Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thank you Olmanriver.

Olmanriver


I think you know that Estle Beard is one of my heroes. Without the book Genocide and Vendeta I wouldn’t have been able to put together the many verbal tales of the settling of the Long Valley and Round Valley into a cohesive story that finally made sense to me. His book dotted the “I” and crossed the “T”. for me.

About midway through the book, it hit me how horribly brutal the settlement of the west was. Just like many nouveau students of north coast history I wondered, why didn’t they just leave the Indian people alone. So I dug through the information that I already knew about my own folks migration west. Many of my own family was killed by Indians on their way to California. My 3G grandfather Cull and his son being among them. I also had a group of relatives that were attacked in Arizona on their way to California, only in that attack they were the survivors. It was my grandfather Middleton that had the Indian sneak down his chimney in the middle of the night. I’ve heard many fabled stories about that.

All of my relatives on my fathers side originate in California in the 1850’s. My 4G Grandfather Benjamin Taylor was a wagon master that brought the Branscombs to California. He owned a ranch in Sonoma County. My 3ggrandfather Benjamin Branscomb worked a ferry in the Marysville area. Then moved to Sonoma county and started a dairy that sold milk to the booming San Francisco area. Only later did they move to Branscomb California and build the small town with their wealth that they accumulated in Sonoma.

Once the migrants headed to California their die was cast. There was no turning back. The further west they came, the more persistent the Indian attacks on the migrants were. At some point the migrants were past the point of no return. They couldn’t turn back to civilization and make it home, and their desperation began. They had to make it to California, where they felt that there would be safety in numbers.

The safety in numbers that they sought turned out to be blood thirsty miners fighting over gold claims. The “civilization” turned out to be disease ridden filth, with little or no organization. The law was mostly by mob rule. ALL of my family members HAD to leave the Sacramento Valley to live. They had no choice.

Not everybody came to California for gold. They had heard about the great fertile land that could grow crops year around. By the 1850s most of the Sacramento Valley was being ranched, and farmed, by thugs and big time thieves and racketeers. Even the great John Sutter had a brutal and shady side to him. My family chose to move to the Laytonville area, to drive their stake and build themselves a life. They had ever reason to believe that the pony soldiers were going to keep the peace.

Little did they know that the very peace that they expecting from the pony soldiers turned out to be quite the opposite. In the attempt the round up the Indian people and put them on reservations, they only scattered them and caused mass starvation amongst them. The Indian people were hungry and bitter. Just like any human will, they turned against the white man and they felt that eating their cattle and horses was inarguably justified. The settlers needed their cattle for survival. Few settlers were in the class of the great cattle barons of the Sacramento Valley. They had what we would nowadays call an old MacDonald farm. The had a few chickens, they had a milk cow, a pig, and maybe a horse or two. The more successful of them had a few head of cattle that they hoped would bring them some prosperity. A few of those were people like Jack Farley, Jeremiah Lambert and Bob Poe.

When Jack Farley brought the high bred horses from Indiana to California he expected to breed and sell them to make his fortune. The people of Long Valley petitioned the Government for protection against Indian depredations. It was about that time that the pony soldiers left, almost completely, to fight the Civil war. Jack Farley and the ranchers of Round Valley were left with little or no protection. Without doing something about the Indian depredation they would have to leave the country. There would be no surviving without their animals and safety. After petitioning the government with little or no response they organized a group to force the Government hand in protecting them. The government authorized groups like the Eel River Rangers to round up the Indian people and put them on reservations. The Rangers only drove the poor Indian people into worse desperation. They fled in mass to the Long Valley, were they had in the past been treated fairly by the local ranchers.

Coincidently to the local Indian people showing up in Long Valley, a group of marauding Modoc Indians showed up from the north. The Indians banded together and started killing the cattle from local ranches. They killed Jack Farley’s horses. He he had most of his money tied up in them. That formed the mindset that the ranchers had to protect themselves. They took the group that they had already formed. They went after the Indians that had driven the horses to Horse Canyon. The Indians had killed the horses and were busy cutting up the meat when Farley and his group found them. There is rumors that I have heard that the ranchers killed hundreds of Indians. If that was true there would have had to have been far more ranchers than the four or five that have been named. There are still many inconsistencies. Among them, the date that this all happened. I have heard many dates, and I’m sure that it happened in the early 1860’s but I’ve never heard an exact date.

