New Terms in this Chapter:


Athapaskans Ethnies speaking Athapaskan languages: Eel River tribes, Hupa, Lassik, Nongatl, Tolowa, and Whilkut.
B.P. Before present.
Feudalism A system whereby California Indians were indentured to landowners and required to work almost as slaves.
Genocide The deliberate destruction of a racial or cultural group.
Indentured Assigned or bound to others without basic freedoms.
Takic peoples Ethnies speaking Takic languages: Cahuilla, Cupeño, Gabrielino, Juaneño, Kitanemuk, Luiseño, Vanyume, and Serrano.
      The first prehistoric inhabitants of California may have ancestors of the Diegueño and Kamia and their relatives along the Colorado River, the Yuma and Mojave. It is possible that they descended from the Encinitas Culture that existed on the coast in northern San Diego County about 7500 years B.P. The Campbell Culture existed in Santa Barbara as early as 5000 B.P. The Chumash may have descended from them.
       All of the Indian inhabitants of California arrived by 900 A.D., with the Athapaskan relatives of the Navajo and Apache appearing last in the northwest.
      There were about 150,000 Indians in California at the time of the arrival of the Europeans, making California the most densely populated region of the United States and Canada. This population was most certainly greater prior to European arrival because European diseases, like smallpox, preceded their arrival. Some estimate pre-contact populations as high as 300,000 or more.
      The history of the California Indians after the arrival of the Spanish and until 1872 was a violent one. Native populations decreased by 135,000 during that time as a result of White genocide.




      The first mission was established in California by Father Junipero Serra in San Diego in 1769. Serra was a Spanish priest who lived until 1884. A total of 21 missions were established in California. The Indians were indentured to the missions and were not free to leave. Many Indians died due to disease and mistreatment. During this period, the Indians were not allowed to practice their ceremonies and sing their traditional songs. Many were forgotten as a result.


Mexican Rule


Mexico expelled the Spanish from California in 1821. The Indians then came to be ruled by feudal Mexican overlords. A few rich owned almost all of the land south of the Sacramento River and some distance north as well. Mistreatment of the Indians continued, and their populations continued to decrease.


Gold Rush


      Gold was discovered in 1848, and the resulting gold rush and influx of settlers meant even greater population loss for the California Indians. The new state of California did nothing to protect the defenseless Indians. By 1880, there was just over 15,000 Indians remaining in California and several ethnies even became extinct.


1539 Francisco de Ulloa explored coast
1540 Yuma visited by Hernando de Alarcón
1542 Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo discovered San Diego harbor
1577 Sir Francis Drake explored coast, claimed California for Britain
1602 Sebastian Viscaino arrived at Monterey
1701 Colorado River tribes visited by Father Kino
1769 Portola overland expedition into southern territory, San Francisco Bay discovered by Sgt. Jose de Ortega
1774 Juan Bautista de Anza overland expedition into southern territory
1776 San Francisco presidio established; Digueños attacked San Diego mission
1781 Yumas closed land route to Whites
1785 Gabrielino revolt under medicine woman, Toypurina
1793 Capt. Vancouver visited Trinidad Bay, may have caused cholera epidemic
1800 Costanoan uprising at San Jose mission
1802 Pneumonia and diphtheria epidemics in missions
1806 Measles epidemic in missions
1809 Russians entered Pomo territory to hunt otter
1811 Serrano lead revolt against missions
1821 Most of tribes south of Sacramento River indentured to feudal Mexican barons
1824 Feeble La Purisma revolt by Chumash; Mojave attacked Jedediah Smith expedition killing several
1826 Jedediah Smith expedition entered state
1827 North penetrated by Hudson Bay Company traders
1833 Northern state malaria epidemic
1838 Northwest smallpox epidemic
1839 John Sutter established New Helvetia
1840 Smallpox epidemic in southern territories
1841 Russians leave California, otter hunted out
1845 Luiseño attacked by Cahuilla recruited by Mexico for war with U.S.
1846 Bear Flag Revolt by American settlers, U. S. troops occupied state
1848 Gold discovered
1849 Gold rush, miners begin to encroach into Indian territories, violence ensued
1850 Cahuilla, Cocopa, and Yuma revolted over property taxes; Miwok attacked miners under Chief Tenaya; measles and cholera epidemics in northwest
1851 Mariposa Indian War against peaceful Indians in gold country; California statehood
1855 Most reservations established
1859 Mojave defeated by Naval Lt. Beale
1863 Smallpox epidemic in south
1869 Hupas granted Hoopa Valley, transcontinental railroad completed
1870 Chief Kintpuash (Captain Jack) led militant Modoc group back to ancestral lands in California
1872 Modoc War, tribe retreated to lava beds for months, defeated
1893 Yuma forced into auctioning much of land
1921 Achomawi, Shasta smallpox epidemic killed 200
1924 Indians given the right to vote
1934 Federal Indian Reorganization Act
1969 American Indian Movement (AIM) occupied Alcatraz Island
1978 25,000 acres restored to Yuma reversing 1893 action
1998 Proposition 5 gave Indian tribes the right to have gaming on their lands


Place a dot at the proper point on the graph and connect the dots with a line


Chapter Two Review Questions:
1. Who was the first European to sail along the California coast?


2. Who was the chief of the Modoc who lead the Modoc War?


3. What was the name of the medicine woman who led the Gabrielino revolt?


4. What was the first prehistoric culture in California?


5. What does B.P. mean? ___________________________________
6. What was the approximate Indian population in California at its lowest point in 1880?


7. What country expelled the Spanish from California?


8. Who hunted otter in California? _____________________
9. What California Indians are related to the Navajo and Apache?


10. Which was the first Spanish mission to be built?