History / Music

Indian Island Massacre of 1860

Here’s a new song I produced for The Georgia Handshakers.  It’s written by my friend Mike Bynum.  He’s providing vocals and playing rhythm electric guitar.  All other instrumentation is me.

The song is about a horrible and infamous moment in Humboldt County history: the Indian Island Massacre of 1860.  Here’s how Joan Crandell describes the event:

In the pre-dawn hours of February 26, 1860 a small group of white men, using axes and knives, massacred over 50 women and children of Tuluwat, the Wiyot village that had existed on Indian Island (Gunther Island) for over one thousand years. Concurrent attacks took place at other Wiyot settlements around the bay, resulting in the death of over 150 people, mainly women and children.  Bret Harte, serving as editor of the local paper in his employer’s absence, wrote a scathing editorial decrying the massacre.  His resulting expulsion from Humboldt County within the month was reported to be in response to threats from civilians who supported the murderers. A number of editorials that followed denounced the crime and hinted at guilty men, but refused to name them outright, perhaps for fear of retribution.  A grand jury was called in April 1860 to investigate the matter but no one was named and the crime went unpunished.

Everything was produced on Kxstudio, a Linux audio production distribution.  I used Ardour as my workstation, Calf creative suite plugins, and the fantastic epicVerb VST plugin from Variety of Sound.  For drum programming I used Hydrogen Drum Machine.

Please excuse the mix quality.  I don’t have even the most basic setup for home monitoring and mixing.  I mix using a pair of cheap Sony headphones.  It’s a bit of trial-and-error; I tweak a few things, finalize everything, then check it on my Cowon J3 and in my car.  Then repeat.

Listen & Download:

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