Skip to content


Choose a Chapter | Purchase the eBook

1 The Collision Of Cultures
2 Britain And Its Colonies
3 Colonial Ways Of Life
4 The Imperial Perspective
5 From Empire To Independence
6 The American Revolution
7 Shaping A Federal Union
8 The Federalist Era
9 The Early Republic
10 Nationalism And Sectionalism
11 The Jacksonian Impulse
12 The Dynamics Of Growth
13 An American Renaissance: Religion, Romanticism, And Reform
14 Manifest Destiny
15 The Old South
16 The Crisis Of Union
17 The War Of The Union
18 Reconstruction: North And South
19 New Frontiers: South And West
20 Big Business And Organized Labor
21 The Emergence Of Urban America
22 Gilded-age Politics And Agrarian Revolt
23 An American Empire
24 The Progressive Era
25 America And The Great War
26 The Modern Temper
27 Republican Resurgence And Decline
28 New Deal America
29 From Isolation To Global War
30 The Second World War
31 The Fair Deal And Containment
32 Through The Picture Window: Society And Culture, 19451960
33 Conflict And Deadlock: The Eisenhower Years
34 New Frontiers: Politics And Social Change In The 1960s
35 Rebellion And Reaction In The 1960s And 1970s
36 A Conservative Insurgency
37 Triumph And Tragedy: America At The Turn Of The Century

Cover Letter and Lease between Sutter and the Yalesummi Tribe (February 4, 1848)

» Return to Document Reader
» Worksheet



On January 18, 1848, John Sutter and several men constructing a sawmill discovered a rich vein of gold in Coloma Valley, California. This lease agreement between John A. Sutter and James Wilson Marshall and the local Yalesummi Tribe had been drafted January 1 but was not yet signed when gold was discovered. On February 4, Sutter hurriedly met with two chiefs and two alcaldes of the Yalesummi tribe and obtained their signatures on the lease. This document set the pattern for aggressive (and sometimes forced) negotiation of Indian land cessions following the discovery of precious metals in the American West. However, this lease was rejected by Colonel R. B. Mason, the military governor of California, who reasoned that "the United States do not recognize the right of Indians to sell or lease lands on which they reside." As you read this lease, consider the role of mining claims in the often-violent process of Indian land cessions and the desperate difficulties of securing clear land titles for areas containing precious metals. Americans in California talked about the spread of American freedom to formerly anarchic lands, but the United States government was welcomed perhaps more because of its judicial bias in favor of American land titles and its willingness to use federal troops to protect miners and their land titles against Native American and Mexican claimants. What does Sutter claim this deal will do for the local Native Americans?


Section Menu

Organize

Learn

Connect

Multimedia

Norton Gradebook

Instructors now have an easy way to collect students’ online quizzes with the Norton Gradebook without flooding their inboxes with e-mails.

Students can track their online quiz scores by setting up their own Student Gradebook.