In 1857 Green Russell and Sam Bates found a small placer deposit of gold near the mouth of the Little Dry Creek in Colorado that yielded about 622 grams of gold. This was the first significant gold discovery in the Rocky Mountain region. News of this discovery soon spread and precipitated the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. The gold soon ran out but miners then discovered far more valuable seams of hard rock gold, silver and other minerals in the nearby mountains.
Like California Colorado increased its population because of the discovery of gold.
The United States could be characterized as a nation in pursuit of something. The first settlers came for religious freedom and the great migration west happened because of a lust for gold,,,, and also sunny skies. We are seekers of a better life, not satisfied with where we are or particularly interested in following old rules of conduct. This is our strength and our weakness.
Here is a scene from Charlie Chaplin's GOLD RUSH.