Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ghost Dance (Revised)

Ghost Dance at Pine Ridge.

The circle dance has been danced by Native Americans since prehistory. Some form of circle dance was performed all over the world. A Paiute Indian by the name of Jack Wilson, otherwise known as “Wovoka” or “Grandfather” taught his people “The Ghost Dance”. It is a form of circle dance.

The Ghost Dance was originated at a time of great troubles for the Indian people. Their buffalo had been hunted to almost complete extinction, they had a Typhoid epidemic in 1867, and the Whiteman appeared to be here to stay. A man by the name of Hawthorne Wodziwob from the Northern Paiute or Tovusi-dokado (Cyprus-bulb eaters) gathered groups of people to tell of his vision and organize Ghost Dances. He organized a series of community dances to announce his vision. He told them about his vision to the land of the dead and of stories told to him by the souls of the recently deceased.

One of Wodziwob’s early disciples was a man by the name of “Tavibo” who was Jack Wilson’s father. Tavibo was a “Weather Doctor”. Jack Wilson grew up and became a Weather Doctor, and he was a talented spiritual leader among his people. On January 1st 1889, during the solar eclipse, Jack Wilson had a great vision. He said that he had seen the vision before, but hadn’t understood it until the vision during the eclipse.

During an interview held by James Mooney, Jack Wilson also known as “Wovoka” said: “…he had stood before God in Heaven, and had seen many of his ancestors engaged in their favorite pastimes. God showed Jack a beautiful land filled with wild game, and instructed him to return home to tell his people that they must love each other, not fight, and live in peace with the whites. God also stated that Jack’s people must work, not steal or lie, and that they must not engage in the old practices of war or the traditional self-mutilation practices connected with mourning the dead. God said that if his people abided by these rules they would be united with their friends and family in the other world.
In God’s presence, Jack proclaimed, there would be no sickness, disease, or old age. According to Jack, he was then given the Ghost Dance and commanded to take it back to his people. Jack preached that if this five-day dance was performed in the proper intervals, the performers would secure their happiness and hasten the reunion of the living and deceased. God purportedly gave Jack powers over weather and told him that he would be the deputy in charge of affairs in the Western United States, leaving current President Harrison deputy in the East. Jack claims that he was then told to return home and preach God’s message.
Jack Wilson claimed to have left the presence of God convinced that if every Indian in the West danced the new dance to “hasten the event,” all evil in the world would be swept away leaving a renewed Earth filled with food, love, and faith. Quickly accepted by his Paiute brethren, the new religion was termed “Dance In A Circle”. Because the first European contact with the practice came by way of the Sioux, their expression “Spirit Dance” was adopted as a descriptive title for all such practices. This was subsequently translated as “Ghost Dance”.

Photo of Wovoka's Gravesite by "Bubba T. Briarhopper" (probably not his real name) Bubba tells about his visit to the gravesite. I provided a link here, but Briarhopper has subsequently given up on the blog world.

As you might have guessed, there is more to this story. What started out as a peace and acceptance move, the ghost dance turned into a prayer to rid the world of white men. While most participants in the ghost dance accepted it as a peace movement, others most certainly didn’t. The Northern Paiutes were subject to the teachings of the Mormons. The Mormons wear “garments” as a symbol of their purity. The Native Americans somehow got the idea that if they wore a “garment” that they would be unable to be killed. They called their protective garments “Ghost Shirts”. They thought that the shirts would ward of bullets and protect them from death.

As the Ghost dance moved throughout the west it was introduced to the Lakota Sioux by chief Kicking Bear. Most all of the Native Americans have renewal ceremonies, where they pray for the Earth to become new again. Only instead of praying for peace and acceptance, the Lakotas prayed for the end of the Evil Whiteman. The fact that they did the ghost dance as a prayer to get rid of the Whiteman, got them the attention of the U.S. Army. The army saw the dances as war dances and thought that Native Americans were preparing for war.

The following is from wikipedia:
In February 1890, the United States government broke a Lakota treaty by adjusting the Great Sioux Reservation of South Dakota (an area that formerly encompassed the majority of the state) into five smaller reservations. This was done to accommodate white homesteaders from the Eastern United States and was in accordance with the government’s clearly stated “policy of breaking up tribal relationships” and “conforming Indians to the white man’s ways, peaceably if they will, or forcibly if they must.” Once on the reduced reservations, tribes were separated into family units on 320-acre (1.3 km2) plots, forced to farm, raise livestock, and send their children to boarding schools that forbade any inclusion of Native American traditional culture and language.

To help support the Sioux during the period of transition, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), was delegated the responsibility of supplementing the Sioux with food and hiring white farmers as teachers for the people. The farming plan failed to take into account the difficulty Sioux farmers would have in trying to cultivate crops in the semi-arid region of South Dakota. By the end of the 1890 growing season, a time of intense heat and low rainfall, it was clear that the land was unable to produce substantial agricultural yields. Unfortunately, this was also the time when the government’s patience with supporting the so-called “lazy Indians” ran out, resulting in rations to the Sioux being cut in half. With the bison virtually eradicated from the plains a few years earlier, the Sioux had no options available to escape starvation.

Increased performances of the Ghost Dance ritual ensued, frightening the supervising agents of the BIA. Kicking Bear was forced to leave Standing Rock, but when the dances continued unabated, Agent McLaughlin asked for more troops, claiming that Hunkpapa spiritual leader Sitting Bull was the real leader of the movement. A former agent, Valentine McGillycuddy, saw nothing extraordinary in the dances and ridiculed the panic that seemed to have overcome the agencies, saying: “The coming of the troops has frightened the Indians. If the Seventh-Day Adventists prepare the ascension robes for the Second Coming of the Savior, the United States Army is not put in motion to prevent them. Why should not the Indians have the same privilege? If the troops remain, trouble is sure to come.”

Nonetheless, thousands of additional U.S. Army troops were deployed to the reservation. On December 15, 1890, Sitting Bull was arrested on the reservation for failing to stop his people from practicing the Ghost Dance. During the incident, a Sioux witnessing the arrest fired at one of the soldiers prompting an immediate retaliation; this conflict resulted in deaths on both sides, including the loss of Sitting Bull himself.

Big Foot, a Miniconjou leader on the U.S. Army’s list of trouble-making Indians, was stopped while en route to convene with the remaining Sioux chiefs. U.S. Army officers forced him and his people to relocate to a small camp close to the Pine Ridge Agency so that the soldiers could more closely watch the old chief. That evening, December 28, the small band of Sioux erected their tipis on the banks of Wounded Knee Creek. The following day, during an attempt by the officers to collect any remaining weapons from the band, one young and deaf Sioux warrior refused to relinquish his arms. A struggle followed in which somebody's weapon discharged into the air. One U.S. officer gave the command to open fire and the Sioux responded by taking up previously confiscated weapons; the U.S. forces responded with carbine firearms and several rapid fire light artillery (Hotchkiss) guns mounted on the overlooking hill. When the fighting had concluded, 25 U.S. soldiers lay dead, many killed by friendly fire, amongst the 153 dead Sioux, most of whom were women and children.

