Ten fun facts about Chief Joseph

Ten fun facts about Chief Joseph

1. A Leader of Courage

During the late 1800s, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe led his people through a tumultuous period in their history. The United States federal government forced them to leave their ancestral lands in the Wallowa Valley and relocate to a much smaller reservation in Lapwai, Idaho Territory. This relocation was a difficult and emotional experience for the Nez Perce people, as they had to leave behind their homes, their land, and their way of life. Despite the immense challenges, Chief Joseph courageously led his people through this difficult time.

AlsoSeattle, the city of Chief Sealth


2. A Peacemaker and Humanitarian

Chief Joseph, a renowned humanitarian and peacemaker, is celebrated for his principled resistance to the removal of his people from their ancestral lands. His courage and dedication to his people's rights earned him the admiration of many, and his legacy of peaceful resistance continues to inspire generations.

AlsoJoseph Priestley honored with two colleges

3. Resilience in the Face of Adversity

As a young man, Chief Joseph was known as "Young Joseph" due to his father, Tuekakas, having the same Christian name. Tuekakas was later referred to as "Old Joseph" or "Joseph the Elder" as a sign of respect for his age and wisdom. Chief Joseph was a leader of the Nez Perce tribe and is remembered for his courage and resilience in the face of adversity.

AlsoWilliam Howard Taft: Unique Figure in American History

4. A Leader of Courage and Wisdom

In 1871, Chief Joseph the Younger took over the leadership of the Wallowa band from his father, Chief Joseph. The Wallowa band was a Native American tribe of the Nez Perce people, who lived in the Wallowa Valley in northeastern Oregon. Chief Joseph the Younger was a respected leader who was known for his wisdom and courage. He was determined to protect his people's land and rights, and he fought hard to keep the Wallowa Valley in the hands of the Nez Perce people.

AlsoFirst African American Police Chief of Lima, Ohio


5. A Powerful Advocate for His People

In his later years, Chief Joseph spoke out passionately against the injustice of the United States' policy towards his people, and held out hope that the promise of freedom and equality for Native Americans would one day be realized. He was a powerful advocate for his people, and his words were a reminder of the need for the United States to live up to its ideals of liberty and justice for all. His legacy continues to inspire Native Americans to this day, and his words remain a reminder of the need for the United States to honor its commitment to the rights of all its citizens.

AlsoJoseph Banks: Famous British Scientist and Husband

6. Chief Joseph's Poem Captures Resilience

The renowned 1982 poem "Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce" by Robert Penn Warren poetically captures the story of Chief Joseph, a leader of the Nez Perce Native American tribe. The poem is a tribute to Chief Joseph's courage and resilience in the face of adversity, as he led his people in a fight for their homeland against the U.S. government in the late 1800s. The poem has become a classic, and is widely studied in American literature classes.

AlsoYoung Archduke Franz Joseph I leads Austrian army to victory

7. Chief Joseph's Daughter Tells His Story in Newbery Medal-Winning Book

In Scott O'Dell and Elizabeth Hall's Newbery medal-winning children's fiction book, Thunder Rolling in the Mountains, the story of Chief Joseph is told from the perspective of his daughter, Sound of Running Feet. Through her eyes, readers are able to gain a unique insight into the life of the Nez Perce leader, who is renowned for his resistance to the US government's attempts to force his people onto reservations. The book provides a vivid and detailed account of Chief Joseph's life, from his childhood to his eventual surrender in 1877, and is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning more about this important figure in Native American history.

AlsoJoseph La Rose: The Father of the Modern Shoe


8. Chief Joseph's Novelized Life Revealed in 1959 Book

The Nez Perce War of 1877 was a pivotal moment in American history, and Will Henry's 1959 novel, From Where The Sun Now Stands, portrays Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe in a sympathetic light. The novel follows Chief Joseph's journey as he leads his people in a fight for their homeland against the U.S. Army. Through the novel, Henry paints a vivid picture of the struggles and hardships faced by the Nez Perce people, and of Chief Joseph's courage and determination in the face of adversity.

AlsoJoseph Fiennes: English Actor Born with a Mouthful of Surnames

9. George Mitchell, late actor, played Chief Joseph on Broadway

George Mitchell, the late actor, played the role of Chief Joseph on Broadway in the 1969-1970 production of Indians. This play was the source of Robert Altman's 1976 film Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson. Mitchell's portrayal of Chief Joseph was highly acclaimed, and his performance was praised for its accuracy and authenticity.

AlsoSitting Bull: Symbol of Native American Resistance

10. Chief Joseph's War Shirt Sold for $877,500

In July 2012, a piece of history was sold to a private collection for an astonishing $877,500 - the war shirt of Chief Joseph, the renowned Nez Perce leader. The shirt, which dates back to the 1870s, was crafted from elk hide and decorated with intricate beadwork and fringe. It is believed to have been worn by Chief Joseph during his famous flight from the U.S. Army in 1877, and is now a treasured part of a private collection.

More facts on


More interesting reads about...


Short about Chief Joseph
succeeded his father Tuekakas (Chief Joseph the Elder) as the leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce, a Native American tribe indigenous to the Wallowa Valley in northeastern Oregon