Buy a boy in Humboldt for $30


A recent comment/request for information by Ric, a  blog visitor in Washington, has prompted me to look through old records.

 The following entry in Norton’s book  listing indentured Native Americans  struck me as  particularly poignant.

In October of 1860, Leon Chevret (whose name graces a road in Blue Lake) registered an indenture for George, who was eight years old at the time, and  “Bought 18 months previously by L.C. from C. Clarke of Mattole for $30”

To be fair, George may have been an orphan.   And Chevret may very well have indentured George to keep him from being exiled to the Klamath reservation  (see post one, two , & three  for more on the topic)

 But Indenture  was no perfect answer.

 And no matter how you look at it, a human being in Humboldt County was purchased for $30.


3 Responses to Buy a boy in Humboldt for $30

  1. Kym Kemp says:

    The slavery of native people under indenture lasted long after blacks were freed.

    • Lynette M says:

      And that fact isn’t well known.

      I was talking to my brother-in-law yesterday while I was writing the post (he’s 13) and told him it was about indenture. Well, how long did they have to work to pay it off?, he asked. I said it wasn’t like that. They weren’t paying off anything. They just had to work for a period of time. Years. That’s not indenture, he responded indignantly. That’s slavery. Even he recognizes the difference…

  2. […] of the 1850s and 1860s in Humboldt County, Indian children were quite vulnerable.  Many were purchased or taken as pets or servants, but even then, they weren’t fully […]

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