I believe that it must have been like the statement from Olmanrivers article said. “I can imagine Uncle Jack on seeing this--I'll bet he had red crosses in both of his eyes”. They started killing the Indians, at first with no remorse, then soon they started dreading the killing, but they went on to kill most of them. At some point they lost their stomach for the fight. They took the remainder of the Indians to the reservation in Covelo and took the babies home with them and raised them as their own children.

I have heard stories that some of the ranchers suffered great remorse for what they had done, but most steadfastly agreed that they had no choice. I also heard that Jack Farley became a great friend of the “Good Indians” and they had taught him their “Medicine”.

This is a compilation of the stories that I have heard and I have told it much as I heard it. Without justification or comment. I made the statement that the historical accounting was as: “The following story is just the fuzzy recollections of a person recalling stories about Uncle Jack.” To some, it was probably one of the best accounting of what really happened. But, I’ve heard many, many stories. Some much more brutal than this telling, and some that claim the Bloody Run was much exaggerated.

With the great respect that I have for Oldmanriver, I still put the story in the category of “one more story”. But, I want to hear all of them. I have deep gratitude for the research that River has done for the Indian People and my family, and the whole Eel River Valley. His research has been far more important to me than even Estle Beard. River has found deep truths, that I would have never have known without him. I most especially want to thank him for the great and kind things that he has done for the local Indian People. Some of us have the great privilege of knowing him personally. All I can say is you would like him. He walks the walk.

36 comments:

kymk said...

Don't you think the lessons we can all learn from incidents like Bloody Run are not:

They were bad and did bad things

OR

We are good and would do better

OR

They couldn't help themselves it was what they were forced to do economically

But rather when faced with times now when we feel justified in doing things that harm others, we need to step back from our financial interest(ie survival) and ask what is the humane way to react here?

omr said...

Thanks Ernie. Given some of my posts, I sorta cringe at accolades.

I think that you articulated your position very well.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Kym
It's good to have thoughts like that, but we all look at things like they have simple solutions. We are great swimmers, but that doesn't count when we are caught up in a flood. It's sometimes hard to remember that you set out to drain the swamp when you are up to your ass in alligators.

We are doing the same thing in the world today, we are killing the people that are trying to harm us, whether they are justified or not. The people that are trying to kill us would surly do that if they were given the chance. Does it make any difference whether they are right or wrong? Should we all just lay down our weapons? I don't think the solution to the way people think is an easy one. Religious differences are non-negotiable, and it is proven that appeasement never works. What is left?

Ernie Branscomb said...

omr
I think that everybody has a serious side and a light side. Just becuase you get a little "lighter" than others doesn't mean that your work shouldn't be taken seriuosly.

In my world it works or it doesn't, and if you can hit it with a hammer it's real. Your work passes all my tests.

Ryan Burns said...

Ernie, check out this week's Journal, on newsstands tomorrow, for a fascinating explanation of the motive behind the Indian Island massacre and associated killings. Once you've read Jerry Rohde's story, the characterization of Indians as savage marauders attacking Old MacDonald's Farm doesn't quite wash, in that particular case.

And did I misread your response to Kym above, or are you comparing Native Americans to Islamic terrorists?

Ernie Branscomb said...

"did I misread your response to Kym above, or are you comparing Native Americans to Islamic terrorists?"

Ryan, thank-you for pointing that out. No, I wasn't comparing the American Indian to an islamic terrorist. (now watch me dig myself a deeper hole)

My refereence was from the standpoint of what we are doing, and how we are justifying killing other people, and how we are still doing it today. We justify killing people whether for need, greed, or survival. Maybe we could act otherwise, maybe not.

olmanriver said...

