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Chief Joseph Quotes

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Chief Joseph
1840 - September 21, 1904
Category: Leader

I would have given my own life if I could have undone the killing of white men by my people.


The Indian race are waiting and praying.


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.


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


I saw that the war could not be prevented. The time had passed.


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.


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


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


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


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


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


I said in my heart that, rather than have war, I would give up my country.


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.


Governor Isaac Stevens of the Washington Territory said there were a great many white people in our country, and many more would come; that he wanted the land marked out so that the Indians and the white man could be separated.


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


I want the white people to understand my people.


It does not require many words to speak the truth.


I will speak with a straight tongue.


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


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


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