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Making Big Fat Claims

How to get your prospects' interest <i>before</i> you move in for the sale

This story appears in the May 2002 issue of

In January 1848, James Marshall had a work crew camped on the American River at Coloma near Sacramento. The crew was building a saw mill for John Sutter. On the cold, clear morning of January 24, Marshall found a few tiny gold nuggets. From those first few nuggets came one of the largest human migrations in history as half a million people from around the world descended upon California in search of instant wealth.

The excitement surrounding the discovery of gold grew quickly. By the summer of 1848, outlandish stories about fabulous discoveries came back to the East Coast from the gold mines at Sutter's sawmill. In fact, everybody was buzzing about "Gold! Gold!" The buzz got so bad that soldiers began to desert their duties. Ordinary citizens were hitching up their wagons and loading up their pack mules to go to the mines.

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