On the lockplate is a portrait of Chief Looking Glass of the Nez Perce. Looking Glass was one of the principal war
chiefs in the Nez Perce War. Joseph was never a war chief but a leader and protector of the people.
Looking Glassâ€™s portrait has been reversed. In the original and only existing photo of him he is facing the other
direction. Looking Glassâ€™s father was also called Looking Glass but his name in the Nez Perce language was
different than Looking Glass the younger. Nez Perce people often had different names throughout their lives. Looking
Glass the younger was called by at least two different names by his people. Allalimya Takanin which I have heard
translated as cyclone traveler and Appush-wa-hite meaning Looking Glass.
It is said that he wore a small mirror attached to his scalp that dangled in the center of his forehead or around his neck.
It cannot be detected in the photo. He was a mighty warrior and probably died in the last battle of the Nez Perce War
from a bullet to the forehead. The cause of his death is controversial but the most reliable witnesses testified to this
fact. Yellow Wolf and two other warriors in the battle testified to this. Joseph also stated in his surrender statement that
Looking Glass was dead. There are three other versions of his death. One theory is that he survived the war but was
afraid the army would hang him so he lived in secret. There is a photo dated about 1890 that looks like him and some
Nez Perce said it was him. Yellow Wolf was never known to lie about such things but admitted that the he never saw
Looking Glass get shot.
Joseph actually looked much younger than this at the time of the war.
This was taken from a photo of him taken about 1900
Lock before case hardening