On the morning of January 24, 1848, a worker James Marshall went in search of a place for the construction of a water mill. Getting to the beach of American River, he saw bright glimpses on the sand, sparkling in the sun. Taking the sand in the hand, Marshall realized that he was holding a small, pea-sized, but certainly a real piece of gold. To ensure this, he went to the laundress, working on the same mill, and using an acid they found out that nugget that Marshall found was pure gold.
Marshall immediately told about his discovery to John Sutter, the owner of sawmill. This German immigrant owned thousands of acres of land in the vicinity of Sacramento, and he planned to continue to expand its territory in order to then create enormous agricultural empire. That is why it was decided to conceal information on the discovery. However, the secret became known, and soon one of the San Francisco newspapers confirmed reports of several gold discoveries and from neighboring areas miners began to flock.
One trader, Sam Brennan, decided to make cash on this news. He gathered a bit of golden sand and went to San Francisco, where in the streets he began shout ‘Gold! Gold! Gold from American River!’ Brennan hoped that miners will rush to these places, which would buy all the necessary goods in his shop and help him make a fortune. News quickly reached the capital of California, Monterrey, and then the east coast of the United States, causing a real Gold Rush.
However, very few people took seriously the information about the discovery of Marshall, until on December 1848, President James Polk stated to Congress that it would have been hard to believe to the reports of the abundance of gold in those lands, if they were not confirmed by official reports of the officials. Thus, happened something millions of people were waiting for. In fact, there was a call to action. Farmers left their fields, merchants their closed shops, soldiers left their camps. Everyone moved to the west. At the beginning of 1849, Gold Rush has become a real epidemic. All the men, who could move their legs and many women have left their cities and rushed to the American River. There new gold mines began to appear, and not far from Sutter’s Mill in California the first settlement of miners Coloma was founded.
Arriving at this place in the late 40s of the 19th century you could see hundreds of people bustling at the trays washing gold. Slowly California Center shifted closer to gold. At the initiative of the local people, the construction of a new state capital began in Sacramento – closer to American River, fabulously rich in gold.
On the morning of January 24, 1848, a worker James Marshall went in search of a place for the construction of a water mill. Getting to the beach of American River, he saw bright glimpses on the sand, sparkling in the sun. Taking the sand in the hand, Marshall realized that he was holding a small, pea-sized, but certainly a real piece of gold.