Hey, Ern.... that ain't Estle Beard...I wuz wrong again. Reading it again, a clue was right there all along: "On his way out he found a ledge of quartz, just full of gold. He broke off several chunks-and put them in his saddle bag. We had a piece at the ranch when I was a kid." Doesn't this seem like it really might be a nephew of Jack Farley? I will find out eventually, as I said.

So, having failed to impress one steeped in the the bullshistory of Long Valley, I had to drive there and attempt to get the real scoop from the legendary LV researcher, Ms. Penny C. First let me say that it was obvious why her autograph would be worth than a mere Penelope Cruz...suz was utterly right, again. (I didn't get her autograph this first time, but I did get her email and that is pretty cewl .
Anyway, it was great to meet the force behind that Elder series, and another LV Indian lore keeper. As she said, there must be thirty versions of the Fox Burns.

The "new" children's education room at the Cahto rancheria, complete with partly filled brand new bookshelves on every wall, is about to open next week. The process of swapping donated books out for Indian children books is an ongoing process, but they have an impressive Indian library already.

Penny was very helpful in confirming that there were more pictures of the Cahto than were used in 'her' books, and where to find them. I have a goal to have a picture gallery at the Rancheria, and have started it with a number of laminated pictures of Cahto from anthropological sources, or Curtis.
It was inspiring to share with Penny today and I hope I inspired her too!

Just another day on the history trail...

Ernie Branscomb said...

Olmanriver
No need to apologize. “Uncle Jacks” “nephew” clearly credited Estle Beard with filling some holes in the information that he had.

All of the old-timers would give you what they were told was the truth, then they would tell you about “what they heard” growing up in the Valley, then they would tell you about all the stuff that they knew was a lie. Then they would tell you who you couldn’t believe, and who might be telling the truth. Being a kid in Laytonville was exciting times!

The story about the gold nugget is legend. It might interest you to know that there is a HUGE iron-pyrite deposit on the Farley ranch. Now, I’m not saying that the “nugget” was fools gold, but I would have to see it to believe it. Like I say, being a kid in Laytonville was exciting times. Have fun running down the nugget story! I understand that old Farley had a fairly good sense of humor.

Ben said...

Ernie.. I't's hard for me to write about all this.It kind of wears me out.
There were lots of upstanding, church going, hard working families among the settlers. We tend to pass over them and find the horrors like Farley. The odd thing is that we then tend to lump all these people together as "survivors".
The intention of the Army was to move the Indians on to reservations. The intention of the Militias was to "clean them out".
In the 1850s and 60s, the newcomer white settler had to have some money in order to buy gunpowder and provisions. There were only two ways to get money and they were deer hides for the leather industry and Indian children. Close to the north end of Long Valley lived a fellow named George Woodman. He was a notorious slaver and was once arrested in Ukiah with a wagon load of children. Laytonville did not yet exist but the trail south was a route the slavers used to take children to the Californios and ranchers further south. Lucy Young, in her story, tells of being carried off in this well organized system. In Long Valley she escaped her captors but not before being told by some Indian women that the slavers brought many children that way.
The Spanish Californios had practiced slavery for generations in the areas where they had land grants and Hopland was the northernmost Spanish land grant in our area. The Barreyessas were notorious raiders in the Clear Lake area. The Kelseys were also associated with slaving and were part of the party "discovering" Round Valley.
We have come to despise slavery and it is hard for us to see that it was a part of the culture back then.
To force people to work without compensation and to prevent their escape is slavery and it was a common practice all over Northern California including Long Valley.

spyrock said...

