- Black Hawk (Sauk leader)
Black Hawk Born Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak
Died October 3, 1838 (aged 70–71)
Davis County, Iowa
Monuments Black Hawk Statue, Black Hawk State Historic Site Nationality Sauk Other names Black Sparrow Hawk Occupation War captain; band leader Known for Black Hawk War
Black Hawk (1767 – October 3, 1838) was a leader and warrior of the Sauk American Indian tribe in what is now the United States. Although he had inherited an important historic medicine bundle, he was not one of the Sauk's hereditary civil chiefs. His status came from leading war parties as a young man, and from his leadership of a band of Sauks during the Black Hawk War of 1832.
During the War of 1812, Black Hawk fought on the side of the British. Later he led a band of Sauk and Fox warriors, known as the British Band, against European-American settlers in Illinois and present-day Wisconsin in the 1832 Black Hawk War. After the war, he was captured and taken to the eastern U.S., where he and other leaders toured several cities. Black Hawk died in 1838 in what is now southeastern Iowa. He left behind an enduring legacy through many eponyms and other tributes.
Black Hawk, or Black Sparrow Hawk (Sauk Makataimeshekiakiak [Mahkate:wi-meši-ke:hke:hkwa], "be a large black hawk") was born in the village of Saukenuk on the Rock River, in present-day Rock Island, Illinois, in 1767. Black Hawk's father Pyesa was the tribal medicine man of the Sauk people. The Sauk people used the village in the summer for raising corn and as a burial site, while moving across the Mississippi for winter hunts and fur trapping.
Little is known about Black Hawk's youth. He was said to be a descendant of Nanamakee (Thunder), a Sauk chief who, according to tradition, met an early French explorer, possibly Samuel de Champlain. At age 15, Black Hawk accompanied his father Pyesa on a raid against the Osages, and won the approval of his father by killing and scalping his first enemy. The young Black Hawk then tried to establish himself as a war captain by leading other raids, but met with limited success until, at age 19, he led 200 men in a battle against the Osages, in which he personally killed five men and one woman. Soon after, he joined his father in a raid against Cherokees along the Meramec River in Missouri. After Pyesa died from wounds received in the battle, Black Hawk inherited the Sauk medicine bundle that had been carried by his father.
After an extended period of mourning for his father, Black Hawk resumed leading raiding parties over the next years, usually targeting the Osages. Black Hawk did not belong to a clan that provided the Sauks with civil leaders, or "chiefs". He instead achieved status through his exploits as a warrior, and by leading successful raiding parties. Men like Black Hawk are sometimes called "war chiefs", although historian Patrick Jung writes that "It is more accurate to call them 'war leaders' since the nature of their office and the power that it wielded was much different from that of a civil chief." The term "war captain" is preferred by some historians.
War of 1812
Black Hawk served as a war leader of a band of Sauk at their village of Saukenuk. He had always been opposed to ceding Native American lands to white settlers and their governments. In particular, he denied the validity of Quashquame's 1804 treaty between the Sauk and Fox nations and then-Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory. The treaty ceded territory including Saukenuk to the United States. This treaty was subsequently disputed by Black Hawk and other members of the tribes because the full tribal councils had not been consulted, nor did those representing the tribes have authorization from their councils to cede lands. Black Hawk participated in skirmishes against the newly constructed Fort Madison in the disputed land; this was the first time he fought directly with U.S. forces.
The War of 1812 involved forces of Great Britain and her North American colonies in present-day Canada against the United States. The British depended upon Native American allies to help them wage war. Colonel Robert Dickson, an English fur trader, amassed a sizable force of Native Americans at Green Bay to assist the British in operations around the Great Lakes. Most of the warriors he assembled were from the Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, Kickapoo and Ottawa tribes. Dickson appealed to Black Hawk and his band of about 200 Sauk warriors. When Black Hawk arrived, he was given command of all the Natives gathered at Green Bay, presented with a silk flag, a medal, and a written certificate of good behavior and alliance with the British. In addition, Dickson bestowed upon Black Hawk the rank of brevet Brigadier General. Twenty years later after the Battle of Bad Axe, the certificate was found carefully preserved, along with a flag similar to the one Dickson gave to Black Hawk.
