Involuntary Servitude, Apprenticeship, and Slavery of Native Americans in California
Suggested Citation: Kimberly Johnston-Dodds and Sarah Supahan. “Involuntary Servitude, Apprenticeship, and Slavery of Native Americans in California.” The California Indian History Website. 2022. Available at http://calindianhistory.org/
In the United States, enslaving Indigenous people, in one form or another, began in colonial America. In what is now known as California, enslavement began with the Franciscan missions. It continued in the form of legislated indentured servitude even when California entered the union as a “free” state.
Recent scholarship, along with increasingly digitized primary source documents online, provides accessible, compelling evidence that Indigenous slavery is a central component of U.S. and Native American history. Nevertheless, students, teachers and the general public know little to nothing about the subject. There is no reason that this aspect of Native American history should be absent from colonial, U.S., and California educational curricula.
The following presents a glimpse of the slavery of Native Americans in America along with brief descriptions of indentured servitude laws, judicial enslavement and pauper apprenticeship. The essay then moves to California, briefly describing the Compromise of 1850, the “Act for the Government and Protection of Indians” enacted by the first California Legislature prior to statehood, and related amendments to the Act that legalized the enslavement of California Indians during the Civil War period and beyond.
Indigenous Slavery in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century America
Until recently, histories of slavery in colonial America and the United States have emphasized the conflict between Europeans and Africans. However, Americans do not know that most of those enslaved by Europeans in the Americas prior to 1700 were Indigenous people.
European colonial powers appeared in the Americas and the future United States in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Spanish law prohibited enslavement of Indigenous people as early as 1526. However, issuing orders at the court of King Charles V in Spain and enforcing them in far off colonial strongholds were different matters. Evidence exists that Spanish conquistadors and explorers kidnapped and enslaved Native people in the southwest and southeast area of the future United States now known as Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Florida.
Indigenous Slavery in Spanish Colonial America
Examples include Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto who kidnapped and carried two Florida Indians to Cuba in the late 1530s to train them as interpreters for future expeditions in which they explicitly intended to enslave Indigenous people. Other Spaniards enslaved several thousand Southeast Indians, taking them to the West Indies during the sixteenth century. In 1599, as the result of war, the first Spanish governor of New Mexico sentenced Acoma captives to 20 years of slavery. New Mexican governors during the early 1600s organized raids against Native people on the Plains. As a result they seized orphaned children for use as servants, and used forced labor for building projects for both the church and the state.
Indigenous Slavery in French Colonial America
The regular enslavement of Native people among French colonial interests developed in what is now called Louisiana, and along the Mississippi River Valley, in areas now known as Illinois and farther north. When the French began to colonize the Gulf Coast around 1700, it was reported by Nicolas de La Salle, Commissary to the colony at “Old Mobile,” that Frenchmen from Canada were encouraging wars between tribes further north to obtain slaves to sell in Louisiana. The 1708 census of Louisiana tabulated 80 enslaved Native Americans out of 279 people counted (29%) within the French settlements. In the Illinois census of 1725, 66 enslaved Native Americans (13%) were enumerated in French Illinois settlements.
Indigenous Slavery in Colonial New England
Indigenous servitude was not limited to Spanish and French colonial America. Travelers’ accounts, court records, newspapers, and diaries from diverse British colonial regions in North America verify that Native people were enslaved even before English colonies were created. Historian Margaret Ellen Newell has found that
Before the English planted colonies in New England, capture and enslavement of Indians marked the earliest contact between English projectors and the native inhabitants. Explorers frequently kidnapped Indians in the early 1600s for several reasons, including proof of contact, and as a means of acquiring interpreters and guides for future expeditions.
In New England during the 17th century, Indigenous people became enslaved as war captives and non-combatant refugees following the Pequot War of 1637, King Philip’s War of 1675-76, and the wars with eastern Native Americans into the 1680’s and 1690’s. Newell documents that after the Pequot War captured non-combatant Native women and children were divided as “bootie” among the victors who then either kept them as servants or took them to Boston, selling them for export in the Atlantic and Caribbean slave trade. Evidence exists verifying New England Indians were exported to Bermuda, Providence Island and other plantations where they served for life and became enslaved chattel.
