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The 18:00 a long time actually on Turtle Island this is what I know people who lived in harmony for years with all the trees and all. And together they cry and we thought we wouldn't do that they would never die. We thought we would do that they never. The flames of horror stamped out our ancient ways. They said Now are we no longer believe in then Jesus became chief of the people till they can fly fight for the people to fight.
For. All he wanted was to return to his beloved homeland on the Lost River in northern California to live independently from the Klamath Reservation in southwest Oregon. But what he got was that he did not want the hanging that he perhaps did not deserve. Captain Jack was the leader of the bodach people. His native name was kinda puis translated as having heartburn. He was 5 feet 8 inches tall with a stocky build. He had two wives a daughter and a sister. Captain Jack and his people lived on the last river and Tulley Lake area of southwest Oregon and a Northern California Merodach ancestral territory covered over 5000 square miles of land in southern Oregon region was abundant worthwhile life and water.
They gathered all through the summer. Small bands family bands moved around. That way they wouldn't deplete one area. They hunted for it and then they'll come back to weather for the winter and share their food stored what they had and life was pretty harmonious. But a cloud of dust was stirring from the heat up by hundreds of covered
wagons headed along the Oregon and Applegate trails in the early eighteen hundred twenty immigrants the rich volcanic soils of the Klamath Basin and river could be perfect for raising sheep and beef cattle land to the emigrants. To the Modahl land could not be owned any more than good air water or clouds. Our creator when he created it created a land base and created. Everything that went with that lambastes and then created us. And once he created us He gave us directions on how to use that land how to use those resources. And so what I would tell you is the land belongs to us we belong to the land land disputes on both sides broke out between the mud off and the incoming immigrants
the settlers solution to end these conflicts was to convince the U.S. government to place the Modoc people on a reservation. The settlers finally got their way. The treaty of 1864 was drawn up placing the dock on a reservation near Fort Klamath just north of the town of link Ville later renamed Klamath Falls. The Mohawk were to share the reservation with their old rivals the Klamath Indians and they Huisken band of Snake Indians. The treaty provided for the cessation of all land claimed by the three tribes. Captain Jack constantly complain to Indian agent Captain O.S. Knapp about the horrible living conditions. Captain Jack complained that there was not enough food or blankets to go around. The Mohawk had that love of the person who survived the winter. Captain
Knapp known for his drunkenness refused to respond to Captain Jack's complaints. If you bother me with any more complaints I will put you where no one will ever bother you again. Now get out of here. CAPTAIN. Oh see now. I and my people shall not be slaves for a race of people that is not any better than we are. If the agent does not protect my people we shall not live here. Captain Jack held up with the indignities of reservation life. Captain Jack under the cloak of darkness had more than 300 dogs out of the Klamath Reservation to return to their homeland on the Lost River on April 26 achene 17 eventually some 130 Mohawks drifted back to the reservation. Captain Knapp was dismissed from his position. His
replacement was Alfred Meachem and God fearing Methodist from Iowa for three years. The dog who had left the reservation continued to live on their ancestral lands from Mohawk like bogus Charlie who spoke perfect English worked as ranch hands. But the settlers did not like the Mohawk in their vicinity. A petition spearheaded by a prominent rancher Jesse Applegate was signed by local citizens. The petition complained that the military and Indian departments had not done their jobs. This band of outlaws who by your delay to enforce a treaty have led to despise rather than respect the authority of the government. Jesse Applegates Jesse Applegate and other ranchers wanted the Mohawk back on the reservation whatever it took in November 1872. An attempt was made to return the
Modocs to the Klamath Reservation but Captain Jack and his people refused to return to the appalling conditions on the reservation. They desired their freedom and independence are directed to remove the Mohawk Indians to camp Yonex on the Klamath Reservation. Peaceable if you can but forcibly if you must. F.A. Walker to TB O'Daniel superintendent of Indian Affairs. November 25th 1872. Captain Jack's camp was located on the south side of Lost River just east of a natural bridge. O'Daniel ordered major green to move. Captain Jack's Modocs. Back to the Klamath Reservation immediately. Major green saw a way to end the entire Merodach problems with little effort. The element of surprise attack. November 29 1872.
