On Perseverance

“I wore this frock coat in Washington, before the war. We wore them because we belonged to the Five Civilized Tribes. We dressed ourself up like Abraham Lincoln. You know, we got to see the Secretary of the Interior. He said, “Boy! You boys sure look civilized!” He congratulated us, and he gave us medals for looking so civilized. We told him about how our land had been stolen. Our people were dying. When we finished, he shook our hands and said, “Endeavor to persevere.” They stood us in a line–John Jumper, Junior McIntosh, Buffalo Hump, Jim Pockmark, and me. I’m Lone Watie. They took our pictures, and the newspapers said, “Indians Vow to Endeavor to Persevere.” We thought about it for a long time. “Endeavor to persevere”. And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.”

Dan George, as Lone Watie, from “The Outlaw Josey Wales” (1976)

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