The Pikes Peak Gold Rush and Civil and Indian Wars

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Until gold was revealed in the Rocky Mountains in 1859, the native population was virtually undisturbed by outside influence and the prairies were freely used to sustain life. When the gold was discovered, a whole new attitude came across the land. The population exploded and that means that there came change. With the discovery of gold, the invaders from the east would make those changes. Just like the unearthing of this widely sought out metal a decade earlier in California by the forty-niners, the fifty-niners forced themselves in to stake and protect their claims. With these changes, those who had original title to the land would find themselves under new ideas, new laws, and a new way of life. But, just because there is gold to be had, not everybody will be successful. There will be new wealth and bitter disappointment. So, the question is who benefitted the most from this discovery and who got the wrong end of the stick? The first set of losers were the “go backs”. No census was ever taken to count the number of people who lefts their homes to go to the mountains, but it was estimated that the number totaled a 100,000 new immigrants by historians with about only 50,000 making it. The work was hard and the returns were disappointing. Some miners made it rich, but most didn’t. What little bit of gold that they did find was used for food, housing, and supplies. So after a couple of weeks, half of them either started new towns, farms, businesses to sell much needed

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