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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Yellowstone National Park in Teton County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Chance Encounter

 
 
Chance Encounter Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 24, 2011
1. Chance Encounter Marker
Inscription. Across the meadow, a fire burned in the campsite of nine tourists on the night of August 23, 1877. The Cowan party had unknowingly camped near hundreds of Nez Perce men, women, and children who were under violent pursuit by the United States Army. Through the darkness, the Cowan’s firelight flickered and was spotted by Hemene Moxmox (Yellow Wolf) and other Nez Perce scouts. With the heightened instincts of war-torn hearts, the scouts entered the camp at daybreak. They dared not risk the Army learning the whereabouts of their people. Instead of taking chances, they took the tourists with them.

The coming hours revealed human emotions found in any war: fear, anger, and compassion. A Nez Perce leader, Wa-wook-ke-ya Was Sauw (Lean Elk), released the campers with a warning to stay hidden, but the small group was later overtaken. This time tempers flared. George Cowan was shot and left for dead, but eventually made a full recovery. Others sustained shots or escaped. Emma Cowan and her siblings were released unharmed the following day.
 
Location. 44° 34.445′ N, 110° 49.368′ W. Marker is in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, in Teton County. Marker is on Grand Loop Road (U.S. 89) half a mile south of Fountain Flat Drive, on the right when traveling
Chance Encounter Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 24, 2011
2. Chance Encounter Marker
south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Moran WY 83013, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Nez Perce War (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Chance Encounter (here, next to this marker); Murky Past . . . Promising Future (approx. 0.8 miles away); Earthquake’s Offspring (approx. 1.8 miles away); Fountain Paint Pot (approx. 1.8 miles away); a different marker also named Fountain Paint Pot (approx. 1.8 miles away); White Dome Geyser (approx. 2.6 miles away); Excelsior Geyser (approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yellowstone National Park.
 
More about this marker. The background painting carries the caption:
"On a summer night in 1877, hundreds of “non-treaty” Nez Perce—bands refusing confinement on a reservation—camped near here. They journeyed 1,170 miles (1,883 km) in their quest for freedom."
 
Also see . . .
1. Old Marker at this Location. This marker replaced an older one at this location titled “Captive Tourists” (Submitted on July 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Flight of the Nez Perce (pdf file). Yellowstone
Nearby Nez Perce Creek image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 24, 2011
3. Nearby Nez Perce Creek
National Park (Submitted on July 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

3. Yellowstone National Park. (Submitted on July 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Native AmericansWars, US Indian
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 465 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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