By Benjamin Madley
among 1846 and 1873, California’s Indian inhabitants plunged from possibly 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley is the 1st historian to discover the complete quantity of the slaughter, the involvement of kingdom and federal officers, the taxpayer funds that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended. This deeply researched booklet is a complete and chilling heritage of an American genocide.
Madley describes pre-contact California and precursors to the genocide sooner than explaining how the Gold Rush stirred vigilante violence opposed to California Indians. He narrates the increase of a state-sanctioned killing laptop and the wide societal, judicial, and political help for genocide. Many participated: vigilantes, volunteer kingdom militiamen, U.S. military infantrymen, U.S. congressmen, California governors, and others. The kingdom and federal governments spent a minimum of $1,700,000 on campaigns opposed to California Indians. in addition to comparing executive officers’ culpability, Madley considers why the slaughter constituted genocide and the way different attainable genocides inside of and past the Americas should be investigated utilizing the tools provided during this groundbreaking book.
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Extra resources for An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873
Visitors to California California Indians before 1846 33 This sketch depicts the way that Rumsen or Costanoan men would defend themselves from a Spanish dragoon. Tomás de Suria, “Modo de pelear de los Yndios de Californias” [Mode of combat of the Indians of the Californias], pencil drawing, 1791. Original in Museo Naval, Madrid, Spain. Photograph courtesy of Iris Engstrand. also remarked on the corporal punishment of repeat escapees. ” Despite the threat of corporal punishments, thousands of California Indians fled and refused to return voluntarily.
In 1775, Father Serra himself wrote that he wanted some San Carlos Mission Indians to suffer “two or three whippings . . on dif ferent days,” explaining that they “may serve . . ” Serra condoned the physical striking of California Indians by missionaries. 23 Given official sanction and long-standing practice, Franciscan fathers rarely criticized the corporal punishment of California mission Indians. ” Responding to these accusations, the viceroy ordered California governor Diego de Borica to investigate.
Thus, multiple forms of California Indian servitude—as well as the profound racism that made the coercion of California Indians ideologically acceptable—existed on the eve of the Mexican-American War. 43 In addition to systems of servitude, the United States would inherit a recently depopulated California. The 1830s and early 1840s had brought mass destruction to California Indians as sweeping epidemics killed more than 60,000 California Indian people. In 1833, malaria—with its debilitating fevers, headaches, and death—swept through the Sacramento and San Joaquin river valleys, spread by whining mosquitoes.