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Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins: Native American Author and Educator

Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins: Native American Author and Educator
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.14

     challenging words:    Fremont, Piute, mentor, criticism, map-making, executive, citizenship, plight, copyright, expedition, labor, agent, autobiography, survey, seek, tuberculosis
     content words:    Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, Paiute Indian, Native American, Her Indian, Shell Flower, Paiute Chief Winnemucca, Piute Princess, John C., Mexican-American War, William Ormsby

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Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins: Native American Author and Educator
By Joyce Furstenau

1     Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins was a Paiute Indian. She was born in 1844 in what is now western Nevada. She was the first Native American woman known to copyright and publish a book in the English language. Her Indian name was Thocmentony. In the Paiute language it means Shell Flower.
2     Sarah was the daughter of Paiute Chief Winnemucca. Although her father's band was small, Sarah often called herself the "Piute Princess." Her grandfather, Tru-ki-zo, often called Truckee, was a guide for John C. Fremont during his survey and map-making expedition from 1843 to 1845. From 1846-1848, Truckee fought in the Mexican-American War. Her grandfather had many white friends as a result of these experiences.
3     When Sarah was small, she was afraid of white people. Her grandfather took her on a trip to Sacramento when she was older. It was at this time Sarah began to learn English. Later, she stayed with a white family (William Ormsby) in Carson City, Nevada to be educated. She soon became one of the first few Paiutes to learn to read and write English.
4     A war broke out between the Paiutes and the settlers in the Nevada Territory in 1860. Her father and brother fought on the Paiute side. Her mentor, William Ormsby, was killed in one of the battles. After the war, the Paiute and the Bannock tribes were moved to the Malhuer Reservation in Oregon by executive order from President Grant. On the reservation, Sarah taught school. She also acted as an interpreter for Indian agent Samuel Parrish. Parrish treated the natives well and started an agricultural program there.

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