Sunday, January 4, 2009

Native American NAMED RIVERS

600 years ago Native Americans enjoyed the clean waters of our nations rivers. They also utilized black thick liquids for health remedies. In other parts of the world this black liquid was called oil. Soon settlers came to north america and started to use this native oil and even drilled deep to establish our nations first oil wells. As years passed this oil was refined into an oil that produced heat in our nations ships, turning water into steam to power our ships. World war times made it necessary to carry this oil in special ships and transfer the needed oil to surface war ships while they were moving far out at sea. These ships were plentiful and it seemed they produced rivers of oil out to sea. They were not called tankers, they were called oilers. It became standard for the navy to name these oilers after rivers that Native American's named.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Vern....

    You're an asset to the oiler generation, Vern, and a truly inspired history buff.

    As to oiler names, I remember, somewhatly, when first becoming acquainted with the name of my beloved HASSAYAMPA, I couldn’t help but wonder just where did that name come from?

    Well, as I recall the process of indoctrination, it went something like this:

    "Navy oilers are named after American rivers bearing Indian names."

    Ain’t linguistics somethin’?

    One of these days, I might just put that little quip of verbiage right along side where I have "Origin of the name Hassayampa" on my website.

    Now, if I may, I would like to offer the following to your loyal listeners as to the origin of the name HASSAYAMPA:

    Origin of the name Hassayampa

    Oilers of the U.S. Navy are named after rivers. Hassayampa, the river for which this ship is named is an intermittent stream channel having its rise in North Central Arizona, near Prescott, site of the original capital of Arizona Territory, and running south to the Gila river. It has been the scene of innumerable events contributing to the history of Arizona.

    The incident marking the origin of the name "Hassayampa" occurred in 1863, the year in which Abraham Lincoln appended his signature to the Act of Congress creating the Territory of Arizona, but preceded by almost a year the arrival of the officers chosen by the President to effect the Territory's organization.

    In 1862 a company of thirty hardy frontiersmen, headed by Captain Joe Walker, a famous adventurer of the period, was organized in the Colorado Rockies to explore the gold region of Arizona. Exciting and tragic events, including the killing of Magnus Colorados, chief of the Mimbreno Apaches, and one of the greatest Apache warrior chiefs, marked the progress of this expedition through New Mexico and westward through Arizona by way of the Gila river to where a conspicuous stream channel approached from the north, the direction in which the gold fields lay, to reach which the Walker expedition was bending its efforts.

    Here the party was joined by a band of Mojave-Apache Indians, whose chieftain, Irotaba, guided the party up the tortuous channel. The chief spoke no words of English, but upon the approach of each bend in the channel waved his arms to indicate his course and exclaimed "Haviyamp," with a laborious grunt on the "p."

    A liberal prospect of gold was found all along the creek, and upon final determination that the prospect was good the journey came to an end -- a few miles south of what was soon to be the townsite of Prescott, the capital of the new Territory. A miners' meeting was held, organization effected and a mining district declared. It was given the name of "Haviyamp," as pronounced by the Indians, but the recorder of the proceedings, while arranging his records, declared his intention to give the word a Spanish pronunciation. It was spelled "Hassayampa" and the spelling has been sustained by all geographies, thereby rendering a pure Indian word by the assistance of a Spanish dialect, obscure and uncertain.

    The history of the Hassayampa River and the territory it traverses is replete with interesting, exciting and important events.