Where gold fever broke out in the Wild West?

The gold in America began on the day when a certain James Marshall discovered the first nuggets quite by chance in the waters of the river Sacramento. It was 24 January 1848. The news that California had major gold deposits soon spread far and wide. The gold rush turned into a frantic stampede towards the regions of the river Sacramento by gold prospectors and adventurers. Those who did not want to waste time on the long sea journey by way of Cape Horn (the Panama Canal had not yet been opened), faced the terrible hardships of the Oregon trail, crossing the Sierra Nevada mountains and coping with all the difficulties of such a journey Nevertheless tens of thousands of people went to the west, lured on by dreams of riches.

In 1848 California had 22,000 inhabitants. Ten year later this figure had grown to 225,000. Some of the prospectors became rich but others were bitterly disappointed. Later gold was also discovered in Colorado, Nevada, Montana and in the Yukon.


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