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City of InmatesConquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965$
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Kelly Lytle Hernández

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631189

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631189.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

An Eliminatory Option

An Eliminatory Option

(p.16) 1 An Eliminatory Option
City of Inmates

Kelly Lytle Hernández

University of North Carolina Press

The first chapter begins many millennia ago when the region now called the Los Angeles Basin was solely occupied by the Indigenous communities today collectively known as the Tongva-Gabrielino Tribe. This story is vital because there is no evidence that Tongva-Gabrielino communities ever tried or experienced human caging until the Spanish Crown dispatched a small group of colonists to establish El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles del Rio Porciuncula, the City of Angels, in 1781. One of the first structures these colonists built was a jail. In time, the colonists and their descendants filled the jail with indios. Throughout the next century of colonial occupation in the Tongva Basin—spanning the Spanish colonial period (1781–1821), the Mexican era (1821–48), and the early years of U.S. rule (1848–70s)—Indigenous peoples consistently comprised a substantive, if not majority, portion of the incarcerated population in Los Angeles. Chapter 1, therefore, firmly grounds the origins of incarceration in Los Angeles with the dynamics of conquest and colonialism in the Tongva Basin.

Keywords:   Tongva-Gabrielino, Los Angeles Basin, El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles del Rio Porciuncula, human caging, incarceration, Indigenous peoples, settler colonialism

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