By Mrs. A. B. Sidwell
(Written about 1889)
  1. The Pioneers Enter Sanpete Valley
  2. A Year of Privations
  3. The First Summer
  4. Health, Indians, Grist Mill
  5. Walker, the Crafty Indian Chief
  6. The Indians on the War Path
  7. The Indian Troubles Continue
  8. Novel Indian Move Gave Sanpete County Impetus
  9. Maniti's First Settlers
Chapter III

The First Summer

The population of the colony during the first year was augmented by the advent of a dozen or more infants. Almeda, daughter of Abram and Clarinda Washburn was the first white child born in the valley, this event occuring Nov. 22; and Almon, son of Cyrenus and Emily Taylor (now Patten), was the first male child. Thus these pioneers did not fail to fulfill the command given to multiply and replenish the "granary of Zion," as Pres. Young aforeward denominated the valley. But this year, when the ground was in condition to receive seed in the spring, one team only was able to draw the plow and turn the soil. This one belonged to Jezereel Shoemaker; and it was June before the grass on the hill sides, which was plentiful, afforded a supply sufficient to strengthen the teams enough for the arduous toil of breaking new land; and this work was only accomplished by sending an expedition of twelve men on foot to Salt Lake for provisions and teams to perform the work our own wretched animals were unable to do; the parent colony responded promptly to our call for aid.

The encampment of the Sanpitch Indians was near the settlement. They were a weak and humble band, attiring themselves in blankets made of rabbit skins twisted, twined and tied together with fine sinew. But in February and early March the Utes, who had wintered farther south, began to arrive in squads.

The Sanpitches were the veriest slaves to this more powerful tribe of Utes, who treated them very cruelly; but could a Sanpitch, by fair means or foul, become the happy possessor of a horse, a gun and a blanket, he was admitted as a member of the Ute tribe.

One penetratingly warm day in the spring of the year (serving the double purpose of creating a little excitement and varying the monotony of our assiduous labors in the field) the citizens of our little berg were treated to a disagreeable, although a genuine, surprise party, different from the kind we have in these days, when the hostess is surreptitiously informed of their intentions, and yet appears overwhelmed and dumfounded in the presence of her self invited guests as they prepare to partake of what she has expeditiously supplied her pantry with, i. e.enough pie and cake to supply a regiment.

Just after sunset on this memorable occasion, a weird hissing and rattling was heard, apparently coming from all points at once; and the very earth seemed writhing with great gaunt spotted-backed rattlesnakes.

They had come from caves situated above us, in the ledge of rock that had been our shield and shelter from the piercing northern blasts of winter. They invaded our homes with as little compunction as the plagues of Egypt did the palace of Pharaoh. They arrogated to themselves the privilege of occupying our beds and cupboards, (pantries we had none). The male portion of the community turned out en masse, with torches to enable them with more safety to prosecute the war of extermination, and the slaughter continued until the "wee small" hours. Persons who were engaged in the work estimated the number killed the first night as near three hundred.

The remarkable feature of the invasion was that not a single person was bitten by the repulsive creatures; and for several evenings the killing continued before the alarm subsided. It may not be generally known, but this species of reptile do most of their traveling in the early evening, and are most alert and dangerous when recovering from the comatose state induced by the intense cold of winter.

About the first of July, Walker, (pronounced by the Sanpitch, Yawkerraw) the head war chief of all the Utes and Sanpitches, came to the valley with his entire tribe. The braves had just returned from a successful raid against the Shoshones, and were laden with plunder, prisoners, and scalps. Walker himself was a tall fine looking man and one of seven brothers, all, with one exception, remarkable for athletic proportions, and all influential men in the tribe. Arrapeen, Groceepeen, Saampitch, Ammon, Tabbinaw, Yankawalkits and Walker. Undoubtedly, it was owing to the influence of Ammon and Tabbinaw that the party who wintered in the canyon escaped the vengeance of Big Elks exasperated warriors. )

The Indian encampment covered that portion of the present site of Manti from Temple hill on the north to the hills on the east and to City creek south and west, this vast area being thickly dotted with "wickiups," (Indian tents) thus forming a huge semicircle around the whites.

For two weeks they held their feasts and war-dances in honor of their victory; the prisoners all having their heads closely shaven were easily designated by the settlers, who frequently went out to observe and admire the savage pageantry, which was exhibited by a barbarous refinement of cruelty-only equaled in the nineteenth century by the federal judges of Utah who compel little children to give evidence that would make them orphans in very deed, placing their fathers behind prison bars and making their mothers dishonored widows-these savages compelled the poor captive squaws to sing, dance and bear aloft a pole from which depended the painted scalps of perhaps their nearest male relative; and oft times in excess of grief, the monotony of their song and dance was broken with tears and sobs as they bent beneath their ghastly burden; shouts of derision and mirth met these human weaknesses, differently expressed, but emanating from the same fiendish impulse as meets the tears of helpless women and children when their defender and protector is dragged from their embrace to answer to a sentence obtained under an ex-post-facto law.

The human tendencies are the same today as when the Lord deemed it necessary to command "Thou shalt not seethe the kid in its mother's milk."

The number of these warriors has been variously estimated at from five to seven hundred; and the little settlement of whites beside this vast encampment reminded one vividly of a mouse in a lion's paw. Walker, in his moody moments, was in the habit of reminding the settlers in forcible language of what he was capable of doing; and judging from subsequent events, the temptation was doubtless frequently very strong upon him to make a "breakfast spell" of the white population.

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