Presentation on theme: "Elusive Eden: A New History of California, fourth edition"— Presentation transcript:
1 Elusive Eden: A New History of California, fourth edition CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE NEW EL DORADO
2 May 12, 1848, Sam Brannan announced gold discovery --Emptied San Francisco
3 The Great Discovery1847 Sutter, James Marshall began building sawmillMarshall joined wagon train Ohio to Oregon--Came to California, worked for Sutter--Joined Bear Flag revolt, California Battalion
4 Sited mill at South Fork American River --30 miles from New Helvetia--Near Maidu village Cullumah--Crew Maidu, Mormon Mexican War veterans--Let river clear millrace
5 January 24, 1848, Marshall found gold in millrace --Tests proved gold--Swore workers to secrecy--Rumors surfaced, few believed
6 Disaster for Sutter--Died broke in 1880--Squatters, speculators stole land
7 Disaster for Marshall--Lost investment, land claims--State refused pensiondied broke
8 Sam Brannan gained, lost fortune 1846 brought 200 Mormons to Yerba BuenaBrigham Young planned to relocate church to CalBrannan started 1st newspaper, California StarMade fortune in SF real estate with church money, labor1847 started store at Sutter's Fort1848 workers paid in goldConfirmed strike, stockpiled goodsMay 1848 announced discovery in SFDaily gross $5,0001861 bought land in Napa, called CalistogaDivorce, bad debts, speculation consumed fortune1889 died broke
9 Sources of La BonanzaMost California gold "placer"--Placed by waterFormed in Mesozoic Era (200 to 70 million years ago)Rivers redistributed gold70 to 3 million years ago beds shiftedCreated band 100 miles long, +20 miles wide on western slope of Sierras, Feather-Yuba River, Trinity-Shasta-Siskiyou
10 Spaniards looking for gold since 1519 1841 Francisco Lopez found gold near Mission San Fernando--Minor gold rush--Quickly ran outMissionaries downplayed
11 The Gold Rush of 1848Word leaked out when Sutter registered claim in Monterey--Employees used gold nuggets as currency--Sutter told John Bidwell, Mariano VallejoNewspapers discounted--March small news item Californian--California Star compared to earlier small strike
12 Visitors to Sutter's mill investigated, went home to look for similar features --Mill worker found gold, told friends in Mormon Battalion--Searched near Mariposa, found gold--John Bidwell found gold near home in Chico, set off Feather River rush--Pierson B. Reading found gold on Trinity River, Mt. Shasta--Charles M. Weber prospected on Stanislaus, Mokelumne rivers
13 Sutter's mill barely finished --By April, mill workers gone--Logging crews prospecting--Flour mill, tannery abandoned--Lost clerks, teamsters, carpentersLocal miners dominated January to May
14 Brannan emptied SF in May --Businesses shuttered--Soldiers left posts--Same in LA, San Diego
15 Spreading the NewsWord out by end of 1848Closest arrived first: Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Mexico, Hawaii, China--Most from Hawaii, Mexico--December 1848 non-Indian population 20,000
16 Few Americans from East Coast Eastern newspapers discounted--September 1848 New Orleans Picayune published interview Lt. Edward F. Beale--Bringing confirmation, gold samples to Washington DC
17 December 7, 1848, messenger delivered report from Col. Richard B December 7, 1848, messenger delivered report from Col. Richard B. Mason, 230 ounces of gold--President James K. Polk sent report to Congress--Displayed sample in War Office--Convinced Americans discovery realBy December 1849 non-Indian population 100,000census: + 200,000
18 By Sea to CaliforniaEast Coast miners traveled by seaTwo routes: around Horn, across Isthmus of PanamaHorn journey 5 months, 17,000 milesIsthmus shorter, open year round--40 miles up Chagres River, 20 overland to Pacific--Passengers easily reached eastern side--Too few ships available on western side
19 February s strandedMore ships available 1850Isthmus rr completed 1855to 1869, easterner's preferred route to CaliforniaMany east-coast groups formed joint-stock companies--Bought ships, merch to sell in SF--Abandoned in SF Bay
