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The California Gold Rush. Chapter 13 Section 4. California Before the Rush. Populated by Native Americans and Californios Settlers of Spanish or Mexican descent Lived on huge cattle ranches acquired from California missions. John Sutter Persuaded Mexican governor to give him land in 1839

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the california gold rush

The California Gold Rush

Chapter 13 Section 4

california before the rush
California Before the Rush
  • Populated by Native Americans and Californios
    • Settlers of Spanish or Mexican descent
    • Lived on huge cattle ranches acquired from California missions.
  • John Sutter
    • Persuaded Mexican governor to give him land in 1839
    • Built a fort on 50,000 acres, dreamed of agricultural empire
sutter s mill
Sutter’s Mill
  • In 1848, Sutter sent James Marshall to build a sawmill on the American River
  • “My eye was caught by a glimpse of something shining…I reached my hand down and picked it up; it made my heart thump for I felt certain it was gold”
rush for gold
Rush for Gold
  • News of the discovery spread rapidly
  • Miners soon found gold in other streams
  • 1849 thousands of gold seekers headed to CA: called “49er’s”
reaching california
Reaching California
  • Fortune seekers had three ways to get to California:
  • Sail around South America
    • 18,000 miles, storms, sickness, spoiled food
  • Sail to Isthmus of Panama, cross overland, then sail to CA
    • Risk of deadly tropical disease
  • Travel trails across North America
who went to california
Who Went to California?
  • Young men
    • “A gray beard is almost as rare as a petticoat” Luzena Wilson
      • In 6 months she only saw 2 other women in Sacramento
  • 2/3rds were white Americans
  • Others were Native Americans, free blacks, slaves
  • Mexico, Europe, South American, Australia, China
conflicts
Conflicts
  • Began to force Native Americans, Mexicans and Chinese out of gold fields
  • Discrimination increased after CA became a state in 1850
  • Foreign Miners Tax: imposed a tax of $20 a month on miners from other countries
  • Most left or opened other businesses
life in the mining camps
Life in the Mining Camps
  • Mad Mule Gulch, Hangtown, Coyote Diggings
  • Began as rows of tents, then rough wooden buildings of stores and saloons
  • Mining towns were dangerous
  • A long way away from Mom and Wife: a “No” culture
mining life
Mining Life
  • Pickings were rare
  • Days spent in knee-deep icy streams
  • Sifted through sand and mud
  • Exhaustion, poor food, and disease
  • Outrageous high prices for basic supplies
  • Gamblers and con artists
who became rich
Who became Rich?
  • Merchants:
    • Restaurants
    • Hotels
    • Boarding Houses
    • General Stores
    • Laundries
    • Wells, Fargo, and Co.
impacts of gold rush
Impacts of Gold Rush
  • 1852 Gold Rush over
  • 250,000 now in CA
  • Caused economic growth
  • Port city of San Francisco became center of banking, manufacturing, shipping and trade.
  • Sacramento became center of a productive farming region
impacts of gold rush1
Impacts of Gold Rush
  • Californios had property seized by Americans
  • Spanish Heritage still lives in CA and Southwest
  • Native Americans suffered disease, loss of hunting grounds, murdered
    • By 1870 their population went from 150,000 to 58,000
  • California became a free state, causing an unbalance in the Senate
impacts of gold rush2
Impacts of Gold Rush
  • Transcontinental Railroad
    • Connected both coasts
    • Built up towns along the rails
    • Moved goods across the continent
  • Environmental
    • Used hydro mining, tore away hillsides and bluffs
    • Streambeds redirected due to digging
    • Fish were killed
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