Course Detail: LECT-8544 - The California Gold Rush

When gold was found at Sutter's Mill in 1848, John Sutter asked his men to keep the discovery a secret. In fact, Americans in the East did not hear the news or believe it until President James Polk confirmed the story weeks later. Gold fever erupted. The Gold Rush brought about swift demographic change-a mass migration of different people. This class will explore the initial discovery and more about the man who started it all. We will discuss types of mining, the miners' successes and failures, camp life and mining towns, racial and ethnic tensions, and impacts to local indigenous peoples. Come learn why all that glitters is not gold.

Available Sessions