During the war, Black Hawk and his warriors fought in several engagements with Major-General Henry Procter on the borders of Lake Erie. Black Hawk was at the battle of Fort Meigs, and the attack on Fort Stephenson. The British and the Indian Confederacy, led by Tecumseh, were repulsed with great losses to the British.
Black Hawk despaired over the waste of lives caused by the use of European attack methods; soon after, he quit the war to return home. Back in Saukenuk he found that his rival Keokuk had become the tribe's war chief. Black Hawk rejoined the British effort toward the end of the war and participated alongside British forces in campaigns along the Mississippi River near the Illinois Territory. Black Hawk helped to push the Americans out of the upper Mississippi River valley, at the Battle of Credit Island and by harassing U.S. troops at Fort Johnson. Black Hawk fought in the Battle of the Sink Hole in May 1815, leading an ambush on a group of Missouri Rangers. Conflicting accounts of the action were given by the Missouri leader John Shaw and by Black Hawk.
After the War of 1812 ended, Black Hawk signed a peace treaty in May 1816 that re-affirmed the treaty of 1804, a provision of which Black Hawk later protested ignorance.
Black Hawk War
As a consequence of an 1804 treaty between the Governor of Indiana Territory and a group of Sauk and Fox leaders regarding land settlement, the Sauk and Fox tribes ceded their lands in Illinois and moved west of the Mississippi in 1828. Black Hawk and other tribal members disputed the treaty, claiming that the full tribal councils had not been consulted, nor did those representing the tribes have authorization to cede lands. Angered by the loss of his birthplace, between 1830 and 1831 Black Hawk led a number of incursions across the Mississippi River. He was persuaded to return west each time without bloodshed. In April 1832, encouraged by promises of alliance with other tribes and the British, he moved his so-called "British Band" of more than 1500 people, both warriors and non-combatants into Illinois. Finding no allies, he attempted to return to Iowa, but the undisciplined Illinois militia's actions led to the Battle of Stillman's Run. A number of other engagements followed, and the militias of Michigan Territory and Illinois were mobilized to hunt down Black Hawk's Band. The conflict became known as the Black Hawk War.
Black Hawk's British Band was composed of about 500 warriors and 1,000 old men, women and children when they crossed the Mississippi on April 5. The group included members of the Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo Tribes. They crossed the river near the mouth of the Iowa River and followed the Rock River northeast. Along the way, they passed the ruins of Saukenuk and headed for the village of Ho-Chunk prophet White Cloud.
As the war progressed, factions of other tribes joined, or attempted to join Black Hawk. Other Native Americans carried out acts of violence for personal reasons amidst the chaos of the war. In one example, a band of hostile Ho-Chunk intent on joining Black Hawk's Band attacked and killed the party of Felix St. Vrain after the outbreak of war; European Americans called it the St. Vrain massacre. This act was, however, an exception as most Ho-Chunk sided with the United States during the Black Hawk War. The warriors who attacked St. Vrain's party acted independently of the Ho-Chunk nation. From April to August, Potawatomi warriors also joined with Black Hawk's Band.
The war stretched from April to August 1832, with a number of battles, skirmishes and massacres on both sides. When the Illinois Militia and Michigan Territory Militia caught up with Black Hawk's "British Band" following the Battle of Wisconsin Heights, they had a conclusive confrontation at Bad Axe. At the mouth of the Bad Axe River, pursuing soldiers, their Indian allies, and a U.S. gunboat killed hundreds of Sauk and Potawatomi men, women and children.
