Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blessed are the peacemakers

I've moved another letter up here to the front page because I found it to be interesting and of some merit to be seen by all.
Olmanriver has left a new comment on your post "Nightfish, and surf-fish.":

Link to first people where many of these photos came from.
"In describing a trip along the coast north of San Francisco in 1861, J. Ross Browne remarked that near the mouth of Ten Mile River 'Along the beach, and at intervals of every few hundred yards, groups of Indians were engaged in catching and packing away in baskets a small species of fish resembling the sardine, which at particular periods during the summer, abound in vast numbers on this part of the coast. The Indians catch them by means of a small hand-net, which they use in a peculiar and very dexterous manner. Holding the pole of the net in both hands, they watch the breakers as they roll in, and when they see one of suitable force and magnitude coming, they plunge in the surf and turn their backs upon the incoming wave. The moment it breaks they set their nets down firmly in the sand, and the fish are forced into it by the velocity of the receding current. I have seen them take out at a single catch an ordinary-sized bucket full.


The old women of the different tribes take away the fish in large baskets to the rancherias, where they are dried in the sun or used as neccessity requires. The coast Indians carry on a small trade with those of the mountains and interior valleys, in fish, dried abalone, mussels, shells, and various marine productions, in exchange for which they receive dried berries, acorns, and different kinds of nuts and roots. Of late years, however, they have been harshly dealt with by the settlers that it is with great difficulty they can procure a scanty subsistence. They are in constant dread of being murdered, and even in the vicinity of the reservations have a startled and distrustful look whenever they are approached by white men.' Harper's Monthly Magazine, 315, August 1861"

This commentary speaks for itself, I can only imagine the fear that the Indian people suffered while trying to appease the evermore difficult to please white man. The early 1860's were the period where it was being decided whether to kill all of the Indian people, or just the renegade bands that were still killing livestock and declaring themselves at war with the white interloper. Fortunately there were "good white people" that were screaming for the Indian people's protection. I made the comment that I was going to "do a post about why we have so many Indians here today." So this is it.

I have a friend who is black, Hoy Kersh, she just wrote a book about her experiences growing up in the south. She made the comment that, if it weren't for "the good white people" in the south, she would have never survived. I was a little shocked, and a little surprised that a black person, from the south, would make a statement like that. My thoughts were that any black person would be filled with distain for the "white person" because of all of the hate and prejudiced that was sent the way of any black person in the south. I made the question: "There were good white people in the south"? Her answer was "Oh yes, there were many good white people." I knew that she was right, people are people, no matter where they are from. But, I found it surprising that she would describe the south as having "many good white people". I think that there are "good people” in any society, black, white, Indian, or whatever dividing line that we choose to observe.

I recently read an article by Bruce Brady, a school teacher from Laytonville, that skipped over the struggles of the early settlement period of Laytonville with the flippant remark about some the people of Long Valley being “the old Indian-killer families”. I thought that the comment was rather careless and thoughtless, especially in view of the fact that the “old Indian killer families" always spoke well of him. My thought was that this fellow wrote an article that was basically ego masturbation, about how he was able to make the students really “care” for a short time. “What remains today is an empty space where care eked out a life for a couple of years.” He did it with a state grant that came, in part, from the profits of the loggers that he roundly criticized for their "clear cuts." I don’t agree with clear cuts either, but the point is, the logging is one of the sources of the one-half million dollars, that he helped piss away in hardly any time at all. These are the people, Mr. Brady and some like him, that are teaching our children to hate our “old Indian killer family” ancestors, with comments like, "Bucks – so-called – especially were prized as targets out on what, decades later, would become the football field.” What’s wrong with making the children ponder, WHY, history happened the way it did, rather than just imply that evil was afoot? Too often the old “Indian Killer families” just remain silent, and realize that some people know not what they say, and never will know unless they educate themselves. Mr. Brady has a wonderful talent as a writer, he evoked the names of some of the most tedious writers in all of history to make his point. To bad he didn’t just talk to a few people in the valley that know some of the local history, instead of insulting them. Most people reading his essay don't know that the people like "Beva" are totally fictitious characters, but there are people that he could have talked to, that would have been willing to share the real stories with him. That way he could have quoted real people that are important to the school and the education of the Laytonville people.

Discrimination is a natural instinct. Those that failed to discriminate in history, failed to survive. If your people are being killed by lions, you soon learn to discriminate against lions. You stop trusting lions because it isn’t healthy to try to be friends with them. Same with many other predatory critters. You soon learn that some critters can’t be trusted, and you either kill them or stay away from them. When discrimination goes awry, when it is misplaced, it becomes prejudice. We discriminate against lions because they kill us. Dogs can be different, some kill us, but some befriend and protect us. Wise people can make the judgment that some dogs are friendly, and they can be trusted, but some people, that have had a bad experience with dogs, can never get past that fear and distrust. I feel that some prejudice comes from a persons experiences. Based on their experiences, wise people can know who to trust, and who may not be trusted.

