Poor miserable half naked half starved wretches

July 20, 2010

Fort Humboldt, c. 1885

I realized last night that it might be time to warn new visitors that if they are looking for linear content on this blog, they’d best look elsewhere.  My vocation is project management,  where everything needs to be organized and run in straight lines.  This, on the other hand, is a hobby.  I get distracted, leave topics in the middle, find new sources at random times and insert  tangential facts.  Those with a low tolerance for such things likely don’t come back.  To all you others, I am glad to have you here.  

I recently received a transcript of a diary written by a young man named James Brown (no relation to the other, more infamous James Brown) who served in the military during the 1860s.  

The more “innocent” Brown’s entries are from 1862.  He describes his journey to our rugged and isolated North Coast  and his experiences while stationed here during the beginnings of the civil war (which became the height of our “Indian Wars”). 

It was an excerpt of the following entry he wrote while at Fort Humboldt  (which was located above the Bayshore Mall in Eureka)  that grabbed my attention and prompted my request for the entire document. 

May 9, 1862: On guard.  40 or 50 Squaws and children brought in by the Calvary.  Poor miserable half naked half starved wretches.  The sight was sickening.