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The Skull Valley Goshutes

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American Indians of the far western United States, various individuals argued that the tribes of the Great Basin region are deeply attached to their traditional homeland. John Mayhugh, agent of the Western Shoshone Agency in Nevada, wrote in 1884 that the Basin tribes "are strongly attached to the land of their birth and to the hunting-grounds and home of their fathers."^ Louis Cramton, special attorney to the secretary of the interior, wrote in 1932 that the Shoshone and Paiute tribes of northeastern Nevada "are very strongly attached to their present location. "^ And after studying the lifestyle of the Shoshone tribe in Nevada, anthropologist Omer C. Stewart concluded in 1973 that these Indians have a "strong attachment . . . to their home territory."^ This study supports the thesis that the Great Basin Indians are deeply attached to their native homelands by briefly examining the history of one particular Basin group, the Skull Valley band of the Goshute tribe.* This Shoshonean-speaking band has always lived in and around Skull Valley, located seventy miles southwest of today's Salt Lake City, Utah. Adhering to its policy of "Indian removal," the federal government made numerous attempts to remove the Skull Valley Indians from their native valley. These efforts failed because the band remains bonded to its indigenous homeland. The government's unsuccessful efforts to remove the Skull Valley Goshutes are highlighted in this article. Also emphasized is the Indians' struggle to remain in their valley region. A F T E R COMING INTO CONTACT WITH THE

II The Goshute tribe, which consists of several bands, including the one in Skull Valley, has since time immemorial lived in northwestern Dr. Crum is assistant professor. History Department, California State University, Chico. ijohn S. Mayhugh to CIA, September 8, 1884, p. 130, Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs (ARC I A), 1884. 2Louis Cramton, "Report of Facts with Relations to Water Rights of the Indians of the Western Shoshone (Duck Valley) Indian Reservation," J a n u a r y 28, 1932, p. 14, Irrigation Division Records, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Record Group (RG) 75, National Archives (NA). 3 0 m e r C. Stewart, " T h e Western Shoshone of Nevada and the U . S . Government, 1863-1950," in Selected Papers of the 14th Great Basin Anthropological Conference, ed. Donald R. Tuohy (Socorro, N . M . : Ballena Press, 1974), p. 81. *For general information regarding the Goshute Indians see Dennis Ray Defa, " A History of the Gosiute Indians to 1900" (M.A. thesis. University of Utah, 1979), and James B. Allen and T e d J . Warner, " T h e Gosiute Indians in Pioneer U t a h , " Utah Historical Quarterly 39 (1971): 162-77. Unfortunately, both studies give only passing attention to the Skull Valley band.

Profile for Utah State History

Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, Number 3, 1987  

Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, Number 3, 1987  

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