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Chief Joseph surrenders

Chief Joseph surrenders



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Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce peoples surrenders to U.S. Miles in the Bear Paw mountains of Montana, declaring, “Hear me, my chiefs: My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

Earlier in the year, the U.S. government broke a land treaty with the Nez Perce, forcing the group out of their homeland in Wallowa Valley in the Northwest for relocation in Idaho. In the midst of their journey, Chief Joseph learned that three young Nez Perce warriors, had killed a band of white settlers. Fearing retaliation by the U.S. Army, the chief began one of the great retreats in American military history.

For more than three months, Chief Joseph led fewer than 300 Nez Perce Indians toward the Canadian border, covering a distance of more than 1,000 miles as the Nez Perce outmaneuvered and battled more than 2,000 pursuing U.S. soldiers. During the long retreat, he treated prisoners humanely and won the admiration of whites by purchasing supplies along the way rather than stealing them. Finally, only 40 miles short of his Canadian goal, Chief Joseph was cornered by the U.S. Army, and his people were forcibly relocated to a barren reservation in Indian Territory.

READ MORE: Native American History Timeline


Battle of Bear Paw

The Battle of Bear Paw (also sometimes called Battle of the Bears Paw or Battle of the Bears Paw Mountains) was the final engagement of the Nez Perce War of 1877. Following a 1,200-mile (1,900 km) running fight from western Idaho over the previous four months, the U.S. Army finally managed to corner most of the Nez Perce led by Chief Joseph in early October 1877 in northern Montana Territory, just 42 miles (68 km) south of the border with Canada, where the Nez Perce intended to seek refuge from persecution by the U.S. government.

Although some of the Nez Perce were able to escape to Canada, Chief Joseph was forced to surrender the majority of his followers to General Oliver O. Howard and Colonel Nelson A. Miles on October 5. Today, the battlefield is part of the Nez Perce National Historical Park and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail.


Chief Joseph Surrenders

On October 5, 1877, Chief Joseph, exhausted and disheartened, surrendered in the Bears Paw Mountains of Montana, forty miles south of Canada.

Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain was born in 1840 in the Wallowa Valley of what is now northeastern Oregon. He took the name of his father, (Old) Chief Joseph, or Joseph the Elder. When his father died in 1871, Joseph, or Joseph the Younger, was elected his father's successor. He continued his father's efforts to secure the Nez Percé claim to their land while remaining peaceful towards the whites.

In 1873, Chief Joseph negotiated with the federal government to ensure that his people could stay on their land in the Wallowa Valley as stipulated in 1855 and 1863 land treaties with the U.S. government. But, in a reversal of policy in 1877, General Oliver Otis Howard threatened to attack if the Indians did not relocate to an Idaho reservation. Chief Joseph reluctantly agreed.

As they began their journey to Idaho, Chief Joseph learned that a group of Nez Percé men, enraged at the loss of their homeland, had killed some white settlers in the Salmon River area. Fearing U.S. Army retaliation, the chief began a retreat. With 2,000 soldiers in pursuit, Chief Joseph led a band of about 700 Nez Percé Indians—fewer than 200 of whom were warriors, towards freedom—nearly reaching the Canadian border. For over three months, the Nez Percé had outmaneuvered and battled their pursuers traveling some 1,000 miles across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

Chief Joseph (March 3, 1840 – September 21, 1904) was the chief of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce during General Oliver O. Howard's attempt to forcibly remove his band and the other "non-treaty" Nez Perce to a reservation in Idaho. For his principled resistance to the removal, he became renowned as a humanitarian and peacemaker.

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I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed Looking-glass is dead. Too-hul-hul-suit is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men, now, who say ’yes’ or ’no’[that is, vote in council]. He who led on the young men [Joseph’s brother, Ollicut] is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people--some of them--have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are---perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can findmaybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever! ”


Chief Joseph Surrenders: ‘…I Will Fight No More Forever’

For three desperate months in 1877, Chief Joseph led his band of 700 Nez Perce Indians on an arduous flight toward freedom in Canada, trying to escape the relentless pursuit of 2,000 U.S. soldiers. The 200 warriors in the band kept fighting brilliant rearguard actions, repeatedly holding off the soldiers while their women, children and elders struggled through the difficult mountain terrain.

Photo: Chief Joseph, taken in November 1877 by Orlando S. Goff. Credit: Dr. James Brust Wikimedia Commons.

This deadly chase went on for more than 1,000 miles, through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. Finally, on 5 October 1877, tired of the constant fighting and with his people freezing and out of food, Chief Joseph realized his band could stand no more. With great dignity the saddened chief surrendered to General Nelson Miles.

They were less than 40 miles from the Canadian border and safety.

Map: map showing the flight of the Nez Perce and key battle sites of the 1877 Nez Perce War. Credit: United States National Park Service Wikimedia Commons.

Chief Joseph’s actual words of surrender were written down after the fact and may have been embellished, but his sorrowful conclusion is embedded in American history:

“It is cold, and we have no blankets the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

The following three newspaper articles describe the Nez Perce retreat and Chief Joseph’s surrender. The first is a straightforward report of the surrender. The second, from an Oregon newspaper, says the Nez Perce “do fight stoutly,” and concludes by referring to the ordeal of their retreat and capture as a “tragedy.” The third article, printed by the newspaper run by the Mormon Church in Utah, begins to lay the foundation for the modern estimation of Chief Joseph as a great leader and peaceful humanitarian.

Cincinnati Daily Gazette (Cincinnati, Ohio), 10 October 1877, page 1

Here is a transcription of this article:

Gen. Terry’s Account of the Surrender of Joseph’s Band

CHICAGO, Oct. 9. – The following dispatch is just received at headquarters:

DISTRICT OF THE YELLOWSTONE,
CAMP ON EAGLE CREEK, MONTANA,
Oct. 5, 1877.

