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The Gold Rush

The adoring letter, which John Sutter sent to his friend Mariano Vallejo, is one of the earliest written prove of the discovery of gold in the area surrounding Sutter’s mill along the American River. Soon the news about the discovery of gold in the West started to spread like bushfire. Though from the letter assurance has been given that other people had not been told about it, it did not take long before they did.

Discovery of gold caused migration into the West. According to the records, people rushed up from San Francisco to California with the news that gold had been discovered in 1848. The Gold Rush at California came with hope it could be a great economic activity for money and resource generation. This lead to exponential growth of various urban centers as people moved to discover the gold. Later three miles south-west of Placerville, the area of Texas Hill, also came to be a place of gold, which was later called as the place of the Rising Hope Mine (RHM).

The Gold Rush brought great disappointment to many people. Population quadrupled in small towns while there were no settlement before new ones arose. With this population explosion and with minimal resources to support it, there emerged all sorts of crimes. The labor miners were later greatly disappointed, because it turned to be frustrating with little rewards. The process of filtering gold also seemed hectic for gold miners, since they lacked modern machineries to help them sieve gold from sand. Most of these individuals left their homes full of luxury with hopes to become richer, whereof they were later disappointed. They hoped for success and wealth but instead got diseases and deaths.

The Gold Rush also contributed to an increase in violence and racial tension. The greater violence was caused by miners and settlers. Cases of murder, stealing, alcoholism, and gambling increased. Confrontation between the gold seekers, who were mainly whites, and the native Americans increased leading to numerous deaths. Miners despised the Native Americans and there were recorded instances of sexual assaults of native women. Attack on solitary miners often led to massacres of the Indian population.

The sudden population explosion in an area that was hitherto sparsely populated also meant lack of basic needs in the food. The miners were surviving on a poor diet which caused diseases such as scurvy that took a toll on the population leading to many deaths. Housing was also a major problem as many people had to share small cabins, often poor ventilated, consequently this endangered their health.

Lastly, by 1855 the economic climate was aggressive. This meant that gold could be mined profitably from the goldfields, by workers in partnership or employees. Later, the economic climate was changed and there were the gold mining companies that made money. Businesses sprung up and the population got involved in various types of economic activities.

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