A chance meeting with prominent Nez Perce War veteran, Yellow Wolf, in October of 1907 aided Lucullus V. McWhorter in his future investigation of the 1877 Nez Perce War and the Nez Perces and Yakama generally. In the course of compiling material for his research, McWhorter worked diligently to acquire and appraise primary and secondary sources including the photographs that are included in this digital collection. He recorded first-hand Native American oral testimony, maintained an extensive correspondence, and made direct assessments of battle-sites in an effort to establish an accurate and comprehensive account of the 1877 conflict between the Nez Perces and the Federal government. McWhorter's historical efforts had the signal value of providing a fresh version of those events based on primary source materials; his books supplemented, supported, or contradicted previously published accounts and interpretations of the same events. Working with Yellow Wolf, and by utilizing the extensive mass of material (including photographs) he had gathered during years of research, McWhorter published Yellow Wolf: His Own Story in 1940. After his death in 1944, Mrs. Ruth Bordin and Professor Herman Deutsch edited and completed McWhorter's larger account of the 1877 Nez Perce War. The manuscript material known as the "Field History" was first published as Hear Me, My Chiefs! in 1952. Lucullus Virgil McWhorter died at the age of 84 in Prosser, Washington.
Creating the database:
In 2008, undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in History 438/596 taught by Trevor James Bond and Robert McCoy scanned and described the photographs that comprise this database from the Lucullus V. McWhorter Photograph Collection (PC 85).
Annie Barney, Lee Ann Hall, and Dane Morck researched Yakama photographs. Tiffany Johnson and Torsten Homberger worked on Nez Perce images. Laura Arata, Sarah Ottersen, Nathan Roberts and Shawn Willoughby researched photographs of battlefields. Portraits of tribal Chiefs were described by Susan Mayer, Jacquelyn Parkinson, and Lorelei Sterling. George Clouse and Tabitha Erdey worked on the photographs of Yellow Wolf. Nora Wiechert, Susan Mayer, Trevor James Bond, and Robert McCoy edited the captions.