273 episodes

The Cold War, Prohibition, the Gold Rush, the Space Race. Every part of your life - the words you speak, the ideas you share - can be traced to our history, but how well do you really know the stories that made America? We'll take you to the events, the times and the people that shaped our nation. And we'll show you how our history affected them, their families and affects you today. Hosted by Lindsay Graham (not the Senator). From Wondery, the network behind American Scandal, Tides of History, American Innovations and more.
New episodes come out every Wednesday for free, with 1-week early access for Wondery+ subscribers. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ or on Amazon Music with a Prime membership or Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.

American History Tellers Wondery

    • History
    • 4.6 • 16.1K Ratings

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The Cold War, Prohibition, the Gold Rush, the Space Race. Every part of your life - the words you speak, the ideas you share - can be traced to our history, but how well do you really know the stories that made America? We'll take you to the events, the times and the people that shaped our nation. And we'll show you how our history affected them, their families and affects you today. Hosted by Lindsay Graham (not the Senator). From Wondery, the network behind American Scandal, Tides of History, American Innovations and more.
New episodes come out every Wednesday for free, with 1-week early access for Wondery+ subscribers. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ or on Amazon Music with a Prime membership or Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    California Gold Rush | The First Strike

    California Gold Rush | The First Strike

    ​​After the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, hundreds of thousands of prospectors poured into California, hoping to strike it rich. In the early days, rather than coming from within the U.S., most miners arrived from places like China, Hawaii, Chile, and Australia. But when President James K. Polk confirmed that newspaper reports of vast gold fields were true, it would kick the Gold Rush into high gear, transforming America and establishing California as a place for grand ambitions and big dreams.

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    • 36 min
    California Gold Rush | The Forty Niners

    California Gold Rush | The Forty Niners

    In early 1849, thousands of gold-hungry Americans began pouring into California from the eastern United States. But most of the so-called 49ers were wildly unprepared for the perilous journey west. Once they reached California, they found unexpected obstacles and fierce competition in the gold mines. For many, their dreamed-of riches rarely materialized. And even for those who did hit paydirt, their newfound wealth came with unforeseen challenges.

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    • 37 min
    California Gold Rush | Battlelines

    California Gold Rush | Battlelines

    For white settlers, the Gold Rush offered a chance for fortune, but for California’s Native inhabitants, the sudden hunger for gold spelled disaster. As the numbers of miners grew, they forced Native people off their ancestral lands, often starving or slaughtering them in the process. As California became a state, informal policies that discriminated against indigenous Californians became law. Soon, the state would deploy militias to violently put down Indian resistance.

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    • 40 min
    California Gold Rush | Digging Deeper

    California Gold Rush | Digging Deeper

    In the early 1850s, as people continued to flood West, California’s booming cities experienced rapid growth, but also turmoil. Fires regularly swept through hastily erected towns, and battles broke out between lawless miners and new, civic-minded residents who wanted to clean up the burgeoning cities. Meanwhile, women arriving in male-dominated gold country found rare opportunities to thrive in business. And as gold became harder to find, individual prospectors were increasingly squeezed out by those who could employ more expensive – destructive – industrial mining techniques.

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    • 34 min
    California Gold Rush | Gold Mountain

    California Gold Rush | Gold Mountain

    This episode comes out for free on 02/08 and is available early and ad-free for Wondery+ subscribers.

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    News of the 1848 discovery of gold in California spread quickly, and thousands of Chinese migrants flocked to California to seek a better life in the place they called "Gold Mountain." But the reality awaiting them was a far cry from streets paved with gold. Despite facing racism and incredible hardship, many ultimately found opportunities to prosper in the Golden State. On today’s show, author and historian Lisa See joins host Lindsay Graham to discuss the Chinese experience of the gold rush, and her own family’s journey to California, which she chronicled in her book On Gold Mountain.

    Presidential Assassinations | Murder for Spoils

    Presidential Assassinations | Murder for Spoils

    On April 14th, 1865, John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. Lincoln died hours later, shocking the war-torn nation and becoming the first President to be assassinated in office. But he would not be the last.

    Sixteen years later, no action had been taken to protect the commander-in-chief. When James Garfield became president in March 1881, a disturbed and delusional former lawyer demanded a position in the new administration. Furious over his rejection, he began to stalk Garfield, determined to exact deadly revenge.

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    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
16.1K Ratings

16.1K Ratings

Shaycr16 ,

Thank you!

Hi Lindsay,
I love your podcasts. I especially love this one about American History.
It would b great if you could have a follow up conversation with the journalist from the NYT that you interviewed for the last episode of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire series. It would be really interesting because when you spoke to him it was the year before the pandemic began. Since then, as I’m sure you know, Amazon and Starbucks workers in some locations have unionized.
It would be really fascinating to hear what the journalist would say now about the labor movement and unions in the US.
Thank you for your hard work and dedication! I look forward to new seasons!
Shannon, a Union Steward!

atliia ,

Revisionist history.

I’ve listened to three of the four episodes about the California Gold Rush. This podcast is quite typical of revisionist history. White colonialists massacre helpless native peoples. Attacks by natives are justified, and excused. This is not real history.

other truth guy ,

Shameful Moral Equivocation

I find it indescribable that someone can try to morally equate communism to capitalism?? Capitalism has brought more people out of poverty than any other system of government and communism has killed more?? What a stupid take on history … ALSO! Yet ANOTHER possible great show RUINED by a leftist looney.

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