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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Official Relation to Recent Indian Difficulities in the Northern Part of the State


This installment of Lost and Found features a telling and evocative exchange of correspondence concerning the so called "Indian problem " that was increasingly engaging the attention of a wide range of Californians as the Gold Rush was drawing to a close. It was originally printed in 1852 as a short report to the State Senate under the title "Official correspondence between the Governor of California, the U.S. Indian agents for California, and the Commander of the U. States troops now in California, in relation to recent Indian difficulties in the northern part of the state" (Sacramento City: E. Casserly), and was then reprinted in I860 as a portion of a rare, larger volume entitled Majority and Minority Reports of the Special Joint Committee on the Mendocuio War (Sacramento: Charles T. Botts). It was finally micropublished in 1975 in the series "Western Americana: Frontier History of the Trans-Mississippi West, 1550-1900" (New Haven: Research Publications). Bigler's April 8 letter to Hitchcock was reprinted in both Heizer and Almquist's The Other Californians and in Heizer's The Destruction of the California Indians (which also included the initiating April 6 missive from the state legislators). Reading the entire exchange of letters between some of the main protagonists of the day inevitably reminds one that "plus ca change, plus c'est la mime chose." Glenn Farris kindly arranged for us to obtain a copy of the 1852 publication for presentation here.

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