Genocide on the North Coast –The Death Campaigns of 1858-1860

William Marion Cole and his wife, Sarah (Mahurin) Cole

The door was blocked by white men as the people were asleep, not expecting anything to happen. They were not on the lookout. When they found out what was up they began to scatter and was struck down by clubs, knives, and axes, all met the same fate, children, women, and men. I got out and hid in a trash pile. That was how I was saved.

This week’s North Coast Journal uses gripping first person accounts to portray the massacres of Native Americans who lived around Humboldt Bay in February of 1860.  This article mentions that a year earlier a group called the Trinity Rangers on Redwood Creek  had responded to the reported deaths of white settlers with an organized militia. According to their commander, General Kibbe, this band of men ended up killing about 200 Native Americans and putting about 1200 more onto the Klamath Reservation.

What this article doesn’t talk about though is the wider genocide that occurred all over the North Coast during that blood soaked winter of 1859-1860. In fact, the depredations against the native population in the Round Valley area had been so egregious that the governor of California had sent a investigative commission to Mendocino only a few days before the massacre on Indian Island (see Frank H. Baumgardner’s Killing for Land in Early California)

I know about it because (as I wrote in an earlier post) my dad’s ancestors lived in Sanel (right by Hopland). They were some of the first European settlers there. Like Ernie, I’m really proud of that. I like having my roots so deep in the soil around here. But you might not want to ask me much about that first pioneer. I might pretend I don’t hear you. Or, education about local history being what it is, I’d probably just mumble his name and figure you wouldn’t know him. And you wouldn’t. And education on local history being what it is, you wouldn’t know about the group he joined in 1859 either.

I like the group’s name. Sounds like a Little League team—The Eel River Rangers. But if someone wanted to print that title on their kids’ t-shirts, I’d discourage them. See, the original holders of the name—they were a might unpleasant.

A Native American woman had, as was common at that time in Mendocino and Humboldt, been taken slave by a settler. She escaped to the reservation but, the man followed her and stole her again. The facts get a little muddled but the documents agree the man was killed and his death blamed on her people.

Ostensibly to avenge his ‘murder,’ but, as becomes apparent when reading the depositions of the settlers, really to rid the area of competitors, a militia of twenty men—those Eel River Rangers–rampaged for five months… and were paid for it by the government. They attacked Rancherias and killed any Native man and many of the women and children they found.

Here is a description of one of a militia’s raids as described at the time by the Alta Californian.

“The attacking party rushed upon [the Native Americans], blowing out their brains, and splitting their heads open with tomahawks. Little children in baskets, and even babes, had their heads smashed to pieces or cut open. Mothers and infants shared the same phenomenon … Many of the fugitives were chased and shot as they ran … The children scarcely able to run, toddled towards the squaw for protection, crying with fright, but were overtaken, slaughtered like wild animals, and thrown into piles. … One woman got into a pond hole, where she hid herself under the grass, with her head above water, and concealed her papoose on the bank in a basket. She was discovered and her head blown to pieces, the muzzle of the gun being placed against her skull and the child was drowned in the pond.”

Here is short description of another by one of the participants.

“On the first night we found two wounded indians and one old squaw. All of which we killed. On our return home we found another rancheria…we surprised them and killed thirteen bucks and two squaws.”

I probably wouldn’t mention that little piece of history to you. But, if your family roots go deep into the soil around here, you probably have your own ancestor that you don’t care to talk about.

———-

I wrote the above 2 years ago.  My feelings have “matured” since then.  But the stark evil that my ancestors were capable of still shocks me.  Note though that I don’t say THEY were evil like Hank does here. I have come to realize that people are capable of a huge range of actions–both good and evil–and to label a person good or evil limits your understanding of them…and of yourself.  Vilifying an act as evil is an important part of growing and understanding and judging right from wrong.  Vilifying people as evil makes it too damn easy to pretend that we are never in danger of walking the dark paths ourselves…

Update: More at Heraldo’s

More about today on Indian Island here

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47 comments

  • Hate the sin, not the sinner? Still good advice. And the history is no less shocking. I remain amazed at what humans are capable of when they see others as Others – somehow lesser, different. I must remain optimistic that the overall evolution moves towards something better.

