Nannookdoowah ('strange child')
|Interpreter in negotiations between the Modoc tribe and the United States Army during the Modoc War
Toby "Winema" Riddle (born Nannookdoowah; c. 1848 – 1920) was a Modoc woman who served as an interpreter in negotiations between the Native American Modoc tribe and the United States Army during the Modoc War (also called the Lava Beds War). She warned the peace commission of a possible Modoc attack, and she saved the life of the chairman Alfred B. Meacham when the 1873 attack took place.
She and her family toured with Meacham after the war, starring in his lecture-play "Tragedy of the Lava Beds", to inform American people about the war. Meacham later published a book about Winema, which he dedicated to her. In 1891 Toby Riddle was one of the few Native American women to be awarded a military pension by the United States Congress, for her heroic actions during the peace negotiations in 1873. (Her first name also appears spelled as "Tobey" in historical records.)
She was born Nannookdoowah, which means "strange child," as she was born with red-tinted hair.As a girl, she was named Winema, (woman chief) after rescuing some playmates from being caught in cascades in their canoe. As a young woman, she was said to have ridden with raiding parties of men to gather horses from enemy camps. Winema was a cousin of Kintpuash (also known as Captain Jack), the leader of the Modoc tribe at the time of the Modoc War.
Winema married Frank Riddle, a white settler who had emigrated from Kentucky to California during the California Gold Rush. They settled near her family in the Lost River area and had a son, Charka ("the handsome one"). They also named him Jefferson C. Davis Riddle, in honor of the Army general Jefferson C. Davis who ended the Modoc War.
Winema Riddle was one of several Modoc who learned English, and her husband Frank had learned her language. They both served as interpreters before and during negotiations related to the creation of the Klamath Reservation.
They served as interpreters again to the peace commission appointed in 1873 to settle the Modoc War.During the 1873 negotiations, sometimes Winema carried messages between General Edward Canby and Kintpuash; as a woman, she was considered peaceful. After taking a message to Captain Jack's Stronghold to schedule a peace talk, Winema learned of a Modoc plot to assassinate Canby. She warned the peace commission, but they went on as planned with the meeting. Canby and Thomas were killed by Modoc, and other peace commissioners and staff were wounded. Toby Riddle was there and saved Alfred B. Meacham from being scalped and killed.
Afterward the US Army, commanded by General Jefferson C. Davis, finally captured Captain Jack and other Modoc leaders. They were tried and convicted before a US military court, and Captain Jack and three others were executed. 153 members of the band were removed as prisoners of war to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. Some other Modoc, including the Riddle family, returned to the Klamath Reservation.
Meacham continued to champion Native American rights. He wrote a lecture-play "Tragedy of the Lava Beds",starring Winema, Frank, and their son Jeff, and toured with them and Klamath representatives across the country for the next two years. They reached New York before returning to make their home in Oregon. Meacham said that Wi-ne-ma was popular with audiences, as she had worked for peace between the peoples. He also published a book about Winema in 1876 and dedicated it to her:
This book is written with the avowed purpose of doing honor to the heroic Wi-ne-ma who at the peril of her life sought to save the ill fated peace commission to the Modoc Indians in 1873. The woman to whom the writer is indebted, under God, for saving his life.
Meacham wrote, the name of
Winema has taken its place beside those of Sara Winnimucca and Sacajawea in the annals of the early west. The personal daring of these Indian Women and the roles they played as negotiators between their people and the palefaces have lifted them above considerations of race into the ranks of the great women of all time.
Because of her heroic role in trying to save the peace commissioners during the 1873 talks, Meacham petitioned Congress to award Riddle a military pension. In 1891 the US Congress authorized a military pension for Toby Riddle of $25 per month, which she received until her death in 1920.Toby and Frank's son Jeff C. Riddle wrote his own account of the Modoc War, to give the Indian perspective, which he published in 1914.
Toby attended the Centennial Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia, and the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. In later years, Riddle lived at Yainax Butte, Oregon, on the Klamath Reservation.Many of the Riddle descendants continue to live in the area of the Klamath Reservation.
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Edward Richard Sprigg Canby was a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. He served as a military governor after the war.
