Murder that began an obsession

July 24, 2011

I was “talking” with a friend over email today about how frustrating it can be when folks have historical information and don’t share.  

Fortunately it only took me a few minutes to realize what a hypocrite I am.

I started this blog, and my obsession with our local history, because I found the record of an inquest that occurred after a Native American woman was brutally murdered in our county in 1862.

And while I’ve shared some of the details of Lucy’s murder  and the stranger-than-fiction fact that I found her son’s 1928 obituary on the wall of our new (very old) house two years AFTER I found the transcript,   I’ve never posted the transcript itself.  Perhaps because of my (maybe never to be realized) desire to write a book.  To tell Lucy’s whole story.  Whatever.  I have yet to write a book.  And may get hit by a bus tomorrow.

 And so here is the transcript.

There may be typos (ignore ‘em please).  There will also be some weird grammatical errors as the handwritten record is difficult to read in places but I wanted to keep my transcription as true to the original document as possible.

 Today I’ll just post the whole document and hopefully over the next few weeks I’ll add what I’ve learned about Lucy and her children in the years since I discovered the transcript.


Humboldt County Courthouse

Transcript of microfilmed records of Inquisition  into Lucy’s Murder-Union, 1862                                                                

 12 January 1862

Murder of Squaw in Arcata

Lucy (Indian woman) Coroner Inquest held 15 to 17, January 1862.



Inquest held before Byron Deming Coroner of Humboldt on the 15th day of January 1862 to inquire as to the cause of death of an Indian woman found dead on the premises of John Preston in the Township of Union, County of Humboldt, State of California, Sunday morning, January 12th, 1862.

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