The Island They Called Home: The Disappearance of the Karankawa
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This research focuses on the period of colonial settlement in Texas in the early 19th century. During the 1800s the indigenous people of Galveston saw increased pressure from settler movements. The political construct of borders enforced by Stephen F. Austin is the catalyst for a violent anti-native removal policy that lead to the extinction of the indigenous people known as the Karankawa. The extinction of indigenous people is an important topic in the field of colonial settler genocide. Renewed attention to the topic recently surfaced in Australia and Canada because of their cruel assimilation policies and Texas is no exception to such practices; particularly those aimed at the eradication of its indigenous populations. I analyze multiple causes for the extinction of the Karankawa alongside the policies set forth by Austin during the settlement of Galveston. Austin’s arrival positively correlates to the time frame in which the Karankawa began to experience the harshest treatment and living conditions that contributed to the deaths of many. I evaluate the archaeological findings to understand what the final years of life for the Karankawa were like, and determine what role the arrival of Stephen F. Austin had on the extinction of the Karankawa.
Altizer, Andrew William (2018). The Island They Called Home: The Disappearance of the Karankawa. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from