Analyzing Primary and Secondary Sources to Assess the Decisions and Policies of Sitting Bull, Red Cloud and the us government Inquiry



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Analyzing Primary and Secondary Sources to Assess the Decisions and Policies of

Sitting Bull, Red Cloud and the US Government
Inquiry: Students will be asked to analyze pictures of Red Cloud and Sitting Bull and speeches and documents by the US Government, Red Cloud and Sitting Bull in order to assess the decisions made by these two men and the US Government. Students will be answering the essential question: “What is your

opinion of US government policies towards Native Americans and how some natives chose to respond to this encroachment upon their land and way of life?”


Objectives:

Students will know and be able to:



  • Observe and infer ideas about the personality and character of Sitting Bull and Red Cloud through photographs

  • Determine the intended audience of the sources

  • Analyze the impact of the Dawes Act on native life

  • Analyze Sitting Bulls Surrender quote and an account of his death

  • Analyze Red Cloud’s Cooper Union Speech July 16,1870

  • Compare the quote by Chief Joseph to the experiences of other tribes

  • Assess the decisions made by Red Cloud, Sitting Bull and the US Government



Materials: (all attached at end of lesson)

  • Pictures and speech made by Sitting Bull http://www.sittingbull.org/

  • Sitting Bull background information http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/people/s_z/sittingbull.htm

  • Red Cloud background information http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/people/i_r/redcloud.htm

  • Speech given by Chief Red Cloud at Cooper Union New York July 16, 1870 http://www.academicamerican.com/recongildedage/documents/RedCloud.htm

  • Picture Analysis Worksheet http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/photo.html

  • Indian Council with attachments

  • An account of the death of Sitting Bull http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/resources/archives/eight/sbarrest.htm

  • Picture of Red Cloud http://www.sd4history.com/Unit4/redcloud.htm

  • Picture of Sitting Bull http://www.sonofthesouth.net/union-generals/sittingbull.htm

  • Chief Joseph http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/joseph.htm


Activities:

  • Recall information already learned about the “Indian Wars” Project the pictures of Sitting Bull and Red Cloud.

  • Handout the Pictures Analysis Worksheet.

  • Students, with partners chosen by me, will answer the questions on the worksheet. (They have used this before so no guided practice is needed).

  • Class will reconvene after approximately 10 minutes where we will discuss the analysis of the painting.

  • The class will then be separated into two groups. One group will be given the documents for Red Cloud and the other for Sitting Bull.

  • After reading, groups will be expected to analyze the documents by answering the provided questions.

  • Students must present their analysis to the class as though they are representing the views of their Native person.

  • After presenting they should then share their own insights as to whether they agree with this viewpoint.

  • Closure: Once both groups have presented we will have a class discussion using the “Questions for both groups after their presentations are finished.”

  • Homework will be assigned to allow students a chance to develop their opinion on the Essential question.


Assessment:

  • Informal assessment comes from observation of students working with partners and then individually on analyzing the painting and written documents.

  • Participation in partner and full group discussion Individual questions from students

  • The worksheets and charts will be collected at the end of the lesson for a formal assessment



Indian Council

Directions: Read the documents and view the pictures of Sitting Bull and Red Cloud.


  1. What has been the relationship between the Sitting Bull/ Red Cloud and the US.Gov?

  2. How has it changed?

  3. In what famous battles have Sitting Bull/ Red Cloud fought?

  4. What were some of Sitting Bull/ Red Cloud’s final thoughts on the US Government Actions?


Overarching question:

Directions: The class will be split in half, one group representing Red Cloud and the other Sitting Bull. Each group will be given documents to read of the Native person they are representing. After reading, groups will be expected to analyze the documents by answering the provided questions. Students must present their analysis to the class as though they are representing the views of their Native person. After presenting they should then share their own insights as to whether they agree with this viewpoint.
Red Cloud Background (Secondary Source)

  1. What was Red Cloud’s position in the Lakota tribe?

  2. What is Red Cloud credited with doing in 1866?

  3. What was remarkable about the Fort Laramie Treaty?

  4. Why did Red Cloud dislike the Dawes Act?

  5. In what ways did Red Cloud continue to fight for his people other than war?

Chief Red Cloud on Indian Rights” speech given by Red Cloud at Cooper Union,



New York on July 16, 1870 (Primary Source)
Great Father = The US President at that time


  1. What are the comparisons and contrasts that Red Cloud makes between whites and natives?

  2. Why has he traveled east to make this speech? (use evidence)

  3. Do you feel he is sincere in all of his statements? Explain

  4. How does he explain the changes in the relationship between his tribe and the US government?

  5. According to Red Cloud: What should we do about the problem of the US government policies towards the Native American?


