Spreading the Word: A History of Information in the California Gold Rush

By Richard T. Stillson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE
Information and Communications in California
Maps, Mail, and Express

When the goldrushers reached California, their needs for information and their means of communications changed from those on the trail. Although interrelated, the markets for information and communications from 1849 to 1851 developed in different ways and with varying degrees of success, so this chapter will discuss the two in separate sections. With respect to information, the goldrushers' difficulties on the trail resulted in distrust of printed and official information and claims of expertise. A new credibility criterion, that of personal experience, became the way goldrushers assessed new information sources. With respect to communications, institutional constraints hindered the development of the Post Office Department within California, and the slack was taken up by a remarkable growth of private express companies. After 1851 the markets for communications and information began to resemble more the situation in the East, with the widespread growth of newspapers, the printing of more credible maps, and the Post Office finally adapting to the conditions in the West.

When the goldrushers first arrived, they wanted information quickly. Foremost on their minds was the location of the gold fields and how to get there, but there were other urgent questions, such as what to do with the equipment and animals that survived the trip, whether they should continue with the companies formed in the East, and where and how to obtain provisions and equipment so they could begin mining. Frequently one or more persons would be assigned to go to Sacramento to sell equipment held in common and then distribute the proceeds or purchase supplies. Some of the companies, Charlestown, and BostonNewton in our group, had supplies coming by sea to San Francisco and had to make arrangements to collect and distribute them or sell them and distribute the proceeds. Also, since mining in 1849 was done most effectively in small groups,

-119-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Spreading the Word: A History of Information in the California Gold Rush
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 274

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.