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In 1848 America was changed forever by the discovery of gold in California. It led to the growth of cities like San Francisco, altered the way Americans thought about earning money, and brought thousands of fortune-seekers to the West. In this book, readers explore the fascinating story of the gold rush in terms of both its causes and effects. They also gain a more personal view of this period in American history, journeying alongside a New York farmer, William Swain, as he travels west to find gold. Presented in the style of a graphic novel, Swain's adventures are sure to excite readers. Detailed drawings and easy-to-follow text ensure accessibility to even the most reluctant readers.