Three Indians killed - one hung- and a squaw wounded.
Coroner's inquest, names of the persons with the crime- arrested.
Indian Massacre February 1, 1879 Mariposa Gazette (submitted by W. DISBRO)
Never, since the organization of Mariposa county, or the existence of
the Gazette, which is about 25 years old, has its editor ever been
called upon to chronicle such a dastardly, infamous, and inhumane
massacre; wherein several Indians were mercilessly slaughtered at a
rancheria, while in their quiet slumbers early Sunday morning last
about five miles below town; as the bloody deed we are at this writhing
attempting to give the public a description of. The first intelligence
of the wholesale murder, was brought to town by two squaws, who were
present and were probably here within a hour or two after the deed was
committed. Notwithstanding the enormity of the outrage, there was a
remarkable quietness pervading among the citizens; whispers could be
heard from them, asking what is going to be done; no one knew or could
Some appeared dumbfounded, others stricken with terror and agonizing
suspense. In fact, there was no movement made in an official manner
towards investigating the scene of bloodshed. It was however, visited
by several during the day, whose curiosity sought gratification at
seeing a dead Indian or two, who hd fallen by the relentless bullets
fired from the rifles or pistols of the white men. It was, as described
to us, a scene of carnage never before witnessed in this region of
country. There lay promiscuously upon the ground dead, three stalwart
young Indian men, each shot through the head; close by was an old
decrepit Indian about 70 years of age, who had been hung up by a rope
till dead, and afterwards cut down- said to be the father of Willie
ROSS, convicted for the murder of THOMPSON, and sent to prison for life.
The young Indians were known respectively by the names of Sam, Charlie
and Amos. Sam is mentioned as being an excellent farm hand and an
industrious laborer. He had during the past year been in the employ of
Mr. M. W. QUICK a thrifty farmer on Pea Ridge. Sam leaves a wife and
several children. Amos was a promising young Indian, and worked among
the farmers and ranchers for a living. Charlie was a step son to
Lebrado, a Mexican citizen who resides with his family near Clark's old
saw mill, on Bear Creek. Charlie was well thought of generally; he was
very industrious and a great support to his parents and his little
brothers and sister; and the grief, with which the family seemed
over-powered as they passed through town with the body of the ill-fated
Charlie, on Monday last; the wail of the poor mother and sobs of the
elder sister is about as sorrowing a spectacle as we have witnessed for
many a day.
Our informant who was upon the ground on Sunday soon after the
slaughter; gathered the following from Indian Jeff who had with another
Indian Jack escaped from the assassins. Early in the morning, Sam, who
occupied the cabin with his family, was awakened by a knock and call at
the door. He responded to his name, and requested the outsider to wait
till he put on his shoes and he would come out; as he opened the door
he was seized and his hands tied behind him. At the same moment, the
other Indians who were sleeping in another wig wam, were seized and
likewise tied in the same manner, when all five were required to stand
or sit down together with a guard over them, while the old Indian was
being executed by hanging. Just at this moment a break was made, Sam
ran into his own house when he was followed and killed. Jack and Jeff
made good their escape. Charlie was shot in the forehead and in the
neck= Amos in the eye and in the back- Sam in the head. A favorite old
washerwomen about the town, was shot in the side of the face inflicting
a severe wound, considered dangerous- supposed to have been a
accident-althou' she says the gun was pointed right at her, which is
evidently so, or she would not of been hit.
On Monday following, a jury was summoned by Capt. J. W. THOMAS J.P.
acting coroner, and they proceeded to the locality, where the bodies of
the Indians except Charlie, had lain undisturbed since the messenger of
death had called them in. The
body of Charlie had previously been brought in by his parents, and as they passed through, an inquest was held upon the body.
The following is a copy of the verdict of the Coroners Jury held upon
the dead body of Indian Amos, and rendered before J. W. THOMAS, Justice
of the Peace, acting coroner. Separate verdicts were rendered upon each
of the bodies, differing only in name of the Indian, upon whose body
the inquest was held. After the usual form of title, the Jury say;
" We the undersigned jurors, summoned to appear before J.W.
THOMAS, Coroner of the town of Mariposa, and county of Mariposa, at 11
o'clock a.m. on the 27th day of January 1879, to inquire into the cause
of death of Indian Amos, found dead at the Indian Camp on Humbug Gulch,
having been duly sworn according to law, and having made such
inquisition after inspecting the body, and hearing the testimony
adduced, upon our oaths, each and all do say, that we find the deceased
named Amos, was a native of California, age unknown, that he came to his
death on the 26th day of January 1879, in this county, by gunshot wounds
in his right eye and in his left leg, having been found at the Indian
camp four and one half miles south-east of Mariposa, by the instigation
of deadly weapons in the hands of the following persons to wit: E.G.
LAIRD, Robert LAIRD, Samuel LAIRD, Fred HOLT, John HALE, Nat GREEN,
HENDRICKS, and a man unknown."
Henry C. McCREADY,
W. R. KNIGHT,
Michael J. MULLERY,
C. E. FARNSWORTH,
E. S. UTTER, Foreman.
MARIPOSA HISTORICAL EVENTS
MARIPOSA COUNTY HISTORY AND GENEALOGY