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Kintpuash, also known as Kientpaush, Kientpoos, and Captain Jack, was a chief of the Modoc tribe of California and Oregon. Kintpuash's name in the Modoc language meant 'Strikes the water brashly.'
The Modoc War, or the Modoc Campaign, was an armed conflict between the Native American Modoc people and the United States Army in northeastern California and southeastern Oregon from 1872 to 1873. Eadweard Muybridge photographed the early part of the US Army's campaign.
The First Battle of the Stronghold was the second battle in the Modoc War of 1872–1873. The battle was fought between the United States Army under Lieutenant Colonel Frank Wheaton and a band of the Native American Modoc tribe from Oregon and California, led by Captain Jack.
The Modoc are an Indigenous American people who historically lived in the area which is now northeastern California and central Southern Oregon. Currently, they include two federally recognized tribes, the Klamath Tribes in Oregon and the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma, now known as the Modoc Nation.
The Battle of Lost River in November 1872 was the first battle in the Modoc War in the northwestern United States. The skirmish, which was fought near the Lost River along the California–Oregon border, was the result of an attempt by the U.S. 1st Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army to force a band of the Modoc tribe to relocate back to the Klamath Reservation, which they had left in objection of its conditions.
Alfred Benjamin Meacham (1826–1882) was an American Methodist minister, reformer, author and historian, who served as the U.S. Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon (1869–1872). He became a proponent of American Indian interests in the Northwest, including Northern California. Appointed in 1873 as chairman of the Modoc Peace Commission, he was severely wounded during a surprise attack on April 11 by warriors, but saved from death by Toby Riddle (Winema), a Modoc interpreter.
Curley Headed Doctor was the spiritual leader for the Modoc tribe, notably during the Modoc War.
Alfred Henry Love of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was an American political activist.
The Fremont–Winema National Forest is a United States National Forest formed from the 2002 merger of the Fremont and Winema National Forests. They cover territory in southern Oregon from the crest of the Cascade Range on the west past the city of Lakeview to the east. The northern end of the forests is bounded by U.S. Route 97 on the west and Oregon Route 31 on the east. To the south, the state border with California forms the boundary of the forests. Klamath Falls is the only city of significant size in the vicinity. The forests are managed by the United States Forest Service, and the national forest headquarters are located in Lakeview.
The Modoc Nation is a federally recognized tribe of Modoc people, located in Ottawa County in the northeast corner of Oklahoma and Modoc and Siskiyou counties in northeast California. The smallest tribe in the state, they are descendants of Captain Jack's band of Modoc people, removed in 1873 after the Modoc Wars from their traditional territory in northern California and southern Oregon. They were exiled to the Quapaw Agency in Indian Territory, where they were colocated with the Shawnee people from east of the Mississippi River.
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The Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs was an official position of the U.S. state of Oregon, and previously of the Oregon Territory, that existed from 1848 to 1873.
Drum Beat is a 1954 American CinemaScope Western film in WarnerColor written and directed by Delmer Daves and co-produced by Daves and Alan Ladd in his first film for his Jaguar Productions company. Ladd stars along with Audrey Dalton, Charles Bronson as Captain Jack, and Hayden Rorke as President Ulysses S. Grant.
Winema was the largest steamboat ever to operate on Upper Klamath Lake in the U.S. state of Oregon. The steamer ran from 1905 to 1919, when it was hauled out of the water permanently. Winema was sunk by a sudden squall in August 1907. The vessel was raised, rebuilt and returned to service. The steamer remained out of the water for a number of years in the 1920, until it caught fire in 1925 or 1927 and was destroyed.
Donald McKay was an American scout, actor, and spokesman. He is best known as the leader of the Warm Springs Indians during the Modoc War and American Indian Wars.
President Ulysses S. Grant sympathized with the plight of Native Americans and believed that the original occupants of the land were worthy of study. Grant's Inauguration Address set the tone for the Grant administration Native American Peace policy. The Board of Indian Commissioners was created to make reforms in Native policy and to ensure Native tribes received federal help. Grant lobbied the United States Congress to ensure that Native peoples would receive adequate funding. The hallmark of Grant's Peace policy was the incorporation of religious groups that served on Native agencies, which were dispersed throughout the United States.