"Chief Joseph" Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt (1840-1904)

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  • "I Will Fight No More Forever"

    The man who became a national celebrity with the name "Chief Joseph" was born in the Wallowa Valley in what is now northeastern Oregon in 1840. He was given the name Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, or Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain. In 1877 the federal government assigned the Nez Perce to a reservation in Idaho. Believing military resistance futile; when General Oliver Otis Howard threatened a cavalry attack to force Joseph's band onto the reservation, Joseph reluctantly began to lead his people toward Idaho. Unfortunately, they never got there. About twenty young Nez Percé warriors, enraged at the loss of their homeland, staged a raid on nearby settlements and killed several whites. Immediately, the army began to pursue Joseph's band. What followed was one of the most brilliant military retreats in American history. In over three months, the band of about 700, fewer than 200 of whom were warriors, fought 2,000 U.S. soldiers and Indian auxiliaries in four major battles and numerous skirmishes. By the time he formally surrendered on October 5, 1877, Joseph was widely referred to in the American press as "the Red Napoleon." The last line of Joseph’s surrender speech stated, From where the sun now stands

    "I will fight no more forever".

    The original "I Will Fight No More" is for sale.