Gen. A. H. Terry, Commanding Department of Dakota:

DEAR GENERAL – We have had our usual success. We made a very direct and rapid march across the country, and after a severe engagement, and being kept under fire for three days, the hostile camp of the Nez Perces, under Chief Joseph, surrendered at 2 o’clock today. I intend to start the 2d Cavalry toward Benton on the 7 th instant. Can not supplies be sent out on the Benton road to meet them and return with the remainder of the command to the Yellowstone?

I hear that there is trouble between the Sioux and the Canadian authorities.

I remain, General, yours very truly,

NELSON A. MILES,
Col. Brevet Maj. Gen., U.S.A., commanding.

As soon as the companies of the 2d Cavalry of which Gen. Miles speaks arrive here, the commission will start for Fort Walsh.

[Signed] ALFRED H. TERRY,
Brigadier General.

Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 10 October 1877, page 2

Here is a transcription of this article:

Those Nez Perces still fight as outlaws might be expected to fight who see the gallows before them. When this machine of an ignominious death is seen at the end of every vista, even an Indian may be expected to fight and the Nez Perces do fight stoutly. Miles’ battle seems to be quite as severe as Gibbon’s was. Undoubtedly when the band left Idaho the purpose was to go to Wind river. Until they reached the national park, on the upper Yellowstone, this purpose was not changed. Learning there how hopeless it would be to attempt to elude pursuit in that direction, they started from the national park due north for the British line. Crossing the Yellowstone near the junction of Clarke’s fork with that stream, they continued their flight with a rapidity that left all pursuers far in the rear they crossed the Missouri river not far below Fort Benton, and were within forty miles of the British line when struck by Gen. Miles.

Snake creek is a stream flowing into Milk river. Its course is northeasterly. Miles’ battleground is perhaps eighty or hundred miles northeast of Fort Benton. One of the numerous ridges of the Rocky mountains through which the Missouri river must force its way before it reaches the open plains of its middle course is called on the north side of the river Bear’s Paw mountain on the south, Highwood mountain. By taking any ordinary map the reader will be able, with the aid furnished by this description, to find the locality of the battle. It will be easy also to trace the route which the hostile band must have pursued from the national park and Yellowstone lakes to Miles’ battleground.

The soldiers evidently behaved well. The Indians appear to have been driven off the field, and to have been forced to leave their dead and wounded behind them. It cannot be doubted that their present condition is very miserable. Worn with hard travel and smitten first by one force and then by another, they must be greatly reduced in numbers by this time and if Miles has been able to hold them till Howard and Sturgis could come up, the end may already have been reached. Having lost their horses and been driven into deep ravines, where they were blockaded when the courier left, it seems not improbable that the remnant has been or may be captured.

– A later dispatch tells the balance of the story. The remnants of the hostile Nez Perces have been forced to surrender. Gen. Howard’s dispatch announces the close of the tragedy, and the title to Wallowa valley and other disputed localities is quieted at last.

Deseret Evening News (Salt Lake City, Utah), 11 October 1877, page 3

Here is a transcription of this article:

The Indian war just concluded by the surrender of Chief Joseph to General Miles is probably unparalleled. Throughout the campaign the Indians have shown magnanimity, generosity and even bravery that have been worthy the emulation of their white antagonists. Such a man as Joseph is not a savage by instinct or otherwise. His entire conduct throughout this war, if it can be so entitled, has shown plainly that he was not fighting to satiate a desire to wantonly and savagely shed the blood of his fellow creatures. His frequent action in liberating women and children, and the fact that his enemies say, in speaking of the fighting Nez Perces, “they are credited with numerous acts of humanity to wounded whites,” show plainly that he has not been prompted by a spirit of revenge. The object must then have been of a higher order, and one probably that would, combined with the intrepidity, bravery, ability and magnanimity he has displayed, have stamped him as one of the heroes of the times, but for the fact that he is an Indian.

Notwithstanding the higher civilization claimed by the Whites, in the war just ended there has been a transposition of the evidences of true civilization from the White to the Indian.

The best method of solving Indian difficulties is to take the position and maintain it that the Red Men have rights that demand as much respect as those of their white neighbors. They should be taught and generously aided in the cultivation of the arts of peace and industry. In these matters the Latter-day Saints are setting an example that is worthy of emulation by all.

Note: An online collection of newspapers, such as GenealogyBank’s


Chief Joseph Surrenders

Chief Joseph was Chief of a tribe of Nez Perce Indians. He had led his people in resistance to the white men settling in the Nez Perce’s lands in the Oregon Territory. Ordered to move to Idaho in 1877, or face retribution, the Nez Perce agreed to move onto a reservation. After tribe members killed four white settlers, he and his people fled for Canada with the U.S. Army in pursuit. They had several battles as they moved through Washington, Idaho, and Montana on their way to Canada. The tribe had traveled approximately 1700 miles and, after a five-day battle, they found themselves in dire conditions. Within 40 miles of Canada, Chief Joseph surrendered on October 5, 1877 in the Bear Paw Mountains of Montana Territory. The following is Chief Joseph’s speech:

Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our Chiefs are killed Looking Glass is dead, Ta Hool Hool Shute is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.


Rhetorical Analysis Of I Will Fight No More Forever

I Will Fight No More Forever Rhetorical Analysis Did Chief Joseph not want to fight anymore, or did he physically and mentally lack the strength? In the surrender speech I Will Fight No More Forever, spoken by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce (a Native American tribe of the Wallowa Valley in Northwest Oregon) and translated by Lieutenant Charles Erskine Scott Wood, Chief Joseph talks about how the rest of the chiefs or generals are dead. He uses the word killed at first, according to Lieutenant Wood’s


Chief Joseph

Chief Joseph's Surrender Speech - October 5th, 1877

"Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed Looking Glass is dead, Too-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are, perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce

Excerpted from the book Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains - 1918
by Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa)
Charles A. Eastman earned a medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 1890

The Nez Perce tribe of Indians, like other tribes too large to be united under one chief, was composed of several bands, each distinct in sovereignty. It was a loose confederacy. Joseph and his people occupied the Imnaha or Grande Ronde valley in Oregon, which was considered perhaps the finest land in that part of the country.

