Prostitutes and the Gold Rush

          The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill on January 24, 1848 propelled thousands of American men to spend their life savings to gamble on an opportunity they never dreamed possible. In a country that was becoming increasingly less of a land of opportunity, the idea that a person could strike it rich by collecting gold off the ground was irresistible. California underwent many changes that led to a demand for prostitution. The most important factor was the never ending flow of young men who came to look for gold. In 1849, young men migrated from all over North America.
          Coming to California from the east had three routs you could choose from. One way was to go by sea sailing around Cape Horn, Panama and overland. The amazingly beautiful Cape Horn route was the most popular rout during the Gold Rush, with hundreds of ships traveling the 13,000 miles around the tip of South America. If weather conditions were bad, this trip could take as long as eight months. Due to the Gold Rush Fever, the ships were often jammed with passengers, causing unsanitary conditions. A number of passengers suffered from scurvy, due to a lack of fresh vegetables and fruits in their diet. Other passengers failed to prepare for the change of the seasons, and suffered from bitter wind and cold as the ships came around Cape Horn in July.
Some ship captains saw a possible shortcut in the sea route and instead of going all the way around Cape Horn; they cross through Panama in Central America. This route was much shorter, but this rout had its own set of problems. When sailing from the east coast of the United States, Passengers had to sail on the Atlantic side of Panama, and then walk across the Isthmus to the Pacific coast. The tropical climate and diseases killed many travelers. Most travelers found that having to take two ships to San Francisco and the tropical climate disastrous.
Because of the rough conditions of gold mining, respectable...