On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall of John Sutter's sawmill discovered small yellow pieces in the waterwheel. He took them to the owner. Having carefully checked the found metal, they were surprised to learn that it was gold.
It cannot be said that this news greatly delighted Sutter. He had to travel a lot in America before he bought his estate in California. What will happen if adventurers from all over the world find out about the find and rush here?
Sutter demanded that Marshall keep this news a secret. But is it possible to keep such news?
Soon, rumors spread about gold, and in March the first prospectors appeared on the Sutter estate. In August 1848, an article about the incredible gold reserves on the banks of the Rushen River appeared in the New York Herald. Mr. Sutter's fears were not in vain: gold miners from all over the world rushed here. Moreover, his business collapsed, the workers preferred to wash gold than work for the owner. Moreover, settlers settled on its land, stealing grain and livestock.
In a short time, the population of San Francisco has grown many times over. For gold rushed from all over the world. About 300, 000 people came to California hoping to get rich. The US government even imposed a tax on foreigners who arrived in California for gold mines. They had to pay $ 20 a month, a considerable amount at that time, but how could these $ 20 stop the seekers of wealth - everyone hoped to earn much more.
Someone really in a short time became a millionaire, but many were not lucky, having sold their property to get to fabulous California, they turned into beggars. They say that most of all on the "gold rush" earned not the prospectors, but the merchants who supplied products here, clothing and inventory. They, indeed, earned considerable sums - in 1850 alone, according to official figures, 57 thousand people were engaged in gold mining in California.
Already in 1852, gold production declined sharply: there were more and more miners, and, alas, there was less and less gold. Nobody expected an easy gold. Soon, gold prospectors began to leave California and in 1855 the "gold rush" ended here.
San Francisco, by that time, turned into a fairly large city, but the estate of Mr. John Sutter was completely destroyed.