Yosemite Valley Plan, A Threat To Indian Culture

Cultural Genocide

Mary Wilson (Yokut Indian woman,) Not Yosemite Miwok

Mary Wilson (Yokut Indian woman,) not Yosemite Miwok, as has been written; shown here wearing Mono – Paiute beaded collar in Plains attire.
One of the major “Yosemite Miwoks” that was supposed to be a leader amongst the Yosemite Indians was a woman by the name of Mary Wilson.

Craig Bates, the Yosemite National Park Indian ethnologist for over 30 years wrote that Mary Wilson was the daughter of a mythical Yosemite Miwok named Captain Jim. The reason I write “mythical” is because there is no proof that there was ever a Yosemite Miwok by that name. There was an article written about a Captain Jim that was a scout for an early white writer, but nothing after that.

There was a Captain Jim in and around Yosemite, but he was a full blooded Paiute. Craig Bates wrote in his book Tradition and Innovation that the Paiute Captain Jim, who had many children around Yosemite, was just some guy named “Pete Jim” and took away his title as the REAL Captain Jim.

Now back to Mary Wilson. She was the wife of Frank “Hooky” Wilson, a chief on the Merced Reservation, which was in the Merced County miles away from Yosemite. Frank “Hooky” Wilson said he was a “Chumhunchee” and not a Yosemite Indian. Once that was discovered that he was not a Yosemite Indian we believe Bates focused on Mary Wilson, the wife, as the “Yosemite Miwok”.

In the book by Craig Bates Tradition and Innovation he writes on page 189 about the ancestry of Mary Wilson “Her father was Captain Jim (or James), a Southern Miwok of the Uwahkachee group, and her mother was Hec-Ke-Pa.” and “…she was often referred to as a princess and a Captain,”. Also in the in her small bio he wrote this “Although Wilson wove baskets, little specific information about them is known…”

1. Mary Wilson, wife of Frank “Hooky” Wilson, was not the daughter of a fabled Miwok Captain Jim. Her father was a white man by the last name of Johnson. Her mother Hec-Ke-Pa had Mary before she was with Captain Jim. She was Mary Johnson, but took the last name of her step-father when she was growing up.

When checking Bates source for this information that Mary Wilson was the daughter of a Miwok named Captain Jim he had “Anonymous 1929”. So there was no way of checking what source Craig Bates acquired this faulty information. When we looked we did find one obituary with the mistaken information that Mary Wilson’s stepfather was her father. She was in fact 1/2 white.

So we wanted to see where this “Anonymous 1929” resources came from so we checked the the 1928-1929 California Indian applications and as we knew under her daughter’s applications was the truth. Mary Wilson was 1/2 white and the daughter of Hec-Ke-Pah. Under her own granddaughters 1928-1929 application she had testified that Hec-Ke-Pah was a Chuchansi Yokut and not a Southern Sierra Miwuk or Miwok. Thus not even a mythical Yosemite Miwok.

The granddaughter, that Mary raised, knew more information than any of the other family members because she wrote where they born, lived and what towns they moved around to. None were in Yosemite in early days. She also clarified that the “Chumhunchee” was really Chuchansi and branch of the great Yokut nation.

Mary (Johnson) Wilson was really a 1/2 Chuchansi, 1/2 white woman married to Frank Hooky Wilson. Frank “Hooky” Wilson was the son of a Chuchansi man and a Central Miwok woman. They were Merced Falls Reservation Indians. Merced Falls Reservation was in Merced County on the border of Mariposa County. They were not part of Chief Tenaya’s band of Ahwahnees, but signers of the Fremont Treaty. This is how they acquired that reservation. They were also the workers for James Savage and the other white settlers, farmers and miners.

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May 10, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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