When the last treaty was entered into by some of the bands of the Nez Perce, Joseph's band was at Lapwai, Idaho, and had nothing to do with the agreement. The elder chief in dying had counseled his son, then not more than twenty-two or twenty-three years of age, never to part with their home, assuring him that he had signed no papers. These peaceful non-treaty Indians did not even know what land had been ceded until the agent read them the government order to leave. Of course they refused. You and I would have done the same.

When the agent failed to move them, he and the would-be settlers called upon the army to force them to be good, namely, without a murmur to leave their pleasant inheritance in the hands of a crowd of greedy grafters. General O. O. Howard, the Christian soldier, was sent to do the work.

He had a long council with Joseph and his leading men, telling them they must obey the order or be driven out by force. We may be sure that he presented this hard alternative reluctantly. Joseph was a mere youth without experience in war or public affairs. He had been well brought up in obedience to parental wisdom and with his brother Ollicut had attended Missionary Spaulding's school where they had listened to the story of Christ and his religion of brotherhood. He now replied in his simple way that neither he nor his father had ever made any treaty disposing of their country, that no other band of the Nez Perces was authorized to speak for them, and it would seem a mighty injustice and unkindness to dispossess a friendly band.

General Howard told them in effect that they had no rights, no voice in the matter: they had only to obey. Although some of the lesser chiefs counseled revolt then and there, Joseph maintained his self-control, seeking to calm his people, and still groping for a peaceful settlement of their difficulties. He finally asked for thirty days' time in which to find and dispose of their stock, and this was granted.

Joseph steadfastly held his immediate followers to their promise, but the land-grabbers were impatient, and did everything in their power to bring about an immediate crisis so as to hasten the eviction of the Indians. Depredations were committed, and finally the Indians, or some of them, retaliated, which was just what their enemies had been looking for. There might be a score of white men murdered among themselves on the frontier and no outsider would ever hear about it, but if one were injured by an Indian -- "Down with the bloodthirsty savages!" was the cry.

Joseph told me himself that during all of those thirty days a tremendous pressure was brought upon him by his own people to resist the government order. "The worst of it was," said he, "that everything they said was true besides" -- he paused for a moment -- "it seemed very soon for me to forget my father's dying words, Do not give up our home!'" Knowing as I do just what this would mean to an Indian, I felt for him deeply.

Among the opposition leaders were Too-hul-hul-sote, White Bird, and Looking Glass, all of them strong men and respected by the Indians while on the other side were men built up by emissaries of the government for their own purposes and advertised as "great friendly chiefs." As a rule such men are unworthy, and this is so well known to the Indians that it makes them distrustful of the government's sincerity at the start. Moreover, while Indians unqualifiedly say what they mean, the whites have a hundred ways of saying what they do not mean.

The center of the storm was this simple young man, who so far as I can learn had never been upon the warpath, and he stood firm for peace and obedience. As for his father's sacred dying charge, he told himself that he would not sign any papers, he would not go of his free will but from compulsion, and this was his excuse.

However, the whites were unduly impatient to clear the coveted valley, and by their insolence they aggravated to the danger point an already strained situation. The murder of an Indian was the climax and this happened in the absence of the young chief. He returned to find the leaders determined to die fighting. The nature of the country was in their favor and at least they could give the army a chase, but how long they could hold out they did not know. Even Joseph's younger brother Ollicut was won over. There was nothing for him to do but fight and then and there began the peaceful Joseph's career as a general of unsurpassed strategy in conducting one of the most masterly retreats in history.

This is not my judgment, but the unbiased opinion of men whose knowledge and experience fit them to render it. Bear in mind that these people were not scalp hunters like the Sioux, Cheyennes, and Utes, but peaceful hunters and fishermen. The first council of war was a strange business to Joseph. He had only this to say to his people: "I have tried to save you from suffering and sorrow. Resistance means all of that. We are few. They are many. You can see all we have at a glance. They have food and ammunition in abundance. We must suffer great hardship and loss." After this speech, he quietly began his plans for the defense.

The main plan of campaign was to engineer a successful retreat into Montana and there form a junction with the hostile Sioux and Cheyennes under Sitting Bull. There was a relay scouting system, one set of scouts leaving the main body at evening and the second a little before daybreak, passing the first set on some commanding hill top. There were also decoy scouts set to trap Indian scouts of the army. I notice that General Howard charges his Crow scouts with being unfaithful.

Their greatest difficulty was in meeting an unencumbered army, while carrying their women, children, and old men, with supplies and such household effects as were absolutely necessary. Joseph formed an auxiliary corps that was to effect a retreat at each engagement, upon a definite plan and in definite order, while the unencumbered women were made into an ambulance corps to take care of the wounded.

It was decided that the main rear guard should meet General Howard's command in White Bird Canyon, and every detail was planned in advance, yet left flexible according to Indian custom, giving each leader freedom to act according to circumstances. Perhaps no better ambush was ever planned than the one Chief Joseph set for the shrewd and experienced General Howard. He expected to be hotly pursued, but he calculated that the pursuing force would consist of not more than two hundred and fifty soldiers. He prepared false trails to mislead them into thinking that he was about to cross or had crossed the Salmon River, which he had no thought of doing at that time. Some of the tents were pitched in plain sight, while the women and children were hidden on the inaccessible ridges, and the men concealed in the canyon ready to fire upon the soldiers with deadly effect with scarcely any danger to themselves. They could even roll rocks upon them.

In a very few minutes the troops had learned a lesson. The soldiers showed some fight, but a large body of frontiersmen who accompanied them were soon in disorder. The warriors chased them nearly ten miles, securing rifles and much ammunition, and killing and wounding many.

