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Benvenuti in queste pagine dedicate a scienza ed arte. Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

Friday, January 21, 2011

Profiles - Chief Joseph

Chief Joseph (1840 – 1904) was the chief of the Wallowa band of Nez Perce during General Oliver O. Howard's attempt to forcibly remove his band and the other "non-treaty" Nez Perce to a reservation in Idaho. For his principled resistance to the removal, he became renowned as a humanitarian and peacemaker.
From Wiki
Joseph the Younger succeeded his father as chief in 1871. Before his death, the latter counseled his son:
"My son, my body is returning to my mother earth, and my spirit is going very soon to see the Great Spirit Chief. When I am gone, think of your country. You are the chief of these people. They look to you to guide them. Always remember that your father never sold his country. You must stop your ears whenever you are asked to sign a treaty selling your home. A few years more and white men will be all around you. They have their eyes on this land. My son, never forget my dying words. This country holds your father's body. 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."
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Chief Joseph formally surrendered to General Nelson Appleton Miles on October 5, 1877 in the Bear Paw Mountains of the Montana Territory, less than 40 miles south of Canada in a place close to the present-day Chinook in Blaine County. The battle is remembered in popular history by the words attributed to Chief Joseph at the formal surrender:
"Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Too-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, 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, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."


The image shows Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Chief Joseph at the Nez Percé Lapwai Reservation in Idaho, where Fletcher arrived in 1889. The image is adapted from the original photograph by Jane Gay. This image is in the public domain due to its age.

Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838 - 1923) was an American ethnologist who studied and documented American Indian culture. More  Wiki and also http://www.nmnh.si.edu/naa/fletcher/ (this web page has an image archive with original stereoscopic pictures).