20 Horn travelers disappointed --Seasickness, bad weather, spoiled water, food--Often arrived sick--Opportunity to write about adventure1849 about 40,000 traveled by sea
21 Crossing the PlainsSmart overland miners joined large groups, waited until springJourneyed to "jumping off points" in MissouriAssembled wagons, provisions, hired guides--Always took too much--Trails littered with supplies, furniture, graves
22 Fatalities on trail common --cholera from New Orleans, infected water holes--accidents with weapons, wagons--drownings--"short-cuts"
23 1849 25,000 to 30,000 crossed Great Plains --Stopped at govn posts, Salt Lake Citymore from Mexico, Southwest1850s, +200,000 traveled overlandCreated diverse society--Most young (-30)--Male (+90%)--Expected brief stay, great wealth
24 Searching for La Bonanza Few professional minersMost professionals back home--Too expensive for working poor--Transportation, equipment $750 to $1,000 ($20K-$25K in 2010 dollars)--most unused to manual labor
25 learned from experienced miners --gold miners from Mexico, Georgia, Carolinas--coal miners from Pennsylvania and BritainEasy to find 1849--Equipment simple: pan, pick--Process simple but uncomfortable
26 Georgians, Carolinians introduced "rockers" By 1852, surface deposits goneLong-toms, teams of men processed tons of dirt--Organized companies--Investors supplied capitalBuilt dams, flumes, sluices
27 Mechanized Mining1852, Anthony Chabot attached cloth hose to flume--water pressure removed topsoil1853 Edward E. Matteson added tin nozzleResult: Hydraulic mining--Washed away mountainsides--Revealed buried ore
28 Tunnel or quartz mining too expensive --Sunk shafts into hillsides--Used Mexican arrastra to crush ore--Mercury, quicksilver extracted gold
29 Required machinery stimulated iron works --San Francisco's Risdon, Union, Vulcan plants sold drilling, tunneling equipment--More important when silver discovered in Nevada
30 Life in the MinesMining hard on newcomersCamps boring, crudeMiners tried to reproduce familiar society--Drafted mining camp codes--Created rules for staking, protecting claims--Elected judges, officialsExtra legal punishments: fines, banishment, flogging, hanging
31 Crime, competition increased miner demands for justice --January 1849 Dry Diggings (Placerville) mob flogged 5 French, Hispanic men for theft, then lynched 2--July Downieville mob hanged Josefasimilar episodes in San Francisco, Los Angeles--Most frequent targets people of color
32 Bonanza to Borrasca19th c gold worth $16 an ounceMen in mines steadily increased:--5,000 in 1848--40,000 in 1849--50,000 in 1850--100,000 in 18521852 to 1860, number of miners stabilized, but gold production fell
33 Best discoveriesGold mining comparable to eastern wages-- $ $1.25 / day for skilled worker--Living costs 10x higher in CaliforniaIndividual prospectors replaced by wage-earning employeesFrustrated Argonauts blamed Californios, Chinese, Indians
34 Californios in the Mines Americans brought "Manifest Destiny" to CaliforniaMany veterans of US-Mexican War--Considered land in California theirs--Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo said different
35 1848 about 1,300 Hispanic miners at work --Coronel, Sepulveda, and Carrillo families prospected on Stanislaus River-- Antonio Coronel found 45 ounces in one day--Sold claim, new owner found 52 pounds in one week--Went home for winter-- A third owner of the site also became rich
36 By 1849, Americans controlled gold fields --Bear Flagger attacked Coronel party, injured one--Americans threatened "foreigners"--Coronel observed Placerville lynching--Gave up miningHispanics who stayed employees of AmericansMining camp codes forbade mining by "foreigners"
37 The Foreign Miners' Tax Law of 1850 Miners convinced first state legislature to exclude "foreigners"1850 law charged $20 license feeSelectively enforced--non-English speakers common targets--Spanish-speakers refused to pay--Hispanic workers, restaurant, hotel, store patrons left gold fields
38 Merchants, mine owners petitioned legislature to repeal --Late 1850 governor reduced fee--Early 1851 law repealed--Too late--Failed to bring back Hispanics
