While many individuals journeyed west because of cheap land, others made the trip in hopes of striking it rich. In 1848, workers building Sutter’s mill near Sacramento, California, discovered small pieces of gold in the riverbed. Within a year, rumors of the discovery of gold had spread to the east coast and thousands of Americans began the journey west believing they were going to strike it rich. The first prospectors to arrive were called “forty-niners,” and they used a simple panning technique to find gold. Later, these prospectors were replaced by large-scale mining operations that made use of steam-powered machines to find the ore. The discovery of gold in the west represented another impetus for westward migration and villages like San Francisco were transformed from small towns to boomtowns overnight, luring even more individuals to California.
The celebrations of the Centenary of the visit of the Master to Montreal finished only two days ago, on 12 September 2012, commemorating a visit notable for the intensity of its press coverage1. As readers of The Journey West know, […]