Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The strength of a woman...

The following is from "History of Butte County" (California) by George C. Mansfield, page 216, and is based on an article published in The Union Record newspaper, 11 Jun 1864.
Indian Troubles
"During the absence of Thomas Morgan from his residence in Mesilla Valley , about a mile from Pence's, on Saturday last, June 4th, his wife, going out after wood, noticed the cattle rising and staring in the direction of a little flat; and looking to discover the cause she saw the head of a man visible beyond some fruit trees. Returning to the house and going upstairs, so that she could see over the intervening trees, she beheld seven Indians creeping towards the house, the foremost one leaning upon a gun. Terror stricken at the fate which seemed about to overtake herself and her three little children, but with prayerful resolution to save her little ones, if possible, she immediately took them and, going out through the back door and keeping the trees between them and the red fiends, started for Mr. Merithew's house about a mile off, carrying her youngest child, two years old. Finding no one at home, she went to Mr. Knox's, a half mile further, and found protection. A party of men was soon raised, who hurried to Mr. Morgan's; but the Indians had fled. After knocking four or five windows to atoms, taking all the clothing and nearly all the bedding, and destroying the furniture, etc. Several stones were found in the house, which had been thrown through the windows. There is no doubt but the Indians would have butchered the family, if they had found them in the house. The carelessness of the authorities with regard to these treacherous red devils will yet, we fear, result in the butchery of more of our citizens. Cannot some way be devised to rid Butte county of these pests?"
I am awed by the bravery of my great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Williams Morgan (pictured above), in the face of such terror. After reading accounts of other incidents in the county, Elizabeth had reason to fear for their lives.

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