Thanks for the 1848 U.S. history lesson | READER COMMENTARY

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This is where James Marshall's discovery started the Gold Rush in 1848. Today's sawmill on the South Fork of the American River is a replica of the original. (Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press).

I sincerely appreciate Joe Mathews’ commentary, “East Coast American’s warring over the dates 1619 and 1776 should take a look at 1848 out West” (Oct. 1), as I had not considered the change in mentality that accompanied the Gold Rush (“the dream of instant wealth won in the twinkling by audacity and good luck”) in contrast to the challenge of acquiring a better life, little by little by farming in the original colonies.

Of course I lament regularly the treatment of Mexico in the 1848 war, but this new angle, including the change in immigration brought about by the Gold Rush, was a new concept for me. Thank you for carrying this piece.


Marilyn Carlisle, Baltimore

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