The early white people, that came across the great plains and through the mountain passes, faced many Indian predations on their trip to California. The white people never knew what to expect from the Native Americans. Some tribes were friendly and some weren’t. Many of the pioneer whites were killed on their way to California. Many had family members killed by Indians. They were killed for reasons that some white people couldn’t understand. It was hard to accept that the Indian people may have had good reasons to kill the whites. It was especially hard for the white people to understand when the Indians had just killed your brother, wife, child, or other family member. Some whites arrived in California with a deep and abiding hate for the Indian people, and they did not care which was a “good Indian” and which was a “bad Indian”. The saying, by many whites of the day, was “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.”

Some, like the Kelsey’s, who were preyed upon by the Indians on their whole trip to California, hated the Indian people so intensely that they say "they would shoot an Indian just to watch him jump”. The Kelsey and Bidwell party was a small party and very temping prey for the Indians. The Kelseys claimed that the only reason that they were able to survive the Indians attacks, is that they had packed more than ample ammunition, and they were all deadly accurate with a rifle. They said that they passed many sites of past Indian massacres of white emigrants on their trip. Few people understand where the hate came from. I think that to be on the trip to California with the Kelsey’s would have, at least opened a few eyes, as to why they hated Indians.

Conversely, my Great, Great Grandparents John and Suzanna Middleton left Illinois in 1853. They made their trip to California in a covered wagon. They were Quakers and were peaceful people by nature. The family stories passed down to me, is that they made friends with the Indians along their way to California, and they hired many Indians as guides. Suzanna was pregnant on the trip to Salt Lake City, as ALL married women seemed to be back then. It is said that their daughter Mary was the first non-Mormon white child born in Salt Lake City. I don’t know how they made that distinction, but it is one of my family’s twice-told-tales.

The Middletons came through the Donner Pass and settled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s at a little mining town near Grass Valley by the name of “Timbuctoo”. My Great Grandfather Lafayette was born there. They soon discovered that the gold-fields were not for them, because of disease and violence. They moved to Mud Springs 13 miles west of Laytonville In the 1860’s, where they remained for the rest of their lives on the Mud Springs ranch. She died at 75 years, and he died at 81. They had 8 children.

During their whole lives the Middletons were friends of the Indian people. They protected and defended them from the people trying to kill them as much as they could. They survived a few Indian attacks, and still persisted in protecting the Indians. My grandfather Lafayette (Lafe) married Laura Lockhart, from another 1850’s family.

My great, great grandparents, the Lockharts came to California by sailing ship. Mary (Cull) Lockhart came to California from New York by train to the Mississippi River, down the river by riverboat, across the Gulf of Mexico by sailing ship, across Panama by mule, and finally into San Francisco by sailing ship. She came to California to seek her lost father and brother, who had disappeared in their trip overland to the California Gold fields.

My 3G grandfather, Captain Jonathon Alexander Lockhart, was the master of the sailing ship “The Hungarian” that shipped goods and emigrants around the Horn of South America and into San Francisco. His son knew Mary Cull in New York. They were surprised to find each other in a boarding house in San Francisco. They married and continued her quest to find her lost father and brother in the gold fields. Their search ended in the frustration that her father and brother had probably been killed by Indians on their way to California. The other theory was that they had lots of money with them, and they were killed for the money. At any rate, it was determined that they never made it to California. The Lockharts lived in Sacramento. My great Grandmother Laura (Lockhart) Middleton was born there. 2G Grandfather Lockhart got one of the diseases that was rampant in Sacramento at the time, and the family moved to the upper South Fork of the Eel River, just downstream of what is now known as the town of “Branscomb. Other than the remarkable exception that Mary (cull) Lockhart's father and brother were probably killed by Indians, neither of my great grandparents, the Lockharts, had any direct confrontations with the Indians, and they had no real fear or loathing of them, like did some of the overland pioneers. So, they were strong advocates for the protection of the Indian people.

The reason that I took the time to mention the Middletons and the Lockharts is because Lafe Middleton and Laura Lockhart were the parents of my Grandmother Ruby Branscomb, who was also good to the Indian people. Ruby worked hard her whole life, and freely shared her abundance with the people of the valley, including the Indian people. Not because they were Indians, but because they were friends. She shared her abundant vegetable garden with them, and often hauled them mill-ends for fire wood, from her son Ben's sawmill.


Ruby hauled Fox Burns his last load of wood. Fox was one of Laytonville’s most famous Indian people. A whole book could have been written about Fox Burns. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the Laytonville writing teacher, Bruce Brady, would have written a book about fox burns? Instead of using his immense talent to cast barbs at the “old Indian killer families”. One of Ruby’s twice told tales about Fox was that she had hauled him a load of wood and pronounced the she would bring more. Fox said, “no, when wood gone, Fox will be gone”. He was right, he died when his wood-pile was almost empty. I often listened to My grandmother Ruby tell that tale. She always had a look of nostalgia and wonder on her face when she would tell it. She genuinely missed Fox, and you could tell that she also genuinely wondered just how Fox knew when he was going to die.
Ruby married into the Branscomb family, My 2g grandfather Benjamin Franklin Branscomb was instrumental in funding and building many of the schools in The South Fork of the Eel drainage. Any school that my grandfather built was built for BOTH Indian and white, or Chinese for that matter. Their was no distinction made between those that wanted an education. I understand that was kind of unique to our little valley. All of my aunts, uncles, and both my mother and father were raised with the Indian people of Laytonville. They hunt fished and lived in the same little peaceful valley together. Many of my family is Indian. We have no quarrel with the Indian people. The only quarrel that we have is with the people that are often newcomers to our small valley, that come here and try to lay blame rather than try to understand the history and the reasons that things happened the way that they did.

