Catherine Northrup

John and Catherine Northrup

On a warm July night, Washington State homesteader, Catherine Northrup was shot at close range after answering a knock at her cabin door.

During the Civil War, she survived outlaw guerrilla warfare near her childhood home. After crossing the Oregon Trail, Catherine lived through a particularly brutal last assault on her home by the Nez Perce as they attempted to push settlers back during the Nez Perce War. At the end of the brutality, she married. The new couple in letters to family literally called their homestead, “Paradise”. The just planted orchard was productive. The railroad was being built nearby, so their produce would easily get to market. Each of them had family that settled not a mile from their new cabin. So why was Catherine alone that night? Who was the armed man standing in front of her as she opened the door?

A Tree Missing from the Orchard (a working book title) is an historical nonfiction biography about Catherine Northrup, the first to be written.