Chief Joseph: Guardian of the People

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Macmillan, Jun 27, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
2 Reviews

The Nez PercÚ people lived in peace with white intruders in their homelands from the time of Lewis & Clark until 1863 when a treaty called for the tribe's removal to a reservation in Idaho. Chief Joseph (1840-1904), headman of the Nez PercÚ band in northeastern Oregon's Wallowa Valley, became the greatest diplomat, philosopher, and-from necessity rather than choice-war leader of his people and among the most respected Indian leaders of American history.

In this meticulous and moving new study of Joseph's life, Candy Moulton-
who has traveled over all the trails he and his people blazed-emphasizes the pivotal year of 1877, when the frontier military tried to force Joseph and his people onto the reservation. Instead of meekly following these outrageous orders, he led 750 Nez PercÚs on a 1,500-mile, four-month flight from western Idaho across Montana and through the Yellowstone country and northwest Wyoming toward safety in Canada. After many battles, the flight ended at the Bear Paws mountains in north-central Montana, just forty miles from the Canadian border and potential refuge. There the U.S. Army surrounded the Nez PercÚs, captured their horse herd, killed all but two of their primary chiefs, and forced capitulation. When Joseph surrendered to military leaders he told them, "From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever."


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - buffalogr - LibraryThing

Reading about the flight of the Nez Perce and the disregard of treaty by the US government, one begins to understand the plight of the Nez Perce Wallowa band and by extension, the extant Indian ... Read full review

American heroes: Chief Joseph: guardian of the people

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In 1877 Nez Perc Indians defied government efforts to restrict them to the reservation and, utilizing tactics still studied at West Point today, eluded federal forces for months until finally halted a ... Read full review


Foreword by Dale L Walker
He Had Sharper Eyes
They Were Like Grizzly Bears
Have Spoken for My Country
It Was Now War in Earnest
Beginning the Flight
The Lolo Trail Beckons
With an Eye Toward the Buffalo Country
Yellowstone Interlude
We Could Have Escaped
Somebody Has Our Horses
A Heavy Stone Upon My Heart
Expect the Rivers to Run Backward
Acknowledgments and Bibliography

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About the author (2006)

Candy Moulton is the author of twelve Western history books including Everyday Life Among American Indians from 1800 to 1900, Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in the Wild West from 1840 to 1900, Roadside History of Wyoming, and Roadside History of Nebraska. Moulton makes her home near Encampment, Wyoming, where she edits the Western Writers of America Roundup Magazine, writes regularly for several magazines including True West, Wild West, Persimmon Hill, and American Cowboy. She is a member of the Nez Perce Trail Foundation, Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail Foundation, Oregon-California Trails Association, and Western Writers of America.

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