$5 for CHS Members and Educators, $10 General Admission
Join California Historical Society in an engaging exploration of the history of the Modoc War with a conversation inspired by images and collections seen in CHS' exhibition, Sensational Portrayals of the Modoc War, 1872–73. Authors Boyd Cothran, Remembering the Modoc War: Redemptive Violence and the Making of American Innocence, and Cheewa James, MODOC: The Tribe That Wouldn't Die, will take us through the background and impetus for the war and provide insights on why this war was monumental, destructive, and historic.
Speakers: Boyd Cothran is Assistant Professor of U.S. Indigenous and Cultural History at York University in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Born and raised in Ventura County, California, he has spent the last decade researching California Indian history and the history of the Civil War era. He is the author most recently of Remembering the Modoc War: Redemptive Violence and the Making of American Innocence (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014), which received the Western History Association's 2015 Robert M. Utley Prize for the best book in western military history. He has also written about the history of American Indians and the Civil War for the New York Times and for Indian Country Today. Cheewa James was born on the Klamath Reservation, Oregon, and is enrolled with the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma. Her great-grandfather fought in the 1873 Modoc War. James served as a National Park Service ranger in the Lava Beds National Monument, site of the Modoc War. She has authored several Native books including MODOC: The Tribe That Wouldn't Die (Naturegraph, 2008). She has written for Smithsonian, National Wildlife, and True West, winning a Will Rogers Medallion Award for writing on the West. As a TV news journalist and anchorwoman, she won the National Golden Mike Award for Production in the Interest of Youth. James worked as a consultant for Oregon Public Broadcasting's 2011 “The Modoc War” and appears in the documentary. She is currently a professional motivational speaker.
This event is a part of a series of program dedicated to the history and contemporary lives of the people of the Klamath Reservation and their descendants.
More about the Modoc War (written by Author Cheewa James)
The Modoc War of 1872–73, fought in what is today the Lava Beds National Monument, CA, stands as an amazing conflict in United States history. The Modoc War involved only one relatively small group of American Indian people. However, it is a riveting example of what happened across the United States as non-Indian settlers, landowners, and military personnel persevered in efforts to continue westward expansion.
The Modoc saga is one that is shared by California and Oregon. But the end of the war would see Oklahoma become a part of this poignant story as surviving Modocs involved in the war were sent to Oklahoma Indian Territory as prisoners-of-war.
Location: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main Street, Los Angeles, California, 90012
Free event, please RSVP: http://talkingaboutnativecahistory.eventbrite.com
Between 1846 and 1873, California's Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. In An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846–1873 (Yale University Press, 2016) historian Benjamin Madley uncovers the full extent of this slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended. This deeply researched book is a comprehensive and chilling history of an American genocide, as defined by the United Nations Genocide Convention (1948).
Madley describes pre-contact California and precursors to the genocide before explaining how the Gold Rush stirred vigilante violence against California Indians. He narrates the rise of a state-sanctioned killing machine and the broad societal, judicial, and political support for genocide. Many participated: vigilantes, volunteer state militiamen, U.S. Army soldiers, U.S. congressmen, California governors, and others. The state and federal governments spent at least $1,700,000 on campaigns against California Indians. Besides evaluating government officials culpability, Madley considers why the slaughter constituted genocide and how other possible genocides within and beyond the Americas might be investigated using the methods presented in this groundbreaking book."
This event is a part of a series dedicated to the history and contemporary lives of Native Californians, and is presented in conjunction with the exhibitions Native Portraits: Contemporary Tintypes by Ed Drew and Sensationalist Portrayals of the Modoc War, 1872–1873. Learn more about this effort at www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.
This event is presented by the California Historical Society in partnership with LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes and News from Native California. To learn more about LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, visit http://lapca.org/
About the Author:
Benjamin Madley is assistant professor of history, University of California, Los Angeles. He focuses on Native America, the United States, and genocide in world history. He holds a B.A., M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University and a M.St. from Oxford University.
Book signing to follow the presentation and Q&A.