The California Trail was an emigrant trail of about 3,000 mi across the western half of the North American continent from Missouri River towns to what is now the state of California. After it was established, the first half of the California Trail followed the same corridor of networked river valley trails as the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Trail, namely the valleys of the Platte, North Platte and Sweetwater rivers to Wyoming. In the present states of Wyoming and Utah, the California and Oregon trails split into several different trails or cutoffs. By 1847, two former fur trading frontier forts marked trailheads for major alternative routes through Utah and Wyoming to Northern California; the first was Jim Bridger's Fort Bridger in present-day Wyoming on the Green River, where the Mormon Trail turned southwest over the Wasatch Range to the newly established Salt Lake City, Utah. From Salt Lake the Salt Lake Cutoff went north and west of the Great Salt Lake and rejoined the California Trail in the City of Rocks in present-day Idaho.
The main Oregon and California Trails crossed the Green River on several different ferries and trails that led to or bypassed Fort Bridger and crossed over a range of hills to the Great Basin drainage of the Bear River. Just past present-day Soda Springs, both trails turned northwest, following the Portneuf River valley to the British Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Hall on the Snake River in present-day Idaho. From Fort Hall the Oregon and California trails went about 50 miles southwest along the Snake River Valley to another "parting of the ways" trail junction at the junction of the Raft and Snake rivers; the California Trail from the junction followed the Raft River to the City of Rocks in Idaho near the present Nevada-Idaho-Utah tripoint. The Salt Lake and Fort Hall routes were about the same length: about 190 miles. From the City of Rocks the trail went into the present state of Utah following the South Fork of the Junction Creek. From there the trail followed along a series of small streams, such as Thousand Springs Creek in the present state of Nevada until approaching present-day Wells, where they met the Humboldt River.
By following the crooked, meandering Humboldt River Valley west across the arid Great Basin, emigrants were able to get the water and wood they needed for themselves and their teams. The water turned alkaline as they progressed down the Humboldt, there were no trees. "Firewood" consisted of broken brush, the grass was sparse and dried out. Few travelers liked the Humboldt River Valley passage. Humboldt is not good for man nor beast... and there is not timber enough in three hundred miles of its desolate valley to make a snuff-box, or sufficient vegetation along its banks to shade a rabbit, while its waters contain the alkali to make soap for a nation. At the end of the Humboldt River, where it disappeared into the alkaline Humboldt Sink, travelers had to cross the deadly Forty Mile Desert before finding either the Truckee River or Carson River in the Carson Range and Sierra Nevada mountains that were the last major obstacles before entering Northern California. An alternative route across the present states of Utah and Nevada that bypassed both Fort Hall and the Humboldt River trails was developed in 1859.
This route, the Central Overland Route, about 280 miles shorter and more than 10 days quicker, went south of the Great Salt Lake and across the middle of present-day Utah and Nevada through a series of springs and small streams. The route went south from Salt Lake City across the Jordan River to Fairfield, Utah west-southwest past Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, Utah, Utah, to Ely, Nevada across Nevada to Carson City, Nevada. In addition to immigrants and migrants from the East, after 1859 the Pony Express, Overland stages and the First Transcontinental Telegraph all followed this route with minor deviations. Once in western Nevada and eastern California, the pioneers worked out several paths over the rugged Carson Range and Sierra Nevada mountains into the gold fields and cities of northern California; the main routes were the Truckee Trail to the Sacramento Valley and after about 1849 the Carson Trail route to the American River and the Placerville, California gold digging region.
Starting about 1859 the Johnson Cutoff and the Henness Pass Route across the Sierras were improved and developed. These main roads across the Sierras were both toll roads so there were funds to pay for maintenance and upkeep on the roads; these toll roads were used to carry cargo west to east from California to Nevada, as thousands of tons of supplies were needed by the gold and silver miners, etc. working on the Comstock Lode near the present Virginia City, Nevada. The Johnson Cutoff, from Placerville to Carson City along today's U. S. Route 50 in California, was used by the Pony Express year-round and in the summer by the stage lines, it was the only overland route from the East to California that could be kept open for at least horse traffic in the winter. The California Trail was used from 1845 until several years after the end of the American Civil War. After about 1848 the most popular route was the Carson Route which, while rugged, was still easier than most others and entered California in the middle of the gold fields.
