Invitation to others…

Today I sent out some  e-mails letting people know I’ve started this blog.  My hope is that others will contribute what they know and this becomes a place we can all learn more about the local history.

Welcome everyone.


32 Responses to Invitation to others…

  1. Ron Gallagher says:

    Hey Lynette –

    I love that you did this. I wish I had something to contribute, but I am more than interested to see what else gets posted!

    Great reading Lucy’s story. Amazing that people are still so blind to blame any race for the all negative things that happen in their world.

    Talk to you soon I hope.


  2. bluelaker4 says:

    I was referred here by Kym Kemp’s blog. Very very interesting story, and I, too, will be interested in reading more posts about Lucy. Sorry that I don’t have anything to contribute but if I ever run across anything, I’ll be sure to let you know.


    • lynette77 says:

      Welcome Jackie,
      I also live out in Blue Lake (on the old Norton homestead) and am interested in what happened out here. I think our house is near (maybe) where the Bates Hotel used to be…
      Do you know anything about Blue Lake history?

  3. olmanriver says:

    Lynette, thanks for the story and a great start to your blog! I hope many heartful voices will be heard here.

    Today, I found a new site for military reports from Ft. Humboldt that chronicle the war against the Indians in great, sigh, detail. I had to tear myself away from reading it, heavy as it is. COMPILATION OF THE OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES from 1861 to 65. There are reports from other military areas to skip through, but this is the largest compilation of reports from that time that I have seen.

    • lynette77 says:

      Thanks for the support. I also hope that many other people find their way here and learn something about our local history.

      The hardest part about my obsession is that there isn’t much … good that came of it. Whenever I think about writing something I hesitate because there really are very few happy endings. Yet it is important. Even if I can’t quite say why, yet, I know it is important.

  4. Ben says:

    Hi Lynette, You are telling a story that has huge resonance through all of Northern California and the west in the mid to late 1800s. Yet this history of genocide is rarely spoken of or taught in our local schools. How many young history students know that slavery existed in California even after the Emancipation Proclamation? The slaves were Indians, both men and women and children were the most valuable. They were “indentured” under a California law called the Act for the Protection of the Indian, or something like that. This act legitimized traffic in Indian children which had become an attractive source of revenue for many white backwoodsmen. a document could be filed with the courthouse signed by an X claiming to be parent’s permission. Indians were not allowed to testify against whites in court. One of the few personal accounts of all this is Lucy Young’s Story which can be found on the website. If you look at the Military site “War of the Rebellion” which Oldmanriver has provided (Thanks OMR!), you will open the Fort Humboldt link and soon find the communication of Lieutenant Lynn describing the “buckskin gentry” around Garberville circa 1861. A charming piece of writing. Our local historian, Jerry Rhode, wrote an account in the North Coast Journal of the activities of the Kelsey brothers in Arcata in the 1860s. Killing Indians was their main pursuit. Perhaps they were involved in Lucy’s death. Remember, this was only two years after the Indian Island Massacre in 1860. Another shocking factor is that this is all so historically recent. Lucy Young died in 1945, three years after I was born. In the ’80s, I knew an elderly woman who was married to the son of Steven Fleming, a militia Captain who possibly led the coordinated attacks on Indian Island, South Humboldt Bay and Rio Dell in which several hundred Indians were killed who were considered friendly to the whites. I actually knew his daughter in law. Many Humboldt County families are extremely touchy on this subject. It is too recent and too shameful. As you see, I can go on and on about all this. Thanks so much for a new blog which will bring more light on this dark topic.

    • lynette77 says:

      Hi Ben and welcome !
      You seem to know a lot of info about our history. It will take me a while to absorb the info in your post. Thank you so much for sharing it.

      (oh yes, and please do go on and on.. it is how we’ll all learn more).

      As I get to know how to work this blog better, perhaps I/we can set it up so that we can have a list of sources (like a link to the War of the Rebellion Letters) that can help folks find more info

      Thanks again for contributing.

    • olmanriver says:

      And more on the Indian slave trade:
      ‘To these ends, in April 1850, Californiaís first legislature passed the Act for the Government and Protection of Indians which, in part, stated that regardless of what was done to an Indian person, “in no case shall a white man be convicted of any offense upon the testimony of an Indian.” Additionally, the Act carefully prohibited slavery in any form, while it also endorsed the following:

      o The arrest, based upon the complaint of any resident, of any “able-bodied Indians” if they could not support themselves, were found loitering or strolling about, or were leading an immoral or profligate course of life.
      o The hiring out of such Indians within 24 hours for a period not exceeding four months, if it was determined by proper authority that he or she was a vagrant.

