New York City 1848
Joseph Smith was a 25 year old ambitious man who was happily married to 19 year old Abigail Smith. He had two small children a boy who was one and a daughter who was 2. Joseph has everything he could ever ask for a loving family, a successful bakery, and a good comfortable home. However, being the young ambitious man he was he always wondered if he was missing something. He dreamt of adventure and greater things.
Joe's Corner Bakery:
"I'M coming. Gee shop isn't open yet," exclaimed Joseph as he opens the door his apprentice Steve stood there panting. "What d-?"
"-Did you hear the news?!?" Steve interrupted out of breathe "There's gold"
"What are you rambling on about now Steve."
"Read this." Steve said in between huffs and puffs
Joseph takes the newspaper out of Steves' hands
[[Open Newspaper]] </style>
"Joe, They say there is gold in the rivers and the mountains are packed full of it ready to be excavated." Steve said "Turn the page look"
[[Turn the Page]]</style>
"There is a ship taking people to California. We should embark on the journey to become rich beyond our wildest thoughts" Steve said
"I can't Abigail... The kids... My bakery." stuttered Joseph "Besides passage is 100 dollars I can't afford that."
"Just think of it 100 dollars is nothing compared to all the gold you will get in exchange. Just think of it as a small investment for your future." said Steve
"I'll think about it." Joseph said
[[Fast Forward to Dinner]]Abigail his wife was washing dishes as you contemplate at the dinner table how to tell his wife about the journey west. "Uhh Abby" he finally said after a while of going back and forth.
"Yes dear" Abigail replied
"Have you heard about the news up west?" you say looking up and making eye contact with her. She shook her head and stopped washing dishes now with a new curiosity in her eyes. "Well..." he continued "They found Gold in Californa and I think I might go."
Abigail frowned "But-"
"-No. Look this is a great opportunity to become rich so I can provide for you and the kids. Think about it 100 dollars is only a small investment for the amount of gold I will get in return."
"100 Dollars? Where are you going to get that and what about the bakery- me- the kids?!?" Abigail ranted on and on
"Listen, I trust you to run the bakery, and As for you and the kids I promise to send money back occasionally.."
[[A Few Months Later]]In a span of a few months, you have purchased a passage ticket, kissed your wife and children goodbye, and set sail for San Francisco.
2 Months later:
[[Letter 1]] 1/23/49
It has been two months That I have been out at sea. It has been a difficult journey due to the rough storms and lack of fresh water. They give us a mixture called switchel which is water mixed with other questionable ingredients in order to make it taste "good". I really miss your cooking we are constantly fed salty meat, potatoes, and dry bread... honestly, these people don't know how to make a decent bread loaf. The few fresh foods we were provided with vanished within the first few weeks being on board. Now all the food left is either moldy and/or contaminated with bugs and critters.
The accommodations are strange and do not live up to the luxury standards that the ticket promised. We were all loaded onto a Whaling ship and we are all crammed that some men have to sleep standing up. My dearest Abby something inside me feels like I have made a mistake. The thought of providing a better life for you and the kids is the only thing motivating me to keep going forward. The ship is only a minor set back but once I arrive I will be more comfortable and settled.
[[Mail Letter]]Four more months have passed and after a long awaited 6 month journey You and the Passengers on board have arrived in San Francisco. However, the environment was not what Joseph was expecting. The city of San Francisco was bustling with men from all over scrambling back and fourth purchasing supplies. You grab your luggage and began to walk off the loading docks.
What should you do first?
[[Rent a Hotel Room]]
[[Buy Supplies]]You walk into the nearest tavern full of loud chatting and laughter. There are many men playing cards, drinking, and eating. Among them were women wearing revealing dresses. They sat on men's laps or hovered over them watching them play cards and gamble. You walk over to the Bar top and order a drink and food.
"Are you new to town?" asked a scruffy bartender as he wiped the counter with a questionably clean towel. You nod. The bartender laughs and says, "All of you have the same look on your faces. FOOLS! I say. you don't know what you guys have signed up for"
"Exactly what sir?" you ask
The Bartender disregards the question and continues "Ya gotta name?"
