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California Gold Rush


California Gold Rush
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.86

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    canyons, overland, strenuous, unpredictable, extremely, announcement, operate, wealthy, mining, rocking, valuable, traveled, supplies, abundance, destination, gold
     content words:    James Marshall, American River, John Sutter, United States, Congressional Meeting, President Polk, Cape Horn, South America, Panama City, Pacific Ocean


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California Gold Rush
By Shirley Kruenegel
  

1     On January 24, 1848, James Marshall spotted glittering flakes of gold in the American River. At the time he was working on helping to build a saw mill for John Sutter. He quickly took the gold to show Mr. Sutter and to get it tested. Sutter asked Marshall to keep the discovery of gold a secret until the construction of his mill was completed. However, that was one secret that was impossible to keep because gold is a rare, soft, valuable metal.
 
2     When Sam Brannan's announcement printed in the Californian newspaper reported that gold was found in the American River, everyone throughout the United States started to dream about becoming rich. Then during the Congressional Meeting held on December 5, 1848, President Polk announced that gold was discovered. This announcement caused one of the largest migrations to the west coast. Over 100,000 people made their way to California. These gold seekers were known as the "forty-niners."
 
3     Men packed up all of their necessary belongings and what little money they had and began to plan their departures. There were three main routes to the California gold fields. Traveling overland, men and families met in Independence, Missouri, and joined wagon trains. This was a very difficult route traveling over mountains, through canyons, and across the desert.

Paragraphs 4 to 10:
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