By Benjamin Madley
among 1846 and 1873, California’s Indian inhabitants plunged from might be 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley is the 1st historian to discover the whole volume of the slaughter, the involvement of country and federal officers, the taxpayer funds that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended. This deeply researched publication is a entire and chilling background of an American genocide.
Madley describes pre-contact California and precursors to the genocide prior to explaining how the Gold Rush stirred vigilante violence opposed to California Indians. He narrates the increase of a state-sanctioned killing computer and the huge societal, judicial, and political help for genocide. Many participated: vigilantes, volunteer country militiamen, U.S. military infantrymen, U.S. congressmen, California governors, and others. The kingdom and federal governments spent no less than $1,700,000 on campaigns opposed to California Indians. in addition to comparing govt officers’ culpability, Madley considers why the slaughter constituted genocide and the way different attainable genocides inside of and past the Americas can be investigated utilizing the tools awarded during this groundbreaking book.
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Extra resources for An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873
Particular tribes also ground dried meat and bone into meal. 7 Gathering, generally done by women, added to the richness and variety of California Indian diets. As with game, Californian Indians carefully managed their environments to maximize yields. They also employed multiple technologies to process harvests. Some California Indians constructed substantial earthen ovens to roast soaproot bulbs and cooked other foods by placing hot California Indians before 1846 21 Acorns were the foundation of many mid-nineteenthcentury California Indian diets.
Thousands of others, up and down the mission system, had their own reasons for running away. 31 Franciscan fathers and their advocates, usually Spanish and later Mexican soldiers, frequently used force to recapture escapees. That force sometimes turned lethal. 32 Corporal punishment at the missions often followed recapture, particularly after a California Indian fled repeatedly. Father Estevan Tápis frankly explained that if a Santa Barbara Mission Indian ran away more than once, “he is chastised with the lash or with the stocks.
It explains how federal decision makers often appeared to abdicate responsibility to state officials but in fact provided legislative, military, and financial support that made this genocide possible. These pages also narrate how—particularly during the Civil War—the US Army waged genocidal campaigns against California Indians. Major new findings that change our understanding of the catastrophe include the central roles played by state and federal governments, the bureaucratic nature of the killing machine, the major role played by the US Army, the fact that non-Indians killed many more California Indians (at least 9,492–16,094) than had previously been estimated (4,556), and the fact that genocide was inflicted upon more California Indian peoples than existing studies have suggested.