      This law was interpreted in such a way that all Indians, including children, faced indentured servitude through a simple procedure of arrest and “hiring out” through any local justice-of-the-peace. Once indentured, the term limitation was almost always exceeded, thus resulting in slavery: The result was a “profitable ‘slave trade’ in able-bodied Indian men, women, and children throughout Northern California. Children were readily bought and sold, for household work; and women were purchased for both household work and sexual liaisons” (Beckman, 1997).
      In 1860, the Act for the Government and Protection of Indians was amended to declare that any Indian not already indentured could be kidnapped. If they resisted, “war” could be waged on them and “prisoners” could be lawfully taken. Evidence of kidnapping Indians and their subsequent sale is abundant. In 1851, the Superintendent for Indian Affairs for California, George M. Hanson, reported to the Bureau of Indian Affairs:

      In the month of October last I apprehended three kidnappers, who had nine Indian children, from three to ten years of age…The fact is, kidnapping Indians has become quite a business of profit, and I have no doubt is at the foundations of the so-called Indian wars. To counteract this unholy traffic in human blood and souls, I have appointed a number of special agents in the country through which the kidnappers pass when carrying the Indians to market in the settlements, with instructions to watch for them, and thus, I think that a temporary check has been put to their commerce. (United States Office of Indian Affairs, 1851:315).
      Other sources document the kidnapping of 35 young Yuki girls and their sale to settlers in Sacramento as slaves and concubines, the kidnapping and selling of hundreds of Indian children for $50 to $200 in 1860 after the Act for the Government and Protection of Indians was amended, and estimates of the sale of over 10,000 Indians – 4,000 of whom were children – in California between 1850 and 1863 when the practice was finally repealed (Norton, et. al, 1998:5-8).
      In addition to legally enslaving Indians, the State of California officially endorsed their slaughter in 1851 when legislators authorized payment to citizen volunteer companies that suppressed and killed Indians. Clearly, if California were left alone and the federal government failed to intervene, the Indians of Northern California were destined for destruction. And so it was that the Bureau of Indian Affairs Indians in Northern California sent three new Indian Agents to begin negotiations with various Indian Nations in Northern California.’

      • lynette77 says:

        The following is a partial list of indentures registered in Humboldt County. Many readers will see names they recognize.
        It is not surprising that the original county records cannot be found.

        Name Date Name India Sex Age Notes
        Guthree, A.P 8/1860 Guthree, A.P Rolly f 12
        Shaw, L Louis Shaw, L Louis Jane f 9
        Shaw, L Louis Shaw, L Louis Biddy f 6
        Roberts, John J Roberts, John J Sarah f 5
        Wiley, Austin Wiley, Austin Smoky m 8
        Sweasey, Jane 09/1860 Sweasey, Jane Mary f 7
        Axton, Henry Axton, Henry Nelly f 7
        Singley, N. Singley, N. Dick m 12
        Singley, N. Singley, N. Rolly f 12
        Singley, N. Singley, N. Charley m 10
        Singley, N. Singley, N. Sherlotte f 8
        Singley, N. Singley, N. Mary f 6
        Singley, N. Singley, N. Perry m 3
        Swain, Albert 10/1860 Swain, Albert Indian Henry m 20
        Swain, Albert Swain, Albert Squaw Nellie f 25
        Roberts, William Roberts, William Oconsy f 15
        Roberts, William Roberts, William Lewis m 18
        Chevret, Leon Chevret, Leon George m 8 Bought 18 months previously by L.C. from C. Clarke of Mattole for $30
        Duff, Margaret Duff, Margaret Mary f 20
        Roberts, William Roberts, William Jack m 17
        Rollins, A.S. 11/1860 Rollins, A.S. Topsey f 7
        Adams, Barry 12/1860 Adams, Barry Peter Adams m 10
        Ryan, C.J. Ryan, C.J. Nelly f 9

