Native Americans
"I Will Fight No More Forever"- Chief Joseph

"I Will Fight No More Forever"- Chief Joseph
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.21

     challenging words:    ultimatum, deathbed, territorial, formally, exile, military, agreement, refused, relocate, homeland, tribal, skillful, reside, grim, particularly, plot
     content words:    Oregon Territory, Westward Migration, Native Americans, Nez Perce Chief Joseph, Isaac Stevens, Nez Perce, Gold Rush, United States, Young Joseph, Chief Joseph

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"I Will Fight No More Forever"- Chief Joseph
By Joyce Furstenau

1     As the white men poured into Oregon Territory during the great Westward Migration, missionaries brought Christianity to the Native Americans as well. Nez Perce Chief Joseph the Elder was one of the first converts. He sought to live in peace with the whites. He even helped Washington's territorial governor Isaac Stevens set up a Nez Perce reservation. But in 1863 after the Gold Rush, the U.S. government took back nearly six million acres of this land. This placed the Nez Perce on a reservation in Idaho about one-tenth of its former size.
2     Joseph the Elder felt betrayed. He destroyed his American flag and denounced the United States. He refused to sign any new treaties. He refused to move his tribe to a new location. At his deathbed, Joseph the Elder told his son, "Always remember that your father never sold his country. This country holds your father's body. Never sell the bones of your father and your mother." Young Joseph promised his father he would follow his wishes.
3     The old chief died in 1871, and his son, Joseph the Younger, was elected to succeed him. Young Joseph inherited a difficult situation. He did not want his people to go to war against the white man. He knew the Americans had a powerful military to back them up. He made several concessions to the Americans to avoid conflict.
4     In 1873, the young Chief Joseph made an agreement with the American government that would allow his people to stay in the Wallowa Valley. Four years later, the government reversed its position and demanded the tribe move to Idaho with the other Nez Perce.

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