New book on Modoc War Released


KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – A new book on the Modoc Indian War of 1872-73 will be discussed in a program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Klamath County Museum.

“Spirit in the Rock – The Fierce Battle for the Modoc Homelands” was written by Klamath Falls native James Compton, who died three years ago in Seattle. Thursday’s program will be presented by his widow, Carol Arnold Compton.

The program, cosponsored by the museum and the Shaw Historical Library, is free and open to anyone interested. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Compton, who spent years gathering information about the war, brings new details to light, including political maneuvering on the part of white settlers and land speculators that frustrated efforts to maintain peace.

Compton also highlights the ways in which spiritual traditions of the Modocs influenced events, according to the book publisher, Washington State University Press.

The book recounts the multiple treaties signed with the Modocs by various white agents, the battles that occurred in the Lava Beds, and the “fateful meeting” of Modoc chief Captain Jack and U.S. Army General E.R.S. Canby.

Compton worked as a television news reporter and anchor, and served on the Seattle City Council. In retirement he worked to bring his Modoc War book to completion, but died unexpectedly in 2014. Arnold completed the editing process and secured a publishing deal with WSU.

For more information call the Klamath County Museum at (541) 882-1000.