On January 28, 1848 James Marshall discovers gold at John Sutters mill in Coloma.
Gold! Gold from the American River! May 1848When news of the gold discovery and samples of gold reached San Francisco and other towns in California, people headed to the mountains. Challenge #1: If gold was discovered in January, why did it take so long for news to spread?
Challenge #2: What countries did the Argonauts come from? From where did they come? China Australia Germany British Isles France Peru Chile Mexico Eastern United States Oregon Territory
How shall we travel? Three main routes: Cape Horn Isthmus of Panama Overland
Sea RouteCape Horn Argonauts traveled by ship south along the Atlantic coast of the United States, The ship then sailed north along the Pacific coast to San Francisco Bay where the passengers would disembark. around the southern tip of South America (Cape Horn) and then into the Pacific Ocean.
Challenge #3: What dangers did the Argonauts face traveling by sea along the Cape Horn route to California? Took 5 to 8 months Sea RouteCape Horn Journey of 18,000 nautical miles
DangersOvercrowding Challenge #4: Why would over-selling passage on a ship be dangerous?
DangersCape Horn Courtesy of National Maritime Museum, London
By Land and SeaIsthmus of Panama Argonauts that wanted a faster route would sail to the Isthmus of Panama and the port town of Chagres. Chagres From there they traveled by small boat up the Chagres River and then rode mules through the jungle to the other side of the isthmus. Once they arrived in Panama City Argonauts had to wait for a ship to sail them up the Pacific coast to San Francisco Bay.
By Land and SeaIsthmus of Panama By 1850 the journey took only 6 to 8 weeks.Challenge #5: What dangers did the Argonauts face during their journey across the Isthmus of Panama?