Wickenburg Massacre

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Coordinates: 33°57′47″N 112°47′50″W / 33.963072°N 112.797253°W / 33.963072; -112.797253 (Wickenburg Massacre Historical Monument)

Wickenburg Massacre
Frederick Wadsworth Loring in his campaign costume with his mule, "Evil Merodach". Photo was taken about forty-eight hours before the massacre.
Location Wickenburg, Arizona
Date November 5, 1871
Attack type
Mass murder
Deaths 6
Non-fatal injuries
Victim American citizens
Perpetrator Yavapai warriors

The Wickenburg Massacre was the November 5, 1871, murder of six stagecoach passengers en route from Wickenburg, Arizona Territory, westbound for San Bernardino, California, on the La Paz road.


In mid-morning, about six miles from Wickenburg, the stagecoach was attacked by fifteen Yavapai warriors, who were sometimes mistakenly called Apache-Mohaves, from the Date Creek Reservation.[1][2] Six men, including the driver, were shot and killed. Among them Frederick Wadsworth Loring, a young writer from Boston.[3] One male passenger and the only female passenger escaped, though wounded.[4]

Over the next two years General George Crook conducted an investigation into the attack, and finally identified all the participants. He tried to arrest the ringleaders, but failing, sent Captain J. W. Mason to Burro Creek, where he encountered both guilty and innocent natives in three rancherias. Many were killed in the battle that followed.

Seven months prior to the Wickenburg incident, 144 Apaches were killed in the Camp Grant Massacre near Tucson, and Eastern sentiment was with the victims, but the death of one of Boston's most promising young writers at Wickenburg turned the tide against the Yavapai. In February 1875, after being promised reservation land near Prescott "forever and forever," the Yavapai tribe was uprooted and driven 180 miles south to the San Carlos reservation, where they were forced to live beside their enemies from centuries past, the Chiricahua Apaches.


  1. ^ "The Indian Attack Upon an Arizona Stage - The Driver and Five Passengers Killed.". The New York Times. 1871-11-20. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  2. ^ "THE INDIANS.; Verdict of the Coroner's Jury in the Wickenburg Massacre". The New York Times. 1871-11-22. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  3. ^ "The Late Frederick W. Loring.". The New York Times. 1871-11-24. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  4. ^ Own, Our (1872-01-01). "THE WICKENBURG MASSACRE; First Authentic Account from an Eye-Witness". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Dan L. Thrapp: Al Sieber: Chief of Scouts. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman 1964, ISBN 0-8061-2770-8 (Page 87 to 105)
  • Another account of the massacre from Arizona University
  • Bill W. Smith. : A Collection of Newspaper Articles, Letters, and Reports, Regarding the Wickenburg Massacre and Subsequent Camp Date Creek Incident. Phoenix: Privately Published, 1989. 68pp. (Edition Limited to 20 Signed Copies)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]