A history of california during the gold rush

But the secret was too big to keep. As soon as rumors began to circulate around the Fort, the first adventurers made the mile trip to the sawmill. Sutter described it this way: But one enterprising Mormon merchant named Sam Brannan had a better idea.

A history of california during the gold rush

Gold is the most malleable and ductile of all metals. One ounce of gold can be stretched into a wire more than 40 miles long. Gold can be worked into a layer 1 millionth of an inch thick it has been used on the face masks of astronaut's space suits as a shield.

Gold is Inert, therefore it does not corrode.

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Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity All of the gold ever mined in all of human history would fill a cube only 60 feet on a side! How Did the Gold Get There? Gold is present in very small amounts in literally all rocks and even in ocean water; but to be mined economically, it must be concentrated.

Even so, the richest gold deposits may contain only a fraction of an ounce per ton. It didn't even exist as land, and instead, lay at the bottom of the sea. The Pacific shoreline lay to the east, in present day Utah and Arizona.

To the west, large volcanic islands erupted ash and lavas onto the sea floor. Hot springs on the ocean floor built up huge deposits of sulfide mineral deposits. At various times between and million years ago, titanic crustal forces caused the offshore islands to collide with the American continent, crushing and folding the rocks derived from the sea floor and volcanoes Keep in mind that this was still a slow process, with movements of only a few inches per year.

The rocks, scraped off the sea floor and collected from innumerable volcanic eruptions, became the metamorphic rocks that make up the bedrock of the Mother Lode region.

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Beginning about million years ago, massive shifts of the tectonic plates that encircle the earth caused the sea floor crust to be pushed beneath the American continent, where it heated up and melted into huge molten masses of magma.

These so-called subduction zones are in modern times responsible for the volcanoes and sometimes violent earthquakes of the Cascade- and Andes mountain ranges. The molten rock forced its way upward through the crust and slowly cooled to become the granitic rock that makes up most of the Sierra Nevada today.

Water, derived from rain and snow, percolated into the ground in the Mother Lode region.

California Gold Rush summary: The California Gold Rush was the largest mass migration in American history since it brought about , people to California. It all started on January 24, , when James W. Marshall found gold on his piece of land at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma. California Gold Rush, rapid influx of fortune seekers in California that began after gold was found at Sutter’s Mill in early and reached its peak in According to estimates, more than , people came to the territory during the Gold Rush. California is called the "Golden State" possibly for many reasons, among which, and in addition to its abundant sunshine, is the exciting and colorful history of the Gold Rush.

Following fractures and cracks left by millions of years of geologic mayhem, the water came closer and closer to the hot molten magmas. At these elevated temperatures, water dissolved otherwise stable materials including quartz, gold, silver, copper and zinc.

The metal and sulfide laden stew of hot water then rose along fractures adjacent to the Melones Fault Zone in the Mother Lode. As it cooled, it began to precipitate the mineral riches that it carried as large quartz veins with varying proportions of gold and silver, along with iron, copper and zinc sulfides.

Some may have even emerged at the surface as hot springs, like those that exist today near Reno and Carson City. This process is called hydrothermal mineralization. Twice in the last hundred million years, the Sierra Nevada rose into a mighty mountain range only to be attacked by the forces of erosion: Many thousands of feet of rock were stripped away, and the gold veins were exposed to the elements.

Rivers carried fragments of gold downstream and on into the Great Valley. In some cases, lava flows covered and protected the gold-bearing gravels. All that remained was for the gold to be discovered by human beings who valued the strange metal When the Gold Rush began, few of the people in California knew anything of the methods used to procure gold from the quartz veins and river gravels.

Because of the richness of the river gravels in the earliest days, panning was an early method of choice, but it was inefficient, back-breaking labor. Panning soon gave way to cradles, rockers, and long-toms. Hardworking miners could process several cubic yards a day. This was the era when the individual could hope to strike it rich, and quite a few lucky miners did.

Most barely made a living at the placers, and as the boom waned, many drifted away, or found work with some of the industrial mines that were starting to develop.When the Gold Rush began, few of the people in California knew anything of the methods used to procure gold from the quartz veins and river gravels.

Because of the richness of the river gravels in the earliest days, panning was an early method of choice, but it was inefficient, back-breaking labor.

The California Gold Rush of | Coloma, California

During the first year of the Gold Rush, many pioneers including James Marshall, John Sutter, and P. B.

A history of california during the gold rush

Reading employed California Indians in the mines as a cheap labor force. Several Indian miners are shown in this print. History >> Westward Expansion The California Gold Rush took place between and During this time gold was discovered in webkandii.com , people rushed to California to find gold .

California Gold Rush summary: The California Gold Rush was the largest mass migration in American history since it brought about , people to California. It all started on January 24, , when James W.

Marshall found gold . Apr 06,  · Watch video · The discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley in early sparked the California Gold Rush, arguably one of the most significant events to shape American history during the first half. The independent, adventurous spirit that is such an important part of California’s economy today is a lasting reverberation of the great gold rush of Excerpted and condensed from Discover Coloma: A Teacher’s Guide, by Alan Beilharz, available from the Gold Rush E-Mercantile.

8 Things You May Not Know About the California Gold Rush - HISTORY