Following the massacre, chief Kicking Bear officially surrendered his weapon to General Nelson A. Miles. Outrage in the Eastern United States emerged as the general population learned about the events that had transpired. The U.S. government had insisted on numerous occasions that the Native American had already been successfully pacified, and many Americans felt the U.S. Army actions were harsh; some related the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek to the “ungentlemanly act of kicking a man when he is already down.” Public uproar played a role in the reinstatement of the previous treaty’s terms including full rations and more monetary compensation for lands taken away.

However, twenty of the soldiers involved received Medals of Honor for their part in the slaughter; these awards have never been revoked.

What started out as a peaceful movement, turned out to be part of the worse Indian massacre in history.


Kym said...

Sadly, Bubba's blog has given up the ghost already. I was getting quite fond of it--I especially liked the poem he just wrote.

spyrock said...

"tell his people that they must love each other, not fight, and live in peace with the whites. God also stated that Jack’s people must work, not steal or lie, and that they must not engage in the old practices of war or the traditional self-mutilation practices connected with mourning the dead. God said that if his people abided by these rules they would be united with their friends and family in the other world.
In God’s presence, Jack proclaimed, there would be no sickness, disease, or old age."

that's right. it's all here in the presence, right in front of your face. so far, there aren't too many indians or anyone else for that matter who have forgiven the past and who live in the present. everyone has an axe to grind. so we all live in the past and see what we thought reality used to be. so let's all hold hands and dance in a circle and see where everyone in the circle is coming from. where all 4 races in each direction is coming from. sort of like seeing what it looks like from someone else's moccasins one race after the other. if anyone or race can do that, then they've found out that they are holding hands, all connected, all one, and in paradise.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I've often said that we can't judge what people were like then by who we are now. But the past is important to know.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Kym, I don't know what happened to Briarhopper either. He had the promise of having a unique and interesting blog. I saw his poem, but I didn’t have a chance to read it. I was more interested in his trip to visit the “Wovoka Gravesite”. As soon as I linked to his blog, he disappeared.

I guess homeland security grabbed him and he is now in Guantanamo. So much for anonominity.

suzy blah blah said... let's all hold hands and dance in a circle

In Japan they have an ancient religion called Shinto.
A Shinto priest was once questioned by a social philosopher visiting Japan from NYC, "We've been to many of your shrines and we've been to many of your ceremonies" he said, "but I don't get your theology, I don't get your ideology."
"We don't have a theology," said the Shinto, "We dont have an ideology either --we dance."

Ernie Branscomb said...

Shinto sounds like a religion that I could believe in.

One of the reasons that I feel that it is important study history, is just to see how wrong peaceful intentions can go. The Ghost dance started out as a dance of peace an acceptance, and ended up in mass bloodshed.

suzy blah blah said...

where theres a will theres not always a way.

Bunny said...

I guess Ben hasn't looked at his computer yet. Or maybe he's thinking about just what he's gonna write. I anticipate Ben's addition to this thread.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Does Ben dance?

Hopefully he knows whether or not the Ghost Dance ever reached Covelo or Hoopa.

olmanriver said...

good post.
while we are waiting on ben...
i wanted to recommend the book
rabbit boss by thomas sanchez.
it is a four generational story from the perspective of the washo(e)dating from their first contact with the whites. a classic.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Washo is from the Washo’s own language, it means person. They pronounced it “washiu”. The Northern Paiutes kicked their butts in the 1860’s and forbade them from ever having horses again.
The Washo inhabited the Truckee River as far down as the meadows, their land rights were disputed by the Monos. Territorial rights were the source of many conflicts amongst the Indian People.

I talked to a man this morning that was wearing a shirt with a photo of Indian people on the front. We got into a conversation as I often do. He said that he had Sioux ancestry. I asked him if he had ever heard of the Ghost Dance. He had not, when I told him the theory about how it might have been the cause of the Wounded Knee massacre, he said that if it wasn’t that, it would have been something else, and he said the plains Indians liked to fight, and they would have been fighting each other if they hadn’t had the white man to fight. I thought that was interesting, coming from an Indian person.

has ben said...

"In 1872, the 1870 Ghost Dance reached the Tolowas via the Siletz Reservation, and developed into a local Dream Dance cult among them."

"Today, the site of Re-kwoi and the areas adjacent to it continue to be part of a complex religious and social organization where the Jump Dance, Brush Dance, White Deerskin Dance, and Yurok, take place."

the ghost dance made it to these peoples.

has been said...

lost an important phrase
"....White Deerskin Dance, and Ghost Dance, which are part of the World Renewal System of the Yurok,"

still not ben said...

found this amazing california indians index...clicking on a tribe gets you to an amazing amount of links for our local first peoples.

Ben said...

Allright, allright, allright, I'm home. So... let me tell you about the Garberville Ghost Dance. Bullshistory? Nope, it really happened.
The Prophet Wodziwob (White Hair) started a ceremonial movement which came into California rather than going east as the Wovoka Ghost Dance did twenty years later. The movement was enthusiastically greeted and spread quickly through most of Northern California. As it traveled, it changed form. In about 1872 a dance consisting of songs, special regalia and dance movements passed from Pt. Arena trough Laytonville and on to Round Valley where it was purchased by Captain Jim, a Wailaki headman. The regalia, consisting of two large feather headdresses was regarded as intensely powerful and dangerous. Only a man who was "in shape" could handle it. They first performed it in Round Valley and then began to travel north. Women were also in the dance and had specially decorated dresses. The dancers, who must have numbered around twenty, rode to Horse Ranch (Lake Mountain) Then down to Fenton's (Island Mountain Station) then to Bill and Klowe Wood's and on to the Jewett place. Dancing for several days each place, they continued north. The next stop was Garberville where they danced down by the river where PG&E is now. They rode on back to the Main at Brock Creek and then to Blocksbug. At Blocksburg they were met by the Hayfork Wintu who purchased the dance from Captain Jim. They then went on to Hayfork and north toward Mt. Shasta.
We can only speculate as to the purpose of the ceremony but it certainly involved returning the land to its first inhabitants and it used the most powerful elements they could bring to bear.
The dance went on to Trinity Center, Antler and finally to Copco where its progression north was halted by the influence of the agent at Siletz.
The regalia was put in a sweat house at Copco where it was guarded by rattlesnakes and could be heard to whistle at night.
The Mooney book is the classic work. This account comes from the "1870 Ghost Dance" by Cora DuBois. There is also a good biography of Wovoka.
Ernie, you have done a great post here. I'll write more later about the other California aspects of this movement. It's a huge topic.

omr said...

