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Mojave Desert History: Pioneer of the Mojave
Lane's Crossing

INDIANS RAID THE SETTLEMENT

Shortly following this episode, Lane fell victim to an Indian attack. At the time the attack occurred the Indians at the Mohave Villages had not yet been subdued. It was in May 1859, less than a month after Colonel Hoffman made his ineffective truce with the Mohaves, that news was received of the raid at Lane's Crossing:

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INDIAN DEPREDATIONS -- A band of Mojave Indians made a descent upon Lane's Fort, at the crossing of the Mojave river. They overpowered Mr. Lane, and others living at the Fort, and then ransacked the houses, dispossessing the occupants of all their worldly goods.

Surely it is high time that our Government should adopt some efficient means to prevent these Indian outrages, that are daily being committed in our midst, and afford that protection to our citizens which is guaranteed to them by the Constitution of their country.

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It is unclear whether the report is referring to the Mohaves themselves or to an unspecified tribe of Indians from the Mojave Desert. If it were indeed Mohaves who raided Lane's ranch, he was fortunate not to have lost more than his worldly goods. These Indians were fierce and used to having their way out on the desert. It was the Mohaves who left the trail of bodies which Father Nuez discovered on this very stretch of road in 1819.

There were other hostile Indians who could have made the attack on Lane's, including the Chemehuevis from the Colorado River region, some of whom wintered in the town of San Bernardino and were known to resent the intrusion of the white man. It is more likely, however, that the raid was made by Paiutes. This group of Indians was the most active in the area in the years prior to, and for a period of years after, Lane's arrival at the upper crossing.

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