1. Explain why the shopkeepers made more money than the gold prospectors.
The miners would pan for gold and come to town to buy food and mining supplies. They could use the gold dust to purchase these necessities. There was not a lot of gold to be found along the streams in this area, so the shopkeepers would accumulate more gold than the individual miners. In this way, they made more money just providing goods and services than the miners did doing all the work panning for gold.
2. Who actually owned the land on which gold was discovered in Georgia and what problems did this create for them?
The Cherokee Indians actually owned this land. Because gold was considered valuable, suddenly the Cherokees’ land became more valuable to the white man. Settlers and miners wanted to own this land. In 1832, a Georgia land lottery parceled off the Cherokee land and evicted Cherokees from their own land. A Georgia law stated that the only ones who could own land were white men. The Cherokees in the area were expelled and became beggars and vagabonds in their own territory.
3. Why was a Federal Mint established in Dahlonega, Georgia? Why is gold not minted there anymore?
Miners wanted a way to turn their gold dust into gold coins. Transporting the gold dust to other mint locations was dangerous in those days. The demand to have a mint nearby made this possible. The mint turned out coins until soon after the California gold rush. When the miners left, the amount of gold dust dwindled. Therefore, the mint was not practical, and the government closed it.