"Yes sir Joseph Smith"
"Well Joseph Smith I wish you luck" he snorts "You're gonna need it"
With that he leaves leaving you confused and annoyed.
What should you do next?
[[Rent a Hotel Room]]
[[Advance to Next Day]] You walk into the hotel only to leave with a look of defeat. The hotel was priced way to high to afford and he had to prioritize supplies and food before anything else. So you walk on over and find comfort on a park bench.
[[Advance to Next Day]] You walk into the supply shop to find it packed full of men from all over the world. They were all scrambling to get their hands on mining equipment. Rows or pickaxes, shovels, mining pans, and other strange equipment that you aren't sure what they're used for.
You walk around not sure what you really need.
After a while of just staring in confusion a big grizzly looking man walked up to him and cleared his throat. "Are you just going to stand there or are you actually going to buy something?"
"Uh yes sir... I just don't know what? You respond embarrassed
"Typically miners buy pans, shovels, and pickaxes for excavating, but you will also need something to live in like a tent, bedding, lamp, and a kettle" He said as he pointed to the supplies
[[Rent a Hotel Room]]
[[Advance to Next Day]]You wake up stiff from sleep in on the bench all night. You pack your things and head towards the town corner in order to be picked up and transported to the gold fields. When you arrive at the stop you pay a man and he takes you on a wagon up the path. When you finally arrive you see a huge camping area
Should yoy Set campground here? or keep walking to find a more quiet campground?
[[Camp with Group]] or [[Camp Alone]]You approach an empty spot and set up your tent and drop of all your supplies.
What Should Joseph Smith do next?
[[Go Panning for Gold]]
[[Interact with Other in the Camp]]You Continue walking down the stream until the craziness of the main camp is behind you. You find a nice shady area behind a tree and set your tent up. You decide to go straight to the river and pan for gold.
[[Go Panning for Gold]]</style>
You go Panning for gold near the river stream. After a few hours of panning, you are unsuccessful and go back to the campground.
[[Return to Camp]]You walk up to a group of men talking and drinking. You over hear a conversation about the mines and talk about gold...
[[Keep Listening]]You return to camp defeated hoping that tomorrow will be a better day. Hoping to find the mines and maybe get lucky up there.
[[The Next Day]] "You say.. that there's a better chance at finding gold in the mines? How would someone get to the mines?" Joseph interrupted
The men stopped mid sentence and they turned to look at Joseph with curiosity and annoyance. One of the men in the group spoke up and said "You walk up that path and follow the signs until you get to the mines. However, the mine is a scary place for such a scrawny inexperienced fellow like you."
[[Respond in a rude way]] or [[Shy away]]Joseph Smith walks closer and sits down next to the group of men. He can listen to the conversation more clearly.
"The mines is were the golds at. Don't waste your time in the river theres only left over bits there."
[[Interrupt]] or [[Go Panning for Gold]] You respond in a rude way insulting the miner's mother which leads you to get beat up by the group. You are not badly injured but just bruised and scraped here and there.
[[Go to First Aid]] or Sleep it off till [[The Next Day]] You nod and walk away leaving behind a group of men laughing at you.
[[The Next Day]]The next day you wake up and get ready before the sun is up. You cook breakfast eat a quick meal and start on the journey to find the mine. As you walk you come across a group of miners with pickaxes.
"Where ya heading?" asked one of them
"To the mines?" Joseph replied
"Well ya heading the wrong way." he said and then began to walk again
[[Stop him and ask if you can join them]] or [[Head alone and figure it out on your own]]You arrive to the First Aid tent and a nurse greets you. After a certain time you are allowed to go back to your tent with your health fully restored.
[[Return to Camp]] You stop the group of men and ask if you can tag along. They accept and you follow them up the path to the mines. The men walked with their backs against the walls as the path was getting smaller and smaller. It is difficult for you to keep your balance and you begin to fear falling so you get on all fours and began crawling the rest of the way up.
One of them approaches you and says, "The names Bill. If you'd like you can stay close and learn. Yea... I remember when I was new too."
You nodd thankfully and follow him. He picks up his pickaxe and starts dropping it on the rocks making them fly everywhere and land on the floor.