In what is currently known as Massachusetts, Native captives were given to soldiers as payment for wartime service after the King Philips War, at the beginning of King William’s War in 1689 and in the early 18th century (1704-1707). Newell has documented that after the King Philips War officials in the colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Connecticut sold hundreds of Native captives at public auctions, as well as local officials in the Rhode Island towns of Portsmouth and Providence.
Indigenous Slavery during Eighteenth Century British America
By the mid-1700s, indentured Native Americans lived throughout New England with larger numbers in urban centers such as Boston, Providence, and New London. Concentrated numbers of bound Indigenous workers were also found in the rural areas of Narragansett, Cape Cod/Plymouth, Martha’s Vineyard, southeastern Connecticut, Nantucket, and Maine. When the first Rhode Island census was taken in 1774, just prior to the American Revolution, over a third of all Native people in the colony lived in white households. In the towns of Providence and Newport, half of all Native people lived in white households.
English Indigenous servitude was not limited to the northeastern colonies. English colonial governments in the southeast were involved in the Native American slave trade. For example, an outcome of the Tuscarora War, (1711-1713) resulted in the sale of more than 400 enslaved Native people by the North Carolina government. In the first decades of the 18th century and during the Yamasee War (1715) Native people captured by non-Native colonizers made South Carolina the leading source of enslaved Native Americans during this period.
Through her two decades of research, Newell has determined
Indian slavery was not a frontier phenomenon in New England, unlike other regions of colonial America. Nor was it short lived. As an institution, it flourished for nearly two centuries in some of the most densely populated areas of British North America.
What was Indigenous Apprenticeship and Indentured Servitude?
While the history of English colonial Indigenous slavery is complex, the historical record documents two significant systems of forced labor: apprenticeship and indentured servitude. These systems were uniquely exacted upon Native People in forms of “judicial enslavement” and “pauper apprenticeships.” Newell describes judicial enslavement as “the sentencing of Native Americans to long periods of involuntary service to settle debts, as well as civil and criminal penalties.” Historians Ruth Wallis Herndon and Ella Wilcox Sekatau explain Indigenous pauper apprenticeship in colonial Rhode Island:
A system akin to but distinct from three other types of bound labor: gradual emancipation apprenticeships (by which children born to slaves in Rhode Island after March 1, 1794, remained under the control of their mothers’ masters until adulthood); private apprenticeships (by which many middling sort parents voluntarily placed their children with neighbors or relatives for skills training); and immigrant indentures (by which many European adults obtained passage to North America.
Forced Indigenous apprenticeship and indentured servitude in the forms of judicial enslavement and pauper apprenticeship impacted Native Americans and their cultures in devastating ways, first in the colonies and then later in California.
White apprenticeship and indentured servitude first developed in England over the course of hundreds of years. Local governments through long-held customs, laws, edicts, and statutes implemented the systems. Local officials such as sheriffs, magistrates, constables, and justices of the peace, designated or elected by communities, enforced the laws.
An apprenticeship was a legal relationship between a master and apprentice that was set forth in a written document called an indenture. The indenture described the number of years the apprentice was obligated to serve, and type of craft or trade he/she would learn from the master. It also described the education, food, housing, and clothing the master was obligated to provide. Apprentices worked in the households and workshops of the masters and were not paid wages.
In colonial America, if an apprentice attempted to leave a master without the approval of the court or official who had the legal authority to change or abolish the indenture, then the apprentice was considered a “runaway.” When recaptured, they were subject to beatings, and increased years of service added on as a penalty. An apprentice could be punished for “neglect or disobedience.” For example, in 1723 Boston, a seventeen-year-old Benjamin Franklin was apprenticed to his older brother, James, to become a printer. James beat and treated him harshly, created fraudulent indentures, and Benjamin Franklin escaped on a ship sailing to New York, thus becoming a runaway.
While indentures for non-Native people in America were voluntary and were usually in some way beneficial to each party, Indigenous indentures were mainly imposed upon Native people. In Rhode Island for example, by the latter half of the eighteenth century, it had become routine to put children of color – either Black, Indigenous, or children of mixed blood heritage – into indentures. It was also common to do so to children who were perceived to be poor, or due to a perception that there was “disorder” in their family. Justification for this needed only to be put forth in a complaint lodged by a non-Native member of the community in order for it to be accepted as true. Often these children were already living in the household of the person who filed the complaint, as they had been born to an indentured woman of that household. The records also indicate that in the case of some children, a reason for the indenture is never given – other than a distinction of race – as it was generally assumed that officials had a right to manage the lives of Indian children and other children of color.
