Categories: American Notables.
Sarah was born about 1844. Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins was a Northern Paiute author, activist and educator.
Born Thocmetony (Shell Flower) among the Numa (known among whites as the Northern Paiute or “digger” Indians), she roamed with her people over western Nevada and eastern Oregon, gathering plants and fish from local lakes.
Winnemucca was born near Humboldt Lake, Nevada, into an influential Paiute family who led their community in pursuing friendly relations with the arriving groups of Anglo-American settlers. She was sent to study in a Catholic school in Santa Clara, California. When the Paiute War erupted between the Pyramid Lake Paiute and the settlers, Sarah and some of her family traveled to San Francisco and Virginia City to escape the fighting. They made a living performing onstage as "A Paiute Royal Family." In 1865, while the Winnemucca family was away, their band was attacked by the US cavalry, who killed 29 Paiutes, including Sarah's mother and several members of her extended family.
Sarah married Edward Bartlett, a former First Lieutenant in the Army, on 29 January 1872 at Salt Lake City, Utah. He abandoned her, and she returned to Camp McDermitt. In 1876, after having moved to Malheur Reservation, she got a divorce and filed to take back her name of Winnemucca, which the court granted.
In 1881 General Oliver O. Howard hired Sarah Winnemucca to teach Shoshone prisoners held at Vancouver Barracks. While there, she met and became close to Lieutenant Lewis H. Hopkins, an Indian Department employee. They married that year in San Francisco.
Winnemucca spent the last four years of her life retired from public activity. She died of tuberculosis at her sister, Elma Smith's home at Henry's Lake, Idaho.
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