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Strangers On Familiar SoilRediscovering the Chile-California Connection$
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Edward Dallam Melillo

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300206623

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300206623.001.0001

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Manifest Destiny at the End of a Rope

Manifest Destiny at the End of a Rope

(p.68) 4 Manifest Destiny at the End of a Rope
Strangers On Familiar Soil

Edward Dallam Melillo

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the interethnic violence in California's mining region driven by conflicting customs, jealousy, and rising nationalist sentiment. Many Chileans arrived in California bringing with them time-tested mining techniques, geological knowledge, and advanced mineral-processing technologies. As a result, they were among California's most successful miners. Although their accomplishments earned them the respect of some Yankees, their efficient handiwork bred resentment among other North American prospectors. From 1848 onward, California became a so-called “Linchocracia,” a space dominated by aggressive performances of manifest destiny and nativist ideology. Lynching—or public retributive acts of murder in which the perpetrators claim to be acting in the name of popular justice or some higher moral authority—became prevalent.

Keywords:   Chilean immigrants, California, gold rush, Chilean miners, lynching

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