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US: Here's why a woman rancher was tarred and feathered in Riverside County in 1931 -- Press Enterprise

Found: Thu Nov 07 14:10:52 2019 PST
Source: Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)
Copyright: 2019 The Press-Enterprise Company
Webpage: [translate]
Author: Steve Lech, Contributing Photographer, backinthedaype@gm

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prison was NOT mentioned
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Here's why a woman rancher was tarred and feathered in Riverside County in 1931 -- Press Enterprise Here's why a woman rancher was tarred and feathered in Riverside County in 1931 -- Press Enterprise * News * News

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Here's why a woman rancher was tarred and...

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Here's why a woman rancher was tarred and feathered in Riverside County in 1931

The odd tale took place in the Cabazon area and involved cattlemen, bullying and a shotgun

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The area between Whitewater and Cabazon where Anna Wood once had a ranch. She was tarred and feathered in 1931 in a dispute with cattlemen. (Photo by Steve Lech, Contributing Photographer)

Most people today probably have never heard of the term "tar and feather."

It is most often associated with colonial times leading to the American Revolution, when one way of expressing outrage over hard-line adherents to the king's policies was to literally daub their bodies with tar and then roll them in feathers. This created a very sticky mess and shamed a person for quite some time.

Certainly, we don't associate it with our area, but in one instance at least, it is exactly what happened.

In 1931, Mrs. Anna Wood was an almost 60-year-old woman living on a small homestead between Whitewater and Cabazon in Riverside County. She had lived there since about 1915-1916 and had a small farm, mainly for herself. She also had some goats and a few other animals. From all accounts, she mainly kept to herself.

However, her homestead was on land that was considered by many to be cattle range land. In later testimony, Wood indicated that she had been threatened many times by cattlemen, but had refused to be bullied by them into giving up her homestead or nearby mining claims. More than once, she had to scare menacing ranchers away with a shotgun blast to show that she meant business.

"They told me to move out of the country or I'd wish I had," she later told investigators.

The situation, though, turned ugly on the night of Jan. 1, 1931. Wood was returning to her home after dark after rounding up her goats and noticed that her goats would not go into the barn with her as they usually would.

She went to investigate and saw a masked man at the door. Before she could get away, he grabbed her and threw her inside, where another masked man knocked her to the ground, tore her clothing off, and proceeded to daub her body with tar. She was then rolled in feathers that had been put on the ground. Once done, the two men left, leaving her unconscious, covered in tar and feathers and alone in her barn.

Sometime later, she regained consciousness and was able to make it back to her house. Later that morning, friends of hers from Coachella were happening by for a visit and found her on the floor in a dazed condition. The friends got her cleaned up and immediately took her to law enforcement and she explained to them what had happened.

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When officers with Undersheriff Rayburn arrived at her house to investigate, they found 25 to 30 head of cattle grazing on the land and in her small crop area. They checked with ranchers they knew in the area but to no avail.

No one seems to have been arrested for the tarring and feathering of Anna Wood.

The treatment she received at the hands of the masked men made national news. Even 30 years later, after Wood had died at nearly 80 years old, one article in a local paper mentioned the event, and seemed as shocked in 1961 as many people were in 1931 that something like that could occur here.

If you have an idea for a future Back in the Day column about a local historic person, place or event, contact Steve Lech and Kim Jarrell Johnson at

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analysis of article text

prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:10 legalization hits:0 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:0 cannabis hits:0 stimulant hits:0 narcotic hits:0 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen

incarceration/prison mentioned? NO - the issue of prison or incarceration was NOT mentioned in this article .

propaganda analysis

explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:0 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:0 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:5 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:4 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:0 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:1 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:0 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:0 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:0
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)

 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related 50%
[news] [concept]

drug ngo  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda 75%
[news] [concept]

propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme5 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 70%
[news] [concept]

"Crime" "Inappropriate" "threatened" "threatening"5Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
propaganda_theme3 : drug war propaganda theme: survival of societysurvival of society

propaganda theme3 75%
[news] [concept]

"American" "community" "Public Safety" "the country"4Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)
The "Nation" as a Device To Create a Psychological Crowd
propaganda_theme5 : drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugschildren

propaganda theme5 60%
[news] [concept]

"children"1Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5)
Think of the children
 drug ngo 50%
[news] [concept]
drug reform ngo  
 drug reform ngo 50%
[news] [concept]
ramp Drug Reform Organization link database
 ramp 50%
[news] [concept]
 oft-mentioned government prohibitionist

govt prohib other 50%
[news] [concept]

"police chief"2A Drug War Carol, page 18
 youth 60%
[news] [concept]
propaganda theme5
[news] [concept]
"school" "College"
 aggrandizing government

aggrandizement 85%
[news] [concept]

"authorities"1Statism: the Most Dangerous Religion (2014 video)
What is Statism?
Conservapedia: Statism
Wikipedia: Statolatry
Bought Priesthood
Worship of the U. S. Government (2011)
Bureaucratic Thrust
Tyranny of Experts
The Threat of Authority (2012)
The Media As Enablers of Government Lies
The Statist Mindset (Jacob Hornberger, 2011)
Thinking Critically about Experts and Authority
'Scientific' evidence for FDA-approved drugs isn't so scientific, it turns out (2014)
The Intellectual Gravy Train (2015)

st:0.01 fo:0 s:0 d:0 c:0 db:0.12 a:0.5 m:0.08 t:0.9 (f)

text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.

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    article tags


    aggrandizement concept - terms of aggrandizement (of government)
    school concept
    youth concept
    govt_prohib_other concept - prohibitionist who gets (or has gotten in the past) a government paycheck or money to bolster prohibition, but mentioned in many non-drug-related articles, too
    ramp concept - Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP)
    drug_reform_ngo concept - drug policy reform organization
    drug_ngo concept
    propaganda_theme5 concept - drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugs
    propaganda_theme3 concept - drug war propaganda theme: survival of society
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition