The Destruction of California Indians


The Destruction of California Indians

Edited by Robert F. Heizer
Introduction by Albert L. Hurtado

321 pages


March 1993


$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

California is a contentious arena for the study of the Native American past. Some critics say genocide characterized the early conduct of Indian affairs in the state; others say humanitarian concerns. Robert F. Heizer, in the former camp, has compiled a damning collection of contemporaneous accounts that will provoke students of California history to look deeply into the state's record of race relations and to question bland generalizations about the adventuresome days of the Gold Rush.

Author Bio

Robert F. Heizer's many works include the classic The Other Californians: Prejudice and Discrimination under Spain, Mexico, and the United States to 1920 (1971), written with Alan Almquist. In his introduction, Albert L. Hurtado sets the documents in historical context and considers Heizer’s influence on scholarship as well as the advances made since his death. A professor of history at Arizona State University, Hurtado is the author of Indian Survival on the California Frontier.


The Destruction of California Indians "is so powerful that every American should read it. These accounts of the activities of agents, military officers, and newspapers reveal how thousands of California natives died from 1847 to 1865 from starvation, disease, drunkenness, enslavement, rape, murder, and warfare. . . . The editor lets the documents tell the story and has provided organization and balance which make it possible to trace themes while letting the reader draw the conclusions."—Library Journal

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