The first English permanent settlement in America took place in the early 17th Century. The settlement, Jamestown, was a dream of finding and inhabiting a new world by early settlers. The events that followed should be shamefully remembered in the world’s history. The successors of the settlers of Jamestown went on a rampage and began slaughtering the locals in any way they could. This signaled the intentions of the settlers, and the natives had no choice but to respond.
Several battles and conflicts took place between both with loss of life and properties. Settlers stopped at nothing as they tortured and killed people, including women and children, and burned their fields. As the Europeans expanded their holdings, adding towns and villages, some areas even offered bounties. Combined with deaths visited upon the Indians due to diseases brought from Europe, the casualties would amount to nothing less than an American Holocaust.
Bounties for Indian captives or their scalps appeared in the legislation of the American colonies during the Susquehannock War (1675–77). New England offered bounties to white settlers and Narragansett people in 1675 during King Philip’s War.
Scalps were paid for following the Dakota War of 1862. Some Indians were even drugged near the Canadian border and dragged back for quick trials and expeditious hanging.
In 1856, California paid as little as 0.25 cents per Indian Scalp. Four years later, they raised the bounty to $5 per Scalp to incentivize the programming order to rid California of Indians faster. It wasn’t until the early 20th Century that the State of California reexamined the policy and became concerned that Native Populations may become extinct.