Achulet massacre

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The Achulet Massacre was an 1854 massacre of more than 65 Tolowa people by settlers at the village of Achulet (Tolowa: ’Ee-chuu-le’,[1]) near Lake Earl in Klamath County (now Del Norte County, California). In the years between 1845 and 1855 many Anglo people came to California because this was the climax of the gold rush. This city became a huge shipping and trade center.

The Anglo people were also looking for land that the Indians were already on. This led to a very brutal encounter between the two groups.[2] The massacre was a response to the theft of a white man's horse by an Indian. The party involved hid in the brush near the village at night, agreeing not to shoot until the Tolowa left their homes in the morning. At daybreak the first shot was fired, and the men, women, and children of the village were "shot down as fast as the whites could reload their guns". Some tried to escape into Lake Earl, where they were followed and shot whenever they could be spotted above the waterline. The attackers reported that 65 Indians were killed, but this tally did not include those whose bodies sank in the lake.

After the attack, the village was renamed Pay Way after Old Pay Way, one of the few Tolowa survivors of the attack.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Siletz Talking Dictionary". Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Crescent City History". Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  3. ^ Norton, Jack (1979). Genocide in Northwestern California: When Our Worlds Cried. San Francisco: Indian Historian Press. pp. 56–57. 626892004. 

Coordinates: 41°49′32″N 124°11′19″W / 41.8256693°N 124.1886932°W / 41.8256693; -124.1886932