Genocide and Vendetta: The Round Valley Wars Of Northern California by Lynwood Carranco and Estle Beard. Norman. 1981.  University Of Oklahoma Press. ISBN:0806115491. 403 pages. hardcover.




High in the Coast Range of Northern California, between the snowy peaks called the Yolla Bollies and the coastal redwood forests, lie several fertile valleys which were the traditional home- lands of the Yuki, Wailaki, Huchnom, Lassik, and other Indian tribes. In this idyllic setting, particularly in Round Valley in northeastern Mendocino County, occurred some of the most horrible scenes in California history. This exciting account draws on primary sources to tell for the first time the fascinating and shocking truth about the early settlers of this California frontier. The first six chapters of Genocide and Vendetta present the history of the Yolla Bolly Country up to 1865, describing the region, the culture of the Yuki and their neighbors, and the depredations of the white settlers. In twenty-five years the native populations were nearly extirpated by the whites’ murderous raids and wholesale kidnappings of Indian women and children and by the fraud and malfeasance of the California Indian Superintendent and his subagents. The second part of the book, covering the years from 1865 to 1905, is about the lives and fortunes of the white men and women who settled in the Yolla Bolly Country-among them the Asbill brothers, who first discovered Round Valley; Kate Robertson As- bill; and Cattle King George E. White, whose outlaw buckeroos murdered and rustled to establish for him one of the richest cattle empires in the West. When two of White’s former workers dared to operate their own spread deep in White’s territory, one of them was shot and lynched by White’s henchmen. This was the culmination of what reporters called ‘the bitterest quarrel of all the West,’ ‘the only deadly feud in California.’ The cowardly and brutal act and the drawn-out murder trials that followed make sensational reading. After an allegation of (unintentional) plagiarism was leveled against the section written by Estle Beard, the publisher investigated, agreed with the complaint, and withdrew the book from sale. Since both authors have since passed away, it seems unlikely that this book will ever be republished or converted into an e-book. The original hardcover is the only way to read about this troubled era in Northern California's history.


LYNWOOD CARRANCO was Professor of English in College of the Redwoods, Eureka, California, and the author of several books and many articles on California history. ESTLE BEARD was a retired cattle rancher and history buff in Covelo, California.







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