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Collections of the 
Illinois State Historical Library 

Collections of the 
Illinois State Historical Library 


William K. Alderfer 

State Historian 

Published by 

the Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library 

in behalf of the State of Illinois 


C. L. McMackin II, Chairman Hudson R. Sours 

Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library 
Volume XXXVI 



1831 - 1832 

Volume II 
Letters and Papers 

Part I 

April 30, 1831 — June 23, 1832 

Compiled and Edited 

by Ellen M. Whitney 

Illinois State Historical Library 

Illinois State Historical Library 

Springfield 197 3 


3 1129 00067 7187 f^^AR 15 I3<'5 



ISBN 0-912154-22-5 

Copyright, 1973 by The Illinois Stale Historical Library 


This is the second of four projected volumes of Black Hawk War letters 
and papers drawn primarily from the Black Hawk War Collection in the 
Illinois State Historical Library. The first volume, issued in 1970, includes 
muster rolls for 244 units of Illinois volunteers who served in the 1831 and 
1832 campaigns. The rolls accounted for 204 companies and detachments 
and 40 staff organizations. 

In addition to muster rolls, the Historical Library's Black Hawk War 
Collection includes 981 documents, which constitute a comprehensive source 
of information about the Black Hawk War of 1832. The documents for the 
most part are letters and papers written and received by Governor John 
Reynolds of Illinois and Brigadier General Henry Atkinson, U.S.A. — the 
two men most directly responsible for the conduct of the war. 

To broaden the scope of this series, the correspondence from the Black 
Hawk War Collection has been supplemented with letters from other His- 
torical Library collections and contemporary Illinois newspapers, as well as 
from the files of the National Archives and other major historical deposi- 
tories. Also included from published sources are a few letters the originals 
of which were not found. 

Extant Black Hawk War items that are clearly and exclusively personal 
in nature are scarce, and even the nonofficial correspondence that does exist 
seems often to have been written with an eye to publication. Sometimes the 
motivation of the writer was patently political and is therefore suspect. 
Illinois had state and congressional elections on August 6, 1832, and a large 
proportion of the candidates were on active military duty throughout the 
spring and summer. Many of these men sought in their correspondence to 
justify the conduct of the war and to present themselves in the most favor- 
able light possible. 

Altogether, several thousand photocopies of Black Hawk War documents 
have been acquired from other historical depositories. Certified transcripts 
of several thousand other documents dealing with earlier Sauk and Fox 
history are also available in the Historical Library manuscript section 
through the courtesy of attorneys for the Sauk and Fox Indians in cases 
before the LTnited States Indian Claims Commission. 

Throughout the past twenty years the Historical Library has acquired 
significant Black Hawk War items whenever they became available, and 
additions to this volume were made as late as the week the copy was sent 
to the printer. But because of the large numbers of men involved in the 

The Black Hawk War 

campaigns of 1831 and 1832 (more than nine thousand Illinois volunteers 
alone), it would be impossible, as well as pointless, to try to publish every 
known document that mentions the war. 

Approximately fourteen hundred items have been selected for presenta- 
tion in Parts 1 and 2 of Volume II. These documents either offer a unique 
viewpoint or provide information that seems essential for a thorough under- 
standing of the 1831 and 1832 campaigns against Black Hawk. It should 
be noted, however, that certain aspects of the campaigns are treated only 
peripherally; these involve the raising of volunteers for frontier duty in 
Indiana and Missouri and in the Michigan Territory, which then included 
the present state of Wisconsin. Nor have paymasters' and auditors' files in 
the National Archives been searched for records of Black Hawk War ex- 

The time span covered by the letters and papers in this series is April 
30, 1831, through October 14, 1834. Part 1 of Volume II includes items 
dated April 30, 1831, through June 23, 1832. By June 23 the third army of 
1832 volunteers was fully organized and on the march in pursuit of Black 
Hawk's band of Sauk and Fox Indians. Part 2 includes letters and papers, 
June 24, 1832 — October 14, 1834, as well as diaries and a few reminiscences 
of exceptional quality that have never been published or are now out of 
print. Part 3 includes appendices and the index. 

The last military action of the Black Hawk War took place on August 2, 
1832, at the mouth of the Bad Axe River, in Wisconsin. There the anny 
came upon the surviving members of Black Hawk's band who were at- 
tempting to escape to the west bank of the Mississippi River. Documents 
dated after this battle and through September 30, lfe2, cover the arrival at 
Chicago of General Winfield Scott's army from the East Coast, the dis- 
charge of the volunteers, and treaty negotiations at Rock Island. Most of 
the documents dated later than September, 1832, are concerned with pay- 
ment of troops and claims for property that had been lost during the war. 

The history of Indian-white relations that led to the Black Hawk War 
is told by Dr. Anthony F. C. Wallace in the Introduction to Volume I. The 
purpose of Volume II is to present documentary sources for the war, not 
an interpretive history. For the convenience of the reader, however, an out- 
line of events is provided by a chronology in an appendix in Part 3. 

Every generation, it seems, sets about discovering for itself the story of 
the dispossession of the American Indian. In the twentieth century that dis- 
covery has been facilitated by the advent of simple, efficient copying ma- 
chines, which make it possible for students and scholars everywhere to 
study original documents first-hand. Few have the time or money, however, 
to amass great collections on a single subject so that it can be studied in 
microscopic detail. The publication of this series will, it is hoped, enable 
many more scholars to undertake studies of the Illinois frontier and the 
dispossession of the Sauk and Fox Indians. 

Ellen M. Whitney 


page vii 

page xi 

Editorial Procedures 
page xiii 

Symbols of Description and Location 
page xvii 

List of Maps 
page xxi 

Letters and Papers 
page 1 


Staff members of scores of historical societies and government agencies 
have been of help in assembling the documents published in these volumes. 
A complete list of sources is in an appendix in Part 3, but the editor would 
like to thank here those people who have been of particular help in search- 
ing both for original documents and for esoteric pieces of inforaiation used 
in writing the annotations. 

A special word of acknowledgment should be given again to Historical 
Library staff members who first envisioned this publication project: Paul 
M. Angle, Margaret A. Flint, and Jay and Mildred Monaghan. A deep debt 
of gratitude is also owed to Hubert G. Schmidt and Charles M. Knapp, 
each of whom worked for a few months at the early stages of the project 
and organized preliminary research notes in such a usable form that it has 
been followed throughout. Cylde C. Walton, state historian, 1956-1967, be- 
gan serious discussions with publishers about technical aspects of produc- 
tion and arranged to have the volumes designed by William Nicoll. Wil- 
liam K. Alderfer, present Illinois state historian, with the approval and 
support of the Historical Library Board of Trustees, has made funds and 
staff time available to bring the project to completion. 

Historical Library staff members who have assisted with the final prep- 
aration of this volume include Mary Ellen McElligott and Clifford H. 
Haka, of the editorial staff, who have read copy and helped verify cita- 
tions; Carol Farwell, Olive Garman, Kathy Gaston, Hazel Maurer, and 
Donna Savage, and the late James N. Adams, all of whom have transcribed 
original manuscripts and typed and retyped copy for the annotations; 
Barbara Anderson, who has helped with the final proofreading; and Paul 
Spence, manuscript curator, whose advice and encouragement have been 
of inestimable value. 

Seven of the ten maps are by Norma J. Darovec of the Historical Library 
staff, who, with her usual meticulous care, has translated editor's work notes 
to modern map locations. Clifford H. Haka designed the map layouts. 

The following list includes others to whom the Historical Library is in- 
debted for advice and assistance in bringing these volumes to publication: 

Arkansas History Commission, John L. Ferguson; Augustana College, 
Denkmann Memorial Library, Ernest M. Espelie; Chicago Historical So- 

The Black Hawk War 

ciety, Paul M. Angle, Robert Brubaker, Clement M. Silvestro; Stanford C. 
Clinton, Chicago; Davenport, Iowa, Public Museum, Joseph Cartwright, 
Harry J. Lytle, W. E. Whittlesey; Detroit Public Library, Burton Histori- 
cal Collection, Elleine H. Stones; Filson Club, Louisville, Kentucky, James 
R. Bentley, Richard H. Hill; Galena Historical Society, Marjorie A. No- 
land; Esther Hoffman, Ottawa, Illinois; Henry E. Huntington Library and 
Art Gallery, Norma Cuthbert; Ulinois Division of Waterways; Illinois State 
Archives, Theodore J. Cassady, Margaret C. Norton, Alvin Rountree, 
Wayne C. Temple; Illinois State Museum, Orvetta J. Robinson; Indiana 
Historical Society, Gayle Thombrough; Iowa State Department of History 
and Archives, Claude R. Cook, Emory H. English, Lida Lisle Green, Phyllis 
McLaughlin; State Historical Society of Iowa, Ruth A. Gallaher, Ethyl E. 
Martin, William J. Petersen, Mildred Throne; Donald Jackson, formerly 
of the University of Illinois Press and now editor of the Papers of George 
Washington; Kansas State Historical Society, Edgar Langsdorf; Philip L. 
Keister, Freeport, Illinois; Kentucky Historical Society, Mary Lou Madi- 
gan; Michigan History Com7nission, Lewis Beeson; University of Michigan, 
The Clements Library, Howard H. Peckham; Lawrence C. Mills, Chicago; 
Minnesota Historical Society, Sue E. Holbert, Kathryn Johnson; Missouri 
Historical Society, St. Louis, Frances Biese, Lenore Harrington, Charles 
Van Ravenswaay; State Historical Society of Missouri, Coluinbia, Floyd 
C. Shoemaker; Nebraska State Historical Society, James E. Potter; Roger 
L. Nichols, Tucson, Arizona; New-York Historical Society, Dorothy C. 
Barck ; New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, James Taylor 
Dunn; Oregon Historical Society, Priscilla Knuth, Thomas Vaughan; The 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, R. N. Williams, 2nd; George W. Pletsch, 
Chicago; Mr. and Mrs. Frederic Rabenstein, Ottawa, Illinois; Ronald N. 
Satz, Martin, Tennessee; Wilfred Shaw, Marshall, Illinois; C. C. Tisler, 
Ottawa, Illinois ; Tulane University Library, Howard Tilton Memorial Li- 
brary, Connie G. Griffith, Garland F. Taylor; Anthony F. C. Wallace, Phil- 
adelphia; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; State Historical 
Society of Wisconsin, Josephine L. Harper. 

The staffs of the United States General Accounting Office, Library of 
Congress, and National Archives have been unfailingly courteous and help- 
ful over the years, both in searching for specific pieces of information and 
in having documents photocopied. From the General Accounting Office, 
John F. Feeney, M. E. Miller, L. S. Shuler, Raymond L. Smith. From the 
Library of Congress, Roy P. Easier, Clara Beetle, Donald C. Holmes, 
Robert H. Land, and David C. Mearns. From the National Archives, War 
Records Branch, Elizabeth Bethel, Philip C. Brooks, Raymond P. Flynn, 
Dallas Irvine, and Richard G. Wood; from Interior Records Branch, Oliver 
W. Holmes, Herman Kahn, Jane F. Smith, and Carl L. Trevor; from the 
Federal Records Center, Alexandria, Virginia, M. V. Ritter; from the Fed- 
eral Records Center, Chicago, Bruce C. Harding; from the Legislative, 
Judicial and Diplomatic Records Branch, Lyle J. Holverstott. 


Arrangement » 

Letters and papers are presented in chronological order. Journals and un- 
dated items for which dates cannot be supplied appear in Part 2 at the end 
of the dated sequence. Within the day the arrangement of correspondence 
is alphabetical by name of writer, unless time order is obvious and im- 
portant. Thus, General Henry Atkinson's afternoon reply follows Governor 
John Reynolds's morning letter. A writer's military orders follow his letters, 
unless, again, time order is important. Correspondence or proceedings begun 
on one day and completed on another appear under the earlier date. News- 
paper reports and anonymous letters follow those in alphabetical sequence. 
Enclosures are separated from the accompanying letter and placed in 
chronological order. The descriptive source note lists enclosures, and textual 
cross references to enclosures are noted further only if they are not pub- 
lished in this series. 


Transcription is as literal as possible except for a few practices generally 
followed in printed versions of holograph documents. Terminal dashes are 
transcribed as periods, and terminal dashes after periods are dropped. Ter- 
minal commas followed by a sentence beginning with a capital letter are 
transcribed as periods. An extra space is given between sentences if there 
is no terminal punctuation. Periods within a sentence, and between the 
month and the year in date entries, are given as commas. 

Superscript is lowered to line level, and all marks under superior letters 
are transcribed as periods. Superscript without an apostrophe was fre- 
quently used in 1831 and 1832 to indicate possessive case. Lowering that 
superscript has the effect of making the writer look ignorant ; and since the 
writers who followed the practice were often well educated, the apostrophe 
has been added without comment. 

Because of the heavy burden of correspondence, many Indian agents 
and military officers whose letters appear herein — Joseph M. Street, Samuel 
C. Stambaugh, and Henry Dodge, in particular — adopted the time-saving 
device of indicating part of a word by a wavy line. The meaning is clear, 
however transcribed, and the handwriting is therefore reproduced as liter- 

The Black Hawk War 

ally as possible, even though the writer may spell a word two different ways 
in the same sentence. Misspellings, in most cases, are not commented upon. 
If a manuscript is so damaged that words are not legible, missing letters 
are supplied in square brackets. Two or more missing words are indicated 
by three spaced periods, with an explanatory notation. 

Interlineations on the original are not distinguished unless they have 
significance. In such cases the writer's first entry is given in a footnote. 
Some writers repeated the last word of one page at the beginning of the 
following page, to indicate continuity; the repeated words are dropped in 
transcription herein. 

The peculiarities of individual handwriting pose special problems. Many 
writers used indistinct or representational marks after a numeral in the 
date. All such marks are transcribed pictorially; that is, 12"i' becomes 12t; 
12tt^ 12th; 12", 12". Stylized signatures and titles are transcribed as logi- 
cally as possible. Thus, Captain Joseph Plympton's signature is usually fol- 
lowed by his infantry regiment number as 5 ly, but in some cases it can 
only be transcribed as 5 I — . Many of General Winfield Scott's complimen- 
tary closes are unquestionably written " 'Ymost' obedient servant." Indian 
Agent Joshua Pilcher often wrote "Sacs" for the plural Sacs. It has been 
left as he wrote it. In the case of other writers, when a period is clearly 
representational of a hyphen, as in an Indian name, the hyphen is sub- 

Underlining in the original text appears here as italic type; double- 
underlining, as small capital letters. 

Uniform placement and type style are followed for the dateline, saluta- 
tion, complimentary close, signature, title, and inside address. Underlining 
has been dropped from these portions of the letter, but no changes in punc- 
tuation have been made. Lines giving place and date are run together and 
set flush with the right margin. The salutation is set at paragraph in- 
dentation, and the text of the letter follows immediately on the same line. 
The complimentary close, signature, and title are set at paragraph indenta- 
tion, with all lines run together, if space allows. The inside address, when 
given at the end of the letter, is also set at paragraph indentation. 

Outside addresses, postmarks, and substantive endorsements are given in 
the source note — linos of each run together without added punctuation. 
Postmarks in 1832 were generally handwritten, but no distinction is made 
between marks of that type and those that were stamped. Postage was paid 
by the recipient, and the amount of postage due was generally written in 
the position of the modern postage stamp. The postage figure is presented 
as part of the postmark, and comments about delivery as part of the ad- 
dress. Routine filing notes are not reproduced. 


A uniform style has been adopted for headings. Military and political titles 
are not used since statuses changed frequently in the period covered by the 

Editonal Procedures xv 

papers. Regular Army officers used both their brevet and pay titles in sign- 
ing their names, and militia officers used both their ranks in the organized 
militia and in the various reorganized volunteer units in which they served 
on active duty. The first name, middle initial, if any, and last name for 
both writer and recipient are therefore used in all cases. 


The first note for each document is an unnumbered one that gives the de- 
scription and location of the original (see the lists of symbols and abbrevia- 
tions, pages xvii-xix). Outside addresses are also given in the descriptive 
source note, as are endorsements and filing notes that offer substantive in- 
formation. Following these entries are comments about enclosures and 
variant copies. No attempt has been made to locate all extant copies of 
any given letter or document, but this information is given if known. 

Brief biographical sketches of the letter writer and recipient are given 
in the source note the first time their names appear. Sketches of people men- 
tioned in the documents are given in numbered footnotes that follow the 
source note. Sketches are usually omitted for the many signers of petitions. 
The Black Hawk War service of men mentioned in the documents can be 
verified in Volume I of this series, which is separately indexed. 

Cross references to letters being published in this series are cited by last 
names of the correspondents and the date: the year is not given unless it 
is different from that of the document being annotated. When the letter 
cited is one of the few not in alphabetical sequence within the day, ref- 
erence can be made by checking the Index in Part 3, which lists corre- 
spondence under the names of writer and recipient. Full bibliographic in- 
formation is given for other letters mentioned either in text or notes. 
Photoduplicate copies of all letters cited are available in the Illinois State 
Historical Library unless otherwise noted in the list of sources. 

Books frequently consulted in writing the notes are cited by the author's 
last name, in small capital letters; others are cited by the author's last 
name, also in small capitals, and a shortened title, in italics. Serial publica- 
tions of historical societies are cited by shortened title, with the state name 
generally placed first. County histories are cited by name of county and 
date of publication unless more than one history of the county appeared in 
the same year. A complete list of sources is in an appendix in Part 3. 


of description and location 

The description and location of each document are given in the unnumbered 
footnote that follows the document. The symbols below are those given in 
the American Imprints Inventory . . . Location Symbols for Libraries in 
the United States. A complete list of the sources of the documents printed 
in Volume II is in an appendix in Part 3. 

DLC Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 

DNA National Archives, Washington, D.C. 

I-A Illinois State Archives-Records Management Division, 


Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, Illinois 

Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield 




Augustana College, Denkmann Memorial Library, Rock 
Island, Illinois 

laDaM Davenport Public Museum Library, Davenport, Iowa 

laHA Iowa State Department of History and Archives, Des 


laHi Iowa State Historical Society Library, Iowa City 

KHi Kansas State Historical Society Library, Topeka 

LNHT Tulane University Library, Howard Tilton Memorial Li- 

brary, New Orleans, Louisiana 

MiD-B Detroit Public Library, Burton Historical Collection, De- 

troit, Michigan 

MnHi Minnesota Historical Society Library, St. Paul 

MoHi State Historical Society of Missouri Library, Columbia 

MoSHi Missouri Historical Society Library, St. Louis 

NHi New-York Historical Society Library, New York City 

WHi State Historical Society of Wisconsin Library, Madison 

The Black Hawk War 

Other Abbreviations 

The following list includes standard manuscript designators, short forms 
for file titles, and some abbreviations peculiar to the sources cited in the 

AC Autograph copy 

ACS Autograph copy, signed 

AD Autograph document 

ADS Autograph document, signed 

ADf Autograph draft 

ADfS Autograph draft, signed 

AES Autograph endorsement, signed 

AGO Adjutant General's Office files. War Records Branch, Na- 

tional Archives, Washington, D.C. (Record Group 94) 

AL Autograph letter 

ALS Autograph letter, signed. Presumed to be the recipient's 

copy unless otherwise noted. 
AN Autograph note 

ANS Autograph note, signed 

BHW Black Hawk War 

BIA Bureau of Indian Affairs files, Interior Records Section, 

Natural Resources Records Branch, National Archives, 
Washington, D.C. (Record Group 75) 

C Copy 

CC Contemporary copy 

CS Copy, signed 

D Division; Document 

DAB Dictionary of American Biography 

DAH Dictionary of American History 

Df Draft 

DfS Draft, signed 

E Endorsement 

EF Executive file, Secretary of State, Illinois State Archives- 

Records Management Division, Springfield 

Elect. Ret. Indexed election returns in Illinois State Archives-Records 

Management Division, Springfield 



Exec. Rec. 




Jour. ISHS 











S-E Ex. 



Trans. ISHS 
U.S. Ex. 

WPA Guide 


Endorsement, signed 

Indexed executive record of the governor in Illinois State 
Archives-Records Management Division, Springfield 

File copy- 
Indian Claims Commission, Washington, D.C. 
Illinois Militia 

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 
Letter, letters 
Letter book 
Letter book copy 
Letter, signed 
Michigan Territory 

Note, signed 
Recipient's copy- 
Record Group (used with a National Archives Record 
Group number) 

Sauk and Fox exhibit number (used to describe petitioners' 
exhibits, cases before the Indian Claims Commission; 
transcripts in Illinois State Historical Library) 

Secretary of State files, Illinois State Archives-Records 
Management Division, Springfield 

Secretary of War files, War Records Branch, National 
Archives, Washington, D.C. (Record Group 107) 

Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society 

United States government exhibit number (used to describe 
defendant's exhibits, cases before the Indian Claims Com- 
mission; transcripts in Illinois State Historical Library) 

Followed by a city or state name — one of the various 
guides prepared by units of the Writers' Program of the 
Work Projects Administration 

Missing letters supplied because of damaged manuscript 

Conjectural reading 


following page 660 

Map 1 
Counties of Illinois Showing Indian Land Cessions 

Map 2 
Rock Island Area 

Map 3 

West-Central Illinois 

Showing the Route of the Fourth Regiment, Whiteside's Brigade 

Map 4 
Minnesota — Iowa — Missouri 

Map 5 
Northeastern Illinois 

Map 6 
Northwestern Illinois 

Map 7 
Sauk Trail from Rock River to Maiden 

Map 8 
Southern Wisconsin 

Map 9 
'United States Lead Mines on the Upper Mississippi River. Drawn 
Published by R. W. Chandler of Galena. 1829." 

Map 10 
Battle of Horseshoe Bend, June 16, 1832 

The Black Hawk War, 1831-1882 



April SO, 1831 

Citizens of Rock River to John Reynolds 

April 30th 1831— 
His excelency the Governor of the State of Illinois — 

We the under signed being Citizens of Rock River & its Vicinity ^ — beg 
leave to State to your Honor The Gravences we labor under & Pray 
your protection against the Sac and Fox tribe of Indians who have again 
taken procesion of our Lands near the mouth of Rock river & its Vicinity 
They Have and now are Burning our fences destroying our crops of Wheat 
now Growing by turning in all their Horses They Also threaten our lives 
if we attempt to plant corn and say they will cut it up & That we have 
Stole their Lands from them and they are determined to exterminate us 
provided we dont leave the country with out Your Honour no doubt is 
aware of the out ragous — that were commited by said Indians Here before 
particularly last fall they all most destroyed all our crops & made several 
attempts on the owners lives when they attempted to prevent their deprida- 
tions and Actually wounded one man by Stabing him in several places ^ 
This spring they act in a much more out rageous and menacing maner So 
that we consider our selv's compeled to beg of you protection which the 
Agent ^ and Garison on Rock Island ^ refuses to give In as much as they 
say they have no orders from Government Therefore Should we not receive 
amediate aid from Your Honour we shall be compelled to aband our Setle- 
ment and the lands which we have purchased of Government Therefore we 
have no doubt but your Honour will better anticipate our condition than it 
is represented And grant us amediate relief in that manner that to you may 
seem most likely to produce the desired affect. The number of Indians now 
among us are abot six or seven Hundred they say there is more coming 
and that the patowatomies & some of the Winebagoes will help them in 
case of an uruption with the whites The Warriours now here are the Black 
Hawk's party ^ with other chiefs the Names of which we are not acquainted 
with Therefore — looking up to you for protection we beg leave ever to re- 
main yous &c 

John Wells Joel Thompson 

Bengamen F Pike Joel Wells Ju 

Henry Mc knel John W Spencer 

Albert Wells Joseph Danforth 

Griffith Aubrey Wm. T. Brashar 

Thomas Gardner Jonah H. Case 

Joshua Vandruff Charles H Case 

Samuel Vandruff Samuel wells 

John S Bain Charle French 

Horace Cook Benjamin Goble 

David B Hale Gentry McGee 

Jno. Barrell 
Wm. Henry 
Aratus Kent 
Levi Wells 
Joel Wells 
Michael Bartlit. 
Huntington Wells 
Thomas Davis 
Thomas Levitt 
William H sams 
Charles French 
Uri[?] S. Hults [Hultz?] 
Eri Wells 
Asaph Wells 
George V Miller 
Edwad Vamer [Vumer?] 

The Black Hawk War 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. Most of the 
names at the end of this letter are signatures, 
although a few are in the same hand. One man, 
Charles French, signed twice. 

John Reynolds (1788-1865), governor of Illinois 
from 1830 to 1834, was born in Pennsylvania. His 
family moved to Tennessee when he was an 
infant and to Illinois in 1800. Reynolds went back 
to Tennessee to study in 1809 and returned to 
Illinois in the fall of 1812. He immediately en- 
rolled in Capt. Samuel Judy's spy company and 
marched to the frontier. Later that year he was 
admitted to the Illinois bar but had little time to 
establish a practice before entering his second 
term of service in the War of 1812 — this time as a 
member of Capt. William B. Whiteside's company. 
Reynolds established his first law office in 1814 at 
Cahokia, where he lived until removing to Belle- 
ville in 1831. He was a judge of the Illinois Su- 
preme Court from 1818 until Jan., 1825, and a 
member of the state legislature, 1826-1830. He 
resigned the governorship in 1834 to enter Con- 
gress, in which he served 1834-1837 and 1839-1843. 
He had two additional terms in the Illinois Gen- 
eral Assembly, 1846-1848, 1852-1854, and was 
speaker of the house during the latter session. On 
retirement from public life Reynolds devoted his 
time to writing and publishing and is probably best 
known today for his two volumes The Pioneer 
History of Illinois (1852) and My Oiim Times 
(1855). Illinois Historical Collections, IV: xix, 
xxi, XVIII: 562; DAB; j. F. snyder, Adam W. 
Snyder, 297-329; My Oivn Times, passim. See also 
Francis S. Philbrick's appraisal of his character 
and legal ability, in Illinois Historical Collections, 
XXVIII: xxv-xxviii, xxxii n. 

1 For an account of the settlements near Rock 
River, see the settlers' depositions of Oct. 24 to 
Nov. 4 (enclosed in the Thomas-Stuart report of 
Nov. 4) and WALLACE, 27-38. 

2 Nancy Wells and Nancy Thomas reported on 
June 10 that the injured man was Louden L. 
Case. But, according to their story, he had been 
injured by Indians from the Prophet's village 
rather than those at the Sauk village. Individual 
sworn affidavits given to U.S. Army officers are 
considerably different from this account. 

3 Felix St. Vrain (1799-1832), of Kaskaskia. de- 
scendant of a noble French family and brother of 
the well-known trader Ceran St. Vrain, was 
named agent at Rock Island in the summer 
of 1830 and assumed office in Sept. Appointed 
through the intercession of U.S. Senator Elias 
Kent Kane, St. Vrain served less than two years. 
He was killed by a band of Indians, largely Win- 
nebago, on May 24, 1832. At Kaskaskia he had 
been quartermaster of the 2d Regiment, Illinois 
Militia; a Randolph County commissioner, elected 
in 1828; and public administrator for the county 
about that time. In 1830 he operated a steam saw- 
mill in the county. STEVENS, 171; beckwith, 
Creoles of St. Louis, 33n-34n; J. F. snyder. 

Adam W. Snyder, 122n; Randolph, Monroe and 
Perry Counties (1883), 115, 117, 125; 23d Cong., 
1st Sess., S. Doc. 512, II: 70-71; I-A: Elect. Ret., 
XI: 70; I-A: Exec. Rec., I: 175; I-A: Adjutant 
General's Returns, Jan. 1, 1829; St. Vrain to 
Clark, Sept. 25, 1830, in KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 

4 Fort Armstrong, at the foot of Rock Island, 
was built by the U.S. Army in 1816-1817 to keep 
the Sauk and Fox and other Indian tribes of the 
area in check. It was named for John Armstrong, 
secretary of war, 1813-1814. At this time the fort 
was garrisoned by Companies D and H of the 
3d Infantry under Capt. John Bliss. DAH; 
STEVENS, 66; Rock Island County (1908), 51; 
Stephen H. Long's description of the fort (1817) 
in Minnesota Historical Collections, II: 70-73; 
and Jour. ISHS. LXI: 37-39. 

5 Black Hawk (1767-1838) was born at the 
Sauk village on Rock River. He achieved fame as 
a young man in wars against the Osage and 
Cherokee and fought with the British in the War 
of 1812. He joined a Winnebago war party which 
attacked Fort Madison in Sept. of 1812 and 
served later under Tecumseh, taking part in the 
battles of Frenchtown, Fort Meigs, and Fort 
Stephenson. (STEVENS, 42, says that he was also 
in the Battle of the Thames. Although Black 
Hawk's own account of his war service is sketchy, 
it seems that he returned to Rock River after the 
action at Fort Stephenson.) At Rock Island, 
Black Hawk was a leader of the parties that 
attacked and defeated the U.S. commands of Lt. 
John Campbell and Maj. Zachary Taylor in bat- 
tles on the Mississippi on July 21 and Sept. 5, 
1814. On May 24, 1815, he led the small war party 
that engaged in the Battle of the Sink Hole near 
Fort Howard at the mouth of the Cuivre River in 
Missouri. This party left Rock River just before 
the arrival of the British messenger bringing 
news of the peace treaty that ended the war. 
One British officer wrote that Black Hawk was 
"perhaps the ablest and bravest [of the western 
Indians] since the death of Tecumseh" — Michigan 
Historical Collections, XV: 285. On his service in 
the War of 1812, see his autobiography, 44-86; 
Iowa Journal of History, XI: 543-45; Michigan 
Historical Collections, XVI: 192-96, 283-85, 325. 
335-36, 337, 339; Wisconsin Historical Collections, 
XI: 269-70; carter, ed.. Territorial Papers, XIV: 
644-45, 657-62, XVII: 3-5, 5-10; STEVENS, 
55-56; HAMILTON, Zachary Taylor, 49-54. 

Although Black Hawk was frequently mentioned 
as a principal brave of the Sauk tribe in the 
letters of Indian agents, he did not come into 
particular prominence again until the removal 
of the Sauk and Fox from Rock River and the 
ensuing Black Hawk campaigns of 1831 and 1832. 
After his defeat in the latter campaign, he was 
kept in chains at Jefferson Barracks for months 
before departing for the East. He was confined 
for a short time at Fortress Monroe and then 

May 11, 1831 

taken on a tour of the major eastern cities before 
returning to Iowa in the late summer of 1833, 
when he was entrusted to the care of his rival, 
Keokuk. His Indian name, spelled "Ma-ka-tai-me- 
she-kia-kiak" in his autobiography, is translated 
literally "black big chest" and refers to the de- 
scription of a sparrow hawk. General biographical 
information is found in his autobiography; hodge; 
DAB; Sangamo Journal [Springfield, 111.], Sept. 
14, 1833. On his death, see J. F. snyder, "The 
Burial and Resurrection of Black Hawk," Jour. 
ISHS, IV: 47-56. 

As an influential warrior in the tribe. Black 
Hawk may well have been a leader of one of the 
bands into which the tribe regularly separated 
for hunting purposes. He refers several times 
in his autobiography to his band or camp; see 
pp. 58, 107, 110. This group is not to be confused 
with the band that persisted in returning to 
Rock River after 1828, often identified as the 
"British party" or the "British band" and, 
interchangeably, as "Black Hawk's band." Al- 
though the nucleus of the group was undoubtedly 
made up of men who had served the British in 
the War of 1812 and had made later trips to 
British agencies in Canada for presents, there 
was actually no continuing, unified "British 
party" as such. Records have been found which 
show that at least some representatives of the 
tribe went to Canada for presents every year be- 
tween 1816 and 1831, but their total number was 
frequently insignificant. In 1821, for example, the 
number was only ninety in all, including old men, 
women, and children (Forsyth to Cass, May 12, 
1822, S-F Ex. 91, Docket 158, ICC). Sauk and 
Fox agent Thomas Forsyth reported in 1821 that 
many of those Indians had "been for more than 
twenty years in the habits of visiting the British 
at Maiden where they have always been liberally 
treated, but I have every reason to expect that I 
have weaned them from this annual visit as the 
Black Hawk and Kiocuck . . . have told me they 
would go no more to Maiden, as I treated them 
so well" (Forsyth to Clark, May 2, 1821, S-F 
Ex. 83, Docket 158, ICC). Later that summer 

Forsyth wrote Clark that "the Sauks & Foxes 
never were so well disposed towards the United 
States, as they are at the present day" (letter of 
Aug. 27, 1821, S-F Ex. 86, Docket 158, ICC). 

The number of dissidents increased as Indian 
grievances against the United States increased, 
owing to the abolition of the factory system in 
1822, the occupation of the Indian lead mines in 
the Galena area that same year, the creeping 
approach of the white settlements — many of 
them on Indian land, and the failure of the 
United States to establish intertribal boundaries 
and settle intertribal difficulties. In June, 1823, 
a Sauk Indian named loway returned to his tribe 
after an absence of two or three years. He told 
the Rock River Indians that the British continued 
"to deal out presents as liberally to all Indians 
who visit them as formerly and that the British 
were much surprised that the Indians in this 
quarter did not visit them more often." As a 
result of this report, Forsyth said, "many" of the 
Sauk and Fox did leave for Maiden, although a 
larger party left to go to war against the Sioux, 
and a still larger party left to hunt buffalo; see 
Forsyth to Calhoun, July 7, 1823, S-F Ex. 204, 
Docket 158, ICC. The 1827 party that visited 
Maiden is reported to have numbered "several 
hundred" (mcCOY, History of Baptist Indian 
Missions, 313) . 

On Jan. 17, 1831, Superintendent of Indian 
Affairs William Clark wrote Secretary of War 
John H. Eaton that the "British party" that had 
refused to leave the Rock River village numbered 
"about 1/6 part of the Sock tribe" (KHi: Clark 
Papers, IV: 215). Black Hawk had reported that 
his band had increased in size before returning to 
Rock River in the spring of 1831 (black HAWK, 
121), but by the middle of June about one third 
of the group had been persuaded to abandon 
Black Hawk and the Rock River village (Gaines 

to Jones, June 14-15; Gaines to , June 

20) . For a more detailed account of the size of the 
band at this time, see Reynolds to Jackson, Aug. 
2, n. 1. 

Deposition of Hirah Saunders and Ammyson Chapman 

[Lewistown, Illinois, May 11, 1831] 


State of Illinois 
Fulton County 

Personally appeared before me Stephen Dewey ^ an acting Justice of the 
peace in and for the County of Fulton and state of Illinois Hirah Saunders 
and Ammyson Chapman of the aforesaid County and State and made Oath 
that some time in the month of April last they went to the Old Indian Sock 


The Black Hawk War 

town about Thirty miles up Rock River for the purpose of farming and 
establishing a ferry ^ across said river and the Indians Ordered us to move 
away and not Come there again and we remained there a few hours they 
then sent for their Chief ^ and he informed us that we might depart peaci- 
blely and if we did not that he would make us go. he therefore Ordered 
the Indians to Throw Our furniture Out of the house they accordingly 
done so and threatoned to kill us if we did not depart. We Therefore dis- 
covered Our lives was in danger and Consequently moved back again to the 
above County We suppose them to be principally Winebagoes 

H Saunders 
A Chapman 

Sworn and subscribed to this 11th. day of May 1831. Stephen Dewey 
J.P. [L.S.]4 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. Addressed: "His 
Excellency John Reynolds Vandalia 111." Post- 
marked: "Lewis town 111 13. May 121^." The 
121^, written in the upper right-hand corner on 
the back of the folded and sealed letter, indicated 
the postage due: 12i/^ cents or one bit. 

Hirah Saunders was head of a family in 
Fulton County in 1830, according to the federal 
census of that year. In 1835 he was an unsuccess- 
ful candidate for justice of the peace in the Mill 
Creek district, and two years later he ran for 
county treasurer but was again defeated, al- 
though he apparently held an interim appoint- 
ment as treasurer at the time of the election. 
I-A: Elect. Ret., XXV: 41, XXX: 88; I-A: 1830 
Census, 251: Fulton County (1879), 865, 977, 989. 

Nothing is known of Ammyson or Amyson 
Chapman except that he is listed as head of a 
Fulton County family in the 1830 U.S. Census 
(p. 249). 

1 Stephen Dewey was a "dry goods" merchant 
at Columbia (now Troy), Madison County, 
Illinois, in 1818. Within the next few years he 
moved to Pike County (which included present 
Fulton) and became that county's first surveyor, 
serving also as a justice of the peace. He moved 
on to Lewistown about 1823 and for the next 
twenty years held many Fulton County posts. He 
was appointed Lewistown postmaster about 1830 
or 1831 and held that office until 1836. He was 
still a resident of the county in 1855. Madison 
County Gazetteer (1866), 249; Pike County 
(1880), 259, 265; Fulton County (1879), 248, 773, 
988; U.S. Register 1831, 265; Sangamo Journal 
[Springfield, 111.]. May 28, 1836. March 26, 1841; 
I-A: 1855 111. Census, 111; I-A: Elect. Ret. and 
Exec. Rec, passim. 

2 The village site was in the area ceded to the 
U.S. by the Sauk and Fox in 1804 and then 
given by the U.S. to the united Ottawa, Potawa- 
tomi, and Chippewa in exchange for lands 
around Chicago. Few of that confederacy ever 
lived that far down the Rock River, but by this 

time the Winnebago did. By treaty of Aug. 25, 
1828, both the Winnebago and the Ottawa-Pota- 
watomi-Chippewa confederacy agreed to the es- 
tablishment of ferries at the Rock River crossings 
of the Fort Clark (i.e., Peoria) and Lewistown 
roads (kappler, II: 293), and by a private law 
of Jan. 19, 1829, the Illinois General Assembly 
authorized Thomas Beard and Stephen Siminer 
Phelps to establish a ferry at the latter crossing 
just above Prophetstown (Illinois Revised Laws 
1828-1829, 241). If Beard and Phelps operated 
there at all, they apparently had abandoned the 
place by 1831, when Saunders and Chapman ar- 
rived. Saunders made this attempt even though the 
7th General Assembly, meeting the preceding Jan., 
had refused to grant him a license (House 
Journal 1830-1831, 334, 349-50, 357, 364, 396). 
The 8th General Assembly did authorize Samuel 
Alexander and Richard M. Young to establish a 
ferry at the Rock River crossing of the "Old 
Lewistown Road to Galena" (Illinois Private 
Laws 1832, 33). 

The ferry site, here called an old "Sock town," 
was also called a Sauk town by Joseph M. Street 
in his letter of April 25-26, 1832, to General 
Atkinson. In 1831 the village was occupied by a 
band of half-breed Sauk and Winnebago under 
Wabokieshiek, sometimes called the Winnebago 
Prophet. On May 24, 1828, Thomas Forsyth, then 
Indian agent at Rock Island, wrote William 
Clark that the Winnebago Prophet with his 
relatives had recently settled at Weteco's or 
Wetecote's village (letter, from DNA: RG 75, 
BIA, L Reed., St. Louis, was an enclosure in 
Clark to Cass, Aug. 12, 1831, and is quoted in 
WALLACE, 27). Lt, Albert Sidney Johnston refers 
to an apparently separate village near Prophets- 
town as " Wittico's" ; according to his journal 
entries of May 14 and May 15, 1832, the 
Prophet's and Wittico's villages were burned by 
the army in 1832; on the burning of the Pro- 
phet's village, see also Whiteside to Atkinson, 
May 18, 1832. 

May 15, 1831 

3 Presumably Wabokieshiek, or White Cloud, 
(ea. 1794-ca. 1840), half Sauk and half Winne- 
bago, who held considerable prestige as a 
medicine man and prophet. In 1832 he was one 
of those who urged Black Hawk to return to 
Illinois. He accompanied Black Hawk's band 
throughout the war, was captured after the close 
of the campaign and confined at Jefferson 

Barracks and Fortress Monroe, Virginia. On his 
release he lived with the Sauk in Iowa until their 
removal to Kansas. At that time he joined the 
Winnebago, hodge; black hawk, 112-13, 124, 
132-33, 136-39; Annals of Iowa. XII: 336, XXV: 
263; Wisconsin Historical Collections, XV: 124- 

■* Brackets in original. 

Felix St. Vrain to William Clark 

(Copy) Rock Island May 15th. 1831. 

Genl. Wm. Clark Sup't Ind. Affairs St. Louis. 

Respected Sir, I have again to mention to you that the Black Hawk (a 
Sac Chief) ^ and his party are now at their old village on Rock River,^ they 
have commenced planting Com and, say they will keep possession. I have 
been informed that they had pulled down a house and, some fences, which 
they have burned, they have also turned their horses in wheat fields and 
say they will destroy the wheat, so that the white people shall not remain 
among them.^ 

This is what I expected from their manner of acting last fall and, and 
which I mentioned to you in my letter of the 8th. of October last.^ I would 
be glad to have some instructions how to act with this band of Indians: I 
would not be at a loss were it not for the 7th. Article of the Treaty with 
the Sacs and Foxes of 3d. November 1804.^ 

I respectfully ask; would it not be better to hold a Treaty with those 
Indians and, get them to remove peaceably, than to call on the Military to 
force them off; none of this band have as yet called on me, for information, 
a few have been at my Agency to have some work done at the Smith's 
Shops. ^ 

I have the honor, to be. Your Obed't Serv't Felix St. Vrain Indn. Agent. 

CC. I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 801; 
in the handwriting of John Ruland. Enclosed in: 
Clark to Reynolds, May 28. A second copy (from 
I-A: Gov. LB 1828-34) was published in Illinois 
Historical Collections, IV: 178, and a third (in 
DNA: BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox) was enclosed 
in Clark to Eaton, May 30. Two other copies are 
in the Clark Papers, II: 259 and 190-91, in KHi; 
and a sixth (in DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., St. 
Louis) was enclosed in Clark to Cass, Aug. 12. 
William Clark (1770-1838), younger brother 
of George Rogers Clark, was born in Virginia 
and moved to Kentucky in 1785. He participated 
in several Indian wars and served in the Regular 
Army, 1792-1796. He rejoined the army in 1803 
on invitation of Capt. Meriwether Lewis and 
helped lead the famed Lewis and Clark expedition 
to Oregon. In 1807 he left the army for the 
second time and was named Indian agent for 

Louisiana (later Missouri) Territory and briga- 
dier general of the territorial militia. He was 
appointed governor of Missouri Territory in 1813 
and served until 1820, when Missouri became a 
state. He took an active part in the War of 1812, 
during which he built Fort Shelby near Prairie 
du Chien in 1814. 

As territorial governor, Clark was ex officio 
superintendent of Indian affairs for the territory. 
When Missouri became a state, he continued to 
supervise Indian relations until June 30, 1821, 
"after which his superintendency ceased" (Aineri- 
can State Papers, Indian Affairs, II: 364). Less 
than a year later Congress created the position 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs at St. Louis, to 
which Clark was appointed in May, 1822. He had 
jurisdiction over all the Indian country not within 
the bounds of any state or territory west of the 
Mississippi as well as over the agents on the 

The Black Hawk War 

Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Clark held this 
position until his death. He was also surveyor 
general for Arkansas Territory and the states of 
Illinois and Missouri, 1824-1825. Greatly respected 
by the Indians of the West, Clark was known to 
them as "The Red Head." DAB; Kansas Histori- 
cal Quarterly, XVI: 1-6; carter, ed.. Territorial 
Papers. XIV: lOln, 109, 443, 655, 679; HOUCK, 
III: 4; SCHMECKEBIER, The Office of Indian 
Affairs. 28. 

1 St. Vrain, still new to his job, had learned 
by May 28, when he again wrote to Clark, that 
Black Hawk was merely a brave and not a chief. 

2 This village, known today as Saukenuk and 
called by the Indians Sen-i-se-po Ke-be-sau-kee 

(Rock River Peninsula), was on the north side 
of Rock River. It was located at the foot of the 
rapids of the Rock and below the promontory 
now called Black Hawk's Watch Tower. It ex- 
tended downstream to a point within a mile or 
two from the confluence of the Rock and Missis- 
sippi. The farms cultivated by the Sauk adjoined 
those of a Fox village (opposite Fort Armstrong 
on the Illinois side of the Mississippi), black 
HAWK. 100; Jour. ISHS, XX: 265-81, XXII: 98; 
Trans. ISHS. XX: 113-21, XXXIX: 95; among 
the early descriptions of the village are those of 
Thomas Forsyth (1817) in Wiscotisin Historical 
Collections. XI: 348-49; Stephen H. Long (1817) 
in Minnesota Historical Collections. II: 69; Mor- 
rill Marston (1820) in blair, II: 146-48; Stephen 
Watts Kearny (1820) in Missouri Historical 
Society Collections. Ill: 124, quoted in n. 1 to 
William Brashar's deposition of Nov. 3. 

3 On May 28, in another letter to Clark. St. 
Vrain corrected this statement. The house had 
been unroofed only. 

4 He wrote then, "I have been Credibly in- 
formed that the band of Sac Indians occupying 
the old Village on Rock River, are determined 
to return to it in the Spring for the purpose of 
Keeping possession. The Black Hawk told me 
that he intended coming in the Spring to see you 
on the subject. ... it would be useless for me to 
say anything to them . . . unless a sufficient 
number of troops should be ordered to prevent 
them from taking possessicm. . . . There are 
frequent complaints made by the Whites and 
Indians about their Corn, fences, &c. An Indian 

was severely beaten by two White men for pxilling 
down a fence, and which will be the case so long 
as those Indians are permitted to remain." Copies 
of extracts from this letter are in I-A: Gov. Corr. 
1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 799, and in DNA: RG 75, 
BIA, L Reed., St. Louis, the latter an enclosure 
in Clark to Cass, Aug. 12, 1831. 

5 By this treaty the Sauk and Fox ceded an 
area of approximately fifteen million acres in 
Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri. The Illinois- 
Wisconsin portion of the cession was bounded by 
the Mississippi on the west, the Illinois and Fox 
rivers on the south and east, and the Wisconsin 
River on the north (Trans. ISHS. XLVI: 75; 
MOSES, 1: 218; the treaty is reproduced in WAL- 
LACE, 13-16). 

The seventh article provided that the Indians 
could occupy the ceded area so long as it re- 
mained government property. Except for certain 
fractional sections, all of the Rock River Penin- 
sula below the Indian Boundary Line and west of 
the Fourth Principal Meridian had been offered 
for sale by the government in 1829. The acreage 
remaining unsold, however, was in the heart of 
the Indian village (Proclamation of President 
Andrew Jackson, July 3, 1829, in Illinois Intelli- 
gencer [Vandalia], Aug. 1, 1829; depositions of 
Rock Island County settlers, Oct. 24 to Nov. 3, 
enclosed in the Thomas-Stuart report of Nov. 4). 
The Indian Boundary Line (one-half mile north 
of the line separating Townships 17 and 18) 
marked the southern boundary of land given by 
the U.S. to the united Ottawa, Potawatomi, and 
Chippewa in 1816 and ceded back to the U.S. in 
1829. In 1816 the Potawatomi had relinquished 
their claims to land south of this line and within 
the bounds of the Sauk 1804 cession, kappler, II: 
132, 298-99. 

6 At the treaty council following the BHW, 
Keokuk stated that the two blacksmiths assigned 
to the Sauk and Fox were unable to keep up with 
the work the Indians needed. In 1833 Lambert 
LaPierre was smith, B. McCann was striker, and 
Jean B. Lebeau was gunsmith (U.S. Register 
ISSS. 91) ; in 1832 Lebeau was gunsmith for the 
Fox Indians and George Casser was gunsmith for 
the Sauk. Lebeau was serving as early as 1831. 
Forsyth to Davenport, July 10; Kansas Historical 
Collections, XVI: 725, 726. 

Thomas P. Burnett to William Clark 

U.S. In(iian Agency Prairie du chien May 18th: 1831 
Genl: Wm: Clark Superintendant Ind: Affrs: at St. Louis; 

Sir; Genl. Street^ left this eight days since to take his family to Jackson- 
ville 111: (where the most of them will remain during the Summer,) and 
expects to visit St. Louis before his return if the necessary advices shall be 

May 18, 1831 

received relative to the funds to be disbursed at this Agency for the present 
year. We have, as yet, not received a single word upon the subject. 

The Indian relations among the different Tribes in this quarter have not 
a verry amicable appearance. The threatenings of the Sauks & Foxes and 
occasional acts of mischief committed by them against the whites in the 
vicinity of Rock Island, has, doubtless, been communicated to you before 
this time. The Sioux Chief Wabasha ^ and a considerable number of the 
lower band of that Tribe are now here. A small party of them who came 
across the country from Red Cedar ^ state that within their country north 
of the line of the purchase of last Summer,"* they came upon a war-road of 
the Sauks & Foxes. They followed the trail leading out of their country 
several days and from the signs remaining at their camps they have no 
doubt that three if no more of the Sioux have been murdered by the Sauks 
& Foxes. Among other appearances which confirmed them in this belief was 
a painted Buffalo Robe, such as no Indians in this quarter but the Sioux, 
make or use, cut in pieces at one of the Camps. They pursued the trail until 
they came upon their camp a few miles north of the Old Red Cedar Fort ^ 
and immediately held a counsel whether to attack them or not, there being 
seven Sioux and from fifteen to twenty Foxes. They concluded not to make 
the attack & retired unobserved by the Foxes. They say that they have 
made peace and promised to keep it and that they will not, in any case, 
be the aggressors. 

Col. Morgan ^ informed me two days since, that he had sent down to the 
Sauks & Foxes, to send up ten or twelve of their men to see him and have 
a talk with him. They were expected here on yesterday but have not yet 
arrived. The Sioux are waiting their arrival, and I believe are ready to meet 
them either as friends or enemies. When they were inforaied that the Foxes 
were coming, they put their arms in complete order. They say, that if the 
Sauks & Foxes come & deport themselves peaceably, they will not molest 
them, but if they see any hostile manifestations, they will strike them. My 
own opinion is, that if the Sauks & Foxes have had a war party out against 
the Sioux, they will not come here upon Col. M.s invitation knowing as they 
do, that the Sioux always visit this place about this season in considerable 

A part of the Menominees have been to see me since Genl. Street's de- 
parture. They renewed their promise, not to go against the Chippeways for 
the present, but to wait a while longer to hear from their Great Father.* 

I am verry respectfully Your most Obt. Servt. 
T. P. Burnett Sub-Agent Ind. Affairs and Acting Indian Agent 

ADfS, WHi: Thomas P. Burnett Papers. law occasionally and was censured for his defense 
Thomas Pendleton Burnett (1800-1846) was of several tavern-keepers accused of violating 
born in Virginia but grew up in Kentucky, where territorial liquor laws. The Prairie du Chien sub- 
he studied law and entered practice. In 1830, agent post was abolished in 1834, and Burnett 
after he had been seriously crippled in an ac- lost his job; but in 1835 he was appointed district 
cident and deserted by his wife, he accepted the attorney for Crawford, Iowa, Dubuque, and Des 
appointment of Indian subagent at Prairie du Moines counties. He resigned within the year and 
Chien. While holding this office, he also practiced in 1837 moved to Cassville, Grant County, in the 


The Black Hawk War 

new Wisconsin Territory, where he resumed the 
practice of law. In 1844 he was elected to the 
territorial legislature and served until his death 
in 1846. Ten years later the Wisconsin legislature 
named a new county in his honor. Wisconsin 
Historical Collections. II: 233-325. 

1 Joseph Montfort Street (1782-1840), a native 
of Virginia, was a violent Federalist who became 
well known in the early 1800's as the editor of a 
Frankfort. Kentucky, newspaper. He left Ken- 
tucky in 1812, when he was unable to pay large 
damages for libel, and settled in Shawneetown, 
Illinois. He held innumerable county posts and 
became a brigadier general in the Illinois Militia. 
In 1827 he was appointed Indian agent at Prairie 
du Chien on the recommendation of Ninian Ed- 
wards and Henry Clay. Soon after reaching his 
agency, he tried unsuccessfully to move Henry 
Dodge and other settlers from Winnebago lead 
mines. In 1838 he tried, again unsuccessfully, to 
end the fraudulent practices that had accom- 
panied Indian disbursements, and in so doing, he 
implicated Simon Cameron, then serving as one 
of the commissioners settling certain Winnebago 
claims. Early in the BHW, Street used his influ- 
ence to keep the Winnebago quiet, and it was to 
him that they brought Black Hawk, the Prophet, 
and other captured prisoners. Street was later 
transferred to the Rock Island Agency, which was 
itself transferred in 1839 to Agency City, Iowa. 
There Street died in 1840. His wife, Eliza Maria, 
was the daughter of Gen. Thomas Posey, Revolu- 
tionary War soldier and Indian agent at Shawnee- 
town, 1816-1818. (DAB; Wisconsin Historical 
Collections, XI: 356-57; Gallatin, Saline, Hamil- 
ton, Franklin and Williamson Counties [1887], 
43, 59, 67; Illinois Historical Collections, IV: 8n; 
Chicago Historical Society's Collection, III: pas- 

Several of Street's children attended schools in 
Jacksonville, and his wife's brother, William 
Posey, had a farm in that area. Annals of Iowa, 
XVII: 117, 118; Chicago Historical Society's 
Collection, III: 283. 

2 Wabasha, Wapasha, or Red Leaf (ca. 1773-ca. 
1855), the second great Sioux chief of that name, 
was the leader of several bands of Sioux who 
lived south of the Minnesota River. He was but 
a lukewarm ally of the British in the War of 
1812 and at its conclusion soon gained the respect 
and admiration of American agents and travelers 
in the area. His village was at the site of Winona, 
Minnesota. See the numerous descriptions of him 
in Missouri Historical Society Collections, III: 
113-15 and n. 46; DAB: hodge. The village is 
described in the Sangamo Journal [Springfield, 
111.], Sept. 7, 1833, p. 2. 

3 Now the Cedar River, which rises in Min- 
nesota and enters the Iowa River about twenty- 
nine miles above its mouth. Petersen, Iowa: The 
Rivers of Her Valleys, 122-24. 

4 This was probably the line that marked the 
southern boundary of the Sioux and the northern 

boundary of the forty-mile-wide "Neutral 
Ground" that extended west from the Mississippi, 
across northern Iowa, to the Des Moines River. 
A small portion of the Neutral Ground also ex- 
tended into southeastern Minnesota. In an at- 
tempt to stem the ever-recurring hostilities 
among the Indian tribes of the Midwest, the 
government negotiated a treaty with the princi- 
pal tribes at Prairie du Chien in 1825. Tribal 
boundaries were reestablished, and the Indians 
pledged "perpetual peace." The government, in 
turn, agreed to punish any aggressor against 
that peace. The Sioux and the Sauk and Fox 
continued to clash, however, and in 1830 the 
three tribes negotiated a treaty of peace that set 
aside the Neutral Ground, in which none of the 
tribes was to hunt. The survey of the boundary 
lines was not completed until after the BHW 
of 1832. The 1825 treaty is in KAPpler, II: 250-55; 
that of 1830, ibid., 305-10. On the Neutral Ground, 
see LOKKEN, Iowa: Public Land Disposal, passim; 
Iowa Journal of History and Politics, XIII: 
311-48; Annals of Iowa, XI: 242-59, 358-80, XVI: 
28-29; ROYCE, 726-27. 

5 A trading post of the American F\ir Com- 
pany, sometimes called Rolette's fort, after Joseph 
Rolette, a division head of the company (Annals 
of lotva, XVI: 41-42). 

In 1831 Thomas Forsyth reported that Rolette's 
division included "all the Indians from EKibuque's 
mines to a point above the falls of St. Anthony, 
and up the St. Peter's river to its source; as, also, 
all the Indians on the Ouisconsin and the upper 
part of Rocky river" (22d Cong., 1st Sess., S. Doc. 
90, 70) . A list of the trading establishments with- 
in the superintendency of William Clark, as of 
Nov. 28, 1831, published in the same document, 
shows that a trading post for the Sioux of the 
St. Peter's Agency was located at the forks of the 
Red Cedar River (ibid., 64). 

The survey of the Neutral Ground, begun in 
April, 1832, was stopped in June near the Painted 
Rock, which was about seven miles above Prairie 
du Chien on the west side of the Mississippi. Ac- 
cording to the notes of surveyor Nathan Boone, 
"the 'Trading Road' leading to the Red Cedar 
leaves the river [at the Painted Rock]. This road 
is known by the name of Rolets' Road" (Annals 
of Iowa, XI: 378). Boone's map of the surveyed 
territory shows Rolette's Road beginning at the 
Painted Rock and ending in the forks of the Red 
Cedar, presumably at the trading post. The end 
of the road was a few miles below the line divid- 
ing the two tribes of Indians but inside the Sauk 
and Fox portion of the Neutral Ground. See 
Boone's map, ibid., opp. 376. 

The trading post was thus probably above the 
junction of the present Cedar and Little Cedar 
rivers at Nashua, Iowa. See map in ibid., opp. 
380, and Petersen, Iowa: The Rivera of Her 
Valleys, 131, and map opp. 120. 

6 Willoughby Morgan, commanding officer at 
Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien, was a native 

May 19, 1831 11 

of Vir^nia. He entered the army in 1812 and by 7 On the results of this council, see Burnett to 

1830 had become colonel of the 1st Infantry. He Clark, May 28. 

died April 4, 1832, at Fort Crawford, where he had 8 For the Menominee version of these difficul- 

been stationed since 1816, except for brief periods ties and their ultimate settlement, see Street to 

of service at other western posts. Wisconsin the Secretary of War, Aug. 1, and Street to 

Historical Collections, XIX: 479n-80n; heitman; Burnett, Feb. 1, 1832. 

SCANLAN, Prairie du Chien, 123-24. 

Citizens of Rock River to John Reynolds 

Farnhamburgi May 19th. 1831. 
To His Excelency the governor of the State of Illinois — 

We the Sitizens of the rock river and its vicinity having previously sent 
a pettition ^ to your Honour praying your protection against thes Sack 
Indians who ware at that time doing every kind of mischief as was set 
fourth in & represented to your Honour But feeling our selv's still more 
agreved and our situation more precarious we have ben Compelled to make 
our distress known to you by sending one of our neigbours who is well 
acquainted with our situation.^ If we do not get relief spedily we must leave 
our habitations to these savages and seek safty for our families by taking 
them down in the lower Counties and suffer our houses and fences to be 
distroyed as one of the principle war Chiefs has thretened if we do not 
abandan our settlement his wariors sould burn our houses over our heads. 

They ware at the time we sent our other petition distroying our Crops of 
wheat and are still pasturing their Horses in our Fields burning our fences 
and have thrown the roof off of one House They shoot arrows in our Cattle 
kill our hogs and every other mischief. 

We have tried every arguement to the agent ^ for relief but he tells us 
they are a lawless band and he has nothing to do with them untill further 
orders leaving us still in suspense as the Indians say if we plant we shall 
not reap a proof of which we had last fall they allmost intirely distroyed 
all our Crops of Corn potatoes &c. Believing we shall reciev protection from 
your Excellency we shall go on with our Farms untill the return of the 
Bearer — and ever remain your Humble supplicants 

Henry McNeal Wm. Brashar 

Joel Thompson Rinnah Wells 

Saml. Wells Jno. Barrell 

Wm F. Sams J. W. Kenney 

Thos. Levet Moses Johnson 

Michael Bartlett Jonah H. Case 

Joseph Danforth Coonrod Leak 

George Wells James B. Atwood Cnr 

Josph Bean Jam B Atwood Jun 
Joshua Vandruff 
Charles Case 
Thos. Gardener 

12 The Black Hawk War 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. a trading house in the village in 1826. This 

1 Farnhamburg or, more frequently, "Farn- building, later known as the "house of John 

hamsburg" was the name given to the first settle- Barrell," served as the first county courthouse, 

ment within the present city of Rock Island. It Jour. ISHS, IX: 284, 289-90, 292, XXVI: 300. 

was located just south of the island and within the 2 Dated April 30. 

former Fox village on the mainland. The settle- 3 This petition was delivered by Benjamin F. 

ment took its name from Russel Farnham, part- Pike. See his deposition of May 26. 

ner of George Davenport and agent of the Ameri- 4 Felix St. Vrain. 
can Fur Company, who, with Davenport, erected 

Deposition of Benjamin F. Pike 

State of Illinois 

[Belleville, Illinois, May 26, 1831] 

St. Clair county j 

Present Benjamin F. Pike before me a Justice of the Peace in and for 
said county and made Oath and deposed; that he has resided at and in the 
vicinity of Rock River in the State of Illinois for almost three years last 
past; that he is well acquainted with the band of the Sack Indians whose 
chief is the Black Hawk and who have resided, and do now reside, near 
the mouth of Rock River in this State. That he understands so much of said 
Indian language, as to converse with said Indians intelligibly. That he is 
well satisfied that said Indians to the amount of about three hundred war- 
riors are extremely unfriendly to the white people. That said Indians are 
determined, if not prevented by force, to drive off the white people, who 
have, some of them, purchased land of the united States near said Indians, 
and for said Indians to remain the sole occupiers of said country. That said 
Indians do not only make threats to this effect, but have in various in- 
stances done much damage to said white inhabitants by threwig down their 
fences, destroying the fall grain, pulling off the roofs of houses, and pos- 
sitively asserting that if the whites did not go away, they would kill them. 
That there are about forty inhabitants, and heads of families in the vicinity 
of said Indians and who are immediately effected by said band of Indians.^ 
That said Pike is certain; that said forty heads of families, if not protected, 
will be compeled to leave their habitations, and homes from the actual in- 
jury that said Indians will commit on said Inhabitants. That said band of 
Indians consist as above stated of about three hundred warriors, & that the 
whole band is actuated by the same hostile feelings towords the white in- 
habitants, and that if not prevented by an armed force of men, will commit 
murders on said white inhabitants. That said Indians have said that they 
would fight for their country where they reside and would not permit the 
white people to occupy it at all. That said white Inhabitants are desireous 
to be protected, and that immediately so they may raise crops this Spring 
and summer. 

