Too many bad guys won

Capt. Foss Geer

Capt. Foss Geer

I was recently in the Humboldt State Library and ran across this  photo of Knyphausen (Foss) Geer.  Geer fought in the militia against the Indians and was a self professed Indian fighter.  Geer would complain, though, that it wasn’t really fighting because the natives generally offered no resistance. 

“ They simply hid as they always did.  It was always more trouble to trail them down then to fight them… for it would be just a little scrap and then they would run to hide… [6 Oct. 1856-personal account, Knyphausen Geer].  Of course this didn’t stop Geer from tracking down the fleeing natives and killing them.

Geer lived long enough to become an old man and I can’t help feeling the unjustness of that. He took who knows how many lives, and yet I can’t know that he suffered for it.   I do wonder, sometimes, if the “bad whites” as they were called, were ever haunted later by their activities during the “Indian war”.  Yet… war is war, and maybe they excused their actions that way.

Maybe this is part of why I have such a hard time with Ernie’s comments that the  Indian people were doomed from the moment Columbus landed in America.   He’s likely right. There was nothing many of the natives could do to alter their fate. The Indian Island  massacre demonstrates this all too clearly.  Many will argue that an indigenous people can survive an invasion by assimilating into the new culture, but many on the island had done just that.  The women worked as domestics in white households, the men helped with farming and fishing.  It didn’t make a damn bit of difference.  They died anyway.

 More info about Geer and the murder of Chas. Hicks…


Humboldt Times, October 25, 1856–Charles Hicks shot by Indians–A man shot by Indians down the coast—… Charles Hicks, of Bear River, … last week, was attacked by five or six Indians… the wrested the rifle from him… the fired it at him, the ball striking his left shoulder blade, and glancing, lodged in the left arm.  he was … near a small… Rancheria. The Indians at first appeared very friendly and walked along with him… when one behind him suddenly snatched his gun from him and attempted to shoot him… he defended himself with a pistol and knife, as soon as he could free himself he stared to run and was shot… He succeeded in escaping from them, however,  and secreted himself in the brush.  The wound weakened him so much that he remained in concealment for some time and was finally discovered by some squaws and taken to a ranch where he was found by his friends… The Indians had a pow wow over him when he was taken in by the squaws as to the disposition to be made of him, but those in favor of sparing him prevailed.  The friendly Indians got the rifle taken from Mr. Hicks and brought it into the settlement, supposing perhaps, that this would appease the whites somewhat, but we understand that a party from the river will visit the offenders soon and settle accounts with them. —


Humboldt Times, November 1, 1856–Account of Hicks Shooting-From Eel River–… A difficulty occurred on the head of Bear River last week, which resulted in dangerous wounding of a white man and Indian…. Some white men who lived on the head of the Bear river went out hunting and one of them happened to go near an Indian Rancheria, stopped to talk with them, and was attacked by about fifteen diggers; they commenced by seizing his gun and wresting it from him; they also took his revolver, but he recovered that and shot one of the ring leaders and stabbed him, and then made his escape, but was shot with his own gun as he was running away… he exerted all his strength to get as far away as possible… and when he gave out he crawled into some bushes and secreted himself, and was found the next morning by the Indians, who would have dispatched him then had it not been for the intercession of some squaws, who carried him to the ranch, took care of him for two days, and then wet to his companions and told them that he was there… they had supposed.. that he was dead.  The name of the wounded man is Chas. Hicks.  This is the first instance, so far as my knowledge extends, of the diggers failing to kill a white man when they attacked hi m treacherously, for they generally wait until the advantages on their side are so great that failing is almost impossible, before they venture to attack a white man.  It is hardly necessary to add that the Indians have themselves scarce in that part of the country since this affair

  Humboldt Times, November 15, 1856 –Chastising those who shot Hicks –Chastising the Indians who shot Hicks—We understand that since the death of Mr. Hicks, a party was raised on the Eel River, and some went out toward Bear River to chastise some of the scamps that so cowardly attacked and shot him.  They came upon a band near Grizzly Bluff, and killed seven of them—they recognized two among the number killed as having belonged to the ranch near which Hicks was wounded, and most likely part  of the same that fell upon him at that time.