Tour of the East
Following the Black Hawk War, with most of the British Band killed and the rest captured or disbanded, the defeated Black Hawk was held in captivity at Jefferson Barracks with Neapope, White Cloud, and eight other leaders. After eight months, in April 1833, they were taken east, as ordered by U.S. President Andrew Jackson. The men traveled by steamboat, carriage, and railroad, and met with large crowds wherever they went. Once in Washington, D.C., they met with Jackson and Secretary of War Lewis Cass. Afterward, they were delivered to their final destination, prison at Fortress Monroe in Virginia. They were held only a few weeks at the prison, during which they posed for portraits by different artists. On June 5, 1833, the men were sent west by steamboat on a circuitous route that took them through many large cities. Again, the men were a spectacle everywhere they went, and were greeted by huge crowds of people in cities such as New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia. In the west, closer to the battle sites and history of conflict, the reception was much different. For instance, in Detroit, a crowd burned and hanged effigies of the prisoners.
Near the end of his captivity in 1833, Black Hawk told his life story to Antoine LeClaire, a government interpreter. Edited by the local reporter J.B. Patterson, Black Hawk's account was the first Native American autobiography published in the United States. The Autobiography of Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak, or Black Hawk, Embracing the Traditions of his Nation, Various Wars In Which He Has Been Engaged, and His Account of the Cause and General History of the Black Hawk War of 1832, His Surrender, and Travels Through the United States. Also Life, Death and Burial of the Old Chief, Together with a History of the Black Hawk War was published in 1833 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The book immediately became a best seller.
As Sauk leader
Although not a hereditary chief, Black Hawk filled a leadership void within the Sauk community. When Quashquame ceded much of the Sauk homeland in 1804 to the United States, including the main village Saukenuk, he was viewed as ineffective. Black Hawk wrote in his autobiography,It subsequently appeared that they had been drunk the greater part of the time while at St. Louis. This was all myself and nation knew of the treaty of 1804. It has since been explained to me. I found by that treaty, that all of the country east of the Mississippi, and south of Jeffreon was ceded to the United States for one thousand dollars a year. I will leave it to the people of the United States to say whether our nation was properly represented in this treaty? Or whether we received a fair compensation for the extent of country ceded by these four individuals? I could say much more respecting this treaty, but I will not at this time. It has been the origin of all our serious difficulties with the whites.
Because of his role in the disputed 1804 treaty, the tribe reduced their support of Quashquame and made him a minor chief. "Quasquawma, was chief of this tribe once, but being cheated out of the mineral country, as the Indians allege, he was denigrated from his rank and his son-in-law Taimah elected in his stead." Although Quashquame and Black Hawk were at odds, Black Hawk did not directly challenge the civil chief. They apparently remained on good terms as Black Hawk rose in importance and Quashquame faded. Quashquame avoided confrontation with the U.S., while Black Hawk did not. After Black Hawk led an aborted takeover of Fort Madison in the Spring of 1809, Quashquame worked to restore relations with the United States Army the next day.
Quashquame attempted to placate the U.S., telling Gen. William Clark during a meeting in 1810 or 1811:My father, I left my home to see my great-grandfather, the president of the United States, but as I cannot proceed to see him, I give you my hand as to himself. I have no father to whom I have paid any attention but yourself. If you hear anything, I hope that you will let me know, and I will do the same. I have been advised several times to raise the tomahawk. Since the last war we have looked upon the Americans as friends, and I shall hold you fast by the hand. The Great Spirit has not put us on the earth to war with the whites. We have never struck a white man. If we go to war it is with the red flesh. Other nations send belts among us, and urge us to war. They say that if we do not, the Americans will encroach upon us, and drive us off our lands.
During the run up to the War of 1812, the US viewed Quashquame as loyal, or at least neutral, while Black Hawk was considered the leader of the British-allied Sauk. Quashquame led all Sauk non-combatants during the war. Black Hawk thought this was an ideal arrangement:... all the children and old men and women belonging to the warriors who had joined the British were left with them to provide for. A council had been called which agreed that Quashquame, the Lance, and other chiefs, with the old men, women and children, and such others as chose to accompany them, should descend the Mississippi to St. Louis, and place themselves under the American chief stationed there. They accordingly went down to St. Louis, were received as the friendly band of our nation, were sent up the Missouri and provided for, while their friends were assisting the British!
