I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been a die-hard 49ers fan as long as I can remember — growing up, I was Joe Montana for Halloween two years straight. I proudly wore the red and gold for an afternoon when I had a tryout with the 49ers last spring. I ultimately ended up in training camp with the Seattle Seahawks, but I'll never forget the one day I got to be a 49er.
I don't know a lot, but I do know that I catch a lot of flak for expressing my opinions, something you are now very familiar with. I also know you support the military — "God Bless Our Troops" is written on the football that you and former 49er teammate Colt McCoy signed for one of the charities I work with. The football's currently sitting in my parents' house; my dad bid the highest at the charity's auction. Unfortunately, I also know that racism still exists in our country, as it does in every other country on this planet, and I hate that I know that.
I hate that at times I feel guilty for being white. In , I witnessed genocide firsthand in the Darfur region of Sudan. The fact that hate and oppression still exist at that level in our world really hurts me. I met countless young Africans who were enamored with America and the opportunities that exist here. Those people would have given anything to experience what I had grown up with, even just for one day. I joined the Army upon returning to the U.
I didn't enlist to fight for what we already have here; I did it because I wanted to fight for what those people didn't have there: I am in no way political, but I'm proud that we have an African-American president, and that I got to serve under him. Overcoming racism at home is a slow process, and we still have a long way to go, but most of us are trying. That's what sets us apart from so many other places. In this country, no matter who you are, where you come from, what color you are, you can try.
While the horses grazed, Lopez dug up some wild onions and found a small gold nugget in the roots among the onion bulbs. He looked further and found more gold. Lopez took the gold to authorities who confirmed its worth. Lopez and others began to search for other streambeds with gold deposits in the area. They found several in the northeastern section of the forest, within present-day Ventura County.
In he found gold in San Feliciano Canyon near his first discovery.
Mexican miners from Sonora worked the placer deposits until , when the Californios began to agitate for independence from Mexico, and the Bear Flag Revolt caused many Mexicans to leave California. The first people to rush to the goldfields, beginning in the spring of , were the residents of California themselves—primarily agriculturally oriented Americans and Europeans living in Northern California , along with Native Americans and some Californios Spanish -speaking Californians. Women and children of all ethnicities were often found panning next to the men.
Some enterprising families set up boarding houses to accommodate the influx of men; in such cases, the women often brought in steady income while their husbands searched for gold. Word of the Gold Rush spread slowly at first. The earliest gold-seekers were people who lived near California or people who heard the news from ships on the fastest sailing routes from California.
The first large group of Americans to arrive were several thousand Oregonians who came down the Siskiyou Trail. Only a small number probably fewer than traveled overland from the United States that year. A person could work for six months in the goldfields and find the equivalent of six years' wages back home. By the beginning of , word of the Gold Rush had spread around the world, and an overwhelming number of gold-seekers and merchants began to arrive from virtually every continent.
The largest group of forty-niners in were Americans, arriving by the tens of thousands overland across the continent and along various sailing routes  the name "forty-niner" was derived from the year Many from the East Coast negotiated a crossing of the Appalachian Mountains , taking to riverboats in Pennsylvania , poling the keelboats to Missouri River wagon train assembly ports, and then travelling in a wagon train along the California Trail.
Australians  and New Zealanders picked up the news from ships carrying Hawaiian newspapers, and thousands, infected with "gold fever", boarded ships for California. Forty-niners came from Latin America, particularly from the Mexican mining districts near Sonora and Chile. It is estimated that approximately 90, people arrived in California in —about half by land and half by sea. People from small villages in the hills near Genova, Italy were among the first to settle permanently in the Sierra Nevada foothills ; they brought with them traditional agricultural skills, developed to survive cold winters.
A number of immigrants were from China. Several hundred Chinese arrived in California in and , and in more than 20, landed in San Francisco. Chinese miners suffered enormously, enduring violent racism from white miners who aimed their frustrations at foreigners. To this day, there has been no justice for known victims. There were also women in the Gold Rush. However, their numbers were small. Of the 40, people who arrived by ship in the San Francisco harbor in , only were women.
The reasons they came varied: While in California, women became widows quite frequently due to mining accidents , disease, or mining disputes of their husbands. Life in the goldfields offered opportunities for women to break from their traditional work. Described as the "city of bachelors", the disproportionate number of men to women in San Francisco created an environment where homosexuality and gay culture flourished.
When the Gold Rush began, the California goldfields were peculiarly lawless places. With the signing of the treaty ending the war on February 2, , California became a possession of the United States, but it was not a formal " territory " and did not become a state until September 9, California existed in the unusual condition of a region under military control. There was no civil legislature, executive or judicial body for the entire region.
