Ladies in the Gold Rush

By: Minha Khan

When, Where, What?

When: 1800's

Where: San Fran, California

Why: Ladies participated profoundly in the gold rush. Many activates including marriage, prostitution and work.

Were they involved?

Ladies participation...

  • Marriage
  • Prostitution
  • Property Rights
  • Work (Such as, help panned for gold, ran a boarding house, household work, entertaining.)
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Women wouldn't be part of occupations we are in today but, some would be babysitting, stay home mother, prostitute, chefs and etc. Although in some situations women would work with there husbands, fathers or sons and help find fortune in the fields.


Almost half of the women involved in the Gold Rush would show participation by consuming there time for household work. Washing cloths (by hand), cleaning dishes, cleaning houses and taking care of young children would be few of the many chores ladies and girls would offer doing; Whether it was for money or not.


In this time period most of many ladies would show there participation by "entertaining" men; Prostitution. Men would pay anywhere from 16$ to 100$. The ladies who worked in salons, dance halls and more would be labeled as "entertainers"; In order to reach bigger amounts of money the ladies would offer drinks to men. Most of the prostitutes were Chinese or Asian women. Also economically depressed Latina women too. Surprising but, kidnapped white women too.


Most girls and women would likely be married during the Gold Rush. Many would be younger but, older ladies would be involved as well. Marriage is considered huge still but, was even more back in the 1800's. Married women would most likely be far more interested in helping there husbands or sons during the Gold Rush. Whereas some of many women would find it easier for divorce in these times.
The Gold Rush ("California Gurls" by Katy Perry)