 6 Oct. 1856-personal account Knyphausen Geer: When Hicks was shot, Tewskberry was living in Eagle Prarie with a squaw, Salt River Indians shot Hicks; Holly and Hicks were trappers, Indians wanted Hick’s gun; Al Gilbert, is Olmsteads Vaquero; Al Frederickson; Indian hunt after Hicks was killed, Price Creek, Grizzly Bluff, Holly wanted to attack, Price got Uriah Williams, Brown and others, 11 of us all,  no resistance, they simply hid as they always did.  It was always more trouble to trail them down then to fight them… for it would be just a litle scrap and then they would run to hide.  There was no fight in them.

27 Responses to Too many bad guys won

  1. Lynette
    I’m not ignoring you I am busy chewing on my thoughts. Meanwhile keep up your research.

  2. olmanriver says:

    In the winter of ’61,Lt. Lynn of the 6th Infantry bemoaned the lack of fight in the Indians along the South Fork of the Eel:
    “They have no principal man exercising any control except on the field of battle. They avoid combat and run on all occasions. Having no chief or principal man, it is impossible to treat with them. Being scattered over a wide area, and but few in any one locality, it is impossible to cover one’s self with glory in fighting them. I have already many times wished they were braver, so as to give us at least the ghost of a chance for the display of our chivalrous qualities. In place of this, being most always on the alert, with the eye of the eagle and the ken of a sparrow-hawk, they discover their foes, give the war whoop, and run.”

  3. olmanriver says:

    I do wonder, sometimes, if the “bad whites” as they were called, were ever haunted later by their activities during the “Indian war”
    One of the Mattole valley settlers who participated in an Indian kill involving children was tormented by visions of the bodies for years. There is a very gruesome and chilling story about this in the beginning of the Roscoe book on the Mattole Valley.
    Lt. Hubbard’s letter from 1862 posted on the Squawman Buckskin thread gives a different version of what is surely the same atrocity that haunted the child-killer.

  4. olmanriver says:

    I am so sorry my linking is coming up so damn sloppily, I do review and review. The correct link for the outline.
    The photo gallery words in the above post are a working link.

  5. olmanriver says:

    copy and paste please

    (Ernie B. is sniggering having tolerated my faux pas regularly)

  6. Sometimes I feel that I owe the world a huge apology. I probably seem to be very calloused and uncaring to the average newcomer. I was raised knowing about, and hearing about, the many Indian massacres. I was raised hearing all of the reasons that were given for them to have happened, the consequences, and the fact that the very part of my family, that I have recently discovered were involved in some of the massacres, were also instrumental in adopting a couple of the Indian babies that were saved from the Battle of Bloody Run. As a child being raised with these stories, I accepted that whatever happened was a part of history, and I didn’t give it much thought.

    I know that one of my relatives was raped by two Indian men, and when they were through having their way with her they cut her throat and left her to die. (she didn’t) Some of my family were probably killed by Indians coming across the plains to California. They disappeared in route. Their daughter, my great, great, great, grandmother, Mary Cull, at the probable age of fifteen, made her way, with a young female friend, to the California gold fields to look for her father and brother. She never found them, never even a story. They completely disappeared on the plains, or somewhere on their way to California. She married the son of a clipper ship Captain and settled in Sacramento. After an epidemic in Sacramento, they moved to Laytonville. They lived peacefully amongst the Indian people, even though they had probable reasons to not like Indians. They were able to put their reasons aside and live like human being should live.

    My Grandfather, Grandmother and my Father and Mother, all knew one of the last survivors of the Battle of Bloody Run, a man known as Foxy Burns. Foxy was a much loved and admired man. He was raised and educated by the Burns family. Old Man Burns was also involved in the Massacre of Bloody Run. There was no bitterness, that I know of, between the two peoples. When Foxy was falsely accused of murder, the people of the town came to his defense and got him released from jail. The Battle of Bloody Run is well known in the Laytonville area as one of the most horrible of Indian massacres in Mendocino history. Yet, not much is known about it. I think that most of people involved were so sickened by what they had done that they simply did not want to talk about it. Unlike the Eureka Indian Island massacre, the Bloody Run was very remote, and nobody saw the aftermath.

