The forty-niners were men that rushed to California in 1848-49 in search of gold. Were most of the forty-niners successful in their search for riches?why or why not? support your answer with...

The forty-niners were men that rushed to California in 1848-49 in search of gold. Were most of the forty-niners successful in their search for riches?

why or why not? support your answer with details about the gold rush.                                      

Asked on by smellybug

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cburr's profile pic

cburr | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

No, most weren't successful. The Sacramento Bee newspaper reported that "one in every five miners who came to California in 1849 was dead within six months."  Those who lived to tell the tail found the work very hard.  Most of those who became wealthy off gold were (1) lucky and (2) found their gold during the early days of the Gold Rush.  

Actually, alot of those who got rich off the gold rush were the ones who ran businesses to support the prospectors' needs for clothing, equipment, etc.

dbello's profile pic

dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

Gold was discovered in San Francisco California in 1849. Everything after that fact is subject to historical debate. However, there is one story that has stood the test of time, this is it... John Sutter owned a mill in San Francisco. One day he was walking around his property admiring his all that he had, and noticed something glittering in the water. Sutter had never noticed this before so his curiousity got the better of him. He reached down and picked up the glittering stone, word got out...'Gold'. The California Gold Rush was official, and those who swarmed to California were referred to as the forty-niners. Based upon the records, most of the forty-niners never became millionaires. Although the gold was slow in revealing itself there were some that did profit. However most of the men who went west to 'stake their claim' in California found out that their dreams of wealth were made in vain.

ljfrank's profile pic

ljfrank | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Also, take into consideration that women and immigrants took an active role during the gold rush. White women and French, Mexican, Chilean, Chinese, and Native American people sometimes mined for gold along with Anglo-American men, although the majority of  these immigrant and Native groups also found wealth in support services -- like doing laundry or cooking food for the miners.

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