Author: Mark A. Eifler
Release Date: 2016-07-22
In January of 1848, James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. For a year afterward, news of this discovery spread outward from California and started a mass migration to the gold fields. Thousands of people from the East Coast aspiring to start new lives in California financed their journey West on the assumption that they would be able to find wealth. Some were successful, many were not, but they all permanently changed the face of the American West. In this text, Mark Eifler examines the experiences of the miners, demonstrates how the gold rush affected the United States, and traces the development of California and the American West in the second half of the nineteenth century. This migration dramatically shifted transportation systems in the US, led to a more powerful federal role in the West, and brought about mining regulation that lasted well into the twentieth century. Primary sources from the era and web materials help readers comprehend what it was like for these nineteenth-century Americans who gambled everything on the pursuit of gold.
Author: Susan Lee Johnson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2000
Captures the multiethnic, multicultural world of the California Gold Rush, in a richly textured social history that profiles the era's diverse and colorful characters, the evolution of a unique society, and the sources of our legends and myths about the Gold Rush. Reprint.
The California Gold Rush inspired a new American dream—the “dream of instant wealth, won by audacity and good luck.” The discovery of gold on the American River in 1848 triggered the most astonishing mass movement of peoples since the Crusades. It drew fortune-seekers from the ends of the earth, accelerated America’s imperial expansion, and exacerbated the tensions that exploded in the Civil War. H.W. Brands tells his epic story from multiple perspectives: of adventurers John and Jessie Fremont, entrepreneur Leland Stanford, and the wry observer Samuel Clemens—side by side with prospectors, soldiers, and scoundrels. He imparts a visceral sense of the distances they traveled, the suffering they endured, and the fortunes they made and lost. Impressive in its scholarship and overflowing with life, The Age of Gold is history in the grand traditions of Stephen Ambrose and David McCullough.
This title examines an important historic event--the gold rush in California. Easy-to-read, compelling text explores the first discovery of gold and the creation of boomtowns in the West, issues with the Mexican government, military desertion, expansionism, and the environmental consequences of mining, key characters such as John Sutter, Samuel Brannan, Colonel Richard B. Mason, and President James K. Polk, the roles of journalism, transportation, and racial discrimination, the development of mining technologies and entrepreneurship, and the effects of this event on society. Features include a table of contents, glossary, selected bibliography, Web links, source notes, and an index, plus a timeline and essential facts.
Author: Leonard L. Richards
Release Date: 2007-02-13
Award-winning historian Leonard L. Richards gives us an authoritative and revealing portrait of an overlooked harbinger of the terrible battle that was to come. When gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in 1848, Americans of all stripes saw the potential for both wealth and power. Among the more calculating were Southern slave owners. By making California a slave state, they could increase the value of their slaves—by 50 percent at least, and maybe much more. They could also gain additional influence in Congress and expand Southern economic clout, abetted by a new transcontinental railroad that would run through the South. Yet, despite their machinations, California entered the union as a free state. Disillusioned Southerners would agitate for even more slave territory, leading to the Kansas-Nebraska Act and, ultimately, to the Civil War itself.
Author: Carl Nolte
Publisher: Odyssey Publications
Release Date: 2000
Retells the history of the California gold rush, and describes the difficulties of the journey to California, living conditions in the goldfields, and how those closest to finding gold benefited the least from their discoveries.
Author: J. S. Holliday
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Release Date: 2015-03-16
When The World Rushed In was first published in 1981, the Washington Post predicted, “It seems unlikely that anyone will write a more comprehensive book about the Gold Rush.” Twenty years later, no one has emerged to contradict that judgment, and the book has gained recognition as a classic. As the San Francisco Examiner noted, “It is not often that a work of history can be said to supplant every book on the same subject that has gone before it.” Through the diary and letters of William Swain--augmented by interpolations from more than five hundred other gold seekers and by letters sent to Swain from his wife and brother back home--the complete cycle of the gold rush is recreated: the overland migration of over thirty thousand men, the struggle to “strike it rich” in the mining camps of the Sierra Nevadas, and the return home through the jungles of the Isthmus of Panama. In a new preface, the author reappraises our continuing fascination with the “gold rush experience” as a defining epoch in western--indeed, American--history.
