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Noble themes in the midst of lust, gold and greed as well as lessons on love and finally belonging. It is the antebellum western exploration period of American expansion with settlers heading over the Rockies towards the California territory obtained in the Mexican-American War.

A cholera ailing woman, left to die next to her already dead husband and son, is rescued from a broken down wagon on a rugged trail by a hearty mountain man, who then sells her upon her recovery to a crooked mobile saloon keeper, who sets up his crooked tent at new fledging mining camps, seeking gold after news of its discovery at the Sutter Mill.

After the death of his mother, young Tom Marsh is helping his Pa and older brothers keep up a fledgling farm in the central valley, when Pa informs them that he has sold the farm to pay off a debt and will be taking his boys north near the Sutter Mill to seek the newly discovered gold. Old Army buddies, Joshua and Eban, have followed gold rumors to a mining camp that appears to be a cunning decoy from the real gold locations, drawing hopeful seekers to a crooked gambling operation in the tented saloon.

Yet as the three of them head further north to the actual gold locations, they are followed by the vengeful saloon keeper and the mountain man out to take back the woman. Fate will bring all of these characters together next to the gold-filled, creek-fed canyons, where both opportunity and death will clash. Well-versed in the history and ruggedness of the California Gold Rush, which led to eventual statehood for California, the author has created a suspenseful, dramatic, and rough-hewn fictional tale that demonstrates the mix of courage, strength, and evil that arose in the settlement rush in the Sierras of the Golden State.

There were a few moments that might have felt a bit of a stretch, but nothing that did not detract from this old-Western style tale. I was very impressed with the author's writing abilities and his uncanny descriptive stories of the old west. There was so much history in this story of the gold mining escapades in California that had me thinking these descriptive stories were true.

I was overly impressed with the storyline that it was hard for me to lay the book aside to even eat. A very entertaining storyline and one that any readers of the true old west, especially the "gold rush era," will not want to miss. I have already purchased the remaining follow up stories and anxiously awaiting the novels to unfold. Don't miss these books, as they will fulfill your wildest imagination. I guarantee you will be as impressed as I was!

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John Rose Putnam knows the recorded history of California's Gold Rush era and imbues it with deep character studies, a sensitivity to the magnificent setting and an examination of the vagaries of the mining life. The author's strong storytelling skills pull the reader along as young Tom Marsh faces the violence unleashed by madmen.

Then he fell in love with the rustic charm of California's gold country and decided to write his own books. John Putnam. With her rescuer beside her, Maggie fled deeper into the unknown foothills, pursued by her memories, fears, and two ruthless killers who would stop at nothing to get her. In an isolated valley filled with gold she found a refuge.

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". A majority of the gold went back to New York City brokerage houses. 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.


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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. 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.

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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. Historian H. 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 This section's factual accuracy is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on Talk:California Gold Rush. Please help to ensure that disputed statements are reliably sourced. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. Crushing quartz ore prior to washing out gold. After , California gold mining changed and is outside the 'rush' era. California State University, Stanislaus. Archived from the original on July 1, Retrieved January 23, Learn California.

Archived from the original on July 27, Retrieved August 22, Retrieved December 3, History of California, Volume — San Francisco: The History Company. History of California, — Rush for riches; gold fever and the making of California. History Company. California: a history.

New York: The Modern Library. History of California. Gold: the California story. The age of gold: the California Gold Rush and the new American dream. New York: Anchor reprint ed. Another route across Nicaragua was developed in ; it was not as popular as the Panama option. Rawls, James J. Oakland Museum of California. Retrieved February 26, Siskiyou Trail.

Hangtown Creek: A Tale of the California Gold Rush

New York: McGraw Hill. History of Siskiyou County, California. Oakland, California: D. Life amongst the Modocs: unwritten history. Berkeley: Heyday Books; reprint edition January So Much to Be Done. Lincoln: U Nebraska, p. Rooted in barbarous soil: people, culture, and community in Gold Rush California. Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. The California Gold Rush. University of California Press. Retrieved May 12, New York: W. 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. Rawls, James, J. August 26, Retrieved March 7, They saw the elephant: Women in the California Gold Rush. The surviving U. Wide-Open Town. 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 Western Mining.

Hangtown Creek: A Tale of the California Gold Rush - Whitcoulls

Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Mapping Region in Early American Writing, There were fewer than 1, U. Nebraska Press, p. The Shirley Letters from the California Mines, — Heyday Books, Berkeley, California. Retrieved July 31, The letters were originally published in — by The Pioneer magazine. The U. Congress finally legalized the practice in the " Chaffee laws " of and the "placer law" of Lindley, Curtis H.

See also John F. Burns, and Richard J. Douglas W. 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. 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. The gold recovered using these methods was used to finance the expansion of the Roman Empire. Hushing was also used in lead and tin mining in Northern Britain and Cornwall. There is, however, no evidence of the earlier use of hoses, nozzles and continuous jets of water in the manner developed in California during the Gold Rush.


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Alpers; Michael P. Hunerlach; Jason T. May; Roger L. Geological Survey. Retrieved February 19, Evidence from the California Gold Rush". Journal of Economic History. Duke University Press Books. Lick's fortune was used to build Lick Observatory. Huntington , Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker , Sacramento area businessmen later known as the Big Four who financed the western leg of the First Transcontinental Railroad , and became very wealthy as a result.

Other estimates are that there were 7,—13, non-Native Americans in California before January See Holliday, J. See Starr, Kevin , p. The Journal of Economic History. By , California had over flour mills, and was exporting wheat and flour around the world.