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Jump Back in Time Western Expansion & Reform (1829-1859)
 
Miners in 1849.
Miners and the Pioneers' Ten Commandments of 1849

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Gold Discovered in California
January 24, 1848

The thought of becoming rich from picking up gold nuggets from the ground was like hoping to win the lottery! In 1849, prospectors came from everywhere to try to make their fortunes. They became known as the "forty-niners." More than 100,000 people arrived in California, but the gold was harder to find than people realized. A few made a small fortune. Others left for home penniless. Many made a living instead, running stores, saloons, laundries, and boarding houses, creating towns and cities that still exist in California.

Would you have been a "forty-niner?" And if you had discovered gold in a river or under the ground, what would you have done?

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