Captain Jack

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Captain Jack

(d. 1873), subchief of the ModocModoc
, Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Sahaptin-Chinook branch of the Penutian linguistic stock (see Native American languages). They formerly lived in SW Oregon and N California, particularly around Modoc Lake (also known as Lower Klamath Lake) and Tule
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 and leader of the hostile group in the Modoc WarModoc War,
1872–73, series of battles between the Modoc and the U.S. army fought as a result of the attempt to force a group of the Modoc to return to the Klamath Reservation in S Oregon. Beginning in Nov., 1872, U.S.
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 (1872–73). Jack, whose Modoc name was Kintpuash (kĭnt`po͞oäsh), had agreed (1864) to leave his ancestral home and live on a reservation with the KlamathKlamath
, Native North Americans who in the 19th cent. lived in SW Oregon. They speak a language of the Sahaptin-Chinook branch of the Penutian linguistic stock (see Native American languages) and are related to the Modoc people.
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. He found it impossible to live on friendly terms with his former enemies, and after killing a Klamath medicine man, Jack and a group of followers left the reservation. They resisted arrest (Nov., 1872) and fled into the lava beds in California. Their strong defensive position frustrated numerous attempts by U.S. troops to dislodge them. In Apr., 1873, a peace commission headed by Gen. Edward Richard Sprigg CanbyCanby, Edward Richard Sprigg,
1817–73, Union general in the Civil War, b. Kentucky, grad. West Point, 1839. He fought in the Seminole War and in the Mexican War. In the Civil War, Canby commanded the Dept.
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 met with Jack and several of his men. At a prearranged signal, Jack shot Canby dead. The army renewed its efforts to capture them and forced the Modoc to take refuge elsewhere. The Modoc, who were tired of fighting, began to give themselves up, and on June 1, Captain Jack was captured. He was taken to Fort Klamath, where on Oct. 3, 1873, he and three of his warriors were hanged for the murder of Canby.


See biography by D. P. Payne (1938).

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