A day to be remembered forever in Modoc war history. The weather was bitterly cold. Men women and children still slept. In and the silence of the Japanese people started seeking refuge in the brush and deals. The Modan village was approached. The soldiers piled Madie on a woman left behind and burned to death. Another attack in a village across the river was conducted. This attack was made by Oliver Applegate. Many Modocs were killed including
a woman with a baby in Africa. We need to sure. The Modocs realize that war had come. Captain Jack's chosen battle field was in a major lava flow in Northern California today known as lava beds National Monument the stronghold two miles long and 300 yards wide deep chasms running through the fortress allowing the Modocs to move easily from one end to the other. They had constructed stone barriers about four feet in height with loopholes to shoot through. The Modocs knew the lay of the land and how to use it. The army
appeared certain that the war would be quick and easy. I feel confident the guns will astonish and terrify the Modocs. Lieutenant Colonel Frank with. The first battle took place on January 17th 1873 it pitted approximately three hundred regular military men volunteers and Klement Scouts against a small band of 50 to 60 modem's. The plan was to move in early on the morning of January 17th and to take the strong. Whether or not the. Soldiers were so close they could hear women and children crying. I've often thought about my great grandmother. She was pregnant. And
where were you going. I have never before encountered such an enemy civilized or savage. Occupying a position of such great natural strength as the Modocs stronghold. Lieutenant Colonel Frank Wheaton. February 7th 1873. Peace Commission including General Canby Indian agent Leroy Dyer and Reverend Eliezer Thomas was established shortly after the stronghold of battle Alfred B Meacham was appointed chairman of the Peace Commission. It is reported that complete amnesty was offered to the Modocs if they agreed to surrender. Captain Jack made a counter-proposal forgive the Modocs and leave them in the northern California lava flow where they
were. The peace conference was set for Good Friday April 11th 1873. The Mohawk Warriors had voted to kill all the peace commissioners. Captain Jack argued for a peaceful solution to the conflict but his warriors believed the army would leave if General Canby and the peace commissioners were killed. Captain Jack had to go along with the plan according to tribal tradition. Decisions were made by majority rule. And that means things that can cause everything. And if you understand that people in war everything
all the major battles everything to the Good Friday peace conference began in the late morning. General Canby was dressed in a full dress uniform. His saber scabbard empty. The general refused. Captain Jack's request to allow his people to live their traditional lives at the lava flow at exactly 12 minutes after noon. Captain Jack raised his gun from a distance of five. He pointed it at Canby's head and fine. Killing General Edward Canby Boston Charlie Captain Jack's warrior shot and killed the Reverend Thomas scansion John second in command of the Modocs shot at Reverend Alfred Meacham creasing his forehead. MEACHAM lived to tell the tale. Reverend Dyer escaped unharmed. General Canby was the only general killed
in an Indian war. The honors paid to general can be almost equal to those paid to President Abraham Lincoln. Thousands attended his funeral in Portland Oregon. The shock and horror of. The killings at U.S. Army troops ready to make the Modocs pay starts April 15. Within days of the Peace Conference the second battle for the stronghold took place troops numbered approximately six. A three day battle ended on April 17th. Orders were given to enter Captain Jack stronghold triumphant government troops entered the stronghold expecting the surrender of the Modocs. The stronghold was nearly vacated with the exception of one elderly woman and a wounded elderly man.
In an attempt to locate the elusive Modocs. A patrol of 64 soldiers set forth on April 26 from Gollum's camp. The patrol was under the leadership of Captain Evan Thomas and Lieutenant Thomas Wright. The officers believed that this would be a routine patrol. At noon in the shadow of a small knoll known today as hardened Butte men stopped to eat some even removing their shoes to rest weary feet. One man began to trim his toenails that they were not alone. A short distance away a small band of modems under the leadership of Scarface. Charlie watched the shoeless soldiers in amazement as the army prepared to eat lunch. The Modocs attack. The Scarface Charlie stood high on a bluff and watched the carnage. She yelled Are you fellows that ain't dead. I'd better go home. We don't want to kill
you all in one day. The ambush left two thirds of the patrol dead on the battlefield. One of the first to fall. Was upright. Darkness settled in a rescue patrol finally arrived. There were no doctors. We came upon the most heartbreaking sight it has been my fate to behold. The fearful ordeal through which the poor fellows had passed shot down in the morning lying all day without food water attention or protection from the cold. Second Lieutenant Frazier a bottle. It would be 32 hours in foul weather for the first of the. Beach Gillan's. A bitter storm of sleet rain came down freezing as it fell. In a short time an overcoat would stand alone. Night. Was. Black.
The. Time was running out for the Modocs some 150 men women and children had to be provided for and water was becoming a severe need. On May 10th 1873 at the crack of dawn. Captain Jack dressed in general uniform attacked the scouting party of U.S. troops camped in dry lake commanded by Captain and he has Hasbrouck and his troops swiftly caught under a blaze of gunfire. Men ruled over buying saddles and bundles of blankets covering however small being ignored. They fastened on some boots on the right below the fire. After battling for months against an enemy they couldn't see. The troops fought with a vengeance. Captain Jack and his men having enough turned and fled. June 8th 1873. Captain Perry and his men discovered Captain Jack and remnants of his tattered
band the canyon at Willow Creek. Slightly more of a bit Jack and his family were secret and in a little cave near the top of the ravine and within point blank range of a ledge on which I stood. I told the scouts to ask Jack if he would surrender and to come out if he desired and give himself up. He replied that he would surrender but requested time to put on a clean shirt. David Perry a stockade was built at Fort Klima to house the captives. Forty four men forty nine women and 62 children. The space allotted to each person averaged four feet by eight feet. Captain Jack scRunge and John Black Jim Boston Charlie and two other minor warriors were put on trial for the murder of General Canby and Reverend Thomas. All six Modocs were judged together without the benefit of separate hearings.
