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California Gold Rush
Transcript of California Gold Rush
U.S. Geological Survey estimate that there was a total of 12 million ounces of gold found during the first 5 years of the California gold rush. In U.S. money that is about $16 billion. Historians say that all of the gold together in all the years is about $20 billion using 2012 prices.
What Is The California Gold Rush?
The California Gold Rush is a time when people rushed to California to find gold.
People from All Over the World Rushed to California to Get Rich Quick
People from the East coast either traveled across the land or sailed around South America. By land, the trail was bumpy, extremely slow, and very dangerous, especially crossing the Rocky Mountains. Even though it was a longer distance to go by water, it took a shorter time. The waters were often rough and people got seasick. It was also very cold.
Some people also came from China, Mexico , Australia, Europe and the Philippines.
Living Conditions During the Gold Rush
Though it was difficult to get to California, it was even harder to live there. The towns were built quickly with temporary buildings such as tents. People who sold supplies to the miners inflated their prices to make more money than the miners. Mining was hard work, and it took a long time to strike gold. Often prospectors found just a little gold or didn't find any at all and were broke.
Mosquitoes and other insects were bad because
of hot weather and filthy, unsanitary conditions.
Boom towns turned into abandoned ghost towns when gold was gone.
Many Supplies were Needed to Live in California During the Gold Rush
Miner: a mining pan, shovel, pic ax, bedding, tent, kettle, lamp, and food such as coffee, bacon, sugar, beans, and flour.
California Gold Rush
How It Began
In January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall found gold while trying to build a sawmill at Sutter's Mill at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. James and John Sutter were trying to keep the gold a secret but word got out and soon prospectors were rushing to California to strike it rich.
People had to carry their food across the country because there was not a lot in California. Prospectors only had time to sleep, eat or mine; there was no time to grow gardens. Family members hunted for meat and gathered fruit and berries.
Panning is where you take a pan, then scoop the gravel at the bottom of the river. If there is gold in the gravel, it will sink to the bottom of the pan because it is heavier than the gravel. Then you can take the gold and set it aside.