100,000 California Indians Killed During Gold Rush Genocide
Bloody Gold; the California Gold Rush and state sponsored genocide
Perry, Charlie http://portfolios.journalism.ku.edu/charles-perry/2016/05/11/21/
Publisher: Charlie Perry
Date Written: 11/05/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number: CX21086
Legislation with roots in Manifest Destiny and dehumanization helped lead Euro-Americans to commit the greatest act of genocide in American history.
In 1850, California's first governor, Peter Burnett, announced the state's official position of genocide, 'as the only solution to the Indian problem.' The state funded both the bullets for the voluntary militia, and $10 to $25 for proof of executed Indians-- scalps, heads, hands, or bodies.
California's first bond of $400,000 was issued in 1854, to fund the bounty on dead Indians and the costs of extermination. Also in 1850, the state passed a law, ironically named the Act for the Government and Protection of Indians, giving the state authority over Indians, including land settlements and denying even the federal government any trust role or authority to negotiate treaties".
1850-1860 offered great sorrow and hardship for the indigenous peoples of California. Adults were outright murdered for profit and their children were taken as slaves. Militias and bounty hunters grew in numbers due to a lack of production through prospecting. It seemed one way or another Euro-American settlers were going to make a living in their new homes. They performed their tasks of elimination with deadly efficiently. "Between 1850 and 1860, the state of California paid around 1.5 million dollars. Some $250,000 of which was reimbursed by the federal government.