Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sailing Ships

Anybody that reads this blog, on a steady basis, knows that I like wonders of science and technology. I especially like big machines. I also love to hear tales about history, and mans struggle to adapt and survive. The icing on the cake is stories about man using his technology to advance his condition, to satisfy his curiosity, or fulfill his sense of adventure. Nothing meets all of the above named conditions like the hand-crafted sailing ship.

The story of the sailing ship reads like an adventure story. “Once upon a time a person dared to dream of adventure aboard a sailing ship“. In the age of the sailing ship, a person was born in his village, lived in his village and died in his village. The only thing that the person might know about the outside world was from a traveling minstrel that moved from town to town and told his tales of high adventure. Most people could only dream of travel, or of seeing other places. Access to a sailing ship changed all of that. The lure of adventure aboard a sailing ship stole away many a young mans heart. There are many poignant stories of a woman watching her man sail off into the sunset, sometimes never to return, and sometimes to come home filled with wealth and adventure.

In the age of the sailing ship, the ship was the fastest means of transportation. There were no jet aircraft that could transport the average man at almost supersonic speeds. There were no high speed railways. There were no cars or buses. Indeed, there was not even bicycles. Other than a ship, the fastest means of travel was a horse, or an oxcart. Also, it wasn’t safe to travel, unless you traveled in a group for safety.

The swift moving sailing ships sailed groups of people to almost anywhere in the world. The ships traveled day and night, day after day, week after week. The ships didn’t tire and need rest and food like animals. All the ships needed to travel was movement of the wind, then they could move in any direction.

The sailing ship was man's finest technological achievement for many years. From the invention of the first sail, to the industrial revolution; the sailing ship was a machine of the ages. No wonder a ship was built with such perfection. Owning a ship was a high-status symbol. Nothing freed mankind from his boundaries like the sailing ship. Ships were the fastest moving machine for centuries. Both men and women worked to build the fine ships. Men used their brawn, and women used their dexterity, but they both used their intellect.

I think the thing that I like the most about ships is that they weren’t designed and tested by some computing machine. They were designed, built, and sailed by man’s own intellect, skill, and hard work, by the sweat of their brow, the bend of their knees and the strain of their backs.

The ships that the old ship-rights built couldn’t be built today. The material that they built ships from doesn’t exist in abundance today like it did in the days of the clipper ships. The wood used in ships was hand selected and cut in the forests adjoining the shipyards. Often the shipyards were moved next to a forest where the trees could be cut and hand-hewed into the pieces that they needed to build the ship. The laying of the keel was the first and most important step in building a ship. The keel is the foundation that the ship is built upon.

The keel was made out of the strongest and most defect free wood that they could find. In addition to that, the keel needed to have the exact curve to form the bow. Then the ships ribs were fastened and blocked onto the keel. The ribs came up the sides of the ship. The deck was fastened to the ribs to form a circular-strength tube-like structure, the full length of the ship. The deck was fasten to the ribs by “ships knees”. The ships knees are made from pieces of a tree that form a right angle, or “ell shape”. Not many trees have that fitting in nature. Oaks provided most of the “knees”, because they were the strongest and the most likely to provide that shape. Strong ships knees were one of the most critical fittings on the ship.
Tall straight trees formed the masts and spars, trees like fir, spruce, and hemlock. The ships decks and side planking had to be made out of clear, straight boards. The decks and shiplap provided the lateral strength of the ship, much like the fuselage of a modern aircraft.

The sails were woven on hand-made looms, then pieced and sewn together. The ropes were hand spun and twisted together. I have often speculated that sail making was done by women. Women have traditionally been the makers of textiles and cloth. Most sails for the Galleons were made in the Philippines from the local cotton.

From Manila Times, (Philippines): “Ilocos from historic times has been a weaving center with every other house possessing a loom. In the days of the Spanish galleons they supplied the sails made from the cotton they grew and exported. Modern times with their cheap fabrics and disappeared galleons have altered weaving markets. Now abel (also known as inabel), the Ilocano woven stuff, is used in households as bed linen, furniture covers, clothing.”

The iron fittings were hand forged over hot fires and hand hammered to the right shapes. The pulleys were made from pine knots with holes drilled through them. The newer fancier ships had steel sheaves in their blocks and tackle.

