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go into council with the white man, always remember your country. Do not give it away. The white man will cheat you out of your home. I have taken no pay from the United States. I have never sold our land.” In this treaty Lawyer acted without authority from our band. He had no right to sell the Walluwa (winding water) country. That had always belonged to my father's own people, and the other bands had never disputed our right to it. No other Indians ever claimed Wallowa.
In order to have all people understand how inuch land we owned, my father planted poles around it and said.
• Inside is the home of my peoplethe white man may take the land outside. Inside this boundary all our people were born. It circles around the graves of our fathers, and we will never give up these graves to any man.'
The United States claimed they had bought all the Nez Percés country outside of Lapwai Reservation, from Lawyer and other chiefs, but we continued to live on this land in peace until eight years ago, when white men began to come inside the bounds my father had set. We warned them against this great wrong, but they would not leave our land, and some bad blood was raised. The white men represented that we were going upon the war-path. They reported many things that were false.
The United States Government again asked for a treaty council. My father had become blind and feeble. He could no longer speak for his people. It was then that Ì took my father's place as chief. In this council I made my first spee:h to white men. I said to the agent who held the council :
I did not want to come to this council, but I came hoping that we could save blood. The white man has no right to come here and take our country. We have never accepted any presents from the Government. Neither Lawyer nor any other chief had authority to sell this land. It has always belonged to my people. It came unclouded to thein from our fathers, and we will defend this land as long as a drop of Indian blood warms the hearts of our men.'
The agent said he had orders, from the Great White Chief at Washington, for us to go upon the Lapwai Reservation, and that if we obeyed he would help us in many ways.
• You must move to the agency,' he said. san
swered him : "I will not. I do not need your help ; we have plenty, and we are contented and happy if the white man will let us alone. The reservation is too small for so many people with all their stock. You can keep your presents; we can go to your towns and pay for all we reed; we have plenty of horses and cattle to sell, and we won't have any help from you ; we are free now; we can go where we please. Our fathers were born here.
Here they lived, here they died, here are their graves. We will never leave them.'
The agent went away, and we had peace for a little while.
Soon after this my father sent for me. I saw he was dying. I took his hand in mine. He said : My son, my body is returning to my mother earth, and my spirit is going very soon to see the Great Spirit Chief. When I am gone, think of your country. You are the chief of these people. They look to you to guide them. Always remember that your father never sold his country. You must stop your ears whenever you are asked to sign a treaty selling your home. A few years more, and white men will be all around you. They have their eyes on this land. My son, never forget my dying words. This country holds your father's body. Never sell the bones of your father and your mother.' I pressed my father's hand and told him I would protect his grave with my life. My father smiled and passed away to the spirt-land.
I buried him in that beautiful valley of winding waters. I love that land more than all the rest of the world. A man who would not love his father's grave is worse than a wild animal.
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. They stole a great many horses from us, and we could not get them back because we were Indians. The white men told lies for each other. They drove off a great many of our cattle. Some white men branded our young cattle so they could claim them. We had no friend who would plead our cause before the law councils. It seemed to me that some of the white men in Wallowa were doing these things on purpose to get up a war. They knew that we were not strong enough to fight them. I laboured hard to avoid trouble and bloodshed. We gave up some of
our country to the white thinking that then we could have peace. We were mistaken. The white man would not let us alone. We could have avenged our wrongs many times, but we did not. Whenever the Government has asked us to help them against other Indians, we have never refused. When the white men were few and we were strong we could have killed them all off, but the Nos Percés wished to live at peace.
If we have not done so, we have not been to blame. I believe that the old treaty has never been correctly reported. If we ever owned the land we own it still, for we never sold it. In the Treaty Councils the commissioners have claimed that our country had been sold to the Government. Suppose a white man should come to me and say, 'Joseph, I like your horses, and I want to buy them.' I say to him, “No, my horses suit me, I will not sell them. Then he goes to my neighbour, and says to him : ‘Joseph has some good horses. I want to buy them, but he refuses to sell.' My neighbour answers,
Pay me the money, and I will sell you Joseph's horses.' 1 he white man returns to me, and says, 'Joseph, I have bought your horses, and you must let me have them.' If we sold our lands to the Government, this is the way they were bought.