  • (Well this is definitly a switch from usual topics here. I agree that the families who have long history here have had to look at family history that they will find very difficult to want to talk about. But it seems like it must be done so that any type of healing that could be done has a better chance of happening than if it continues to be hidden.. over at “Lynettes NorCal History Blog” you will find very detailed information and then Ernies blog, for yet another perspective. We do need each others stories. It keeps us honest.

  • (Well this is definitly a switch from usual topics here. I agree that the families who have long history here have had to look at family history that they will find very difficult to want to talk about. But it seems like it must be done so that any type of healing that could be done has a better chance of happening than if it continues to be hidden.. over at “Lynettes NorCal History Blog” you will find very detailed information and then Ernies blog, for yet another perspective. We do need each others stories. It keeps us honest.

  • Well Kym, I’m not going to leave you hanging out here all by yourself. Thank you for a well thought out and informative post. I only recently discovered, within this last year, the connections in my family to the massacre at Bloody Run. It looks like your grandfather and my two grandfathers rode side by side. Unlike the miscreants that did the Indian Island massacre, they owned up to their deeds. But, they were understandably reluctant to disclose the details. Only recently has much information becoming available.

    Like you, I can’t help but be proud of my ancestors. But, like you, I also carry the shame of what they did. I know that I’m the one that claims that it is unreasonable to make connections from the past to today, but I guess we just do those things, like it or not. Unlike many others, I would like to keep my mind open to the possibility that they had no other choices. That and they were in a different culture than we have today.

    Those with no history, or those that refuse to admit their history, are at a great loss in not having to wonder who they really are, and what they might have done in similar circumstances. Most people can’t even envision what the north coast was like back in the hills of the 1850s. If I had the power, I would like to be able to drop one of our paragons of virtue into the middle of the South Fork of the Eel Valley in 1860, with nothing but his buckskin clothes and a muzzle loading rifle. I wonder how long he would last.

    Jerry Rohde’s article fails to make the connection to the motivation of the Trinity Rangers, and the Eel River rangers, to the Indian Island Massacre. I believe that the circumstances were very different. I’ve seen the remains of some of the homesteaders cabins. It is plain that they led a simple life, and tried for the most part to get along with their neighbors and the Indian people. I’ve heard many stories that bear that out. I’m sure that they just wanted to live peacefully. I also know that they were the prey of white thugs. I’ve heard those stories also. To blame any one person, or for that matter group of persons for their actions, would be a mistake.

    This all happened before anybody even knew about the Stockholm Syndrome, or post traumatic stress disorder. They though that they just had to tough it out. It must have been a hard life. I’m glad that your ancestors stayed alive long enough to be your ancestor. There must be some value in that.

  • Well Kym, I’m not going to leave you hanging out here all by yourself. Thank you for a well thought out and informative post. I only recently discovered, within this last year, the connections in my family to the massacre at Bloody Run. It looks like your grandfather and my two grandfathers rode side by side. Unlike the miscreants that did the Indian Island massacre, they owned up to their deeds. But, they were understandably reluctant to disclose the details. Only recently has much information becoming available.

    Like you, I can’t help but be proud of my ancestors. But, like you, I also carry the shame of what they did. I know that I’m the one that claims that it is unreasonable to make connections from the past to today, but I guess we just do those things, like it or not. Unlike many others, I would like to keep my mind open to the possibility that they had no other choices. That and they were in a different culture than we have today.

    Those with no history, or those that refuse to admit their history, are at a great loss in not having to wonder who they really are, and what they might have done in similar circumstances. Most people can’t even envision what the north coast was like back in the hills of the 1850s. If I had the power, I would like to be able to drop one of our paragons of virtue into the middle of the South Fork of the Eel Valley in 1860, with nothing but his buckskin clothes and a muzzle loading rifle. I wonder how long he would last.

    Jerry Rohde’s article fails to make the connection to the motivation of the Trinity Rangers, and the Eel River rangers, to the Indian Island Massacre. I believe that the circumstances were very different. I’ve seen the remains of some of the homesteaders cabins. It is plain that they led a simple life, and tried for the most part to get along with their neighbors and the Indian people. I’ve heard many stories that bear that out. I’m sure that they just wanted to live peacefully. I also know that they were the prey of white thugs. I’ve heard those stories also. To blame any one person, or for that matter group of persons for their actions, would be a mistake.