        Rider, Charles 01/1861 Rider, Charles Toney f 6 Given by Wife of Coonskin
        Hauck, Peter Hauck, Peter Charley m 14
        Hauck, Peter Hauck, Peter Rose (wife) f 15
        Fish, Lyman Fish, Lyman Joe M. m 23
        Fish, Lyman Fish, Lyman Ella (wife) f 23
        Phillips, Wm. Eaton Phillips, Wm. Eaton Dave m 6
        Ryan, Pierre H. Ryan, Pierre H. Lucy f 8
        McDonald, Wm. McDonald, Wm. Kate f 6
        Danskin, G Danskin, G Ginney f 27
        Danskin, G Danskin, G Jim (son) m 11
        Danskin, G Danskin, G Sarah (dau) f 9
        Danskin, G Danskin, G Anna f
        Chevret, Leon Chevret, Leon Bob m 21
        Chevret, Leon Chevret, Leon Mary (wife) f 22
        Chevret, Leon Chevret, Leon Kitty (dau) f 4
        Chevret, Leon Chevret, Leon Mad River Billy m 18
        Chevret, Leon Chevret, Leon Lucy (wife) f 16
        Preston, J.C. Preston, J.C. John m 25
        Preston, J.C. Preston, J.C. Jane (wife) f 20
        Preston, J.C. Preston, J.C. George (cousin) m 4
        Kinsey, C. Kinsey, C. Julie f 7
        Jenkins, David Jenkins, David Dick m 17
        Jenkins, David Jenkins, David Dan m 14
        Titlow, T.J. Titlow, T.J. Jack m 26
        Titlow, T.J. Titlow, T.J. Malinda f 27
        Titlow, T.J. Titlow, T.J. Frank (son) m 3
        Titlow, T.J. Titlow, T.J. Jane (Jack’s mo) f 40
        Titlow, T.J. Titlow, T.J. Charley m 25
        Titlow, T.J. Titlow, T.J. Emma (wife) f 23
        James, Henry F. James, Henry F. Blue coat Mowwena m 50
        James, Henry F. James, Henry F. Bill (son) m 24
        James, Henry F. James, Henry F. Fanny (wife of Bill) f 19
        James, Henry F. James, Henry F. Bony (son) m 19
        James, Henry F. James, Henry F. Teeny (dau) f 11
        Duncan, Ruben Duncan, Ruben Sorenose Jack m 25
        Whaley, John Whaley, John Mary Kitty f 15
        Preston, A.M. Preston, A.M. Sam m 13
        Preston, A.M. Preston, A.M. Jasper m 15
        Jacoby, A.J. Jacoby, A.J. Mary f 12 Taken from Big Bar 05.1854 and bound under law of 1850; SVK says that Mary ran away
        Phillips, Rufus Phillips, Rufus Tom m 11
        Martin, Wm. C Martin, Wm. C Nelly f 15
        Hobbs, Isaac 02/1861 Hobbs, Isaac Rachael f 9 Bought from her parents
        Phillips, Wm. Eaton Phillips, Wm. Eaton Dick m 18
        Phillips, Wm. Eaton Phillips, Wm. Eaton Kitty (wife) f 25
        Nixon, Wm. Nixon, Wm. Tom m 19
        Nixon, Wm. Nixon, Wm. Mary (wife) f 16
        Bull, John C. Bull, John C. Charley m 21
        Biddings, John A. Biddings, John A. William m 15
        Blum, R. Blum, R. Tom m 11 Bought off his mother at Coaski several years since
        Davis, J.P. 03/1861 Davis, J.P. Charley m 11
        Huestis, A.J. Huestis, A.J. Sylvia f 14
        Kneeland, J.A. 04/1861 Kneeland, J.A. Jasper m 15
        Herrick, Rufus F. Herrick, Rufus F. Little John m 24
        Herrick, Rufus F. Herrick, Rufus F. Blanch (wife) f 22
        Herrick, Rufus F. Herrick, Rufus F. Peter (son) m 2
        Daniels, H.S. 07/1861 Daniels, H.S. Bob m 13
        Ready, Daniel Ready, Daniel Jake m 7
        Clark, J. Clark, J. Sam Houston m 5 Prisoner of war
        UNK UNK Kjalma m 7
        Tewskbury, J.D. 08/1861 Tewskbury, J.D. Moses m 14
        Tewskbury, J.D. Tewskbury, J.D. Belsabub m 12
        Tewskbury, J.D. Tewskbury, J.D. Sarah f 10
        Turner, A.G. Turner, A.G. Minne Ha Ha f 12 Prisoner of war
        Tewskbury, J.D. Tewskbury, J.D. Aaron m 8
        Wright, Lucian 09/1861 Wright, Lucian Phillis f 7
        UNK UNK Molly f 9 Prisoner of war
        Fruit, James H. 10/1861 Fruit, James H. Nellie Lincoln f 17
        Donally, Peter Donally, Peter George Washington Donally m 12 mentioned in Humboldt Times
        Dupern, Norman 11/1861 Dupern, Norman Milly f 10 Prisoner of war
        Connor, Francis Connor, Francis Oneta f 8
        Abels, Mrs. E. Abels, Mrs. E. Malinda f 8
        Keiffer,Jacob Keiffer,Jacob Bob m 20
        Keiffer,Jacob Keiffer,Jacob Ellen (wife) f 20
        Hagans, Wm. B. Hagans, Wm. B. Charles m 7 Prisoner of war
        Hagans, Wm. B. Hagans, Wm. B. Kate f 10 Purchase from parents
        Moore, John Moore, John Coeness m 13
        Moore, John Moore, John Kitty f 14
        Ellery, Wm. 01/1862 Ellery, Wm. Franke m 25
        Ellery, Wm. Ellery, Wm. David m 23
        UNK 03/1862 UNK Hank Smith m 7 Prisoner of war
        Hadley, A.A. 04/1862 Hadley, A.A. Peter m 11
        Hadley, A.A. Hadley, A.A. Patrick m 8
        Cassans, F 05/1862 Cassans, F Charles m 8
        Cassans, F Cassans, F Lincoln m 5
        Reed, W.I. 06/1862 Reed, W.I. Blackhawk m 9 Prisoner of war
        Bowles, Anthony Bowles, Anthony Peter m 4
        Gowanlock, Robert 07/1862 Gowanlock, Robert Fred m 7
        Myers, J.D. 08/1862 Myers, J.D. Peter m 5
        Hopkins, S.F. 09/1862 Hopkins, S.F. Twilight f 7 Prisoner of war
        Bowles, Sara H. 11/1863 Bowles, Sara H. Carrie f 7