39 1848 Col. Mason reported 5,000 men digging for gold "Diggers" in the Mines1848 Col. Mason reported 5,000 men digging for gold--Half were Indians--Most worked for Marshall, Sutter, CaliforniosEarly settlers employed most Indian miners--Charles M. Weber had 1,000 Indians workers
40 --John M. Murphy put 600 Indians to work on Stanislaus --John Bidwell's Indians worked his Feather River claimSome Indians mined for themselves--Exchanges usually favored Europeans
41 Solving the "Indian Problem" Americans objected to Indians in the minesOregonians among early arrivals--Familiar with 1847 Whitman massacre at Walla Walla, Cayuse wars--March 1849 attacked Maidu village on American River
42 --Maidu killed 5 Oregonians --Oregonians attacked another village, killed residents, took 7 captives to Coloma for executionMany Americans genuinely feared IndiansGovernor Peter Burnett claimed 100,000 armed braves preparing to exterminate whites--Whole native population fewer than 100,000
43 Indian resistance exacerbated fears --Bear Flagger beat Suisun man with a cat-of-nine-tails--Sinao lassoed him, dragged him out of town--Two whites killed in assault on Clear Lake PomoIn Napa American shot Manuel Vera, he returned fire
44 Americans responded forcefully --Clear Lake killing brought U.S. Army, killed Pomo men, women, children--Americans in Napa lynched Manuel VeraLost cattle provoked raids--In Napa, settlers attacked Wappo-, Patwin-, and Pomo-speaking villages, rancherías--Killed entire communities of men, women, children--Napa newspapers commended white hunters
45 1850, state legislature adopted Law for the Protection and Government of the Indians --Solved ranchers' labor/cattle thieving problem--All Indians must prove local employment--Those who couldn't arrested, fined as vagrants--White settlers could pay fines, indefinitely indenturing Indians
46 --White settlers could "adopt" minors, hold to age 21 or older Federal govn, state legislature raised militias to control Indians--By 1860s militias killed + 15,000 Indians--Paid $5 per head, $0.50 per scalp
47 1850 U.S. Indian Bureau sent treaty commission to California --Commissioners to meet with leaders of main tribes--Negotiate treaties exchanging valuable land for lands elsewhere--Dozen + tribes accepted treaties
48 Californians protested --Gave too much land (12,000 sq. miles) to Indians--exchange lands too valuable--Indians only available labor force--Preferred system of missions to assimilate Indians!--convinced Congress to leave Indians to California
49 1852 U.S. Senate rejected treaties 1853 Congress approved plan by Edward F. Beale--U.S. Indian Superintendent for California--established series of small reservations--most successful Fort Tejón in San Joaquin Valley--abandoned 1868--System mismanaged, underfunded, looted
50 Some Natives resisted reservations Modocs refused relocation--Chief Kientepoos (Captain Jack) led 50 warriors and families into lava beds near Tule Lake--US Army sent 400 soldiers to deliver to Klamath reservation--Modocs held out for months, 75 soldiers, 5 Indian men, dozens of Indian women, children killed--Jack captured, executedBy 1870, Indian population reduced to 30,000
51 John SutterSutter and Marshall were, quite unexpectedly, among the losers in “Nature’s great lottery scheme.” Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
52 James MarshallSutter and Marshall were, quite unexpectedly, among the losers in “Nature’s great lottery scheme.” Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
53 Sam BrannanCourtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
56 Wells Fargo & Company Express Office, Columbia Beginning in 1852, Wells Fargo & Company offices such as this one in Columbia provided residents of remote mining communities with banking, transportation, and mail services to keep them in touch with the outside world. Photograph by William A. Bullough.
57 A Fight with the Indians An engraving from a Sacramento newspaper depicts a Trinity County incident in which residents reportedly avenged the murder of a local butcher by slaughtering more than a hundred local Indians. It also illustrates the attitudes of most settlers in California during the Gold Rush era. Collection of Peter E. Palmquist.