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Chart of Native American Child Apprentices, 1861

California passed two laws that established a system of Indian apprenticeship. The laws made it easy for any white person to claim young Indian laborers by taking a list of names to a judge and getting the judge’s signature. Sympathetic onlookers called apprenticeship “Indian slavery.” Historians estimate as many as 10,000 Native Americans were apprenticed under the laws of 1850 and 1860. The Sacramento Daily Union published this list of local indentures in February, 1861. The people listed here were bound to two ranchers “to be used in ranching, farming, and housework.”

Source | Sacramento Union, 4 February 1861; in James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image, (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984).
Creator | Sacramento Union
Item Type | Quantitative Data
Cite This document | Sacramento Union, “Chart of Native American Child Apprentices, 1861,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed September 20, 2021,

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