In 1848 gold was discovered in California.
The following year most of the people who were heading west were
gold prospectors. They became known as 'the forty-niners' because
this was the year the Californian gold rush started. Much of the
gold was found by 'Panning'. The gold was washed out of the mountain
rocks by the streams; it mixed with the gravel on the riverbed.
pan for gold the miners took a much something similar to a flying
pan and filled it with the water and gravel. They swirled it around
and the lighter of the 2 materials rose to the top. Gold is heavy
so it sinks to the bottom and the panner would then search the
gravel for the nuggets of gold. Although a few people made a fortune,
most did not, and it was the people like the blacksmiths and shopkeepers,
who came to provide for the miners needs that made the most money
in the Californian gold rush.
History of the West - Native
American Peoples Of the Plains - Wagon
Trains - Ranches
on the Plains - Cowboys - Homesteaders - The
Railroad - Justice in the Wild West - War
Between The Settlers and The Native American Indians