All six defendants were found guilty and sentenced to hang on the morning of October 3rd 1873. The verdict was of little surprise to anyone if they did get a fair trial even if they was get it even if things had changed. And somebody made the decision hey let's bring in some attorneys you know give them their their civil rights that we now have today. You know it could not have been a fair war or a fair trial because while he's sitting there waiting there. So they are. He knew what they were going to do. They rounded up a lot of the Klamath people and a
lot of people and made him stand there and watch it. My great grandfather was forced to stand watch his father be hung. The military made a big deal out of it and. I think at the end it was done in that manner to make a statement. This is what's going to happen here if you mess with the United States government. In all some 2000 people were present including citizens from Jacksonville and Ashland jarring to day wagon ride to Fort Klamath the blacksmiths removed each man's shackles from his ankles as he prepared to climb the ladder to the scaffold. The hangman settled a noose around Jack's neck after trimming some hair
a white handkerchief was lifted and dropped by one of the military officers. Or black hooded prisoners as they. Got. Older four bodies of the executed Mohawks were placed in graves near the hanging site at Fort Clemmons. These men do not rest in peace. They were decapitated and their skulls were sent. They were decapitated by the head. Had medical man or the military and then their skulls ended up in the Smithsonian Institute career.
October 10th 1873. Captain Jacks people including his two wives his sister and his daughter. Were loaded on cattle cars as prisoners of war in Redding California. With a long and miserable train ride to Oklahoma. Where they would resettle on the Quapaw agency run by Quakers. Say that train as prisoners of war out of Redding California to Baxter Springs Kansas and the territory. I think we remember that day. I've hanging up Captain Jack 3. So many of them were still very devastated by what they have seen. They say the Princess Mary and Lizzie who was Jack's Jack's wife whale
the whole first part of the trip. They were still in great sorrow and the Modocs ancestrally when they when they mourn they would put pics on their faces. And so I think one of the one of the three with the part had all these hardheads because it wasn't just a typical exile. These people were warning so that coupled with obviously crowded conditions things were not very very difficult to understand. Very cold very difficult but life would not get much better for the refugees. Food and clothing were scarce. Medicine was in short supply. Tuberculosis spread especially among the children. Captain Jex daughter Rosie was one of the first to die with the removal of the Modocs. The fertile country opened up everything looks prosperous and ranchers are
busy attending the cattle and sheep with plenty of good pasture. The whole country is being gobbled up by seclusion and it will not be long before the Lost River and the love of the city will become a prosperous and wealthy country. Why Rekord Journal November 1873. Despite the efforts of the US Army and the encroaching settlers to remove the Mohawk off their ancestral lands Captain Jack and his band of people are still here in spirit. Their presence can be felt in the ancient lava flows of Northern California. Behind every tree and stone and in the flight of a thousand.
I think one of the lessons that probably everybody already knows is that you know what we call Creator created everyone. Everyone has a purpose in this world no matter what color your skin and we all have to learn to get along together. I don't know if we'll ever learn that lesson. There's a lesson there and I don't know if it comes from where my perspective comes from but it's when are we going to learn to share and respect people for who they are. We need to learn how to share and where learned how to share and and respect other people for who they are and what their culture says they can do.
Captain Jack: The Modoc War
Producing Organization
Southern Oregon Public Television
Contributing Organization
Southern Oregon PBS (Medford, Oregon)
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Program Description
This is a locally-produced chronicle about the Modoc War of 1872 to 1873 and Modoc leader, Captain Jack, based on the book,The Tribe That Wouldn't Die, by Cheewa James. For nearly seven months, a group of Modoc warriors and their families led by Captain Jack held off hundreds of U.S. Army soldiers, as they fought to return to their homeland in the Lost River country of northern California and live independently from the Klamath reservation in southwest Oregon. The Modoc War was one of the costliest American Indian wars in U.S. history, considering the number of people involved.
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Race and Ethnicity
War and Conflict
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Actor: Evans, Mike
Actor: Stewart, John
Actor: Armstrong, Robert
Distributor: INDE
Interviewee: David, Taylor
Interviewee: Schonchin, Lynn
Interviewee: James, Cheewa
Narrator: Evans, Mike
Producer: Amerson, Edward Lee
Producing Organization: Southern Oregon Public Television
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Southern Oregon Public Television (KSYS/KFTS)
Identifier: SH7174/1 (KSYS)
Format: Betacam: SP
Generation: Dub
Color: Color
Duration: 00:28:59:00
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Chicago: “Captain Jack: The Modoc War,” Southern Oregon PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 25, 2022,
MLA: “Captain Jack: The Modoc War.” Southern Oregon PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 25, 2022. <>.
APA: Captain Jack: The Modoc War. Boston, MA: Southern Oregon PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from