THE ANACONDA STANDARD ANACONDA, MONTANA

DECEMBER 21, 1902

PAT BRICE AND THE CROSS AN HEROIC EXPLOIT OF AN ANACONDA MAN YEARS AGO

The Part a Tattooed Cross Played in Causing the Guns of the Indians to Be Lowered.

Patrick Brice, who has been well known as a resident of Anaconda for the past 17 years, was recently honored at the meeting of the Idaho County, Idaho Pioneers, held at Grangeville.  An exploit of Mr. Brice at the opening of the Nez Perce war was recalled at that time and the pioneers passed resolutions in commendation of his heroic act at the time.

It seems that at the outbreak of the Nez Perce war Jack Manuel lived on Salmon River with his family, consisting of wife, infant baby and daughter Maggie, then 7 years of age.  Mr. Manuel was escaping towards Mt. Idaho when he was shot.  The little girl was riding behind him on the horse at the time and both fell to the ground.  The Indians supposed Manuel was dead, but the wound was not fatal and after subsisting in the brush on wild berries for 13 days he was rescued.

The little girl, Maggie, had broken her arm in falling from the horse and suffered intensely when found by Pat Brice, an Irishman, then living on the Salmon River.  Brice was hurrying out of the hostile country toward Mt. Idaho.  He picked up the little girl, placed her carefully on his back and continued the dangerous journey.  It required great caution to avoid detection by the many bands of roving Indians.  After a days circuitous journey he was emerging from the head of White Bird canyon, when he was confronted by a band of hostile Indians.  As they were about to fire Brice hastily opened his shirt and exposed to their view a cross which had been tattooed on his breast, at the same time making the sign of the cross.  The guns in the hands of the Indians were lowered at the sign and Brice and his suffering charge were permitted to move on.  After a night and another day of cautious travel they reached Mt. Idaho.  The child was soon restored to her parents.  Brice soon afterward found his way into Montana and was one of the earliest residents of Anaconda.

 

 

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