Indian Removal Era Begins 1828-1849


California Indian genocide campaign during Gold Rush

"Protecting the Settlers", portraying a massacre by militia men of an Indian camp. Image: John Ross Browne

American settlers declare “open season” on Indians in California. During the Gold Rush, miners and settlers invade Native territories and hunting grounds, desecrate burial sites, and kidnap and enslave American Indian women for prostitution. Native children are enslaved or forced into servitude. Historian Alvin Josephy, Jr. noted that the treatment of California Indians was “as close to genocide as any tribal people had faced, or would face, on the North American continent” (Nies, 1996, p. 258).

Traumatic Event