The Success Of The California Gold Rush Essay

1243 Words Dec 5th, 2016 5 Pages
The California Gold Rush is arguably one of the most important events in United States history. The gold rush caused what is considered to be the largest mass migration in United States history, bringing in 300,000 people by 1855, 25% of whom were immigrants from other countries. Not only was California rich in people, it was rich in gold. Approximately 750,000 pounds, two billion dollars’ worth, of gold was extracted from the earth from the time gold was first found in 1848 to the time the rush ended in 1855. The gold rush was extremely influential in the development of California and the progression of the United States.
It all began after a man by the name of James Wilson Marshall found a 1/3 of an ounce piece of gold in the American River near John Sutter’s sawmill in Coloma, California. Mr. Marshall was construction foreman on John Sutter’s mill. On January 24, 1848 he was inspecting the water flow of the American River when he spotted a shiny nugget on the river floor. He immediately took it to Mrs. Wimmer, the cook and laundress, who soaked the chunk of gold in a lye soap solution to see whether it was pure gold or not. Indeed, it was. Of course John Sutter and James Marshall tried to keep the gold a secret, but a journalist in Sacramento got wind of the supposed gold findings and published it in the newspaper. By August 19, 1848 newspapers along the east coast were printing about the gold in California. Even president James Polk discussed the topic with congress,…

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