California: Striking it Rich The California Gold Rush of 1849 Sutter’s Fort, 1848The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Fort in 1848 marked a tremendous surge in population growth:from 10,000 in 1848, to 255,000 non-native peoples three years later.Tensions mounted in the gold fields as Native American, Californio, Peruvian, Chilean,Mexican, Australian, French, and Chinese miners came to mine gold. Americans were known tobeat, whip, and terrorize the foreign miners. Lynch law was abused by the Americans. Hispanicsand other foreigners accounted for the majority of those who were hanged during this time(Starr p. 86-87).
California: The Higher ProvincialismPainters and artists began to arrive in California during the 1850’s, and over the nexttwenty-five years they would paint Mount Shasta in the far north of the state, andMount Tamalpais in Marin County, and would establish California as a center oflandscape painting (Starr p. 143).Some painters were attached to scientific expeditions, some came directly from thegold fields, and some arrived as visitors to California. Their paintings inspiredimaginations of California as a natural and wild place. William Keith, Lands End, 1873 Mount Shasta From Castle Lake - Thomas Hill
California: The Higher ProvincialismAt 5:12AM on April 18, 1906 an earthquake of catastrophic proportions struck andcaused buildings to collapse and subsequent fires, devastating the city ofSan Francisco, and surrounding communities, as well as Stanford University innearby Palo Alto.The disaster was downplayed by the city oligarchs, who wanted to save “thereputation of the city.” Later the death rates would rise significantly from the 300earthquake deaths originally reported (Starr p. 162-163).