Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce (Nimi'ipuu) people. Was originally named 'Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt' or by translation 'Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain.'
It was a four month long trek to Canada covering about 1,400 miles. Along the way they were pursued by US forces and had several victories against the US which numbered about 2,000. During which Chief Joseph gained the respect of many whites for his humane treatment of prisoners and for not stealing supplies.
Jacob Fernandez Chief Joseph US HistoryMs. Henrichs
Chief Joseph originally Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt was born on March 3, 1840 in Wallowa Valley, Oregon Territory. His Father Joseph the Elder was a convert and made a treaty that created the Nez-Perce Reservatio-n
Chief Joseph after assuming his father's role, following his death, saw that because of gold found in the area the US government reduced their land and told Chief Joseph along with Chief Looking Glass and White Bird to relocate to reservation in Idaho. Knowing that conflict could be possible they agreed.
After their defeat the Nez Perce were forced to stay in Oklahoma, yet Chief Joseph was regarded as the "Red Napoleon" and was recognized so much so that he met with President Rutherford Hayes in 1879 and Theodore Roosevelt to plead for the return of his people to their homeland. And in 1885, they were sent to Washington.
Yet in their journey a group of warriors attacked and killed a band of white settlers. Chief Joseph when learning of this feared an attack of retaliation by the US and he led about 700 Nez Perce out of which 200-300 were warriors to Canada in tactical retreat in 1877.
At last, when Chief Joseph was 40 miles to Canada he was surrounded at Bear Paw Mountain in Montana. Here he gave a speech saying, "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.... 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." This flight is considered to be one of the most remarkable retreats in military history.
But they were sent to a reservation still far from home. Illness had killed many of their population and chief Joseph not being able to return back to his homeland died September 21, 1904. He was buried in the Coville Indian Cemetery, Washington