    This all happened before anybody even knew about the Stockholm Syndrome, or post traumatic stress disorder. They though that they just had to tough it out. It must have been a hard life. I’m glad that your ancestors stayed alive long enough to be your ancestor. There must be some value in that.

  • Jen,
    I’m pretty optimistic, too. (With people like you around, who could avoid it? I love how your money advice columns seem to always include giving to non-profits. Somehow I just can’t see Suze Orman advocating the same track. Thank you for offering advice for real people who want to live kindly on the world.)

    Maryellen,
    Its only since I started writing for Grow that my blog has had such a cannabis color. Now that I have to be up on all things weed, I don’t have as much time to play in my other favorite subjects–history, genealogy, writing fiction…etc. But I’m a faithful reader of both Ernie’s and Lynette’s blogs. When Google Reader shows that they have posted my heart leaps a little.

    Ernie,
    I loved reading that our grandfather’s were acquaintances maybe even friends (even though I was sickened at their idea of a boys’ night out.) I’ve been trying for two years (when I had time) to research the Rangers and their activities. Partly it is a fascination with how ugly this research is going to get and partly a wanting to understand where my people came from and what they thought.

    I, too, get frustrated when people want to lay the sins of the fathers on the sons. God, I hope my kids are blamed only for their own mistakes not mine, and certainly not their great great great grandfather’s. And as a genealogist, I’m pretty damn sure those people have a few skeletons in their own closets that they just haven’t researched enough to find.

    • It’s true, i have been lurking for a short time and do not have long term perspective. i do enjoy all the topics and the photos as well. nice work/play.

      • Maryellen, thank you for coming by but even more thank you for commenting. I have learned so much from the people who add to the conversation. I sometimes feel like I get mini courses in whatever subject we discuss here.

  • Jen,
    I’m pretty optimistic, too. (With people like you around, who could avoid it? I love how your money advice columns seem to always include giving to non-profits. Somehow I just can’t see Suze Orman advocating the same track. Thank you for offering advice for real people who want to live kindly on the world.)

    Maryellen,
    Its only since I started writing for Grow that my blog has had such a cannabis color. Now that I have to be up on all things weed, I don’t have as much time to play in my other favorite subjects–history, genealogy, writing fiction…etc. But I’m a faithful reader of both Ernie’s and Lynette’s blogs. When Google Reader shows that they have posted my heart leaps a little.

    Ernie,
    I loved reading that our grandfather’s were acquaintances maybe even friends (even though I was sickened at their idea of a boys’ night out.) I’ve been trying for two years (when I had time) to research the Rangers and their activities. Partly it is a fascination with how ugly this research is going to get and partly a wanting to understand where my people came from and what they thought.

    I, too, get frustrated when people want to lay the sins of the fathers on the sons. God, I hope my kids are blamed only for their own mistakes not mine, and certainly not their great great great grandfather’s. And as a genealogist, I’m pretty damn sure those people have a few skeletons in their own closets that they just haven’t researched enough to find.

    • It’s true, i have been lurking for a short time and do not have long term perspective. i do enjoy all the topics and the photos as well. nice work/play.

      • Maryellen, thank you for coming by but even more thank you for commenting. I have learned so much from the people who add to the conversation. I sometimes feel like I get mini courses in whatever subject we discuss here.

  • I think that a lot of blame for the difficulty in bring a peaceful settlement of the west lies at the feet of our government. They were as much help in maintaining the peace it the 1850s-’60s as they were in helping the people in New Orleans during Katrina. I’m sure that there was much frustration amongst the settlers, who had been promised that they would be safe.

  • I think that a lot of blame for the difficulty in bring a peaceful settlement of the west lies at the feet of our government. They were as much help in maintaining the peace it the 1850s-’60s as they were in helping the people in New Orleans during Katrina. I’m sure that there was much frustration amongst the settlers, who had been promised that they would be safe.

  • Gosh, I had to force myself to read this. It is so hard, so horrifying.

