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CHAPTER XI.
 BLACK HAWK, OR MA-KA-TAI-ME SHE-KIA-KIAK, AND HIS WAR.
 
 
Great warriors among the Indians, like those of the favored white race, learned from those who preceded them. We have seen that King Philip united the tribes of New England against their common enemy, the whites, in the first great Indian war, and his example was copied in turn by Pontiac and Tecumseh.
 
Black Hawk led a band of his own warriors and fought under Tecumseh in the war of 1812, and must have gained much inspiration as well as a knowledge of the most effectual methods of fighting the Americans, from that great chieftain. Certain it is Black Hawk also sought to form a confederation of the neighboring tribes, including the Pottawatomies, Winnebagos, Chippewas, Menomonees and Ottawas. But they had not forgotten the lessons of the preceding half-century or more, and remained neutral.
 
He also visited the commander of the British forces at Malden, opposite Detroit, hoping to gain encouragement and munitions of war, but in this he was disappointed. The commander, knowing the power of the Americans and the feeble resources of the Indians, strongly advised against a hopeless war. This was not the kind of advice the enraged chief wanted, and, of course, it was declined.
 
What was the cause of the Black Hawk War? There are several answers to this question, but we think the explanation of Black Hawk himself in his autobiography is authentic and the real "casus belli." This autobiography was dictated to an amanuensis, by means of an interpreter. In it the chief said:
 
"In 1804 one of our people killed an American and was captured and confined in the prison at St. Louis for the offense. We held a council at our village to see what could be done for him, and determined that Quashquame, Pashepaho, Onchequaka and Hashequarhiqua should go down to St. Louis, see our American father and do all they could to have our friend released, by paying for the person killed, thus covering the blood and satisfying the relations of the murdered man; this being the only means with us for saving a person who had killed another, and we then thought it was the same way with the whites.
 
"The party started with the good wishes of the whole nation, who had high hopes that the emissaries would accomplish the object of their mission.
 
"The relations of the prisoner blacked their faces and fasted, hoping the Great Spirit would take pity on them and return husband and father to his sorrowing wife and weeping children.
 
"Quashquame and party remained a long time, but finally returned and encamped a short distance below the village. They did not come up that day, nor did any one approach their camp. They appeared to be dressed in fine coats and had medals. From these circumstances we were in hopes that they had brought good news.
 
"Early the next morning the council lodge was crowded. Quashquame and party came up and gave us the following account of their mission:
 
"'On our arrival at St. Louis we met our American father and explained to him our business, urging the release of our friend. The American chief told us he wanted land. We agreed to give him some on the west side of the Mississippi, likewise more on the Illinois side opposite Jefferson. When the business was all arranged we expected to have our friend released to come home with us. About the time we were ready to start our brother was let out of prison. He started and ran a short distance, when he was shot dead!'
 
"This was all they could remember of what had been said and done. 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 so-called 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 Jefferson 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 those 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."
 
On June 27, 1831, Black Hawk made a treaty with General Gaines, and gave a reluctant consent to abandon his village and cornfields on the Rock River in Illinois and join Keokuk's band on their reservation in Iowa. General Gaines believed the trouble was ended, and so it probably would have been had the whites observed the provisions of the treaty. The Indians had been promised corn to supply the wants of their families in lieu of that which was left in their fields, but the amount was so meager that they began to suffer.
 
In this emergency, a party of Sacs, to quote the language of Black Hawk, crossed the river "to steal corn from their own fields."
 
Moving with his band up Rock River, he was overtaken by a messenger from General Atkinson ordering him to return and recross the Mississippi. Black Hawk said he was not on the warpath, but going on a friendly visit to the village of White Cloud, the Winnebago Prophet, and continued his journey. General Atkinson now sent imperative orders for him to return at once, or he would pursue him with his entire army and drive him back. In reply Black Hawk said the general had no right to make the order so long as his band was peaceable, and that he intended to go on to the Prophet's village.
 
When Black Hawk reached a point about forty miles above Dixon's Ferry he was met in council by some Pottawatomie and Winnebago chiefs. They assured Black Hawk that their people would not join him in making war upon the United States, contrary to his expectations. Black Hawk now saw that the Prophet and others had misrepresented the plans and intentions of these tribes, and resolved to send a flag of truce to General Atkinson and ask permission to descend Rock River, recross the Mississippi and return to their reservation.
 
About this time General Whitesides had concentrated a large force of militia at Dixon's Ferry, and, at the solicitation of Major Stillman, permitted him to take out a scouting party of 270 mounted men. They ascended Rock River to the mouth of Sycamore Creek and encamped within a few miles of Black Hawk's band, but ignorant of that fact. Indian scouts soon reported to Black Hawk that a large company of mounted militia were coming toward his camp, and the chief at once dispatched three warriors with a white flag of truce, and an invitation for the officers to visit his camp. The whites paid no attention to this flag, but captured the messengers, killing the flag-bearer instantly. Black Hawk also sent five others to look after the flag-bearers. They were pursued and one killed, but the remainder, together with the two flag-bearers, made their escape in the confusion incident to making preparation to charge the Indian camp.
 
When the old chief heard that his flag of truce was disregarded and two of his warriors killed, he gave the war-whoop and prepared to meet the whites. He had only about forty mounted warriors, the others being absent on a hunting trip. Having taken a position in a copse of timber and underbrush near Sycamore Creek, he waited the approach of the whites. The soldiers advanced in disorderly fashion, and, having crossed the creek, were surprised by a terrific war-whoop from the Indians who were concealed in the bushes and with deadly aim commenced firing into their ranks. Judging from the yelling of the Indians their number was variously estimated at from one to two thousand. The entire party was thrown into such confusion that Major Stillman had no control of them and ordered a retreat.
 
The forty Indians put the two hundred and forty to flight, killing a dozen and losing only two or three.
 
With one exception the entire company continued their flight to Dixon's Ferry, a distance of thirty miles; some never stopped until they were safe at home.
 
Black Hawk and fifteen warriors soon gave up the chase, and returned to his camp. But the remainder pursued the fugitives several miles, overtaking and killing a few whose horses were too slow to keep out of their way.
 
