Gold Rush: Through The Good Times And The Bad

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Making a Gold Rush: Through the Good Times and the Bad The first two years of the Gold Rush seemed to be California’s miners most lucrative years, whereas I tend to disagree with Rohrbough and his statement that “the Gold Rush…generated a complex and highly competitive economy that conferred advantages on those with capital and luck and that ignored men who possessed neither.” Success is determined with what you choose to do with your earnings and how successful you were, as well as the investments that were made during the first years of the Gold Rush. Luck has nothing to do with the less profitable 49ers, the deteriorating conditions of the placers and areas in which they mined for years after the overwhelming influx of miners and immigrants…show more content…
One instance was that of Sam Brannan, a Mormon merchant who worked at Sutter’s Fort, Sam bought all the mining supplies he could find, and filled his store at Sutter’s Fort with all the mining provisions that customers would need. Then he took a small bottle full of gold flakes to a nearby town, which we know as San Francisco. Sam walked up and down the streets, waving the bottle of gold over his head and shouting “Gold, gold, gold in the American River!” The next day, the town’s newspaper described San Francisco as a “ghost town.” Sam Brannan quickly became California’s first millionaire, selling supplies to the miners as they passed by Sutter’s Fort, then the Gold rush had begun (Hist. 347 lecture October 1, 2012). In instances such as Brannan’s, you didn’t have to look for gold to make a profit, he had the right idea of buying up everything people needed to find gold (Hist. 347 lecture October 1, 2012). San Francisco became a business capital, running the same profitability as New York and Boston, becoming a center for lawyers, doctors, businessmen, and entrepreneurs. Within Rohrbough’s text, he states various instances where individuals dealing with the Gold Rush such as Brannan were becoming profitable without having to actually go to the gold mines. An example of this would be that of Alfred…show more content…
They needed to build ditches and trenches due to water levels from the hydraulic systems and they needed different tools and techniques for mining. Mining was becoming very expensive for not a lot of profit in the end. By the end of the 1850s many miners wanted to go back home and other went in to obtain occupations to protect themselves against changes in mining. You would think that the miners were homesick, but in reality it was due to “reduced opportunity or simply in order to avoid the hard physical labor of mining in favor of something less arduous” (Rohrbough 188) One instance was that of Joseph Wood, who arrived in the mines August of 1849, his company worked throughout the rain and the harsh conditions of the winter, yet they were unsuccessful. “To sum up the whole matter of our winter’s labor so far, we have made nothing” (Rohrbough 189). This was not new to many of the remaining 49ers in the west, most of them were unsuccessful, and when they did do well, they would have to turn in

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