Bancroft Library Roundtable: Cherokees and Choctaws Among the Miwok and Yokuts: Legacies of Cultural Blending and Intertribal Relations in Nineteenth Century California
Lecture | April 18 | 12-1 p.m. | Faculty Club, Lewis-Latimer Room
Andrew Shaler, PhD candidate in History, UC Riverside
The California Gold Rush is often remembered for the thousands of immigrants who traversed continents and oceans for a chance to gain quick wealth. Often lost in these narratives are the rich histories of the numerous Native American and indigenous emigrants that made the same journey to Californias Gold Country beginning in 1849. In many ways these indigenous emigrantsincluding Cherokees, Choctaws, and Wyandots, to name a fewstraddled the spheres of the settler and indigenous societies, often maintaining close relations with both. After their arrival in the gold fields, some of these groups formed kinship ties within Californias tribal communities. This presentation considers the legacies of these intertribal societies, with particular emphasis on the cases of a Cherokee emigrant party adopted into a Southern Sierra Miwok tribe, and a Choctaw man that lived among the Yokuts of the Sierra foothills and San Joaquin Valley. As members of eastern tribes that white settlers considered to be more civilized than most other Native peoples, these Cherokee and Choctaw emigrants could effectively act as intermediaries between the tribal and settler communities of Gold Rush California. Perhaps most importantly, the adoption of these indigenous emigrants represents an important strategy for Miwok and Yokuts tribes to contend with an increasingly violent white settler population. These rich and complex indigenous histories serve to complicate most standard narratives of both Indian-white relations and intertribal relations in nineteenth century California.
The Lewis-Latimer Room has a maximum capacity of 28 people. The doors will be shut and no more attendees may enter once the room is at capacity.
You may purchase lunch at the Faculty Club and eat during the presentation.