27 men got the medal of honor for another massacre at wounded knee and the only thing the indians were guilty of there was dancing the ghost dance. so by comparison, uncle jack had plenty of justification with all those pretty horses and cattle being killed. and who knows if it wasn't captain jack, the other side of the coin, that killed all those animals and made it look like the locals did it. i've read that the modoc raided as far south as clear lake in those days. some say foxy burns looked like a modoc.
the fact is that prior to the civil war there were people called abolishionists. one of my ancestors, big george, operated a station on the underground railroad. but most americans in those days believed in slavery and many had been slaves themselves. this wasn't just a southern thing. big george lived in jackson, county ohio. named after guess who. good ole andrew.
pro slavers burned down his school and museum full of dinosaur bones and indian artifacts. it's also a fact that many of the early california pioneers were from the south or southern sympathizers. they believed in slavery and the local indians were their cheap labor force. however, this cheap labor thing is still going on at the present moment. not much has changed in 150 years.
there is always a choice that people can make about what action they take. john macain wrote a book called, "why courage matters" and big george is one of the chapters.
there's a man in afganistan right now building schools for children in the most remote corners of the country. he requires that girls be allowed to go to school as well or he won't build the school. his book 3 cups of tea is required reading for all u s military in afganistan. general mcchrystal was just on tv apologizing to the afghans for killing a bunch of civilians because he has read this book. the afghans are a tribal society much like the american indians. many of them still ride horses but instead of bows and arrows, they have old russian ak47's. their language is very similiar to athbaskan. and many people say that the american indian originated from central asia and the horse riding mongol hordes like those of ghengis khan. one of the most remote states where the kirgish horsemen live is called the wakan. just like good ole wakan tanka of the lakota. instead of buffalo, they have marco polo sheep. i've met the guy who wrote 3 cups of tea. he's the most humble guy i have ever met. a very good example of what a real man really is.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ben
I think that you have a pretty good feeling as to what motivated the early settlers, but I think that you give them to much credit for being fine upstanding people mixed in with the bad. I believe anybody that was in the Eel River Canyon was pretty much a hard-case, and would have done anything that they thought needed to be done. I have seen evidence of them being reluctant to kill the Indian people, but it is also self evident that they did.

Olmanriver is getting tired of my repeated cliches, but I thing that any clear thinking person would agree with me. “We live in one small bubble in all of place and time where peace is thought of as ideal. We should revel in it!'

Ernie Branscomb said...

Spy
I wish that more people could see things as clearly as you do, and put them into a real context. I know that your family is on all sides of the Indian Masacres, Indian and white, yet you can clearly see the mistakes made in an honest assesment.

You are right about the tough as nails Modoc Indians being the final straw that precipitated the killings.

olmanriver said...

Well said Ben. Some documentation for everything you said about slavery in Long Valley may be found at the bottom of this thread.
Woodman's next stop after Long Valley was the Alderpoint/Dobbyns Creek area, near Ft. Seward, which was described as being heavily seccessionist by the military who were briefly stationed there in 1862.
And seconding spy, pro-slavery attitudes were also found in men from the northern states, our area has a prominent example.

There is an account in the entry in the above link about Robert White of Cahto fame, going out to retrieve Indians taken from the Mendocino Reservation by Spanish slavers in the mid 1850's.




Ernie, I was only tired of that one phrase. If i get tired of one of your cliches, I will try and out-cliche you. No worries.


And hurray for your final sentiments Mr. E, what a beautiful relatively peaceful bubble we have. Give thanks.

suzy blah blah said...

Religious differences are non-negotiable,

-Suzy'll have to agreee to disagree with ya Ernie, my mom taught us to
embrace all religons as one. She taught us the bibble as well as the
bagavegeata and the e ching and the medicine wheel etc. but i also don't
wanna get 2 heavy hear cuz spring is near and the light returneth and
like my dad used 2 say, 'spring brings optimism hope and baseball'... He taught us kids 2 maintain a positive outlook and not avoid an ugly truth. So i just wanna say that as has been said before --the white man had intellect while the indian possessed wisdom. That imho is so cuz the white man disconnected from his roots of wisdom when he expanded his
horizons westward to the new world and then pushing further west to CA 4
gold etc. he may have totally lost it all together i don't know but it's
gotten pretty ugly and it's yet 2 be seen what a fool and his greed 4
power will do.

suzy blah blah said...

