Citation – Primary Source
Event / Description
“The Indians.” [San Francisco] Alta California, January 18, 1849: p. 2, col. 2.
“An Indian Fight.” Weekly Alta California, January 18, 1849: p. 2, col. 3. California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu.
James M. Vail; Weaver’s Creek; Leidsdorff’s ranch; fight with Oregonians, Indian rancheria burnt
“Yesterday an old Indian, well known in this neighborhood, and who had a good character, came to a camp of Oregonians, and one of them claimed one of his horses. The Indian said he had bought the horse from a white man, and did not like to give him up—showed the fresh “vent,” &c. The white man persisted that he was his horse, and took him away from him. The Indian was enraged, and rode off, making use of expressions which were not agreeable to the Oregonian, and he took up his rifle and shot him. The Indian’s horse went home, his saddle covered with blood, but without his rider. To-day, some time, armed Indians came to the camp of, or met some eight Oregonians, and the latter knowing the occurrence of yesterday, presumed they had come to take revenge, and gave them battle, and were whipped. One of them came in to the Fort and told his story, and the whole garrison turned out to their rescue; but when they returned, having heard other stories, they were pretty generally sorry the Indians had not whipped them worse.”
“Latest from the Mines.” Weekly Alta California: April 12, 1849: p. 2, col. 1. California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu.
Richard Johnson; Wood
“Squire Wheeler has just come in [to Sacramento City] with the news that Richard Johnson and a man named Wood, both of Oregon, with three others, have been killed by the Indians on the Middle Fork. Some men were also killed by the Indians on the Mokelumne, a few days since.”
W. Medill to Adam Johnston, April 14, 1849, in Report of the Secretary of the Interior, Communicating, In compliance with a resolution of the Senate, a copy of the correspondence between the Department of the Interior and the Indian agents and commissioners in California, Sen. Exec. Docs., 33 Cong., Spec. Sess., Doc. 4, pp. 2-3 (688).
Appointment of Sub-Agent Adam Johnston to discover condition of Indians in Sacramento – San Joaquin River region and procure white captives of Indians.
“Latest from the Mines.” Weekly Alta California, April 26, 1849: p. 2, col. 3. California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu.
“It is impossible to say who were the aggressors in the first instance, but it is no doubt true that the whites are becoming impressed with the belief that it will be absolutely necessary to exterminate the savages before they can labor much longer in the mines with security.
Two weeks since we published an account of the murder of five Oregonians by the Indians, on the Middle Fork, and we gave the names of two of the men killed. We have since learned that the names of the other three were Robinson, Thompson, and English. On the receipt of this intelligence at the Saw Mill, a party of twenty-five Oregonians went in pursuit of the Indians, and came upon a large rancheria, on Weber’s creek. A fight occurred, in which some fifteen or twenty Indians were killed, and fifty or sixty taken prisoners. The prisoners were driven down to Culloma, where all but seven were released.—About sundown the seven prisoners make a concerted attempt at escape, when five of them were shot, and two succeeded in getting away.”
“The Indian Difficulties.” Placer Times, April 28, 1849: p. 2, col. 2-3. California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu.
Indian Agent; Bear Creek; whites from Oregon; mouth of Feather river; American River
“It is now that the cry of extermination is raised—a thirst for indiscriminate slaughter rages, and men, women and children old and young, vicious and well-disposed, of the Indian race, wherever met with, are to be straightway shot down or knocked on the head, their villages plundered and burned and the frightened fugitives forced deeper into the mountains to starve—or to steal and plunder as shall henceforth appear…”
“It is not long since an Indian rancheria near Bear Creek was pounced upon by a small party of whites, and twenty-five of the unsuspecting inmates, of both sexes, taken and cruelly murdered. Why was this? It was because numerous thefts had been committed by Indians in that vicinity, and it was necessary to make and ‘example.’ But traced to cause more remote, a murder had been committed last fall by Indians in that neighborhood. (though still anterior to this, a fact scarcely worth mentioning however, several Indians had been killed by whites coming through from Oregon)”
“The Indian Troubles.” Weekly Alta California, May 3, 1849: p. 2, col. 1. California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu.
Weber’s Creek; Culloma mill, Sacramento City
“The difficulties with the Indians are beginning to assume a more menacing character, and sound policy would seem to dictate the propriety of sending bodies of troops into the disturbed districts. The Indian trade, one of the most lucrative in the country, is almost entirely broken up, and many of our worthiest citizens will suffer largely thereby. This state of affairs is deeply to be regretted, and what is worse, it is believed generally, that it will to a great extent, prevent the successful working of the mines the present season.”
“Indian Outrages-Seven white men murdered; Terrible Slaughter of Indians.” Placer Times, May 5, 1849: p.1, col.2. California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu.
Middle Fork; Spanish Bar; Culoma; American River mines; Consumne River; James Johnson; Nathan English; Benjamin Wood; Mr. Thompson; Leonard; Garter; Sargent; Wm Daylor writes to district Alcade re: Indians slaughtered on his rancho by organized company of miners
“Inhuman Murder.” Placer Times, May 5, 1849: p.2, col. 3.
States that the manner of a miner’s death at the hands of whites was meant to cast blame on Indians.
“Legislature.” Placer Times, May 5, 1849: p.3, cols.1-2.
States that a standing committee on Indian Affairs was appointed.
“Terrible Slaughter of Indians.” Placer Times, May 5, 1849: p.1, col.3; p.2 col.1.