Many of my family wrote letters to wherever they could to get adequate care for the Indian people. And, they stood their ground. They didn’t write a fancy letter then run like Brett Hart, who went on to become one of the more famous Indian advocates. But, he ran after it was found out that he wrote a letter about the “Indian Island Massacre” in Eureka. Also, Bret Hart was writing for notoriety and profit. He was a profession writer looking for sensation.

The Old Laytonville families have a long history of being, simply, friends with the Indian people. They hired, protected, adopted, conscripted, married, built housing, grew food, cut firewood, hunted fished, and many other things with the Indian people. They lived, for the most part, peacefully together, with a few remarkable exceptions. There will always be evil people that will cause problems, both Indian and white. It seems that if you look, just a little bit, into the history of those “evil people” you will find the reasons for their evil. Maybe not always understood by most people.

Hank Sims, a respected North Coast writer, who coincidently writes for the North Coast Journal, once said that “we shouldn’t take the credit for our ancestors, unless we are willing to also take the blame for them.” Fair enough, I’m here to take my credit. And I know full well that if it hadn’t been for the “good white people”, my family and other good people like them, there would no Indian people here today. Yes, there are good white people in Long Valley.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

I grew up with Indians, whites and a few Mexican kids and I never really gave any of it a thought. They were just all the same to me. If I ever had a problem with someone, it was them as an individual, not their race.
I do know that as an adult, there is "bad" blood between some folks that goes way back but it seems like some hold on to what their parents teach them,,,,or others tell them.
I have seen more friction between the different Indian tribes than between other folks.
I hunted with some Indian friends of mine North of Covelo and it was on tribal land. My friends told me that folks from the rez in the valley probably wouldn't care much that I was hunting deer there but I guess if they found out other Indians were hunting there it would be hell to pay.

I remember going with Grandma Ruby to deliver those wood ends a couple of times. Those were the start of the days that made me think we lived in a great place and never gave it a thought it would change. But it did change and so drastically and so fast.

Oregon

Dave said...

Fascinating history Ernie. Thanks for sharing it.
It's great that you have so much information on your ancestors. Every story is a gem.

I've always preferred true "family stories" about average people over stories about famous people.

I'm also proud of my family history which has been heavily researched by others in the family.
My Aunt and Uncle did a history of the Stancliff's dating back to the 13th century in Yorkshire, England. My direct descendant, Michael Stancliff was a stone cutter and came to America in 1689 (Connecticut).

I really enjoy the way you tell a story Ernie. Keep em coming!

suzy blah blah said...

Oregon, that's clean and honest, and beautifully expressive without being sentimental, i'm listening to hear more your story.

suzy blah blah said...

more of

Ernie Branscomb said...

Dave.
Every member of my fathers family goes back to the 1850's in California. I wish that I could know more about them. I'm getting bits and pieces from the various branches through the internet. The Branscombs go back to 1730 in the states. My mothers family was from germany they came to the U.S. in 1912. My mothers father was an orphan, so not much family history is known.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ernie, everybody knows those Germans make great stuff. Your Grandpa Bill will always have a place with me and my brother.

Oregon

swallowtail said...

I enjoy reading your writings, Ernie. This one is no exception.

It is nearly impossible for us to know what it was like for the early whites/settlers to California. Our modern brain can barely wrap itself around the life of that time.

I grew up in Larabee,CA (and Ferndale). It wasn't until I was an adult, and got into an amazing room in the Red Bluff Co. Library, that I had any education about the Native Americans who populated this area before my time ( I have a couple of "Indian" baskets that my Grandma Annie gave me, they were gifts to her from the "Indians" that she had helped through the years). The books were antiques, dusty, perhaps hadn't been read for decades. I was allowed to check them out, and I did, by the armload. Many were written in the early 1900's, by settlers, by women who kept journals, and by the people trying to "catch" the original Calfornian's languages, which were disappearing so rapidly.

Bias,prejudice, discernment, and discrimination are such "hot" words that we tend to forget/ignore that 'they' are a function of our brains. Like you say, there is time and place for their talents to come forth.

Imagine the "culture clash" as the wave of immigrants trickled and then flooded into the land of Northern America. I believe it is almost beyond our comprehension to "know" how that must have been... for all concerned.

The Larabee of my childhood barely resembles the Larabee of today. And hay, that's just a little short time gone by.

Well. This is an interesting post. At this time I am reading a facinating book, "The Hidden Brain," which sheds some light on the workings of the human "mind." You might enjoy it.

suzy blah blah said...

