The Mysterious Death of Peter Lassen

330px-Peter_Lassen-portraitOn 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? lassengrave-001Disgruntled 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.

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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4 Responses to The Mysterious Death of Peter Lassen

  1. Sandy Hill says:

    How old was Peter when he met his untimely death?

  2. I just found your posting about Vina. I was there a little while ago and thought you might like to see my musical interpretation of the place: https://youtu.be/RIU_2aq60pk Heather I also got to play Bidwells piano on the same trip!

  3. nancyleek says:

    Lovely! Thanks for sharing.

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