Well worth the wait, thanks Ben!

You used the phrase "purchased the dance" a few times... could you elaborate on that at some point, please.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ditto OMR, that was my question also. What was there to buy?

Maybe the nifty magic regalia?

What was the religious base that went along with the dance? Were they still preaching peace and acceptance, or did it become more of a prayer to rid the world of white men in the great renewal?

spyrock said...

thanks ben for the great research.1872 is when my great great grandfather and grandmother died near laytonville. they lived next to the small lake across the street from the red fox casino. he was a constable and she was a midwife. its logical to think that they would be affected by any unrest among the local indians because they lived so close to them. i know very little about the 7 children they left behind but i am finding out bits and pieces as time passes by.
i have a lead on a mrs. crabtree that still might be alive who was related to the youngest of the seven. but i do feel the ghost dance had something to do with their deaths.

spyrock said...

i don't think i ever heard of the word shinto before. but i am interested in the samurai and zen buddhism. i'm wanting to go to this island in the inland sea of japan that is supposed to be the home of the gods. it has some temples and gates. one of the gates is partially underwater at high tide.
how very sidekick of you to know what i'm thinking only so recently.

Ernie Branscomb said...

"The Big Head Cult movement of 1870, also known as the "Ghost Dance", came to the Cahto people [Laytonville] from the Pomo of Willits through Sherwood (see map). The movement seems to have begun with the Pomo of the coast, near Point Arena (see map). The Cahto brought the movement north to the Wailaki on the North Fork of the Eel River and to the Round Valley Yuki (see map). The movement consisted of about four nights of dancing with detailed regalia and headgear. "

From the Cahto Tribe website

suzy blah blah said...

I know next to nothing about it but it ia an ancient religion, still active,s native to Japan --pre Buddhist.
underwater shinto temple

Ernie Branscomb said...

some interesting Round Valley Indian history

Blue Jay said...

Does anyone know when horses came
to Humboldt? Before or after the
white man?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Horses came to the new world with the Spanish Conquistadors into central America, but I doubt that the local Indians saw any until the white man came.

spyrock said...

yes, that's the gate. i was looking at it last week wondering how i was going to get out there. maybe i'll bring one of my boogie boards.

spyrock said...

This history of raiding may be summed up as follows. During the earliest period of Spanish settlement and the establishment of the missions, the Californios were not troubled by raids from interior tribes. Before 1820, however, such raids were beginning to occur. The events of the 1820s remain unknown. In the 1830s they were becoming a serious problem, so much so that by the early 1840s defensive measures were being considered by the Spanish.
general vallejo was the highest spanish authority in the north and he was the one who gave kelsey permission to settle near clear lake. as kelsey and asbill were the first white men to see round valley. and they probably were riding horses. they were probably the first horses the local indians had seen. like ernie says, the first white men that came along.

Ben said...

I just looked at the very moving video and I have a couple of comments. The "My men will not plow the earth..." quote is the Columbia Fiver Prophet Smoholla rather than Wovoka. The remarkable film clips of the woman healer are of Essie Parrish, the great Pomo doctor from Kashaiya below Point Arena. The photos of Sioux ceremonies and trances are from Mooney's "The Ghost Dance Religion..." Anyone interested in the Ghost Dance should read Mooney. It is nearly miraculous that such a man lived to make the report which we can read. If it were not for Mooney we would know almost nothing about these events. He also covers the history of Prophets in the US previous to 1870.

omr said...

"One day a white man came into the Valley riding a horse. He went to the central camp of the Yuki tribe.... The Indians were amazed at seeing their first white man and horse, and being naturally friendly people gathered round to see what had arrived in their midst. They were not long in learning this strange creature had the power of a `Devil' for he pointed a stick at them and a big noise and smoke came out of it and an Indian died with a hole in his chest. Devils were to be disposed of, and this one was no exception. No one knows what disposition was made of his body, but he had committed his last murder."

A Yuki legend of the first white man in Round Valley
"On May 15, while gathering up his horses, Frank Asbill spotted beautiful Round Valley. He gathered up his men and rode into Round Valley where he proceeded to kill 40 Yuki Indians.

A bronze plaque has been placed by the state of California to mark the spot where Frank Asbill "discovered" Round Valley. It doesn't mention the massacre that happened later that day. The plaque, spotted with bullet holes, was stolen several years ago. It was eventually recovered from the Alameda County Flea Market, where it was being sold as junk."

Ben said...

OMR.. A couple of comments. The infamous Round Valley plaque was replaced by a new one with a more sensible inscription. The 40 indians killed story is bullshistory. In Genocide and Vendetta, Lynwood Carranco used the Asbill account of the encounter where "40 indians" were killed. He failed to mention that Asbill claimed to have been attacked by 3000 indians. This is how bullshistory becomes "history".The Yuki account is probably true but imagine six guys with muzzle loaders attacked by 3000 Indians.
Ceremonies in Northern California were often "owned". The owner was (and is still) called the Dancemaker. DuBois speculates that the Big Head ceremonial regalia and songs was worth about $200. That was a considerable sum in 1872 and only a wealthy man could raise it.
I read my posts and fear I sound like a pedant but I've been reading this stuff for a long time and can get pretty worked up about it. Thanks for the post , Ernie and some great references.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Indians in Mendocino County in 1928

More interesting stuff to follow, I just wanted to get this list on here.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I recieved this email from a Bowman:


I am related the the Bowman family that came from Missouri over the Oregon Trail with Nate Bowman, the wagon master. I know that some of the Bowman family lived in Mendocino County as they can be found on early census reports.

Do you know where I can find additional information on this family? You have referred to the Bowmans in your blog.

The name of the earlier Bowman was John A Mitchell Bowman and it was his adult children who made their home in Green Valley and other places in Mendocino County.

Thanks for any ideas you may have,


PS Do you know of any Bowman family photos ?

Yes, yes I know quite a bit about the Bowman Family, My cousin in Laytonville knows quite a bit more. I dont have any photos, but their are plenty around. Your family is famous around here. I believe that you are related to The Bowmans that were attacked by Indians in Humboldt county and then moved to Laytonville where there are many decendants. Where do you live (generally, like state, county) How familiar are you with the local bowmans?


obi ben wannabe said...

ben, thanks for the correction...
if your post is pedantic... pedant are our acknowledged authority and i am sure we all love your input.
while playing obi ben wannabe, i found reference to Killing for Land in Early California
Indian Blood at Round Valley
by Frank H. Baumgardner

Are you familiar with this book?

One thing is certain, racism and genocide were the white mans' legacy once again.

Anonymous said...


John Bowman,born in Kentucky and Eliza Durbin Bowman born in Missouri came west following the Oregon Trail in the 1850s. Most of the Durbins settled in the Sacramento Valley, but John and Eliza settled in Graton, Sonoma County, CA where John died.

