"Fire on The Mountain" Constructed Response Activity

 

"We met two wagons coming back from the Promised Land today. The men with them looked pretty well down in the mouth...They stopped and we had a long powwow. We gave them some liquor and grub. They had not been to California--never got there. It seemed that the Humboldt desert had almost ruined them, and they turned back. Two of their men died of cholera; they had three left, and these survivors had hollow eyes and caved-in cheeks, and looked like they were about done for. They had painted on the white cover of the wagon the words "Going for Gold." It was not funny, but sad..."

      ~ Traveler Andrew Gordon, 1849

 

1) Who said the quote above?  Is it a primary or secondary source? Explain.
 
 
 
 
 

2) In 1849 thousands of people headed west trying to reach California. What were they looking for and what nickname was given to these people?
 
 
 
 
 

3) According to the quote and song, what were some of the hardships and dangers faced by these travelers?
 
 
 
 
 

4) Summarize the meaning and message of both the quote and song.  Be sure to identify similarities and/or differences.
 
 
 
 
 

5) How did the California Gold Rush impact/influence settlement of the United States and westward expansion?
 
 
 
 
 



 
 

Fire On The Mountain
Marshal Tucker Band 1975

 

Took my family away from our Carolina home.
Had dreams about the west and started to roam.
Six long months on a dust covered trail.
They say heaven's at the end, but so far it's been hell.

And there's fire on the mountain, lightening in the air,
Gold in them hills and it's waiting for me there.

We were digging and shifting from five to five.
Selling everything we found just to stay alive
Gold flowed free like the whiskey in the bars
Sinnin' was the big thing lord, and Satan was his star

And there's fire on the mountain, lightening in the air,
Gold in them hills and it's waiting for me there.
Dance hall girls were the evening treat
Empty cartridges and blood lined the gutters of the street.
Men were shot down for the sake of fun
Or just to hear the noise of their fourty-four  guns

And there's fire on the mountain, lightening in the air,
Gold in them hills and it's waiting for me there.

Now my widow, she weeps by my grave.
Tears flow free for her man she couldn't save.
Shot down in cold blood by a gun that carried fame.
All for a useless and no good worthless claim

And there's fire on the mountain, lightening in the air,
Gold in them hills and it's waiting for me there.
Gold in them hills and it's waiting for me there.


 

back to Last Resort