Friday, October 5, 2012

On this day in history

Well, because of the implementation of the Gregorian Calendar, "October 5th 1582" never happened in the histories of Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain.

Also, in 1877, Nez Perce leader Hinmatóowyalahtq’it (aka Chief Joesph) formally surrendered to General Nelson Appleton Miles in the Bear Paw Mountains of the Montana Territory.

The U.S. Army had battled and pursued the Nez Perce over 1,170 miles across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Hinmatóowyalahtq’it had refused to sell the land of his forefathers.

The following lament is popularly attributed to Chief Joesph. Whether he actually spoke them or not, they have always moved me.

 Tell General Howard I know his heart. 
What he told me before, I have it in my heart.
 I am tired of fighting. 
Our chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Too-hul-hul-sote is dead. 
The old men are all dead. 
It is the young men who say yes or no. 

He who led on the young men is dead. 
It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. 
My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. 
No one knows where they are—perhaps freezing to death. 
I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. 
Maybe I shall find them among the dead. 

Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. 
From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.

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