|Good old gold|
Gold is a wonderful thing isn't it? It is pretty, it glitters, it is expensive, and boy can it make you rich. Now I am more of a silver girl myself, but I would never turn down some gold. And neither would the hundreds of thousands of people, or prospectors as they were called, who traveled out to California once James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill, California on January 24, 1848. Marshall changed our American history forever 167 years ago, and started the great California Gold Rush. President James Polk backed up the discovery in December of 1848, and the Gold Rush truly began. Most people came out to California in search of gold during 1849. so they became known as the "forty-niners."
|These boots are made for walking....|
Now I just love American history, and the frontier and westward expansion just make me plain old giddy. Whenever I read stories about the American west, I try to put myself in those brave people's shoes. Just imagine - you read a story in the newspaper, or you hear a friend talking about the gold found out in California, thousands of miles away. You decide you want some of that gold for yourself, so you pack your few belongings, say goodbye to your family and friends for possibly forever, and you start walking or riding in your wagon to the west. This journey took months! What courage, hope, and determination that took. And that was just if you were leaving the east coast of the United States. Many people came on boats from other countries to try their hand at finding gold. Some made small fortunes, but many were left penniless. Others made a living by running stores, laundries, and boarding houses which created towns and cities that still exist to this very day.
|These old boys all had gold fever...do you?|
So the question is - would you have been a "forty-niner?" Would you risk everything you have to possibly find that fabulous gold out west? I would hope that I would have had that gumption to do it, but I can't be so sure. For now, I will stay right here at the Roselle Public Library and bask in the glorious glow of the gold mind of information that can be found right here in this very building. So, you may not be able to be a "forty-niner" for real these days, but you could strike gold at the library when you discover a wonderful book!
Non-fiction books about the gold rush
Biographies about those involved in the gold rush
Fiction about the gold rush