The use of pauper apprenticeship of Native people in New England declined by the first decades of the 19th century, as did the use of indentured servitude within other parts of the United States by the 1830s, due to anti-slavery sentiments. However, nearly two decades later, in the spring of 1850 before California was admitted to the Union, the first California Legislature passed its first indentured servitude and apprentice law which applied only to Native people. The law contradicted the Congressional debates surrounding the Compromise of 1850 and California entering the union as a free state on September 9, 1850.
Enslaved California Indians before the United States Period
There is a long history of Indigenous slavery and forced labor in California, dating back to the early Spanish missionaries (1769-1821), later Californio (long time Mexican colonists) ranchers, and other early Euro-American immigrants.
California Indians living along the Pacific Coast from San Diego north to the San Francisco Bay were the first to be exploited for their labor by Franciscan missionaries. By 1805, interior tribes fell subject to periodic military and missionary “recruitment” to supply healthy laborers, replacing the sick and rapidly dwindling mission Indians.
It’s hard to believe what our people went through in the missions. I recall what grandma (Filicad Calac Molina) told us years ago. Her mother told her about the Mission San Luis Rey. The Father there had Spaniards working the Indians as slaves there, and when they ran away, the Spaniards would come to Rincon and get the babies, swinging them by the arm or leg and toss them into the cactus…while the babies were crying, the Spaniards would make the parents tell where the Indians were hiding…those who had run away from the mission. (Max Mazzetti, Tribal Chairman, Rincon Reservation)
When the first Mexican governor arrived in California in 1825, Native people in the Hispanic areas of influence effectively experienced the trading of Spanish for Mexican masters. The new masters would be the new class of land barons who would practice secular slavery. This occurred despite the fact that slavery was outlawed throughout the Mexican Republic, and citizenship had been granted to Indigenous people in 1824. This by no means meant that Indians could vote or were treated as equals. Mexico, like the United States at that time, had restrictions on voting based upon property and a person’s occupation.
At the local level, Native people in California during the Mexican period (1822-1846) were made to labor for nothing and were viewed as a subclass whose masters exploited their labor and used them as a form of currency. Throughout the late 1830’s and early 1840’s Euro-American immigrants such as Johann August Sutter used Indians at his colony in the Sacramento Valley as field labors, while women and children were given to his many creditors. Numerous so called, “wild Indians” were routinely captured in combat and given to the victors and their troops.
Overland emigrant Jacob Wright Harlan, fur trapper James Clyman, and John Henry Brown, the Fort Sutter cookhouse overseer, all wrote later about their observations of the treatment of Native people at John Sutter’s fort. Sutter was the founder of the city of Sacramento:
The Capt [Sutter] keeps 600 or 800 Indians in a complete state of Slavery and as I had the mortification of seeing them dine I may give ashort description – 10 or 15 Troughs 3 or 4 feet long ware brought out of the cook room and seated in the Broiling sun – all the Lobourers grate and and small ran to the troughs like somany pigs and feed themselves with their hands as long as the troughs contain even a moisture.
The end of the Mexican-American War in 1848 triggered heated debates in Congress concerning the extension of slavery into the newly acquired territories, including California. Residents of California, through the representation of delegates, weighed in on the issue during a state constitutional convention in 1849. The delegates, made up of newly arrived American immigrants and Mexican landholders, wrestled with questions of race. A number of them clearly held the view reflected in the March 15, 1848 issue of the territory’s newspaper The Californian, which stated:
Seventh. We desire only a white population in California; even the Indians among us, as far as we have seen, are more of a nuisance than benefit to the country; we would like to get rid of them.
Ultimately, though, California voters adopted a constitution in 1849 (before California became a state), that included a section that said:
Section 18. Slavery is prohibited. Involuntary servitude is prohibited except to punish crime.
California’s anti-slavery position regarding African Americans heightened the debate raging in the United States Senate at that time in part because it affected the balance between states that favored slavery and states that opposed it. The debate was temporarily resolved by the Compromise of 1850, which admitted California to statehood as a free state.
The California Gold Rush, Statehood and the 1850 Act for the Government and Protection of Indians
When the news spread about the discovery of gold in California, many would-be miners traveled to California by ship. In order to pay for their passage, they often entered into an indenture arrangement with companies that staked a business claim and that would sponsor a ship for them to travel on. However, a miner’s indenture was very different from an Indian indenture, featuring fewer obligations attached to a miner. When miners actually arrived in California, as soon as they made enough in gold or wages to pay for ship passage, they ran away. There was no effort to try to enforce the indenture obligations against them.