In 1869, Eliza moved to Humboldt County with her children , about three miles from Fort Grant on the main Eel River; thirty miles from Hydesville.

Eliza established a cattle ranch on 160 acres there. It was at this location, with her children, that Eliza was attacked by a band of Klammath Indians. She survived her serious injury and later moved back to the Laytonville area.

I recently emailed the story "A Heroine of Humboldt County" to Ernie. This is the original story written in 1860, by Anna Morrison Reed. I was granted permission to use this information in it's entirety by Anna Morrison's grandson, John Keller, of Lafayette, CA.

I recommend that you call Mr. Richard Bowman (Bud) of Laytonville for more information. He is about 94 years of age and one of the greatest gentlemen I've had the pleasure of knowning. He has a son, Norman, living in Ukiah, a son, Andrew I believe inWyoming, and a daughter, Martha, either in Santa Rosa or Sacramento. Another great contact might be Mervin Pinches of Willits, who is a cousin.

Bud's father Andrew was the little boy in Anna Morrison's story.
Other family names were:Richard, Andrew, Hansford (Boag), Lindy, Emma, Nell, and Mary.

Good luck.
Penny Branscomb Comer

Ben said...

The attack on Mrs. Bowman and her children took place in 1869, as I recall. The marauding Indians were said to be from Redwood Creek. There is some evidence that they attacked some local Indian towns on the same foray.
In "Last of the West", Frank Asbill uses the Bowman attack as a motive for "The Last Wailaki Roundup". A raid on a town on Redwood Creek where the Beginnings Firehouse is now. The hide hunters then pursued the fleeing Indians to Island Mountain. A remarkable feat considering that the Army rarely managed a half mile before the Indians disappeared. Once again, Lynood Carranco failed to cast a suspicious eye on this purported event which Asbill reported happening about 1862, seven years before the Bowman Attack and Carranco includes it in Genocide and Vendetta without commenting on the discrepancy. This is one of my favorite bullshistory rants.
Thanks to Penny Branscomb Comer for her comments. I am often amazed at how close we are to those early days of settlement. Of course, I'm not a kid anymore myself.
OMR... Rabbit Boss is a great book, I agree.

Ernie Branscomb said...

More correspondence from Joan (Bowman Family)

I pasted a note below that I just received from my sister in law in BC Canada who is now working on the Bowman line with me and I live in San Diego County on the coast. I think, if I remember correctly, she sent me a note about Eliza Durbin Bowman, wife of Nat Bowman, who suffered an Indian attack. ( or was it a bear attack?). She included the obit of Fox Burns in her email in tonight's mail. Do you know about this? I will send it to you if you wish.

Is your cousin interested in passing on information about the Bowmans? Or, maybe he knows sources I might read.

I gave your site information to another researcher who has been collecting information on Bowmans and other collateral lines. I think that he may live up in Northern CA.

Check below for my cut and paste... I couldn't paste it where I wanted it.

It is interesting to have so many relatives in that area.
It was unpopular to be related to the local Native or Indian population.
Today people like it.
I have an obituary of Fox Burns.
Malinda A Bowman (daughter of John Nathaniel "Nate" Bowman and Eliza P.Durbin) married Rufus Wilson and their son Warren Richard Wilson married Fox Burns' daughter Virginia Burns.
I am sending it as an attachment.

From me, Ernie, to:
I am indeed glad that you have contacted me. Please stay in touch. Your family is very dear to the people of Laytonville. The story of Laytonville could not be written without the Bowman’s being mentioned prominently. Your relative Andy Bowman is in many history books. He was Elisa Bowman’s son. (She was attacked and severely wounded by an Indian attack in Hydesville Humboldt County)

An excerpt from “The Last of the West” by Frank Asbill. Just a little local “Bullshistory”:

“This day that rube came into Jones Saloon, he sashayed over to Andy. His black mustache hung down on each side of his mouth resembling some Mongolian from the Tartars. He let out a wild war-whoop claiming he was a wildcat from the big chemise, with nine kinks in his tail. He slapped Andy on the back, calling him a vile name and asked him whether he wanted to unwind the kinks, Well, to call Andy Bowman a name like that was like spitting in a cougar’s face. Andy said, “Rube you don’t mean that do you?”
Rube shouted, get up and I’ll show you whether I mean it or not!”
Andy rose to his feet, squared off, and hit Rube once. Poor old Rube landed way back under a card table, his six-shooters flew out of their holster and slid across the floor. Some one kicked them into a corner. Andy sat back down to his solitaire and finished the game.”

Yes indeed, I would indeed like a copy of Fox Burns Obit.

Thank-you, Ernie Branscomb

Ernie Branscomb said...

I started this post thinking that it would lead me to a tie-in between the Ghost Dance and the last of the White man / Indian killings.

In deference to my friend Jim Baker who is a real historian and would never utter a word that he did not know to be absolute fact, I want everybody to know that the following story is made up of hearsay and conjecture. I have no way of knowing what is truth and what is fabrication or mistaken history as so often happens. You have no idea how many versions that I have heard of the “Laytonville Pioneer Stories”. I’m only writing this with the hopes that it might add some information for someone to make a connection.

The Ghost Dance, also known as the “Big Head cult” was brought to the Cahto Indians in Laytonville in 1870. That I’m certain of, or fairly certain.

“Spyrocks Great-Great-Great Granddparents were killed by Indians at the little lake North of the Laytonville Indian reservation in 1872. The family left seven orphans that were raised by neighbors of the family, of this I’m fairly certain.

The tribal homeland was established on 200 acres of land purchased for the Cahto Tribe by missionaries in 1908. Therefore the tribe did not have a reservation in 1870. So they must have just been a loosely assembled tribe that lived in Laytonville, and they mostly lived from handouts from the white settlers. (stories from my family) The killing of Spy’s grandparents did not have had anything to do with the close proximity of the reservation, because it did not exist at the time.

If you look at the list of Indians in Mendocino County in 1928, you will see the last survivor of the “Massacre of Bloody Run", fox Burns", listed as living in Laytonville. Interestingly, you will also see “Sallie Bell” as living in Covelo. She was one of the last survivors of the Needle Rock Massacre, along with her sister(s?), She was a famous midwife in the Usal area when my Grandmother Ruby (Middleton) Branscomb was a child living in that area. Those of you who knew Fred Wolf, from the Wolf ranch in Ettersburg, he was delivered by Sallie Bell. My historian cousin Penny in Laytonville has some great history on Sallie Bell also.

Elisa Bowman was attacked by Indians in @April 2nd 1869 in Hydesville Humboldt County. That was before the “Regalia” for the Ghost Dance was brought into the area (1870). But history tells us that the Ghost dance has been around since 1869. Is it possible that the Indian people of this area knew about it as early as then?

The story that I remember, and I want to warn you here.. I know that it is probably wrong.

