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Black Hawk, Sauk Indian

Black Hawk, Sauk Indian
Creator: Catlin, George, 1796-1872
Date: 1832
This portrait, painted by the well-known artist George Catlin, depicts the fierce leader of the Sauk and Fox tribe after his arrest in 1832. Black Hawk and some of his tribe had resisted their removal to lands west of the Mississippi River, but the Black Hawk War, as it came to be known, ended in defeat. The original of this portrait is on exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.


George W. Martin to Ida M. Ferris

George W. Martin to Ida M. Ferris
Creator: Martin, George W. (George Washington), 1841-1914
Date: June 21, 1910
In this letter to Ida Ferris, George W. Martin discusses information regarding the Indian, Black Hawk. Black Hawk, a leader of the Sauk (Sac) tribe, was involved in the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War. Martin explains that "Black Hawk was never captured but gave himself up voluntarily because his warriors & chiefs were captured" in the aftermath of the Black Hawk War.


Ida M. Ferris to George W. Martin

Ida M. Ferris to George W. Martin
Creator: Ferris, Ida M.
Date: July 11, 1910
In this letter to George W. Martin, Ida Ferris discusses Sac and Fox members, including Black Hawk, who "was not buried on top of the earth, but in a sitting posture with a seat in the grave so his head came even with the top of the ground," and Keokuk. In addition, Ferris states that Walter Battice could provide Martin with "much information concerning the troubles between the Sacs and Foxes."


Walter Battice to George W. Martin

Walter Battice to George W. Martin
Creator: Battice, Walter
Date: July 14, 1910
In this letter to George W. Martin, Sac and Fox member Walter Battice responds to Martin and Ida M. Ferris's inquires about Sac and Fox history, explaing that Black Hawk had two male children. According to Battice, "one as I remember had no children - the other had 3 sons - Logan, Joseph, and another one who has been dead a long while." Battice also discusses Moses Keokuk and his decendents, inclduing Charles Keokuk, as well as the famous Quenemo.


William Clark to John H. Eaton

William Clark to John H. Eaton
Creator: Clark, William, 1770-1838
Date: May 20, 1829
This letter contains a copy of a petition from Illinois settlers who were displeased that the Sac and Fox tribes, who ceded their lands in 1804 and 1816, had not moved to their new lands west of the Mississippi River. The settlers admitted that most of the Fox tribe and some of the Sacs had indeed relocated to Indian Territory (present-day Kansas), but a large group at Rock River (led by the warrior Black Hawk) refused to leave. These white settlers feared that tension between these natives and their white neighbors would lead to conflict, and that the government should force this group at Rock River to move west with the rest of their tribe.


William Clark to Lewis Cass

William Clark to Lewis Cass
Creator: Clark, William, 1770-1838
Date: May 1, 1832
This letter by William Clark, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, was written to the Secretary of War, Lewis Cass. In it, Clark expresses his concern about the Sac and Fox warrior Black Hawk and his followers, who have refused to move from their lands in Illinois to their new homes in Indian Territory (what is present-day Kansas). Clark fears that these natives will attack nearby white settlements. The tribe had ceded their land east of the Mississippi to the U. S. government in 1804 and 1816. This letter refers to the native resistance toward removal that would later be known as Black Hawk's War.


William Clark to Lewis Cass

William Clark to Lewis Cass
Creator: Clark, William, 1770-1838
Date: April 24, 1832
William Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, wrote this letter to the Secretary of War Lewis Cass, informing him that Indian Agent Felix St. Vrain was en route to the camp of Black Hawk's followers to inform Black Hawk that the Sac and Fox must move to their new lands west of the Mississippi (into present-day Kansas). Black Hawk, a warrior of the Sac and Fox, resisted removal after his tribe ceded their land to the U. S. government in 1804 and 1816. The letter also mentions that the Sac and Fox have turned over to the government the members of their tribe that were accused of murdering some Menominee Indians.


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