continued-
i can only speak 4 myself from my own personal experience, my own little
personal history, but that being said, believe me i know what i'm
talking about cuz Suzy's been there and done that in a manner of
speaking in my own way of course but anyway i just want 2 say that i
totally from my experience and the lessons ive learned, sometimes the
hard way, usually the hard way, feel that when things get rough and u r
faced with a difficult decision 2 make that it's wisest to recognize
that wizdom is called for rather than mere intellect cuz often the
larger issue, the moral issue if u will, calls 4 wisdom. And so now we
come 2 the fact that what is IS and so when u r faced with a pressing
moral dilemma u need 2 man up and step up 2 the plate 2 do the right
thing 4 moral reasons. But the rub is that God gave us free will 2 do
whatever... just like he did Abraham in Genesis when He asked him to
sacrifice his child and so forth back then. In that era a child may have
been 2 heavy a burden 2 the family or tribe, we don't know we weren't
there and so shouldnt judge! It's kinda like clicking of tongues that
goes on by the Christian fundys about the abortion issue today, what
they don't take into consideration is that if the LORD tells you to
sacrifice something then you'd best go about sacrificing (and don't talk
back LOL) --and at the same time you see that it's like the Chriistians of
the pioneer era tut tutting about the indians doing human sacrifice in
their ceremony... Hello? look what happened 2 Jesus! So when someone's
moraliZing about the goodnbad of another's decision, pointing a finger
at some god/devil "out there" remember when u point a finger 3 more are pointing back atcha so so u best take a look in the mirror already and not judge others cuz nobodies purfect anyway not even Suzy Blha Blah believe it or not and
so God told ABraham to sacrifice his son on the altar 2 HIM 2 test him 2
see if he was really righteous and would walk the walk or was he just a
bag of hot air that liked 2 hear himself talk.

The lesson is that one needs 2 do the right thing and 2 step up 2 the
plate and be willing 2 make that sacrifice bunt 4 the team and that even if your ego tells u that it would be cewler 2 hit a home run and be famous with your name in the headlines the next day and what not you best go by the percentages that only God knows and in fact listen 2 what the Big Coach tells u 2 do or else you;re lost like a lost sheep or the prodigal son was with the pigs before he flew back 2 heaven ...ie u have ---------------------------
no soul, cuz even if you don't like the sound of it at first and don't
want to sacrafice your child --who knows, the LORD might just
give you a brake like he did old Abe, and u can trust God's brakes, they
r better than Toyota's LOL, and so u wont go off a cliff then it'll all
be all good n stuff cuz u did the right thing by being willing 2 do what seemed like the inhumane thing 2 u at first in your darkness but that's not your fault cuz u were ignorent even though u may have possessed much intelligence and were even an intellectual or something like that or a rocket scientist or whatever. But i can tell u that when the LORD switches the light switch to ON and u see the Truth like Suzy did on my night of Darkness and dispair ... well, i think you get the picture,
the LORD is real -amen.

sack and ye shall fund,
s

omr said...

Good to hear from you suz, because I think I found your Indian ancestry in my digging through the tomes.
In Taylor's Map of California Indian tribes from 1864, he describes two of the tribes from Butte (rhymes with cute) county. Are you ready?
It is my checkered opinion that you are a descendant of the Shoshoozes and the Totoso Tutoos. .
I am not making up these names of those tribes. Has your family preserved any of this? Clearly you are trying to keep the Tutoo philosophy alive.

suzy blah blah said...

actually dad's heritage is the original pre cultural revolution Haight Ashbury tribe and mom's a part of the Rainbow Family... but why are u doing resaerch on this anyway? Lookin' at maps that u think r about my family and stuff...yr makin' me nervous!

Ernie, i think maybe u pumped up OMR's ego a bit much with the spiked akoolaides, now he's acting hysterical about all this historical info and pointing his search mechanisms at any thing he sees or doesn't see.

Take a warning from history OMR, it's like my once childhood hero Stuttering Slim Sutter said when as a small girl i asked him if we were really all One like he told me we were, how come he had gotten a bloody nose from fighting about it with Blue Truck Bob?
"Be c-careful what you ask w-who about kid, and anyway -whats it tu-tu ya?"
s

omr said...

