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CHIEF JOSEPH

CHIEF JOSEPH

Carole (View posts)
Posted: 3 Dec 2005 7:30PM GMT
Classification: Query
Among the Nez Perce a great respect is attributed to the deceased and every effort is extended to insure protection of Chief Joseph's grave.

In 1928, the descendents of the Wallowa Band and Joseph's descendents got together to talk over the matter of protecting Chief Joseph's grave. It was decided that it should be moved to the edge of Wallowa Lake. When the family had exhumed the body, they had discovered Joseph's skull had been removed. They had suspected as much because of some rumored reports about it having been on display somehwere.

To this day, no one seems to know where it is. Several family members remember some names and people and it may yet be possible to find out where the skull is and who took it.

While I was working at the Wallowa-Whitman Nat Forest, a group of people were wanting to purchase land immediately adjacent to Old Joseph's grave site. The intent was to develop condos and such as the area next to the lake is the most prime land anywhere in northeast Oregon. Since that time, many others have joined in and want to cash in on the development.

It is certainly an understatement on my part to say that the Wallowa is sacred to my family and descendents of the Wallowa Band Nez Perce. That land contains the spirit of our people. Now it seems everybody wants to cash in on the Nez Perce history. When I think about it, I just get angry and I want to bite my tongue off for fear of saying bad things!

If people knew the true reasons why the whites wanted the Wallowa and pressured the government for the removal of the Nez Perce then they would understand the greed that now grips them.

Yox Kalo'
(That's all)

Phil E. Minthorn
Descendent of Chief Joseph
Cayuse/Nez Perce
Wallowa Band

Re: CHIEF JOSEPH

Posted: 13 Jan 2006 6:25AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Marsh
I am not N/A and not familiar with your ways, but , I do have a question and I most certainly don't want to offend any one.
I have in some of our family records that states, Catherine dau of Chief Joseph married a Charles Marsh. My husband is a descendent of the Marsh family. Charles Marsh b 1764 in NC. Catherine b 1780 in VA.
Now, again I know nothing of the location of your people in this time frame.
Do you think there is any way of finding our Catherine may be the dau of your Chief?
Thanking you so very much for any information.
Maxine
MaxineDavies06@hotmail.com

Re: CHIEF JOSEPH(1840-1904)

Carole (View posts)
Posted: 13 Jan 2006 2:45PM GMT
Classification: Query
"Chief Joseph" was born in the Wallowa Valley in what is now northeastern Oregon in 1840.

Re: CHIEF JOSEPH(1840-1904)

Carole (View posts)
Posted: 13 Jan 2006 2:50PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am not related to Chief Joseph BUT I live in the area. If I can get you any info on this - I will certainly try. CMA


When his father died in 1871, Joseph was elected to succeed him. He inherited not only a name but a situation made increasingly volatile as white settlers continued to arrive in the Wallowa Valley. Joseph staunchly resisted all efforts to force his band onto the small Idaho reservation, and in 1873 a federal order to remove white settlers and let his people remain in the Wallowa Valley made it appear that he might be successful. But the federal government soon reversed itself, and in 1877 General Oliver Otis Howard threatened a cavalry attack to force Joseph's band and other hold-outs onto the reservation. Believing military resistance futile, Joseph reluctantly led his people toward Idaho.

Unfortunately, they never got there. About twenty young Nez Percé warriors, enraged at the loss of their homeland, staged a raid on nearby settlements and killed several whites. Immediately, the army began to pursue Joseph's band and the others who had not moved onto the reservation. Although he had opposed war, Joseph cast his lot with the war leaders.

What followed was one of the most brilliant military retreats in American history. Even the unsympathetic General William Tecumseh Sherman could not help but be impressed with the 1,400 mile march, stating that "the Indians throughout displayed a courage and skill that elicited universal praise... [they] fought with almost scientific skill, using advance and rear guards, skirmish lines, and field fortifications." In over three months, the band of about 700, fewer than 200 of whom were warriors, fought 2,000 U.S. soldiers and Indian auxiliaries in four major battles and numerous skirmishes.

By the time he formally surrendered on October 5, 1877, Joseph was widely referred to in the American press as "the Red Napoleon." It is unlikely, however, that he played as critical a role in the Nez Percé's military feat as his legend suggests. He was never considered a war chief by his people, and even within the Wallowa band, it was Joseph's younger brother, Olikut, who led the warriors, while Joseph was responsible for guarding the camp. It appears, in fact, that Joseph opposed the decision to flee into Montana and seek aid from the Crows and that other chiefs -- Looking Glass and some who had been killed before the surrender -- were the true strategists of the campaign. Nevertheless, Joseph's widely reprinted surrender speech has immortalized him as a military leader in American popular culture:

I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohoolhoolzote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say, "Yes" or "No." He who led the young men [Olikut] 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.

Joseph's fame did him little good. Although he had surrendered with the understanding that he would be allowed to return home, Joseph and his people were instead taken first to eastern Kansas and then to a reservation in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) where many of them died of epidemic diseases. Although he was allowed to visit Washington, D.C., in 1879 to plead his case to U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, it was not until 1885 that Joseph and the other refugees were returned to the Pacific Northwest. Even then, half, including Joseph, were taken to a non-Nez Percé reservation in northern Washington, separated from the rest of their people in Idaho and their homeland in the Wallowa Valley.

In his last years, Joseph spoke eloquently against the injustice of United States policy toward his people and held out the hope that America's promise of freedom and equality might one day be fulfilled for Native Americans as well. An indomitable voice of conscience for the West, he died in 1904, still in exile from his homeland, according to his doctor "of a broken heart."

Re: CHIEF JOSEPH

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 3:42PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello! My grandfather was Nez Perce, also, and I am looking for more ancestors as I believe he was a descendant of Chief Joseph, also. My grandpa's name was Oliver Earl Frank. He was born on 07/06/1906 to Samuel Oliver and Priscilla Corbett. He was fluent in the native Nez Perce language and I regret not paying more attention!! Any help or leads, info you can give me will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks Tracy Lyn Frank-Valdovinos@ tracyvaldovinos@yahoo.com
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