CHEIF JOSEPH AND THE NEZ PERCES: A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY
The 1,500-mile flight–and sometimes fight–in 1877 of Chief Joseph and other discontented Nez Perce who had been pushed to the limit ranks as one of the most extraordinary events of the Indian wars. The compelling story has been often told of late, and the eloquent Chief Joseph (“From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever”) has an important role in the Stephen Ives?Ken Burns 1996 miniseries The West. What makes this 81-page book different from almost all previous accounts of the Nez Perce flight/plight are the often striking color photographs of places and things seen along the long trail from the Nez Perce homeland in northeastern Oregon to the surrender site near the Bear Paw Mountains ofnorthern Montana. Bill and Jan Moeller followed the trail as closely as they could in their “home,” a recreational vehicle (RV). From the looks of it, much of this land has changed little over the past 120 years; certainly, the authors took pictures that do not include highways, buildings, fences, power lines or a single RV. The text is basically only expanded captions, but you do get the whole story, including a fine two-page epilogue.