Among the slow mounted of the retreating party was a Methodist preacher, who adopted a novel plan to save himself and horse. On coming to a ravine he left the main track and followed down the ravine until he found a place where the banks were deep enough to shelter himself and horse from view, and remained there for two hours in safety. He had the precaution to keep a strict count of the Indians as they crossed the ravine. When they had returned and continued on their way to their camp, he left his hiding-place and trotted leisurely along to Dixon's Ferry, which he reached about sunrise the next morning.
 
When he reported the stratagem by which he was saved, and was asked the number of the pursuing Indians, he promptly replied "twenty-five by actual count." Great indignation was manifested by some of the brave volunteers, who reached camp several hours before him and reported the number of the Indians at fifteen hundred to two thousand. But the minister was well known by many of the volunteers as a high-toned Christian gentleman whose veracity had never been questioned, and they stood by him, and no violence was attempted.
 
The news of Stillman's defeat "by two thousand blood thirsty Indian warriors" spread fast, far and wide, and Governor Reynolds, of Illinois, called for more volunteers.
 
When the news reached Washington General Scott was ordered to take a thousand soldiers and proceed to the seat of war and take the command. While en route this army was attacked by cholera, which swept off a large number and rendered the remainder unfit for service. It is now generally conceded that the violation of a flag of truce, which is respected in all civilized wars, the wanton murder of its bearers, and the attack upon a mere remnant of Black Hawk's band when suing for peace, precipitated a war which could have been and should have been avoided.
 
As positive proof that the volunteers were guilty of precipitating the war by killing the bearer of the white flag of truce, we quote the narrative of Elijah Kilbourn, one of the scouts connected with Stillman's command. It seems that Kilbourn was captured by Black Hawk during the war of 1812, and adopted into his tribe. He finally escaped, and was again captured by three of Black Hawk's braves at the battle of Sycamore Creek. The story also shows the noble character of Black Hawk, and will be told in Kilbourn's own language. Said he: "We had been scouting through the country that lay about Fort Stephenson, when early one morning one of our number came in with the intelligence that the fort was besieged by a combined force of British and Indians. We were soon in the saddle and riding with all speed in the direction of the fort, hoping to join in the fight. But in this we were disappointed, as we learned that the brave little garrison, under the command of Major Crogan, had repulsed the enemy with great slaughter. We learned, however, that Black Hawk, the leader of the savages, at the termination of the battle, had gone back with twenty of his warriors, to his village on Rock River, and we determined at once to follow him.
 
"At sunrise the next morning we were on his trail and followed it with great care to the banks of a stream. Here we ascertained that the savages had separated into nearly equal parties—the one keeping straight down the bank of the stream, while the other had crossed to the other side and continued toward Rock River. Our leader now detailed four of us to follow the trail across the stream, while he with the rest, some seven or eight in number, immediately took the one down the bank."
 
 
 
 
Black Hawk
 
 
 
 
"During the course of the following morning we came across a great many different trails, and by these we were so perplexed that we resolved to return to the main body, but from the signs we had already seen we knew that such a step would be attended with the greatest danger. It was at last decided that it would be far more safe for all hands to separate, and each man look out for himself. This resolve was immediately put into execution, and a few minutes later found me alone in the great wilderness. I had often been so before, but never had I been placed in a situation as dangerous as the present one, for now on all sides I was surrounded by hostile Indians.
 
"I encountered nothing very formidable till some two hours before sunset, when, just as I emerged from a tangled thicket, I saw an Indian on his knees at a clear, sparkling spring, slaking his thirst. Instinctively I placed my rifle to my shoulder, drew a bead upon the savage and pulled the trigger. Imagine, if you can, my feelings as the flint came down and was shivered to pieces without igniting the priming.
 
"The next moment the savage was up on his feet, his piece leveled directly at me and his finger pressing the trigger. There was no escape. I had left my horse in the woods some time before. The thicket behind me was too dense to permit me to enter it again quickly, and there was no tree within reach of sufficient size to protect me from the aim of my foe, who, now finding me at his mercy, advanced, his gun still in its threatening rest and ordered me to surrender. Resistance and escape were alike out of the question, and I accordingly delivered myself up his prisoner, hoping by some means to escape at some future period. He now told me, in good English, to proceed in a certain direction. I obeyed him and had not gone a stone's throw before, just as I turned a thick clump of trees, I came suddenly upon an Indian camp, the one to which my captor undoubtedly belonged.
 
"As we came up all the savages, some six or eight in number, rose quickly and appeared much surprised at my sudden appearance amongst them; but they offered me no harm, and they behaved with most marked respect to my captor, whom, upon a close inspection I recognized to be Black Hawk himself. The tall chief, with his keen eye, looked every inch a warrior.
 
"'The white mole digs deep, but Makataimeshe Kiakiak (Black Hawk) flies high and can see far off,' said the chieftain in a deep guttural tone, addressing me. He then related to his followers the occasion of my capture, and as he did so they glared at me fiercely and handled their weapons in a threatening manner, but at the conclusion of his remarks they appeared better pleased, although I was the recipient of many a passing frown. He now informed me that he had told his young men that they were to consider me a brother, as he was going to adopt me into the tribe.
 
"This was to me little better than death itself, but there was no alternative, and so I was obliged to submit, with the hope of making my escape at some future time. The communication of Black Hawk, moreover, caused me great astonishment, and after pondering the matter I was finally forced to set down as its cause one of those unaccountable whims to which the savage temperament is often subject.
 
"The next morning my captors forced me to go with them to their village on Rock River, where, after going through a tedious ceremony, I was dressed and painted, and thus turned from a white man into an Indian.
 
"For nearly three years ensuing it was my constant study to give my adopted brothers the slip, but during the whole of that time I was so carefully watched and guarded that I never found an opportunity to escape.
 
"However, it is a long lane that has no turning, and so it proved in my case. Pretending to be well satisfied with my new mode of life, I at last gained upon the confidence of the savages, and one day when their vigilance was relaxed, I made my escape and returned in safety to my friends, who had mourned for me as dead.
 
"Many years after this I was a participant in the battle at Sycamore Creek, which is a tributary of Rock River. I was employed by the Government as a scout, in which capacity it was acknowledged I had no superior, but I felt no pride in hearing myself praised, for I knew I was working against Black Hawk, who, although he was an Indian, had once spared my life, and I was one never to forget a kindness. And, besides this, I had taken a great liking to him, for there was something noble and generous in his nature. However, my first duty was to my country, and I did my duty at all hazards.
 
