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Great Indian Chief of the West Or, Life and Adventures of Black Hawk   By: (1794-1841)

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First Page:

[Illustration: BLACK HAWK.]










Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843, BY GEORGE CONCLIN, In the Clerk's Office of the District of Ohio.

Transcriber's Note: There are inconsistencies in the Index and in the spelling of tribal names. These have been left as originally printed.


In presenting to the public the life and adventures of Black Hawk, some account of the Sac and Fox Indians of Keokuk, their distinguished chief and of the causes which led to the late contest between these tribes and the United States, was necessarily involved. The introduction of these collateral subjects, may possibly impart additional interest to this volume.

In speaking of the policy of the government towards the fragment of Sacs and Foxes, with whom Black Hawk was associated, it has been necessary to censure some of its acts, and to comment with freedom upon the official conduct of a few public officers.

The Indians are frequently denounced as faithless, ferocious and untameable. Without going into the inquiry, how far this charge is founded in truth, the question may be asked, has not the policy of our government contributed, essentially, to impart to them that character? Have we not more frequently met them in bad faith, than in a Christian spirit? and sustained our relations with them, more by the power of the sword than the law of kindness? In the inscrutable ways of Providence, the Indians are walking in ignorance and moral darkness. It is the solemn duty, and should be the highest glory of this nation, to bring them out of that condition, and elevate them in the scale of social and intellectual being. But, how is this duty performed? We gravely recognize them as an independent people, and treat them as vassals: We make solemn compacts with them, which we interpret as our interest dictates, but punish them if they follow the example: We admit their title to the land which they occupy, and at the same time literally compel them to sell it to us upon our own terms: We send agents and missionaries to reclaim them from the error of their ways to bring them from the hunter to the pastoral life; and yet permit our citizens to debase them by spirituous liquors, and cheat them out of their property: We make war upon them without any adequate cause pursue them without mercy and put them to death, without regard to age, sex or condition: And, then deliberately proclaim to the world, that they are savages cruel and untameable degraded and faithless.

If the present volume shall, in any degree, contribute to awaken the public mind to a sense of the wrongs inflicted upon the Indians, and to arouse the Christian statesmen of this land, to the adoption of a more liberal, upright and benevolent course of policy towards them, something will have been gained to the cause of humanity and of national honor.

The author takes this opportunity of acknowledging his obligations to James Hall, Esq., for the valuable assistance received from him, in the preparation of this volume. In collecting the materials for that magnificent work, on which he is now engaged, "The History of the Indians of North America," this gentleman has become possessed of much interesting matter, in regard to the Sacs and Foxes, and especially the chief Keokuk; to all of which he has kindly permitted the author to have access.

Cincinnati, May, 1838.



Origin of the Sac and Fox Indians Removal to Green Bay Their subjugation of the Illini confederacy Their attack upon St. Louis in 1779 Col. George Rogers Clark relieves the town Governor Harrison's letter Maj. Forsyth's account of the conquest of the Illini Death of the Sac chief Pontiac Sac and Fox village on Rock river Description of the surrounding country Civil polity of the Sacs and Foxes Legend about their chiefs Division of the tribes into families Mode of burying their dead Idea of a future state Their account of the creation of the world Marriages Social relations Music and musical instruments Pike's visit to them in 1805 Population Character for courage 13

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