Today in History: Gold Is Discovered in Coloma

| January 24, 2019

California_Clipper_500On January 24th, 1848, James W. Marshall (1810-1885), an American carpenter and sawmill operator, spotted bright flakes in the water as he was building a sawmill for Capain John Sutter in Coloma, California. Thought he tried to keep his discovery of gold a secret, word quickly spread. Some 80,000 immigrants came overland on the California Trail, or by boat from Cape Horn or Panama, in search of wealth. Although it was backbreaking  and fiercely competitive labor, miners began coming by the 1850s from all over the world. Many died from starvation, disease, abuse, and massacre, while the land was being ravaged through faster methods of gold mining. Pioneers took to farming to earn their livelihood in the Westward Movement, an impactful time in the history of our nation.

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

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