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Nez War Causes Essay

Many people considered the rulers of the United States, are fascist with a lot of greed and prejudice against the indigenous people of this country that were and are still here, even during our time to this day. One great example as to what I’m referring to would be what caused the Nez Perce War. The foundation of the Europeans settlers’ establishments and causes of the Nez Perce War were greed, prejudice with injustices and betrayal against the indigenous people of this country. Greed is one huge part that played in the Nez Perce War.

It started in 1855 in a treaty between the Governor of Washington Territory, Isaac Stevens, and the Nez Perce with other tribes as well. The treaty was signed by fifty-eight Nez Perce tribes; tribal leaders including Old Chief Joseph, and Lawyers from this United States, who were Christian converts This treaty was full of promises for the Nez Perce tribes, among those promises were also guaranteed the right to travel, fish, and hunt off the reservation and they would keep 10,000 square miles of their ancestral homeland including the Wallowa Valley (“Nez Perce War. ” ph. 2). Due to greed these became hollow promises.

Once Europeans discovered gold on the reservation of the Nez Perce tribal area in 1860, European settlers wanted those lands. In 1863, federal commissioners convened at Fort Lapwai in Idaho to negotiate a new treaty that would protect the Nez Perces from an escalating level of white intrusion that threatened their grazing lands, while keeping the gold country open. The resulting treaty of 1863 reduced the boundaries of the reservation to about a tenth of its 1855 size, and the new reservation included primarily those lands belonging to the indigenous people (“Nez Perce War. Ph. 4). Most did not sign the 1863 treaty, which gave rise to the “treaty” and “non-treaty” designations of the respected factions. Due to greed the Lawyers signed the Treaty of 1863, shrinking the Nez Perce Reservation to 700,000 acres and sold Old Chief Joseph land without his consent (The Flighttimeline 1863). However, prejudice with injustice against native people didn’t stop here. In 1875, after President Ulysses S. Grant issued an Executive Order, a situation happened between Eagle Robe and Larry Ott.

Eagle Robe was the indigenous chief who owned the area and Larry Ott know as a rancher, who was an old miner from Florence that asked the old indigenous [Eagle Robe] for permission to build a hut on his land. This was readily granted. Unsatisfied, Larry asked for little bit of land Eagle Robe did not approve, but allows him once more. Unsatisfied again the Larry asked again for more land. Eagle Robe didn’t approve of it by throw a rock as to show him that he doesn’t allow it and remind Larry that he was the owner of the land (The Flight-timeline 1875). “Larry drew a pistol and shot Eagle from the blind side as he was leaving….

Larry then fled to the river… ” (books. google. com- Forlorn Hope pg. 3) Eagle lived nine days after being shot leaving his son, Wahlitits, with rage for justice (The Flight-timeline 1875). The injustice of it all was that right after this situation a council broke up without arriving at any settlement between the indigenous people and the Europeans. The prejudice part of it all are situations like these: A former sailor, fifty-two-year-old Richard Devine who had hatred again the indigenous people, he would set his dogs on any passing Indigenous people, whether or not they were trespassing on his fenced field.

Also he killed a Nez Perce woman, Dakoopin (Wounded Leg), for removing a white man’s horse from her garden and nothing was done about it if her life is meaningless… A bachelor, who was rather mean to the Indigenous people, any time that the Indigenous people visited to have a talk with him, they were driven away. Henry Elfers, who had located his ranch on John Day Creek, was another settler who had shown little friendship to the Nez Perce. Elfers habitually, sent his dogs to attack any passing indigenous as vermes, and at the same time warned off any indigenous passersby with his rifle as if they were the foreigners of the land.

Many others indigenous people were killed due to prejudice and injustices. The indigenous people had claimed the numerous counts of death were about twenty-nine to thirty and counting… Another situation happened, “the death of Wilhautyah that happen on June 23, 1876. ” The two European settlers murdered Wilhautyah, were McNall and Findley and it happen in the Wallowa Valley road at Whiskey Creek. This was due to faulty information about Findley’s lost horses where about, right after they murdered Wilhautyah, the horses were later found near Findley’s home, McNall and Findley were still acquitted… The Death of Wilhautyah) Chief Looking Glass leader of the Kam’ nakka Band, which later was forced into the Nez Perce war due to in armed conflict with the United Sates when Captain Whipple attacked his peaceful band at Clear Creek on July 1, 1877. ( Conflict of 1877 ph. 3 ). He claimed Wilhautyah was an honorable man and didn’t deserve this injustice against him. Monteith wrote a letter to General Oliver Otis Howard calling the killing “willful, deliberate murder. ” (The Death of Wilhautyah) Yet he advised Joseph to let white law determine justice.

As a lawyer Major Henry Clay Wood, was appointed by General Oliver Otis Howard to handle this claim. Yet some white settlers continued to harass the Indigenous people by stealing livestock, and against Joseph’s advice a few Nez Perce retaliated in kind. This shows that not even the laws of the Europeans were about to protect the Nez Perce by their prejudices and injustices. And yet one of the Chief Toohoolhoolzote, whose band lived in the rough country between the Salmon and Snake rivers, spoke on behalf of the non-treaty Nez Perce.

Due to his action of speaking his mind and refusing to comply with what General Howard wanted, he was arrested on May 7, 1877 (The Flight-timeline 1877, 3-15 May). He was held in the guardhouse for eight days while the council continued. This action shows proof of the injustices that was done against the natives, yet the U. S. Constitution was already effected in March 4, 1789; which gave the right for every man the freedom of speech. These actions prove the injustice and prejudice that were against indigenous people, which strangled the natives’ voices.