On account of the treaty made by the other bands of the Nez Percés, the white men claimed my lands. We were troubled greatly by white men crowding over the line. Some of these were good men, and we lived on peaceful terms with them, but they were not all good.
Nearly every year the agert came over from Lapwai and ordered us on to the reservation. We always replied that we were satisfied to live in Wallowa. We were careful to refuse the presents or annuities which he offered.
Through all the years since the white men came to Wallowa we have been threatened and taunted by them and the treaty Nez Percés. They have given us no rest. We have had a few good friends among white men, and they have always advised my people to bear these taunts without fighting. Our young men were quick-tempered, and I have had great trouble in keeping them from doing rash things. I have carried a heavy load on my back ever since I was a boy. I learned then that we were but a few, while the white men were many, and that we could not hold our own with them. We were
like deer. They were like grizzly bears. We had a sinall country. Their country was large. We were contented to let things remain as the Great Spirit Chief made them. They were not ; and would change the rivers and mountains if they did not suit them,
Year after year we have been threatened, but no war was made upon my people until General Howard came to our country two years ago and told us that he was the white war-chief of all that country.
He said : I have a great many soldiers at my back. I am going to bring them up here, and then I will talk to you again. I will not let white men laugh at me the next time I come. The country belongs to the Gorernment, and I intend to make you go upon the reservation.'
I remonstrated with him against bring. ing more soldiers to the Nez Percés country. He had one house full of troops all the time at Fort Lapwai.
The next spring the agent at Umatilla agency sent an Indian runner to tell me to meet General Howard at Walla Walla. I could not go myself, but I sent my brother and five other head men to meet him, and they had a long talk.
General Howard said : "You have talked straight, and it is all right. You can stay in Wallowa.' He insisted that my brother and his company should go with him to Fort Lapwai. When the party arrived there, General Howard sent out runners and called all the Indians in to a grand council. I was in that council. I said to General How ard, “We are ready to listen.' He answered that he would not talk then, but would hold a council next day, when he would talk plainly. I said to General Howard : 'I am ready to talk to-day. I have been in a great many councils, but I am no wiser.
We are all sprung from a woman, although we are unlike in many things.
We can not be made over again. You are as you were made, and as you were made you can remain. We are just as we were made by the Great Spirit, and you can not change us ; then why should children of one mother and one father quarrel—why should one try to cheat the other? I do not believe that the Great Spirit Chief gave one kind of men the right to tell another kind of men what they must do.'
General Howard replied : ' You deny people off.
my authority, do you? You want to dictate to me, do you?'
Then one of my chiefs-Too-hool-hool -suit-rose in the council and said to General Howard : ' The Great Spirit Chief made the world as it is, and as he wanted it, and he made a part of it for us to live upon. I do not see where you get authority to say that we shall not live where he placed us.
General Howard lost his temper and said : “Shut up! I don't want to hear any more of such talk. The law says you shall go upon the reservation to live, and I want you to do so, but you persist in disobeying the law ’ (meaning the treaty). •If you do not move, I will take the matter into my own hand, and make you suffer for your disobedience.'
Too-hool-hool-suit answered :: Who are you, that you ask us to talk, and then tell me I shan't talk ? Are you the Great Spirit ? Did you make the world ? Did you make the sun ? Did you make the rivers to run for us to drink? Did you make the grass to grow #? Did you make all these things, that you talk to us as though we were boys? If you did, then you have a right to talk as you do.'
General Howard replied, “You are an impudent fellow, and I will put you in the guard-house,' and then ordered a soldier to arrest him.
Too-hool-hool-suit made no resistance.
He asked General Howard : • Is that your order? I don't care. I have expressed my heart to you. I have nothing to take back. I have spoken for my country.
You can arrest me, but you can not change me or make me take back what I have said.'
The soldiers came forward and seized my friend and took him to the guardhouse. My men whispered among themselve whether they should let this thing be done. I counselled them to submit. I knew if we resisted that all the white men present, including General Howard, would be killed in a moment, and we would be blamed. If I said nothing, General Howard would never have given another unjust order against my men. I saw the danger, and, while they dragged Too-hool-hool-suit to prison, I arose and said : “I am going to talk now. I don't care whether you arrest me or not.' I turned to my people and said : “ The arrest of Too-hool-hool-suit was wrong,
but we will not resent the insult. We were invited to this council to express our hearts, and we have done so.' Toohool-hool-suit was prisoner for five days before he was released.