The trail was heav
History of rail transportation in California
The establishment of America's transcontinental rail lines securely linked California to the rest of the country, the far-reaching transportation systems that grew out of them during the century that followed contributed to the state’s social and economic development. When California was admitted as a state to the United States in 1850, for nearly two decades thereafter, it was in many ways isolated, an outpost on the Pacific, until the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869. Passenger rail transportation declined in the early- and mid-20th Century with the rise of the state's car culture and road system, it has since undergone something of a renaissance, with the introduction of services such as Metrolink, Caltrain, Amtrak California, others. On November 4, 2008, the People of California passed Proposition 1a, which helped provide financing for a high-speed rail line; the early Forty-Niners of the California Gold Rush wishing to come to California were faced with limited options.
From the East Coast, for example, a sailing voyage around the tip of South America would take five to eight months, cover some 18,000 nautical miles. An alternative route was to sail to the Atlantic side of the Isthmus of Panama, to take canoes and mules for a week through the jungle, on the Pacific side, to wait for a ship sailing for San Francisco. During the 1850s the voy:Ruta de Transito through Nicaragua was another option. Most gold-seekers took the overland route across the continental United States along the California Trail; each of these routes had its own deadly hazards, from shipwreck to typhoid fever to cholera or Indian attack. The first "inter-oceanic" railroad that affected California was built in 1855 across the Isthmus of Panama, the Panama Railway; the Panama Railway reduced the time needed to cross the Isthmus from a week of difficult and dangerous travel to a day of relative comfort. The building of the Panama Railroad, in combination with the increasing use of steamships meant that travel to and from California via Panama was the primary method used by people who could afford to do so, was used for valuable cargo, such as the gold being shipped from California to the East Coast.
California's symbolic and tangible connection to the rest of the country was fused at Promontory Summit, Utah, as the "last spike" was driven to join the tracks of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads, thereby completing the First Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869. The 1,600 mile trip from Omaha, would now take mere days; the Wild West was transformed from a lawless, agrarian frontier to what would become an urbanized, industrialized economic and political powerhouse. Of greater significance is the unbridled economic growth, spurred on by the sheer diversity of opportunities available in the region; the four years following the Golden Spike ceremony saw the length of track in the U. S. double to over 70,000 miles. By around the start of the 20th century, the completion of four subsequent transcontinental routes in the United States and one in Canada would provide not only additional pathways to the Pacific Ocean, but would forge ties to all of the economically important areas between the coasts as well.
The entire country was accessible by rail, making a national economy possible for the first time. And while federal financial assistance was vital to the railroads' expansion across North America, this support accounted for less than eight percent of the total length of rails laid; as rail lines pushed further and further into the wilderness, they opened up huge areas that would have otherwise lain fallow. The railroads helped establish countless towns and settlements, paved the way to abundant mineral deposits and fertile tracts of pastures and farmland, created new markets for eastern goods, it is estimated that by the end of World War II, rail companies nationwide remunerated to the government over $1 billion dollars, more than eight times the original value of the lands granted. The principal commodity transported across the rails to California was people: by reducing the cross-country travel time to as little as six days, men with westward ambitions were no longer forced to leave their families behind.
The railroads would, in time, provide important linkages to move the inhabitants throughout the state, interconnecting its blossoming communities. "Transportation determines the flow of population," declared J. D. Spreckels, one of California's early railroad entrepreneurs, just after the dawn of the twentieth century. "Before you can hope to get people to live anywhere...you must first of all show them that they can get there comfortably and, above all, cheaply." Among Spreckels' many accomplishments was the formation of the San Diego Electric Railway in 1892, which radiated out from downtown to points north and east and helped urbanize San Diego. Henry Huntington, the nephew of Central Pacific founder Collis P. Huntington, would develop his Pacific Electric Railway in Los Angeles and Orange Counties with much the same result. Spreckels' greatest challenge would be to provide San Diego with its own direct transcontinental rail link in the form of the San Diego and Arizona Railway, a feat that nearly cost the sugar heir his life.
