California Gold rush
early 1848 when John Sutter's foreman discovered some shiny metal near a
mill that Sutter was constructing on the America River.
The two men quietly had the metal tested and it turned out to be gold.
Because surface gold is usually found in river gravel beds and streams, it
flows downstream from higher positions in the mountains.
The gold found near Sutter's Mill flowed down from the mountains that fed
the American River. Also, other rivers were discovered to have pan-able gold
The secret was soon out, and shortly after that, Samuel Brannon, a newspaper
publisher and merchant, set up a gold prospector store nearby. Mr. Branon
proudly announced, "Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!" while running
astride the streets of San Francisco.
Some 300,000 people from all over the United States, Canada and the rest of
the world traveled to Sutter's Mill and an area running from San Francisco
north to Yreka along the state border and in the valleys.
By 1849 the real
California gold rush on.
The mining boom was driven by prospecting and greed.
When the most accessible gold (panned gold) dried up, most prospectors left.
The remaining miners invented new and different methods of extracting harder
to get gold.
The point of all of the above is simple: The California and western US major
population and economic boom was started by the discovery of gold. The
motive for so many people to rush to California to get that gold and get
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