On January 24, 1848 a man by
the name of James W. Marshall saw little flakes of dull yellow
metal in a California river while building a sawmill for a man
named John A. Sutter. It was gold! News of the
discovery spread quickly across the country and across the
sea. Up until this time white settlers made slow, unsteady
progress in their efforts to move west. Soon thousands of
Americans, as well as people from other countries, headed to
California. They all had dreams of striking it rich.
The Gold Rush had begun! Most of the miners reached
California in the year 1849, so they were called
Most forty-niners prospected
(looked for gold) by sifting soil in a pan or sieve. Some
found gold and became rich. Many more found only
misery. Shopkeepers charging high prices for food and
supplies were cheating the people out of their money.
Forty-niners were paying excessive amounts of money for a loaf of
bread, or a box to live in. Small shantytowns along the
river were homes to many of these people. Some forty-niners
kept looking, but other returned home penniless.
Answer the questions below
1. Gold was discovered in the state of
2. James W. Marshall was building a
near a river.
3. Forty-niners searched for gold by sifting soil in a
pan or .
4. Most miners arrived in the year .
5. To "prospect" means to
6. The Gold Rush began on January 24, .
7. Where did people come from in search of gold?
countries and the United States
from the eastern part of the United States
8. Forty-niners were cheated out of their money by
owner of the sawmill.
9. The first gold looked like
of dull yellow metal.
Elementary & Middle School Lessons & Self-Correcting Tests for Children in all Subject Areas. If you have found an error or would like to make comments on this lesson,
please email us at:
Copyright 1999-2022 by Educational Designers, LLC. All rights reserved. Lessons & Tests in Math, Reading, Spelling, Science, Language, and Social Studies.
traffic. Your IP address and user-agent are shared with Google along with
performance and security metrics to ensure quality of service, generate
usage statistics, and to detect and address abuse."