Interesting post, I am still ruminating on the thing. Special thanks for linking to Hoy's book. She has been and is an inspiration to me. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Suzy
Yes, Hoy's book is remarkable well written and it makes for a very interesting read. Her life growing up in the deep south was remakable similar to growing up in the logging and mill camps of northern California. Except we didn't have idiots wearing white robes riding around killing folks.

olmanriver said...

It is a shame that history does not record more of the many positive exchanges between people and peoples. I think that is why it is important to have family histories shared as you have done here.
I loved hearing of your Quaker ancestors peacefully crossing to California, much as Joaquin Miller's Quaker parents had done decades earlier. Those Middletons arrived near Cahto in the mid 60's, and the Branscombs in the early 1880's. Both missed the late 1850's/early 1860's "Mendocino Wars" when half of the area's men signed on to ride out hunting and attacking Indians as the Long Valley Volunteers under Farley, sometimes in conjunction with Jarboe's Rangers. This is more of the history of Long Valley than Cahto, and most of these attacks on Indians occurred to the east, southeast, and northeast of Long Valley. Fox Burns was carried back to Long Valley from an Indian hunt in the Hettenshaw area.

The Cahto Indians were known as peaceful or "good" Indians from the earliest. Some children survivors of the Volunteer raids were taken to the White and Simpson's rancheria because of the confidence children would be taken care of. I know of no attacks by Cahto Indians on whites during this period. There is record that Simpson had firm control of a vassal-like Indian work force based out of the nearby rancheria. History has recorded two little known accounts of the Cahtos slaying small groups of other tribes passing through. One group was fleeing the Mendocino Reservation and their whole band was slain.

As with your goodhearted kin, many of the later 1800 reminiscences in the Mendocino Oral History volumes reveal a rueful understanding that the Indians had gotten a raw deal.

To paint all of Long Valley, or Cahto folks at all, with a broad stroke of the "Indian-killer" isn't fair. I gather that is what you perceived happening again, Ernie. I wasn't there and don't know squat about the political class war that happened where he referred to "Indian-killer families" leading the opposition to the newcomer education innovations.
I do know that Indians in Mendocino county have faced a long uphill struggle against racial prejudice from whites. My friends have told me about how it was to be in white schools in Willits in the '40's. I have a great Anderson Valley Advertiser article about a pivotal event in Ukiah in the 1940's that ended local signs that said "No dogs, no Indians". Maybe we can post the article sometime.

It is wonderful that your family has a history flush with memories and cooperative relations with area Indians Ernie.
Thanks for the addition of the photo to go with the surf fish article. That is great to see the actual netting.

spyrock said...

when my mother was going to san francisco state back in the 30's it was basically a teacher college for women as men weren't normally teachers in those days. but there were 30 men and my mom said that they were called "sissies" behind their backs. of course my great great grandfather was the constable in long valley in the 1860s and it was his job to take the indians to round valley so they wouldn't get killed by the locals. his wife was a midwife and she delivered a lot of children some of them half breed children some of whom they adopted. they lived in cahto where laytonville is now across from the old cemetery.
one of the things i inherited from my ancestors was a bubble butt when i was young and a butt crack when i got older. i used to get comments when i was going to school in san francisco about my butt from guys like that brady bunch dude and now i get them from people driving by my parents house when i am working in the yard bending over something. they say things like "crack kills" as they drive on down the road. it's always people with skinny butts or people who wish they had a butt like mine that make those kind of comments. for normal people, it ain't worth talkin about. so when i hear a teacher puttin down someone for showing some "crack" it usually means that they are really judgemental about people and have no respect for people who do "real" work and don't see all kids the same way as most women teachers do. in my moms teaching days, they were all her kids, white, indian, mexican, black, logger, hippie, it didn't matter. maybe that's why some men shouldn't be teachers. especially if they can't get their students to care. afterall, that's their job. isn't it? some people can't see the forest for the trees even if the trees have already been chopped down. duh.

spyrock said...

Big Booty Lyrics
Artist(Band):Willie Nelson


Big Booty


She said I ain't gonna fix you no more sausage
Biscuits and gravy on the side
You done said the wrong thing to me baby
And you can kiss big booty good-bye

She said I ain't gonna fix you no more QUESAS
Or fix you nothing else that's chicken fried
Go on and find yourself another woman
And you can kiss big booty good-bye

Go on and find yourself a skinny woman
Something a little more your size
And don't come back to me a moaning
When she cuts you off of burgers and fries

She said I ain't gonna fix you no more chicken
And no more Momma's chocolate pies
And here's something heavy for you baby
You can kiss big booty good-bye



Go on and find yourself a skinny woman
Something a little more your size
And don't come back to me a moaning
When she cuts you off of burgers and fries

She said I ain't gonna fix you no more sausage
Biscuits and gravy on the side
You done said the wrong thing to me baby
And you can kiss big booty good-bye

And you can kiss big booty good-bye
And you can kiss big booty good-bye

love spyrock

Ernie Branscomb said...

Olmanriver
You and I both know that there was a lot of wrong deeds committed back in the late 1850s to the early 60s. I think that what upset me so is that a lot of the historic struggle that happened back then is now just all swept under the rug, by saying that evil people killed the Indians.

