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Mike Burns, the author, is an Apache-Mohave Indian, born in Arizona, about the year 1864, as nearly as he can tell. When a child of about seven years of age, he was captured by Captain James Burns, of the United States Army, then in command of company G 5th U. S. Cavalry. He was raised by Captain Burns, being a member of his family until about the year 1880, when Captain Burns was ordered East on account of his health, but died at Fort Wingate, New Mexico, shortly after starting on his journey. Mike Burns was left behind in Arizona, but through the influence of General Wesley R. Merritt, was sent to Carlisle, where he received a common-school education. He now resides on the McDowell Reservation in Arizona, but attends the terms of the Federal Courts in Arizona as the official Indian interpreter. Through good fortune the writer of this history was able to secure from Mr. Burns almost all the manuscript which he has been engaged in writing for several years, and the following a valuable contribution to the History of Arizona:
“I cannot state just how old I am now, because Indians have no way of keeping records of births or deaths, and I have no parents or any near relatives to tell me when and where I was born. All of my people were killed by the soldiers in what was known as the “Bloody Salt River Cave Massacre" (Battle of the Cave), in the year 1872. Lieut. E. D. Thomas, of the United States Army, told me that when I was captured, that I appeared to him to be about seven years old. I was captured by Captain James Burns and Lieut. E. D. Thomas commanding Company G, 5th U. S. Cavalry. My Indian name is Ho-Mo-Thy-Ah, or ‘Wet Nose,' a name given to me because at the time of my birth, or when I was a very young child, the bridge of my nose was covered with moisture. I must have been born in the summer time because I was often chosen to set fire to a mescal kiln. It is customary among the Apaches to have a man or woman, or boy or girl, born in the summer time, set fire to such things, as it is believed that if the fire is lighted by such a one, the mescal will cook to a juicy taste and be sweet. If a young man or woman, not born in the summer should set fire to a mescal cooking, it will not cook right; it will not be sweet and juicy, but, instead, will turn out white, just as it was put in, and will be green and hard to eat.
“I was not so young a child when with my people but I could remember a good deal about their life. I used to lead my old grandfather around in the caves on the Salt River Box Canyon to find woodrats' nests. My grandfather would use a figure 4 trap to catch woodrats, rabbits, squirrels, and birds. We used to set the traps in the afternoon and next morning go around and take out the animals which were in them. Sometime the coyotes would steal some of the small animals, but if coyotes were around, we would put thistle around the traps, and the coyotes would not go near the traps then. We would take the skins off the animals and roast them by the fire or boil them, and eat the little meat and drink the water they were cooked in as soup. We used to live this way and were very well satisfied with our way of living.
"The women would go to different places to gather herbs, or wild flowers which had seeds in them which were good to eat. The young men would go out hunting deer, and hardly ever came back to camp without having deer meat. Deer meat was our principal food. The white people have often wondered, and sometimes even say to-day, “What did the Indians use to do for food ?' The Indians had more things to eat in those days than they have now. They did not have to buy everything in order to prepare a meal; those things grew in the midst of them, and the deer and other game was plenty everywhere. They could go out any time and kill enough to fill their wants, but now, no Indian can kill deer.
“Ha-lo, which means “Rabbit,' who is a man about one hundred and five years old, told me that the first white people travelled through the northern part of Arizona in the year 1847. Many Indians used to sit on the southeast side of the Bradshaw Mountains; they had their camps all through those mountains, and saw parties of the white man's travelling wagons coming across the country, wagons that had from twenty to thirty horses, which hauled them through rough canyons and over the hills. One day four young warriors decided to go into one of the white mens' camps to see if they could not trade some skins they had for something. They went to the
. camp in single file, and when they reached the camp all the white men got on their horses. The older people shook hands with the Indians, but the young men got on their horses and acted as if they were going to corral the young warriors. They rode close to them, holding their pistols and
guns in readiness, and commenced shooting at the young Indians, only one of whom escaped.
“Ha-lo said that when he was a young healthy man he could run so fast that he could catch a young fawn, but that he never ran so fast as he did in trying to escape from these white men. A few days after this massacre, and after the white men had left the camp, some of the Indians went to the place and found two of the young
Indians' bodies mutilated so badly that they could not tell who they were, and the bones of the third Indian were found nearby, having all the appearance of his having been boiled to death.
“Ha-lo also told me the following story: ‘A band of us had taken a herd of mules and horses, and we were all armed with guns and pistols and were coming from Bill Williams' Mountain when we were overtaken by the soldiers. The soldiers overtook us because the animals made us travel slow, and one of the saddles came off of one of our party's horses, and I had to stay behind to help him fix it. Just as we had it fixed and were ready to start the soldiers came over a little hill just behind us. They were in close formation and came to within fifty yards of us, and I up with my gun and shot at them, and must have hit some of them because I never missed a mark when shooting with a gun. There were only twenty-five of us from our camp on JockHa-We-Ha, which is the Indian name of Bill Williams' Mountain, and means “Covered with Cedar." Two of the old men had horses and were riding them, driving the mules on ahead. I am the only one now living to tell about that fight with the soldiers. We stood them off, and the way it was done was like this: Many Indians had