African American slavery was an explosive political issue in the years before the Civil War, and California’s position was clear. With the adoption of the 1849 California constitution, everyone understood that African American slavery was prohibited in California. Enslavement of Native people, however, was another matter. In fact, despite the decline in the use of pauper apprenticeship of Native people in New England, and indentured servitude within other parts of the United States due to anti-slavery sentiments, the California Legislature passed an indenture servitude and apprentice law that applied only to California Indians.
The first California Legislature passed an indentured servitude and apprentice law that completely contradicted the Congressional debates surrounding the Compromise of 1850 and California entering the union as a free state. The law euphemistically called “An Act for the Government and Protection of Indians” was enacted on April 22, 1850, about five months before California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850. 
John Bidwell authored the first draft of the law, Senate Bill No. 54. His proposal would have created a system of Justices of the Peace for Indians (elected by county officers and Indian males over the age of 18) to decide issues about land possession, various disputes between whites and Indians (and related punishments), and white custody and control of Indian children and minors. While the bill created a system of indentured servitude, it also explicitly permitted Indians and their descendants to reside at their “village sites where they…lived from time immemorial.” The proposed bill would have continued to recognize California Indians’ rights to hunt, fish and gather seeds and acorns. This version of the law, however, was not passed by the legislature.
The version that became California law included the general principle that Native people could not be forced to work against their will, but it went on to authorize just such servitude in three different provisions. They were:
- An Indian could be declared to be a “vagrant” by the courts if it was perceived that he could not support himself, or if he was found “loitering,” or if he was leading an “immoral…course of life.” If an Indian was found to be a vagrant, he could be forced to work for whoever would pay the most for up to four months.
- Sometimes Indians were found to have broken a law and were required to pay a fine. If the Indian could not pay, he might be “bailed out” by a white person who would pay the fine. The Indian would then be forced to work for the white person until he had paid off the fine.
- A white person could bring an Indian child before a court official. If the child’s parents agreed, or if his “friends” agreed, the court could make the white person responsible for the “care, …control, and earnings” of the child until the child became an adult. That meant until 18 if the child was a boy, and until 15, if a girl.
Scholar Sherburne F. Cook concluded,
…any Indian, merely upon the word of a citizen, might be brought into court and declared a vagrant. Thereafter, he might be put up at auction and his services as a laborer sold to the highest bidder for a period not to exceed four months. No compensation, of course, was given, although the owner was expected to support the Indian. This act obviously made it possible for a native to be held not only as a peon, but as an actual slave, for any unemployed Indian could be proved a vagrant.
Forced Labor, Apprenticeship and De Facto Slavery of California Indian Children: The 1860 Amendments to the 1850 Act for the Government and Protection of Indians
In 1860, the legislature amended the law to make it even easier to have a California Indian child declared an “apprentice” without any involvement of his parents or relatives. The new law even allowed an adult California Indian to be declared an apprentice if it could be shown that he had “no settled habitation or means of livelihood.” California Indians who became apprentices before they were 14 years old would then be forced to be apprentices until they were 25 if they were male, and until they were 21 if they were female. But if they were between 14 and 20 when they became apprentices, they would have to remain as apprentices until they were 30 years old if they were male, or until they were 25 if they were female. Under an Indian indenture, white overseers did not have to pay the California Indians anything, and they were not free to leave.
Importantly, these laws were enacted by California while the rest of the nation was locked in a bitter debate about slavery. John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry occurred in 1859. President Lincoln was elected in 1860, with the support of California. The first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861. Californians, aware of the contradiction between its Indian “apprentice” law and its constitutional prohibition of slavery, commented in the newspapers of the day. The Sacramento Union admitted that California’s 1850 and 1860 laws allowed Indians to be kept under conditions that differed “very little from that of absolute slaves.” The same article observed that Californians were so accustomed to treating Indians as powerless servants that there would be little opposition to the laws.
We do not know the exact number of Native people who were forced to work under these laws, although one scholar estimates that as many as 10,000 California Indians were affected. Historians have found extremely rare original indentures in county and state records that evidence state and local officials such as a Colusa County Assemblyman, Daniel P. Durst, and Fresno County Justice of the Peace Hiram Dennis held Indian children as apprentices.