"Now you must know that Black Hawk, after moving west of the Mississippi, had recrossed, contrary to his agreement; not, however, from any hostile motive, but to raise a crop of corn and beans with the Pottawatomies and Winnebagos, of which his own people stood in the utmost need. With this intention he had gone some distance up Rock River, when an express from General Atkinson ordered him peremptorily to return. This order the old chief refused to obey, saying that the general had no right to issue it. A second express from Atkinson threatened Black Hawk that if he did not return peaceably force would be resorted to. The aged warrior became incensed at this and utterly refused to obey the mandate, but, at the same time, sent word to the general that he would not be the first to commence hostilities.
 
"The movement of the renowned warrior was immediately trumpeted abroad as an invasion of the State, and with more rashness than wisdom, Governor Reynolds ordered the Illinois militia to take the field, and these were joined by the regulars under General Atkinson, at Rock Island. Major Stillman, having under his command two hundred and seventy-five mounted men, the chief part of whom were volunteers, while a few, like myself, were regular scouts, obtained leave of General Whitesides—then stationed at Dixon's Ferry—to go on a scouting expedition. I knew well what would follow; but still, as I was under orders, I was obliged to obey, and together with the rest proceeded some thirty miles up Rock River to where Sycamore Creek empties into it. This brought us to within six or eight miles of the camp of Black Hawk, who, on that day, May 14, was engaged in preparing a dog feast for the purpose of fitly celebrating a contemplated visit of some Pottawatomie chiefs.
 
"Soon after preparing to camp we saw three Indians approach us, bearing a white flag; and these, upon coming up, were made prisoners. A second deputation of five were pursued by some twenty of our mounted militia and two of them killed, while the other three escaped. One of the party that bore the white flag was, out of the most cowardly vindictiveness, shot down while standing a prisoner in camp. The whole detachment, after these atrocities, now bore down upon the camp of Black Hawk, whose braves, with the exception of some forty or fifty, were away at a distance, hunting.
 
"As we rode up a galling and destructive fire was poured in upon us by the savages, who, after discharging their guns, sprang from their coverts on either side, with their usual horrible yells, and continued the attack with their tomahawks and knives. My comrades fell around me like leaves; and happening to cast my eyes behind me I beheld the whole detachment of militia flying from the field. Some four or five of us were left unsupported in the very midst of the foe, who, renewing their yells, rushed down upon us in a body. Gideon Munson and myself were taken prisoners, while others were instantly tomahawked and scalped, Munson, during the afternoon, seeing, as he supposed, a good opportunity to escape, recklessly attempted it, but was immediately shot down by his captor. And I now began to wish they would serve me in the same manner, for I knew that if recognized by the savages, I should be put to death by the most horrible tortures. Nothing occurred, however, to give me any real uneasiness upon this point till the following morning, when Black Hawk, passing by me, turned and eyed me keenly for a moment or so. Then, stepping close to me, he said, in a low tone: 'Does the mole think that Black Hawk forgets?'
 
"Walking away with a dignified air, he left me, as you may suppose, bordering on despair, for I knew too well the Indian character to imagine for a single instant that my life would be spared under the circumstances, I had been adopted into the tribe by Black Hawk, had lived nearly three years among them, and by escaping had incurred their displeasure, which could only be appeased with my blood. Added to this, I was now taken prisoner at the very time that the passions of the savages were most highly wrought upon by the mean and cowardly conduct of the whites. I therefore gave up all hope, and doggedly determined to meet stoically my fate.
 
"Although the Indians passed and repassed me many times during the day, often bestowing on me a buffet or a kick, yet not one of them seemed to remember me as having formerly been one of the tribe. At times this infused me with a faint hope, which was always immediately after extinguished, as I recalled to mind my recognition by Black Hawk himself.
 
"Some two hours before sunset Black Hawk again came to where I was bound, and having loosened the cords with which I was fastened to a tree, my arms still remaining confined, bade me follow him. I immediately obeyed him, not knowing what was to be my doom, though I expected nothing short of death by torture. In silence we left the camp, not one of the savages interfering with us or offering me the slightest harm or indignity. For nearly an hour we strode on through the gloomy forest, now and then starting from its retreat some wild animal that fled upon our approach. Arriving at a bend of the river, my guide halted, and turning towards the sun, which was rapidly setting, he said, after a short pause:
 
"'I am going to send you back to your chief, though I ought to kill you for running away a longtime ago, after I had adopted you as a son, but Black Hawk can forgive as well as fight. When you return to your chief I want you to tell him all my words. Tell him that Black Hawk's eyes have looked upon many suns but they shall not see many more, and that his back is no longer straight, as in his youth, but is beginning to bend with age. The Great Spirit has whispered among the tree-tops in the morning and evening, and says that Black Hawk's days are few, and that he is wanted in the spirit land. He is half dead, his arm shakes and is no longer strong, and his feet are slow on the warpath. Tell him all this, and tell him, too,' continued the untutored hero of the forest, with trembling emotion and marked emphasis, 'that Black Hawk would have been a friend to the whites, but they would not let him, and that the hatchet was dug up by themselves and not by the Indians. Tell your chief that Black Hawk meant no harm to the palefaces when he came across the Mississippi, but came peaceably to raise corn for his starving women and children, and that even then he would have gone back; but when he sent this white flag the braves who carried it were treated like squaws and one of them inhumanly shot. Tell him, too,' he concluded with terrible force, while his eyes fairly flashed fire, 'that Black Hawk will have revenge, and that he will never stop until the Great Spirit shall say to him, Come away.'
 
"Thus saying, he loosened the cord that bound my arms, and after giving me particular directions as to the best course to pursue to my own camp, bade me farewell and struck off into the trackless forest, to commence that final struggle which was decided against the Indians."
 
Although the Winnebagos and the Pottawatomies had resolved to take no part in the war, yet a few young warriors from each of these tribes, emboldened by Black Hawk's easy victory over Stillman's raw recruits, decided to join his band. These committed many depredations among the settlements along the Fox and Illinois rivers.
 
