John Sutter and James Marshall actually formed a partnership together on August 27, 1847 for the purpose of building a saw mill along the American River located in the Sacramento Valley. While inspecting the waters depth of a tailrace ditch on January 24th 1848, Marshall apparently discovered what appeared to be gold. For them to obtain legal title of that gold, Sutter and Marshall officially presented a lease agreement to Governor Richard Mason of the State. Significantly large quantities of gold had been taken out of its southern fork on this American River which subsequently led to the discovery of Mormon Island as well as other gold mining camps.
Within 1849 over 80,000 mining prospectors were widely scattered throughout the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys. Many of these gold seekers merely arrived at California by steamship via Cape Horn while others mainly came overland across the Oregon Trail. In fact a substantial number of Argonauts were making their seaward expedition to California while coming from Chile and Peru. During 1854 at least 300,000 thousand men had been curiously roaming the California foothills regional area for its contingent quest of gold. Furthermore this tremendous impact which was brought upon by that California gold rush was perhaps one of the greatest events in history.