Sitting Bull Background (Secondary Source)

  1. What was Sitting Bull’s position in the Lakota tribe?

  2. How did Sitting Bull react to the government’s effort to force all natives onto a reservation by 1876?

  3. In what way did Sitting Bull fight for his people after the Battle of Little Bighorn (the Custer fight)?

  4. How did Sitting Bull resist the government even after he surrendered?

Sitting Bull’s Surrender and “An Account of Sitting Bull’s Death” (Primary Source)

  1. What were his expectations concerning his surrender?

  2. What can be inferred about his character that he wanted it known that he was the last to surrender?

  3. After reading the excerpt on the account of his death,what can be inferred about Sitting Bull’s relationship to us policies and reservation life?

  4. According to Sitting Bull: What should we do about the problem of the US government policies towards the Native American?


Questions for both groups after their presentations are finished:

  1. Although both eventually surrendered, are their different types of surrender? Explain. Does this affect your opinion about the actions of Sitting Bull and Red Cloud?

  2. You have spent time analyzing the pictures of both men without knowing which is which. Now that you have learned about each man, try to guess who is Sitting Bull and who is Red Cloud. Think about what assumptions and inferences you are making after you guess. (After we discuss this I will reveal each man’s identity)


Documents for the Indian Council

Red Cloud

Makhpiya-Luta (1822-1909)
As a warrior and a statesman, Red Cloud's success in confrontations with the United States government marked him as one of the most important Lakota leaders of the nineteenth century.
Although the details of his early life are unclear, Red Cloud was born near the forks of the Platte River, near what is now North Platte, Nebraska. His mother was an Oglala and his father, who died in Red Cloud's youth, was a Brulé Red Cloud was raised in the household of his maternal uncle, Chief Smoke.
Much of Red Cloud's early life was spent at war, first and most often against the neighboring Pawnee and Crow, at times against other Oglala. In 1841 he killed one of his uncle's primary rivals, an event which divided the Oglala for the next fifty years. He gained enormous prominence within the Lakota nation for his leadership in territorial wars against the Pawnees, Crows, Utes and Shoshones.
Beginning in 1866, Red Cloud orchestrated the most successful war against the United States ever fought by an Indian nation. The army had begun to construct forts along the Bozeman Trail, which ran through the heart of Lakota territory in present-day Wyoming to the Montana gold fields from Colorado's South Platte River. As caravans of miners and settlers began to cross the Lakota's land, Red Cloud was haunted by the vision of Minnesota's expulsion of the Eastern Lakota in 1862 and 1863. So he launched a series of assaults on the forts, most notably the crushing defeat of Lieutenant Colonel William Fetterman's column of eighty men just outside Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming, in December of 1866. The garrisons were kept in a state of exhausting fear of further attacks through the rest of the winter.
Red Cloud's strategies were so successful that by 1868 the United States government had agreed to the Fort Laramie Treaty. The treaty's remarkable provisions mandated that the United States abandon its forts along the Bozeman Trail and guarantee the Lakota their possession of what is now the Western half of South Dakota, including the Black Hills, along with much of Montana and Wyoming.
The peace, of course, did not last. Custer's 1874 Black Hills expedition again brought war to the northern Plains, a war that would mean the end of independent Indian nations. For reasons which are not entirely clear, Red Cloud did not join Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and other war leaders in the Lakota War of 1876-77. However, after the military defeat of the Lakota nation, Red Cloud continued to fight for the needs and autonomy of his people, even if in less obvious or dramatic ways than waging war.

Throughout the 1880's Red Cloud struggled with Pine Ridge Indian Agent Valentine McGillycuddy over the distribution of government food and supplies and the control of the Indian police force. He was eventually successful in securing McGillycuddy's dismissal. Red Cloud cultivated contacts with sympathetic Eastern reformers, especially Thomas A. Bland, and was not above pretending for political effect to be more acculturated to white ways than he actually was.