Benjamin. F. Pike 

Sworn and Subscribed before me this 26 May 1831 — John H Dennis ^ J.P. 

May 26, 1831 13 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. The body of the County, Iowa (then part of Wisconsin Territory), 

deposition is in the handwriting of Governor Rock Island County (1877), 134; Davenport and 

Reynolds. Scott County, Iowa (1910), I: 547-48, 549. 

Pike had come to Belleville from Rock River 1 See the enclosures in the Thomas-Stuart report 

with the settlers' petition of May 19. Dismissed by of Nov. 4, 1831, for the names and locations of 

PERRY ARMSTRONG, 152, as Joshua Vandruff's bar- these people. 

tender, Pike seems nevertheless to have been a - John Henry Dennis came to St. Clair County, 

man of some consequence in the settlement. Soon Illinois, from Virginia in 1818. He lived for a 

after his return he became captain of a volunteer time on a farm three miles south of Belleville but 

company known as the Rock River Rangers. In moved to that town in 1824 and for the next 

1832 he enrolled in Capt. John W. Kenney's thirty or so years was engaged in teaching. A 

ranger company, raised in the Rock River settle- graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, Dennis 

ment (his name does not appear on the com- was encouraged by Ninian Edwards to open a 

pany's official mustering-out roll). Pike became private school at Belleville. There he taught such 

the first sheriff of Rock Island County in 1833, advanced academic subjects as Greek, Hebrew, 

but no further record of his activities in the Latin, and higher mathematics. From 1859 to 

county has been found. In 1838 a Benjamin F. 1863 Dennis was superintendent of schools for St. 

Pike, very likely the same man, became a member Clair County. He died in 1869. St. Clair County 

of the first county commissioners' court of Scott (1877), 55, 110-11, 112. 

John Reynolds to William Clark 

Belleville 26th May 1831 
Genl. Clark Superintendent &cc. 

Sir In order to protect the Citizens of this State, who reside near Rock 
Island from Indian invasion, and depredation, I have considered it necessary 
to call out a force of the Militia of this State of about 700 strong, to remove 
a band of the Sock Indians, who reside now about Rock Island.^ The object 
of the Government of the State is to protect those citizens, by removing 
said Indians, peaceably, if they can: but forcibly, if they must. Those 
Indians are now, and so I have considered them, in a state of actual in- 
vasion of the State, 

As you act, as the general agent of the United States in relation to said 
Indians, I consider it my duty to inform you of the above call on the 
Militia, and that in, or about, 15 days, a sufficient force will appear before 
those Indians to remove them dead, or alive over to the west side of the 
Missisippi. But to save all this disagreeable business, perhaps, a request 
from you to them for them to remove to the west side of the river would 
effect the object of procuring peace to the citizens of the State. There is no 
disposition on the part of the people of this State to injure those unfortunate 
deluded savages, if they will let us alone. But a Government, that does not 
protect its citizens, deserves not the name of a Government. 

Please corrispond with me on this subject. 

Your obt. Servt. John Reynolds 

ALS— FC, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter Clark to Eaton, May 30: the third is in IHi: 

800. Four other contemporary copies of this letter Russell Family Papers (Box 1, Folder 15) ; and 

have been located. A letter book copy, also in the fourth, in KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 194-95. 

I-A, was published in Illinois Historical Collec- See Clark's reply of May 28. 

tions. IV: 165-66; the second, in DNA: RG 75, i Reynolds wrote in My Own Times (1879 ed., 

BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox, was enclosed in 208) : 


The Black Hawk War 

"This information [from the Rock River set- 
tlers] placed me in great responsibility. If I dia 
not act, and the inhabitants were murdered, after 
being informed of their situation, I would be con- 
demned 'from Dan to Bersheba;' and if I levied 
war, by raising troops, when there was no 
necessity for it, I would also be responsible. I had 
been just elected governor, and my friends had 
pledged myself, and themselves, that I would act 
rightly and honorably in all my official duties. 
This made me feel, if possible, more responsibility 
to friends than to myself. I passed a few weeks 
of intense feeling in relation to my duty. 

"Having before me a vast amount of informa- 
tion, all tending to establish the following facts: 
that about three hundred warriors, headed by a 
hostile war-chief. Black Hawk, were in possession 
with the citizens of the old Sac Village, near 
Rock Island; that the Indians were determined to 
retain possession of the country by force; and 
that they had already done mischief to the citi- 

zens. I knew, also, that the citizens had applied 
to the Indian agents, and the military officers of 
the United States, and had obtained no relief. I 
was well aware that, in this kind of a war, there 
was but one step between the sublime and the 
ridiculous, and that I was incurring a great re- 
sponsibility. On mature reflection, I considered it 
my duty to call on the volunteers to move the 
Indians to the west side of the Mississippi, ac- 
cording to the treaty made by the General Govern- 
ment with them. Accordingly, on the 26th of 
May, 1831, without any requisition from the 
United States, I made a call on the militia for 
seven hundred mounted men." 

Apparently the Governor was still sensitive 
about criticism he received for calling out the 
militia; see the source note. General Gaines's 
letter of June 20, for other comments on the 
Governor's action. 

Thomas P. Burnett to William Clark 

U.S. Indian Agency at Prairie du chien May 28th: 1831 
Genl. William Clark Superintendent of Indian Affairs at St: Louis: 

Sir; In my letter of the 18th. inst. I informed you that Col. Morgan had 
sent for the Sauks & Foxes to visit this Post. On the 21st. inst. about fifteen 
men of the Foxes of Desbuque's Mines/ arrived at the Village, and on the 
next day Col: M. held a council with them and the Sioux in that place. 
I presume, that whatever took place at the counsel, or was effected by the 
meeting of the Indians of any importance, will be communicated through 
the proper channel by Col. Morgan, who acted alone in the measure. The 
Sioux had been waiting the arrival of the Foxes for several days. The Foxes 
landed at the village on Saturday evening not later, I think, than four 
O'clock, and the council was opened next morning as, I am informed, at 
ten Oclock, yet I had no intimation of either the time or place of meeting, 
or that my presence was at all desired, though there was ample time for 
any communication that might have been thought necessary upon the sub- 
ject. Throughout the measure, there has been no consultation had, or co- 
operation sought for, with this Agency. The only communication upon the 
subject previous to the council and the departure of the Foxes, was the 
annunciation by Col. M. of the simple fact, that he had sent for the In- 
dians, of which I apprized you in my former letter. I suppose that if any 
thing has occurred in Col. M's intercourse with the Indians named, of suffi- 
cient importance to found a report upon, he will communicate the facts, 
and in that case it must appear that the measure was undertaken and 
carried through, without any connection or co-operation with any of the 

May 28, 1831 15 

Indian Department, which might tend, indirectly, to cast some censure upon 
this Agency. I have therefore given the above statement of facts, to show, 
that the entire absence of co-operation or connection with Col. M. in the 
late measures he has taken with the Sioux & Foxes, is not the result, on the 
part of this Agency, of any neglect of duty or inattention to our Indian 
relations at this post. 

The information that I have collected on the subject of the late meet- 
ing of the Sioux and Foxes is, substantially, this: About fteen Foxes from 
Desbuques mine's, all young men except one or two, came up and held a 
talk with the Sioux and Col. M. in which each Tribe expressed a desire to 
continue the peace which had been concluded between them last year. The 
Foxes denied any knowledge of a war-party having gone against the 
Sioux. They said that they wished to be at peace and would not commit 
any act of hostility against the Sioux, but they could not answer for those 
below — they spoke for themselves only. They smoked & danced together, 
and parted in apparent friendship and harmony 

Your letter of the 2d. inst. to Genl. Street, was reed, here since his de- 
parture and will be forwarded to him by his son.^ The Genl. left this with 
the expectation that the funds for this Agency would be transmitted to him 
directly, as he had been informed last fall would be the case. His son re- 
mained here until the next trip of the S. Boat Volant, (which is now gone 
to St. Peters,^) in order, that if the funds should arrive by that time, he 
might carry a portion of the money and the first quarter's returns with 
him to his father at Jacksonville, as Gen. Street wished to receive the 
funds, or some information as to the appropriation & allottment, before 
his returns should be made out or he should go on to St. Louis. I was in- 
formed by Maj. Taliaferro^ on his return to St. Peters that the funds for 
this Agency for the first half year, were now in St. Louis, since which time 
I have made out the returns and will send them by Mr. Street by the re- 
turn of the S.B. Volant (which is hourly expected) to the Genl. who will 
immediately proceed with them to St. Louis. 

There has been no other Indian news reed, here than that I have given 
you Should any thing of importance occur, it will be promptly communi- 

My compliments to your family; and also to Capt. Kennerly^ & Col. 

I am with great respect Your most obt. Servt. 
T. P. Burnett Sub-Agt. Ind. Affrs. and Acting Indian Agent 

ADfS, WHi: Thomas P. Burnett Papers. of Sept. 21, 1832, it was necessary to keep an 

1 So called after Julien Dubuque, French- army guard at the mines most of the time to 

Canadian trader who came to Prairie du Chien, prevent Illinois and Wisconsin lead-miners from 

Wisconsin, about 1783. In 1788 the Fox Indians movingr in. 

granted him exclusive mining privileges at their The Fox Indians had had a village on the 

lead mines west of the Mississippi near present Mississippi just south of the mouth of Catfish 

Dubuque, Iowa. After he died in 1810, the Indians Creek and a mile or two south of the present city 

steadfastly refused to allow any other white men of Dubuque since about 1780. See Hoffmann, 

to operate their mines. From 1830 until the final Antique Dubuque, passim. 

removal of the Indians under terms of the Treaty 2 Probably Thomas P. Street, the eldest of the 


The Black Hawk War 

Street children; the younger boys were away at 
school at this time; see Annals of Iowa, VII: 
123-25, 195, XVII: 116-18. 

3 The settlement, Indian agency, and army 
post — Fort Snelling — at the junction of the 
Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. At this time 
the Minnesota River was also called the St. 

The settlement, now Mendota, Minnesota, was 
the first permanent white community in that 
state. Fort Snelling was named for Col. Josiah 
Snelling, who started construction of the post in 
1820 and was for many years its commanding 
officer. The fort was located across the Minnesota 
from Mendota and on the bluffs overlooking both 
rivers. HANSEN, Old Fort Snelling, 206-7; WPA 
Guide to Minnesota, 47, 372-74. 

4 Lawrence Taliaferro (1794-1871) was born 
in King George County, Virginia, into an aristo- 
cratic family of Italian extraction. He entered 
the army during the War of 1812 and was re- 
tained until 1819, when he was appointed Indian 
agent at St. Peter's. He held this position until 
his retirement late in 1839, after which time he 
lived principally in Bedford, Pennsylvania. In 
1857 he reentered the army as a military store- 
keeper in the quartermaster department and 
served until 1863. DAB; heitman; lyman, John 
Marsh. 58, 347, n. 10. 

5 George Hancock Kennerly (1790-1867). a 
native of Fincastle, Virginia, and a veteran of 

the War of 1812, became a prominent figure in 
the early commercial and social life of St. Louis. 
A pioneer merchant of that city, he had been in 
partnership with his brother James from 1817 
until about 1822, and, according to James's son, 
William Clark Kennerly, the two men were still 
in partnership as sutlers to Jefferson Barracks 
at this time; James, however, did not live on the 
post. George Kennerly's wife was a daughter of 
Illinois' first lieutenant governor, Pierre Menard, 
and his sister Harriet was the second wife of 
William Clark, kennerly. Persimmon Hill, 32, 
34, 81, 91; Missouri Historical Society Collections, 
VI: 48, 49, 108-9; Kansas Historical Quarterly, 
XVI: 28, 161, 164; Army Register 1815-37, 425; 
SCANLAN, Prairie du Chien, 236, n. 8. 

6 John Ruland came to St. Louis in 1816 and 
except for a period of a few years was employed 
after his arrival in the office of Superintendent 
of Indian Affairs William Clark. At this time he 
held appointments both as subagent and inter- 

Ruland was born and reared in Michigan near 
Detroit. He served with the Michigan Territory 
Militia in the War of 1812, in which his wife 
and children were killed. Wisconsin Historical 
Collections, III: 323, XIV: 401; Michigan His- 
torical Collections, VIII: 654, XV: 306; U.S. 
Register 1831, 96. See his letter to McArthur, 
Aug. 14, 1832. 

William Clark to Edmund P. Gaines 

(Copy) Superintenciency of Ind: Affairs St. Louis May 28, 1831. 

Sir, I have the honor to enclose to you a copy of a letter of 26th inst: 
just received from the Governor of Illinois,^ by which you will perceive 
he has thought it necessary to call out a force of about seven hundred 
militia for the protection of the citizens of that State, who reside near 
Rock River, & for the purpose of removing a Band of Sacs which he states 
are now about Rock Island. 

As the Commanding General of this Division of the Army, I have 
thought it my duty to communicate to you the above information; and for 
the purpose of putting you in possession of the views of the Government 
in relation to this subject, as well as to inform you of the means which 
have been heretofore employed for the removal of the Sacs now complained 
of, I enclose to you herewith, copies of my correspondence with the War 
Department, and with the Agent for those Tribes ; — also extracts from such 
of their Reports as had immediate relation to the subject ^ 

The Sacs & Foxes have been counselled with on the subject of their re- 
moval from the Lands which they had ceded to the U. States; — the pros- 
pect of collisions with the white settlers who were then purchasing those 

May S8, 1831 17 

lands, and the interminable difficulties in which they would be involved 
thereby, were pointed out, and had the effect of convincing a large ma- 
jority of both Tribes of the impropriety of remaining at their old villages; 
they therefore acquiesced in the justice of the claim of the U. States and 
expressed their willingness to comply with my request to remove to their 
new village on the loway river,^ west of the Mississippi, — all but parts of 
two Bands, headed by two inconsiderable chiefs,* who after abandoning 
their old village have, it appears returned again, in defiance of all conse- 

Those Bands are distinguished and known by the name of "The British 
party," having been for many years in the habit of making annual visits 
at Maiden in U. Canada,^ for the purpose of receiving their presents, and 
it is believed to be owing in a great measure to the counsels they have 
there received, that so little influence has been acquired over them by the 
U. States Agents.*' 

In justice to Keocuck,'^ Wapalow,^ the Stabbing Chief,^ and indeed all 
the other real chiefs & principal men of both Tribes, it should be observed 
that they have constantly and zealously cooperated with the Govt. Agents 
in furtherance of its views, and in their endeavors to effect the removal 
of all their people from the ceded Lands. 

Any information in my possession, which you may deem necessary in 
relation to this subject, will be promptly afforded. 

With high respect I have the honor to be Yr most obt. Servt. 
(Signed) Wm. Clark 

Major General Edmund P. Gaines, comdg Western Department U. States 

P.S. The Agent for the Sacs & Foxes (Mr. St. Vrain) has reed, his in- 
structions and will perform any services you may require of him with the 
Sacs & Foxes. 

CO, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. was exonerated. He died of cholera at New Or- 

Enclosed in: Clark to Eaton, May 30. leans. DAB; Army Register 1815-37, 212; 

Edmund Pendleton Gaines (1777-1849), a McCALL, Letters from the Frontiers, 223-24, 249. 

native Virginian, was commanding officer of the 1 See Reynolds to Clark, May 26. 

Western Department, U.S. Army, at this time. 2 The enclosures in the original have not been 

Gaines entered the army in 1797 and after several identified. Presumably they included many, or 

years' service was granted an "extended leave." all, of the copies also enclosed in Clark to the 

He practiced law for a short time in Mississippi Secretary of War, Aug. 12. 

Territory but returned to active army duty at 3 The new Sauk Village on the Iowa River was 

the outbreak of the War of 1812. He was seri- more commonly called Keokuk's village. It was 

ously wounded in the defense of Fort Erie, but located about twelve miles above the river's mouth 

his action there resulted in his promotion to on the right (south-southeast) bank in present 

brigadier general with a major general's brevet. Louisa County, Iowa ( Wisconsin Historical CoU 

Gaines served under Andrew Jackson in the lections, XV: 116; loiva Journal of History and 

campaign against the Creek and Seminole Indians Politics, XXXVI: 277). The principal part of 

and was placed in charge of the Western Depart- the Sauk tribe lived there after the winter hunt 

ment in 1821. In the Seminole campaign of 1835 of 1828-1829 and did not return to Rock River, 

the long-standing bitter enmity between Gaines The same spring the Fox Indians under Wapello 

and Winfield Scott came into the open, resulting established a new village west of the Mississippi 

in a court of inquiry. In the Mexican War, Gaines at the "Grand Mascoteen" or the Muscatine 

was court-martialed for exceeding orders, but Slough (Forsyth to Clark, May 17, 1829, in DNA: 


The Black Hawk War 

BG 75, BIA, L Reed., St. Louis; fulton, 252). 

4 In his letter of May 28 to Clark, Agent Felix 
St. Vrain names Black Thunder, usually called 
Bad Thunder, as the principal chief of the 
Indians then at Rock Island. Black Hawk, though 
the nominal leader, was not a chief. Quashquame, 
a minor Sauk chief, was also allied with this 
band, but he had long since lost his authority in 
tribal councils. He may, however, have been the 
other chief Clark had in mind. 

Two other leaders of this band, both called 
chiefs, loway and Namoett, died in the early part 
of 1831 en route home from Texas, and Bad 
Thunder died later in the summer. By the spring 
of 1832 Napope had become the principal chief, 
but both Quashquame and Wabokieshiek, in re- 
ferring to the deaths of the head chiefs of the 
band, said that those who were left were too 
young to command a village. See the Sept. 5 Fort 
Armstrong council proceedings and St. Vrain to 
Clark, April 6, 1832. 

5 Maiden, Upper Canada, now Amherstburg. 
Ontario, just above the mouth of the Detroit 
River, was the site of a British Indian agency. 
Jour. ISHS. XXIX: 126-33. 

6 For a more detailed discussion of the British 
party, see n. 5, Citizens of Rock River to Rey- 
nolds, April 30. 

7 Keokuk was the principal war chief of the 
Sauk. In this position, attained by virtue of 
ability, he represented the tribal council as a 
spokesman. In the case of an authorized tribal 
war, he might also function as leader of the war 
party. Actually his influence was much greater 
than the title indicates, and for all practical 
purposes he was the principal man in the Sauk 
nation at this time. Partly in recognition of this 
fact and partly as a reward for his fidelity to the 
U.S. throughout the BHW, the treaty commis- 
sioners — Governor John Reynolds and Gen. Win- 
field Scott — appointed Keokuk a chief at the 
end of the war (Scott and Reynolds to Clark, 
Sept. 22, 1832). 

Keokuk was born ca. 1783 at the Rock River 
village and died in 1848 on the Sauk and Fox 
reservation in Kansas. His mother was part 
French, and a daughter of Keokuk's is said to 
have been the Indian wife of John W. Johnson, 
a prominent St. Louis trader. 

According to black hawk, 81, Keokuk was 
appointed war chief during the War of 1812; by 
the mid-1820's he had become the undisputed 
leader of the tribe; see Forsyth to Clark, June 20, 
1828, enclosed in Clark to Cass, Aug. 12, 1831, in 
DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., St. Louis. He was a 
signator of all the treaties negotiated with the 
Sauk and Fox of the Mississippi between 1824 
and the time of his death. 

Keokuk maintained his position as head of 
the tribe until his death — a further tribute to 
his mental agility in negotiations, for he was 
bitterly opposed at variovis times by factions in 

the tribe who resented both his handling of the 
tribal annuities and his elevation over the tradi- 
tional hereditary chiefs to the highest position in 
the tribal councils. At the time of the tribe's re- 
moval from Iowa in 1845, Governor John Cham- 
bers reported Keokuk's complete cooperation and 
added, "What a noble Indian that would be, but 
for his intemperate habits" (29th Cong., 1st 
Sess., S. Doc. 1, 481). 

See FULTON, 231-47; Mckenney and hall, II: 
114-49; Annals of Iowa, X: 455; Missouri His- 
torical Revieiv, XXXVII: 154-55, 159-61; green, 
Earhj Days in Kansas, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12; hodge; 
kappler, II: passim. 

8 Wapello (ca. 1787-1842), principal chief of 
the Fox tribe, was born at Prairie du Chien. For 
many years he was the head of the Fox village 
immediately opposite Fort Armstrong on the 
mainland of the Rock River Peninsula, but in 
1829 he established a village at the Muscatine 
Slough. Later he moved to the Iowa River near 
the present town of Wapello, Louisa County, and 
thence to a village on the Des Moines River. 

Wapello remained loyal to the U.S. during the 
BHW and later became a firm friend of agent 
Joseph M. Street's. His grave is beside Street's at 
Agency City, Iowa, fulton, 252-57; McKenney 
AND HALL, II: 99-104. 

The name Wapello is derived from Wapana, or 
He of the Morning, according to William Jones, 
but is more commonly given as Prince or He 
Who Is Painted White; mcKenney and hall, 

See Rev. Cutting Marsh's description of Wa- 
pello's village — which in 1834 was on the Iowa 
River, about twenty-two miles above the river's 
mouth and ten miles above Keokuk's village — 
in Wisconsin Historical Collections, XV: 118. On 
the village in Illinois opposite Fort Armstrong, 
see Missouri Historical Society Collections, III: 
124; Minnesota Historical Collections, II: 69; 
and Wisconsin Historical Collections, XI: 349. 
On the Des Moines River village, see Annals of 
loiua, XV: 274-75. 

9 Or Pashipaho, principal chief of all the Sauk 
tribe at this time; see Pileher to Atkinson, Aug. 
6, 1832. Most secondary VTriters have incorrectly 
assumed that the 1831 chief signed the Treaty of 
1804 as "Pashepaho" or "giger" (kappler, II: 
76), but the only surviving signator was Quash- 
quame. (See Davenport to Duncan, Feb. 11, 1832; 
Forsyth to Qark, May 17, 1829, in DNA: RG 75, 
BIA, L Reed., St. Louis; and spencer, 46.) 

This man was probably the Pashipaho who 
signed the 1824 treaty in Washington and whose 
portrait was painted at that time by Charles 
Bird King. He was still alive in 1834, when 
George Catlin painted his portrait and described 
him as "a very old man . . . [long] the head 
civil chief of this tribe; but, as is generally the 
case in very old age, he has resigned the office to 
those who are younger and better qualified to do 

May 28, 1831 


the duties of it." CATun, Letters and Notes 
(1841), II: 211 and Plate 289, and Mckenney 
AND HALL, I: 194-95. 

Death accounts for two men by this name 
have been located. One died between Sept. 1, 
1844, and Sept. 1, 1845, near the Raccoon River 
Agency of the Sauk and Fox; see John Beach 
to John Chambers, Sept. 1, 1845, in 29th Cong., 
1st Sess., S. Doc. 1. 483-86. Of his death. Gover- 
nor John Chambers wrote, "Keokuk will feel re- 
lieved by his departure . . . [for he was] a rest- 
less, turbulent fellow and possessed of a good deal 
of influence" {Iowa Journal of History and 
Politics, XIX: 249). At this time the tribe was 
rent with dissension and Keokuk's influence had 
waned somewhat, but it seems unlikely that the 
Pashipaho described as "very old" and inactive in 
1834 could have been a "restless, turbulent fellow" 
ten years later. The man who died in 1844 or 1845 
was probably the man called Chakeepashipaho, or 
the Little Stabbing Chief, in 1831; he was one of 
the leaders of Black Hawk's band in 1832. 

The second death report of a Pashipaho was 
given in a reminiscence by George Hunt, pub- 
lished in ihid., XI: 517-45. Hunt's narrative is 
not dated but was probably written after 1840 
(see pp. 524, 539). He describes a plot of 
Pashipaho's and Black Hawk's to destroy Fort 
Madison in 1809 and concludes his account of 
that episode with a statement that Pashipaho's 
death "occurred a short time since in crossing a 
river when drunk. He fell out of his canoe and 
was drowned." This drowning victim was proba- 
bly either the 1831 "friendly chief" who did not 
die until after 1834 when Cutting Marsh visited 
him (Wisconsin Historical Collections, XV: 114, 
118) or Chakeepashipaho, since it seems likely 

that the signer of the 1804 treaty died before 

There are two reasons for assuming that the 
signer of the 1804 treaty died before 1820. First, 
the name Pashipaho does not appear on the 
1815 Sauk of Missouri treaty or on the 1816 
Sauk of Rock River treaty (kappler, II: 121, 
128). Second, in 1820 Maj. Morrill Marston 
named the three principal Sauk chiefs, in order 
of rank, as Nan-nah-que, Mus-ke-ta-bah (Red 
Head), and Mas-co; see blaib, II: 155. 

By 1821, however, the four Sauk chiefs signing 
a letter to the President are listed in order as 
follows: Pecha paho, or Stabber; Nanaqui; 
Masco; and Weah dey, or Two Hearts (S-F Ex. 
88, Docket 158, ICC). 

A chief named Pashipaho signed the 1822 and 
1824 treaties (kappler, II: 203, 208), and a 
"Na-o-tuck or stabbing chief" signed the 1825 
treaty at Prairie du Chien. He refused to attend 
the 1830 negotiations (ihid., 308; April 13, 1832, 
Fort Armstrong council proceedings). 

Both in 1823 and 1829 agent Thomas Forsyth 
referred to Pashipaho as one of the principal 
Sauk men, usually mentioning his name first 
when naming tribal leaders; see his letter of 
April 3, 1823, to Clark (WHi: Draper MSS, 4T 
159-61— S-F Ex. 201, Docket 158, ICC) and of 
Feb. 23, 1829, to Antoine LeClaire in Annals of 
loiva, XXIII: 90. In 1828, however, Forsyth said 
that Musketabah (or Mushquetaypay, the Red 
Head) was the head Sauk chief; see Forsyth to 
Clark, May 24, 1828 (CC in I-A: Gov. Corr. 
1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 792). It seems Ukely either 
that Forsyth was in error or that for some rea- 
son Pashipaho was temporarily retired or in- 
capacitated in 1828. 

William Clark to John Reynolds 

Superintendency of Indian Affairs St. Louis May 28, 1831. 

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 26th 
inst: informing me of your having considered it necessary to call out a 
force of Militia of about seven hundred for the protection of the citizens 
of Illinois who reside near Rock Island, from Indian invasion, and for the 
purpose of removing a Band of Sac Indians who are now about Rock 
Island &c. 

You intimate that to prevent the necessity of employing this force per- 
haps a request from me to those Indians to remove to the west side of the 
Mississippi, would effect the object of procuring peace to the citizens of 
your State. In answer to which I would beg leave to observe, that every 
effort on my part has been made to effect the removal from Illinois of all 
the Tribes who have ceded their Lands. 

20 The Black Hawk War 

For the purpose of affording you a view of what has been done (in part) 
in relation thereto, I enclose you herewith, Extracts from the Reports of 
the Agent for the Sac & Fox Tribes,^ by which it will be seen that every 
mean short of actual force, has been employed to effect their removal 

I have communicated the contents of your letter to Genl Gaines who 
commands the Western Division of the Army and has full power to exe- 
cute any military movement deemed necessary for the protection of the 
Frontier. I shall also furnish him with such information regarding the Sacs 
& Foxes as I am possessed of, and would beg leave to refer you to him for 
any further proceedings in relation to this subject 

I have the honor to be With high respect Your Most obt Servt. 
Wm. Clark 

His Excelly John Reynolds Governor of the State of Illinois. 

LS, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2. letter 801; 1809-31, Vol. 2. and also in the handwriting of 

in the handwriting of John Ruland. Addressed: John Ruland, were the probable enclosures: For- 

"His Excellency John Reynolds Governor of the syth to Clark, May 22, 1829, letter 796; Forsyth 

State of Illinois Belleville." to Clark, Oct. 1, 1829, April 28, 1830, April 30, 

A second copy (from I-A: Gov. LB 1828-34) 1830, and May 25, 1830 — on one document num- 

was published in Illinois Historical Collections, bered 798; Clark to Forsyth, July 4, 1829, letter 

IV: 166-67, and a third copy (in DNA: RG 75, 797; St. Vrain to Clark, Oct. 8. 1830, letter 799; 

BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox) was enclosed in St. Vrain to Clark, May 15 and 28, 1831, both 

Clark to Eaton, May 30. numbered 801. Only St. Vrain's 1831 letters are 

1 The following letters, in I-A: Gov. Corr. printed in this volume. 

John Reynolds to Edmund P. Gaines 

Belleville 28th. May 1831 
General Gaines 

Sir I have received undoubted information ; that the section of this State 
near Rock Island is actually invaded by a hostile band of the Sack Indians, 
headed by the Black Hawk. And in order to repel said invasion, and to 
protect the citizens of the State, I have, under the provisions of the consti- 
tutions of the United States, and the laws of this State, called on the militia 
to the number of seven hundred men, who will be mounted, and ready for 
service in a very short time. 

I consider it my duty to lay before you the above information, so you, 
commanding the military forces of the United States in this part of the 
Union, may adopt such measures in regard to said Indians, as you deem 

The above mounted volunteers (because such they will be) will be in 
readiness immediately to move against said Indians. And I as the Execu- 
tive of the State of Illinois respectfully solicit your co-operation in this 

Please honor me with an answer to this letter. 

With Sincere respect for your Character I am your obt. Servt. 
John Reynolds 

May 28, 1831 21 

ALS — FC, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2. Collections, IV: 167; a third copy (also an ALS) 
letter 802. A second copy, from I-A: Gov. LB is in IHi: Russell Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 
1828-34, was published in Illinois Historical 15. 

Felix St. Vrain to William Clark 

(Copy) Saint Louis May 28th. 1831. 

Genl. Wm. Clark Supt Ind. Affairs St. Louis. 

Respected Sir, Since my last of the 15th inst: on the subject of the band 
of Sac Indians occupying the Indian Village on Rock River, near Rock 
Island, I have heard from the Indians and some of the Whites, that a house 
had been unroofed instead of pulled down and burned, and that the fence 
had caught fire by accident as regards the destroying the wheat &c. the 
Indians says that a white man hauled some timber through a field and left 
the fence down, by which means their horses got into the field; this how- 
ever has been contradicted by the White Inhabitants of that place. They 
say that the Indians are constantly troubling them by letting their horses 
into their fields and killing their hogs &c. &c. 

This I am confident, is occasioned in a great measure by whiskey being 
given to the Indians in exchange for their Guns, Traps &c. I had a talk 
with the principal Chief and Braves of that Band of Indians; the Chief 
I spoke to is the Black Thunder,^ who is the principal of that band, the 
Black Hawk is only a Brave, but has considerable influence with them; I 
told them that they had sold those Lands to the Government of the United 
States, and that they ought to remove to their own Lands. They then said 
that they had only sold the Lands south of Rock River; I then pro- 
duced the Treaties and explained to them that they had relinquished their 
right as far as the Ouisconsin. (Quashquawmee) the Jumping (Fish)- then 
said that he had only consented to the limits being Rock River, but that 
a Fox Chief agreed (as he understood afterward) for the Ouisconsin, that 
he Quashquawmee had been deceived and that he did not intend it to be 
so: I had considerable talk with them on this subject and could discover 
nothing hostile in their disposition, unless their decided conviction of their 
Right to the place could be construed as such. 

I have been informed that a white man and his family had gone to an 
Indian Village on the borders of Rock River to establish a ferry ^ and that 
the Indians at that place (which was about forty miles from Rock Island) 
had driven them away, at the same time saying to them that they would 
not hurt them, but they should not live there: This village is occupied by 
a Mixture of Winnebago, Sac and Fox Band, and headed by the Proffet 
as Chief 

I have the honor, to be Your Obed't Serv't Felix St. Vrain Indn. Agent. 

CC, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 801; Sac and Fox) was enclosed in Clark to Eaton, 

in the handwriting of John Ruland. This letter May 30. A third copy (in DNA: RG 75, BIA, L 

was probably enclosed in Clark to Reynolds, May Reed., St. Louis) was enclosed in Clark to Cass, 
28. Another copy (in DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., 


The Black Hawk War 

Aug. 12, and two other copies are in KHi: 
Clark Papers. VI: 190-91, 259. 

1 This man's name is xisually given as Bad 
Thunder. Black Thunder was a Fox Indian pro- 
minent about 1815-1819 (kappler, II: 122; 
Wisconsin Historical Collections, VI: 191, 280, 
IX: 207, X: 220-21). Bad Thunder, the chief of 
Black Hawk's band, died in the summer of 1831 
(St. Vrain to Clark, April 6, 1832) ; little is 
known of his activities prior to this time, al- 
though he had long been one of the so-called 
British party. As early as 1828 there were rumors 
that the Sauk tribe under the chief Bad Thunder 
and a brave named Iowa were planning war 
against the U.S., but the responsible leaders of 
the tribe assured their agent that those rumors 
were falsehoods. Forsyth to Clark, June 16, 1828, 
in WHi: Draper MSS 6T 86-87, quoted in WAL- 
LACE, 28-29. 

2 Quashquame was a minor Sauk chief and the 
only living signator of the Treaty of Nov. 3, 
1804, by which Sauk and Fox lands east of the 
Mississippi were ceded to the U.S. The cession 
also included Missouri and Wisconsin lands (see 
Davenport to Duncan, Feb. 11, 1832; Forsyth to 
Clark, May 17, 1829. in DNA: RG 75, BIA. L 
Reed., St. Louis; and spencer. 46). 

At one time Quashquame's village was at the 
site of Nauvoo, Illinois (fulton, 274; Peoria 
County [1880], 125). but by 1829 he had moved 
across the Mississippi to the site of Montrose, 
Iowa, where Caleb Atwater visited him in July 
of that year; see atwater, 60-61, and Annals of 
Iowa, X: 249. Atwater estimated that the village 
contained only forty or fifty persons. He thought 
Quashquame was about sixty-five years of age 
or older. Quashquame's "son-in-law, one of the 
principal civil chiefs of the Foxes was not at 
home." The son-in-law, now identified as Taimah. 
came to the Prairie du Chien treaty grounds with 

Keokuk and Quashquame. Quashquame had once 
been a chief, "but being cheated out of the 
mineral country, as the Indians allege [i.e., by 
the 1804 treaty], he was degraded from his rank 
and his son-in-law Taimah elected in his stead." 
atwater, 61. 70, 74. 

Atwater calls Quashquame a Fox. but he was 
a Sauk and is so identified in numerous docu- 
ments in the BHW Collection, as well as on two 
treaties he signed — those of 1815 and 1825; see 
kappler. II: 121. 255. Taimah. on the other hand, 
was a Fox chief, although in 1832 his village 
consisted of people from both tribes; see Pilcher 
to Atkinson, Aug. 6, 1832, and nn. there. 

Both Quashquame and Taimah remained loyal 
to the U.S. in the "War of 1812; see atwater. 
60-61, and Taimah's references to his war service 
in his letter of July 22, 1832, to William Clark. 

J. B. Patterson (see his edition of Life of 
Black Hawk [1882], 192) reported that Taimah's 
village was located on South Henderson Creek 
below Oquawka until 1829, when he moved across 
the Mississippi to the Flint Hill, site of Burling- 
ton, Iowa. Patterson's statement would indicate 
that Atwater was mistaken in his belief that 
Taimah lived at Quashquame's village in 1829. 

The date of Quashquame's death is not known. 
He attended the Sept. 5. 1831, council at Rock 
Island, and George Davenport wrote as if he 
was still living in Feb.. 1832. Since his name does 
not appear in any of the available 1832 BHW 
documents, it seems likely that he died in late 
winter or early spring of 1832; prior to that 
time he attended, and usually spoke at, the 
councils with the Sauk and Fox. 

3 On the attempts of Hirah Saunders and 
Ammyson Chapman to establish a ferry just 
above present Prophetstown, see their deposition 
of May 11. 

Edmund P. Gaines to John Reynolds 

Hd. Qrs. Western Department/ 29 May 1831 
His Excellency Governor Reynolds 

Sir — I do myself the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of yesterdays date, advising me of your having received undoubted infor- 
mation that the section of the frontier of your state near Rock Island, is 
invaded by a hostile band of Sauk Indians, headed by the chief called the 
Black Hawk; that in order to repel said invasion, and protect the citizens 
of the state, you have called on the Militia to the number of seven hun- 
dred mounted men to be in readiness immediately to move against the 
Indians; and you solicit my cooperation. 

In reply, it is my duty to state to you, that I have ordered six companies 

May 29, 1831 


of the Regular troops stationed at Jefferson Barracks,^ to embark tomorrow 
morning, and repair forthwith to the spot occupied by the hostile Sauks; 
to this detachment I shall if necessary add four companies from Prairie 
du Chien,^ making a total of ten companies; with this force I am satisfied 
that I shall be able to repel the invasion, and give security to the frontier 
inhabitants of the state. But should the hostile bands be sustained by the 
residue of the Sauk, Fox, or other Indians, to an extent requiring an aug- 
mentation of my force, I will in that event communicate with your Ex- 
cellency by Express, and avail myself of the cooperation which you have 
proposed.^ But under existing circumstances, and the present aspect of our 
Indian relations on the Rock Island section of the frontier, I do not deem 
it necessary or proper to require militia, or any description of force, other 
than that of the Regular Army at this place and Prarie du Chein. 
I have the honor to be very respectfully Your obd Servt 
Edmund P. Gaines, Major General by Bt Commanding. 

ALS, Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 803. 
Addressed: "To His Excellency Governor Reyn- 
olds Bellville Illinois Mail." Postmarked: "St 
Louis Mo. May 30 on public service Maj: Genl. 
Gaines 6." 

Another copy of this letter, from I-A: Gov. LB 
1828-34, was published in Illinois Historical Col- 
lections, IV: 168. 

1 Headquarters followed the commanding gen- 
eral, and Gaines at this time was at Jefferson 
Barraclcs, Missouri, ten miles below St. Louis. 

The site of the post was selected by Gen. Henry 
Atkinson, and in the summer of 1826 the first 
troops went into camp there. They erected tem- 
porary log buildings, which were given the name 
"Jefferson Barracks" in Oct. Construction of the 
permanent stone buildings was begun in 1827 
under the supervision of General Atkinson. Ed- 
mund Flagg, who visited the post in the 1830's, 
described it as follows (from thwaites, ed. Early 
Western Travels, XXI: 175-76) : 

"The buildings, constructed of stone, are ro- 
mantically situated on a bold bluff, the base of 
which is swept by the Mississippi. . . . Three 
sides of the quadrangle of the parade are bounded 
by the lines of galleried barracks, with fine build- 
ings at the extremities for the residence of the 
officers; while the fourth opens upon a noble ter- 
race overlooking the river. The commissary's 
house, the magazines, and extensive stables, lie 
without the parallelogram, beneath the lofty trees. 
... In the rear of the garrison rises a grove of 
forest-trees, consisting of heavy oaks, with broad 
spreading branches, and a green, smooth sward 
beneath. ... A neat burial-ground is located in 
this wood. . . . There is another cemetery on the 
southern outskirts of the Barracks, where are the 
tombs of several officers of the army." 

Jefferson Barracks was continuously occupied 
until 1946, when it ceased to function as an active 

military post. Missouri Historical Society Collec- 
tions, III: 105n, 198-99; Missouri Historical 
Society Bulletin, II: 54-55. 

2 On the companies from Jefferson Barracks 
that joined Gaines, see Clark to Eaton, June 29; 
June 20 letter from Rushville, source note. In ad- 
dition, six companies of the 1st Infantry, from 
Fort Crawford and Fort Winnebago (A, B, G, K, 
and "the efficient men" of D and F) left Prairie 
du Chien for Rock Island on June 27 (monroe 
AND Mcintosh, eds., Jefferson Davis Papers, I: 

3 The army post at Prairie du Chien was Fort 
Crawford, garrisoned by 1st Infantry companies 
under the command of Col. Willoughby Morgan. 
On the movement of these troops to Rock Island, 
see Gaines to Jones, June 14-15, and Burnett to 
Clark, June 29. 

The first American military establishment at 
Prairie du Chien was Fort Shelby, started by 
William Clark in the summer of 1814. It was soon 
captured by the British, who retained possession 
until the close of the War of 1812. Before evacu- 
ating the post, the British burned the buildings 
of the original fort, but in 1816 American forces 
rebuilt on the same site, naming their post Fort 
Crawford. It was located on present St. Friole 
Island, the oldest part of the village of Prairie 
du Chien. Villa Louis, the reconstructed home 
of H. L. Dousman, now occupies the site. 

By the late 1820's the buildings were falling 
into disrepair and the island was frequently in- 
undated. A new fort was therefore authorized, 
and construction was begun in 1829. It was 
located about a mile southeast of Old Fort Craw- 
ford on the bank of the Mississippi on land now 
occupied by St. Mary's College at Beaumont Road 
and Dunn Street. 

Regular Army forces left the fort in 1856, 
though it was used temporarily during the Civil 
War. WPA Guide to Wisconsin, 441-43: scanlan, 

24 The Black Hawk War 

Prairie du Chien, Chs. VIII and IX; mahan, teers on June 5; see his letter to the Governor of 
Old Fort Cratvford, passim. that date. 

4 Gaines called for the Illinois mounted volun- 

William Clark to John H. Eaton 

Superintendency of Ind: Affairs, St. Louis May 30, 1831. 

Sir, On the 28th. inst: I had the honor of receiving a letter from the 
Governor of Illinois, dated the 26th, informing me of the measures which 
he had considered it necessary to pursue, for the protection of the citizens 
of his State from Indian invasion, and for the purpose of removing a Band 
of Sacs then about Rock Island. A copy of his letter and my answer is 
herewith enclosed. 

Deeming the information reed from the Governor of Illinois important, 
I immediately communicated it to Genl. Gaines who happened to be in this 
place at the time; and shortly after was called upon by Govr. Reynolds 
himself, to whom I gave such information respecting the Sacs complained 
of, as had come to my knowledge, and also furnished him with such of the 
Reports of the Agent for those Tribes as had relation to the subject. To the 
Commanding General I furnished similar information, and also for the 
purpose of possessing him of the views of the Government on that subject; 
I gave him copies of such of my correspondence with the War Department 
as had any relation thereto. 

I also enclose to you copies of two Reports of the Agent for the Sacs & 
Foxes of the 15th & 28th inst: — By the first it will be seen that the Band 
complained of is determined to keep possession of their old village; and it 
is probably from a knowledge of the disposition evinced in this matter by 
the Sacs, and for the purpose of dispossing^ them, that the Commanding 
General has thought proper to make a display in that quarter of a part 
of the force under his command, six companies of which are now leaving 
this place for Rock River. 

This expedition (be the result what it may) cannot fail producing good 
effects, even should the Indians be disposed to remove peaceably to their 
own Lands; and if not, their opposition should in my opinion be put down 
at once. 

I have the honor to be With high respect Yr most obt. Servt. Wm Clark 

The Hon: John H. Eaton Secretary of War, 

LS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. University of North Carolina and studied law 

Addressed: "Honble. Secretary of War." En- before migrating: to Tennessee in 1808 or 1809. 

dorsed: "Indian Office June 13, 1831." Enclosures: He served for a short time as a soldier in the 

Reynolds to Clark, May 26; Clark to Reynolds, War of 1812 and was a state representative. 

May 28; St. Vrain to Clark, May 15 and 28. A 1815-1816. As a result of his marriage to Myra 

copy is in KHi: Clark Papers, IV: 222-24. Lewis, a ward of Jackson's, he became a favorite 

John Heny Eaton (1790-1856), first secretary of the President's and in 1817 published a biog- 

of war in President Andrew Jackson's Cabinet, raphy of Jackson. Eaton was appointed to fill 

was born in North Carolina. He attended the an unexpired term in the U.S. Senate in 1818 and 

May 30, 1831 25 

the following year further ingratiated himself Jackson appointed him governor of Florida in 

with Jackson by defending him before the Senat* 1834, and two years later he became minister to 

committee that investigated the Seminole affair. Spain. On his return to the United States he 

In 1821 the state legislature elected Eaton to the alienated Jackson and ended his own political 

Senate seat he had held temporarily, and he career by his opposition to Martin Van Buren. 

served there until 1829, when he became secretary DAB; Biographical Directory of the American 

of war. He resigned in 1831, partly over the Congress, 177i-1961. 

furore cavised by the failure of Washington l The clerk omitted a syllable from this word, 
society to accept his second wife, Peggy O'Neill. 

Edmund P. Gaines to Roger Jones 

Hd. Qrs. Western Department 30 May 1831 

Sir I have the honor to report for the information of the proper authori- 
ties that the Sauk Indians, settled near Rock Island on the Illinois side of 
the Mississippi River, called the "British Band of Sauks" headed by the 
Black Hawk, and for some years past extremely restless and insolent ; have 
recently become disorderly; and as I learn from the Governor of the State 
of Illinois, have assumed the attitude of open hostility, and as he conceives, 
have actually invaded that border of the state — whereupon he has ordered 
seven hundred mounted militia to be in readiness immediately to march 
against those Indians. See the enclosed copy of Governor Reynolds' letter 
marked A. 

I yesterday had a conference with the Governor, which resulted in an 
understanding that I should make an effort to repel the supposed invasion, 
and to remove the offenders to their nation on the right Bank of the Mis- 
sissippi; and that in the mean time the mounted militia are not to be 
called out. But should I find the hostile Band sustained by any consider- 
able number of the neighboring Indians in that quarter, I am in this event 
to communicate with the Governor by express, and to avail myself of the 
assistance and cooperation which he has offered. I enclose herewith a copy 
of my letter to the Governor marked B. 

My present purpose is to embark this day on board a Steam Boat with 
six companies of the 3d. and 6t. Regiments Infantry, with two light six 
prs, a supply of muskets & 100 Halls patent Rifles, with one hundred 
Rounds fixed ammunition (Buck shot & Ball, and grape & Cannister) for 
each arm — with one months supply of Hard Bread & fifteen days supply 
of salted pork — together with a moderate supply of Camp equippage suited 
to the present mild season, and to an active temporary movement. Should 
I find the Indians in a state of actual hostility, as reported, I shall use 
force, & if necessary strengthen myself by calling down from Prairie du 
Chien four or five companies of the first Regiment Infantry. I trust how- 
ever that they may not have commenced actual hostilities. In this case I 
shall urge them to cross the mississippi to their proper position, belonging 
to their nation. In any event I shall endeavour to do the best that can be 
done with the Regular troops, until I am honored with the views of the 


The Black Hawk War 

President of the United States upon the subject. I expect to obtain from 
Governor Reynolds and General Clark some documents in relation to this 
matter, when I will write & communicate to you, whatever may seem 
worthy of notice. 

Very Respectfully I have the honor to be 
Edmund P. Gaines Major Genl. by Bt. Cmg 

The Adjutant General U.S. Army Washington City. 

ALS, DNA: RG 94, AGO (Frames 20-23, Roll 61, 
M567). Enclosures: copies of Reynolds to Gaines, 
May 28; and Gaines to Reynolds, May 29. The 
May 30 letter, with its enclosures, is File G89. 
Endorsed: (1) "June 11, 1831" — presumably the 
date of receipt. (2) AES — "The A Genl will 

acknowledge the Receipt of this letter Informg 
Gnl Gains that it has been laid before the Gnl. in 
Chief AM." The "AM" was Alexander Macomb, 
the general in chief. (3) AES — "Acknowledged. 
June 13th — R. Jones." 

For a sketch of Jones, see p. 50n. 

John Reynolds to Nathaniel Buckmaster 

Belleville, May 31, 1831. 

Col. Buckmaster: — The annexed is a copy of a letter from Major Gen- 
eral Gaines to me,^ which will shew the situation in which we are placed. 
We had better still remain in a state of readiness ; so as to be able to oper- 
ate eflficiently with a militia force against said Indians, should it become 
necessary. Within one week from this date, I expect an express from the 
general, informing me of the situation of our affairs near Rock Island. 
When this information is received, it will not be diflScult to decide our 

Respectfully, Your ob'dt serv't. John Reynolds. 

Illinois Advocate [Edwardsville], June 10, 1831. 

Nathaniel Buckmaster (1787-1855), Madison 
County entrepreneur, craftsman, and Democratic 
politician, was colonel of the 8th Regiment, 
Illinois Militia, at this time. 

He was born on the plantation of his parents 
in Calvert County, Maryland. He moved with his 
family to Frederick County, Virginia, in 1796, 
and in 1803 went to live with his sister near 
Harpers Ferry. There he became a brick- and 
stonemason. He moved on to Edwardsville, 
Illinois, in 1818 and two years later was elected 
to the Illinois House of Representatives. He served 
as sheriff of Madison County, 1822-1834 and 
1836-1838. He held a second term as state re- 
presentative, 1835-1836, was postmaster of Alton, 
1838-1841, and lessee of the state penitentiary at 
Alton from 1842 until 1845 or 1846. In 1841 he 
was granted the franchise to operate the "upper 

ferry" at Alton. He was also an incorporator of 
numerous railroad companies. 

In the Black Hawk campaigns, Buckmaster 
served in 1831 as major of an odd battalion and 
in 1832 as major on the staff of Brig. Gen. 
Samuel Whiteside and later as major of an odd 
battalion assigned to protect the frontier between 
Chicago and Ottawa. 

Madison County (1912), I: 240-41, 455, 472, 
480; Illinois Historical Collections, VII: 93n, 
XVIII: 189, 281; Madison County (1882), 148, 
149; I-A: Exec. Rec., I: 195; Illinois Laws 18J,1, 
119; WAKEFIELD (Stevens ed.), 200-201. In his 
edition of wakefield, Stevens presents con- 
siderable information about Buckniaster's early 
life not available elsewhere, but the material he 
gives on Buckmaster's public life is highly in- 

1 See Gaines to Reynolds, May 29. 

June 4, 1831 27 

Memorandum of Talks 

between Edmund P. Gaines and the Sauk 

[Rock Island, Mississippi River, June 4, 5, 7, 1831] 

Memorandum of a talk held at Rock Island, 4th, June 1831, between 
Major General Gaines, & the Chiefs & Braves of the British Band of Sauk 
Indians at Rock River.^ 

General Gaines when about to address the Indians, having in his hand 
a paper, was accosted by "Akin-i-con-i-sot," (The man who strikes first) ^ 
as follows: "When white men talk, they talk from papers; but when Red 
men have any thing to say, they speak from the heart." General Gaines 
replied, "When I speak for myself & about my own affairs, I usually speak 
without paper; but when I am in the performance of a public duty, & 
speak, not for myself alone, but for others, then I deem it proper to speak 
that which is written. 

I have heard many reports of the improper conduct of the Sauk Indians 
near this place, & I have called the Chiefs & Braves together to talk with 
them face to face, & enquire into the truth of those reports. 

Twenty seven years past, a treaty was made between the United States 
& the Sauks & Foxes, for the land on which you now reside — sixteen years 
past the treaty was renewed — & it is now six years since another treaty 
was made between the United States & the Sauk & Fox Indians together 
with several other Indian Tribes; the 2nd. Article of which expressly says, 
"the Sauks cfc Foxes relinquish all their claims to land east of the Mis- 
sissippi river." ^ 

Although you are known as "the British Band of Sauks," often our 
enemies in War, & never believed to be our friends; yet, the humane dis- 
position of the United States, and their kind feelings towards the great & 
good Chiefs of your nation, who long ago left the lands they sold us, & 
settled beyond the Mississippi river, have induced them to attribute your 
conduct to ignorance, rather than to any desire or intention to quibble & 
prevaricate. Wishing to treat you as friends & brethren, your great Father 
at Washington has suffered you to remain on the lands you sold, till the 
present time. But having heard of the difficulties constantly arising be- 
tween you & the White inhabitants, he is now convinced of the impossi- 
bility of your living peaceably together. He is desirous, & is bound by the 
law of the land & the oath he has taken, to do equal & exact justice to all 
people subject to his controul, both Red & White, and to see that the laws 
are faithfully executed. A part of the land in question has been sold to our 
white brethren of Illinois & others, & it is now evident that you cannot 
justly be permitted to remain on that part of it any longer. You must there- 
fore without delay move to the west side of the Mississippi, where you own 
a rich & beautiful country, abounding in game, and where you may subsist 
comfortably without labour, & live in peace with all your neighbours. 

Your great Father at Washington is so much displeased with your con- 

28 The Black Hawk War 

duct, that he will no longer suffer you to remain on the Rock river lands, 
& I have only to add that you must move off those lands as soon as prac- 
ticable. Go to your own fine country & be obedient to your chiefs & do unto 
other men as you would they should do unto you." 

Quash-ma-quilly (The Jumping Fish) replied, "My braves have heard 
what you have said, but they do not know what sales or bargains you 
speak of. I do not know what was put upon paper at the talk — it has been 
supposed that the Great Spirit is with the people who make talks upon 
paper; if so, I do not believe your people would write down falsehoods, 
while the Red Skins speak from the heart. Some time ago I sold a part 
of the land of the Sauks to release one of our Braves who was in jail; but 
neither I nor any of my braves know of any sale of all our lands East of 
the Mississippi river."* I am a red skin & do not use paper at a talk, but 
my words are in my heart, & I do not forget what has been said." 

General Gaines rejoined, "I have never made or attended a treaty with 
your nation — but the names of the Chiefs who sold the land in question 
are in this book" (Indian Treaties &c.) Here the names of the Chiefs were 
recited. "What," asked 'the Black Hawk,' "was given us at the second 

"The treaty," replied General Gaines, "will shew what was given. The 
annuities were to have been divided equally among the different bands of 
Sauks & Foxes. The friendly & the good men of the nation received their 
part & moved off the lands.^ 

Why did you not follow their example? Your great father at Washington 
appointed an agent to attend to the affairs of the red men. He every year 
sends to the Agent a great sum of money for them & for you. He has lately 
sent $8000 to divide amongst his Red friends.' You are in the habit of 
going often to visit your old friends at Maiden, & of running after the 
British for what little money & goods they afford you. We do not wish to 
injure you, but you must not again interfere with the whites. 

I wish you to let me know in how many days you will be ready to move. 
If you wish it, we will assist you with boats. You must go soon." 

Black Hawk said his Braves & People were unanimous in their desire to 
remain in their old fields — That they wished to raise their corn, & would 
do it peaceably, as they had no evil at heart against the whites; but there 
the Great Spirit had placed them long ago & now they had no desire to 
leave their homes. Perhaps the Whites had found something very valuable 
in the land, that they wished them to remove — for that since he had come 
to mans estate he had never done harm to his white neighbours." 

General Gaines said, "We know of nothing uncommonly valuable in the 
land; but it is ours — purchased & paid for, & a part of it is in cultivation; 
the good chiefs of your nation have sold it to us, & you have no longer any 
right to remain on it. I repeat, You must leave it. The Black Hawk has 
received bad counsel & he has given bad counsel to his braves. Who is he, 
that he should lead his people into difficulties? I have never heard of him 

June 4, 1831 29 

as a Chief. If his band follow his counsel & refuse to cross the river they 
will get into the most serious difficulties. I as a friend to all good red men, 
advise them to move at once ; I did not come here to talk. And I have said 
enough. The world is wide enough for all of us: this is our part of it, & 
that (to the west) is yours." 

'Akin-i-con-i-sot' (the Man that strikes first) said, The Braves have 
heard what you have said, but they do not agree to it — you have no right 
to the land. Last summer some of our people went to General Clark, & sold 
part of our Country; but who sold this little strip we are on? We never 
sold it." 

Black Hawk then advanced & addressed the General as follows: "You 
asked, 'Who I am'— I am a Sauk; my fathers were great men, & I wish 
to remain where the bones of my fathers are laid. I desire to be buried with 
my fathers; why then should I leave their fields?"^ 

General Gaines said, "The whites are often obliged to leave the lands of 
their Ancestors; and when they sell their lands, they leave them immedi- 
ately. I wish you to think of what I have been saying to you till tomorrow 
morning; & after you have slept let me hear from you. 

On the 5th. of June, 

the principal chief of the Sauk Nation,^ with Keokok another great chief,^^ 
speaker of the Sauk Indians, together with their chiefs & Braves, called on 
the General. Keokok stated that he had listened to the General's talk, the 
day before, with the head men of the British band of Sauks, residing at 
Rock river; that he had been trying to draw off from that band such as 
were his friends; that he had already drawn off ten or twelve large lodges 
(near 50 families) & was in the expectation of being joined by others, as 
he should continue to "'pull at them," until he drew off all that would come. 
And that he wished that the General would not apply force to the Black 
Hawk band, until he (Keokok) could get all his friends & relations across 
the Mississippi. But as they had planted corn at Rock River, & it was now 
too late in the season to prepare new fields to plant more they would suffer 
from want of food.^^ 

Keokok moreover stated that "the Sieux Indians were in the habit of 
coming into the Sauk country, & taking their game & furs, & killing their 
people; that he had often been cautioned by his white friends to avoid war 
with the Sieux or other Indians. And that he was desirous General Gaines 
should write to Colonel Morgan^- & other commanding officers on the 
Upper Mississippi, directing them to have a talk with the Sieux, & forbid 
their hunting on the Sauk & Fox lands." 

General Gaines approved his conduct in urging his friends, who were 
with the British band, to cross the river with him to their own lands; and 
assured him that if that Band did not move in a few days, they would be 
visited by the troops & driven off. The General further stated that in the 
mean time he was desirous to learn who were & who were not of that Band, 

30 The Black Hawk War 

in order to enable him & his officers & men to distinguish their friends from 
their enemies, as it was not the wish of the President to punish the inno- 
cent for the crimes of the guilty. The General promised to write to Colonel 
Morgan, as Keokok had requested, to forbid the Sieux passing into the 
Sauk country. He also promised that the Sauks who had voluntarily left 
the British band at Rock river, should receive at any landing they would 
name on the Mississippi river in October next, as much corn as any two 
good men would say these Indians would probably have made on the fields 
which they have planted; one of the men to be appointed by the Agent, 
the other by the Indians. ^^ 

7th. June 1831. 

This afternoon Black Hawk again called on the General. On this occa- 
sion he was accompanied by some of the women of his tribe. He commenced 
his speech by saying that, "The Great Spirit had made the land for all men, 
the red as well as the white — that the Great Spirit had placed his people 
where they now lived ; that their women having worked their fields till they 
had become easy of cultivation, were now unwilling to leave them; & that 
they had decided not to move. The Great spirit," (he continued) had 
never directed them to sell their land & that if their Chiefs had sold it, they 
had not sanctioned the sale. They did not think their great Father at Wash- 
ington had directed that they should be driven off the land, but that the 
Sieux, their enemies, had instigated the whites to turn them off." 

One of the women then rose & said that the land was theirs & had never 
been sold & so forth. 

'Quash-quami,' an old chief, said that, the woman who had spoken was 
the daughter of a great chief — that she had a right to know of any bar- 
gains, & never having heard of the sale of the lands, she had come with 
her women to say that they had never consented to such a measure. "^^ 

General Gaines replied, that they had heretofore been frequently re- 
minded of the treaty at which the land was sold, & told that they would 
be obliged to move veiy soon; that the time had now come, & that they 
must move in three days, or they would be forced across the river. That 
he wished them to reflect on what he had told them, & when they had de- 
cided, if they would call upon him, he would assist them to cross the river. 

The Indians then took their leave; but after a few minutes Black Hawk 
returned & asked the General if he would give the women something to eat ; 
The Genl. told him his women should have some provisions; & at the same 
time reminded him of the necessity of his party moving within the time 

Black Hawk replied that if the chiefs of his tribe consented to it, he 
would no longer oppose the movement. 

I certify that the foregoing memorandum exhibits correctly, the substance 

June 4, 1831 


of what passed between Major Genl. Gaines & the Chiefs & braves of the 
Sauks, at the talks referred to. 

Geo. A. McCalPs A.D.C. Actg. Asst. Adj. Genl. 

ADS, DNA: RG 94, AGO. Endorsed: "B. Memo: 
Indian talks." Enclosed in: Gaines to Jones, 
June 14. 

See also Lt. George A. McCall's account of these 
talks in his letter of June 17. 

1 Keokuk and the principal chiefs of the friendly 
part of the tribe also attended the council of June 
4. Black Hawk was resentful of their presence, 
since they obviously diminished the effectiveness 
of his appearance. He said later, in his autobi- 
ography (124-25) : "When we arrived at the door, 
singing a war song, and armed with lances, 
spears, war clubs and bows and arrows, as if 
going to battle, I halted, and refused to enter — 
as I could see no necessity or propriety in having 
the room crowded with those who were already 
there. If the council was convened for us, why 
have others in our room ? The war chief [General 
Gaines] having sent all out, except Ke-o-kuck, 
Wa-pel-lo, and a few of their chiefs and braves, 
we entered the council house in this war-like ap- 
pearance, being desirous to show the war chief 
that we were not afraid !" 

This demonstration was alarming enough that 
the guard was increased and the entire command 
kept under arms, according to Lieutenant McCall; 
see his letter of June 17. black hawk, 128, ex- 
plained, "I felt conscious that this great war chief 
would not hurt our people — and my object was 
not war\ Had it been, we would have attacked, 
and killed the war chief and his braves, when in 
council with uls — as they were then completely in 
our power. But his manly conduct and soldierly 
deportment, his mild, yet energetic manner, 
which proved his bravery, forbade it." 