When the warriors returned from their hunting expedition, Black Hawk concentrated his entire force, consisting of about five hundred warriors, according to his own statement, at a point between the Rock and Wisconsin rivers.
 
General Atkinson, with a force of nearly two thousand men, pressed on to meet him. But the wily chief declined to risk a battle with such odds and withdrew into the wilderness. General Atkinson followed, incurring the danger of an ambuscade, but Black Hawk could not be brought to a stand.
 
When Black Hawk reached the Mississippi River, he let most of his women and children descend it in canoes, but a majority were captured by the whites and quite a number drowned.
 
With the main body of his warriors he approached the river, intending to cross, but was met at this point by the steamboat Warrior.
 
The chief was so touched by the suffering of the women and children, the starving condition of his men, and the utter hopelessness of continuing the unequal struggle, that he decided to surrender. Accordingly, he sent a hundred and fifty warriors to the edge of the stream with a flag of truce. An effort was also made to communicate with the Winnebago interpreter on board the boat. But either the interpreter failed to understand what was shouted to him by the Indians on shore or he was treacherous and failed to report the message correctly to Captain Throckmorton, of the Warrior, or Lieutenant Kingsburg, who commanded the troops, for certain it is those on the boat paid no attention to the white flag of truce or the expressed desire on the part of Black Hawk to surrender.
 
Orders were given to shell the Indians on the shore with musketry and a six-pounder loaded with canister. It resulted in killing twenty-three Indians outright and wounding a large number. The savages were trying to surrender, and were so astonished at this unexpected attack, that they fired only a few random shots, one of which passed through a man's leg on the Warrior.
 
As the wood began to fail, and night was approaching, the Warrior went on to Prairie du Chien. The final battle of the war occurred the next day, August 2. This is known as the battle of Bad Axe and was fought where the little stream by that name joins the Mississippi. The account we give of it is quoted from Black Hawk's autobiography, in which the chief said: "Early in the morning a party of whites, being in advance of the army, came upon our people, who were attempting to cross the Mississippi. They tried to give themselves up; the whites paid no attention to their entreaties, but commenced slaughtering them. In a little while the whole army arrived. Our braves, but few in number, finding that the enemy paid no regard to age or sex, and seeing that they were murdering helpless women and little children, determined to fight until they were killed. As many women as could commenced swimming the Mississippi, with their children on their backs. A number of them were drowned, and some shot before they could reach the opposite shore.
 
"This massacre, which terminated the war, lasted about two hours. Our loss in killed was about sixty, besides a number that was drowned. The loss of the enemy could not be ascertained by my braves exactly; but they think that they killed about sixteen during the action."
 
It was afterward estimated that the loss of the Americans in killed and wounded was twenty-seven—that of the Indians nearly two hundred.
 
In reviewing the Black Hawk War the student of history is forced to the conclusion that it was caused by the white man's avarice and determination to swindle the Indian out of his birthright, the finest lands of Wisconsin, Missouri and Illinois, for the usual mess of pottage. It began by the deliberate murder of the bearer of a white flag of truce (which is respected by every civilized nation on earth), and it ended in an indiscriminate massacre of men, women and helpless children, while the chief and warriors were suing for peace, and actually trying to surrender.
 
Having escaped through the lines of the American army, Black Hawk, with a small party, fled to the Winnebago village at La Crosse. On his arrival here he entered the lodge of their chief and told him he intended giving himself up to the American war-chief and die if it pleased the Great Spirit. Black Hawk still retained his medicine bag, which he now presented to the chief, and informed him that it was "the soul of the Sac nation—that it never had been dishonored in any battle; take it, it is my life—dearer than life—and give it to the American chief!" The Winnebago chief received it, promised to take special care of it, and said if Black Hawk's life was spared he would send it to him, but for some unknown cause this promise was never fulfilled.
 
 
 
 
Buffalo Hunt
 
 
 
 
During his stay at this village the squaws made him a suit of white deerskin, which he wore when he went with several Winnebagos to Prairie du Chien and gave himself up.
 
On August 27, 1833, about noon, Black Hawk and his companion, called the Prophet, surrendered to General Street at Prairie du Chien.
 
On September 7, Black Hawk, now a prisoner of war, together with the Prophet and others, were taken on board the steamer Winnebago and sent to Jefferson Barracks, in charge of Lieut. Jefferson Davis, of whom the chief said: "He is a good and brave young chief, with whose conduct I was much pleased, and treated us with great kindness."
 
We are here reminded that at least four men who took part in the Black Hawk War were heard of again. Col. Zachariah Taylor and Capt. Abraham Lincoln each became President; Lieut. Jefferson Davis, Taylor's son-in-law, President of the Southern Confederacy, while Gen. Winfield Scott, "the hero of four wars," escaped the cholera, which almost destroyed his army, to become a strong Presidential probability, and the standard-bearer of the Whig party.
 
While Black Hawk was not equal to Pontiac, Brant or Tecumseh as a warrior and leader of men, yet his skill in oratory placed him in the class with Red Jacket, Logan, or even the gifted Tecumseh. Fortunately many of his speeches were made under circumstances which have permitted them to be preserved and though they were probably "revised," in some instances, by admiring friends, yet he undoubtedly possessed a peculiar poetical eloquence all his own.
 
When the fallen chieftain entered the presence of General Street as a prisoner he thus addressed him: "You have taken me prisoner with all my warriors. I am much grieved, for I expected if I did not defeat you to hold out much longer and give you more trouble before I surrendered. I tried hard to bring you into ambush, but your last general understands Indian fighting. The first one was not so wise. When I saw I could not beat you by Indian fighting, I determined to rush on you and fight you face to face. I fought hard, but your guns were well aimed. The bullets flew like birds in the air, and whizzed by our ears like wind through the trees in winter. My warriors fell around me; it began to look dismal. I saw my evil day at hand. The sun rose dim on us in the morning and at night it sank in a dark cloud, and looked like a ball of fire. That was the last sun that shone on Black Hawk. His heart is dead and no longer beats quick in his bosom. He is now a prisoner to the white man; they will do with him as they wish. But he can stand torture and is not afraid of death. He is no coward. Black Hawk is an Indian.
 