Lax enforcement of federal laws, such as the Fugitive Slave Act of , encouraged the arrival of free blacks and escaped slaves. While the treaty ending the Mexican—American War obliged the United States to honor Mexican land grants,  almost all the goldfields were outside those grants. Instead, the goldfields were primarily on " public land ", meaning land formally owned by the United States government. The benefit to the forty-niners was that the gold was simply "free for the taking" at first. In the goldfields at the beginning, there was no private property, no licensing fees, and no taxes.
Miners worked at a claim only long enough to determine its potential. If a claim was deemed as low-value—as most were—miners would abandon the site in search for a better one. In the case where a claim was abandoned or not worked upon, other miners would "claim-jump" the land. Four hundred million years ago, California lay at the bottom of a large sea; underwater volcanoes deposited lava and minerals including gold onto the sea floor. By tectonic forces these minerals and rocks came to the surface of the Sierra Nevada,  and eroded. Water carried the exposed gold downstream and deposited it in quiet gravel beds along the sides of old rivers and streams.
Because the gold in the California gravel beds was so richly concentrated, early forty-niners were able to retrieve loose gold flakes and nuggets with their hands, or simply " pan " for gold in rivers and streams. Tunnels were then dug in all directions to reach the richest veins of pay dirt. In the most complex placer mining, groups of prospectors would divert the water from an entire river into a sluice alongside the river, and then dig for gold in the newly exposed river bottom.
In the next stage, by , hydraulic mining was used on ancient gold-bearing gravel beds on hillsides and bluffs in the goldfields. A byproduct of these extraction methods was that large amounts of gravel, silt , heavy metals , and other pollutants went into streams and rivers. After the Gold Rush had concluded, gold recovery operations continued.http://www.sanvalentinrun.com/images/101/mejor-lugar-para-conocer-personas.php
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The final stage to recover loose gold was to prospect for gold that had slowly washed down into the flat river bottoms and sandbars of California's Central Valley and other gold-bearing areas of California such as Scott Valley in Siskiyou County. Both during the Gold Rush and in the decades that followed, gold-seekers also engaged in "hard-rock" mining , extracting the gold directly from the rock that contained it typically quartz , usually by digging and blasting to follow and remove veins of the gold-bearing quartz.
Loss of mercury in the amalgamation process was a source of environmental contamination. Recent scholarship confirms that merchants made far more money than miners during the Gold Rush. Just as the rush began he purchased all the prospecting supplies available in San Francisco and re-sold them at a substantial profit. Some gold-seekers made a significant amount of money. In California most late arrivals made little or wound up losing money. By contrast, a businessman who went on to great success was Levi Strauss , who first began selling denim overalls in San Francisco in Other businessmen reaped great rewards in retail, shipping, entertainment, lodging,  or transportation.
Brothels also brought in large profits, especially when combined with saloons and gaming houses. By , the economic climate had changed dramatically. Gold could be retrieved profitably from the goldfields only by medium to large groups of workers, either in partnerships or as employees. By the mids, it was the owners of these gold-mining companies who made the money.
Also, the population and economy of California had become large and diverse enough that money could be made in a wide variety of conventional businesses.
Once extracted, the gold itself took many paths. First, much of the gold was used locally to purchase food, supplies and lodging for the miners. It also went towards entertainment, which consisted of anything from a traveling theater to alcohol, gambling, and prostitutes. These transactions often took place using the recently recovered gold, carefully weighed out. The gold then left California aboard ships or mules to go to the makers of the goods from around the world. A second path was the Argonauts themselves who, having personally acquired a sufficient amount, sent the gold home, or returned home taking with them their hard-earned "diggings".
As the Gold Rush progressed, local banks and gold dealers issued "banknotes" or "drafts"—locally accepted paper currency—in exchange for gold,  and private mints created private gold coins. A study attributes the record-long economic expansion of the United States in the recession-free period of — primarily to "a boom in transportation-goods investment following the discovery of gold in California. The Gold Rush propelled California from a sleepy, little-known backwater to a center of the global imagination and the destination of hundreds of thousands of people.
The new immigrants often showed remarkable inventiveness and civic-mindedness. For example, in the midst of the Gold Rush, towns and cities were chartered, a state constitutional convention was convened, a state constitution written, elections held, and representatives sent to Washington, D. Large-scale agriculture California's second "Gold Rush"  began during this time. Between and , the population of San Francisco increased from to , The Panama Railway , spanning the Isthmus of Panama, was finished in One ill-fated journey, that of the S.