An anonymous letter published in Niles' Weekly 
Register of July 2 (XL: 310) and dated "En- 
campment, Rock Island, June 8," describes a 
council with the Indians which the writer said 
took place "yesterday," or the 7th. The council 
described was obviously that of the 4th: 

"We yesterday held a talk with the Indians, and 
from their determination not to leave the white 
settlements, and from their number, we shall 
have pretty serious work, that is, we shall have 
no play; they came into the council house yester- 
day with their spears, hatchets, and bows strung, 
and I have no doubt, from the extreme agitation 
of the interpreter, that there was more danger 
than most were aware of, as our troops were 
near a quarter of a mile off, and they were about 
10 for one of us." 

2 Or Kinnekonnesaut, whose name is also trans- 
lated as He That Strikes First and He That Strikes 
the Foremost, one of the principal braves of Black 

Hawk's band, was killed by the Sioux who were 
sent in pursuit of the remnants of the band after 
the Battle of Bad Axe in Aug., 1832; see the 
testimony of Indian prisoners, Aug. 27, 1832. 

3 The treaties referred to here are those of 
Nov. 3, 1804, May 13, 1816, and Aug. 19, 1825 

(KAPPLER, II: 74-77, 126-28, 250-55). 

The second article of the 1825 treaty is incom- 
pletely quoted by General Gaines. At the close of 
the War of 1812 the United States granted to the 
Potawatomi, in exchange for certain lands near 
Chicago, a portion of the land between the Rock 
and Mississippi which had been ceded by the 
Sauk and Fox in 1804 {ibid., 132-33). In 1825 
the principal Indian settlements in this portion 
of the cession were Winnebago. By the second 
article of the 1825 treaty, then, the Sauk and Fox 
relinquished their claims to land east of the Mis- 
sissippi "to the tribes interested therein" but not, 
as Gaines implies, to the United States. 

The determination of the validity of this article 
and similar provisions in other Sauk and Fox 
treaties which purported to confirm the ir- 
regularly negotiated 1804 land cession is one of 
the legal problems involved in Sauk and Fox 
claims considered by the Indian Claims Commis- 
sion (see Docket 83, ICC, Petitioners' Proposed 
Findings of Fact in re Defendant's Third 
Defense, Findings 26, 27, 37, 40, for example). 

4 Quashquame here refers to the Treaty of Nov. 
3, 1804, and the circumstances surrounding its 
negotiation (WALLACE, 13-24) . 

Despite the land cession, the Indian prisoner 
was not released as Quashquame said he had ex- 
pected. The next summer the prisoner was shot 
in an escape attempt a few days before the ar- 
rival of a pardon from the President, carter, ed.. 
Territorial Papers, XIII: 165. 

5 The Treaty of May 13, 1816, was a peace 
treaty negotiated with the Sauk of Rock River at 
the end of the War of 1812 and did not give the 
Indians additional annuities, kappler, II: 126-28. 

6 William Clark, superintendent of Indian 
affairs, reported on Aug. 12 that Black Hawk's 
band had "latterly" refused to accept any an- 
nuities. Black Hawk flatly states, " 'We never re- 
ceived any annuities from our American father ! 
And we are determined to hold on to our 
village!' " black hawk, 125. 

In 1817 when agent Thomas Forsyth arrived at 
Rock River, the Fox Indians at first refused to 
accept their annuities, saying that they did not 
want to sell any land. Forsyth explained to them 
that the annuities represented payment for land 
previously sold, and they finally took the annuities 


The Black Hawk War 

to avoid offending American authorities. At that 
time, Forsyth wrote, the Sauk raised no objection 
about receiving annuities (Forsyth to Clarlc, 
June 3, 1817, Wisconsin Historical Collections, 
XI: 347-48). 

In his 1832 report on the causes of the BHW, 
Forsyth stated that he explained the nature of 
the annuities to the Indians in 1818, and that 
thereafter Black Hawk refused to accept them 
(KlNZlE, Wau-Bun. 576-77). Either the 1818 
date was miscopied or Forsyth's statement was 
in error, for in 1821 he also told of Black Hawk's 
apparent reconciliation with the Americans and 
his stated intention of never returning to the 
British agents for presents. It seems unlikely that 
Forsyth would have made such a statement if 
Black Hawk had then refused to accept U.S. 
annuities. (Forsyth to Clark, May 2 and Aug. 27, 
1821. S-F Exs. 83, 86, Docket 158, ICC.) 

The refusal of Black Hawk's entire band to 
accept annuities probably dated from the removal 
of the principal part of the band from Rock 
River, for in 1830 William Clark mentioned the 
band's estrangement from the tribe and sug- 
gested that tribal annuities should be increased 
by further land sales, inasmuch as their present 
annuities were so small that many of the tribe 
did not consider it worth while to collect their 
individual shares. Report of the March 27, 1830, 
council between Clark and the Sauk and Fox, 
In DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., St. Louis— an 
enclosure in Clark to Secretary of War, Aug. 12, 

7 This $8,000 was for the Sauk and Fox; it 
consisted of $1,000 granted by the Treaty of 
Nov. 3, 1804; $1,000, by the Treaty of Aug. 4, 
1824, for the cession of Missouri lands; and 
$6,000, by the Treaty of July 15, 1830, for the 
cession of the Sauk and Fox portion of the 
Neutral Ground in northern Iowa, kappler, II: 
74-77, 207-8, 305-10. 

8 A slightly different version of Black Hawk's 
speech is published in fulton, 194-95, where it is 
misdated June 8. According to that version. 
Black Hawk did not answer Gaines's question on 
the day it was asked, but on the following 
morning, when the council opened, "he arose, 
and addressing General Gaines, said: 'My father, 
you inquired yesterday, "Who is Black Hawk ? 
Why does he sit among the chiefs?" I will tell you 
who I am. I am a Sac; my father was a Sac; I 
am a warrior, and so was my father. Ask those 
young men who have followed me to battle, and 
they will tell you who Black Hawk is; provoke 
our people to war and you will learn who Black 
Hawk is.' •• 

See also George A. McCall's letter of June 17. 
In neither Gaines's official report nor McCall's 
account does Black Hawk make the final bellicose 
statement attributed to him by Fulton. 

9 Pashipaho, or the Stabbing Chief. 

10 Keokuk was, correctly, the war chief (or 

head of one of the tribal moieties) and speaker. 
WALLACE, 5-6. 

11 Thomas Forsyth wrote that the Sauk and 
Fox "feel always at a loss without corn, even in 
the midst of meat" (blair, II: 227), and that 
"corn is every thing to an Indian, without corn, 
and plenty of every thing else, an Indian 
says he is starving" (note to his Oct. 1, 1832, 
report on the causes of the BHW in WHi; a copy 
of this report is S-F Ex. 372, Docket 158, ICC). 

12 Willoughby Morgan of the 1st Infantry, 
commanding officer at Fort Crawford, Prairie du 

13 John W. Spencer, one of the early settlers 
on Rock River, wrote that he and Rinnah Wells 
were appointed to estimate the size of the corn 
crop; see The Early Day of Rock Island and 
Davenport, 50; on the delivery of the corn pro- 
mised by Gaines, see Clark to Herring, July 18, 

14 The participation of women in a council of 
this sort was a "rare occurrence" (George A. 
McCall to Archibald McCall, June 17). Black 
Hawk explained that the women attended the 
council on the advice of Wabokieshiek, the Win- 
nebago Prophet. Wabokieshiek said that "he had 
been dreaming, and that the Great Spirit had 
directed that a woman, the daughter of Mat-ta- 
tas, the old chief of the village, should take a 
stick in her hand and go before the war chief, 
and tell him that she is the daughter of Mat-ta-tas, 
and that he had always been the white man's 
friend ! That he had fought their battles — been 
wounded in their service — and had always spoke 
well of them — and she had never heard him 
say that he had sold their village." According 
to BLACK HAWK, 127, General Gaines told this 
woman that the "president did not send him 
here to make treaties with the women, nor to 
hold council with them !" 

15 George Archibald McCall (1802-1868). a 
native of Pennsylvania, graduated from the U.S. 
Military Academy in 1822 and served principally 
at posts on the southeast frontier until his ap- 
pointment as aide to General Gaines in 1831. He 
held this position until 1836, when he was pro- 
moted to a captaincy. He served in the Florida 
and Mexican wars, and was brevetted major and 
lieutenant colonel for gallant and meritorious 
conduct in the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de 
la Palma. In 1850 he was appointed inspector 
general with the rank of colonel. He resigned 
from the army in 1853 but reentered service in 
1861 as commander of the Pennsylvania reserves. 
He planned the successful movement against 
Dranesville in Dec. of 1861 and commanded all 
of the U.S. troops at the Battle of Mechanicsville 
the following June. He was also at Gaines's Mill 
and Charles City Cross-roads. On June 30, 1862, he 
was captured at New Market Cross-roads and 
sent to Libby Prison, where he was held for 
several weeks. He resigned again in 1863 and 

June 5, 1831 


made his home in Pennsylvania until his death 
in 1868 at West Chester. 

His Letters from the Frontiers was published 

soon after his death. Several of his 1831 letters 
from that volume are published herein. Appletons' 
Cyclopaedia; heitman. 

George Davenport to Pierre Chouteau, Jr. 

Rock Island Ills June 5 1831 
Pr Chouteau Jr. Esqr Agent Amn Fur Compy 

Dear Sir — be pleased to send by the return of the boat four Riffles, thir 
is no doubt but there will be a fight between the troops and the Sack In- 
dians, the Genl has sent for the troop from prarie du Chaine.^ whe expect 
to get the annuertys safe in our hands to day." Mr Farnham^ is well and 
will be down in a few days 

in haste your Obt Serv't Geo Davenport 

N B Should Mr Aldrige"* call on you for one Hundred Bushells of corn — 
be please to forward it — by the return of this Boat, whe have rote to him 
for that quantity — if he cannot furnish it to advise you 

ALS, MoSHi: P. Chouteau Maffitt Collection. 
Addressed: "Pr Chouteau Jr. Esqr Agent Am 
Fur Compy St Louis Mo." Endorsed: "Reed. 
[June] 8, 1831 Answrd. [June] 10, 1831." 

George Davenport (1783-1845), English-born 
sailor, came to America in 1804. The following 
year he joined the U.S. Army, served in New Or- 
leans under Gen. James Wilkinson, and took part 
in the War of 1812. He was discharged in 1815 and 
went to Rock Island in 1816, the year Fort Arm- 
strong was founded. Davenport traded indepen- 
dently with the Indians there and at Fever River 
and later became a partner of Russel Farnham 
in the American Fur Company. In 1825 he was 
appointed postmaster at Rock Island. He is said 
to have served as assistant quartermaster general 
of the Illinois Volunteers during the BHW, but 
his name does not appear on the muster rolls. 
In 1835 he helped to found the city of Davenport, 
Iowa, named in his honor. Davenport was 
murdered by robbers at his home in Rock Island, 
July 4, 1845. DAB; Wisconsin Historical Collec- 
tions, XV: 111; Ecck Island County (1877), 
120-21; Rock Island County (1908), 45; kappler, 
II: 310, 351. 

Pierre Chouteau, Jr. (1789-1865) was the 
son of Jean Pierre and Pelagic (Kiersereau) 
Chouteau. He was the brother of Auguste Pierre 
(1786-1838), and the nephew of Rene Auguste. 
Pierre, Jr., known to his family and friends as 
"Cadet," went to work in his father's store before 
he was sixteen. In the early 1800's he was as- 
sociated for a time with Julien Dubuque at the 
lead mines on the upper Mississippi. He entered 
business for himself when he became twenty-one. 
From 1813 to 1831 he was a partner of Bartho- 

lemew Berthold in the Indian trade and general 
merchandising business. In the latter year he 
joined Bernard Pratte & Company, later renamed 
Pratte, Chouteau Company. This firm served as 
an American Fur Company agent for several 
years and bought out the company's western de- 
partment in 1834. Chouteau retained his trading 
interests until his death, but he was also active 
as a financier in St. Louis and New York and 
was engaged in the organization of numerous 
railroad companies and heavy manufacturing 

He married his cousin, Emilie Gratiot, the 
sister of Henry Gratiot, Winnebago subagent. 
DAB; BECKWITH, Creoles of St. Louis. 47, 55, 71. 

1 Col. Willoughby Morgan's 1st Infantry com- 
mand stationed at Fort Crawford. 

2 In a letter of Aug. 1, 1830, to Pierre Chouteau, 
Russel Farnham explains why the Indian annu- 
ities were paid directly to Farnham and Daven- 

"For a Long time, we have been in habit of 
furnishing almost the total supplies of Goods & 
necessaries to the United tribes of the Sauks & 
Fox Indians on the Mississippi. At first and for 
some years the credit granted in the fall, were 
commonly paid for in the proceeds of the next 
winter's Hunt. But for the last few years, the 
Indians have been unable to pay by Reason of the 
constant war which has raged between them & 
the Sioux, that war while it created necessity for 
a greater supply of Goods, cut off the means of 
payment by driving them from their accustomed 
Hunting grounds, & from their only means of 
support by their own effort. In this condition 


The Black Hawk War 

they have been left dependant upon their 
trade [r]s, and I am persuaded, if I had with- 
drawn the accustomed credits from them many 
must have perished with cold & Hunger for we 
furnished almost the entire supply of clothing, 
utensils, & ammunition. . . . such is the amount 
of the accumulated debt, that even if Peace were 
now restored, the Indians would not be able to 
pay it off, out of the proceeds of their Hunt, 
after providing for their own current necessities. 
Seeing their desperate condition, they have re- 
peatedly offered to pay the debt by a cession of 
land and on being informed that the laws of the 
United States & the policy of the government 
Forbid the transfer of lands from Indians to any 
but the nation, they have expressed an entire 
willingness to cede to the Unt. States a part of 
their lands, west of the Mississippi, . . . and to 
stipulate for the application of part of the pur- 
chase money by the government to the extin- 
guishment of our debt, the debt fairly adjusted, 
amounts to fifty three thousand dollars, but 
considering the present embarrassed state of the 
Indians, and the danger of ultimate loss, I have 
entered into an express agreement with their 
chiefs & Leaders to Receive, in full payment, the 
stipulated sum of forty thousand dollars, which 
will barely cover the prime cost without a cent 
of profit." (Trans. ISHS, XXXVII: 227-28.) 

Felix St. Vrain, who became Sauk and Fox 
agent in the summer of 1830, apparently ar- 
ranged for a representative of Pierre Menard's to 
furnish goods for the Indian annuities. A. C. 
Lesieur wrote the agency interpreter for a list of 
the kind of goods the Indians desired and the 
quantity required. The interpreter, Antoine Le- 
Claire, replied that when Mr. St. Vrain became 

"acquainted with the Indians he would know 
that he could make no arrangements with you to 
pay the annuertys to the Sack & Fox Indians I 
had no doubt but he would give you this Infor- 
mation. The agent pays to the Indians thier an- 
nuertys in Cards The Indians purchase thier 
goods of Messrs. Farnham & Davenport, these 
gentlemen have furnished the Sack and fox 
Indians goods for the last fourteen years and have 
all way [always] supplied them on Crediet to 
enable them to hunt to Support thier famileys." 
(LeClaire Papers — photocopy in IHi; also pub- 
lished in Annals of Iowa, XXIII: 91-92.) 

The actual annuity payment in 1831 was dis- 
cussed by St. Vrain's successor, acting agent 
Joshua Pilcher, in a letter to William Clark, of 
Oct. 16, 1832 (U.S. Ex. 64, Docket 158, ICC) : 

"The annuities of last year were not paid over to 
the Indians that signed the receipt, but on the 
contrary were taken into the store of Messrs. 
Farnham & Davenport, the Chiefs were called in 
and informed that the boxes before them contained 
the money; the apportionment seems to have 

been made as entered on the receipt, which the 
Indians were required to sign — the money was 
turned over to those gentlemen, and they certify 
that each Indian has received from the agent the 
amount specified in the receipt." 

Despite his criticism of this compliance with 
regulations in form only, Pilcher did "not doubt 
that these people had advanced the Indians 
goods." Clark may or may not have been pre- 
viously apprised of the procedure, but St. Vrain 
made no mention of it in his letter of July 6, 
in which he reported that he had paid the an- 
nuities to the Sauk and Fox and would soon 
transmit receipts (St. Vrain to Clark, July 6, 

1831, in KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 223). 

For more details on the trading procedure and 
on prices charged for goods and allowed for furs, 
see Farnham and Davenport's report of Nov. 22, 
1831, in Trans. ISHS, XXXVII: 224-25, and 
Forsyth to the Secretary of War, Oct. 24, 1831, 
in Missouri Historical Society, pub.. Glimpses of 
the Past, IX: 73-84, esp. 76-77. 

3Russel Farnham (1784-1832) was a Yankee 
trader long in the employ of the American Fur 
Company and one of the more fabulous early 
western traders. He joined the famed sea ex- 
pedition to Astoria in 1810 and remained in the 
Oregon country until 1813, when Astoria was 
sold. He then returned to the United States, 
traveling alone and by foot across Siberia, 
Russia, and Europe to Copenhagen. He began 
his Asian trek at Kamchatka, Siberia, where a 
company brig from Astoria had taken him. He 
reached the States in Oct., 1816, and the follow- 
ing year, after the American Fur Company's re- 
organization, was placed in charge of the Missis- 
sippi trade. He was the first representative of 
that concern to trade in the Missouri River area. 
His partnership with George Davenport began 
probably in 1824 (Trans. ISHS, XXXVII: 214), 
although some sources say 1823 (ibid., 218). The 
two men were separately licensed in 1824 ( Wis- 
consin Historical Collections, XX: 356-58), but 
their own report supports the 1824 date of the 
partnership. On Nov. 22, 1831, they wrote that 
they had been engaged in the fur trade with the 

Sauk and Fox at six trading posts in the Mis- 
sissippi River areas "for the last seven years" 

(Trans. ISHS, XXXVII: 224). 

Although Farnham spent a good deal of time 
at the company's various posts, he maintained 
his home at Portage des Sioux in northeastern 

Missouri. He died of cholera in St. Louis in Oct., 

1832. DAB; Trans ISHS, XXXVII: 210-34; 
HOUCK, III: 87; Chittenden, The American Fur 
Trade, 315-18, 322, 323; Wisconsin Historical 
Collections, XIX: 477. XX: 356-58, 364. 

4 Mark A. Aldrich (1804-1874) was a native of 
Warren County, New York. In 1829, after his 
marriage to Margaret Wilkinson, granddaughter 
of Gen. Joseph Wilkinson and niece of Gen. 
James Wilkinson, he came to St. Louis, entered 

June 5, 1831 35 

the employ of the American Fur Company, and he was authorized to operate a ferry across the 

went immediately to the company store at pre- Mississippi in 1840. Aldrich is probably best 

sent Keokuk, Iowa. About 1831 he was trans- remembered in Illinois history as one of the men 

ferred across the river to Fort Edwards, then indicted and tried for the 1844 murder of the 

being used by the fur company. In 1833 Aldrich Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother 

entered the land where present Warsaw, Illinois, Hyrum. Soon after this affair, Aldrich went to 

stands. He represented Hancock County in the California. He settled later in Arizona, was active 

10th and 11th General Assemblies, 1836-1840. In in the organization of the territorial government, 

the latter year he was also commissioned lieuten- held several territorial positions, and also served 

ant colonel of the 59th Regiment, Illinois Militia. as mayor of Tucson. He died in that city in 1874. 

In the late 1830's he was an incorporator and Hancock County (1880), 329, 379, 653-55; Iowa 

trustee of Warsaw University, and an incorpora- Journal of History and Politics, XIV: 483; I-A: 

tor of three railroad companies: the Des Moines Exec. Rec, III: 178; Bancroft, History of Ari- 

Rapids Railroad Company, the Warsaw, Peoria zona and New Mexico, 504, 507; Illinois Laws 

and Wabash Railroad Company, and the Warsaw 18S6, 76, 77; Illinois Private Laws 1839, 73, 75-77, 

Railroad Company. With David W. Matthews, 98; Illinois Laws 18i0, 47. 

Edmund P. Gaines to John Reynolds 

Hd. Qrs. Rock River 5. June 1831 
To His Excellency John Reynolds Governor of Illinois 

Sir, I do myself the honor to Report to your Excellency the result of 
my conference with the chiefs and Braves of the Band of Sauk Indians 
settled within the limits of your state near this place. ^ 

I called their attention to the facts reported to me, of their disorderly 
conduct towards the white inhabitants near them. They disavow any in- 
tention of hostility, but at the same time adhered with stubborn pertinacity 
to their purpose of remaining on the Rock River land in question. 

I notified them of my determination to move them (peaceably if pos- 
sible), but at all events to move them to their own side of the Mississippi 
river, — pointing out to them the apparent impossibility of their living on 
lands purchased by the whites, without constant disturbance. They con- 
tended that this part of their country had never been sold by them. I ex- 
plained to them the different Treaties, of 1804, 1816 and 1825, and con- 
cluded with a positive assurance that they must move off, and that I would, 
as soon as they are ready, assist them with Boats. 

I have this morning learned that they have invited the Prophets Band 
of Winnebagoes on Rock river, with some Pottowattomies and Kikapoos 
to join them. If I find this to be true I shall gladly avail myself of my 
present visit to see them well punished. And therefore, I deem it to be the 
only safe measure now to be taken, to request of your Excellency, the 
Battalion of mounted men which you did me the honor to say would co- 
operate with me.^ They will find at this post ^ a supply of Rations for the 
men, with some corn for their horses; together with a supply of powder 
& lead. 

I have deemed it expedient under all the circumstances of the case, to 
invite the frontier inhabitants to bring their families to this post until the 
difficulty is over. 

36 The Black Hawk War 

I have the honor to be with great respect Your obdt. Servt. 
Edmund P. Gaines 

P.S. Since writing the foregoing remarks, I have learned that the Winne- 
bago & Pottowottomy Indians have actually been invited by these Sauks 
to join them,— but that the former evince no disposition to comply — and it 
is supposed by Colonel Gratiot^ the Agent, that none will join the Sauks, 
except perhaps some few Kikapoos. E.P.G. 

ALS, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 804. 4 Henry Gratiot (1789-1836), pioneer Wiscon- 

ANS on back of letter: "Governor Clark & Cap- sin miner and smelter, was born in St. Louis, 

tain Brant are desired to read this & then hand His parents were Charles and Victoire Chouteau 

it to Lt. Clark E.P.G." An LS is in the same file. Gratiot, sister of (Jean) Pierre Chouteau, Sr. 

Neither letter is addressed and both are niun- Henry Gratiot moved to Galena in 1825 and a 

bered 804. Presumably the LS was first received short time later settled at Gratiot's Grove, Wis- 

by Reynolds. The ALS was apparently a copy consin, then in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. As 

made for the Western Department files. Lt. M. subagent to the Winnebago of the Rock River 

L. Clark, acting aide-de-camp to General Gaines, Agency, 1831-ca. 1833, he played an important 

was at the department headquarters at Jefferson role in Indian affairs during the two Black Hawk 

Barracks at this time; see Mccall, Letters from campaigns. Gratiot died while on a trip to the 

the Frontiers, 242, 243. There is no notation on East that he had undertaken to obtain assistance 

the letter to indicate how it reached Reynolds for the Winnebago of his former agency. Wiscon- 

and, subsequently, I-A files. sin Historical Collections, X: 235-59, 261-75; 

1 See the memorandum of talks between Gaines Jour. ISHS, XXIV: 678-81; 24th Cong., 1st Sess., 
and the Sauk, dated June 4-7. S. Doc. 215; IHi: BHW Corr., letter from DNA, 

2 See Reynolds to Gaines, May 28. Interior Records Section, July 29, 1946; BECK- 

3 Fort Armstrong. with, Creoles of St. Louis, 47, 70-71. 

Edmund P. Gaines to Roger Jones 

Head Quarters, Western Depart 't Rock Island, 8th. June, 1831. 

Sir, The "British Band" of Sauk Indians on Rock river, referred to in my 
letter of the 5th. of this month, having, as I have this moment learned from 
Colonel Gratiot, failed in their efforts to obtain the assistance of the Winne- 
bagoes and Pottowattamies ; & having been abandoned by ten or twelve 
lodges (near fifty families) of the friends & relatives of 'Keokok,' one of 
the principal friendly chiefs of the nation, settled on the loway river, west 
of the Mississippi; appear disposed to make a merit of necessity, & have 
for the first time, yesterday afternoon, begun to indicate a disposition to 
listen to my counsel to cross the river to their own beautiful countiy. 

The Chiefs & principal braves of this band voluntarily called on me with 
several of their wives. The 'Black Hawk' often repeated declarations that 
inasmuch as the Great Spirit had placed their ancestry on the Rock river 
lands & they had never sold it, he & his band would remain on it, & would 
be buried with the bones of their fathers; that even their women were re- 
solved never to move: that their corn was planted in the fields which they 
had rendered easy to work by long cultivation, that they could not, & 
would not, go into the woods to prepare new fields: that they would not 
fight, but that they would not leave their homes & starve &c. &c. 

I replied that if they moved off quietly, I would give their women & chil- 

June 9, 1831 37 

dren what I had promised to give those that had voluntarily gone off, since 
my arrival, viz : as much corn as any two good men would say their fields 
already planted would produce the present season; that they must be off 
in three days ; that if they did not move in that time, they would be taken 
off by force : that though the troops were unwilling to hurt their women & 
Children, yet it would be difficult to preserve them from injury. 

The Black Hawk, after taking leave of me, returned, & for the first time 
asked me for some provisions for the women that had accompanied him. I 
availed myself of the occasion to remind him of the necessity of his moving 
immediately. He replied, that if the principal Chiefs of the Band would 
go, he would do so likewise. I replied that they should go in three days. 

Colonel Gratiot, who arrived just now, has promised to visit these In- 
dians toda3^ With his assistance I trust their removal may be effected in 
a manner calculated to afford security to the frontier inhabitants from 
further disturbance; as well as to leave all parties satisfied of the justice 
& magnanimity of the United States. 

Should my present expectation of an amicable adjustment of this affair 
be reallized, I shall lose no time in dispatching an express to meet, & turn 
back the Illinois volunteers. 

All which is respectfully submitted 

Edmund P. Gaines Major Genl. by Bt. Comg. 

Adjutant General Jones 

LS, DNA: RG 94, AGO (Frames 47-50, Roll 61, mitted to the Secrty of War. R. Jones." 
M567). Endorsed: (1) "June 25, 1831" — the For a sketch of Jones, see p. 50n. 

date of receipt. (2) AES — "Respectfully sub- 

George Y. Cutler to Stephen B. Munn 

following is Copy of a Letter from George Y. Cutler Esqr. dated at his 
residence. Head of Des Moines Rapids Venus,^ Hancock County Illinois 
9th. June 1831. 

To Stephen B. Munn— New York.— 

Dear Sir We have an Indian disturbance on hand. The Sac & Fox Na- 
tions have ever been accustomed to make corn at the mouth of Rock river 
— ever since the sale of that land by them to our government; — but now 
since the sale by our government and consequent settlement of the place, 
this has become troublesome and even impossible to our citizens located 

The Indians are yet unwilling to relinquish possession, and as some say 
found their pretensions on an alledged mistake in the treaty ,2 claiming that 
it was ever intended by them to except that spot (their old village, corn- 
field and burying ground) from any conveyance to the United States. They 
were very troublesome there the last season, killing Hogs and driving away 

38 The Black Hawk War 

cattle and threatening the settlers. Application was consequently made to 
the state government and the legislature authorised the Governor to raise 
a troop of horse and send them there,^ this was not done immediately, I 
dont know that it has been yet. The Indians have been constantly telling 
us all Winter that they would make corn or die at Rock Island (Sinni 
Seepo)^ this season — they are now said to be gongregated there with a 
force of from 5 to 800 fighting men (reports are entirely arbitrary in this 
country, we know nothing of the truth of things we dont see; some say 
there are several of the Northern Nations, Winnipeeago's — Menommenes— 
Sioux &c ready and determined to join the Sac's and Foxes to the amount 
of some thousands). We only know from Steamers that have come down 
that the garrison at Rock Island (Fort Armstrong) are beseiged and con- 
siderably alarmed; that a boat has been sent to Prairie du Chien and an- 
other to Jefferson barracks for assistance, and that the Indians have the 
control of the country about the fort — have destroyed the cattle and hogs, 
and driven off the inhabitants, without any blood shed however as yet, — 
but that they have sent in a message of defiance to Genl. Gaines (I believe 
it is) at the Fort, telling him that they had 100 men who were ready to die 
on the graves of their fathers, but that if he would come out they would 
kill 200 Americans first. 

The inhabitants of Mercer County have received a warning from the 
Fort and yesterday 5 families were landed here from the Upper Yellow 
banks ^ (where I was last Winter) with what baggage they could gather 
up in a few minutes after notice, leaving their houses, cattle, hogs, furniture, 
cornfields &c. to be overrun by some bands that are prowling about in that 

This I imagine will be the worst consequence of the affray, perhaps 
there will be an engagement a few may be killed on each side, but I pre- 
sume 100 shots will settle the matter and the Indians will retire to the 
West side of the river — unless however an entire pacification is effected, 
they will still consider themselves entitled according to their mode of war- 
fare, to pay a visit of extermination to a frontier family now and then. 
Our neighbours are many of them under much alarm: — I have offered to 
sell them my Guns or to buy their improvements at i/^ price if they wish 
to quit. Emigration to the upper counties may be somewhat retarded by 
this state of things, as the talk of an Indian war here, excites as much 
dread among the frontier settlers, as does the howling of wolves among 

[AES] New York 6th July 1831 — I got the above from my friend Judge 
Cutler 4 July — when he went to Illinois he caled with his wife on the Presi- 
dent he is a smart man Respectfully Stephen. B. Munn 

OC, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. and land agent, was also postmaster at Venus 

Addressed: "To, The Secretary of War Washing- (now Nauvoo). He was elected one of the first 

ton City." Postmarked: "New York Jul 6 Free." county commissioners in 1829, served as justice 

Endorsed: "Indian Office July 9, 1831." This of the peace from 1829 until 1832, and was a 

copy was sent by Munn to the Secretary of War. candidate for state representative in the Aug., 

George Y. Cutler, Hancock County merchant 1832, election. He died Sept. 2, 1834. Sangamo 

June 9, 1831 


Journal [Springfield. 111.], May 3, 1832, Sept. 13, 
1834; U.S. Register 1831, 357; Hancock County 
(1880), 216-17, 955; I-A: Elect. Ret., XII: 37, 66, 
XVIII: 13. XIX: 2; I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 327. 
He was probably the George Younglove Cutler 
who attended law school at Ldtchfield, Connecticut, 
in the 1820's (MATTHEWS, American Diaries, 

Stephen B. Munn was one of the more pro- 
minent eastern speculators in Illinois lands; see 
CARLSON, The Illinois Military Tract, 57, 57n, 58; 
Putnam and Marshall Counties (1880). 87. 

1 Venus, later Commerce and Commerce City, 
and now Nauvoo, was the settlement at the head 
of the Des Moines, or Lower, Rapids of the 
Mississippi. The rapids extended some twelve 
miles upstream from present Keokuk, Iowa, 
which was then called Foot of the Rapids or 
Des Moines Rapids, peck, 270, 317; Hancock 
County (1880), 955. 

2 Of Nov. 3, 1804. 

3 The 7th General Assembly, Dec, 1830-Feb., 
1831, considered such a proposal, but the bill died 
in committee. See Reynolds to Jackson, Oct. 6, 
and nn. there. 

4 "Sen-i-se-po Ke-be-sau-kee" was translated as 
"Rock River Peninsula," by Maj. Morrill Mars- 
ton, onetime commanding officer at Fort Arm- 
strong; BLAIR, II: 146. 

5 The settlement near the mouth of the Exi- 
wards River, now New Boston, Illinois. The 
"yellow banks" were sand bluffs along the Illinois 
shore of the Mississippi between New Boston and 

Oquawka. The latter town is above the mouth of 
Henderson River. The name Oquawka is said to 
have derived from the Indian Oquawkiek, or 
yellow banks. At this time Oquawka was fre- 
quently called Yellow Banks, although Lower 
Yellow Banks was a more accurate designation. 
Near the mouth of Pope River, three and one- 
half miles below New Boston, was another small 
settlement known as Middle Yellow Banks, now 
Keithsburg. peck, 352; pike (Coues ed.), 
19n-21n; Mercer and Henderson Counties (1882), 

The U.S. Census of 1830 (in I-A) gives the 
total population of Mercer County as twenty-six, 
residing in six households, those of William, 
Erastus, and John W. Deniston, John and Ben- 
jamin Vannatta, and Augustin Horten. By 1831 
Daniel S. Witter and his hired hand, a Mr. Twist, 
also lived at New Boston, the home of the 
Denistons. John Vannatta and his brother Ben- 
jamin lived at Keithsburg {Mercer and Henderson 
Counties [1882], 75-76). Nothing is known of 

When Indian hostilities threatened this year. 
Witter and Benjamin Vannatta apparently went 
to Rock Island; see the muster roll of Pike's 
ranger company and the June 30 Articles of 
Agreement and Capitulation. The three Deniston 
families went to the settlement at the Head of the 
Rapids, now Nauvoo (ibid., 76). The other two 
refugee families have not been identified, but 
they may have been those of the other 1830 
householders, John Vannatta and Horten. 

John Reynolds to Nathaniel Buckmaster 

Belleville, June 9, 1831. 
Col. Buckmaster: 

Sir: — ■ I have a call from Gen. Gaines for our troops to co-operate with 
his regulars.^ The In(iians, it is supposed, will give us a battle. You will 
cause the mounted volunteers of Madison to meet at Beairdstown on the 
15th inst. At that place we will obtain provisions to reach Rock Island. 
The troops must furnish themselves with provisions to go to Beairdstown. 

Yours respectfully, John Rejaiolds. 

Illinois Advocate [ Edwards ville], June 10, 1831. 
The same issue reported that the company called 
into service by this letter would leave Edwardsville 
on "Monday next," or June 13. According to a 
story in the June 3 issue, Reynolds had " 're- 
quested' a company of mounted volunteers of not 
less than 72 nor more than 100 men, from the 
regiment in this county [Madison], to be in 
readiness for marching at a moment's warning. 
A parade was called on Thursday by the Col. for 
the purpose of receiving and organizing a com- 
pany of volunteers but, owing to the informality 

of the order, or rather 'request,' of the Governor, 
few attended, and only fifty of those volunteered. 
The company is now in readiness to march, 
under the command of Capt. [Erastus] Wheeler. 
We understand that a detachment of U.S. troops 
consisting of 400 or 500 men, from Jefferson 
Barracks, passed up the river on Sunday [Mon- 
day] last, destined to assist in repelling these 
savage aggressors. We are further informed that 
a company of one hundred men, from Greene 
county, left Carrollton yesterday for the same 

40 The Black Hawk War 

By the time the organization of the volunteers Carlin, Samuel Smith, John Lorton, and Samuel 

was completed, four companies from Madison Pierce. Lorton's and Pierce's companies were 

County were enrolled, those of Capts. Solomon originally part of the same large company, or- 

Pruitt, Erastus Wheeler, William B. Whiteside, ganized at CarroUton by Jacob Fry. 

and John P. Lawrence. There were also four i See Gaines to Reynolds, June 5. 
Greene County companies, commanded by Thomas 

John Reynolds to William Clark 

Edwardsville 10th. June 1831. 
Genl. Wm. Clark Siiprt. Indian Affairs. 

Sir, The detachment of the Illinois mounted Volunteers ordered into ser- 
vice by Major Genl. Gaines will meet at Beardstown in Morgan County 
on the 15th. inst: And there is no person in the Corps, who can interpret 
the Sauck language. 

I deem it necessary to have an interpreter with us. I would be pleased, 
if You could furnish us with one to meet the troops at the above time and 

I have the honor to be Your Obedt Servant (Signed) John Reynolds 

LBC, KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 200. 

Deposition of Joseph Danforth 

State of Illinois Jo Davies County [June 10, 1831]^ 

This day personally appeared before me Joel Wells ^ a a Justice of the 
peace in and for said County the undersigned Joseph Darnforth after being 
duly sworn made the following statement that he saw[,] on or about the 
thirtieth of September one thousand eight hundred and thirty [,] two sacks 
Indians [throw down] a fence belonging to John Wells ^ they said for the 
purpose of going through as he understood them that the said John Wells 
forbid them but they continued throwing down the fence and he attempted 
to prevent them and one of the Indians struck at him with his fist and 
drew his knife, that he the said Darnforth got a stick and he made several 
attempts towards us which was in veign for I knocked him down with my 
stick and he arose several times and came at me with his knife and at last 
left the ground with his knife on it * 

Joseph Darnforth 

Witness my hand and seal this 10th day of June 1831 
Joel Wells Justice of the peace 

RC, DNA: RG 94, AGO; the entire document, and made his home about a mile above Moline. 

including Danforth's "signature," is in the hand He was probably the Joseph Danforth who was 

of Joel Wells. Endorsed: "No. 5." Enclosed in: listed as an 1820 resident of Wayne County by 

Gaines to Cass, Aug. 10. the U.S. Census of that year. Danforth served as 

Joseph Danforth, a son-in-law of Rinnah Wells, a private in Capt. Benjamin F. Pike's 1831 

came to Rock Island County in the spring of 1829 ranger company and as 1st lieutenant of Capt. 

June 10, 1831 


John W. Kenney's company in 1832. spencer, 23; 
Illinois Historical Collections, XXVI: 326. 

1 Present Rock Island County, in which this 
and the following depositions were taken, was 
attached to Jo Daviess County for governmental 
purposes. By a law of Feb. 9, 1831, the 7th 
General Assembly established the boundaries of 
Rock Island County and made provisions for its 
organization when the population reached 350. 
The first county officials were elected and a 
county government established in the summer of 
1833; see Illinois Laws 1831, 52-53; Rock Island 
Countij (1885), 688. 

2 Joel Wells, Jr., was the Jo Daviess County 
justice of the peace; Rock Island County (1877), 
374. According to spencer, 23, he came to the 
vicinity of Hampton, Rock Island County, in 
Jan., 1829, but in April of 1831 he settled about 
two miles above Fort Armstrong, or in the pre- 
sent vicinity of Moline; see his deposition of 
Nov. 2. Together with Joel Wells, Sr., he served 
both in Capt. Benjamin F. Pike's 1831 company 
and in Capt. John W. Kenney's 1832 company. 
One or the other of these men had been com- 
missioned captain of the 27 th (Jo Daviess 
County) Regiment of Illinois Militia on May 18, 
1831 (I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 298). Joel Wells, Sr., 
and Joel Wells, Jr., were probably father and son. 
Both men, as well as Michael Bartlett, son-in-law 
of the former, were listed as heads of families 
in Gallatin County, Illinois, by the 1820 U.S. 
Census; see Illinois Historical Collections, XXVI: 
87; SPENCER, 23. 

Joel Wells, Sr., the first treasurer of Rock 
Island County, settled near present Moline in 
1829, as did Bartlett, and Levi and Huntington 

Wells. The latter two are also said to have been 
sons of Joel, Sr.; see SPENCER, 23; Rock Island 
County (1877), 134; Rock Island County (1885). 

3 John Wells (1807-1880), son of Rinnah Wells, 
was born near Brattleboro, Vermont. He moved 
as a child to Manchester, Ohio, and ca. 1818 to 
Wayne County, Illinois, and thence to the Galena 
lead mines in 1828. According to one biographer, 
he was still living there at the time of the BHW. 
He was at Rock Island, however, in the spring of 
1831 and 1832, for he enrolled there in Capt. 
Benjamin F. Pike's ranger company in 1831 and 
in Capt. John W. Kenney's company the following 
year. He did not serve long in Kenney's com- 
pany but enrolled May 27, 1832, in Capt. Adam 
W. Snyder's 20-day company. 

After his marriage in 1835, Wells made his 
home in Hampton Township, Rock Island County. 
Rock Island County (1908), 24; Rock Island 
County (1885), 478-79. 

4 Agent Felix St. Vrain, in reporting this in- 
cident, placed the emphasis quite differently. He 
wrote, "An Indian was severely beaten by two 
White men for pulling down a fence, and which 
will be the case so long as those Indians are 
permitted to remain" (St. Vrain to Clark, Oct. 
8, 1830, copy of extract in I-A: Gov. Corr. 
1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 799). 

According to BLACK HAWK, 115, one of the 
young Sauk men "was beat with clubs by two 
white men for opening a fence which crossed 
our road, to take his horse through. His shoulder 
blade was broken, and his body badly bruised, 
from which he soon after died !" 

Deposition of John Wells 

Joe Davies County State of Illinois [June 10, 1831] 

This day John Wells personally came before me Joel Wells a justice of 
the peace in and for said County and after being duly sworn by me de- 
poseth and saith that on or about the thirtieth of September, one thousand 
eight hundred and thirty that he saw two Sac Indians throwing down his 
fence they said for the purpose of going through as he understood them 
and that he forbid their throwing it down But they continued to throw it 
down — and he attempted to prevent them and one of the Indians made a 
pass at him with his fist, and drew his knife and further the deponent sath 

Witness my hand and seal this 10th day of June AD. 1831 
Joel Wells J P. 

RC, DNA: RG 94, AGO; the entire document is 1 On the outcome of this affray, see Danforth's 

in the handwriting of Joel Wells, Jr. This was deposition immediately preceding this, and n. 4. 
Enclosure 2 in Gaines to Cass, Aug. 10. 


The Black Hawk War 

Deposition of Nancy Wells and Nancy Thompson 

[Rock Island, Illinois, June 10, 1831] 

We do Each of us Sollemly Sware that last fall in the month of October 
Two Indians who resided at a Village on Rock River thirty or forty miles 
above this place who are called Sacks and winebagoes ^ Came to the House 
of Rinnah Wells ^ and Commenced Chasing Some Sheep as if they ware 
determed to Cetch or kill them. We ordered them to let the Sheep alone 
for which they drew their knives and made at us — we being much alarmed 
we Called aloud for assistance. Samuel Wells ^ was Sick in the house — on 
hearing us ran out with a pitchfork in his hand on Seeing which they per- 
sued us no further than the fence. Loudon L. Case ^ was Going to his work 
heard us Giv the alarm who also ran to us — the Indians then retired under 
the bank of Rock river 80 or 100 yards from the hause we fearing the 
Indians ware Still after the Sheep we requested Mr. Case to go and See — 
on Mr. Case approching with in a Short distance of them they Came at 
him with knives and a Tomahawk and wounded Case in three plases Se- 

Nany wells 
Nancy thompson 

Sworn and Subscribed to before me this 10th. day of June 1831 
Wm. T Brashar. J.P.^ 

DS. DNA: RG 94, AGO; the body of the docu- 
ment is in the handwriting of William T. Bra- 
shar. Endorsed: "No. 4." Enclosed in: Gaines to 
Cass, Aug. 10. 

Nancy (Beai) Wells was the wife of Rinnah 
Wells; see Rock Island Countrj (1914), 1489. 
Nancy Thompson has not been identified. Both a 
Nancy Wells and a Nancy Thompson were affili- 
ated with early Methodist classes in Rock Island 
County, the former at Rock Island, the latter at 
Hampton; see Rock Island County (1908), 180. 
and Rock /stand County (1877), 232. 

1 The village at Prophetstown, most commonly 
referred to as a Winnebago village, was composed 
of half-breeds from several tribes — Kickapoo and 
Potawatomi as well as Sauk and Winnebago. Its 
inhabitants were often described as renegades 
and thieves, and had long harassed the Sauk on 
Rock River. In 1824 agent Thomas Forsyth wrote 
that he had licensed a trader for the Winnebago 
on Rock River at their particular request. Those 
Indians told Forsyth that if they did not have 
to come to Rock Island to trade, "their Woman 
[women] would not Steal the Sauk Indians Corn" 
(Forsyth to Clark, Dec. 13, 1824, in DNA: RG 
75, BIA, L Reed., St. Louis— S-F Ex. 105, 
Docket 158. ICC). The following May, Forsyth 
told William Clark that the Winnebago were 
"intent in making their women plant more corn 
this year than usual by which means they say 
they will not be so troublesome to their neigh- 

bours, the Sauks and Foxes" (letter of May 11, 
1825, in WHi: Draper MSS, 4T 227-28— S-F 
Ex. 114, Docket 158). On the Indians at Pro- 
phetstown, see also Clark to the Secretary of 
War, Aug. 12, and Street to the Secretary of War, 
Aug. 26. 

2 Rinnah Wells moved from Vermont to Ohio 
and thence ca. 1818 to Wayne County, Illinois, 
where he made his home for several years. In 
the fall of 1828 he passed through the Sauk village 
on Rock River while returning home from the 
Lead Mine Country, and the following spring he 
took his family back to the Rock River and 
settled in Section 15, Township 17 North, Range 
2 West of the Fourth Principal Meridian, in the 
midst of the Sauk village. Since his farm was on 
a fractional township, it was not offered for sale 
in 1829. In 1831, then, Wells was still a squatter 
on land which the Indians were entitled to occupy 
under terms of the Treaty of 1804. As a result, 
he had more trouble with the Indians than did 
most of his neighbors and complained the most 
loudly. In the difficulties that arose between the 
Indians and the white settlers. Wells and his 
family were as frequently the offenders as the 
victims; see SPENCER. 26-27, 40; BLACK HAWK, 

Wells served in Capt. Benjamin F. Pike's 1831 
ranger company and in Capt. John W. Kenney's 
1832 company. In 1834 he was licensed to keep 
a ferry across Rock River opposite his residence. 

June 10, 1831 


He died in 1851 or 1852. The scant information 
available about Wells appears in biographical 
sketches of some of his eleven children. See 
Illinois Historical Collections, XXVI: 326; 
Wayne and Clay Counties (1884), 89. 142; 
SPENCER, 15, 23; Rock Island County (1877), 209. 
473; Rock Island County (1885), 425-26, 478-79, 
547, 689; Rock Island County (1908), 24, 180, 226; 
Reck Island County (1914), 1489. 

3 Samuel Wells, a son of Rinnah's, was fatally 
wounded in the Black Hawk campaign of 1832 
in the Battle of the Horseshoe Bend on the Pe- 
catonica River. At the time of his death he was 
a member of a volunteer company from present 
Wisconsin, where he had gone to work in the 
lead mines. In 1831 he served in Capt. Benjamin 
F. Pike's ranger company. He was probably the 
Samuel Wells who had been commissioned a 2d 
lieutenant in the 27th (Jo Daviess County) 
Regiment, Illinois Militia, on May 18, 1831. Rock 
Island County (1908), 24; Rock Island County 

(1885), 547; SPENCER, 62; Wisconsin Historical 
Collections. II: 351, 372-73; I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 

4 Louden L. Case, or Louden Case, Jr., was the 
brother of Jonah H. and Charles H. Case. In the 
spring of 1829 they moved with their father's 
family from Cass County, Illinois, to Rock River. 
Their home was in the "upper end" of the Sauk 
village. Since Louden L. Case did not serve with 
his brothers in Capt. Benjamin F. Pike's 1831 
ranger company, composed of Rock Island County 
men, it seems likely that he was the "Lowdon L. 
Case" of Capt. John Lorton's Greene County 
company. Further, since he did not sign any of 

petitions sent from Rock Island to the Governor 
in the spring and summer of 1831, it is not 
unlikely that he was absent from that area at 
that time, perhaps on a visit to the family's 
former home in the Illinois River country. He 
was commissioned coroner of Rock Island County 
in 1834 and was married in the county in 1836. 
SPENCER, 23; Illinois D.A.R. Records, 1955, XII: 
19; I-A: Exec. Rec, II: 163; Cass County (1915), 
II: 664. 

5 As early as 1827 William T. Brashar (1797- 
1850) was living in Jo Daviess County, which 
then included present Rock Island County. In the 
spring of 1829 he settled on a half section of 
land in the old Sauk village on Rock River, and 
was one of the squatters who purchased their 
claims when the land was placed on the market 
that fall. He was elected justice of the peace for 
Jo Daviess County in 1829 and 1831, and county 
surveyor of Rock Island County in 1847. With 
Jonah H. Case and Antoine LeClaire, he was 
licensed to keep a ferry across the Mississippi in 
1835. Brashar served in Capt. Benjamin F. Pike's 
ranger company in 1831, and the following year 
he enrolled in Capt. John W. Kenney's company, 
although his name does not appear on the oflScial 
mustering-out roll. He was married in 1830 by 
Joel Wells, Jr., to Jane M. Case, the daughter of 
Louden Case, Sr. Jo Daviess County (1878), 303, 
304, 351; Rock Island County (1877), 374, 433; 
I-A: Elect Ret., IX: 32, I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 212, 
319, V: 17; Rock Island County (1908). 226. 

Spelling variants of his name include the fol- 
lowing: Brashare, Brashares, Brashier, Brasier, 
Brasure, Brazar, Brazier, Braziers. 

Deposition of Rinnah and Samuel Wells 

Jo Davis County State of Illinois [June 10, 1831] 

We the under signed being duly sworn do say that on the 27 day of May 
one thousand eight hundred and thirty one a party of Sac Indians consist- 
ing of ten in number who called themselves chiefs, with the Black Hawk 
at their head came to the house of Rinnah Wells situated near the mouth 
of Rock River and told him that he must, let a number of squaws cultivate 
ground in his field which he refused to do they appeared displeased and 
told him he must go off, which he refused to do And the following day 
some of the same chiefs with the said Black Hawk at their head and about 
fifty warriors armed with Bows & arrows Spears &C, Entered his house 
and very roughly told him that he must move off either up or down the 
river Mississippi or they would kill him and his family, by cutting their 
throats and making motions to that effect, (but done no hurt) . When said 
Wells told them that he would take council on the subject of moving if 
they would allow him until the next day at three O'clock PM, which they 

44 The Black Hawk War 

consented to, and went away and returned at the appointed time and very 
positively told him he must then go which I considered myself constrained 
to do and accordingly done so on the next day leaving all my possessions 
to said Indians 

Rinnah Wells 
Samuel Wells 

Sworn and Subscribed to in the presence of me this 10th. day of June 
1831 Joel Wells J.P. 

RC, DNA: RG 94, AGO; the entire document. Endorsed: "No. 3." Enclosed in: Gaines to Cass, 
including the "signatures" of Rinnah and Samuel Aug. 10. 
Wells, is in the handwriting of Joel Wells, Jr. 

Deposition of Citizens of the Rock River Settlement 

Rock Island June 10th. 1831 

We the undersigned Cittizens of Rock River and its Vicinity do Sol- 
lemly Sware that the Sack Indians did through the Course of last year re- 
peatedly theaten to kill us in Concequince of our being Settled in their 
Village and as they Say on their lands and in many instances they did act 
in the most outragious maner. They did throw down our fences burn and 
otherwise distroy our rails turn their Horses into our Corn and allmost dis- 
troyed our Crops — Stole our potatoes killed and eat our hogs killed our 
Cattle — Shot arrows in them and rendered many that they did not kill all- 
most useless to the owner by Shooting arrows into their Eyes. They Con- 
tended with us Saying the land was theirs and that they had not Sold it 
They have again returned to the Village Apil last ordered Some of us to 
leave our houses Saying they wanted their ground. They have turned their 
Horses into our fields of wheat we believe fifty or one Hundred in number in 
one mans Field. They have forced them Selves into our fields: lands which 
we have purchased of Government ^ & are planting of Com — and Say if we 
plant we Shall not reap the crop. In many instances when they have at- 
tempted to distroy our propperty we have tried to prevent them from doing 
So: for which they have repeatedly leveled dethly weapons at us and in 
some instances they have hurt our Cittizens. They Steal our Horses Some 
of which is a gain returned after an absence of Six or Eight months dead 
poor by their agent others are never heard of. Fifty or nearly that num- 
ber Indians headed by the noted war Chief- went armed and equiped in 
a warlike manor to the House of R. Wells ordered him to abandon the 
plase or they would kill him. For the Safety of his Family he was forced 
to obay — as we all advised him to leave thare it being one of the nearest 
houses to their Village. They then went to the house of another of our 
nighbours^ roled out a Barril of Whisky and distroyed it. These and many 

June 10, 1831 


other acts of out rage these Indians have ben Guilty of to our knowl[e]dge 
and Behef. 

Deponants names 
Rinnah Wells 
John Wells 
John W Spencer* 
Jonah. H. Case^ 
Charles H Case ^ 

Sworn and Subscribed to before me all of those whoes names are above 
written Wm. T. Brashar J.P. 

Samuel Wells 
Benja. F. Pike 
Joseph Danforth 
Moses Johnson'^ 

June 10th. 1831 

DS, DNA: RG 94, AGO; the body of the docu- 
ment is in the hand of William T. Brashar. 
Endorsed: "No 1. Deposition of the Citizens of 
Rock River Settlement— 10 July [June] 1831." 
Enclosed in: Gaines to Cass, Aug. 10. 

1 Of the nine signers of this deposition, only 
three were on land that had been purchased from 
the government. Moses Johnson rented from 
William T. Brashar, who was a landowner; 
Jonah Case was a landowner, and presumably his 
brother Charles worked on the Case farm. 

2 In the June 10 deposition of Rinnah and 
Samuel Wells, which precedes this one, the leader 
of the Indians is identified as Black Hawk. 

3 Joshua Vandruff ; see his deposition of Nov. 

4 John Winchell Spencer (1801-1878) was born 
in Vergennes, Addison County, Vermont. He 
came to the West in 1820 and lived for a short 
time with relatives in Missouri before moving with 
them to Bluflfdale, Greene County, on the Illinois 
River. In 1826 he was commissioned a 2d lieu- 
tenant in the 18th (Greene County) Regiment of 
the Illinois Militia. The following spring and 
Slimmer he worked at the lead mines in the 
Galena area but returned in the fall of 1827 to 
Greene County. He moved to Morgan County in 
1828 but lived there less than a year before going 
to Rock River in the spring of 1829. During his 
first spring at the latter place he lived in a wig- 
wam in the old Sauk village and apparently 
continued to live in the village until late 1830 or 
early 1831, when he moved to the site where his 
home was located for many years, at the south- 
west corner of 7th Avenue and 19th Street in the 
city of Rock Island. 

Spencer served as one of the first Rock Island 
County commissioners, 1833-1838, was a member 
of the 1847 Illinois constitutional convention, and 
was elected the first county judge in 1849. He 
was a member of the firm that developed water 
power at Moline in the early 1840's, and in 1852 
he became the chief proprietor and manager of 
the ferry between Rock Island and Davenport. 

In the 1831 Black Hawk campaign Spencer 
served as 1st lieutenant in Capt. Benjamin F. 
Pike's ranger company; although he enrolled in 
Capt. John W. Kenney's company on May 20, 
1832, his name is not on the official mustering-out 
roll; see Rock River Rangers to Reynolds, May 31, 

1832, and muster rolls. 

Spencer's Reminiscences of Pioneer lAfe in the 
Mississippi Valley, first published in Davenport, 
Iowa, in 1872 and republished by the Lakeside 
Press, Chicago, in 1942, is a valuable source of in- 
formation about the Rock River settlers. Although 
Spencer's accounts of the BHW actions in which 
he did not participate are vague and frequently 
inaccurate, his information is thoroughly reliable 
about events in which he took part and about 
people he knew personally. 

Biographical information is found in the Ee- 
miniscences, passim, and in the following addi- 
tional sources: Trans. ISHS, X: 342, XXVIH: 
90; Rock Island County (1885). 545-46, 704; 
I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 132; Rock Island County 
(1877), 120. 

5 Jonah H. Case, a native of Vermont, went to 
the Rock River country from Cass County, 
Illinois. SPENCER, 23, says that he arrived in the 
spring of 1829, but Case dates his arrival as Jan., 
1829 (see his deposition of Nov. 3). His farm 
was in the upper end of the old Sauk village, in 
Section 2, Township 17 North, Range 2 West of 
the Fourth Principal Meridian. 

He was active both in goverrmiental and 
business affairs of Rock Island County. In 1831 
he was elected coroner of Jo Daviess County 
(which then included present Rock Island), and 
three years later he was commissioned a justice 
of the peace for Rock Island County. In July, 

1833, he was licensed to keep a tavern at his 
home; and in 1834, with Antoine LeClaire and 
William T. Brashar, he was licensed to operate 
a ferry across the Mississippi. Case and John W. 
Spencer, his wife's brother, owned the land which 
formed the nucleus of the present city of Rock 
Island. Case served in the 1831 Black Hawk cam- 

46 The Black Hawk War 

paign in Capt. Benjamin F. Pike's ranger com- 7 Moses Johnson was listed as a resident of Jo 

pany. He died in 1864. Cass County (1882), 24; Daviess County in the 1830 U.S. Census; pre- 

Rock Island County (1885), 641, 688; Rock sumably he was then living in present Rock 

Island County (1908), 226: Illinois Laws 1839, Island County, which at that time was a part of 

78; SPENCER, 15, 23; I-A: Exec. Rec., I: 343, II: Jo Daviess. In 1831 he was farming ten acres of 

163; I-A: Elect. Ret., XVI: 7. land that he rented from William T. Brashar. 

6 Charles H. Case, brother of Jonah H. and In his deposition of Nov. 3, Johnson said that he 

Louden L. and son of Louden Case, Sr., came lived near the land he farmed. Previously, he had 

with his father's family to Rock Island County apparently lived near the Wabash River. In 

in 1829. In the Black Hawk campaign of 1831 he 1831 he served as a private in Capt. Benjamin F. 

served as a corporal in Capt. Benjamin F. Pike's Pike's ranger company. In 1834 a Moses Johnson, 

ranger company. He was commissioned a justice probably this man, was indicted for larceny by a 

of the peace for Rock Island County in 1847 and Rock Island County grand jury. See Rock Island 

was still a resident of the county in 1865. Rock County (1885), 695; I-A: 1830 Census, 312. 
Island County (1908), 227; SPENCER, 23; Illinois 
D.A.R. Records, 1955, XII: 19; I-A: Exec. Rec, 
V: 76. 

Henry Gratiot to Edmund P. Gaines 

Rock Island June 11th. 1831. 
Majr Genl Gaines U.S. Army Comdg W. Dept. 

Sir, I have the honor to report to you that agreeably to my intimation 
to you, I visited the village of Sac and Fox Indians near this place, last 
evening, for the purpose of persuading off the Winnebago Prophet, and 
some young men of his band; who I knew had previously been there, and 
I believe with an intention to support those Indians. I learned on my ar- 
rival, that the prophet had just left there, to return to his Village, which 
is on Rock River; and although he had previously promised me that he 
would return home, and remain there, I have reasons to believe that his 
object is to engage as many warriors of his, and of the other bands, of 
Winnebago Indians who reside on Rock River within my Agency as he 
can, for the purpose of joining the Sac and Fox Indian and of supporting 
them in thier present pretensions. I have recently been at some of the 
principal Villages within my agency, and I understand from unquestionable 
authority, that although the Indians have been solicited to join the Sac 
and Fox band, under the Black-Hawk; they have refused to do so. I am 
however of opinion that it will be advisable for me to follow the Prophet, 
and prevent him from exercising his influence amongst the Winnebago's, 
should I find that any of the warriors have left before my arrival amongst 
them; I will (if you think it important) return immediately to this place, 
and bring with me some of the influential Chiefs who can be relied on and 
who will, with my assistance, be able to controul them. It is my opinion 
that there are at least four hundred warriors at the Black Hawks Village, 
which I visited yesterday, apparently determined to defend themselves in 
their present position. On the receipt of your letter of the 4th Inst ^ I im- 
mediately had an interview with Capt Legate U.S.A.^ and we came to the 
conclusion, that a personal interview would perhaps be the most satisfac- 

June U, 1831 47 

tory to you. I therefore hastened to this place, to give any information 
upon the subject of your letter, within my knowledge, and also to tender 
my services in any way which you may think them useful. 
I am with Great Respect Sir Yr Obt. Svt 

Henry Gratiot U.S. Sub-Indian Agent. 

LS, DNA: RG 94, AGO. Addressed: "Major Genl Captain Legate at Galena. In Gaines to Gratiot, 

E. P Gaines Comdg Western Dept. U.S.A[.] June 12, the General commended Gratiot for his 

Rock Island." Postmarked: "On Service." En- work in keeping the Winnebago neutral and 

dorsed: (1) "No. 8." (2) AE by General Gaines asked him to return to Rock Island as soon as 

— "Colonel H. Gratiot 11. June 1831 Reed. & possible after visiting the Indians of his agency, 

answered 12. June . . . Sac & Fox Indians." 1 Gratiot misdated the letter; June 5 is the 

Enclosed in: Gaines to Cass, Aug. 10. A copy correct date. See the source note, 

marked "A" was enclosed in Gaines to Jones, 2 Thomas C. Legate, a captain of the 2d U.S. 

