Fights over gold bankrupt Fremont

Merced River

When the new American government of California ordered a survey of the Rancho las Mariposas, John Fremont managed to swing the boundaries of the rancho around so as to encompass, and thus secure title to, some of the richest gold bearing areas, including the famous Pine Tree and Josephine mines, Mariposa, and Bear Valley. When he began to evict these miners from rich, gold producing operations they had sunk a great deal of capitol into a fierce resentment of Fremont was aroused.

Many miners refused to leave and defied the efforts of law enforcement officials to remove them. By 1859 an all out war had broken out with fortifications hastily erected and tunnels barricaded. Attacks were made and a few men died. But the legal cost to Fremont soared and the negative publicity overwhelmed him. Instead of him being one of the richest men in the country he was now one of the poorest.

John Frémont attacked by Indians


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