Gold Fever Episode Guide


Discovery Communications

Eureka! October 11, 2013

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

San Francisco Burning: October 11, 2013

August 1849 – December 1849: In less than a year, the Gold Rush has already started to transform America. But in the gold fields, Boston Company learns that finding gold isn’t going to be easy. The mining camps are only growing more crowded with every passing day. As desperation sets in, the 49ers turn violent and the Gold Rush slides into chaos.

Sam Brannan expands his empire, ruthlessly devising new and more ingenious ways to take gold from miners, as he buys up stakes in every business in San Francisco—from hotels, to gambling halls, to brothels. But right when it looks as though Brannan can’t make a bad move, the entire Gold Rush goes up in flames.

More: Photos From This Episode | Video: Brannan's Master Plan | About Boston Company | Meet the Characters | California Trail Interactive | Which 49er Are You? | Gold Rush Lingo

Lawless: October 18, 2013

December 1849 – June 1850: In the aftermath of the first Great Fire, the city of San Francisco is hit with a crime wave. A new gold rush breaks out in the burned-out rubble of the city. Threatened by the lawlessness, Sam Brannan seizes the perfect opportunity to expand his power—making himself judge, jury and executioner of the gold fields.

With over $5 billion dollars being pulled out of the gold fields every year, it doesn't take long before the Gold Rush grabs the attention of big business back east. As those companies start heading to California, everyday miners like the Boston Company continue to toil in the gold fields, completely unaware that the gold rush may soon be ending for the little guy.

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

Battle for Gold: October 18, 2013

June 1850 – October 1850: Looking to cash-in on Big Business's move west, Sam Brannan begins taking over the gold fields, violently evicting miners from their homes and mining claims in what amounts to a massive claim jump. But the 49ers who've risked their lives to find their fortunes in the gold fields aren’t going to back down without a fight.

When Boston Company is evicted by Brannan and his goons, company leader Charles Robinson organizes a protest, one that quickly evolves into the bloodiest standoff in California history—a deadly battle that will change the country forever.

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

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