"He has done nothing for which an Indian ought to be ashamed. He has fought for his countrymen, the squaws and pappooses, against white men, who came year after year to cheat him and take away their lands. You know the cause of our making war. It is known to all white men. They ought to be ashamed of it. The white men despise the Indians and drive them from their homes. But the Indians are not deceitful. The white men speak bad of the Indian and look at him spitefully. But the Indian does not tell lies; Indians do not steal.
 
"An Indian who is as bad as the white men could not live in our nation; he would be put to death and eaten up by the wolves. The white men are bad schoolmasters; they carry false looks and deal in false actions; they smile in the face of the poor Indian to cheat him; they shake them by the hand to gain their confidence, to make them drunk, to deceive them. We told them to let us alone and keep away from us; but they followed on, and beset our path as they coiled themselves among us, like a snake. They poisoned us by their touch. We were not safe. We lived in danger. We were becoming like them, hypocrites and liars, adulterers, lazy drones—all talkers and no workers.
 
"We looked up to the Great Spirit. We went to our great father. We were encouraged. His great council gave us fair words and big promises; but we got no satisfaction. Things were growing worse. There were no deer in the forest. The opossum and beaver were fled; the springs were drying up and our squaws and pappooses without victuals to keep them from starving; we called a great council and built a large fire. The spirit of our fathers arose and spoke to us to avenge our wrongs or die. We all spoke before the council-fire. It was warm and pleasant. We setup the war-whoop, and dug up the tomahawk; our knives were ready, and the heart of Black Hawk swelled high in his bosom when he led his warriors to battle. He is satisfied. He will go to the world of spirits contented. He has done his duty. His father will meet him there and commend him.
 
"Black Hawk is a true Indian and disdains to cry like a woman. He feels for his wife, his children and his friends. But he does not care for himself. He cares for his nation and the Indians. They will suffer. He laments their fate. The white men do not scalp the head; but they do worse—they poison the heart; it is not pure with them. His countrymen will not be scalped, but they will, in a few years, become like the white men, so that you can't trust them, and there must be, as in the white settlements, nearly as many officers as men, to take care of them and keep them in order.
 
"Farewell, my nation! Black Hawk tried to save you and avenge your wrongs. He drank the blood of some of the whites. He has been taken prisoner and his plans are stopped. He can do no more. He is near his end. His sun is setting and will rise no more. Farewell to Black Hawk."
 
Black Hawk at the time of his imprisonment was sixty-six years of age.
 
Some time during the month of September the United States made a treaty with the Sacs and Foxes by which six million acres of choice land were ceded, containing the rich lead mine near Galena. In payment for this cession the United States agreed "to pay an annuity of $20,000 for thirty years; to support a blacksmith and gunsmith in addition to those then employed; to pay the debts of the tribes; to supply provisions; and, as a reward for the fidelity of Keokuk and the friendly band, to allow a reservation to be made for them of forty square miles, on the Iowa River, to include Keokuk's principal village." This treaty also required that Black Hawk, his two sons, the Prophet, Neopope (the second chief) and five others of the hostile band were to remain in the hands of the whites as hostages during the pleasure of the President of the United States.
 
The captive Indians were sent to Washington by order of President Jackson, and arrived at their destination April 22, 1833. The day following Black Hawk had a long interview with the President; it is said that his first greeting on meeting President was, "I am a man, and you are another."
 
"Old Hickory" had had a wide experience with Indians, and at once made them feel at ease by greeting them kindly, and after having the articles of dress provided for them exhibited he told Black Hawk they would be delivered to him for distribution. He then said they would have to leave shortly for Fortress Monroe and remain until he gave them permission to return to their country. That date depended upon the conduct of the Indians, but he hoped they would soon evince good feeling and thereby shorten the time.
 
During this interview Black Hawk gave a brief history of the cause of the war, saying: "We did not expect to conquer the whites; no. They had too many houses, too many men. I took up the hatchet, for my part, to revenge injuries which my people could no longer endure. Had I borne them longer without striking, my people would have said, 'Black Hawk is a woman, he is too old to be a chief; he is no Sac.' These reflections caused me to raise the war-whoop. I say no more of it, it is known to you. Keokuk once was here; you took him by the hand, and, when he wished to return to his home, you were willing. Black Hawk expects that, like Keokuk, we shall be permitted to return too."
 
The President assured him that he was acquainted with the essential facts of the war, and that the chief need feel no uneasiness about the women and children whom they had left behind. They would be looked after and protected from their Indian foes.
 
On April 26 the captives arrived at Fortress Monroe. Here they received much kindness, and though confined were not shackled, and their imprisonment made as easy as possible. But they pined for the free air of the prairies, for their rude wigwams and the companionship of their families. Time passed slowly, with little to occupy their minds, but their own sad thoughts.
 
We can not help but wonder if the mind of Black Hawk at this time reverted to the young war-chief (Jefferson Davis) who treated him so kindly while on board the steamer Winnebago en route for Jefferson Barracks; who was destined at the downfall of the Confederacy to be a United States prisoner and confined in Fortress Monroe, the same grim Bastille in which he was now incarcerated.
 
Fortunately their behavior was satisfactory to the President and by special order the prisoners were released the 4th of June.
 
It was thought wise by the Government to impress the Indians by a contrast of their own feeble resources with the vast wealth and great population of the Americans, by giving them a view of several large cities on their journey home. So the day following their release from prison the Indians and their escort took a steamer for Baltimore, by way of Norfolk.
 
When Black Hawk and his party arrived in Baltimore they found that the Great Father, President Jackson, was also in that city. In an interview with the chief, the President said "When I saw you in Washington, I told you that you had behaved very badly in going to war against the whites. Your conduct then compelled me to send my warriors against you, and your people were defeated with great loss, and several of you surrendered, to be kept until I should be satisfied that you would not try to do any more injury. I told you, too, that I would inquire whether your people wished you to return, and whether if you did return there would be any danger to the frontier. General Clark and General Atkinson, whom you know, have informed me that your principal chief and your people are anxious you should return, and Keokuk has asked me to send you back. Your chiefs have pledged themselves for your good conduct, and that you will never again take up the hatchet against the whites, and I have given directions that you should be taken to your own country.
 
