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The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The first to hear confirmed information of the gold rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), and Latin America, who were the first to start flocking to the state in late 1848. All in all, the news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. Of the 300,000, approximately half arrived by sea and half came from the east overland on the California Trail and the Gila River trail.

The gold-seekers, called "forty-niners" (as a reference to 1849), often faced substantial hardships on the trip. While most of the newly arrived were Americans, the Gold Rush attracted tens of thousands from Latin America, Europe, Australia, and China. At first, the gold nuggets could be picked up off the ground. Later, gold was recovered from streams and riverbeds using simple techniques, such as panning. More sophisticated methods were developed and later adopted elsewhere. At its peak, technological advances reached a point where significant financing was required, increasing the proportion of gold companies to individual miners. Gold worth tens of billions of today's dollars was recovered, which led to great wealth for a few. However, many returned home with little more than they had started with.

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The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The first to hear confirmed information of the gold rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), and Latin America, who were the first to start flocking to the state in late 1848. All in all, the news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. Of the 300,000, approximately half arrived by sea and half came from the east overland on the California Trail and the Gila River trail.

The gold-seekers, called "forty-niners" (as a reference to 1849), often faced substantial hardships on the trip. While most of the newly arrived were Americans, the Gold Rush attracted tens of thousands from Latin America, Europe, Australia, and China. At first, the gold nuggets could be picked up off the ground. Later, gold was recovered from streams and riverbeds using simple techniques, such as panning. More sophisticated methods were developed and later adopted elsewhere. At its peak, technological advances reached a point where significant financing was required, increasing the proportion of gold companies to individual miners. Gold worth tens of billions of today's dollars was recovered, which led to great wealth for a few. However, many returned home with little more than they had started with. More...

 
    James W. Marshall, Discovered Gold - 1848
  James W. Marshall, Discovered Gold - 1848
James Wilson Marshall was an American carpenter and sawmill operator, whose discovery of gold in the American River in California on January 24, 1848 set the stage for the California Gold Rush. The mill property was owned by Johan (John) Sutter who e...
 
    Samuel Brannan, 1st Millionaire California Gold Rush
  Samuel Brannan, 1st Millionaire California Gold Rush
Samuel Brannan was an American settler, businessman, journalist, and prominent Mormon who founded the California Star, the first newspaper in San Francisco, California. He is considered the first to publicize the California Gold Rush and was its firs...
 
    Levi Strauss, 1st Manufacturer of Blue Jeans
  Levi Strauss, 1st Manufacturer of Blue Jeans
Levi Strauss was a German-American businessman who founded the first company to manufacture blue jeans. His firm, Levi Strauss & Co., began in 1853 in San Francisco, California. At the age of 18, Strauss, his mother and two sisters traveled to the...
 
    Mexican–American War
  Mexican–American War
The Mexican–American War was an armed conflict between the United States and the Centralist Republic of Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory despite the 1836 Texas Re...
 
    The Klondike Gold Rush
  The Klondike Gold Rush
The Klondike Gold Rush was a migration by an estimated 100,000 prospectors to the Klondike region of the Yukon in north-western Canada between 1896 and 1899. Gold was discovered there by local miners on August 16, 1896 and, when news reached Seattle...
 
       
 
         
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