Episode One: Eureka!

Fri Oct 11 9/8c

January 1848 – August 1849: Gold is discovered in California and the new American dream is born. As the news spreads across the country, over 300,000 people—one out of every 90 Americans—drop everything and head west with hopes of striking it rich. Among the prospectors making the journey is an outfit of 40 men known as Boston Company.

As waves of 49ers descend on California, shopkeeper Sam Brannan makes a move that will forever change the gold rush. He purchases every pan, pickaxe and shovel on the west coast—and begins selling them to gold hungry miners at massively inflated prices—making him the first millionaire in the West, with influence to match. When Boston Company finally arrives in California, they find that the gold fields are already packed and the easy pickings are gone. They have no choice but to play into Sam Brannan's game.

More: Photos From This Episode | Video: Journey Out West | About Boston Company | Meet the Characters | California Trail Interactive | Which 49er Are You? | Gold Rush Lingo