In this engrossing history of Carson Valley and Honey Lake Valley along the eastern Sierra mountain range, western historian Michael Makley analyzes the role of extralegal justice in nineteenth-century American settlement. Makley investigates the actions of settler groups he defines as vigilantes and anti-vigilantes who vied for power and control in the 1850s. Settlers in Honey Lake defied the authority of the California government, and Carson Valley settlers resisted the jurisdiction of the Utah Territory. Westerners comprised the bulk of each colonizing group, but religious differences divided them between non-Mormon and Mormon factions. Non-Mormon vigilantes rebelled against the extension of the Utah Territory’s administrative reach and used violence to assert their own forms of justice. While settlers fought each other for control and wealth in the area, they also acted aggressively to eliminate Washoe and Paiute Peoples defending their homelands from settler incursions, resulting in the Pyramid Lake War. Makley...
Review: Imposing Order without Law: American Expansion to the Eastern Sierra, 1850–1865, by Michael J. Makley
MARY LUDWIG is a doctoral candidate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Ludwig analyzes settler methods to incarcerate and control Indigenous Peoples in the American West and Indigenous efforts to resist and reject systems of incarceration.
Mary Ludwig; Review: Imposing Order without Law: American Expansion to the Eastern Sierra, 1850–1865, by Michael J. Makley. California History 1 February 2024; 101 (1): 66–68. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/ch.2024.101.1.66
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