Despite what most people believe gold was notfirst discovered in California in 1848. Even Sir Frances Drake, said that gold was “occurring in abundance” It is well documented that Spanish and Mexican settlers reported finding gold in southeastern California in 1775, 1812, 1814, and 1824. But it was not until 1842 that it caused great public interest. Francisco Lopez Rancho may have started the great exploration for gold when he found a gold nugget while farming onions. Within weeks of the discovery, hundreds of gold seekers arrived, mostly from Los Angeles.
In the following years it was estimated that somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 in gold was taken to Mexico and even Philadelphia. Atfirst gold was sold in Philadelphia for 19.00 an ounce. The California gold rush began in 1848 at John Sutter’s Mill. James Marshall was an employee at Sutter’s mill, whose job was to supervise the operation and construction of the mill.Marshall had a work crew camped on the American river in Coloma building a sawmill for John Sutter.
On January 28, 1848 Marshall was thefirst to discover gold at Sutter’s Mill and did so by accident. While fixing a wheel on a machine Marshall stumbled upon an odd looking rock.Which later of course turned out to be gold. Shortly after Marshall’s discovery, General John Bidwell found gold in the Feather River. This consequently caused one of the greatest human migrations in history as over half a million people migrated to California in search for instant wealth. Immigrants from Europe Asia and South America joined Americans in the search for new wealth.
Over 100,000 people took part in the California gold rush, many unmarried men from the eastern United States hoping to claim gold and return ho! me. By the year 1854 over 300,000 men and women had migrated to California.The president at the time was James Polk who in December of 1848 addressed congress stating that great…