Author: Sylvia Alden Roberts
Release Date: 2008
Did you know that an estimated 5,000 blacks were an early and integral part of the California Gold Rush? Did you know that black history in California precedes Gold Rush history by some 300 years? Did you know that in California during the Gold Rush, blacks created one of the wealthiest, most culturally advanced, most politically active communities in the nation? Few people are aware of the intriguing, dynamic often wholly inspirational stories of African American argonauts, from backgrounds as diverse as those of their less sturdy- complexioned peers. Defying strict California fugitive slave laws and an unforgiving court testimony ban in a state that declared itself free, black men and women combined skill, ambition and courage and rose to meet that daunting challenge with dignity, determination and even a certain élan, leaving behind a legacy that has gone starkly under-reported. Mainstream history tends to contribute to the illusion that African Americans were all but absent from the California Gold Rush experience. This remarkable book, illustrated with dozens of photos, offers definitive contradiction to that illusion and opens a door that leads the reader into a forgotten world long shrouded behind the shadowy curtains of time.
Author: Tod Olson
Publisher: National Geographic Books
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction
The fictional Thomas Hartley gives readers a historical portrait of life in the California gold fields, offering a unique and witty snapshot of a key period in the economic development of the United States.
Author: Ava Fran Kahn
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Release Date: 2002
In 1848, news of the California Gold Rush swept the nation and the world. Aspiring miners, merchants, and entrepreneurs from all corners of the globe flooded California looking for gold. The cry of instant wealth was also heard and answered by Jewish communities in Europe and the eastern United States. While all Jewish immigrants arriving in the mid-nineteenth century were looking for religious freedoms and economic stability, there were preexisting Jewish social and religious structures on the East Coast. California’s Jewish immigrants become founders of their own social, cultural, and religious institutions. Jewish Voices of the California Gold Rush examines the life of California’s Jewish community through letters, diaries, memoirs, court and news reports, and photographs, as well as institutional, synagogue, and organizational records. By gathering a wealth of primary source materials—both public and private documents—and placing them in proper historical context, Ava F. Kahn re-creates the lives within California’s Jewish community. Kahn takes the reader from Europe to California, from the goldfields to the developing towns and their religious and business communities, and from the founding of Jewish communities to their maturing years—most notably the instant city of San Francisco. By providing exhaustive documentation, Kahn offers an intimate portrait of Jewish life at a critical period in the history of California and the nation. Scholars and students of Jewish history and immigration studies, and readers interested in Gold Rush history, will enjoy this look at the development of California’s Jewish community.
Author: Malcolm J. Rohrbough
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 1997-04-30
On the morning of January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold in California. The news spread across the continent, launching hundreds of ships and hitching a thousand prairie schooners filled with adventurers in search of heretofore unimagined wealth. Those who joined the procession—soon called 49ers—included the wealthy and the poor from every state and territory, including slaves brought by their owners. In numbers, they represented the greatest mass migration in the history of the Republic. In this first comprehensive history of the Gold Rush, Malcolm J. Rohrbough demonstrates that in its far-reaching repercussions, it was the most significant event in the first half of the nineteenth century. No other series of events between the Louisiana Purchase and the Civil War produced such a vast movement of people; called into question basic values of marriage, family, work, wealth, and leisure; led to so many varied consequences; and left such vivid memories among its participants. Through extensive research in diaries, letters, and other archival sources, Rohrbough uncovers the personal dilemmas and confusion that the Gold Rush brought. His engaging narrative depicts the complexity of human motivation behind the event and reveals the effects of the Gold Rush as it spread outward in ever-widening circles to touch the lives of families and communities everywhere in the United States. For those who joined the 49ers, the decision to go raised questions about marital obligations and family responsibilities. For those men—and women, whose experiences of being left behind have been largely ignored until now—who remained on the farm or in the shop, the absences of tens of thousands of men over a period of years had a profound impact, reshaping a thousand communities across the breadth of the American nation.