10 Things You Don't Know About - The Gold Rush (Season 3, Episode 10)
In Season 3 of 10 Things You Don't Know About on H2, punk icon Henry Rollins continues to uncover crazy new twists and facts about historic eras, figures and places in American history that you thought you knew.
- John Sutter is given credit for discovery gold (at Sutter's Mill) but it was actually carpenter James Marshall who actually discovered it in January of 1848. Sutter tells Mariano Vallego (California Military Commander) about the gold and word spreads. Eventually people just flood Sutter's land holding (11,000 acres) and squat. Sutter eventually sells all but 600 acres.
- Colorado had a gold rush around 1858. It was considered the richest square mile on Earth (worth about $8-$10 billion today)
- William Thomas invested a wind-powered wago. It could go 25 mph, carry 25-30 people, and had 12 foot wheels. But too much wind caused the axels to overheat and the brakes went out.
- More people got rich from selling water and supplies than finding gold.
- 1850 - Ships sailed into Yerba Buena cover (San Francisco). 500 ships were abandoned in the cover creating a "forest of masts". People bought the discarded ships to build up "land" with the broken-down lumber (creating very unstable holdings).
- Malakoff Diggins - 1853 - hydraulic mining (using water canons). The levees broke and flooded the town. By 1882, the destruction was so bad that the farmers sued. The case went to Federal Court and eventually the first environmental law went into effect.
CLICK HERE to view Full Episodes from the 3 seasons. "The Gold Rush" is featured in Season 3, Episode 10 (CLICK HERE to view)
If you can't view the online video, check your local library if they have a copy or you can watch it via Amazon here:
Picture Credit: The History Channel