The struggle for humanity to fit together in the west should be taught as a good lesson in human relations, and it should be made clear that, in MOST cases the settlers didn't bear the Indians any ill will. In fact they took great personal risks and struggled to protect the Indian people.

To have a "teacher" make comments like "Indian killer families", is triply upsetting to me, because these are the people that teach our kids. They shouldn't simply teach hate instead of truth. Young minds are very impressionable. There were mostly “Good people” back then.

Ekovox said...

Ernie, It is my belief the good people of the settlement movement overruled the evil people of the settlement movement. Sure, the Asbills and the Whites and the Larabees and a number of the first settlers were staking a claim through all means possible, but we shouldn't condemn the entire European movement of settlers as Indian Killer Families. That would be saying the first Europeans (and recent evidence of Early Chinese explorers)were all Indian Killer Families. And, I guess that could be true. So, let's include the entire race, then and now, of Europeans as Indian Killer Families. That way, we can ALL take the credit.....and blame.

(Contemporary history writers, please research your own family history for some nifty insight)

I love the adage, "When you point a finger in blame, three fingers are pointing back at you."

Anonymous said...

I think there is a lot of stuff taught to the school kids that is not the truth. Either by the teachers ignorance or in the cause of indoctrination.
I won't put a disclaimer in here, I'm sure there are teachers that can actually teach without prejudice.
I only say this because the high school kids can tell you all about the evils of George Bush but never heard of the Pythagorean theorem or tell you what a square root is.

Oregon

Anonymous said...

The two largest contributing factors to the extinction of most of the "Indian" tribes in CA were the Spanish missions and the gold rush. In both cases it involved economic gain.

suzy blah blah said...

--they can tell ya all about the evils of the government but they can't even tell ya who's ringin the bell...

sister suzy, old river man, spyrock, bunny, ... oregon
uncle ernie, auntie robin, open the door,
let em in

LOL!

Ernie Branscomb said...

“The two largest contributing factors to the extinction of most of the "Indian" tribes in CA were the Spanish missions and the gold rush. In both cases it involved economic gain.”

Wow Anon. The whole history of California in one sentence. We killed Indians twice, we were greedy, and we got rich. Thanks, now we can throw away all of the really incredible detailed accounts of history and why some things happened the way that they did, because you have condensed it so well for us.

I’m sorry anon, I truly am, I don’t mean to pick on you. It’s just that you have perfectly expressed the attitude of the people today. They are not interested in the reasons why things happened the way that they did. They just want to know the highlights. We can just paint all of the new Californians with the same brush. They killed Indians for economic gain. Thanks.

What about all of the people that struggled to protect the Indians? What about all of the innocent white people that were killed by the Indians that they were trying to help? What about all of the Indian babies that were raised by whites? The stories are far to interesting to just paint the same color and walk away.

My ancestors, both killed Indians and protected them, so accurate history is probably more important too me than the average person that just rode into town. I’m also sorry if I sound pissed, I just wrote a whole post about not all white people were bad, and you just put them all back in the same can and put the lid on it.

And yes, I realize that I’m probably over-reacting here. It’s just that I’m tired of listening to history being abbreviated to white people killed Indians out of greed, end of story.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Suzy
I can just see Paul singing "olmanriver". Hahaha.

Anon
I have access to some really incredible, and detailed, history stories about my family and Indian depredations. But, alas, I don't yet have permission to print them. If I can get permission, they are real eye openers. (For some people)

suzy blah blah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
suzy blah blah said...

I can just see Paul singing "olmanriver". Hahaha.

He's a natural for that song. The Beatles were different, weren't they? I mean different than the other bands back then. Back when you were a young man. Bands that were there with them like the Stones and the Animals and Eric Clapton etc were all into blues and rhythm and blues, weren't they? ... 3 chords. And the Beatles were too and that's great but the Beatles had something else along with it. My theory is that they listened to show tune albums. Musicals. It's especially apparent on LPs like Sgt Pepper and Mystery Tour. They're like a show, a drama. Complex. But what do I know. The song Old Man River is from Showboat, a 1936 musical.
But did you see this. This is great.

the 1st one said to the 2nd onea

Robin Shelley said...

Suzy, this guy sounds like Neil Young doing a Paul McCartney impression. What a kick to see "little" Stevie Wonder rockin' out while an old guy who looks sort of like Paul McCartney seems to be going to sleep.

suzy blah blah said...

Stevie Wonder! oh that's who that is, thanks, i shoulda known.

spyrock said...

english teacher, that figures. creatively writes or rewrites his own version of history.
if the protestants hadn't have come to california, the catholic spanish inquisition would have killed all the indians just like they did everywhere else in central and south america. they didn't see the indians as human beings and therefore they didn't believe the indians had a soul. they considered them pagans and devil worshipers.
the indian girls the asbils and kelseys captured in round valley they sold as slaves to the californios or spanish. the mission fathers used all the peaceful indians as slaves to build their missions and to work on their vast estates. the indians who resisted were killed. can you imagine what it would be like if we hadn't have won the war against mexico. the cartel would be running this place and there would be no schools in laytonville because all the kids would be out working in the fields growing pot.
it was either us or the conquistadors. the california indians were way better off with us. the indigineous peoples of mexico, central and south america are still being exploited and killed and their religions continue to be surpressed and their aritfacts destroyed and their land clearcut. you should have taken mexican history in college and you would already know this stuff.

