Life Among the Paiutes Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins

Hi-res cover image


Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims, one of the first memoirs written by a Native American woman, has been a classic since it was first published in 1883. In it, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins details her life beginning in childhood, through her education as a young girl and to her work as an interpreter and messenger. In her later life, she became a very popular speaker across the United States and a vocal advocate for Native American rights.

This new edition of Life Among the Paiutes, published by Practical Fox LLC, brings the design of the book into the twenty-first century without altering the words of the author. Artist Steph Littlebird Fogel (Instagram: @artnerdforever), member of the Grand Ronde Confederated Tribes and descendent of the Kalapuyan people, was commissioned to create the bright, contemporary art for the cover. The interior has been updated to include modern publishing conventions, such as section breaks for new stories and to show the passage of time and formatting dialog using quotation marks and new lines for new speakers.

“Life Among the Paiutes has been a classic for more than a century, but it’s often presented as a relic of bygone times, even in newer printings,” said publisher Kristen Hall-Geisler. “I wanted to give this book the fresh look and attention it deserves.

“I chose Steph Littlebird Fogel to create the cover art because she works with such bright palettes and bold, graphic forms. The cover she created does justice to the vibrant intellect and adventures of Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins.”

Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, photo by Elmer Chickering, Boston, Mass., c. 1883

Book Ordering Info

  • Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims
  • Original cover art by Steph Littlebird Fogel
  • 278 pages
  • Hardcover $30, 6" x 9" with dust jacket, ISBN 978-1-7320603-2-6
  • Paperback $18, 6" x 9" perfect bound, ISBN 978-1-7320603-3-3
  • Ebook $1.99, ISBN 978-1-7320603-4-0
  • LCCN: 2020934547
  • Publisher: Practical Fox LLC
  • Published May 19, 2020
  • Contact: info@practicalfox.com
  • Distribution: Ingram

Kickstarter Campaign

  • Begins April 14, 2020, and runs though May 4, 2020.
  • Goal is to raise $3,100 to cover production costs.
  • Books will be available for wide release and wholesale ordering May 19, 2020.

Publisher's Note

Life Among the Paiutes was first published in 1883, and the words of Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins still stand among the most important and most compelling books on western Native Americans. It’s one of the earliest books written by a Native woman, and it details her own life and interactions as an interpreter with settlers and soldiers that came west. It’s a story that resonates today and is worth being presented for modern readers in accessible formats.

That meant updating a few things using twenty-first-century publishing conventions and technology without changing the author’s words. My goal was to make her book as readable and modern as possible while making very few editorial changes. These include:

  • Changing Piutes to the modern spelling used by the tribes today, Paiutes.
  • Making spellings, especially of names and places, consistent throughout the text.
  • Using consistent capitalization for terms like Spirit Father.
  • Using consistent hyphenation of terms like soldier-father.
  • Changing terms that used to be two words, such as any one, to the modern spelling: anyone.
  • Creating new lines for new speakers in dialog.
  • Inserting paragraph breaks when a new topic was introduced.
  • Inserting section breaks when a completely new story begins or when a significant amount of time has passed between one scene and the next.
  • Clarifying the subject of sentences that used unclear pronouns.
  • Using commas in longer sentences to group clauses together for clarity.
  • Using em dashes sparingly to set off or emphasize phrases for clarity.

There are many things that are particular to the author’s style and so were left as they were in the original, including:

  • All italics in the text are the author’s.
  • Run-on sentences were retained unless they became confusing, in which case a comma or em dash was used.
  • Family titles are lowercase, even when used in place of a name, such as father or brother.
  • The author’s usage of that and which were retained, though style conventions for these terms have changed over the past century.

I chose to delete the footnotes provided by the original editor, Mary Mann, for the same of space and readability. But the letters supporting Winnemucca Hopkins’s observations and positions, along with her notes of appreciation for their support, are included in the appendices.

Kristen Hall-Geisler, Publisher, Practical Fox

Table of Contents

  1. First Meeting of Paiutes and Whites
  2. Domestic and Social Moralities
  3. Wars and Their Causes
  4. Captain Truckee’s Death
  5. Reservation of Pyramid and Muddy Lakes
  6. The Malheur Agency
  7. The Bannock War
  8. The Yakima Affair
  9. Appendix A
  10. Appendix B
  11. Appendix C

Publisher Info

Kristen Hall-Geisler is a freelance writer and book editor living in Oregon. She's honed her research and interviewing skills with the New York Times, TechCrunch, How Stuff Works, Popular Science, US News & World Report, and more. She loves falling down the rabbit hole of research and emerging with a book or article that others find useful and—she hopes—entertaining while still being based on solid sources. She is the author of the historical novel Skull and Sidecar as well as the nonfiction books Take the Wheel: A Woman’s Guide to Buying a Car Her Own Damn Self and Lightning in a Throttle: Three Early Electric Vehicle Victories.

Kristen Hall-Geisler
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Created with an image by Lalaine Macababbad - "untitled image"