The California Gold Rush


Who discovered the gold that caused the rush to California?

A carpenter named James Marshall discovered gold in 1848.

Inside, You'll Find:

How miners got gold from the ground;

Maps, a timeline, photos-and who invented blue jeans;

Surprising TRUE facts that will shock and amaze you!

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Who discovered the gold that caused the rush to California?

A carpenter named James Marshall discovered gold in 1848.

Inside, You'll Find:

How miners got gold from the ground;

Maps, a timeline, photos-and who invented blue jeans;

Surprising TRUE facts that will shock and amaze you!

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heather N. Kolich
In this title from the "A True Book" series, readers discover the brief, brutal period of U.S. history known as the gold rush. Characterized by hope, greed, enterprise and thug rule, the gold rush transformed life in America. James Marshall's accidental discovery of gold while building a sawmill for John Sutter sent waves of excitement through neighboring states, drawing thousands of gold seekers to the site. Chapter Two delves into the Spanish exploration of California and its Mexican ownership prior to the gold rush. In Chapter Three, news of gold spreads to the eastern states, tempting tens of thousands more prospectors to risk the arduous journey to the gold fields. Those lucky enough to survive the trip often failed to find gold, and those who did strike it rich might go into debt paying the high prices demanded from business owners for food, supplies, and services. In fact, those who supplied the miners were often the people who gained great wealth. Chapter Four gives some examples of these, including Sam Brannan, Henry Wells, John Fargo, and Levi Strauss, as well as the profits hard-working women could make running their own businesses. Chapter Five reveals the harsh brutality of thug rule in the rough mining towns and the region as a whole. The California gold rush ended quickly, when the easy gold ran out and gold and silver strikes in other places drew prospectors away, but the legacy lives on in California culture. Special sections in the book describe gold panning and the dramatic population explosion in San Francisco fueled by gold fever. A page of "True Statistics" summarizes the gold rush and adds more interesting facts. Other end matter includes resources for further discovery, a glossary, an index, and an author's page. Reviewer: Heather N. Kolich
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Each six-chapter title begins with a true-or-false question that encourages young readers to explore the text to find the correct answer. The colorful, easy-to-use format includes highlighted words, an easy pronunciation guide, a brief time line, "True Statistics," a reproduction on almost every page, and a spread called "The Big Truth!" Each title does a particularly good job of including information on the multicultural forces influencing the time periods. Life in the West covers the hardships and challenges of frontier living, including housing, adverse weather, disease, and the social and environmental impact of the pioneers upon Native people and the land. Westward Expansion, which ambitiously covers 1767–1890, includes profiles of diverse figures such as mountain man James Beckwourth, Mormon leader Brigham Young, and Jessie Benton Fremont, writer and wife of explorer John C. Fremont. California Gold Rush includes sections on the roles of women, Native Americans, Chinese, African Americans, and even Spanish-speaking Californios. Overall, these are modern and accessible sources of introductory information.—Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531212448
  • Publisher: Scholastic Library Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Series: Scholastic True Book Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 210,924
  • Age range: 8 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.46 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Table of Contents

1 A Fantastic Discovery

What was found at Sutter's sawmill? 7

2 Before the Gold Rush

What did Spanish explorers hope to find in California? 11

3 Gold Fever!

Why was travel to California so dangerous? 17

4 Life in the Land of Gold

Why was it hard for miners to make money 23

Panning for Gold

How did miners collect gold? 30

5 The Dark Side

What was life like in a gold-mining camp? 33

6 End of the Gold Rush

How did the gold rush change America? 39

True Statistics 43

Resources 44

Important Words 46

Index 47

About the Author 48

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