gold rush

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gold rush,

influx of prospectors, merchants, adventurers, and others to newly discovered gold fields. One of the most famous of these stampedes in pursuit of riches was the California gold rush. The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill early in 1848 brought more than 40,000 prospectors to California within two years. Although few of them struck it rich, their presence was an important stimulus to economic growth and hastened California's statehood (1850). Agriculture, commerce, transportation, and industry grew rapidly to meet the needs of the settlers; mining, too, soon became big business as corporations replaced the individual prospector. Vigilante justice and ad hoc political structures soon gave way to the complex organization of state government. The excitement of the California gold-rush days has been captured in the works of Bret HarteHarte, Bret
(Francis Brett Harte) , 1836–1902, American writer of short stories and humorous verse, b. Albany, N.Y. At 19 he went to California, where he tried his hand at teaching, clerking, and mining.
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 and Jack LondonLondon, Jack
(John Griffith London), 1876–1916, American author, b. San Francisco. The illegitimate son of William Chaney, an astrologer, and Flora Wellman, a seamstress and medium, he had a poverty-stricken childhood, and was brought up by his mother and her subsequent
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. Other large gold rushes took place in Australia (1851–53); WitwatersrandWitwatersrand
[Afrik.,=white water ridge] or the Rand,
region, Gauteng prov. (formerly a part of Transvaal), South Africa. The area, which forms the watershed between the Vaal and Olifants rivers, is c.
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, South Africa (1884); and the KlondikeKlondike
, region of Yukon, NW Canada, just E of the Alaska border. It lies around Klondike River, a small stream that enters the Yukon River from the east at Dawson. The discovery in 1896 of rich placer gold deposits in Bonanza (Rabbit) Creek, a tributary of the Klondike,
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, Canada (1897–98).


See O. Lewis, Sea Routes to the Gold Fields (1949); E. Wells and H. Peterson, The '49ers (1949); P. Barton, The Klondike Fever (1958); R. W. Paul, Mining Frontiers of the Far West, 1848–1880 (1963, repr. 2001) and as ed., The California Gold Discovery (1966); D. B. Chidsey, The California Gold Rush (1968); H. W. Brands, The Age of Gold (2002); D. L. Walker, Eldorado: The California Gold Rush (2003); E. Dolnick, The Rush: America's Fevered Quest for Fortune, 1848–1853 (2014).

Gold Rush

lure of instant riches precipitated onslaught of prospectors (1848, 1886). [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 203]
See: Frenzy
References in periodicals archive ?
The team had to walk for eight hours passing along the rugged roads of Barangay New La Union, Maitum and Barangay Nalus, before arriving in the gold rush area.
Along with the free games, Microsoft is also giving away an epic Gold Rush suitcase full of gaming goodies worth Rs.
I would also like to congratulate Liubov Voronova, winner of the 1 Kg Gold Prize, along with other winners of the Gold Rush promotion and thank all our customers for their support and continued patronage of UNB and its products", Hosny added.
Publicity about the gold rush prompted many migrants to sail from Liverpool to seek their fortunes - the first licence was issued in Victoria on 21 September 1851.
A light touch on the tiller helped Gold Rush take North West Express's wind and the lead.
But auctioneers said its connection to the 19th century Gold Rush helped boost its value.
Brands noted in the NPR documentary The Gold Rush, "What the gold rush did was to give people permission to take risks, to gamble on life, in a way that they hadn't been willing to gamble before.
Virgin Casino, a part of UK-based online gaming company Virgin Games, has announced launch of Gold Rush Showdown slot game.
Like the Gold Rush in the United States, there will be a long queue of companies and organisations rushing to Barry and the Vale because this area will be at the heart of a world-leading centre of excellence in technical skills training.
The author attributes their "rural culture unlike any other in American history" to a transference of their inflated Gold Rush dreams; "they turned to agriculture and rural life with the same intensity of expectation that had brought them to California in the first place," gambling on agriculture as they had on mining.
GOLD RUSH GRUB: FROM TURPENTINE STEW TO HOOCHINOO is recommended for two types of collections: those strong in early Western pioneer history, and those strong in regional American cookbooks.