The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-????, March 13, 1909, Image 6

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wnrai u t . .. -.
IHAT little the dollar loving Amer-
Wii lean nas aone m prying ana peep
II Ing into the great natural treasure
11 houses of Sonora convinced him
II years ago- that that western Mcxi
II can province was a country well
half of the silver of the world
has come out of Mexico, as Is
probably the fact, then, from all
reports, when the argentiferous
deposits of Sonora are properly'
opened up three-fourths of the
world's silver will come from the land of Diaz. Sonora
has been exporting $12,000,000 to $15,000,000 of silver
a year and could have exported five times that amount
and an incalculable quantity of gold but for one reason
the country has not been' safe for white people, except
lu the larger towns, because of the warlike Yaquis, who
' have been battling for generations against the Mexicans.
But now the good news has been flashed over the
wires that the long drawn Yaqui war is at an end and
that a treaty favorable to the Indians has been negotiated,
so that soon there will be such an inrush of greedy
grlngoes, as the Mexicans call us, into Sonora as has
never been seen before. F6r there will be no more night
attacks upon ore wagon and supply trains, no more ter
rorizing of the miners in their prospect holes and no
more rushes to the gun rack in the lonely cabin on the
It is characteristic of our commercial age that the
chief interest of the white people in the Yaqui uprisings
has not been a humane but a financial one. Although
Americans have obtained concessions from the Mexican
government of mining, cattle and farming lands, they
have never been able to hold undisputed sway over
them. Now the hardy gringo will descend upon Sonora,
bent upon a conquest far more thorough than that of
Gen. Scott in 1848. He lusts for the silver and gold
hidden under the Sonora mountains, for great bands of
cattle and for the fruits of the fertile valleys, and he will
have them.
Not' that the Americans have been essentially hostile
to the Yaquis, for many guns and much ammunition have
been taken over the border to aid them in their des
perate fight, but that when Diaz has seen fit to parcel
off a comfortable section of Yaqui land here and there
to an enterprising Yankee for a con
Bideration it has been only natural
that Yaqui and Yank should have be
come embroiled at . times.
"The Yaqui Indians are the most
stubborn fighters on earth," said Presi
dent Diaz of Mexico eight years ago,
"and if eyer we are to put them down
we must strike at the root of their race
we must exile their women and chil
dren." So, month by month, since then thou
sands of the little brown women of the
Yaqui nntion In Sonora have been torn
from their homes on reservations' and
elsewhere, rounded up at Guaymas, on
the west coast of Mexico, and, with
their children, deported to San Bias and
thence across country to the far fever
lands of Yucatan, where many of them
have died. None have ever returned to
This means of subduing "a race that
has been in almost constant warfare
against the Mexican government for
more than 30 years has at last been
effective, although it has been neces
sary at the same time to keep from
2,000 to 5,000 troops in readiness or
in the field to flsht the diminishing
band of Yaquis, who have proved them
selves as valiant and as unyielding as
the Boers.
The last two stands of the Yaquis
have recently been reported in the dis
patches. One of these was in a moun
tain canyon Just north of Altar, where
the Mexicans and Papagos lured the
Yaquis Into ambush and killed a large
number of them. The other and con
cluding engagement followed a skir
mish that was made by the Mexicans
southeast of Hermosillo, the capital of
Sonora, in which It was reported that
Bule, the chief-of the Yaquis, was killed
and 100 of his men were slain. After
this bloody battle the remnant of the
Yaqui forces engaged in that fight
marched into Hermosillo and surren
dered. So many other events have been tak
ing place on this populous planet, and
the affairs of Sonora enter so little into the consideration
of the people on this rim of the continent, with the ex
ception of those American capitalists who have longed
to unearth the mining treasures of that rich fjild and
silver country, that we have been more interested in
college football contests than in this terrible warfare
that has been going on within five days' railway journey
of New York for the last three decades and even longer.