The Nez Perces next crossed the river, made a detour and recrossed it at another point, then took their way eastward. All this was by way of delaying pursuit. Joseph told me that he estimated it would take six or seven days to get a sufficient force in the field to take up their trail, and the correctness of his reasoning is apparent from the facts as detailed in General Howard's book. He tells us that he waited six days for the arrival of men from various forts in his department, then followed Joseph with six hundred soldiers, beside a large number of citizen volunteers and his Indian scouts. As it was evident they had a long chase over trackless wilderness in prospect, he discarded his supply wagons and took pack mules instead. But by this time the Indians had a good start.

Meanwhile General Howard had sent a dispatch to Colonel Gibbons, with orders to head Joseph off, which he undertook to do at the Montana end of the Lolo Trail. The wily commander had no knowledge of this move, but he was not to be surprised. He was too brainy for his pursuers, whom he constantly outwitted, and only gave battle when he was ready. There at the Big Hole Pass he met Colonel Gibbons' fresh troops and pressed them close. He sent a party under his brother Ollicut to harass Gibbons' rear and rout the pack mules, thus throwing him on the defensive and causing him to send for help, while Joseph continued his masterly retreat toward the Yellowstone Park, then a wilderness. However, this was but little advantage to him, since he must necessarily leave a broad trail, and the army was augmenting its columns day by day with celebrated scouts, both white and Indian. The two commands came together, and although General Howard says their horses were by this time worn out, and by inference the men as well, they persisted on the trail of a party encumbered by women and children, the old, sick, and wounded.

It was decided to send a detachment of cavalry under Bacon, to Tash Pass, the gateway of the National Park, which Joseph would have to pass, with orders to detain him there until the rest could come up with them. Here is what General Howard says of the affair. "Bacon got into position soon enough but he did not have the heart to fight the Indians on account of their number." Meanwhile another incident had occurred. Right under the eyes of the chosen scouts and vigilant sentinels, Joseph's warriors fired upon the army camp at night and ran off their mules. He went straight on toward the park, where Lieutenant Bacon let him get by and pass through the narrow gateway without firing a shot.

Here again it was demonstrated that General Howard could not depend upon the volunteers, many of whom had joined him in the chase, and were going to show the soldiers how to fight Indians. In this night attack at Camas Meadow, they were demoralized, and while crossing the river next day many lost their guns in the water, whereupon all packed up and went home, leaving the army to be guided by the Indian scouts.

However, this succession of defeats did not discourage General Howard, who kept on with as many of his men as were able to carry a gun, meanwhile sending dispatches to all the frontier posts with orders to intercept Joseph if possible. Sturgis tried to stop him as the Indians entered the Park, but they did not meet until he was about to come out, when there was another fight, with Joseph again victorious. General Howard came upon the battle field soon afterward and saw that the Indians were off again, and from here he sent fresh messages to General Miles, asking for reinforcements.

Joseph had now turned northeastward toward the Upper Missouri. He told me that when he got into that part of the country he knew he was very near the Canadian line and could not be far from Sitting Bull, with whom he desired to form an alliance. He also believed that he had cleared all the forts. Therefore he went more slowly and tried to give his people some rest. Some of their best men had been killed or wounded in battle, and the wounded were a great burden to him nevertheless they were carried and tended patiently all during this wonderful flight. Not one was ever left behind.

It is the general belief that Indians are cruel and revengeful, and surely these people had reason to hate the race who had driven them from their homes if any people ever had. Yet it is a fact that when Joseph met visitors and travelers in the Park, some of whom were women, he allowed them to pass unharmed, and in at least one instance let them have horses. He told me that he gave strict orders to his men not to kill any women or children. He wished to meet his adversaries according to their own standards of warfare, but he afterward learned that in spite of professions of humanity, white soldiers have not seldom been known to kill women and children indiscriminately.

Another remarkable thing about this noted retreat is that Joseph's people stood behind him to a man, and even the women and little boys did each his part. The latter were used as scouts in the immediate vicinity of the camp.

The Bittersweet valley, which they had now entered, was full of game, and the Indians hunted for food, while resting their worn-out ponies. One morning they had a council to which Joseph rode over bareback, as they had camped in two divisions a little apart. His fifteen-year-old daughter went with him. They discussed sending runners to Sitting Bull to ascertain his exact whereabouts and whether it would be agreeable to him to join forces with the Nez Perces. In the midst of the council, a force of United States cavalry charged down the hill between the two camps. This once Joseph was surprised. He had seen no trace of the soldiers and had somewhat relaxed his vigilance.

He told his little daughter to stay where she was, and himself cut right through the cavalry and rode up to his own teepee, where his wife met him at the door with his rifle, crying: "Here is your gun, husband!" The warriors quickly gathered and pressed the soldiers so hard that they had to withdraw. Meanwhile one set of the people fled while Joseph's own band entrenched themselves in a very favorable position from which they could not easily be dislodged.

General Miles had received and acted on General Howard's message, and he now sent one of his officers with some Indian scouts into Joseph's camp to negotiate with the chief. Meantime Howard and Sturgis came up with the encampment, and Howard had with him two friendly Nez Perce scouts who were directed to talk to Joseph in his own language. He decided that there was nothing to do but surrender.

He had believed that his escape was all but secure: then at the last moment he was surprised and caught at a disadvantage. His army was shattered he had lost most of the leaders in these various fights his people, including children, women, and the wounded, had traveled thirteen hundred miles in about fifty days, and he himself a young man who had never before taken any important responsibility! Even now he was not actually conquered. He was well entrenched his people were willing to die fighting but the army of the United States offered peace and he agreed, as he said, out of pity for his suffering people. Some of his warriors still refused to surrender and slipped out of the camp at night and through the lines. Joseph had, as he told me, between three and four hundred fighting men in the beginning, which means over one thousand persons, and of these several hundred surrendered with him.

His own story of the conditions he made was prepared by himself with my help in 1897, when he came to Washington to present his grievances. I sat up with him nearly all of one night and I may add here that we took the document to General Miles who was then stationed in Washington, before presenting it to the Department. The General said that every word of it was true.