June 14. Artillery, was assigned to the ordnance depart- 

Another copy was enclosed in Gratiot to Samuel ment as superintendent of the lead mines at 

S. Hamilton, Aug. 21, 1831. The Aug. 21 letter Galena. A native of Massachusetts, Legate was 

with its enclosure and Gaines to Gratiot, June commissioned 2d lieutenant of the 3d Artillery in 

12, 1831, are in 22d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Exec. 1812, discharged in 1815, and reinstated a few 

Doc. 2, 195-97. The above letter is there misdated months later. He transferred to the 2d Artillery 

"June 12." In his Aug. 21 letter to Hamilton (a in 1821 and was still officially a member of that 

reply to Hamilton's of July 22) Gratiot detailed regiment at the time of his resignation in 1836. 

his activities throughout the 1831 campaign. The He made his home at Galena after leaving the 

General had instructed him in a letter of June army, heitman; Army Register 1815-37, 431; 

5 (a signed copy in DNA: RG 94, AGO — Frames Jo Daviess County (1878), 271; I-A: 1840 Census, 

44-46, Roll 61, M567) to investigate Sauk re- VI: 192; Chicago Historical Society's Collection, 

cruiting among the Rock River Winnebago and III: 436n. 
to forward any information he obtained to 

Edmund P. Gaines to Roger Jones 

Head Quarters, Western Department: Rock Island, 14th. [-15th.?] 

June, 1831. 

Sir, In my letter of the 8th. Instant, (written in great haste to be sent 
by the commander of a Steam Boat reluctantly detained for the purpose,) 
I stated that the British Band of Sauk Indians on Rock river, having failed 
to obtain the assistance of the Winebagoes & Pottowattamics, and having 
been abandoned by the friends & relatives of Keokok, one of the principal 
chiefs of the friendly party settled on the loway river, west of the Mis- 
sissippi, appeared disposed to listen to my counsel ; that I had notified them 
to move off in three days, & had assured them that if they did not move 
themselves in that time I would move them. 

The facts & circumstances which follow, suggested to me the propriety 
of affording to these Indians a little more time for reflexion: 

I. I have ascertained that they are visited by upwards of a hundred 
Pottowattamies with some Winnebagoes & Kikapoos, & have determined 
not to move without being forced off. They say they will not fight: — but 
there is reason to believe that as soon as they are forced off, they will 
attack the frontier settlements of the state of Illinois. These settlements are 
even more sparse & feebler than I had anticipated. Few of the inhabitants 

48 The Black Hawk War 

are supplied, as our border men used to be, with good rifles, or other means 
of defence, such as Block-houses &c. &c. A section of near three hundred 
miles of this description of frontier, embracing the old hunting & fighting 
grounds of these Sauks & their allies, the Foxes, Pottowattamies, Kikapoos 
& Winnebagoes, the three former speaking the same language, lies open to 
the incursions of these Indians; who if disposed to engage in a war against 
us, would have it in their power to do much havock upon this exposed 
border, before it would be possible to arrest the evil by the employment 
of any other than mounted men: most of these Indians being well mounted 
& well armed. 

II. Notwithstanding it was the opinion of Colonel Gratiot, the excellent 
sub-agent of the Winnebagoes of Rock river, that, neither these nor the 
Pottawattamies would join the hostile Sauks; yet, I learned from him soon 
after the date of my last that, he had seen recent cause to doubt the cor- 
rectness of his previous impression upon this point. He therefore deter- 
mined to visit the Sauk village of Rock river, & if possible seperate the 
Indians of his agency from the hostile party. His report is enclosed here- 
with, marked "A." 

III. The companies which I sent for to Praire du Chien, could not join 
me as soon as I desired, because I did not deem it proper to call troops 
from that post,^ without making the time of their departure to depend 
on the arrival there, of the companies ordered from Fort Winnebago ; - & 
they had not arrived. Besides, even if I had the four companies Expected 
from Praire du Chien, though this force added to the six companies here, 
would have enabled me to punish & disperse these Indians, unaided by any 
of their allies, yet, as they are all mounted, & my force on foot, they might 
have made a heavy stroke upon the frontier settlements without the pos- 
sibility of being overtaken before the arrvial of the Mounted Militia. 

IV. I have recently learned from the public Interpreter at this post,^ 
(& I have the promise of a written communication from the Agent, Mr. 
St. Vrain, stating the particulars, which I will forward with this, if it be 
received in time,) that three of the Sauk Chiefs were sent by this band 
in in the last year to visit & enter into alliances with all the Indian tribes 
along our South Western frontier to Texas inclusively; that they did visit 
& treat with twelve different Nations. Two of the Chiefs died on the way 
after visiting Texas. The other one returned to his band but a few weeks 
past.* He reports that they were all well pleased with the friendly recep- 
tion they met with from the natives, & with the country in & near Texas, 
whither the band is believed to have some intention of moving. They seem, 
therefore, willing to abandon their Country here, west of the Mississippi, 
if compelled to leave their present position at Rock river, & they have 
intimated an expectation that a war upon this frontier, & as far as Texas, 
in which many different nations will be engaged, is likely to occur within 
a year or two. These anticipations are, however, doubtless, more the result 
of their sanguine hopes & wishes, than of their reasonable expectations. 

June U, 1831 49 

Their English friends, they say, have spoken to them of an intended war 
with us: & call the attention of the Indians to the trading establishments 
of the English at the mouth of Columbia river; as evidence of their con- 
tinued efforts to secure in such a war, the cooperation of all the American 
Indians. These speculations will serve to shew their continued, deep rooted 
infatuation towards England, & relentless enmity towards the United 

The foregoing views appear to suggest the propriety of my abstaining 
from any measures calculated to excite a spirit of active hostility among 
these Indians, unless they actually strike, or attempt to strike a blow in 
that spirit, until I am favoured with the presidents views upon the subject. 
My present authority only embraces the simple duty of protection to the 
citizens, soldiers & public functionaries of the United States. Whenever 
this duty calls for the application of powder & ball, they shall be freely 
applied. But whilst our neighbouring Savages, blinded as they are by the 
unconquerable force of habitual prejudice & hatred, forbear to strike, I 
must not dare to strike a deadly blow. I shall therefore if possible remove 
them without bloodshed. But I shall not during the continuance of their 
present conduct & caution attempt to move them by force until I possess 
the means of protecting the frontier settlements. 

I cannot but conclude that the present is an auspicious occasion to treat 
with these people for the whole of their country west of this place; than 
which no measure could tend more to the immediate security & permanent 
prosperity of the northern & western parts of the states of Missouri & 

I am now satisfied that the friendly professions of Keokok & Morgan^ 
& their followers west of the Mississippi, are not much to be relied on.^ The 
latter spoke to me of his intention to comply with the late treaty,''' but was 
manifestly much dissatisfied with some parts of it; & he enquired whether 
we did not wish to obtain more than their land. I afterwards learned that 
his band, the Foxes, were disposed to sell. 

Accompanying this I send you a copy of the memorandum of my Aid 
de Camp, Lt. McCall, of the substance of my talks held with these Indians. 

I have notified them that I can hear nothing more upon the subject of 
the removal of the Sauks, until they shall have removed, or come to notify 
me that they will move forthwith. 

All which is respectfully submitted for the infomation of the proper 

Edmund P. Gaines Major Genl. By Bt. Commg 

To Adjutant General Jones, U.S. Army, Washington City. 

[June 15 ?] 

P.S. Since writing the foregoing letter, I have obtained more satisfactory 

Information than that on which my remarks respecting Keokok were 

founded. A confidential agent ^ was employed to visit Keokok's village, 


The Black Hawk War 

about 45 miles west of this place, & reports that all but two of the friendly- 
warriors of that chief are with him, at the village, preparing to go still 
farther up the loway river on a hunting party; and that the two others 
referred to are endeavouring to seperate their friends from the British band. 
I enclose herewith the letter of F. St. Vrain Esq. Indian Agent, referred 
to in the 4th. paragraph of the foregoing letter, marked "C." E.P.G. 

LS, DNA: RG 94, AGO. In addition to the 
routine filing note the letter has four endorse- 
ments added by Jones: (1) "Genl-in-Chief. Septr. 
2nd R.J." (2) "[Accompanying: papers are 
marked — A.B.C. — ] R Jones." (3) "[Submitted 
— to the Secrty. of War. R.J.]." (4) "Reed: 
Septr. 1st. 1831." 

Enclosures: "A," Gratiot to Gaines, June 11; 
"B," Memorandum of Talks between Gaines and 
the Sauk, June 4-7; "C," St. Vrain to Gaines, 
June 15. 

The delay in the delivery of this letter to the 
Adjutant General was explained by Lt. George A. 
McCall in a letter to General Gaines, dated 
Jefferson Barracks, Aug. 18 (Letters from the 
Frontiers, 243-44) : 

"Much to my surprise, the mail of the 16th 
instant brought to my hands the package of 
letters which was dispatched per Colonel [James 
M.] Strode, (the aide of Governor R.,) while we 
lay at the Yellow Banks ... in June last. The 
package was destined to Lieutenant [M. L.] 
Clark, (who at the time was in this office,) and 
contained your letter of the 17th [14-15] of June 
to the Adjutant-General, enclosing the memoran- 
da of the 'talks' with the Sac and Fox Indians, 
with other papers relating thereto. 

"I have forwarded them to the Adjutant- 
General's office with the necessary remarks. . . ." 

The letter to Adjutant General Jones is dated 
Aug. 17, g.v. See also the June 20 letter from 
Rushville and n. 33 for a more detailed account 
of Strode's dereliction. 

Roger Jones (1789-1852), adjutant general of 
the U.S. Army from 1825 until his death, was a 
native of Virginia. He entered the marine corps 
in 1809 and three years later transferred to the 
artillery with the rank of captain. He was 
awarded two brevets for service in the War of 
1812 — major for his action at Chippewa and 
Lundy's Lane and lieutenant colonel for gallan- 
try in the sortie from Fort Erie. He was bre- 
vetted brigadier general in 1832 and major 
general in 1848. Appletons' Cyclopaedia; HEIT- 
MAN, I: 38, 582; Army Register 1815-37, 140, 
149, 165, 182, 268, 275, 281. 

1 Fort Crawford, garrisoned by 1st Infantry 

2 Fort Winnebago was an army post opened in 
1828. It was located on the right bank of the Fox 
River opposite the portage between that stream 
and the Wisconsin River, near the present city 

of Portage, Wisconsin. At this time, 1st Infantry 
companies were stationed at the post. ANDREW 
JACKSON TURNER, "The History of Fort Winne- 
bago," Wisconsin Historical Collections, XIV: 

3 Antoine LeClaire (1797-1861) was the inter- 
preter at Rock Island. The son of a French 
trader-blacksmith and a Potawatomi woman, he 
was born at St. Joseph, Michigan, and later lived 
at Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Peoria, Illinois; and 
Portage des Sioux, Missouri. LeClaire was still 
serving as an interpreter as late as 1842. As an 
Indian half-breed, he was granted a section of 
land at present Moline by the Potawatomi Treaty 
of 1829; and in 1832 the Sauk and Fox granted 
him two sections in their land cession made at 
the close of the BHW. In 1835 he sold his claim 
to one of those sections to a group of men, 
including George Davenport, who founded the 
city of Davenport, Iowa, on LeClaire's grant. 
LeClaire became a prominent citizen of Daven- 
port, but he is best known today as the inter- 
preter who recorded Black Hawk's autobiography. 
Annals of Iowa, XXIII: 79-117; spencer, 43, 
107, 163, 164; KAPpler, II: 298, 350-51, 549; 
Wisconsin Historical Collections, XI: 238-42; 
WILKIE. Davenport: Past and Present, 167-69. 

4 The Sauk Indian who had just returned was 
Kinnekonnesaut, a brave; the two chiefs who had 
died were loway and Namoett; see St. Vrain's 
June 15 letter, which follows. 

5 Morgan (AUotah [?], Manquopraum, Man- 
quopwan, Maquepraum, or Bear Ham or the 
Bear's Hip), a half-breed Fox, was the principal 
war chief, or spokesman, of that tribe. He had 
been an active warrior as early as 1820 (HOFF- 
MANN, Antique Dubuque, 145), and in 1828 Sauk 
and Fox agent Thomas Forsyth wrote that 
Morgan was a very smart man who in a few 
years would control the Fox nation as Keokuk 
did the Sauk (letter to William Clark, June 20, 
1828, enclosed in Clark to Cass, Aug. 12 1831; 
both in DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., St. Louis). 

In 1829 Morgan was one of the speakers at 
a conference with the treaty commissioners at 
Praire du Chien. No treaty was negotiated with 
the Sauk and Fox that year, and Morgan stated 
that he was opposed to the sale of the Indian 
lead mines around Dubuque, Iowa (transcript of 
council proceedings in IHi: Stevens Collection). 
The following year Morgan signed the Prairie 
du Chien Treaty of July 15, 1830, which set up 
the Neutral Ground (kappler, II: 308). 

June 15, 1831 


Morgan lived at the Fox village below the site 
of Dubuque. In May, 1830, the Indians there 
moved temporarily down to the Rock River area 
after their chief Peahmuska and several other 
leading men had been killed from ambush by 
a party of Sioux, Winnebago, and Menominee 
near Prairie du Chien (HOFFMANN, Antique 
Dubuque, 166-73). On July 31, 1831, a war party 
of Sauk and Fox retaliated by attacking and 
murdering twenty-six Menominee encamped at 
Prairie du Chien. Hoffmann says, incorrectly, 
that Morgan led this war party (173, 175); see 
Atkinson to Gaines, Aug. 10. 

According to Thomas Forsyth, Morgan died a 
natural death in the summer of 1831 (Forsyth 
to Ashley, Aug. 10, 1832). The exact date of his 
death is unknown, but on Aug. 23, 1831, Maj. 
John Bliss reported that he had just learned 
of Morgan's death; see his letter of that date. 
Morgan's influence was so great that his band, 
actually Poweshiek's, continued to be called "Mor- 
gan's band" long after his death; see the April 
13, 1832, council proceedings and Pilcher to 
Atkinson, Aug. 6, 1832. 

Morgan's ancestry has been the subject of much 
speculation, fulton frequently refers to him as 
of Scottish descent (Red Men oj Iowa, 139, 276), 
and HOFFMANN calls him "half white" (Antique 
Dubuque. 145, 175). Capt. Richard H. Bell, one- 
time superintendent of the lead mines at Galena, 
reported in a letter of Aug. 16, 1831, to Maj. 
Gen. Alexander Macomb that Morgan was "said 
to be a natural son of the Hero of the Cowpens," 

Gen. Daniel Morgan (carter, ed., Territorial 
Papers, XII: 332). Less romantic but more 
convincing evidence, from the LeCIaire Papers in 
the Davenport Public Museum (photocopy in 
IHi), is a certificate made April 17, 1835, by 
Michael Brisbois at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin: 

"John Morgan a White Man lived at Prairie du 
Chien about the Year 1782-3 and had a full 
blooded Fox woman for a wife, by whom he had 
several children, a son & two daughters, the 
son was Called John Morgan, a Brave of some 
considerable Note among the Fox tribes who 
lived at a Summer Village at Dubuques Mines, 
and died in the summer of the Year 1831. The 
two sisters are now living with the Foxes and 
are named Charlote & Catharine. The name of 
the Squaw kept by the elder Morgan Waugh-Kee- 
Kun, who is now living with the Fox Indians." 

One of Morgan's descendants, George Morgan 
(Ashetonequot) , was secretary of the Fox tribe at 
the Tama, Iowa, reservation about the turn of 
the century (HOFFMANN, Antique Dubuque, 183). 

6 But see the postscript. 

7 Of July 15, 1830; see n. 5 above. 

8 Nathan Smith was hired to spy among 
Black Hawk's band (see his receipt of June 25), 
but the agent sent to Keokuk's band has not been 
identified. One J. F. White, later a Kansas re- 
sident and at this time from Illinois, is said to 
have served as a spy among the Sauk some time 
before the 1832 campaign. Kansas Historical 
Collections, XI: 335. 

Felix St, Vrain to Edmund P. Gaines 

Rock Island Inci Agency June 15h 1831 
Maj. Genl. E. P. Ganes Hd. Quarters Rock Island 

Respected Sir Your note of the 14th inst.^ was handed to me this morn- 
ing; I hasten to answer the enquiries you have requiried. (viz) 

1st. Kenecanesat [he who strikes first] ^ told Mr. Leclaire (my inter- 
preter), that the object of his visit to the south western frontear of the 
U.S. in the course of last fall and winter, was to make peace with all the 
Indian Nations of that Country; he also told Mr Farnham that he had 
visited twelve diffirent tribes of Indians, in the course of his voyage, and 
that he had left his step-son behind who was expected back to Rock River, 
in the Course of the present month 

2nd. he was accompanied by the loway^ & Namowet,* two Sac Chiefs 
and Several other Sac Indians, the two Chiefs died on their way home. 

3rd. The places they visited are Nacogdoche,^ and the Missionaiy Es- 
tablishment on a branch of the Arkansaw.^ Kenecanesat has a letter in his 
posession, signed by Michael Menard, a trader of the lower country.''' I 


The Black Hawk War 

have not seen the letter, but understand from Mr Gratiot and Leelaire, 
that it is a request to let Kenecanesat pass unmolested and that he was a 
good Indian; he also has a letter from the Missionaries to about the same 
effect: Kenecanesat remained the winter of 1828 at or near the falls of 
Niagara, his object then, (as it has been before and since) to unite in his 
behalf, the Potowatomies, Otowas, Chipawas, Winebagoes, Kikapoos &c 
this information I got this morning from Mr. Leelaire and he says that he 
got it from the Indians themselves. 

Should I obtain any further information on the subject, I will loose no 
time in appriseing you of it. 

Very Respectfully Your Obt Servt. Felix St. Vrain Ind. Agt. 

ALS, DNA: RG 94, AGO. Addressed: "Major 
Genl. Gaines Hd. Quarters Rock Isla[nd]." En- 
dorsed: "No. 7." Enclosed in: Gaines to Cass, 
Aug. 10. A copy was enclosed in Gaines to Jones, 
June 14-15. 

1 Not located. 

2 Brackets in original. 

3 This man is always referred to as a chief of 
Black Hawk's band. See, for example, Gaines to 
Jones, June 14-15; St. Vrain to Clark, April 6, 
1832. In 1832 another chief by the same name 
was with Black Hawk; see his testimony of Aug. 
27, 1832. There may also have been a third 
loway who lived about the same time. In 1823 
Thomas Forsyth told of a Sauk Indian named 
"Ihowai" who had just come back to the Rock 
River after having been absent in Canada for 
several years, and in 1828 Forsyth wrote of a 
Sauk "brave" named "Ihowai" who was asso- 
ciated with Bad Thunder, a chief of Black Hawk's 
band. If the designations "chief" and "brave" 
were used correctly by the writers, there were 
three loways who lived between 1820 and 1832; 
if not, the brave who had been with the British 
could have been the chief who died in 1831. See 
Forsyth to Calhoun, July 7, 1823— S-F Ex. 204, 
and Forsyth to Clark, June 16, 1828, WHi: 
Draper MSS, 6T 86-87— S-F Ex. 225, Docket 
158, ICC. 

4 Or Namoett. He is also called a chief in the 
reports of St. Vrain and Maj. John Bliss of 
April 6, 1832. Nothing else is known of this man. 

5 Present Nacogdoches, Texas. 

6 Probably Dwight Mission, located about thir- 
teen miles above the mouth of Sallisaw Creek (a 
tributary of the Arkansas) on the road between 
Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Fort Gibson, Okla- 
homa. The mission had been moved to Oklahoma 
in 1830 when the Cherokee left Arkansas. Union 
Mission, established for the Osage in 1820, was 
located about twenty miles north of Fort Gibson 

and near Grand (or Neosho) River, a tributary 
of the Arkansas. Though it was not on the 
river. Union Mission could have been the esta- 
blishment referred to. foreman. Advancing the 
Frontier, 119, 123, 311 ff.; WPA Guide to Okla- 
homa, 66, 334. 

''Michel (or Michael) Branamour (or Brinda- 
mour) Menard (1805-1856) was a nephew of the 
elder Pierre Menard's. Born in Laprairie, Lower 
Canada, Michel came to Kaskaskia, Illinois, in 
1823. He was employed by his uncle as a trader 
among the Delaware and Shawnee in southeastern 
Missouri, and moved with those Indians to Arkan- 
sas Territory and thence to Texas. He was said to 
have been so influential among the Shawnee that 
they adopted him into the tribe and elected him 
a chief. When the Indians moved to Texas, 
Menard obtained permission from the Mexican 
government to settle at Nacogdoches. He operated 
trading posts there and at Liberty on Menard 
Creek, established sawmills, and began to acquire 
land throughout the state. As a representative 
of Liberty, Texas, he signed the Texas Declara- 
tion of Independence in 1836 and was a member 
of the committee that drew up the Texas Con- 
stitution. For the next several years his official 
assignments included such diverse activities as 
negotations with the U.S. government 
in an attempt to borrow money for the new 
republic and with the Texas Indians to assure 
their fidelity during the war with Mexico. The 
first Texas legislature recognized Menard's claim 
to a part of Galveston Island, and in 1838 he 
organized the company that founded the city of 
Galveston. Menard represented Galveston County 
in the Texas Congress, 1840-1842, but devoted the 
remainder of his life to commercial and financial 
enterprises. He died at his home in Galveston. 
Menard County, Texas, was named for him two 
years after his death. DAB. 

June 16, 1831 53 

George A. McCall to Archibald McCall 

Headquarters Western Department, Rock Island, 111., June 16, 1831. 

My dear Father: — Your letter of the 5th inst. reached me this morning, 
having been forwarded from St. Louis by the steamboat Winnebago, bound 
to Galena. At the time that she had discharged about half her freight for 
this post (i.e. the ordnance stores and subsistence for Major B.'s com- 
mand^), a "sucker," as the frontier inhabitants of Missouri term their 
neighbors of Illinois, arrived express, from the Red Banks,^ about eighty 
miles below this, and brought a paper from the crews of two keelboats 
(laden with merchandise of considerable value), soliciting of the General 
the protection of an escort or guard for their vessels as far as Rock Island. 

It appears from their statement, that, while the boats lay one night at 
the French-Indian or Indian-French settlement, at the Des Moines Rapids, 
a party of Indians, avowedly friendly and professing to belong to Keokuk's 
party, loitered round the fire where the crews were preparing their supper, 
and with the unconquerable pertinacity peculiar to their race, pushed their 
inquiries in such a variety of shapes, that they at length gathered from the 
answers of their less subtle white brethren the information that they were 
so desirous to obtain; viz.: that the boats contained, among other things, 
a quantity of red cloth, powder, whisky, &c. &c., intended for the traders 
who reside among their old enemies the Sioux. As soon as they had satisfied 
themselves on this point, they begged a bottle or two of whisky from their 
"very good friends," and retired to their camp to drink it. 

As soon as they retired, one of the crew, who had had a good deal of 
intercourse with Indians for many years, expressed his fears to the others 
that all was not right. "These men," said he, "are evidently Sacs; but so 
far from believing them to be of Keokuk's party, I shrewdly suspect them 
of belonging to the 'British band' " (as the Black-Hawk's party is called). 
Hereupon it was thought advisable to observe their motions, and the 
speaker volunteered his services; as soon, therefore, as their meal was 
finished, and they supposed the "fire-water" began to do its office, the 
sucker (for it was the same to whom I have already given the appellation 
common to the natives of Illinois) departed for the purpose of reconnoitring 
the supposed hostile camp. 

He found the Indians already under the mfluence of the liquor they had 
drunk, and cautiously approching their fire, the first words that saluted his 
ear (for he understood the language well) convinced him that his first im- 
pression with regard to their character, was but too well-founded. 

The party consisted of four, one of whom, a brave of some distinction, 
was addressing the others to this effect: "My brothers," said he, "the braves 
of the pale-faces are at this moment surrounding our homes; their watch- 
fires illuminate the forests of our ancestors; their great guns are pointed, 
their long knives are bared, and they only wait for the arrival of their 
horsemen, to drive us from the homes, the fair fields, and the graves of 

54 The Black Hawk War 

our forefathers." He paused, and a long, shrill, and melancholy war-whoop 
from his companions was the reply. "These boats of the pale-faces," he 
continued, "are going to our old enemies the Sioux who fourteen moons 
past, under the pretense of offering the pipe of friendship to our tribe, faith- 
lessly attacked our unarmed chief, and immolated him with all his family ! ^ 
Answer me, my brothers! Shall the treasures of the pale-faces reach their 
destination?" A fierce and shrilling shout was the only answer to this ques- 
tion, but it too plainly indicated to the sucker the savage eagerness of the 
Indian and his friends to seize upon their prey, to require interpretation. 
The plan was soon arranged by the Indians. One of the party was to set 
out in the morning, to get a reinforcement, while the others were to hover 
about the boats as they slowly toiled against the current of the Mississippi, 
and observe their motion until they reached a certain point (about forty 
miles below this), where a strong party of the Black-Hawk band was to 
await their coming, and where, surprising the unsuspecting crews in the 
night, their rich cargoes should fall an easy prey to the victors. This being 
settled, the leader raised the bottle from the ground, and scanning its con- 
tents with an eagle eye as he held it to the firelight, carried it to his mouth. 
The scout did not wait to see the flask make its round, but hurried to his 
friends with an account of what he had overheard. Some of the party were 
in favor of proceeding at once and making the best of their time; others 
were for returning; but the scout assured them they were in no danger at 
present, and had nothing to fear before they reached the point designated 
by the Indians, unless they should awaken their suspicions by a precipitous 
movement, at the same time advising them to pursue their course as if 
nothing had happened, until they reached the Red Bank, where there is a 
considerable settlement, and where they might remain in safety until a 
convoy could be procured from Rock Island, which he volunteered to go 
from that place in quest of. His advice was followed ; and here he is having 
just put me in possession of the facts nearly as I have given them to you. 

As these boats have on board some ammunition essential to the perfect 
efficiency of the troops, the General has engaged the captain ^ of the Winne- 
bago to return for them. A company will be put on board, and the General 
will avail himself of the opportunity to examine more closely the country 
about the mouth of Rock River, by the "Great cut-off." 

We shall go on board as soon as the steamboat has discharged its freight, 
which I think will be about midnight; and if I can find time to-morrow, 
I will give you a sketch of our history since we left St. Louis. 

[George A. McCall] 

GEORGE A. McCALL, Letters from the Frontiers, major of the 1st Infantry, July 15, 1831. During 

224-27. the 1832 Black Hawk campaign he relinquished 

1 John Bliss was commandant of Fort Ann- command of Fort Armstrong to a junior officer 

strong at the time of the Black Hawk campaigns and accompanied the 1st Infantry in the field, 

of 1831 and 1832. A native of New Hampshire, Soon after the war he became commanding officer 

Bliss entered the army in 1811 and had been as- of Fort Snelling, where he served until 1836. He 

signed to the 11th, 6th, 5th, and 3d regiments of left the army in 1837 and died in 1854. heitman; 

U.S. Infantry by 1831. He was commissioned Army Register 1815-37, 424, 452, 571; Rock 

June 17, 1831 55 

Island County (1908), 51; Minnesota Historical also gives the distance as eighty miles. 

Collections, VI: 335-54. 3 A reference to the massacre of the Fox chief 

2 McCall's mileage figure is high. According to Peahmuska and other Fox Indians on May 5, 

a chart on J. H. Young's 1835 map of Illinois, the 1830; see the Index for other citations to this 

town of Oquawka, or Lower Yellow Banks, was affair. 

sixty- four miles downriver from Rock Island; but 4 A Mr. Hunt of Galena was captain of the 

Lloyd's Steamboat Directory for 1856, p. 208, Winnebago in 1832. Scott to Cass, Sept. 9, 1832. 

George A. McCall to Archibald McCall 

Hd. Qrs Western Department. On board Steamer Winnebago. 
Near the Red Banks, June 17, 1831. 

My dear Father: — About midnight we got on board, and soon after were 
under a press of steam moving dowm the bright current of the father of 
waters; the moon was at the full and the night beautiful; the mild prairies 
on our right smiling in the soft moonlight, were finely contrasted with the 
dark and frowning woodland that overhung and shaded the water on our 
left. The air was redolent with the rich offering of a thousand prairie- 
fiowers, and love and poetry as they accepted the offering pronounced the 
hour to be their own. 

The boat was filled with passengers for Galena, among whom were (and 
are, for they are still with us) four ladies. The berths were all filled, so 
that I had full time to contemplate the scene alone upon the hurricane- 

Having been at work all day, I at length lay down in my cloak and slept 
for an hour; but was again up at four o'clock preparing a dispatch ^ for the 
Governor of Illinois — which we sent off about breakfast-time. I also sent 
a letter addressed to yourself, which I trust will reach its destination. 

Now for Indian affairs. The day after our arrival at Fort Armstrong, 
Black-Hawk, with his principal braves, met the General in council.^ They 
approached the council-house, bounding from the earth and whooping, in 
all the extravagance of the war-dance. We observed too that they were 
much more completely armed than is usual on such occasions; and many 
of them, indeed, had their bows bent, so unequivocal an indication of their 
hostile feeling, that it was thought proper privately to increase the guard 
and keep the whole command under arms, for which purpose the usual 
drill afforded a sufficient pretext. And I observed during the session of the 
council, some of the old traders were evidently uneasy and constantly on 
the qui vive, and they afterwards told me that never before at a similar 
scene did they see so strong a demonstration of hostility as on this occa- 

The General opened the business by telling the Sacs, who were seated 
on the left of the friendly party of Foxes, under Keokuk,^ that he had 
called their chiefs and braves together for the purpose of conferring with 
them on the subject of the outrages that had been committed by a part of 

56 The Black Hawk War 

the tribe, in the vicinity of Rock Island, during the past spring, and he 
desired to have a candid and a true talk. He called to their minds, the 
articles of the treaty entered into between the United States, themselves, 
and the Foxes, twenty-seven years ago, which was renewed sixteen years 
ago, and again six years since, when they finally relinquished to the Gov- 
ernment of the United States all their lands east of the Mississippi Biver. 

He also reminded them that, although they were professedly the British 
band, and had never been well-disposed towards us, still their great father, 
the President, had permitted them to remain, year after year, and culti- 
vate the land they had sold, and from which they had not been removed, 
merely because the frontier was still thinly populated, and there was no 
immediate call for the land; and told them their failing to fulfil the terms 
of the treaty had been ascribed to their ignorance of the propriety of their 
immediate removal, rather than to any disposition to quibble or prevari- 
cate, or, on a future day, to deny the sale of the land; but that, since the 
country had begun to be settled, difficulties were constantly occurring be- 
tween the white inhabitants and themselves, and their great father was 
now convinced of the impossibility of continuing on friendly terms while 
they remained on this side the river. That the laws of his country and 
his oath of office required the President of the United States to see justice 
done to all parties, and that the numerous complaints of the whites called 
on him to require of the Sacs a fulfilment of the terms of the treaty. It 
was therefore necessary that they should without delay cross the Mis- 
sissippi; that they would there find a rich and beautiful country abound- 
ing in game, in which they might subsist without labor, and where they 
might reside peacefully and undisturbed. 

"The Jumping Fish" (the hereditary chieftain)'* replied: "My braves 
have heard what you have said, but they know not what sales or bargains 
you speak of; yet, if the Great Spirit is with your people, I do not think 
they would intentionally write down falsehoods at a council, while their 
red brethren speak what comes from the heart. 

"Some time ago I sold a part of our land to obtain the release of a cap- 
tive brave, but neither I, nor my braves, know of any sale of all our lands 
east of the Mississippi River. I am a red-skin and do not use paper at a 
talk, but what is said is impressed on my heart, and I do not forget it." 

After a part of the first treaty had been read to them and the chiefs 
who had signed it named, &c., &c., and some other remarks had been made, 
the Black-Hawk rose and said, — 

"Our braves are unanimous in their desire to remain in their old fields; 
they wish to harvest their corn and will do so peaceably; they have no 
evil at heart; but the Great Spirit having given the land to their fore- 
fathers as a home, they are unwilling to leave it." 

The General told him his great chief had sold the land, and they no 
longer had a right to occupy it, and that go they must. "Who is the Black- 
Hawk that he should assume the right of dictating to his tribe?" said the 

June 17, 1831 57 

General. "I know him not — he is no chief; — who is he? that he should take 
upon himself to speak for his tribe?" The old Hawk, who is upwards of 
seventy,^ was very much cut down by this, and took his seat quite morti- 
fied; but after a little he rose and, with infinite dignity and energy of 
manner addressing the General, said, — ■ 

"You have asked who is the Black-Hawk? Know that I am a Sac. My 
fathers were great men; they have left their bones in our fields, and there 
I will remain and leave my bones with theirs." 

The General told them to think of it till morning, and after they had 
slept on it to let him know their decision. 

They were then dismissed, and they retired with the same surly defiance 
depicted in their countenances, which had been remarkable in their de- 
meanor throughout the morning. 

Early the next morning Keokuk with the friendly party called on the 
General. He said, "that he had listened with deep interest, to the talk of 
the day before; that he had been with the Sacs all night endeavoring to 
induce his personal friends to withdraw from the British band; and that 
he had succeeded in gaining twelve large lodges (near fifty families) ; and 
he wished the General would abstain from the use of force until he got 
all his relatives and friends across the Mississippi, for he was resolved 
'to pull at them until he got over all that would come.' " 

He appeared to feel acutely for the Black-Hawk's party, and said they 
had planted corn on the Rock River lands; and as it was now too late in 
the season to prepare new fields, they must suffer if they were deprived of 
their harvest. Keokuk is a perfect Apollo in figure, and is one of the most 
graceful and eloquent speakers I have seen among the Indians of any 
tribe. The General approved his conduct, and highly commended him, and 
told him he should have time to continue his exertions, and that those who 
moved should be furnished with as much corn as they could have raised; 
but that go they must in a very few days. His party then returned to 
the camp opposite the fort, where they had hoisted a large white flag. 

Two days afterguards, the Black-Hawk again appeared, and was on this 
occasion accompanied by several of the women of his tribe, — a circum- 
stance of rare occurrence on occasions like the present. He commenced 
by saying,— 

"The Great Spirit made all men, the Red and the White: the Great 
Spirit placed my people where they now live. Our women have worked the 
fields till they have become easy of culture, and they have come to tell 
you they will not leave them. Know then, that they have decided not to 
move. The Great Spirit," he continued, "never directed that these lands 
should be sold; and if any chief sold them, he did that which was not 
sanctioned by his people." 

An ill-looking woman now rose, and said she was the daugther of the 
old chief, who, it was said, had sold the lands, and that she knew no sale 
had been made, etc. 

58 The Black Hawk War 

The General told them they had frequently been reminded of the treaty 
which was public, and that it was now unnecessary to say anything further 
on the subject; that the time had come when it was necessary to act; that 
he would give them three days to move, and that, if they did not move 
in that time, they would be driven across the river. 

They then departed. 

In these talks I have given you substantially what was said, though 
without particular reference to my Notes which I took for the War De- 

During the interval between the first talk and the last, the agent for 
the Fox Indians,^ a man of some influence, and personally acquainted with 
the principal men of the British Band, had visited their village twice, and 
used every argument to persuade them to move voluntarily, but without 
success. They always denied any knowledge of the sale of the land in 
question, and very decidedly expressed their determination to remain in- 
habitants of their present town, and cultivate their old fields, and lay 
their bones in them. 

The General is of course desirous to remove them, if possible, without 
bloodshed, and on that account gave them three days to effect the move- 
ment, in hopes that in the interim they would see the folly of their de- 

They say that they wish to be at peace; that they will not fight if at- 
tacked; but that they are as firmly resolved to remain and lay their bones 
beside those of their ancestors. 

This is of course Indian talk. The Sacs are perhaps the most warlike, 
and the fiercest as well as most determined Indians in our country, as 
their conduct during the last war exemplified. Some of them were killed 
at the very cannon's mouth; and if they could now raise sufficient force to 
make a successful stand, and take a number of scalps before they cross 
the river, (which they well knough know they must do,) they would de- 
light in seizing any opportunity that would afford them revenge; — but they 
are fortunately so well acquainted with what would be the consequence to 
themselves to think of such a thing for one moment, and their only object, 
I am of opinion, is to extort further annuities or presents from the Gov- 

The General has called for me on the hurricane-deck to take notes of 
the country, and make a topographical sketch of this ''slough." Adieu. 

[George A. McCall] 

GEORGE A. McCALL, Letters from the Frontiers, principal speaker for both the Sauk and Fox at 

227-33. this time. Because he also spoke for the Fox 

1 For an account of the dispatches sent by when few, if any, Sauk were present, many early 
General Gaines to Governor Reynolds on the 17th, writers mistakenly identified him as a member 
see the anonymous letter from Rushville, June 20, of the former tribe. McCall's sentence is am- 
and n. 33. biguous. 

2 The first council was held June 4; see McCall's 4 Quashquame, or Jumping Fish, was only a 
official record of these meetings, under that date. minor hereditary chief. Pashipaho was principal 

3 Although he was a Sauk, Keokuk was the Sauk chief, 

June 18, 1831 


5 BLACK HAWK, 47, gives his birth date as 1767, 
which would make him sixty-four at this time. 

6 The subagent for the lead mines, stationed at 
Galena, was called the Fox agent since he dealt 
almost exclusively with that tribe. At this time, 
however, there was no Galena subagent on duty, 
for Willam S. Williamson had resigned March 
31, and his successor, William B. Ferguson, was 
not appointed until the following Dec. 27. (See 
KHi: Clark Papers, IV: 221-22, VI: 1-2, 124; 
IHi: BHW Corr., letter from DNA, Interior 
Records Section, July 29, 1946.) 

Felix St. Vrain, the Sauk and Fox agent at 
Rock Island, could hardly have been described 

as a man of influence personally acquainted 
with the principal men of the band, since he had 
assumed the agency post the preceding fall just 
before the departure of the Indians on their 
winter hunt. Henry Gratiot, the Winnebago 
subagent, was probably the man McCall here 
refers to. Gratiot was well known to the Indians 
of the area, and he did visit the Rock River 
village of the Sauk at least twice this summer. 
His first visit occurred in the interval between 
the June 4 and June 7 councils, but his second 
visit took place on the evening of June 10; see 
his letters of June 11 and June 25. 

John Reynolds to Ninian Edwards 

Beardstown 18th. June 1831. 

Dear sir We will have about fourteen hundred men ready to move 
against the Indians.^ There are so many, that we must have a Brigade. 
I called Genl. Duncan ^ to act as Brigadier Genl. There will be an election 
for 2 Cols, and 4 Majors.^ I think we start, about Monday next. The com- 
panies are devided to make about 50, or 60 men each. 

I reed, another letter from Genl. Gaines of the 13th. inst.^ — he advises 
to be "vigilent," and to go "soon." 

I have no news to inform you of. A great spirit of harmony prevails. 
Your son ^ is well. 

Inform the citizens of St. Clair, that all the northern frontier has called 
on me to protect them and to be ready to protect. No men will be called out 
except necessary. Volunteers will be taken in place of drafts. This measure 
is only to be on the alert. 

Your frind John Reynolds 

Gov. N. Edwards 

ALS, ICHi: Edwards Collection. 

Ninian Edwards (1775-1833), governor of 
Illinois Territory, 1809-1818, and U.S. senator, 
1818-1824, was state governor, 1826-1830. In 1831 
his home was at Belleville, St. Clair County. 
BATEMAN AND SELBY; Illinois Blue Book 1931-32, 
702; Chicago Historical Society's Collection, III: 

1 Reynolds's original order to the militia to be 
ready to march called for seven hundred volun- 
teers. See his letter to Gaines, May 28. On June 
5 Gaines asked the Governor to send to Rock 
Island "the Battalion of mounted men" he had 

2 Joseph Duncan (1794-1844) was major 
general of the 1st Division of the Illinois Militia 
at this time. A native of Paris, Kentucky, Duncan 
jnterrupted his education to handle his family's 

affairs after the death of his father. He served 
in the War of 1812 and attained the rank of 1st 
lieutenant before his discharge in 1815. He moved 
to Jackson County, Illinois, in 1818 and was 
elected to the state senate six years later. He 
served as U.S. congressman from 1826 until 1834, 
when he was elected governor. His public career 
was noted for his support of free public-school 
education and for his advocacy of the sale of 
public lands, the proceeds of which were to be 
distributed to the states for internal improve- 
ments and education. Duncan died Jan. 15, 1844, 
in Jacksonville, Illinois, where he had made his 
home for several years. DAB; heitman; Illinois 
Historical Collections, XVIII: passim; I- A: 111. 
AGO, Militia Commission Records, 1834-1856, 
No. 2, pp. 1394-97; Trans. ISHS, XXVI: 107-87. 
3 As finally organized, the volunteer axmy 

60 The Black Hawk War 

comprised a brigade of two regiments, a spy prominent Springfield resident active in Illinois 

battalion, an odd battalion, and four odd com- legislative and political affairs. He served in the 

panies. 1831 campaign as a private in Capt. Solomon 

4 Not located. The contents of the General's Miller's company, Nathaniel Buckmaster's Odd 
letter are discussed in the June 20 anonymous Battalion. His wife, Elizabeth, was a sister of 
report from Rushville. Mary Todd Lincoln's, bateman and selby. 

5 Ninian Wirt Edwards (1809-1889), later a 

John Dixon to James G. Soulard 

Copy Rocky River Ogee's Ferry ^ 19h June 1831 

Mr J G Soulard 

Dear Sir I have this moment reed, your letter by Mr Harris- an Ex- 
press for which I return you my thanks as I have been kept entirely in 
the dark with regard to hostile movements except what I gather from 
the Indians; You request me to do all I can to prevent the Winnebagoes 
from going; — I have been constantly at that ever since the disturbance 

As I wrote you before, the Sacs went up about three weeks since, as they 
said to give the Winnebagoes a dance, but as it turned out it was to enlist 
them in their favor 

They tried my old friend Jarro/^ they offered him the black wampum 
and money if he would join them; — he utterly refused & told them he was 
friendly to the whites they however succeeded in raising eleven half- 
breeds, they came to my house with their capt. at their head, completely 
equipped and prepared for war, they marched up after sundown before the 
door and immediately expressed their friendship for me but said they were 
going to kill the whites below. I set in to divert them from their purpose 
and by morning succeeded in getting four of them to stay with with me, and 
one of the others left his gun & spear and the all promised that they would 
not go and fight, but would go below to the Sac Village and would return 
in six days, the time is out to-day — one of them came back yesterday & 
says that the others will return; I feed all who come & shall continue to 
do so, here is now eight men beside their families; I am satisfied there will 
be no more expeditions started in this quarter; 

The Indians tell me that a part of Pottawattomies have gone to join the 

If any thing of moment should transpire I shall send an express to you 
& if it should require it also to Genl Gaines. 

Yours tmly John Dixon 

CC, DNA: RG 94, AGO. This letter was copied his health. Not only did he recover from the 

on pp. 2 and 3 of Gratiot to Gaines, June 22, and "pulmonary disease" that had seemed imminent 

enclosed in Gaines to Cass, Aug. 10. when he gave up his clothing business in New 

John Dixon (1784-1876) came to the Sanga- York, but he outlived all of his twelve children 

mon country in 1820 from New York in the as well. From Sangamon County, Dixon and his 

hope that the climate of the West would restore family moved on to Peoria in 1825. There he 

June 19, 1831 


held numerous county positions — recorder of 
deeds, circuit clerk, clerk of the county commis- 
sioners' court, and justice of the peace. Three 
years later he moved still farther north to Boyd's 
Grove in Bureau County, and from Bureau County 
he went to Ogee's Ferry in 1830. A post office had 
been established at that place in 1829, and Dixon 
obtained the position as postmaster soon after 
his arrival. During his residence in Bureau 
County, Dixon subcontracted for portions of 
mail routes and was proprietor of the Galena- 
Springfield mail stage. In the BHW, Dixon 
served as an assistant to Q.M. Enoch C. March 
and accompanied the 3d Army through part of 
its expedition across Wisconsin to the Mississippi. 
After the war he expanded his trading operations 
and was active in the development of Dixon, 
which was named in his honor. In 1838 he was 
elected by the legislature to the state board of 
public works. Largely through his influence, the 
U.S. Land Office was moved to Dixon from 
Galena in 1840. Dixon retired from business some 
thirty years before his death, but he remained 
active in civic affairs throughout his life. Lee 
County (1918), vassim; Lee County (1881), 
150-58; Lee County (1914), I: 237-60; bateman 


James G. Soulard (1798-1878), the son of 
Julie Cerre and Antoine Pierre Soulard, was born 
in St. Louis. In 1820 he married Elizabeth Hunt, 
the daughter of Col. Thomas Hunt, U.S. Army, 
and in 1821 and 1822 he was at Fort Snelling, 
Minnesota, as sutler for U.S. troops stationed 
there. On his return to St. Louis he was engaged 
in surveying. In 1827 he moved to Galena, where 
he became a merchant and a lead-smelter, although 
he still spent a great deal of time in St. Louis 
handling the business interests of his mother. 
Soulard was postmaster at Galena in 1835 and 
also served for a time as county surveyor. He 
operated a large farm northwest of Galena and 
was especially noted for his pioneering horti- 
cultural activities. He planted the first vineyard 
in Jo Daviess County in 1832, and two years later 
he opened a nursery dealing in fruit trees. A 
county historian called him "the leading nursery- 

man of the Northwest until about 1858." Jo 
Daviess County (1878), 427-28, 456, 528, 651-52; 
BECKWITH, Creoles of St. Louis, lOn; Missouri 
Historical Society Bulletin, IX: 180. 

1 Ogee's Ferry, later Dixon's Ferry, and now 
the city of Dixon, Illinois, took its name from 
Joseph Ogee, the first ferry proprietor at the 
Rock River crossing of the Peoria-Galena Road. 
An attempt to establish a ferry there in 1827 
had been blocked by the Winnebago, but in 1828 
Ogee was allowed to begin operating. A native 
of Canada, Ogee had long been an agent of 
the American Fur Company in central Illinois. 
He was also the interpreter for the Peoria Sub- 
agency and one of the most affluent citizens of 
the town of Peoria. His wife, who left him soon 
after he opened the Dixon feri-y, was part Pota- 
watomi. In 1830 Ogee leased the ferry and tavern 
facilities to John Dixon and finally sold his entire 
interest to Dixon in the spring of 1832. Nothing 
is known of Ogee's later history, although he is 
believed to have died in the 1830's. 

On the origins of Ogee's Ferry and on John 
Dixon's early operations there, see Lee County 
(1918), passim, esp. 40-68. On Ogee, see also 
Lee County (1914), 30-31, 241-42, 502; Peoria 
County (1880), 289, 290, 310; kappler, II: 298; 
U.S. Register 1831, 99. 

2 Not identified. 

3 Jarrot was a Winnebago Indian, perhaps a 
minor chief, whose village was on the Rock River 
north of Dixon (Gratiot Journal, April 22, 23, 
1832). His Indian name was Owanico, but he 
was usually called Jarrot or one of its variants 
— Jahro, Jarot, Jarro, Jerro, Sharro, Zharro. He 
was given this name for preventing the murder 
of trader Nicholas Jarrot by a group of unfriend- 
ly Indians at a camp near Prairie du Chien just 
before the outbreak of the War of 1812. The 
Winnebago Jarrot signed the 1829 treaty. Lee 
County (1918), 73, 74, 76-77; Lee County (1881), 
154; Lee County (1893), 263-67; matson. Memo- 
ries of Shaubena, 217, 218; matson. Reminis- 
cences of Bureau County, 308-9; kappler, H: 

George A. McCall to Archibald McCall 

Hd. Qrs. Western Department. On board the Winnebago. 

June 19, 1831. 

My dear Father: — For two days I have been on the hurricane-deck of 
the boat, many hours at a time, taking notes and sketches of the country 
east of the "slough,"^ which we have been navigating ever since our re- 
turn from the "Red Bank," with the two keel-boats before mentioned,^ 
which were placed in safety under the guns of the fort. 

62 The Black Hawk War 

As we put the crew of the boat and the passengers under the semblance 
of martial law, three of the four ladies, soon tired of the noise of the new- 
made soldiers, and took refuge in the fort with the more orderly regulars; 

but the fourth, Mrs. S , a fine-looking young woman, the daughter 

of Judge D , of Arkansas,^ was too much of the heroine to desert her 

post; and remained, as she told me, to see that her better half did his duty 
towards his country. This better half, however, is far from being a moiety 
of "the one flesh": he is near double her age, a sot, and never leaves the 
card-table till he is carried by the waiter to bed. She is pretty, as I told 
you, and being full of life, I discourse with her by the hour when I am not 
on deck; and as the General and I have now half of the ladies' cabin, I 
of course see her frequently. 

We shall continue to cruise in these waters, observing the motions of the 
red-skins, till the arrival of the Governor with some hundreds of mounted 
militia; he is expected on the 21st instant. 

As the Black-Hawk declined to move, and we learned from good au- 
thority they would be joined by the Prophet's band of Winnebagos and 
Kickapoos, to the amount of some hundreds, — I know not how many, for 
they of course lie perdu, and no man can calculate the strength of an In- 
dian war-party till he sees them in the field, — at least under the present 
circumstances. This, as I observed, being the case, the General determined 
not to strike a blow until he could array such a force as would make re- 
sistance hopeless; for though it would be easy enough to drive them from 
their present position across the river, yet without a large body of mounted 
men it would be impossible to protect this extensive frontier settlement 
from their ravages, in case they should recross either above or below for 
the purpose of revenge. I counted, the other day, a hundred and twenty 
canoes in front of the friendly town,^ in one mass, besides numbers in every 
direction, — at least half of which probably belong to the British band and 
their allies, — numbers of whom, I have no doubt, have sought the sanctu- 
ary of the white flag, under which they will lie at their ease until they see 
how the scale turns; for the "friendly" party (so called) is, I believe, at 
most but neutral. 

But I have no doubt that when a suflEicient force is brought to bear upon 
them, they will still without hesitation sign the articles of agreement, and 
quietly relinquish their lands. 

[George A. McCall] 

GEORGE A. McCALL, Letters from the Frontiers, 2 See McCall's letter of June 16. 

233-35. ^ Not identified. 

1 It was probably land east of a Mississippi * The "friendly town" was probably the Fox 

slough that McCall was sketching at this time, village of Wapello on the Muscatine Slough, al- 

for Gaines apparently kept the Winnebago though it could have been a temporary encamp- 

cruising up and down the river below Rock ment nearer Rock Island set up by the emissaries 

Island for several days before the Governor from Keokuk's band; see Gaines to Jones, June 

arrived at the Mississippi; see McCall's letter of 14-15. 
June 23 and REYNOLDS, My Own Times, 214-15. 

June 20, 1831 63 

From Edmund P. Gaines 

Extract of letter from gen. E. P. Gaines, dated Rock Island, 

20th June, 1831. 

"I have visited the Rock river villages with a view to ascertain the lo- 
calities, and as far as possible the disposition of the Indians. They con- 
firmed me in the opinion I had previously formed, that, whatever may be 
their feelings of hostility, they are resolved to abstain from the use of 
their tomahawks and fire arms except in self-defence. But few of their 
warriors were to be seen — their women and children, and their old men 
appeared anxious, and at first somewhat confused, but none attempted to 
run off. Having previously notified their chiefs that I would have nothing 
more to say to them, unless they should desire to inform me of their inten- 
tions to move forthwith as I had directed them, I did not speak to them, 
though within fifty yards of many of them. I had with me on board the 
steam boat some artillery and two companies of Infantry. Their village is 
immediately on Rock river, and so situated that I could from the steam 
boat destroy all their bark houses (the only kind of houses they have) in a 
few minutes, with the force now with me — probably without the loss of a 
man. But I am resolved to abstain from firing a shot without some blood- 
shed, or some manifest attempt to shed blood, on the part of the Indians. I 
have already induced nearly one-third of them to cross the Mississippi to 
their own land. The residue, however, say, as the friendly chiefs report, that 
they never will move, and, what is very uncommon, their women urge their 
hostile husbands to fight rather than to move and thus to abandon their 
homes. Should the appearance of gov. Reynolds' mounted men fail to move 
them — their chiefs will then be arrested and kept in confinement until dis- 
posed of by the civil authorities, and the others will be landed on the oppo- 
site bank of the Mississippi, and notified that if they return they will be 
punished. The reports of other tribes having engaged to assist this band in 
defending themselves against us, are entitled to but little credit. Several 
other tribes, such as the Winnebagoes, Pottawattomies and Kickapoos, have 
been invited by these Sacks to assist them, but I cannot positively ascertain 
that more than two hundred have actually joined, and it is very doubtful 
whether these will remain true to their offending allies. I was assured by 
gov. Reynolds in his last letter that he would be here on the 19th or 20th. 
I therefore look for him momently." 

Niles' Weekly Register, Aug. 6, 1831 (XL: 409). severe, and not sanctioned by law. On the other 

reprinted from the Nashville [Tenn.] Banner. hand 'an officer in the army' says in the Intelli- 

The editor wrote in a succeeding paragraph: gencer, that gov. Reynolds called out the Illinois 

litia without consulting gen. Gaines, and that 

"The . . . letter from Gen. Gaines has been a 
subject of some pointed remarks in the 'National 
Intelligencer' and other papers. The calling out 

the Indians occupy a disputed territory since 
1804— when, it is alleged they ceded it by a 

of such an expensive and numerous force-and treaty made by gen. Harrison, as commissioner 

the disposition manifested to drive them beyond on the part of the United States, and received 

the Mississippi to lands which are 'their own,' are goods to the value of $2,000, and a perpetual 

particularly objected to, as unnecessary and annuity of $1,000, in exchange for the lands — 

64 The Black Hawk War 

that they have been repeatedly ordered to re- attacked for his actions in at least one St. Louia 

move, &c. And that the larg-e and expensive force newspaper (see McCall to Reynolds, July 24), 

called out, may be excused in the desire to put but was stoutly defended by the editors of the 

down opposition without the sacrifice of life, &c." Illinois Advocate [Edwardsville], on Sept 2, 1831. 

President Jackson also doubted the necessity of 
the call for Illinois troops: see his letters to Reyn- 
olds of July 16 and Aug. 31 and the Governor's re- 
plies of Aug. 2, Aug. 15, and Oct 6. Reynolds was 

As early as June 18, Niles had stated in his 
Register (XL: 269): "The calling out of the 
militia is much censured, and thought to be 
wholly unecessary." 

Letter from Rushville 

Rushville, June 20, 1831. 

Dear Sir: — ■ The troops which have been raised by Governor Reynolds 
to remove the "British" band of Sac and Fox Indians at Rock Island on 
our frontier, marched at ten o'clock to-day, from the place of general 
rendezvous, and encamped five miles west of this place. The number of 
armed and mounted men was about fifteen hundred,^ but the whole de- 
tachment, including baggage wagons, &c., would amount to about sixteen 
hundred. Their appearance in the prairie was very formidable indeed. They 
marched four deep, and yet the length of the whole line was at least one 
mile. On yesterday (Sunday) the elections were held for Colonels and 
Majors, and I think the whole detachment is well officered.^ The volunteers 
from Sangamon and Greene Counties, compose the 2d Regiment, who 
elected James D. Henry,^ of Springfield, their Colonel, Jacob Fry Esq.* 
of Carrollton, Lieut. Colonel, and John T. Stewart Esq.° of Springfield, 
Major. Major Collins® of Springfield was appointed Adjutant, and Edward 
Jones,' also of Springfield, Quarter Master, and Col. Thomas M. Neal^ 
of the same place, Pay Master, Dr. Elkin^ of Springfield, Surgeon; Dr. 
Whitaker,i° of Carrollton, and Dr. Gray,^^ of Springfield, Surgeon's Mates. 
The first Regiment is composed of the volunteers from the Counties of 
Morgan and Schuyler, who elected Mr, Lieb ^^ their Colonel. Dr. Merry- 
man ^^ of Springfield is the Surgeon of this Regiment. With the names of 
the other officers of the Morgan Regiment, I did not become acquainted, 
nor did I learn who was elected Major of the odd battalion. ^^ General 
Samuel Whiteside ^^ of Madison County was elected Major of a volunteer 
battalion of two hundred spies.^® His Captains are. Captain Wheeler,^^ 
and Wm. B. Whiteside,^^ of Madison; and Wm. Miller,^^ Esq. of Spring- 
field. Major General Duncan takes command as Brigadier General by order 
of the Governor. His staff is composed of Col. E. D. Taylor ^^^ of Spring- 
field, Aid-de-camp, and Col. Hardin ^^ of Jacksonville, Brigade Inspector; 
and Colonel John W. Scott,^^ of Carrollton, who acts in the place of Mr. 
Forquer^-'^ of Springfield, the division Pay Master. The Governor is ac- 
companied by Col. Alexander-^ of Vermillion County, and Demint^^ of 
Franklin, as aids; and Col. E. C. Berry ,2<5 of Vandalia, the Adjutant Gen- 
eral. Wm. Thomas,^'' Esq. of Jacksonville is Quarter Master General, and 

June 20, 1831 65 

for the able services rendered by him in procurring for the expedition the 
necessary supplies in a very short time, has justly procured for himself the 
thanks and praise of the whole army. 

The troops composing the expedition were furnished from the following 
counties nearly as follows: 

From Sangamon, 500; Morgan, 350; Green, 200; Madison, 200; St. Clair, 
160; Schuyler, lOO.^s 

A more cheerful and ardent little army was never marched against an 
enemy. From his Excellency, down to the most humble trooper, each one 
seems anxiously to desire an opportunity to pluck a laurel from the brow 
of the celebrated warrior chief. Black Hawk. The prompt manner in which 
the call of the Governor has been met in this instance, and the facility with 
which the supplies were obtained, shows that Illinois is quite able to de- 
fend herself in future against Indian aggressors upon her borders, and that 
she is no longer in a state of suppliant minority. The counties of Sanga- 
mon and Morgan alone, are able to raise and support an army sufficient 
to punish the Indians near our northern frontier for any depredations 
which they may hereafter commit, and to afford peace and security to 
the border settlements. These counties have now 850 men in the expedition, 
and 400 more volunteers stand ready in Sangamon county, to march at a 
moment's warning. The town of Springfield itself has furnished 150 of the 
troops, now on the march, and there are fifty more volunteers in it who 
stand ready to march when ordered; making altogether 900 volunteers in 
the county of Sangamon. Saturday last was the day appointed for a draft 
in Sangamon county for 400 men in addition to the 500 already in camp. 
This order of the Gov. gave some dissatisfaction, both to the troops from 
that county, and to the citizens there generally, who looked upon a draft 
for footmen as rather disrespectful, and as implying an imputation of 
cowardice. Upon hearing this, the Governor explained his order so as to 
allow of mounted volunteers, and about 11 o'clock last night, some gentle- 
men from Springfield brought news of the 400 additional volunteers which 
had turned out here on Saturday, when a loud cheering for them com- 
menced in the Morgan line, which was responded to throughout the whole 
camp. This was a proud moment for the troops from Sangamon. 

While at the rendezvous near this place, the Gov. has received two ex- 
presses from General Gaines, one of the 13th June,-^ in which the Gen. 
says the Indians are "reported to be engaged in cultivating the soil they 
have previously occupied," and that the Sac Chiefs had assured him they 
had no ill will towards the whites, and that he had thought it better to 
give them time for reflection before using force to remove them. In this 
letter the General desires the Governor "to be on the alert in approaching 
Rock Island, and to afford the frontier inhabitants such counsel and pro- 
tection as he could;" that the Governor "should hear from him in detail 
upon his near approach to that place," and adds, "be vigilant in guarding 
against all possible change of circumstances that may occur in this quar- 


The Black Hawk War 

ter." "I will be on the lower end of the Island." On the 14th, the inhabi- 
tants of Knox county, through a committee of safety, informed the Gover- 
nor that they had written to the commanding officer at Rock Island, and 
from what they had learned in reply to their communication believed them- 
selves to be in danger, and prayed the protection of the Governor.-'^*' On 
the 16th, General Gaines sent Colonel James M. Strode,-"^^ and Governor 
Hubbard ^2 expresses to Gov. Reynolds, and accompanied them himself 
in the steam boat Winnebago as far as the Yellow Banks, with one com- 
pany of the regulars. His object was to reconnoitre up Rock River opposite 
the Indian village. By these gentlemen the General did not write to the 
Governor,^^ but in his letter of appointment often seems to refer the Gov- 
ernor to them for important verbal communications, by saying that "their 
knowledge of the country and of the propriety of seeing Governor Rey- 
nolds soon, indicates the nature of their imployment," and yesterday morn- 
ing, (19th,) Governor Hubbard arrived at camp with a letter of the 18th 
from Colonel Strode, whose horse failed on the route. Colonel Strode ad- 
vises the Governor where to cross Rock River, &c. &c. and states that the 
Indians still remain insolent to General Gaines, and that their numbers are 
variously estimated, at from six to eight hundred warriors. 

Illinois Advocate [Edwardsville], July 1, 1831. Sangamon County, where he operated a store in 

The letter is prefaced: "The following letter from 
a gentleman who accompanied the volunteers as 
far as Rushville, was received by the Postmaster 
[David Priclcett] at this place on Saturday last, 
and immediately issued from this office in an 
extra. ... On Monday last [June 27] the steam- 
boat Winnebago came down to Jefferson Barracks 
for all the troops remaining in the garrison, 
amounting to about 250 men, and departed for 
Rock Island on Tuesday. No other intilligence 
that can be relied on has been received here." 
The two companies that left Jefferson Barracks 
at this time were F of the 3d Infantry and G of 
the 6th. The detachment that had gone upriver 
earlier consisted of men from five companies of 
the 6th and one of the 3d, but included only three 
captains and 220 noncommissioned officers and 
privates. (May and June post returns — Roll 545, 

1 On the size of the volunteer army, see n. 
28 below. 

2 Field officers were elected and staff officers 
appointed (Article V, Constitution of 1818, in 
Illinois Historical Collections, XIII: 37-38; Act 
of Feb. 9, 1827). Generally, though not always, 
officers of the regular organized militia were 
elected to comparable positions in the commands 
of volunteers. 

