In January 1848, workers building a mill-dam for John A. Sutter in the Sierra Nevada foothills came across flakes of gold. Sutter tried to hide the discovery, but by mid-1848 Americans from Monterey and San Francisco were pouring into the foothills, along with hundreds of Indians and Californios and scores of Australians, Mexicans, and Chileans. By the end of 1849 more than 80,000 people had arrived in California in hopes of striking fortune. The Gold Rush contributed to the starting of the Civil War because it caused a bigger influx of people within the territory of California. It provoked the issue of slavery and statehood even more, causing deeper problems within Congress.