The Central Pacific Railroad, in effect, initiated the trend by offering settlement incent
History of California's state highway system
The state highway system in the U. S. state of California dates back to 1896, when the state took over maintenance of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road. Construction of a large connected system began in 1912, after the state's voters approved an $18 million bond issue for over 3000 miles of highways; the last large addition was made by the California State Assembly in 1959, after which only minor changes have been made. The first state road was authorized on March 26, 1895, when a law created the post of "Lake Tahoe Wagon Road Commissioner" to maintain the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road, now US 50 from Smith Flat - 3 miles east of Placerville - to the Nevada state line; the 58 mile road had been operated as a toll road until 1886. Funding was only enough for minimal improvements, including a stone bridge over the South Fork American River in 1901. In 1895, on March 27, the legislature created the three-person Bureau of Highways to coordinate efforts by the counties to build good roads; the bureau traveled to every county of the state in 1895 and 1896 and prepared a map of a recommended system of state roads, which they submitted to the governor on November 25, 1896.
The legislature replaced the Bureau of Highways with the Department of Highways on April 1, 1897, three days after it passed a law creating a second state highway from Sacramento to Folsom - another part of what became US 50 - to be maintained by three "Folsom Highway Commissioners". This was the last highway maintained by a separate authority, as the next state road, the Mono Lake Basin State Road, was designated by the legislature in 1899 to be built and maintained by the Department of Highways. Several more state highways were legislated in the next decade, the legislature passed a law creating the Department of Engineering on March 11, 1907; this new department, in addition to non-highway duties, was to maintain all state highways, including the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road. On March 22, 1909 the "State Highways Act" was passed, taking effect on December 31, 1910 after a successful vote by the people of the state in November; this law authorized the Department of Engineering to issue $18 million in bonds for a "continuous and connected state highway system" that would connect all county seats.
To this end, the department created the three-member California Highway Commission on August 8, 1911 to take full charge of the construction and maintenance of this system. As with the 1896 plan by the Bureau of Highways, the Highway Commission traveled the state to determine the best routes, which ended up stretching about 3100 miles. Construction began in mid-1912, with groundbreaking on Contract One - now part of SR 82 in San Mateo County - on August 7. Noteworthy portions of the system built by the commission included the Ridge Route in southern California and the Yolo Causeway west from Sacramento; because the first bond issue did not provide enough funding, the "State Highways Act of 1915" was approved by the legislature on May 20, 1915 and the voters in November 1916, taking effect on December 31. This gave the Department of Engineering an additional $12 million to complete the original system and $3 million for a further 680 miles specified by the law. At this time, each route was assigned a number from 1 to 34.
In 1917, the legislature gave the California Highway Commission statutory recognition, turned over the 750 miles of roads adopted by legislative act, until maintained by the State Engineer, to the commission. Where not serving as extensions of existing routes, these - and routes subsequently added legislatively in 1917 and 1919 - were given numbers from 35 to 45. A third bond issue was approved by the voters at a special election on July 1, 1919, provided $20 million more for the existing routes and the same amount for new extensions totaling about 1800 miles, adding Routes 46 to 64 to the system; the three bond issues together totaled 5560 miles, of which just over 40% was completed or under construction in mid-1920. The Department of Engineering became part of the new Department of Public Works in 1921, the California Highway Commission was separated as its own department in 1923. In order to pay for the roads, a 2-cent per gallon gasoline tax was approved in 1923; the legislature continued to add highways to the system, including the Mother Lode Highway in 1921 and the Arrowhead Trail in 1925.