"Major Garland, who is with you, will conduct you through some of our towns. You will see the strength of the White people. You will see that our young men are as numerous as the leaves in the woods. What can you do against us? You may kill a few women and children, but such a force would soon be sent against you as would destroy your whole tribe. Let the red men hunt and take care of their families. I hope they will not again raise the tomahawk against their white brethren. We do not wish to injure you. We desire your prosperity and improvement. But if you again make war against our people I shall send a force which will severely punish you. When you go back, listen to the councils of Keokuk and the other friendly chiefs; bury the tomahawk and live in peace with the people on the frontier. And I pray the Great Spirit to give you a smooth path and a fair sky to return."
 
From Baltimore the party, conducted by Major Garland, went to Philadelphia. Here the Indians visited the mint and each received a number of new coins, of which they were very proud.
 
New York was the next city visited. Here the Indians were amazed at the size of the "village" and the vast throngs of people which greeted them at every turn. Indeed, all along the route they were dined and wined and well nigh killed with kindness. Black Hawk also received a large number of valuable presents.
 
One of the most interesting incidents of what might be called their triumphal tour, was a brief visit to the Senecas, at their council-house on their reservation in New York. The Seneca chieftain, Captain Pollard (Karlundawana), an aged and respected man, expressed his pleasure at meeting them, urging them to go to their homes in a peaceable frame of mind, to cultivate the soil, and never more to fight against the white men.
 
To which Black Hawk replied: "Our aged brother of the Senecas, who has spoken to us, has spoken the words of a wise and good man. We are strangers to each other, though we have the same color, and the same Great Spirit made us all and gave us this country together. Brothers, we have seen how great a people the whites are. They are very rich and very strong. It is folly for us to fight against them. We shall go home with much knowledge. For myself, I shall advise my people to be quiet, and live like good men. The advice which you gave us, brother, is very good, and we tell you now we mean to walk the straight path in the future, and to content ourselves with what we have and with the cultivation of our lands."
 
From Buffalo the Indians traveled by water to Detroit. After leaving this city no incident of importance occurred until they reached Fort Armstrong, Rock Island, about the 1st of August. Fort Armstrong had been selected as the most appropriate place for the dismissal of the Indians.
 
Keokuk was away on a buffalo hunt when Black Hawk arrived, but hurried to the place, attended by a large party, as soon as he heard the news. A large room in the garrison was prepared for the reception of the two parties. About ten o'clock Keokuk appeared at the head of a hundred warriors. Profound silence prevailed until the arrival of Black Hawk and his party. As they came in Keokuk and the chiefs of his band arose and shook hands with him and the rest. Black Hawk and party moved around and seated themselves opposite Keokuk; but he and his son showed in their looks their dejection and humiliation, for they knew that after years of rivalry the time of triumph for Keokuk, the younger chieftain, had arrived.
 
Major Garland broke the silence by saying that he was glad to find so much good feeling in the tribe toward Black Hawk and his party. He was confident, from what he had seen and heard, that they would have no more trouble among themselves. He had but little to say as the President's speech to Black Hawk said all, and this would now be read and interpreted to the Indians. This was accordingly done, when Keokuk arose and said impressively:
 
"I have listened to the talk of our Great Father. It is true; we pledged our honors with those of our young braves, for their liberation. We thought much of it; our councils were long; their wives and children were in our thoughts. When we talked of them our hearts were full. Their wives and children came to us, which made us feel like women; but we were men. The word which we sent to our Great Father was one word, the word of all. The heart of our Great Father was good; he spoke like the father of children. The Great Spirit made his heart big in council. We received our brothers in friendship our hearts are good toward them. They once listened to bad counsel; now their ears are closed. I give my hand to them; when they shake it they shake the hand of all. I will shake hands with them and then I am done."
 
Major Garland now delivered the most humiliating insult and the unkindest cut Black Hawk had ever received. He said he wished all present clearly to understand that the President considered Keokuk the principal chief of the tribe, and in the future he should be acknowledged as the only one entitled to that distinction. He wished Black Hawk to listen and conform to his counsels. The two bands that had heretofore existed in the tribe must be broken up.
 
When this cutting speech was translated to Black Hawk a bad matter was made worse by a blunder of the interpreter, who represented Major Garland as declaring that Black Hawk must conform to the counsels of Keokuk.
 
The chief was infuriated, and rising to his feet, his eyes flashing fire, he replied: "I am an old man; I will not conform to the counsel of any one. I will act for myself; no one shall govern me. I am old; my hair is gray. I once gave counsels to my young men; am I to conform to others? I shall soon go to the Great Spirit, where I shall rest. What I said to our Great Father in Washington, I say again: I will always listen to him. I am done."
 
 
 
 
Keokuk
 
 
 
 
It was the last flickering spark of grandeur and greatness. His words caused a stir among the listeners. The interpreter hastened to explain that he was only requested to listen to the counsels of Keokuk. Black Hawk made no reply, but seemed absorbed in his own gloomy thoughts, until Keokuk said to him in an undertone: "Why do you speak thus before the white men? I will speak for you, you trembled and did not mean what you said." Black Hawk nodded assent and Keokuk said:
 
"Our brother, who has again come among us, has spoken, but he spoke in wrath, his tongue was forked; he spoke not like a man, a Sac. He knew his words were bad; he trembled like the oak, whose roots have been washed by many rains. He is old what he said let us forget. He says he did not mean it; he wishes it were forgotten. I have spoken for him. What I have said is his own words, not mine. Let us say he spoke in council to-day and that his words were good; I have spoken."
 
