The Foreign Miners in the American Gold Rush Essay

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The Foreign Miners in the American Gold Rush

One Saturday night, a mob of masked men, who numbered forty to sixty, approached a small house. Arriving at the house, they dragged two slumbering men from their bunks and hustled them from the house, without even allowing them to put on their clothes, and started to kick and beat them. One of the invaders drew his pistol and shot at one of the victims. The bullet pierced the body of the man and inflicted a terrible wound. Both men who were attacked that night died. This event occurred in Rico, a camp in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado on May 13, 1882. The two Chinese miners that inhabited the village were kicked, cuffed, and dragged over the ground by the hair of their heads, clubbed
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Marshall at Sutter's Mill in 1848. The discovery of gold was one of the most remarkable events in the history of the American West because it stimulated worldwide migration to the area. The Gold Rush began as soon as the news about the discovery of gold spread throughout the country. The rush exploded within just a few years and continued to attract numerous people for the following decades. The rushes occurred in many places: In the 1850s, it came to Virginia City, Nevada, and Cherry Creek Colorado. In the 1860s it came to Montana and Wyoming. And, in the 1870s, it came to the Black Hill of South Dakota (Hine & Faracher 197). Randall E. Rohe indicated that the major gold rush in the American West attracted from 10,000 to 100,000 people per year (Dirlik 3). The census in 1848 shows 26,000 people lived in California, but in 1860, the total rose to 380,000 (Nugent 63).

It was the opportunity for employment that attracted workers from foreign countries, as well as America, to the mines of the West. The mining industry was the largest source of jobs in the world at that time. Many mines were in need of laborers; everyone could get a job if they wanted to. The "sense of adventure" also attracted many people (Milner 206). The fortune seekers who had a desire to be rich by digging gold clustered in mining camps in the west.

However, being a miner in the California gold Rush was a tremendously challenging experience. The life in the tunnels was not always exciting.

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