I was once very much curious about why did people move west in the 1840s. I think it has to do with gold. In 1848, the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill led to a flood of people migrating west. They had high hopes of discovering gold during the Gold Rush that could make them rich for life. Many of the people that headed west to find gold were young men, but because of this huge migration there were a lot of people that followed them along in order to sell food, water, supplies, and entertainment.