Central America ,  ended in disaster as the ship sank in a hurricane off the coast of the Carolinas in , with approximately three tons of California gold aboard. The human and environmental costs of the Gold Rush were substantial. Native Americans, dependent on traditional hunting, gathering and agriculture, became the victims of starvation and disease, as gravel, silt and toxic chemicals from prospecting operations killed fish and destroyed habitats.
Later farming spread to supply the settlers' camps, taking more land away from the Native Americans.
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In some areas, systematic attacks against tribespeople in or near mining districts occurred. Various conflicts were fought between natives and settlers. After his killing, the sheriff led a group of men to track down the Indians, whom the men then attacked. Only three children survived the massacre that was against a different band of Wintu than the one that had killed Anderson.
Historian Benjamin Madley recorded the numbers of killings of California Indians between and and estimated that during this period at least 9, to 16, California Indians were killed by non-Indians, mostly occurring in more than massacres defined as the "intentional killing of five or more disarmed combatants or largely unarmed noncombatants, including women, children, and prisoners, whether in the context of a battle or otherwise".
The state government, in support of miner activities funded and supported death squads , appropriating over 1 million dollars towards the funding and operation of the paramilitary organizations. While we cannot anticipate the result with but painful regret, the inevitable destiny of the race is beyond the power and wisdom of man to avert. After the initial boom had ended, explicitly anti-foreign and racist attacks, laws and confiscatory taxes sought to drive out foreigners—not just Native Americans—from the mines, especially the Chinese and Latin American immigrants mostly from Sonora, Mexico and Chile.
The Gold Rush stimulated economies around the world as well. Farmers in Chile , Australia, and Hawaii found a huge new market for their food; British manufactured goods were in high demand; clothing and even prefabricated houses arrived from China. The increase in gold supply also created a monetary supply shock. Within a few years after the end of the Gold Rush, in , the groundbreaking ceremony for the western leg of the First Transcontinental Railroad was held in Sacramento.
The line's completion, some six years later, financed in part with Gold Rush money,  united California with the central and eastern United States. Travel that had taken weeks or even months could now be accomplished in days. California's name became indelibly connected with the Gold Rush, and fast success in a new world became known as the "California Dream. Brands noted that in the years after the Gold Rush, the California Dream spread across the nation:. The old American Dream The new dream was the dream of instant wealth, won in a twinkling by audacity and good luck.
Overnight California gained the international reputation as the "golden state". California farmers,  oil drillers,  movie makers,  airplane builders ,  and "dot-com" entrepreneurs have each had their boom times in the decades after the Gold Rush. In addition, the standard route shield of state highways in California is in the shape of a miner's spade to honor the California Gold Rush.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the film, see California Gold Rush film. Prospectors working California gold placer deposits in Crushing quartz ore prior to washing out gold. San Francisco Bay Area portal California portal. After , California gold mining changed and is outside the 'rush' era. A Bibliography of Periodical Articles". California State University, Stanislaus. Archived from the original on July 1, Archived from the original on July 27, Retrieved December 3, History of California, Volume History of California, — Rush for riches; gold fever and the making of California.
Oakland, California, Berkeley and Los Angeles: Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. The age of gold: Another route across Nicaragua was developed in ; it was not as popular as the Panama option. Oakland Museum of California. Retrieved February 26, History of Siskiyou County, California.
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Life amongst the Modocs: Heyday Books; reprint edition January So Much to Be Done. Rooted in barbarous soil: The California Gold Rush. Retrieved May 12, Retrieved October 22, Other estimates range from 70, to 90, arrivals during ibid. Archived from the original on May 13, African American Literature of the Gold Rush.
Women in Early San Francisco". They saw the elephant: Women in the California Gold Rush. Here, the rough-and-tumble saloons of the Gold Rush developed into dance halls, honky-tonks, and bawdy houses that provided a space for men to gamble, dance, and satisfy their sexual desires University of Oklahoma Press.
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Mapping Region in Early American Writing, There were fewer than 1, U. The Shirley Letters from the California Mines, — Heyday Books, Berkeley, California. Retrieved July 31, The letters were originally published in — by The Pioneer magazine. Congress finally legalized the practice in the " Chaffee laws " of and the "placer law" of See also John F. Burns, and Richard J. Orsi, eds; Taming the Elephant: Archived from the original on May 14, The term "ounces" used in this article to refer to gold typically refers to troy ounces.
There are some historical uses where, because of the age of the use, the intention is ambiguous.
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See Roman-era gold mines in Spain. Roman engineers built extensive aqueducts and reservoirs above gold-bearing areas, and released the stored water in a flood so as to remove over-burden and expose gold-bearing bedrock, a process known as hushing. The bedrock was then attacked using fire and mechanical means, and volumes of water were used again to remove debris, and to process the resulting ore.