    The Indians were forced into the Laytonville area by the Eel River Rangers who were rounding up the Indian People to put them on reservations. They shot, or I should say, they killed Indians that didn’t cooperate, by what ever means they thought would work. The Indians didn’t trust the white man so they tried to escape. They came to the Laytonville Valley where they had, in the past, been able to live peacefully amongst the valley ranchers. They were starving and started eating horses and cattle. The people of the Valley, after asking for help from Sacramento and not getting it, followed a few bold leaders and they killed all but a few children, in what is known as “The Battle of Bloody Run”. That is a much abbreviated version of the tale.

    My grandmother took Firewood to Foxy until the day he died. Many of my family shared their garden produce with the local Indians. I don’t know how much was guilt, and how much was genuine caring for another person. The Indian people worked in the local logging and worked in the mills along with all of the other working people in Laytonville. They were a good and decent people. We all got along!

    One day a newcomer came to town, and discovered… “My God, look what they have done to you poor Indians! They killed your folks, they took your land. We will help you”. Now they live on reservations and collect government money. They have built a wall in what was an functional community. I’m not saying what is right or what is wrong. But, once we were living as one community, and now we are living as two.

    My apology would be for not dwelling on the absolute horror of the massacres, great and small, of both the Indians and the whites. Horrible, horrible things were done in our past. Horrible sickening and disgusting things were done by horrible disgusting people.

    There I’ve said it. Now can we get back to the history of why these things happened? Too often we dwell forever on the horror, and we forget the history. Like why did the Kelseys like to kill Indians? Was it because most of their family was killed by Indians, and they just couldn’t let it go? How many of the ringleaders were just plain crazy, like Charley Manson. What made Larrabee insanely mean. Were there great Indian killing heroes that people wanted to emulate? Why was there a need to kill Indians? Should the white people have just laid down and died, so as not to get in the way of the Indians? I think, again, that the Indian people didn’t have a chance, and what happened was inevitable.

    I think that a lot of white people came to California thinking that they were coming to the promised land, the land of milk and honey, and found that they were in a live-or-die situation and they chose to live.

    • lynette77 says:

      You don’t owe the world an apology, but I think it is good (owe may be too strong a word) to offer different perspectives and be open to conversations like this one. As a person deeply embedded in the local history, you can offer a perspective that others can’t.

      Part of my hope in writing this is that what did happen here becomes REAL for people. It is too easy to distance ourselves from unpleasant things… though I don’t know that dwelling on them is good either, you’re right about that…. some balance must be struck, maybe. And perhaps a recognition of some purpose in these discussions, so we aren’t just rehashing ugly things. But they did happen. Too often history is an abstraction and I want … oh I don’t know. I’ll have to think on that one.

      When my husband’s young cousin died three weeks after his brother’s death (both in their early twenties), their mother said to me that she heard that it takes three generations for a family to recover from a trauma/separation. She was talking about their family history of relatives being sent to indian boarding schools, and how this broke the family… attachments, traditions… but I think the trauma of our history lingers still. If bringing it up helps, I don’t know. But ignoring it doesn’t either.

      You mentioned the government coming in, offering reservations, etc. but the original reservations, as you likely know, were the equivilent of concentration camps. Natives were forced to go, and forced to stay, with inadequate food and shelter. I don’t know where the source docs are at the moment, but the indian agent (in Mendocino, I think) complained that winter was coming and he had but one blanket for every four people. Women were regularly raped and children kidnapped. Klamath became a reservation, for the most part, because the Indian Agency was pretty sure that no white man would ever want to settle the area.

      And if you drive through many reservations now, you can see that government “assistance” has probably done more to hurt the indian people than help them.

      So many good issues for discussion…. Thanks for being here.

  7. lynette77 says:

    So I’ve read over what I wrote, and am fighting the urge to delete it… I think I’ll just try again to say what I think I messed up badly in the previous post.
    I don’t think we are responsible for the actions of others unless their actions are a direct result of our own (there is a connection between a parent abusing a child and that child growing up to be violent). What I mean by that is that is, Ernie, I don’t think you owe anything for the “sins” of your ancestors, any more than we get brownie points for their good deeds–and you already know all this so I feel silly writing it, but is that stopping me? No.

    Anyway, if you are willing to contribute your perspective to discussions like this, it adds so much value to the conversation.

    It is easy for me to say the men involved in the violent early history were all bad, until I am reminded that they likely lost family members coming here, and arrived in this area severely wounded (emotionally), and angry. They just took that anger out on the wrong people.

