A majority of the settlers to first arrive in Humboldt were men. The lack of available women ( and a lack of common decency) resulted in many native women being taken as “wives” by white “squawmen”, though these were seldom legal “marriages.” Some women apparently entered these unions willingly because their families feared if they remained unmarried and unprotected, “their fate might be worse” [Interview with Josephine Beach, published in Town and Country, G.R. Robbins, July 8, 1933].
Many other women were taken by force. Frank Asbill, in his unpublished manuscript, The Last of the West, describes his father’s efforts to capture Native women in Northern Mendocino and Southern Humboldt County to be sold or traded as “wives” to interested buyers. Bill Woods, one of Asbill’s partners, caught his own squaw, Clowie, when she was gathering clover with a friend. Some have doubted the authenticity of Asbill’s account (which is pretty graphic and awful) , but I did find Clowie with Woods in the census…
Asbill also said that another of his father’s partners, Jim Neafus decided to settle down with a squaw “he’d seen… in the valley that had taken his eye” and that this union resulted in “ little Neafuses “
Within months of Carrie’s birth, Lucy was taken as the “wife” of Jose Romero. Romero was a packer and an “Indian fighter”. He was also considered the father of Lucy’s two younger children, her daughter, Annie, and son, Charles.