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Here is the story of the Nex Perce Indians as told by members of the tribe to the author, whose work was carried on by the editor after his death. There is also recourse to documents and reports of the period. The history begins with conjectures as to the origins of the group, and carries them through the height of their flowering, when they were successful in their constant forays against other tribes, to the encroachment of whites on their Oregon and Idaho territory, first in the name of Christ, and finally their gradual destruction by the whites, ending with the last war for freedom in 1877, when some, under Chief Joseph, surrendered, many died, and others escaped to the Sioux in Canada. The book, with its numerous accounts of skirmishes and of warriors, sticks mostly to the fighting of the Nex Perces. There is some attempt made to give the values of the tribal life in showing the Dreamer religion as it opposed the Christian and led them to battle, fearless of death and also kept them a foraging rather than an agricultural people. But this is the history of Indian-U.S. relations, of a people who fought for their freedom, of a people misunderstood by their conquerors, rather than the story of a culture itself. Pretty much of a reference book or book for those already interested in the Northwest and its Indians, or Indian-white relations.

Pub Date: July 10th, 1952
Publisher: Caxton