The California Gold Rush Essay

925 WordsMar 8, 20024 Pages
The California Gold Rush The California Gold Rush of 1849 is one of the most interesting and exiting events of the United States. From the wild stories of men striking it big, to the heart wrenching tales of people losing everything, these are what make it so alluring. There are many aspects of the California Gold Rush; effects on California; individual stories of struggle; and effects on the United States as a young country looking for stability. San Francisco was a small town of a few hundred people in 1840, but by 1850 it was a huge city whose economy was injected with gold money. This rapid growth and development was brought on by an accidental discovery by James Marshall. "I reached my hand down and picked it up; it made my…show more content…
In 1849, California was a rather uncivilized place, especially San Francisco. Miner's came from every where to try to find their fortune, but most fortunes weren't made mining gold, they were made because of mining. Sam Brannan was one such man who made his fortune this way. Brannan bought every shovel, pan, and every other mining related tool he could in the region. A twenty-cent metal pan now became a fifteen-dollar pan, and the only place to buy them was from Sam Bannan. Levi Strauss, a tailor who happened to have very popular canvas pants made his fortune from the Gold Rush. Phillip Armour, of Armour Meat packing company, and John Studebaker just to name a couple more. Unfortunately, not everybody could get rich, for every one person that struck it big; there were thousands that didn't. It is not uncommon to hear stories of men leaving their wife, kids and family, with promises to return in one year with enough money to never have to work again, they never met their promises. As the gold got more sparse men who hadn't found what they were looking for turned to gambling, drinking, and crime. "I take this opportunity of writing these few lines to you hoping to find you in good health. Me and Charley is sentenced to be hung at five o'clock for a robbery. Give my best to Frank and Sam." Also as the gold ran out, it took different methods to find it, many of these methods have left permanent scars on California's landscape.

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