Talk:Chief Joseph

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After a five-day siege only 30 miles from the Canadian border, he surrendered
Chief Joseph formally surrendered on 5 October 1877 in the Bear Paw mountains of Montana, 40 miles south of Canada (near Havre, Montana).

Those two lines are clearly contradictory, but they're both in the article, so which is right?

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Illuvatar (talkcontribs) 22:20, October 5, 2004

Here's the coordinates of the Bear Paw Battlefield where Chief Joseph surrendered: 48° 22' 38" N 109° 12' 35" W. I'm sure there's a way to figure out what the distance to the Canadian border is, but it'll need to be someone who is more concerned with an answer. -- RobLa 04:45, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
they could have moved 10 mile before signing the treaty after all he did want to find his missing people. so moving a 10 miles away to sign the treatry makes it no longer contradictory. -- User:Drachenkonig 00:04, February 10, 2005

Same Event Mentioned Twice?[edit]

"In 1877, after the cavalry threatened to attack, Chief Joseph and other leaders began the journey to the reservation. On a night that Chief Joseph was away from camp, a young Nez Perce man and his friends, avenging the killing of his father, attacked and killed a white settler."

"But, in a reversal of policy in 1877...As they began their journey to Idaho, Chief Joseph learned that three young Nez Perce men, enraged at the loss of their homeland, had massacred a band of white settlers."

Both happened in 1877, and may be the same thing. Anyone have any confirmation or denial of this?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Swwarmuth (talkcontribs) 01:44, February 23, 2005

Eighteen billion Indians?[edit]

"With 2,000 U.S. soldiers in pursuit, Chief Joseph led 18,642,916,000 Nez Perce toward freedom at the Canadian border."

That can't possibly be right.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:52, May 4, 2006

Always check the page history for vandalism when questions like this arise. Katr67 21:02, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Is "band" appropriate?[edit]

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "band" also as "a group of people", yet in common use (apart from musicians) it is used for outlaws mostly. Is it proper to call Indian warriors "bands"? Are groups of indigenous people invaded by settlers "bands"? Is a Native American Indian glad to read this here, or maybe even in History books (if it is also used there too -I am not familiar)? Hoverfish 06:41, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

I know that in Canada the term has (had?) meaning, certainly no suggestion of illegal activity. See : "A First Nation is a legally undefined term that came into common usage in the 1980s to replace the term "Indian band". Elder Sol Sanderson says that he coined the term in the early 1980s.[1] A band is defined as "a body of Indians for whose collective use and benefit lands have been set apart or money is held by the Canadian Crown, or declared to be a band for the purposes of the Indian Act" [2]. There are currently over 600 First Nations governments or bands in Canada. Roughly half of these are located in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia." --mgaved 10:40, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
It's pretty much the same as the "warbands" of ancient German tribes. Aran|heru|nar 14:00, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Thank you, very enlightening the First Nations article (warbands redirects to "warrior society", which hasn't been created yet). Another help was Band societies, where I will link the first mention of band in the article to. It may be usefull to more readers not familiar with this use of the term. Hoverfish 17:16, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

This is informational.[edit]

This is informational about chief Joeseph, don't you think? Thomasreay 00:05, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Reverting a large addition to the article[edit]

By this edit, an anon added a big chunk of text at the end of the article, making no attempt to integrate it. I suspected a copyvio, but, at least according to one website, it's from a 1918 book that's now in the public domain. I haven't reviewed it line-by-line to see what, if anything, might be worth incorporating in the article in proper faashion. JamesMLane t c 16:53, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Savings Bonds[edit]

Might be a minor point, but Chief Joseph is depicted on currently issued US Savings Bonds. Series I, $200.[1] (talk) 18:00, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Gold Rush Mentioned in Background Section[edit]

Which gold rush was it? A small one in the Washington/Oregon area that doesn't have any particular name? I was just curious why no one mentioned it, as seemed to be the cause of the U.S. government's desire for re-negotiation of the 1855 reservation treaty. Vervaine (talk) 19:37, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


What more to say? -- (talk) 19:15, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Well... you could say
You could say that, just like Ethel Merman.

7mike5000 (talk) 16:07, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Surrender quotation[edit]

The popular legend deflated, however, when the original pencil draft of the report was revealed to show the handwriting of the later poet and lawyer Lieutenant Charles Erskine Scott Wood, who claimed to have taken down the great chief's words on the spot. In the margin it read, "Here insert Joseph's reply to the demand for surrender."

It's not clear to me how the second sentence necessarily negates the historicity of the "I will fight no more forever" quotation. Does this sentence mean that Wood made it up? Or that it was his later recollection of Chief Joseph's statement? (Could he possbily have written it on another piece of paper at the time?) To what extent are we saying that the sad, noble words attributed to Chief Joseph are apocryphal?

Sca (talk) 21:34, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I find this paragraph confusing. What is the conclusion of scholars? Are we supposed to be persuaded and led to a conclusion? The final interpretation should come from the literature, but it is missing. Instead, the argument is by innuendo. Also, there is a hint of "debunking" energy here. (talk) 06:29, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

other people's names[edit]

Hello, do you know: What does Heyoon Yoyikt mean? Is Jean-Louise Sound of Running Feet? How to write Sound of Running Feet in the native language? IsaacDragonBlack (talk) 15:57, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Beal's book[edit]

It's very odd that Merrill Beal's respected account, I Will Fight No More Forever: Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce War (University of Washington Press, 2000), is not cited among sources. Added to books & films section. Sca (talk) 15:04, 31 December 2014 (UTC)


The map does not claim to represent the difference in size between the 1855 reservation and the 1863 reservation, but rather the difference between the "Ehemaliges Stammesgebiet" (Original tribal territory) and the 1863 reservation. It is of course possible that the green "original tribal territory" area and the 1855 reservation are coextensive, I have asked the image's creator about the source of the image and what exactly the green area represents.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:57, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

I think you may be right that the map is almost correct for original lands. I'm looking up maps and here is what I am finding, we may want to tweak boundaries...
  1. the commons map appears to have the eastern boundary correct (basicially what's now the Idaho-Montana line) but the western boundary looks like the 1855 reservation line. The present-day reservation boundaries appear correct, though.
  2. [2] Map of original boundaries, original reservation and Idaho rez boundaries (doesn't show Colville rez)
  3. another map and the treaty.
Actually the green area on the map doesnt correspond to either the original lands or the 1855 land if the CRITFC map (which is much more informative than ours and apparently more accurate too) is to be trusted. We should get someone to create a similar map for this article.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 22:49, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Who? (All ears!) Montanabw(talk) 02:46, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Maybe the nice people at the graphics lab.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 02:56, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Chief Joseph/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 10:21, 12 October 2010 (UTC). Substituted at 11:29, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Mesopotamian tablet claim[edit]

If it's ever needed, here's a Smithsonian article on it.[3] Doug Weller talk 18:55, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Full reference here. Doug Weller talk 18:57, 2 April 2017 (UTC)