Chief Joseph’s surrender speech named I Will Fight No More Forever was a significant speech that addressed the challenges the Ned Perce tribe had to overcome being chased out of its lands. The main idea of the text was that the hardships Chief Joseph and his people had to experience. His speech conveyed a significant and touching message that will be discussed in detail below.
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Surrender Speech Summary and Analysis
Before analyzing the speech Chief Joseph gave in 1877, it is vital to address the events that had led to it. Chief Joseph was one of the Ned Perce tribe, which was forced to surrender after the Battle of the Bear Paw Mountains. The tribe had been chased out of its native territories for several months. General Howard and his soldiers did not provide women, children, and men of the Ned Perce with an opportunity to leave in their lands in the Wallowa Valley. In the end, the tribe had to surrender to General Howard and Colonel Nelson Miles who came to the general’s aid. The speech Chief Joseph gave about this event was brief but could be considered touching.
In I Will Fight No More Forever, Chief Joseph wanted to help the occupants understand the struggles the Ned Perce had overcome before the surrender. He talked about his childhood years that he spends in the Wallowa Valley, describing its nature and the memories he had about it. He referred to several generations of people, including his father and other ancestors that had lived and were buried there. Then, he talked about the events that had led to the surrender.
Chief Joseph mentioned that the American government had promised the Ned Perce to protect them and their lands from the white settlement but did not keep its promise. The country’s officials demanded the tribe to leave their territory. Chief Joseph’s speech was touching, as he described his intention to avoid any violence and conflicts while his people were preparing for leaving their native lands. He seemed to regret the fact that some of the Ned Perce were involved in fights with incoming whites. Such an attitude is notable because it is evident that the American government’s position was unfair, as it had promised safety to the tribe. Unfortunately, the conflicts between the Ned Perce and the occupants led to reinforcements from the military, and, as a result, the tribe was chased out of the Wallowa Valley.
Although the Ned Perce had had to surrender, Chief Joseph continued to advocate for their right to return to their lands. Many of the tribe died of epidemic illnesses as the result of the outrages, but the man did not give up. He dared to speak about the unjust attitude of the American government publicly and express his hopes for the future. Chief Joseph’s speech is notable because it describes the challenges the tribe had to overcome, and the feelings its members had regarding the events they had to experience.
It is possible to say that Chief Joseph’s speech conveyed a powerful message to the American government, which had betrayed the people of the Ned Perce. It was a significant text that revealed the challenges and struggles Native Americans had to overcome because of the occupants. I Will Fight No More Forever shows that despite the problems the Ned Perce encountered, its members remained strong and were willing to protect their rights.