Many miners who came to California during the Gold Rush left with about as much money as they came with.  But not Sam Brannan.  A genius entrepreneur and shrewd businessman, Sam cleverly plotted to make a fortune on the desperate 49ers and their demand for equipment during the Gold Rush.

Upon announcing "Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River" in 1848, Sam monopolized the market by purchasing all the spades, shovels, picks, and pans in the surrounding areas.  By 1850, Sam became the First Millionaire in California and the most infamous person in the state at the time.