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  • Let's get that gold!
  • The California Gold Rush, 1849. In January 1848, James Wilson Marshall discovered gold while constructing a saw mill along the American River northeast of present-day Sacramento. 
  • The discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley in early 1848 sparked the Gold Rush, arguably one of the most significant events to shape American history during the first half of the 19th century.
  • We should get some gold in here.
  • Then what are we waiting for? Let's go!
  • As news spread of the discovery, thousands of prospective gold miners traveled by sea or over land to San Francisco and the surrounding area; by the end of 1849, the non-native population of the California territory was some 100,000
  • That was a good run.
  • As news spread of the fortunes being made in California, the first migrants to arrive were those from lands accessible by boat, such as Oregon, the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii), Mexico, Chile, Peru and even China.
  • By the end of the year, the non-native population of California was estimated at 100,000, (as compared with 20,000 at the end of 1848 and around 800 in March 1848). 
  • After 1850, the surface gold in California largely disappeared, even as miners continued to arrive. Mining had always been difficult and dangerous labor, and striking it rich required good luck as much as skill and hard work.
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