        Reprinted from Genocide in Northwestern California, by Jack Norton

    • Lynette M says:

      Hi Ben,
      I believe I’ve heard you name mentioned as a wonderful source of local history.
      It was the law for the government and protection of Indians, and yes, many are very unaware of the history in California, always thought a “free” state.
      indenture was slavery, plain and simple.
      Our history here is important to understand, I think, for many, many reasons.

  5. Lynnette, Welcome to the Blogosphere. I am particularly interested in the stories of survival in the conflict between the people of the early white influx on the north coast.

    I have always been quite proud of my ancestry. Especially the fact that they tried to help the Indians survive and live as normal a life as possible. My ancestry goes deep into the South Fork of the Eel River. The Branscombs, the Middletons, and the Lockharts were all very supportive of the Indian people and I’m very proud of that. But, I can no more take personal credit for what my ancestors did than I can take the blame for what other ancestors did. My direct ancestors, the Lamberts and the Poes were instrumental in killing Indian people in the upper Eel back in the early 1860’s.

    It is impossible to judge what people did to one another back then, from the context of today. Many white people were killed by Indians, in fact many of the “Indian Murderers” had relatives that were killed by Indians. Many of those people became the ringleaders of the Indian slaughter. Ranchers and cattle people were easy to convince that they would be better of without the Indians around. Some of my ancestors felt sorry for the Indian children and brought them home to raise them as “civilized” people. They were accepted as part of the family.

    The days of the influx of the Europeans were strange days indeed. Most of the Native California people were wiped out by disease brought to them as far back in time as the Conquistadors. Their health was compromised, then their civilization was compromised. Their land and their food was taken, and they had no choice but to take from the white man. They had to take, in order to live. The white man had to protect his cattle and crops in order to survive. It was an impossible situation with a predictable outcome. We call it history;
    we should simply learn from it, and try to stay away from judging and blaming.

    There is quite a bit of early history on my blog that you might find interesting. I will be following yours, and I will make a link to it.
    Ernie Branscomb

    • lynette77 says:

      Hi Ernie,
      I am so glad you visited the site ! Your site was the reason I started thinking seriously about blogging in the first place, though I didn’t know the first thing about it. Kym was really the one that held my hand to get this going.
      You bring up such good points about looking at things in context. Early San Francisco papers and first person accounts talk about local natives propensity to steal axes, etc., which lead to terrible consequences. If we look at it from this time period/perspective, of course stealing is no reason for a violent response, but I’m sure for some back then, if you didn’t have an ax to chop wood for your fire and shelter, you faced the possiblity of death. It was an impossible situation, though I, in no way, offer excuses for the violence that happened here. It was a nightmare…

    • Lynette M says:

      Hey Ernie,
      How have you been?
      We haven’t chatted much over the blogs lately but I hope this finds you well.
      You do have a lot of great history on your blog (and many different takes/perspectives) that are certainly worth checking out.

  6. dave says:

    Welcome to blogland Lynette!