Ben said...

J. Ross Browne was an interesting fellow. He was sent by the US government to write s report on the reservations and traveled California in his research. He found a dreadful situation of corruption and miss apprpriation of Indian Service money. Starvation and disease were everywhere and Indian Agents were making fortunes by diverting supplies and livestock to their own ranches. As a result, Indians began killing the new ranchers cattle to feed their families. Browne's report may have finished off the Mendocino reservation which had become utterly corrupt.
The politics of that time were even more self serving than the present. Many Agents were appointed by the President or Governor based on their political service or financial support for the party in power. An appointment was considered a license to steal. The entire structure of the communities approached anarchy withonly the Army to maintain order and the Civil War calling the Army away. These were the conditions that caused the Indian to be nearly wiped out and many many whites to be murdered by the grasping desperadoes of the time. Huge tracts of land were appropriated by high officials in the State Government. Great fortunes were made and the Indian population soon was decimated and forgotten. Life was rough and white settlers had to deal with desperadoes of their own race practically on a daily basis. It was not paradise but families were raised, friendships made, communities organized and eventually no one wanted to talk about the bad times. We're civilized folks, we don't do genocide we don't keep slaves but the fact is that both things happened right here and they need to be recorded so that history does not repeat itself.

Robin Shelley said...

Ha, ha, Su-zeeeeeeee!

Robin Shelley said...

This is way off topic but I just received the "Ruralite" magazine from our electric co-op &, in the "At Home" section, is a letter from a woman in Lebanon, OR who is looking for a "tofu burger recipe served in Garberville, California, 16 years ago." Can anyone there help me find it for her?

Anonymous said...

While you folks are looking for that recipe for Robin I saw this beautiful girl walking on the sidewalk in Garberville last year, does anybody know what her name is or where she lives?

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

Robin
Just guessing here... not much info to go on, but she probably ate the tofu at The Woodrose Cafe. The cook at the time would have been Bill Staples. He is listed, name and address, in the Garberville phone book.

Also, off the subject. That’s what I like most about this blog, everybody here has attention deficit syndrome, I can’t even finish a sentence without changing the subject, but I digress, did I ever tell you about the time that The Garberville Rotary club sold tofu hot dogs and barbecued chicken thighs at Reggae on the River?

Somehow the word got out to the stateside-born make-believe wannabe Rastafarians that chicken was the “Voodoo Bird” and they wouldn’t eat it, and the tofu hotdogs were horrid, and they wouldn’t eat it. The “Real Rastafarians” sucked the chicken down like it was candy, they wanted to know what a “Togu Hot Dog” was, but they didn’t want to try it as long as the chicken held out.

To make the story longer, the Rotary club didn’t sell a hell of a lot of chicken but we all ended up with about twenty-five pounds of chicken in our freezers. Oh look… A butteryfly.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Oregon
About that beautiful girl, if she already had her “enhancements” she belongs to a rich dope grower, if she doesn’t have “enhancements” she’s looking for a rich dope grower to buy them for her. For some girls in Garberville, beauty is only 3” of silicone deep.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Hahahahaha... They must not have rich dope growers in Florida

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that people think big boobs are attractive. I get e-mails all the time showing otherwise pretty girls, women, with big boobs. A few years ago I thought maybe it was just girls, women, that were trying to outdo other girls,
women. I regress here.
The girl, woman, I was talking about in Garberville was thin, flat chested with really long hair. Please, if you know her send me her phone number.
She may be one of those really cute hippie girls that impress me.

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

Oregon
I found her. She said that she is not going to give you her phone number unless you are a really rich dope grower.

Anonymous said...

Dang!! I knew it was too good to be true.

Anonymous said...

Okay, one more shot here. Is there any skinny, flat chested, long haired girls, women, out here that already has their own pot garden that is single?

Oregon

lodgepole said...

Robin, she could be looking for Soy Devine. More like a sloppy joe but made with tofu, very tasty. Made back then by Martha Devine.

Anonymous said...

Lodgepole, get the recipe for her...
That is, if you live in that area.

Robin Shelley said...

I don't live in Garberville or know Martha Devine or Bill Staples but I do enjoy the rosemary potatoes at The Woodrose.
Oregon says those skinny hippie girls impress him but he actually salivates over Ann Colter. She looks like a vampire to me but if you like square corners & sharp points, I guess she'd be the ticket.
Thanks for the tip, Ernie.
P.S. I'm still thinking about BB's remark(s)... steeeaaammmmmmm!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Okay, I've got permission to tell some more of my family's "true stories". These will blow the socks of the people that so cavalierly write off early California white people as “Indian Killers”. Stay tuned, now all that I have to do is come up with some time to do them. Some are third party accounts and pretty accurate.