Enough with the boredom (or, to me, excitement) of building a ship. The sailing ship opened the door for mankind to explore the rest of his world... he was no longer confined to the village of his birth.

As I was writing this, the words from Whitesnake's "Sailing Ships" kept humming through my mind, just in case you would like to listen to it, I included it below. It's a beautiful tune, but listen carefully to the words. The ache for love and adventure is in the song, but it's more about life than sailing.

And... But, of course, no story about sailing ships can be complete without - John Masefield's
    "I must go down to the Sea"
I must go down to the sea again,
to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star
to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the sea again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the sea again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Wouldn't it be great if we had an adventure, today, like stepping onto the deck of a sailing ship of yore...


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mud season is upon us.

As anybody that lives in the Eel River canyon knows, we only have two significant seasons... Dust and Mud. As of yesterday about noon, we sunk swiftly into “Mud Season”. It has rained 4.75” so far, the East Branch of the South Fork of the Eel River is up to the boat dock log in the Benbow R.V. park. That usually means that we had a pretty good storm. Just in case somebody slept through it, I did. There was NO wind. Wind and sleep are incompatible features of my life.

It’s strange, a few days ago we had those high wispy clouds that the old timers called “mare’s tails”. They said that was a cold front passing by, usually followed by a rain within three days at this time of year. The Totter-asses were in the fields and crying at night. That’s was another sign of impending rain to the old-timers. The pyracantha and madrone berries are just starting to turn. So far they have about the same blush as a new bride. Do brides still blush, I have noticed any new brides lately.

The robins are in the lawns and the wild pigeons are early this year. I haven’t seen Al Gore to check for sure but we are showing all of the signs that an “Old-Timer would say means that we are going to have a wet winter.

Time will tell, won’t it?

I’m doing another “windy” post about Sailing Ships. But, it’s dragging. This will be a fun post until I get it together

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The bear lady

Click on link.

Sometimes life just ain't fair...


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Anybody who has ever been a mechanic can appreciate this. You don’t always use the “best right tool'. Often you just use the "closest and fastest right tool" that you have within arms reach. This itsy-bitsy ball bearing needed to come off this armature. I tried the old two-screwdriver pry bar trick, levered across each jaw of the vice. Nope! So I grabbed the puller that I’ve used for years. It was on the shelf just above where I was working. As I set it up with all of the right bolts and fittings I stared looking around me, hoping nobody would notice how over-kill I was being, using my huge pulley extractor.

I’ve had the puller since I was a kid. I paid a fortune for the bearing clasp. I couldn’t afford the two or three hundred dollars that they wanted for the whole puller, so I made the rest of it with material that I had laying around. Sometimes it just pays to be a good scrounger.

The puller was something that I used every day on the old belt drive refrigeration units. The clasp fits over the motor pulley. Then the right bolts are used for proper pull length. A bar is used to keep the shaft from turning. Then the puller bolt is turned in with a wrench. The pulley either comes off, or the shaft pulls in two. The puller has served me well. I think that it is every bit as good as anything boughten, even today.

After about a half turn on the puller bolt, the bearing wheezed and popped with a snap, then just slipped off. I got to laughing so hard to myself about my “over-kill” that I decided to take some pictures, and share.

The armature is out of our store vacuum. The vacuum started making a noise like a dry whisping squeal. The rumor was started the vacuum was broken. I assured everybody that the vacuum wasn’t broken, that it was just noisy. I even showed them that it wasn’t broken by vacuuming the store a couple of times. That was just counter productive. They all decided that they didn’t want to be blamed for breaking the vacuum, but if I was willing to vacuum it was okay with them. The “Broken Vacuum” story persisted and it got to the point that we were able to rake and shovel the store, but nobody would run the “broken vacuum”.

Okay, I stopped fighting it. I took the vacuum in the back, took it apart and put new bearings in it, and started a rumor that the vacuum is fixed. I have a whole drawer full of vacuum ball-bearings. It only takes just a little bit longer to change the bearings than it takes to change the bag. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. I started a rumor that it was so quite now that you can hardly hear it. Now everybody has to try it just to see how it works, now that it’s “fixed“. I just have to shake my head and wonder what people think.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dime Novel???

The closing comment on the last thread about Fox Burns was By Robin Shelly. "Shhhh!We're writing a dime novel here!"

