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Yellowstone National Park - Captive Tourists - The Nez Perce Encounter


Location of sign - roadside near the Fountain Platt Drive at Nez Perce Creek in Yellowstone National Park


Photo taken June 2008

Captive Tourist, The Nez Perce Encounter  


Text of sign:


Captive Tourists

The Nez Perce Encounter


During their fighting retreat toward freedom in Canada, the non-treaty Nez Perce passed directly through Yellowstone National

Park in August, 1877.  Their route followed this creek.  When outsiders encountered a party of sightseers camped nearby, the

Nez Perce held the group hostage for several hours.  


Angry at past betrayals, a pair of Nez Perce shot and left for dead George Cowan, but a chief intervened and the rest of the tourists

were released unharmed.  Six weeks later the Nez Perce surrendered to the U.S. Army in northern Montana.  They were 

transferred to reservations far from their home lands. 


Graphics on the sign


In addition to the text this sign features a map of the Nez Perce retreat and battles, and an old photo of a stagecoach with what is

believed to be a photo of Mr. & Mrs. George Cowan.


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