Fearing the Army's presence on his reservation, Red Cloud refrained from endorsing the Ghost Dance movement, and unlike Sitting Bull and Big Foot, he escaped the Army's occupation unscathed. Thereafter he continued to fight to preserve the authority of chiefs such as himself, opposed leasing Lakota lands to whites, and vainly fought allotment of Indian reservations into individual tracts under the 1887 Dawes Act. He died in 1909, but his long and complex life endures as testimony to the variety of ways in which Indians resisted their conquest.

Chief Red Cloud on Indian Rights
Red Cloud, chief of the largest tribe of the Teton Sioux Nation, achieved early fame as a warrior and yet was one of the most influential Indian leaders to urge peace with the U.S. government. In 1870 Red Cloud visited the East, at which time be gave the following speech at a reception in his honor at Cooper Union in New York on July 16. Though a persistent critic of the government and of its Indian agents, whom be charged with graft and corruption, Red Cloud only opposed agitation for further wars that, he knew, would only result in losses for his people.
MY BRETHREN AND MY FRIENDS who are here before me this day, God Almighty has made us all, and He is here to bless what I have to say to you today. The Good Spirit made us both. He gave you lands and He gave us lands; He gave us these lands; you came in here, and we respected you as brothers. God Almighty made you but made you all white and clothed you; when He made us He made us with red skins and poor; now you have come.
When you first came we were very many, and you were few; now you are many, and we are getting very few, and we are poor. You do not know who appears before you today to speak. I am a representative of the original American race, the first people of this continent. We are good and not bad. The reports that you hear concerning us are all on one side. We are always well-disposed to them. You are here told that we are traders and thieves, and it is not so. We have given you nearly all our lands, and if we had any more land to give we would be very glad to give it. We have nothing more. We are driven into a very little land, and we want you now, as our dear friends, to help us with the government of the United States.
The Great Father made us poor and ignorant—made you rich and wise and more skillful in these things that we know nothing about. The Great Father, the Good Father in Heaven, made you all to eat tame food—made us to eat wild food—gives us the wild food. You ask anybody who has gone through our country to California; ask those who have settled there and in Utah, and you will find that we have treated them always well. You have children; we have children. You want to raise your children and make them happy and prosperous; we want to raise and make them happy and prosperous. We ask you to help us to do it.
At the mouth of the Horse Creek, in 1852, the Great Father made a treaty with us by which we agreed to let all that country open for fifty-five years for the transit of those who were going through. We kept this treaty; we never treated any man wrong; we never committed any murder or depredation until afterward the troops were sent into that country, and the troops killed our people and ill-treated them, and thus war and trouble arose; but before the troops were sent there we were quiet and peaceable, and there was no disturbance. Since that time there have been various goods sent from time to time to us, the only ones that ever reached us, and then after they reached us (very soon after) the government took them away.

You, as good men, ought to help us to these goods.



Colonel Fitzpatrick of the government said we must all go to farm, and some of the people went to Fort Laramie and were badly treated. I only want to do that which is peaceful, and the Great Fathers know it, and also the Great Father who made us both. I came to Washington to see the Great Father in order to have peace and in order to have peace continue. That is all we want, and that is the reason why we are here now.
In 1868 men came out and brought papers. We are ignorant and do not read papers, and they did not tell us right what was in these papers. We wanted them to take away their forts, leave our country, would not make war, and give our traders something. They said we had bound ourselves to trade on the Missouri, and we said, no, we did not want that. The interpreters deceived us. When I went to Washington I saw the Great Father. The Great Father showed me what the treaties were; he showed me all these points and showed me that the interpreters had deceived me and did not let me know what the right side of the treaty was. All I want is right and justice. . . . I represent the Sioux Nation; they will be governed by what I say and what I represent. . . .
Look at me. I am poor and naked, but I am the Chief of the Nation. We do not want riches, we do not ask for riches, but we want our children properly trained and brought up. We look to you for your sympathy. Our riches will . . . do us no good; we cannot take away into the other world anything we have - we want to have love and peace. . . . We would like to know why commissioners are sent out there to do nothing but rob [us] and get the riches of this world away from us?
I was brought up among the traders and those who came out there in those early times. I had a good time for they treated us nicely and well. They taught me how to wear clothes and use tobacco, and to use firearms and ammunition, and all went on very well until the Great Father sent out another kind of men—men who drank whisky. He sent out whisky-men, men who drank and quarreled, men who were so bad that he could not keep them at home, and so he sent them out there. I have sent a great many words to the Great Father, but I don't know that they ever reach the Great Father. They were drowned on the way, therefore I was a little offended with it. The words I told the Great Father lately would never come to him, so I thought I would come and tell you myself
And I am going to leave you today, and I am going back to my home. I want to tell the people that we cannot trust his agents and superintendents. I don't want strange people that we know nothing about. I am very glad that you belong to us. I am very glad that we have come here and found you and that we can understand one another. I don't want any more such men sent out there, who are so poor that when they come out there their first thoughts are how they can fill their own pockets.
We want preserves in our reserves. We want honest men, and we want you to help to keep us in the lands that belong to us so that we may not be a prey to those who are viciously disposed. I am going back home. I am very glad that you have listened to me, and I wish you good-bye and give you an affectionate farewell.
Sitting Bull

