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A White Californian Argues for Indian Indenture (with text supports)

White Californians complained that the new American government, which took over California after the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in May 1848, was not doing enough to control and regulate Indian labor. In the chaos of the Mexican War, many Indian laborers had abandoned the farms and ranches where they worked as low-paid or unpaid “peons.” Newspapers called for “stable and reliable laws” to ensure cheap Indian labor and profitable ranching and farming. An anonymous letter-writer from Sonoma County wrote to the California Star in 1849 to propose an “Indian code,” paraphrased here by historian James J. Rawls. Laws very similar to those outlined by Pacific were passed in 1850 and 1860.

Source | James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image, (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984), 83-84.
Creator | James J. Rawls
Item Type | Book (excerpt)
Cite This document | James J. Rawls, “A White Californian Argues for Indian Indenture (with text supports),” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed March 3, 2024,



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