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Book Cover
Author Madley, Benjamin.

Title An American genocide : the United States and the California Indian catastrophe, 1846-1873 / Benjamin Madley
Published New Haven : Yale University Press, 2016
Online access available from:
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (xv, 692 pages) : illustrations
Series The Lamar Series in Western History
Lamar series in western history.
Contents California Indians before 1846 -- Prelude to Genocide: March 1846-March 1848 -- Gold, Immigrants, and Killers from Oregon: March 1848-May 1850 -- Turning Point: The Killing Campaigns of December 1849-May 1850 -- Legislating Exclusion and Vulnerability: 1846-1853 -- Rise of the Killing Machine: Militias and Vigilantes, April 1850-December 1854 -- Perfecting the Killing Machine: December 1854-March 1861 -- The Civil War in California and Its Aftermath: March 1861-1871 -- Conclusion
Summary 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.0Besides 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
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Genocide -- history.
Indians, North American -- history.
Race Relations -- history.
Genocide -- California -- History -- 19th century.
Indians of North America -- Crimes against -- California -- History -- 19th century.
Indians of North America -- Violence against -- California -- History -- 19th century.
Indians of North America -- California -- History -- 19th century.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0300181361
0300182171 (electronic bk.)
9780300182170 (electronic bk.)