3 James Dougherty Henry (1797 7-1834) was an 
aide-de-camp to Governor Reynolds in the regular 
state militia but came to the rendezvous as a 
private in Capt. Adam Smith's company. 

Henry was born in Pennsylvania, served in the 
War of 1812, and came to Madison County, 
Illinois, about 1820. In 1826 he moved on to 

Springfield. He served in the 1827 Winnebago 
campaign as adjutant to Col. Thomas M. Neale's 
20th Regiment, as organized for active duty. 
The following year he was elected sheriff of 
Sangamon County. He was reelected in 1830 and 
1832. His quick rise in the local government and 
militia hierarchy was evidence of the widespread 
respect he had achieved since his arrival in 
Illinois as an illiterate shoemaker. 

In 1832 Henry first served with the volunteers 
as major of the spy battalion of Whiteside's 
Brigade, although again he had come to the 
rendezvous as a private. At the end of that tour 
of duty, he reenlisted as a private in Capt. Elijah 
Iles's company but was advanced to lieutenant 
colonel of the 20-Day Regiment. In the 3d Army 
he also enrolled as a private, in Capt. Jacob M. 
Early's spy company, but was elected brigadier 
general of the 3d Brigade a few days later. 
Henry's decision and example are generally cred- 
ited with responsibility for turning his command 
of undisciplined militiamen into an effective 
fighting force. Less than two years after the war 
he died of tuberculosis at New Orleans. REYNOLDS, 
My Oivn Times, 212, 253-54; Stevens, passim; 
FORD, passim; Trans. ISHS, XLI: 77-120; I-A: 
Exec. Rec, I: 184, 273, 366; I-A: Elect. Ret., 
XIV: 57. 

4 Jacob Fry (1799-1881) came to Illinois from 
Fayette County, Kentucky, in 1819 and settled 
in Greene County about 1820. He was commis- 
sioned colonel of the 18th Regiment, Illinois 
Militia, in 1825 and brigadier general of the 2d 
Brigade, 3d Division, in 1834. He was elected 
county sheriff for the first time in 1828. 

June 20, 1831 


Fry entered service in 1831 as captain of a 
company that was later divided and commanded 
by Capts. John Lorton and Samuel C. Pierce. 
According to the muster rolls, Fry was elected 
major June 19 and appointed lieutenant colonel 
the same day. In 1832 he organized a company of 
mounted volunteers (later Samuel Smith's com- 
pany) but again was elected a field officer — 
colonel of the 2d Regiment, Whiteside's Brigade. 
After the general muster-out the last of May, he 
served as colonel of the interim regiment, and on 
the organization of the 3d Army, he became 
colonel of the 2d Regiment, Henry's 3d Brigade. 

After the war Fry returned to CarroUton, 
where he continued to serve as county sheriff 
until 1837. For the next ten years he was con- 
nected with the management of the Illinois and 
Michigan Canal, first as commissioner and later 
as canal trustee. In the early 1850's he spent 
three years mining and trading in California. 
He was collector of the port of Chicago, 
1857-1859, but had returned to farming in Greene 
County when the Civil War opened. Despite his 
age Fry was commissioned colonel of the 61st 
Illinois Infantry Volunteers in 1861 and took an 
active part in several engagements before retiring 
May 14, 1863. bateman and selby; moses, I: 
467; ELLIOTT, 209; Greene and Jersey Counties 
(1885), 702-4; I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 106. 366, II: 
193, 292; I-A: Elect. Ret., X: 77, XIII: 68, XXI: 

5 John Todd Stuart (1807-1885), Springfield 
lawyer, emigrated from Kentucky to Sangamon 
County in 1828. Before his election as major of 
the 2d Regiment, Duncan's 1831 Brigade, Stuart 
was a private in Capt. Adam Smith's company. 
The following year he served as a private in 
Whiteside's Brigade, reenlisting for two later 
terms of service, both times in the same company 
with Abraham Lincoln, who was later to become 
his law partner and cousin-by-marriage. Stuart 
was a member of the Illinois House of Represent- 
atives, 1832-1836. His second term in that body 
coincided with Lincoln's first. The two men be- 
came law partners in 1837. Stuart defeated 
Stephen A. Douglas for Congress in 1838 and was 
reelected in 1840; from 1848 to 1852 he was a 
member of the Illinois Senate. Although Stuart 
opposed Lincoln on the slavery issue in 1860 and 
was elected to Congress on the Democratic ticket 
in 1862, he and Lincoln remained warm friends. 
DAB; Springfield and Sangamon County (1904), 
I: 44-45; Sangamon County (1881), 110-14, 
194-206; Stuart's reminiscences of his service in 
the 1832 campaign are in ibid., 165-67. 

8 James Collins settled in Sangamon County 
as early as 1826 and became county treasurer in 
1827. He was commissioned major in the 20th 
Regiment, Illinois Militia, in 1828 and colonel in 

Before his appointment as adjutant to the 
2d Regiment of volunteers in 1831, he had been a 

private in Capt. Adam Smith's company. In the 
Black Hawk campaign of 1832 he was colonel of 
the 4th Regiment, Henry's 3d Brigade. 

According to E. B. Washburne, Collins moved 
to White Oak Springs, Wisconsin, some time 
after the war and became prominent in political 
affairs, serving as a member of the territorial 
council of the second and third legislative assem- 
blies. In 1845 he was unsuccessful in the election 
for territorial delegate to Congress. He died in 
California. Wisconsin Historical Collections, X: 
173; SMITH, History of Wisconsin, III: 289, 292; 
IHi: Sangamon County Commissioners' Court 
Records, Vol. B, pp. 12, 56; I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 
189, 352, V: 91; I-A: Elect. Ret., XI: 81; Corr. re 
Collins in IHi: Stevens Collection; Sangamo 
Journal [Springfield, 111.], Sept. 25, 1845. 

In the Mexican War a James Collins enrolled 
at Galena as captain of a company of the 6th 
(also known as the 2d) Regiment of Illinois 
Foot Volunteers and later became colonel of the 
regiment; eluott, xxviii, 244, 255. The Mexi- 
can War colonel may have been the James 
Collins who had served earlier in the BHW since 
White Oak Springs was near Galena, but on the 
basis of present evidence, a positive identification 
cannot be made. 

7 Edward Jones (1811-1857) was born at 
Georgetown, D.C., and educated in Virginia, 
where he was admitted to the bar in March, 1830. 
He came to Sangamon County in May of that 
year and practiced law in Springfield until 1834. 
He then moved to Pekin to fill the position of 
Tazewell County circuit clerk. Within a short 
time he became one of the most prominent 
lawyers in Pekin, where he lived until his death. 
His wife was Catherine Bergen, daughter of 
Springfield's first Presbyterian minister. 

Jones entered service in 1831 as a private in 
Capt. Adam Smith's company. In 1832 he enrolled 
in Capt. Levi W. Goodan's company but trans- 
ferred to Capt. John Dawson's spy company of 
Whiteside's Brigade. He also served in the Mexi- 
can War, as captain of a company in Col. E. D. 
Baker's 4th Regiment. Sangamon County (1881), 
86-87; Tazewell County (1879), 387; Sangamo 
Journal [Springfield, 111.], June 18, 1846; Elliott, 
296; Jour. ISHS, VII: 455. 

8 Thomas M. Neale (1796-1840) was born in 
Fauquier County, Virginia, but spent most of 
his boyhood in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He was 
admitted to the bar in Kentucky, and after 
coming to Sangamon County in 1824, he opened 
a law office in Springfield. Neale had served in 
the War of 1812 and was active in the state 
militia after his arrival in Illinois. He was 
commissioned major in the 20th (Sangamon 
County) Regiment in 1825 and colonel of that 
unit in 1828. Although his commission as colonel 
was not issued until 1828, he had been elected 
at least a year earlier, for in 1827 he headed the 
regiment and organized it for duty in the Win- 


The Black Hawk War 

nebago War (photostat of muster rolls in IHi). 
Before his appointment as pa>Tnaster of Henry's 
2d Regiment in 1831, he had been enrolled in 
Capt. Adam Smith's company. In Dec, 1831, 
Neale was commissioned brigadier general of the 
4th Brigade, 1st Division, of the state militia. The 
following spring he enrolled for BHW service in 
Capt. Levi W. Goodan's company, 4th Regiment, 
Whiteside's Brigade, but was absent with leave 
on account of illness when the company was 
mustered out the last of May. Later, while ser- 
ving as Sangamon County surveyor, Neale ap- 
pointed Abraham Lincoln one of his deputy 
surveyors. Sangamon County (1876), 539-40; 
I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 111. 191, 341. 

9 Dr. Garrett Elkin was born in Clark County, 
Kentucky, in 1797 and educated at Transylvania 
University, Lexington. In 1823 he moved to Fancy 
Creek Township, Sangamon County, Illinois, and a 
short time later to Springfield. Elkin succeeded 
James D. Henry as sheriff, serving from 1834 
until 1840. He was appointed register of the 
Springfield Land Office in 1841 and held that 
position until late in 1844. The following year 
he moved to Bloomington, and in the early 1850's 
he spent some time in California. About 1853 he 
emigrated to Iowa, and spent the remainder of 
his life on a farm near Oskaloosa. 

In addition to his work as a physician and a 
public officeholder, Elkin was also active In 
state military affairs. He was commissioned 
quartermaster of the 4th Brigade, 1st Division, 
Illinois Militia, in 1833 and colonel of the 20th 
Regiment, 4th Brigade, a year later. He resigned 
the colonelcy in 1837. He was a volunteer in the 
1831 and 1832 Black Hawk campaigns, the so- 
called Mormon War of 1844, and the Mexican 
War. In the first of these, he enrolled as a private 
in Capt. Adam Smith's company but was pro- 
moted to surgeon at the rendezvous. In 1832 he 
marched to the rendezvous as a private in Capt. 
Thomas Moffett's company in the 3d Army but 
was furloughed on June 18 before the company 
began active duty. In 1846 he raised a Blooming- 
ton company for Col. E. D. Baker's 4th Regiment 
and served as its captain from June 13 to Oct. 
20. Sangamon County (1876), 281; ELUOTT, 287; 
McLean County (1908), 851; Trans. ISHS. 
XXXII: 89; Sangamo Journal [Springfield, 111.], 
passim; I-A: Exec. Rec., II: 71, 82, 105, 296, III: 
32; I-A: Elect. Ret., XXI: 3. 

10 Dr. William B. Whitaker came to the rendez- 
vous as a private in Capt. John Lorton's com- 
pany. A William B. Whittaker had been com- 
missioned recorder of deeds in Greene County in 
1830; he may have been the Carrollton physician. 
Greene County (1879), 303. 

11 Dr. James R. Gray was a prominent Spring- 
field citizen during the 1830's and early 1840's. 
He served as one of the first deacons of the 
Christian Church, as chairman of many civic 

functions and organizations, and as city alder- 
man in 1840. In the late 1840's he left Springfield 
and at the time of his death, in 1853, was living 
in New Orleans. He died from yellow fever while 
he was traveling to Springfield for a visit. Trans. 
ISHS, XII: 302-3, 305, 312; Sangamo Journal 
(later Illinois Journal) [Springfield, 111.], April 
24, 1840, Aug. 27. 1840, Jan. 23, 1845, Jan. 28, 
1847, July 23, 1853. 

12 Daniel Leib, pioneer Morgan County farmer, 
was a native of Tennessee. In 1823 he entered 
lands in North Winchester and Exeter townships 
of Scott County, then a part of Morgan. That 
same year he served as an election judge in the 
first Morgan County election and was commis- 
sioned colonel of the 21st Regiment, Illinois 
Militia. He represented Morgan County in the 5th 
General Assembly, 1826-1828. He died in 1879 at 
about the age of sixty-eight. 

By the time of the first Black Hawk campaign, 
Leib had been succeeded as colonel of the 21st 
Regiment by Samuel T. Mathews. Nevertheless, 
Leib was still active in the militia and raised a 
company of volunteers for the campaign. When 
he was elected colonel of the 1st Regiment, 
Robert H. McDow assumed command of the 
company. Morgan and Scott Counties (1889), 
490; Scott County Atlas (1903), 12, 18, 41; Illinois 
Historical Collections, XVIII: 228; I-A: Exec. 
Rec, I: 81, 229; I-A: Elect. Ret., V: 60. 

13 Dr. Elias H. Merryman (1802-1855), a 
native of Baltimore, is said to have been a gradu- 
ate of William and Mary College and Baltimore 
Medical University. He lived in St. Louis for a 
short time before moving to Springfield, Illinois, 
in 1830. In 1842 Merryman was Abraham 
Lincoln's second in the duel to which Gen. James 
Shields challenged Lincoln but which fortunately 
never took place. The doctor continued to practice 
medicine in Springfield until 1851, when he moved 
to California. Four years later he went to Costa 
Rica to mine coal and died from yellow fever 
soon after his arrival. 

In 1831 Merryman was a private in Capt. 
Adam Smith's company of the 2d Regiment until 
his appointment to the 1st Regiment staff. The 
next year he served in the 3d Army as adjutant 
of the 4th Regiment, James D. Henry's 3d Bri- 
gade. Apparently he did not volunteer the last 
of April for service in the 1st Army since his 
wife was expecting a baby momentarily. The 
child was born May 1, and at the next call for 
troops, Merryman promptly enrolled. In 1833 
Merryman was commissioned aide-de-camp to the 
brigadier general of the 4th Brigade, 1st Division, 
Illinois Militia. He served in the militia force sent 
to Nauvoo during the Mormon War in 1844 and 
two years later was appointed temporary aide 
to Governor Thomas Ford. Sangamon County 
(1876), 517-18; pbatt, Lincoln, 18i0-18i6, 143, 
145; ANGLE, Here I Have Lived, 120-25, 127; 

June 20, 1831 

FORD, I: 230-31; I-A: Exec. Rec, II: 71, 82, IV: 


14 Nathaniel Buckmaster of Madison County 
was major of the odd battalion. 

15 Samuel Whiteside (1783-1866) was a pioneer 
Indian fighter whose exploits gained such renown 
that an Illinois county was named in his honor. 
A native of North Carolina, Whiteside came 
with his father and uncle and their families to 
Illinois in 1792 or 1793. They lived for a time in 
Monroe County and then, in 1802 or 1803, moved 
to Madison County. Samuel and his brother Joel 
are believed to have been the first settlers on 
Ridge Prairie in northeast Collinsville Township; 
previous settlements in the county had been 
made below the bluffs and along the river bot- 
toms. Although Whiteside was a farmer, much of 
his time for the next twenty years was given 
over to military service. He commanded at least 
three companies in the War of 1812 and con- 
tinued thereafter to serve in the state militia, 
being commissioned brigadier general of the 1st 
Brigade, 1st Division, in 1819. He was elected to 
the 1st Illinois General Assembly in 1818, but, 
aside from participating in local government and 
civic affairs, he did not further engage in politics. 
He did not drop out of the militia, however, and 
in the Winnebago War of 1827 he served as 
captain of a company from Galena, where he 
was then living. Back in Madison County, he 
enrolled for service in 1831 as a private, probably 
in Capt. Erastus Wheeler's company, but was 
elected major of spies at the rendezvous. In the 
1832 campaign Whiteside commanded the 1st 
Army of Illinois Volunteers. Wlien his army was 
disbanded on May 27 and May 28, he immediately 
enlisted as a private in Capt. Adam W. Snyder's 
20-day company. No further record of his service 
has been found. In 1854 he sold his Madison 
County farm and moved to Christian County, 
where he lived until his death, heitman; Elliott, 
319, 324-26; bateman and selby; Madison 
County (1912), 174; Madison County (1882), 
76, 454; Illinois Historical Collections, XVIII: 
185; REYNOLDS, Pioneer History, 314, 406; Jo 
Daviess County (1878), 303, 307; I-A: Exec. 
Rec, I: 13; IHi: Stevens Collection. Corr. re 
BHW soldiers. 

16 In addition to the companies headed by 
Wheeler, William Whiteside, and Miller, the 
battalion included Solomon Pruitt's company. 

17 Erastus Wheeler, Madison County financier 
and real estate dealer, was born in New York in 
1797. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1813 and 
took part in the battles of Lundy's Lane and Fort 
Erie during the War of 1812. He was discharged 
as a 2d sergeant In 1818 and the following year 
came to Edwardsville, Illinois, where he made 
his home the rest of his life. He was a Madison 
County justice of the peace, 1835-1846, and 
served as public administrator in the 1840's. At 

the time of the campaigns against Black Hawk, 
he was an officer in the 8th Regiment, Illinois 

In 1831 Wheeler raised a company later at- 
tached to the odd battalion of spies, and in 1832 
he served in all three armies: as captain of a 
company in the 1st Regiment, Whiteside's Bri- 
gade; as private in Capt. Adam W. Snyder's 
20-day company; and as a private in Capt. 
David Smith's company, 1st Regiment, 3d Bri- 
gade, until July 21, when he was appointed 
regimental quartermaster. During the Mexican 
War, he was captain of a company in Col. 
William H. Bissell's 2d Regiment and, in Feb., 
1847, was with the small U.S. unit commended by 
Zachary Taylor for the successful defense of 
Saltillo against an attacking force ten times 
larger, elliott, xxv, 234; Madison County 
Gazetteer (1866), 136 n; Madison County (1882), 
166; Madison County (1912), 870; I-A: Exec. 
Rec, I: 129, III: 171. 

18 William Bolin Whiteside, a native of North 
Carolina, was a son of William Whiteside's and a 
cousin of Samuel's; see n. 15 above. He too came 
to Illinois CO. 1793, settled in Monroe County, 
and then moved to Madison; and, in the War of 
1812, he also had several tours of duty, being fi- 
nally discharged June 15, 1815. Governor John 
Reynolds was a member of one company under his 
command. Whiteside was the second sheriff of 
Madison County, elected in 1818, and also had a 
long record of militia service. He died late in 
1833. Madison County Gazetteer (1866), 46, 269; 
Madison County (1882), 69, 73, 76, 115, 130, 132, 
454; Madison County (1912), 453, 455; Reynolds, 
Pioneer History, 416-17; REYNOLDS, My Own 
Times, 91, 94, 97; HEITMAN; eluott, 323, 324. 
340; Sangamo Journal [Springfield, 111.], Jan. 
4, 1834. 

19 William Miller, Springfield tavern-proprietor, 
consistently answered the call for volunteer 
military service. In 1827 he served in Capt. 
Thomas Clark's company, Neale's 20th Regiment 
(photostat of muster roll in IHi). In 1831 he 
enrolled in Capt. James R. Campbell's 2d Regi- 
ment company in Sangamon County, but at the 
rendezvous he tranferred to the spy battalion, 
in which he became a captain. The following 
year he served as major of the 4th Regiment, 3d 
Brigade, in the 3d Army engaged in the Black 
Hawk campaign. Sangamo Journal [Springfield, 
111.], Sept. 1, 1832. 

20 Edmund Dick Taylor (1802-1891), Spring- 
field merchant and trader, was a native of Vir- 
ginia. He represented Sangamon County in the 
7th and 8th General Assemblies, 1830-1834, and 
was elected state senator in the latter year. He 
resigned the post in 1835 to serve as receiver of 
public moneys at Chicago. In addition to holding 
the government position, Taylor also engaged in 
numerous commercial and banking enterprises in 


The Black Hawk War 

Chicago. He later returned to Springfield and 
became a prominent political and civic leader. 
He also lived for a time in La Salle County, 
where he was active in the development of coal 

Besides serving in the 1831 campaign as General 
Duncan's aide-de-camp, Taylor also took part in 
the Winnebago War of 1827, as a private in 
Capt. Bowling Green's company. Sangamon 
County (1912), Vol. II, Pt. 1, pp. 519-20; Sanga- 
mon County (1876), 707-8; photostat of 1827 
muster roll in IHi. 

21 John J. Hardin (1810-1847) was born at 
Frankfort, Kentucky, and educated at Transyl- 
vania University. In 1830 he came to Morgan 
County, Illinois, and began to practice law. He 
served for several years as prosecuting attorney 
of Morgan County, was a member of the Illinois 
General Assembly, 1836-1842, and congressman 
from Illinois, 1843-1845. In 1831 Hardin was 
aide-de-camp to General Duncan on the staff of 
the regular militia and functioned as such when 
called to active duty that summer. Later in the 
year he was appointed inspector of the 1st 
Division, Illinois Militia, and the following spring 
he served as brigade inspector and mustering 
officer at the first rendezvous at Beardstown 
despite the fact that he was carried on official 
rolls merely as a private in Capt. William B. 
Smith's 3d Regiment company. Hardin raised a 
regiment for service in the Mexican War and 
served as its colonel until he was killed Feb. 23, 
1847, at the Battle of Buena Vista. Morgan 
County (1885), 328-29; REYNOLDS, Pioneer His- 
tory, 397n-98n; Illinois Historical Collections, IV: 
201; commission dated Jan. 28, 1832, in IHi: 
Stevens Collection. 

22 John W. Scott, pioneer settler of Greene 
County, became county treasurer and colonel of 
the 18th Regiment, Illinois Militia, in 1821. In 
1836 he was one of the founders of Newport in 
Greene County. In addition to being paymaster 
on Duncan's staff in 1831, he also served in the 
1832 BHW. He enrolled as a private in Capt. 
Thomas Carlin's company of the odd battalion 
of spies, Whiteside's Brigade, but was detached 
on express, April 21. Although the company roll 
indicates that he was absent until May 15, he 
seems to have rejoined the unit on May 6 at the 
Yellow Banks (Atkinson to Reynolds, May 5, 
1832, and REYNOLDS, My Own Times, 227-28). 
See also Greene and Jersey Counties (1885), 584, 
596, 647; I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 46. 

23 George Forquer (1794-1838), Illinois lawyer 
and politician, was commissioned paymaster of 
the 1st Division, Illinois Militia, in 1826. Forquer 
was an elder half-brother of Governor Thomas 
Ford's. Their mother, twice widowed, left Penn- 
sylvania with her family and went to St. Louis 
and then to Monroe County, Illinois. While he 
was still a child, Forquer worked as a carpenter 

to help support the family. Later he purchased 
land in Monroe County and began operations as a 
merchant and trader but left business to study 
law. Gk)vernor Reynolds states that Forquer was 
forced to abandon physically demanding work on 
account of an injury, while others state that his 
lack of success as a businessman caused the 
move (REYNOLDS, Pioneer History, 373-75; Quaife 
in FORD, I: xviii-xix). Despite his previous 
lack of formal education, Forquer was soon ad- 
mitted to the bar and in 1824 was elected to the 
state legislature. He resigned that post in 1825 
to serve as secretary of state, 1825-1828. In Aug., 
1828, he was defeated for Congress by Joseph 
Duncan but a few months later was elected at- 
torney general by the legislature. He resigned in 
Dec, 1832, and for the next three years rep- 
resented Sangamon County in the Illinois 
Senate. In 1835 he accepted a presidential ap- 
pointment as register of the Springfield Land 
Office. He died of consumption at Cincinnati 
three years later. See Reynolds and ford, op. 
cit.; Sangamo Journal [Springfield, 111.], Aug. 
11, 1832, Jan. 17, 1835, Feb. 11, 1837, Sept. 29, 
1838; Illinois Historical Collections, IV: 164; 
Sangamon County (1912), I: 169; pease. Frontier 
State, passim. 

2-1 Milton K. Alexander (1796-1856) was born 
in Elbert County, Georgia, and grew up in 
Tennessee, where he enrolled for service under 
Jackson in the War of 1812. In 1823 Alexander 
moved to Edgar County, Illinois. He operated a 
store in Paris, was postmaster for about twenty- 
five years, and county clerk from 1826 to 1837. 
He was made colonel of the 19th Regiment, 
Illinois Militia, in 1826 and aide-de-camp to 
Governor Reynolds in 1830. In the latter capacity 
he served in the campaign of 1831. In the 1832 
BHW he was brigadier general of the 2d Brigade, 
3d Army. Always interested in the development 
of local internal improvements, Alexander was 
elected a commissioner of the state's first board 
of public works in 1837 and served in that agency 
throughout its duration. Many members of Alex- 
ander's family lived in Vermilion County, but 
he himself lived in Edgar County. Vermilion 
Cotmty (1879), 770; Edgar County (1879), 231, 
272, 305-6, 553-54; bateman AND SELBY; I-A: 
Exec. Rec, I: 139, 269, 273. 

25 John Dement (1804-1883) was born in 
Tennessee and came to Illinois with his parents 
in 1817. He became sheriff of Franklin County in 
1826 and was elected to the Illinois House of 
Representatives in 1828 and 1830. He was 
commissioned state treasurer in Feb., 1831. In the 
1831 campaign Governor Reynolds appointed 
Dement his aide-de-camp in place of James D. 
Henry, who had been elected colonel of the 2d 
Regiment. The following year Dement entered 
service as captain of a Fayette County company 
in the spy battalion of Whiteside's Brigade. 




STEVENS, 164, says that he also served in the 
20-day command, but no official record of such 
service has been found. In the reorganized army 
he became major of the spy battalion of Posey's 
1st Brigade. On June 19 his battalion was sent 
ahead of the army to scour the Bureau country. 
The men reached Dixon's Ferry on the 22d and 
were ordered forward to Kellogg's Grove, where 
they fought a desperate battle against a band of 
Sauk on June 25. Dement resigned on July 2 — al- 
legedly on account of Posey's failure to follow 
up the engagement and the subsequent rejection 
of Henry Dodge as commander of Posey's Bri- 
gade (STEVENS, 201, 208-9, and parish, George 
Wallace Jones, 120-22). Although there is no 
question of Dement's personal bravery, stevens, 
197-201, overestimates his importance in the 
campaign (see also Wakefield [Stevens ed.], 
206-7n) . 

Dement continued to serve as state treasurer 
until 1836, when he resigned to take a seat in 
the general assembly, this time representing 
Fayette and Effingham counties. He left the 
legislature to become receiver of public moneys 
at Dixon, serving three different terms, 1837-1841, 
1845-1849, and from 1853 until the office was 
abolished. He was a presidential elector in 1844 
and a delegate to the constitutional conventions of 
1847, 1862, and 1870. Dement had large real 
estate holdings and was active in several manu- 
facturing ventures. His wife was the daughter 
of Wisconsin's Henry Dodge, and his son, Henry 
Dodge Etement, became a prominent Illinois 
political figure. See BATeman and selby; Illinois 
Historical Collections. XVIII: 235, 247, 296, 306n, 
452; MOSES, I: 356, 403, 551, II: 656, 1103; Illinois 
Blue Book 1931-32. 699. 

26 Elijah Conway Berry, a native Kentuckian, 
became an editor of the Illinois Intelligencer at 
Kaskaskia in 1817 but left the editorship some 
time after the paper was moved to Vandalia in 
1820. Berry was auditor of public accounts for 
Illinois Territory, Aug. 28, 1817— Oct. 9, 1818; 
state auditor, Oct. 9, 1818— Aug. 29, 1831; and 
adjutant general, 1821-1835. For a time during 
the 1820's he was also president of the State 
Bank of Illinois. He accompanied the Illinois 
Volunteers to Rock Island in 1831 and helped to 
raise and muster troops for the 1832 campaign. 
His son, James W. Berry, was a prominent 
Fayette County officeholder and artist. According 
to Fayette County (1878), 30, Elijah Berry 
moved from Kaskaskia to Vandalia in 1819; see 
also Illinois Historical Collections, IV: 81n, 82, 
and VI: 212, 340. 

27 William Thomas (1802-1889), Illinois jurist 
and educational leader, came to Jacksonville from 
Kentucky in 1826. He was a state senator, 
1834-1839; circuit judge, 1839-1841; state rep- 
resentative, 1846-1848, 1850-1852, and a member 
of the constitutional convention of 1847. Long 

associated with the educational and charitable 
institutions in Jacksonville, he was one of the 
founders of the Illinois Female College, a trustee 
of the hospital for the insane, and a trustee of 
the institution for the deaf and dumb, 1839-1869. 
He also served for a short time as a member of 
the board of army auditors and the state board 
of public charities. 

In the Winnebago War of 1827 Thomas was 
quartei-master sergeant for Col. Thomas M. 
Neale's Regiment; in 1831 he was quartermaster 
for Gen. Joseph Duncan's Brigade; and in 1832 
he was quartermaster for Gen. Samuel White- 
side's Brigade (the 1st Army). Trans. ISHS, 
XII: 265; Illinois Historical Collections, XIV: 
978-79, XVIII: 327; BATEMAN and SELBY; photo- 
stat of 1827 muster roll in IHi. 

28 These figures are merely estimates. They 
may have been more accurate at the time they 
were made than they were when the volunteers 
were finally organized. The Sangamon County 
figure is extremely high and that for Morgan, 
low. Morgan County troops numbered approxi- 
mately 415 instead of 350, while only about 330 
men from Sangamon County were enrolled at the 
time of the muster-out. The 500 figure given 
above may have resulted from the writer's con- 
fusion of Sangamon and Morgan County com- 
panies, but it is possible that another company 
from Sangamon County did report for duty, only 
to be discharged before the army left Rushville. 
In his history of Sangamon County published in 
1876, John Carroll Power mentions such a Sanga- 
mon County company, but no service record has 
been found in DNA. Isaac Taylor, a Sangamon 
County man, is said to have "enlisted in 1831 
under Captain, now General, Moses K. Anderson, 
in the Blackhawk war, but their services were 
not needed" — Sangamon County (1876), 706. 
Further, though no official record for Anderson is 
on file, he was included in a list of BHW veterans 
who attended an 1879 meeting in Springfield; see 
Illinois State Journal [Springfield], Jan. 9, 1879. 

The total number of troops given above is high; 
actually about 1,450 men were finally included in 
Duncan's Brigade. An exact count is difficult to 
make because of transfers from one company to 
another and from company to staff rolls; see also 
Buckmaster to Sawyer, June 30, and n. 4 there, 
for other unofficial estimates of brigade strength. 

29 Not located. 

30 A similar petition, also from Knox County 
but directed to the commanding officer of the 
Illinois Volunteers, was dated June 22. 

31 James McGowan Strode {ca. 1798-ca. 1862), 
Galena attorney, was an early settler of Sangamon 
County, where he appeared before the courts as 
early as 1823. He moved to Galena probably in 
1827. In July of that year he enrolled in Capt. 
Bowling Green's Sangamon County company, 
which marched to the Lead Mine District to 


The Black Hawk War 

protect the frontier from threatened Winnebago 
hostilities. Apparently Strode remained at Galena 
when this company completed its tour of duty, 
for on Aug. 27 he became captain of a Galena 
company in Henry Dodge's command. 

By 1828 Strode seems to have been established 
as a practicing attorney at Galena, although he 
continued to "ride the circuit." Two years later 
he was commissioned colonel of the 27th (Jo 
Daviess County) Regiment of Illinois Militia. In 
1832, volunteers from his command were mobilized 
for duty, and Strode himself assumed emergency 
military powers, declaring martial law, com- 
mandeering steamboats, etc. At this time he 
was a candidate for state senator, and some of 
the disciplinary problems which arose as a re- 
sult of his authoritarian actions may have 
stemmed from political animosities. He was 
elected to a two-year term in the Illinois Senate 
in Aug., 1832, and was reelected in 1835 to 
complete the term of James W. Stephenson. 
From 1836 to 1841 Strode was register of the 
U.S. Land OiRce at Chicago. He moved to Wood- 
stock about 1850 and served as McHenry County 
judge, 1854-1857. He died in Kentucky, where 
he had gone to settle a family estate. 

Information supplied by two of his children 
about his birth and death is contradictory. His 
daughter states that he was born near Martins- 
burg, Virginia (now West Virginia), and moved 
to Kentucky when he was about twelve years old: 
see Luella Strode Howe to Frank E. Stevens, July 
8, 1902, in IHi: Stevens Collection. His son's bio- 
grapher states that Strode was born in Kentucky. 
Mrs. Howe gives the date of his death as 1863 
and George W. Strode gives it as 1862; see 

Alexander, Union and Pulaski Counties (1882), 
Pt. V, p. 45. See also Illinois Historical Collections, 
XVIII: 255, 279; Andreas, I: 148, 441; palmer, 
ed.. Bench and Bar, 511; Sangamon County 
(1881), 77; McHenry County (1922), I: 131, 135; 
I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 229; Strode to Enos, July 31, 
1827, in IHi: Enos Papers. 

32 Adolphus Frederick Hubbard, pioneer Illinois 
lawyer, was a native of Kentucky and an early 
settler of Shawneetown. At this time he was 
living in Quincy. Hubbard was a member of the 
constitutional convention of 1818, state repre- 
sentative from Gallatin County in the 1st General 
Assembly, 1818-1820, and lieutenant governor, 
1822-1826. In 1826 he was an unsuccessful candi- 
date for governor. He died Aug. 27, 1832, and was 
buried at Quincy. For anecdotes about his home- 
spun covirtroom techniques and bald political 
maneuverings, see moses, I: 333-36; see also 
Adams County (1919), I: 113-15; Wayne and 
Clay Counties (1884), 138-40; Sangamo Journal 
[Springfield, 111.], Sept. 29, 1832. 

33 But General Gaines did write to the Governor 
on the 17th and gave that letter to Strode and 
Hubbard to deliver, together with a package to 
be forwarded to St. Louis; see Lt. George A. 
McCall's letter of June 17. Apparently, when 
Strode's horse broke down, he sent Hubbard on 
to Rushville but kept the General's communica- 
tions in his own possession. Further, it seems 
that Strode must have carried those documents 
around with him for some time before finally 
mailing them, for they did not reach St. Louis 
until Aug. 16; see Gaines to Jones, June 14-15, 
and McCall to Jones, Aug. 17. 

Henry Gratiot to Edmund P. Gaines 

Galena 22d June 1831 
Genl E. P. Gaines 

Sir Annexed you will please find the copy of Jno Dixons letter to Mr 
Soulard^ returned by the express; I have not been able to gather much in- 
formation yet on the subject of the Indians in this vicinity; from general 
report I learn that the Winnebagoes are peaceably disposed; I find that 
the inhabitants of this Town have also prepared themselves for defence 
in case of attack; they reed, this morning, one hundred & ten muskets from 
Col. Morgan, which in addition to those you have sent will be sufficient 
to arm this place but not the country generally 

I shall inform you again by first opportunity Your obt. Servt. 
Henry Gratiot Sub. agent, US 

LS, DNA: RG 94, AGO. Addressed: "Major 
Genl. E P Gaines Comg Westn. Department Fort 
Armstrong Rock Island." Postmarked: "(Public 
Service)." Endorsed: "No. 9. . . . Reed. 24 

June 1831." Enclosed in: Gaines to Cass, Aug. 10. 
1 On pp. 2 and 3 of this letter is a copy of 
Dixon to Soulard, June 19. 

June 22, 1831 


Henderson River Settlers to the Commanding Officer of 
Illinois Volunteers 

Head of Henderson River June 22nd. 1831. 
To the Commanding Oflficer of the Illinois Mounted Volunteers 

Sir, On behalf of the citizens of the Head of Henderson River/ we beg 
leave to state, that in our opinion the settlements in this part of the country 
will be exposed to great danger, in case of hostilities with the Indians at 
Rock River, unless a suflficient number of armed men are left to protect 
them. Many of the inhabitants (However willing they may be to resist the 
enemy) would be unable to offer any effectual resistance to the Indians for 
want of arms. 

We confidently hope therefore, that you will consult the safety of these 
frontier settlements, by making such arrangements for their protection, as 
circumstances will allow, and the nature of their case demands.^ 

With Great Respect, we have the honor to be Your Obedt Serts. 

Charles Hansford ^ 1 Committee of 

William McMurtry ^ I Vigilance for the 

John B Gum ° I settlements on the head 

Riggs Pennington ^ J of Henderson River 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW; the body of the 
letter is probably in the handwriting of Dr. 
Charles Hansford, who also added Pennington's 
name to the signatures. Addressed: "The Com- 
manding Officer of the Illinois Mounted Volun- 
teers On the March to Rock River pr Mr R. 

1 The settlement at the head of Henderson 
River was also known as Henderson Settlement, 
Henderson Grove Settlement, and Gum's Fort. It 
encompassed part or all of present Henderson 
Township, Knox County, and consisted of "a 
large body of rich timbered land, surrounded 
with dry, fertile, first rate prairies" (peck, 252). 
The fort itself was on the south side of Hender- 
son Grove, probably near the home of John B. 
Gum. Mercer and Henderson Counties (1882), 
811: Knox County (1878), 103, 463. 

2 Most of the settlers of the Henderson River 
area went into forts at this time: see the depo- 
sitions of Thomas Maxwell and Riggs Pennington, 
dated Oct. 24. In addition, three volunteer com- 
panies were organized for their protection: Capt. 
James Ferguson's infantry company was stationed 
at Gum's Fort, and the two mounted companies 
(those of Capt. William Edmonston and Capt. 
Elijah Willcoxen [or Wilcockson] ) ranged the 
country around Gum's Fort and Fort Butler in 
Warren County. 

3 Charles Hansford (1801-1852?, 1854?), was a 
native of Kanawha County, Virginia, and the 
earliest physician in Knox County. He came to 
the Henderson Settlement from Galena in 1829 
and four years later moved on to Knoxville, 
where he lived until his death. He was an early 

justice of the peace in the county and a member 
of the first Knox County Commissioners' Court. 
Hansford was elected coroner in 1842 and state 
representative in 1846. In the 1831 Black Hawk 
campaign he served as 1st sergeant of Capt. 
James Ferguson's company. Knox County (1899), 
II: 872; Knox County (1878). 460-61; I-A: 
Exec. Rec, III: 351; I-A: Elect. Ret., XIII: 90. 
XVI: 10, 11-12; Illinois Historical Collections, 
XVIH: 418. 

4 William McMurtry (1801-1875) was born in 
Mercer County, Kentucky. He lived in Crawford 
County, Indiana, before settling in Henderson 
Township, Knox County, Illinois, in 1829. In the 
1831 Black Hawk campaign, McMurtry was 1st 
lieutenant of Capt. James Ferguson's infantry 
company, and in 1832 he commanded a company 
of mounted rangers in Bogart's Odd Battalion. 
McMurtry served in the lower house of the 
Illinois General Assembly, 1836-1838, and in the 
upper house, 1842-1846. In 1848 he was elected 
lieutenant governor for a four-year term. He was 
colonel of the 102d Regiment of Illinois Volun- 
teers for a short time in 1862. BAtemAn AND 
SELBY; Illinois Blue Book 1931-32, 697, 745, 748, 

6 John B. Gum, a native of Kentucky, was an 
early settler of Sangamon and McDonough 
counties, Illinois. In 1828 he came to Henderson 
Township, Knox County, and established a home 
about four miles northwest of present Galesburg 
near the south edge of Henderson Grove in 
Section 23. This home was used as the first county 
courthouse and the first county post office. 
Gum was elected a justice of the peace in 

74 The Black Hawk War 

1829 and the following year began a three-year tached to Schuyler for governmental purposes. He 

term as county treasurer. In 1831 he was a pri- moved on to Knox County in 1828 and was in- 

vate in Capt. James Ferguson's infantry com- fluential in setting up that county's organization 

pany. Gum emigrated to California in 1861 and two years later. He was a private in Capt. 

died there in 1864. A'nox CoMwfi/ (1878) , 129, 130. William Edmonston's mounted company in the 

451, 462-63; Knox County (1899), II: 856; I-A: Black Hawk campaign of 1831 and the following 

Elect. Ret., XII: 58. year served in Capt. John Stinnett's company 

6 Riggs Pennington was one of the first Knox of Bogart's Odd Battalion. Pennington moved 

County commissioners and at this time was to Texas in 1836 or 1837. He died there in 1869. 

probably the best known settler of the Henderson McDonough County (1878), 18; Schuyler and 

Settlement. He is said to have been a native of Broivn Counties (1882), 58, 83, 102; Knox 

North Carolina. Pennington lived in Franklin County (1878), 103, 107, 128, 129, 460; I-A: 

County. Illinois, in 1820; was a voter in Morgan Elect. Ret., V: 63, IX: 56, XIII: 89; I-A: 1820 

County in 1824; and in 1826 became the first Census, 
settler of present McDonough County, then at- 

George A. McCall to Archibald McCall 

[On board the Steamboat Winnebago] June 23 

Here we have been threading this slough ^ twice a day for a week, and 
no Governor arrived yet. The high state of the waters which cross his line 
of march have doubtless been a greater obstacle to the celerity of his 
Excellency's movements, than any he had anticipated would be opposed 
to him.2 I am wearied with the sameness of the scene, for as he has been 
expected daily and almost hourly for some days past, we have visited the 
point of concentration^ regularly with a supply of ammunition and pro- 
vision, both of which he stands in need of. We have examined Rock River 
as high up as the town,^ and found the channel good; the town is prettily 
situated and has some fine land adjacent to it, all of which is finely com- 
manded by some heights upon its left.^ As we passed the town we observed 
a number of horses picketed and at large, but saw no inhabitants but a few 
old women and children. The ravines in rear of the town, which are both 
long and numerous, and moreover thickly clad with underbrush, would 
afford a covering for an immense number of Indian warriors, but still could 
be swept in a few minutes by some pieces of artillery on the heights above 
mentioned. Our lady^ still remains with us, nothing daunted by the war- 
like preparations she sees around her; but she has too much sense and has 
seen too much of the Indian character in her own country to be alanned 
at outward appearances. I collect her bouquets of prairie-flowers daily; and 
we discuss their beauties with great apparent interest; indeed the colors 
and delicacy of some of these are truly exquisite, though they have little 
fragrance. The weather some days has been charming, and nothing can be 
more brilliant than the nights. We sleep under the guns of the Fort;^ and 
the other night, returning later than usual, we discovered at some distance 
a canoe apparently floating with the stream; but suspecting that it con- 
tained some red-skins, the General ordered the pilot to steer for it: the 




steamboat accordingly changed her course and began to plough the waves 
in the direction of the object, which, gliding along in the shade of the woody- 
bank, would, to an inexperienced eye, have passed for one of the numer- 
ous pieces of floating timber which are at this season borne seaward on the 
bosom of the mighty Mississippi. It was as we had anticipated; but the 
courage of the midnight wanderers was constant and true to their purpose: 
they lay perfectly concealed in their shell of a boat until another revolu- 
tion or two of the wheels of the Winnebago would have brought her upon 
them, and buried them and their canoe in the turmoil of waters that burst 
and parted beneath her angry prow; but then, as it were by magic, five 
forms simultaneously appeared above the low sides of the hollow trunk, 
and one simultaneous sweep of five light paddles darted the canoe like an 
arrow to the shore, where, leaving it to the guidance of the current, they 
sprung on land and instantly disappeared in the thicket. As we were run- 
ning close to the shore and parallel to it, we passed within a few yards of 
them as they vanished from our sight, but as the object was not to injure 
them (which from their boldness they were probably aware of) , they were 
permitted to escape unhurt. 

[George A. McCall] 

GEORGE A. McCALL, Letters from the Frontiers, 

1 Probably a slough separating islands in the 
Mississippi from the mainland of western Rock 
Island County. The islands extended roughly 
from the mouth of Rock River to Muscatine, 
Iowa; see Rock Island County (1877), 105; Rock 
Island County Atlas (1905), 8. 

2 A newspaper story which appeared during 
Gen. Joseph Duncan's unsuccessful campaign for 
the governorship in 1842 credited him with the 
"invention" of "grass bridges" which enabled 
the volunteers to press on toward Rock Island 
despite the high water. The bridges were made 
"by tying mowed gass in large bundles or fagots 
and causing a company of men to carry a bundle 
and in quick succession throw them into the 
stream until it was filled; at the same time the 
army commenced crossing rapidly so as to keep 
the grass pressed to the bottom. In this way . . . 
[Duncan] usually crossed his whole force over 
in about thirty minutes, which otherwise would 
not have been passed in twenty-four hours" 
(quoted in Trans. ISHS, XXVI: 132-33). 

3 The point of concentration was the site of 
present Andalusia, where General Gaines had 
had a blockhouse constructed. In his reminiscences 
of 1905, Capt. W. L. Clark maintained that the 
only structure at Andalusia when he arrived in 
1833 was "a. pen . . . some 10 or 12 feet square 
... of blackjack saplings" built by a group of 
officers who had encamped there one night. Either 
Clark's reminiscences were faulty, or his concep- 

tion of a blockhouse was different from that of 
his contemporaries, or the principal structure 
had been dismantled by 1833, for in 1832 
Apenose located the April 12 camp of Black 
Hawk's band as "near a Block house below the 
mouth of Rock river, built by Genl. Gaines." See 
Rock Island Countij Atlas (1905), 144; April 13, 
1832, Fort Armstrong council proceedings. 

4 Saukenuk. 

5 In his letter of July 1, McCall locates the 
heights as to the right of the village. In both cases 
he is referring to the same heights. The village 
was concentrated on the Rock River, but it 
covered an extensive area, with houses scattered 
throughout the cornfields that ascended the slope 
east of the trail (roughly paralleling present 
Ninth Street) from Fort Armstrong to the Rock 
River (Kearny, in Missouri Historical Society 
Collections, III: 124). Both the slope eastward 
from Ninth Street and the promontory now 
known as Black Hawk's Watch Tower were cut 
with ravines, those "in rear of the town" were 
apparently those east of Ninth Street. In the 
"front" of the village, black hawk (100) says, 
"a prairie extended to the bank of the Missis- 
sippi; and in our rear, a continued bluff, gently 
ascending from the prairie. On the side of this 
bluff we had our corn-fields." Contemporary 
residents and visitors thus seem to have con- 
sidered the village as facing west (see also 
SPENCER, passim, esp. 46, 48). 

6 Mrs. S. See his letter of June 19. 

7 Fort Armstrong. 

76 The Black Hawk War 

Henry Gratiot to William Clark 

Gratiots Grove ^ June 25th. 1831. 
To Genl. William Clark Supt. of Indian Affairs 

Dear Sir, I have the honour of acknowledging the receipt of your letter 
dated June 9th. of the present,^ handed to me at Rock Island where I was 
in compliance with Genl. Gains request. I had left my post on Rock River 
the week before and found that the Winnebagoes of that section had no 
design to Join the Sacs, though they were very much solicited to cooperate 
with them. However, I found that the lower Village of the half Breeds say 
the Prophets Village were inclined to join with the Sacs and in fact, I 
found the prophet with some of his leading Men, in the Sac Village, but 
by talking with him, he was persuaded to quit, and to go back to his Vil- 
lage with his men. As to the Upper Bands of Rock River, I am fully of 
opinion that they will take no hand with the others. 

In conformity with Genl. Gains wish I have sent for the leading Men 
of my Band, so as to take them to Rock Island. A Runner of the Rock 
River Band arrived last night to let me know that they had one family 
missing, and that they believe they were killed by the Sacs for having re- 
fused to join them in their War against the Whites, some days previous 
to my leaving St. Louis. 

I had the honour of making my Report to the War Department and 
designated the point in my opinion which would be the most eligible for 
my establishment; I have received no instructions, and the Indians are 
pressing me to commence and settle.-'' 

They tell me that they have good reasons to complain, that their present 
Black Smith is so negligent and so badly prepared with materials, that 
they cannot get work done when they want it.'* Should it be left to you 
to fix on any one point, You will confer on me a favour by sending me 
Your instructions or giving me some information on the Subject. 

I am Respectfully Your friend and obedient Servant. 
(Signed) Henry Gratiott Sub-Agent U.S. 

N.B. One of the Expresses that I had sent to call Indians to call in the 
principal Men arrived this Evening, he gives account that a number of 
Sacs and Puttowattomie Indians had come into the Winnebagoe Villages 
(They say for themselves that they wish to be out of difficulty with the 
Whites and they choose this method until all difficulties be settled) I have 
also reed, a letter from Mr. John Dougherty,^ a trader on Sugar Creek 
which informs me that the Crane,^ one of the leading War Chiefs, visited 
him, and assured him that they had no wish to take a hand in the affair. 
That the whole Nation were occupied in the tilling of their ground. As it 
will require some two or three days for the Indians to join me, I have 
concluded it should be best to meet them at their principal Villages and 
by that means it will afford me the opportunity of watching their move- 

June 25, 18S1 


merits and also order those Intruders to leave their Villages. At my return, 
if any thing important should occur, I will give you immediate Notice. 
Your Obdnt Svnt H.G. S.A. 

LBC, KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 219-21. An extract 
of this letter was enclosed in Clark to Cass, Aug. 
12, as a part of Folio "A." A letter book copy of 
the extract is also in the Clark Papers, VI: 261. 

1 Gratiot's Grove was a small settlement at the 
site of present Gratiot, Wisconsin. It was opened 
in the fall of 1826 by Henry and J. P. B. Gratiot, 
who negotiated with the Winnebago for permission 
to mine on Indian lands. By 1829 the settlement 
consisted of some twenty families, a dry goods 
store, a post office, and smelting works. South 
and west of the settlement was a "magnificent 
grove" of oaks, and to the north a "beautiful 
rolling prairie" extended some thirty miles to 
the Blue Mounds, atwatek, 190-92; Wisconsin 
Historical Collections, X: 267-68, XV: 343-44. 

2 Not located. 

3 Gratiot was appointed subagent to the Rock 
River Winnebago on March 7, 1831 (IHi: BHW 
Corr., letter from DNA, Interior Records Section, 
July 29, 1946) . At this time he was still using his 
home at Gratiot's Grove as headquarters, but the 
place ultimately selected for the agency was on 
the east side of Sugar Creek (now Sugar River) 
within Winnebago land in Michigan Territory. 
The site was near the Winnebago sugar camp 
about six or eight miles from White Breast's 
village and about the same distance from the 
mouth of Sugar River on the Pecatonica. In 
Jan., 1832, Gratiot wrote Clark that construction 
would begin as soon as the weather permitted, 
which would be about the time the Indians re- 
turned from their winter hunt and began "making 
their sugar." Gratiot to Clark, Dec. 13, 1831, and 
Jan. 14, 1832, in KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 404, 

Apparently the building was completed by the 
spring of 1832, for on June 12 Gratiot wrote 
Clark that he had left certain documents at the 
subagency, where it had not been safe to go 
since early spring. 

4 A smith's shop had been established on pre- 
sent Sugar River in Oct., 1830, under the juris- 
diction of the Portage (Wisconsin) Agency. The 

unsatisfactory smith of whom Gratiot complains 
was removed about the last of Oct., 1831, and 
another appointed in his place, but Gratiot was 
still dissatisfied with the arrangement. After 
receiving Gratiot's complaints, Clark recom- 
mended that the smith's shop be placed under 
Gratiot and that Gratiot's subagency be placed 
either under the agent at Portage (John H. 
Kinzie) or directly under the governor of 
Michigan Territory. See Kinzie to Cass, Feb. 16, 
1831, 23d Cong., 1st Sess., S. Doc. 512. II: 412-13; 
Gratiot to Clark, Oct. 15; Clark to the Secretary 
of War, Dec. 15, 1831, ibid., 714-15; Gratiot to 
Clark, Jan. 14, 1832, KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 

5 John Dougherty, Wisconsin pioneer, opened 
a trading post at the site of Exeter, Green 
County, in 1831. In 1833 he bought a smelter 
from William Deviese, which he operated for 
two years and then sold. The 1836 territorial 
census lists Dougherty as a resident of the area 
comprising Iowa County. His wife, said by one 
BHW correspondent to be "a half-blood Win- 
nebago" (Strode to Atkinson, June 10, 1832), 
may have been the daughter of Whirling 
Thunder, a Winnebago village chief; see the 
sketch of Whirling Thunder, and Wisconsin 
Historical Collections, VI: 404, 407, 408, XIII: 

6 Crane, or "Pey-tshun-kaw," signed the 1829 
Winnebago treaty at Pi-airie du Chien (kappler, 
II: 302). He and his family were frequent 
customers of John Dixon's. The Dixon account 
books give his name as "Paschunk, Chief Crane," 
and "Chief Crane, Pachunka"; Lee County 
(1918), 73, 74; Lee County (1881), 45, 64. The 
name also appears in ihid. as Pachinka. A 
Winnebago named Crane, presumably this man, 
attended the 1833 Four Lakes council, according 
to the Sanganio Journal [Springfield, 111.], May 
25, 1833. He may also have been the Crane 
who lived in the Prophetstown area ca. 1816; see 
Davenport and Scott County, loiva (1910), I: 

Nathan Smith: Receipt to John Bliss 

[Fort Armstrong, June 25, 1831] 

Received of Brt Maj John Bliss Capt 3d US Inf at Fort Armstrong 
this 25h day of June 1831 Ten Dollars for secret services performed in 
the Black hawk or English band of Sauks residing near the mouth of 

78 The Black Haivk War 

Rock River, Illinois during the present Indian disturbances pursuant to 
the order of Maj Genl E P Gaines Commanding the Western Department 
for which I have signed Duplicate Receipts 

Nathan Smith 

Approved Hd. Qrs. Westn. Dept. 1. July 1831 

Edmund P. Gaines Major Genl by Bvt. Commanding 

DS, with Gaines AES, photostat in WHi; origi- Treaty of Sept. 28, 1836. SPENCER (74-75) says 

nal not located in DNA. Enclosed in: Bliss to that Smith's wife was a sister of the Sauk chief 

Cass, March 1, 1832 (ALS in DNA: RG 75, BIA, Wishita (Weesheet?) . 

L Reed., Sac and Fox). In his March 1 letter to In addition to his service in 1831, Smith was 

Cass, Bliss wrote that the account was submitted also employed as an interpreter and spy in the 

in the above form since Smith's absence "pre- early spring of 1832. Later in the summer he 

eludes the possibility of obtaining any other was engaged to accompany part of Keokuk's 

form than that first advised by the General band on its summer hunt. Little else is known 

[Gaines] when there was a strong probability of his career; he may have been the Nathan 

that a continuance of this duty might be Smith who voted in Jo Daviess County (then 

necessary for the public service." Fever River Precinct, Peoria County) in 1826. In 

Nathan Smith, Indian interpreter and trader, 1880 he was living in St. Francisville, Clark 

was employed by Thomas "W. Taylor to trade County, Missouri, spencer, 74-75, 39; Peoria 

with the Sauk and Fox on the Des Moines River County (1880). 125, 128; Jo Daviess County 

during the winter of 1831-1832. He had lived (1878), 225; kapplek, H: 475, 478. For infor- 

with the Indians for some time and had a Sauk mation on his services in the BHW, see Index 

wife, called Wa-na-sa. They had at least one entries under his name, 
child, for whom Smith was given $1,000 in the 

Paul L. Chouteau to William Clark 

Saint Louis June 27th. 1831. 

Sir/. Previous to the late meeting held at Cantonment Gibson^ Arkansas 
Territory between the Osage, Creek and Cherokee nations of Indians,^ I 
dispatched Mr. D: D: McNair^ late U.S. Sub Agent for the Osages to 
Clermont's Band^ for the purpose of making arrangements preparatory to 
the Councils intended to be held at Cantonment Gibson between those 
tribes. Upon the return of Mr. McNair to the Osage agency^ he reported 
to me that a deputation of about 12 or 14 Indians (Sacs) having a con- 
siderable quantity of Wampum had been at Clermont's Town, after having 
visited the Creeks, Cherokees and other nations of Indians: and used every 
exertion in their power to induce the Osage Indians to send a deputation 
to their nation to attend a Grand Council which was intended to be held 
by the Sac and other tribes of Indians. 

The arguments used by them were well calculated to rouse the savage 
disposition of the Osages, they represented to them the avaricious dis- 
position of the whites in depriving the Indians of the land of their fore- 
fathers, they said the Government of the United States had no regard for 
treaties made with Indians and also represented the United States Indian 
Agents, as a set of unprincipled men who aided the Government in de- 
priving them of their lands, and defrauding them of money which they 
were entitled to. 

June 27, 1831 79 

The Osages listened to their talk and in reply said they themselves were 
about holding a Grand Council at Cantonment Gibson with the Creeks 
and Cherokees, that if the Sac Deputation would go with them to that 
place and state their grievances and intentions in the presence of those 
nations and the OflBcers of the United States Government they would listen 
to them, and give them an answer; Or if they would go to the United States 
Agent for the Osages, and explain to him fully the Object of their visit, 
and their proceedings meet with his approbation, then, and in that case 
they would know what answer they would give. 

In Consequence of this reply of the Osages the Sac Deputation declined 
visiting Cantonment Gibson or the Osage Agency and returned to their 
nation with as little delay as possible. I regret I did not see them as I 
probably would have been enabled to discover their hostile intentions which 
are at present manifested towards our Government. 

I do most solemnly protest against the Mississipi Indians visiting in this 
manner the Osage nation. The Talks they hold are calculated to aleviate 
the attachment of the Osage Indians from the Government, of the United 
States and to excite jealousy and suspicion in their minds against the 
United States Agents, appointed to superintend the affairs of their nation. 

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully. Your Obt. Servt. 
(Signed) P. L. Chouteau U.S. In: Agent for Osages. 

To Genl. William Clark Supt. Indian Affairs Saint Louis Mo 

P.S. I was afterwards informed that two Young men belonging to Cler- 
mont's Band but of no rank or influence left the Osage nation in Company 
with the Sac Deputation without any authority from their Chiefs. 

True Copy M. L. Clark ^ Actg ADCamp 

CC, DNA: RG 94, AGO. Endorsed: "No. 6: 2 in May the Osage, Creek, and Cherokee held 

Copy." The letter also has Gen. E. P. Gaines's a council at Fort Gibson to discuss conflicting 

endorsement: "Reed. July 1831." Enclosed in: tribal boundary lines and other problems arising 

Gaines to Cass, Aug. 10. An extract was enclosed out of the recent immigration into Arkansas 

in Clark to the Secretary of War, Aug. 12. Territory of Indians formerly living east of the 

Copies of the complete letter and the extract are Mississippi, foreman. Advancing the Frontier, 

in KHi: Clark Papers. VI: 213-14 and 262-63, 108-11 and nn. cited there, 

respectively. 3 Dunning D. McNair (1808-1831) was a son of 

Paul Liguest Chouteau (1792-1851) was the Alexander McNair, first governor of the state of 

son of Pierre and Pelagie (Kiersereau) Chouteau Missouri. Prior to his appointment as Osage 

and the brother of Auguste Pierre and Pierre, subagent in the spring of 1831, Dunning McNair 

Jr. He spent most of his life among the Indians had served for several years as an interpreter 

as a trader and agent. JAMES, Sam Houston, 108, and clerk at the Indian Superintendency in St. 

110; FOREMAN, Advancing the Frontier, 108; Louis. He was struck by lightning and killed on 

BECKWlTH, Creoles of St. Louis, 49, 60. June 2, 1831, as he was returning to the Osage 

1 Fort Gibson, or Cantonment Gibson, was Agency from Fort Gibson. Kansas Historical 

located on the left bank of the Grand Neosho Qvarterhj, XVI: 157n; Mcnair, McNair, McNear, 

River about two and one-half miles above its and McNeir Genealogies, 145; KHi: Clark 

confluence with the Arkansas, at the site of Papers, IV: 229. 

present Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. The fort was 4 Clermont, the third Osage chief by that 
established in 1824, abandoned in 1857, but re- name, lived with his band about twenty miles 
occupied during the Civil War and at one later from present Claremore, Oklahoma, which de- 
period before it was finally closed in 1891. DAH, rived its name from that of the chiefs. Clermont's 
II: 389; WPA Guide to Oklahoma, 261-62; village was one of the three principal Osage 
foreman, Advancing the Frontier, Chs. II-III. towns, catun. Letters and Notes (1841), II: 


The Black Hawk War 

40-42, and Plate 150; foreman. Advancing the 
Frontier, 119n. 134n; WPA Guide to Oklahoma, 

5 The Osage Agency was located at the Three 
Forks settlement at the junction of the Grand, 
Verdigris, and Arkansas rivers. The village of 
Okay, Oklahoma, is about a half mile north of 
the settlement site. Fort Gibson was about six 
miles southeast of the agency and settlement. 
WPA Guide to Oklahoma, 336-37; JAMES, Sam 
Houston, 107-8. 

6 Meriwether Lewis Clark (1809-1881), eldest 
son of William Clark, was a West Point gradu- 
ate of 1830. He was sent to Jefferson Barracks, 
Missouri, as a brevet 2d lieutenant after gradu- 

ation and in 1831 was appointed an aide-de-camp 
to Gen. Edmund P. Gaines. In 1832 he served 
as a volunteer officer on Gen. Henry Atkinson's 
staff, holding at the same time the rank of 
colonel on the staff of the Illinois Volunteers. 
Clark resigned from the army in 1833 but re- 
entered at the time of the Mexican War. He 
served in the Confederate Army during the Civil 
War. In private life he was an architect and 
civil engineer. From 1848 until 1853 he 
was U.S. surveyor general for Missouri. Clark 
died in Kentucky, where he made his home in his 
later life, heitman; cullum; Kansas Historical 
Q^iarterly, XVI: 2n. 