I thought that the comment was very appropriate here, especially coming from a once-upon-a-time newspaper reporter. Reporters seem to soak up literary knowledge, and know little tid-bits about arcane things. But, haaa.. She didn’t get me, because I know about Dime Novels. Dime Novels were all the rage in the 1860’s, about the time Fox Burns was being born. The books were the entertainment of the 1860’s clear up until Television was invented. They were very sensationalized books about adventure and intrigue.

Most of the dime novels had two titles like “The Bradys and the Fire Marshall” or “Hot Work in Hornersville”. Most of them had a “Damsel in distress” that needed a hero to save her. Some of the novels were quite lurid and they talked about how she bared her ankle or something equally wicked.

A lot of the Dime novels were about the Wild, Wild West, like Buffalo Bill. Some were about Jessie James, or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, or other less savory “scumbags”, as one of our fair readers pointed out. There wasn’t much law and order around Laytonville back in the days of the Dime Novel. Butch Cassidy and the Scumbag Kid probably wouldn't have sold that good. Every Dime Novel needed a "Hero". (capital "H")

It’s a little known fact, but true, that Butch Cassidy hung out in Covelo, just over the hill from Laytonville. I had to laugh at the characterization of “scumbag”. As times and mores change, I wonder how many of us will be “scumbgs” 150 years from now. I can almost bet that anybody who eats meat today will horrify the people 150 years away from us. That is, unless the world economy collapses, and we are eating each other. I would bet if you got hungry enough, even that would be okay. Then sometime in the future they will be judged for eating people. But, that has happened before hasn’t it? The Donner party became quite famous for that back in the mid 1800’s. About the timeframe of the “Scumbag”. Maybe a little before the Dime Novel, but I’d bet that it was a subject of at least one of the “Dime Novels”.

If you are interested in reading a few Dime Novels on-line click the blue link below. My fave is “Deadwood Dick’s Doom” or “Calamity Jane’s Last Adventure”.

There was an amazing amount of stories about frontiersmen, and battles with the “wild Indians”. The white guy was always the hero, and the Indian was always the villain. Some times a white guy would have a wild savage buddy, much like the buddy movies that you see today, trying to prove that a white guy can have an Indian or a black friend, like that proves something. “The Lone Ranger and Tonto” comes to mind. Or today, Danny Glover and Mel Gibson. We really haven’t changed that much have we.

The hero was always saving white women from the ravages of the Indian Warriors. Some white guys would take Indian princess wives, that was okay as long as they were princesses. But, the Dime Novels expressed the mores of the day.

Dime Novels or Penny Dreadfuls Before you read any of these Dime Novels, they are very racist by today's standards. By our standards today, it's hard to believe how little respect that they had for other people. I think that Suzy is right, there were a lot of "scumbags" back then. It's strange when juged by today's standards, to believe that this stuff was the entertainment medium of the day.

On a lighter note: I made more pies. See if you can guess what they are.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fox Burns

Our friend, "Olmanriver", became interested in the early history of the Eel River by reading this blog. I seem to have kept him busy clearing up my mistakes and lack of knowledge. When I would make a statement like “Fox Burns was a survivor of the battle of Bloody Run”, he would check my facts. He found out that there are more “facts” out there than you can shake a stick at.

When people ask me what happened at a certain historical happening, I usually reply with “It all depends on who’s story that you want to believe. In most cases I've heard at least five different versions.” in the case of Fox Burns, I’ve heard at least twenty-five versions of his story.

I often used to get the old story tellers to tell their stories by telling them about somebody else’s version of what happened. They would usually start by saying something like “well that’s Frank’s (made-up name) version of the story’. That Frank is a damn liar, you can’t believe a word he says”. Then they would go about correcting Franks damn lies. It was better than television.

After my telling of a few Fox Burns tales on this blog, Olmanriver found this Obituary in the Ukiah Daily Journal.

I told Olmanriver that the obituary couldn't be right, they had fox much too old, and I thought that he was a survivor of the Battle of Bloody Run in Mendocino County. The Battle of bloody run happened in about 1861(?) The story goes that a marauding band of Modoc Indians came through Long Valley (Laytonville) some of the local Indians joined with them, they stole some horses, took them to Dos Rios, killed them, and were caught by the local whites butchering the horses. The whites killed most of the Indians except for a few that they took to the Covelo Indian reservation. The surviving Indian children were taken back to Laytonville and raised by the local people. My 3G grandfather Robert Poe being one of the whites to raise the orphans. He was also probably involved in the killing of the Indian People.

Olmanriver agreed that the obit probably had some flaws, and he started researching Fox. He found some interesting history that I had not heard before. So, now I'm up to about twenty eight stories that I've heard about Fox Burns. The story that is the consensus of all of the stories that I've heard, is that he was brought home in a gunny sack from the battle of bloody run at Dos Rios by Benjamin Burns. Burns gave fox to his wife to raise. The Burns raised and educated fox. That is my twice told tale of Fox Burns. That story fits all that I've heard.

 The following was transcribed intact from the original Willits News Article. [sic]'s included.
"WILLITS NEWS OCTOBER 19, 1977 By Rena Lynn

“…Like many Indians at that time, Fox took the last name of the family which raised him.
There were a number of different Burns families in those days, and not much is known about the one which raised Fox except that it was the same family that produced the sisters Sina and Bertha who married Marion Wilson.
In the very early days, when the land of Northern California were first being invaded and settled by the white men, there were frequent clashes with the Indians whose traditional hunting grounds were being cleared and fenced.
The troubles were particularly acute in Humboldt County where the burnings of cabins, stealing of horses and murdering of settlers resulted in retaliation by the whites with frequent raids on Indian villages. From time to time word would be sent down to Mendocino County that help was needed and several of the men would pack up and ride north to join the avenging parties.
It was on one of these raids up in Humboldt county that three Indian children were taken alive after their parents had been killed. Among the men on that raid were Andy Bowman, famous early day woodsman, Jonathon Wilson and Benjamin Burns, the father of the Burns girls.
The story that was later passed down in the Wilson family was that Andy Bowman brought back two baby girls, strapped into boxes on his horse, while Jonathon rough tack a six-month old baby boy strapped to his.
Once back home in Laytonville, it was decided that the Burns family would keep the boy. The named the child Fox and kept him until he was in his teens and on his own, although in later years Fox would frequently tell people that he had lived for ’45 years with the Burns and Wilson families.’
Bud Patton first saw Fox Burns when Bud was four years old and attended a rodeo at Rancho
Primero with his mother and grandfather Billy Wilson.
Fox became famed as a bareback rider and rodeo performer, but on that particular day Bud says he was just riding up and down the arena on his beautiful jet black horse and the word being whispered around among the spectators was ‘There’s Fox Burns!’ as though he were a great celebrity.
Which, evidently, he was. Everyone still alive who ever knew the man remembers him as an outstanding, unforgettable personality, admired and respected by both his Indian and adopted brothers.
Mark Walker knew Fox when Mark was a child and Fox was a young man working in the woods for Mark’s father.
‘He was one of the finest men I ever knew,’ Mark says today, ‘honest, hard working, a happy man, friendly to everyone.’
Mark also remembers seeing Fox perform bareback in a horse race in Cahto when Mark was a small, wide-eyed boy.
Donald and Lee Wilson both remember Fox as an old, but still friendly and happy man when they were children.
‘He was different from the other Indians,’ Lee Wilson remembers. ‘All the kids used to follow him around and beg for stories, and he always carried a bag of rock candy just for passing out to the children who trailed around after him.’
Unaccountably, Fox Burns murdered a man when he was in his 50’s and was sent to San Quentin. Mark is not sure of the complete story, except that Fox was working in the hopfields in Ukiah at the time.
In the evenings, the Indians would gather around the campfire to play their favorite gambling games and one evening a white boy made the mistake of trying to break into the game.
A scuffle followed and something considered unforgivable by the Indian was shouted at him by the white boy. Fox, who had never been known to harm anyone up to that time, pulled out a pistol and shot the boy between the eyes.
He was sentenced to three years, but after serving only one was paroled to work on the road gang building Highway 101 north of Laytonville.
Mark also worked on that road gang and he and Fox renewed their old friendship and spend many free hours hunting and tracking in the wooded hills.
‘He always called me “Boy”’ Mark recounts, ‘and when the nights began to grow cool, he said ‘Boy, it’s going to be a hard winter—I’m going home.’
According the Mark, “home” was San Quentin which the old man had come to consider a good, warm place to be.
When he was finally released, he came back to live in the Reservation at Laytonville” END OF PART 1

