%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
Nevada Government & Politics
Riches, Ranching & Railroads
(1850-1900)

Sarah Winnemucca, Native American Activist

Sarah Winnemucca was an advocate for the natives people of Nevada.  During a visit to Washington, D. C., Sarah Winnemucca met with President Hayes, and petitioned the Interior Department to relieve the suffering of her people.  Promises made to her and her people in meetings with Washington officials were not fulfilled.  Three years later she presented the injustices suffered by her people to a wider audience when she published Life Among the Piutes, Their Wrongs and Claims.  During another trip to Washington in 1884, she spoke before a congressional subcommittee on Indian affairs to plead for federal lands for a tribal reservation.

The book that Sarah Winnemucca wrote, Life among the Piutes, provides valuable information about the impact of Euro-American settlement in the areas where Native Americans had lived for centuries.  But the book does contain errors.  Sarah Winnemucca was writing about many of these events years after they occurred, and she sometimes made mistakes.  For example, in her account of disputes between natives and Euro-Americans, she refers to a man named Flamens as the murderer of her uncle, Truckee John.  The man's name was actually Fleming.

The most accurate understanding the history of the events in the past comes from studying many sources.  Sarah Winnemucca's recollection of her life is one of many interesting and useful sources, and an important part of Nevada history.

Click the next three links to hear excerpts from the life of Sarah Winnemucca.

Reader: Alexandra Voorhees

Photo Credit:
Nevada Historical Society