[[Pick Up Your Pickaxe]] or [[Keep watching]]You continue on your journey alone and end up getting lost. Slowly you wonder deeper and deeper into the forest and end up at a fork in the road.
[[Go Left]] or [[Go Right]]You end up wondering and wondering suddenly you come across a river.
You decide to stop and [[Try Panning for Gold]]You go right and end up slipping and falling down a rocky slope. In the process of that you get hit in the head and get a concusion.
You slip into darkness
[[slip into darkness]]You attempt trying to use the pickaxe and come out unlucky. After a while
Bill stops you and says "Come on lets go eat something"
Joseph [[follows]] Bill out of the cave and sat next to himBill swings his pickaxe up and down. Chipping the rocks making them crumble onto the ground. You decide to pick up your axe and try to mimick Bill's movements.
[[Pick Up Your Pickaxe]] You Begin Panning...
After a while you see something shiny in the midst of all the dirt and gravel.
You move your hand around the settlement and your eyes widen at the sight.
"EUREKA!!! I FOUND IT!!" Joseph Exclaimed in your hands are three small flakes of gold
[[Keep panning]] or [[Go back to Camp]] and write Abigail about the big news.Sorry It Seems like Joseph Smith has died due to a bad head injury.
Try the game again?
[[Start]] After panning for a while you come short you decide to [[Go back to Camp]] You get back into your tent drop of your stuff and write Abigail about your time so far and your discovery
[[Write to Abigail]]"So is it always this hard to find gold?" Joseph asked in between bites
"Yup." There was a pause then Bill continued, "Many men are in debt here and many other have to get a second job just because a lot of us aren't able to find Gold."
"I Have hopes that I will find gold. I promised my wife..."
"Well Joseph we all have wives we've promised something. You will come to terms with it later"
[[Ask Bill what he means]]Books:
“California: a History.” California: a History, by Kevin Starr, Modern Library, 2015, pp. 73–100.
Madley, Benjamin. An American Genocide: the United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873. Yale University Press, 2017.
Rohrbough, Malcolm J. Days of Gold: the California Gold Rush and the American Nation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.
CLARK, THOMAS D., editor. “September 15–September 27, 1849.” Gold Rush Diary: Being the Journal of Elisha Douglas Perkins on the Overland Trail in the Spring and Summer of 1849, University Press of Kentucky, 1967, pp. 129–142. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt130j1qx.11.
Goodman, John B. “The 1849 California Gold Rush Fleet: The Ship ‘South America.’” Southern California Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 2, 1986, pp. 183–195. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41171429.
Around Cape Horn.” The California Gold Rush, goldrush49.weebly.com/around-cape-horn.html
Gold Fever Law, Order, and Justice for Some, explore.museumca.org/goldrush/fever16.html.
Google ImagesDear Abigail,
I have been here a couple of days and it's not what I thought it would be. There are a lot of people from all around the world trying to discover gold for themselves as well. There are hardly any women here and there also no children. Mostly its a bunch of young men who are trying to get along and understand each other. The first day I got here I spent all my money on supplies and food. (Can you believe that a single egg is 3 dollars!) That doesn't worry me though because today I discovered gold near a deserted river that is located by a waterfall. It seems like someone has deserted it or something. I haven't found much but I will be returning soon. My dearest brace yourself because in a few days we will be rich beyond our wildest dreams!
[[mail letter]] After you drop off the letter you eat supper and get ready for the next day.
[[Advance a few months ahead]] "You know what Joseph I like you. In this chaotic city we need companions and people to trust. Maybe we should stick together in order to cover more ground."
[[Take Bill's offer]] maybe together you can find gold
[[Deny Bill's offer]] you work better alone and you prefer to keep the gold for yourself3 Months have passed and you have only found a few small flakes of gold, however, its only enough to survive. You are getting desperate, hungry, and discourage. People have come and gone due to lack of gold and others have taken a second job just in order to survive. Food and supplies are getting more and more expensive and you are getting more and more in debt.