Right now I have to go to a fire meeting.

Robin Shelley said...

Posted this over at SoHumParlance:

"Indian-killer families", Bruce? Really? Couldn't you have just called them Grover-lovers or in-breeds or rednecks or even old guard or white guys or good ol' boys or made some reference to the movie "Deliverance" or a trailer park? Backwater simpletons who don't know any better than to cut off their noses to spite their faces, perhaps? How about stupid enough to survive off the land in Long Valley for generations but too poor to run off the corporations they knew weren't their friends & definitely too damned dumb to figure out what happened to the salmon without a shot of tequila, a gaggle of teenagers & a high school English teacher loaded with real truth & half a million of their tax bucks in his fanny pack? Couldn't you have just stuck with the stereotypical Laytonville idiot who's never been anywhere outside of Mendocino County or the military? (Oh! And let's not forget toothless.) At least that would have left the impression that the teacher is caring enough not to deride or try to divide a community that has worked so hard to overcome racial derision and division. But no! "Indian-killers", you said harshly. "Them" would have sufficed.

spyrock said...

don't forget that he also called us butt crack killers.

spyrock said...

i must admitt that at first i didn't really want to look at the genocide of the california indians or any other indians for that matter. i'm related to practically every pioneer family and the few remaining indian families up your way. but after reading genocide and vendetta, i was hooked. i've read everything i could get my hands on. and the more i read, the more i began to understand that these self righteous people who call others indian killers undoubtedly come from ancestors who were indian killers themselves and others who had slaves as well. the indians had killed some of my ancestors and indians from other tribes routinely. there aren't any innocents in this. that was the way things were in those times. like ben said, hopefully we have learned something from all of this so this kind of thing doesn't happen again. i know for a fact that maybe only ben or ernie have read more about this stuff than i have and i have learned to appreciate my ancestors and the indians of those times more than i can say.
i feel a great deal of love for all of those people even the so called bad ones. so when i see someone bad mouthing the old timers over a 100 years later it just isn't the same as if he would have stood face to face with george white and called him an indian killer. there weren't any men teachers in those days. they wouldn't have survived the pta meeting.

Anonymous said...

Great posts, guys and gals; entertaining.
Cousin

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Betty Chinn.

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thank-you Robin.
Somehow I knew that you would know how to say what all of us old "Indian Killer" families were feeling. It doesn't take much divisiveness to foment a new war. After all, we are the same people, or at least descendants of the same people. That being the case, I know full well that our ancestors would have preferred peace.

I will no longer bow to the ignorant, that take the easy way out by using the oh-so-popular stance that the early white people were bad and the Indians were the innocent noble savage. Neither the White nor the Indian were innocent. I’ve come to realize that only those of us that have long history, and have heard all the generational stories have a clue, we need to express our feelings about history so it isn’t buried under mounds of touchy-feely bullcrap.

I’m always glad to hear from “Spyrock”, he has both Indian Blood and white blood. He has also had ancestors on both sides that were murdered by the other. His opinions are balanced and unbiased, still, he chooses the peaceful path. He delivers a message that is both powerful and wise.

While I’m acknowledging people, I want to say that Ben and Olmanriver have been invaluable in researching our early history. They give us knowledge that helps balance our, sometimes, uninformed views. They help us gain better knowledge of our heritage.

Robin Shelley said...

Oh, great! Now some anonymous creep over at SoHumParlance is asking me if I'm apologizing for the Indian killings.

Anonymous said...

Don't do it Robin!
Are you sure it is a creep?

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

Robin
But no! “Indian-killers”, you said harshly. “Them” would have sufficed.

Remember when they just used to call us "you people".

Anon,
Neither the Indian people, Robin, nor I owe anybody an apology. Especially one that hides in anonymousness. Your ignorance runs deep.

Robin Shelley said...

I won't, Oregon, & of course I'm sure it's a creep. Anyone who won't sign their own name to something like that is a creep as far as I'm concerned. Unless it's you... is it you?... then I would have a whole other word for it!

Thanks, Ernie.

Anonymous said...

Robin, shame on you. If I ever wrote something creepy I would sign it.

Oregon

suzy blah blah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben said...

Robin... I agree with Lodgepole, it was probably Martha Devine's Soy Devine sloppy joe . The secret was to freeze the tofu so that it stays firm when cooked. She made the mix for awhile in Arcata when she moved up there. No More. She's a vegetarian and well known in the activist community.

suzy blah blah said...

Suzy believes in reverence for all the ancestors --we cannot understand a branch without knowing the tree.

Robin, do you think Pauli dozed off, maybe when he got home he thought it was all a dream that he had about being at the white house and somebody was ringin the bell. Or like John would say, maybe it is all a dream :)

hey did anybody see that video on youtube? the one about the english teacher who has two asscracks?

Ross Sherburn said...

I didn't have time to read thru all of it,but it wasn't me!!!

Idaho said...

I hear they make somethin' called "crack-spackle", popular with plumbers, but regular people are turning on to it.
When I wear my thong underwear (which always slip down), I know I can squat in public without inviting quarters because I thought ahead and applied a little "crack-spackle" before leaving the house. People used to think I was sparechanging when I would squat on the sidewalk.