  • Gosh, I had to force myself to read this. It is so hard, so horrifying.

  • It’s really sad to think what human beings are capable of doing to other human beings. From the research my mom’s done on Fernando, I feel fortunate that he was rather kind and respectful to the true area locals.

  • It’s really sad to think what human beings are capable of doing to other human beings. From the research my mom’s done on Fernando, I feel fortunate that he was rather kind and respectful to the true area locals.

  • I didn’t want to believe that this was me (and, of course, it isn’t) but we are all complicit in the horrible acts that “gave” us this land unless we stand up and acknowledge them.

  • I didn’t want to believe that this was me (and, of course, it isn’t) but we are all complicit in the horrible acts that “gave” us this land unless we stand up and acknowledge them.

  • Kym, as bad as that was I’d like to know what has changed in 150 years? Tell me what the difference is in what was done then and what’s been done and is currently being done to hundreds of innocent women and children by our American “Ranger” Heroes in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places in the last ten years? After occupying the indigenous people’s lands American’s merely moved on to pillage and loot other lands. There isn’t much anyone can do about what their ancestor’s did, but we sure can do something about this ongoing tragedy. Tell me we don’t pay for what our ancestor’s did and I’ll show you our recent history. This warmongering didn’t hatch and crawl out from under a rock yesterday. Remember? “Live by the sword, die by the sword.” It won’t be our ancestor’s doing the dying.

  • Kym, as bad as that was I’d like to know what has changed in 150 years? Tell me what the difference is in what was done then and what’s been done and is currently being done to hundreds of innocent women and children by our American “Ranger” Heroes in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places in the last ten years? After occupying the indigenous people’s lands American’s merely moved on to pillage and loot other lands. There isn’t much anyone can do about what their ancestor’s did, but we sure can do something about this ongoing tragedy. Tell me we don’t pay for what our ancestor’s did and I’ll show you our recent history. This warmongering didn’t hatch and crawl out from under a rock yesterday. Remember? “Live by the sword, die by the sword.” It won’t be our ancestor’s doing the dying.

  • Joe, You’re right. Nothing has changed (well, the location has to be a little distant and the people’s religion a bit skewed from ours) As a whole though, we still kill innocents to make sure our families have the good stuff and are safe.

    People frequently advocate dropping bombs onto Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, North Korea–where ever–to ensure that the “bad guys” don’t do X Y or Z. Yet, the only thing I can see separating the actions of the bad guys from the good guys is which side our economic interest is on.

  • Joe, You’re right. Nothing has changed (well, the location has to be a little distant and the people’s religion a bit skewed from ours) As a whole though, we still kill innocents to make sure our families have the good stuff and are safe.

    People frequently advocate dropping bombs onto Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, North Korea–where ever–to ensure that the “bad guys” don’t do X Y or Z. Yet, the only thing I can see separating the actions of the bad guys from the good guys is which side our economic interest is on.

  • Kym… Thanks for this post. When I first came here and was tending bar at Astrinsky’s, I can remember asking my new found logger and construction worker friends at the bar, “What happened to the Indians around here?” “Oh, the settlers killed ’em all.” I was told. For years, I wondered why there were no rancherias in our area when there were several in the Eureka-Fortuna area and a large Native presence on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers, including reservations. What happened in Southern Humboldt?.. I think I have a little clearer picture now. From the descriptions of local Indian informants such as Indian Charlie in Salmon Creek and Albert Smith in Garberville, it seems to me that the Army decided to clear away the Natives living near the north/south road we now call Mail Ridge. Though many Indians were killed in this effort, many more were taken away to the reservations at Klamath and Smith River. These reservations were poorly supplied and disease was rampant. Needless to say, medical aid was nonexistent. Indians who were able to travel escaped and returned to their old homes. Some of this took place BEFORE many settlers had arrived in the area. A number of the earliest settlers engaged in selling Indian children and attacking the remaining villages. In little more than a decade, the Native population was so reduced that the only remaining Indians were living with settler families.
    Indian Island was close to Eureka and became justly well known. Here, we had many raids which were never recorded. The conditions at the reservations are rarely discussed. This historic period has been suppressed until recent times.

