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A White Californian Argues for Indian Indenture

White Californians complained that the new American government, which took over California after the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in May 1848, was not doing enough to control and regulate Indian labor. In the chaos of the Mexican War, many Indian [...]

A White Californian Argues for Indian Indenture (with text supports)

White Californians complained that the new American government, which took over California after the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in May 1848, was not doing enough to control and regulate Indian labor. In the chaos of the Mexican War, many Indian [...]

Chart of Native American Child Apprentices, 1861

California passed two laws that established a system of Indian apprenticeship. The laws made it easy for any white person to claim young Indian laborers by taking a list of names to a judge and getting the judge’s signature. Sympathetic [...]

An Indian Child Apprentice Poses for a Photographer

This photograph of a Native American child apprentice was taken near Red Bluff, Tehama County, California. The boy, about ten years old, would be “bound” to a master until he was 25, as California law apprenticed boys under 14 until [...]

Miners Search for Gold in Two Phases of the Gold Rush

In the early days of the Gold Rush, miners practiced “placer mining” along rivers and streams. Miners washed gravel and other sediments in pans and sluice boxes; though tedious, this type of mining did not require expensive equipment and [...]

Tags: Gold Rush
Item Type: Photograph
Miners Describe Life and Business in the California Gold Rush

Unlike earlier generations of Americans, many of the ‘49ers could read and write. Not surprisingly, thousands recorded their observations and experiences in letters and journals. Miners often reflected on changes in mining that made it [...]

Tags: Gold Rush
Item Type: Diary/Letter
Graphs Showing Miners' Wages and Value of Gold Production, 1848-1860

In the early days of the Gold Rush, a miner could earn a typical year’s wages in a few days. With so much cash on hand, stores and boarding houses charged unheard-of prices for food, shelter and supplies. Increased competition, due to a [...]

"Religion in Slavery"

Professor Greg Downs describes religious beliefs and practices among African and African-American slaves.

Item Type: Podcast
"House Slave vs. Field Slave"

Professor Greg Downs dispels the common misunderstandings about social tension between "house slaves" and "field slaves" and discusses the fluidity between different roles and jobs for enslaved people on large plantations.

Item Type: Podcast
"Slave Associations"

Historian Greg Downs describes how slave communities built associations to resist and survive the conditions of enslavement. His examples including slaves helping runaways, staking out space in outlying woods or other secluded areas, and building [...]

Item Type: Podcast

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