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Book Cover
Author DeJong, David H., author.

Title Stealing the Gila : the Pima agricultural economy and water deprivation, 1848-1921 / David H. DeJong
Published Tucson : University of Arizona Press, ©2009


Description 1 online resource (247 pages) : illustrations, maps
Contents Introduction: A west of Jeffersonian farmers? -- The prelude -- The Pima villages and California emigrants -- Establishment of the Pima Reservation -- Civil War, settlers, and Pima agriculture -- A crisis on the river -- Famine and starvation -- Allotment of the Pima Reservation -- The Pima adjudication survey -- The Florence-Casa Grande project -- The Pima economy, water, and federal policy
Summary "By 1850 the Pima Indians of central Arizona had developed a strong and sustainable agricultural economy based on irrigation. As David H. DeJong demonstrates, the Pima were an economic force in the mid-nineteenth-century middle Gila River valley, producing food and fiber crops for western military expeditions and immigrants. Moreover, crops from their fields provided an additional source of food for the Mexican military presidio in Tucson, as well as the U.S. mining districts centered near Prescott. For a brief period of about three decades, the Pima were on an equal economic footing with their non-Indian neighbors." "This economic vitality did not last, however. As immigrants settled upstream from the Pima villages, they deprived the Indians of the water they needed to sustain their economy. DeJong traces federal, territorial, and state policies that ignored Pima water rights even though some policies appeared to encourage Indian agriculture. This is a particularly egregious example of a common story in the West: the flagrant local rejection of Supreme Court rulings that protected Indian water rights. With plentiful maps, tables, and illustrations, DeJong demonstrates that maintaining the spreading farms and growing towns of the increasingly white population led Congress and other government agencies to willfully deny Pimas their water rights." "Had their rights been protected, DeJong argues, Pimas would have had an economy rivaling the local and national economies of the time. Instead of succeeding, the Pima were reduced to cycles of poverty, their lives destroyed by greed and disrespect for the law, as well as legal decisions made for personal gain."--Jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Pima Indians -- Agriculture -- History -- 19th century
Pima Indians -- Agriculture -- History -- 20th century
Pima Indians -- Economic conditions
Subsistence economy -- Gila River Region (N.M. and Ariz.) -- History
Water-supply -- Gila River Region (N.M. and Ariz.) -- History
Water rights -- Gila River Region (N.M. and Ariz.) -- History
White people -- Gila River Region (N.M. and Ariz.) -- History
Immigrants -- Gila River Region (N.M. and Ariz.) -- History
Pima Indians -- Agriculture
Pima Indians -- Economic conditions
Subsistence economy
Water rights
White people
United States -- Gila River Region
Genre/Form History
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780816536504