  • Kym… Thanks for this post. When I first came here and was tending bar at Astrinsky’s, I can remember asking my new found logger and construction worker friends at the bar, “What happened to the Indians around here?” “Oh, the settlers killed ’em all.” I was told. For years, I wondered why there were no rancherias in our area when there were several in the Eureka-Fortuna area and a large Native presence on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers, including reservations. What happened in Southern Humboldt?.. I think I have a little clearer picture now. From the descriptions of local Indian informants such as Indian Charlie in Salmon Creek and Albert Smith in Garberville, it seems to me that the Army decided to clear away the Natives living near the north/south road we now call Mail Ridge. Though many Indians were killed in this effort, many more were taken away to the reservations at Klamath and Smith River. These reservations were poorly supplied and disease was rampant. Needless to say, medical aid was nonexistent. Indians who were able to travel escaped and returned to their old homes. Some of this took place BEFORE many settlers had arrived in the area. A number of the earliest settlers engaged in selling Indian children and attacking the remaining villages. In little more than a decade, the Native population was so reduced that the only remaining Indians were living with settler families.
    Indian Island was close to Eureka and became justly well known. Here, we had many raids which were never recorded. The conditions at the reservations are rarely discussed. This historic period has been suppressed until recent times.

  • When I was in nursing school, I couldn’t understand why the Indian nurses- in- training hated me. I fatuously thought, well I’ve never done anything to them. Now I know why they hated me- after I lived in Chiapas, Mexico and learned that La Copnquista sigue-the conquest continues, even to this day..

  • When I was in nursing school, I couldn’t understand why the Indian nurses- in- training hated me. I fatuously thought, well I’ve never done anything to them. Now I know why they hated me- after I lived in Chiapas, Mexico and learned that La Copnquista sigue-the conquest continues, even to this day..

  • Good Read. Thank you Kym.

  • Good Read. Thank you Kym.

  • There has been a lot of work done by people at Ivy league school’s on this by the way a notable person is Benjamin Madley at Yale. I have done my own research on this, I was looking for the relatives of the captain of the Eel River Rangers – Walter Jarboe. I found that just a few years after the raids he died, and I went looking to find his direct off spring to see if they were in the area and had no luck, I know he had 2 kids that survived at the time of his death.

    • Yuki Native,

      Ancestry.com has a genealogy line on Jarboe. I think you can do a free search for a bit or maybe buy by the month. If I remember correctly, there is quite a bit of information including information on current descendants.

  • There has been a lot of work done by people at Ivy league school’s on this by the way a notable person is Benjamin Madley at Yale. I have done my own research on this, I was looking for the relatives of the captain of the Eel River Rangers – Walter Jarboe. I found that just a few years after the raids he died, and I went looking to find his direct off spring to see if they were in the area and had no luck, I know he had 2 kids that survived at the time of his death.

    • Yuki Native,

      Ancestry.com has a genealogy line on Jarboe. I think you can do a free search for a bit or maybe buy by the month. If I remember correctly, there is quite a bit of information including information on current descendants.

  • I have seen what you are talking about on Jarboe on Ancestry.com, I actually have more information on him than is listed in that article. I was looking for direct descendants of his. I know he marries Cynthia Winchester (yes, the riffle people) and he spends his last two years as a justice of the peace for the city of Ukiah and dies in his mid thirties in Ukiah. I even pulled his will, from and his will he leaves his estate to his 8 year old son who is noted, however he does not not have a name listed for him and there is no birth record of this child. Even the estate in the will does not give a specific location, however having seen his will he was a wealthy man leaving behing 500 head of cattle on a 800 acres estate in Redwood Valley and nearly 20,000 dollars. That is where the trail ran cold, he is buried in Ukiah and nobody in his family is close to him and Cynthia Windhester (Jarboe) which she begins to go by after they got married disappears and I can’t find her anywhere or the two kids. There is one thing about Jarboe I have been able to disprove, if you run across histories of him you will find that when he died most people listed him as having a small funeral with few in attendance, however I find information at the Mendocino County Archive that shows his funeral was one of the largest in Ukiah history at the time with at least 300 people in attendance and to quote the article exactly says “Mourning the loss of a great man”. What a joke! I have been looking for other relatives of the Eel River Rangers as well as the local land owners who helped form them, it has been a very difficult task. It has all been in effort to help write a book about the Yuki People, of which I am a proud member of. I was going to call the chapter on Jarboe’s relatives and other Eel River Rangers relatives “What if Hitler had children?”. And, to point out the chapter would not include just bashing of relatives, but it would be to point out how bad people can create good people.