In January 1928, the California State Automobile Association and Automobile Club of Southern California, placing guide and warning signs along state highways, marked the U. S. Highways along several of the most major state highways; the California Toll Bridge Authority was created in 1929 to acquire and operate all toll bridges on state highways, including the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and Carquinez Bridge. After 1927 and 1929, in which no highways were added to the system, the legislature authorized the construction of 23 new routes in 1931, which were numbered from 72 to 80 when not forming extensions of existing routes. Two years another 213 sections of highway were added doubling the total length of state highways to about 14000 miles. Many of these new routes, as well as a number of existing routes, were incorporated into the initial system of state sign routes in 1934 posted by the auto clubs; the Division of Highways took over signage on stat
The Chumash are a Native American people who inhabited the central and southern coastal regions of California, in portions of what is now San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, extending from Morro Bay in the north to Malibu in the south. They occupied three of the Channel Islands: Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel. Modern place names with Chumash origins include Cayucos, Nipomo, Ojai, Pismo Beach, Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, Lake Castaic, Simi Valley and Somis. Archaeological research demonstrates that the Chumash have deep roots in the Santa Barbara Channel area and lived along the southern California coast for millennia, they inhabited the Antelope Valley in Palmdale and traded with the Kitanemuk tribe in the Mojave desert. The Chumash resided between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the California coasts where rivers and tributaries abound. Inside and around the modern-day Santa Barbara region, the Chumash lived with a bounty of resources; the tribe lived in an area of three environments: the interior, the coast, the Northern Channel Islands.
These provided a diverse array of materials to support the Chumash lifestyle. The interior is composed of the land outside the coast and spanning the wide plains and mountains; the coast covers the cliffs and land close to the ocean and, in reference to resources, the areas of the ocean from which the Chumash harvested. The Northern Channel Islands lie off the coast of the Chumash territory. All of the California coastal-interior has a Mediterranean climate due to the incoming ocean winds; the mild temperatures, save for winter, made gathering easy. What villagers gathered and traded during the seasons changed depending on where they resided. With coasts populated by masses of species of fish and land densely covered by trees and animals, the Chumash had a diverse array of food. Abundant resources and a winter harsh enough to cause concern meant the tribe lived a sedentary lifestyle in addition to a subsistence existence. Villages in the three aforementioned areas contained remains of sea mammals, indicating that trade networks existed for moving materials throughout the Chumash territory.
Such connections spread out the land’s wealth, allowing the Chumash to live comfortably without agriculture. The closer a village was to the ocean, the greater its reliance on maritime resources. Due to advanced canoe designs and island people could procure fish and aquatic mammals from farther out. Shellfish were a good source of nutrition: easy to find and abundant. Many of the favored varieties grew in tidal zones. Shellfish grew in abundance during winter to early spring; some of the consumed species included mussels, a wide array of clams. Haliotis rufescens was harvested along the Central California coast in the pre-contact era; the Chumash and other California Indians used red abalone shells to make a variety of fishhooks, beads and other artifacts. Ocean animals such as otters and seals were thought to be the primary meal of coastal tribes people, but recent evidence shows the aforementioned trade networks exchanged oceanic animals for terrestrial foods from the interior. Any village could acquire fish, but the coastal and island communities specialized in catching not just smaller fish, but the massive catches such as swordfish.
This feat, difficult for today’s technology, was made possible by the tomol plank canoe. Its design allowed for the capture of deepwater fish, it facilitated trade routes between villages. Before contact with Europeans, coastal Chumash relied less on terrestrial resources than they did on maritime. Regardless, they consumed similar land resources. Like many other tribes, deer were the most important land mammal. Interior Chumash placed greater value on the deer, to the extent that they had unique hunting practices for them, they dressed as deer and grazed alongside the animals until the hunters were in range to use their arrows. Chumash close to the ocean pursued deer, though in understandably fewer numbers, what more meat the villages needed they acquired from smaller animals such as rabbits and birds. Plant foods composed the rest of Chumash diet acorns, which were the staple food despite the work needed to remove their inherent toxins, they could be ground into a paste, easy to eat and store for years.