Major Garland that evening invited the principal chiefs, including Black Hawk, to meet him at his quarters. After several speeches had been made by the other chiefs, Black Hawk arose, and in a calm but somewhat subdued manner, said: "I feel that I am an old man. Once I could speak, but now I have little to say. To-day we meet many of our brothers. We are glad to see them. I have listened to what my brothers said; their hearts are good; they have been like Sacs since I left them; they have taken care of my wife and children, who had no wigwam. I thank them for it; the Great Spirit knows I thank them. Before the sun sets behind the hills to-morrow I shall see them. I want to see them. When I left them I expected to return. I told our Great Father, when in Washington, I would listen to his counsels; I say so to you. I will listen to the counsel of Keokuk. I shall soon be far away. I shall have no village, no band; I shall live alone. What I said in council to-day I wish forgotten. If it has been put upon paper, I wish a mark to be drawn over it. I did not mean it. Now we are alone; let us say we will forget it. Say to our Great Father and Governor Cass that I will listen to them. Many years ago I met Governor Cass in councils, far across the prairies to the rising sun. His counsels were good. My ears were closed. I listened to the Great Father across the waters. My father listened to him, whose band was large. My band was once large, but now I have no band. I and my son and all our party thank our Great Father for what he has done. He is old; I am old; we shall soon go to the Great Spirit, where we shall rest. He sent us through his great villages. We saw many white men, who treated us with kindness. We thank them. We thank you and Mr. Sprague for coming with us. Your road was long and crooked. We never saw so many white men before. When you were with us we felt as though we had some friends among them. We felt safe. You knew them all. When you come upon the Mississippi again, you shall come to my wigwam. I have none now. On your road home, you pass where my village once was. No one lives there now; all are gone. I give you my hand; we may never meet again. I shall long remember you. The Great Spirit will be with you and your wives and children. Before the sun rises I shall start to my family. My son will be here to see you before you go, I will shake hands with my brothers now, and then I am done."
 
In September, 1837, a delegation of Sacs and Foxes, and another of Sioux and Iowas visited Washington, and at the suggestion of the President, extended their tour through the principal cities of the East.
 
The idea of impressing the untutored mind of poor Lo {?} with our wealth, numbers and importance as a nation, seems to have been a favorite one with many of our Presidents. We presume this delegation, which included both Black Hawk and Keokuk, was suitably impressed, as have been many others since.
 
This tour extended to Boston, where the delegation was addressed by Edward Everett, then Governor of Massachusetts, in one of the best speeches ever delivered to Indians, at the conclusion of which Keokuk and Black Hawk each made eloquent addresses. Presents were then distributed to the Indians by the Governor. Keokuk received a splendid sword and brace of pistols, his little son a nice little rifle, the other chiefs long swords, and Black Hawk a sword and brace of pistols. At the close of the ceremonies in the Capital, the Indians entertained thirty thousand cultured Bostonians with a war-dance.
 
Soon after his return from Boston Black Hawk moved further west to the Des Moines River, near the storehouse of an Indian trader, where he had previously built a good house for his future home. His family included his wife, two sons, Nashashuk and Gamesett, and an only daughter and her husband.
 
As he had given up the chase entirely, having sufficient means from his annuities, he now turned his attention to the improvement of his grounds, and soon had everything comfortable around him. Here he had frequent visits from the whites, who came through curiosity to see the great war-chief, but all were made welcome and treated with great hospitality.
 
On the Fourth of July, 1838, Black Hawk was at a celebration in Fort Madison, by special invitation. Among the toasts called forth by the occasion was the following:
 
"Our illustrious guest, Black Hawk. May his declining years be as calm and serene as his previous life has been boisterous and full of warlike incidents. His attachment and present friendship to his white brethren fully entitle him to a seat at our festive board."
 
As soon as this sentiment was drunk. Black Hawk arose and delivered the following speech, which was taken down at the time by two interpreters, and by them furnished for publication:
 
"It has pleased the Great Spirit that I am here to-day—have eaten with my white friends. The earth is our mother—we are now on it—with the Great Spirit above us—it is good. I hope we are all friends here. A few summers ago I was fighting against you—I did wrong, perhaps; but that is past—it is buried—let it be forgotten.
 
"Rock River was a beautiful country—I liked my towns, my cornfields, and the home of my people. I fought for it. It is now yours—keep it as we did—it will produce you good crops.
 
"I thank the Great Spirit that I am now friendly with my white brethren. We are here together—we have eaten together—we are friends—it is your wish and mine. I thank you for your friendship.
 
"I was once a great warrior—I am now poor. Keokuk has been the cause of my present situation—but do not attach blame to him. I am now old. I have looked upon the Mississippi River since I was a child. I love the great river. I have dwelt near its banks from the time I was an infant. I look upon it now. I shake hands with you, and as it is my wish, I hope you are all my friends."
 
Black Hawk always felt an unrelenting hatred for Keokuk, whom he averred excelled him in nothing but drinking whisky. Keokuk was, however, beyond his influence, as he was recognized as the principal chief of the tribe by the United States Government. He was undoubtedly a man of great talents, excelled as an orator and diplomat. Seeing how utterly hopeless it was to go to war with the United States, he advocated peace at any price, even the sale of 26,500,000 acres of the finest land in Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois, at three cents an acre.
 
According to his autobiography Black Hawk was born at the Sac village on the Rock River in the year 1767. His father's name was Pyesa. He was also a chief of the Rock River band of the Sac tribe, but not very prominent, it would seem.
 
The subject of this sketch was full six feet in height, and well proportioned. It will be remembered that there is a tone of melancholy in all his speeches, as if he considered his life's career ended, and expected his troubles to end in a speedy death. His proud heart was broken by the cruelty of the Government in deposing him and recognizing his rival, Keokuk, as the principal chief. After this was done he seemed to have lost interest in life and to actually desire the rest of the grave. Nor had he long to wait, but passed away October 3, 1838, at the age of seventy-one years. But he failed to find the much desired repose in the grave, for some of that same race which kept him moving on while living turned ghoul and dug up his bones. This fact is learned from the following letter written to the Burlington Hawk Eye by Capt. James H. Jordan, a trader among the Sacs and Foxes before Black Hawk's death, who was present at the funeral, in which he says:
 
"Black Hawk was buried on the northeast quarter of Section 2, Township 70, Range 12, Davis County, Iowa, near the northeast corner of the county, on the Des Moines River bottom, about ninety rods from where he lived when he died, on the north side of the river. I have the ground on which he lived for a door-yard, it being between my house and the river. The only mound over the grave was some puncheons split out and set over his grave and then sodded over with bluegrass, making a ridge about four feet high. A flagstaff some twenty feet high was planted at the head, on which was a silk flag, which hung there until the wind wore it out. My house and his were only about four rods apart when he died. He was sick only about fourteen days. He was buried right where he sat the year before, when in council with the Iowa Indians, and was buried in a suit of military clothes, made to order and given to him when in Washington City by General Jackson, with hat, sword, gold epaulets, etc.
 
