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Scalping a Woman on the Plains


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Racine Weekly Journal / November 4, 1857

Some weeks ago, news from Carson Valley was published, which told of the almost total destruction of an emigrant train by the Indians. The woman who was one of the train was scalped and left for dead. It turns out, however, that she was not dead, and she has since recovered to tell the extraordinary story of her sufferings and her resolute endurance, which deceived the savages. The Red Bluffs Beacon of the 10th of September thus tells the tale:

An instance of the most remarkable fortitude and heart-rending cruelty we have ever heard of is related to us by a black man by the name of Scott, who has recently arrived here from Missouri by way of the plains. He informs us that a short time before he arrived at Stony Point on the Humboldt river, the Indians attacked a train of six men, one woman and a child. The men were all killed but one, who made his escape. The child was also killed, and its mother shot in several places with arrows, scalped, and left for dead.

All the while they were scalping her and stripping the clothes from her body, she was perfectly conscious of what they were doing, but feigned death, and let them tear the skin from her head without giving signs of life, knowing that if she did, they would either dispatch her at once or take her at once in the hopeless captivity. At one time, when they had left her for a moment, she ventured to change her position, in order, if possible, to relieve herself from the uncomfortable position in which he was lying; but on their return, they very soon discovered that she had moved, and, for fear that life might yet not be extinct, they took hold of the arrows that were still sticking in her body, and worked them about in the wounds, and pushed them deeper into her flesh and stamped upon her with their heels.

All this she endured without uttering a groan or drawing a breath that could be perceived by the savages, and in that condition was left as food for the wolves. Fortunately, however, a train came along before she had lain long in that condition, and dressed her wounds and brought her along with them; and not the most remarkable fact attending the whole matter is that she is fast recovering from her wounds. Her head, we are told, is nearly well, and the arrow wounds doing better than any one expected.

 

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