Denouncing America's destiny: Sarah Winnemucca's assault on US expansion

Frederick E. Hoxie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sarah Winnemucca is largely remembered today as the author of the first autobiography penned by a Native American woman. Her book, Life among the Piutes, represents far more than a literary footnote. Winnemucca was an astute observer of US expansion into western North America and an outspoken critic of the violence and dispossession that her contemporaries dismissed as the inevitable byproduct of progress. Winnemucca pointed out the cruelties associated with the 'settlement' of the Far West, identifying particularly the many acts of violence perpetrated against Native women. Adapted largely from her public lectures, Life among the Piutes was both a comprehensive indictment of US actions and a clear description of possible remedies - remedies policy-makers routinely ignored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-567
Number of pages19
JournalCultural and Social History
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Gender and indigenous women
  • Indigenous autonomy
  • Paiute people
  • Settler violence
  • United states Indian office
  • United states' southwest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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