California Gold Rush and Transcontinental Railroad

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by HorseyHailey
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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California Gold Rush and Transcontinental Railroad

California Gold Rush - 1848 to 1855It's currently December of 1848, and our president James K. Polk released a statement about the Gold Rush. He said "The explorations already made warrant the belief that the supple is very large and the gold is found at various places in an extensive district of country." Now before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you more about what is going on here in Sutters Mill, California. Right now, anyone in the area is most likely shouting Eureka when they find a speck of gold. Those people, whom I see in town a lot, are called forty-niners. Along with those adventurers looking for some cash, a massive group of gold-seeking migrants from all over, including Asia, Europe, and Eastern lands are coming here to start a new life. They came here obviously by boat, and and least plan to use pick axes and sifters to mine for the gold.The Gold Rush is a rapid movement of people to a newly discovered goldfield. This goldfield happens to be on the West Coast. These forty-niners came here because they want to earn a bit of gold to become rich and start a new life for themselves. The Gold Rush was started by James W. Marshall when he found gold unexpectedly in one of the rivers. It sparked a movement for everyone to come on over and start mining. Now the reasons we all moved out here to the west, is that we wanted to become rich with the gold found, and start an entire new life here on the range. We met a load of challenges, such as harsh climates as we moved here, however we pulled through. The motivation was entirely on starting fresh.Now if you don't mind, I have to get back to work. Eureka!- Me

The Transcontinental Railroad - 1863 - 1869The railroad has started the process of building, and we as a company have gotten much praise from the president. Abraham Lincoln spoke to me the other day, and told me these exact words. "The road must be built, and you are the man to do it. Take hold of it yourself. By building the Union Pacific, you will be the remembered man of your generation." I give great thanks to him for his time. The people who are currently building the railroad are split into two companies, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific. We hope all the citizens of the United States will get a chance to use our railroad. The railroad has started in two places, Sacramento California and in Council Bluffs, Iowa and is to meet somewhere in Utah. This was because we needed an efficient way to cross between the east coast and the west, without many faults. You may be wondering what I am talking about. It is the glorious Transcontinental Railroad of course! It is a railroad in the works which should easily provide east-to-west travel, and to easily ship cargo! I am extremely excited for the event to come into place.Of course, we have those people looking down on us. The Rocky Mountain News wrote "How dare you try to hog all the continent!" I do understand your hatred for us, as you might be pro-Pony Express, which is the mailing company we totally demolished.Anyway, you may be wondering how we even came up with the idea of the Transcontinental Railroad. It was quite simple, actually. It was public demand that we create a sufficient travel way, and we did. By blowing holes in the side of mountains and hammering spikes into iron. To pay our workers we gave them federal land.The motives involved in helping us realize that we needed a railroad included the urge to move west, easily at that. We faced many challenges, including harsh weather and tough terrain.That is probably enough information for your mind today. I will make sure to write back tomorrow.- Me

The California Gold Rush and Transcontinental Railroad

Information retrieved from: Social Studies Textbook,,

By Michelle Nazareno and Hailey Hansen


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