Coast live. Native Americans have lived along the California coast for at least 13,000 years; the first settlement started over 13,000 years ago near the Santa Barbara coast. The name Chumash means “bead maker” or “seashell people” being that they originated near the Santa Barbara coast; the Chumash tribes near the coast benefited most with the “close juxtaposition of a variety or marine and terrestrial habitats, intensive upwelling in coastal waters, intentional burning of the landscape made the Santa Barbara Channel region one of the most resource abundant places on the planet”. Before the mission period, the Chumash lived in over 150 independent villages, speaking variations of the same language. Much of their culture consisted of basketry, bead manufacturing and trading, cuisine of local abalone and clam, herbalism which consisted of using local herbs to produce teas and medical rel
The California Republic was an unrecognized breakaway state that for 25 days in 1846 militarily controlled an area north of San Francisco, in and around what is now Sonoma County in California. In June 1846, thirty-three American immigrants in Alta California who had entered without official permission rebelled against the Mexican department's government. Among their grievances were that they had not been allowed to buy or rent land and had been threatened with expulsion. Mexican officials had been concerned about a coming war with the United States, coupled with the growing influx of Americans into California; the rebellion was covertly encouraged by U. S. Army Brevet Captain John C. Frémont, added to the troubles of the recent outbreak of the Mexican–American War; the name "California Republic" appeared only on the flag. It indicated their aspiration of forming a republican government under their control; the rebels elected military officers but no civil structure was established. The flag became known as the Bear Flag.
Three weeks on July 5, 1846, the Republic's military of 100 to 200 men was subsumed into the California Battalion commanded by Brevet Captain John C. Frémont; the Bear Flag Revolt and whatever remained of the "California Republic" ceased to exist on July 9 when U. S. Navy Lieutenant Joseph Revere raised the United States flag in front of the Sonoma Barracks and sent a second flag to be raised at Sutter's Fort. By 1845–46, Alta California had been neglected by Mexico for the twenty-five years since Mexican independence, it had evolved into a semi-autonomous region with open discussions among Californios about whether California should remain with Mexico. The 1845 removal of Manuel Micheltorena, the latest governor to be sent by Mexico and forcefully ejected by the Californians, resulted in a divided government; the region south of San Luis Obispo was ruled by Governor Pio Pico with his capital in The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Porciúncula River, now known as Los Angeles. The area to the north of the pueblo of San Luis Obispo was under the control of Alta California's Commandante José Castro with headquarters near Monterey, the traditional capital and the location of the Customhouse.
Pico and Castro disliked each other and soon began escalating disputes over control of the Customhouse income. Decrees issued by the central government in Mexico City were acknowledged and supported with proclamations but ignored in practice. By the end of 1845, when rumors of a military force being sent from Mexico proved to be false, rulings by the other district government were ignored; the relationship between the United States and Mexico had been deteriorating for some time. Texas, which Mexico still considered to be its territory, had been admitted to statehood in 1845. Mexico had earlier threatened war. James K. Polk was elected President of the United States in 1844, considered his election a mandate for his expansionist policies. Mexican law had long allowed grants of land to naturalized Mexican citizens. Obtaining Mexican citizenship was not difficult and many earlier American immigrants had gone through the process and obtained free grants of land; that same year anticipation of war with the United States and the increasing number of immigrants coming from the United States resulted in orders from Mexico City denying immigrants from the United States entry into California.
The orders required California's officials not to allow land grants, sales or rental of land to non-citizen emigrants in California. All non-citizen immigrants, who had arrived without permission, were threatened with being forced out of California. Alta California's Sub-Prefect Francisco Guerrero had written to U. S. Consul Thomas O. Larkin that: a multitude of foreigners come into California and bought fixed property, a right of naturalized foreigners only, he was under the necessity of notifying the authorities in each town to inform such purchasers that the transactions were invalid and they themselves subject to be expelled whenever the government might find it convenient. During November 1845, California's Commandante General José Castro met with representatives of the 1845 American immigrants at Sonoma and Sutter’s Fort. In his decree dated November 6 he wrote: "Therefore conciliating my duty with of the sentiment of hospitality which distinguishes the Mexicans, considering that most of said expedition is composed of families and industrious people, I have deemed it best to permit them, provisionally, to remain in the department" with the conditions that they obey all laws, apply within three months for a license to settle, promise to depart if that license was not granted.
