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

 Bancroft Library

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 California’s Gold Country beginning in 1849. In many ways these indigenous emigrants—including Cherokees, Choctaws, and Wyandots, to name a few—straddled 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 California’s 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.

 All Audiences

 All Audiences

 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., 510-642-3781