Church at Ex-Sebastian Indian Reservation

by | Feb 27, 2019 | Community

 Gen. Edward F. Beale, then-Indian superintendent for California and Nevada, established the San Sebastian (aka Tejon) Indian Reservation in 1852 on Yokuts land in the Southern San Joaquin Valley that he would later own. The U.S. Army established Fort Tejon in 1854 largely to keep watch over the reservation.
Using soldiers at his command, Beale rounded up Indians from miles around and herded them onto the reservation to facilitate American settlement of their lands. Among them were Tataviam people originally from villages in Newhall and Castaic. One of them, Estanislao Cabuti, aka Stanislaus, born at Tochonanga (Newhall), became a captain at the reservation; Barbareno Chumash living at San Emigdio after the Chumash Revolt of 1824; Kitanemuk from the Antelope Valley; Yokuts from the San Joaquin Valley (historically enemies of the Kitanemuk, but intermarried anyway); and even Paiutes from 200 miles away in the Owens Valley (many of whom escaped along the way and returned to their ancestral homes).
The Army began to shut down the fort when the U.S. Civil War broke out and closed it, and the reservation, for good in 1854. Some of the Indians were transferred to the Tule River Reservation in an unfamiliar area southeast of Visalia, but some managed to avoid the move and returned to their homelands while others remained in the Tejon area and worked as ranch hands for Beale, who now (1865) owned the property.

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