Van Valen’s Gold Rush Journey

Van Valen’s Gold Rush Journey

This interactive project allows students to perform the work of a historian as they explore the journal of Alexander Van Valen, a 30-year-old New York man who set sail in 1849 to stake his claim in the California gold fields.

The project provides a rich set of primary sources to investigate and analyze the gold rush era and the lives of “forty niners.” It focuses on the questions, “Why did they go?” and “What was it like?”

View the multimedia example

Download the supporting Teacher’s Guide

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