Category Archives: California

A Black Speck

A black speck appears against the sky, and it is plain that it moves.  … Another instant and man and horse burst past our excited faces and go winging away like the belated fragment of a storm.  —Mark Twain (Roughing … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, American Indians, California, Civil War, Colorado, Gunfights and such, History, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Pony Express | 1 Comment

Outlaw Sheriff

William Henry Handy Plumer was born in Addison, Maine in 1832.  He was the youngest of six children born to Jeremiah and Elizabeth Plumer.  Jeremiah died when William was still a teenager.  Henry left home in 1851, at age 19, … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, California, Corruption, Goldrush, Gunfights and such, History, Idaho, Montana, Outlaws, Society | 7 Comments

Olive Oatman Fairchild

Background Joseph Smith Jr. (1805 – 1844) was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saints movement.  Smith was born in Vermont, but by 1817, he had moved with his family to Western New York, which was … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, American Indians, American Southwest, Arizona Territory, California, History, Indenture & Slavery, Massacres, Mormons, New Mexico, Pioneers, Religion, Texas, The Ladies, Yavapai | 7 Comments

America’s Bloodiest Range War, 1890 – 1916

Following the establishment of Mission San Fernando Rey de España in 1797, Spanish officials realized that they would require more land for agriculture and livestock.  They looked to the Santa Clarita Valley to establish their estancia.  Using this land necessitated … Continue reading

Posted in California, Gunfights and such, History, Pioneers, Range War | 1 Comment

California Indians — Part IV

The Modoc War When the Commissioner of Indian Affairs failed to respond to Alfred Meacham’s request, Meacham took it upon himself to petition General Edward Canby[i], Commanding General of the Department of the Columbia, to move Captain Jack’s band to … Continue reading

Posted in American Indians, California, History, Indian War | 2 Comments

California Indians — Part III

Oppressive California California government soon became an instrument of Indian oppression.  In Governor John McDougall’s first address to the California legislature, he promised “… a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the races until the Indian race … Continue reading

Posted in American Indians, California, History, Indian War | 3 Comments

California Indians — Part II

The Republic of Mexico In 1823, the flag of the Republic of Mexico replaced that of Nuevo España.  In all likelihood, none of the California Indians noticed the change.  In Mexico City, however, major changes were underway, not the least … Continue reading

Posted in American Indians, California, History, Indian War | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

California Indians — Part I

Part of the problem we have understanding the indigenous people of the present-day United States is the reality that, “Native” Americans weren’t native to the Americas.  It’s more than semantics, but to avoid nitpicking, it might be fair to say … Continue reading

Posted in American Indians, California, History, Indian War | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The Ambushers

An ambush (also, ambuscade) is a long-established military tactic in which combatants take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack unsuspecting enemies from concealed positions, i.e., from dense underbrush, from wooded areas, or from behind hilltops.  Another … Continue reading

Posted in California, Civil War, History, Little Dixie | 3 Comments

Mexican California and the Bear Flag Revolt

No one can fully understand the relationship between Mexico and the United States without also understanding the history of Spain, of New Spain, its transition to the Republic of Mexico, and of course the concomitant relationships between the American colonies … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum Period, California, History, Mexican American War, Westward Expansion | 2 Comments