"California Gold Rush 1849"

California was the first region of the U.S. to undertake metal mining on a large scale. Between 1849 and 1955 miners harvested some 400 million dollars in gold. The gold rush radically accelerated and compressed California history. It precipitated the largest mass migration in American History. In 1848, there were roughly 13,000 white residents of the state. By 1854 there were 300,000. In the single year of 1849, more than 65,000 new immigrants arrived. The growth rate was 600 percent. The miners were typically young, in their 20's on average. They were predominantly male. It was unusual to see women, as it was to see an old man. Thousands of people rushed to stake their claims, traveling in the most appalling conditions on board clipper ships, prices per person from New York to San Francisco could cost as much as one thousand dollars.