Date of Award
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Richard Coke Wood
The rush to California brought a variety of people. There were the outcasts, the adventurers, the abandoned, the vigorous, the enterprising, and the progressive. They came from the east, south, New England, and the frontier of 1849. Many came from Europe. They came solely for gold. Man were single, many were married. Some never intended to return to their families; others planned on making their fortune and returning quickly. The thought of schools found little place in their minds.
This lack of thought sprang from two sources. First, their own lack of education tended to keep back any interest in schools. More important was the simple fact that there were very few children on hand.
However, after a year or two under the influence of such a uniform climate, the marvelous fertility of the soil, and the incredible mineral wealth, they began to ask themselves if this California did not offer advantages worthy of development.
Soon families started arriving on the scene. Many men went back after their families; other sent for them for fear of financial lost during an absence from the gold fields. The frequent sight of children soon brought up the questions of schools and aroused a sense of responsibility in providing a means of educating them.
Kenfield, David Guinn. (1955). A history of education in Calaveras County, California, 1850 to 1900. University of the Pacific, Thesis. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/1276
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