Law and Order In The Gold Rush

    Law 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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