FOR ALL AGES

35+ Chief Joseph Quotes From The Influential Nez Perce Leader

Chief Joseph quotes from the Nez Perce Indians' leader.

Chief Joseph was born on 3 March 1840 into the Nez Perce Tribe of Wallowa Valley and died on 21 September 1904.

His native name was 'Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt' which translates to the thunder rolling down the mountain. Chief Joseph is known synonymously as being the heart and soul of the Nez Perce war.

The settlements of the US in the Wallowa Valley were the beginning of confusion and chaos. Many Native Indians were forced to give up their names which are close to losing part of one's identity. Agreements were made with the government to ensure peace However, in 1863 the government forced them to move to Idaho. Not only did they change their names but also were to give up their land. The reason for this was simply the land native to the Nez Perce tribe was considered to possess gold which the U.S. wanted. However, this was extremely unfair to the Nez Perce tribe. Post his father's death, Chief Joseph refused to be forced in such a manner, they felt cheated and dismayed. He organized his group of 200 warriors and planned efficiently for war. The skills Chief Joesph possessed were considered exceptional but he was ultimately forced to surrender to the U.S.

In this article, we will take a look at Chief Joseph quotes based on his life and experience. For more, visit [Chief Dan George quotes] and Tecumseh quotes.

Equality Quotes By Chief Joseph

The military genius he utilized through warfare was considered commendable and he earned the nickname of 'Red Napolean'. His only aim was to make sure that his tribe sustained. Here are some Chief Joseph quotes on inequality and the importance of equality.

Chief Joesph quotes convey his wish that white men treated them just like they treated other white men.

1."The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it."

-Chief Joseph

2."If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace...Treat all men alike. Give them the same law. Give them an even chance to live and grow..."

-Chief Joseph

3."...The great spirit chief who rules above will smile upon this land and send rain to wash out the bloody spots made by brothers hands upon the face of the earth."

-Chief Joseph

4."Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other, then we shall have no more wars. We shall all be alike, brothers of one father and one mother with one sky above us and one country around us and one government for all."

-Chief Joseph

5."I do not believe that the great spirit chief gave one kind of men the right to tell another kind of men what they must do."

-Chief Joseph  

6."We soon found that the white men were growing rich very fast, and were greedy."

-Chief Joseph

7."Our people could not talk with these white-faced men, but they used signs which all people understand."

-Chief Joseph

8."When I think of our condition, my heart is heavy. I see men of my own race treated as outlaws and driven from country to country, or shot down like animals."

-Chief Joseph

9."Some of you think an Indian is like a wild animal. This is a great mistake."

-Chief Joseph

10."...It's cold we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills...no food. No one knows where they are -perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me Chiefs"

-Chief Joseph

11."I am not a child. I think for myself. No man can think for me."

-Chief Joseph

12."Cursed be he that scalps the reputation of the dead."

-Chief Joseph

Chief Joseph Nez Perce Quotes On Land

Chief Joseph dedicated his whole life to make sure that their land would stay their own. He even made a promise to his father but was unable to fulfill it. Facts suggest that he died from a broken heart. Take a look at Chief Joseph quotes related to the Nez Perce tribe and other war-related quotes.

13."It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and the broken promises."

-Chief Joseph

14."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

15."Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have in my heart. I am tire of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; looking glass is dead...the old men are all dead... 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

16."We do not want churches. They will teach us to quarrel about God."

-Chief Joseph

17."We were contented to let things remain as the great spirit chief made them. They were not; and would change the rivers and mountains if they did not suit them."

-Chief Joseph  

18."The earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was. The country was made without lines of demarcation, and it is no man's business to divide it."

-Chief Joseph

19."The earth and myself are of one mind. The measure of land and the measure of our bodies are the same."

-Chief Joseph

20."Good words will not give back my children."

-Chief Joseph

21."I cannot tell you how much my heart suffered for my people while at Leavenworth."

-Chief Joseph

22."The first white men of your people who came to our country were named Lewis and Clark."

-Chief Joseph

23."A chief called Lawyer, because he was a great talker, took the lead in the council, and sold nearly all the Nez Perce Country."

-Chief Joseph

Inspirational Chief Joseph Quotes

'Thunder Rolling In The Mountains' written by Scott O' Dell makes mention of Chief Joseph in his book. Here are some inspirational Chief Joseph quotes.

Chief Joesph quotes about him being an extremely skilled individual who was capable of planning effectively to protect the Nez Perce Tribe.

24."You might as well expect rivers to run backward as any man born free to be contented penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases."

-Chief Joseph

25."All men were made by the great spirit Chief. They are all brothers."

-Chief Joseph

26."Good words do not last long unless they amount to something."

-Chief Joseph

27."It does not require many words to speak the truth."

-Chief Joseph

28."I believe much trouble would be saved if we opened our hearts more."

-Chief Joseph

29."The eye tells what the tongue would hide."

-Chief Joseph

30."Look twice at the two-faced man."

-Chief Joseph

31."Big name often stands on small legs."

-Chief Joseph

32."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

33."My father was the first to see through the schemes of the white men."

-Chief Joseph

34."Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own  teachers, free to follow my religion of my fathers, free to talk, think, and act for myself- and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty."

 -Chief Joseph

35."A man who would not love his father's grave is worse than a wild animal."

-Chief Joseph

36."I am tired of talk that comes to nothing."

-Chief Joseph

37."War can be avoided, and it ought to be avoided. I want no war."

-Chief Joseph

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Chief Joseph quotes then why not take a look at John Trudell quotes, or [Native American quotes].

Author

Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Share this article

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

COPY LINK

Subscribe_Hero
Get The Kidadl Newsletter
1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.