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Legal Codes and Talking TreesIndigenous Women's Sovereignty in the Sonoran and Puget Sound Borderlands, 1854-1946$
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Katrina Jagodinsky

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300211689

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300211689.001.0001

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Lucía Martínez and the “Putative Father”

Lucía Martínez and the “Putative Father”

Arizona, 1854–1900

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter 2 Lucía Martínez and the “Putative Father”
Source:
Legal Codes and Talking Trees
Author(s):

Katrina Jagodinsky

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300211689.003.0002

This chapter explores how Indigenous women faced the laws that bound them to American masters and made them sexually vulnerable to male citizens' whims by chronicling the experiences of a Yaqui woman in Arizona, Lucía Martínez, during the period 1854–1900. It narrates how Lucía endured an adolescence of servitude under a territorial Arizona senator, King S. Woolsey, whom she challenged as the putative father of her illegitimate children in civil court. Woolsey fathered three of Lucía's children and indentured two of them. Lucía sued Woolsey in 1871 for custody of her mixed-race children, becoming the first Native woman to use Arizona's legal system. This chapter discusses Lucía's child custody petition in the Arizona civil court as well as the transformation of her children from Martínez to Woolsey within a lifetime, which reflected a shift in Yaqui claims to whiteness and citizenship in Arizona Territory.

Keywords:   mixed-race children, Indigenous women, Yaqui, Arizona Territory, Lucía Martínez, servitude, King S. Woolsey, child custody, whiteness, citizenship

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