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  • James Madison Adams (1817 - 1899)
    Went to California in 1849 as a gold prospector.
  • Melville J. Salter (1834 - 1896)
    Melville Judson Salter (born Sardinia, New York, June 20, 1834; died Pawnee Station, Kansas, March 12, 1896) was a politician and civic leader who was twice elected the eighth Lieutenant Governor of ...
  • Henry A. Stearns (1825 - 1910)
    Henry Augustus Stearns (October 23, 1825 – October 8, 1910) brought steam laundry to California, was a cotton wadding mill owner in Rhode Island, and a Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island. Early ...
  • Brevet Brig. General William W. Henry (USA) (1831 - 1915)
    William Wirt Henry (November 21, 1831 – August 31, 1915) was a manufacturer and a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for gallantry in ac...
  • Howard Pardon Keith (1831 - 1915)
    Biography Recorded as written: VI. Howard Pardon Keith, son of Pardon, was born June 13, 1831, in West Bridgewater, Mass., and in the district schools of his native town acquired his early schoolin...

The Gist:

All people associated with the California Gold Rush era.

Brief History

In January of 1848, James Marshall had a work crew camped on the American River at Coloma near Sacramento. The crew was building a saw mill for John Sutter. On the cold, clear morning of January 24, Marshall found a few tiny gold nuggets. Thus began one of the largest human migrations in history as a half-million people from around the world descended upon California in search of instant wealth.

The first printed notice of the discovery was in the March 15 issue of "The Californian" in San Francisco. Shortly after Marshall's discovery, General John Bidwell discovered gold in the Feather River and Major Pearson B. Reading found gold in the Trinity River. The Gold Rush was soon in full sway.

In 1849, quartz mining began at the Mariposa mine in Mariposa County. Gold deposits were often found inside quartz veins. In 1850, California became a state. Also that year, gold-bearing quartz was found at Gold Hill in Grass Valley. This led to the development of the great underground mines in that district and a major industry the continued for more than 100 years.

In 1851, Gold was discovered in Greenhorn Creek, Kern County. This discovery led to the rush to the upper Kern River region. By 1852, California's annual gold production reached a then all-time high of $81 million.

California Gold Rush Links