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Homer Mead Speegle (1896-1979). The Speegles' early cow camp was located along Deer Creek between Ishi's Lower and Upper Camps.
Homer Mead Speegle (1896-1979). The Speegles' early cow camp was located along Deer Creek between Ishi's Lower and Upper Camps.

The Eight Pages and Thirteen Pages

by Homer Mead Speegle
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"As scholars ponder THE THIRTEEN PAGES in the months and years ahead, I predict that this document will be quoted as the "smoking gun" evidence, so long missing that points to rancher Elijah Graham as the poisoner of the last surviving Indians in Tehama County's Deer Creek country, today part of the Ishi Wilderness. This tragic poisoning episode in 1911, in turn, led to Ishi having to flee Deer Creek presumably for good. Evidently, Ishi had inherited the role as apprentice to the last traditional doctor of his small band. Ishi's "doctoring" efforts had failed to cure the poisoned victims. Many died. The consequence according to the Old Ways, was strictly enforced, namely death by execution or ostracism. No longer accepted by some of his own people, Ishi fled. He gambled that his life might be better if he allowed himself to get "captured" by the non-Indians in Oroville, California, some twenty-eight miles to the south of Deer Creek. "Detention' turned to "Protective Custody" for him, and then incredible popular acceptance. This remarkable transition began on the evening of August 28, 1911."

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