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California Gold Rush Miners

Miners pose for a photo during the California Gold Rush at Auburn Ravine in 1852. The photo shows both white and Chinese miners.

The gold rush in California began in January 24, 1848 in Sutter's Mill. The discovery of gold presented the promise of lifelong wealth, which appealled to national and international audiences. In 1852 $81 million (1852 value) in gold was found, but after that year gold's value decreased to about $45 million. The international audiences included mostly Chinese men. Not only were they pulled by gold, but high taxes after the Opium Wars and years of floods and droughts pushed Chinese men and women to look elsewhere for a living. Chinese miners often lived in groups and took jobs American miners did not want. Chinese men and women often faced discrimination such as, a levy of $3 per month, inability to testify in court, and robbery.

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California Gold Rush miners
Citation (Chicago Style): 

[Head of Auburn Ravine, 1852]. 1852. Daguerreotype. California State Library: Picture Catalog. (Accessed December 27, 2018).

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