Arcata (Union), Humboldt Bay, Loleta, Mad River, Mattole.
Conflict in Humboldt County, 1861.
A couple was at home in the evening outside of Union (Arcata), when Redwood (Yurok) natives surprised them in a daring attack. Mrs. Weaver was killed with three guns beside her. Her male companion was abducted, and presumed dead. Not too long after, three neighboring pig farmers by the names of Joeseph Bashow, Lewis Cash, and Mr. Mann were ambushed and executed. The trio were driving their hogs on a trail from Hydesville when they needed to camp for the night to refresh from their tiring journey.
What they didn’t know was they were being tracked by local natives from the time they left their properties. When they crossed the Mad River, unaware, the trio was shot. Cattle drivers would later find the bodies of the farmers killed. The communities of the settling areas of Humboldt Bay were perpetually in mourning for their good and industrious citizens who were killed in their own houses. Some were killed on lonely trails, and in the woods.
All done at the hands of the hostile tribesmen, residents would come to know this period in history as a “carnival of death,” terrible to even contemplate the reality of the events. In the Mattole region, a farmer living off of the Eel River by the name of O.W. Wise was walking back towards his homestead one evening from his dairy shed housing the milk cows. While completely unaware of his situation, he was mortally wounded by six arrows and a rifle ball. He died the next day.
Not more than a couple weeks after, an incident occurred to three settlers who were living in a house near the Van Duzen River. On August 25th, Mr. Coates (one of the three men) was walking near his house when he was shot by a couple rifle rounds and killed from the brush. The other two roommates of Mr. Coates (who was unarmed), retrieved their rifles and attempted to protect him. One native was killed, out of the attacking party of twenty-five warriors. Eel River would remain a hotspot for hostile conflict for settlers and natives of the local area. In 1861, the Humboldt Bay area was in the middle of what could be seen as blatant murder spree on the part of the natives against the settlers by these aforementioned accounts.
Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
The Van Duzen on the Eel River.
Southern Humboldt County, California.