• Craig family at monument to William Craig
As we travel (from place to place or from birth to death) it is wise to look back over our shoulders periodically. Seeing where we’ve been helps us figure out where we’re going. The Craig story is a glance back at what came before us on the Columbia Plateau of the Interior Northwest. Looking over our shoulders, we see some of the people and events that shaped, in a brief time, the human dimension in this part of America. Perhaps it is fortuitous that professional historians had not gotten around to the comprehensive William Craig, for that left his story to be dug up by one of his descendants—a most meaningful act. Like the spirit of Craig’s Mountain, the Craig story may have been waiting for certain people to come, seeking information, finding answers, and in the process achieving wisdom that can only come from better understanding.

Bradbury on Intermediary

Former Idaho 2nd District Judge John Bradbury read The Intermediary by Lin Tull Cannell, and offered this comment about it:

Lin Tull Cannell’s book, The Intermediary, William Craig among the Nez Perces, is a prodigiously documented, well written and much needed account of a man who played a pivotal role in the Nez Perce people’s struggle to keep their land and their traditions. As the beaver market collapsed in 1839 – 1840 mountain man Craig brought his Nez Perce wife Isabel and their children to the heart of Nez Perce country at Lapwai Creek.
Cannell describes the Indians’ complicated relationship with the missionaries that led to the killing of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, Craig’s role during the treaty negotiations if 1855, the Cayuse and Yakima wars that followed and resulted in his eviction from Lapwai. Craig returns and continues his role as a true intermediary as the gold discovery in the Clearwater hastens the white migration into the Nez Perce reservation and forces a new treaty.
This is a balanced account of the era that ushered in the changes that forever altered the lives of the Nez Perce and of a man who finally gets credit for his role. It brings new and refreshing insight to the fate of the Nez Perce people and the cast of characters who were a part of it. It is a must read for anyone interested in the history of the Inland Northwest.

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