July 17 (1983, 2006, 2008)
Sluicing and Photographing

7/17/83 Morning. Brandenburg #6. The canyon is still deeply shadowed, the pinnacle ridge an island of light, a soft haze glows and diffuses, testifying to the cool watery air mass that may later coalesce into clouds and rain.


Have not been hydraulicking except occasionally past few days; clean up of the sluice-box reveals fine gold; I need, and should've been using all along, a larger one. Maybe make one today.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

Chief Weimar and the Barbour Treaties
[North Fork Trails blogpost, July 17, 2006:
Over the past winter and spring I offered up several anecdotes about Chief Weimar of the Nisenan Maidu, for whom the Placer County town of Weimar was named. I told a little of the story of the Barbour Treaties, of 1851, when an attempt was made to secure legal title to the lands of California, by negotiating with all the Indian tribes, and giving them generous reservations, in exchange for a quit-claim on all the rest. And I also transcribed Stephen Powers' 1873 Overland Monthly article, about the Nisenan Maidu.

Yesterday, prompted by a call from geologist David Lawler, I went in search of the actual text of the treaty negotiated with the Maidu, upon which Captain Weimar "made his mark." I could not find the governmental website where, a couple years ago, I had found a scan of the very map which accompanied this treaty, the map showing the boundaries of the Nisenan reservation.

However, I did find the text of the treaty, wherein we find Captain Weimar, of all people: "For and in behalf of the Das-pia: WEE-MAR, his x mark."

The "Das-pia" must have been a tribe or band of the Nisenan Maidu, presumably from the Grass Valley/Colfax area.

Local historian Pat Jones wrote that this treaty was signed at Storm's Ranch, over near today's Chicago Park, in Nevada County. But the treaty itself records its making, on July 18, 1851, at "Camp Union, near the Yuba River, ... ." I cannot find where this "Camp Union" was located. Ten years later, in 1861, a different Camp Union was formed near Sacramento.

The eighteen California treaties, negotiated by Commissioners Barbour, Wozencraft, and McKee, were delivered to the Senate by President Fillmore in June of 1852, and on July 8, 1852, the Senate rejected all eighteen of them. The Senate then caused these treaties to be sealed away in a secret archive, and they were not discovered until 1905.

Various tribes and bands of California Indians are understandably quite upset by the history of these treaties.
[Transcript of treaty omitted; see July 18 post for photo-copy.]
The Senate's July 8, 1852 rejection of this treaty reads as follows:
Resolved, That the Senate do not advise and consent to the ratification of the treaty of peace and friendship made and concluded at Camp Union, near the Yuba River, between the United States Indian agent, O. M. Wozencraft, of the one part, and the chiefs, captains and head men of the following tribes, viz, Daspia, Ya-ma-do, Yol-la-mer, Wai-de pa can, On-o-po-ma, Mon-e da, Wau-muck, Nem-shaw Bem-pi, Ya-cum-na, of the other part.

Such is a historical snippet. Or two snippets.

Small Canyon Critters
Photographed July 2008
Aquatic Garter Snake
(Thamnophis atratus)

Night-blooming Soap Plant, (also called Amole) with its special flies
(Chlorogalum pomeridianum)

Amole flower bud about to pop open

Foothill Yellow-legged Frog
(Rana boyli)i

Western Rattlesnake


Spider webs of the forest floor

Water striders

No comments:

Post a Comment