    Ok, my two cents for now. If I am ever offensive, or show my ignorance too plainly, call me on it….

  8. Whoa! please don’t delete it! Maybe you’ve taken me too seriously. I was only hoping that the people that think what happened was terrible, might want to look at what drove the whites to do what they did. With the possible explaination that they were insane. Maybe they were driven to it, or thought that they were in some way justified. If so, how could they have justified it? My point is that the horror of what happened is like an endless loop to some of us. We need to learn something else. But, please don’t delete it!

    • olmanriver says:

      Ernie, I can understand your weariness in rehearing the genocide stories for a number of the reasons you cite. Also when we frame the settlers of that period only through the stories of the worst of the Indian killers, it is not fair to all the non-violent settlers and our gaining the whole picture of the time. History does not record much of the cooperative and mutually beneficial relations that occur. When I mentioned your uncle’s name to some rancheria folks they lit up like he was kin. Mary Anderson wrote that the initial wave of “pioneers” were often the fringe classes of men. We have seen witness to their character in your Lt. Lynn post on your site.
      Here is evidence of many settlers dim view of the Indian slayings in the Mattole Valley in 1858. From Robert Heizer’s The Destruction of California Indians (pg 11-114):
      “It is entirely useless to indulge in charges and recriminations against a particular class of white settlers, whose misconduct towards the Indians has alwasy been a prolific source of trouble. This class exists in all frontiers and countries. It is not practicable to get rid of them by written complaints. They will be found on the outskirts of the civilization wherever it goes.
      The proceedings of the citizens of Mattole Valley, also enclosed, will show that the conduct of these renegade whites meets with the disapproval of the better class of settlers, and that even in the frontier parts of the country there is a strong feeling against them. A treaty of peace is here made with the Mattole Indians, some forty of whome it will be remembered were killed by the whites during the past simmer for alleged murders of white settlers. A war of extermination has been declared against the Cascouse Creek, Bear River, Eel river and other neighborning Indians. Some twenty or thirty armed men are said to have been busily occupied during the several months past in killing Indians South and East of the Mattole.”
      Letter from J. Ross Browne Special Agt of the Treas’y Dept to Hon. Chas. E. Mix Commissioner of Indian Affairs…Sept 29th, 1858

      We are in the sesquicentennial, or 150th year of the undeclared, and declared Indian War period, and coming up on the 150th year of the Indian Island massacre. You know how into these kinds of numbers are important to us, er, hmm, er, historian types. That means we get to talk about it, hopefully more in honoring the suffering of others, discovering unknown stories and, as you say learning from this, and taking positive action.
      As you know, because of your interest in Foxy Burns and what happened at Bloody Run in Mendocino county, one fella got a little library of Indian history, children’s and adult books going at the local Rancheria. One donor whose ancestor partook in Indian raids back then, donated 10 great shopping bags of books.
      All from telling the stories… and using history to help redress past injustices.

    • lynette77 says:

      I did resist the urge. I just didn’t want to offend you because I really appreciate your input. And your urging to look at things differently is really valuable. I don’t know that much has been written (or anything, for that matter) on the early personal experiences of those that would become “indian hunters”.
      If anyone wants to take that on, or knows of anything, I’d sure love to read it!

  9. George H Freeman says:

    Maybe there was a different Bloody Run massacre?My Great Grand father was a Little Lake pomo from Willits who was escorted to Round Valley Indian Reservation here in Covelo.

    He said he was driven here with other Little Lake Pomo males like livestock by well armed White men. The second group that comprised of elder men, women, mothers with babies, children were were being driven to RVIR. In their words the armed white men told them to take a break where Bloody Run creek runs into the other main creek. Then the armed men started killing the Indians. This went on from afternoon until dark. Some women had managed to run and hide while the White men were killing the old people and small children with clubs and knives. My Grand mother told us the story from her Fathers story as was told to him by the few survivors who were later driven to Round Valley/Covelo. My Wylacki ancestors also suffered the senseless slaughter at the Massacre of Wild Horse Canyon where over 100 elders, women and children were killed while the majority of Wylacki men were out hunting.