A 62-man exploring and mapping expedition entered California in late 1845 under the command of U. S. Army Brevet Captain John C. Frémont. Frémont was well known in the United States as an explorer, he was the son-in-law of expansionist U. S. Senator Thomas Hart Benton. Early in 1846 Frémont acted provocatively with California's Commandante General José Castro near the pueblo of Monterey and moved his group out of California into Oregon Country, he was followed into Oregon by U. S. Marine Lt Archibald H. Gillespie, sent from Washington with a secret message to U. S. Consul Thomas O. Larkin and instructions to share the message with Frémont. Gillespie brought a packet of letters from Frémont's wife and father-in-law. Frémont's thoughts after readin
Alameda County, California
Alameda County is a county in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,510,271, making it the 7th-most populous county in the state; the county seat is Oakland. Alameda County is included in the San Francisco Bay Area; the Spanish word alameda means either, "...a grove of poplars...or a tree lined street" a name used to describe the Arroyo de la Alameda. The willow and sycamore trees along the banks of the river reminded the early Spanish explorers of a road lined with trees. Although a strict translation to English might be "Poplar Grove Creek", the name of the principal stream that flows through the county is now "Alameda Creek." Alameda County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, included in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area. The county was formed on March 25, 1853, from a large portion of Contra Costa County and a smaller portion of Santa Clara County; the county seat at the time of the county's formation was located at Alvarado, now part of Union City.
In 1856, it was moved to San Leandro, where the county courthouse was destroyed by the devastating 1868 quake on the Hayward Fault. The county seat was re-established in the town of Brooklyn from 1872-1875. Brooklyn is now part of Oakland, the county seat since 1873. Much of what is now considered an intensively urban region, with major cities, was developed as a trolley car suburb of San Francisco in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the historical progression from Native American tribal lands to Spanish Mexican ranches to farms and orchards to multiple city centers and suburbs, is shared with the adjacent and associated Contra Costa County. The annual county fair is held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton; the fair runs for three weekends from June to July. Attractions include horse racing, carnival rides, 4-H exhibits, live bands. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 821 square miles, of which 739 square miles is land and 82 square miles is water.
The San Francisco Bay borders the county on the west, the City and County of San Francisco, has a small land border with the city of Alameda due to land filling. The crest of the Berkeley Hills form part of the northeastern boundary and reach into the center of the county. A coastal plain several miles wide lines the bay. Livermore Valley lies in the eastern part of the county. Amador Valley continues west to the Pleasanton Ridge; the Hayward Fault, a major branch of the San Andreas Fault to the west, runs through the most populated parts of Alameda County, while the Calaveras Fault runs through the southeastern part of the county. Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge A 2014 analysis by The Atlantic found Alameda County to be the fourth most racially diverse county in the United States—behind Aleutians West Census Area and Aleutians East Borough in Alaska, Queens County in New York—as well as the most diverse county in California; the 2010 United States Census reported that Alameda County had a population of 1,510,271.
The population density was 2,047.6 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Alameda County was 649,122 White, 190,451 African American, 9,799 Native American, 394,560 Asian, 12,802 Pacific Islander, 162,540 from other races, 90,997 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 339,889 persons: 16.4% Mexican, 0.8% Puerto Rican, 0.2% Cuban, 5.1% Other Hispanic. As of the census of 2000, there were 1,443,741 people, 523,366 households, out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living within them, 47.0% married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.2% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.31. In the county, the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 33.9% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.00 males. The median income for a household in the county was $55,946, the median income for a family was $65,857. Males had a median income of $47,425 versus $36,921 for females; the per capita income for the county was $26,680. About 7.7% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.5% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over. In 2000, the largest denominational group was the Catholics; the largest religious bodies were Judaism. The Government of Alameda County is defined and authorized under the California Constitution, California law, the Charter of the County of Alameda. Much of the Government of California is in practice the responsibility of county governments such as the Government of Alameda County, while municipalities such as the city of Oakland and the city of Berkeley provide additional non-essential services.
