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The Great Gold Rush of 1849 was probably what a lot of people believe was the main reason the west got developed so quickly Once news got back to the east coast it took no time at all for people to be packed up and ready to make a journy that could break them It was a journy that could not be a positive success About1 In January 1848 James W Marshall a carpenter building a sawmill in partnership with John A Sutter in Californias Sacramento Valley discovered gold Sutter made his workers promise to keep the discovery a secret However the news leaked out Within a few months a shrewd merchant hoping to increase his business set off the gold rush in earnestBritannica 2 Samuel Brannan one of the early Mormon settlers in San Francisco owned a store near Sutters fort In early May he returned to San Francisco from a visit to the diggings and spread the word of gold Within a few days boats filled with townspeople were heading up the Sacramento River to look for gold Brannan of course had stocked his store with mining supplies and was doing a thriving business San Francisco soon was a ghost town as almost everyone was off to the gold sitesAbout 1 During the summer of 1848 the news spread up and down the West Coast across the border to Mexico and even to the Sandwich Islands Word also reached the Mississippi Valley and the Eastern states Newspapers were filled with the accounts of men who claimed to have become rich overnight by picking gold out of Californias wondrous earth Then in a message to the Congress of the United States in December President James K Polk confirmed the presence of gold in California That winter people from all walks of life set out for California Many pawned their possessions to get there The gold seekers also known as Forty-Niners or Argonauts joined
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