The California Gold Rush
The discovery of gold in a California mine in 1848 set off a frenzy of movement as hundreds of thousands flocked to the territory. The Gold Rush changed California in significant ways: new towns emerged and died around mines, prospectors became interested in the state’s geology, settlers from across the world arrived to test their luck, and the indigenous people of Northern California and the Sacramento Valley suffered near total extermination.
The maps displayed are examples of three kinds of maps of varying scales, representing a large number of maps that were produced to meet demand: detailed maps of mining districts, area maps situating the gold region in relation to surrounding states and territories, and wide-range maps showing how to get there by sea or overland from distant parts of the world.
Melanie Langa, Undergraduate in History, ’16