ERIC Number: ED459730
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
News from El Dorado: Newspapers and the California Gold Rush.
Kurutz, Gary F.
When James Wilson Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill (California) in 1848, he not only touched off the greatest gold rush the world had ever seen, but also ignited one of the great writing frenzies in American history. Guidebooks, diaries, and letters all told of a new El Dorado where unimaginable riches could be found simply by picking them off the ground. But it was the newspaper that served as the chief mechanism by which the good news from California rocketed around the world. Furthermore, the newspaper played a major role in informing anxious gold hunters of how to get to California as quickly as possible, what to expect once they got there, and, finally, as the golden dreams turned to cold reality, that digging for gold was really backbreaking, dangerous work to be undertaken only by the young and strong. This paper covers the discovery and its reporting by the local press, the spread of the news, the experiences of the Argonauts as recorded in the national and international press, the singular value of newspapers as a link to home, and the unprecedented birth and death of newspapers in California during the first years of this international rush for riches. (Contains 10 suggestions for further reading.) (MES)
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A