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Black Hawk
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    (1767-October 3, 1838)
    Born in Saukenuk, Illinois
    Sauk name was Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak
    Name also translated as Black Sparrow Hawk
    Sauk war captain
    Leader of a group of Sauks who refused to recognized the legitimacy of the Treaty of St. Louis (1804) ceding Sauk lands in Illinois to the US government
    Fought with the British during the War of 1812
    Led a band of Sauk and Fox Indians against the militias of Illinois and Wisconsin in the Black Hawk War (April-August, 1832)
    After the war, settled with the Sauk in southeastern Iowa
    Dictated the 'Autobiography of Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak or Black Hawk' (1833)
    The full title of his memoirs is the ludicrously long '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.'
    It is unclear how much his autobiography may have been altered by Antoine LeClair, who interpreted for him, and J.P. Patterson, the newspaper editor who published the book.
    Shortly before his death, he was performing war dances on river boats for donations.
    A year after his death, his remains were stolen from his grave and his skeleton was placed on display at the Burlington Historical Society in Iowa.
    His remains were destroyed when the Historical Society's building burned down (1855).
    When he led his band of followers into Illinois at the beginning of what became the Black Hawk War, his intent was probably peaceful, since he was accompanied by twice as many noncombatants as warriors.
    The first bloodshed of the war occurred when three of his scouts flying truce flags were fired on by members of the Illinois militia (May 14, 1832).
    The final 'battle' of the war, at Bad Axe Creek in Wisconsin, began with Black Hawk flying a white flag only to be fired on by an American gunboat (August 1).
    At his surrender, he said, 'Black Hawk is now a prisoner to the white men. He has done nothing for which an Indian ought to be ashamed. He has fought for his countrymen, the squaws and papooses, against white men, who came year after year, to cheat them 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.'
    He was the namesake for the Chicago Blackhawks and Atlanta Hawks (originally the Tri-City Blackhawks).

Credit: C. Fishel


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 20 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
 
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