According the the Library of Congress, on January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold near Coloma, California. This started the great Western immigration known as “forty-niners.” Nearly 100,000 people arrived in California in 1849. Although many intended to make fortunes in gold, others capitalized on the miners themselves. Between 1848 and 1850, Charles F. Hotchkiss earned $23,000 selling merchandise in San Francisco and Stockton.
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