Law and Order In The Gold Rush
and order in the gold rush was quick, unfair, racist, and rough.
For petty theft, someone would be flogged. For “extreme” theft, like
horse stealing, someone would be put to death, like hanging or being
shot. If a miner thought something was unfair, he could post a notice
and a camp meeting would be put in place. The majority’s vote would be
put into action. Miner’s law was very strange to our laws today. For
something just like taking another miner’s pan on accident, miners
could get nearly shot or the robber’s ears would be lopped off. Thieves
around the camp would have their ear lopped off, so miners would be
careful around them. People could grow long hair to conceal these
markings, but the long hair would be noticed. Some cultures had long
hair traditionally, and they were mistaken for thieves. The roughness
of the law and order in the gold rush was very unfair and racist
compared to today.
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