A rift appeared within the Sauk after the war. In 1815 Quashquame was part of a large delegation that signed a treaty confirming a split between the Sauk along the Missouri River and the Sauk who lived along the Rock River at Saukenuk. The Rock River group of Sauk was commonly known as the British Band; they formed the core of warriors who participated in the Black Hawk War. About 1824 Quashquame sold a large Sauk village in Illinois to a trader Captain James White. White gave Quashquame "a little sku-ti-apo [liquor] and two thousand bushels of corn" for the land, which later became Nauvoo, Illinois. This sale likely aggravated Black Hawk and other Sauk who wanted to maintain their claim on Illinois.
As Quashquame was eclipsed by his son-in-law Taimah as the Sauk chief favored by the U.S., his voice of compromise could no longer compete with Black Hawk’s resistance. When Caleb Atwater wrote about his visit to Quashquame in 1829, he depicted the leader as feeble, more interested in art and leisure than politics, but still advocating diplomacy over conflict. In the summer of 1830, Black Hawk began his incursions into the disputed territory of Illinois, eventually leading to the Black Hawk War.
Black Hawk's frequent rival was Keokuk, a Sauk war chief held in high esteem by the U.S. government, which viewed him as a calm and reasonable Sauk leader willing to negotiate, unlike Black Hawk. Black Hawk despised Keokuk, and viewed him as cowardly and self-serving, at one point threatening to kill him for not defending Saukenuk. After the Black Hawk War Keokuk was designated the main Sauk leader by the U.S.
After his tour of the east, Black Hawk lived with the Sauk along the Iowa River and later the Des Moines River near Iowaville in what is now southeast Iowa. He died on October 3, 1838 after two weeks of illness, and was buried on the farm of his friend James Jordan on the north bank of the Des Moines River in Davis County.
In July 1839, his remains were stolen by James Turner, who prepared his skeleton for exhibition. Black Hawk’s sons Nashashuk and Gamesett went to Governor Robert Lucas of Iowa Territory, who used his influence to bring the bones to security in his offices in Burlington. With the permission of Black Hawk's sons, the remains were held by the Burlington Geological and Historical Society. When the Society's building burned down in 1855, Black Hawk’s remains were destroyed.
An alternative story is that Lucas passed Black Hawk's bones to a Burlington physician, Enos Lowe, who left them to his partner, Dr. McLaurens. Eventually workers found the bones left by McLaurens after he moved to California. They buried the remains in a potter's grave in Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington.
There is a marker for him in the Iowaville Cemetery on the hill over the river, although it is unknown if any of his remains are there.
A sculpture by Lorado Taft overlooks the Rock River in Oregon, Illinois. Entitled The Eternal Indian, this statue is commonly known as the Black Hawk Statue. In modern times Black Hawk is considered a tragic hero and numerous commemorations exist. These are mostly in the form of eponyms; many roads, sports teams and schools are named after Black Hawk. Among the numerous wars in United States history, however; the Black Hawk War is one of few named for a person.
Black Hawk was one of the major spirit guides venerated by the Wisconsin born African American Spiritualist and trance medium Leafy Anderson. His guidance and protection are sought by the members of many churches within the loosely allied Spiritual Church Movement which she founded. Special "Black Hawk services" are held to invoke his assistance, and busts or statues representing him are kept on home and church altars by his devotees.
Examples of eponyms
- Several Place names, including Black Hawk County, Iowa; the Black Hawk Bridge between Iowa and Wisconsin; and the historical Black Hawk Purchase in Iowa.
- Four United States navy vessels were named USS Black Hawk.
- The Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League indirectly derive their name from Black Hawk. Their first owner, Frederic McLaughlin, was a commander with the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry Division during World War I, nicknamed the "Black Hawk Division" after the war leader. McLaughlin named the hockey team in honor of his military unit.
- Black Hawk College, an Illinois community college.
- Waterloo Black Hawks - United States Hockey League (USHL) hockey team.
- The athletic teams of Prairie du Chien High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin are nicknamed the Blackhawks in his honor.
- ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American Place Names of the United States, Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, pg. 66.