These official state acts clearly violated the federal Compromise of 1850. More importantly, however, they legitimized horrific mistreatment of Native families throughout the state for decades.
…they made a slave out of Gramma. They stole her, the White people stole her and they took her someplace. What was his name? Wailaki Tom? I guess he was riding one time, come upon a camp or someplace, he found Gramma. She was out with a bunch of kids, he saw her…so he rode back to camp and they [her people] stole her back.
They finally got Gram. She was full-blooded Indian. They [white people] couldn’t get her back because the old people, they hid her…
They treated Gramma pretty bad, I guess. She had scars on her back. Mom, she used to cry – scars on her back, where they beat her. She say, “My poor mother died with scars on her back.
The apprenticeship laws, in particular, made California Indian children “valuable possessions.” This had the effect of encouraging the kidnapping of them. As early as 1853, there is evidence in newspaper accounts that after hunting, attacking, and killing Indians, parties of local men would divide up the children to keep for themselves. For example, in Colusa County, local stockmen Thomes and Toombs hired men for $100 a month to “hunt down and [k]ill the Diggers, like other beasts of prey.” After they did so, “Captain Rose took one child. Mr. Lattimer another, and the others were disposed of in the same charitable manner among the party.”
In 1861, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs in California reported that a band of men were kidnapping Indian children in the northern coastal counties of the state, transporting them south and selling them as virtual slaves. The Superintendent believed this was a “crime against humanity,” and blamed the apprentice laws. He recommended that Congress outlaw the practice.
Colonel Francis Lippitt of the California volunteers, located at Fort Humboldt, wrote to his commander in January of 1862:
Individuals and parties are, moreover, constantly engaged in kidnaping [sic.] Indian children, frequently attacking the rancherias, and killing the parents for no other purpose. This is said to be a very lucrative business, the kidnapped [sic.] children bringing good prices, in some instances. Mr. Hanson [Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Northern California] tells me, hundreds of dollars apiece
It is impossible to know how many California Indian children were kidnapped in this manner because the activity was often hidden from public view. Serious estimates put the number from 3,000 to over 4,000. There was an active market for Indian “apprentices” with a going rate of around $50.
…it is from these mountain tribes that white settlers draw their supplies of kidnapped children, educated as servants, and women for purposes of labor and lust…It is notorious that there are parties in the northern counties of this state, whose sole occupation has been to steal young children and [women] from the poor [Indians], who inhabit the mountains, and dispose of them at handsome prices to the settlers, who, being in the majority of cases unmarried but at housekeeping, willingly pay 50 or 60 dollars for a young [Indian] to cook and wait upon them…
As “apprentices,” younger children were commonly trained to be household servants, and their work included cooking and cleaning, washing clothes, and watching over young white children. Older, stronger children were often used as farm hands. The Sacramento Union further observed: “The most disgusting phase of this species of slavery is the concubinage of creatures calling themselves white men with squaws throughout various portions of the State. The details of this portion of the ‘apprenticeship’ system are unfit to commit to paper.”
Betsy, an Oustemah Nisenan elder living in the Nevada City area during the 1920s, later recalled,
A life of ease and peace was interrupted when I was a little girl by the arrival of the white men. Each day the population increased and the Indians feared the invaders and great consternation prevailed….as gold excitement advanced, we were moved again and again, each time in haste. Indian children….when taken into town would blacken their faces with dirt so the newcomers would not steal them….
Stories of the enslavement of hundreds of California Indians can be found among Pomo Indians on the western edge of Clear Lake in the early American period. In 1847 Andrew Kelsey (after whom the town of Kelseyville is named) and Charles Stone occupied an adobe house on the southern shore of Clear Lake. Their stock grazed Pomo lands bordering the western shores of the lake, and they maintained their home with California Indian slave labor. According to Scotts Valley Chief Augustine, “Stone and Kelsey used to tie up the Indians and whip them if they found them out hunting on the ranch anywhere and made a habit of abusing them generally.” Both Stone and Kelsey sold local Pomo men, women and children to American immigrants living to the south.
Many American immigrants were appalled by the violence of these individuals. According to Lake County historian L.L. Palmer,
It was not an uncommon thing for them to shoot an Indian just for the fun of seeing him jump, and that they lashed them as a sort of a recreation when friends from the outside world chanced to pay them a visit.
