The History of California and the Gold Rush
The history of California is a bloody one that explains the brutality of politics in California today.
Around 1848 men from the East traveled to California in an attempt to strike it rich in the gold mines. They left their families behind back east to seek their fortunes.
Very few struck it rich. Ninety percent either died or returned back to their homes in the East with their tails between their legs. The remaining ones lived a life of debauchery or became exploiters of the remaining workers.
S. Shufelt was one of those gold seekers. Mr. Shufelt reveals his motivation when he tells his cousin that:
“I have left those that I love as my own life behind and risked everything and endured many hardships to get here. I want to make enough to live easier and do some good with, before I return.”
These same thoughts no doubt inspired the majority of those who made the trek to the gold fields – they were not intending to stay, but planned to make some money and return to their origins.
Mr. Shufelt’s letter was discovered at an auction in 1924 and is now part of the collection of the Library of Congress.
“There is a good deal of sin and wickedness going on here.” Shufelt lived in a cabin with six other miners. The miners diet was poor resulting in scurvy, disease, disappointment and death. Prostitution, stealing, lying, swearing, drinking, gambling and murder thrived in a new world that had left behind their Bible upbringing to seek after gold.
Men were hanged for stealing food to survive, their bodies left hanging everywhere as a reminder to the others. Most men wanted to leave but had no money for the trek back east, so they were forced to labor in the gold mines for pennies, barely enough to buy food. The storekeepers price-gouged and exploited the workers, keeping them virtual slaves. Children were doubly exploited after their parents were killed either by Indians or common criminals.
Cowboys slaughtered Indians and Mexicans to steal their land and horses. The Indians and Mexicans retaliated by slaughtering the families of the newly arrived gold seekers from the East.
Not much has changed in California today. People come from all over America and the world to seek their fortunes and a better life. Instead, the majority are put in jail without due process for fabricated charges and have their children stolen for exploitation.
We must remember that the Wild West, going back only about 150 years ago, is dominated politically by the ancestors of the wicked settlers who took control of this area by brutal force: including theft, exploitation, prostitution and murder.