Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Gold Rush
Strike It Rich!

White man | Californio man | Chinese man | Chilean man | White woman

San Francisco
San Francisco Ships discharge passengers and cargo. Carts haul the new arrivals up the steep hills. With all the building going on, it seems you can see the city growing before your eyes. Businesses sprout as soon as someone has an idea for one. Everyone is busy and there doesn't seem to be any rules. All around you people are speaking in languages you've never heard! It's the most hustle and bustle you've ever seen! California is the place you're going to make your fortune.

White woman
Well, at least you didn't have to travel across the entire continent! Still, your overland journey wore you out. Everyone had to ditch all but the most essential items to lighten the load and get over the Rockies. You saw the bodies of unlucky souls who died on the route through the desert. You yourself were so dehydrated that you thought you'd gone permanently blind at one point. And you lost over 20 pounds, leaving you weak and headache-prone. As you look around, you realize that you are the only woman in sight.

You'll encounter many dangerous challenges as you travel into remote areas -- especially when the gold becomes scarce. But finding gold isn't the only path to striking it rich, as many entrepreneurs find out. Learn about the experiences of another white woman during the gold rush.

back to top page created on 9.13.2006

Gold Rush American Experience

Exclusive Corporate Funding is provided by: