Monday, February 17, 2014

Captain John P Simpson

I got a comment on one of my back blogs about "Early Laytonville Indian History". A person identifying their self as "Violawarrior" left this comment:

"Hi, my name's Allie Simpson and I'm a descendent of Cpt John P Simpson. Thanks so much for the stories! My sister and I are trying to learn more about our family history and this blog gives dimension to the facts and records we've seen so far. If you have any more Simpson stories, please let me know!"

She did not send me an email so I can't reply to her except as a comment. Most people don't know that there is no trail back from a comment, so my hands are tied. I did find her subject to be of some local interest, so I decided to post it here and see what comes up!

 As everybody knows Capt. John P Simpson and his partner James N White were the first to settle in Long Valley. (laytonville)

From internet: "In 1854,[James N White] with Capt. J. P. Simpson located at Cahto. At the time there was a lake there, and plenty of game, thousands of ducks and geese. The Indians named it Cahto, meaning "Fat water." They located government land; drained the lake, which gave them two hundred acres of rich land, which was formerly the bottom of the lake. They built and started a store, as also a hotel and livery stable, purchased land adjoining and the Cahto ranch which embraced about thirty-two hundred acres. Robert White was postmaster and express agent. They also owned the Blue Rock ranch, but that ranch was later owned by James N. White and Captain Simpson. The captain was found dead by J. N. White, having succumbed to heart disease.'

 Here are some interesting links to Capt. J P Simpson:

 link 1

link 2

link 3

 link 4


Ernie Branscomb said...

I have had some problems posting on my blog lately. It has some serious glitches. It has been ignoring some comments and it will only accept my input in HTML form. Weird!

If you have been having problems, try emailing me direct. My Edress is in the upper left corner.

skippy said...

And yet another good reason why you should keep on writing, blogging, story'in and history'in, Ernie.

There's a lot to give, so much to know, and so little time. Someday, folks' ancestors and the folklife researchers are going to come beating to your site to unearth the relics and pearls of yesteryear you left behind and it'll be a true treasure trove of discovery.

Refrigerators by day... and hand-me-down oral history by night. And keeping the homestead and Missus happy in between.

Sounds good to me. Just sayin'.

olmanriver said...

A California State Historical Society Quarterly gives us some more little known details about Simpson.
In 1855 an expedition led by HP Heintzelman left Petaluma to scout the coast up to Cape Mendocino for potential Indian reservations. Three miles north of Buldoom, or Big River, he came to Bob White's ranch where Simpson, White and Watt joined the expedition. Having been there since 1852, they spoke several local languages. The result of the expedition was that the area just south of the Noyo River up the coast to one mile north of the Ten Mile River was chosen, and in 1856 construction of buildings commenced. J.P. Simpson was the overseer of the Cully Bool farm or station just south of the Noyo River.
I have seen no record of how long he worked there but most histories say he and White came to Cahto in very late '56 or early '57.

Nor Cal Historian said...

The following excerpt from the testimony
of William Frazier of Long Valley illustrates
the general thinking of the ranchers. It is also
interesting in that it provides another view of
former Indian agent Robert White and former
reservation employee John Simpson, both of
whom had moved from Mendocino to the vicinity
of Long Valley, where they continued to exert
influence over the Indians by operating a
kind of private reservation:
... The Indians and whites in one thousand
eight hundred and fifty-seven were
friendly; the first serious difficulty that occurred between the whites and Indians was
one year ago, when the three head of stock
above referred to were killed; when Mr. Simpson,
Mr. White, myself, and others, hearing
that the Indians had beef in the rancheria, in
the valley, went to the rancheria for the purpose
of chastising the Indians, when all fled
but one, and we shot his head off; he tried to
escape; some friendly Indians brought some
beef from the rancheria to us; this was the
last difficulty up to October last, with the Indians;
these Indians were known as the Kaza-
Porno. At the time this difficulty occurred,
they came to terms with us and have been
peaceable ever since; the Indians with whom
we have had difficulties since October last,
are known as the Yucas, who do not reside in
Long Valley, but were driven over from the
east side of Eel River, in the vicinity of Round
Valley; in December last, towards the latter
part, the citizens met and organized a company
of forty men, under the command of
Captain Farley; I was elected Lieutenant; a
day or two after the organization, we started
on an expedition across Eel River, in the
mountains between Round Valley and Long
Valley; we left Long Valley in the evening,
and traveled in the night until we saw the fire
of an Indian rancheria, which rancheria we surrounded when day was breaking, and
waited until near sun up before we attacked
and killed twenty, consisting of bucks,
squaws and children, and also took two
squaws and one child, prisoners; those killed
were all killed in about three minutes; I took
the prisoners to White and Simpson's Ranch,
where there are some friendly Indians, and
delivered them up to White and Simpson, who
promised to take care of them; we found in
this rancheria no signs of any depredation
having been committed by these Indians; at
White and Simpson's I procured an interpreter,
through whom the two squaws said
that they had lived on beef and horse meat for
some time; we used no threats or promises to
induce them to say so; they said that they had
heard the Indians say that they had been killing
stock longer than the white men knew
anything about, and that they intended to kill
all the stock in the valley; they assigned no
cause for killing the stock, and we could not
induce them to do so ...
P 29 Mendocino Reservation

Nor Cal Historian said...

Two undated,
anonymous accounts from the files of the Mendocino
County Historical Society offer a glimpse
into this world. One describes a reservation employee
using Indian women to carry onehundred-pound sacks of grain ten miles from
his "private" farm (located on the reservation)
to the reservation headquarters, where he sold
the grain to the government. The women packers
were urged on by a mounted man with a
blacksnake whip. The other account describes a
similar use of Indian women by the manager of
the Noyo mill: "Indian squaws were 'rented'
from the agent by the manager of a certain lumber
company located near the reservation, to
`pack' grain and baled hay some seven miles up
the river to the lumberman's camp. The rental,
fifty cents a head, going to the same thrifty
P 49 Mendocino Reservation

Stephen said...

Jeezus, these white settler Indian killer stories are awful. Whites only got away with it because of the smallness of most California tribes. The big ones like Hoopa, they were afraid of. It would have been a far different story if California tribes were big like say the Lakotas or other Plains tribes.

But that's not why I'm posting. Where is your email link, Ernie? I can't find it in your blog. I would like to know if there's any construction company in Laytonville or wildly, any eco-community tech people there. You know of any?

Anonymous said...

Stephen,--Go to Ernie's Blog and scroll the information on the left side to Personal Bio and read that section. His E-mail address is there, the last sentence.

Stephen said...

Ok, I'll try that. Thanks.

firedevilsac3 said...

Thank you for this well written piece and your good work for non-profits.

Ross Sherburn said...

Is Chad Bushnell the C/W singer from Red Bluff,related to Billy & Bobby Bushnell of Garberville?
The Bushnell boys were timber cruisers or timber fallers back in the day.........


Ross Sherburn

Ernie Branscomb said...

Hi Ross! It's good to hear from you. I'm not sure if they are related. Bobby is still alive. He just recently sold his house. I'm not sure where he moved to. Bill died about 7 years ago. Bob didn't have children. Bill did, but don't know where they went.

I'm a real fountainhead of information ain't I?

olmanriver said...

Hey Allie Simpson, I hope this comments finds you. I have accumulated some Simpson stories that were lost in the National archives that I would rather share via email. If you email Ernie, see instructions above... he will forward it along.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Hi River.
I never had her email address. Here's hoping she either gets this or somebody knows her that will send her the message.

Ross Sherburn said...

Ernie,thanks for the reply,I just now checked back in.
I'll be back.......

Ross Sherburn said...

Just checking in again..........!

spyrock said...

hey ross,
going to retire soon. maybe april 1. i met a real estate guy in willets who knew the simmerelys and we shared stories. he was italian and lives on the east side of the valley up on a hill overlooking it. he is a supporter of the local rodeo. can't remember his name. great guy. river sent me some info on john kauble. which i'm trying to piece together. a great story about simpson. spy

Ernie Branscomb said...

Hi folks! Smee,
I'm am in contact with a Foord If anyone wants to email her please Email me and I will put you together.
She is related to the Simmerlys