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In 1848, James W. Marshall‘s discovery of gold in the American River sparked the California Gold Rush, and within half a year, 4,000 men were panning for gold along the river and finding $50,000 per day. The promise of fabulous riches quickly led to a stampede of wealth-seekers descending on Sutter’s Mill. The Bay Area’s population quickly emptied out as laborers, clerks, waiters, and servants joined the rush to find gold, and California’s first newspaper, The Californian, was forced to announce a temporary freeze in new issues due to labor shortages. By the end of 1849, news had spread across the world and newcomers flooded into the Bay Area at a rate of one thousand per week on their way to California’s interior, including the first large influx of Chinese immigrants to the U.S. The rush was so great that vessels were abandoned by the hundreds in San Francisco’s ports as crews rushed to the gold fields. The unprecedented influx of new arrivals spread the nascent government authorities thin, and the military was unable to prevent desertions. As a result, numerous vigilante groups formed to provide order, but many tasked themselves with forcibly moving or killing local Native Americans, and by the end of the Gold Rush, two thirds of the indigenous population had been killed.