After a Whiteman killing in Laytonville, (Possibly Spy’s Grandparents) the Indian people were chased down and killed at Bloody Run Creek between Longvale and Dos Rios. Fox burns was found hiding in a foxhole. One of the Whiteman party picked him up and put him in a gunny sack, tied it to his saddle horn and took him to the Burns family to be raised. My mother knew him and said that she thinks that Fox was still alive when she got married in 1941. So the Horse Canyon Massacre was probably too long ago for it to be the one that fox burns was from. I find it strange that I can’t find any facts on the internet on one of the most famous massacres (Bloody Run) in Mendocino. ( My Cousin Penny who probably knows the whole true story is probably laughing her head off about now.)

My Grandmother Ruby (Middleton) Branscomb knew Fox well and used to haul firewood from my uncle Ben Branscomb’s (Penny’s Dad) mill to him. When she hauled Fox his last load, she said that she would bring some more the next week, and he replied that it was okay, and that this would be enough. “When wood gone, fox gone” he died that week. My grandmother was always amazed that he knew when he would die.

Ben said...

Ernie... There were apparently three Sally Bells. The Covelo Sallie Bell ran a gambling house.
The attack on Mrs. Bowman was at Camp Grant rather than Hydesville. I have a copy of the newspaper article.....somewhere.
I also have a copy of the Ann Morrison Reed book which I would be glad to give you if it will go to someone in the family who would like it.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thank-you for the correction Ben, I'm sure that there are many more.

Yes, I would like to read the book.

omr said...

The Mendocino War of 1859-1860 details out the war against the Yuki in round valley, previous to the later massacres of Horse Canyon or Bloody Run Creek. According to one source, the population of the Yuki was reduced from 5,000 to 300. I had read of the different forced relocation marches to the early reservations in which many died, but I was unaware that there was a Mendecino War.
Reading through the last part of the above link at all the contrary depositions given on what was going on in Round Valley, one can understand how bullshistory gets going.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I found the rest of the Mendocino County Indians for 1928. K-Z

Ernie Branscomb said...

OMR, many Indians died of Whiteman diseases, like smallpox, diphtheria etc. Some Indian People were given blankets that were disease ridden on purpose. They fed Indians meat that was laced with strychnine. A lot of Indians starved to death and died of exposure. So they didn’t round all of them up, but they killed them by other means.

Not all people were that mean and evil. A large percentage of the people back then didn’t approve of killing Indians, but they had little choice against the likes of Cattle King White, and the wealthy cattle baron land owners back then. White was kinda’ like somebody else we know, you were either with him, or against him, and being against him was a death sentence. Most people just tried to stay as low key as possible. You need to read Genocide and Vendetta, or any of the many books written about the early days. Try to stay away from books that moralize, and try to slant things. Just read a few books that tell it like it was, and try to read between the lines. The early days were not lawless, but the law was outnumbered. If you get caught up in the horror of it, you really won’t get a grasp of what, and how, it all happened.

It was in every sense of the word, Survival. You could go along with the program and live or you could die if the cattle barons decided that you were a problem, and the law was a joke.

Ernie Branscomb said...

OMR, the Mendocino war is a great link. I've read most of the writings elsewhere, but it is a great outline.

How many Indians were here originally is a matter of great dispute. But surly, the whiteman was the reason for their demise.

Anonymous said...

A little correction on a discrepancy with dates in the copy of "A Heroine of Humboldt County" written by Anna Morrison Reed, which was given to me by John Keller. The date actually read
1860s. Didn't make much sense to me since the raid was 1869.

I don't know how many Sally Bells there are, but one the Sallys that lived in Laytonville wore a 3 line tatto on her chin. Sally used to walk to Laytonville from the rancheria with 2 other Indian women holding hands as one of the ladies was blind, according to Clinton Wilson. They stopped by the hotel to see the judge, (Clinton's grandfather) with their papers from the Bureau of Indian Affairs when they came to town for supplies. In looking at another Sally Bell photo there was no tatto. This explains why! there were lots of Sallys. There's also the Sally who supposedly knew of a treasure in a cave somewhere on the coast.

Fox Burns was a baby/young child during the Bloody Run Massacre and the accounts of how he hid or came back to town change somewhat with each story. He fared well after the massacre living a good life with the whites in the valley. He was a true legend to many people; highly appreciated and loved by all. Though he got himself into some trouble and spent some time in prison, the community defended the crime. Fox still has grandchildren residing at the Laytonville Reservation. Ask any old timer about Fox and their eyes sparkle.

My aunt told stories of Bloody Run. Her dad's family, the Poes actually brought children back from those raids too. I know that the Tracy or Smith family raised one little boy but he died after getting into the granery and eating too much grain. They were so sorrowful.

Ern: there wasn't actually a reservation in Laytonville in the 1800s. They had their encampment on the Cahto flat on Branscomb Road, Laytonville. There is a great photo of it in our first book. The encampment was there well before Simpson and Smith came in from Fort Bragg and began a town there. The main trail into Branscomb, Cahto or Fort Bragg from this side came over the hill from Willits via Sherwood over the ridge. The Indians traveled that route to the Cahto site. Earlier than the Cahto site was the Wilderness Lodge area and far more small camps dotted through the hills from the mud springs beyond the Black Oak Ranch area. Dangit' I love this part of history.


Ernie Branscomb said...

Penny, Thank-you. You have no idea how much I appreciate your involvement in my little Ghost chasing adventure.

I know that most of what I know can't be right. Just as you questioned how they wrote the book before it happened. But, I was told that Eliza Bowman lived in Hydesville at about the location of the fire house. It makes more sense to me now that Ben tells me she lived in Camp Grant. I always wondered why she didn't run to Eureka, now I know.

Did you think, as I did, that Fox Burns was from the Bloody Run massacre? And do you have any dates on that? I confess that I loaned your books to somebody and I can't refer to them right now.

Also, if you sent me a copy of "A Heroine of Humboldt County", I didn't recieve it.

olmanresearcher said...

Ben... i "think" i found the source for the first white man in Round Valley story: Page 22: "An unpublished account of the first white man in Round Valley, stated by Albert Brown who grew up in Round Valley among Yuki children and who could speak the language fluently." i think you will like the excerpts listed on that site 19. Miller, Virginia P. "The Yuki: An Ethnological Approach."1963.

Ernie...a gracious response to my email--thank you.
You are so right on the estimated number of Yukis before the whites, up to 15-20 thousand at the top end.

In this version of Genocide and Vendetta the Horse Canyon Massacre involved Wailakis:
In 1861 a band of Wailaki succeeded in obtaining rifles and becoming proficient in their use. They became known as the "Gun Indians." In September of 1861 these Wailaki attacked the settlers in Round Valley, killing a large number of horses and cattle. In retaliation the settlers attacked a Wailaki village at Horse Canyon, killing 240 Wailaki, including many women and children. This massacre became known as the Blood Run Creek massacre because so many Indians were killed that the creek became red with the blood of the victims."

