gold rush

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One moment the California creek beds glimmered with gold; the next, the same creeks ran red with the blood of men and women defending their claims or ceding their bags of gold dust to bandits. The “West” was a ruthless territory during the nineteenth century. With more than enough gold dust to go around early in the Gold Rush, crime was rare, but as the stakes rose and the easily panned gold dwindled, robbery and murder became a part of life on the frontier. The “West” consisted of outlaws, gunfighters, lawmen, whores, and vigilantes. There are many stories on how the “West” begun and what persuaded people to come and explore the new frontier, but here, today, we are going to investigate those stories and seek to find what is fact or what is fiction. These stories will send you galloping through the tumultuous California territory of the mid-nineteenth century, where disputes were settled with six shooters and the lines of justice were in a continuous chaos. Where’s the West, how and where did the West begin? This is the question that is asked most often and there is never a straight -forward answer. Everyone has their own opinion on the subject: “Oh, it started sometime in the nineteenth century,” or “The west is really just considered to be Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas.” Whatever happened to California actually being considered the “West?” With all honesty, even into the twentieth century, California is not thought of as being the “West,” or the “West” in the manner in which Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas are thought of. Cowboys, horses, and cattle are only considered to be in the central states, but what about California? To give a straight- forward answer on where and how the “Real West” or even the “Wild West” began; it began by a millhouse worker named James Marshall. On the morning of January 24, 1848, Marshall was working on his mill and looked down in the water and saw a sparkling dust floating along the creek bed (Erodes 116). Ass…