​Excerpt from “Life Among The Piutes” ​by Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins

Life among the Piutes
By Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins
Page 77-78

…They said also that they would kill anything that came in their way, men, women and
children. The captains name was Wells. The place where they were going to is about three
hundred miles away. The days after they left were very sad hours, indeed.  Oh, dear
readers, these soldiers had gone only sixty miles away to Muddy Lake, where my people
were then living and fishing, and doing nothing to anyone.  The soldiers rode up to their
encampment and fired into it, and killed almost all the people that were there.  Oh, it is a
fearful thing to tell, but it must be told.  Yes, it must be told by me.  It was all old men,
women and children that were killed; for my father had all young men with him, at the sink of
Carson on a hunting excursion, or they would have been killed too.
…After the soldiers had killed all but some little children and babies still tied up in their
baskets, the soldiers took them also, and set the camp on fire and threw them into the
flames to see them burn alive.  I had one baby brother killed there.  My sister jumped on
fathers best horse and ran away.  As she ran , the soldiers ran after her ; but , thanks be to
the Good Father in the Spirit – land, my dear sister got away. This almost killed my poor
papa. Yet my people kept peaceful.

Life among the Piutes
Page 205

…We went down, and Major Cochrane met us at the door and said , ”
Sarah, I am heartily sorry for you, but we cannot help it. We are ordered
to take your people to Yakima Reservation.”
It was just a little before Christmas. My people were only given one week
to get ready in.
I said, ” What!  In this cold winter and in all this snow, and my people
have so many little children?  Why, they will all die.  Oh, what can the
President be thinking about ?  Oh, tell me, what is he ?  Is he a man or
beast ?  Yes, he must be a beast ;  if he has no feelings for my people ,
surely he ought to have some for the soldiers.”
” I have never seen a president in my life and I want to know whether he
is made of wood or rock, for I cannot for once think that he can be a
human being. No human being would do such a thing as that, – send
people across a fearful mountain in the midwinter.”
… I could not think of anything that could be so in-human as to do such
a thing, – send people across mountains with snow so deep.

Life among the Piutes
Page 209 and 210

…We travelled all day.  It snowed all day long. We camped,  and that night a
woman became a mother ; and during the night the baby died, and was put
under the snow. The next morning the mother was put into the wagon. She
was almost dead when we went into camp. That night she too was gone, and
left on the roadside , her poor body not even covered with the snow.
In five days three more children were frozen to death, and another woman
became a mother.  Her child lived three days, but the mother lived.
… They had a kind of shed made to put us in.  You know what kind of shed
you make for your stock in winter time. It was of that kind.  Oh, how we did
suffer with cold.  There was no wood, and the snow was waist deep, and
many died off just as cattle or horses do after travelling so long in the cold..

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