In the first place, his people were to be kept at Fort Keogh, Montana, over the winter and then returned to their reservation. Instead they were taken to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and placed between a lagoon and the Missouri River, where the sanitary conditions made havoc with them. Those who did not die were then taken to the Indian Territory, where the health situation was even worse. Joseph appealed to the government again and again, and at last by the help of Bishops Whipple and Hare he was moved to the Colville reservation in Washington. Here the land was very poor, unlike their own fertile valley. General Miles said to the chief that he had recommended and urged that their agreement be kept, but the politicians and the people who occupied the Indians' land declared they were afraid if he returned he would break out again and murder innocent white settlers! What irony!

The great Chief Joseph died broken-spirited and broken-hearted. He did not hate the whites, for there was nothing small about him, and when he laid down his weapons he would not fight on with his mind. But he was profoundly disappointed in the claims of a Christian civilization. I call him great because he was simple and honest. Without education or special training he demonstrated his ability to lead and to fight when justice demanded. He out-generaled the best and most experienced commanders in the army of the United States, although their troops were well provisioned, well armed, and above all unencumbered. He was great finally, because he never boasted of his remarkable feat. I am proud of him, because he was a true American.


Chief Joseph on horseback

Chief Joseph Quotes

"All men were made by the Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers."

"The earth is our mother. She should not be disturbed by hoe or plough. We want only to subsist on what she freely gives us. Our fathers gave us many laws, which they had learned from their fathers. These laws were good. I have carried a heavy load on my back ever since I was a boy. I realized then that we could not hold our own with the white men. We were like deer. They were like grizzly bears. We had small country. Their country was large. We were contented to let things remain as the Great Spirit Chief made them. They were not, and would change the rivers and mountains if they did not suit them."

"Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator, I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understand fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I choose. The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who has created it. I claim a right to live on my land and accord you the privilege to return to yours."

"Suppose a white man should come to me and say, Joseph, I like your horses. I want to buy them. I say to him, No, my horses suit me I will not sell them. Then he goes to my neighbor and says, Pay me money, and I will sell you Joseph’s horses. The white man returns to me and says, Joseph, I have bought your horses and you must let me have them. If we sold our lands to the government, this is the way they bought them."

"An Indian respects a brave man, but he despises a coward."

"For a short time we lived quietly. But this could not last. White men had found gold in the mountains around the land of winding water."

"I believe much trouble would be saved if we opened our hearts more."

"I cannot tell how much my heart suffered for my people while at Leavenworth."

"I did not want my people killed. I did not want bloodshed."

"I hope that no more groans of wounded men and women will ever go to the ear of the Great Spirit Chief above, and that all people may be one people."

"I labored hard to avoid trouble and bloodshed."

"I only ask of the government to be treated as all other men are treated."

"I said in my heart that, rather than have war, I would give up my country."

"I want the white people to understand my people."

"I will speak with a straight tongue."

"I would give up everything rather than have the blood of white men upon the hands of my people."

"I would have given my own life if I could have undone the killing of white men by my people."

"It does not require many words to speak the truth."

"It required a strong heart to stand up against such talk, but I urged my people to be quiet and not to begin a war."

"My father was the first to see through the schemes of the white man."

"Some of you think an Indian is like a wild animal. This is a great mistake."

"The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it."

"The first white men of your people who came to our country were named Lewis and Clark. They brought many things that our people had never seen. They talked straight. These men were very kind."

"The Indian race are waiting and praying."

"The white men told lies for each other. They drove off a great many of our cattle. Some branded our young cattle so they could claim them."

"Treat all men alike. Give them the same law. Give them an even chance to live and grow."

"War can be avoided, and it ought to be avoided. I want no war."

"We ask to be recognized as men."

"We did not know there were other people besides the Indian until about one hundred winters ago, when some men with white faces came to our country."

"We gathered all the stock we could find, and made an attempt to move. We left many of our horses and cattle in Wallowa. We lost several hundred in crossing the river."

"We gave up some of our country to the white men, thinking that then we could have peace. We were mistaken. The white man would not let us alone."

"We had a great many horses, of which we gave Lewis and Clark what they needed, and they gave us guns and tobacco in return."

"We had good white friends who advised us against taking the war path. My friend and brother, Mr. Chapman, told us just how the war would end."

"We soon found that the white men were growing rich very fast, and were greedy to possess everything the Indian had."

"When my young men began the killing, my heart was hurt."

"If you tie a horse to a stake, do you expect him to grow fat? If you pen an Indian up on a small spot of earth, and compel him to stay there, he will not be contented, nor will he grow and prosper."

"We were taught to believe that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything, and that he never forgets, that hereafter he will give every man a spirit home according to his deserts If he has been a good man, he will have a good home if he has been a bad man, he will have a bad home.

"This I believe, and all my people believe the same."

"Good words do not last long unless they amount to something. Words do not pay for my dead people. They do not pay for my country, now overrun by white men. They do not protect my father’s grave. They do not pay for all my horses and cattle.

"Good words cannot give me back my children. Good words will not give my people good health and stop them from dying. Good words will not get my people a home where they can live in peace and take care of themselves.

"I am tired of talk that comes to nothing It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk."

"If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian. we can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike. give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who is born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. Let me be a free man. free to travel. free to stop. free to work. free to choose my own teachers. free to follow the religion of my Fathers. free to think and talk and act for myself."

"We do not want churches because they will teach us to quarrel about God, as the Catholics and Protestants do. We do not want that. We may quarrel with men about things on earth, but we never quarrel about the Great Spirit."

Joseph the Elder speaking to Joseph the Younger before he died.

"My son, my body is returning to my mother earth, and my spirit is going very soon to see the Great Spirit Chief. When I am gone, think of your country. You are the chief of these people. They look to you to guide them. Always remember that your father never sold his country. You must stop your ears whenever you are asked to sign a treaty selling your home. A few years more and white men will be all around you. They have their eyes on this land. My son, never forget my dying words. This country holds your father's body. Never sell the bones of your father and your mother.”

Chief Joseph commented "I clasped my father's hand and promised to do as he asked. A man who would not defend his father's grave is worse than a wild animal."

