush, johnnieapples9). They kept stumbling on more gold so Marshall finally decided on bringing a sample back to Sutter. After testing the bits of gold as best as they could and using an old encyclopedia for clues, they found that it was gold. They decided to keep the discovery on the down-low because Marshall had a sawmill to build and Sutter was building an agricultural fiefdom. (The Start of the California Gold Rush, johnnieapples9)
There were some rumors going around that gold had been discovered but it was taken as a fantasy or story. After buying every pick axe, shovel, pan, a store keeper named Sam Brannan ran through the streets with a vial of gold from Sutters Creek. Because of that, the amount of miners in the area increased to 4000 by August. Also, Sam Brannan became one of the richest men in California. By mid-March, there was at least one newspaper proclaiming a large amount of gold that was found at Sutter’s Mill. News was spreading slowly around the West coast at this point and those who heard of this discovery came by boat. Those people were from...
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