One of Many Lucys

October 8, 2015

Lucy.Murder in Arcata.NCJCover..F.2015.1008

I recently (finally) finished a story about Lucy Romero for the North Coast Journal. It is an important story and I am thankful to Thad Greenson, their editor, for working so long and patiently with me to get it done.

There is one point I failed to include though and so want to share it here. This is from a post I did years ago, but it is just as important to remember now…

In the western movie, Broken Trail  , there is a scene where Robert Duvall struggles to learn the names of five Chinese girls under his care.  They speak no English and growing frustrated, Duvall’s character points to each one in turn and names them, “One, Two, Three, Four… “.  The girls accept the names, because they have no choice.

The same thing happened here.  When the white settlers arrived, they re “named” the native people.  Smo-Wa became Henry Capell (he was from the village of Capell).  Corn-no-wish became Weichpec Oscar.  Zo-wish-wish, a Wiyot woman related to Lucy’s daughter, Annie, was also known as “Rose”.

Lucy, the woman I write about, was only one of many “Lucys”.

 

Advertisements

Little Known History of Slavery in California

January 22, 2013
Child captives (who became child slaves)

Child captives (who became child slaves)

I was honored recently to be able to participate in the TedX Eureka  event where I presented on the History of Slavery (indenture) in California. That video is now posted on youtube:

Link to TedX Video

If you would like me to give a presentation similar to that in the video to your civic group or classroom, please email me at lynette.mullen@gmail.com.  

It is not pleasant history, but it is important and has been lost and forgotten too many times.

~Lynette


Killing babies should haunt you forever

August 5, 2011

Continued from Previous Post

Indian children faced risks when living in white households as servants, but staying in villages with their families was even more dangerous.

The other day  I went wandering (in my car, so not as primitive as it sounds, but still pretty great) onto the Wildcat and into Petrolia  ( a tiny northern California coastal town for those who are unfamiliar), where I found the Pioneer Cemetery.

I really had little thought of posts for my blog until after I’d followed a road,

Road to Petrolia Cemetery

  Read the rest of this entry »


Lucy’s Children

July 27, 2011

After finding the inquest,  I became compelled to learn more about Lucy and began hunting for information where ever I could find it.  Fortunately members of the Preston family wrote a book about their history and included information about Lucy…  

From The Preston/Lindsey Trail, 1995 ( Rosaline Preston and Carol Huber) [A copy of this book is in the Humboldt Historical Society]

page 105

“The eldest girl was named Carrie and the old pioneers Bowls raised her. She married and came to Blue Lake about six years ago, where she died.”

“The other girl was named Annie and my father and mother Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Preston, took her to raise and she grew womanhood with my father’s family and when she was about nineteen years old she was married to a man by the name of James … at my father’s ranch, known as Blue Slide, in 1876, by L Foster. Soon after Annie and her husband move to Covelo, Mendocino County. Some time ago Mr. … died and Annie married a man by the name of Arthur … and they were living at Covelo the last time I heard from them.”

“Some stories told of only one baby surviving the massacre, others of two or three but actually there were several survivors who stayed hid for fear of also being killed. The three children that were known about were two sisters and a brother. In an article in the Arcata Union, 12 Apr 1928, under the title of “Pioneer Makes A Correction” Mrs. Sarah Jane Preston Bates tried to clarify some of the confusion after the death of Charles Muhlberg when his obituary said he was the lone survivor of the island massacre. She says the obituary was not entirely correct as the Indian mother was found murdered in a cabin which stood on the old Preston ranch north of Arcata, about where the Twin Park building addition is now located. The Preston family took one of the three children, a girl, which they named Annie Preston and raised’

1928, March AU (29 March 1928) Death Recalls Tragic Incident-Charles Muhlberg, a painter and paper’ hanger, who has made his home in Arcata and Blue Lake for many years past, died at a hospital in Eureka Thursday from heart trouble from which he had been suffering for some time past.

