Tough Trip Through Paradise: Wallowa Valley

In this land lived a part of the Nez Perce tribe called by the other Nez Perces Wal-lam-wat-kin. Those Injuns had lived in this valley as far back as they knew, but in time the white men seen this land and wanted it. In this valley the grass on the hills was never known to fail stock in the winter in the memory of Injun or white man….Those Injuns did not want to leave this land, but the white men started to come in small numbers at first and later more and more of them….General Howard was ordered to remove these Injuns out of the Wallowa Valley and force them on the Lapwai reservation. (205)

Garcia, Andrew. Tough Trip through Paradise. Eugene, Oregon: Comstock Publishing, 1976.

About the Book

Tough Trip Through Paradise

Tough Trip through Paradise, 1878-1879 narrates what happened when he established a trading company centered on the Musselshell River. As Garcia tells it, he spent the next nine years living the life of an Indian, primarily with the Pend d’Oreilles. The emotional highlight of his memoir is his return to the Big Hole Battlefield with In-who-lise, his Nez Perce wife, who was wounded during the battle and lost her sister and father.

Tough Trip remains controversial because the book was published posthumously after extensive editing by Bennett Stein. For a detailed overview of Garcia’s manuscripts and Stein’s handling of those materials, see this presentation by archivist Kathryn Kramer at the Montana Historical Society.

For further information, see Diane Smith’s “Tough Trip to Publication: Tough Trip through Paradise and the Beautiful Wives of Andrew Garcia,” pp. 3-21 in the Winter 2008 issue of Montana The Magazine of Western History.

While the settings in Tough Trip through Paradise, 1878-1879 clearly reference actual locales, it is understood that the book—including its places—is ultimately the product of the author’s imagination. The intent of this literary map is to enrich the reading experience by interpreting those places, not to render them literally or definitively.

About the Author

Andrew Garcia

Andrew Garcia was born in El Paso, Texas, on September 13, 1855. He first came to Montana at the age of 13 to help his uncle run a herd of pack mules. He returned to Montana Territory in 1876 to work as a civilian packer and herder for the Seventh Cavalry. And so it was that in 1877 he witnessed the Nez Perce surrender in the Bears Paw Mountains.

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