Chief Joseph Quotes

Let me be a free man - free to travel, free to stop, free to work... view

By: Chief Joseph

The Indian race are waiting and praying... view

By: Chief Joseph

The first white men of your people who came to our country were named Lewis and Clark. They brought many things that our people had never seen. They talked straight. These men were very kind... view

By: Chief Joseph

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

By: Chief Joseph

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

By: Chief Joseph

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

By: Chief Joseph

My people were divided about surrendering... view

By: Chief Joseph

The white men told lies for each other. They drove off a great many of our cattle. Some branded our young cattle so they could claim them... view

By: Chief Joseph

My father was the first to see through the schemes of the white man... view

By: Chief Joseph

We did not know there were other people besides the Indian until about one hundred winters ago, when some men with white faces came to our country... view

By: Chief Joseph

Lawyer acted without authority from our band. He had no right to sell the Wallowa country... view

By: Chief Joseph

It required a strong heart to stand up against such talk, but I urged my people to be quiet and not to begin a war... view

By: Chief Joseph

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

By: Chief Joseph

My father... had sharper eyes than the rest of our people... view

By: Chief Joseph

Treat all men alike. Give them the same law. Give them an even chance to live and grow... view

By: Chief Joseph

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

By: Chief Joseph

We damaged all the big guns we could, and carried away the powder and the lead... view

By: Chief Joseph

We gathered all the stock we could find, and made an attempt to move. We left many of our horses and cattle in Wallowa. We lost several hundred in crossing the river... view

By: Chief Joseph

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... view

By: Chief Joseph

We had a great many horses, of which we gave Lewis and Clark what they needed, and they gave us guns and tobacco in return... view

By: Chief Joseph

We had good white friends who advised us against taking the war path. My friend and brother, Mr. Chapman, told us just how the war would end... view

By: Chief Joseph

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

By: Chief Joseph

When an Indian fights, he only shoots to kill... view

By: Chief Joseph

When my young men began the killing, my heart was hurt... view

By: Chief Joseph

Words do not pay for my dead people... view

By: Chief Joseph

You might as well expect rivers to run backwards as any man born free to be contented penned up... view

By: Chief Joseph

It does not require many words to speak the truth... view

By: Chief Joseph

I hope that no more groans of wounded men and women will ever go to the ear of the Great Spirit Chief above, and that all people may be one people... view

By: Chief Joseph

We ask to be recognized as men... view

By: Chief Joseph

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

By: Chief Joseph

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

By: Chief Joseph

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

By: Chief Joseph

All men were made by the Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers... view

By: Chief Joseph

An Indian respects a brave man, but he despises a coward... view

By: Chief Joseph

For a short time we lived quietly. But this could not last. White men had found gold in the mountains around the land of winding water... view

By: Chief Joseph

From where the sun now stands I will fight no more... view

By: Chief Joseph

General Howard informed me, in a haughty spirit, that he would give my people 30 days to go back home, collect all their stock, and move onto the reservation... view

By: Chief Joseph

Good words will not give me back my children... view

By: Chief Joseph

Governor Isaac Stevens of the Washington Territory said there were a great many white people in our country, and many more would come.. view

By: Chief Joseph

I labored hard to avoid trouble and bloodshed... view

By: Chief Joseph

I am tired of talk that comes to nothing... view

By: Chief Joseph

If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace... view

By: Chief Joseph