Mendocino Indian Reservation, 1857

Mendocino Indian Reservation, 1857

Ok, keep clicking to get to the source of the photo…

And then (and this is important if this format drives you crazy like it did me–for those of you, likely most of you, that already figured it out-ignore the following),

you need to go to the top left hand corner and  adjust the zoom… and then click on red box imposed over the miniture image in the left corner below the zoom setting.  Then with your mouse still clicked, move that little box around.  It will shift the larger image (zoomed) around so you can see segments of the image in better detail.

It seriously took me months to figure this out.  Clearly not something I should be boasting about but it is true.

This painting is remarkable–and not.  I would like to think the artist tried to accurately capture what he saw.  The source cite says that it was complete while the painter, Edouart,  was a member of a hunting party in 1857 to present to Mendocino County.


5 Responses to Mendocino Indian Reservation, 1857

  1. olmanriver says:

    The October 1858 issue of Hutching’s Cal. Magazine published from a German article “Ten Days in Mendocino”, changing the name to Reminiscences of Mendocino, which chronicles the expedition of the party. The front page drawing by Eduoart has a similar view as the above painting, with some Native Californians in the foreground. I believe that this HQ scene is of the just built Ft. Bragg, as the square building is described as being at the end of the of parade grounds.
    Considering the thousands of Indians who were shuffled through this reservation there isn’t much written about the place. Robert Winn’s little book, the Mendocino Indian Reservation is the best, and Frank Baumgardner came out with Yanks in the Redwoods last year which gets into some of the typically corrupt shenanigans of the managers of the place.

    There were a few reservations making up the place, and Simpson and White, the founders of Cahto town, had positions of responsibility at the Cully Bool station. Their rise to wealth came largely from supplying the reservation with beef from their Cahto ranch. There are letters from White showing his concern for the plight of the underfed dislocated Indians, he was in charge of the gardens, and was a busy hunter for the reservation, as well as going out to retrieve Indians taken away by Hispanic and white slavers.

    • Lynette M says:

      I actually found the old reservation building in Fort Bragg by accident walking around one day. I’m sure much of the structural elements were replaced while being restored, but it was powerful just the same. History, its’ ghosts, surround us always. Thanks, River.

      • Cosh says:

        Where is the building you found? Julia Mongovan (sp?) thought that a small house in an alley off Redwood east of Franklin might have been one of the fort structures.

  2. olmanriver says:

    Here is a longer history of the place from Barrett’s Ethno-geography of the Pomo:
    “Mendocino Reservation.

    The first definite reservation in this portion of the state was what is known as the Mendocino reservation, established in 1856 under the supervision of Colonel Thomas J. Henley, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in California. This reservation extended along the Mendocino coast from Hare river, a small stream about half a mile south of Noyo river, northward to Hale creek, bīlō’bida, about a mile north of Ten-mile river; thus giving a total length of about eleven miles. It extended about three miles back from the coast line, thus including a broad belt of redwood timber, and containing approximately twenty-five thousand acres. The first station and permanent headquarters were established a short distance north of Noyo river. Sub-stations were established as follows: Bald Hill, about three miles north-east of headquarters; Ten Mile, near the mouth of Ten Mile river; Culle-Bulle, between Noyo and Hare rivers. Captain H. L. Ford was the sub-agent in charge of the reservation and each substation was in charge of an overseer. At Fort Bragg a company of soldiers was stationed to bring Indians to the reservation, and to keep peace among those already there. They had not only to go out and bring in the Indians from new localities, but also to return run-aways to the reservation. In addition to those already inhabiting the country in the neighborhood of the reservation, Indians were brought in from various more distant
    ― 48 ―
    points,Captain H. L. Ford, after stating that since June, 1856, he had been in charge of the Mendocino reservation, says: “When I first went there, there were two or three hundred Indians who claimed that as their home; they were called Chebal-na-poma, Chedil-na-Poma, and Camebell-Poma; since I went there two hundred and fifty Calle-Nameras were moved there from the vicinity of Bodega, and they are all there yet; two hundred and forty Wappo Indians were moved there from Russian River Valley, from the vicinity of Fitch’s ranch; one hundred and eighty were moved from Rancheria Valley, near Anderson Valley; upwards of two hundred were moved from Ukiah Valley; sixty Indians were moved from near the mouth of Sulphur Creek—all these Indians were tame Indians; upwards of three hundred wild Indians, called Yosul-Pomas, came in of their own accord; some time in the winter of one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, General Kibbe sent two hundred of the Redwood Indians from Humboldt County; of that number one hundred and eight were sent by order of Superintendent Henley to San Francisco; fifty-seven of those Indians are on the reservation now, the rest have run away. During the past summer months I have received from the officers of Gen. Kibbe and Capt. Jarboe one thousand and seven Indians; these are from Pitt River, Hot Creek, Butte Creek, and Feather River; those received from Jarboe are all from the vicinity of Eel River and Round Valley; they number about two hundred and nine or ten.” State of California Legislature—Majority and Minority Reports of the Special Joint Committee on the Mendocino War, 1860; Deposition of H. L. Ford; taken February 22, 1860, pp. 15, 16. with the result that former enemies were brought into close contact, and the agent was often obliged to use his authority and even to call in the soldiers to prevent hostilities among them. Some attempt was made at farming and at educating the Indians; but from the accounts, both writtenG. Bailey, Special Agent Interior Department, reports, November 4, 1858, to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, as follows: “Notwithstanding these natural advantages the reservation has not thriven. There are but few Indians upon it, seven hundred and twenty-two according to the statement of the sub-agent in charge, and a great majority of these could in no wise be distinguished from their wild brethren. The whole place has an effete decayed look that is most disheartening. I saw it, it is true, at an unfavorable season of the year, but there were unmistakable indications everywhere that whether considered as a means of civilization, or as purely eleemosynary, the system as tried here is a failure.” Rep. Com. Ind. Affairs, for 1858, p. 301. In Alley, Bowen and Company’s History of Mendocino County the authors, after some observations concerning reservations in general, say: “In the reservation under consideration, out of twenty-four thousand acres included in its limits, there were not that many hundred that were arable. No progress worth speaking of was made in the way of farming. A few acres were planted, and if the cattle and other stock were kept off, a small crop was grown, but it never was of any advantage to the Indians.” History of Mendocino County, California, p. 170; Alley, Bowen & Co., San Francisco, 1880. Concerning California reservations in general, J. Ross Browne published an article in Harper’s Magazine, for August, 1861, entitled “The Indian Reservations of California.” This was reprinted in Beach’s Indian Miscellany, p. 303 seq., Albany, 1877. and oral, of visitors to the reservation as well as the accounts given by early settlers and by Indians who were on the reservation at the time, there were
    ― 49 ―
    many things left to be desired in its management and results. The reservation was discontinued in 1867. “

    • Lynette M says:

      Thanks ‘river.
      I can’t help but note the often mentioned runaways–and that they endeavored to bring them back. This was a prison camp at a minimum, no matter how it was painted.
      Many reservations were labor camps as well.

      The other thing I wasn’t aware of was how many Humboldt County indians were brought over there.
      Thank you for sharing.

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