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Chief Joseph was supposedly born in 1840 and  died in 1904. He was a peace-loving man and hated war. In 1877, he bravely led a retreat to Canada. What happened next? Keep reading to find out.     

Peace For the Nez Perce

Chief Joseph wasn't a war hungry brute. He was one for peace, unlike some others at the time. He gave in to the settlers nearly every time to save his tribe's blood. He only wanted to leave the U.S. because his tribe wanted to leave their reservation. Also, unlike many settlers at the time, he believed in treating people how you want to be treated. Along with many other Native Americans, he thought that "the Earth is mother to us all, and all people have equal rights upon it."

Respect From a Native's View

As crazy as it may sound, the Nez Perce were once proud of being friends with the settlers. Of course, that was bound to change. Joseph's father was supposedly the first person to see through the schemes of the settlers. Even when he was going to Canada, he ran into 4 armies in the span of 60 days. Even more cruel of the settlers, they forced the Nez Perce out of their homeland, where Chief Joseph's parents were buried. When they were told that they had to go on a reservation, Joseph disagreed.

The Retreat to Canada

In 1877, Joseph led a group of several hundred people to seek refuge in Canada. This happened after hostilities broke out and 3 white men were killed. When they were found by General Miles, he gave up his gun by the 5th day. Since his attempt failed, he was forced to go live on a reservation like the rest of his tribe. His famous farewell speech stated that he never intended to fight again.

Thanks to Joseph, many of the Nez Perce were saved. Even though they were forced onto reservations, they could still live in peace. In 1904, Joseph died. Even though he is gone, Joseph is still remembered today especially by the Nez Perce.

image courtesy of http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/people/a_c/chiefjoseph.htm

 

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