Lewis and Clark Among the Nez Perce is a generous and careful re-evaluation of Lewis and Clark west of the Bitterroot Mountains. An extraordinary new look at their extended visit―approximately four months of daily interchange with a community the white visitors regarded as especially friendly, hospitable, and helpful to their success―the book represents a breakthrough in Lewis and Clark studies. Many incidents suddenly take on a new light when the historical lens is reversed.
In 1984, James Ronda’s groundbreaking Lewis and Clark Among the Indians looked broadly at the Lewis and Clark expedition from the Native American perspective. Nearly three decades later, Nez Perce historians Allen V. Pinkham and Steven Ross Evans examined the journals of Lewis and Clark with painstaking care to tease out new insights from what Lewis and Clark wrote about their Nez Perce hosts. Pinkham and Evans evaluate both what Lewis and Clark understood and what they misunderstood in the Nez Perce (Nimiipuu) lifeway and political structure. More particularly, they have scoured the journals for clues about how the Nez Perce reacted to the bearded strangers, gathering and putting into print for the first time the stands of a surprisingly rich Nez Perce oral tradition.
The first richly detailed exploration of the relationship between Mr. Jefferson’s Corps of Discovery and a single tribe, this volume also serves as a template for a Lewis and Clark expedition tribal history series.
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