When Indian adults and children tried to escape their circumstances, often times a public notice and reward was published in local newspapers by their “owners”:
TWO INDIAN GIRLS, ONE ABOUT
Ten, the other fourteen years old. The oldest
Is tattooed on her cheeks and chin. Both had on dark
Calico dresses, and the hair of each was cut close. Any
Information that will lead to their recovery will be
Liberally rewarded: and any person returning them to
Me shall receive the reward above named.
This practice continued unchecked until these “apprenticeship” and related laws were repealed on April 17, 1863, four months after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. However, this law was not completely repealed until 1937.
Thus, as noted by historian James Rawls,
There can be little doubt that California, in spite of its status as a free state, had tolerated within its borders a species of human slavery for thirteen years.
 See Susan Sleeper-Smith and others, eds., Why You Can’t Teach United States History without American Indians (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2015); Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, adapted by Jean Menoza and Debbie Reese, An Indigenous Peoples’s History of the United States – For Young People (Boston: Beacon Press, 2019), the related Teachers’ Guide is here.
 See generally, David J. Weber, The Spanish Frontier in North America, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992). For Texas, Juliana Barr, “A Spectrum of Indian Bondage in Spanish Texas,” in Indian Slavery in Colonial America, ed. Alan Gallay (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009), 277-317. For Florida, Jennifer Baszile, “Apalachee Testimony in Florida: A View of Slavery from the Spanish Archives,” in Indian Slavery in Colonial America, ed. Alan Gallay (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009), 185-205.
Peter H. Wood, “Indian Servitude in the Southeast,” in History of Indian-White Relations, Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 4, ed. Wilcomb Washburn (Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution, 1988), 407.
Albert H. Schroeder and Omer C. Stewart, “Indian Servitude in the Southwest,” in History of Indian-White Relations, Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 4, ed. Wilcomb Washburn (Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution, 1988), 411.
Peter H. Wood, “Indian Servitude in the Southeast,” in History of Indian-White Relations, Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 4, ed. Wilcomb Washburn (Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution, 1988), 407.
 Carl J. Ekberg, Stealing Indian Women: Native Slavery in the Illinois Country (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007), 15; 39.
 Margaret Ellen Newell, “Indian Slavery in Colonial New England,” in Indian Slavery in Colonial America, ed. Alan Gallay (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press 2009), 35. Historian Joan Thirsk provides a description of 16th and 17th century projectors as “Everyone with a scheme, whether to make money, to employ the poor, or to explore the far corners of the earth had a ‘project’…A project was a practical scheme for exploiting material things; it was capable of being realized through industry and ingenuity.” See Joan Thirsk, Economic Policy and Projects: The Development of a Consumer Society in Early Modern England (Oxford: Claredon Press, 1978), 1.
 Margaret Ellen Newell, “Indian Slavery in Colonial New England,” in Indian Slavery in Colonial America, ed. Alan Gallay (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press 2009), 36-39.
 Margaret Ellen Newell, “Indian Slavery in Colonial New England,” in Indian Slavery in Colonial America, ed. Alan Gallay (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press 2009), 46.
 Margaret Ellen Newell, “Indian Slavery in Colonial New England,” in Indian Slavery in Colonial America, ed. Alan Gallay (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press 2009), 60; Margaret Ellen Newell, Brethren by Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015), 237.
Peter H. Wood, “Indian Servitude in the Southeast,” in History of Indian-White Relations, Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 4, ed. Wilcomb Washburn (Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution, 1988), 408; Alan Gallay, “South Carolina’s Entrance into the Indian Slave Trade,” in Indian Slavery in Colonial America, ed. Alan Gallay (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009), 109-145. For the Tuscarora War, see David La Vere, The Tuscarora War: Indians, Settlers and the Fight for the Carolina Colonies, (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2015). For the Yamasee War, see William L. Ramsey, The Yamasee War: A Study of Culture, Economy, and Conflict in the Colonial South (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008).
Margaret Ellen Newell, “Indian Slavery in Colonial New England,” in Indian Slavery in Colonial America, ed. Alan Gallay (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press 2009), 35.
 Margaret Ellen Newell, “The Changing Nature of Indian Slavery in New England, 1670-1720,” in Reinterpreting New England Indians and the Colonial Experience, eds. Colin G. Calloway and Neal Salisbury (Boston: The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2003), 108.
