Sallie Jackson & Sister
[By Glen Villa Jr., Last Revised July 17, 2011]

Sallie Jackson and Sister are most likely Sally Yellowjacket and her sister Mary Leon.

According to the 1900 Census, Sally Yellowjacket was residing in Township 1, Amador County. Sally’s occupation was listed as weaving baskets.

In 1905-1906, CE Kelsey identifies Sally Yellowjacket and 2 grandchildren living on the Jackson Reservation of Amador County.

According to the 1910 Census, Sally Yellowjacket was residing in Township 1, Amador County. Sally was 63 and widowed. The census indicates Sally was born at Jackson Butte. In the household with Sally was her daughter Rosa Darrow, daughter Georgiana Howard, granddaughter Dora McMahon, granddaughter Maude McMahon, grandson George Darrow, sister Mary Jones, nephew John Santrers, son-in-law John Darrow, and son-in-law Joe Bacigalupi. Mary Jones was 80 years old at the time and was born at Jackson Butte. Rosa Darrow was 39 and born at Jackson Butte. According to 1910 Census, Rosa Darrow married John Darrow in 1905. Rosa Darrow had already been married, John Darrow was her second marriage. Rosa Darrow had 5 children, only 3 were living in 1910. Georgianna Howard was 28 and born at Jackson Butte. According to 1910 Census, Georgianna married Joe Bacigalupi in 1904. Dora McMahon was born in 1898 at Jackson Butte. Maude McMahon was born in 1899 at Jackson Butte. George Darrow was born in 1906 at Jackson Butte. John Santrers was born in 1870 at Jackson Butte. John Darrow was born in 1884 at Angels Camp, Calaveras County. Joe Bacigalupi was born in 1874 at Angels Camp, Calaveras County.

According to the 1920 Census, Sally was residing in Township 1 of Amador County with her nephew John Saunders. Sally was listed as widowed and 70 years old at the time.

Sally Jacks died on June 13, 1927. Sally’s death certificate has a birth date of June 20, 1833.

Articles Concerning Sally Yellowjacket

Stockton Record
June 15, 1927
‘Indian Sally,’ Oldest of Her Tribe, Passes to the Happy Hunting Grounds at Great Age.
Jackson Office Stockton Record, June 15.—Indian Sally, pioneer of the pioneers, died at her home at the Indian camp at Scottsville Sunday evening, after an illness of a number of weeks.

She was noted in the earlier days of her life as a leader among the Indians of this and adjacent counties. Her aim was to keep them together, and she was quite successful in her endeavor. Not only was Sally noted as a leader, but she was steady and industrious, and until recently made many baskets. They were considered of a superior quality and attracted much attention among collectors.

“Indian Sally” was born on the Caminetti ranch near Jackson, and although none knows her age, the death certificate stated 100 years. She was undoubtedly all of that. She was a widow of Yellow Jacket, who died many years ago.

The Indian woman was able to be around and tended to her household duties until recently, when her sight began to fail.

A daughter, Mrs. Rose Darrow of Jackson, and a sister Katherina Wilson of Mokelumne Hill, survive.

Two sisters who died a number of years ago were Indian Mary and Manuella, both very old.

The funeral was held yesterday afternoon at 2 o’clock and burial was made at the Indian burial ground on the reservation near Jackson.

Amador Dispatch
June 17, 1927
Aged Indian Woman Dies At Scottsville Home
“Indian Sally,” one of the best known Indians of this section, died at her home at the Scottsville Indian camp last Sunday evening after being ill for several weeks. She was born at the Caminetti ranch near this place and had resided in this section all her life which reached over the century mark, according to the death certificate.

She is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Rose Darrow of this city, and a sister Katherina Wilson of Mokelumne Hill. The funeral service which was largely attended by friends of the aged woman was held Tuesday afternoon and the remains were laid to rest I the Indian burial grounds on the reservation near this city.

Tribal Spokesman
March 1969
California Indian Legal Services Sues For 1895 Indian Land
On February 10, 1969, California Indian Legal Services of Berkeley, California, on OEO financed organization, brought probably the first suit suit against the newly appointed, controversial Secretary of the Interior, Walter T. Hickel, chargin him and others with discriminating against many members of the Newak Triba including the five Indian plaintiffs in this case.

The case really begins with the Gold Rush in 1849 at which time the lands of the ancestors of the plaintiffs “were plundered by force and trickery by white gold prospectors with the passive acquiescence of officials of the defendant United States of America and the State of California.

It is alleged that one of the Indian victims was Sally Yellow Jacket of the Mewak Tribe who eventually settled as a squatter near Jackson, California. In 1893, the United States Congress appropriated $10,000 for the “Digger Indians of Central California, at Jackson” the then popular name for the Mewak Tribe.

In 1895 the United States Government purchased 330 acres of land in Amador County with part of this money and formed the Jackson Rancheria.

Sally Yellow Jacket and six other families survived on federal distribution of food. The Mewak Indians could not obtain jobs because of lack of transportation from the Rancheria to the nearest job market the City of Jackson eight miles away. There was no electricity, schools, passable roads or running water and when the federal government in the early 1900’s cut off the food, Sally Yellow Jacket and her family were forced to become landless again.

They walked six miles to a little town called Scottsville and there once again lived as squatters, walking two miles a day to work as a laundress and house keeper while walking back to the Rancheria on weekends to water the gardens in order to supplement their food supply.

One of the plaintiffs, Maude Kelly, lived on the Rancheria on and off between 1901 and 1914 but eventually all drifted away from the Rancheria and although all plaintiffs and their relatives desired one day to return to their land, they lacked the money to make it habitable.

In the 1930’s along came Ned Aleck who settled there and now his two grandsons and the wife of one will, by federal law, be given ownership of the entire 330 acres of the Rancheria land, a new three bedroom home, piped-in water system, electric power lines, improved roads and sanitation facilities.

Plaintiffs in this case demand that their ancestral rights be respected and that they share in the ownership of this Rancheria so that they can now move on with their families to the now habitable Jackson Rancheria.

According to Attorney Donald A. Jelinck with the California Indian Legal Services, “The injustices suffered by the American Indian at the hands of the United States Government can never be undone with mere money or even land but it is at least small payment to return a portion of the American soil to the descendants of its rightful owners.”

The case is scheduled for hearing on March 24, 1969.

Mary Leon

Articles Concerning Mary Leon 

Amador Dispatch
March 28, 1919
Lived Here For Over 100 Years
“Indian Mary” one of the old time Digger Indian residents of this county, died Wednesday night at her home near Scottsville. She was born in Amador County over 100 years ago, it is believed, at a place once known as “Sheep Ranch” near the old Clark place. She was a sister of Sallie of Scottsville and Katherine Wilson of Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras County. Her husband and several children died some years ago. She was an aunt of Georgiana Howard, Rose Darrow and John Sanders of Scottsville and Louis Evans of the Government Reservation east of town.

The funeral took place today, leaving Scottsville about 1 p.m. thence to the old cemetery up the Alpine road. Deceased was afflicted with blindness during the last 10 years of her life. She was held in high esteem and respect, not only by her own people but also by numerous white friends and acquaintances.