Californians are now familiar with ongoing secret mass graves that include 12,000 slaughtered headless bodies.
These days, no where is the true cost of the history of colonial violence worse than the Central Valley in California.
The body of a recently discovered couple beneath a local rural church was found more than 70 years after the husband and wife vanished without a trace. Over a century earlier, a similar pair of young wives were abducted by soldiers and killed in a similar setting.
The United States lost the Gold Rush, but some remained determined to get even with the people of California.
In the 1880s, thousands of Americans and their Indian allies were slain for their ornaments, at one of the deadliest times in the history of the United States.
A California Law School in L.A. has revealed its chilling and unbelievable history in a report, sharing frightening new details on a massacre that rocked the rural community of Tehachapi in 1889.
The cleansing played out not far from the graves of the most notorious of those slain in Tehachapi: Adele and Raymond Price.
Artifacts found at the bottom of a 100-foot well at the church depicted the Price family. Their bodies were obliterated, their limbs set on fire.
For decades, new families of young mothers were buried in this same stretch of farmland by their killers. One site contained the headless skeletons of three young girls.
A large archway gate of the well was left wide open to passersby and no one dared enter after dark.
The headlines in the local newspapers of 1889 reported that the Price family had been captured and that more than 100 soldiers raped Indian women. A military man approached the widow Adele and asked, “Mrs. Price, now that you’ve had the child, you can forget about that, right?”
The vow of American soldiers, with their misguided “war on crime,” was that they would once again erase the Nativeblood of the People.
Adele Price was only 32 years old. She was only six months into her first marriage. She was seven months pregnant with Raymond.
Then, a November dinner party, thrown by the group Friendly Indian, as a celebration of the peace the colonists had tried to found, turned into a bloodbath of the indigenous people who opposed the forced resettlements.
Hundreds of unarmed Indian men, women and children fled in fear. They never stopped running and scattered to different parts of the country. The turbaned warriors and camp followers were unable to hold out for long and were rounded up, beaten, herded into the cattle train and slaughtered.
“For a very long time I thought those [army] figures were mere ghosts,” said a newly discovered witness to the atrocity. “Later, it was reawakened that that was really people who had done those things.”
At one point, Gov. William Burdick reacted with outrage, but then turned his attention elsewhere and addressed that year’s propositions.
In all, 1017 dead bodies were found in the well. There were approximately 2,500 unmarked graves.
In an interview with PBS, Burdick’s wife credited the United States for liberating the country with its sacrifice and its modern military might.
The former governor had argued the theory of “equal rights for all races and all classes,” in the course of a considerable political career. One has to question how good that was for our society after a shootout during the same Independence Day fireworks in 1864 ended in the first American conflagration that claimed scores of Native American lives.