 Ruth Wallis Herndon and Ella Wilcox Sekatau, “Colonizing the Children: Indian Youngsters in Servitude in Early Rhode Island,” in Reinterpreting New England Indians and the Colonial Experience, eds. Colin G. Calloway and Neal Salisbury (Boston: The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2003), 138.
See Chapters 2 and 3 in Robert J. Steinfeld, The Invention of Free Labor: The Employment Relation in English and American Law and Culture, 1350-1870 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 15-93.
Legal scholar Robert Steinfeld provides a definition of an indenture from the Oxford English Dictionary: “a deed between two…parties with mutual covenants, executed in two or more copies, all having their tops or edges correspondingly indented or serrated for identification and security.” Robert Steinfeld, The Invention of Free Labor: The Employment Relation in English and American Law and Culture, 1350-1870 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 25.
Robert J. Steinfeld, The Invention of Free Labor: The Employment Relation in English and American Law and Culture, 1350-1870 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 25-26; 44-46.
Robert J. Steinfeld, The Invention of Free Labor: The Employment Relation in English and American Law and Culture, 1350-1870 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 25-26, 44-46; 44, citing Richard B. Morris, Government and Labor in Early America (New York: Columbia University Press, 1946), 376.
David Waldstreicher, Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery, and the American Revolution (New York: Hill and Wang, 2004), 3-4.
Ruth Wallis Herndon and Ella Wilcox Sekatau, “Colonizing the Children: Indian Youngsters in Servitude in Early Rhode Island,” in Reinterpreting New England Indians and the Colonial Experience, eds. Colin G. Calloway and Neal Salisbury (Boston: The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2003), 138-148.
Richard Steven Street, “Not Free to Be Idle: Life and Labor on the Mexican Ranchos and American Farms,” in Beasts of the Field: A Narrative History of California Farmworkers, 1769-1913 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), Ch. 5, 89-114; Edward D. Castillo, “The Native Response to the Colonization of Alta California,” in Columbian Consequences: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Spanish Borderlands West Vol. 1, ed. David Hurst Thomas (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989), 377-394.
Steven W. Hackel, “Land, Labor, and Production: The Colonial Economy of Spanish and Mexican California,” in Contested Eden: California before the Gold Rush/California History, eds. Ramón A. Gutiérrez and Richard J. Orsi (Berkeley: University of California Press/California Historical Society, Summer/Fall 1997), 111-146; Elias Castillo, A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions, (Fresno: Craven Street Books, 2015); Robert H. Jackson and Edward Castillo, Indians, Franciscans, and Spanish Colonization: The Impact of the Mission System on California Indians (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995); James A. Sandos, “Between Crucifix and Lance: Indian-White Relations in California, 1769-1848,” in Contested Eden: California before the Gold Rush/California History, eds. Ramón A. Gutiérrez and Richard J. Orsi (Berkeley: University of California Press/California Historical Society, Summer/Fall 1997), 196-229.
Rupert Costo and Jeanette Henry Costo, The Missions of California, A Legacy of Genocide (San Francisco: Indian Historian Press, 1987), 154-155.
Albert L. Hurtado, “Controlling California’s Indian Labor Force: Federal Administration of California Indian Affairs During the Mexican War,” Southern California Quarterly 61 no. 3 (1979), 217-238; Richard Steven Street, “Not Free to Be Idle: Life and Labor on the Mexican Ranchos and American Farms,” Beast of the Field: A Narrative History of California Farmworkers, 1769-1913 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), 115-134.
Charles L. Camp, ed., James Clyman: American Frontiersman, 1792-1881 (San Francisco: California Historical Society, 1928), 172-173 (Diary July 1845); Jacob Wright Harlan, California ’46 to’88 (San Francisco: The Bancroft Company, 1888), 75-76; John Henry Brown, Reminiscences and Incidents of Early Days of San Francisco (San Francisco: The Grabhorn Press, 1933), 18. See also Robert F. Heizer and Alan J. Almquist, The Other Californians: Prejudice and Discrimination Under Spain, Mexico, and the United States to 1920 (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1971), 19; Clifford Trafzer and Joel R. Hyer, eds., Exterminate Them! (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1999), 13.
 “Slavery in California,” The Californian, March 15, 1848.
 Cal. Const. of 1849, art. I,§18.