"I pressed my father's hand and told him I would protect his grave with my life. My father smiled and passed away to the spirit land."

Chief Joseph's official cause of death according to his doctor was a broken heart


Chief Joseph and his family - circa 1880

In response to the Wounded Knee Massacre on December 29th 1890 at Wounded Knee Creek, the young newspaper editor L. Frank Baum, later the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, wrote in the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer on January 3, 1891:

"The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries, we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth. In this lies future safety for our settlers and the soldiers who are under incompetent commands. Otherwise, we may expect future years to be as full of trouble with the redskins as those have been in the past."


Trail of broken promises

At the end of Chief Joseph's long journey to save the Nez Perce, he began another long struggle on their behalf. The terms of surrender were not honored, despite pleas to American officials from Colonel Miles. Instead of being allowed to live on their reservation in Idaho, or their homeland in the Wallowa Valley, the Nez Perce were marched eastward to Bismarck, North Dakota, for a temporary stay. In Bismark, they were greeted by many townspeople. The story of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce was already beginning to spread across the United States. From North Dakota, the Nez Perce were moved to a reservation near Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This was a flat, hot, and swampy area, not at all like their lush homeland. Many of the Nez Perce contracted malaria. The Nez Perce were then moved to a similarly flat and unsuitable reservation in Oklahoma.

Chief Joseph continued to be very active for his people, working with the BIA with the support of many army officers, including General Howard and Colonel Miles. Because he spoke so eloquently and his reputation had spread far in the United States, Chief Joseph was invited to visit Washington, D.C., in 1879. He met with President Rutherford B. Hayes (1822–1893 served 1877–81), but he was unsuccessful in having his land returned. Chief Joseph's stature grew even more, however, when he explained his cause in speeches, including one during his visit to Washington, D.C., and in an article he wrote for the North American Review, one of the leading magazines of the nineteenth century. In his speeches and his writings, Chief Joseph often used terms Americans identify with, like "The earth is mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it," that form the basis of American democracy.

The Nez Perce finally won the right to return to the Pacific Northwest in 1885, but instead of going to the Wallowa Valley, they were settled on a reservation at Colville, Oregon. They had to contend with white farmers, foresters, and miners and to try and live in a manner different from the way in which they had prospered for many years.

Chief Joseph continued to plea the case of the Nez Perce. He traveled to New York City and Washington, D.C., in 1897 to attend the dedication of a tomb for former general and president Ulysses S. Grant. He stood in company with Howard and Miles, who still believed Chief Joseph deserved the chance to live in Wallowa. Still, he could not win back the land of his people. In 1899, he returned to the Wallowa Valley for the first time in twenty-two years. The valley had changed, but much was still as it had been. He visited his father's grave. Chief Joseph was back in Washington, D.C., in 1903, speaking with President Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919 served 1901–1909), but Roosevelt took no effective steps to secure the return home of the Nez Perce.


‘I will fight no more forever.’ The iconic words of Nez Perce Chief Joseph that he never said

This year marks the 27th anniversary of the first National Native American Heritage Month declared by President George H.W. Bush. It’s one of the few times American Indians are anything but stereotypes or invisible. Unfortunately, while Indians and some of our allies make an effort to correct the historical record, too many myths continue to thrive.

By Meteor Blades

Take the case of Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, who is known to most Americans as Chief Joseph, a leader of the Wallowa band of Nez Perce (Nimíipuu) of Oregon.

He is best remembered for leading a nearly 1,200-mile flight of hundreds of his people toward Canada 140 years ago to join the Hunkpapa Lakota Sitting Bull at a time when the U.S. Army was penning up the Plains tribes on ever smaller reservations in the wake of the defeat of the Seventh Cavalry at Little Big Horn the year before.

Gen. Nelson Miles, and their troops. By the time the Nez Perce surrendered, many of the tribe’s leading warriors, including Joseph’s brother, were dead, many women and children and elders had died from the rigors of the attempt to escape, and everyone still alive was starving. The pursuit, or the versions of it that the Army-embedded reporters sent back to their editors, generated some sympathy, especially in the East where scores of tribes had been exterminated through disease, war, and murder long before the Nez Perce made their doomed bid for freedom.

When the battered Nez Perce gave up, Joseph is said to have given a short statement, which has since become one of the most famous American Indian speeches ever. It was published in a variety of newspapers and magazines immediately after the surrender and brought brief celebrity to Joseph and his band, which did not prevent the tribe from being removed for a time to Oklahoma, a trip that killed many survivors of the aborted trek to Canada and an exile that killed many more.

The speech concludes with the words: “From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.”

It’s one of those iconic phrases that has made its way onto posters and into probably 90 percent of the articles written about the Nez Perce since 1877. It says something about our national zeitgeist that it’s a surrender speech that is the most famous thing an American Indian has ever been quoted as saying.

But whatever he actually said, Joseph never delivered that poetic remark because he didn’t speak English. Twenty-five-year-old Lt. Charles Erskine Scott Wood, who later became an accomplished poet and essayist, originally said he had taken down those words as translated by Arthur Chapman and conveyed to him by Old George, a Nez Perce from another band.

In other words, Joseph’s speech, which would have been delivered in the Sahaptian dialect of his people, came down to us through two interpreters before Wood became the only person to write down what were purportedly the surrender words.

Years later, Wood claimed to have taken down Joseph’s interpreted words on the spot as he handed over his

Winchester to General Miles. Old George was no longer mentioned. Decades before Wood’s death in 1944, those words had been widely challenged.

There was good reason for this criticism. Usually, the speech is seen written as prose. But literary critics noticed an odd thing—the Nez Perce were apparently fond of English sonnets. Because this was the unrhymed 14-line structure that Wood—soon to become a well-published poet—had given as the preface to the chief’s most quoted words:


The American Cowboy Chronicles

The Pacific Northwest tribe of Shahaptin Indians was dubbed the "Nez Percé" by French-Canadian trappers.