For, as matter of fact,, the Yaquis have never been
ac peace with their hereditary foe since the conquest
of Mexico by the
Spanish in 1519,
and from an es
timated popula-i
lion in 1620 of
200,000 the race
has steadily de
clined, chiefly be
cause of its al
most incessant
warfare, to about
40,000 at the
present day.
Having regard
ed the Yaqui at
close range and
having studied
him and marked
what manner of
man he is any
one may- be ex
cused for an ad
miration of him
that surpasses
my appreciation
of any other of
the native races
of North America.
Assuredly these
people are the
most industrious
and most civil
ized of all Indian
tribes, being for
the most part
farmers, miners
and craftsmen,
and far superior
to the average
Sonoran of the
haciendas and
villages, who will
not work while
he has a peso in
his pocket and
while mescal can
be had at the
i i ii niiiiiiiii tuna s MKjoEaBnow .. x ,v.ia mi f.itjii iM?rcr.Y? ?m.
i s u vmjmmmi mfMm . wm mm. xsw- :
OK- -J .MH:3k4. .Li...ii
' 1
nyiut ium -M
cantina, and who, when he enters the army, is generally
sent there from jail.
As for the Yaqui as a fighter, he has proved himself
a better man even than the Apache, while resorting to
few, if any, of the Apache's bloodthirsty tricks of war
fare. The Yaqui army has been regularly organized up
to the last year, has been well drilled in the use of .the
rifle, has had its generals and colonels and captains, ;Vd
has given such a gouiS account of itself that it has kept
3,000 Mexican troops) v.nder Gen. Torres busy all the
while in a warfare that has not been that of savages
has, in fact, been fully as humane as that of its foe
men. .
It is not necessary to go back any further than- 1878
to get a good idea of what the Yaquis have been doing
in trying to hold their, own against the people of Spanish
descent in Mexico. In that year, because of trespass
upon their lands and because the Mexicans had taken
large numbers of , them to work upon their ranches in
practical slavery, these tremulously tenacious fighters re
sumed hostilities after a short period of peace. Gen..
Cajemi, their governor, took command and for seven
years held the passes and strongholds against 5,000
troops under Gen. Pesquiera. ,
Although the Yaquis gave a good account of them
selves, they lost many men and Gen. Cajemi was cap
tured and shot. Still the defensive war was continued,
and when at last the Mexicans drove them out of their
strongholds and captured their mines there came a pe
riod during which only desultory raids upon the hacien
das were made. During that period the Yaqui women
and boys and some of the non-combatant men of the
tribe went out to earn money in the mines, ranches and
fisheries to buy arms and ammunition to carry on the
A number of American miners who had. been unable
peaceably to work their mines brought about the peace of
Oritz in May, 1897. The government then began to take
Yaqui boys from the reservations and send them to
Vera Cruz, on the other side of the continent, to make
soldiers of them. These boys were as good if not better
sharpshooters than the Boer youth, and the Yaquis saw
that in thus depriving them of what would be a great
source of reliance in future battle they would eventually
have to give up all hope of ever holding their own. So
that the peace of Oritz only lasted a few months before
there was another uprising and more fighting, chiefly of ;
a guerilla nature, which continued for several, years.
Meantime every cent that the non-combatants of the
tribe could earn and save was handed over to the chiefs,
who bought with this money enough Mauser rifles and
mountain howitzers to equip very decently an army of
5,000 men, under Gen. Tetaviate, who, in April, 1899,
took the field after having made this statement:
"We Yaquis are a peaceful and industrious people.
When the Mexicans want workers for- their mines or
factories they come to us. We do not want war. We
have never wanted it, but we want our rights. We made
a treaty of peace with the Mexican government, our herd
itary foe, in May, 1897, after a long series of wars, the
last of which was more than ten years in duration. We
intended to keep faith with the government of. Mexico,
but it has pursued a course of cruel encroachment and
menace. We are now ready to fight it again, and all the
battles of the past will be as nothing rompared With
the bloodshed that will follow our entry intojthe field."
