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Prospectors rushed to California and Colorado following gold discoveries in 1848 and 1859.

Prospectors rushed to California and Colorado following gold discoveries in 1848 and 1859.

Seaver Center for Western History Research, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History

Prospectors rushed to California and Colorado

Images of the Era: 1815-1851

Following the War of 1812, a stronger sense of national unity emerged in the United States. As America expanded westward, however, attempts to spread slavery into those new territories seriously divided the nation.