March 19, 2007

Chief Marin was a Coast Miwok Indian who lived in the first half of the 19th century, a boatman or mariner valued for his knowledge of the tides who became an official witness at baptisms and weddings at Missions Dolores and San Rafael Arcangel. And he struggled with the Spanish military, which twice put him in prison at the Presidio.

Goerke's book is also the story of the Coast Miwok people who struggled to retain their land and identity in the face of new settlers, land grabbers and Gold Rush miners. In the early days of statehood, she writes, American Indians were lynched, scalped, raped and massacred. They were deprived of the right to vote, and their word was not accepted in any court. Chief Marin" is available in Marin bookstores for $21.95. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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