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9 Series I Volume L-I Serial 105 - Pacific Part I

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Page 9 Chapter LXII. OPERATIONS ABOUT FORT HUMBOLDT, CAL.

Are the bushskin gentry pioneers of civilization?-Let us see. As this appears to be the proper connection in which to answer this question, I will discuss it now. The term "bushskin gentry" is a more comprehensive one than bushskin hunters, and embraces all who hunt for a living-all who have a few ideas about agriculture and grazing and herding of stock, but who hunt at intervals; all who are brought into contact with Indians, to the exent of employing and forcibly obtaining Indian servants, and cohabiting with squaws, and all who, leading the life of an Indian, wnader from place to place with no definite object. Such a life it will readily be seen, on the slightest reflection or by the slightest experience, is anything but refining. At the South Fork the same Jones who shot Mr. Wright, in partnership with Mr. McFarland ctultivated some ground and raised a piece of corn, but went away and did not gather it that season. A pair of oxen ate some of it, but that same miserable buskskin clan that I found at the South Fork on my arrival appeared at the time in question, saying that they were out of everything and on the point of starvation. The settlers proper very hospitably shared with them, but they were not satisfied. They called a council of war, but instead of counseling the destruction of the Digger race, as they had uniformly done hitherton, they resolved on the destruction of the corn-field. The entire field was taken. Neither McFarland nor Jones were there to defend their claims or even to enter a protest, yet these same buckskin outlaws were those to tell me that the Indians had taken McFarland's corn-field, and that the white men had given no provocation. The above question is accordingly answered in the negative.

Scouting. -The scouting party sent out to Spruce Grove under charge of Corporal Heron from the camp at the South Fork remaining there till the last practicable moment, and only joined the command after the latter had passed Spruce Grove on its way to Larrabee's. The corporal's party succeeded in capturing an Indian, but by the prisoners's general conduct I was fully convinced that he did not belong to the hostile tribe at the South Fork, and on his rendering valuable servcies at Main Eel River I released him. Corporal Heron was quite confident of success at Spruce Grove had time permitted him to make use of the prisoner's services in finding rancherias. At Larrabee's the scouting was resumed. Determined to strike the Indians a blow if they could be found, I send out three parties the same day in asmany different directions. One started out in the direction of Van Dusen's Creek, proceeding down it; another started out to the left of the trail with orders to proceed to strike a point low down on the Van Dusen and go up it till its intersection with the trail. The third, composed of sixteen men under Corporal Heron, had three days' rations. It relieved the camp of all its disposable men. This party struck across toward the Van Dusen, but high up, and proceeded over in the direction of Mad River, with orders to go wherever success was probably and to join the command at Iaqua Ranch. This vast field had been crossed by a parcel of hunters, now resident at the Thousand Acre Field, a few days before. It was this which prevented success. Corporal Heron reported on his return that there were no very recent Indian signs and that there was not an Indian in twenty miles of Iaqua Ranch. From Iaqua Ranch three scouting parties were sent out. One, under Sergeant Wiedemer, proceeded to Yager Creek Settlement to scout the South and Middle Yager Valleys, and the Red Woods near by. This party espied four Indians, one squaw and three bucks, gathering clover apparently, but they were too distant to be fired on. Thed nearer, but


Page 9 Chapter LXII. OPERATIONS ABOUT FORT HUMBOLDT, CAL.

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