The Nez Perces
eyes; hence, friends, listen; we will hold to our chieftainship."
Another adjournment, and another day of Indian oratory; Joseph persists in his attachment to the land of his fathers:
"That which I have great affection for, I have no reason or wish to dispose of; if I did, where would I be? The earth and myself are of one mind. The measure of the land and the measure of our bodies are the same. Say to us, if you can say it, that you were sent by the Creative Power to talk to us. Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understand me fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with it as I chose. The one who has the right to dispose of it is the one who has created it. I claim a right to live on my land, and accord you the privilege to live on yours."
Suggestive questions met with ready answers:
"Mr. Jerome. Is there any other place where you would like to go?
"Young Joseph. I see no place but the Wallowa Valley. It is my home. Everything grows there in the earth. I do not think so much of the fish.
"Mr. Jerome. Haven't you a stronger affection for peace than you have for the land?