Browse Exhibits (7 total)

Wintu & Bridge Gulch Massacre


In the spring of 1852, a Weaverville citizen by the name of John R. Anderson was killed and his cattle driven off by a band of Wintu Indians in retaliation for years of abuse and persecution by the citizens of Weaverville. Sheriff William H. Dixon then led a group of 70 volunteers to hunt down the band of Wintu that committed the act. The massacre occurred at Bridge Gulch, a natural bridge in the Hayfork Valley of Shasta-Trinity national Forest, known as "Kok-Chee-Shuhp-Chee," or "Bundle of Hudes," by the Winty due to the texture and color of the walls. In the hours of the early morning, under the guise of darkness to ensure few Wintu could escape, the slaughter resulted in the deaths of 153 men, women, and children, leaving only a few child survivors. 

Indian Island Massacre of 1860


In the early morning of February 26th, 1860, Wiyot tribal elders, women and children were sleeping on the island of Tuluwat, which is currently referred to as "Indian Island," located in what is now Humboldt Bay. The Wiyot men were off the island gathering supplies in preparation for the upcoming "World Renewal Ceremony" that took place yearly in that location. Guided by notions of fear, greed and racial superiority, a group of white settlers swam across the bay to the shores of Tulawat Island and proceeded to indiscriminately slaughter the sleeping elders, women and children. 


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Yontocket Massacre (1853)


Yontocket village was located in what is now commonly known as the Tolowa Dunes State Park. During the ten-day Nee-dash ceremony in 1853, more than 450 Tolowa were murdered at this site. Settlers set fire to the redwood plank houses in the village during the night. As the Tolowa tried to escape from the burning buildings, they were shot. The massacre was an effort to remove the Tolowa from their lands.

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Fall of the Whilkut

The Whilkut are a Northwestern California indigenous tribe, now one of many comprising the Hupa tribe. Historically their territory ranged near the Redwood Creek, Mad River, and Kneeland areas. The settlers nicknamed the Whilkut tribe, “Mad River Indians” and “Redwood Creek Indians” based on their proximity to the aforestated waterways. 

In 1770 the Whilkut tribe had a population of 500, but a consensus taken in 1910 concluded that there were only 50 members who still remained. The sharp decrease in population was the result of events like the ‘Bald Hills War,’ which took place from 1858 to 1864. The Whilkuts came into contact with white invaders when gold was discovered in California in 1850. White Americans settled along the coast and mined for gold in Trinity County. Several trails were utilized from settled coastal areas to the Trinity mines which went directly through Whilkut territory in order to provide supplies to miners as well as delivery from the U.S. postal service.

White settlers disrupted the traditional Whilkut territory and relocated them to nearby reservations (wherein they were grouped with the Hupa and other nearby communities). The response from the Whilkut, Hupa, and allied tribes was met by the combined California militia. 

Some returned to see their land completely desecrated and they retaliated by raiding their livestock and crops. In the end the Whilkut were forced into either the outskirts of their territory where survival was hardly sustainable or onto neighboring tribal reservations. 

"The genocide and deprivation caused by the foreign settlers caused Kroeber to state, in 1925 that 'The Whilkut are practically unknown.'"-Norton 

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Bloody Island Massacre


In 1850, the Pomo who inhabited the island Bo-No-Po-Ti, in Clear Lake, were attacked by the United States Army First Dragoons Regiment. The attack was retribution for the murderer of two settlers by enslaved Pomos. The First Dragoons surrounded the island of Bo-No-Po-Ti, which was home to a village of free Pomo, and slaughtered almost all the Pomo on the island.

Red Cap War


This collection contains information on the events that led up to the Red Cap War (also known as Klamath and Salmon River War) and its aftermath. This war primarily focused on the uprising of the Yurok (Olekwo'l meaning "Persons.") tribe against the gold rush miners who were increasingly moving into their aboriginal lands. Tension sparked when the White men began implementing policies to disarm the Native Americans. The Yurok and Karuk tribes refused to accept these conditions and war ensued between the miners and the “Red Caps” (Yurok and Karuk tribes). The violence of the battle escalated when the white miners engaged in genocidal acts against the Native Americans so that they could not gain any measure of momentum. In March 1855, the U.S. government established the Yurok Reservation on the Lower Klamath River via an Executive Order; this forced the natives to stop fighting and move to reservations. 

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What is Genocide?

How do scholars and international lawmakers define genocide? 

Provided here are resources to aid how we not only define genocide, but what efforts are made to prevent it from occuring in the future.