My study of “Humboldt History, Volume One: Two Peoples, One Place” by Ray Raphael and Freeman House continued today. I felt the darkness of the truths in this book, and I wondered, should something this serious and heavy really be my subject for the 100 Days? (Answer is yes.) And I also asked myself if I’m going to lose sight of my story in all of this research. (Answer is, do not fear– go for it. Follow my compulsion to know all of this history and trust myself– I’m the author of my novel, and my intuition has led me to wonderful places so far.)
These are pictures of Sally Bell (a To-Cho-be ke-ah, or Shelter Cove Sinkyone) and Lucy Young (a Set-ten-bi-den ke-ah, or Lassik Indian) which I drew from photos in the book. The caption reads: “As children they witnessed the horrific massacre of their people; as adults they offered vivid recollections of what had happened.” Both of their stories are heartrending, and I intend to hold their memory close to me throughout the writing of my novel.
A couple sentences from the book that summarize the relationship between the Euro American pioneers and the Native Americans: “This is the context in which we must view the subjugation of indigenous people by those who coveted their land. Fear and racism, when combined with acquisitiveness, led in the end to policies intended to subdue, remove, or kill indigenous people.”