The Council broke up for that day. On the next morning General Howard came to my lodge, and invited me to go with him and White-Bird and LookingGlass, to look for land for my people. As we rode along we came to some good land that was already occupied by Indians and white people. General Howard, pointing to this land, said : If you will come on to the reservation, I will give you these lands and move these
I replied : No. It would be wrong to disturb these people. I have no right to take their homes. I have never taken what did not belong to me. I will not now.'
We rode all day upon the reservation, and found no good land unoccupied. I have been informed by men who do not lie that General Howard sent a letter that night, telling the soldiers at Walla Walla to go to Wallowa Valley, and drive us out upon our return home.
In the Council, next day, General Howard informed me, in a haughty spirit, that he would give my people thirty days to go back honie, collect all their stock, and move on to the reservation, saying, “If you are not here in that time, I shall consider that you want to fight, and will send my soldiers to drive
I said “War can be avoided, and it ought to be avoided. I want no My people have always been the friends of the white man.
Why are you in such a hurry? I cannot get ready to move in thirty days. Our stock is scattered, and Snake River is very high. Let us wait until fall, then the river will be low. We want time to hunt up our stock and gather supplies for the winter.
General Howard replied, “If you let the time run over one day, the soldiers will be there to drive you on to the reservation, and all your cattle and horses outside of the reservation at that time will fall into the hands of the white men.'
I knew I had never sold my country, and that I had no land in Lapwai ; but I did not want bloodshed. I did not want my people killed. I did not want anybody killed. Some of my people had been murdered by white men, and the white murderers were never punished
for it. I told General Howard about deeply grieved. All the lodges were this, and again said I wanted no war. moved except my brother's and my own. I wanted the people who lived upon the I saw clearly that the war was upon us lands I was to occupy at Lapwai to have when I learned that my young men had time to gather their harvest.
been secretly buying ammunition. I I said in my heart that, rather than heard then that Too-hool-hool-suit, who have war, I would give up my country, had been imprisoned by General Howard, I would give up my father's grave. I had succeeded in organizing a war party. would give up everything rather than I knew that their acts would involve all have the blood of white men upon the my people. I saw that the war could hands of my people.
not then be prevented. The time had General Howard refused to allow me passed. I counselled peace from the more than thirty days to move my people beginning. I knew that we were too weak and their stock. I am sure that he began to fight the United States. We had to prepare for war at once.
many grievances, but I knew that war When I returned to Wallowa I found would bring more. We had good white my people very much excited upon dis- friends, who advised us against taking covering that the soldiers were already the war-path. My friend and brother, in the Wallowa Valley. We held a coun- Mr. Chapman, who has been with us cil, and decided to move immediately, since the surrender, told us just how the to avoid bloodshed.
war would end. Mr. Chapman took Too-hool-hool-suit, who felt outraged sides against us, and helped General by his imprisonment, talked for war, i Howard. I do not blame him for doing and made many of my young men willing 80. He tried hard to prevent bloodshed. to fight rather than be driven like dogs We hoped the white settlers would not from the land where they were born. join the soldiers. Before the war comHe declared that blood alone would wash menced we had discussed this matter all out the disgrace General Howard had over, and many of my people were in pnt upon him. It required a strong favour of warning them that if they heart to stand up against such talk, but took no part against us they should not I urged my people to be quiet, and not be molested in the event of war being to begin a war,
begun by General Howard. This plan We gathered all the stock we could was voted down in the war-council. find, and made an attempt to move. We There were bad men among my people left many of our horses and cattle in who had quarrelled with white men, and Wallowa, and we lost several hundred they talked of their wrongs until they in crossing the river. All of my people roused all the bad hearts in the council. succeeded in getting across in safety. Still I could not believe that they would Many of the Nez Percés came together begin the war. I know that my young men in Rocky Canon to hold a grand council. did a great wrong, but I ask, who was I went with all my people. This council first to blame? They had been insulted a lasted ten days. There was a great deal thonsand times ; their fathers and broof war-talk, and a great deal of excite- thers had been killed ; their mothers and ment. There was one young brave pre- wives had been disgraced ; they had been sent whose father had been killed by a driven to madness by whiskey sold to white man five years before. This man's them by white men ; they had been told blood was bad against white men, and by General Howard that all their horses he left the council calling for revenge.
