Kelsey's Letter to Congress Book Review by Nicky

A review of C.E. Kelsey's report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs on the status of Indians in California.
# 145811 | 959 words | 1 source | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Nov 28, 2010 in Ethnic Studies (North American) , Native-American Studies (General)

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The paper points out the overt racism in Kelsey's report where he describes the wholesale devastation of a once-robust community of people, but shows how Kelsey makes a structured argument placing responsibility for that devastation on the whites. The paper asserts that this may be one of the most revealing texts about racial politics in United States history. The paper discusses Kelsey's description of the colonial-type devastation of a native population, how the government helped institutionalize the racist treatment of the Native Americans, how Native Americans continued to be held in slavery after the slaves were freed and how a dominant group could force a subgroup of people to fit a certain stereotype.

From the Paper:

"On March 21, 1906, the C.E. Kelsey, the Special Agent for California Indians, wrote a report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in which he addressed the status of Indians in California. The report was included in the 66th Congress' Indian Tribes of California Hearings. Kelsey had been assigned as the Special Agent for California Indians, and, in that capacity, he performed a census of the Native-Americans that were living in California. The actual census breaks down the material that Kelsey found, going so far as to include individual Native Americans by name and family affiliation. However, the letter goes farther than the census, and includes Kelsey's personal views about California's Native American population. He begins by stating that he has personally visited every Indian settlement between the Oregon line and the Mexican border, and that he believes his research has been exhaustive. Though, he says that because of time constraints, he was not able to make a hut-to-hut canvas, which he thinks would have been appropriate to ensure accuracy."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Kelsey, C.E. Report of the Special Agent for California Indians to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Washington: House of Representatives, 1906.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Kelsey's Letter to Congress (2010, November 28) Retrieved September 21, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Kelsey's Letter to Congress" 28 November 2010. Web. 21 September. 2020. <>