    I’m a real history buff and anything I can learn about local history is a treat.
    I can already tell that your blog is going to be a blockbuster!
    I’ve put a link in my blog to yours.
    Best regards

    • lynette77 says:

      Welcome Dave,
      I’ll have to check out your blog. I am (obviously) new to this whole thing and will take a while to get the hang of it, but I’m glad I jumped and hope we can all learn from what gets posted here.

    • Lynette M says:

      Thanks so much.
      Obviously history is (and has been) quite an obsession with me. Ironic as I had no interest in school.
      Do you have a particular focus/interest?
      Thanks for the link.


  7. sageplant says:

    Thank you Lynette,

    many years ago i went to a service held in eureka and there was a native american man and his wife (who was non native) and he was talking about healing. he spoke to the audiance and said that even though we personally had not commited an act against someone (in this case native americian) that we could ask for forgiveness on behalf of our ancestors/past. This was an incredible meeting and many native persons came forward for healing prayer and cried for the things that they had experienced or had lived through. it was particulary insitfull to see that we could ask our brothers and sisters for past offences. it could be healing.may this continue…

    • lynette77 says:

      Hi Sage,
      I agree that healing can happen, even across time. I belong to Toastmasters and Michael Kraft, a member, recently did a speech on “Our American Coat”. He talked about how we all own the history of this country, whether we were personally involved (or our ancestors were) or not. It does seem that acknowledging the past is a good first step… though it can be really painful. I think there are probably folks out there that are really proud of their Pioneer ancestors who don’t really know the truth of how things happened here. How Grandpa Joe got all that land, or why Aunt Cindy had a bunch of Indian baskets. Touchy stuff.

      • sageplant says:

        I agree that this will be touchy stuff. and most would not want to think poorly of their ancestors past or actions. it would be good to get it out in the open,but that will be the touchy part. i see from post that you are getting great tips on resources. just to add another..the recent local book “two people,one place” has allot of references that could be helpful. peace

        • lynette77 says:

          Hello Sage,
          That is a GREAT book and a great central resource with a lot of info.
          I think I will try, somehow, to start a list of reference material (books and sites) that visitors can add to when they find a good source. I’ll try to get that done in the next few days.
          Thanks for the return visit !

          • olmanriver says:

            Lynnette, is there a way to reach you directly to aid in that cause? If you can see my e-address, feel free to send yours to me, or Kym or Ernie would middle person gladly and give you my address.

    • Lynette M says:

      I have heard about ancestral memory. That we can carry the traumas of our ancestors with us–I don’t know if it is true or not, but I think the general wish for forgiveness and healing can only do us all good. thank you for visiting and sharing your experience.

  8. Heather says:

    I’m always interested in Humboldt (not local to me anymore, unfortunately) history. Thanks for starting this blog. I was referred by Kym as well.

  9. bonnieg says:

    Hi Lynette,
    This is wonderful, thanks for sending the email announcing your blog. We met and shared information a few years ago at Rohner Park. I don’t know that I have anything new to contribute, but I have collected a large amount of information on Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino County’s past, so if you feel I might have something that you need, feel free to ask.
    It’s funny, at the time I received your email, I was busy searching and reading the SAN FRANCISCO CALL. Using only “Covelo” I found pages and pages of the “George White Story” and “The Jack Littlefield Story”.
    Your email also led me off to Ernie’s blog and I spent a great deal of time reading more on these subjects.
    Both you and Ernie are doing a great job and I’m happy to see this information out and available. Thanks and keep it up!

    • lynette77 says:

      Bonnie !
      I am so glad you visited the site. As you can see, I am still working on Lucy’s story. I am doing an article for the Historian also, so am happy about that.
      I will keep you in mind as a resource–and feel free to contribute anything that comes to mind. I know you have a wealth of knowledge about our local history.
      Yay, I’m so glad we’ve reconnected. Take care.

  10. Hans says:

    I just found your blog today via Ernie’s place and absolutely love it. I’ll be a regular reader and here and there maybe do a post. I’m a big history buff, especially local and California history so I’m really looking forward to your future posts. First I’m going to go through your archives and start from the begining. Thanks for your blog. Hans

    • lynette77 says:

      I am so glad you found me ! I would love to see anything you’re willing to share. As you’ve likely seen, my blog doesn’t get the … controversy and conversation that Ernie’s does, but I am glad you see value in it. I know I sleep better now with some of this info out of my head 🙂
      Is there a time period or subject you are particularly interested in?
      I’ve started with the settlement period, but who knows where it’ll go …


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