California Gold Rush 1849

In the mid-1840's, California was a neglected province of Mexico with scarcely a handful of settlers. San Francisco, a tiny mission outpost and fishing village, could count only about one hundred inhabitants. Then in early 1848, a carpenter building a lumber mill on the American River in northern California stumbled on a glittering nugget that he thought might be gold. By May, the cry of "Gold!" resounded up and down the coast, and Californians were deserting their scattered settlements and their jobs to seek their fortunes at Sutter's Mill. In words and with contemporary illustrations and documents, this primary source portfolio conveys the wild excitement of the Gold Rush that followed as the news of the find filtered back to the East. It shows how the credulous gold-seekers sailed the long and dangerous sea route around South America or struggled by wagon over the arid western plains and mountains to reach the promised-land. Students will learn first-hand, how they, ill-informed and ill-equipped, were bilked by hucksters and beset by disease; what awaited them in California; how they mined for gold; and how in only five years the rush brought the American flag and almost a half million people to California. This portfolio includes a Study Guide with reproducible student activities. 6 Illustrated Broadsheet Essays: * Discovery * Forty-Niners * To California by Sea * To California by Land * San Francisco * Self-determination: The Spirit of '49 11 Primary Source Documents: * Map of Emigrant Road Accompaniment, 1849 * A Gold Rush Bill of Fare, 1849 * The Miner's Ten Commandments: a poster, 1849 * Harper's Weekly, October 3, 1857 * The Placer Times, April 28, 1849 * New York Herald, February 16, 1849 * Page from President James K. Polk's diary, December 7, 1848 * Map of the Gold Regions of California, 1849 * Sheet Music for Stephen Foster's "Oh! Susanna," 1848 * Mining Methods: a poster * Panoramic daguerreotype of San Francisco harbor during the Gold Rush

Product type: Primary Source Portfolio
ISBN: 978-1-5669-6067-0
Author: Andrew Bronin
Copyright: 1972
Reading Level: Grades 5-8
Interest Level: Grades 5-8
Dimensions: 14" x 9 1/4"