    • This Rootsweb article has some info and speculation on his early California history.

      • Hey Yuki Native, has your search taken you to the Held-Poage Mendocino County Historial Society building in Ukiah? It sounds like you have. They are very helpful people with a computerized database.

        • I have seen the article on Rootsweb – thanks for your interest. And by the way good use of the word “speculation”. I have a good story about going to Held-Poage. I went in there and they were very helpful at first, you can tell they are obvious history buffs. At first I gave them the name of Walter Jarboe and asked if they had any information on him. A couple people were like no problem they get to work on the computer and begin going to work and they are definitely excited at what they begin to find, they start tellilng me he was the first justice of the peace for ukiah and he is one of the first people buried at russian river cemetary and they go on to explain about his family and so on… Then it started to get a little strange a little old man appeared from the back of the room who worked there (and by work I mean volunteer – bless their hearts) and he says you mean Captin Jarboe of the Eel River Rangers. I say “yes”. Then the looks on their faces went from happy to sad. They begin asking me why I am looking for the infromation and many other questions, after that they were a little less helpful and almost downright rude. However, during my investigation into Yuki history I have become good freinds with Frank Baumgardner author of “Killing for land in Early California”, and he gave me a good piece of advice once and that was to be persistant and don’t give up, no matter what. So, I ddn’t leave until I got as much information as I could even if they weren’t being helpful as they could have been. Which lead me to the Ukiah courthouse where is will is, and that of course is where my search ended, due to no more information on his heirs.

          I can say in my county (Mendocino County) there is a age gap of understanding about what occured in the Round Valley area, most people of a certain age of say 55 and older say that what occured was sad and then they go on to say but that happened a long time ago and the indians need to get over it and now they get everything for free. However, there is a growing number of people less than 55 who can see that the Round Valley people suffered from a cold blooded and nearly well thought out “Genocide”, of which was conducted by citizens of this area in additon to the state of califronia and the government of the united states.

          There is a quote I will leave you with from Benjamin Madley “Unbraiding each tribe’s story from the tapestry of American Indian history, and bringing each into sharper relief, will create a clearer, more vivid portrait of American Indian experiences, and of United States history as a whole. Such investigations may be painful, but they will help both Indian and non-Indian Americans make sense of our past and our selves.”

          • Thanks for your response, Yuki Native, that quote by Madley is now a favorite. Both Killing for Land and When the Great Spirit Died are so, painfully, good.

            I dig through old microfilm and have found some Yuki material transcribed in the ’30’s by Frank Essene’s students, or Round Valley locals. One is a Ralph Moore story of a Yuki prophet who foresaw the coming of the whites. If you are interested, send Kym your email and she can forward it along for me to send you the story in a Word doc. If you wish.
            It is wonderful work that you are doing,.

  • I have seen what you are talking about on Jarboe on Ancestry.com, I actually have more information on him than is listed in that article. I was looking for direct descendants of his. I know he marries Cynthia Winchester (yes, the riffle people) and he spends his last two years as a justice of the peace for the city of Ukiah and dies in his mid thirties in Ukiah. I even pulled his will, from and his will he leaves his estate to his 8 year old son who is noted, however he does not not have a name listed for him and there is no birth record of this child. Even the estate in the will does not give a specific location, however having seen his will he was a wealthy man leaving behing 500 head of cattle on a 800 acres estate in Redwood Valley and nearly 20,000 dollars. That is where the trail ran cold, he is buried in Ukiah and nobody in his family is close to him and Cynthia Windhester (Jarboe) which she begins to go by after they got married disappears and I can’t find her anywhere or the two kids. There is one thing about Jarboe I have been able to disprove, if you run across histories of him you will find that when he died most people listed him as having a small funeral with few in attendance, however I find information at the Mendocino County Archive that shows his funeral was one of the largest in Ukiah history at the time with at least 300 people in attendance and to quote the article exactly says “Mourning the loss of a great man”. What a joke! I have been looking for other relatives of the Eel River Rangers as well as the local land owners who helped form them, it has been a very difficult task. It has all been in effort to help write a book about the Yuki People, of which I am a proud member of. I was going to call the chapter on Jarboe’s relatives and other Eel River Rangers relatives “What if Hitler had children?”. And, to point out the chapter would not include just bashing of relatives, but it would be to point out how bad people can create good people.

