On April 26, 1859 — 158 years ago — Peter Lassen was murdered at Black Rock Canyon in what is now Nevada. He had gone prospecting for silver with two men, Edward Clapper and Lamericus Wyatt. Clapper also lost his life in the ambush that occurred early on the morning of April 26. Wyatt escaped and quickly fled back to Honey Valley, where he reported the deaths. He stated that Lassen and Clapper had been murdered by Paiute Indians.
But had they? It was easy enough to pin the blame on Indians, and for many years that story stood. It is even stated on Lassen’s grave marker. But many historians have doubted Wyatt’s story.
If Wyatt was the murderer, what was his motive? Or was there some third party? Disgruntled immigrants, led astray by Peter Lassen, have been suggested.
Stayed tuned and I’ll tell you more about the life and death of Peter Lassen, the California pioneer from distant Denmark, who met an untimely death in the desert.
And if you want a fun and accurate book about Peter Lassen, check out my book Peter Lassen: The True Story of a Danish Pioneer in California. It’s available from my website, from local bookstores and gift shops, and on Amazon.