It is believed that the name came into existence because some of the natives sported nose rings and other nose ornaments.

The Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery encountered them in 1805. At that time, the Nez Perce tribe had a population of about 6,000 people.

The 1855, the Walla-Walla Treaty called for the Nez Perce to sell a great deal of their lands to the government.

The treaty instructed the Nez Perce to abandon their ancestral country and relocate to Oregon's Umatilla Reservation with the Walla-Walla, Cayuse, and Umatilla tribes.

Following the discovery of gold on Nez Perce treaty land in 1860, thousands of miners and settlers invaded the Nez Perce homeland.

In the beginning, the government tried to protect the Nez Perce treaty lands, even as far as to send in cavalry and erect a fort in the Lapwai Valley.

But because of the growing wave of miners and settlers, the Army finally gave up trying.

Through the 1863 Lapwai Treaty, often called the "Thieves Treaty," the U.S. Government acquired approximately six million acres of Nez Perce treaty land.

Then to add insult to injury the U.S. Government ordered the Nez Perce to a reservation in Idaho that was only 10 percent the size of the original reservation.

By 1877, President Ulysses S. Grant opened the Nez Perce homeland, the beautiful Wallowa Valley of Eastern Oregon, to white settlement.

In addition, the U.S. government demanded that all roaming Nez Percé bands promptly move onto the Lapwai reservation in present-day Idaho.

While Chief Joseph's younger brother, Ollokot, was a hunter and warrior, Joseph was a man of peace and acquired a reputation for his wisdom.

When Chief Old Joseph, his father, died in 1871, the tribe elected Joseph to succeed his father.

Besides not only inheriting his father's name, Joseph, he inherited the responsibility to meet with the U.S. Government representatives on behalf of his tribe.

The situation made progressively more explosive as white settlers continued to pour into the Wallowa Valley.

Chief Joseph rejected the idea that the Nez Perce give up the Wallowa Valley and live on the Lapwai Indian reservation in Idaho.

Along with other non-treaty Nez Perce Chiefs, including Looking Glass, White Bird, Tuhulhulzote, and Hahtalekin, they controlled about 200 warriors.

Chief Joseph continued to argue for peace, and at a war council called by the Sioux in 1874, he refused to take part in raids on white settlers.

At the same time, though, he resisted all efforts by the U.S. Government to force his band onto the small Idaho reservation.

In 1873, a Federal Court order mandated the removal of white settlers and let his people remain in the Wallowa Valley.

But soon, the U.S. Government actually overruled its own ordered mandate. Imagine that!

Then in 1877, General Oliver Howard threatened military action to force Joseph's band and other holdouts to relocate.

It's true, when Joseph met to discuss the demand with one-armed Civil War veteran Brigadier General Oliver Howard there was little discussion because Howard delivered a 30-day ultimatum with a threat to comply, or else.

Worried about the safety of his people, and not wanting to provoke the military into conflict, Joseph and his brother, Ollokot, agreed to move the entire Wallowa Band of Nez Perce to the Lapwai Indian reservation in Idaho.

The bands reluctantly began to move on June 15th, 1877.

Just when everything was starting to get underway, tensions began when a group of young Nez Perce warriors staged raids on settlers. The young warriors killed some settlers along the Salmon River, and the Army was notified.

The elders first hid the young warriors, but Joseph knew that retribution would shortly follow and he reluctantly prepared for war.

Before this all took place, the U.S. Army had only non-violent contact with the Nez Perce.

In fact, there was a history of cooperation going back to when the Nez Perce resupplied and helped Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to such an extent that it is believed that their help saved the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition from certain failure.

Then in the 1830s, the Nez Perce also aided in the expedition of Captain Benjamin Bonneville, who took a leave of absence from the Army to proceed with his western expedition.

The hostilities that had been developing during the 1870s between settlers and the Nez Perce turned into violent conflict during mid-June, 1877.

On June 17th, 1877, the Army assembled its forces to march on the main Nez Perce camp.

They were met by a force of 300 Nez Perce warriors who forced the Army to retreat at White Bird Canyon in Idaho.

While the Army was beaten off from their attack, knowing that they could not win in an engagement against General Howard's full army, the Nez Perce fled as well.

Chief Joseph, Looking Glass, White Bird, Ollokot, Lean Elk aka Poker Joe, and Tuhulhulzote lead the entire tribe of 2,900 men, women and children, east in an attempt to reach a peaceful sanctuary in Canada.

It is said that they intended to seek shelter with their allies the Crow Indians, but the Crow refused to offer help so the Nez Perce decided to reach Canada and maybe join the camp of Lakota Chief Sitting Bull.

Sitting Bull had taken his tribe into Canada after he decisively defeated Col. Custer and the U.S. Army in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Canada looked like sanctuary to the Nez Perce with or without the Lakota, and so they headed there.

That first engagement between the U.S. Army and the Nez Perce at White Bird Canyon in the Idaho Territory was a major victory for the tribe.

Throughout that summer and early fall of 1877, the fighting skill of the Nez Perce and the military tactics of Nez Perce military leaders enabled the tribe to evade almost certain defeat by superior U.S. Army forces.

The Nez Perce waged a war of hit and run, where they proved that they were an effective fighting force similar to our patriots who fought the same style of warfare against the British during our Revolutionary War less than a hundred years earlier.

But right or wrong, with every move Generals Oliver Howard and Nelson Miles followed the Nez Perce -- trying to cut off the tribe's escape to Canada.

That summer, Chief Joseph, Chief Ollokot, and others led their people on a remarkable escape attempt southeast through Montana, then back north across present-day Yellowstone Park.

The Indians traveled more than 1,700 miles while outmaneuvering 10 units of pursuing U.S. soldiers.

It is interesting to note that while he Nez Perce had no formal military training and travelled with their wives and children, the Army used thousands of soldiers during the 1877 Nez Perce campaign and were commanded by veterans of the Civil War with many years of military training and experience.

The Nez Perce and the Army would engage several times as the Nez Perce traveled from their homeland in the Wallowa Valley through the Montana and Idaho Territories.