Citizens of Rock Island County to John Reynolds 

[Rock Island, Illinois, June 27, 1831] 

We whose names are hereunto subscribed, citizens of the County of Rock 
Island in the state of Illinois hereby depute James M. Strode to represent 
to Govr. John Reynolds their exposed condition to Indian depredations 
and outrage and their liability to injury from them on the retiring of the 
troops just arrived at the Sac Village for their protection and for the chas- 
tisement or removal of the Indians from this portion of the state at least; 
We therefore through the said J. M. Strode humbly implore his Excellency 
Govr. John Reynolds, Genl. Edmund P. Gaines and Genl. Joseph Duncan 
to adopt such a plan of operation for present action, or future defence as 
is best calculated to secure them from exposure again, to Indian aggres- 
sions. Many of them have quitted their homes and sought protection 
under the walls of Fort Armstrong they have been compelled to abandon 
their dwellings and their fields on which they exclusively depend for sup- 
port and subsistence, they already have endured privations and sustained 
losses which to them are irreparable and which are too numerous to recite 
here most of which however will be detailed by the bearer of this paper. 

June 27th. 1831. 

Uri [?] S Hults. 
Rinnah Wells. 
Isaiah Frith 
G W Harlan 
Michael Bartlet 
J. W. Kenney 
Joel Wells 
Henry McNeil 
Joel Thompson 
Le[v]i Wells 

Eri Wells 
Sevier Stringfield 
Huntington Wells 
Joshua Vandruff 
Joseph Danforth 
Edward Vamer [Vumer?] 
Coonrad Leeke 

John Wells 
Joel Wells Jn 
Horace Cook 
Samuel Wells 
George Wells 
A C Noble 
Wm. T Brashar 

Edward [Edmun?] Corbin.Benja. F Pike 
Gentry McGee Griffith Aubrey 

Thomas Hubba[r]d 
Paxton W Smith 
Thommus Simes 
Robert Sims 
Russel Dance 
George V. Miller 
Thommus Davis 
Benjamon Goble 
Linus Henderson 

Joseph R Bean 

Jans [James] Haskell Bengamon Darrt 
Asaph Wells Ira Wells 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. 

John W Spencer William H. Sams 
Lenard Briant Thomas Levette 
Jonah. H. Case Samuel Kenney 
Moses Johnson 
Charles French 

June 29, 1831 81 

Thomas P. Burnett to William Clark 

U.S. Indian Agency Prairie du chien June 29th: 1831 
Genl. Wm. Clark Superintendent Ind. Affrs: St. Louis: 

Sir; I am informed by Maj : Langham^ who arrived here from below, 
a few days since, that the Winnebagoes of the Prophet's Village on Rock 
River, have united [with?]- the Sacs k Foxes. The Winnebagoes of the 
Wisconsin & the Upper Mississippi are still peaceable. They are, most 
likely, waiting to see the first result of the movements below, and intend 
to act afterwards according to circumstances. Until within two or three 
weeks past, verry few of those Indians had visited this place for a length 
of time, fewer, I am told, than is usual at the season. Lately, a great many 
of them have been here, the most of whom, came down the Wisconsin, and 
have gone up the Mississippi. A great proportion of them are old men 
women & children. They still continue to pass by daily Many rumors are 
in circulation here, as to their present disposition and intentions, verry few 
of which, are, perhaps, entitled to implicit belief. They have served, how- 
ever, to give considerable alarm to many of the inhabitants of the Prairie 
& many of them begin to think themselves in danger. I have spared no 
pains, to ascertain the intentions of the Winnebagoes here, and have found 
no evidence of a disposition to hostilities on their part, unless, the circum- 
stance of their sending so many of their old men, women & children up 
the Mississippi and purchasing powder in larger quantities than usual for 
ordinary hunting indicates something of that kind; and information that 
I received a few days since that the One eyed Decori ^ had left his village 
at Prairie le Cross ^ and gone down to the Sauks & Foxes. This intelligence 
was accidentally communicated to my informant by a Winnebago, and is 
probably trae. Decori was down about two weeks since and called to see 
me on his return home. His deportment was as usual: I saw no change. In 
fact I have not discovered any change in the deportment or appearance of 
any that I have seen. They all seem to be perfectly friendly. None of the 
traders here believe that they have any hostile intentions 

Col. Morgan left the Fort for Rock Island on the morning of the 27th: 
inst. with two companies from this Post, and two more from Fort-Winne- 
bago under Majr. Twiggs.^ He had previously called in all the fatigue par- 
ties, and put his whole force in a course of training. Much alanii prevails 
in the Mines.^ The people are arming and preparing for their defence. I 
do not consider, that there is any immediate danger, either here, or in the 
vicinity. Much, however, will doubtless depend upon the result below. 

The Sioux & Menominees are certainly friendly, and against the Sauks 
& Foxes, would willingly unite with the whites if permitted. I have heard 
nothing since my last of a war party of those Indians agt. the Chippeways. 

Genl. Street has not yet returned. I have heard nothing from him since 
his departure for St: Louis from Jacksonville 111: 

With great respect I am your most obt. Servt. 
T P Burnett Sub-Agt. Ind: Affairs & Acting Indian Agent 


The Black Hawk War 

ADfS, WHi: Thomas P. Burnett Papers. 

1 Elias T. Langham, a native of Virginia, was 
subagent at the St. Peter's Indian Agency. He 
resigned in July, 1832, and became surveyor of 
public lands for Illinois and Missouri, with 
headquarters in St. Louis. U.S. Register 1827, 
101; U.S. Register 1S30, 84; U.S. Register 1831, 
97; U.S. Register 1833, 73; Kansas Historical 
Quarterly, XVI: 290n. 

2 Word omitted in original. 

3 The One- Eyed Decorah — also known as the 
Big Canoe, Big Boat, Grand Canoe, the One Eye, 
Watsh-hat-a-kaw, Waudgkhatakan, Watch-kat-o- 
que, Watch-hat-ty-kau — was a chief of the village 
at the site of present La Crosse, Wisconsin, and 
a member of the famous Decorah family of 
Winnebago Indians. 

The family was founded by a French army 
officer, Sabrevoir DeCarrie, and the daughter of 
a Winnebago chief. Their son, Choukeka or the 
Spoon, died in 1816; and Choukeka's eldest son, 
Konoka — or Old Decorah, White War Eagle, 
Greyheaded Decorah, Hee-tshah-wau-saip-skaw- 
skaw, or Schachipkaka — ^who lived from 1747 
until 1836, was the most prominent of the 
Decorahs at this time. His village was at the 
mouth of the Baraboo River near present Port- 
age, Wisconsin. On the Decorah family, see 
Wisconsin Historical Collections, III: 286-87, V: 
155, 297, VII: 347, 359, XIII: 448-49; HODGE, I: 
384-85; kinzie, Waii-Bun, 98, 402. 

Lyman C. Draper (in Wisconsin Historical 
Collections, V: 297) says that the One-Eyed 
Decorah was a son of Chah-post-kaw-kaw or the 
Buzzard and a grandson of the Frenchman De- 
Carrie, and therefore a cousin of Konoka. The 
One-Eyed Decorah was born ca. 1772 and died 
in Monroe County, Wisconsin, in 1864. He is 
best known for his part in the capture and 
delivery of Black Hawk at the conclusion of the 
BHW in 1832. 

Draper (ibid.) calls the One-Eyed Decorah a 
brother of a third well-known member of the 
family, Waucon or Waukaunhakaw or Snakeskin, 
a principal orator and war chief. Augustin 
Grignon also calls the two men brothers (ibid., 
Ill: 287), and Waukon himself once referred t» 
the One-Eyed Decorah as his "brother" {ibid., 
V: 309). 

4 This prairie took its name from the Indian 

ball game played there for generations. The 
game resembled shinny or hockey, known to the 
French as "la crosse." The prairie was on the 
Mississippi below the mouth of the La Crosse 
River, about midway between Galena and St. 
Paul. HUNT, Wisconsin Gazetteer (1853), 122, 181; 
PIKE (Coues ed.), 49-51 and n. 55, and 207-8 
for Pike's description of the Indian game; 
Wisconsin Historical Collections, XII: 426-27. 

5 David Emanuel Twiggs (1790-1862) was 
born in Richmond County, Georgia, and died in 
Augusta County, Georgia, a short time after 
resigning from a generalship in the army of the 
Confederate States of America. Twiggs entered 
the U.S. Army as a captain in 1812 and, except 
for a few months in 1815, remained in service 
until Feb., 1861, when, as commander of the 
Department of Texas, he surrendered his troops 
and supplies to the Confederacy. For this he was 
dishonorably discharged. He held his Confederate 
rank of major general only a few months before 
retiring near the end of 1861. 

At the time of the 1831 Black Hawk campaign, 
Twiggs was major of the 1st Infantry, a post he 
had held since 1825. He was in charge of the 
troops that built Fort Winnebago and was 
commanding officer there from the time of the 
fort's construction until July 15, 1831, when he 
was commissioned lieutenant colonel and trans- 
ferred to the 4th Infantry. The following summer 
he was in command of one of the units assigned 
to accompany Gen. Winfield Scott from the 
East Coast to the BHW area. Twiggs served later 
with the U.S. Dragoons and became nationally 
prominent during the Mexican War — both for 
his gallant action and, during the early part of 
the conflict, for his controversy with Bvt. Brig. 
Gen. William J. Worth "over prestige and rank." 
Their personal difficulties created a dangerous 
morale problem among the troops of both men, 
at the same time briefly tarnishing the military 
reputation of Zachary Taylor, who was their 
senior officer. DAB; Appletons' Cyclopaedia; 
Wisconsin Historical Collections, XIV: 71-76. 

6 The Wisconsin lead mines lay south of the 
Wisconsin River and east of the Mississippi, ex- 
tending east into present Dane and Green 
counties, schafer, The Wisconsin Lead Region, 
58, 12. 

William Clark to John H. Eaton 

Superintendency of Ind. Affrs St. Louis June 29th. 1831. 

Sir, Since the date of the letter which I had the honour to write to you 
of the 30th. Ult.^ in relation to the conduct and operation of the British 
party of Sacs of Rock River, such information has been received as in- 

June 29, 1831 83 

duces me to believe that this British party have been using great exertions 
to induce other Tribes and Bands to unite in oposition to the Government. 
They sent out a party last fall, of the most intelligent Men with Wampum 
and confidential talks to the Osages and Southern Bands as far as Texas. 
All of this party have returned except the Son of one of the principal Men 
(Black Hawk) 2 who remained for the answer of some of the discontented 
Bands West of Red River. 

A small party ^ have been sent to Maiden for Council as I am informed 
by one of the Traders. 

From the last information received from Fort Armstrong, it would ap- 
pear that a small party of the discontented Sacs had crossed the Mississippi 
to their own lands, and that the Winnebagoe Prophet and his party had 
joined the party at their Old Village. Governor Reynolds of Illinois was 
within 20 Miles of Fort Armstrong. 

Genl. Atkinson* passed this place yesterday with two Companies from 
Jefferson Barracks, taking up with him, Military Stores. The water being 
high, he will most probably join Genl. Gains in three days from this time. 

It is hoped that the course pursued, supported by the shew of Troops 
will induce the Indians to cross the Mississippi to their own lands: in that 
case, they must be closely watched as they have plans and views, which 
are not yet matured. 

If this party is not checked at once, other discontented parts of Tribes 
may be encouraged to follow their example, and the frontiers will be kept 
in a state of continual alarm. 

I have the honour to be with great Respect Your most Obedient Servant 
(Signed) Wm. Clark 

Hon. John H. Eaton Sectry. of War. 

P.S. Enclosed is a Report from the Osage Agent ^ of the 27th. Inst. 

LBC, KHi: Clark Papers, IV: 230-31. Enclosure not have succeeded Keokuk, although there is 

in original: P. L. Chouteau to Clark, June 27. evidence that both sons were followers of the Sauk 

1 See Clark to Eaton, May 30. chief Hardiish, who did aspire to Keokuk's posi- 

2 Black Hawk's elder son, Nasheweskaka, was tion in the late 1830's and 1840's. In 1840 Governor 
probably the one who had not yet returned from Robert Lucas of Iowa Territory listed both of 
the Southwest. He did not sign the June 30, 1831, Black Hawk's sons as among the braves of the 
Articles of Agreement, of which the younger Hardfish band; see Annals of lotva, XV: 255-80, 
son, Wathametha A, probably was a signer; see esp. 272, where their names are given as 
n. 2 on that document. "Nas-he-wash-kuk" and "Wah-sam-missah." Both 

Ldttle is known about Nasheweskaka, but he sons emigrated to Kansas in 1845 (Missouri 

was unquestionably a man of prepossessing Historical Society Bulletin, VII: 231, 232n). 

appearance, if not of ability. The painter George Nasheweskaka died on the reservation in that 

Catlin wrote that he was "a very handsome state in 1856 {Annuls of Iowa, I: 54) ; his 

young warrior, and one of the finest-looking descendants are still living in Oklahoma; see 

Indians I ever saw. There is a strong party in Sept. 5, 1832, list of prisoners, and nn. there, 

the tribe that is anxious to put this young man 3 The principal man who went to Maiden at 

up; and I think it more than likely, that this time was Napope; see BLACK hawk, 132, 

Kee-o-kuk as chief may fall ere long by his hand, and Napope's testimony of Aug. 20, 1832. 

or by some of the tribe, who are anxious to 4 Henry Atkinson (1782-1842), a native of 

reinstate the family of Black Hawk" ; see CATUN, North Carolina, began his army career as a 

Letters and Notes (1841), II: 211. Since Black captain in 1808 and became colonel of the 6th 

Hawk and his sons were not chiefs, they could Infantry in 1815. He conmianded the two Yellow- 


The Black Hawk War 

stone expeditions of 1819-1820 and 1825. In 
1820 he was commissioned brigadier general and 
assigned staff duty, but when the army was 
reorganized the following year, his rank was 
reduced to brevet brigadier general and he was 
reappointed colonel of the 6th Infantry, In 1826 
he directed the construction of Jefferson Bar- 
racks, Missouri, which was his home until his 
death. Atkinson was commander of the U,S. 

forces in the Winnebago War of 1827 and in the 
Black Hawk campaign of 1832. Although he 
accompanied troops to Rock Island in 1831, his 
role in the campaign and Indian negotiations 
was a minor one. heitman; DAB; SCHARF, 
History of St. Louis, I: 525-26, 528; Army 
Register 1815-37, 182, 199, 208, 213; NICHOLS, 
General Henry Atkinson. 
5 Paul Ligiiest Chouteau. 

Nathaniel Buckmaster to John Y. Sawyer 

H.Q. Western Department, Rock River/ June 30, 1831. 

Dear Sir: — On the 26th inst. we landed in the Sac village, two miles 
below this fort, (Armstrong.)^ The Indians, it is believed made their es- 
cape on the evening preceding, & in the morning before our arrival, as the 
fires were still burning in their camps when we arrived. A part no doubt, 
left the Island,- after we landed, as the countiy afforded every facility they 
could have desired. We encamped in their village that night, burned their 
bark wigwams or houses, &c. We have had some communications from a 
part of the hostile band, who have proffered to meet us for the purpose of 
making some stipulations concerning the business which brought us here. 
This day is fixed as the time for meeting them in council — but rumor says, 
the Black Hawk has refused to attend with the other Chiefs and Braves 
of the disaffected band. 

I see them at this time on the opposite side of the river (Mississippi,) in 
groups; and from the numbers assembled, should suppose them to amount 
to from five to severt hundred warriors.^ My own impressions are, that we 
shall be able to arrange the difficulties in a short time, a few days will 
bring it to an issue. We are encamped in a beautiful plain on the bank of 
the Mississippi; but from some cause the troops are becoming very im- 
healthy. Our total strength is 1572 volunteers,-* and Gen. Gaines has about 
700 U. States troops. So soon as the business is brought to a close we shall, 
do one of two things, either disband the whole of the volunteers or leave 
five or six hundred men here to operate with Gen. Gaines, should there 
be occasion. 

Yours in haste, N. Buckmaster. 

Hon, J. Y. Sawyer. 

Illinois Advocate [Edwardsville], July 8, 1831. 
John York Sawyer (1788 ?-1836) , a native of 
Reading, Vermont, interrupted his law studies 
to serve in the War of 1812. After his discharge 
as 1st lieutenant in 1815, he was admitted to the 
bar in Vermont. Sawyer emigrated to Illinois ca. 
1816 and settled at Edwardsville, where he 
practiced law, served as county surveyor and 
county judge, and held other minor posts before 
he was commissioned judge of the 1st Illinois 

Judicial Circuit in 1825. The circuit judges were 
legislated out of office in 1827, and after spending 
a short time in Wisconsin, Sawyer returned to 
Edwardsville. He represented Madison County 
in the 7th General Assembly, 1830-1832, filling 
the unexpired term of John Canal. In Jan., 1831, 
Sawyer began publication of the Western Plough- 
boy, the first farm paper in Illinois and the 
second west of the Alleghenies. Within the year 
the Ploughboy was merged with the Illinois 

June SO, 1831 


Advocate, of which Sawyer and Jonathan An- 
gevine were co-founders. The first issue of the 
Advocate was published at Edwardsville, Feb. 9, 
1831. In Dec, 1832, Sawyer moved the Advocate 
to Vandalia following his election as state 
printer. In 1839, three years after Sawyer's 
death, the paper he had founded was moved 
again, to Springfield, the new state capital. The 
Advocate eventually became the Illinois State 
Register. Illinois Historical Collections, VI: 167, 
341, 342: Madison County (1912), I: 78, 454, 
456; Illinois Blue Book 1931-32. 682, 741-42; 
Jour. ISHS, V: 249; heitman. 

1 At this time the volunteers were encamped 
not on Rock River but opposite Rock Island on 
the Illinois shore of the Mississippi, spencer, 
48-49, says their camp reached "from the ferry 
landing to the freight house." He complained 
that the volunteers turned their horses loose on 
the prairie and then tore up his fence for fuel. 
"By this operation," he wrote, "I lost all my 
crop for one year, for which I never received a 
cent, the soldiers doing me ten times as much 
damage as the Indians had ever done." 

The distance from Fort Armstrong to the 
Sauk village is given as four miles by Lt. George 
A. McCall in his letter of July 1. From the fort 
to the upper end of the village farmlands, the 
distance was only about two miles, but to the 
concentrated settlements on Rock River, the 
distance was closer to four miles. 

2 The volunteers crossed the slough on the 
south to Vandruff's Island and from there 
crossed the main channel of the Rock. 

3 This figure probably also included warriors 
from the friendly bands, since among the 
signers were several not associated with Black 
Hawk — for instance, Pashipaho, the principal 
Sauk chief, and all the Fox chiefs who signed. 
The others identified here as Sauk chiefs were 
with Black Hawk in 1832. 

4 No morning reports are available to check 
the exact number of volunteers present at any 
given time. An undated memorandum made out 
by William Thomas (BHW, I: 567) shows that 
the volunteers had 1,459 horses, and an estimate 
of total brigade strength as given on the muster 
rolls shows approximately 1,450 men in the 
command. However, neither of these counts in- 
cludes Capt. Benjamin F. Pike's ranger company 
of sixty-one men from Rock Island County or 
the home-guard companies of Capts. William 
Edmonston, James Ferguson, and Elijah Will- 
coxen (or Wilcockson). Information on the rolls 
of the latter three companies makes it seem 
unlikely that they left their home counties. 

The best explanation for this apparently in- 
flated figure lies in Buckmaster's handwriting, 
which was so poor that his figures were probably 
misread by the editor or typesetter. 

Articles of Agreement and Capitulation between the United 
States and the Sauk and Fox 

[Rock Island, Illinois, June 30, 1831] 
Articles of Agreement & Capitulation made & concluded this thirtieth 
day of June, one thousand eight hundred and thirty one, between E. P. 
Gaines, Major General of the U.S. Army, on the part of the United States; 
John Reynolds, Govenor of Illinois, on the part of the State of Illinois; 
and the Chiefs & Braves of the band of Sac-Indians usually called "the 
British band of Rock river;" with their old allies, the Pottowattamy Win- 
nebago & Kikapoo nations, Witnesseth, that 

Whereas the said British band of Sac Indians, have, in violation of 
several Treaties entered into between the United States & the Sac & Fox 
nations, in the years 1804, 1816, & 1825, continued to remain upon & to 
cultivate the lands on Rock river, ceded to the United States, by the said 
Treaties, after the said lands had been sold by the United States to indi- 
vidual citizens of Illinois and other states ; & whereas the said British band 
of Sac Indians, in order to sustain their pretensions to continue upon the 
said Rock river lands have assumed the attitude of actual hostility towards 
the United States, and have had the audacity to drive citizens of the State 

The Black Hawk War 

of Illinois from their homes, to destroy their corn, and to invite many of 
their old friends of the Pottowattamies, Winnebagoes and Kikapoos, to 
unite with them (the said British band of Sacs) in war, to prevent their 
removal from the said lands; and, whereas, many of the most disorderly of 
these several tribes of Indians, did actually join the said British band of 
Sac Indians, prepared for war against the United States, and more par- 
ticularly against the state of Illinois — from which purpose they confess 
that nothing would have restrained them but the appearance of forces far 
exceeding the combined strength of the said British band of Sac Indians, 
with such of their aforesaid allies as had actually joined them. 

But being now convinced that such a war would tend speedily to anni- 
hilate them, they have voluntarily abandoned their hostile attitude and 
have sued for peace. 

1st. Peace is therefore given to them upon the following conditions; to 
which the said British band of Sac Indians, with their aforesaid allies do 
agree; and for the faithful execution of which the undersigned Chiefs & 
Braves of the said Band and their allies mutually bind themselves, their 
heirs and assigns, forever. 

2nd. The British band of Sac Indians are required peaceably to submit 
to the authority of the friendly Chiefs & Braves of the United Sac & Fox 
nation, & at all times hereafter, to reside & hunt with them upon their own 
lands west of the Mississippi river, & to be obedient to their laws and 
treaties; and no one or more of the said band shall ever be permitted to 
recross this river to the place of their usual residence, nor to any part of 
their old hunting grounds east of the Mississippi, without the express per- 
mission of the President of the United States, or the Govenor of the State 
of Illinois. 

3rd. The United States will giiarentee to the United Sac & Fox nation, 
including the said British band of Sac Indians, the integrity of all the lands 
claimed by them westward of the Mississippi river, pursuant to the treaties 
of the years 1825 & 1830. 

4th. The United States require the united Sac & Fox nation, including 
the aforesaid British band, to abandon all communication, & cease to hold 
any intercourse, with any British Post, Garrison or Town; & never again 
to admit among them, any agent or trader, who shall not have derived his 
authority to hold commercial or other intercourse with them, by licence, 
from the President of the United States or his authorised agent. 

5th. The United States demand an acknowledgement of their right to 
establish INIilitary Posts & Roads within the limits of the said country, 
guaranteed by the 3rd Art: of this Agreement & Capitulation, for the pro- 
tection of the frontier inhabitants. 

6th. It is farther required by the United States that, the principal 
friendly chiefs & headmen of the Sacs & Foxes bind themselves to enforce, 
as far as may be in their power, the strict observance of each & eveiy 
article of this agreement & Capitulation, & at any time they may find them- 

June 30, 1831 _87 

selves unable to restrain their allies, the Pottowattamies, Kikapoos or Win- 
nebagoes, to give immediate information thereof to the nearest military 

7th. And it is finally agreed by the contracting parties, that, henceforth 
permanent peace & friendship be established between the United States & 
the aforesaid band of Indians. 

In witness whereof we have set our hands, the day & date above men- 

Edmund P. Gaines 

Major Genl. by Bt. Comg. 
John Reynolds 

Governor of the State of Illinois 

Chiefs 1 
Pashepaho (Stabbing Chief,) his x mark 
Weesheet (Sturgeon Head) his x mark 
Chakeepashepaho (Little Stabbing Chief) his x mark 
Checokalako (Turtle shell) his x mark 
Pemesee (the one that flies) his x mark 

Warriors or Braves. 

Macata-mechicatak (The Black Hawk) his x mark 
Menacon (The Seed) his x mark 
Kakekamak (All fish) his x mark 
Nepeek [Nepuk ?] (Water) his x mark 
Asamesaw (The one that flies too fast) ^ his x mark 
Paneenanee (Paunee man) his x mark 
Wawapolasa (White walker) his x mark 
Wapaquat (White hare) his x mark 
Keosatak (Walker) his x mark 

Fox Chiefs— 

Wapala (the Prince) his x mark 

Keteese (the Eagle) his x mark 

Powesheek (one that sifts through) his x mark 

Namee (one that has gone) his x mark 

Fox Braves or Warriors 

Allotah (Morgan) ^ his x mark 

Kakakeu (the Crow) his x mark 

Sheshequanas (Little goard) his x mark 

Koskoskee his x mark 

Takona (The prisoner) his x mark 

Nakiskawa (The one that meets) his x mark 

The Black Hawk War 

Pameketah (The one that stands about) his x mark 
Tapokea (The night) his x mark 

Molansot (the one that has his hair pulled out) his x mark 
Kakemekapeo (Setting in the green) his x mark 


Jos. M. Street U.S. Indian Agent at Prairie du Chien 

Wy Morgan Col 1st Inf 

J Bliss B Maj 3 Inf. 

Geo. A. McCall Aid de Camp to Maj: Genl. Gaines. 

Saml. Whiteside 

Felix St Vrain Ind. Agent 

John S. Greathouse* 

M. K. Alexander 

A. S. Wests 

Antoine LeClaire Interpreter 

Joseph Danforth 

Danl. S. Witter « 

Benja. F. Pike 

DS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. 
A copy (in I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW) was 
enclosed in McCall to Reynolds, July 24. Another 
copy was enclosed in McCall to Jones, July 6. 
in DNA: RG 94: AGO (File G114, Roll 61, 

1 At this time most of the Sauk who were 
attached to Keokuk's band under the chieftain- 
ship of Pashipaho had gone into the interior 
of the country on their summer hunt, although 
Pashipaho himself remained to take part in the 
negotiations; see Gaines to Jones, June 14-15. 
The other Sauk chiefs who signed were attached 
to Black Hawk's band in 1832 and very likely 
were also allied with him in 1831. No Fox chiefs 
who signed were with Black Hawk in 1832, and 
their presence at the 1831 negotiations does not 
necessarily imply that they were allied with him 
at this time. Despite the introductory statement 
to the agreement, both the "British" band and 
the friendly bands of Sauk and Fox were parties 
to the agreement. 

2 This man may have been Black Hawk's 
younger son, whose name is given such variant 
spellings as Ahtamasah, Ahtammasah, Gamesett, 
Nasomsee, Wahsammissah, Wasawmesaw, and 
Wasomesaw. Descendants of the family spell the 
name "Wa-tha-me-tha A." hodge, H: 33; CAtlin, 
Letters and Notes (1841), H: 212; Annals of 
Iowa, XV: 272; Missouri Historical Society Bulle- 
tin, VH: 231, 232n; Mrs. Mary Mack to John H. 
Hauberg, June 2. 1940, photostat in IHi. 

•i Presumably this was Morgan, the Fox war 
chief, although his Indian name is usually given 
as Macopawn, Manquopraum, Manquopwam, or 

Maquepraum, translated as Bear Ham or The 
Bear's Hip. 

4 John S. Greathouse, a native of Kentucky, 
was practicing law at Edwardsville at this time. 
In 1831 he enrolled for military service as a 
private in the company of Capt. Erastus Wheeler 
but on the organization of the volunteers was 
made quartermaster for the spy battalion. Some 
time later he moved to Carlinville, where he 
became a law partner of Maj. P. H. Winchester 
and served as state's attorney for the 1st 
Circuit, 1841-1843. He was living in Illinois as 
late as 1858 but is said to have moved to Ken- 
tucky before his death in that state. Macoupin 
County (1879), 53; Sangamo Journal [Spring- 
field, 111.], March 5, 1841, Jan. 19, 1843, June 14, 
1858; Madison County (1882), 338. 

5 Amos S. West of Virginia Precinct, Cass 
County, was a prominent local politician for 
some twenty years. He represented Cass County 
in the 12th General Assembly, 1840-1842. In the 
Winnebago War of 1827 he served in Capt. Wiley 
B. Green's company, and in the 1831 Black Hawk 
campaign he was a member of Capt. George T. 
Bristow's company until his promotion to 
sergeant major on the staff of the 1st Regiment. 
He was still living in the town of Kansas in 
1874. Cass County (1882), 74; Cass County Atlas 
(1874), 18; Sangamo Journal [Springfield, 111.]. 
March 1, 1834, Nov. 13, 1845; Illinois Blue Book 
1931-32, 747; photostat of 1827 muster roll in 

6 Daniel S. Witter was living at New Boston, 
in present Mercer County, when the Indians 
returned to Illinois in 1831. When war seemed 

July 1, 1831 89 

imminent, he went to Fort Armstrong and, a steam flouring mill and was active in the pro- 
according to one county historian, did not re- motion of numerous railroad companies during 
turn to his former home; see Mercer and Hen- the late 1830's and early 1840's. Trans. ISHS, 
derson Counties (1882). 76. Nevertheless, he -XKyiVll: 20^, 20^: Illinois Historical Collections. 
was still living in the same general area in the XVIII: 264; Illinois Private Laws 1839, 73, 
spring of 1832 when he again abandoned his home, 75-77, 98. 

fleeing that time to Oquawka; see his letter of In the 1820*s a D. S. Witter had been a 

April 28, 1832. In Aug., 1832. Witter was de- prominent resident of St. Clair County, but no 

feated in the election for representative to the evidence has been found to link him with the 

general assembly from Calhoun, McDonough, signer of this treaty; see name index in I-A 

Warren, and Mercer counties. Some time later, for sources of information about the St. Clair 

he moved to Warsaw, Illinois, where he operated man. 

Edmund P. Gaines: Orders 

H.Q. Western Department, Rock Island, July 1, 1831. 

The prompt and eiEcient movement of the Illinois Volunteers, under Gen- 
eral Duncan, combined with the Artillery under Capt. Legate, and the 
companies of the 3d and 6th Infantry, under Major Bliss, and Captain 
Brown,^ having contributed to induce the British band of Sac Indians, with 
their old allies, the Winnebago, Pottawatamie, and Kickapoo nations to 
abandon their position, and sue for peace; peace is accordingly granted 
them, upon conditions which are deemed sufficient to afford permanent 
security to the frontier inhabitants; to render this hostile band of Sac 
Indians submissive, and obedient to the friendly Sac Chiefs; to confine the 
offenders within the limits of their own nation, West of the Mississippi; 
and finally, to cut off all intercourse between them and their old allies, of 
Upper Canada,^ from whom they have long received the annual reward of 
their former treachery, and continued hostility towards the United States. 

These essential objects being accomplished, the troops will as soon as 
practicable, return to their respective positions, with the exception of one 
Company of the 1st Infantry, which will remain at Fort Armstrong until 
further orders. 

The Illinois Volunteers will be inspected and mustered forthwith, by 
Major Bliss, and they will be disbanded by their immediate Commanding 
Officers, at the time of their return to their first place of Rendezvous. 

The prompt and effective measures of his Excellency Governor Reynolds, 
and of Gen. Duncan, to assemble the Volunteers, and their energetic move- 
ment with their troops, to the exposed border of the State, cannot be too 
highly appreciated. The Commanding General tenders his thanks to them, 
and to each individual Volunteer, officers and men, and offers his best 
wishes for their health, and speedy return to their families. 

By order of Major General Gaines, 

Geo. A. M'Call, Aid De Camp, and Ad't. General. 

Illinois Advocate [Edwardsville] , July 15, 1831. Thomas C. Legate, Maj. John Bliss, and Capt. 

1 The oflScers referred to here are Joseph Jacob Brown of the Regulars. 
Duncan, of the volunteer force, and Capt. Jacob Brown (ca. 1787-1846) was a native of 


The Black Hawk War 

New England. He entered the army as a private 
in 1812 and in two years rose to the rank of 2d 
lieutenant in the 11th Infantry. In 1815 he 
transferred to the 6th Infantry, in which he 
was commissioned captain in 1825. Although he 
served in the 1831 Black Hawk campaign, no 
record of his service in 1832 has been found. 
Brown served later in the Florida wars and be- 
came a major of the 7th Infantry in 1843. He 
died May 9, 1846, of wounds received in the 
successful defense of a small army post then 

known as Fort Taylor. At the close of the Mexi- 
can War, the city of Brownsville, Texas, grew 
up around the post, which was renamed Fort 
Brown in honor of its defender, heitman; FROST, 
The Mexican War and Its Warriors, 34-39; 
General Taylor and His Staff, 235-37; WPA 
Guide to Texas. 204, 205, 210. 

- Such allusions to Sauk and Fox allies in 
Upper Canada refer to the attachment of some 
of the band to British Indian agents at Maiden, 
Upper Canada (now Amherstburg, Ontario). 

Heniy Gratiot to Edmund P. Gaines 

Gratiots Grove July 1st. 1831 
To Major Genl. Edmd. P. Gaines 

Dear Sir I have the honour of acknowledging the Recpt. of Yours, dated 
at Rock Island 12th. June Last,^ in compliance with Your wish, I trans- 
ported myself immediately to the Turtle Village," the principal Winebago 
town on Rock River, and from thence I dispatched expresses to their dif- 
ferent Villages to call in their principal war chiefs. It is a pleasure to me to 
inform You that I counciled with the principal men of the nation. I found 
them well disposed though they are very much harassed by the Socks to 
join with them in their dispute with the Whites. During the time I was with 
them I watched their movements closely and I believe that I do not ad- 
vance myself in saying that You may safely count on their friendship and 
moreover that they would tender You their services if You should need 
them. I submit to You their speech 

I am Deer Sir Your Obt. Servt. 

Henry Gratiot Sub. Agt. for the Winebagos 

LS, DNA: RG 94, AGO. Addressed: "Magor 2 Turtle Village was on the right bank of 

Genl. E. P. Gains Head Quarters Rock Island." 
Postmarked: "Gratiots Grove July 1st 1831. 
Publick business." Endorsed: (1) "No 10." (2) 
Gaines's AE — "Reed. July 4 1831." Enclosure: 
Winnebago Speech, ca. July 1. Enclosed in: 
Gaines to Cass, Aug. 10. 

1 In 22d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Exec. Doc. 2, 197; 
see the source note, Gratiot to Gaines, June 11, 
for a summary of its contents. 

Turtle Creek at the point where that stream 
enters Rock River, the present site of Beloit, 
Wisconsin; see Wisconsin Magazine of History, 
XXVIII: 419. In 1829 John H. Kinzie estimated 
that the village contained six hundred people, 
living in thirty-five lodges (Wisconsin Magazine 
of History, III: 370-71). 

George A. McCall to Archibald McCall 

[Rock Island, Illinois] July 1. 

On the 29th ultimo ^ the Governor arrived with fifteen hundred mounted 

men, under command of General Duncan; and took up his quarters with 

July 1, 1831 91 

us on board the Winnebago. Having accompanied the mihtia of his State, 
merely with a view of inspiring them by his presence and participation in 
the toils and privations of the campaign with a portion of his own patriotic 
feelings, the Governor took no active command; but rumor, ever busy with 
the actions of the Great, imputed his military ardor to no other incitive 
than the promised advancement of his own politic views. On the evening 
of the 28th,- an advanced company of the Spies (a regiment, under that 
title, commanded by Brig. Gen. Whitesides^) reached the bluff, where the 
militia were ordered to unite with us, and notified the General of the ap- 
proach of the command. They had encamped about ten miles to the south- 
east of our position, and the next morning soon after sunrise we discovered 
the heads of their columns upon the summit of a distant hill, which rose 
gradually and regularly from the river-bank. Of this part of the country, 
which is beautiful, rolling prairie, the upper or, as it is called, hurricane- 
deck of the Winnebago commanded a perfect view; and as they advanced 
in four columns directly in front of us, and marched slowly down the slop- 
ing plain, I thought I looked upon one of the prettiest pictures of the kind 
ever presented to my view.* The General directed me to meet them and 
invite the Governor, with Gen. Duncan and his staff, to breakfast with us on 
board. On reaching the head of the left centre column, which had now 
halted on a spacious level, I inquired for the Commander-in-Chief, and was 
informed I should find him about the centre of that column; and having 
proceeded thither, I soon discovered a small knot of better than ordinarily 
mounted men, whom I rightly conjectured to be the persons I sought. 

Having welcomed the General ^ in the name of General Gaines, I inquired 
for the Governor, and was conducted by General Duncan towards a ve- 
hicle, which, had I met it elsewhere, I should have taken for a Jersey fish- 
cart; but which from its situation and position in the column, I now set 
down in my mind for an ammunition caisson. Approaching it, however, the 
General raised a leather curtain,- — for with these sable barriers was the 
stronghold defended on all sides against the weather, — and there, Jupiter 
tonans ! there lay his linsey-woolsey Excellency, coiled upon a truss of tar- 
nished straw. By preventing an apoplexy of admiration, with which I was 
at the moment attacked, from gaining vent in an uncourtly cachinnation, 
I had like to have died; but I bowed me to the earth in token of respect, 
and in so doing recovered sufficiently to deliver my message. The invitation 
was declined, because, as his Excellency said, he had had for three days "the 
chills and fever." I persuaded him, however, on that account to take a 
state-room on board the boat, as he would then be able to contend with 
his malady on a fairer footing, and finally prevailed upon him to do so. 

As we had a pretty substantial breakfast, I had the satisfaction of seeing 
our guests, who had been on plain allowance for some time, do ample jus- 
tice to our steamboat fare; but this is a subject I will not descant upon, 
as I am myself, especially after being on horseback an hour or two before 

92 The Black Hawk War 

day, apt enough to be seduced, by the alluring savor of beefsteaks and 
coUops, far beyond the pale of classic epicurism. 

The whole day ^ was absolutely necessary for the issuing of ammunition, 
the cleaning of arms, and finally putting the men in effective fighting order 
after the fatigues of the march. But the next morning's sun, which rose 
lurid and threatening, saw our columns on the march towards the Sac vil- 
lage. The United States Infantry of the 1st and 6th Regiments debouched 
from Fort Armstrong, and crossing the narrow channel to the mainland, 
moved down upon the village, which is about four miles from the fort,^ in 
two columns, supported by one company of artillery;^ while the mounted 
men under General Duncan advanced in the opposite direction. As the lat- 
ter were obliged to ford Rock River immediately above the village, the 
Winnebago, with one company of artillery on board, proceeded up the river 
to cover their passage. The companies arrived simultaneously at the desig- 
nated points, and the artillery having taken possession of the heights on 
the right of the village, a few shots were fired through the ravines and the 
brushwood on the island, over which the trace to the ford passed,* and the 
head of the column of militia entered the river. Some troops of the spies 
having effected their passage, the General landed, and having thrown out 
some light infantry, mounted and began to reconnoitre more minutely than 
he had hitherto done the ground about the village. I knew that the position 
of the Indians was a strong one, but I now saw that it was much more 
tenable than I had even imagined ; and had they been disposed to maintain 
it, it would have given us some trouble to dislodge them; but they had, as 
soon as they saw their fate was inevitable, and that they were, poor fellows, 
doomed to quit forever their much loved homes, wisely decided to abandon 
their village. This, however, was not concluded until they saw from our 
preparations that they could trifle no longer with impunity. They had re- 
mained in their village until just before day on the morning of our en- 
trance; when, collecting their canoes, a greater part of them crossed to the 
western shore of the Mississippi; and some indeed had clung to their mis- 
erable dwellings until within a short time of our arrival, as we discovered 
by the fresh tracks on the trace leading to the Winnebago Prophet's town 
some distance up the river. 

Of course they were not pursued, — as the object now, that they were 
driven from their old haunts, and saw that we had a sufficient mounted 
force to protect the frontier, was to let them quietly settle on the lands 
appropriated to them, and then call the chiefs to a council for the purpose 
of renewing the treaty, and securing their pledges to preserve order and 
quiet among their followers. 

Soon after our arrival on the ground, it commenced raining, and poured 
in torrents till nightfall. 

I am called of!" and must close my letter. Adieu. 

[George A. McCall] 

July 1, 1831 


A, McCALL, Letters from the Frontiers, 

1 June 25, not June 29, was the day Governor 
Reynolds and the volunteers reached the Missis- 

2 The 24th is the correct date. 

3 Samuel Whiteside, a brigadier general in the 
regular state militia, was major of a spy battal- 
ion, not a regiment, in the volunteer force. The 
general mentioned later in the sentence is Gaines. 

4 The march of the volunteers in 1831 roughly 
paralleled the Beardstown-Rock Island Road. The 
portion of the road between Rushville and Rock 
Island had been laid out by J. D. Manlove and 
Thomas Beard in 1827, according to Schuyler 
County (1908), II: 679, 680. As nearly as can 
be determined, the road approximated that 
shown on J. H. Young's 1835 map of Illinois: 
from Beardstown to Rushville, to Macomb, pro- 
ceeding almost due north to Monmouth, and 
thence northwest across Cedar Fork to Little 
York on Henderson River, north to North Fork, 
and thence across Pope River to the town of 
Mercer in the center of present Mercer County 
(map is in Mitchell, Illinois in 18S7; see also 
Warren County [1877], 119; Warren County 
[1903], 704-5). 

Between Edwards River and Rock Island, the 
road followed an Indian trail that crossed the 
Edwards at Army Ford, two and one-half miles 
southeast of Millersburg. Numerous old settlers 
asserted that both the 1831 and 1832 volunteers 
crossed the Edwards at that point (Trans. ISHS, 
XXVIII: 101, and map opp. 109). The 1832 
march, however, was over a different route from 
Oquawka to the Rock. 

About midway between the Pope River cross- 
ing and Rock Island, the volunteers turned left 
and proceeded to the present site of Andalusia 
(HOBAKT, Recollections, 74, 75). There the bluffs 
that rise south of the Rock River lowlands 

"approach the Mississippi River, which washes 
their base almost to the southern line of the 
county" (Rock Island County [1877], 102). 

5 Joseph Duncan. 

6 June 25. 

7 According to 1st Lt. John W. Spencer, Capt. 
Benjamin F. Pike's volunteer ranger company 
and the regulars marched south from Fort Arm- 
strong toward the Sauk village near where the 
Milan Road (present Ninth Street) was later 
traveled. The column turned left when it reached 
General [Thomas J.] Rodman's land, which in 
1894 extended as far north as present Thirty- 
first Avenue. The troops then marched east until 
they reached the top of the bluff. There they 
turned south in the direction of Black Hawk's 
Watch Tower, spencer, 27, 48; Missouri Histori- 
cal Society Collections, III: 127; Rock Island 
County Atlas (1894), 16-17; Rock Island County 
Atlas (1905). 27; Rock Island County (1877), 

8 I.e., infantry acting as artillery. One officer 
of the U.S. Artillery, Capt. Thomas C. Legate, 
apparently commanded artillery operations; see 
Gaines's July 1 order. 

9 The Indian trail from Oquawka to the Sauk 
village on Rock River crossed the south channel 
of the Rock at Milan to Vandruff's Island. The 
trail passed through the lower end of the island 
to another ford across the main channel of the 
Rock near the Route 67 and railroad bridge 
crossings of that stream. According to John H. 
Hauberg, the rapids there "flow over a bed of 
flat rock which provides a fordable bottom of a 
width of a hundred yards or more" (Trans. 
ISHS, XXVIII: 93; see also ibid.. 92, 99-106). 
This ford at the site of Vandruff's ferry was 
unsafe because of high water, but the volunteers 
found another half a mile or so upstream near 
the eastern end of the island; see the letter of 
the volunteer officer that follows. 

From a Staff Officer of the Volunteers 

Camp Near Rock Islanci, July 1, 1831. 

Sir: — I have not heretofore had an opportunity of writing to you since 
our departure from the rendezvous at Beairdstown. I have no doubt you 
have anxiously waited to hear the result of our expedition to Rock River. 
On Saturday the 25th inst.^ we reached the Mississippi a few miles below 
Rock Island, where, in conjunction with Gen. Gaines, the plan of attack 
on the Indian village was settled. At the appointed time on Sunday the 
26th, the regular troops from fort Armstrong, occupied the hills in the 
rear of the Indian village, and at the same time, the whole of our Illinois 

94 The Black Hawk War 

volunteers forded the main channel of Rock river, a little above, while Gen. 
Gaines with a field piece on board the steamboat Winnebago, occupied the 
river to cover the crossing of our men: four companies of spies under the 
command of Gen. Whiteside, preceded the main body and formed on the 
Island where it was expected the Indians would make a stand, in the almost 
impenetrable brush and timber which covered the Island. Finding no re- 
sistance, the whole army proceeded to that channel of Rock river which 
runs immediately in front of the village. Before it was known that this 
channel was fordable, the four companies of spies and the regiment under 
the command of Col. Henry, commenced crossing in boats at the lower 
end of the Island, but in a short time a ford, (tho' a bad one,)^ being dis- 
covered at the head of the Island, the odd battalion under the command 
of Maj. Buckmaster, followed by the regiment under the command of Col. 
Lieb, forded the river and marched into the Indian village in the rear.^ 

During all this time it was not known whether any resistance would be 
made, every one expected a battle; indeed, during our march for two days 
before, every appearance was hostile, our scouts when outnumbered were 
driven in by the Indians, and when ours were most numerous, the Indians 
fled; and small bodies of Indians frequently came in full view of the main 
body of our army. It was, however, soon discovered that the village and 
its environs was entirely evacuated, and that the Indians had the night 
before, precipitately left their wigwams, and probably crossed the Missis- 
sippi river. 

The army occupied the village during the night, and the next day 
marched to our present encampment opposite Rock Island. Yesterday was 
the day appointed for holding a treaty with the chiefs of this hostile band 
of Sacs; but owing to what cause, I have not been able to learn, none of 
them attended; to-day, however, the Black Hawk and several others came 
to the fort and concluded a treaty of peace,'* the principal stipulation in 
which is, that they are not to cross the Mississippi or enter our State, under 
any pretense whatever. The position which Black Hawk and his band occu- 
pied on Rock river, may justly be said to have been a hostile invasion of 
the State, to repel which, and remove them to their own side of the river, 
was the main object of the expedition; this it may be said has been effected, 
and if the Indians keep their promises, it has. Our troops are generally 
dissatisfied with the result of the campaign, they would have been satisfied 
if sufficient pledges had been taken for the future good behaviour of these 
lawless Indians, if Black Hawk, and two or three of his principal chiefs 
had been given up to Gen. Gaines, to be kept for a certain time as hostiges 
for the faithful performance of the treaty of peace, some confidence might 
have been placed in their promises. But what reliance can be placed on 
the mere naked promise of an Indian? and more particularly, this Sac tribe, 
made in the face of and under the fear of a superior force, when they have 
been in the habit of violating every treaty they make the first favorable 

July 1, 1831 


opportunity? And I am told that the Black Hawk, declared this day, that 
he made peace in consequence of the disaffection of his allies only. For my 
part I have but little faith in the duration of the peace which has been 
made. I hope I may be wrong in my conjectures. Our troops are all to be 
discharged to-morrow morning, and the troops from Jefferson Barracks and 
Prairie du Chien, will return to their respective posts, and thus ends the 
Black Hawk war. 

Illinois Advocate [Edwardsville], July 8, 1831. 
The letter is introduced: "The following letter 
has been received from an officer attached to 
the staff of the army, since the above [i.e., 
Buckmaster to Sawyer, June 30] was in type, 
which we hasten to lay before the public." 

1 Rather, the 2oth ult., or June 25. 

2 According to spencer, 48, Vandruff's Island 
commanded the only ford the volunteers could use 
to cross the main channel of the Rock River to 
the Sauk village. The ford normally used was 
at the site of Vandruff's ferry at the lower end 
of the island and was generally conceded to have 
been a good one, although it was dangerous in 
high water. Thomas Ford, later governor of 
Illinois, who was with the volunteers, said that 
when they reached this point, "in sight of the 
Indian town," they found the channel deep and 
"not fordable for a half mile or more above by 
horses, and no means of transportation was then 
ready to ferry them over." There most of the 
volunteers remained, he said, "until scows could 

be brought to ferry them across"; see the 1945 
ed. of his History, I: 161-62, and CARTWRIGHT, 
Autobiography, 333-35; see also William 
Thomas's account of the river crossing in n. 5 
to the July 5 Thomas memorandum. 

3 Like Lt. George A. McCall, this writer also 
uses confusing terminology in referring to the 
rear of the Indian village. He says that the 
Regulars occupied the hills in the rear of the 
village, meaning those north of Rock River (see 
n. 7 to McCall's July 1 letter) and also that 
Buckmaster's and Leib's troops approached the 
village from the rear (or east) , having crossed 
the Rock upstream from the village. He also 
refers to the ford at the lower end of Vandruff's 
Island as being in front of the village. Again, it 
seems likely that the confusion can be attributed 
to the inability of the writers to determine the 
"front" of the village. See McCall's June 23 

4 The agreement was negotiated on June 30, 
not July 1. 

Winnebago Chiefs to Henry Gratiot 

Winebago Speech 

[ca. July 1, 1831] 

Father We have came according to Your request. We wish You to tell 
our father Genl. Clark and Genl. Gaines; that a great many reports are 
amogst us, that the whites believe that we have bad intentions towards 
them. We do assure You Father that we never had any such intentions. 
Our red Brothers the half breeds Socks ^ have offered us the black wampum 
to assist them in holding their ground against the Whites, which we re- 
fused. We have given our hands to the Americans and never intend to let 
it go. We have sold a small piece of our land to the Americans to which 
we are all satisfied - All our Braves and Young men are employed in hunting 
and our Wemen raising Corn. We are alarmed by these reports our fam- 
ilies are very uneasy but we hope that You Our Father^ will send us good 
knews, by Our Father who live with us,^ so that we may live in peace with 
our white britheren, as we always hope to do. Father we are requested by 
our Father to go and join You at Rock Island We did not come here 


The Black Hawk War 

prepaired to go to see You. We thought it better to return home to Our 
Young INIen Wemen and Children— to satisfy them that the whites have no 
bad intentions against us 

CC, DNA: RG 94, AGO. Enclosed in: Gratiot to 
Gaines, July 1, and Gaines to Cass, Aug. 10. 

1 The reference is probably to the Winnebago 
at Prophetstown, headed by Wabokieshiek, who 
was half Sauk, half Winnebago. 

2 At the Treaty of Prairie du Chien, Aug. 1, 
1829; KAPPLER, II: 300-303. See Lucius Lyon"s 
map of the treaty lines in tucker, Plate LII. 

3 William Clark. 

4 Gratiot. 

5 Whirling Thunder was described by Gen. 
Henry Atkinson as a village chief of the Rock 
River Winnebago; see Atkinson's talk with 
White Crow and Whirling Thunder, April 28, 
1832. At that time Whirling Thunder said he 
was an "old man" and that the trip from his 
village to Fort Armstrong had been a hard one 
for him to make. 

Capt. Gideon Low of the U.S. Army wrote 
that Whirling Thunder was "one of the best 
chiefs among the nation & commands more 
respect than any one among them" (Low to 
Scott, Sept. 3, 1832). E. B. Washburne, Henry 
Gratiot's son-in-law, wrote many years later that 
"Whirling Thunder was a man of great repute 
for his sagacity and wisdom in council" (Wis- 
consin Historical Collections, X: 253). 

Whirling Thunder is probably best known for 
his part in ransoming the two Hall girls who 



X Thunder ^ 


White X Breast ^ 



Numb X Hand ^ 


Wamparker x 
Buffalo X Head 
Hopenker x 

Spotted X Arm ^ 

were taken prisoner at Indian Creek in the 
summer of 1832. After delivering the girls to 
U.S. authorities at the Blue Mounds, he and 
several other Winnebago were thought to be 
acting strangely and were held as hostages for 
the good behavior of the tribe. A young Wiscon- 
sin militiaman, Peter Parkinson, Jr., who saw 
Whirling Thunder at that time described him 
as about "thirty five years of age .... morose 
and sullen in his appearance . . . [He] had the 
reputation of being cruel. He was short and 
thick-set, not more than five feet, eight inches 
in height" (ibid., X: 191). It seems likely either 
that Parkinson underestimated Whirling Thun- 
der's age or confused him with another of the 

No contemporary mention of his village has 
been found. Lyman G. Draper, onetime editor of 
the Wisconsin Historical Collections, stated that 
Whirling Thunder lived near Lake Koshkonong 

(ibid., X: 186n). According to the reminiscences 
of a Portage, Wisconsin, trader, Whirling Thun- 
der failed to remove north of the Wisconsin 
River with the remainder of the tribe after the 
BHW but "lived in the Mines, pitching his 
wigwam near the dwelling of a man by the 
name of Doherty [John Dougherty 7] who had 
taken Thunder's daughter's [sici for his wife" 

(ibid.. VII: 388). 

July 1, 1831 


In the summer of 1836 Whirling Thunder's 
son killed Pierre Paquette at Portage (ibid., 
VII: 387). By 1840 the united bands of Little 
Priest and Whirling Thunder had settled at the 
recently established Winnebago farm in present 
northern Iowa {Annals of Iowa, XII: 499). 
Draper said that Whirling Thunder died in Iowa 
on Turkey River (Wisconsin Historical Col- 
lections, XI: 186n). 

Whirling Thunder signed the Treaty of Sept. 
15, 1832, at Rock Island under the Indian name 
of "Wau-kaun-ween-kaw." Another Whirling 
Thunder, from the Fort Winnebago deputation, 
also signed; see KAPPLER, II: 348, 

6 White Breast was chief of a village located 
about twelve or fifteen miles south of the Sugar 
River Diggings near Exeter in present Green 
County, Wisconsin ( Wisconsin Historical Col- 
lections, VII: 291). Lucius Lyon's map of the 
1829 Winnebago treaty lines shows White Breast's 
village on Sugar Creek (now called Sugar River) 
on an old Indian trail heading northwest from 
Turtle Village (now Beloit) ; see tucker, Plate 

White Breast, or "Maunk-shaw-kaw," signed 
the Treaty of Aug. 1, 1829, at Prairie du Chien 
(KAPPLER, II: 302). In 1835 E. A. Brush, a 
special Indian commissioner, reported that White 
Breast was one of the principal Rock River 
Winnebago who had attended a council at the 
Four Lakes the preceding October to discuss 
the Winnebago removal from the ceded country. 
White Breast, Brush said, signed the Sept. 15, 
1832, treaty under the name of Stone Man (or 
"Ee-nee-wonk-shik-kaw"). kappler, II: 348; 
Brush to Cass, Dec. 14, 1835, in 24th Cong., 1st 
Sess., S. Doc. 215, 6-10. 

^ He may have been the Winnebago "D\imb 
Hand" mentioned at the June 3-4, 1832, Porter's 
Grove council. Nothing is known of this man or 
of the three whose names follow: Wamparker, 
Buffalo Head, and Hopenker. 

8 Spotted Arm was a signer of the 1828 Green 
Bay treaty, on which his Indian name appears as 
"Man-ah-kee-tshump-kaw" (kappler, II: 293). 
In 1828 his village was a few miles north of the 
Sugar River Diggings near the village of Exeter 
in what is now Green County, Wisconsin (Wis- 
consin Historical Collections, VII: 291). 

Spotted Arm was one of the Winnebago held 
as hostages after the surrender of the Hall girls 
in June, 1832. Peter Parkinson, Jr., who was 
with Henry Dodge's men at the time, called 
Spotted Arm "the most prominent sage and 
counselor" of the Rock River Winnebago and 
said that he appeared to be about sixty years 
of age, "stoop-shouldered and ill-shaped; but 
possessed of a mild and agreeable temperament" 
(ibid., X: 189, 190). His village is shown on 
R. W. Chandler's 1829 map of the Lead Mine 
Region. At the May 28, 1832, Blue Mounds 
council. Spotted Arm is identified as "Chief of 

the four Lakes," and Draper wrote that Broken 
Arm was another name for Spotted Arm; see 
ibid., X: 185-86n. 

Broken Arm signed the Treaty of Prairie du 
Chien in 1829 as "Ah-sheesh-kaw" (kappler, 
II: 302). During the negotiation of that treaty 
he participated in a spectacular Winnebago war 
song and dance described by ATWATER, 128. 
"Each of the 'actors,' " Atwater wrote, painted 
on himself the wounds he had received in battle. 
"Broken Arm . . . was particularly conspicuous. 
The wound was so painted, and the blood which 
ran from it, was so well represented by the 
painter, as to look like the reality itself. At a 
short distance from him on first view, I thought 
he had recently been badly wounded." Broken 
Arm had been wounded, as a matter of fact, in 
the attack on Fort Meigs in 1813. 

Spoon Decorah said that Broken Arm was 
one of the chiefs who encamped near Portage, 
Wisconsin, in the late summer of 1832. Decorah 
further identified Broken Arm as one who had 
fought under Tecumseh. He died, Decorah said, 
a few years after the BHW (Wisconsin Historical 
Collections. XIII: 451-52). 

Lucius Lyon's map of ca. 1832, showing the 
1829 treaty lines, locates Broken Arm's village 
on the west shore of Lake Waubesa near the 
stream connecting Lake Waubesa and Lake 
Monona (two of the Four Lakes). The village 
was also on the trace from the Lead Mine 
Country to Green Bay. 

The fact that Spotted Arm and Broken Arm 
were not present at the same councils and that 
Spotted Arm was called a chief of the Four 
Lakes (where Lyon's map shows the village of 
Broken Arm) lends credence to Draper's state- 
ment that Broken Arm and Spotted Arm were 
interchangeable names. Since Spotted Arm's vil- 
lage on Sugar River does not show on Lyon's 
map (although it is on Chandler's earlier map), 
it is possible that the village was moved. But 
none of the contemporaries who wrote about the 
two men ever mentioned one name as a variant 
for the other. Their Indian names as given on 
the 1828 and 1829 treaties have little, if any, 
similarity. Further, and creating the most serious 
question about Draper's identification, is the 
June 7, 1832, entry in Henry Gratiot's journal. 
There Gratiot names two of the hostages at his 
home as Spotted Arm and Broken Arm's son. 
If Spotted Arm and Broken Arm had been two 
names for one man, it seems incredible that 
Gratiot would have referred to the hostages as 
he did. Surely he would have said. "Spotted Arm 
and his son." 

An Indian named Broken Shoulder was present 
at the council at Porter's Grove on June 3 and 4, 
1832, at which Spotted Arm was also present. 
Broken Shoulder has not been identified, but this 
name could have been a variant for Broken Arm. 

98 The Black Hawk War 

George A. McCall to Archibald McCall 

Hd. Qrs. Western Department. On board the Steamer Winnebago. 

July 5, 1831.1 

My dear Father: — Keokuk, who has talent with great shrewdness, and 
is withal an eloquent speaker, has been unremitting in his efforts to move 
the hearts of the people of the British or Black-Hawk band to yield grace- 
fully, or at least appear to acquiesce in what must at last prove to be in- 
evitable. In truth, the difficulty has been in bringing about, not a conviction 
that their country was inevitably wrested from them, (for that was ap- 
parent to the most obtuse,) but to overcome a determination to die rather 
than relinquish the land of their birth and the graves of their ancestors. 
Keokuk accomplished the latter point, — the former required no prompting. 

The artful negotiator called on the General two days ago ^ in all the 
finery of official dress, conspicuous in which was a necklace of the formid- 
able claws of the Grizzly Bear,^ (which, by the by, it is whispered he pro- 
cured with "the silver bullet;" but Keokuk is nevertheless acknowledged 
to be a brave and able leader on the war-path, as well as a wise man in 
council;) and in a grandiloquent speech reported the success of his mission; 
and that Black-Hawk would come in the next day and renew the treaty, 
relinquishing the territory latterly in dispute. 

At the appointed time, Black-Hawk appeared, accompanied by "The 
Jumping Fish," the legitimate chief, who was by hereditary right, so far 
as that was acknowledged, and for the rest by election, the head and front 
of the Band;^ but whose negative character gave way before the bold and 
active promptings of his prime minister, Black-Hawk. There were in at- 
tendance about fifty sub-chiefs and distinguished warriors, but all on this 
occasion were unarmed. 

All being seated in due form, the treaty, which in the interval I had been 
ordered to draw up, I, by direction of the General, now read sentence after 
sentence, as it was translated by the interpreter, Saint Clare,"* a half-blood 
French Indian. This being accomplished, and the purport of the treaty 
being acknowledged as understood and agreed to by The Jumping Fish, 
I called up Black-Hawk to affix, in his official character as prime minister, 
his sign-manual to the paper. He arose slowly, and with great dignity, 
while in the expression of his fine face there was a deep-seated grief and 
humiliation that no one could witness unmoved. The sound of his heel 
upon the fioor as he strode majestically forward was measured and dis- 
tinct. When he reached the table where I sat, I handed him a pen, and 
pointed to the place where he was to affix the mark that would sunder 
the tie he held most dear on earth. He took the pen — made a large, bold 
cross with a force which rendered that pen forever unfit for further use; 
then returning it politely, he turned short upon his heel, and resumed his 
seat in the manner he had left it. It was an imposing ceremony, and 
scarcely a breath was drawn by any one present during its passage. Thus 

July 5, 1831 


ended the scene — one of the most hnpressive of the kmd I ever looked upon. 
And with it terminated the duty which had led General Gaines to visit Fort 
Armstrong. I must not omit to mention that during our stay here the Gen- 
eral had our horses put on board a boat, in which we crossed the river; — 
we ascended a steep bluff, and on attaining its summit, there was laid open 
to our view a boundless, rolling prairie, the first I had ever laid eyes upon. 
We rode out upon it some distance. I was greatly exhilarated, and proposed 
to the General to breathe our horses; to this he responded by putting 
spurs to his charger, and bounded off like a boy. I at once discovered that 
the old gentleman was a fine horseman and a bold rider. After a pleasant 
ride we returned, — both, I believe, much refreshed and benefited after being 
shut up on the steamer. 