You Decide to
[[Look for a Job]]
[[Return home]]"I think that would be a great idea" you respond and together you finish lunch in between small talk about both your lives before the hnt for gold.
You find out he lived in California previously and he was one of the first to arrive when the news of gold came out. Bill was not extremy successful but he had found enough gold to open up a small grocery store that his son runs. Bill is living comfortably and still comes to the mines because he still dreams of striking it rich.
[[Go pack into the mines]]You considered Bill's offer but realize that you could double your earnings if you work alone.
"I'm sorry but I work better alone. Thank you for helping me out today but I should get going" You say getting up
[[Leave Bill behind]]Bill teaches you the proper techniques and little tricks on how to mine and find gold. As days advance you begin to learn a lot from the group of miners around you. One day while chipping away at rocks you come across 4 small lumps of gold.
"Bill... Bill" you whisper trying to get his attention. Bill smiles at the sight in your hand
[[Advance a few Months ahead]] As days pass you continue to attempt mining and panning however you turn out unsuccessful the few times you try. Working alone has not brought the best results. You are getting lonely and discourage.
[[Advance a few months ahead]] 3 Months have passed and you have only found a few small flakes of gold, however, its only enough to survive. You are getting desperate, hungry, and discourage. People have come and gone due to lack of gold and others have taken a second job just in order to survive. Food and supplies are getting more and more expensive and your are getting more and more in debt.
You Decide to
[[Ask Bill for a Job]]
[[Return home]]You keep trying and unfortunatly there is no luck
as weeks go by you decide to..
[[Look for a Job]] You began to look for a job and find one as a bartender at a tavern. You continue to work and soon after begin saving money in order to buy a ticket to go back home.
[[3 months later]]You arrive home with no money, no gold, and debt. Your jouney has ended and you have achieved nothing yet hours of hard work and no pay off.
[[The End]]"A Job? At my store?" Bill asked
You nod and explain how you are struggling and how your family is struggling as well back home. You desperately need to come up with money in order to send back to Abigail and the kids.
Bill agrees and gives you a job stocking the shelves in his store.
[[A few weeks later]]You start working more and more at the store and you visit the mines less and less. You aren't earning a lot but just enough to begin paying the collectors the money you owe.
One day Bill walks in and approaches you..
"I was thinking.." he spoke "I am thinking of opening another grocery store closer to the mines and I would like you to be my co-partner in this."
You are taken back and respond, "I would love to but I can't afford that"
"That's alright as soon as the profit starts rolling in you can pay me back your half."
[[Agree]] let's become partners and see where this goes
[[Disagree]] you are okay where you are atYou agree to work with Bill and open a food store next to the camping grounds. You attract a lot of business and slowly start accumulating money to pay of your half and to send back to Abigail
[[Continue]]You continue to work for Bill and after a few months you have enough saved up to go back home.
[[Purchase ticket and go home]]"Why are we selling these things so expensive? Shouldn't we be more considerate and lower our prices?" putting price tags on the cans and produce.
"This is the lowest we can go Joe. The shipping price is very pricey and in order for us to make a profit we have to sell our suff at this price" Bill replies
[[Look for at prices]] After three months you earn enough money to buy passage on a small fishing boat. The journey is tedious and long but finally, you make it home.
[[Return home]] Beef: $10.00 per lb
Butter: $20.00 per lb
Cheese: $25.00 per lb
Coffee Beans: $0.15 per lb
Crackers (in tins) $0.15 per tin
Eggs: $3.00 each
Flour: $13.00 per bag
Oranges: $0.15 each
Rice: $8.00 per lb
[[A Few Months later]]You finally arrive home to your old life. Thanks to your good friend Bill you are not in debt however you were unsuccessful in finding gold.
You continue your work as a bakery and return to your old life as if nothing happen
[[The End]]You have Finished the Game
Advance to [[Start]]
[[Bibliography]] After a few months, the business has earned you enough money to live comfortably. You are able to send money to Abigail for her and the kids to come to California and live with you.
When they finally arrive on a long awaited journey you and your family live in a small house in California.
The hunt for gold was unsuccessful however you were able to invest and make money elsewhere making you more successful than all the others who return home with nothing.