The Gold Rush - Ralph K. Andrist

The Gold Rush

By Ralph K. Andrist

  • Release Date: 2015-08-07
  • Genre: History
Score: 3.5
From 7 Ratings


The discovery of a nugget in California in 1848 set off the first gold rush in history. In 1849 alone, the population increased 500 percent as 80,000 men rushed to claim its riches; three years later, nearly 250,000 people lived there. By 1865, miners had dug and panned $750 million in gold from the hills and streambeds of California.

In other countries, mines that produced precious metals were the property of kings and princes. But in California, the gold, like everything else on the frontier, belonged to those who took it. In The Gold Rush, historian Ralph K. Andrist details the culture and characters that created a pivotal moment in American history.


  • Gold rush introduction

    By JJMFe
    This book is a nice introduction and overview of the California gold rush. While not exhaustive in detail nor claiming to be complete, it provides a nice snapshot of the times, the troubles, and the implications of the great migration west. It's the proverbial "30,000 foot flyover" and it whetted my appetite for more complete books on a number of the subjects that were introduced by it. If you enjoyed James Michener's fictional narrative of Colorado, and the miniseries from it, entitled "Centennial," you will have met many of the kinds of characters you'll meet again in this non-fiction work. Worth your time to read, with some nice pictures at the end, and if you're a Californian you'll recognize many of the names and places written about here.