The Gold Rush of 1849
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Gold fever swept the nation in the mid 1800's. Was he/she caught up in the excitement? How did he/she get to California, and what did he/she find there? Choose this Topic to record his/her tales of and thoughts about life in the West.
Would you like to write about his/her gold rush experiences?
- When did he/she hear of gold in California? Did he/she leave for California or did he/she stay home? Why?
- What did it feel like to be left behind while others went to California, or what was it like to leave? Did he/she fear that he/she would never see family and friends again?
- Describe the trip. What was the distance and how long did it take? What transportation did he/she use? What happened along the way that was memorable? Did everyone who attempted the journey with him make it? If not, what happened?
- What did he/she find when he/she made it to California? Where did he/she end up? What town did he/she stay in?
- Was it easy to find land for prospecting? How did he/she get access to land? Were there claim jumping problems?
- If he/she was a miner, what methods and tools did he/she use to find gold? Shovels and picks? Pans? Did he/she work alone or by himself?
- Was it more difficult to find gold than people imagined? Did he/she strike it rich without much effort or did long hours of work result in disappointment? What did he/she do with any gold that he/she found?
- If he/she wasn't a Caucasian American male, how was he/she treated in gold country? What was he/she and wasn't he/she allowed to do? Did he/she think that his/her treatment was fair?
- If he/she wasn't a prospector, what did he/she do? Was he/she a shopkeeper or a farmer that supplied the towns? How did the gold rush affect him or his/her business? Was he/she the spouse of a miner?
- Did he/she or anyone he/she knew come back from the gold country with a fortune? Did anyone come back broke? Were there people who never came back at all? What happened to them?