It is late at night, and I must close my letter. Adieu. 

[George A. McCall] 

GEORGE A. McCALL, Letters from the Frontiers, 

1 Either this letter is misdated in Letters from 
the Frontiers, or the date McCall gives for 
Keokuk's visit is incorrect, or both. If the rest of 
McCall's chronology is correct, Keokuk's visit 
occurred the day before the signing of the June 
30 agreement. 

2 According to skinner ("Observations on the 
Ethnology of the Sauk Indians," Bulletin of the 
Public Museum of the City of Milivaukee, V 
[Oct. 3. 1925]: 129-30): 

The favorite necklace of "the Sauk ... is that 
made of the long yellow striped claws of the 
grizzly bear and otter fur. These are of two 
varieties, the commoner of which is composed 
of claws strung through perforations near the 
base on a foundation of cloth or skin which is 
closely wrapped with otter fur cut in strips. 
Each claw has a second perforation midway to 
the point, by which it is strung again, and 
they are held separate at this point by means of 
large globular glass beads, often of blue color. 
A pendant composed of the entire skin of an 
otter hangs down the back, and this is adorned, 
as is often the rest of the necklace, with beaded 
medallions attached at intervals. The other type 
has a similar appearance to the first, except 
that the otterskin between the claws, instead of 
being wrapped spirally about the foundation is 

folded over it lengthwise and sewed together 
beneath. . . . Twenty to forty claws are needed to 
make such a necklace. 

"The grizzly bear claw necklaces are now 
[1925] not only very rare, but exceedingly prized 
by the Sauk, who can scarcely be induced to 
part with one. ... In former times, they were 
not only regarded as beautiful ornaments, but 
were prized because of the difficulty of obtaining 
the claws, even when grizzly bears were abun- 
dant. An old Sauk once told the writer that they 
had but two ways of obtaining the coveted talons. 
The first, and most obvious way, was to journey 
to the parts of the plains where grizzlies were 
then abundant, daring hostile tribes and risking 
their lives in slaying the formidable animals. 
The other was to venture into the country of 
the Santee Dakota and there find and kill a 
Dakota warrior who had a necklace of the plain 
strung claws, an exploit no less dangerous than 
the former. A grizzly bear claw necklace, there- 
fore, silently proclaimed to all who saw it that 
its wearer was a man and a warrior of distinc- 

3 Although Quashquame or "Jumping Fish" 
was an hereditary Sauk chief, he had lost rank 
in the tribe; see n. 2, St. Vrain to Clark, May 
28, and n. 4, Clark to Gaines, of the same day. 

4 Antoine LeClaire. 

William Thomas: Memorandum 

McDonough County Illinois 5h. July 1831 

I have taken from the possession of Joseph Jackson ^ a private in Capt 
Morris's^ companey two bay colts, one a Horse colt, the other a mare colt, 
both one year old past. Mr Jackson says that he purchased the colts of 


The Black Hawk War 

one John Adams ^ of Capt Elkins^ company. I have taken possession of the 
colts because I am satisfied that they belong to some one at Rock Island 
and have been unlawfully brought away from that place, the colts are 
called Indian colts ^ 

Wm. Thomas 
Brigade Quarter Master of 
the Brigade of Mounted 
Volunteers under the command 
of Genl Jos Duncan. 

ADS, IHi. This docvunent is pasted inside the 
cover of Thomas's Quartermaster Book, in IHi. 

1 Nothing is known of Jackson except that he 
was a resident of Sangamon County as early as 
1830. The company in which he served — Captain 
Morris's — was from the Loami neighborhood, 
and it is possible that Joseph Jackson was con- 
nected with the Jacksonville firm of Todd and 
Jackson that opened a store near Loami in 1831. 
I-A: 1830 Census, 142; Sangamon County 

(1881), 939. 

2 Achilles Morris, a native of Kanawha County, 
Virginia (now West Virginia), came to Sanga- 
mon County in 1826. The following year he 
served as 2d lieutenant of Capt. Elias Thompson's 
company of Neale's Regiment in the Winnebago 
campaign; in 1831 he was captain of a company 
in the 2d Regiment, Duncan's Brigade; and in 
1832 he served in three volunteer units. He 
enrolled first in Capt. L. W. Goodan's company, 
4th Regiment, Whiteside's Brigade, but was 
elected lieutenant colonel of the regiment a few 
days later. When the brigade was mustered out, 
he enrolled in Capt. Elijah Iles's 20-day company 
and then served in the 3d Army in the company 
of Capt. Jacob M. Early. 

In Aug., 1832, Morris was elected Sangamon 
County representative to the 8th Illinois General 
Assembly. In the Mexican War he served as 
captain of Company D, 4th Regiment, Illinois 
Volunteers, until his death at Tampico on Feb. 
15, 1847. Sangamon County (1876), 533; Sanga- 
mon County (1881), 938; Illinois Historical Col- 
lections, XVIII: 262; elliott, 291. 

3 John Adams, perhaps this man, was a Sanga- 
mon County justice of the peace as early as 
1827; see I-A: Elect. Ret., IX: 53. 

4 William F. Elkin, captain of a company in the 
2d Regiment of Duncan's Brigade, was colonel 
of the 25th (Sangamon County) Regiment. 
Illinois Militia, at this time. Elkin was born in 
Clark County, Kentucky, in 1792 and lived in 
Ohio and Indiana before settling in Sangamon 
County late in 1825. He served as a justice of 
the peace in the county as early as 1827, was 
state representative, 1828-1830, 1836-1838, 1838- 
1840, and Sangamon County sheriff, 1840-1844. 
In 1861 he was named register of the U.S. Land 
Office at Springfield by President Lincoln, his 

former colleague in the general assembly. In 
1867 Elkin moved to Decatur, where he was still 
living in 1879. Sangamon County (1876), 281-82; 
Sangamon County (1881), 510; I-A: Exec. Rec, 
I: 147, 194, IH: 203, 355; Illinois Historical 
Collections, XVIII: 239, 299, 321; McLean County 

(1879), 398; Illinois State Journal [Springfield], 
June 13, 1879. 

5 In his reminiscences of the Indian wars, first 
published in 1871, Thomas gives a more detailed 
account of this episode, but one which differs in 
such particulars as the number of horses in- 
volved. The portion of those reminiscences that 
deals with the 1831 campaign is reprinted here 

(from Morgan County [1878], 294-96): 

"In 1829-30, a nimiber of families settled on 
Rock River, a few miles below Rock Island, in 
the absence of the Indians, who had previously 
occupied that land, between Rock River and the 
Mississippi. In the Spring of 1831 the Indians 
returned, and claimed their former possessions, 
which our settlers, having made arrangements 
for raising a crop, were reluctantly compelled 
to surrender. Black Hawk and his followers 
claimed that this neck of land still belonged to 
the Indians; that the treaty by which it had 
been ceded had never been assented to by the 
legal owners. . . . Governor Reynolds ordered out 
a brigade of mounted volunteers, to proceed to 
the disputed territory and repel the Indians. 
Governor Duncan, being then a major-general 
of militia, took the command of the brigade, by 
order of the governor. The brigade was hastily 
organized, and in quick time was on the scene 
of proposed action. The Indians, however, being 
aware of the approach of the army, abandoned 
their wigwams and possessions, and crossed the 
river into Iowa. Whilst this brigade was march- 
ing across the country. General Gaines was 
moving up the Mississippi on a steamboat with 
some companies of the regular army. The general, 
intending to avoid any personal conflict wdth the 
Indians, or the shedding of blood, anchored his 
boat a short distance below the mouth of Rock 
River, and sent a messenger across the country to 
meet General Duncan, with orders to join him 
on the Mississippi, a movement which would give 
the Indians notice of the approach of the militia. 

July 5, 1831 


and time to escape, of which they readily availed 
themselves by retiring to what they esteemed a 
place of safety. General Duncan reached General 
Gaines in the afternoon, encamped, and remained 
until next morning, when both companies started 
up the river — General Gaines on the boat, and 
General Duncan at the head of his brigade — 
intending to meet and co-operate together at the 
Indian village. It commenced raining early that 
morning, and continued until the afternoon. 
Before General Duncan reached the place of 
crossing the Rock River, General Gaines had 
ascended the river as high up as the stage of 
the water would permit, and signalled General 
Duncan by the firing of cannons, as had been 
previously agreed on. 

"Being quartermaster of the brigade, and 
having been informed of the intended movement, 
and also of General Gaines' expectations that 
the Indians would escape, I was not surprised at 
hearing the cannon; but the rank and file of the 
militia thought the firing was the beginning of 
a fight, and a book might be written representing 
the speeches and describing the actions of these 
uninitiated militia, as they passed up the river 
to the place of crossing. We first crossed a wide, 
shallow slough, on to an island thickly set with 
undergrowth of saplings and bushes. We then 
reached the main river at a place supposed to be 
fordable: our advanced guard following a pilot 
reputed to be well acquainted with the road, 
crossed the river, but it was deep, and the bottom 
covered with large rock, or boulders, as they 
were called. In crossing, some of the horses 
striking these boulders, fell, and threw their 
riders into the river, to make their way across as 
best they could; other horses had occasionally 
to swim. With the loss of a few guns and the 
ducking of a few riders, the guard reached the 
bank — no one drowned or badly hurt. The main 
army went a short distance below, opposite the 
Indian village, where some craft were found on 
which the men could cross, and the horses were 
made to swim. Whilst crossing the river, the 
rain fell in torrents. I found a log-cabin on the 
bank, into which, with my horse, I took shelter 
until most of the army had crossed, and the 
storm abated. 

"The army encamped that night in the Indian 
village, using all the wigwams that could be 
made available, and using the bark which had 
been detached from the wigwams to sleep on. 
The rain, which had ceased a few hours before 
night, long enough for the making of fires, 
cooking and eating supper, commenced again 
during the night, and continued to pour in 
torrents until after day. My mess had a good 
tent, under which we slept; but to keep as dry 
as possible, I procured a wide piece of bark, 
curved at the sides like a trough with a round 
bottom, to sleep on. It was warm weather, and 
the rain was warm; when I awoke in the 

morning, I found my bark filled with water one 
or more inches deep, and to that depth the water 
was under me, so that, but for having a change 
of clothes kept in a dry place, I should have been 
compelled to go on duty with nearly half my 
clothing as wet as water could make them. The 
next day we marched to Rock Island, and en- 
camped on the east bank of the slough, opposite 
the fort, where we remained until mustered out 
of service and discharged. Whilst encamped on 
the river, and before it was known what the 
Indians might be willing to do upon the question 
of remaining out of the State and keeping the 
peace, our horses, 1,500 or 1,800, grazing below 
the encampment, were frightened by the ap- 
proach of a steamboat, and forthwith stampeded, 
making a noise almost equal to distant, heavy 
thunder. The army was called to arms, and 
formed in line in quick time, no one knowing 
but that the Indians were upon us. The first 
direction of the horses was toward the encamp- 
ment, but the sentinels were able to turn them 
toward the bluff on the east, and they were soon 
out of hearing, when the near approach of the 
boat told the story of the alarm. Most of the 
horses were found the next day, but many of 
them continued the chase, and were found days 
afterward, several miles up Rock River; others 
were not found. 

"Returning home, my mess encamped one 
night on a branch of Crooked Creek, near the 
residence of a Mr. Pennington, where we found 
the encampment of parts of several companies 
building fires and preparing supper. Here I was 
informed that a volunteer from Sangamon 
County, called by the name of General Jackson, 
had in his possession four Indian ponies, brought 
from the vicinity of Rock Island. I sent for him 
to ascertain how he came by the ponies, fearing 
that they had been stolen. To my inquiries, he 
said that he had purchased them from a stranger 
below Rock Island. I proposed that he should 
surrender them to me to be kept until the ques- 
tion of ownership could be investigated (express- 
ing a fear that the stranger had stolen them), 
to which he readily assented. I placed the ponies 
in charge of Mr. Pennington, and upon reaching 
home wrote to the Indian agent at Rock Island, 
requesting him to send for them, and return 
them to the Indians. The agent complied with 
my request, and upon restoring them, required 
the Indians to restore any of our horses that 
they might have found after the stampede. The 
result was that eighteen horses belonging to 
volunteers were returned to the agent, and all of 
them, I believe, were restored to the owners. I 
saw the General Jackson afterward, and learned 
that he had paid nothing for the ponies, and that 
he had never since seen or heard of the man of 
whom he had purchased them." 

Several members of the Pennington family 

102 The Black Hawk War 

lived in McDonough County at this time; see 218; smith. Stream Flow Data of Illinois, 658. 

McDonough County (1878), 22, 23, 599. The For an account of the difficulties faced by one 

present La Moine River and its East Fork were Indian in reclaiming a horse stolen by white 

both called Crooked Creek in 1831; see PECK, men, see St. Vrain to Clark, July 23. 

William Clark to John H. Eaton 

Superintendency of Ind: affs. St. Louis July 6, 1831. 

Sir, Genl. Gaines has removed the Band of Sacs (called the British 
Band) to the West of the Mississippi, and returned this morning with his 
regular Troops to this place. 

The Indians of this Band were it appears, very insolent; depending upon 
an encrease to their number from the discontented parts of the Kickapoos, 
Puttowattamies & Winnebagoes within the State of Illinois. They exhibited 
a daring opposition to Genl. Gaines regular force, until the near approach 
of 1400 mounted volunteers, at which time I am informed their allies aban- 
doned them; — they then crossed the Mississippi and sent a flag to the Gen- 
eral requesting terms &c. 

This show of force, with the cool and determined course pursued towards 
this disaffected Band of Sacs has produced the desired effect, and I have 
no doubt will tend to convince the disaffected parts of Tribes on this fron- 
tier of the folly of their opposition to the U. States without a just cause. 

It will in my opinion be necessary for a strict watch to be kept over 
this discontented Band of Sacs, as well to prevent any acquisition to their 
numbers (of disaffected Sacs) as to prevent difficulties between them and 
our northern & westtern frontier settlers. 

I have the honor to be With high respect Yr most obt. Servt. Wm Clark 

The Hon: John H. Eaton Secy of War. 

LS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. Endorsed: "Gen Macomb July 22d 1831— In- 
dian Office." 

Edmund P. Gaines to Hugh L. White 

Hd. Qrs. Western Department St. Louis 6 July 1831 
Sir — Having been joined on the 25t. ultimo by His Excellency Governor 
Reynolds with General Joseph Duncans Brigade of Illinois mounted Vol- 
unteers, I on the following morning took possession of the Sac village, pre- 
viously occupied by the British Band of Sac Indians. 

The appearance of the mounted volunteers on the one side, and the Regu- 
lar troops with two pieces of Artillery on the other, — aided by a Steam 
Boat Armed with a piece of artillery, & some Musquettry and Riflemen, 
induced these Indians to abandon the village, previous to our arrival, and 

July 6, 1831 103 

without firing a gun. Deserted by their allies, this disorderly Band was 
left alone to seek security in a precipitate flight to the right Bank of the 
Mississippi, where they were found the next day under the protection of a 
white flag. They immediately sued for peace; whereupon the enclosed ar- 
ticles of agreement and capitulation were entered into and signed. 

His Excellency Governor Reynolds very cordially cooperated with me 
in this measure; and he unites with me in the opinion that the chastise- 
ment which a part of these Indians meritted could not have been inflicted 
without subjecting many of the innocent frontier settlers as well as some 
of the unoffending Indians to indiscriminate ruin and destruction. And we 
are of the opinion that these Indians are as completely humbled, as if they 
had been chastised in battle; and that they are less disposed to disturb the 
frontier inhabitants. 

I shall take an early occasion to collect and submit for the information 
of the President, such facts as have been ascertained to exist touching the 
extensive alliances which these Indians had endeavored to form against our 
frontier inhabitants. 

I should cease to estimate highly as I always have your talents and 
principles; and I should forget the devotion due to the interests and honor 
of my government and country, were I to feel indifferent to, or not re- 
joice at the changes, by one of which you are placed at the head of the 
War Department. 

I am with the truest regard your friend Edmund P. Gaines 

Honble. Hugh L White Secretary of War. 

ALS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. of secretary of war after John H. Eaton's 
Endorsed: "Gen Macomb July 22d 1831 — In- resignation. Formerly a close friend of Jackson's, 
dian Office." Enclosure: Articles of Agreement White lost the President's good will by declining 
and Capitulation, June 30, 1831. A copy of this to take this post and by opposing Martin Van 
letter (I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter Buren. White himself was a presidential can- 
808) has the following ANS by George A. didate in 1836. Prior to his service in the U.S. 
McCall, Gaines's aide-de-camp: "The letter of Senate, he practiced law in Tennessee, served 
which the above is a copy was written at the in the Tennessee State Senate and on the Ten- 
time it was believed in St. Louis, that Mr. White nessee Supreme Court and numerous public 
had accepted the appointment of Sec: of War." commissions. His biographer T. P. Abernethy 
The I-A copy was enclosed in McCall to Reyn- wrote that White "had a conscience as strict as 
olds, July 24. A second I-A copy, in Gov. LB that of any Puritan, but his righteousness took 
1828-34, was published in Illinois Historical the form of public service rather than mere 
Collections, IV: 174-75. personal piety; the Republic never had a more 

Hugh Lawson White (1773-1840), U.S. senator disinterested servant." DAB. 
from Tennessee, 1825-1840, was offered the post 

Joseph M. Street to William Clark 

From Jos: M. Street — [Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin] July 6, 1831. 

"I reached this agency last evening safely, and found all quiet and well. 
I have to-day seen several Chiefs of the Winnebagoes belonging to my 
agency, and find them warmly attached to our Government, and highly 

104 The Black Hawk War 

displeased that any of their name have, on Rock River, been friendly to 
the Saukes & Foxes. They assure me that it can only be a few renegadoes 
who have lived for years at a town on Rock River, within the lines of the 
lands belonging to the U. States, in company with some bad Potowattamies, 
Saukes & Foxes, Kickapoos, and other renegadoes from their tribes, who 
have attached themselves to a man who passes for a prophet.^ They say 
that they wish their Great Father would break up the town and dissolve 
the band — and they would aid in doing so. They are fearful while they 
remain there, some mischief will be done by them, and the good Winne- 
bagoes have to suffer for it. The Chiefs were rejoiced to see me return, and 
greatly pleased to hear of peace. They now desire me to ask that their 
G.F. will break up the town on Rock river, as they are apprehensive those 
renegado Winnebagoes, with other bad Indians, may do mischief, and the 
whole Winnebago Nation have to suffer for it." 

CC, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reod., St. Louis. En- Papers, VI: 224. 
closed in: Folio "A," in Clark to Cass, Aug. 12. i Wabokieshiek. 

A copy of the complete letter is in KHi: Clark 

John Reynolds to the Secretaiy of War 

Belleville 7th. July 1831 
To the Hon. the Secretary of the Department of War 

Sir I consider it my duty to inform you, of the late Indian hostilities; 
and of the measures, which were adopted to repress them. 

The Indians with some exceptions, from Canada to Mexico, along the 
northern frontier of the United States are more hostile to the whites, than 
at any other period since the last war. Particularly, the band of Sac In- 
dians, usually, and truly, called the "British band" became extremely un- 
friendly to the citizens of Illinois, and others. This band had determined 
for some years past to remain, at all hazards, on certain lands; which had 
been purchased by the United States, and afterwards some of them sold 
to private individuals by the General Government. They also determined 
to drive off the citizens from this disputed territory. In order to effect this 
object, they commited various out rages on the persons and property of 
the citizens of this State. 

That this band might the more effectualy resist all force, that would 
be employed against them, they treated with many other tribes to combine 
together for the purpose of aiding this British band to continue in pos- 
session of the country in question. 

These facts, and circumstances, being known to the frontier inhabitants, 
they became much alarmed, and many of them abandoned their homes and 

In this situation of affairs, I consider the State to be actually invaded 

July 7, 1831 105 

and the country in "imminent danger," so much so, that I immediately 
called on part of the militia nearest the disputed territory to be ready to 
march to repel said invasion and to restore peace to the frontier. I informed 
Genl. Gaines of the situation of the State, and of my preparatory move- 
ments. After the General became acquainted with the numbers and dis- 
position of the Indians, and the exposed situation of the frontier, he very 
rightly determined on making a requisition on me for a mumber of mounted 
militia.^ These mounted volunters, whom I had organised for the same 
purpose, cheerfully marched at the call of the United States. The great 
extent of the frontier from Lake Michigan to the Missisippi in this State 
including part of the mining country made it necessary to have the service 
of mounted men to protect the citizens. There are great numbers of In- 
dians who reside near the northern border of this State, and it was prob- 
able, that all might be joined in a war. I have no hesitation in stating, that 
it was necessary to make the call, and that a considerable number of 
mounted men ought to be employed in this service. It has been the case 
in many military operations, that a sufficient force has not been in the 
first instance employed, and the consequence has been disaster and defeat. 
This was not the case in this military movement. A sufficient force of 
mounted men, and none too many for the purpose, was immediately called 
into the field. This efficient and bold movement intimidated the Indians, 
and compeled them to abandon their hostile attitude without blood shed, 
whereas a small number of mounted men would probably have led on to 
a general war. 

Thus I have presented to you the general out lines of this military move- 
ment — - which has terminated so fortunately to all concerned. 

In the council, or treaty, with the Indians General Gaines requested me 
to be associated with him, as a commissioner. You will see by the agree- 
ment,^ that these Indians are to remain in future on the west side of the 
Missisippi. The policy to separate them from the whites is the only sure 
course to preserve peace with them. 

There is a village of had Indians on Rock river,^ about thirty miles from 
its mouth, whom I would recommend you to have moved to the west side 
of the Missisippi. This may save a great deal of trouble. As I do assure 
you, that if I am again compeled to calP on the militia of this State,^ I 
will place in the field such force, as will exterminate all Indians, who will 
not let us alone. 

I have the honor to be your obt. Servt. John Reynolds 

AWS, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter the mounted militia, and likewise the necessity 

805. A second copy, from I-A: Gov. LB 1828-34, of an efficient number to accomplish the object 

was published in Illinois Historical Collections, contemplated." 

IV: 172-74. and the recipient's copy is in DNA: 3 Of June 30; g.v. 

RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. ■* Wabokieshiek's, or the Prophet's, band. 

1 See Gaines to Reynolds, June 5. 5 "Compeled to call" was substituted for 

2 Reynolds here deleted the words "the main "Justified in calling again." 

object of which is to show you the necessity of 6 Here the words "and there exists a real 

the requisition of the united States on me for necessity for it" were lined out. 


The Black Hawk War 


Hooper Warren to Pascal P. Enos 

Hennepin, July 7, 1831. 

Dear Sir, .... We have had a great Indian disturbance here, but no 
harm done, except the trouble it occasioned both Indians and whites. Most 
of the settlers on the West side of the Illinois crossed over to this side, 
with all their plunder — horses, cattle, sheep and hogs. I had between twenty 
and thirty men, women and children, in my house two days and nights 
last week. In the mean time the Indians on Bureau ^ became alarmed and 
left their town in a body. Two men were despatched to Rock Island, and 
they returned last Monday and brought the news of Peace, when the 
people returned to their homes. 

I wish you to write me how our friends will vote for Congress. I came 
here with my family the first of May, and I have seen but one newspaper 
since that time. Send me some if you have any — no matter if they are old. 
If there is one printed in Springfield,- I wish to become a subscriber to it. 
Let it be sent for the present to Henry Thomas' Post Office,^ Bureau Grove,^ 
on the Lead Mine Road.^ We expect a post office will be established here 
in a few weeks, when I shall want it directed to this place. . . . 

Your friend H. Warren. 

Pascal P. Enos, Esq. 

ALS. IHi: Enos Papers. Addressed: "Pascal P. 
Enos, Esquire, Springfield, Illinois." Endorsed: 
"Answered 12 July 1831." Portions of the letter 
omitted here deal with land purchases, possible 
relocation of the seat of government for Putnam 
County, and a new settlement on Bureau Creek, 
composed of about forty families from Massa- 

Hooper Warren (1790-1864), frontier printer 
and publisher, was editor of the Edwardsville 
Spectator in 1823-1824 during its crusade against 
the proposed slavery convention in Illinois and 
was thereafter associated with the antislavery 
and abolitionist press of Illinois. 

Warren was born in New Hampshire and 
received his training as a printer on the Rutland 
[Vermont] Herald. Before moving to Illinois in 
1819, he had worked in Delaware and at Frank- 
fort, Kentucky, and St. Louis, Missouri. At the 
completion of his service on the Spectator, he 
left Illinois about 1825 and went to work for a 
Cincinnati antislavery paper. By 1827 he had 
returned to Illinois and settled in Springfield. 
There he edited the Sangamo Spectator, of which 
Ninian Edwards was the principal owner and 
sponsor. Warren was unable to make a living at 
the paper and moved to Galena in 1829. For a 
year he was an editor of the Galena Advertiser, 
also an Edwards-owned paper. Financial troubles 
again necessitated his moving, and he went to 

Putnam County, where he supported his family 
principally by holding numerous county positions. 
In 1836 he published the Commercial Advertiser 
in Chicago for about a year and then settled on 
a farm in Marshall County. He did not stay 
away from journalism for long, however; 
and, with Zebina Eastman, he established the 
antislavery Genius of Liberty at Lowell, La 
Salle County, in 1840. Later he edited the Post 
at Princeton, Illinois, and the Free West at 
Chicago before finally retiring to his Marshall 
County farm. Chicago Historical Society's Col- 
lection, III: passim; Illinois Historical Collec- 
tions, VI: passim; bateman and selby; Putnam 
and Marshall Counties (1880), 83. 87, 386-87. 
Pascal Paoli Enos (1770-1832), a native of 
Windsor, Connecticut, emigrated to Ohio in 1815 
and to Missouri in 1816 before moving to Madi- 
son County, Illinois, in 1821. Two years later 
he went to Springfield as receiver of the newly 
established Springfield Land Office. Enos was 
one of Springfield's four proprietors, each of 
whom gave a quarter section of land for the 
plat of the new town, first called Calhoun. 
Sangamon County (1876), 288-89; BATEMAN AND 


1 There were niunerous Potawatomi villages 
and hunting and sugar camps on present Big 
Bureau Creek. The principal one was at the site 
of Tiskilwa; others were located near Princeton 

July 10, 1831 


and Dover; see matson, Memories of Sliaubena, 
81, 82, 206, 208-9. 220. 

2 Three papers, discontinued by this time, had 
been published earlier in Springfield. They were 
the Sangaino Spectator, of which Warren had 
been editor, the Journal and Little Sangamo 
Gazette (the renamed successor to the Spectator) , 
and the Courier, edited by George Forquer and 
Thomas Ford. The Illinois Herald of Springfield 
did not begin publication until Oct., 1831, and 
it was followed by Sangamon Journal on Nov. 
10. The latter was renamed Sangamo Journal 
in Jan., 1832. Illinois Historical Collections, VI: 

3 Henry Thomas settled in present Bureau 
County in 1828. His home was located on West 
Bureau Creek in the northwest quarter of Section 
33, Bureau Township, about a mile north of the 
Great Sauk Trail. There Thomas operated a 
tavern that was a stage stop on the Peoria- 
Galena Road. In May, 1832, a blockhouse and 
stockade known as Fort Thomas were con- 
structed at the tavern. Matson states that 
Thomas was with Stillman's Battalion at the time 
of its defeat on May 14, 1832, but that he re- 

turned home immediately after the battle. He 
may have been the Henry Thomas who served 
in the battalion as a private in Capt. Abner 
Eads's Peoria County company. Bureau County 
(1885), 83-84, 109, 431; matson. Map of 
Bureau County (1867), 20, 38; Bureau County 
(1877), 87; Bureau County Atlas (1875), 5; 
MOSES, I: 364; STEVENS, 165. 

Post Office Department records in DNA (tran- 
scripts in IHi) date the establishment of the 
Bureau Grove Post OflSce as April 15, 1831, and 
show that Thomas was the postmaster. However, 
the 1831 U.S. Register, which purportedly lists 
all government oflScers and agents in service on 
Sept. 30, 1831, does not include Thomas. The 
Bureau Grove office was discontinued Dec. 27, 
1833. A post office at Hennepin, with Thomas 
Gallaher as postmaster, was established Oct. 
31, 1831. 

4 Thomas lived at the head of Bureau Grove, 
which encompassed the timber along the course 
of present Big Bureau Creek and its tributaries. 
Ogle County (1878), 266; peck, 196. 

5 The Peoria-Galena Road. 

Thomas Forsyth to George Davenport 

St. Louis 10th. July 1831 

Dear Sir From the aspect of affairs as inserteci in the public papers of 
this place formerly, we had every reason to suppose a general Indian War 
would grow out of the obstinance of the Black Hawk and other Indians 
then residing near the mouth of Rocky River, but as the troops arrived 
the other day & suppose the Militia have also returned home, the Indian 
war may now be said at an end, and the victory gained is great. It is very 
proper that the Black Hawk and party should be made to understand that 
the U.S. are to be listened to, and had Genl. Clark taken my advice in 
April 1830^ all the expense and trouble that the U.S. has been now at in 
removing those Indians would have been avoided, but great men always 
wish to do great things so that it may sound well at Washington, for the 
more anything may cost the better it ought to be, so it is in this expedition. 
We have nothing new in this country more than the public papers give, 
you have seen the blow out at Washington in the papers, but the carica- 
tures now going the rounds of that affair^ is laughable. All is a foment in 
this place about our approaching Election. David Barton is the Clay Can- 
didate, Pettis, Evans and Thornton are Jacksonians.^ The Clay party are 
very sanguine, and I hope they will succeed, any thing that Benton,^ Pettis 
and Clark party may say or do to the contrary notwithstanding. 

Pettis has been for sometime up in the Upper Counties, electioneering, 
and is shortly expected in this place to shoot three or four persons, who 


The Black Hawk War 

differ with him in politicks, but he has an affair to settle with Major Biddle 
in the first Instance, then he can shoot on.^ 

Would you have the goodness to ask Baptiste Lebeau the In. Gunsmith^ 
for the Shot Gun that Mr Billon^ left with him to repair for me, done or 
not done, please get it, and send it down by some safe hand so that I may 
get it. LeBeau promised me to have it repaired and sent down by first 
navigation in the Spring, but has failed to do it. Please dont fail in this 
and you will oblidge me. Did Menard get much of the Indian annuities 

this year, take care for you know he belongs to the party.^ My 

health continues to be good as also that of all my family. 

Please give my Respects to your family and all enquiring friends and 

Your obedient Servt Thomas Forsyth 

Mr. George Davenport Post-Master Rocky Island 


Thomas Forsyth (1771-1833), Indian agent 
and fui--trader, was bom at Detroit. The son of 
William and Ann McKenzie Forsyth, he entered 
the fur trade in 1790 and about 1796, with a 
trader named Richardson, set up a post near 
Quincy, Illinois. In 1804 he became the partner 
of his half-brother John Kinzie in the fur trade 
near Peoria. Forsyth was appointed Indian sub- 
agent for the Potawatomi in 1812 and continued 
to serve in the Indian Department until he was 
removed in 1830. On his services to the U.S. 
during the War of 1812, see Reynolds, Pioneer 
History, 247-52. After the negotiation of treaties 
at the close of that war, Forsyth became Sauk 
and Fox subagent and in 1818 was elevated to 
full agent. On his removal in 1830, see Forsyth 
to Ashley, May 8 and Aug. 10, 1832. and nn. 
there. He died in St. Louis, where he had main- 
tained his permanent home for many years. 
DAB; Wisconsin Historical Collections, XI: 
351-52, 355; carter, ed.. Territorial Papers, 
XIV: 501-2. 535-36, 571, 591, XV: 197, 256-57, 
305, XVII: 495n. 

1 See WALLACE, 32, 34, and nn. 67, 71. 

2 The Cabinet crisis occasioned by John H. 
Eaton's resignation as secretary of war after 
Washington social leaders refused to accept 
Eaton's second wife, Margaret O'Neale. DAB. 

3 Spencer Pettis defeated David Barton in the 

congressional election, Aug. 2, 1831 (SCHARF, 
History of St. Louis, II: 1461). The other two 
candidates were James Evans of Cape Girardeau 
and John Thornton of Howard County (Missouri 
Historical Review, XXV: 262-64). For sketches 
of these two men, see houck. III: 23, and I: 13n. 

4 United States senator from Missouri, Thomas 
Hart Benton 

5 Thomas Biddle and Spencer Pettis clashed 
over remarks Pettis made about the United 
States Bank, which was headed by Biddle's 
brother, Nicholas. The duel took place on Aug. 
27, 1831. Because of Biddle's poor eyesight, the 
distance was set at five feet, with the result that 
both men were mortally wounded, shoemaker, 
Missouri, Day by Day, II: 131. 

6 His name appears as Jean B. Lebeau, and he 
is listed as gunsmith for the Fox Indians in 
Kansas Historical Collections, XVI: 725. 

•? Probably Frederic L. Billon (1801-1895), 
prominent St. Louis businessman and civic 
leader, shoemaker, Missouri, Day by Day, I: 

8 The blank is in the original letter. Pierre 
Menard, Kaskaskia trader and first lieutenant 
governor of Illinois. 1818-1822, was, it appears, 
a Jacksonian. Apparently he had hoped to take 
over the Sauk and Fox annuity payments when 
Felix St. Vrain became Indian agent. See n. 2, 
Davenport to Chouteau, June 5. 

Kentucky Citizens to John Reynolds 

Kentucky Cumberland County July 15, 1831 

Dear Governor we are informed by the newspapers & otherwise that your 
Country is invaded by the Indians we together with Our fellow Citizens 
feel a deep interest in your wellfare and Great anxiety to render your 

July 16, 1831 109 

Country any aid in our power. Should our assistance be needed in your 
defence and we Can be authorised any number of men Can be raised in 
this Country to afford that assistance please Communicate to us as soon 
as practicable 

Yours respectfully Richard Boatman 
Wm Owens ^ 
Geo. W. Sevier 2 

late Col 1st. Rifle U.S.A. 

RC, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 806. attorney and onetime state senator who was 

The body of the letter and the first signature living at Columbia, Kentucky, in 1831. The 

are in the same handwriting, presumably that of Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky (1878), 

either Boatman or Owens; Sevier also signed. 713-14. 

Addressed: "His Excellency John Reynolds 2 George Washington Sevier, son of Governor 

Belleville Illinois via Carlyle." Postmarked: John Sevier of Tennessee. See heitman; zella 

"Vandalia II. Aug 18 10." ajimstrong. The Sevier Famihj, 271, 312. 

1 This may have been the prominent Kentucky 

Andrew Jackson to John Reynolds 

Washington, July 16, 1831. 

Sir, Your favor of the 15th ulto.^ (post-marked 22d) has this moment 
come to hand, apprising me of the measures taken by you on being "in- 
formed, that a band of the Sac Indians had actually invaded the State 
near Rock Island, and that the citizens were in imminent danger." Various 
rumors on the subject have reached here within a day or two past, through 
the papers & other channels; but this is the first official intelligence I have 

I lose no time in requesting, that you will, at your earliest convenience, 
make a report on this invasion: — Stating the number of Indians, their de- 
portment, pretensions and acts; and showing the necessity for calling out 
the Militia, and the number ordered, in addition to the Regular Force on 
the frontier. A copy of your correspondence with Genl. Gaines is also de- 

I am. Sir, very respectfully, Yr. Obt. Servt. Andrew Jackson 

His Excy. John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois 

LS, IHi. Addressed: "His Excellency John 1831 (I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 306; Illinois Historical 

Reynolds Belleville Illinois." Postmarked: "20 Collections, 'K.Vni: 2o(i) . 

Vandalia 111 July 31t." The address and postmark The letter was probably sent from Washington 

seem to have been added to the letter at Vandalia, to Vandalia either by courier or as an enclosure 

for on the back of the folded sheet and inside in an addressed wrapper with other documents. 

the mail fold is a note in the handwriting of Reynolds received the President's letter at Belle- 

the clerk who addressed the letter to Reynolds: ville on Aug. 2; see his reply of that date. 

"I have sent a Commission to Mr Pugh." i Not located. 

Jonathan H. Pugh, state representative from 2 General Gaines had reported to the Adjutant 

Sangamon County, was commissioned an Illinois General in letters of June 8 and June 14-15; 

and Michigan Canal commissioner on July 30, see the source note for the latter. 

110 The Black Hawk War 

Andrew Jackson to Roger B. Taney 

[Washington, D.C.] July 21st. 1831 

The President, with his respects to the Acting Secretary of War, requests 
him forthwith to call on the Indian Agents appointed for the Sacs, Foxes, 
Winnebagoes and any other Tribes engaged in the late invasion of, or 
hostilities against the peaceful Citizens of the State of Illinois, for a report 
of all the causes that led to those hostilities; together with the number of 
Indians engaged, and the reasons that have prevented those Agents from 
reporting the hostile movements to the Government. The reports required 
are to be made forthwith. 

CC, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. general on July 20, 1831, and the next day was 

In accordance with these instructions, letters also commissioned acting secretary of war. He 

dated July 22 (one of which follows) were sent is believed to have served in the latter capacity 

out by the Office of Indian Affairs. until Lewis Cass officially took over as secretary 

Roger Brooke Taney, chief justice of the U.S., of war on Aug. 9. swisher, Roger B. Taney, 

1836-1864, took the oath of office as U.S. attorney 143-44. 

Samuel S. Hamilton to Joseph M. Street 

Department of War, Office Indian Affairs, 22nd: July, 1831. 
To General Joseph M. Street, Indian Agent, Prairie Du Chien, 

Sir, For the purpose of obtaining full and accurate information of the 
causes which led to the hostile proceedings of the Sacs, Foxes, Winnebagoes 
and other tribes of Indians that may be engaged therein, against the peace- 
ful citizens of the State of Illinois, I am instructed by the President to 
require you, forwith, to report to this Department all the facts and circum- 
stances, in your possession, connected with the subject; with the reasons 
which have prevented you from timely reporting the hostile movements of 
these Indians to the Government. 

I am very respectfully Your obt. Servt. Samuel S. Hamilton, 

Same To 

Felix St. Vrain, Ind: agent, Rock Island. 

Henry Gratiot — Sub-agent, Winnebagoes, Gratiot Grove. 

John Kinzie^ do Fort Winnebago. 

CC, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Sent, Vol. 7. Another Samuel S. Hamilton, a native of Maryland, 

copy of this letter was sent to William Clark, was a clerk in the War Department. In Aug., 

July 23. Clark replied on Aug. 12, and Street 1831, he signed a letter as "Officer in Charge of 

on Aug. 26. Henry Gratiot's reply of Aug. 21 the Indian Bureau." He died early in 1832. 

is in 22d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Exec. Doc. 2, U.S. Register 1831, 84; 23d Cong., 1st Sess., 

195-96; see the source note, Gratiot to Gaines, S. Doc. 512, II: 383, 575, 805. 

June 11. St. Vrain's reply has not been located. i John Harris Kinzie (1803-1865) was the son 

Kinzie answered Sept. 28 (ALS in DNA: RG of John Kinzie, Chicago pioneer, and the husband 

75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox) that his in- of Juliette A. Magill, author of Wau-Bun. When 

formation about the activities of the hostile he was fifteen, the younger Kinzie was appren- 

Sauk was all secondhand. No Winnebago were ticed as a clerk to the American Fur Company 

involved, he believed, except those in the Pro- at Mackinac; at twenty he went to Prairie du 

phet's band. Chien to learn the Winnebago language. In 

July 23, 1831 111 

1826 he became private secretary to Governor and later held a number of federal posts in 

Lewis Cass of Michigan Territory, and on Dec. that city. During the Civil War he served as a 

9, 1828, he was appointed Indian subagent at paymaster in the U.S. Army, kinzie, Wau-Bun, 

Fort Winnebago. He resigned in 1833 and moved xxix-xxx, xlviii; heitman; Wiscorisin Histori- 

to Chicago, where lands owned by his family cal Collections, XX: 315; ANDREAS, II: 97-99; 

were becoming valuable. Kinzie became the first records in DNA: BIA give the date of his 

president of the village organization of Chicago appointment as subagent. 

Samuel S. Hamilton to William Clark 

Department of War, Office Indian Affairs, 23rd: July, 1831. 
To General William Clark, Supt. Indian Affairs, &c. 

Sir, I am directed to transmit for your information, the enclosed copy 
of a letter addresed, directly, by order of the President, to General Street 
and other agents of your Superintendency, and to say, that this course was 
adopted with the view to obtain the infomiation desired, with the least 
possible delay. It is also the desire of the President, if you can thereby 
expedite the accomplishment of his wishes, that you give to the agents 
referr'd to such additional instructions as you may esteem to be necessary 
for that purpose. 

The President has also directed that your attention be particularly called 
to the 2nd. article of the treaty, concluded in the City of Washington, with 
the Sock and Fox tribes, the 4th. August 1824, and that you be requested 
to inform the Department whether any permission or license has ever been 
granted to said tribes, or either of them, under the stipulation of that 
article, since the year 1826, to settle or hunt upon the lands which are ac- 
knowledged by the Indians, in said article, to belong to the United States.^ 
You are also requested to communicate any other information in your pos- 
session, which may tend to enlighten the Department on the subject of these 
disturbances, and to detail particularly the indications of hostility on the 
part of the Indians. 

It is very desirable to have your report, communicating full information 
on all the points referr'd to, as early as practicable. 

I am very respectfully, Sir, Your Mo: obt. Servt. Samuel S. Hamilton. 

CC, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Sent, Vol. 7. Enclosure: south of that cession — thus including, presumably, 

Hamilton to Street, July 22. See Clark's reply a portion of the Illinois lands claimed and oc- 

of Aug. 12. cupied by the Indians — belonged to the U.S. 

1 By Article 1 of this treaty, the Sauk and Fox and agreed not to settle or hunt on those lands 

ceded their lands in Missouri that lay south of after Jan., 1826, without special permission of 

the state border and east of a line extending the superintendent of Indian affairs, kappler, 

north from present Kansas City. In Article 2 II: 207. 
they "acknowledged" that all lands east and 

112 The Black Hawk War 

Felix St. Vrain to William Clark 

Rock Island Indn. Agency July 23, 1831. 
Genl. Wm. Clark Supt. Ind: Affairs, St. Louis. 

Sir, At the time I made application^ to the Indians for the payment of the 
Claims, which were handed to me against them, they said that it was no 
more than justice for the Government to pay them for the mineral that was 
taken from their lands at Dubuque's mines, and likewise for other property, 
which the white people took from them Wapala the Fox Prince says that 
a rifle worth thirty dollars was taken from him by a white man, and 
broken; — this was done within the State of Missouri, near des Moines 
Rapids, at a time when Wa-pa la was returning to his village from a visit 
he had been paying you at St. Louis. 

I am sorry to say, that after the departure of the troops, complaint was 
made to me by the Indians that the white people living at or near the old 
Sac village of Rock river, would not permit them to go over to that place, 
for the purpose of covering the dead which had been disturbed by the 
militia ; — that some of the Indian graves had been uncovered of which I im- 
mediately infonned the Govr. of Illinois, he assured me that it should be 
stopped.- When the Indians came to let me know that they could not have 
the privilege of covering the graves, which had been so shamefully disturbed, 
I told them to meet me the next day at the village, and I would see that 
they should not be injured. I accordingly went with my Interpreter,^ and 
found to my astonishment, that about fifteen or twenty graves had been 
uncovered, and one entire corpse taken out from the grave, and put into 
the fire, and burned; — some of the bones were found in the ashes. Some of 
those inhabitants make it their business to shoot at the Indians as they 
peaceably pass in the river, and if they happen to land, their canoes are 
either destroyed or taken from them. 

I had occasion to give a pass to an Indian (whose horse had been taken 
by a white man) to go over in the State of Illinois to get his horse. The pass 
was examined and returned to the Indian; — after which they took his gun 
and broke it, and gave him a severe whipping. 

I am perfectly satisfied from the information I have been able to get, 
that those who are guilty of the above charges, are none but the squatters 
on the public lands. 

I have the honor to be, Your Obt. Servt. 
(signed) Felix St. Vrain Ind: Agt. 

LBC. KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 237-38. An ex- Papers, VI: 259-60. 

tract of this letter, enclosed in Clark to Reynolds, 1 The copyist spelled this word "appliplication." 

July 30, is letter 811, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, 2 See Clark to Reynolds, July 30, and the 

Vol. 2: another extract, in DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Governor's reply of Aug. 5. 

Reed., St. Louis, was enclosed in Clark to Cass, 3 Antoine LeClaire. 

Aug. 12; a third extract is in KHi: Clark 

July 25, 1831 113 

George A. McCall to John Reynolds 

Asst: Adjt: Genls: Office, West: Dept: Jefferson Barracks, 

24th. July, 1831. 
To His Excellency, John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois. 

Sir, Major General Gaines has handed me your letter of the 15th. Inst:,^ 
and has requested me, in reply to that part of it in which you refer to the 
statement that appeared in the St: Louis Beacon of the 7th Inst:, to assure 
you that the sentiments therein expressed are neither such as he himself 
entertains or could ever approve: And he farther requests that you will 
receive, & look upon his letter to the Secretary of War (a copy of which 
I have the honour to enclose you) as a testimony of his perfect approbation 
of the part you took in the late transactions with the Sac Indians on Rock 

The General left this place yesterday for Nashville whence he will pro- 
ceed on a tour of inspection along the Southwestern frontier. Pray accept 
my thanks for your polite favour of the 20th. Inst:^ & believe me, Sir 

With great regard & respect Yr. Obt: Servt: 
Geo. A. McCall A.D.C. ast: Adjt. General. 

ALS, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 808. i Not located. 

Enclosure: Gaines to White, July 6. 2 Not located. 

B. P. Settle to John Reynolds 

Salvisa Mercer Co [Kentucky] July 25th. 1831 

Dr Sir We hear you are now ingaged in a controvercy with the sac In- 
dians which I hope will be of but short duration. We did expect a call on 
Kentucky for assistance which has been waited for with some impatience 
since the out breaking of the Indians Finding you possess much indipend- 
ence we are disposed to tender to you some aid from Kentucky providing 
you will accept and make provision according to other troops under your 
comand at least of a cavalry company say of one hundred men, but if five 
hundred I have no doubt it will be attended to with out Presidential orders 
My Command only extends to a horse Company which I flatter my self 
if required will meet you with out delay in the Prairie or in the wood to 
chastise or exterminate as may seam the most advisable, those hostile 
tribes now infesting the Young but flourishing state of Illinois. Be kind 
enoughf to advise me in haste 

Verry Respectfully Your obt Servt B. P. Settle 

ALS, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 810. Illinois Mail." Postmarked: "Salvisa. Ky. July 
Addressed: "His Exc Governor Reynolds State of 25 18 %." 

114 The Black Hawk War 

Roger B. Taney to John Reynolds 

Department of War July 29, 1831 

Sir Your letters of the 14t. & 15t instants ^ enclosing a memorial, deposi- 
tions &c. relative to the hostile attitude of the Indians near Rock river, 
have been received. 

The events which have happened since the date of the memorials ad- 
dressed to you, and forwarded to this Department, have, it is presumed, 
removed the inconveniences, and put an end to the disturbances of which 
the memorialists complain. If however any apprehensions are still enter- 
tained in that quarter, and the Settlers are supposed to need additional 
protection, it is hoped that you will communicate it without delay, and the 
necessary measures will be immediately taken by the Government to insure 
their safety. 

Very Respectfully Your obt. Sev R. B. Taney 

John Reynolds Esq Governor of Illinois 

LS, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1831. Addressed: "John the depositions of June 10, copies of -which 

Reynolds Esq. Governor of Illinois Belleville were also sent to Gaines and by him to the Secre- 

lUinois." Postmarked: "City of Washington Jul tary of War on Aug. 10. The original copies of 

29 Depart of War R. B. Taney Free." two petitions from Rock River settlers, dated 

A copy of this letter (from I-A: Gov. LB April 30 and May 19, are in I-A; copies of one 

1828-34) was published in Illinois Historical or both may also have been included in the 

Collections, IV: 177. Governor's letters. 

1 Not located. The enclosures were probably 

William Clark to John Reynolds 

St. Louis July 30, 1831. 

Sir. I herewith enclose you an Extract of a Report just reed, from Mr. 
St. Vrain the Ind: Agent at Rock Island, by which you will learn the oc- 
currences which have taken place since your visit to that place. 

With respect & Esteem Yr most obt. Servt. Wm. Clark 

Govr. Reynolds Belleville 111. 

LS, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 811. of St. Vrain to Clark, July 23. A copy of Clark's 
Addressed: "His Excelly John Reynolds Gov. of letter (from I-A: Gov. LB 1828-34) was pub- 
Illinois. Belleville." Postmarked: "[part of stamp lished in Illinois Historical Collections, IV: 
illegible] Aug. 1 6 [cents]." Enclosure: extract 177-78. 


M. Street to Gustavus Loomis 


U.S. Indian Agency at Prairie du chien July 31st: 1831. 7 O clock A.M. 

Sir; After a personal inspection of the scene of massacre, I hasten to in- 
form You, that last night, the Saukes & Foxes struck the Menominees, en- 

August 1, 1831 


camped on the east side of the Mississippi, about three or four hundred 
[paces] ^ above old Fort Crawford, and killed twentyfour- of the latter, 
butchering them in a most shocking manner. 

The Saukes & Foxes came up and left their canoes just above the old 
Fort, and completely surprized the Menominees, who, under the sanctions 
of the peace of 1830 at this place and their vicinity to the Fort, were un- 
suspicious of danger. The attack was made about two hours before day, 
and the assailants were gone before light. 

So daring a violation of the Treaty of July 1830, made at this village, 
and within cannon shot of the Fort,'^ evinces a spirit, little in accordance 
with its humane and pacific object. 

I am also, this moment informed, that runners will be immediately des- 
patched by the Menominees to Green Bay and to the Sioux. 

I shall be [at]'* Judge Lockwood's^ during the day. 

Respectfully Yours &c: "Signed" Joseph M Street U.S. Indian Agent 

Capt: G. Loomis Comdg. Fort Crawford 

CC (in the hand of subagent Thomas P. Bur- 
nett), DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Prairie du 
Chien. Enclosed in: Street to the Secretary of 
War, Aug. 1. This was enclosure "A" and so 
marked by Burnett. Another copy is in KHi: 
Clark Papers, VI: 247-48. 

Gustavus Loomis (1789-1872), of Vermont, 
was a West Point graduate of 1811. He served in 
the War of 1812 and in the Seminole and Mexi- 
can wars, and retired from active duty in 1863 
as colonel of the 5th Infantry. He was assigned 
to recruiting and court-martial duty, however, 
until the close of the Civil War. In 1865 he 
was brevetted brigadier general for long and 
faithful service. During the Black Hawk cam- 
paign of 1832 Loomis remained on garrison duty 
as commanding officer at Fort Crawford. Other 
frontier posts later under his command included 
Fort Towson and Fort Gibson. CULLUM; Apple- 
tons' Cyclopaedia; foreman. Advancing the 
Frontier, 68, 87, 91. 

1 Word omitted in this copy; but see Loomis's 
reply of Aug. 1 and Street to Clark, Aug. 1, 
cited in n. 7 of Street to the Secretary of War, 
Aug. 1. 

2 In his letter to the Secretary of War, Aug. 1, 
Street says that another body was found later. 

On Aug. 9 Street wrote Clark that all but two 
of the wounded were recovering and only one of 
those two was expected to recover (letter in 
KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 369-71). At the Sept. 5 
Fort Armstrong council, the number of dead 
was given as twenty-six. 

3 The new Fort Crawford was on the left bank 
of the Mississippi, about a mile southeast of 
the old fort, which was on St. Friole Island; 
see n. 3, Gaines to Reynolds, May 29. Loomis 
said that the new fort was about two miles from 
the massacre site, and Street said that it was 
about a mile and a half distant; see their Aug. 
1 letters that follow. 

4 Word omitted by the copyist. 

5 James Henry Lockwood (1793-1857), Prairie 
du Chien trader, went to Wisconsin from his 
native New York in 1815 and to Prairie du 
Chien in 1816. In addition to trading, Lockwood 
served at varioxis times as village postmaster, 
justice of the peace, and territorial legislator; 
in 1831 he was an associate judge of Crawford 
County. (Wisconsin Historical Collections, II: 
98-106, III: 55-56, 508.) His home, one wing of 
which was used as a store, was just north of the 
new fort (ihid., II: 156-57, 164, V: 237). 

Gustavus Loomis to Joseph M. Street 

Fort Crawford/ M.T./ 1st. August 1831. 

Sir/ I received your note of 31 July — '31 — informing me that the Sauks 
and Foxes Struck the Menominies encamped on the East side of the Mis- 
sissippi about three or four hundred paces above old Fort Crawford, and 

116 The Black Hawk War 

Killed twenty four of the latter, butchering them in a most shocking 

I very much regret this occurrence should have taken place. 

If I had received information of the intention of the hostile Indians in 
time I should have interfered to prevent it even with the troops under my 
command if it had been necessary. 

The approach and attack of the hostile Indians, upon the Menominies, 
were so silent, the Weapons used being chiefly the Tomahawk, spear and 
scalping knife, that this Garrison distant about Two miles from the Scene 
of Slaughter, was not alarmed. 

If I could sieze upon any of the murderers I should do so and hold them 
in confinement untill the orders of the Commanding Genl: West: Depart- 
ment^ should be received upon the Subject. 

I have, by an Express, notified the Commanding Officer of Fort Arm- 
strong at Rock Island,^ of the distruction of the Manominies. 

I shall by the earliest opportunity notify the Commanding Genl of the 
West: Dept: of the savage occurrence. 

In the mean time it will give me great satisfaction to cooperate with you 
in any measures of benevolence (consistent with my situation) to prevent 
the further waste of human blood or in any way calculated to further the 
views of the Govt: with regard to the Indian tribes. 

With respect and Esteem, I have the Honor to be Your obt servt, 
G Loomis Cap. It. In. Commanding 

Genl. Jos. M. Street U.S. Ind. Agent P.D. chien 

LS, DNA: RG 75. BIA, L Reed., Prairie du KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 248-49. 

Chien. Addressed: "Genl. Jos. M. Street Indian The "M.T." in the dateline is Loomis's abbre- 

Agent Prairie Du Chien." Postmarked: "On viation for "Michigan Territory." 

Service." Enclosed in: Street to the Secretary of i Gen. Edmund P. Gaines. 

War, Aug. 1, and marked "B." A copy is in 2 Maj. John Bliss. 

Joseph M. Street to the Secretary of War 

US. Indian Agency at Prairie du Chien, August 1, 1831. 
The Honbble The Secretary of the Department of War, 

Sir, I hasten to communicate, an account of a horrid Massacree of 
Meenominee Indians at this place yesterday morning, in violation of the 
Treaty of pacification between the Indians assembled here, in July, 1830: — 
and as it would appear, in contempt of the authority and power of the 
United States, even upon their own land. For these murders were com- 
mitted, within the Village of Prairie du chien & near the Fort} 

Two or three hours before day on the morning of the 31 July last, a party 
of eighty or a hundred Saukies & Foxes in canoes passed up in Front of 
Fort Crawford, and surprised some Menominee lodges on the East Bank 
of the Mississippi about V/2 Miles above the Fort, and killed twenty five 

August 1, 1831 117 

of the latter. [One being found dead after I wrote to the commd'g. officer 
at Fort Crawford] ^ The lodges were in a piece of lands subject to inunda- 
tion between the lower & middle Village. Most of the Menominees were 
drunk, & all unarmed but one man who says he shot & killed two of the 
assailants & then escaped after seeing all his family killed. Out of thirty 
or forty Menominees in the lodges, twenty five were killed & 7 or 8 
wounded,^ who I hope will recover. The killed were 8 Men, 6 Women & 11 

The whole affair was over and the assailants in full retreat down the 
River in front of the Fort, within ten minutes from the first attact. Four 
Menominees who were in the Village crossed the River just a head of the 
retreat well armed — landed on the Island & poured a continued fire upon 
the S. & Foxes untill they fell too far below. They report that they saw 
several sink down in the canoes as they fired. 

I reed, information at the agency (2 miles off)^ in a short time from the 
commencement of the attact,— dressed by candle light, & hastened to the 
spot. The assailants were gone, and the dead, deying & wounded were scat- 
tered over the ground, their bodies mangled, wantonly in a most shocking 
manner. At 7 OClock A.M. the accompanying letter A was addressed to the 
officer commanding at Fort Crawford,^ which gave him the first intimation 
of the whole affair — the approach — the attact & the retreat. In answer to 
which I reed, for answer the letter marked B,^ which I herewith submit. 

By an Express, I this morning, addressed Genl. Clark of St. Louis, and 
trust my letter will be reed, by the 7th. instant."^ 

I deeply lament, that so daring a violation of the Treaty, which was 
expected to produe a lasting pacification amongst the Indians, should have 
so soon taken place. In a letter I had the honor to address to the Honble. 
the Sec. of War, just after the Treaty at Rock Island, I expressed my want 
of confidence in those Indians, tho' I did not expect them in this Quarter. 

The Menominees having requested an audience, met me in council this 
day. They appear in deep distress. After rehearsing their misfortunes, they 
said — "We have been lead into a fatal snare by the Commissioners of our 
Great Father. When you sent us word to meet the Commissioners of our 
G. F. at Prairie du Chien, to hear good words from our G. F. — we came.^ 
When we are at war — we are not afraid to go any where. The Saukes & 
Foxes were to be here, and our frinds the Sioux were to be here — and 
we were prepared for war, or peace; tho' we wanted War.^ You, & the 
Comrs. told us, our G. F. wanted all his red children to be at peace. That 
we would be happier & might then feel ourselves secure, for if peace was 
made in the presence of his Comrs. he would compel the Indians to keep 
it. We heard Nau-kar the Winnebeagoe Chief ^^ speak in council. He said 
he was for peace. It was the wish of our G. F. and who will resist? I have 
been in his land said he — and know he is strong — his people are like the 
grass on the Prairies. The Indians that are fools, said he, & resit, he will 
put out their counil fire. This talk went into our ears, and we determined 

118 The Black Hawk War 

to do what our G. F. told us. You came to our Wigwams, and persuaded us 
to take the hands of the Saukes & Foxes in peace, bury the Tom-hawk, deep 
in the Earth, and smoke the pipe of peace in the presence of our G. F.s 
Comrs. We did so. Yet we told you in the evening that we did not like 
the peace. The S & Foxes — only gave us a part of their hand — the rest was 
still bloody. Yet when we heard next day the talk of the Chief of our G.F.s 
Warriors at this place (Colo. Morgan) we were satisfied. He told us he was 
pleased — we had done right — we need no more be on the watch for an 
enimy. Now, said he, you have a good path to this place — to your own 
country — where you may choose to go. You will be secure from danger. 
You have all joined hands, & smoaked the peace pipe in my presence & the 
presenc of your Father from St. Louis ;^i and the Indian or nation that 
breaks this peace, & strikes any other nation, I will march my warriors with 
the Indians who have been struck & help them to revenge their dead. These 
were the words of the Chief of the Warriors. (Colo. Morgan) Now, we 
came here in peace — we were encamped in your village — & near to your 
Fort. We believed we were secure. Since the Treaty of 1830, we appre- 
hended no danger from those Indians who took our hands in peace — and 
in the night those same Indians have rushed into our lodges and murder 
our helpless women & children, close to your Fort. Where now is the Chief 
of the Warriors? Who has gone after these false Indians, who come into 
council with a double or Forked tongue? In a few hundred steps of the 
place where the council was held, — in your village — and near to your Fort 
we laid down to sleep in confidenc, under the faith of the Treaty, & some 
yet sleep." 

"Our Father" — "We mind what you say to us from our G. F. then do 
not speak to us with a forked tongue. The Saukies & Foxes do not listen to 
your words, or obey your good advice. They promise when your Warriors 
are arround them — when they are gone, they break the promise:— and they 
laugh at you, and at us for depending upon you. What then must we do?" 

"Our Father, — Take pitty on us — and you white-men who are here, have 
pitty on us, and our orphan children, whose Farthers & Mothers, brothers 
& sisters have been killed in your village. Have pitty, on the Fathers & 
Mothers whose children have been killed. We hope you, our Father will 
take pitty on us all and help us; — and we will wait a little while to see 
what our G. F. will do for us. We wish you and our F. to let him know what 
has been done to us — he knows what he has promised — you tell us he is 
strong — we believe you, and we will wait a little while to hear from him. 
Our wounded are suffering help us." 

"Our Father, the Chippewas murdered our people last Winter — you asked 
us not to revenge untill you could write to our G. F. We waited & yet we 
have not heard from him. When will he answer? Shall we wait 'till the 
Chippewas & the S & Foxes kill us all?" 

"Our Father, We will go into our country & wait, so soon as our wounded 
can be moved. Have pitty on us, and help us 'till then." 

