Map of the Gold Regions of California


The California Gold Rush of 1849 was a major event that sparked interest around the world and spurred the long-term rise and development of San Francisco and the surrounding region. Previously a Spanish and Mexican outpost, California witnessed a huge influx of prospectors and settlers after the gold strikes at Sutter’s Mill in early 1848. This map shows the entire area of California, including the Baja (present-day Mexico), and highlights in bright yellow the gold-producing regions along several rivers. The map also lists the names of various mountains, bays, peninsulas, rivers, and communities across the region. Even after the Gold Rush of 1849 had ended, California proved to be an enduring magnet for new immigrants to the American West, as Europeans and other migrants came to seek their fortune in the state. The map was produced by the famous British mapmaker James Wyld the younger (1812−87). After studying at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, Wyld joined his father’s mapmaking and publishing firm, which he eventually inherited. Wyld published numerous maps, many of which were intended to satisfy public interest in current events, such as the First Anglo-Afghan War, the California Gold Rush, and the Crimean War. Wyld’s maps were of high quality, and he was appointed geographer to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He was also a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

James Wyld, London


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : hand colored ; 49 x 42 centimeters


  • Scale 1:2,770,000


  1. Robert Grayson, California’s Gold Rush (Minneapolis, Minnesota: ABDO, 2012).
  2. Paul W. Rodman, California Gold: The Beginning of Mining in the Far West (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1947).

Last updated: September 16, 2015