July 18 (1976, 1986, 1987, 2003, 2008, 1851)
California Native Peoples, Petroglyphs and Broken Promises

7/18/76   […]
susan and i sat out on the little rock outcrop and watched the clouds in the evening light changing in the canyon. […] thunder and lightning were happening to the southwest, in fact a fantastically varied sky and lightning were there for us to see. and we saw the base of a rainbow directly across the canyon from us.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

July 18, 1986    [...]
I met with Kevin Clarke and Willy and Austen Carroll and Matt Bailey and Bob Pfister to measure the Big Oak at Lovers Leap; ah! I knew I'd written of this already! Just found the missing sheet, for July 8. Anyway, Clarke asked me to write an article for the BLM magazine on lovers leap, which I have been working on.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

7/18/87   [...]
Gay handed me a map of the petroglyphs in the upper North Fork*, almost undoubtedly from the person Winslow Hall mentioned to me years ago, showing several dozen sites, and clearly I've got my work cut out, or, that is, my play, in tracking them down. Many would seem to be in the immediate vicinity of the Cedars and the Chickering's…”

[Russell Towle's journal]
* I had found this very rough map at the CSUS Library, where the author's thesis was part of the collection on California native peoples. I do not remember more about it or the author's name.  –Gay

A Panorama of Upper North Fork Landmarks
[This panorama photo was created and labeled July 18, 2003 by Russell. I am guessing that it might have been taken from Big Valley Bluff. I could very likely be wrong. When I turn up the original photos, pre-labeling, their context and creation date will confirm or refute the camera's location. But I include it today because it's such a helpful visual of the upper North Fork canyon landmarks.   –Gay ]

More on the “Barbour Treaties” made with California Native Peoples
(but never actually ratified by the U.S. Congress)
The following image files, as well as a transcript, were saved to Russell's computer on July 17, 2006. Conicidentally, the treaty was actually made and signed, “near Yuba River”, on July 18, 1851, and so I include the image files of the treaty with today's material. For regular readers of this “compendium-in-progress”, please review the July 17 page; I have made additions. 

More about these never-ratified treaties, and about their primary author (O.M. Wozencraft) from Wikipedia:

Modern evaluations of the treaties he negotiated with California Native Americans are critical:
Taken all together, one cannot imagine a more poorly conceived, more inaccurate, less informed, and less democratic process than the making of the 18 treaties in 1851-52 with the California Indians. It was a farce from beginning to end.
Nineteenth century evaluations are likewise scathing:
There was a very general impression in the state, and apparently pretty well founded, that [Wozencraft, McKee and Barbour] knew little about the country and still less about the Indians; and that everything they did was a mistake and almost everything in excess of their powers. They appear to have traveled about in considerable style and at very great expense, but accomplished nothing of importance. They made presents and promises in abundance, but got nothing of value in return. None of their treaties were approved; and nearly all the debts they contracted were repudiated as unauthorized. The reservations they established were nearly, if not entirely, useless and very unpopular...

Russell wrote this brief introduction to the prehistory of the North Fork American River watershed's peoples on his website*:
“In 1851 and 1852, the Barbour Treaties were negotiated with the Indians of California, including various Maidu tribelets, including that of Chief Weimar, for whom the town was later named. The treaties provided for the legal transfer of title to the lands of California from the Indians, with large reservations of land provided. They were signed by the Indians and representatives of California and the federal government, and sent to Washington. There, the U.S. Senate had the Barbour Treaties placed in a sealed secret archive, which was not discovered for over 50 years. The Maidu got nothing, not one acre.

There was never any legal transfer of title from the Indians to the federal or state government, in most of California, although much later, in the 1930s, efforts were made to get surviving Indians to sign away their rights to the land. These efforts were mainly successful.”
* http://northforktrails.com/RussellTowle/NorthFork/Prehistory/Prehistory.html
More on California native peoples treatment by white American settlers (including the drafting of the aborted Barbour Treaties and the role of the California state governement in sponsoring genocide) by Raymond Jeff is excerpted below. Source: http://www.tachi-yokut.com/history.html
In 1852 when our 18 treaties were not ratified the U.S. turned its head the other way, and let the State of California handle the Indian population.

On August 13, 1853, the Governor of the State of California declared extermination of all Indians in the State of California. So for over 50 years our genocide lasted. The timeline for the extermination of California Indians is as follows:
  • 1852 Treaties were not ratified
  • 1853 Extermination ordered by the State
  • 1856 The State of California issued a bounty of $0.25 per Indian scalp
  • 1860 The State of California increased the bounty to $5.00 per Indian scalp
  • 1903 The Federal Government came back into the picture 50 years later and was trying to figure out how to save the existing population. 99% of the Tachi-Yokut population were killed. It took the government 18 years to save my people
  • 1907 The last killing I was able to find was right here in our own backyard at the Island District. In 1907, 25 to 30 of our people were killed. Also during this time, no Native Americans were allowed to own land
  • 1921 The Federal Government created 123 Rancherias in California.
  • 1944 The United States let California steal our land for a sale of $1.25 per acre (Bill of Sale K-344); and
  • 1950 The population of Native Americans totaled 22,000 in California (as compared to 394,000, of which 52,000 are federally recognized today.)

Summer of Smoke

A number of wildfires, touched off by lightning storms on June 21, continued to rage in the North Fork canyon on this date nearly a month later.

July 18, 2008, morning:

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