and cattle which they had been unable Again I counselled peace, and I thought to drive out of Wallowa were to fall into the danger was past. We had not com- the hands of white men ; and, added to plied with General Howard's order be- all this, they were homeless and descause we could not, but we intended to perate. do so as soon as possible. I was leaving I would have given my own life if I the council to kill beef for my family, could have undone the killing of white when news came that the young man men by my people. I blame my young whose father had been killed had gone nuen, and I blame the white men. out with several other hot-blooded blame General Howard for not giving young braves and killed four white men. my people time to get their stock away He rode up to the council and shouted : from Wallowa. I do not acknowledge
Why do you sit here like women ? that he had the right to order me to The war has begun already. I was leave Wallowa at any time. I deny that
either my father or myself ever sold that land. It is still our land. It may never again be our home, but my father sleeps there, and I love it as I love my mother. I left there, hoping to avoid bloodshed.
If General Howard had given me plenty of time to gather up my stock, and treated Too-hool-hool-suit as a man should be treated, there would have been no war.
My friends among white men have blamed me for the war. I am not to blame. When my young men began the killing, my heart was hurt. Although I did not justify them, I remembered all the insults I had endured, and my blood was on fire. Still I would have taken my people to the buffalo country without fighting, if possible. I could see no other way to avoid a
We moved over to White Bird Creek, sixteen miles away, and there encamped, intending to collect our stock before leaving; but the soldiers attacked us, and the first battle was fought. We numbered in that battle sixty men, and the soldiers a hundred. The fight lasted but a few minutes, when the soldiers retreated before us for twelve miles. They lost thirty-three killed and had seven wounded. When an Indian fights, he only shoots to kill ; but soldiers shoot at random. None of the soldiers were scalped. We do not believe in scalping, nor in killing wounded men. Soldiers do not kill many Indians unless they are wounded and left upon the battle-field. Then they kill Indians.
Seven days after the first battle, General Howard arrived in the Nez Percés country, bringing seven hundred more soldiers. It was now war in earnest. We crossed over Salmon River, hoping General Howard would follow. We were not disappointed. He did follow us, and we got back between him anı his supplies, and cut him off for three days. He sent out two companies to open the way. We attacked them, killing one officer, two guides and ten men.
We withdrew, hoping the soldiers would follow, but they had got fighting enough for that day. They intrenched themselves, and next day we attacked them again. The battle lasted all day, and was renewed next morning. We killed four and wounded seven or eight.
About this time General Howard found out that we were in his rear. Five days later he attacked us with three hundred
and fifty soldiers and settlers. We had two hundred and fifty warriors. The fight lasted twenty-seven hours.
We lost four killed and several wounded. General Howard's loss was twenty-nine killed and sixty wounded.
The following day the soldiers charged upon us, and we retreated with our families and stock a few miles, leaving eighty lodges to fall into General Howard's hands.
Finding that we were outnumbered, we retreated to Bitter Root Valley. Here another body of soldiers came upon us and demanded our surrender. We refused. They said, “You cannot get by us.' We answered, “We are going by you without fighting if you let us, but we are going by you anyhow. We then made a treaty with these soldiers. We agreed not to molest any one, and they agreed that we might pass through the Bitter Root country in peace.
We bought provisions and traded stock with white men there.
We understood that there was to be no more war. We intended to go peaceably to the buffalo country, and leave the question of returning to our country to be settled afterwards.
With this understanding we travelled on for four days, and thiuking that the trouble was over, we stopped and prepared tent-poles to take with us. started again, and at the end of two days we saw three white men passing our camp. Thinking that peace had been made, we did not molest them. We could have killed or taken them prisoners, but we did not suspect them of being spies, which they were.
That night the soldiers surrounded our camp. About daybreak one of my men went out to look after his horses. The soldiers saw him and shot him down like a coyote. I have since learned that these soldiers were not those we had left behind. They had come upon us from another direction. The new white warchief's name was Gibbon. He charged upon us while some of my people were still asleep. We had a hard fight. Some of my men crept around and attacked the soldiers from the rear. In this battle we lost nearly all our lodges, but we finally drove General Gibbon back.
Finding that he was not able to capture us, he sent to his camp a few miles away for his big guns (cannons), but my men had captured them and all the ammunition. We damaged the big guns