Elsewhere they are Yukis at Horse Canyon "In May
1859, Round Valley settlers avenged the killing of a single prize stallion with the
slaughter of 240 Yuki" (Carranco and Beard, 1981, pp 64–65, 82).

The Wailakis claim 120 of theirs were killed.

As you said is strange that an event of this magnitude is so swept under the rug of history and hard to research. History recalls the 240 killed at Sand Creek, Colo....but not the Horse Canyon 240. Wailakis or Yuki?

Great story about Fox Burns.

omr said...

Beg pardon, the 240 Yukis referred to in 1859 were not located in that citation as being at Horse Canyon.

omr said...

"Browne summed up his observation of the reservation system in the 1850s as follows: "A very large amount of money was annually expended in feeding white men and starving Indians ... In the brief period of six years they have been nearly destroyed by the ... government. What neglect, starvation and disease have not been done, has been achieved by the co-operation of the white settlers in the great work of extermination."

Kym said...

Wow, I missed out on a great thread. Thanks you guys for doing all that research!

spyrock said...

according to katie mayo my great great grandma kauble died of a broken heart shortly after her husband died. this was in 1872.
according to bert norris in katies book pioneering in the shadow of cato mountain, berts grandmother was the niece of jackson farley. in 1857 farley settled in long valley. he brought a palomino stallion to breed with the local mustangs. the eventual killing of this horse by marauding MODOC INDIANS
brought about the terrible battle of bloody run which later became known as bloody run creek a few miles east of longvale on the covelo road. "Deposition of Jackson Farley before investigating committee on Indian Affairs to effect that he and other settlers in Long Valley have lost horses and cattle. He claims $3000 worth. Says he is Captain of volunteer company who go out to punish stock thefts and have killed between 150-200 Indians and taken 22 prisoners. Says the settlers need protection. Written at Round Valley, February 26, 1860."
bert norris's cousin olive koch married john bowman and had 3 children, connie, barbara and robert. the first norris ranch was next door to jackson farleys ranch. in a picture of the farley family reunion there are several bowmans. i'm not sure if this john bowman is bud bowmans brother or uncle or not but he probably is. as bud's mom was a pinchess. then you have the two old timers indirectly related to jackson farley.
john kauble was constable in 1862 which was two years after farleys request to the state for reimbursement. john was justice of the peace in 1868/69. part of his job was helping the soldiers when they took indians to the round valley reservation. my mother told me that he had been killed by indians before she died. my cousins told me that grandma laura told them that she had to hide out in bushes for a long time when they were attacked by indians when she was a little girl. she also told them that she was part indian and because her mother was a midwife and her father a sherrif she might have been adopted. she died back in the 50's when it still wasn't popular to claim that you were part indian.
there seems to be some confusion as to who the indians were in the bloody run creek. the horse canyon story and the jackson farley story both use the name bloody run creek. kato said they were modocs but foxie burns who later became friends with andy bowman was probably more local.
klamath indians that attacked the bowmans usually hung out in oregon above the modocs. they were the usual suspects in those days and enemies of each other. so this bullshistory is probably more pc than blaming the local indians.

spyrock said...

so katie says that the klamath attacked the bowman family up in humboldt county in 1869. the modocs left the klamath reservation for good in 1870, the modoc war starting in 1872. so its possible that the klamath or modoc came down to raid long valley as katie mayo says. it seems that after the ghost dance came to california, local indian resistance was at its height. so
it probably wasn't a safe time to be a lawman.

omr said...

spyrock thanks so much for all that...good research!

olmanriver said...

Here is an account of
Camp Wright, near Covelo and how the army vied with the Indian agency during the 1860's. Another part of the story to be told. As part of the changes made in 1864..."On the superintendent's recommendation, the fort's garrison was enlarged with a company of California Native Cavalry." There is a story there.
This is the military museum's page on the California Indian wars for access to stories from other parts of California.

omr said...

spyrock, i loved your input... i just found this reference to the 1859 event here... "Eel River, 1859. After local Indians stole about 600head of cattle and killed 19 white settlers, a group of ranchers from Laytonville claimed to have killed 283 men and taken 292 prisoners to the Mendocino Reservation."

omr said...

and here in a ukiah daily journal thread is another version where jarboe is claiming those same statistics: "The Eel River Rangers were disbanded in January 1860. In his final report Jarboe estimated that in less than five months he fought the Indians "23 times, killed 283 warriors, the number of wounded was not known, took 292 prisoners, sent them to the reservation."
it is confusing seeing how many unclear versions are circulating.

omr said...

Bertha Cook tells us of Ruby the young teen, another survivor of bloody run (with a happier ending).
"Jack Farley was an old Indian hunter. He had one room and that was onto the main house and that was his. He had his fireplace and that's where he lived. He ate with the rest of them but he lived there and on either side of the fireplace above the mantle was an Indian scalp. And he had a couple of chairs, these rawhide chairs, hickory, lace bottom and that was laced with the Indian hides. Indian skins. We kids would go there and listen to him tell stories. He was the one that killed all those Indians at the massacre of Bloody Run. At the time they captured a young girl. She was only 13 or 14. So they didn't know what to do with her. You've heard them speak about the Baechtolds. Sam & Mark Baechtold. Mark was the one that lived on the hill. He told them to bring her to his place and he would raise her and see that she got her schooling. He sent her to school and she learned to be a good cook. She was just a wonderful cook and sewer. A seamstress. At the time the Baechtolds came in here they had a friend named Dave Woodland. He was a bachelor. Do you know, he came and married that Indian girl. Later on they had a little girl but the Indian died in childbirth. This Dave, he raised the little girl. He'd farm her out to one person for awhile and then another. So many people had raised her. She and I got to be quite chums. She was an awfully bright girl. After Dr. Burns came here, she took a liking to Ruby and took her under her arm. She sold the drugstore here and moved back to San Francisco so she talked Ruby's father into letting her go with her. And she finished her schooling with Dr. Burns. Afterwards she married a lawyer and they lived at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco and she always said, "I wouldn't want to see a child's mother taken from her, but if anything happened to a child, I want to raise her." Her husband's brother got married and his wife passed away in childbirth and Ruby got to raise the little girl. --Bertha Cook-"

spyrock said...

