Browse Exhibits (2 total)
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.
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.