Author chronicles a dark chapter in California’s history |

Author chronicles a dark chapter in California’s history

Submitted by Daniel Ketcham

Author Robert McNally will give a presentation on his book, “The Modoc War: A Story of Genocide at the Dawn of America’s Gilded Age” at tonight’s meeting of the Nevada County Historical Society. McNally shares the story of a cold, rainy dawn in late November 1872, when Lieutenant Frazier Boutelle and a Modoc Indian nicknamed Scarface Charley leveled firearms at each other. Their duel would trigger the war that capped a decades-long genocidal attack emblematic of the United States’ conquest of Native America’s peoples and lands. In his book, McNally tells the wrenching story of California’s only true Indian war and one of the United States’ costliest campaigns against an indigenous people, illuminating a dark corner in the state’s and nation’s past. “The Modoc War” was a general-nonfiction finalist in the 2018 Northern California Book Awards, and it won a gold medal in the Commonwealth Club’s 2018 California Book Awards as the best book on California. Open the public, the meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Sierra Presbyterian Church, 175 Ridge Road in Nevada City. Admission is free. The event lasts one hour and is followed by free refreshments. The Nevada County Historical Society offers free presentations about local history on the third Thursday every month, except December. For more information, visit or contact Daniel Ketcham at 530-477-8056.

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