Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Chief Joseph For Western Wednesday !

We forget just how influential some Native Americans were in the peace processes of the time. This is one way that Chief Joseph shined the most.

1904
The great Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph dies in Washington

On this day in 1904, the remarkable Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph dies on the Colville reservation in northern Washington at the age of 64. The whites had described him as superhuman, a military genius, an Indian Napoleon. But in truth, the Nez Perce Chief Him-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt (“Thunder Rolling Down from the Mountains”) was more of a diplomat than a warrior.

Chief Joseph-as non-Indians knew him-had been elected chief of the Wallowa band of Nez Perce Indians when he was only 31. For six difficult years the young leader struggled peacefully against the whites who coveted the Wallowa’s fertile land in northeastern Oregon. In 1877, General Howard of the U.S. Army warned that if the Wallowa and other bands of the Nez Perce did not abandon their land and move to the Lapwai Reservation within 30 days, his troops would attack. While some of the other Nez Perce chiefs argued they should resist, Chief Joseph convinced them to comply with the order rather than face war, and he led his people on a perilous voyage across the flood-filled Snake and Salmon River canyons to a campsite near the Lapwai Reservation. But acting without Chief Joseph’s knowledge, a band of 20 young hotheaded braves decided to take revenge on some of the more offensive white settlers in the region, sparking the Nez Perce War of 1877.

Chief Joseph was no warrior, and he opposed many of the subsequent actions of the Nez Perce war councils. Joseph’s younger brother, Olikut, was far more active in leading the Nez Perce into battle, and Olikut helped them successfully outsmart the U.S. Army on several occasions as the war ranged over more than 1,600 miles of Washington, Idaho, and Montana territory. Nonetheless, military leaders and American newspapers persisted in believing that since Chief Joseph was the most prominent Nez Perce spokesman and diplomat, he must also be their principal military leader.

By chance, Chief Joseph was the only major leader to survive the war, and it fell to him to surrender the surviving Nez Perce forces to Colonel Nelson A. Miles at the Bear Paw battlefield in northern Montana in October 1877. “From where the sun now stands,” he promised, “I will fight no more forever.” Chief Joseph lived out the rest of his life in peace, a popular romantic symbol of the noble “red men” who many Americans admired now that they no longer posed any real threat.

It's a shame that we could never learn from our mistaken idea that it was fair to take tribal land just because we could. Lucky for many settlers that cooler heads like Chief Joseph were around as long as they were.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

9 comments:

linda m said...

Those days were some "dark" ones for our country. It is never right to covet and take something that belongs to another just because we want it. I'm am grateful for people like Chief Joseph. Raining here today. I'll bring some donuts to go with our coffee.

Chickenmom said...

Good story, Mr. Hermit. Sad that there are so many on reservations in this day and age.

Momlady said...

Taking their land hasn't stopped. Wonder if it ever will.

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
I couldn't agree with you more.
Thanks for stopping by this morning!


Hey Phyllis...
That it is, that it is!
Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Momlady...
Probably will never stop. Sadly...
Thanks for the visit today!

JO said...

I read quite a bit about Chief Joseph, he truely was a great man. And how sad that this land grabbing is still going on makes me sick.

Nice morning a little on the humid side again but temps are going down. Patio sounds good

Rob said...

Taking what you can from someone else is how the world has worked since mankind has recorded history.
"We" live in a time where a great deal of effort is put into protecting "us", it is that effort that allows us to live our lives with our property secure....and it's not like this everywhere.

Dizzy-Dick said...

All this land that is now the U.S. of A. was once inhabited by the native people. So, actually, every bit of the U.S. was stolen from the Indians.

HermitJim said...

Hey Jo...
There was a lot written about him from what I understand. Make a good impression on many folks.
Thanks for dropping in, sweetie!


Hey Rob...
I think you are right on with that.
Sure appreciate you coming over today!


Hey Dizzy...
Never thought that way about it before, but you are certainly right about that, my friend.
Thanks for the visit today!

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