OCTOBER 17, 1891


Born in 1844, in Nevada, Sarah, whose Paiute name meant “Shell Flower,” went with her grandfather, Chief Truckee, to California.  By age 10, she knew English & Spanish and attended school in San Jose.  In 1866, Sarah used her linguistic skills to ask the U.S. Army to stop the depredation of Paiute bands by settlers and became an intermediary with the U.S. government serving as translator, interpreter, and teacher.  In 1883, she published Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims while lecturing on the East Coast.  The book used tales of hardship and human interest to raise awareness of the government’s Paiute policy and included a petition to Congress.  Returning to Nevada, Sarah founded the Peabody Indian School, teaching children in their native language and in English.  In 1887, due to finances, the school closed.  Sarah died at Henry’s Lake, Nevada.  The New York Times published news of her death on its front page citing her a “most remarkable woman among the Paiutes of Nevada.”   

Source:  Wendi Maloney, “Native American Heritage Month: Celebrating Sarah Winnemucca,” Library of Congress, 11/2/2017.  Retrieved 7/16/2019, https://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2017/11/native-american-heritage-month-celebrating-sarah-winnemucca/
Photo:  Author and date unknown.  Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.    

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