gold_rush   10

PBS - THE WEST - Diggers
Near the crowded goldfields, Indians found it harder and harder to find food. Some began to steal. The miners despised them all as "Diggers."

In 1850, California law made it legal to declare any jobless Indian a vagrant, then auction his services off for up to four months. And it permitted whites to force Indian children to work for them until they were eighteen, provided the permission of what the law called a "friend" was obtained first.

Whites hunted down adult Indians in the mountains, kidnapped their children and sold them as "apprentices" for as little as fifty dollars. "If ever an Indian was fully and honestly paid for his labor," one white settler said, "it was not my luck to hear of it." Indians could not complain in court because by another California statute, "no Indian or black or mulatto person" was "permitted to give evidence in favor of or against a white person."
The towns of Marysville and Honey Lake paid bounties for Indian scalps. Shasta City offered five dollars for every Indian head brought to city hall. And California's state treasury reimbursed many of the local governments for their expenses.

California Indian Close-UpIt was of no unfrequent occurence for an Indian to be shot down in cold blood, or a squaw to be raped by some brute. Such a thing as a white man being punished for outraging an Indian was unheard of. It was the fable of the wolf and the lamb every time.
General George Crook

There were some 150,000 Indians in California before the Forty-niners came. By 1870, there would be fewer than 30,000. It was the worst slaughter of Indian peoples in United States history.
California  gold_rush  Native_American  slavery 
february 2015 by Quercki
Video: Old West Ghost Town Of Bodie, California
Filed under: History, Learning, North America, United States, Video

Here's a double dose of American nostalgia for you. Back in the 1950s, Maxwell House coffee had an "American Scene" series of TV shorts. This episode takes us to the ghost town of Bodie, California.

Gold was discovered in Bodie in 1859 and soon it became a boomtown with more than a dozen large mines and countless smaller claims. Some $80 million in gold was extracted from the surrounding hills, a huge amount for the 19th century.

Bodie is a popular destination these days and is lovingly preserved by the California State Parks. Back when Maxwell House filmed there, it was still not quite a ghost town. It had a population of nine, and one rugged miner was still looking for a big strike. The few diehards hoped that Bodie would become a boomtown once again. It was not to be.

So sit back and enjoy this show from the early days of television, talking about the early days of the Old West.Video: Old West Ghost Town Of Bodie, California originally appeared on Gadling on Wed, 15 Aug 2012 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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august 2012 by dmlsexton

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