Without a doubt betrayal is the worst thing that these Europeans did to the indigenous of the Nez Perce tribes. At that meeting in September 1856, the Nez Perce grew dissatisfied with the 1855 agreement, Old Joseph and several other Nez Perce leaders claimed and complained to the whites due to the misunderstanding of their acceptance of the treaty, it was a known fact to them that they didn’t mean they had agreed to surrender their lands and there was that fact that the government had failed to render the promised services and payments of their agreement in their treaty (“Nez Perce War. ” Ph. 3)…

Old Chief Joseph, Chief of the Wel’ewa band before Young Chief Joseph took his place, quoted this… “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 neighbor, and says to him: Joseph has some good horses. I want to buy them, but he refuses to sell. My neighbor answers, ‘Pay me the money, and I will sell you Joseph’s horses. The 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” (The Flight-timeline 1863). This was said right after the 1863 treaty was signed by a faction of the tribe. Old Joseph refused it and on his return to the homeland tore up his Bible in disgust (Nez Perce. Councils ph. 2). Without his approval it was signed by the United States lawyers, and before he died, in 1871, he told his son, Young Chief Joseph, not to ever sell their lands not knowing that the betrayal was already done (The Flight-timeline 1863)..

In 1873 President Ulysses S. Grant issued the Executive Order called “EXECUTIVE ORDER CREATING WALLOWA VALLEY RESERVE,” (EXECUTIVE ORDER CREATING)… which divided the valley between homestead sites and an Indian reservation. In the act of betrayal two years later without the consent of the indigenous people, Grant gave into pressure from whites wanting to settle there and revoked the order, reopening the entire valley to settlement and sealing the fate of the Nez Perce tribes (The Death of Wilhautyah. ph. 7).

Due to the prejudice with injustice, the greed of the white settlers and the betrayal of the U. S government representatives that were forcing the Nez Perce to move, General Howard they had 30 days to move to the Lapwai reservation against their well was intensified on May 3, 1877, and the days following. They had a final council with the nontreaty Nez Perce held at Fort Lapwai. The Nez Perce felt they had no other resource, but to either flee or fight. Most Nez Perce tribes, including Young Chief Joseph, decided to flee from the area and into Canada.

Wahlitits, Sarpsis LLppilp his cousin and his nephew Wetyetmas Wahyakt, went to find the murderer who killed his father Eagle Rode. Due to the inability to find him, they went to the other unfriendly and prejudice people that they had problems with and took their personal revenge by killing four men living along the Salmon River. This was the first raid party, which was done in June 13-14, 1877 (The Flight-timeline 1877, 13 June). After the council was done, Chief White Bird was one of the most adamant against selling lands on which the Nez Perce resided during the 1863 Treaty proceedings.

This man was the Chief of the men from the Lam’atta band that killed several settlers in the Salmon River area. He led and ignited the Nez Perce War of 1877. This was the second raid party that was done against the white settlers out of revenge for all the innocent people that were slaughtered at the hands of General John Gibbon and his forces (Conflict of 1877ph. 3, The Flight-timeline 1877, 14 June). Once General Howard learned of the two raiding parties, of the killings on Camas Prairie and the Salmon River, the response to the settlers’ request for protection was immediate.

Ninety cavalry men set out to find the nontreaty Nez Perce. Forty-one hours later, with no sleep, they arrived at White Bird Hill. Troops Fand H, First Cavalry, therefore left Fort Lapwai for Mount Idaho at eight o’clock, due to the event of June 15th 1877. Yellow Wolf, cousin of Young Chief, declares what happened… “Five warriors… had been sent out from the other [west] side of the valley as a peace party to meet the soldiers. These warriors had instructions from the chiefs not to fire unless fired upon. Of course they carried a white flag.

Peace might be made without fighting…. From the north echoed a rifle report, and right away a white man on a white horse came riding swiftly south…. He did not look like a soldier. A big white hat, he was dressed more like a citizen. When he came closer, we knew him…. It was Chapman, called by the whites a squaw man! Having an Indian wife was why he had been friends. He and my uncle, Old Yellow Wolf, had lived in the same house, just as brothers. Now he was the first enemy we see. Changed, and trying to kill each other.

It was he who fired the first shot we had just heard. Fired on our peace party. ” (The Flight-timeline 1877, 17 June) Before the White Bird battle, the bands of Young Chief JosepWhite Bird Creek. They were mostly all drunk. Thirty-four soldiers were killed, and three Nez Perce worriers were slightly wounded; those that were able to fight got a chance to improve their arsenal. This happened on June 17, 1877 (The Flight-timeline1877, 17 June).

Right after all the wars that happened between the Nez Perce and the United States army, in a visit to Washington, D. C. , in 1879 Chief Joseph spoke of all the loss on both sides and all the promises that were never established. If only things would have been different, if everyone would view each other as equal beings, brothers and sisters from the same creator. In his speech he said… “If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike. Give them the same laws. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief.

They are all brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it” (Chief Joseph). And he said at the end of his speech that… “I hope 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. “(Chief Joseph) This speech proved that the indigenous people of the Nez Perce tribe wanted peace, respect for every life including mother Earth and their given natural born rights, which is to be treated equally.

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