Robin Shelley said...

Ah, Oregon. I love you. You know I do.
Ross, you're funny! I know I scolded you once when you were "anonymous"... wouldn't do it now that I know you & you sign your name. That's honorable.
The sloppy joes must've been good if people still remember them! Thanks, Ben. Is Ms. Devine easy for an out-of-towner like me to find? Suzy's too young to remember them... or "little" Stevie Wonder!
You're sweet, though, Suzy, & I still love you, too, but I'm just too tired tonight to be very clever. Sleep well, everyone, & remember: the walrus was Paul!

olmanriver said...

Well, thanks for that info Idaho, not the images I care to start my day with, butt whatever...
Ernie, in the second of the Judge Standley's stories, The Murder on Strong Mountain (I hope that is the right name, it is loaned out), old man Middleton is mentioned. BC, (before coffee)I sorta recollect this occurred in the 1880's. The storyline involves the sheep barons of Sherwood Valley having a hard time with an old couple who wouldn't sell out to them. The connived to frame the old man and get him sent away, but this only enraged the wife to where she would send out her dogs to scatter their sheep when they attempted to drive them by her house. So they plotted, killed her, and hid the body and Sheriff Standley organized the search for the victim. Failing to find her body with a group of whites, he called out his Indian friends who would wade down the creeks in the cold water for compensation. Standley's book version does not mention that they were Cahto Indians, but the newspaper article does. They do find her in a waterway, and the suspected murderers are taken south for trial. Standley is followed nearly the whole way by those who want to lynch the villains. At that time there were Vigilante groups in the larger towns who took justice into their own hands as there was a lot of resistance to having to pay for trials via raised taxes when a hanging rope was a cheap and available route. Sheriff Standley had to outrace and confront the lynchers the whole way south.
Strong Mountain is named after Mrs. Strong, and I believe (BC) was the wagon trail into Cahto from the south.
I hope the locals feel free to correct anything I wrote. The mention of old man Middleton was just in passing, but I will try and dig that up for you Ernie.

I also have an Indian account taken in the 1930's by anthropologist Frank Essene's students that suggests that Robert White protected his Cahtos from the Yukis. Bill Ray gave Kroeber an account of the Kato/Yuki wars, maybe we can get that online too.
That Essene material may add a nuance or two to the storyline!

(dang, first I gotta read Idaho early in the AM, and now word verification just called me a "baspard"! Time for coffee!)

olmanriver said...

Ah, old man Middleton found the body of her horse (and it was 1874, not in the 1880's):
" Old man Middleton, on his return in the evening, brought in a piece of startling news. He told of following a small stream about 5' wide down through a canyon to where it began to descend very rapidly, digging out large holes in the creekbed. As he followed this creekbed, he discovered indentations in the earth that looked like horse prints. He followed these prints for awhile
until they appeared to quit. He glanced up the hill but nothing could be seen in that direction. The prints did not seem to go up or down, therefore, he felt they must have continued across the creek and looking over there, he saw some very large indentations, much too large for hoof-prints --much like an animal must have stumbled and fallen into the stream. He did not think that an animal would have tried voluntarily to cross this stream with its steep banks, yet these indentations went right into the edge of the precipice that overhung the pool of water below. Middleton looked closely into eddying pool below and he thought he could see something unusual in the water. The water was pouring over a fall of about 12' and then passing down to the lower pool causing a great disturbance of water. The old gentleman worked his way down very cautiously to the water's edge and poked at this foreign object. He realized that it was an animal of some kind, and taking off his pants, he waded into the water far enough to raise the head of the animal. This was done by removing some stones which was proof that the animal had some human assistance in landing in that particular place. Middleton made a careful search about the head for identification, when he discovered a small puncture in the head between the butt of the ear and the eye entering the brain. Close examination of the other side of the head failed to reveal any marks where the object may have passed through.
By this time, it was late and getting dark and since Middleton was not able to remove the stones from the animal's body. he returned to the Strong cabin. After his supper, he made known his discoveries to the entire crowd assembled there, numbering about 25 people. He gave a description of the animal's head and one of its front feet, which someone suggested might be Mrs Strong's riding mare. The next day the entire posse went with Middleton to the scene on his discovery of the day before and
we at once raised the animal from its watery grave. We picked away the rock and gravel at the lower
end of the pool of water thereby lowering the volume by at least two feel. We then rolled off the
stones that had been piled on the animal to keep it under water. When we were able to see the brand
on the animal and the general color, at least seven in the crowd identified the horse as being Mrs
Strong's riding animal.
This gave new energy and excitement to the crowd--they all wanted to find Mrs. Strong."

courtesy of the Mendocino Historical Society. The Narrative of the Murder of Mrs. R.G. Strong by Jeremiah "Doc" Standley... 1874.

Ernie Branscomb said...

"old man Midleton" would have been John Middleton My 2G Grandfather. He lived just north of the Strongs, on Mud Creek.

Ekovox said...

Hey, is that a butterfly?