- ^ a b c d Black Hawk; LeClair, Antoine, interpreter; Patterson, J. B., editor, Autobiography of Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak, or Black Hawk, Embracing the Traditions of his Nation, Various Wars In Which He Has Been Engaged, and His Account of the Cause and General History of the Black Hawk War of 1832, His Surrender, and Travels Through the United States. Also Life, Death and Burial of the Old Chief, Together with a History of the Black Hawk War, J. B. Patterson, Oquawka, IL: 1882, Retrieved 20 September 2007
- ^ Stevens, Frank Everett (18 May 1743). "Black Hawk War, Part 02 -- Black Hawk and His Times". myeducationresearch.org. The Pierian Press. http://myeducationresearch.org/databases/cgi-bin/kwq.asp?qu=@recnumber%20EBK30012662&FreeText=&sc=%2Fpierianp%2Febk%2F. Retrieved 2011-05-24.
- ^ Roger L. Nichols, Black Hawk and the Warrior's Path (Arlington Heights, Illinois: Harlan Davidson, 1992; ISBN 0882958844), 4, 12.
- ^ Nichols, 14.
- ^ Nichols, 16.
- ^ Nichols, 16–17.
- ^ Jung, 55.
- ^ See for example John W. Hall, Uncommon Defense: Indian Allies in the Black Hawk War (Harvard University Press, 2009), 2.
- ^ a b c d Smith, William Rudolph. The History of Wisconsin: In Three Parts, Historical, Documentary, and Descriptive, (Google Books), B. Brown: 1854, pp. 221–406. Retrieved 20 September 2007.
- ^ a b c Lewis, James. ""Background: The Black Hawk War of 1832", Abraham Lincoln Digitization Project, Northern Illinois University. Retrieved 20 September 2007.
- ^ McKusick, Marshall B. (2009). "Fort Madison, 1808-1813". In William E. Whittaker. Frontier Forts of Iowa: Indians, Traders, and Soldiers, 1682–1862. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. pp. 55–74. ISBN 978-1-58729-831-8.
- ^ a b c d e Trask, Kerry A. Black Hawk: The Battle for the Heart of America, (Google Books), Henry Holt: 2006, p. 109, 308, (ISBN 0805077588), pp. 220-221. Retrieved 26 October 2007.
- ^ Lewis, James. "The Black Hawk War of 1832: FAQ," Abraham Lincoln Digitization Project, Northern Illinois University. Retrieved 26 October 2007.
- ^ Nolan, David J. (2009). "Fort Johnson, Cantonment Davis, and Fort Edwards". In William E. Whittaker. Frontier Forts of Iowa: Indians, Traders, and Soldiers, 1682–1862. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. pp. 85–94. ISBN 978-1-58729-831-8.
- ^ Stevens, Walter B. (1921). Centennial history of Missouri (the center state) one hundred years in the union. St. Louis: S. J. Clarke. http://books.google.com.
- ^ Black Hawk (1916 (orig. 1834)). Milo M. Quaife. ed. Life of Black Hawk, Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak.. Chicago: Lakeside Press. pp. 66–68.
- ^ a b Lewis, James. "The Black Hawk War of 1832," Abraham Lincoln Digitization Project, Northern Illinois University. Retrieved August 1, 2007.
- ^ "May 14: Black Hawk's Victory at the Battle of Stillman's Run," Historic Diaries: The Black Hawk War, Wisconsin State Historical Society. Retrieved 6 August 2007.
- ^ Harmet, "Apple River Fort," p. 13-13.
- ^ a b Lewis, James. "Introduction," The Black Hawk War of 1832, Abraham Lincoln Digitization Project, Northern Illinois University. Retrieved 20 September 2007.
- ^ ""May 21, Indian Creek, Ill.: Abduction of the Hall Sisters", Historic Diaries: The Black Hawk War, Wisconsin State Historical Society. Retrieved 20 September 2007.
