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The Indians Of Southern California In 1852

by Benjamin Davis Wilson, Ed. By John Walton Caughey

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Benjamin Davis Wilson was one of the first American settlers in Southern California. He became a prosperous rancher and the mayor of little Los Angeles. A special friend of the Indians of Southern California, Wilson was appointed their subagent in 1852, when the Indians were on the edge of catastrophe, their population reduced by two-thirds within a generation. Wilson’s great contribution, the one he wished to be remembered for, was to appraise the problems of these Indians and urge their settlement on land set aside for them. His report (published in the Los Angeles Star in 1868) was instrumental in creating the reservation system.



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