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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Indian Working Arrangements on the California Ranchos, 1821–1875
by Curley, George, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, 2018, 302; 10979449
Abstract (Summary)

While much of colonial California historiography includes detailed narratives of the mission Indian workers, very little is known regarding those Indians who moved from the missions to work on the large California ranchos and elsewhere. The stories of these Indian workers have often been ignored; further, the narratives which do exist contain some form of debt peonage to explain their working arrangement. This dissertation attempts to challenge these debt peonage theories and offer a more accurate account of the working arrangement that developed on the California rancho during the Mexican (1821–1848) and early American (1849–1880) periods. Employing important primary sources—including rancho account books, letters, court documents, census records, and probate inventories—this dissertation ventures to show that Indian labor arrangements on these ranchos were less repressive than previously presented. In addition, it reveals the misunderstood nature and importance of the rancho store to both the Rancho owners and their Indian workers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hackel, Steven W.
Commitee: Haskell, Alexander, Levy, Juliette
School: University of California, Riverside
Department: History
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, Native American studies
Keywords: Debt-peonage, Labor, Peonage, Rancho, California
Publication Number: 10979449
ISBN: 978-0-438-89716-8
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