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California Indian History



The purpose of this website is to provide descendants of Tejon Indians,
scholars, publishers, and journalists information on the author's research
and publication projects on the Tejon Reservation.

Lost? Wondering what you are doing at a webpage about unpublished research? If you are looking for one of Dr. Anderson's published book focused on the Tejon Reservation, see:

Yokut Shield.

But you are at the right place if the purpose of your search is to find information about John Anderson's unpublished research on the ethnohistory of the Tejon Reservation.

The Tejon Indian Reservation was an immense native homeland located at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley of California. This reservation was established by a treaty in 1851, but it is no longer recognized by the federal or state government. The Indian agent appointed by the federal government, Edward Beal, obtained title to the reservation lands, due to his ties to the elite political and economic circles of Washington D.C. The Tejon Indians were slowly but surely driven from their reservation homesteads by Beale's Tejon Ranch cowboys. Many of the Tejon residents went to Bakersfield, the Tule River Reservation, Ventura, and San Fernando. Very little has been published about this tragic loss of a vast and rich homeland which was supposedly protected by the United States federal government and constitution.

Huge amounts of oil were discovered on the 1851 reservation, and on nearby lands. This oil was so valuable in the American economy of the early twentieth century California that it would have made the Tejon Indians among the richest people in the world. Not surprisingly, efforts to protect the Tejon oil and land rights were rebuffed by local, state, and federal courts which were dominated by white business interests.

American towns, oil companies, cattle, and agriculture businesses now hold title to various segments of the reservation real estate. Dr. Anderson's books on Tejon document this dispossession process, beginning with the first years after the treaty when the Tejon Indians were being treated like serfs, producing surplus meat and crops which were sold illegally to the Fort Tejon garrison, gold miners, and local settlers.


Project #151 This file features the ancient history of Mountain Chumash, who lived in the inland region of the Chumash speaking population. This materials begins with the Penutian invasion of California, which pressed the Chumash out of much of the Central Valley. Later chapters discuss the Uto-Aztecan invasion which pressed the earlier residents (including Chumash) out of the Los Angeles Valley and the nearby Mohave desert region. This file ends with the appearance European ships, visiting the Chumash islands and nearby mainland seaports, spread these plagues as coastal groups fled inland to escape the repeated cycles of mass death.

Project #152 These materials focus on the Chumash nationalist struggles against Spanish colonialism. Chumash resistance was stimulated by the cruel 'reduction' policies of the Spanish. The Catholic church cooperated with the invading army to destroy Chumash towns and concentrate the people into production centers. These centers, or 'missions', were designed to support the coastal fortifications of the Spanish occupation army.

Project #153 This file begins with the Mexican revolution of 1822, and ends with the American invasion of California. See The Piercing of the Yokut Shield for closely related research materials.

Project #154 This research file focuses on the stories of the seven villages of the Indians living on the Tejon Reservation after the 1851 treaty. It includes the history of the Mountain Chumash at Tejon, in the early American era. These materials document the repression of the reservation population by American army officers, local and state and federal government officials, and local ranchers who sought to confiscate the Tejon Indian lands. See 7 Villages for further information.

Project #155 John P. Harrington worked as an ethnologist and linguists for the Smithsonian Institute (Washington, D.C.). Harrington came to Tejon to study native languages and culture. He ended up getting involved in their struggles against the eviction efforts of the Tejon Ranch. Harrington charged that the rich (white, upper-class) owners of the Spanish land titles were driving the last of the Tejon Indians from their ancestral homes. See Corner Eight for further information.

Project #156 This is a working document for Tejon descendants and scholars studying Tejon reservation families.

Project #157 This study of Yokut history provides an overview of Yokut Indian resistance to Spanish, Mexican, and later American colonialism. This is the larger research study, from which The Piercing of the Yokut Shield was extracted.


For information on the author's publication called The Piercing of the Yokut Shield see the link called Yokut Shield (below). This text #100 . This text is listed in the AmDes Publishing catalog of current books. It provides a historical background on the Tejon Indian military resistance to the invading Americans and explains how this resistance came to an end in 1851. At this time, the Tejon militia was successfully defending their lands against aggression from Mexican and American ranchers pressing in from the grater Los Angeles area. But the Tejon Indians were depending on the Yokut Indians to protect their northern borders. When the military shield of the Yokuts collapsed in 1850, the Tejon Indians were forced to make peace with the federal government [at the Kootsetahovie pass, where the Tejon treaty of 1851 was signed, guaranteeing native title to approximately 1.2 million acres in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley of California].

The books by this author are no longer in print. They, along with and some of his unpublished research,

will eventually be entered in full text for free download

through the John M. Anderson library Project.

The Yokut Shield (book)
Fort Tejon