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Paperback That All People May Be One People, Send Rain to Wash the Face of the Earth Book

ISBN: 094551915X

ISBN13: 9780945519157

That All People May Be One People, Send Rain to Wash the Face of the Earth

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Book Overview

Famed Nez Perce leader and orator Chief Joseph speaks of the earth's natural world, relationships among peoples, justice, war and his own life. His truthful, wise and gracefully spoken words were... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

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

So concludes Chief Joseph at the end of this remarkable and touching book, based on an 1879 interview he gave to reporters from the "North American Review." Joseph, chief of one of the clans of the Nez Perce, reluctantly conducted a four-month war in 1877 against the U.S. government. The Nez Perce, whose traditional grounds were in the western Montana-Idaho-astern Oregon region, had seen their land steadily whittled away by governmental decree and white settlement until, by 1863, they were allowed less than 1,000 square miles. This led to a splintering of the tribe into compliant and noncompliant bands. Joseph, following his father's insistence that the land belonged to no one and couldn't be apportioned by governmental treaty, led the noncompliant band. Officially ignored for a few years, Joseph's Nez Perce fell under government scrutiny again when an in-rush of goldseekers in the mid-1870s led to increased tension between whites and Indians. The tension erupted into outright violence when a group of young and angry Nez Perce killed four white settlers, and the war which Joseph had tried so long and hard to avoid was thrust upon him. Although the war was short in duration, it was intense in fighting. No fewer than four U.S. armies went after Joseph. Nez Perce women and children were butchered by U.S. troops and volunteers. Joseph finally surrendered because he was promised that his people could return to their own lands. But they were sent first to Leavenworth, where many of them died from malaria, and then Baxter, Kansas. Throughout the interview, Joseph continuously expresses bewilderment at the greed of the white men who insist on owning all the land; at the fact that Indians are treated so unjustly, even though all men and women are kindred; at the willingness of the white community to dishonor itself by breaking treaties ("It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises," p. 41); and at the arrogance of whites, who just naturally presume that they have the right to subjugate Indians ("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," p. 42). An eloquent and heartbreaking document, one that makes the reader proud of Chief Joseph and ashamed of the U.S. government's treatment of the Nez Perce--a tribe, by the way, that saved the Lewis and Clark expedition at a crisis moment.


Its ironic to give a 5 star rating to a man who's nation was decimated by our government. At first blush its sinful to place an entertainment rating on genocide. Yet how else might you learn of the great wisdom of the Native Americans if I do otherwise. ALL ancient wisdom confirms: 1) Violence comes full circle to anyone, or any nation, that pursues it as a solution no matter what `rightous' banner is used to vindicate it. 2) All governments decay into lying, cheating, and stealing from the governed because unrestrained power steals the soul, the humanity, out of a human being. 3) Only love and foregiveness create lasting change in the world. 4) Nature buries her undertakers--do not abuse her. One definition of insanity is `doing the same thing expecting different results.' This is a must read if you care at all about yourself, your children and the greatness of all people. Other recommendations: Wisdom of the Vedas (Theosophical Heritage Classics) Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao Illusions Life of Pi

A masterpiece by a champion of American civil liberty.

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, who was also known by his Nimipoo name Hin-Mah-Too-Yah-Lahket, gave an interview to the North American Review in l879. This book is a reprint of Chief Joseph's account of the Nez Perce's dealings with their white brothers, the Nez Perce War of l877 which he tried so hard to avoid, and his people's imprisonment on reservations following his surrender. The final portion of the book consists of Joseph's plea that all people treat each other with respect and human decency and as equals. Hin-Mah-Too-Yah-Lahket expresses himself in nothing short of pure poetry. He is generally considered in the Northwestern United States (where he is a hero with a town, schools and numerous memorials named after him) to be one of the greatest Native American orators. This book is a must-read for 1) students of American history and 2) proponents of civil liberties. This edition does contain some strange spellings (e.g., Rutherford B. Hayes is here spelled "Rutherford Hays" and Hin-Mah-Too-Yah-Lahket is spelled "In-Mut-Too-Yah-Lat-Lat"). However, since Nimiputan was an unwritten language, the spelling of Nimiputan words and names is anybody's guess. I'm just glad that Mountain Meadow Press reprinted Chief Joseph's l879 article.
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