Chief Joseph

Photo of Chief Joseph
Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, Hinmatóowyalahtq̓it in Americanist orthography, popularly known as Chief Joseph or Young Joseph (March 3, 1840 – September 21, 1904), succeeded his father Tuekakas (Chief Joseph the Elder) as the leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce, a Native American tribe indigenous to the Wallowa Valley in northeastern Oregon, in the interior Pacific Northwest region of the United States. He led his band during the most tumultuous period in their contemporary history when they were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in the Wallowa Valley by the United States federal government and forced to move northeast, onto the significantly reduced reservation in Lapwai, Idaho Territory. A series of events that culminated in episodes of violence led those Nez Perce who resisted removal, including Joseph's band and an allied band of the Palouse tribe, to ... More

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Chief Joseph Quotes

Chief Joseph #War

Photo of Chief Joseph I saw clearly that war was upon us when I learned that my young men had been secretly buying ammunition.
Chief Joseph #Change

Photo of Chief Joseph I know that my race must change.
Chief Joseph #Dad

Photo of Chief Joseph My father... had sharper eyes than the rest of our people.
Chief Joseph #Alone #Peace

Photo of Chief Joseph 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.
Chief Joseph #Good

Photo of Chief Joseph It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and the broken promises.
Chief Joseph #Government

Photo of Chief Joseph I only ask of the government to be treated as all other men are treated.
Chief Joseph #Great #Men

Photo of Chief Joseph All men were made by the Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers.
Chief Joseph #Home

Photo of Chief Joseph General Howard informed me, in a haughty spirit, that he would give my people 30 days to go back home, collect all their stock, and move onto the reservation.
Chief Joseph #Peace

Photo of Chief Joseph If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace.
Chief Joseph #Sad

Photo of Chief Joseph 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 #Travel #Work

Photo of Chief Joseph Let me be a free man - free to travel, free to stop, free to work.
Chief Joseph #Truth

Photo of Chief Joseph It does not require many words to speak the truth.
Chief Joseph #War

Photo of Chief Joseph 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.
Chief Joseph #War

Photo of Chief Joseph I saw that the war could not be prevented. The time had passed.
Chief Joseph #Men

Photo of Chief Joseph Treat all men alike. Give them the same law. Give them an even chance to live and grow.
Chief Joseph #War

Photo of Chief Joseph I said in my heart that, rather than have war, I would give up my country.
Chief Joseph #War

Photo of Chief Joseph 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.
Chief Joseph #Dad

Photo of Chief Joseph 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 #War

Photo of Chief Joseph War can be avoided, and it ought to be avoided. I want no war.
Chief Joseph #Great #Hope #Women

Photo of Chief Joseph 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.