There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills! The Forty-niners of California are mighty famous, but what was the site of the first gold rush in the United States?
Congratulations to Joan from the Grand Triviator. According to an article entitled "Georgia Gold" by Charles A. Overbey in Gems and Minerals magazine and excerpted on the website: www.goldmaps.com:
Gold was discovered in NC in 1799 and later in SC, GA, AL, and VA. But the big rush didn't come till gold was discovered at Auraria, just five miles from Dahalonega, Georgia in 1828.
"A few months after the announcement of the discovery, hundreds of men were searching for the metal; and within a year, thousands of miners had descended into Georgia to seek the golden treasure. In 1830 a U.S. Army major described the motley appearance of the "whites, Indians, half-breeds and Negroes, boys of fourteen and old men of seventy" who sought their fortunes in the river beds and hillsides of Georgia."Many Georgia miners joined the California Gold Rush later. A Dr. Stephenson tried to talk some out of going, telling thenm that there was still millions in the hills around Dahlonega. According to the website above:
"Mark Twain, hearing them from a friend, William Sellers, wrote in Gilded Age his famous version of Dr. Stephenson’s expression: 'There’s gold in them thar hills.'"Another "Auraria" was established in Colorado by a Georgia miner during the Pikes Peak gold stampede. It is now part of Denver.