Thomas Jefferson Mayfield-Adopted by Indians, A True Story

October 2, 2014 8:23 am Published by Leave your thoughts jpeg Thomas Jefferson Mayfield (1843–1928) led a remarkable double life in the early decades of California statehood, living his boyhood as an adopted member of the Choinumni (Choinumne) branch of the Yokuts tribe in the San Joaquin valley, then rejoining the dominant Anglo-American community throughout his long adulthood. Mayfield was born in Brazos County, Texas, the youngest of the three sons of William Mayfield and Maria Curd Mayfield. When he was six, his family came to California by voyage round Cape Horn because violence between Texas settlers and Apaches made the Santa Fe Trail land route too dangerous. From San Francisco, they made their way by horse and mule pack south through San Jose and over the Pacheco Pass into the Central Valley . Maria Curd Mayfield died shortly thereafter. William Mayfield went south to herd cattle with Jeff’s two older brothers and left young Jeff, as he was known, with local Indians who had befriended the family. For the decade following, Jeff had almost no contact with whites and fully assimilated to native language and culture . Around the age of eighteen, Mayfield rejoined his family and after 1862 surrendered any sustained ties to the Choinumni. Wikipedia article )   Adopted by Indians, A true story by Thomas Jefferson Mayfield is one of many books that can be purchased online or at the museum, please visit our online store.

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