#1. The Modoc Tribe Lived In California and Oregon
They lived close to the Klamath tribe, another Plateau tribe that was in the region.
The Modoc would become known for their aggressive defense against white settlers moving into its land, especially before and after the Civil War.
#2. Their First Contact Was With The Canadians
In the early 19th century, the borders were not established as they are now between the United States and Canada. The British and Canadians still did business in the West and requested contact with natives occurred.
Peter Skene Ogden, an explorer for the Hudson Bay Company, was the first to interact with the Modoc due to having a relationship with the Klamath tribe.
The next interaction was with two brothers, Jesse and Lindsey Applegate, who would blaze the Applegate trail, which would allow more settlers into the Willamette Valley. This trail would cause many issues with the Modoc, who had been left alone up until this point.
#3. Migration Into Oregon Caused Conflict
The famous Oregon Trail would cause conflict with many Native Americans, but the primary trail that caused conflict with the Modoc tribe would be the Applegate Trail.
The Applegate trail allowed the settlers to avoid the Columbia Route but would conflict with the Modoc, who had been untouched by emigration.
The 1849 California Gold Rush caused a blitz of men coming to California, which would cause mass migration west. During this migration, the Modoc engaged in raids against settlers, destruction of trains, mass killings, and kidnappings.
This would cause retaliation.
#4. The Modoc War Broke Out Against The United States
The Modoc War occurred after a treaty was signed by the United States and the Modoc, Klamath, and the Yahooskin Band of Snake Tribes that placed the tribes in specific locations with additional funds given to them annually.
The Modoc were told to give up their lands near the Lost River.
When the Modoc refused, the United States sent the military in to force them off the land. Chief Kintpuash and a band of 53 warriors made one of the great stands in Native American History when they held off 3,000 soldiers with superior equipment for several months.
Eventually, the Modoc warriors wore down, and they surrendered voluntarily. Chief Kintpuash was executed for the murder of an officer, as were three other warriors.
Many Modoc were then moved to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.
#5. Some Modoc's Returned To Oregon
In the 1870s, Peter Cooper brought Native Americans to cities to speak about Indian rights. While it did not give Native Americans all the rights they wanted, it did allow them to return to Oregon.
However, many had adjusted and enjoyed the life they had in Oklahoma and wished to stay.
This is why there are two tribes that are federally recognized in two different states.