Montana literary history begins with the diaries and memoirs of early settlers and the transliteration of Indian tales. Teddy Blue Abbott trailed cattle up from Texas to Montana during the 1870s and 1880s and wrote We Pointed Them North. Andrew Garcia was a novice mountain man when he married a Nez Percé woman who just escaped after Chief Joseph’s surrender at Bear Paw. In Tough Trip through Paradise, Garcia gives his version of the Nez Percé flight in the 1870s and describes what it was like for him to be an innocent among mountain men and Indians. Frank Bird Linderman got to know Crow chief Plenty Coups and Pretty Shield, a Crow medicine woman, and recorded their stories. Indian Why Stories and How It Came About Stories are his versions of Indian fireside tales.
Frontier photographer L. A. Huffman brought his camera to early eastern Montana; Before Barbed Wire by Mark Brown and W. R. Felton features his photographs and recounts Huffman’s life. Evelyn Cameron was an English immigrant whose passion for photographing the early settlement of remote Terry, Montana, resulted in the book Photographing Montana: 1894–1928 by Donna Lucey. Charlie Russell, whose greatest fame derives from his paintings of frontier Montana, also wrote books. His life straddled the open range and the homesteading eras. His book, Trails Plowed Under, recounts this period. Will James had a ranch south of Billings. Books like Cow Country were popular adolescent reading during the 1930s.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition