Presentation on theme: "The American Gold Rush Panning for gold on the Mokelumne River.Mokelumne River."— Presentation transcript:
The American Gold Rush Panning for gold on the Mokelumne River.Mokelumne River
When did it start? The Gold Rush started in January 1848. James Marshall, a carpenter, was building a mill. He was working for John Sutter. When Sutter went to inspect the channel that ha been dug for the millwheel, he saw something gleaming. The next day Sutter confirmed that it was gold! At first the news was kept as a secret. But soon the news leaked out. People rushed to California to see if they could find gold. By the end of 1848, 10,000 men were digging for gold.
The Forty-niners The forty niners were settlers who went to California in 1849 to look for gold to start up businesses. They travelled overland and by the sea. There was soon 90,000 prospectors (gold-diggers) looking for gold. Most of these "forty-niners" had never before left the places where they had grown up. Their journeys would be unforgettable. The forty-niners travelled by three main routes.
The Main Routes Distance: about 3,000 miles Estimated travel time: 3 to 7 months Distance: 7,000 miles Estimated travel time: 2 to 3 months Distance: 15,000 miles Estimated travel time: 4 to 8 months
Dreams soon disappeared! Only a few were lucky. There was not much gold. The mining camps were rough and wild. Most prospectors were under the age of thirty. They hoped to get rich and return home. This is why living conditions were so poor. A gold digger might make $20 a day but living would cost them $18 to live. Life became desperate.
How to get the gold! Most people used the panning process. There was very little gold in the river beds and so they were usually unlucky. Gold was mainly found underground. Digging mines was expensive. Companies from families in the East paid to have mines dug and provided machinery.