    My Paskenta Nomlaki ancestors suffered massacres by the Spaniards upon first contact. It puts a bur under my blanket when people called themselves Indian Fighters in California. The Only Indian tribe that fought the US army was Captain Jack Headman of the Modoc tribe. He was hanged after he surrendered with his small band a tFort Klamath in OR. I recall coming to RVIR to let my then 85 yrs old Little Lake Pomo grandmother visit some of the elder Little Lake Pomo back in the early 60’s. They would speak in their Native nothern Pomo dialect rehashing the oral histories they were told of the Pomo and they then shared this with the younger generations. I do recall one old Pomo woman who was married to a Whiteman.that was a self-professed Inun Fighter. She said on his death bed he was terrifed as he cried out “Dont let them Injuns take me away They came to take me away.”

  10. olmanriver says:

    Thank you for sharing this sad story George. I do believe it is a second Bloody Run massacre you are describing. I wonder if it occurred in 1872 when many Pomo were rounded up and taken to RV because the Big Head dance was uniting the Indians and the whites got scared. The Big Head dance and regalia were in Willits at this time.

    The prevalent version of Bloody Run #1 has men of Long Valley riding out to avenge the loss of horses, including a valuable stallion belonging to Jack Farley, Captain of the Long Valley Volunteers. In a most detailed account of the massacre the Natives were said to have camped a little ways up Bloody Run creek and over the hill. I can’t remember which tribe it was supposed to be but I think they were called Tatu which is what the Huchnom were called and that Outlet Creek and Bloody Run creek and to the SE would be their territory.
    I can’t share what I have been told, but there was a third event not too far from there with a large loss of life. Powerfully sad area.

    It is heartening to hear of languages and stories being preserved. I am glad to found this blog and that Lynette let me know.

    • George H Freeman says:

      Thanks you for the response and comments on sad to sickening historical events that took place here and there about Nor Cal. I must confess that prior to contact with Europeans the natives here engaged in some bloody conflicts against one another. I was told stories of these engagements by my elders when a little boy. And have read of them in anthropologist’s versions gleaned from their
      works in my three tribal affiliations. I was not raised on the Round Valley Indian Reservation nor sent to Indian Government school.
      I do know that I suffered racial discrimination being the only Indian in the schools I did attend. Without going into great details lets say. I got beat up almost every day and was humiliated by older white boys as well as blamed for and disciplined by school staff over many things I never did. Later on when I first went to high school I was put in the Special education class with the developmentally disabled. Thank the Creator I had a teacher who went to the school offficials and told them I did not belong in that class. Yet I was accused of cheating on occasions when I aced algebra or English tests. My dear mother would come to my defense as well as some teachers.
      After graduating from high school I was drafted into the army in 1969. Went to Vietnam with a well celebrated combat unit. Only thing I thought when burning down villages, killing livestock and burning food supplies was this is what happened to my ancestors.
      I also felt the rage and desire to get even with the people who killed my friends and fellow troopers when the commanding officer said-“Time for some payback.” So I now get to enjoy two separate DPTSS trips. I still look at the world and local affairs thru the eyes of an American and the eyes of a Native American. As you mentioned the Big head ceremony. I am proud to say that I was part of a group who brought the Big Head ceremony back to the Round Valley Indian Reservation in 1998. Many years after it was outlawed here by the government. During the era when there was seven bars and two churches. Now there are seven churches and one bar-LOL

      Okay, I have been running my yap long enough. Nice to hear from you and I wish you the best and will sing a prayer song for you…

  11. olmanriver says:

    You honor me with your story, moved me to tears actually. Thank you for singing for me.
    I get a thrill when I hear that there are still unbroken oral history accounts held in Native families like yours….so much has been lost.

    I did not know that the Big Head was back!!! Thanks for sharing that. That is good.

    My friend at Cahto has shared the awful discrimination that he suffered at the hands of teachers in Willits in the 1940’s in his school years. It wasn’t till someone sued that the Natives could even enter the theater in Ukiah, or eat somewhere other than the Chinese restaurant. It has been like the friggin’ Deep South in some parts of the county. And your schooltime was after that.

    Again, I so appreciate your sharing openly.

    The anthros claim that there was a large scale Native peoples battle at Blue Rock on Bell Springs, never read anything about it in the Kato literature, have you heard anything of this particular battle?

    If you are curious about Lt. Tassin’s version of the Horse Canyon massacre, contact Lynette through her email, and she can forward it along to me and I will do some scanning for you. Peace.

