Saturday, May 21, 2011

Two Indian Stories

Martin Calvin Boyce

Grandma Asay told this story to Kenny Blackburn, age 5, October 26, 1969. 
No changes have been made, type as originally written:

When my father was just a young boy possibly 9 years old the cattle from the fort had been driven down on the willow bottom and there was grass there that they could find plenty to eat and grandfather had a lovely big cow and she had been sent down to remain there until she found her little calf.  My father was just a little boy and grandfather said, "Calvin, go get on the workhorse and go down and see if you can find her.  If you can and she hasn't found her little calf just leave her there and come on back without her."   So father went out and looked at the workhorse and then he looked at the little race mare.  He had prayed to Heavenly father to guide him to do the right thing so that he would be sure to get back home.  So he looked at the race mare and put the bridle on her and fixed her up and he got on her back and away he went to find that cow.  He went down on the willow bottom and the trail wound around and around the willows.  He just kept going and going.  Finally he found the great big lovely cow and she hadn't found her little calf yet so he turned around and started back.  He hadn't gone far when his attention was drawn behind him.  He looked and there were 5 big Indian men on horses whipping those horses trying to catch father.  Father just kicked the little mare in the ribs and loosened the reins and let her go.  She took off just like that.  He had presence of mind to know that he didn't dare to let her run too long or she would loose her wind and he had about 5 miles to go.  So when he seen he was ahead of them far enough he would pull the reins in and slow her down.  And that is what he did.  He would hold her down until he saw that they were gaining on him and then he would let her go.  He would run real fast for a little ways and the he would hold her down again.  The Indians came just as fast as they could.  As they got in sight of the fort the Indians could see that they could not catch him and every one fired a shot at him.  He could hear the bullets whizzing past him on each side of his head, but not a one hit him.  They swung the big gate open and my daddy rode through into the fort and his life was spared.  It was only a few days before that that the Indians caught two of the herdsboys, about the age of 10 and 14, down on the willow bottom and the Indians took one of the boys and unjointed every joint in his body.  They took the other boy and skinned him just like they would an elk or something.  And that was what frightened my daddy so, but daddy got home alright, but the two blessed boys died.

Publisher's Note:  Based on the approximate age of Martin Calvin, this incident must have occured either at Fort Palmyria or the fort in Spanish Fork, Utah.   Families from the Palmyria Fort were encouraged to move into the Fort at Spanish Fork when hostilities between the pioneers and Indians increased around 1852.  Since it was so far for Martin Calvin to travel to find the cow, they must have been in the Spanish Fork fort.
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This story is about Christianna Dolbell Riding, daughter of Christopher Lister Riding and Lisa, when she was 18 months old. It happened March 25, 1859, in Santa Clair, Utah. 

Christianna Dolbell Riding


Little Christianna had been ill and as it was rather hot in the house, her father laid her on a quilt under the boughrey. The boughrey was a frame porch affair covered with boughs or vines which was cooler than in the house.

Her parents checked her every so often to make sure that she was alright; however, this one time they checked just a little too late and their baby was gone! Christopher ran outside and looked all around. In the distance he could see two figures galloping on horseback just going up over a hill. It appeared that one was carrying something cradled in his arms. He quickly sounded the alarm and soon a dozen men answered the alarm and gave chase. They chased the two for about 8 miles before finally catching up with them and baby Christianna. They were just outside the Indian camp and had they gotten to camp they probably never would have seen the baby again.

The men asked why the Indians had stolen the baby and they answered "To scare white squaw." The men were so angry that they whipped the two Indian men good and told them to let that be a lesson. If it ever happened again they would kill them. The men returned home safely with little Christianna. When they returned to the house they discovered a new baby brother waiting to greet Christianna and her father Christopher. Her mother said this was the happiest day of her life.

They later discovered that that same day a little Heap's girl had been stolen and they never found her. It was a custom for the Indians to steal white baby girls and raise them as Indians. They would later become wives for the chief's sons.




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