Tatanka-Iyotanka (1831-1890)
A Hunkpapa Lakota chief and holy man under whom the Lakota tribes united in their struggle for survival on the northern plains, Sitting Bull remained defiant toward American military power and contemptuous of American promises to the end.
Born around 1831 on the Grand River in present-day South Dakota, at a place the Lakota called "Many Caches" for the number of food storage pits they had dug there, Sitting Bull was given the name Tatanka-Iyotanka, which describes a buffalo bull sitting intractably on its haunches. It was a name he would live up to throughout his life.
As a young man, Sitting Bull became a leader of the Strong Heart warrior society and, later, a distinguished member of the Silent Eaters, a group concerned with tribal welfare. He first went to battle at age 14, in a raid on the Crow, and saw his first encounter with American soldiers in June 1863, when the army mounted a broad campaign in retaliation for the Santee Rebellion in Minnesota, in which Sitting Bull's people played no part. The next year Sitting Bull fought U.S. troops again, at the Battle of Killdeer Mountain, and in 1865 he led a siege against the newly established Fort Rice in present-day North Dakota. Widely respected for his bravery and insight, he became head chief of the Lakota nation about 1868.
Sitting Bull's courage was legendary. Once, in 1872, during a battle with soldiers protecting railroad workers on the Yellowstone River, Sitting Bull led four other warriors out between the lines, sat calmly sharing a pipe with them as bullets buzzed around, carefully reamed the pipe out when they were finished, and then casually walked away.
The stage was set for war between Sitting Bull and the U.S. Army in 1874, when an expedition led by General George Armstrong Custer confirmed that gold had been discovered in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory, an area sacred to many tribes and placed off-limits to white settlement by the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. Despite this ban, prospectors began a rush to the Black Hills, provoking the Lakota to defend their land. When government efforts to purchase the Black Hills failed, the Fort Laramie Treaty was set aside and the commissioner of Indian Affairs decreed that all Lakota not settled on reservations by January 31, 1876, would be considered hostile. Sitting Bull and his people held their ground.
In March, as three columns of federal troops under General George Crook, General Alfred Terry and Colonel John Gibbon moved into the area, Sitting Bull summoned the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho to his camp on Rosebud Creek in Montana Territory. There he led them in the sun dance ritual, offering prayers to Wakan Tanka, their Great Spirit, and slashing his arms one hundred times as a sign of sacrifice. During this ceremony, Sitting Bull had a vision in which he saw soldiers falling into the Lakota camp like grasshoppers falling from the sky.
Inspired by this vision, the Oglala Lakota war chief, Crazy Horse, set out for battle with a band of 500 warriors, and on June 17 he surprised Crook's troops and forced them to retreat at the Battle of the Rosebud. To celebrate this victory, the Lakota moved their camp to the valley of the Little Bighorn River, where they were joined by 3,000 more Indians who had left the reservations to follow Sitting Bull. Here they were attacked on June 25 by the Seventh Cavalry under George Armstrong Custer, whose badly

outnumbered troops first rushed the encampment, as if in fulfillment of Sitting Bull's vision, and then made a stand on a nearby ridge, where they were destroyed.


