Poor people and criminals
were the ones that constituted a problem in the early gold camps.
In some of the most important early gold rush towns, particularly early
Florence, poor people greatly outnumbered criminals.
Any number of men joined the gold rush even though they lacked sufficient
means to maintain themselves, especially in a gold camp where prices were
extremely high and supplies were in very short stock during a hard winter, such
as the one which hit Florence in 1861 and 1862.
in the early gold camps, though, lacked the necessary institutions or
organizations to take care of the problem of the poor.
People who couldn’t find themselves mining claims that would pay, or
couldn’t find work in the pay claims, simply were expect to leave, and they