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January 24, 1848–1855
Sierra Nevada and Northern California goldfields
The California Gold Rush was sparked by the discovery of gold in the Sacramento Valley, on January 24, 1848 by James W. Marshall. Soon, gold was discovered in the Feather and Trinity Rivers, that located northeast of Sacramento. Approximately 300,000 of prospective gold miners traveled to San Francisco and the surrounding area.
The Gold Rush had substantial effects on Native Californians. It accelerated the Native American population's decrease from disease, starvation and the California genocide. As a result of the Gold Rush, many new routes were opened into California. San Francisco grew from a small settlement in 1846 to a town of about 36,000 by 1852. California became a state in September 1850.