4.3.6 A letter from E.A. Stevenson, Special Indian Agent to Hon. Thomas J. Henley, superintendent of Indian Affairs, San Francisco (1853)
As a result of miners’ violence against Native Californians, as well as drastic environmental change, tens of thousands of Native people died during the Gold Rush. Mining activities fouled Native people’s water supplies, destroyed fish populations, drove off wild animals, and the land disruption destroyed Native people’s food supplies. All of this change led to malnutrition and starvation. It also made Native people desperate to find new foods. Some desperate Native people would take cattle and horses that belonged to miners and ranchers. This led to unequally violent responses wherein miners burned down Native villages and massacred entire groups of people who may or may not have taken the livestock.