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

By Richard T. Stillson | Go to book overview

APPENDIX B Prices and Wages in the Gold Rush

One can imagine the kind of calculations many individuals made in early 1849, when newspapers reported that most miners could average about one ounce of gold per day but that one could not mine during the rainy season (roughly December through April). The cost of shelter and food could run as high as $4.00 per day. Assuming the trip itself would cost around $400.00 each way, would it be worth it if the prospective goldrusher did not get very lucky and strike it rich? Some of the men contemplating going to California would perhaps put together something like the following figures:

Gross annual earnings as a miner: 250 mining days @ $16per day:$4,000
Less cost of provisions and upkeep: $4.00per day for 350days:$1,400
Estimated savings at end of a year:$2,600
Cost of transportation to mine fields: $400each way, total:$ 800
Net savings from gold rush in one year:$1,800

How would prospective goldrushers compare this bottom line to what a man could make in various occupations in the East? In 1848 the average wage for an unskilled laborer in the Northeast was less than $1.00 per day and, for an artisan, less than $1.50; average income for a white-collar worker was around $500.00 per year.1 Robert Margo shows that, after adjusting for room and board, a farm laborer's wages were similar to those of an unskilled urban laborer. A small family farm averaged about $200.00 per year in net income. Therefore, even if one did not strike it rich and earn the fabulous sums that some lucky miners did, one could still come back with cash equal to the fruits of many years of labor in the East.

-193-

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.