Public outrage at this military catastrophe brought thousands more cavalrymen to the area, and over the next year they relentlessly pursued the Lakota, who had split up after the Custer fight, forcing chief after chief to surrender. But Sitting Bull remained defiant. In May 1877 he led his band across the border into Canada, beyond the reach of the U.S. Army, and when General Terry traveled north to offer him a pardon in exchange for settling on a reservation, Sitting Bull angrily sent him away.
Four years later, however, finding it impossible to feed his people in a world where the buffalo was almost extinct, Sitting Bull finally came south to surrender. On July 19, 1881, he had his young son hand his rifle to the commanding officer of Fort Buford in Montana, explaining that in this way he hoped to teach the boy "that he has become a friend of the Americans." Yet at the same time, Sitting Bull said, "I wish it to be remembered that I was the last man of my tribe to surrender my rifle." He asked for the

right to cross back and forth into Canada whenever he wished, and for a reservation of his own on the Little Missouri River near the Black Hills. Instead he was sent to Standing Rock Reservation, and when his reception there raised fears that he might inspire a fresh uprising, sent further down the Missouri River to Fort Randall, where he and his followers were held for nearly two years as prisoners of war.


Finally, on May 10, 1883, Sitting Bull rejoined his tribe at Standing Rock. The Indian agent in charge of the reservation, James McLaughlin, was determined to deny the great chief any special privileges, even forcing him to work in the fields, hoe in hand. But Sitting Bull still knew his own authority, and when a delegation of U.S. Senators came to discuss opening part of the reservation to white settlers, he spoke forcefully, though futilely, against their plan.
In 1885 Sitting Bull was allowed to leave the reservation to join Buffalo Bill's Wild West, earning $50 a week for riding once around the arena, in addition to whatever he could charge for his autograph and picture. He stayed with the show only four months, unable to tolerate white society any longer, though in that time he did manage to shake hands with President Grover Cleveland, which he took as evidence that he was still regarded as a great chief.
Returning to Standing Rock, Sitting Bull lived in a cabin on the Grand River, near where he had been born. He refused to give up his old ways as the reservation's rules required, still living with two wives and rejecting Christianity, though he sent his children to a nearby Christian school in the belief that the next generation of Lakota would need to be able to read and write.
Soon after his return, Sitting Bull had another mystical vision, like the one that had foretold Custer's defeat. This time he saw a meadowlark alight on a hillock beside him, and heard it say, "Your own people, Lakotas, will kill you." Nearly five years later, this vision also proved true.
In the fall of 1890, a Miniconjou Lakota named Kicking Bear came to Sitting Bull with news of the Ghost Dance, a ceremony that promised to rid the land of white people and restore the Indians' way of life. Lakota had already adopted the ceremony at the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations, and Indian agents there had already called for troops to bring the growing movement under control. At Standing Rock, the authorities feared that Sitting Bull, still revered as a spiritual leader, would join the Ghost Dancers as well, and they sent 43 Lakota policemen to bring him in. Before dawn on December 15, 1890, the policemen burst into Sitting Bull's cabin and dragged him outside, where his followers

were gathering to protect him. In the gunfight that followed, one of the Lakota policemen put a bullet through Sitting Bull's head.


Sitting Bull was buried at Fort Yates in North Dakota, and in 1953 his remains were moved to Mobridge, South Dakota, where a granite shaft marks his grave. He was remembered among the Lakota not only as an inspirational leader and fearless warrior but as a loving father, a gifted singer, a man always affable and friendly toward others, whose deep religious faith gave him prophetic insight and lent special power to his prayers.
Sitting Bull’s words of surrender:

"I surrender this rifle to you through my young son, whom I now desire to

Teach in this way that he has become a friend of the whites. I wish him to live as the

whites do and be taught in their schools. I wish to be remembered as the last

man of my tribe who gave up his rifle. This boy has now given it to you, and he

wants to know how he is going to make a living."


An Account of Sitting Bull's Death

by James McLaughlin

Indian Agent at Standing Rock Reservation (1891)
OFFICE OF INDIAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION, .

