(California Gold Rush) On This Day – January 24th

Michael Thomas, Editor

On this day, January the 24th, in the year of 1848, carpenter James Marshall found traces of gold, leading to the California Gold Rush.

After the discovery, Marshall, who was building a sawmill for John Sutter, told Sutter and the two agreed to share profits and keep the discovery secretive, but the news soon broke, leading to over 300,000 people from across the world to travel to California to prospect.

Of these 300,000, few made it rich from gold, with more being made from selling goods to the miners. Conditions of the mines were chaotic, with often lawless mines filled with desperate miners not mixing well, and by the end of 1850’s, the gold rush was over.

A result of the rush was it being the first of many population booms to California, with the city of San Francisco being a place many settled (Britannica) (California Department of Parks and Recreation).

Today, the California Gold Rush is best remembered by the name of San Francisco’s (who play South of the city in Santa Clara), the San Francisco 49ers, a nod to the year when the mass migration to California began (Sportsnaut). 

To read more daily facts and tidbits and about American history, see the Barron Perspectives “On this Day Archives” webpage and articles such as “(Persian Gulf War) On This Day – January 18th” and “(Martin Luther King Jr. Day) On This Day – January 17th”.