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Upon failing to lead his people to safety in Canada, Chief Joseph said, "I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs
are killed. The old men are dead...It is cold. We have no blankets. The little children are freezing to
death. Hear me my chiefs. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."
“Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain” aka Chief Joseph, leader of the Wallowa band of Nez Perce, a Native American tribe in northeastern Oregon. He was the younger Joseph as his father was “Old Joseph” or “Joseph the Elder.” He succeeded his father as leader of the tribe in 1871, upon his father’s death. Prior to his death, the elder Joseph instructed his son to stop his ears whenever asked to sign a treaty selling your home. He said, “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 beast.” So with this promise made to a dying man, Chief Joseph was empowered to stand his ground when approached by the federal government and in 1873 he negotiated a policy that would allow his tribe to stay on their land in the Wallowa Valley. But that didn’t last long because settlers wanted more Indian lands. By 1877, the government had reversed its policy and threatened attack on the Wallowa band if they did not relocate to the Idaho Reservation along with the other Nez Perce. You see, back in 1855, the elder Joseph and other Nez Perce chiefs signed a treaty with the United States establishing a Nez Perce reservation in present-day Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.
Read the complete article in the Bevil Newsletter,
which accompanies the cover when collected!
GREETINGS FROM OREGON
FIRST DAY OF ISSUE
OCTOBER 25, 2002
NEW YORK, NY 10199
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