In the last years of his life, Fox Burns lived in the Laytonville Rancheria.
Bud Patton recalls a visit he made to the old man when he was in his 80’s and was laid up with a broken leg sustained when he jumped out of a moving truck to open a pasture gate.
Bud says he was still a striking looking man with jet black hair and all his own teeth, and with a mind still sharp and clear, full of memories of the early days of the founding Cahto and Laytonville.
‘We must have talked for over three hours that day,’ Bud recalls, ‘while he rambled on about his childhood, his early years working in the woods, how good the Wilsons and Burns had been to him and how much he had always especially admired Billy Wilson, and how he missed the days of the old time rodeos at Rancho Primero. How I wish now that I had taken notes of everything he said!’
Mark Walker also remembers the later years of the famous old Indian.
‘Nearly every time I’d go into Laytonville for something, I’d run into Fox and he always wanted to stop and talk over old times. He’d usually end up by asking me to drive him home, which I always did, except for one time.’
On that day, Mark says, he was in a hurry, on his way to meet someone somewhere, when Fox stopped him and said ‘Boy, I’m not feeling very good. How about a ride home?’
Mark explained he didn’t have the time right then, and Fox good naturedly said, ‘OK, Boy. You come see me soon.’
The next time Mark came to town, it was to learn that Fox had died only a day or two following their last meeting.”

The following mug shot is from Fox Burns' trip though the prison system.
The following is transcibed by Olmanriver as faithfully as can be done. All of the periods and capital letters, the misspellings, and other mistakes are the way that it was written. The transcript was supposedly penned by Fox Burns himself. There is no solid evidence one way or the other about the authenticity of the handwriting. It is very possibly Foxes handwriting. Remember, the Burns family sent Fox to school. 

