After gold was discovered in California, word spread quickly and in 1849, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the area. When the people of San Francisco heard about the gold discovery, they didn’t believe it until Sam Brannan, walked into town with a bottle off gold dust, street shouting,” There is Gold in the River.” He then set up shop and sold mining supplies.
Men left for California to work in the mines while women, having followed them there, stayed at home and those who were left behind took responsibilities of farms, businesses and taking care of their homes alone. As mining became popular, more gold was discovered and sales at Sam’s’ stores increased. The east coast received the news first since most of its parts were accessible to the California coast. Over time, a huge amount of gold was pulled from the ground: $10 million in 1849, $41 million in 1850, $75 million in 1851, and $81 million in 1852.
Due to the sudden increase in the population in 1849, the gold miners got the name ‘49ers.
Source: The California Gold Rush
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