Sorry to be so nitpicky Ernie, but the last line of your post should read... he limps the talk, not he walks the talk.

Ernie Branscomb said...

My personal philosophy is to stay off high horses. It's too far to the ground and the ground is sooooo hard.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Suzy two blah is now doing two comments (part one and part two)

I always read Suzy's comments carefully, because they always they have subtle content and references that might be read over two lightly by the unobservant person. So…. I’m still mulling. Hang in there!

omr said...

So right Ern.
I started to do a genealogical search on Blue Truck Bob and I realized this is just what suz wuz talking about.
We loves our suz as she is, so I don't want turn her into a nervous Nellie by over-re:searching.

As I posted over on the strange occurances thread...last night as I was typing an email, right in front of my eyes, the subject line of the email changed to "Hey you! Off my planet!"... I am still mulling it over, was I getting too close to some secrets, annoying the universe, or am I a virus laden blog commenter?
I suspect the second choice, so I will find a ladder and dismount, blogospherically speaking, for awhile.

suzy blah blah said...

don't dismount the blog just yet Riv, i need yr talented limput, Suzy is now the pioneer of a new exciting movement, and we are moving 4word and will be needing high horsed help in the researching of peeps to vet them for membership.

Suzy Blah Blah
W.R.A.T.
(We R All Too)

our hero Kim

ol'man river river said...

Dear Shoshooze Tutoo,
Whew, you saved me...I couldn't find a ladder tall enough to get down off my horse...
Off the top of my head I think we should take the W.R.A.T. movement to the Mall... lotsa potential candidates there I hear.
I am glad that you are using some discernment here and letting me vet possible groupsies, as you know the vet t-shirt test is probably the most rigorous analysis of character ever devised by vetters, so I will be starting there.

uh, will I be working closely with Kim?!!!

suzy blah blah said...

Riv, glad yr on bored, here's your instructions: take the ladder and climb up instead of down, then when you get to the mall (i assume u r referring to the Branscomb Center Mall) look for charactors wearing Tshirts with chicken pictures on the front which say "Which Came First?" --look for egg on them. Then scrutinize your surroundings for objects thrusting from pockets of suspicious mysterious mustachio'd ice cream men. Give my best to K. Over and out.
s
WRAT
"bueaty is in the I of the bolder"

Ernie Branscomb said...

Suze
Who you callin' a "chickenshirt". Ernie knows what came first, the chicken or the egg. They evolved together from the primordial slime that all of life came from. Which explains a lot if you think about it. The sun provided the energy and the earth provide the nutrients. Kinda’ like the sun provided the intelligence and the earth provided the wisdom. Science pretty much confirms that theory.

The big and burning question, that needs to be answered, is; where did the slime and the sun come from. Ernie doesn’t know that answer, but he worries about it a lot, and he keeps his mind open, just in case a square block of information is floating by, it can drop into the square hole in his open mind, but it has to fit or it gets rejected.

OMR
I know what you mean about being spied on. Suzy knows too much about us, yet we know only her spirit that lives on the cybernet. I found an unexplained wireless camera in our store the other day. It gave me a chill that I didn’t know where it came from, or how it got there. Then I found that it was a display model… Whew!

suzy blah blah said...

he keeps his mind open, just in case a square block of information is floating by, it can drop into the square hole in his open mind,

-what if the block was round? then you wouldn't have to turn any fancy corners on your the way to the bank. And you could puzzle over whether the round root of Two is the source of the the mud and the sun. LOL! i only laugh cuz of course we all gnow that the pioneer back to the land hippie John Deerehawk started the mud back inna day around the same time that he named the Mateel and wrote the Declaration of ,er, i forgot what it was called something about growing the good green herb... And then also its common gnowledge that not long after that, Sunny showed up from down south with Blue Truck Bob. So obviously the mud came first, but some say that she was up here in the 70s before the mud ever existed and she was then called Moonbeam and livin up Elk Ridge with the Hairy Legged Cat Cult so I guess we'll need to do a bit more research which means more ice cream breaks. Maybe the moon came before the pink Roof-us, Hell i don't gnow, everything was so crazy back then, or maybe Floor came first, or maybe they all came together, that would be nice for a change, but maybe some one faked it, so there's always some doubt, or maybe the eggs and chickens all came from the black hole to china... So you see that W.R.A.T. has a whole lot more work to do so all is good. And you can get egg off your shirt with hydrogen peroxide.

