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A gold rush happens when people hear that gold has been found They then rush to seek their fortune Gold is a soft yellow precious metal that is very valuable Some people use gold as money The California Gold Rush is very famous Thousands of people moved to California after James Marshall at Sutters Mill found gold on January 24 1848 Although it took a year for the news to reach the east coast by 1849 thousands of forty-niners were mining for gold Most miners used a shallow pan to find flakes of gold in streams Although there have been many gold rushes the California Gold Rush brought over 200000 new people to California in just a few years Most miners went home broke Freighters and merchants who brought and marketed supplies made the real money Levi Straus struck it rich by making and selling durable pants Its father was James Marshall a dour paranoid carpenter from New Jersey Its mother was the natural happenstance of geological and hydrological forces that placed a pea-shaped dollop of gold in a sawmill ditch here on the chilly morning of Jan 24 1848 James Marshall had a work crew camped on the American River at Coloma near Sacramento The crew was building a sawmill for John Sutter On the cold clear morning of January Marshall found a few tiny gold nuggets What he had really found was the ignition switch for one of the most massive migrations in human history the California Gold Rush As a result 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 It was quite literally a rush More than 90000 people made their way to California in the two years following Marshalls discovery and more than 300000 by 1854 -- or one of about every 90 people then living in the United States The
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