Item No: #362242 Wi-Ne-Ma (The Woman Chief.) and Her People. Alfred B. Meacham.
Wi-Ne-Ma (The Woman Chief.) and Her People
Wi-Ne-Ma (The Woman Chief.) and Her People
Wi-Ne-Ma (The Woman Chief.) and Her People

With Photos of the Subject and the Author Laid In

Wi-Ne-Ma (The Woman Chief.) and Her People

Notes: A well-meaning and self-serving account of the Modoc War, one of the last major battles between the US military and a Native American tribe. The Modocs, who holed up in the lava beds in far northeastern California and southeastern Oregon were finally defeated and forced to relocate to Oklahoma in 1873. In the most notorious incident, the leader of the Modocs, Captain Jack, and his men attacked and killed their American counterparts during a peace conference. The Modoc interpreter Winema (whose married name was Toby Riddle) warned about the attack but was mostly ignored.

She played a role in saving Alfred B. Meacham, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon during the attack. After the war, Meacham toured the country talking about his experiences and speaking favorably of the Modoc. When his lectures failed to enthrall audiences, he began embellishing the events, elevating Toby Riddle's role and giving her the name Winema, after a fictional Modoc heroine in a Joaquin Miller poem, which lead to this book.

For a fascinating account of Meacham and Wi-Ne-Ma the book and the woman, see Robert Aquinas McNally's The Modoc War, p. 341 ff.

Edition + Condition: First edition (first printing). A near fine copy (spine ends lightly bumped), signed by Meacham on the front free endpaper, with small cabinet cards of Winema (Toby Riddle) and Meacham laid in. The cabinet cards measure 3-1/4 by 5 inches, with descriptive printed text at the lower edge of the mount. The photos are near fine. This copy was almost certainly sold during one of Meacham's performances. Photographs of Toby Riddle or of any identified Native American woman of the 19th century are scarce. As nice a copy of this "novelization" of significant events in California and Oregon history.

Publication: Hartford: American Publishing Company, 1876.

Item No: #362242

Price: $2,000