GCSE History- American West - The California Gold Rush

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The California Gold Rush

· In January 1848, a carpenter by the name of James Marshall was fixing a watermill belonging to John Sutter of Sutter's Fort, near the small town of San Francisco in California. He saw something shining in the stream - it was GOLD! News of this discovery spread like wildfire and was another big 'PULL' for people to head west.

· By the end of the year there were over 10,000 men digging for gold.

· In 1849 there was so many people heading west, either overland, or usually by sea, that they were called the 'forty-niners'.

· Most people never found any gold - the main areas had been claimed. The mining camps were rough, wild places. Most people tried panning for gold but the large gold reserves were deep underground, and only the


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