- ^ Matile, Roger. "The Black Hawk War: Massacre at Indian Creek," Ledger-Sentinel (Oswego, Illinois), 31 May 2007, Retrieved 20 September 2007
- ^ a b c ""The Killing of Felix St. Vrain", Historic Diaries: Black Hawk War, Wisconsin Historical Society, Retrieved 20 September 2007
- ^ a b c d e Lewis, James. "The Black Hawk War of 1832", Abraham Lincoln Digitization Project, Northern Illinois University, p. 2D. Retrieved 20 September 2007.
- ^ McCann, Dennis. "Black Hawk's name, country's shame lives on", Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, April 28, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
- ^ "Black Hawk Remembers Village Life Along the Mississippi," History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web, George Mason University. Retrieved 20 September 2007.
- ^ Atwater, Caleb. Remarks Made of A Tour to Prairie du Chien: Thence to Washington City, in 1829. Columbus, OH: Isaac N. Whiting, 1831
- ^ Van der Zee, Jacob (1913) "Old Fort Madison: Some Source Materials", Iowa Journal of History and Politics Vol. 11.
- ^ Johnson, W. F. (1919) History of Cooper County, Missouri. Historical Publishing Co. Topeka. p. 62
- ^ Indian Treaties 1795 to 1862 Vol. XX - Sauk & Fox L.S. Watson (ed.) 1993
- ^ Campbell, James W. (1884) "Address of Capt. Jas. W. Campbell.", in Report of the Organization and First Reunion of the Tri-State Old Settlers’ Association of Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, edited by J. H. Cole and J. M. Schaffer, pp. 33–38, Keokuk: IA, Tri-State Printing
- ^ Caleb Atwater (1829) Remarks Made of A Tour to Prairie du Chien: Thence to Washington City (published 1831, pp. 60-62)
- ^ Trask, Kerry (2006) Black Hawk: The Battle for the Heart of America. Henry Holt. pp. 75-80.
- ^ Andreas Atlas of Iowa", 1903, "Van Buren Co. Early History" and "Davis Co. Early History"
- ^ "Makataimeshekiakiak: Black Hawk and his War". Davenport Public Library. http://www.qcmemory.org/Default.aspx?PageId=260&nt=207&nt2=229. Retrieved 2007-03-30.
- ^ "BLACK HAWK'S VARNISHED BONES.; THEY ARE BELIEVED TO BE LYING UNMARKED IN A POTTER'S FIELD.". New York Times. September 25, 1891. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9C07E5D7153AE533A25756C2A96F9C94609ED7CF. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- ^ http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=40633143&
- ^ Oregon Sculpture Trail, The Eternal Indian, City of Oregon. Retrieved 28 September 2007.
- ^ Shannon, B. Clay. Still Casting Shadows: A Shared Mosaic of U.S. History, (Google Books), iUniverse, New York: 2006, p. 215, (ISBN 0595397239). Retrieved 26 October 2007.
- ^ County Chronicles: A Vivid Collection of Fayette County, Pennsylvania Histories, (Google Books), Mechling Bookbindery: 2004, pp. 129–30, (ISBN 0976056348). Retrieved 4 October 2007.
- ^ a b Jason Berry (1995). The Spirit of Blackhawk: a Mystery of Africans and Indians. University Press of Mississippi.
- ^ Jacobs, Claude F.; Kaslow, Andrew J. (1991). The Spiritual Churches of New Orleans Origins, Beliefs, and Rituals of an African-American Religion. The University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 1-57233-148-8.
- ^ Smith, Michael (1992). Spirit World: Pattern in the Expressive Folk Culture of New Orleans. Pelican Publishing. ISBN 978-0882898957.
- ^ "History", Chicago Blackhawks
- ^ http://www.southwestwisconsinconference.org/g5-bin/client.cgi
- Black Hawk with his son Whirling Thunder (1833), by John Wesley Jarvis, Gilcrease Museum
- Works by Black Hawk at Project Gutenberg
- "Black Hawk State Historic Site", Illinois History
- "Black Hawk Surrender Speech", State Department
- "Black Hawk (Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak)", in John E. Hallwas, ed. Illinois Literature: The Nineteenth Century, Macomb, IL: Illinois Heritage Press, 1986
- "Black Hawk". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900.
- "Black Hawk". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
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