Native Resistance

Lucy Young

Lucy Young


Not all of the natives went peacefully to the reservations .  Last night I was contacted by a descendent of Chief Lassic (Lassac, Lasac, Lassik), who was noted for his resistance of white incursions.

One website, , quoting  Genocide and Vendetta, says:

  • Further north in Humboldt County there was widespread resistance. One of the most active was Chief Lassik’s band, which succeeded in driving the settlers out of their territory in southeastern and southwestern Humboldt County. Chief Lassik and his band were captured in 1862, but were able to escape from the Smith River Reservation. After escaping, he headed south along the Klamath River and “stirred up discontent and revengeful feelings.” Although Chief Lassik was finally caught and killed in 1863, for over one year he was able to carry on a campaign of resistance against the settlers.


And it appears he did draw blood…

 Corp Larrabee is seriously wounded with an arrow (it appears this happened while attacking Lassic’s band where four Indians were killed). [June 22, 1861, Humboldt Times]

Note that Larrabee was a known Indian killer, and thought to be a main perpetrator of the Indian Island Massacre  and other murders of Natives.

 Lassic was captured and held for a time on the makeshift Indian prison created out of the Samoa Peninsula in Humboldt Bay in 1862.  A local newspaper editor toured the “indian quarters”,  noting that “to a person who has never seen a band of 700 to 800 wild Indians of all ages together, the sight is truly novel”.

The editor recognized Chief Lassac (sic), though he complained Lassac was “stubborn, and would not speak”.  [Humboldt Times, 6 Sept. 1862]

Carranco stated that Lassic escaped from the Smith River Reservation.  The Indian Agent, Geo Hanson, showed up to remove the natives from Samoa at the end of Sept, and may have taken Lassic to the Smith then.   An article dated Oct. 11 notes that about three hundred natives, “mostly bucks” had escaped the Smith River Reservation. Other articles note the exodus of Natives from the Smith through November.

After Lassic’s escape, he continued his resistance until he was eventually captured.

Lassic was “uncle-cousin” to the mother of Lucy Young.  Young was a remarkable woman who described, in great detail, the coming of the white man and the effects on her family.   

As a little girl, Young witnessed Lassic’s capture  and  later told the story of her uncle’s death.

At last I come home. Mother at Fort Seward. Before I get there, I see big fire in lots down timber and treetops. Same time awful funny smell. T think someone get lots of wood.

I go on to house. Everybody crying. Mother tell me, “All our men killed now.” She say white men there, others come from Round Valley, Humboldt County too, kill our old uncle, Chief Lassic, and all other men.

Stood up about forty Inyan in a row with rope around neck. “What’s this for?” Chief Lassic say. “To hang you dirty dogs,” white men tell it. “Hanging, that’s dogs death,” Chief Lassic say. “We done nothing to be hung for. Must die, shoot us.”

So they shoot. All our men. Then build fire with wood and brush. Inyan been cut for days. Never know it their own funeral fire they fix. Build big fire, burn all them bodies. That’s funny smell I smell before I get to house. Make hair raise on back of my neck. Make sick stomach too.

4 Responses to Native Resistance

  1. Lynette. Thank you for looking up the information on Lassik. I went to one of the links on this page and found one item I take issue with. The link is “Bitter Memories at Round Valley”. In it, the author uses what I consider a tired old phrase which gets repeated and repeated. The phrase indicates that the word “Yuki” means enemy or thief. This might be true in some instances, but the correct translation would be the equivalent of “non-resident alien” or “foreign to this place”. The people of Round Valley called themselves U’kom-nom. An additional item I take issue with is the word Nome Cult which is a Euro-American pronunciation of Nom-e’k-ell-tah, meaning something like people of a high mountain place. Tah means something like “people”.

    • lynette77 says:

      Greetings Patricia,
      I understand your frustration with the info and appreciate you sharing more accurate terms/names, etc. Fortunately (and unfortunately), I just take the info I find and share… I am too new to the area and this study of history to even begin to think I know anything specific myself. Please keep addressing mis-information as you run across it here, as it helps all of us.

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