Chapter 16

Chapter 16: The Crisis Of Union

Research Topics

The California Gold Rush


How did the California gold rush transform the lives of Americans?

News of gold in California drew some 80,000 people to California in 1849. Half that number were U.S. citizens. The other half came from nations around the world. Many of these new Californians endured great hardship to take part in what they believed would be a quick route to great wealth. The mass migration altered California's society and its economy. While some miners struck it rich, others profited by selling goods to miners. Even as the gold rush came to an end, California remained a land of riches and dreams for people throughout the world.


Choose from the following titles:

  1. The diary of a forty-niner. Edited by Chauncey L. Canfield.
  2. California Gold Narrative
  3. Photograph "The Heathen Chinese Prospecting" (1852)
  4. "A Pioneer Women's Westward Journey" (1849)
  5. William Redmond Ryan, "Personal Adventures in Upper and Lower California (185)
  6. Newspaper Letter Sheet "Miner's Ten Commandments" (1853)
  7. Cover Letter and Lease between Sutter and the Yalesummi Tribe (February 4, 1848)
  8. The Shirley letters from California mines in 1851-1852: Letter the Eleventh
  9. The gold seekers of California (n.d)
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