    • George H Freeman says:

      According to oral histories of ancestors there was a battle between the local valley Yuki here in Covelo/Round Valley who allied with the North Fork Eel Wylacki. For years the Cahto who banded up with the Pomo Sherwood viliage would come over to Round Valley or go to Wylacki villages on confluence of the North and middle fork of Eel river to raid the them which consisted mostly of pillage and carrying off young girls or boys. Same as happened with my the warriors of the Yuki and my Nomlaki ancestors in Paskenta over the mountain.

      According to my mother’s full blood Wylacki cousins there was a week long war with the Cahto and Sherwood Pomo which was probably the same to reference you gave. That was when the Wylacki banded up with Yuki to go hit the Cahto and Sherwoods.

      Most encounters were bloodless and nobody was killed. This time the Yuki and Wylacki did kill some of the Sherwoods and Cahto warriors for retribution for their dead from Cahto/Sherwood raids.
      This was mostly perpetrated by the Pitch Wylacki who came to support the incursion into Cahto and Sherwood territiories. The Pitch Wylacki were feared by other tribes as they were firece Bear Society warriors as were some of the N Fork Wylacki. The Pitch Wylacki would start fires in advance of their coming to let the enemy know they were coming with a vengence. They took no prisoners.
      All three of my tribes had taboos against killing another Indian of their own tribe. So if the had a micreant like a child molester or rapist
      they couldn’t kill them so they hired the Pitch Wylacki to take care of Business. Pitch Wylacki were also mercenaries that carried out the
      justice if you called it that. If you were the perpetrator/subbject of their contract you could just get a warning by their visit. Wheras the Wylacki Bear Society warriors dressed like bears and moved like bears they used bear claws instead of knives. If you were given a warning by them. They would scar your body and face terribley.
      Then your tribe would hold a tribal meeting and cast you out from the tribe. Bannishment was like a death sentence. Other tribes would know you had committed some heinous offense by the scars left by Bear society warriors. If the Bear warriors put you to death. They would rip your body into shreads and leave pieces strewn about as if your were attacked by a bear.

      So called wars between the Yuki and the Wylacki were most generally just a game of “Shinny.” This was much like LaCross.
      Some miles north of Round Valley there is a place known as
      Summit valley and Summit lake. This marked the northern boundaries of the Yuki and N Fork Wylacki territories. Even though they were alleged to be enemies the two tribes shared intercourse and even inter-married. This was the same as the southern Yuki and Little Lake Pomo. There were accounts where the southern Yukis fought against the Valley Yukis in support of Little Lake Pomo. And the southern Yukis spoke the north Pomo dialect. I have heard of a on going war between the Lake Pillsbury/Potter Valley Pomo that went on for hundreds of years. There is/was one place tha has large piles of small stones that the Pomo warriors placed each time they went to battle with the Yukis. My Great Great Grandfather on Paskenta Nomlaki side passed on story of a conflict between the Yuki and Nomlaki that was on going for almost 400 years. My Nomlaki side were known and peaceful people as were the Little Lake pomo. Yukis and Wylacki were more of a warrior tribe. Some 40 years prior to contact with Europeans the Nomlaki which are part of the larger Wintun nation gathered up a big force of warriors. They came to Round Valley to a village on upper Murphy creek and attacked it at sunrise. They killed most of the men and left some young boys to take a message to the Yuki that they were ready for battle. Yuki warriors gathered and went after the small Nomlaki/wintun force. The Nomlaki retreated back toward the summit where a large force of Wintun were waiting. The Yuki were overwhelmed and most of their warriors killed. The Nomlaki and Wintun let some of the youngest Yuki warriors live and sent them back to give the Yukis a message that they did not want any more wars. And that was the end of a near 400 years war. I apologize for not being more accurate but when I tell oral histories of my ancestors it takes awhile as we try to tell it as it was passed down without embellishment or adding on? So if someone asks me to tell an Indian story I tell it like it was passed down to me. Makes me sound pretty long winded. I was fortunate to have been brought up in the old Nomlaki warrior traditions by my father. I wish I would have paid closer attention as he knew how to make regalia, arrow heads and other hunting stuff. I would sit with him and my Grandfather and great uncles told the old stories. My Great great nomlaki grandfather had seven wives and many children. Going back to killing another Indian it was law that if I killed another warrior of another tribe I was responsible for his wife/wives and children. I had to make sure I provided for them. SO they were then my wives and children. So it was better not to kill another tribal warrior. Also the warring tribes hels a council between them to determine what the worth of the dead warrior was. And payment was made according to the worth of the warrior to the dead warriors tribe in food, skins and or materials.

