People: 1853

Historic black and white photo of man with black hair in black jacket
Carl Dittman. Taken between 1850 and 1854. Courtesy of Richard Dittman.

This group includes those people who either engaged in moving the Lone Woman off San Nicolas Island or those who interacted with her while she lived for a short time before her death in Santa Barbara, California.

Dr. Samuel B. Brinkerhoff
Author Emma Hardacre in her 1880 Scribner's Monthly article, "Eighteen Years Alone: A Tale of the Pacific," states that Dr. Brinkerhoff treated the Lone Woman when she lived with the Nidever family in 1853.

Colorado
Colorado was a member of George Nidever's sea otter hunting crew on San Nicolas Island in 1853. He assisted Carl Dittman, George Nidever, and three Mission Indians in the search for the Lone Woman.

The Cook
One of four Mission Indians who sailed with George Nidever's sea otter hunting crew to San Nicolas Island in 1853, the cook prepared meals for the group.

Carl Dittman
A sailor, hunter, and rancher, Carl Dittman was the first person to find the Lone Woman on San Nicolas Island in 1853.

Father José María de Jesús González Rubio
Father González Rubio was one of three Franciscan priests at Mission Santa Barbara when the Lone Woman was brought to the city in 1853.

Thomas Jeffries
According to an 1880 Scribner's Monthly article, Father González Rubio paid Thomas Jeffries $200 to look for the Lone Woman on San Nicolas Island.

Father Antonio Jimeno
Father Antonio Jimeno was in residence at Mission Santa Barbara when the Lone Woman came to the city in 1853 onboard George Nidever's schooner.

Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island
An American Indian who lived on San Nicolas Island, California, the Lone Woman was likely born about 1800. She was called the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island because she lived isolated on the remote island for 18 years after her people went to the mainland in 1835.

George Nidever
George Nidever, an American hunter and rancher, is credited with bringing the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island to Santa Barbara, California, in 1853.

Isabel Tomasa Nidever
Isabel Tomasa Nidever was one of two daughters born to George Nidever and Sinforosa Sanchez de Nidever.

José George Emigdio Nidever
George Nidever and Sinforosa Sanchez de Nidever's third son was baptized as José George Emigdio Nidever in Santa Barbara in 1847.

José Ramón Jacobo Nidever
Jacob Nidever, as he was known in census records, was the fourth and youngest son born to George Nidever and Sinforosa Sanchez de Nidever.

Marcos Ramón Nidever
The first of four sons born to George Nidever and Sinforosa Sanchez de Nidever, Marcos, or Mark as he was also known, was 11 years old when the Lone Woman came to live with the Nidever family in 1853.

María del Refugio Francisca Nidever
Baptized in 1844 as María del Refugio Francisca, she was the older of two daughters born to George Nidever and Sinforosa Sanchez de Nidever.

María Sinforosa Ramona Sanchez de Nidever
Born in Santa Barbara, Sinforosa Sanchez married George Nidever on February 13, 1841. According to her husband's account, Sinforosa looked after the Lone Woman while she lived with the Nidever family.

Father Francisco Sánchez
When she was near death, the Lone Woman was conditionally baptized by Father Sánchez with the name Juana María.

Dr. James Barron Shaw
According to Stephen Bowers, Dr. Shaw met the Lone Woman on the beach in Santa Barbara when she arrived with George Nidever in 1853.

Captain Horatio Gates Trussell
Horatio Gates Trussell was a sea captain from Maine who offered George Nidever $1,000 in 1853 to exhibit the Lone Woman in San Francisco as a circus curiosity, according to Nidever's memoir.


American Indians on the mainland connected to the story of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island. From the notes of ethnographer John Peabody Harrington. Native names, when Harrington provides them, appear in italics after the Spanish names that these individuals received during baptism by Catholic missionaries.

John Peabody Harrington
John Peabody Harrington interviewed American Indian informants, including Chumash and Gabrielino. Harrington's informants provided important details about American Indians who interacted with the Lone Woman in 1853.

Aravio/Arabio (Talawiyashwit)
A Chumash Indian from Santa Cruz Island, Aravio or Arabio (Talawiyashwit) translated the words of the Lone Woman's Toki Toki song.

Adam Castillo
Adam Castillo, a Cahuilla Indian, was president of the Mission Indian Federation during the early 1900s (twentieth century).

Lucretia Garcia
Lucrecia Garcia was the daughter of J.P. Harrington informant Luisa Ygnacio. Like her mother, Lucrecia Garcia worked with Harrington and shared biographical and historical details about the Chumash, along with information about Chumash vocabulary.

Fernando Librado (Kitsepawit)
One of ethnographer J. P. Harrington’s chief Chumash Indian consultants, Fernando Librado (Kitsepawit) provided details about people who interacted with the Lone Woman.

Martina (Lekte)
According to Chumash informant Luisa Ygnacio, Martina, a Chumash Indian, walked with Pilar, a Gabrielino Indian, to the Nidever house in Santa Barbara, gathering clams along the way as a gift.

Melquiades (older)
According to Harrington’s notes, Melquiades, an older Chumash man from Ventura, California, went to Santa Barbara to meet the Lone Woman in 1853. He was not the native man named Melquiades who accompanied George Nidever to San Nicolas Island.

Melquiades (younger)
A Chumash Indian who was born in Ventura, California, Melquiades accompanied George Nidever on the 1853 sea otter hunting trip to San Nicolas Island, according J.P. Harrington informant Fernando Librado.

Sétimo Moraga
Sétimo Moraga, who was also known as Sétimo López, was one of J.P. Harrington’s Fernandeño consultants.

Norberto
According to J.P. Harrington’s Chumash consultant Fernando Librado, Norberto was the only person who could speak freely with the Lone Woman after her arrival in Santa Barbara in 1853.

María del Pilar
María del Pilar, a Ventureño Chumash woman, visited the Lone Woman in Santa Barbara in 1853. Because she had some familiarity with Fernandeño, the dialect of Gabrielino spoken in the San Fernando Valley, Pilar tried to speak to the Lone Woman, but with limited success.

Policarpio
Policarpio was a Chumash fisherman living in Santa Barbara who was a member of the sea otter hunting crew that sailed to San Nicolas Island and returned to Santa Barbara with the Lone Woman in 1853.

José de los Santos Juncos
José de los Santos Juncos was a Gabrielino informant to J.P. Harrington.

José Sudón (Kamuliyatset)
José Sudón was related by marriage to two women who visited the Lone Woman and brought clams to her: Martina and María del Pilar.

Hilario Valenzuela
Hilario Valenzuela, known as “The Yaqui,” received bone needles from the Lone Woman in 1853 while on San Nicolas Island, according to Fernando Librado.

Martín Violín
Martín Violín was a Gabrielino Indian whose father came from Catalina Island.

Mary J. Yee
The last native Barbareño Chumash speaker, linguist Mary Yee was the granddaughter of Luisa Ygnacio.

Luisa Ygnacio
One of John P. Harrington's Chumash informants, Luisa Ygnacio told him that she thought the Lone Woman would have lived longer had she stayed with the Chumash in Santa Barbara instead of living with the Nidever family.

José María Zalvidea
J.P. Harrington shared the four words attributed to the Lone Woman with various California native people who spoke Uto-Aztecan languages. One of those men was José María Zalvidea.

Last updated: November 16, 2018