The Gold Rush Timeline
Timeline Description: The American gold rush began in the middle of the 1800's. It changed the American west, as well as the people. This is a timeline of those events.

Date Event
January 1848 James Marshall finds gold

James Marshall was working in California to build a water pump. While in the river he found a shiny metal which turned out to be gold.
March 1848 Reports about gold aren't believed

A local newspaper heard about the gold discovery and reported about it. Most people in the area didn't believe it.
August 1848 The gold rush begins

James Marshall tried to keep his discovery a secret, but word quickly spread. By August there were 4000 gold mines in the areas.
November 1848 The first minted gold

The first shipments of gold sent to the mint left from San Francisco. The ship carried over $500,000 of gold.
1849 The coming of the 49'ers

The year of 1849 brought travelers from all over the world. They all came to get rich.
February 1849 Women come to get a husband

Papers advertised for women to come to San Francisco to get husbands among the miners.
June 1849 A government is formed

The lands were wild and lawless because of so many people arriving at once. The people attempted to set up a government to rule the land.
December 1849 San Francisco becomes a booming metropolis

San Francisco became the central city for the gold mining towns. Businesses popped up all over the place to accommodate the gold miners.
January 1850 The Compromise of 1850 is passed

California wanted to become an official state, but they wanted to be free from slavery. The Compromise helped smooth out the anger of those who wanted to keep slaves.
May 1850 Another gold shipment leaves San Francisco

This time the shipment carried a whopping 1.5 million dollars' worth of gold.
1850 The gold runs out

Most of the gold on the surface was picked clean by 1850. Men kept coming, though, hoping to get lucky.
December 1850 The fires of San Francisco

Four huge fires swept the area during the year, burning hundreds of buildings and killing many people. The citizens raised money to set up a fire station.
1853 Hydraulic mining is introduced

Mining with machines became the preferred way to mine because the machines could dig deeper into the ground. Miners began working for mining companies who owned the machines.
1857 The gold rush stabilized

The gold rush finally fell off in 1857, when the gold output stabilized at around 45 million dollars a year.
1884 Hydraulic mining is outlawed

A California judge finally outlawed hydraulic mining because it tore up the land.