 Indenture by and between George W. Bolles & Lucius S. Bolles of Hartford County, Connecticut, dated February 5, 1849, Book Collection cF865.T458 1849, California History Section, California State Library.
1850 Cal. Stat. Ch. 133, 408-410.
Original Bill File Chapter 133, 1850, Secretary of State, California State Archives; Kimberly Johnston-Dodds, Early California Laws and Policies Related to California Indians, (California Research Bureau: September 2002), 7-8, Appendix 1; Richard Steven Street, “To the Highest Bidder: Native Field Hands and Gold Rush Agriculture,” and “They Have Filled Our Jails and Graveyards: The Decline of Indian Labor,” Beasts of the Field: A Narrative History of California’s Farmworkers, 1769-1913 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), Chapters 6-7, 115-134, 135-157; Michael J. Gillis and Michael F. Magliari, John Bidwell & California: The Life & Writings of a Pioneer, 1841-1900 (Spokane: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2004), 251.
 There is no record of John Bidwell’s view of the final version of the law. He did not vote for the final bill, appearing absent during the vote on April 19th in Senate Chambers. Michael J. Gillis, and Michael F. Magliari, John Bidwell & California: The Life & Writings of a Pioneer, 1841-1900 (Spokane: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2004), 251-252, citing California Legislature, Journal of the Senate of California First Session 1850, 217,224,228,257-258-,337-338, 366,369,384-87; Journal of the Assembly of California, 1850, 1205, 1233, 1284.
Sherburne F. Cook, “The American Invasion, 1848-1870” in The Conflict Between the California Indian and White Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), 309.
Original Bill File Chapter 231, 1860, Secretary of State, California State Archives.
 Sacramento Union, July 31, 1860, cited in James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984), 93.
 James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984), 91; Michael F. Magliari, “Free State Slavery: Bound Indian Labor and Slave Trafficking in California’s Sacramento Valley, 1850-1864,” Pacific Historical Review 81, no. 2 (May 2012): 170, 176; “Indenture Agreement between Native American Pole Cat and Hiram Dennis, 4/94 Dec. 21” SMCII Box 19, Folder 1, California History Section, California State Library; “State of California” Notice, Mariposa Gazette, January 21, 1862, 3, col. 2.
 Ernestine Ray in Victoria Patterson and others, eds., The Singing Feather: Tribal Remembrances from Round Valley (Ukiah: Mendocino County Library, 1990), 49.
 “Exciting News from Tehama – Indian Thefts- Terrible Vengeance of the Whites.” Sacramento Daily Union, March 5, 1853, California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside.
 Sen Exec. Docs. 37 Cong., 2 Sess, Vol. 1, Doc. 1 (Series 1117) 757, 759.
 U.S. House Doc. “The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 55th Cong., 1st Sess. Coc. No. 59, Part I, Series I, Volume 50 (1897), 803-804, cited in Pamela A. Conners, The Chico Round Valley Trail of Tears. Unpublished Report Prepared for Mendocino National Forest, 1993, 4.
 James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984), 96, citing Sherburne F. Cooke, “The Indian Versus the Spanish Mission,” reprinted in The Conflict Between the California Indian and White Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), 57, 61; Edward D. Castillo, “The Impact of Euro-American Exploration and Settlement,” in Robert F. Heizer, California, vol. 8 of Handbook of Northern American Indians, ed. William C. Sturtevant (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1977), 109.
 Marysville Appeal, December 6, 1861, cited in James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984), 99.
 Marysville Appeal, December 6, 1861, cited in James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984), 99.
Sacramento Union July 31, 1860, cited in James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984), 99.
 Belle Douglass, The Last of the Oustomahs (Nevada City, December 1921).
 History of Lake County (Fresno: Valley Publishers, 1974) separate reprinting from History of Napa and Lake Counties (San Francisco: Slocum, Bowen & Co., 1881), 49-62.
 History of Lake County (Fresno: Valley Publishers, 1974) separate reprinting from History of Napa and Lake Counties (San Francisco: Slocum, Bowen & Co., 1881), 56.
 Marsyville Daily Appeal, November 14, 1861.
 1937 Cal. Stat. ch. 369, 1005, 1180; Cal. Welf. and Inst. Code §20,000; Kimberly Johnston-Dodds, Early California Laws and Policies Related to California Indians, (California Research Bureau: September 2002), 5, 14.
 James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984), 104.