1305 ARCH STREET,

PHILADELPHIA
Jan. 19th, 1891
“…Sitting Bull did not come into the Agency for rations after October 25th, but sent members of his family, and kept a bodyguard when he remained behind while the greater portion of his people were away from the camp; this he did to guard against surprise in case an attempt to arrest him was made. He frequently boasted to Indians, who reported the same to me, that he was not afraid to die and wanted to

fight, but I considered that mere idle talk and always believed that when the time for his arrest came and the police appeared in force in his camp, with men at their head whom he knew to be determined, that he would quietly accept the arrest and accompany them to the Agency, but the result of the arrest proved the contrary. Since the Sioux Commission of 1889 (the Foster, Crook and Warner Commission)

Sitting Bull has behaved very badly, growing more aggressive steadily, and the Messiah doctrine, which united so many Indians in common cause, was just what he needed to assert himself as "high priest," and thus regain prestige and former popularity among the Sioux by posing as the leader of disaffection.
He being in open rebellion against constituted authority, was defying the Government, and encouraging disaffection, made it necessary that he be arrested and removed from the reservation, and arrangements were perfected for his arrest on December 6th,…”





Homework:

Read the portion of the Dawes Act (provided). Use this information and the information gathered in class to answer the following questions:



  1. What effect would the Dawes Act have on Indian life and culture on the reservation?

  2. What is your opinion of US government policies towards Native Americans and how some natives chose to respond to this encroachment upon their land and way of life?


The Dawes Act

February 8, 1887

(U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. XXIV, p. 388 ff.)


[Congressman Henry Dawes, author of the act, once expressed his faith in the civilizing power of private property with the claim that to be civilized was to "wear civilized clothes...cultivate the ground, live in houses, ride in Studebaker wagons, send children to school, drink whiskey [and] own property."]
An act to provide for the allotment of lands in severalty to Indians on the various

reservations, and to extend the protection of the laws of the United States and

the Territories over the Indians, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted, That in all cases where any tribe or band of Indians has been, or shall hereafter be, located upon any reservation created for their use, either by treaty stipulation or by virtue of an act of Congress or executive order setting apart the same for their use, the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, authorized, whenever in his opinion any reservation or any part thereof of such

Indians is advantageous for agricultural and grazing purposes to cause said reservation, or any part thereof, to be surveyed, or resurveyed if necessary, and to allot the lands in said reservations in severalty to any Indian located thereon in quantities as follows:


To each head of a family, one-quarter of a section;
To each single person over eighteen years of age, one-eighth of a section;
To each orphan child under eighteen years of age, one-eighth of a section; and,
To each other single person under eighteen years now living, or who may be born prior to the date of the order of the President directing an allotment of the lands embraced in any reservation, one-sixteenth of a section; . . .

...


SEC. 5. That upon the approval of the allotments provided for in this act by the Secretary of the Interior, he shall . . . declare that the United States does and will hold the land thus allotted, for the period of twenty-five years, in trust for the sole use and benefit of the Indian to whom such allotment shall have been made, . . . and that at the expiration of said period the United States will convey the same by patent

to said Indian, or his heirs as aforesaid, in fee, discharged of such trust and free of all charge or encumbrance whatsoever: . . .


SEC. 6. That upon the completion of said allotments and the patenting of the lands to said allottees, each and every member of the respective bands or tribes of Indians to whom allotments have been made shall have the benefit of and be subject to the laws, both civil and criminal, of the State or Territory in which they may reside; . . .And every Indian born within the territorial limits of the United States to whom allotments shall have been made under the provisions of this act, or under any law or treaty, and every Indian born within the territorial limits of the United States who has voluntarily taken up, within said limits, his residence separate and apart from any tribe of Indians therein, and has adopted the habits of civilized life, is hereby declared to be a citizen of the United States, and is entitled to all the rights,

privileges, and immunities of such citizens, whether said Indian has been or not, by birth or otherwise, a member of any tribe of Indians within the territorial limits of the United States without in any manner impairing or otherwise affecting the right of any such Indian to tribal or other property. . . .


Using this quote by Chief Joseph “I will fight no more forever.” In what ways does this quote sum up the decision of many native tribes?


Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce (1840?-1904) was known to his people as

"Thunder Traveling to the Loftier Mountain Heights." He led his people in an

attempt to resist the takeover of their lands in the Oregon Territory by white

settlers. In 1877, the Nez Perce were ordered to move to a reservation in Idaho.

Chief Joseph agreed at first. But after members of his tribe killed a group of

settlers, he tried to flee to Canada with his followers, traveling over 1500 miles

through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Along the way they fought

several battles with the pursuing U.S. Army. Chief Joseph spoke these words



when they finally surrendered on October 5th, 1877.



________________________________
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, Ta Hool Hool Shute 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.

Chief Joseph - Thunder Traveling to the Loftier Mountain Heights - 1877


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