To hear this edition of Forthright Radio featuring UCLA History Professor, Benjamin Madley, discussing his book, AN AMERICAN GENOCIDE:  THE UNITED STATES AND THE CALIFORNIA INDIAN CATASTROPHE, 1846-1873, click on this link.

The place we now call CA, was unknown to non-Indians until March 1543, when Spaniards first explored the coast, but it wasn’t until 226 years later, in 1769, that Spain sent soldiers and Franciscan missionaries north from Mexico to colonize it. At that time, there were about 310,000 native people living here, which seems small compared to the current population of almost 40 million, but Madley writes that it was actually the densest native population north of Mexico in North America. By the time the US ended the Hispanic regime in 1846, declaring martial law, there were only 150,000 - and the population of non-Indians was 25,000.  By the end of 1849, that population swelled by 80,000, as Gold Fever raged.  By 1865, the Indian population had plummeted to 45,000. 

Benjamin Madley, in this impeccably researched book, documents the role of the State of CA and United States Federal Government, as well as other forces, in perpetrating what he calls genocide. It is published by Yale U. Press, 2016.