Prospecting - Sonoran Arrastra
Many of the 5000 Sonorans who came for gold had been miners in Mexico. They brought with them the tools and techniques they had used successfully for generations.
Many Sonorans used a machine called an arrastra. A mule, or the miners themselves, pulled the boom around the circle, dragging heavy stones over the quartz ore to crush it. The miners then separated the gold from the pulverized ore in wooden bowls called bateas.
Foreign Miners Tax
Much has been said of the amounts of gold taken by Sonorans, Chileans, and Peruvians, and carried out of the country. This alarm is without basis. The gold they mine all goes to the capacious pockets of the Americans - for provisions, clothing, and the gaming-table.- Walter Colton
the object of resentment and hatred by the Americans. Although many fought back initially,
most Mexicans left the gold fields by 1851 when faced with increasing violence and the
Top: Sonoran Assastra, Photo by Christopher
|© 1998 Oakland Museum of California. All rights reserved.|