An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873
The first full account of the government-sanctioned genocide of California Indians under United States rule
Between 1846 and 1873, California's Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley is the first historian to uncover the full extent of the slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended. This deeply researched book is a comprehensive and chilling history of an American genocide.
Madley describes pre-contact California and precursors to the genocide before explaining how the Gold Rush stirred vigilante violence against California Indians. He narrates the rise of a state-sanctioned killing machine and the broad societal, judicial, and political support for genocide. Many participated: vigilantes, volunteer state militiamen, U.S. Army soldiers, U.S. congressmen, California governors, and others. The state and federal governments spent at least $1,700,000 on campaigns against California Indians. Besides evaluating government officials' culpability, Madley considers why the slaughter constituted genocide and how other possible genocides within and beyond the Americas might be investigated using the methods presented in this groundbreaking book.
What people are saying - Write a review
AN AMERICAN GENOCIDE: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873User Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
It was no accident that California's Indians were slaughtered by the droves in the mid-19th century, writes UCLA historian Madley, but instead the product of design.We know the heyday of genocide ... Read full review
1 California Indians before 1846
March 1846March 1848
March 1848May 1850
The Killing Campaigns of December 1849May 1850
Militias and Vigilantes April 1850December 1854
December 1854March 1861
Other editions - View all
1851 Unreported Achumawi Alta California Appendix April April 19 Army attacked August August 20 Bancroft Bigler calculate the total Califor California Indians killed California Volunteers campaign Captain Clear Lake County Creek Daily Alta California Date Name December description Number killed Eel River Expedition extermination February federal Fork Frémont genocide Governor Heizer Herald History Humboldt Indian Affairs January January 21 July June Kibbe killed Location Sources Klamath March Marysville massacre miles militiamen Miwok Modoc Modoc War Mojave mountains murder Name or description Napa Nisenan non-Indians November Number killed Location number of California October Oregon Owens Valley Pit River Pomo Ranch Rancheria Red Bluff Red Bluff Beacon reported Reservation Round Valley San Francisco Senate September Sess Shasta Courier Shasta Republican Siskiyou soldiers Sonoma Stone and Kelsey summary Sutter Tolowa total high-end number treaties tribes Trinity USOIA vigilantes village Wappo whites Wintu Wright Yana Yreka Yreka Union