"The Annals of Iowa of 1863 and 1864 state that the old chief was buried by laying his body on a board, his feet fifteen inches below the surface of the ground, and his head raised three feet above the ground. On his left side was a sword presented him by General Jackson; on his right side a cane presented him by Henry Clay, and one given him by a British officer, and other trophies. Three medals hung about his neck, from President Jackson, ex-President John Quincy Adams, and the city of Boston, respectively. The body was covered with boards on each side, six feet long, which formed a ridge; the gables being closed by boards the whole was covered with bluegrass sod. Near the flagstaff was the usual hewn post inscribed with Indian characters representing his warlike exploits, etc. Enclosing all was a strong circular picket fence twelve feet high, his body remained here until July, 1839, when it was carried off by a certain Dr. Turner, then living at Lexington, Van Buren County, Iowa. Captain Horn says the bones were carried to Alton, Illinois, to be mounted with wire. Mr. Barrows says they were taken to Warsaw, Illinois. Black Hawk's sons, when they heard of this desecration of their father's grave, were very indignant, and complained of it to Governor Lucas, of Iowa, and his excellency caused the bones to be brought back to Burlington in the fall of 1839, or spring of 1840. When the sons came to take possession of them, finding them safely stored 'in a good dry place,' they left them there. The bones were subsequently placed in the collection of the Burlington Geological and Historical Society, and it is thought that they perished in the fire, which destroyed the building and all the society's collections in 1855; though the editor of the Annals (April, 1865, p. 478) says there is good reason to believe that the bones were not destroyed by the fire, and he is credibly informed that they are now at the residence of a former officer of said society, and thus escaped that catastrophe."
 
In closing this narrative of the life of this noble old chief it may be just to speak briefly of his personal traits. He was an Indian, and from that standpoint we must judge him. The make-up of his character comprised those elements in a marked degree which constitutes a noble nature. In all the social relations of life he was kind and affable. In his home he was the affectionate husband and father. He was free from many vices that others of his race had contracted from their association with the white people, never using intoxicating beverages to excess. As a warrior he knew no fear, and on the field of battle his feats of personal prowess stamped him as the "bravest of the brave." But he excelled as an orator and counsellor of his people rather than a military hero. His love of his country, his home, his lands, and the rights of his people to their broad domain, moved his great soul to take up arms. Revenge or conquest formed no part of his purpose. Right was all he demanded, and for that alone he waged the unequal contest with the superior race to the bitter and inevitable termination.
 
The Black Hawk Watch Tower, as it is called, is situated on the Rock River a short distance from the Mississippi. It had been selected by Black Hawk's father as a lookout, at the first building up of the Sac village. From this point they had an unobstructed view up and down both rivers for many miles, and across the prairies as far as the vision could penetrate. The "Tower" is now a summer resort for the people of Rock Island.
 
In his autobiography Black Hawk says: "In 1827, a young Sioux Indian got lost on the prairie in a snowstorm, and found his way into our village. Although he was an enemy, he was safe while accepting the hospitality of the Sacs. He remained there for some time on account of the severity of the storm. Becoming well acquainted, he fell in love with the daughter of one of the head men of the village where he had been entertained, and before leaving for his own country, promised to come back for her at a certain time during the next summer.
 
"In July he made his way to the Rock River village, where he secreted himself in the woods until he could meet the maiden he loved, who came out to the field with her mother to assist her in hoeing corn. Late in the afternoon her mother left her and went to the village. No sooner had she got out of hearing, than he gave a loud whistle, which assured the maiden that he had returned. She continued hoeing leisurely to the end of the row, when her lover came to meet her, and she promised to come to him as soon as she could go to the lodge and get her blanket, and together they would flee to his country. But, unfortunately for the lovers, the girl's two brothers had seen the meeting, and after procuring their guns started in pursuit of them. A heavy thunderstorm was coming on at the time. The lovers hastened to and took shelter under a cliff of rocks, at Black Hawk's Watch Tower. Soon after a loud peal of thunder was heard, the cliff of rocks was shattered in a thousand pieces, and the lovers buried beneath, while in full view of her pursuing brothers. This, their unexpected tomb, still remains undisturbed.
 
"This tower, to which my name has been applied, was a favorite resort, and was frequently visited by me alone, when I could sit and smoke my pipe and look with wonder and pleasure at the grand scenes that were presented by the sun's rays even across the mighty water. On one occasion a French-man, who had been making his home in our village, brought his violin with him to the tower, to play and dance for the amusement of a number of our people, who had assembled there, and, while dancing with his back to the cliff, accidentally fell over it and was killed by the fall. The Indians say that always at the same time of the year soft strains of the violin can be heard near that spot."
 
The following beautiful word painting by a recent visitor to the tower we take from the Rock Island union:
 
                    BLACK HAWK'S WATCH TOWER.
                      BY JENNIE M. FOWLER.
 
      "Beautiful tower! famous in history,
       Rich in legend, in old-time mystery,
       Graced with tales of Indian lore,
       Crowned with beauty from summit to shore.
 
      "Below, winds the river, silent and still,
       Nestling so calmly 'mid island and hill.
       Above, like warriors, proudly and grand,
       Tower the forest trees, monarchs of land.
 
      "A landmark for all to admire and wonder.
       With thy history ancient, for nations to ponder,
       Boldly thou liftest thy head to the breeze.
       Crowned with thy plumes, the nodding trees.
 
      "Years now are gone—forever more fled.
       Since the Indian crept with catlike tread.
       With moccasined foot, with eagle eye
       The red men our foes in ambush lie.
 
      "The owl still his nightly vigil keeps.
       While the river, below him, peacefully sleeps,
       The whippoorwill utters his plaintive cry.
       The trees still whisper, and gently sigh.
 
      "The pale moon still creeps from her daily rest,
       Throwing her rays o'er the river's dark breast,
       The katydid and cricket, I trow,
       In days gone by, chirruped, even as now.
 
      "Indian! thy camp-fires no longer are smoldering,
       Thy bones 'neath the forest moss long have been moldering,
       The 'Great Spirit' claims thee. He leadeth thy tribe.
       To new hunting-grounds not won with a bribe.
 
      "On thy Watch Tow'r the paleface his home now makes.
       His dwelling, the site of the forest tree takes.
       Gone are thy wigwams, the wild deer long fled,
       Black Hawk, with his tribe, lie silent and dead."


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