Muhlberg was born in Arcata in 1860 and was 68 years of age. His mother was an Indian woman and from Mrs. Marie Todd, one of our early day pioneers, is learned a tragic incident connected with his childhood. The mother lived in a small cabin on the edge of the old Preston ranch which is now Twin Parks Addition, north of town, with three small children, two girls and an eight months old infant son, who was Charles. The mother was found murdered in the cabin, Charles being at her breast. Gustav Muhlberg took the boy and girl to raise, the other daughter being taken into the home of the pioneer Bowles family. Who killed the mother always remained a mystery.

One of the sisters grew to womanhood and became the wife of Jack Wright, passing away some years ago. As near as can be learned, a half sister, whose name was Mrs. Minnie … survives, her last known address being Sacramento. A niece whose first name was Emily, at one time lived in San Francisco.

The funeral was held from the Dolson-Devlin Funeral Parlors on Monday afternoon, Rev. C.P. Hessel officiating


Training for “the enemy”

July 29, 2010

Historic Church in Santa Barbara

A few years ago I watched the movie Jarhead and while I’m sure there was drama and suspense, the thing I remember most was the waiting.  Soldiers preparing and waiting.  Training and waiting.  Anticipating  and waiting while nothing happened. 

Here   is a synopsis of the movie 

 Jarhead (the self-imposed moniker of the Marines) follows Swoff (Gyllenhaal) from a sobering stint in boot camp to active duty, where he sports a sniper rifle through Middle East deserts that provide no cover from the heat or Iraqi soldiers. Swoff and his fellow Marines sustain themselves with sardonic humanity and wicked comedy on blazing desert fields in a country they don’t understand against an enemy they can’t see for a cause they don’t fully grasp.  

 which doesn’t really give you a feel for that whole waiting thing, but offers a great segue into another good point.  Often soldiers are trained to fight whatever. You know,  “the enemy”. 

Read the rest of this entry »


Soldier on his way to Humboldt in 1862

July 28, 2010

Several months ago I began a series of posts about the murder of an early Humboldt settler, James Casebeer

Part 1

 Part 2

Part 3

But it was as I was working on the fourth post that I realized I’d forgotten something.  I’d gotten so caught up in the drama of the lynchings of the murder suspects that I’d forgotten Casebeer entirely.

It was then that I decided to back up and more thoroughly examine the bigger picture.  Who were ALL the people sharing the Northcoast during those early years?

 I had looked at the hopeful homesteaders, like Sarah Royce and her family ( here and here)

And the renegades with little regard for human decency here

But the naïve gold miners also needed to be considered… here

There were also the soldiers , sent to Northern California to protect the settlers during the “Indian wars”.

Civil War Soldiers posing in front of Sibley Tent

James Brown  was  a soldier stationed here in 1862 & 1863.  He kept a diary of his experiences, which provides rare details about his journey to Fort Humboldt and his experiences with the other soldiers, the community and the natives he came to “hunt”.

Read the rest of this entry »


Lynching in Eureka

February 24, 2010

On Sunday my husband and I attended the annual Humboldt Historical Society Luncheon, and in a silent auction I “won” a series of books written by Peter Palmquist and Lincoln Killian.  The books focus on the history of local photographers, and though I’d seen them before, I  hadn’t realized they also contained a lot of great local history.  Great, well written, local history.   This sounds terrible, but I figured they weren’t written by Palmquist and on a hunch, I successfully tracked down the co-author, Lincoln Killian.   Killian had, indeed, written most of the text for the series.

We chatted for a while, and as I always do, I shared the story of Lucy.  He remarked, rather surprised, that he hadn’t heard the story before (though he worked in the HSU library’s Humboldt Room and spent years steeped in local history).  He said that it was important to share the stories that no one knows…

Which got me thinking.  And thinking… And thinking. 

I work with a lot of clients doing marketing and public relations projects and last night I attended a workshop on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) so that I could do more in that realm for my clients. I did pay attention (at least some of the time), but mostly I thought about the murder of James Casebeer and the lynch mob killing of the two Indians accused of the murder.  Two Indians named Jack.  I realized that I need to tell their story and I will start by doing it here.