Literature Study GuidesI Will Fight No More Forever

I Will Fight No More Forever | Study Guide

Chief Joseph

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Course Hero. "I Will Fight No More Forever Study Guide." Course Hero. 22 Aug. 2018. Web. 1 July 2022. <>.

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Course Hero. "I Will Fight No More Forever Study Guide." August 22, 2018. Accessed July 1, 2022.


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Chief Joseph

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At a Glance

  • When a surge of white settlers came to the Pacific Northwest in the 1850s, the United States government forced nearby Native American tribes onto reservations.
  • In 1877 federal officials ordered Chief Joseph's tribe, the Nez Percé, to leave their land in the Wallowa Valley, in present-day Oregon and Idaho.
  • His people did not want to leave, and Joseph worked unsuccessfully for a peaceful solution. Knowing a fight would be futile, Joseph started out for Idaho with his people in tow. However, when a group of young Nez Percé warriors, acting independently, attacked and killed white settlers, Joseph knew war was inevitable. In a strategic military retreat, he and other tribal leaders led the Nez Percé to Canada. The United States Army pursued them, and the band fought back.
  • Tribal warriors and United States soldiers fought several battles in the Nez Percé War, lasting from the tribe's retreat in June 1877 until Joseph's surrender on October 5, 1877.
  • Joseph's surrender speech, "I Will Fight No More Forever," was documented by journalists and reprinted in the magazine Harper's Weekly in November 1877. Joseph's dignity and eloquence impressed onlookers and readers alike.
  • Known for its compassionate depiction of the cost of war, Joseph's brief surrender speech earned him a reputation as an orator, a military statesman, and a humanitarian.


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