i can see that you are hooked on this stuff right now so i will relate what katie mayo had to say about uncle jack. i say uncle jack because he was a distant uncle to many of the laytonvillians.
jack was born in virginia in 1804. they moved to missorui when he was 18. according to bert norris, jack came to california as a jayhawker in 1848. he was with the donner party as far as reno and after trying to convince them to turn south they split up and came into the san joaquin valley near fresno. they came across a prize cow of a spanish don which they ate and the don made them work off the price of the animal before he allowed them to leave. (bad karma)
uncle jack liked the gold and spent some time trying to strike it rich in hangtown (placerville} sort of near dove, and trinity county. he settled in mendocino at long valley in 1857.
farley was commonly referred to as uncle jack and was known throughout northern california as an indian fighter, government scout and ranger. he always refered to his gun as ole meat in the pot and he never went anywhere without it or his old shepard dog which saved his life many times. after outliving 3 wives, he was buried right next to his dog at 104 years of age in 1908. bert norris was also related to the manchester who has the town named after him on the coast and the orr's who had the hot spring near ukiah.
so uncle jack was probably looked at as a hero to most people during his life and for sometime after. and some people say that people loved george white back in those days because he could buy anything he wanted and spread his money around whereever he went. so its real hard to judge these characters from the past according to todays standards. it was a different world. the amazing thing is that an indian girl survived and made it to the palace hotel. which just proves what could happen with just a little bit of lovin.

omr said...

so well spoken, again, spyrock.

olmanriver said...

As tempting as it is to leave this here, I want to steer history lovers to When the GREAT SPIRIT Died, the Destruction of the California Indian 1850-1860 by William Secrist. It is a good book on the topic. There is a chapter on Jarboe, and Farley Jackson makes the back cover of the book for an interview published in the Examiner headlined read "This man has scalped more Indians than any other person livng on this coast, and has the trophies to prove the fact".

As you said Spyrock, the locals viewed him as a hero...I found mention of an early school district named after him.

That last story of the young survivor is a great example of good coming from bad huh? Acts of kindness rarely make the history books, but I have come across many references to ranchers testifying that they never had trouble with the natives. Mention is made of an Armstrong living alone with 600 head of cattle on the southfork of the Eel, 40 miles from any neighbor, who never was attacked.

Thanks for the location of the Bloody Run Creek Incident. I had labored on an internet search and only come up with willis ridge as a locator. Today when I got a Mendo Map I could an Indian Creek as a tributary coming down into the Eel from the east side of Brusby Mountain. ?

I tried to find a copy of the Kate Mayo book at a bookstore in Laytonville today. (LOL!)
but I did score at the Museum in Willits.

omr said...

page 6 of Through the Eyes of the Elders Vol II tells us "The Burns, Wilson and Poe families of Long
Valley were three local families who rescued children orphaned by these wars between the settlers and the Indians. The children were raised as their own children and were given their family names. These children wer well treated by the settler families and were well liked by their communities".

omr said...

Two pictures of Fox Burns on page 9(Through the Eyes of the Elders), one of which is in a tan bark camp with Sally Poe Branscomb and Ed Branscomb, and others.

omr said...

I am sure it would be better form to make one long report, but I am having too much fun.
On page 112 we find Ed Downing recounting his grandfathers participation in Bloody Run: "...The Indians had taken some horses from different places around the valley, so some of the locals hunted them down and found them near a river. The white folk chased the Indians and shot them while they were on the bluffs of a cliff overhanging the creek. They shot the Indians because they were stealing horses and shooting their arrows into the cows milk bags. The creek where they were killed at is now called Bloody Run Creek."

omr said...

crikey, this is the motherlode...
the whole orginal transcript by anna reed, 1860's of the Bowman story, page 42 of volume III with a great photo.
Ernie you must know of these books?

omr said...

"According to Ed, they killed about 15 that day" (Bloody Run Creek) page 112, volume II

olmanresearcher said...

aha, last page, Penny Branscomb Comer... Elder Project Coordinator...Thanks, Penny!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yes OMR I'm well aware of those books. Those are the ones that I said that I don't have available to me right now. Were you able to get all three copies?

As you might guess, our family is quite proud of Penny. I will be seeing her next week-end.

I have Kate Mayo's book. I will make a copy for you I appreciation for all of your great research.

Ernie Branscomb said...

OMR, in one of the links that you sent me that had the references to the Lovejoys, Culls, Lockharts, Elders, That lived on the upper south Fork of the Eel. I ran into a lot of references to the Coles That Kym might be interested in. I need to do some more research but this darn career that I have keeps getting in my way.

Until I see you again, thank-you!!!

olmanriver said...

Penny, these are wonderful history stories... pardon my not knowing the titles to your books before.
Are they available anywhere other than the Chevron station in Laytonville?

omr said...

dang we are typing at the same time Ernie... I got em today at the chevron in laytonville. They didn't have volume 1.

Robin Shelley said...

I wrote a term paper about some local (Laytonville) history when I was a junior in high school in 1973. Katie Mayo was working on her book then & didn't have much time to help me personally but she put me on to a few interesting & helpful people, one of whom was Bert Norris. Mr. Norris & his wife seemed very glad to receive me as their guest for an afternoon & it was an afternoon I doubt I will ever forget. Besides making me feel very comfortable & welcome at their "summer trailer" on the Shamrock Ranch south of Laytonville by plying me with lemonade & regaling me with stories about Andrew Jackson Farley & others, Mr. Norris showed me many fabulous pictures, family papers & newspaper articles, some in the form of slides which he projected on a screen. Toward the end of our visit he told me he had a newspaper article that he would show me if I promised not to mention it in my paper as he & his family were not particularly proud of it. He told me it was "horrible" & I realize now that he was concerned about the impact such a thing might have on an impressionable young girl but I also think he may have felt obligated to show it to me as a way of helping me comprehend the nature of Andrew Jackon Farley. Mr. Norris was far better prepared for my visit than I was & he clearly did not want to romanticize Farley's deeds. I also think he didn't want the general public knocking on his door! I solemnly promised not to write about it, whatever it was, & Mr. Norris showed me a slide of a newspaper article with a photograph of Andrew Jackson Farley outside his cabin sitting on a chair made of tanned Indian "hide" with a single line full of Indian scalps hanging behind him. I had heard the awful stories beforehand but to this day, I do not have the words to describe how I felt when I saw that picture.
Unfortunately, I do not remember the date or which newspaper it was (though I think it may have been a San Francisco paper) but I know it exists.
The article was favorable to Andrew Jackson Farley (who is buried on the Shamrock Ranch, Spy) & his "Indian hunting" but my & Mr. Norris' opinion of it were not. Farley's savagery & celebration in killing Indian people went beyond protecting life or defending property & the souvenirs he chose & the methods necessary to form & preserve them descends into madness. I believe he was what is commonly known today as a serial killer.

Nick El Nucomer said...