It was believed that their goal was to reach Canada.

By October of 1877, with winter weather coming on, the Nez Perce lacked food and supplies.

But more importantly, the effects of moving an entire more than 1,700 miles over rough western terrain had began to take its toll on the tribe.

Thinking they had finally shaken off their pursuers, the Nez Perce stopped for badly needed food and rest near the Bear Paw Mountains in Montana Territory.

They were roughly 40 miles from the Canadian border, and crossing the border meant safety.

Their obstacle to crossing into Canada was General Miles who had led his troops on a 160 mile forced march to catch the Nez Perce.

So now, why did this all take place?

Now before we go on with what happened next, let's ponder a question that my wife asked when I read this to her.

She asked, since the U.S. Army wanted the Nez Perce off their traditional homelands, and the whole Nez Perce tribe did in fact do just that and left, why did the Army pursue them?

Instead of confinement, they chose to head for Canada and freedom, so why did the Army bother stopping them? So really, why did the Army bother pursuing them as far as they did?

Honestly, I can't find the answer to that. I honestly don't know the answer other than speculating that the Army's goal was to put the Nez Perce on a reservation and they were not going to allow anything else to take place.

I believe that the Army saw it as a matter of "losing face" if the Nez Perce made it to Canada and defied the U.S. Government order to confine them in what was no better than a concentration camp of the time.

The Nez Perce War started over the tribe's refusal to leave their land, but in the end they did. The U.S. Army pressed the issue over their refusal to relocate to a Reservation.

Why the U.S. Army was so determined with putting the tribe on a Reservation instead of allowing them to simply leave the country and enter Canada is a mystery that I have not found the answer to.

Their Last Battle

As for the last battle of the Nez Perce War, it started on September 30th and would last until October 5th, 1877.

After a five-day battle, the tribe's horses were stampeded and General Howard's reinforcements were closing in fast.

While Chief White Bird refused to surrender and found a way to escape to Canada with some of the band, it became obvious to Chief Joseph that continuing to fight was futile.

It was then that Chief Joseph surrendered his remaining band of weary Indians to Generals Miles and Howard.

The famous 1877 fighting retreat led by Chief Joseph and Chief White Bird, and others turned out to be the final and most extended Indian War in the region.

Effectively ending the Nez Perce War of 1877, Chief Joseph's famous surrender speech was recorded and translated as follows:

"I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. The old men are all killed. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food no one knows where they are, perhaps freezing to death. I want time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs, I am tired my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

As a matter of interest, the U.S. Army awarded the Medal of Honor to Captains Edward S. Godfrey and Myles Moylan for their actions against the Nez Perce at Bear Paw Mountain.

It is believed that 800 Nez Perce warriors defeated or held off the thousands of pursuing Army troops in 18 battles, skirmishes, and engagements.

And yes, it is believed that more than 300 US soldiers and 1,000 Nez Perce including women and children were killed in this conflict.

The Nez Perce were promised by General Miles a safe return to the Wallowa Valley.

But in fact General Miles was overruled, and the Nez Perce were instead sent to Kansas and Oklahoma where the survivors of 1877 endured many more years of hardship.

The Nez Perce War would not be the last conflict where the decisions and promises of battlefield commanders would be negated and disregarded by political forces and a physically distant command structure.

During his people's brutal confinement at Fort Leavenworth and then in Oklahoma, Chief Joseph relentlessly appealed to the U.S military and the government for help to return them to their land.

In 1879, Chief Joseph and another leader, Chief Yellow Bull, went to Washington, D.C., to meet with President Rutherford B. Hayes to plead their case for their people to return to their homeland in the Pacific Northwest.

Then something that was never head of took place, Chief Joseph presented his case to the American people in which he provided his account of Nez Perce history and their treatment at the hands of their jailers.

He did so in an interview with Reverend W.H. Hare. The interview was published in the North American Review in April 1879.

For the remainder of his life, Chief Joseph tried unsuccessfully to convince the U.S. Government that he and his tribe should regain a place in the valley "where most of my relatives and friends are sleeping their last sleep."

He made an attempt to win congressional support, but Senators from the west were not about to lend aid to the Indians.

As with today, they were not about to take a stand that would possibly mean losing them the support of their constituents.

Chief Joseph made such a favorable impression, however, that the Indian Rights Association that several wealthy Eastern philanthropists began to speak out on his behalf.

And yes, Chief Joseph actually made several trips to Washington, D.C., and to New York City on behalf of his people to argue for their return.

It would not be until 1885 that some of the Nez Perce were allowed to move onto the Lapwai Reservation in Idaho. Chief Joseph and others were sent to the Colville Reservation in Washington.

On September 21, 1904, at age 64, Chief Joseph died alone in his teepee after serving his people for most of his adult life.

The doctor listed cause of death as "a broken heart." His remains were interred in the cemetery on the Colville Reservation.

He was a Nez Perce Chief, a man of his people who lived most of his later life separated from the people and land that he dearly loved.

In the Wallowa Valley is Joseph Creek, a tributary of the Grand Ronde River in present-day northeastern Oregon. Joseph was born in a dry cave near that creek in 1840.

It should be noted that Chief Joseph's Indian name was "Heinmot Tooyalakekt" which means "Thunder Rising To Higher Mountainsides."

It's said that, as a youth, Joseph gained a great deal of his knowledge of the American military by just watching U.S. soldiers during their training.

He was a great Chief who was a natural leader.

What made him a great Chief is that he fought for his people at every turn, which of course is more than I can say for those in leadership positions in the United States today.

Because I believe many of our leaders today are more interested in working for their own self-interest than for us, I believe many of them can learn a great deal from Chief Joseph.

No, just as I can't imagine President Abraham Lincoln taking time off from the crisis that faced the nation during the Civil War, I can't imagine Chief Joseph playing golf when there was so much work to do.


Watch the video: Rites and Visions: The Surrender Speech of Chief Joseph American Indian (August 2022).