Hoo-moo-thy-ah and Adoption

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Hoo-moo-thy-ah was born into a traditionalist Yavapai family in Arizona, just before the establishment of Ft. McDowell, built by the US government to subjugate his people. When he was about five his mother was killed by soldiers on a patrol, which turned his father into an implacable enemy of the whites and made Hoo-moo-thy-ah largely responsible for his younger brother and sister.

Three years, later, in December 1872, the boy was captured by soldiers led by Captain James Burns and days later was forced to witness the massacre of over 220 of his people, including his father and siblings, grandfather, uncle and aunt, by white soldiers and their Pima and Maricopa scouts. He was then taken to Ft. McDowell and given to Lt. E.D. Thomas, who named him Mike Burns. He was given back to Captain Burns, but when he died in 1874 Mike was given to Captain Hall S. Bishop.

From this point, for about 30 years, Hoo-moo-thy-ah often acted as scout and interpreter for the US Army against the Native American tribes of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. But he also was educated, at Carlisle Indian School and Highland University, where he was an outstanding student and trained as a teacher. And he also worked for a while on a farm in New York. In the early 1900s he became a rancher and woodcutter near Ft. McDowell, where he raised a family who still live in the area.

His unpublished manuscript autobiography is at the Sharlott Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona and at Arizona State University.

He was the cousin of Carlos Montezuma.


Machula, Paul R. "Hoo-moo-thy-ah; Carlos Montezuma." Available at: and at