Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Interview with Ian Dominic Zabarte, April 4, 2007

Document
Document
Download nts_000169.pdf (application/pdf; 227.09 KB)

Information

Date
2007-04-04
Description
Narrator affiliation: Western Shoshone Property Owner under Treaty
Access note: Audio temporarily sealed. May not quote in any form without written permission from interviewee
Digital ID
nts_000169
Physical Identifier
OH-03148
Details
Citation

Zabarte, Ian Dominic. Interview, 2007 April 04. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d12j68g6r

Rights
This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use (https://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/research_and_services/reproductions) or contact us at special.collections@unlv.edu.
Standardized Rights Statement
Digital Provenance
Original archival records created digitally
Date Digitized
2007-04-04
Extent
53 pages
Language

English

Format
application/pdf

Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Ian Zabarte April 4, 2007 Tecopa, California Interview Conducted By Mary Palevsky © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Ian Zabarte April 4, 2007 Conducted by Mary Palevsky Table of Contents Introduction: birth ( San Francisco, CA, 1964), family background, childhood and early education 1 Early awareness of war and the war machine ( weapons and armaments) 3 Return to Duckwater Indian Reservation in late teens, formation of Western Shoshone National Council ( 1984) and participation in council 4 Childhood memories of Duckwater Indian Reservation, NV, and of parents 6 Details about parents’ divorce, early education, and childhood visits to the reservation 7 Additional details of family history ( relationship to Jim Butler) 9 Impressions of the reservation outside and inside, and idea of sharing land 10 Discussion of Treaty of Ruby Valley between Shoshone and the U. S. ( 1863) 12 Custer and the Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn, relationship of Comanche with Shoshone; location of “ Atomic Annie” ( cannon used for atomic shell test) at Fort Sill, OK and relationship to testing at NTS 18 Discussion of international law and treaty- making, Treaty of Ruby Valley ( 1863), coming of the railroads 19 Loss of the white pine tree due to railroads, mining, and settlement in the Great Basin 22 Return to Duckwater Reservation and involvement in nuclear issues: illnesses at Duckwater related to above ground testing, military activities at Fallon NAS and adverse impact on Shoshone people of weapons testing 24 Issue of Yucca Mountain, nuclear weapons, and environmental racism 28 Clifford Dann setting himself on fire and institutionalized racism 30 Research on the NTS and the notion of cultural triage and genocide 32 Details of family history and Shoshone stories, and role in Western Shoshone National Council and among Shoshone people 37 UN debate on the term “ people” vs. the term “ peoples” 39 Non- collaboration with government and involvement in Native American issues 41 Details of visits to NTS with researchers, and impressions from the visits 44 Participation with Nevada Desert Experience, Citizen Alert, and other activist groups, and necessity of learning to deal with nuclear technology 46 Conclusion: the concept of blood quantum and racism 49 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Ian Zabarte April 4, 2007 in Tecopa, California Conducted by Mary Palevsky [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Mary Palevsky: Ian Zabarte, thank you so much for agreeing to speak to me today, to speak to us, and if you could begin by giving me your full name, date of birth and place of birth, and some sense of your early life and how you come to the activities that you’ve been involved in, that we’ve been speaking about off tape. Ian Zabarte: Well, my full name is Ian Dominic Zabarte. I was born July 2, 1964 in San Francisco at the Presbyterian Medical Center. My mother is Shoshone and growing up I knew I was Indian. I have brown skin and with all of the people in, you know, the Bay Area over there. I went to high school— I spent four years in a Catholic boarding school in Sonoma [ California], growing up with my brothers. I have three other Shoshone brothers and I grew up in the Bay Area there. My father and mother met when my father came to this country and was a cook in the Washoe Medical Center and my mother was a nurse over there. And they were happily married for, I don’t know, sixteen years, I believe. I don’t know how happy it was. Growing up as a kid— my father’s strict upbringing— he was raised by priests and nuns and always beat by them; and of course at twelve years old in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded, he was always harassed and beat by the Japanese, too. It went both ways, you know. But that was part of the strictness which I was brought up with, and I think that kind of clashed with my mother, who’s more soft- spoken. And from there we lived in Pacifica [ California] as a kid. And I grew up like most American baby boomers at that time, lunch was a bologna sandwich and a bowl of Campbell’s soup with a glass of Kool- Aid, you know, and that’s the way it was, growing up. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 Let me back up a little bit. Your parents met in Washoe County [ Nevada] and then they came to San Francisco at some point, is that right? Yeah,, Washoe County Medical Center. And growing up as a kid, I mean I always knew where home was, where Duckwater [ Indian Reservation, Nevada]— we always went every summer. My father, I wouldn’t say he’s much different than other people, you know. We look for something authentic and real. And my father being an immigrant— well, my mother was beautiful and he, you know, loved her in his way and appreciated her and native people. And we always had— going to powwows and things in the Bay Area— then he was involved in supporting the 1971 Alcatraz takeover. Of course my uncle Adam Nordwall in Fallon [ Nevada] was really big involved in that takeover anyway, so there was a lot of support, if not real understanding or knowledge on my father’s part. He just wasn’t an Indian and never grew up that way. And so the upbringing I [ 00: 05: 00] had, there was opportunities and those are the things that never went away, whereas five years of Catholic boarding school didn’t really penetrate, you know. It never grabbed me. I was more rebellious of that than anything. How old were you? Was that for high school? That was eight through fourteen, up to thirteen, something like that. And, yes, nuns and priests and psychologists once a month, and it was all boys. And so I was shy when I got out of there, when I was in high school, and of course my upbringing. I went to Campbell High School in Santa Clara County. So in high school, we used to go to Santa Cruz as many weekends as we could, and just kind of did goofy things around Santa Clara and grew up on the west side over there. That was my early days, and then I started getting really crazy. You know how kids can be in high school, pursuing more goofy things. And at some point I decided, I need to get out of UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 this place. Jobs were not— I worked with my father in San Francisco for two years. He was a salesman for a wholesale tool distributing company. And that was about the first time I started to realize— become cognizant of war and the war machine, because back at that time, early eighties, that company got a contract, Western Hardware and Tool, to refit the USS New Jersey, and that was a battleship. And so my father would talk, Yeah, we can get anything from Gatling guns to go on these things to the wrenches to brass fittings, and so I remember him talking about that. So that’s when I— then, being in San Francisco with the Pacific Fleet being anchored there, I used to go, I mean at boarding school, they used to take us to these [ places]. I’ve been on the USS Ranger and had lunch in the captain’s dining room, but it just never grabbed me as being, wow, cool. It was OK. It was big— they’d take us on a submarine or something. But there was just so much thrown at me, some of these things just didn’t penetrate. But that was when I first became aware of weapons or armaments, in that job where civilians or the public come in to supplying that need of the military. And then as I grew older, later, much later, ten, fifteen years later, you start hearing of all the stories about the sailors, the black sailors who revolted over in Oakland and the explosion; and then conspiracy theories and the potential nuclear weapons that went off. And at the same time, I was actually— that company provided— so I was— I had a driver’s license and I would drive tools over. And lasers were the big thing, just coming around and I would take tools down to some company, or Moffett Field or something, some company down there that would begin to put laser numbers on all of these tools or torque wrenches. And then we’d deliver them to Moffett Field, for example, or I would take other equipment and deliver them to Berkeley, at the university at the national lab there, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, before I even knew what these places were. So I was just a delivery guy and UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 delivery driver. But these are places later on that I began to— my vague familiarity with them and the whole area— put together the foundations for really understanding today how they support what happens at the Nevada Test Site, and a much larger national laboratory system. But really how I became involved in this is after going back to the reservation and [ 00: 10: 00] hearing sonic booms and living in a place where I was able to be free. You can look out there and go there, without fences and without anybody disturbing you. That was freedom to me, that was knowing how to live off the land, you know, going hunting. And knowing this place all my life. We���d go back in the summers, you know, my father wasn’t one to hold back going someplace or doing adventure. I have my knowledge of being native, which is more intimate, you know, because of the more real being or sense of place that I have with this land. And when I came back to the reservation, I think I was eighteen or nineteen, that age, right there, nineteen maybe, and my uncle had cancer and he passed away, and then my