suzy blah blah said...

continued:
a nuclear bomb will also get rid of it --u have free will.

spyrock said...

well the reason i am here is because katie mayo wrote a book called pioneering in the shadow of cahto mountain that told about my great great grandfather john kauble and his wife elizabeth kauble and that they lived near the laytonville cemetery by a samll lake.
at the time i was still trying to get back into spyrock so that was the first prioity. we went up iron peak mountain road off of spyrock road and then tried to head down simmerly road but the gate was locked. an old hippie named happy larry drove by and warned us not to go down there so with nothing else to do we went into the shadow, the void, looking for signs of the old cahto ghost town. we stopped at the indian casino and talked to some indian women working there if they knew where cahto lake was and they said they never heard of it but that there was a pond accross the street from the cemetery next door. so we drove around the pond which was the lake we were looking for and then out toward the winchester ranch hoping to see signs of old cahto ghost town. seeing the flat area where it probably had been we went on through branscomb over to westport down the coast to mendocino and then back to our motel. so basically all we did was enter your shadow. and poof there it is. poof there it is. you can't touch this.

gabby haze said...

Spy, I ride that trail often. I never take 101 to the coast anymore, the history you are driving through on that route just sings out, if you tune in...as you do.

Suz, thanks for that. All we know from that period is some salvage anthropology, and a lot of doobious informant accounts from the white hairs who lived through that (sic)period. These early pioneers were a colorful and crude bunch, roughnecks, dirty, and some felt them to be the dregs of society. I have heard many many accounts of their boldly stealing food from stores, flaunting nudity, and letting their dogs range free and kill the natives livestock. The pioneers had little or no ability to appreciate or listen to the wisdom of the local indigents, many of whom had been living here for generations. The newcomer tribe thought their culture was superior to the existing indigents. Were they a "Buckskin Gentry?"...I think not.
The invading tribelets lived in mobile clans organized around their means of transport, which were often also their dwellings. Their diet was varied. If given the chance to garden they were competent gardeners, but many were content just to exchange a form of paper currency given out by the government for their provisions. The ritual use of psychotropics was widespread amonst the clans and not limited to a few medecine people. Everyone was a shaman in those tribelets, their religious beliefs were varied and eclectic, and a subject in and of itself. Eventually they gave up their mobile lifestyles and parked their vehicles on land made affordable by the logging boom years preceding their arrival. Eventually some intermarried with the local peoples, and today the indigent and invading cultures co-exist fairly peacefully relative to the early assimilation period.

I personally knew the last historian of the Hairy Legged Cat Cult...he had a saying about those newcomers:

Their beginnings were humble, they dressed sparsely, were sage, rose, and married oe'r time.

olmanriver said...

Uh, gabby, did you mean indigenous, rather than indigent?

Anonymous said...

Yes. Thank you.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Actually, to get it correct they were The Indignant People

Anonymous said...

LOL!

suzy blah blah said...

-had little or no ability to appreciate or listen to the wisdom of the local...

i'm sorry but you've got it ass-backwards, it was the back-to-the-landers who had the deeper wisdom for which the redneck logger and rancher types, ignorant of these things, due in large part to their insular attitudes towards "newcomers", lacked much appreciation. Learn your history.

Anonymous said...

I know my personal history in Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity Counties. The newcomers, back to
landers or what ever you want to call them sure took up a lot of room.

Oregon

gabby haze said...

To SBB...Tongue in cheek, maybe thass why it was atsbackwards.
It was just a stupid writing set-up for the "sparsely...sage...rose...married oe'r time" riff. Bad timing for lame humor.

Back into my haze...