California Gold Rush

By:Devin Shelby


Many people from all over the world came in hopes of striking it rich. People from China, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, Turkey, and France. In 1848 California's population was about 1,000 in 1889, there were 100,000 and by 1857 there were 380,000!

The Ride there!

The trip to get to California was anything but easy. From St. Luis to California took 85 days. People moved their entire family's out! People died from disease (biggest one was cholera) starvation and many other things. Children were taken along for the ride. Many died from falling under the wagon and some actually drowned. People traveled by boat, accross land and some did both. Many Americans just traveled by land, but if you live in Germany its kinda hard to travel on foot... all immigrants (besides Mexico) taveled by boat and land.

History of Califonia

in 1535, California was unknown territory and was explored by the Spanish. They established colonies there and all was well until 1756. That's when the french and Indian war started. In the end, British got the territory, but Spain didn't recognize that and still said it was theirs. in 18200 Mexico gained independence from Spain, California was now ruled by Mexico. America wanted California so they offered to pay mexico for it, Mexico declined and America declared war on Mexico. After 3 years of fighting America gained California as well as many other states.


  • wagons used could only cover 5-30 miles a day depending on weather
  • people who moved there were called 49ers
  • California was the 31st state
  • the man who discovered Gold, didnt get rich, he actually went bankrupt.
  • many people believed you could get rich over night
  • 97% of miners were men

how did they get the gold?

Nowadays you see on TV and online all the machines and tools they use to dig deep into the ground to find gold. Well back then they didn't have all the things we have today so it was a little bit harder for them to find the gold. They used a process called "panning" which is where you have a rugged pan and you put lots of dirt and water on it, then you shake the pan back and forth to remove any rocks or water. Gold is a very heavy material so it sinks to the bottom. Remember, gold isn't big chunks like you'd think, they are very tiny flakes.


Works Cited

Blake, Arthur, and Pamela Dailey. The Gold Rush of 1849: Staking a Claim in California. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 1995. Print.

"California Gold Rush (1848–1858)." Open Collections Program: Immigration to the US, California Gold Rush, 1848-1858. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.

"California." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.

"The Gold Rush of 1849." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.

America the Story of Us: Gold Rush
Westward Expansion: Crash Course US History #24