grandfather passed away in ’ 86, a couple of years later. I think I got back there in ’ 82, ’ 83. Eighty- three, probably. And that’s when I started going to council meetings. Some of the people on the rez says, Hey, come on, let’s go to a council meeting. OK. So I went to the Western Shoshone National Council meeting, and that was with a lot of really what we call traditional people, the elders. Some of, for example, Corbin Harney’s teachers and spiritual people were there. Eunice Silva and Saggy Williams [ sp] and Glenn Holley and those kinds of people. Lily Sanchez, Joe Sanchez Junior and Senior, Carrie Dann, Raymond Yowell. And my grandfather had been on the Indian Claims Commission. And the Western Shoshone National Council was created by those people in 1984 but it was that period right at the beginning of the creation of the council, I was there. And for two years I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know anything, so I didn’t begin saying anything until 1986, I believe. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 And I just started becoming more aware of what was happening. After my uncle passed away of cancer of the esophagus, even though there was no clear cause- effect relationship— the stories of people and the talk of people and seeing these jets overflying the reservation. And knowing that it’s a jet coming later on, knowing it’s a jet coming, I can hear it, and I’m going in and I said, Hey, everybody relax, there’s a jet coming. And then to be overflown, and knowing that— still having your heart just racing and my elders and uncle Bill [ William] Rosse over in Yomba [ Indian Reservation], and talking about his unlcle passing away after one of those things going over, had a heart attack— that kind of stress and anxiety over something and knowing it’s there and knowing it’s coming. I remember those things and going in and telling the kids at the [ reservation] school one time, you know, in Duckwater, There’s a plane coming, it’s OK. And a lot of those people fly right over so close to the ground, and so fast, and then I see the geese flying up, and I’m thinking, Man, why are you going to bother the birds, you know? Why do you have to do that? And so, people used to shoot at those things, because that’s just wrong. And so in ’ 86 I remember this Stealth fighter used to turn right over my house. My grandpa’s house. It was always there. When I was a little kid, I remember when we’d go to Duckwater, there was no running water, and I remember just being a little guy, five years old or so, maybe younger than that. No running water. We used to play in the creek [ 00: 15: 00] with the chickies. There was no indoor plumbing. We used to go to the outhouse. And so, even though I had this California upbringing, I also had this time on the reservation, during the summer for months or whatever. It was OK. I have a couple of questions. I would like to know a little bit— I’m going to ask you both and then you’ll see why I can ask you both at once— I’d like to know a little bit more about what makes UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 you decide to actually go back after this summer life to actually— it sounds like you go back to live at Duckwater. And then the detail question is, what was your grandpa’s name? OK. I think it was just trouble in California. You know my father and my mother divorced, I don’t know exactly when, but that was— at that time we were living down in Oak Hills between Salinas and Carmel someplace over there. And it was very nice, big rolling hills, big houses, and my father was working hard and had big plans; and he and my mother divorced, likely because of his very harsh treatment of us kids, harsh treatment of her. That was his ethic, and for him it was OK, and all I can say about that is, it gave me a very clear understanding of right and wrong. Today they might call it child abuse, but corporal punishment was the order of the day, and yes, I had many, many spankings, beatings as a child—. And your mom, too, you’re saying? Would he—? No, I never saw that and I’m not aware of that. It’s possible. It’s plausible to assume— I misunderstood you. I’m sorry. It’s plausible to assume that, but I mean definitely verbal. When he’s yelling, that’s one of the things I remember, growing up. And running and hiding. But it seems like even in Duckwater we did that because when my grandfather would get mad or something, you know. But it was not so bad. Kids will be kids. It was just a different era. People took care, you know, they took care of children, and I don’t know that I could make that same argument today. My grandfather’s name is Raymond Graham, and he was on the Indian Claims Commission, which the United States says is the process where they paid us for the land. And they could say whatever they want but that process doesn’t affect the title transfer, and it was never actually finalized and we can’t get in all the detail about that. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 So after my parents broke up, I spent four- and- a- half, five years in a Catholic boarding school. I went to high school in Campbell, California, and that high school was shut down. My father wasn’t— he always worked, worked hard, and he never achieved what he wanted, so there’s a little bit of frustration. He always took care of the kids, and he remarried, and I think he was married three or four times, and he’s been with that wife since 1980s, somewhere in there. And, we lived in apartments, and I left home there and was just running around on the streets in Santa Clara County, and didn���t do that for too long, you know, I don’t know how long, several months; and then finally got in touch with my mom and went back to the reservation. So they were divorced. She had gone back after they divorced? Yes. One time when I was growing up, too, before I went to boarding school, my father brought my brothers to the reservation for a year or two. I was like seven or so, and I spent a year- and- a- half, two years with my grandmother over in Smith Valley at this Arabian ranch, so there was always horses around, and I was with my Dogo there. Grandpa. And my grandmother. Yes, Shoshone are tough people, you know. So it’s hard to contrast it with [ 00: 20: 00] my father, who was also— I think I got many more, more consistent and harsher beatings always from my father than from either— see, that was my step- grandfather over there in Smith Valley, not my paternal grandfather, and both grandfathers were hard. We’d get spanked, we’d get beat, but it was more cause- and- effect- related; whereas my father, he didn’t need much, he was always hot- blooded and ready to go to take care of any child that’s too loud. And yes, it was hard. So there was really nothing for me in the Bay Area. I needed to go someplace and I just didn’t like the options there, working in warehousing or being that young and not having the direction to go to college or something. When I went back to the reservation, at least I knew what UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 there was, and I could live off the land, at least try to learn some of those things, and there was always a place there. I remember my great- grandma from growing up as a kid, and that’s kind of different than a lot of other Americans. So I had like both of these worlds, growing up, and when I get back to the rez, then everybody knows who I am, and they remember us, from kids. And it wasn’t just there but every other place. Indians travel, they visit and there’s family there. So the uncle in ’ 71, we’d go to the powwows over there and one uncle, my grandfather’s brother, had a little chow wagon and he used to sell food at the powwows; whereas my other uncle and my grandmother’s sister, my grandfather’s sister was also at the powwow and he was a big dancer, and artisan and activist, and he even ran for Congress back in the early seventies. And so these people, there’s a community there, even if it isn’t clearly seen, with housing in the Bay Area, you know, the people are there. And so it wasn’t foreign for me to go back to the reservation. However, it certainly was an eye- opener when I started to connect the refitting military ships, or some of these companies in San José that are producing armaments that go on aircraft or bombs. And when we would go into some of these computer companies— I did janitorial cleaning for a little bit, part of that couple of months that I was on the street, so to speak; I was staying at a friend’s house here, a friend’s house there, but I’d do a little job here— they didn’t seem to fit but we would go into like FMC Corporation and do the cleaning of some of these places, or this other computer company, and, well, you see tanks, designs on the wall, and armored personnel carrier designs and mock C4 plastic explosives, just these different articles and things. And of course the computer chips and the big Intel and all of the major [ computer manufacturers], you know. Other friends would work at the Seagate in Scotts Valley, doing all of these different kinds of jobs. So I was thinking, boy, I sure wish I had had one of UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 those jobs, but I was not experienced and too young and I didn’t have the support to get in there, and I guess luckily I didn’t. So it was kind of that. Moving back to the reservation was an opportunity, even if I didn’t see it clearly at that time, and I’m lucky that I had because computers are here too. They’re everywhere. [ 00: 25: 00] So my grandmother, her maiden name was Ada Mike, and her mother I believe was Amy Hicks Butler. Amy and two girls. Pat Hicks. That line is related to Jim Butler, so this Jim Butler guy, the guy who founded Tonopah [ Nevada], I guess, yeah, I’m related to him, he’s like my great- great grandfather or something. But let me see, Amy and Annie Hicks Butler, I guess, and those were the two daughters of Jim Butler, I believe. So, you know, we don’t talk too much about him. He’s just kind of out there somewhere. And I believe that’s the line there. And then my great- grandpa Bodie Graham, that was on my grandfather’s side, and my grandfather had like eight sisters and three brothers, I think, something like. And then you said Uncle Bill Rosse. Was he your uncle? Yeah, over in Yomba. Well, we’ve got to start with the bottom line about Western Shoshone. All Western Shoshone are related. OK? And so I have