Captain Jack

Captain Jack (d. 1873), subchief of the Modoc and leader of the hostile group in the Modoc War (1872–73). Jack, whose Modoc name was Kintpuashkĭntˈpōäsh, had agreed (1864) to leave his ancestral home and live on a reservation with the Klamath. 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 Canby 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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