Daylor; “Sacramento valley Indians”
“The murders recently committed by the Indians on the American river have…so thoroughly aroused the miners of that stream and vicinity, that nothing short of an unconditional slaughter of the Sacramento valley Indians would seem to appease the thirst for vengeance. The Alcalde of this district received…a letter from Wm. Daylor… announcing the arrival of a large party of armed Americans on his grounds, and who had shot down three of his Indians while employed in digging a grave. On Wednesday following it transpired that an organized company, formed at the American, had traced a party of Indians from that river until within about ten miles of Daylor’s rancho, when coming upon them suddenly, every [Indian] man was instantly shot down, and the women and children taken into captivity. These Indians, it appears from the statements made by Daylor, corroborated by others, composed in part the mining troop employed by him on the Middle Fork, and who had, hearing of the excitement caused by the murders on that stream, abandoned the work to seek protection in their own village, under the immediate control of their employer…The Indians report twenty-three missing of their Indian men in all… were without arms when slaughtered.”
“From the Mines.” Weekly Alta California, May 10, 1849: p.2, col. 1. California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu.
Middle Fork [of the American River]; Culloma saw mill; Spanish Bar;
“I found the community of Culloma in a great state of Excitement. Some three weeks since a party of Indians entered a camp of white men on the Middle Fork, a few miles below the Spanish Bar, whilst the men were at work, and after breaking the locks of their rifles, rushed upon, and cruelly murdered them. The names of the men were James Johnson, of Kentucky; Thompson, residence unknown; Benjamin Wood, Missouri; Robert Alexander, do; Henry English, do.
A few days afterward, a part of the same party killed two more men, higher up the river—One of these men was James Sergeant, formerly a member of Co. F. Col. Stevenson’s regiment, and the other a man named Leonard.
Upon the reception of the news of these murders at Culloma, a party was instantly equipped, who started in search of the murderers. After travelling nearly all day without seeing an Indian, about dusk they came upon a rancheria on Weber’s creek where they killed twenty-one, and took prisoners some forty Indians…
There will be trouble with the Indians in the mountains this summer. After what has occurred, revenge will be sought by both parties,.. Hereafter treaties cannot be made, and the two races can never live together harmoniously; and I doubt not but a war of extermination will soon be commenced.”
“Correct Detail of the Massacre of Indians on Cosumne River – Statement of Wm Daylor.” Placer Times, May 12, 1849: p. 1, col. 1.
The letter below was received at our office… In many particulars it will be found to differ materially from the one referred.
——“On about the 20th ult, I left my rancho with a party of Indians in my employ for the mines. After making such arrangements as were necessary, I left them and returned.—About the 26th, a party of armed white men came to their camp, or where they were at work, and killed and Indian while working with a crow bar, and on his knees; they then shot another through the arm, who tried to escape. After a run of a short distance he was shot through the thigh, when trying to conceal himself, his brains were beat out with rocks and stones… The company of whites now followed on the trail of the Indians, and about ten miles from my house overtook a party travelling to their home, and surrounded them without difficulty; in a few moments commenced separating the men from the women and children, when apprehending danger, the men broke and attempted to escape. Three were allowed to get off, the rest, fourteen in number were slaughtered on the spot. The same day, or next, about noon, the party of whites arrived and encamped about 150 yds from my house. Myself, wife and cousin were out to bury a member of the family and previous to leaving the ground, I was informed that a party of armed men were at the house and about to kill the Indians there. I returned with my wife, and a few moments after, the four Indians left the grave and passed within thirty steps of the camp when they were fired upon, and one fell dead, another passed not ten steps from my door, wounded, the remaining two escaped. The captain of the company of white men came to my house shortly after and requested me to kill a beef for his men; I refused, and they soon after raised camp…I, with four Indian servants, buried 15 Indians, slain, and found the remains of one partly burned. Mr. Thos Rhodes with the assistance of two or three Indians buried the bodies of the first two killed. The white men report having killed 27 before coming to the house. Twenty-two men, and thirty four women and children are yet missing from the rancheria.”
“Terrible Slaughter of Indians.” Placer Times, May 12, 1849: p. 2, col. 1. California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu.
Consumne River; Wm Daylor’s rancho
“The Indian Disturbances.” Alta California, May 31, 1849: p. 2, col. 4.
The Indian Disturbances; Correct Detail of the Massacre of Indians on CosumneS River — Statement of Wm. Daylor
“Proclamation to the People of California.” Placer Times, June 23, 1849: p. 1, col. 2.
“[Regiment of Volunteers in California.]” Placer Times, July 14, 1849: p. 2, col. 2.
Regiment of Volunteers in California. Discusses soldiers’ entitlement to land.
Secondary Sources only:
Prucha, Francis Paul. A Guide to the Military Posts of the United States, 1789-1895. Madison: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 74.
Roberts, Robert B. Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1988, 67.
U.S. Military Post – Camp/Fort Far West established on Bear Creek (Marysville); abandoned 5/4/1852.
“Capt. Wm H Warner.” Weekly Alta California, November 1, 1849: p.2, col. 1. California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu.
Deer Creek; Grove Lake; Pitts River; Goose Lake; Captain Wm H. Warner
Orlando Brown to John A. Sutter, November 24, 1849, in Report of the Secretary of the Interior, Communicating, In compliance with a resolution of the Senate, a copy of the correspondence between the Department of the Interior and the Indian agents and commissioners in California, Sen. Exec. Docs., 33 Cong., Spec. Sess., Doc. 4, pp. 3-5 (688).
Letter appointing John Sutter as Sub-Indian agent on Sacramento River to discover conditions of Indians and procure white captives.
“Placer Intelligence — Letter from Feather River.” [San Francisco] Alta California, December 31, 1849: p. 4, col. 5.
Comments on industriousness of Indians.