It does not require many words to speak the truth.

— Chief Joseph

The most jittery Chief Joseph quotes you will be delighted to read

We do not want churches because they will teach us to quarrel about God.

We do not want to learn that. We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth, but we never quarrel about the Great Spirit. We do not want to learn that.

200

Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself — and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.

187

I believe much trouble would be saved if we opened our hearts more.

177

I am tired of talk that comes to nothing It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk. It does not require many words to speak the truth.

165

Our chiefs are killed. . . . The little children are freezing to death. . . . My people have no blankets, no food. . . . My heart is sick and sad. . . . I will fight no more forever.

158

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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.

157

The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.

132

All men were made brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who was born free should be content when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases.

124

I have asked some of the great white chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please. They cannot tell me.

118

Good words do not last long unless they amount to something.

113

We live, we die, and like the grass and trees, renew ourselves from the soft earth of the grave. Stones crumble and decay, faiths grow old and they are forgotten, but new beliefs are born. The faith of the villages is dust now... but it will grow again... like the trees.

104

We were taught to believe that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything, and that he never forgets; that hereafter he will give every man a spirit-home according to his deserts: if he has been a good man, he will have a good home; if he has been a bad man, he will have a bad home. This I believe, and all my people believe the same.

96

About Chief Joseph

Quotes 91 sayings
Profession Leader
Birthday October 16

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

90

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.

87

We gave up some of our country to the white men, thinking that then we could have peace. We were mistaken. The white man would not let us alone.

64

The earth and myself are of one mind.

The measure of the land and the neasure of our bodies are the same

46

We soon found that the white men were growing rich very fast, and were greedy.

45

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.

43

Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other, then we will have no more wars. We shall all be alike-brothers of one father and one another, with one sky above us and one country around us, and one government for all.

42

The earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was. The country was made without lines of demarcation, and it is no man's business to divide it.

32

We are going by you without fighting if you will let us, but we are going by you anyhow!

28

Good words will not give my people good health and stop them from dying.

Good words will not get my people a home where they can live in peace and take care of themselves. I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and broken promises.

28

It takes few words to tell the truth.

26

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.

24

The Great Spirit Chief who rules above all will smile upon this land.

.. and this time the Indian race is waiting and praying.

21

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

19

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 spirit land.

19

We do not want churches. They will teach us to quarrel about God.

16

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.

15

All men were made by the Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers.

15

My father was the first to see through the schemes of the white man.

10

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.

10

Good words will not give me back my children.

9

If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace.

9

I will speak with a straight tongue.

9

The earth is our mother. She should not be disturbed by hoe or plough. We want only to subsist on what she freely gives us.

8

When the last deer disappears into the morning mist, When the last elk vanishes from the hills, When the last buffalo falls on the plains, I will hunt mice for I am a hunter and I must have my freedom.

8

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

7

Let me be a free man - free to travel, free to stop, free to work.

7

I did not want my people killed. I did not want bloodshed.

6

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.

6

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

6

We were like deer. They were like grizzly bear.

6

I will obey every law, or submit to the penalty.

6

A chief called Lawyer, because he was a great talker, took the lead in the council, and sold nearly all the Nez Perce country.

6

I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more.

I will tell you in my way how the Indian sees things. The white man has more words to tell you how they look to him, but it does not require many words to speak the truth.

5

I saw clearly that war was upon us when I learned that my young men had been secretly buying ammunition.

5

I labored hard to avoid trouble and bloodshed.

5

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.

4
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