Gold Rush PP

Gold Rush!
What was the Gold Rush?
– Period from 1848/49-1858 when hundreds of
thousands of men traveled west to improve
their fortunes. (…find gold!)
Prospector -person who scouts
out an area in search of gold
Stinky Pete 
How did it begin?
– January 24, 1848 James Marshall discovers
gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento, CA
• Samuel Brennan
– Sparked the Gold Rush of 1849 by publishing an
article about the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill
– Became California’s first millionaire by investing in
General Stores that sold goods to miners
• His stores made enormous profits by selling as much as
$5,000 ($120,000 today) in goods per DAY to miners
Population Timeline
1848: CA is largely unsettled
• 100,000 Native Americans,
10,000 Mexican Californians
“Californios”, 7 Chinese,
2,000 U.S. citizens, and a few
hundred Europeans
1849: 100,000 miners travel to CA
“49-niners” or “Argonauts”
1850: California became a state
• San Francisco’s population
exploded from 1,000 people
in 1848 to 25,000 in 1850
Who were the 49ers?
“San Francisco is a hodgepodge of cities. You can
hear all the languages on earth in its streets:
Chinese, Norwegian, Russian, and Polynesian. You
can see the garb of all the nationalities. There are
Chinese with belted black pantaloons and blue
blouses, with pigtails down to their knees; a
Mexican with his sarape or blanket; the Chilean in
his poncho; a Parisian in his smock; an Irishman
with coat and crushed felt hat; and the Yankee in
his red flannel shirt, heavy boots, and trousers
belted at the waist. Cultural diversity remains a
Gold Rush legacy.”
-Benjamín Vicuña MacKenna
Groups Discriminated:
African Americans
Native Americans
Actions Taken:
Foreign Miners Tax ($20 per month)
Anti-immigration Acts
Physical harm “Society of Hounds”, Extermination
Mining for Gold Terminology
Ore- rock that contains valuable minerals (gold) that can be
Gold deposits exist in 2 forms:
1. Placer deposits- when gold is moved as a result of some
type of erosion (wind, water, ice, gravity)
– Gold nuggets, small particles, gold dust
2. Lode deposits- place where gold originates (mountains)
Mining for Gold
Mining Placer Deposits:
Mining Lode Deposits:
Did I do that?
“Coal Hill” a.k.a
Mt. Washington
Effects of the Gold Rush
Population Shifts
• Boomtown: community experiencing a sudden growth in business or
– Ex. San Francisco
• Ghost Towns: former mining towns that became deserted
• Discrimination, lawlessness (rise of outlaws) and death
– Vigilantes- someone who takes the law into their own hand
2. Wealth and Poverty
• B/t 1848 and 1856 about $465 million worth of gold is taken out
(1st year: $10 million)
– ‘Bonanza’ a large find of extremely rich ore (Comstock Lode, NV)
• Business owners are the real winners in the Gold Rush
3. Destruction of the Environment
Timeline Key
1803: Monroe buys the Louisiana Territory
1819: Spain sold Florida for $5million
1836: Marcus and Narcissus Whitman become the first settlers to travel
to Oregon in a covered wagon
1838: The Trail of Tears, the Cherokee Nation was forced to give up lands
east of the Mississippi and head to present day Oklahoma
1845: Texas becomes the 28th state
1846: Polk agreed to a compromise with Britain at the 49th parallel
sharing the Oregon Territory
January, 1848: Gold is discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California which
sparked a huge migration of settlers into California
February 2, 1848: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed at the
end of the Mexican War; this gives the U.S. control of New Mexico
and California
(1861-1865 CIVIL WAR)
1867: William Seward purchases Alaska from the Russians
1869: The First Transcontinental Railroad is completed at
Promontory Point, Utah ultimately ending the covered wagon trails
1872: Manifest Destiny, the U.S. mission to spread Democracy and
Christianity by expanding the country from coast to coast is coined
by John O’Sullivan
1887: The Dawes Severalty Act is passed which calls for the breakup
of the reservations and an integration of the Native Americans
1959: Hawaii is admitted as a state