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Chief Joseph

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 10 months ago


Chief Joseph


Leader of the Nez Perce

(c. 1840-1904)





"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." -- Cheif Joseph



Chief Joseph, know to his tribesmen as Hin-mah-too-Yah-lat-kekt ("Thunder Rolling in the Mountains"), was born in Wallowa Valley, Oregon.  He was one of the leaders of the Nez Perce.


When gold was discovered on the nearby  Clearwater Riverin the 1860s, the "Christian" branch (the branch of the Nez Perce that sided with the whites) signed a treaty selling 7 million acres of their land under the advice of Lawyer, another Nez Perce leader.  Chief Joseph and many other Nez Perce (the "non-Christian" branch) never acknowleged this treaty, a common practice in Native American tribes due to their lack of a formal centralized government.  In a treaty of 1873, Chief Joseph confirmed the Nez Perce rights to the Wallowa Valley.  U.S. Army commander, General Oliver Otis Howard, however, ordered the Nez Perce to a reservation in Lapwai, Idaho within 30 days in 1877.  Just before they reached the reservation, a group of young men decided to take revenge and caused a two day raid that killed 21 whites.  In response Captain David Perry led a force against the "non-Christian" Nez Perce in the Battle of White Bird Canyon.  33 of Perry's men were killed while Chief Joseph did not loose a single soldier.  The Nez Perce fled more than 1,000 miles in attempt to reach Canada through the Bitterroot Mountains, what would become Yellowstone National Park, and a large part of Montana fighting successful small-scale battles at Clearwater, Big Hole, and Canyon Creek.  At Bear Paw Mountain, a few miles from the Canadian border, General Nelson A. Miles caught up with Chief Joseph and his followers.  Joseph surrendered to Miles givining one of the most famous quotes in Native American history (written above) after Miles promised the return of the Wallowa Valley to the Nez Perce. 



A memorial at the cite of the Battle at Bear Paw


The government, however, woul not allow the Nez Perce to return to Wallowa Valley.  They were taken to a reservation in Bismarck, North Dakota and then moved to several other reservations throughout the following years.  Chief Joseph spent the rest of his life petitioning the US government for the right to return to their land even going as far as asking Presidents Rutherford Hayes and Theodore Roosevelt.  He died in 1905 after living on various reservations for almost 30 years.





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Page created by:  Kara W

Avon High School, Avon, Indiana

Date created:  3-21-08                                                          http://www.rockymountainroads.com/wyoming001/us-014_us-016_us-020_wb_app_wy-120_to_wy-296.jpg





Comments (9)

Anonymous said

at 7:31 am on Apr 7, 2008

I love the quote to start this page!! Its complete with authentic Indian grammar and everything! I also like the bigger font, so that it is easy to read everything that you wrote! Good job!

Anonymous said

at 6:54 am on Apr 10, 2008

I found the information on this page interesting, especially the quote Chief Joseph said about giving up the fight and how the U.S. government betrayed the Nez Perce. However, more information about Chief Joseph's early life and his rise to becoming a leader would have been very helpful as well.

Anonymous said

at 6:56 am on Apr 10, 2008

I really like your quote at the start of your page. One of your links is not working. But you still did a great job.

Anonymous said

at 6:56 am on Apr 10, 2008

The beginning really grabs your attention with the quote, good job. The information is really interesting but I would have liked to see a little more about his personal life. It would also be helpful to maybe link some of the places you talk about so we know where they are located on a map.

Anonymous said

at 7:18 am on Apr 10, 2008

I like the pictures you choose. The quote was also a great way to introduce the information and start the page. Good job. They way you presented the information made the page flow very well. Very nice.

Anonymous said

at 7:16 am on Apr 11, 2008

Not to sound like everyone else, but the quote at the beginning was awesome! It really draws the reader into the page. You could have done with a little more information, like his early life, background, and such. You did a great job with the bulk of his life story, though. Great work!

Anonymous said

at 7:17 am on Apr 11, 2008

The biggest thing that stood out to me was the quote at the beginning of this page was the quote. It added a good touch to the wiki. I also liked how you put his Native American name on the page. The only thing that was negative was that one of your links does not work.

Anonymous said

at 7:27 am on Apr 11, 2008

I've seen that quote somewhere before. Actually, I think I did a writing prompt on it once. I'ts very powerful. However, I would have liked to see more links to people such as Rutherford Hayes and Theodore Roosevelt.

Anonymous said

at 4:54 pm on Apr 13, 2008

I love the quote at the beginning of the wiki, it's an awesome start and really hooked me in. More information about his personal life would've been nice, but other than that I loved it~

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