The County government provides countywide services such as elections and voter registration, law enforceme
California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California; the news of gold brought 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. The sudden influx of gold into the money supply reinvigorated the American economy, the sudden population increase allowed California to go to statehood, in the Compromise of 1850; the Gold Rush had severe effects on Native Californians and resulted in a precipitous population decline from disease and starvation. By the time it ended, California had gone from a thinly populated ex-Mexican territory, to having one of its first two U. S. Senators, John C. Frémont, selected to be the first presidential nominee for the new Republican Party, in 1856; the effects of the Gold Rush were substantial. Whole indigenous societies were attacked and pushed off their lands by the gold-seekers, called "forty-niners". Outside of California, the first to arrive were from Oregon, the Sandwich Islands, Latin America in late 1848.
Of the 300,000 people who came to California during the Gold Rush, about half arrived by sea and half came overland on the California Trail and the Gila River trail. While most of the newly arrived were Americans, the gold rush attracted thousands from Latin America, Europe and China. Agriculture and ranching expanded throughout the state to meet the needs of the settlers. San Francisco grew from a small settlement of about 200 residents in 1846 to a boomtown of about 36,000 by 1852. Roads, churches and other towns were built throughout California. In 1849 a state constitution was written; the new constitution was adopted by referendum vote, the future state's interim first governor and legislature were chosen. In September 1850, California became a state. At the beginning of the Gold Rush, there was no law regarding property rights in the goldfields and a system of "staking claims" was developed. Prospectors retrieved the gold from riverbeds using simple techniques, such as panning. Although the mining caused environmental harm, more sophisticated methods of gold recovery were developed and adopted around the world.
New methods of transportation developed. By 1869, railroads were built from California to the eastern United States. At its peak, technological advances reached a point where significant financing was required, increasing the proportion of gold companies to individual miners. Gold worth tens of billions of today's US dollars was recovered, which led to great wealth for a few, though many who participated in the California Gold Rush earned little more than they had started with; the Mexican–American War ended on February 3, 1848, although California was a de facto American possession before that. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided for, among other things, the formal transfer of Upper California to the United States; the California Gold Rush began near Coloma. On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall, a foreman working for Sacramento pioneer John Sutter, found shiny metal in the tailrace of a lumber mill Marshall was building for Sutter on the American River. Marshall brought what he found to John Sutter, the two tested the metal.
After the tests showed that it was gold, Sutter expressed dismay: he wanted to keep the news quiet because he feared what would happen to his plans for an agricultural empire if there were a mass search for gold. Rumors of the discovery of gold were confirmed in March 1848 by San Francisco newspaper publisher and merchant Samuel Brannan. Brannan hurriedly set up a store to sell gold prospecting supplies, walked through the streets of San Francisco, holding aloft a vial of gold, shouting "Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!"On August 19, 1848, the New York Herald was the first major newspaper on the East Coast to report the discovery of gold. On December 5, 1848, US President James Polk confirmed the discovery of gold in an address to Congress; as a result, individuals seeking to benefit from the gold rush--later called the "forty-niners"--began moving to the Gold Country of California or "Mother Lode" from other countries and from other parts of the United States. As Sutter had feared, his business plans were ruined after his workers left in search of gold, squatters took over his land and stole his crops and cattle.
San Francisco had been a tiny settlement. When residents learned about the discovery, it at first became a ghost town of abandoned ships and businesses, but boomed as merchants and new people arrived; the population of San Francisco increased from about 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 full-time residents by 1850. Miners lived in wood shanties, or deck cabins removed from abandoned ships. In what has been referred to as the "first world-class gold rush," there was no easy way to get to California. At first, most Argonauts, as they were known, traveled by sea. From the East Coast, a sailing voyage around the tip of South America would take four to five months, cover 18,000 nautical miles. An alternative was to sail to the Atlantic side of the Isthmus of Panama, take canoes and mules for a week through the jungle, on the Pacific side, wait for a ship sailing for San Francisco. There was a route across Mexico starting at Veracruz; the companies providing such transportation created vast wealth among their owners and included the U.
S. Mail Steamship Company, the federally subsidized Pacific Mail Steamship Company, the Accessory Tra