more difficulty than the last generation finding a Shoshone partner; and in the community, especially in Duckwater, there’s just none. It’s a small community. And even in the next community, it’s small but then there’s still the possibility that you’re related; and the way my elders told me is that even if you know up to tenth generation, you know, that’s taboo. You can’t marry a relation? Yes, if it’s known, whereas other people might say it’s OK, but you know what? I err on the side of caution against inbreeding because on my father’s side. You know what they say about UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 Western Europeans, especially the aristocracy, we’re descended from— we’re the product of good inbreeding [ laughing]; so I just kind of have stayed away from that and growing up in California I’ve not had any aversion to other ethnic groups or identities. And that brings along a funny story. You know my brother was in Ely [ Nevada] with my grandmother and he was a teenager, sixteen or something, eighteen, and my grandmother and him were in the store. I don’t know where I was, someplace else. They’re in the store and he’s telling me, Yeah, you know, Grandma was looking at this black woman, and she’s about ten feet away and she’s looking at her, really looking at her, up and down, and when we got to the checkout I said, “ What’s wrong, Grandma? Haven’t you ever seen a black woman before?” And she says, “ Yeah, but not this close.” And that was like 1985, 1984, you know. And it’s not that long ago. We didn’t get electricity on the reservation [ until 1976]— like I said, as a kid, we used to get our water from the creek that ran by my grandpa’s house. And that’s my house right now. That’s where I am living right now, except that I’m helping out down here at Corbin’s place at Poo- Ha- Bah. So that place was always there. The fences— we have big cottonwood trees there next to the road. Well, those were fences. My grandfather took those from Fallon and put them in the ground there along that creek, along that ditch, and that’s where those trees come from, so that was the fence line. And you know there’s reasons for things being the way they are. The fences are old and rickety and falling down and it looks to people like trash, or there’s all junk cars and running around. Well, there’s a reason for that. Because they’re old and because my grandfather helped build a house and you fix and repair it, daily almost. And the tree line, the trees are the way [ 00: 30: 00] they are because they were fence posts. That’s why they’re so close together and in a straight line. And then all those junk cars. You never know when you’re going to need something out there, and it was a two- day trip to go to town and back. And UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 my uncle and my aunts tell me about those things. And you never know when you’re going to need something. The only difference that people don’t see is that they’re so busy judging and just driving by and outsiders are not stopping. When you get out, there’s no cigarette butts on the ground. There’s no broken glass laying around. It may look trashy, but it’s clean, really; and there are cans laying around here, people do do things, but people pick things up, too, and overall, you look out there, it’s clean. Our biggest problem is weeds now. So anyway, that’s what life on the rez has, and most people tend to focus in on an area, the place with fences or where there’s a house. Their inspection is inside, closing down, whereas, as a place for my identity and being, it expands outward from there, so I’m not looking at the rez, looking into it, I’m looking out from there, and as far as the eye can see is my property. And I’m not rich. Rich is something, you know, you earn money, you make money, you’re a millionaire, you’re rich, whereas wealth is inherited, and the Shoshone people are wealthy. We’ve inherited this from our ancestors and with wealth and with inheritance, particularly land, there is responsibility. And that is where our morals and spirituality is rooted. It’s in the land, in our sense of place, in our identity and being. And it’s not just a house. I ask people all the time, I say, Where’s your house? Oh, it’s in Las Vegas. Where’s home? Oh, it’s in L. A. Where’s your homeland? What are you talking about? Whereas most native people, it doesn’t matter where they’re at, you can ask them those same questions and they can tell you right back to where they come from and their ancestors. And that’s important. So that’s why, when we talk about “ the land,” all the land, we share the land in privity with each other, so my rights here at Poo- Ha- Bah, at Corbin’s house on his property and all around out there, it’s the same as his rights in Duckwater and other places in Shoshone territory. We share this land in privity with each other. That’s a legal concept. That’s an interesting term. I don’t know that term. But it means—? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 In privity with. That means what you just said it means. Yes. In privity with. And that’s the concept. It’s a legal concept. So, you know, hunting, I’m telling Corbin, I’m going to go hunting for you this fall, let me go take your rifle and then go have it fixed up and I’ll go hunting for you this fall. And I say that to Paul, I’m going to go hunting for Corbin. He says, Oh, are you going to bring me some, too? And I say, Yes. But I’m probably going to get arrested before, whatever, but I’m going hunting this fall, and I never have ever got a state tag; what we do is we’re forced to follow those laws because we’ve never had lawyers and we’ve never had people defending the rights of the people to the exclusion of, or— let me restate that. We’ve never had a clear enough understanding to effectively defend our sovereignty and the sovereignty of the people individually against the assaults of the United States, or the failures of the United States to follow the obligations that the United States solemnly has sworn to observe in the treaty of peace and friendship. Now, we could say that that is as much the Shoshone’s fault because we [ 00: 35: 00] didn’t speak English, and that may in part be true, but we also have never suffered as a people as much as we have since the United States came into existence and has occupied our territory. So I can tell you about some of the past American history that you may not have heard but these are things that influence our understanding with regard to the Treaty of Ruby Valley [ 1863] and why that was signed. Corbin has some very interesting stories where he talks about forced march of Shoshone people, first to Owyhee [ Nevada] and then all the way up to the Vancouver Island, and then the treaty signing— and the people being fed a meat that they never ate before and they believe it was the two Shoshone men that were hung at the treaty signing, UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 that were taken away. And, you know, those kinds of stories. And that pot was up there, that they cooked them in, for a long time. Back up a little bit so I understand what you’re saying better. I heard you say that two men were hung at the treaty signing? Well, they were hung or they were taken away and shot, killed, but later on, the people were hungry and the soldiers brought them some stew or something with some meat that the people weren’t familiar with. You’ll have to get that story from Corbin or from Raymond Yowell. But those are, and there’s- the Shoshone people look at the treaty in the National Archives and there’s a stain on it and there’s some speculation that that may be a bloodstain from one of the signers who was bleeding. The United States was desperate to sign that treaty and so the story that I’m going to tell you is what we know about the time and issues, the political climate that precipitate the signing of the treaty. So you may have seen on television these days or on the History Channel about the treasure ship. They had it recently on the History Channel about the treasure shipment. It was the two- part shipment from the Comstock or from the gold in California, the Sierras, from San Francisco down to Panama, transported up over the shortest part of the jungle, that’s how rough it was an overland route. So they went down all the way to Panama, to the shortest place by ship, up over the jungle, and on to the USS Central America, up to Washington [ D. C.], and they had a shipment in 1857, September fifth, I believe, twenty- one tons of gold bullion. This was the technology of the day, this steamship, this paddlewheel steamship. It had 470 passengers and a crew of fifty, and these passengers got on there, they were loaded with gold, money belts in gold, and they would gamble, you know. They ran into a hurricane in that September trip, and the ship went down and I think they saved maybe 150 people off of that ship or so, but the ship went UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 down with twenty- one tons of gold bullion. The next month was the first major stock market crash in the United States. They decided that, the government officials at the time decided, we need an overland route, and that precipitated the need for signing treaties at the time with Indians. Well, within a year, year- and- a- half ( 1857, October— September, October) within a couple years, 1861, the Civil War broke out and then Lincoln became president and they really needed that overland route to get gold across [ to finance the war between the states], and so that is why the Western Shoshone negotiated treaties do not cede land to the United States, because the United States could not afford another war with the Shoshone. But they really needed that treaty and there is speculation and stories from our elders that when they got some Shoshone together, they really needed that. So the soldiers had their guns [ 00: 40: 00] stacked up in Christmas tree configuration, and they brought the Indians out there, and at that treaty signing, it was forced, and that’s about how bad it got at that time [ in Ruby Valley]. But the United States needed that treaty more than anything and so I don’t think that whether they wanted or didn’t want a war, they couldn’t help doing things the way they had done it elsewhere or being who they were to come treat with the Indians and treat with the Shoshone. But anyway, that’s our understanding of the basic