Robin, thanks. Out of respect for Ernie and local sensitivities I, a newcomer, didnt want to go into too many details about Jackson Farley. But you have gone where I wanted to.
The newspaper clipping was in the SF Examiner, as referenced in When the Great Spirit Died by William Secrest: "'Uncle Jack' insisted to the reporter that he never killed any Indians, but had 'stopped' a good many. The newsman was startled when the old man showed him a collection of nearly, plus a razor strop and a chair made from 'Indian' hide". pg 309
Elsewhere...'The laconic Jackson Farley was more subtle in reporting an attempt to punish some Indian stock thieves. When the Indian agent didn't give him satisfaction, Farley took a posse out. 'Those Indians are there yet', he bragged, 'They are not killing any stock now that I know of.'" pg. 306
As we have mentioned here, he was a local hero to many; and as you have pointed out, not everyone local approved of him. The hide chair and number of scalps is a bit Hannibal Lectorish for me, viewing him through modern eyes.

nick said...

nearly 50 is the number of scalps

Anonymous said...

"Through The Eyes Of The Elders" vol. I has once again been reordered. I will place full sets in Geiger's Long Valley Market and Chevron when Vol 1 arrives, and will deliver more to Ernie in Garberville as he's been after me for some time. Other places for the books are Leaves of Grass in Willits and Mendocino Book Co. in Ukiah.

It pleases me that you are enjoying this history. I'm certain that segments are somewhat bullshit, too, but with the ages of the persons interviewed we are fortunate to have anything for the record. Please understand too that I worked with middle and high school students publishing these stories, so much of the reading is very rough due to the intent of capturing his/her personality. The elders were proud and excited knowing that their knowledge would be documented.

Jackson Farley truly was an Indian hater and had to be a horrid, inhumane/insane person. My aunt's stories relating to her family and Farley's raids were so horrible that I could not print the information in the elder books. I'm certain what she shared was the truth.


Nick el Nucomer said...

Thanks Penny! Your work with the elders is soooooo inspiring.
Pardon my irrepressible namepunster.
Your project is a model for what needs to be done everywhere, in my opinion.
As Ernie was saying, probably for every farley jackson there were X times as many good people, neighbors who helped the survivors of the cruelty. people who had to keep quiet and get along and survive. There was mention of one of jarboe's rangers quitting to protest the over-kill. Thanks for sharing your not sharing some details. Sally Bell's story of hiding in the bushes is another one of those you don't want to hear all the details.
As you say, preserving the flavor, and voice of your elders was a priority. The stories flesh out the details of history's sparse accounting in a wonderful way.

omr said...

Ben... you mentioned that the original bullet riddled plaque where asbill overlooked Round Valley had been replaced. An article in Mother Jones on the Bear Lincoln trial said: ' Not long ago, members of the local Indian population pasted their own legend on top of the official one: "A Brief History of the Round Valley Area: 1853-1874. White settlers, instead of bypassing the valley, as ordered by D.C., eliminated 11,600 of 12,000 native people and stole their land." '

omr said...

Historians may appreciate reading about the legacy of Judge Hastings in Eden Valley as told by Bruce Andersonin Counterpunch. Between Bruce's article and one of Kym's links on the Eel River Rangers, we find out that it was H.L. Hall, Hastings foreman that headed up the 1859 slaughter of 240Yukis.

omr said...

On page 119 of Killing for Land by Frank Baumgardner Captain Charles Bourne is named as the the leader of "the party responsible for the locally infamous Horse Creek Canyon massacre,"in the fall of 1861.

omr said...

Robin- I don't think anyone acknowledged your powerful experience and comments. Thanks for sharing about your interview.

Robin Shelley said...

Thank you, omr. You are a wealth of information & I appreciate you sharing so many sources.

Robin Shelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin Shelley said...

Now that you mention it, Nick, I remember that old man Farley was holding a razor strop across his knees (higher on one side, I believe) in that picture. Is the picture in the book or does Secrest just reference it?
Thanks for all your info, too.

nick el manriver said...

Hey Robin...sorry not to get back to you, didn't know this was still going. Secrest does not have the picture in the book, but references the reporter from the Examiner having been shown the razor strap.
I sort of hit a wall on researching after getting a bunch of new books from the museum in Willets. I had the privilege of meeting Ben who gave me some more leads. I was really trying to turn up some references on the spyrocks Traubles and Simmerly teachers. there was a book on school districts in the Willits museum but the kid in the candy shop didn't remember to look for the teachers there.
Ernie took me on GoogleEarth and placed some of the stories on the map for me...that was a big help and way fun.

I think it is important to honor the 150 the sesqui?centennial of the Mendocino-Indian Wars by sharing all this history, as sparse as it is. The family history and ethnography studies have peopled the land for me in a good way and enriched my appreciation of the area. Whilst a few of the worst of the killers have gotten our attention for their depravity, there were a lot of public voices in the pulpit and press preaching extinction and that it was just fate that the Indians were dying off. White racism was rampant.
One little sideproject to grow out of this is my wish to see that the Cahtos have a good Native American library, if they want one.

Robin Shelley said...

May I ask what it is you do that could help the Cahto tribe get a library, Nick? That would be a wonderful thing & I can't imagine that anyone would turn it down. Are you from that area? Sorry if I've missed something in other posts you've already said.

omr said...

hi robin, no i am from north of your neck of the woods... a few hundred bucks towards a few native american library books would be easy for me.
i met a woman from laytonville who said she can hook me up with an elder. again, i want to ask them if that is something they would want to help preserve their history a little. i just don't want to be a white guy imposing something on 'em.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yes Robin, I was remiss in not thanking you for your contribution. Also I would be very remiss in not thanking OMR for his research, and his concern.

History is heart wrenching in many ways, for all sides, and all people. Sometimes you want to do the right thing, but nothing will change history.

I agree with OMR's thoughts, we can only began from here, we can't go back.

Robin Shelley said...

I don't live in Laytonville anymore, omr, or else I would help you. Perhaps Penny Comer (pronounced with a long o, by the way, as in co-worker) might be willing to help or knows someone who can. Good luck & keep me/us posted. Thanks.

omr said...

I found this anonymous entry on a different thread and thought we ought to get these books onto this one... "Has anyone read either of the 2 other books that cover much of the same material? They're entitled "The Story of the Stolen Valley," by Rena Lynn and "The Saga of Round Valley: The Last of the West," by John E. Keller? "

Ernie Branscomb said...

No, I don't have them. A lot of these books are going out of print and are getting hard to find.

Anonymous said...

Check at the Held Poage and Grace Hudson Museum for books by John Keller. Last I was there, I saw a lot of small books by Keller. This man knew it all. John was 99 a couple of years ago when I last heard from him. He wrote much information about Covelo and Ukiah. His great friend was Bud Bowman and he loved telling about Bud's dad.

Martha Bowman said...

I just love running across topics about my family. I am Martha Bowman. My father is Richard “Bud” Bowman. My grandfather was Andy Bowman. I have heard many of these stories over and over again. Many things I have read go with the stories I have been told, some do not. I will check in now and again to catch up. If I may provide any information, please let me know.

Sara said...

Everyone in this country has had freedom of religion ...except Native Americans