Gold rush mark twain - Frieden 1 Alex Frieden Myers/Neely Advanced English 11 pd 8 9 January 2006 Mark Twain the 49er Samuel Clemens otherwise

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Frieden 1 Alex Frieden Myers/Neely Advanced English 11 pd 8 9 January 2006 Mark Twain the 49er Samuel Clemens, otherwise known as Mark Twain, lived from 1835 until 1910. He experienced a great deal in his life and lived through a time in which our country was filling out into her current territorial boundaries. Twain fought in the civil war, lived on the frontier and mined in the gold rush . Mark twain spent much of his life influenced by the enduring effects of the ‘49er era and mining culture in general. On January 24 th 1849 James Marshall a California mill worker looking into the streambed of his employer, Jon Sutter, found a nugget of gold. This discovery was extraordinarily important. Unbeknownst to Marshall and Sutter, it would soon lead to a massive migration into California, an event that we now call the California gold rush. Despite the vows that were made to keep the gold a secret. Rumors started to leak across the country that fortune lay just below the surface of the California streambeds. By ’48 the word had reached the east but most believed it to be fictitious or fraudulent. This was all cleared up in December of 1848 when President Polk himself announced to the country that: “The accounts of the abundance of gold in that territory [California] are of such extraordinary character as would scarcely command belief were they 1
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Frieden 2 not corroborated by authentic reports of officers in the public service.” (qtd. In "About the gold rush.") After this announcement was made the country and even the world to a lesser extent went in to a gold-seeking frenzy, dropping everything to head west in search of that precious yellow metal. Farmers Put down their plows, shopkeepers closed their doors and everyone left their possessions behind to take part in this mania. When they arrived in the mining towns, though they did discover gold, many did not find what they expected. 49ers we greeted by incredible inflation and deplorable conditions. The mining towns were full of violence, gambling, alcoholism, and prostitution. Over half of the females in an average mining town in 1850 were prostitutes. Twain who experienced these conditions first hand describes them and those affected by them as follows: They were rough in those times! They fairly reveled in gold, whiskey, fights, and fandangoes, and were unspeakably happy. The honest miner raked in from a hundred to a thousand dollars out of his claim a day, and what with the gambling dens and other entertainments, he hadn't a cent the
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This note was uploaded on 05/11/2008 for the course ENGL 168 taught by Professor Aberle,danielle during the Spring '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Gold rush mark twain - Frieden 1 Alex Frieden Myers/Neely Advanced English 11 pd 8 9 January 2006 Mark Twain the 49er Samuel Clemens otherwise

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