Native American Indian Raids on California Trading Posts
To prepare for this struggle for existence, they made raids upon some of the principal trading posts in the mining sections, killed those in charge, took all the blankets, clothing and provisions they could carry away, and fled to the mountains, where they were soon pursued by the soldiers and volunteer citizens, and a spirited battle was fought without any decisive advantage to either side.
The breaking out of actual hostilities created great excitement among the whites, and an urgent call was made upon the Governor of the State for a military force to meet the emergency, and protect the settlers—a force strong enough to thoroughly subdue the Indians, and remove all of them to reservations to be selected by the United States Indian Commissioners for that purpose.
Meantime the Governor and the Commissioners, who had then arrived, were receiving numerous communications, many of them from persons in high official positions, earnestly urging a more humane and just policy, averring that the Indians had real cause for complaint, that they had been "more sinned against than sinning" since the settling of California by the whites, and that they were justly entitled to protection by the Government and compensation for the spoliations and grievances they had suffered.
These protests doubtless had some influence in delaying hostile measures, and in the inauguration of efforts to induce the Indians to come in and treat with the Commissioners, envoys being sent out to assure them of fair treatment and personal safety. Many of the Indians accepted these offers, and, as the different tribes surrendered, they were taken to the two reservations which the Commissioners had established for them on the Fresno River, the principal one being a few miles above the place where the town of Madera is now located.
As before stated, these Indians were not a warlike people. Their only weapons were their bows and arrows, and these they soon found nearly useless in defending themselves at long range against soldiers armed with rifles. Moreover, their stock of provisions was so limited that they either had to surrender or starve.