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Gold Rush: Choose Your Own Adventure!

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by

Laura Burke

on 15 February 2016

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Transcript of Gold Rush: Choose Your Own Adventure!

Choose Your Character
Read through the list of actual people who lived in California during the Gold Rush era. Choose one. Write his name on your character sheet.
Gold Rush: Choose Your Own Adventure!
What Would You Like to Do?
Where are you heading?
Summarize this news report.
In order to give you some idea of mining in this beautiful country you must imagine yourself a miner. Well, tie your blankets, knapsack fasion on your back; that accomplished, get your cradle next, ...put that on top of your blankets; next a pick and shovel and pan, coffee pot, some provisions in the shape of flint bread and pork; straighten yourself, take your rifle in hand and off you go rejoicing!...
I must remark here that all the mines are in the mountains, on the water courses, ravines and gulches. You come to a ravine, take off your rigging, dig a hole from three to six feet deep, you come to the bed rock where the gold is usually deposited, you find that your labor was all in vain. You dig another hole and another, and find some gold, wash out some dirt as they call it; you find when you was out about one hundred buckets full, perhaps five dollars, more commonly three; that will not pay; curse the gulch and your own hard fate...
You gather some grass...and make your bed; make a fire, eat your flint bread and pork, a little coffee without sugar, smoke your pipe and go to your blankets, where you will sleep sound. I can assure you gold digging makes a man sleep well.
~ Letter from James Heren to
Missouri Statesman
newspaper, May 16, 1851
Running a business
"He was one of many people who made a good living supplying miners with food, clothing, equipment, and other services. Miners paid high prices for basic necessities because the large amounts of gold in circulation caused severe inflation in California. A loaf of bread, for example, might cost 5 cents in the East, but it would sell for 50 to 75 cents in San Francisco. Eggs sometimes sold for $1 apiece."
~ US History textbook, page 367
How Will You Get to California?
Work in a gold mine; or
run a business?
1. Sam Brannan
2. Levi Strauss
3. Vicente Rosales
4. Biddy Mason
5. Alfred Doten
6. William Swain
7. Daniel Woods
8. Lai Chun-Chen
9. Mary Jane Megquire
Locate on your map
What was your fate?

Research your character to find out what happened to you.
Being a miner
Full transcript