    • This Rootsweb article has some info and speculation on his early California history.

      • Hey Yuki Native, has your search taken you to the Held-Poage Mendocino County Historial Society building in Ukiah? It sounds like you have. They are very helpful people with a computerized database.

        • I have seen the article on Rootsweb – thanks for your interest. And by the way good use of the word “speculation”. I have a good story about going to Held-Poage. I went in there and they were very helpful at first, you can tell they are obvious history buffs. At first I gave them the name of Walter Jarboe and asked if they had any information on him. A couple people were like no problem they get to work on the computer and begin going to work and they are definitely excited at what they begin to find, they start tellilng me he was the first justice of the peace for ukiah and he is one of the first people buried at russian river cemetary and they go on to explain about his family and so on… Then it started to get a little strange a little old man appeared from the back of the room who worked there (and by work I mean volunteer – bless their hearts) and he says you mean Captin Jarboe of the Eel River Rangers. I say “yes”. Then the looks on their faces went from happy to sad. They begin asking me why I am looking for the infromation and many other questions, after that they were a little less helpful and almost downright rude. However, during my investigation into Yuki history I have become good freinds with Frank Baumgardner author of “Killing for land in Early California”, and he gave me a good piece of advice once and that was to be persistant and don’t give up, no matter what. So, I ddn’t leave until I got as much information as I could even if they weren’t being helpful as they could have been. Which lead me to the Ukiah courthouse where is will is, and that of course is where my search ended, due to no more information on his heirs.

          I can say in my county (Mendocino County) there is a age gap of understanding about what occured in the Round Valley area, most people of a certain age of say 55 and older say that what occured was sad and then they go on to say but that happened a long time ago and the indians need to get over it and now they get everything for free. However, there is a growing number of people less than 55 who can see that the Round Valley people suffered from a cold blooded and nearly well thought out “Genocide”, of which was conducted by citizens of this area in additon to the state of califronia and the government of the united states.

          There is a quote I will leave you with from Benjamin Madley “Unbraiding each tribe’s story from the tapestry of American Indian history, and bringing each into sharper relief, will create a clearer, more vivid portrait of American Indian experiences, and of United States history as a whole. Such investigations may be painful, but they will help both Indian and non-Indian Americans make sense of our past and our selves.”

          • Thanks for your response, Yuki Native, that quote by Madley is now a favorite. Both Killing for Land and When the Great Spirit Died are so, painfully, good.

            I dig through old microfilm and have found some Yuki material transcribed in the ’30’s by Frank Essene’s students, or Round Valley locals. One is a Ralph Moore story of a Yuki prophet who foresaw the coming of the whites. If you are interested, send Kym your email and she can forward it along for me to send you the story in a Word doc. If you wish.
            It is wonderful work that you are doing,.

  • yuki, good luck with your research. I’m sure you’re familiar with the book “when the great spirit died” about the literal extermination campaigns all over california between 1850-60…sucks all the humor and half-truths out of everything we were taught in school about assimilation with the natives of this land, and keeps proper perspective alive today. I’m also sure you know of the Winchester Mansion in san jose, maybe somebody affiliated with them could give you a clue or two about that part of your research.

  • yuki, good luck with your research. I’m sure you’re familiar with the book “when the great spirit died” about the literal extermination campaigns all over california between 1850-60…sucks all the humor and half-truths out of everything we were taught in school about assimilation with the natives of this land, and keeps proper perspective alive today. I’m also sure you know of the Winchester Mansion in san jose, maybe somebody affiliated with them could give you a clue or two about that part of your research.

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