Discover and share James Marshall Gold Rush Quotes. Suspecting it was gold he took them to John Sutter. The peak year of the gold rush, 1852, 100,00 miners had produced nearly $80 million in gold. Though he tried to keep it a secret, the word spread quickly and triggered the California Gold Rush of … Every financial setback he suffered he interpreted as a conscious effort by somebody to deprive him of what he considered to be his divine rights. James Marshall at Sutter’s Sawmill, Coloma, California, 1851. Ironically, he has been remembered in death as one of California’s more influential–though accidental–history-makers. This was an ironic turn of events, since at one time large numbers of miners had been willing to follow him anywhere in search of gold. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. The original nugget he found, which has long belonged to the Bancroft Library at the University of California in Berkeley, is called the Wimmer Nugget after Peter L. Wimmer, Marshall’s assistant in supervising the Indians and others who dug the tailrace of Sutter’s Mill. The nugget weighed approximately one-third of an ounce with a value of $5.12. Unlike the earlier discoveries, however, his find was like a shot heard around the world. The events that set the world in motion to the new El Dorado began almost by accident–John Sutter decided to build a sawmill in partnership with his employee, James Marshall, in 1847. Harassed and unappreciated throughout much of his adult life, Marshall was a tragic victim of nature’s great lottery. Go to discoveryplus.com to get the greatest real-life entertainment plus exclusive originals, all in one place. By the end of 1848, he was forced to sell one third of his timber and mill rights to raise money. I… On this day in history, 1848, James W. Marshall was checking on the progress made the night before in expanding a drainage channel at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California (which at the time was part of the Mexican territory, but just 9 days later would be ceded to the U.S.). News of the discovery, however, soon spread, and they were besieged by thousands of fortune seekers. Each night Marshall directed the river’s flow through the millrace to allow erosion to deepen the channel and carry away the debris from the previous day’s work. He worked there and lived in the Union Hotel until his death on August 10, 1885. Sutter received a land grant of fifty-thousand acres near former Colluma Valley, a constantly renamed area of land. It was another six years before James Marshall made the discovery that created his reputation, mistakenly, as the original discoverer of California gold. As word quickly spread, some 80,000 miners flooded the area, extending up and down the length of the Sacramento Valley, and overrunning Sutter’s domain. August Derleth, writer (Still is the Summer Night, The Shield of the Valiant). Though he tried to keep it a secret, the word spread quickly and triggered the California Gold Rush of … Many libraries and archives across the country from Yale University to the Henry E. Huntington Library preserve formidable collections of Gold Rush material, but the State Library's direct relationship to Marshall's earthshaking discovery gives it a unique role. James Wilson Marshall (October 8, 1810 – August 10, 1885) was an American carpenter and sawmill operator, whose discovery of gold in the American River in California on January 24, 1848 set the stage for the California Gold Rush. According to the legend, Marshall then went to visit the legislative assembly in person to get the pension renewed again. In 1872, he received some compensation for his contribution to California’s gold-crazed growth. This small piece of yellow metal is believed to be the first piece of gold discovered in 1848 at Sutter's Mill in California, launching the gold rush. Just forty-six (46) years ago to-day the great and memorable discovery of the California gold was made at Capt. The news of gold brought approximately 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. Marshall would build and supervise the operation of the mill, while Sutter would find provisions, teams, tools, and pay for the workmen s wages. California Indians gave gold to the mission padres in return for trading goods. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Kelsey, a few miles east of Coloma, where he used the money to open a blacksmith shop. His early years were marked by conflicts with his stern Baptist father and rejection by two young women, each of whom he had hoped to marry. Still, small shipments of gold dust turned up in the trade between merchants in New England and missionaries and rancheros in California. Overlooking the south fork of the American River, a monument was erected over the grave site in 1890. This article was written by Richard H. Peterson, Ph.D. and originally appeared in the December 1997 issue of Wild West. An attempted lecture tour failed to sustain a profit, in part because Marshall was a poor speaker. Only a few of the most naive newcomers paid Marshall any money or respected his self-proclaimed property rights. The gold discovery site, located in the still visible tailrace of Sutter's sawmill in present day Coloma, California, is one of the most significant historic sites in the nation. Your email address will not be published. Marshall’s gold discovery more than 150 years ago arguably began the modernization of California. He soon partnered up with another miner in a gold mine near Kelsey, California. For more great articles be sure to subscribe to Wild West magazine today! Despite prior appropriation, the greedy miners in their furious rush to get rich quick showed Marshall and Sutter no respect or restraint. James Wilson Marshall, the oldest of four children and the son of Philip Marshall, was born in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, on 8th October, 1810.When he was a child the family moved to Lambertville.. Marshall decided to move west and after spending time in Indiana and Illinois, he settled in Missouri in 1844 and began farming along the Missouri River. Marshall was 62 years old at the time. On the south fork of the American River, 45 miles northeast of Sutter’s Fort, near a Maidu Indian village called Cullumah (Coloma), Marshall began construction. Wilhelm Carl Grimm, compiler, with his brother of fairy tales. The metal was mined at least as early as the beginning of the 19th century, if not before. The statue is located at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma at the end of Highway 153 (the state's shortest highway) off of Highway 49. She carried it around in a buckskin pouch. Margaret A. Kelly, Marshall’s friend during his embittered old age, wrote that ‘probably no man ever went to his grave so misunderstood, so misjudged, so misrepresented, so altogether slandered as James W. Marshall.’ Although possibly true, it should be noted that Marshall’s self-destructive, often bizarre behavior contributed to his misfortune. We use cookies. It was financed by the Native Sons of the Golden West and an appropriation by the state legislature. Marshall convinced Sutter that a partnership in a sawmill in the Sierra Nevada foothills would be a profitable venture, and he set out to find a suitable location. Marshall never did marry. An authentic replica of the sawmill still operates, and a few old gold rush buildings remain intact from Coloma’s glory days. By 1853, Marshall could stomach no more. On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold on the property of Johann A. Sutter near Coloma, California.A builder, Marshall was overseeing construction of a sawmill on the American River. Even before his famous discovery, he was known as a person who told tales about spiritual visions and claimed to have heard strange voices. John A. Sutter – Boom & Bust in California, Your email address will not be published. John Bidwell, one of Sutter s clerks, drew up a contract for the two men on or about August 27 of 1847. In 1846, he joined John C. Fremont’s California Battalion and participated in the Bear Flag Revolt, a bid to seize control of California from Mexican control. The best-known of the latter is The Bonanza Kings: The Social Origins and Business Behavior of Western Mining Entrepreneurs, 1879-1900. Ironically, neither Sutter nor Marshall ever profited from the discovery that should have made them independently wealthy. California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties Collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell. But, the “news” was just too big, and in no time it leaked out. In 1848 John Sutter was having a water-powered sawmill built along the American River in Coloma, California, approximately 50 miles (80 km) east of present-day Sacramento.On January 24 his carpenter, James W. Marshall, found flakes of gold in a streambed. It was at the sawmill that, on January 24, 1848, he discovered gold in the water flow through the mill’s tailrace. Marshall’s gold discovery more than 150 years ago arguably began the modernization of California. James Marshall’s discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in California in 1848, started the California Gold Rush. John Marshall, foreman of the mill, gave Jennie the gem while dubbing it the "Wimmer Nugget". 14 Lithographic Views of the California Gold Rush 1850-1857 in PowerPoint (900 Kb) Capt. Little is known, however, about the one person present who was able to recognize the shiny rock which others believed to be mica or fool's gold. Born in 1810, Marshall followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a skilled carpenter and wheelwright. His sawmill also failed, as every able-bodied man took off in search of gold. Coloma, California 2009 by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. I have had to carry my pack of thirty or forty pounds over the mountains, living on China rice alone. Required fields are marked *. After testing the nuggets Marshall and Sutter realized the nuggets were indeed gold. James Wilson Marshall was born in Lambertville, New Jersey on October 8, 1810 to Philip and Sarah Wilson Marshall. He spotted a gleam in the bottom of the ditch, scooped up a handful of gravel, examined it closely and concluded that he had found what appeared to be gold. He also was taught his father’s trade as a carpenter and wheelwright. As everyone knows, James Wilson Marshall was noted for discovering gold at Sutter's Fort, and beginning, what was later known as, the California Gold Rush. Despite the involvement of others in determining that Marshall indeed had discovered gold, one would think that the nugget should have been named in his honor–the oversight being just one more of the many ironic twists of fate that plagued Marshall’s troubled life. Days after Marshall’s ... mill for local landowner John Sutter. James Marshall is a similar character in history. LEARN MORE He believed that the world–or at least the state–owed him something for his remarkable discovery. Sutter tells of the Gold Discovery - 1854. What : " John Sutter born in February 15, 1803, spent most of his life in Switzerland and eventually moved to California.There John made a new life and built "sutter's Fort" which lead him to an idea of creating a water sawmill. John Marshall, (1859-1908) was an adventurer, journalist, public figure and Digger’s leader on the Coolgardie-Kalgoorlie gold field who wrote of the early days on West Australia's gold fields in "Battling For Gold." Marshall and Sutter managed to keep their discovery secret for several months, but once word leaked out the California gold rush was underway. Go to discoveryplus.com to get the pension was awarded made them independently wealthy by becoming a skilled carpenter wheelwright. Followed in his father ’ s mill became the center of the Golden and... His father ’ s sawmill, on American Fork River, California, Your email address not... 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