Foxes own story: 
Start: 9:45 A.M. June.21.
Fox Burns.- full blooded Indian of Trinity County-but came to Laytonville when 1 ½ years old-parents were killed by soldiers in Trinity Co. Lived with Kai-poma family at Laytonville since. 1862.
(handwriting changes)
"Race Burn tuck me to his Farther and Sad and toll his Farther that he Brought this BaBy for his Farther. From Trinity Co. to Laytonville and the first town was Kato. and now its colld Laytonville and this town was Mane after Water. Manes of Warter. By two Langgs. one is mane as Ka and the northern's colld .To and the Indians lived South of Kato is maned the CalloPoma and now the White Peoples collds them the Sherwood Indians. and I Ben with the Race Burns family for .18.-years. How I came to Be with Race Burns family. Race Burns tuck me When the Soldiers come and Killed My Morther and Farther. this was in the year of .1860. this hapins in Trinity Co. and I was raised By the Burns family. and When I was a Boy I work for them for my colse (clothes) and my Bord fed Hogs and milk Cows and took care of all of them things for them. and I get wipping ever day for .3. years By the Burns family. I have that coming to me for being I was So Mini and I stade with Burns family for .18. years and then I went out and work for My Self from there on. The frist Place I went to work after I left the Burns family was. Divil Best on a Pack trune with the orther Indians. And this Pack trunes gos from Shellder Cove to Noyo. up and down coast. And there was no town in Fort Braggs them days. Just a Soldiers home them days. What they called the train them days they have mules, 20 mules.and three mans to ever 20 mules, and one to Call the Bill Boy. and he Help Pack also. and also the mules gos 12 miles per days.and they also have a stop in Place. Any Place on the Rode. And the way they have it is this way. they have a post one each side of the Rode and they have a Rope across the Rode So When the frost mule comes there that he’ll haft to stop there and also the next ones also.and this is their relly Stopping Place.and When they all got there they take off all the lodes from the Mules and Stop there over Nights or over day. Just as they go 12, or. 10 miles a day that’s all they go.and the Bill Boy he do the coocking for this to mans. And this to orther mans they do the Packing.and they never feed them mules Koun Hay them days. We Just let the mules eat grass or any think that they can eat. Or. When they havint got much lode We have .3. .4. Sack of gran for the mules. To feed. The mules.this mules don’t get this feed every day. Koun.once in a week. or once a months is the Best We can do them days.this Mules Pack lodes Just like the turcks and Trains now days. And there was Koun Mailes to Be Packt them days and them days We work.for$1.00 a day and work every day. END.12.45.AM
Start at.1.30.P.M. and We never had Koun Relief them day like it on the work work Sundays and all never Koun Sundays them days. I have Ben on the Job 2 years. And Friend of Mine. Tom Bell was still on the Job when I left. Tom Bell and I was working on the Same Job.he was Still there When I went away and left.the Job on the Pack trains. I didint like the Pack trains and I work there.So long I didn’t care.to work on it Koun Man So I lefts and I went and work on dairy Ranch at Bar Harber and I Milk Cows and Ranck work all the work to Be taking care off I was there to do it and also Making Butter also. We had 60 cous to milk. I had to Milk .20. Cous MySelfs and the others had to Milk .40. Cous also this Ranch was on the Coast.15.-Miles down Below SHELLdEr COVE .this Ranck is.the Boss. Name is Mr. Matta Chiqer Kaiser Ranch and I was on this Ranch .3. years and My Pay was $ 100 a day that was the Best Pay that We can get them do and lot off us Indians work for northing Just for and food. and ever thing was good them days. themn days We can By Sack of flour for .90. oo Sack all the things was cheep them times. And the the close was cheep them days.and all this Places I work I Borde there all the times I work.and I never was married them days But I had a girl Friend that’s all.and this is this Ranch wor I rode Wild Mules for .3. years. Broking for riding mules. and there 3 off us Indians and one white he was the Bosss.his Name was diKe.is the Bosss.and We had all the eats that we went and When we work. We work.and We went hard and we never had Koun limint to your working times We Never had Koun times to work work from Sun to Sun every day Just think Just for $.100. ($1) a day.and Now days the Peoples work just right up to the moment When they work Now days. And all the Places that I work I was well liking By the People. Around the Whit Peoples and also the Indians What little Indians there was. Now from here on I Can Say this much about the Indians there wasint very much Indian. Them days around up Shellder Cover. Three or four here and there in Places.and When I work on this Ranch I was one off the Cow Boy on the Ranch and anything in line of Cow Boys work to Be done I was there to do it for the Ranch. Riding them Wild Mules all day.long and I have done lot off roping Cows and Wy ell Mules this is My work that I do all the time.)END .4.45. P.M.

Some notes in closing:
I owe a huge dept of gratitude to Olmanriver. His research has been valuable, but as always, no matter what historical stories I hear, I carry a great amount of skepticism. I have found that no matter what, there always seems to be flaws in personal historical accounts. I don’t say this to be critical of Olmanriver’s research. Everything that is printed here is as factual as he could pass it on. His research was immaculate, but the historical accounts that he found are flawed.
Olmanriver pointed out some of the following suspicions that he himself has. The raid on the Bowman Place at Camp Grant on the main Eel river is the raid that they are talking about. That raid supposedly caused the retaliation on the Indians in Humboldt county. That Indian raid on the Bowman's happened on March 25th 1869 (March 25th is my birthday!) Andy Bowman was 10 years old in 1869. Fox was a baby in 1862. By very crude calculations based on supposed fact, would make Andy Bowman about six or seven years old!

Many legends have Andy Bowman as tough as nails mountain man, but killing Indians at six years old and bringing two Indian baby girls strapped to his saddle is unusual. Many stories passed down through the generations get mixed together, and many mistakes are made. I’m guilty of it myself, stories get confused. I’m also very sure that truth can also be found in these old stories.

Fox Burns own story doesn’t make sense to me, first I question if it was really his handwriting. It could be, but it is not verified. I think that he is truly a survivor of the battle of Bloody Run. He could have very well been told the wrong story about himself. He was too young to really know. Most ALL of the Long Valley legends have him as a survivor of bloody run. For some strange reason I want to believe the things that I was told, growing up with these stories. So who do you believe? This is the most talked about Indian man in all of Laytonville’s history. It would seem that somebody would have all of the facts, wouldn’t it. So far I’m up to about twenty-eight versions of “The Life and Times of Fox Burns.” 

History by "Olmanriver"
Bullshistory by Ernie Branscomb