Gen. Tetaviate began operations in the lqwer vcev
of the Ro Yaqui, where his men drove out the white
settlers upon Yaqui lands. They cut the telegraph wires
ind destroyed other means of communication, and it was
some time before the hastily summoned
Fifth cavalry and Eleventh and Twelfth
infantry companies could be marched
against them. Then followed a series of
battles which generally concluded unsat
isfactorily 1 for the Mexicans, though
there was ari occasional rounding up of
the rebels in which large numbers of
' them were slaughtered. On the approach
of the troops the Indians usually took up
c- f f HT1 Tincitlnna In fhc mnilTltatn fast.-
nesses. One large band fortified itself
in the Bacatete range, between the Yaqui
and Matopo rivers, and another in the
Sahuaripa mountains. Efforts were
' made to keep these two bands apart, but
the working Yaquis all over Sonora and
in California' and Arizona were constant-'
ly coming in and joining, with their
brethren and the depredations upon the
ranches and, villages were widespread.
, Meantime the Mexicans gathered in
the women and children of their foemen
for deportation to Yucatan, following the
demand of Diaz to "exterminate the Ya
quis. iviauueiiwu uy iixip atiu uy
reports that the women and children
were not merely deported, but that they
were taken out Into the Gulf of Califor
nia and thrown overboard from the troop
ship Oaxaca, the desperate Indians attacked the hacien
ras and also threatened the larger towns. Terror mad,
the citizens of Nogales fled from their homes, and for
a time martial law was proclaimed over the fear-stricken
city of Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora. During the
height of the excitement, troops were coming In bringing
women and children for deportation, and also an occa
sional band of Yaqui soldiers, who were generally thrust
into prison over night and in the morning taken out,
lined up and shot.
One of the most terrible slaughters during the last war
upon the Yaquis occurred in June,-1902. One evening 300
armed Yaquis descended upon four haciendas near Her-'
mosillo and took away 600 of their tribe, Including women
and children, . who were there employed. The band
Torched toward Ures, reached Mazatan mountain, and
while waiting. for the Mexican soldiers made bows,, ar
rows and spears for those who were unarmed.
On" June 15 900 Mexican soldiers came around the
mountains, surprised the Yaquis, chased the armed war
riors down the mountain, killing many of them and ta-
1 1 1 i 1 -I C
King ail me iiuciciiua iuik. pi lsuiitsi h. ouuu aiicr lu?
skirmish Ales Hrdlicka, representing the American mu
seum, found in a little ravine on the mountain side the
bodies of 64 of the. Indians, including a number of worn-,
en, a little girl and a baby. The skulls of nearly ail the
victims were so shattered by Mauser bullets as to be of no
use for the museum for which Hrdlicka was collecting.
In the hospital at Hermosillo in 1902 there, were as
many as 12 wounded women and a girl of seven with
three bullet wounds in her body.
As another example of h:ave Mexican warfare 300 wom
en and children who were captured near the Rancho Viejo
were kept in a corral under guard for two days, during
which time they were given nothing to eat but two
and one-half bushels of raw corn on which they subsisted
until night, when they were marched to Hermosillo, 35'
miles away. .
In July, 1902, an attempt was made by the Mexicans
to surround 200 Yaquis in the San Mateo foothills; but
the Indians learned ,of what was afoot, slipped into a
side valley before the advance of the troops, and in the
night strangled the sentries and, proceeding over to the
sleeping soldiers, slew the whole column in the darkness
and bound the officers to the trees, where they , were
found when relief came. , .
One reason why the last ten years' war has been more
bloody than any that preceded it was that the Mexican
government decreed that every Yaqui living on the pu
eblos or working on ranches or anywhere else was to be
treated as a prisoner- of war.
Qualities- in Men.
A sad nature sheds forth twilight. A merry and mirth
ful nature brings daylight. A suspicious nature lnsensi- .
bly imparts its chill to every generous soul within its
reach. A bold and frank nature overcomes meanness
in men. Fineness makes them firm. Firmness makes
them nii.. T- directs, stimulates and develops taste.
Henry Ward Beechei. , x