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January 2023: 150 years since the Battle of Stronghold


In 1847-1848, a plague epidemic cut the Modoc population in half. They blamed the white settlers and began to actively attack their camps. It is estimated that they killed between 500 and 600 white men and women in clashes that lasted for years.

By 1864, the federal government strongarmed the Modoc people into leaving their lands and moving to the Klamath reservation but a handful of leaders, including Kintpuash or «Captain Jack», escaped and began planning an attack against the invaders. 

The climax was the Battle of Stronghold on January 17, 1873. Some 53 Modoc warriors took the volcanic fortification known as «Lava Beds», near Tule Lake as their defense site. This was a terrain with deep natural crevices but that the natives dominated very well, which allowed them to easily defeat the 400-strong U.S. Army battallion.

Despite the remarkable victory, the white settlers continue their siege and finally drove the Modoc from their lands. Nonetheless, the Modoc people, their 53 warriors, and their incredible history of resistance are still considered a symbol of anticolonialist struggle.

Click here to download the printable version of the calendar and hang it on your wall

Text: Andreína ChávezIllustration: Aldo Cruces.


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