Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Biking With The Indian Ghosts Who Haunt Village Creek While Thinking About Chief Joesph

Today I am sort of copying my favorite Fort Worth blog, Hometown by Handlebar.

So, in the picture, those are my bike's handlebars, no where near my hometown, which is a couple thousand miles distant.

My handlebars are on the deck that overlooks the Blue Bayou in the Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

Riding a bike for my mid-day constitutional is a lot less HOT than walking or hiking

Currently the outer world, according to my computer based temperature monitoring device, is being heated to 93 degrees, with the 45% humidity making the temperature really feel like 100.

Being in a HOT place makes me think about being in a cooler place. The Pacific Northwest is a much cooler place than the HOT place I am in right now.

I read on Facebook, this morning, that the Pacific Northwesterner known as Debbi Downer, is taking a long road trip from Pasco, in Eastern Washington, to Lake Wallowa, in Oregon. I think the distance from Pasco to Lake Wallowa is something like 70 miles. Debbi Downer characterized this as a long roadtrip vacation.

Lake Wallowa is at the heart of the land stolen from the Nez Perce Indians, an act of theft which led to one of the most epic battles of the Indian Wars, with multiple skirmishes, over a distance over 1,000 miles, as Chief Joesph attempted to lead his tribe to safety in Canada.

Chief Joesph and the Nez Perce were never allowed to return to the valley that was their home.

In the modern era area of Wallowa Lake there are many historical monuments making note of the history that took place in this location.

Chief Joesph died on September 21, 1904. According to his doctor, Chief Joesph died of a broken heart.

After he surrendered Chief Joesph made many attempts to right the wrong that had been done to his people. Chief Joesph traveled to Washington, D.C. three times, pleading his case to three presidents, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1879, William McKinley in 1897 and Theodore Roosevelt in 1903.

Chief Joesph spoke out repeatedly, in poetic language, about the injustice of American policy towards native people.

Chief Joesph was widely admired, even by his old adversaries, like General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Chief Joesph's most famous words were the speech he gave at the time of his surrender. They may be the most famous words ever uttered by a Native American...

"I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohulhulsote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led 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 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."


Steve A said...

Interesting contrast to write about Fort Worth and Chief Joseph in the same post. BTW, according to Wikipedia, the author of the "tired of fighting quote is actually the white poet Charles Erskine Scott Wood. Of course, neither of us were there to hear what thegreat chief really said. And it sure beats what happened to the Indians around Fort Worth in any event.

Durango said...

Sometimes I don't know where a blogging is gonna go when I start in typing. Ending up on Chief Joseph today is an example of that. Regarding the famous speech, I choose to believe the Lieutenant lawyer Wood was there and was a good translator.

CatsPaw said...

I am a bit puzzled by your selective dyslexia, 'rango. Is this a deliberate SEO thing?

Intereting post, regardless.

CatsPaw said...

"Interesting" even. Sheesh.

Steve A said...

I'm with you, Durango, and even if otherwise, I imagine the quote captures the sentiments of Joseph when he was cornered by overwhelming force against what he'd lived for. I could aspire to no more than the quote - contrived or real.