      You are most welcome to hear my Indian peoples oral histories
      as I feel by sharing them I am keeping my old ones before me alive and in my heart, spirit and mind. Yes the Big Head ceremonies are still alive and being practiced yet by the Lake County Pomo, Grindstone Nomlaki and Colusa wintun.

      You have a nice day…

  12. olmanriver says:

    I feel that you have given us a great gift… thank you!
    Right before the whitemen came to Long Valley, the Kato and Yuki were in conflict over use of the black chert from Black Butte which was on their common boundaries. Bill Ray of the Kato/Cahto told of this in some detail and Kroeber wrote up a short paper on the subject. Many different tribes were brought into the conflict, as you described, though the actual battle wasn’t too long. The anthropologists (for what they’re worth) left us accounts of a sort of ritualized conflict where the opposing sides shot arrows at each other from some distance, with lots of dodging incoming arrows, and the battle was called off by the headmen after minimal loss of life. But I know of a small handful of fights that were more extensive and bloody than these, now adding the account you have given.

    I cannot get enough of the oral histories kept by Native peoples, so please feel free to share anything you want to!
    ps. are you familiar with the Ken nes te name being the Indian name for the Wailakis?

  13. olmanriver says:

    I had Lynette take down some of my less good comments…thanks Lynette. Pardon my error in saying that the conflict I described was of short duration, as it was a week long affair. I checked the Kato description of the battle again.
    I am so heartened to know that your oral traditions are still alive and passed along, so much of the Native ways have been lost, particularly in Sohum, .

  14. olmanriver says:

    In 1870 a “Ghost Dance” movement went through NW California. A Pomo version came to Willits around 1871-2. Northern Pomo John Smith (Potter Valley) recounted: “The Willits Indians had gotten together and were dancing all the time….The white people were frightened by this and and sent all the Indians from around Willits to Round Valley” (1)
    Nancy McCoy recalled that “The Indians from Sherwood, Fort Bragg, Juan Creek (near Union Landing, Coast Yuki) and Usal (Sinkyone) all came together at Willits. They said if they did not come together they would be lost.” Nancy goes on to describe the belief that the world was to end, and how preparations for returned deceased relatives were to be made. “At first they built a brush house in Willits. Then they were to build a deep sweathouse underground, but they never finished it. The whites around Willits were afraid when the Indians gathered together.”(2)
    The 1872 Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs states:
    “Last May [1872]…a majority of the citizens of Little Lake Valley, in this county, having decided that the presence of Indians was a detriment to their community, forcibly brought here [Round Valley Reservation] 309 Indians, part from Little Lake and part from the coast. About this time a large number of the citizens of Potter Valley, also in this county, petitioned for the removal of the Indians in their neighborhood…. [With no force or extraordinary persuasion] 685 Indians from Potter, Coyote, Walker, and Redwood Valleys gathered together, and came to the reservation. A few straggling parties, coming in swelled the number of arriveals to something over 1000. Some of these remained but a short time.”
    George’s oral tradition of the massacre at Bloody Run would make sense of the 685 Natives who came in “With no force or extraordinary persuasion”, as the news would no doubt have traveled fast in Native circles. Many Pomo trickled back to their homes, in some cases ranchers who had missed their cheap labor, induced Natives to leave Round Valley reservation to come to small parcels of land donated for rancherias in the Ukiah Valley.
    Few enough have heard of the forced marches and many trails of tears as the indigenous people were rounded up and taken to the reservations at Round Valley and Mendocino during the first half of the 1860’s. But history has passed over the 1000+ Pomo who left their homes due to fear from the whites, some even slaughtered en route.
    Nice to have this forum for bringing new light to old history, Lynette.

    (1) The 1870 Ghost Dance, Cora Du Bois pg 202
    (2) ibid. pg 208

    • Lynette M says:

      I had no idea they were forcing expulsion of the native people as late as the 1870s. Thank you for this info ‘River.

  15. You have noted very interesting details! ps nice internet site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: