Chief Winnemuca, 1840s
As quoted in Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, Life among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims, 1883
The period following first contact between the native population and the Euro-Americans involved unprecedented cultural transition and strife between native and non-native populations. Of the many accounts of this time period, one of the most powerful is Chief Winnemucca’s apocalyptic vision.
Chief Winnemucca was an important leader of the Northern Paiute, a tribe concentrated on the eastern cusp of the northern Sierra Nevada and throughout northern Nevada—the primary entryway to the Sierra and the goldfields via the California Trail. In 1883, Sarah Winnemucca, the chief’s granddaughter, recalled his warning to the Paiutes in the 1840s about the coming “greatest immigration.”
Read by Barbara Vineyard, President of the Sierra College Board of Trustees. Recorded at a live performance on November 2, 2010.