California was one of the last areas of the New World to be colonized. Starting with the advent of the Spaniards and their friars, whether under Mexican rule, up to early US government, for California Natives were all these periods a time of land grab, oppression, epidemics, up to genocide. The story of the California Indians is one of the saddest chapters in American history, a story that ( full ) has never been told . As a short overview of that matter, here an article, that was written in 2008 by a member von Daily Kos, please see that link :
Regarding California scalp bounty law, I want to add an statement by April Moore, Nisenan Maidu, educator
...And at one point it was something in the neighborhood of $25 for a male body part, whether it was a scalp, a hand, or the whole body; and then $5 for a child or a woman. In many cases, they only had to bring in the scalp. And in other cases, the whole body was brought in to prove that they had this individual, they'd killed this person, and receive their reward.
And it was well after 1900 when the law was repealed, that bounty hunting, or whatever you may want to call it, on the California Indians was repealed. It was shortly after the discovery of Ishi that the nation, or I should say the state, became aware of the fact that it was still legal to kill Indians. So that the law had to be changed.
YOU are correct- the history of the persecution of the Indians in California was horrendous. It was an outright genocide. I cannot recall hearing any stories about California tribes that mounted "war parties". The conflicts were completely one-sided, and were fueled by the bigotry and hatred of the day - within the white community. As far as I know, the State of California has never apologized for these actions.
Yes, the conflicts in California were virtually one-sided. For instance ,very often putative Indian depredations had no basis in reality, but were merely imagined in order to provide a justification for campaigns of violence. As the Daily Alta Vista put it in 1853, “The Indians have committed so many depredations in the North, of late, that the people are enraged against them, and are ready to knife them, shoot them, or inoculate them with small pox — all of which have been done.”
A few years ago, a documentary was written, produced and directed by Floyd Red Crow Westerman :
Native American Holocaust Exterminate Them! The California Story