August 1, 1831 119 

I replied briefly, that, I would give some little to their suffering people — 
I was not their Father & could give but little. — That I would lay the whole 
before their G. F. as speedily as possible, and so soon as I got an answer in 
this or the Chippeway affair ^- I would let them know what it was. 

Such a thin broken, wounded & forlorn state, I was compelled to get them 
some things & feed them; tho' the urgent requisitions from the Deptmt. 
for-bids any great increase of contingent expenses. My accounts for the ad- 
vances, will be forwarded through the usual channels, and I hope will meet 
your approbation. 

I trust this subject will meet your early consideration, and call for im- 
mediate attention. If something is not speedily done, the whole of this 
frontier will in all probability be involved in a cruel, retaliatory Indian 

Events have rendered a -portion at least of the Saukies & Foxes reckless 
of consequences. Circumstances induce me to believe they are mischeviously 
advised — and my suspicions rest on traders amongst them. At the Treaty of 
July 1830 at this place a Trader said to me — "The Saukies & Foxes wish to 
sell to the U.S. the whole of their country that borders on the Mississippi; 
but they won't sell unless the Comsrs. will pay to Messrs. Farnham & 
Davenport, what the Indians owe them}^ If these Indians are not signally 
chastised & deeply humbled, the murders on this frontier will not be con- 
fined to Indians. White-men will next be missing near the Saukies & Foxes. 
If they dare come past a Fort into one of our villages & murder Indians 
within cannon shot of our Forts; they will not stop in a short time to kill 
our own citizens. 

The same party who murdered the Menominees, called where a party of 
the Military under a Lt.^^ were making lime on the West shore of the Mis- 
sissippi a mile above the mouth of the Wisconsin, behaved saucily & ob- 
jected to the U.S. making lime in their Country. By this it would seem they 
are ready to disavow their Treaty of the 3d. of November 1804, by which 
Genl. Harrison purchased two miles square on the W^est side of the Missi. 
near the Mouth of the Wisconsin. ^^ 

Under existing circumstances let me hope that some early & efficient 
measures will be taken to secure the peace of this important frontier, and 
that you may deem it of sufficient importance to be early communicated, so 
as to arrest any further hostile movements amongst the Indians. 

Runners have gone to Green Bay, and to the Sioux country. ^^ 

Respectfully I have the honor to be your mo. obt. 
Jos. M. Street US. Ind. Agent. 

ALS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Prairie du 3 In his Aug. 1 memorandum listing the casual- 

Chien. Addressed: "The Honble. The Secretai-y ties. Street shows only six wounded, 

of the War Department Washington City, D.C." * At this time the Prairie du Chien Agency 

Enclosures: Street to Loomis, July 31; Loomis to was at Street's home at the north end of the 

Street, Aug. 1. prairie on Farm Lot 3 at the mouth of the Mill 

1 I.e., the old fort. Coulee; see scanlan, Prairie du Chien, 196-97. 

2 Brackets in original. and Wisconsin Historical Collections, II: 237. 


The Black Hawk War 

Judge Lockwood said that Street lived about 
four miles above the Lockwood home. At the 
time of the massacre, Lockwood wrote, subagent 
Thomas P. Burnett "was sleeping ... in my 
store, and it being very warm weather, we had 
made a bed of blankets on the counter, when 
about two hours before daylight, we were 
awakened by the cries of a Menomonee woman 
at the store door. We let her in, when she told 
us of the disaster to the Menomonees. Mr. Bur- 
nett took my horse and went to inform General 
Street. Ibid., 171. 

5 See Street to Loomis, July 31. 

6 Loomis to Street, Aug. 1. 

■^ The letter was received Aug. 8 or 9; see 
Clark to the Secretary of War, Aug. 9. In his 
Aug. 1 letter to Clark (not printed). Street 
added some details about the massacre not 
mentioned here: Lt. J. H. La Motte, of the 1st 
Infantry, who was stationed at the military 
reservation on the west bank of the Mississippi 
two miles below Prairie du Chien, had seen the 
Sauk and Fox on their way upstream about 
9:00 P.M. the night the murders were committed 
and again as they descended the river at day- 
break the next morning. 

Street explained that the Menominee were 
virtually defenseless since their knives and guns 
had been hidden by the women to keep the men 
• — most of whom were drunk — from hurting each 
other. Four or five Menominee fired on the 
fleeing Sauk and Fox until they were half a 
mile below the village. Street reached the scene, 
he said, within an hour and a half after the 
murders were committed. 

Among the victims, he told Clark, were the 
wife and children of one of the Menominee 
chiefs (Carro), who did not attend the council 
on Aug. 1 but remained in his lodge mourning. 

8 To the councils preceding the Treaty of July 
15, 1830; transcript of the council proceedings 
is S-F Ex. 131, Docket 83, ICC. 

9 The Sauk and Fox had been even more re- 
luctant to attend the 1830 council, for on May 
5 a delegation of Fox Indians en route to 
Prairie du Chien at the invitation of a U.S. 
agent was attacked by a party of Sioux, Win- 
nebago, and Menominee; most of the Foxes were 
killed. See Wallace, 32-36 and n. 73; speeches 
of the Sauk and Fox at the April 13, 1832, 
council; Davenport to Duncan, Feb. 11, 1832; 
Davenport to the Missouri Republican, April 19, 
1832; and Forsyth to Ashley. Aug. 10, 1832. 

lONawkaw, or Wood (1735-1833), of the 
Carrymaunee, or Walking Turtle, family, was 
the principal chief of the Winnebago nation. His 
village was on the south side of Big Green Lake, 
approximately thirty miles from Fort Winne- 
bago. HODGE, II: 47; mckenney and hall, I: 
146-55; KINZIE, Wau-Bun. 98; CATLIN, Letters 
and Notes (1841). II: 146. 

11 Superintendent of Indian Afifairs William 

Clark. He and Morgan were the treaty commis- 

12 The Menominee and Chippewa made peace 
the following winter in order to be able to join 
forces against the Sauk and Fox. Street to 
Clark, Jan. 11, 1832; Street to Burnett, Feb. 

1, 1832. 

13 See Farnham's explanation of the debt, n. 

2, Davenport to Chouteau, June 5. About the 
proceedings at the treaty council, Farnham wrote 
Chouteau, Aug. 1, 1830, that the treaty had been 
"frustrated by the non attendance of some of the 
Hostile tribes, and I understand Another at- 
tempt will be made at St. Louis in the approach- 
ing fall or winter. I do not know whether the 
commissioners uninstructed by the Government 
would make any exertion to affect this first ac- 
comodation but I feel persuaded that a proper 
application to the Government, would cause the 
Commissioners to be so instructed as to ensure 
success, the Indians will Frankly admit the debt, 
and freely consent to pay it in the manner in- 
dicated [i.e., by a land sale] and nothing can 
prevent the accomplishment of an object so 
just, but an unwillingness on the part of those 
who may be deputed by the Und. States to treat 
for the land." Trans. ISHS, XXXVII: 228. 

14 J. H. La Motte; see n. 7 above. 

15 The reservation on the west side of the 
Mississippi was on land granted by Spanish 
authorities to Basil Giard and confirmed later 
by the Indian claimants. The reservation located 
under the 1804 treaty was on the east side of the 
Mississippi; see scanlan, Prairie du Chien, 
138; MAHAN, Old Fort Crawford, 14, 128-29, 
242, 275, 276, 277, 355-60; Wisconsin Historical 
Collections, II: 118-19, IX: 285; and maps in 


16 The runner sent to Green Bay was Me-she- 
nau-tau-wa (so spelled), or the Great Rattle- 
Snake, a young warrior whose wife was one of 
the victims of the massacre. On his arrival at 
Green Bay, the principal Menominee chiefs met 
in council on Aug. 15 with agent Samuel C. 
Stambaugh, army ofl^icers from Fort Howard, 
and several prominent Green Bay citizens. The 
messenger related the events of the massacre, 
explaining that his people had gone to Prairie 
du Chien in an attempt to secure satisfaction 
for their grievances against the Chippewa. Soon 
after arrival, they realized that the government 
had not arranged a settlement, and they there- 
fore sent out three strings of wampum and three 
plugs of tobacco painted red, indicating a war 
invitation. Kaush-kau-nau-nieu (so spelled), or 
Grizzly Bear, identified as the chief orator and 
principal war chief of the nation, stated at the 
Aug. 15 council that he had reluctantly declined 
that first invitation. Now he pleaded with Stam- 
baugh for approval of going to war against both 
the Chippewa and the Sauk and Fox. He also 
asked for the assistance of U.S. military forces. 

August 2, 1831 


He was joined in this appeal by Oash-Kash (so 
spelled), or The Brave, first chief of the Me- 
nominee, who added to the list of grievances the 
death of a near relative who had been killed 
near Prairie du Chien by a former soldier. The 
Indians finally agreed to do as Stambaugh ad- 
vised, but Kaushkaunaunieu concluded: "Father, 

we hope your promises will be fulfilled, we have 
been promised redress so often that we are 
almost tired waiting." The report of the council 
was enclosed in Stambaugh to Cass, Aug. 16; 
both the report and the letter (not printed 
herein) are from DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., 

Joseph M. Street: Memorandum 

[Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, August 1, 1831] 

A List of Menominees killed at Prairie du chien by the Saukies & Foxes, 
on the 31 July 1831. 

One war chief 1 

Head men 3 

Warriors 4 

Women 6 

Children 11 

Total 25 

6 Wounded. 

J M Street. 

ADS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. 

John Reynolds to Andrew Jackson 

Belleville 2nd. August 1831 
To the President of the United States 

Sir This day I had the honor of receiving your letter of the 16th. Ult. 
and I presume such information as will be a complete answer to it has long 
since been laid before you so that it is useless for me to trouble you again 
with a recapitulation. 

I had the honor of addressing a letter dated 7th. July last to the secre- 
tary of the Department of War and to which I would refer your Excellency 
on the subject of the necessity of the call on the militia and the force 
necessary to be employed in the expedition to Rock-River against the 
Indians. Dureing the whole Indian disturbance it was almost impossible to 
ascertain the exact number of Indians who were determined to fight^ 

In this situation I deemed it my duty to call out such force and to be 
with them myself as could not be overpowered by any number of Indians 
on the frontier. 

I considered it proper for the protection of the frontier, and to chastise 

122 The Black Hawk War 

the insolent and hostile savage with speed to furnish General Gaines with 
the force I did, on the requisition he made to me.^ 

Since the return of the militia I have been petitioned by the citizens to 
remove a small number of Indians, who were doing damage to the property 
of the white people. I informed the superintendent in St Louis of it, and he 
has sent an Agent to request the Indians to leave the State.^ The people 
in the northern section of the State are much amioyed with the Indians, 
and will be, untill they are settled on the west side of the Mississippi on 
their own lands. The policy of the present administration of the general 
Goverment to remove the Indians west of the Mississippi is correct; and 
I will support it all in my power It is much better for the Indians to live 
separate and apart from the white people. 

For the good of all concerned I would respectfully suggest to you the 
propriety of removing all the Indians in the state of Illinois to the west of 
the Mississippi. This ought to be effected in a peaceaple manner, and could 
be if the proper measures were taken with them. I am informed; that the 
impression made on the Indians is ; that the United States will protect them 
in living and hunting in the State. If they were informed; that the State 
had the power from the General Goverment, or otherwise, to remove them ; 
they would, in my opinion, go off, of their own accord in peace. 

For the good of the puplic I would be much pleased to receive a commu- 
nication of the views of the General Goverment in relation to the Indians 
within the State. 

With Sincere regard for you and your administration I am your obt. Servt. 
John Reynolds 

CC, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 812. 3 This reference is to a July 9, 1831, petition 

1 The best estimate is that of Clark's (in his from forty-eight settlers in Shelby County for 
letter to the Secretary of War, Aug. 12) since it the removal of a band of Indians from the 
checks out with figures given elsewhere. Clark headwaters of the Kaskaskia Eiver. The Indians 
says that the band numbered 300-400 warriors were identified in an unsigned endorsement as 
(or, at the correction factor of one to four), "a small party of Kickapoos on a hunting ex- 
1,200-1,600 people. Gaines (letters of June 14-15 cursion." Reynolds reported the matter to 
and June 20) said that Keokuk had drawn off Superintendent of Indian Affairs William Clark 
10 large lodges, about 50 families, or % of the and to the Peoria subagent, Pierre Menard, Jr. 
tribe. Since families were then customarily Clark sent Augustin Kennerly, an acting sub- 
counted at 5-10 people (see Marston in BLAIK, agent for the Kickapoo, together with an in- 
II: 176), these fifty families would have num- terpreter, Jacques Mette, to investigate. Kennerly 
bered 250-500 people, drawn off from a total reported back on Aug. 4 that the "better class of 
750-1,500 in Black Hawk's band. These figures people" in Shelby County believed "that the 
are not far different from Clark's or those of petition had been got up by some of that portion 
other reliable sources; see the April 30 petition of the inhabitants who, being too indolent to 
from Rock River settlers and n. 5; Wallace, 11 work, depend chiefly upon hunting for their 

(n. 18), 39. Gaines said in his June 20 letter that support, and who had resorted to that method 

not more than 200 warriors from other tribes [the petition] in order to save the game, and get 

had joined Black Hawk, and many of those were the Indians out of their way, as being too greatly 

not expected to remain. their superiors in hunting the wild game of the 

2 On May 28 Reynolds wrote Gaines that he forest." 

had called out 700 militiamen to be organized for Kennerly's Aug. 4 letter was written from the 

active duty, and on June 5 Gaines made a formal Kickapoo town at the headwaters of the Vermil- 

requisition for these men. More than 1,400 men, ion River. Enclosed was a talk from "Kauan- 

however, reported to the Beardstown rendezvous akuk," the Kickapoo Prophet, who declared 

and were accepted for active duty. Reynolds to flatly that the petitioners were liars. At the 

Edwards, June 18; Buckmaster to Sawyer, June Kickapoo town, Kennerly delivered an address 

30, and n. 4. from Clark, dated July 23, in which Clark urged 

August 3, 1831 


the Indians to leave at once for their lands on 
the Osage River or the land to be assigned them 
on the Missouri. In his reply of Aug. 4, 
Kauan-akuk, or Kannekuk, a converted Christian, 
said that "God has not told me to go on the 
other side of the Mississippi but to stay here and 
mind my Religion." 

Pierre Menard, Jr., also started out for the 
Kickapoo village but did not proceed upon meet- 
ing Kennerly and Mette, who were on their way 
back to St. Louis (see Menard to Clark, Aug. 6). 

The July 9 petition from Shelby County and 
Kannekuk's talk are in I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, 
BHW. Reynolds to Menard, July 21, letter 807; 
Clark to Reynolds, July 25, letter 809; Clark to 
Reynolds, Aug. 20, letter 815; and Kennerly to 
Clark, Aug. 4, also 815 — all are in I-A: Gov. 
Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2. Clark's talk to the 
Kickapoo is Talk 11 of Folio C, enclosed in 

Clark to Cass, Aug. 12, in DNA: RG 75, BIA, 
L Reed., St. Louis. 

Kannekuk's village at the headwaters of the 
Vermilion River (of the Illinois River) was 
located at Oliver's Grove in the southern part of 
Chatsworth Township, Livingston County. Ac- 
cording to county histories, he had moved his 
main village to that location after leaving, in 
succession, the Old Town Timber (near what is 
now Le Roy on the North Fork of Salt Creek), 
a village at Pleasant Hill, and Indian Grove in 
Livingston County (Livingston County AtJaa 
[1911], 71, 97, 327; Uvingaton County [1878], 
230, 233-35, 388; McLean County [1879], 483). 
By Oct., 1832, Kannekuk's band numbered 250 
Kickapoo and 150 Potawatomi (Clark to Reynolds, 
Oct. 31, 1832, in Illinois Historical Collections, 
IV: 216). 

Thomas S. Jesup to Joshua B. Brant 

Copy Q Master Genls. Office Washington City Augt. 3, 1831. 

Sir, I have received your letter of the 17 Ultimo, covering an account of 
Messrs. Knapp & Pogue^ for Supplies furnished to the Militia of Illinois 
employed on the late expedition against the Indians : There is no appropria- 
tion within the controul of the Executive from which the expenses incurred 
by the Militia can be paid, the payment therefor of all claims such as that 
submitted, must be deferred until an appropriation be made by Congress. 

You will take measures to collect all the claims against the Government, 
connected in any way with the movement of the Militia, & report them to 
this Office as soon as possible, in order that an estimate may be presented 
to Congress of the amount required to pay them. 

I am Sir respectfuly Your obt. Sert (Signed) Thos. S. Jesup Q. M. Genl 

Capt J. B Brant A.QM. Saint Louis Mo 

CC, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 816. 
This was copied on p. 2 of Brant's letter to 
Reynolds of Aug. 22. Addressed: "His Excellency 
Governor J. Reynolds Belleville 111." Postmarked: 
"St. Louis Mo. Aug 22 On Public Service J. B. 
Brant A.Q.M. Paid 6." 

Thomas Sidney Jesup (1788-1860) was born 
in Berkeley County, Virginia (now West Vir- 
ginia), and entered the army from Ohio in 1808. 
He served in the War of 1812 as adjutant 
general and brigade major on the staff of Gen. 
William Hull and was brevetted lieutenant colonel 
and colonel for distinguished service in the battles 
of Chippewa and Lundy's Lane. In March, 1818, 
he was named adjutant general and two months 
later became quartermaster general, with briga- 
dier's rank. He was made major general in 1828 
and from 1836 to 1838 was field commander of 
U.S. troops engaged in the Indian wars in the 

South. In all, he served as quartermaster general 
for forty-two years, the longest term ever held 
by the head of an army department or corps. 


Joshua B. Brant, a native of Connecticut, 
entered the army as a private in 1813 and rose 
to 2d lieutenant by the end of the War of 1812. 
He became regimental quartermaster of the 2d 
Infantry in 1815, 1st lieutenant in 1819, and 
captain in 1832. He was commissioned lieutenant 
colonel, deputy quartermaster general, a year 
before his resignation in 1839. His wife, the 
former Sarah Benton, was a niece of Senator 
Thomas Hart Benton's, heitman; Kansas His- 
torical Quarterly, XVI: 305. 

1 The store started at Beardstown by Thomas 
Pogue and Augustus Knapp prior to 1828. Knapp 
and Pogue soon became forwarding agents for 
several firms engaged in the Illinois River trade. 


The Black Hawk War 

In 1828 or 1829 they also built a steam flouring 
mill at Beardstown. Either that mill or a later 
one was destroyed by fire in April, 1840. {Cass 
County [1915], II: 673; Cass County [1882], 114, 
184; Morgan County [1885], 276; Sangamo 
Journal [Springfield, 111.]. July 6, 13, 1833, 
April 24, 184C.) Thomas Pogue was a commis- 
sioner for the Beardstown and Sangamon Canal 

in 1835 and the following year established a 
land oflSce at Beardstown (ihid.. Sept. 12, 1835, 
April 30, 1836). He was commissioned a jxistice 
of the peace in 1835 but died before Jan. 1, 
1838, when his successor as justice was elected 
(I-A: Exec. Rec, II: 260; I-A: Elect. Ret.. 
XXXII: 79). 

John Reynolds to William Clark 

Belleville 5th. August 1831 
Genl. Clark Superintendent of Indian affairs 

Sir I acknoledge the honor of receiving your two letters of July last on 
the subject of our Indian relations.^ For the prompt manner in which you 
acted in requesting the Indians in shelby County to move off you deseve 
the thanks of the people, for it you have mine. 

Every good man in the Illinois must be shocked at the conduct related 
in Mr. StVrains statement- in regard to the Indians particularly the dead 
ones. All will condemn it. Let it be known to the Indians concerned; that 
the government of the state of Illinois disapprobate and condemn such con- 
duct as much as they do. And, that all the means in the reach of the mu- 
nicipal law will be resorted to, to punish those wicked men for there con- 

I promised the Indians at Rock Island to cause to be punished all of- 
fences against them, as well as they should be punished, when they offended. 
I have no other means than the law. I will see that, that is executed, the 
officers of Justice, who preside in the County, where these outrages were 
committed, are men of talants. I will write to Mr. Thomas Ford of Rush- 
ville,^ who prosecutes for the state on the subject. I would suggest that Mr. 
StVrain ought to furnish him with the names of witnesses to appear before 
the grand Jury to indict these wrong doers 

with true esteem for you I am you Obt. servt John Reynolds 


CC, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 813. 

1 One was Clark to Reynolds, July 30. The 
other, dated July 25, reported the steps Clark 
had taken about alleged Indian disturbances in 
Shelby County (letter 809, I-A: Gov. Corr. 
1809-31, Vol. 2) ; see n. 3, Reynolds to Jackson, 
Aug. 2, for the outcome of this episode. 

2 In his letter of July 23 to Clark, which 
Clark forwarded to the Governor on July 30. 

3 Thomas Ford (1800-1850), was governor of 
Illinois, 1842-1846. He was born in Pennsylvania 
and came to Illinois in 1805 with his widowed 

mother and half-brothers and -sisters. Ford 
became a protege of Daniel Pope Cook's and 
studied law in Cook's office. He began to practice 
in 1823 and was named prosecuting attorney 
for the 5th Judicial Circuit when that circuit 
was created in 1829. See Illinois Revised Laws 
1S28-1S29. 38-39; Chicago Historical Society's 
Collection. Ill: 407, 438, 456; and Charles Man- 
fred Thompson's sketch of Ford in the Intro- 
duction to Illinois Historical Collections, VII: 

August 6, 1831 125 

Pierre Menard, Jr., to William Clark 

Peoria Sub Agency August 6, 1831 
Genl. Wm. Clark Supt. Ind: Affairs St Louis 

Sir Yours of the 23d ultimo ^ is received and its contents observed. If 
I neglected making a report relative to the course Senachewin^ and his 
party had taken during the difficulties which occured at Rock Island; and, 
indeed the only appology that can be made was, that nearly all the Indians 
of this Agency were ignorant of the hostile movements of the Sauks & Foxes, 
more properly (and I beleive justly) they never could believe, that those 
Indians had any views of waging war with the U. States. 

To give you a brief story of facts, that are known to me, I will state for 
public information, that, in the month of July 1828, a band of Sauks and 
Foxes were on their way to Drumon's ^ Island to receive presents from the 
British at that place; going through the Puttawattamie Town^ finding 
themselves bad off for horses, they gave them a little Tobacco in order to 
obtain some horses from those Indians. It had the desired effect, they pro- 
cured several horses, assuring the Puttawattamies that they would some 
days return the compliment. The severity of last winter was such that 
nearly all the Ind : horses perished & this to my own knowledge. Senachewin 
and a few of his men old & young, started afoot, and proceeded to Rock 
Island with the warm hope that the Sacs and Foxes, would make good 
their promisses, they were disappointed The Sauks & Foxes evaded their 
promesses, and at last told them, they were not prepared to return the 
compliment; whereupon they proceeded to Rock Island to see the Agent at 
that place, he infonned them that there were some difficulties, between the 
Whites, and his Indians and requested them to return to their people; after 
making them a small allotment of provisions, — they started home, and ar- 
rived here to my certain knowledge thirteen days before the volunteers 
reached Rock Island 

He came and informed me what he had heard, assuring me at the same 
time that he was ignorant of any difficulty taking place previous to his 
going there, but believed that the Indians would not fight. Apprehending 
that the Citizens of these parts were under some doubt respecting him, and 
his people; he offered himself as an hostage, and if necessary he would cause 
all his people to come and put themselves under our protection. From his 
unsophiscated address he satisfied the Citizens that he and his people were 
innocent, and they on their part cleared him of any participation with the 
Sauks, and permitted him & others, to return home and remain quiet till the 
disturbance be over. 

From the above Facts we cannot but infer, that they participated in no 
shape whatever with these Indians at Rock Island. Whoever informed you 
that Senachewin was at Rock Island when the Troops were there, he lied to 
you, and if you will tell me who he is, I will tell him that he lied by his 
throat. In obedience to your instructions, I had started to see those innocent 

126 The Black Hawk War 

Indians who had been represented to our Governor as killing stock — on my 
way to their Town I met Mr. A Kennerly,^ and Metty "^ who had already 
been with them, having been sent on the same mission I was going on, and 
they having accomplished all that could be done at present, prevented my 
proceeding any farther as my friend A K will no doubt make a true report 
of all he saw and all he could effect." 

It strikes me Sir, that I can do something with these Indians but aught 
to be vested with some authority and means. I intend visiting them in 
twenty five days — if you could spare Metty, I should like to have him with 
me, he might come up in Steam Boat, and here I would procure him a horse. 

There are two or three infernal wretches h^re, who have in a Clandestine 
way, attempted, and probably have written to Washington respecting this 
Sub Agency, they have drawn petitions slandering me in a most shameful 
way. It is likely that such petitions have gone on with some forged name, 
as they dare not show it to some respectable Citizen. I will not ask for a 
justification as I cannot plead guilty of mal conduct in office; I would 
merely like to know wheather such papers have been sent on, and if they 
have, I should like to have a copy sent to me in order, to have some excuse, 
to put in execution my design — do this and you will do me a favour. 

I will proceed in a few days — and find out a suitable place for the Sub 
Agency. I should like to have a small Map, of the reser^^ed land. 

With Esteem I remain Yr. humble Sert. 
(Signed) Peter Menard jr. U.S. Sub Agent. 

LBC, KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 267-69. Senachwine. This site would have been a few 

1 Not present. miles south of the Great Sauk Trail from the 

2 Senachwine (Swift or Rapid Water), also Rock River to Maiden, Ontario. {Putnam and 
sometimes called Petchacho, succeeded his brother Marshall Counties [1880], 66-70; Jour. ISHS, 
Gomo as principal chief of the Potawatomi of XXIX: 121-33.) The Chillicothe site was prob- 
the Illinois River about 1815 (Jour. ISHS, LXII: ably the one known as Marais d'Prieux or Marais 
342-43; VOGEL, 130-31). He was still considered a de Proulx, which lewis C. beck, 126, says was a 
principal chief of the Illinois River bands as late "considerable stream, running a southeasterly 
as 1831 (see n. 4, Clark to the Secretary of War, course through the northern part of the state, 
Aug. 12). Most sources agree that Senachwine and emptying into the Illinois on the right side, 
died in the summer of 1831, when he was said to near the northeastern boundary of the military 
have been eighty-seven years old (vogel, 130; tract." This description seems to fit what is now 
MATSON, Reminiscences of Bureau County, 23). Senachwine Creek (Peoria County Atlas [1923], 

3 Drummond's (now Drummond) Island, lo- 21). 

cated at the mouth of the St. Mary River where 5 Augustin Kennerly, younger brother of George 

it empties into Lake Huron, had been a British and James Kennerly and brother-in-law of 

military garrison and Indian agency until Nov., William Clark, was an interpreter and clerk in 

1828, when the British finally relinquished their Clark's office. Kennerly was born in 1794 and 

claim to the island. Michigan History Magazine, died at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. His novel, 

XXII: 286-87; Michigan Historical Collections, The Heiress of Fotheringay, was published in 

XXIII: 108, 155, 442-43. 1856. kennerly. Persimmon Hill, 32-33; Mis- 

4 Senachwine's village was said by most sources souri Historical Society Collections, VI: 104; 
to have been at the site of present Chillicothe U.S. Register 1S27, 102. 

(Peoria County) on the right (west) bank of the 6 Jacques Mette, a resident of Peoria at the 

Illinois River (vogel, 130-31). It seems likely time of the War of 1812, served as U.S. interpre- 

that Senachwine also had a village in 1831 in ter in St. Louis during the late 1820's and 1830's 

Putnam County in the township that bears his (Elliott, 322; c. ballance. History of Peoria, 

name (Marshall and Putnam County Atlas Illinois [1870], 18-19; U.S. Register 1827, 102; 

[1890], 15). His village there was said to have U.S. Register 1830, 85; U.S. Register 18SS, 90). 

been located on the Illinois, west of Lake Jacques Metta, probably this man, was a voter 

August 9, 1831 127 

at Edwardsville in 1819 (Madison County [1882], man [who] was a noted agent and interpreter. 

336). Shortly before then, he had been inter- He was a small man of uncommon nerve; used 

preter for the Kickapoo Agency at Edwardsville to stop here; was a very polite man; would 

(Madison County Gazetteer [1866], 137n). Gaius turn out his horse and sit on a wood pile and 

Paddock tells of Indians from Peoria en route to smoke until dark; raised his hat to all comers" 

St. Louis passing his home in Madison County. (Madison County [1912], I: 360). 

They were accompanied by " 'Metty,' a French- ^ See n. 3, Reynolds to Jackson, Aug. 2. 

William Clark to the Secretary of War 

Superintendency of Ind: Affairs St. Louis Augt. 9, 1831. 

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 23rd 
ult: ^ with the copy of one forwarded direct to Genl. Street & other Agents, 
with a view of obtaining the earliest information as to the causes of the 
recent difficulties with the Sacs & Foxes and other Tribes &c. and shall in 
a day or two furnish such information on the subject of your enquiries as 
the records of this office will enable me to present, and which will neces- 
sarily embrace the substance of the information heretofore communicated 
to the Department. In the mean time I herewith transmit to you a copy of 
a letter of the 1st inst: (reed, since the departure of yesterday's mail) from 
Genl. Street, informing me of the murder of 25 menominies by a war party 
of Sacs & Foxes, which took place near the old Fort at Prairie du chien on 
the night of the 31st ult: — also copy of a letter just reed, from Major 
Dougherty ,2 stating that three parties of Sacs were moving in the direction 
of the Sioux, Ottoes & Omahas, being in quest of those Tribes. 

From every circumstance connected with the murder of the menominies, 
I am inclined to believe that the British party of Sacs & Foxes have en- 
couraged, and probably joined in this daring act, which I hope will receive, 
as it justly deserves the most prompt chastisement which this insulted 
Government can inflict. 

I shall consider it my duty to direct the Agent of the offending Tribes to 
demand of them the immediate delivery of the individuals concerned in this 
outrageous violation of the peace of Prairie du chien, and will await the 
instructions of the Department as to any future measures to be taken in 
relation to this matter. 

With high respect I have the honor to be Your most obt. Servt. 
Wm Clark 

P.S. The disaffected part of the Kickapoos ^ who were supposed to have 
been in the interest of the Sacs engaged in the late disturbances, have gone 
over & joined them on the west side of the Mississippi; and the Winne- 
bagoes of the Prophets village are now moving over to join the same party. 

The Hon : Secretary of War Washington City 

LS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. Street's letter, not printed in this volume. 

Enclosures: Street to Clark, Aug. 1; Dougherty contains essentially the same information given 
to Clark, July 29, both in the same file. in Street to the Secretary of War, also of Aug. 1. 


The Black Hawk War 

Dougherty's letter stated that three war parties 
of the "Mississippi Sauk," totaling 120, were 
on their way up the Missouri in search of the 
Oto, Omaha, or Sioirs, and that thirty-two Bock 
River Sauk, accompanied by two Osage, had 
passed Cantonment Leavenworth July 21, on 
their way to the Osage towns. He feared that 
the Rock River Sauk would "give us much trouble 
in this quarter." 

1 The July 23 letter was written and signed 
by Samuel S. Hamilton of the Office of Indian 
Affairs; see Jackson to Taney, July 21. Clark's 
later report is dated Aug. 12. 

2 John Dougherty (1791-1860), a native of 
Kentucky, was Indian agent for the Upper 
Missouri from 1827 to 1835. He had first gone 
to the Far Northwest with an expedition from 
St. Louis in 1809, and for the next several years 
he traveled in the Rocky Mountain region, acting 
part of the time as agent for the American Fiir 
Company on the Columbia River. In 1819-1820 
he was interpreter for Maj. Stephen H. Long's 
western expedition. In 1819 also, he was named 
assistant to Benjamin O'Fallon, agent at Council 
Bluffs, whom he succeeded in 1827. On retiring 
from the Indian service, he settled in Clay 
County, Missouri. Thereafter, he was a merchant, 
land-speculator, U.S. sutler, freighter, and cattle- 
dealer. He was elected to the Missouri legislature 
in 1840. Missouri Historical Review, XXIV: 
359-61, 567; Missouri Historical Society Collec- 
tions, VI: 52n; Kansas Historical Quarterly, XVI: 
20n, 26n; Mid- America, XVI: 135-46; carter, ed.. 
Territorial Papers, XV: 575. 

3 By the Treaty of July 30, 1819, negotiated 

at Edwardsville, the Kickapoo relinquished their 
claims to twenty-seven million acres of land in 
central Illinois (Trans. ISHS. XLVI: 91-92), 
and the following winter and spring began 
moving to lands granted to them on the Osage 
River in southwest Missouri. In 1820 one band 
was living in the vicinity of the Sauk village on 
Rock River, and two years later another band 
was planning to make a new village near the 
mouth of Rock River (Marston in BLAIB, II; 
141n, 153; Forsyth to Clark, Sept. 8, 1822, WHi: 
Draper MSS, 6T 16-18— S-F Ex. 81, Docket 83, 
ICC). On May 25, 1830, Sauk and Fox agent 
Thomas Forsyth wrote to William Clark, "I am 
just nov: informed by a Sauk Indian, that there 
are now between fifteen and twenty summer 
bark lodges of Kickapoo Indians a little south 
of Rocky River, and not more than two or three 
miles from the old Sauk Village. On my sugges- 
tion to my informant, that there might be fifty 
or sixty hunters there, he said about 100. . . . 
My informant also says a number of Kickapoos 
arrived this day to smoke with the Sauk Indians 
for horses. They come from a village on Little 
MacKinaw, East of the Illinois River" (S-F Ex. 
153-0, Docket 83, ICC). 

By 1831 the only Kickapoo band remaining in 
Illinois was the one led by Kannekuk. The 
Kickapoo with Black Hawk that year were 
probably those who had lived near or with the 
Sauk since the 1820's. Winfield Scott wrote 
Lewis Cass, Aug. 19-21, 1832, that the Kickapoo 
who had taken part in the BHW had "resided 
with Black Hawk for several years." See also 
the Aug. 20, 1832, testimony of Indian prisoners. 

Henry Atkinson to Edmund P. Gaines 

Head Quarters Right Wing West Dep Jefferson Barracks 10th Aug 1831 

General, I find on adverting to your order placing me in command of 
this wing of the Dept. that I should have addressed the letter, a copy of 
which is enclosed, to you instead of the Adjutant General, and that a copy 
should have been sent to him. 

I proceed now as I intimated in the letter, to give the details of the oc- 
currence at Prarie du chien. These I obtained from Mr Marsh, ^ late a Sub- 
agent at the Prarie, and now an Indian Trader, who has just arrived. He 
was at Prarie-du-chien when the attack was made by the war party of 
Sauks & Foxes on the Menominee Camp — saw the party a few minutes 
after, returning to their canoes, and was the first white man that entered 
the camp of the injured party after the attack. He states that the War 
party consisted of about One hundred men and that they were principally 
Foxes from Debukes mines. This information as to identity & numbers, he 
received, on his descent of the river after the affair, from Mr. Dubois,^ a 

August 10, 1831 129 

trader residing opposite the mines. Dubois stated to him that he knew per- 
sonally most of the party and could point them out by name. There might, 
he thinks, have been five or six Sauks of the party. It was led by Pahquo- 
nee, a Fox brave. 

Mr. Marsh states that the war party ascended the Mississippi in canoes, 
halted opposite the mouth of Ouisconsin, hid themselves and canoes in a 
narrow channel during the day and sent six of the party up the river to 
reconnoitre the Prarie. They returned in the evening and were seen passing 
down by Lieut Lamott, who was on the same side of the river with a party 
of Soldiers burning lime. About nine O'clock at night the party was seen 
by Lt. Lamott ascending the river in their canoes. He had no idea of their 
object. They passed up behind the Island lying opposite the Prarie, crossed 
to the east bank & landed two or three hundred yards above old Fort Craw- 
ford whence they ran up to the Menominee Camp two or three hundred 
yards higher up & commenced the massacre — killing six men, including a 
chief, two lads, six women & eleven children and wounding others. The war 
party fled precipitately in a few minutes after the attack and reembarked 
& descended the river. On their reaching Debukes mines the Fox camp 
broke up & all hands descended the river to a position a few miles below 
Rock Island where Mr Marsh saw their canoes and lodges as he came down. 

It is not known what prompted those Indians to commit the recent act 
of hostility; my own opinion however is that it was an act of revenge & 
retaliation. For it will be recollected that a war party of Menominees & 
Sioux of some eighty in number, organized themselves at the Prarie last 
year and descended the river a few miles and attacked a party of unarmed 
and unsuspecting Fox Indians, that they knew were coming up by the in- 
vitation of Sub-agent Williamson,^ and treacherously killed eleven of them, 
among whom fell the principal chief of the nation, besides other chiefs & 
braves. This outrage has rankled in the minds of the Foxes ever since, & 
altho they concluded a peace with the Menominee & Sioux, they have been 
since often heard to threaten revenge. 

So much for the recital of the affair, but the question is what should be 
done in the case. I have no orders to use force were it prudent to do so at 
the present moment, nor are there any orders from the Government upon 
the Books of the department to my knowledge, requiring such a course. 
Some stipulations were made, I understand, in the Treaty of Prarie du 
Chien defining limits between the Indian Tribes, that Indians thus offend- 
ing should be surrendered up to the injured party, or to the authorities of 
the U. States. So far as this course can be effected without the use of a 
Military force I shall enjoin it upon the Officers commanding at Fort Arm- 
strong & Crawford to use the influence of their authority, a copy of whose 
instructions are herewith enclosed. Further than this I shall await instruc- 
tions. The recent excited feelings of part of the Sauks who are allies of the 
Foxes, seems to require much discretion in the course that should be pursued 
in the present instance particularly as no exactions were made of the sort 

130 The Black Hawk War 

upon the Menominees & Sioux for the outrage they committed on the Foxes 
last year, which in its character, was as flagrant as the recent one. 

But after all, and notwithstanding how culpable the Foxes are, for violat- 
ing the Treaty of Prarie-du-chein, I doubt very much whether the principal 
men of the nation could have prevented a strike upon the Sioux or Menomi- 
nees. There is a point of honor (if it may be allowed they have such a 
sentiment) felt by all Indians, to retaliate in Blood for similar wrongs. If 
they fail to do so they fall under the ridicule of their neighbours and even 
their own women. You are however too well acquainted with the Indian 
character to make any further comments necessary. 

Morgan, one of the braves, and now the principal man of the Foxes (as 
since the massacre last year they have no chief but a lad too young to act) 
with the greater part of the tribe were above on a distant hunt in the plains 
when the war party went up to the Prarie. Therefore he is not implicated 
in the recent affair. 

I have advices from Cant. Leavenworth,^ stating that one or more war 
parties of Black Hawks band had crossed over and ascended the Missouri 
with a view of making a stroke upon the Otoes and Mahas. The agent, 
Mr. Dougherty, has sent runners to apprise those tribes of the supposed in- 
tention of the Sauks. 

From all appearances there will be further conflicts among the frontier 
Indians, during the summer, and I cannot see how it is to be prevented for 
the present, or indeed in future — For they hold no faith under Treaties, 
compacts, or obligations of any sort. 

I shall forward a copy of this communication to the Adjutant General. 

With great respect Sir; I have the honor to be Your Mo. Ob Servt. 
(signed) H. Atkinson Br. Genl U.S. Army 

Major General Gaines Comg. West. Dept. City of Jackson State of Mis- 

CC, DNA: RG 94, AGO (Frames 282-86, Roll Indians was expected at Prairie du Chien, and 

58, M567). This letter, along with a copy of was held responsible by many people for the 

Atkinson's letter to John Bliss of the same date, subsequent attack upon the Fox delegation, 

was enclosed in Atkinson to Adj. Gen. Roger Agent Street had been pressing for his removal 

Jones, Aug. 10 (neither printed herein) ; all before this, in part because of his liaison with 

are File A95 in ibid. Atkinson's letter to Bliss a half-Sioux woman as well as because of his 

was signed by "S. Macree Lt. & A D.C." The private trading ventures and his close attachment 

Atkinson to Jones letter was endorsed (by to the Sioux. Marsh was removed later that year, 

Jones) : "Received August 25th.^RJ." and in Feb., 1832, when Marsh was spending 

1 John Marsh (1799-1856) was a native of time on the Red Cedar, his wife and six-year-old 

Massachusetts. After graduating from Harvard son, Charles, were living at New Salem, Illinois, 

in 1823, he went to Fort Snelling as a tutor to where Marsh had taken them to protect them 

officers' children. There he studied medicine from a possible revenge slaying. After the BHW, 

under the fort surgeon and in 1824 was given a in which Marsh led a party of Sioux Indians, he 

temporary position at the St. Peter's Indian was charged with illegal sales of arms to Indians. 

Agency. He was discharged the following year. He fled before the warrant for his arrest could 

and Governor Lewis Cass of Michigan Territory be served and became a trader at Independence, 

arranged to have him named Prairie du Chien Missouri. In the mid-1830's he moved to Santa 

subagent. At St. Peter's, Marsh had compiled a Fe and thence to California, where he became 

dictionary of the Sioux language, and for several a successful cattle-rancher and also practiced 

years he was a competent and knowledgeable medicine. He was murdered by three disgruntled 

government employee. In 1830, however, he gave employees shortly after a dramatic reunion with 

information to the Sioux that a party of Fox his son, DAB; Wisconsin Historical Collections, 

August 10, 1831 131 

II: 169, 256, 258; 17.5. Register 1827, 101; Dubois was granted a license to trade with 

LYMAN, John Marsh, passim; Annals of Iowa, the Fox Indians in 1825 (Wisconsin Historical 

XVI: 25 ff.; KHi: Clark Papers, IV: 7-8. Collections, XX: 381), and continued as licensed 

2 Etienne Dubois was a pioneer lead-miner as trader until 1831, when he was replaced by John 

well as fur-trader. He probably accompanied Forsyth (HOFFMANN, Antique Dubugue, 156-57). 

Julien Dubuque (for whom the city in Iowa is He apparently did not permanently remove from 

named) into the Wisconsin Territory as early the territory at that time. Jo Daviess County 

as 1788. Dubuque settled on the Iowa side of the (1878), 541-42 (this source gives his name as 

Mississippi at the mouth of Catfish Creek, but Stephen). 

Dubois continued on into Jo Daviess County, 3 Wynkoop Warner, not William S. Williamson, 

Illinois, about 2^ miles east of the site of present was the government subagent involved. 

Dunleith. Cabins built by Dubois were still stand- 4 On Cantonment Leavenworth, see n. 1, 

ing and usable when the first permanent settlers Dougherty to Clark, Feb. 3, 1832. 
arrived in the region in 1832. 

Edmund P. Gaines to the Secretary of War 

Hd. Qrs. Western Department Nashville T. 10th August 1831 

Sir — I have the honor to report for the information of the President of 
the United States the several depositions and original letters to which I 
have hitherto refered, with such other documents as I have received since 
the date of my last, of the 6th ultimo, in relation to the late disorderly- 
conduct of the British Band of Sac Indians, in attempting to retake and 
hold possession of the Rock River lands; and for this purpose to enter into 
alliances and form combinations with the most disorderly of their Red 
neighbours against the States of Missouri & Illinois and the Territory of 
Michigan: viz — 

No 1 — The deposition of Rinnah Wells, Samuel Wells, Benjamin Pike, 
Joseph Danforth, Moses Johnson, John Wells, John W. Spencer, Jonah 
H Case and Charles Case — sworn to and subscribed June 10 1831 be- 
fore William T. Brashar J. P. 

No 2 — The deposition of John Wells, sworn to the 10 June 1831 before Joel 
Wells J. P. 

No. 3 — The deposition of Rinnah Wells and Samuel Wells, sworn to and 
subscribed the 10 June 1831 before Joel Wells J.P. 

No. 4 — The deposition of Nancy Wells and Nancy Thompson, sworn to and 
subscribed the 10 June 1831, before William T Brashar J.P. 

No 5 — The deposition of Joseph Danforth, sworn to and subscribed the 
10 June 1831, before Joel Wells J.P. 

No. 6 — ^The copy of a letter from P. L. Chouteau, Indian Agent for the 
Osage Nation, to General William Clark, Superintendent of Indian af- 
fairs, dated 27 June 1831. 

No 7 — A letter from Felix St. Vrain Agent for the Sac and Fox Indians, 
dated 15 June 1831. 

No 8 — A letter from Colonel Henry Gratiot, Sub-Agent for the Winnebago 
Indians, dated 11 June 1831. 

No. 9 — A letter from Colonel Henry Gratiot Sub Agent for the Winnebago 

132 The Black Hawk War 

Indians dated 22 June 1831, with a copy of a communication from 
John Dixon to J. G. Soulard, dated 19 June 1831. 
No. 10— A letter from Colonel Henry Gratiot, dated 1 July 1831 enclosing 
a talk or commmiication signed by seven of the chiefs of the Winne- 
bago Indians, of his Sub-Agency. 

These depositions numbered 1 to 5 inclusively, and which are in sub- 
stance similar to those on which Governor Reynolds' communication of 
the 29 May last was based, ^ and which he promised to for\\'ard to the War 
Department, sufficiently establish the facts, of the return of the British 
Band of Sac Indians to the place of their former residence on Rock River, 
after the lands had been surveyed, sold, and in part inhabited by several 
of these deponants; — and of the hostile conduct of this Band, with their 
determined purpose forcibly to hold these lands in violation of the several 
Treaties of 1804, 1816, and 1825: the 2d. article of the last mentioned 
Treaty clearly shows that the Sac and Fox Indians have no claim to any 
lands whatever East of the Mississippi River, — and it puts an end to all 
doubt or cavil that might possibly arise under the 7th Article of the Treaty 
of 1804; in asmuch as by the aforesaid 2nd Article of the Treaty of 1825, 
the Sac and Fox Indians expressly relinquished all their claims to land East 
of the Mississippi River. 

The enclosure No 6, copy of a letter from Colonel P. L. Chouteau U.S. 
Agent for the Osage Indians to General Clark, with enclosure No. 7, a letter 
from Felix St. Vrain, taken in connection with the other letters herewith 
No. 8 9 and 10, together with the enclosed depositions, establish as clearly 
as could be desired the long continued restlessness and enmity of this Band 
of Sac Indians against the United States, as well as the great exertions and 
systematic efforts on the part of the offenders to organize an opposition as 
formidable as the Indians near us have ever wielded against us, when un- 
aided by the forces of England, as in 1812 and 13. For their object was, 
extravagant as it may seem, to make a simultaneous attack upon and 
break up the whole line of frontier settlements from Detroit along our 
western border, to the Sabine or Texas.- 

Long as I have known our southern and western Indians, and often as 
I have witnessed their lamentable ignorance of our strength, and of the 
utter impossibility of their effecting, without the aid of a civillized power, 
any thing like a formidable array of force against us, I found among the 
Winnebago and Sac Indians, a still greater degree of ignorance and arro- 
gance, and duplicity. 

The reports which first reached me of the Sac Indians having sent a 
deputation with Black Wampum to the Osages and other nations to the 
south west, as far as Texas, with a view to invoke their aid in a war against 
the United States seemed too extravagant to merit the least notice; nor did 
I place any reliance on the Report until it was confirmed by the evidence 
of their Interpreters and traders; with the assurance of Colonel Gratiot 
and other persons long acquainted with these Indians, that they frequently 

August 10, 1831 133 

indulge in the habit of boasting that they have always beaten our troops 
in battle, often when their numbers w^ere much inferior to ours; and that 
they really believe, that more Red men can be brought out against us, than 
we can oppose to them white men. This impression is of course confined to 
the Indians who have never visited the interior of our middle and eastern 
states. Those who have visited the city of Washington are generally better 
informed ; ^ but these have not that influence among their more savage 
brethren which superior information would seem to entitle them to; and 
they are moreover much influenced in their views and policy by the pre- 
vailing impression that, let the Indian do what they may towards us, in 
violation of existing treaties, they have nothing to do but to sue for peace 
whenever they choose, and by a new Treaty give us satisfaction, and ob- 
tain for themselves rations, presents and annuities. 

I take this occasion to remark, that though satisfied of the necessity of 
my movement, and of the employment, under the circumstances of the case, 
of the volunteers first called for — even whilst without definite infonnation 
as to the extent of the arrangements made by the Sac Indians to obtain 
the assistance of their old brother warriors, who served with them under 
Tecumpseh in the years 1812 & 13 — the information obtained by me at 
Rock Island in the early part of the month of June, and more especially 
that which I enclose herewith convinced me that without the encreased 
force brought out by Governor Reynolds, the lives of many frontier fami- 
lies would in all probability have been lost in an Indian war in that quar- 
ter, before the close of the present summer. If my measures shall have con- 
tributed to avert a calamity so much and so justly to be deprecated, I shall 
rejoice at the result; in asmuch as I have acted in accordance with a maxim 
which has borne me through the most difficult service I have hitherto en- 
countered — the maxim which requires that in preparing against Indian or 
other foes, we should rely for success mainly on our own strength and vigi- 
lance, rather than upon the supposed feebleness of our adversary. 

I have delayed this report in the expectation of receiving, and forwarding 
with the enclosed, some additional statements of facts, designating more 
particularly the different nations or tribes of Indians applied to or engaged 
by the Sac deputation ; but the last mails from the west having brought me 
nothing upon this subject, I deem it proper to make no further delay. 

All which is respectfully submitted. 

Edmund P. Gaines, Major Genl. Commanding 

To the Secretary of War. 

ALS, DNA: RG 94, AGO. Endorsed: (1) "Dept. I-A copy was enclosed in Gaines to Reynolds, 

of War August 25 1831 General Macomb." (2) Nov. 26. 

AES — "Copies of these were reed on the 24th i The Reynolds letter was dated May 28, not 

inst at this office it is thought these letters may May 29. 

be required by the Secretary — R[oger] J [ones]." 2 In justifying his course of the preceding 

Enclosures: five depositions and five letters summer, Gaines overstates the case here. His 

listed in the first paragraph above. letter of June 14-15 to Roger Jones is a more 

A copy of this letter, to which were appended judicious statement. 

STimmaries of the five depositions, is in I-A. The 3 Keokuk was sophisticated enough to view a 

134 The Black Hawk War 

visit to the President as a solution to Sauk and response, Keokuk and members of the deputa- 

Fox problems. At a council with a deputation tion asked permission to go to Washington to 

of Sauk and Fox Indians on March 27, 1830, see the President (Talk 7, in Folio C, enclosed 

Superintendent of Indian Affairs William Clark in Clark to Cass, Aug. 12, 1831). Black Hawk 

urged them to sell a piece of their land on the also looked to the Great Father in Washington 

Mississippi in order to increase their annuities for equitable solutions to Sauk and Fox grie- 

so that they could pay their debts. He also ad- vances and hoped himself to be allowed to go to 

vised all bands of both tribes to Hve together. In Washington; black hawk, 116, 118-19, 122, 135. 

Edmund P. Gaines to Alexander Macomb 

Hd. Qrs. Western Department Nashville T August llh. 1831 

Sir I have received via Jefferson Barracks your letter of the 14th of last 
month. In reply, I send you herewith a copy of my report of yesterdays 
date, to the Secretary of War; which taken in connection with my several 
letters, and orders, written at Rock Island in the month of June last, and 
forwarded to the Adjutant Generals office, will be found to contain most 
of the information which you desire, on the subject of the Indian disturb- 
ances upon the North Western border of Illinois State. 

Much of the information contained in my letters however, was unavoid- 
ably imperfect, as the ever varying objects and statements of Indian coun- 
trymen and of Indians mediating designs, dangerous as they are doubtful 
in their issue, must ever be. You will, however find by the enclosures 
herewith that the material facts upon which I relied in my first movement, 
have been fully verified; and that other facts, of no little interest, have been 
developed, tending to establish the alleged hostility of the British Band of 
Sac Indians towards us and moreover that they have made extraordinary 
efforts to induce the disorderly warriors of many other nations, to com- 
bine with them against us. 

The information which you desire touching the expence of my movement 
will be furnished to you as soon as the reports of the Quarter Masters & 
ordnance officers can be obtained. 

Very respectfully Your most obdt. Edmund P. Gaines Major Genl. Comg 

Major General Alexander Macomb Commg &c. &c. Washington City D.C. 

P.S. I shall resume my journey on the 14 of of the present month for 
Jackson, Mississippi via the Choctaw Agency ^ for the purposes of Inspec- 
tion, and to keep an eye to State of Louisiana — from whence late accounts 
indicate tranquility E.P.G. 

LS, DNA: RG 94, AGO; the complimentary He served for several years in the West and in 

close, inside address, and postscript are in 1802 joined the corps of engineers. He rose 

Gaines's hand. Endorsed: AES — "Reed.: August rapidly and was acting adjutant general when 

24th. 1831.— R[oger]. J[ones]. — Submitted to the the War of 1812 began. He took a field command 

Genl-in-Chief. Septr. 20th. 1831." in the war and distinguished himself particularly 

Alexander Macomb (1782-1841) was born in for the defense of Plattsburg. After the war he 

Detroit and educated in New Jersey. Upon the helped reorganize the army and for several years 

recommendation of Alexander Hamilton, he was commanded the 5th Military District at Detroit, 

given a commission in the Regular Army in 1799. In 1821 he became head of the corps of engineers 

August 12, 1831 135 

at Washington, and in 1828 he succeeded Jacob l At this time the Choctaw were preparing to 

Brown as senior major general and commanding emigrate west of the Mississippi, foreman, 

general of the U.S. Army. DAB; heitman. Indian Removal. Ch. 3. 

William Clark to the Secretary of War 

Superintendency of Ind: Affs. St. Louis August 12th. 1831. 

Sir, On the 6th. inst: I had the honor of receiving your letter of 23rd 
July, enclosing copy of one sent to Messrs. Street, St. Vrain & Gratiot, for 
the purpose of obtaining full and accurate information of the causes which 
led to the hostile proceedings of the Sacs, Foxes, Winnebagoes & other 
Tribes engaged therein, and also requiring said Agents to state the reasons 
which have prevented their timely reporting the hostile movements of those 
Indians to the Government, &c. 

In answering such portion of this call as is addressed to myself, (vizt. 
as regards the causes of those difficulties) it will be necessary I presume to 
transmit to you the extracts & copies of the Reports of the Mississippi 
Agents, which are herewith enclosed marked A. and which contain the 
substance of the information heretofore communicated from this office; ad- 
dressed as usual to the Hon: Secretary of War since early in 1829, as will 
be seen by a reference to my letters of 20th May & 1st June 1829 — the 6th 
April, 15th September, 17th & 20th November 1830— & the 17th January, 
8th April & 30th May & 29th June 1831 — also copies & extracts from my 
instructions to the Agents of the Tribes engaged in the late disturbances 
marked B. and copies of the Talks with those Indians, marked C. 

In adverting to the causes which produced the late manifestations of 
hostility by the Sacs & Foxes, it will also be necessary to present a view of 
the relations of those Tribes, with the U. States since the year 1804. 

By a Treaty concluded on the 3rd day of November 1804, between Gov- 
ernor Harrison^ & the Sacs & Foxes, all their claim to the country lying 
East of the West bank of the Mississippi, and from the Missouri to the 
Ouisconsin was ceded to the United States. The same Tribes, by their 
Treaties of 13th & 14th Sept 1815, and 13th May 1816, unconditionally 
agreed to recognize, establish & confirm their Treaty of 1804. At the Treaty 
of Washington city of 4th Augt. 1824, they agreed not to settle or hunt upon 
the lands ceded East of the Mississippi; and at the General Treaty of 
Prairie du chien in 1825, establishing lines & boundaries between the vari- 
ous Tribes, the Sacs & Foxes by the 2nd. article relinquish all their claim 
to lands East of the Mississippi. 

By a Treaty with the Puttowattamies of Illinois River of the 4th August 
1816, the country above Rock Island purchased by the U. States from the 
Sacs & Foxes, was ceded to the Puttowattamies, Ottoways & Chippeways, 
by the express order of the Acting Secretary of War, Mr. Crawford,^ and 
is a part of the same country which was retroceded to the U. States by the 

136 The Black Hawk War 

Puttowattamies & Winnebagoes at the Treaty of Prairie clu cliien of 1829, 
leaving the Winnebagoe Prophets Town (which is composed of discontented 
Winnebagoes, Sacs, Puttowattamies & Kickapoos) within the hmits of the 
Land thus retroceded. 

By the 7th art: of the Treaty of 1804 with the Sacs & Foxes, it was stipu- 
lated that those Tribes were to enjoy the priviledge of living & hunting on 
the lands ceded as long as they remained the property of the U. States. 
Under this priviledge the Sacs were permitted to remain at their old village, 
tho' frequently reminded of the necessity of their removal across the Mis- 
sissippi to their own lands, before the country should be surveyed, sold and 
settled. Much the greater portion of those Tribes did move & settle West of 
the Missisi. but a party of between three & four hundred men who had 
been in the British interest during the late War, and were among our most 
destructive enemies on the frontiers, still continued their attachment to the 
British, as appears from their annual visits to their establishments in Upper 
Canada; detaching themselves from their Tribe, and refusing to give up 
that portion of the ceded country lying above Rock River. 

The Treaties referred to, have been frequently explained to the Sacs & 
Foxes, one of which (the 13th May 1816) was signed by the Black Hawk 
himself, the principal man of the party who signed that Treaty. They have 
been frequently told by myself & their Agent that they must move to their 
own Lands on the West side of the Mississe. & assured that if they done 
so peaceably, that assistance would be afforded them. They however per- 
sisted in their refusal to move, and even refused latterly to receive any 
part of the annuities due their Tribe who had moved & settled within their 
own country. 

After these lands were surveyed, & a portion of them settled, difficulties 
arose beween them & the white settlers, which rendered it necessary to insist 
upon their immediate removal. These proceedings were reported to the Gov- 
ernment in my letter of the 20th May 1829, enclosing copy of petitions from 
the inhabitants of that section of the country; (this letter was answered by 
Colo. McKenney^ on the 17th June 1829) and also in my letter of the 1st 
June 1829, accompanying Mr. Forsyth's report on this subject. 

The discontented portion of the Puttowattamies (who were supposed to 
have joined the Sacs, & who were said to have been encamped near them 
at the time) are those who have been complaining to the Government for 
the last two years, thro' their Sub-Agent, as well as by Talks sent to me, 
some of which have been forwarded with my letter to the Department of 
the 15th September 1830. They complained that their land had been sold 
by boys, in 1829, and that even the consideration promised was not equally 
divided among them. They however deny having participated in the late 

That part of the Kickapoo Tribe who opposed the Treaty of Cession of 
Edwardsville, of 13th July 1819, have continued their resistance to the 
wishes of the Government, and have withstood every inducement to move 

August 12, 1831 137 

to their own lands West of the Mississippi. A large proportion of this Band 
intended it was believed, to take part with the disaffected Sacs, in the late 
disturbance, as they were encamped near them at the time.^ They have 
mostly since, moved into the Sac country on the W. side of Misse. The re- 
maining parts of this Band have, since Genl. Gaines' expedition, been heard 
of on the head waters of the Kaskaskia River in Illinois, and were com- 
plained of by Gov. Reynolds as killing the stock of the settlers, which in- 
duced me to send an acting Sub Agent, & an Interpreter to order them off, 
and to provide them the means of moving: This officer has not yet re- 

As regards the Winnebagoe Nation, it is not believed that they were in 
any manner engaged in the late difficulties. The individual known as the 
Winnebagoe Prophet, residing fifty or sixty miles up Rock River, had as- 
sembled the force of his village consisting of half breed Sacs & Winne- 
bagoes, Puttowattamies & Kickapoos — these were considered as identified 
with the disaffected Sacs, and were equally implicated with them. The 
Winnebagoe Nation has since applied to me to break up the Prophets Town, 
which is considered by them as composed of renegadoes from their own na- 
tion, as well as from other Tribes. The Agent has been instructed to remove 
them from the ceded lands, and I am just now informed by an Express 
from Rock Island that they are now moving across the Mississippi. 

In answer to your enquiry whether any permission or licence has been 
granted to those Tribes (the Sacs & Foxes) or either of them, under the 
stipulations of the 2nd. art: of their Treaty of 4th Augt. 1824, to settle, or 
hunt upon the lands ceded, it is asserted that no permission or licence has 
been granted either of those Tribes to settle, or hunt, either South of the 
lines embraced by their cession, or East of the Mississippi, since 1825. 

Having thus Sir, as far as I am enabled, answered your enquiries, permit 
me, in conclusion to state it is as my firm belief, that nothing short of an 
actual exhibition of the force displayed under Genl. Gaines in his late ex- 
pedition, could have effected the removal of those Indians from the ceded 
Lands without bloodshed ; and to express a hope that such decisive measures 
will be pursued in our future relations with the Indian Tribes, as will com- 
port best with their interests as well as those of the Government. 

I have the honor to be With high respect Yr most obt. Servt. Wm Clark 

The Hon: Secretary of War Washington City. 

LS, DNA: RG 75, L Reed., St. Louis. Addressed: and Governor John Reynolds, Aug. 5, 1831. "B" 
"The Hon: Secretary of War Washington City." contains extracts of nine letters on Indian re- 
Endorsed: "Dept of War. August 29th. 1831. moval written by Clark to the various Illinois 
Indian Office." Enclosures: three folios labeled agents between Aug. 9, 1827, and July 4, 1829. 
"A," "B," and "C." "A" contains extracts of "C" consists of twelve extracts of reports of 
the following twenty-one reports to Clark: councils with Indian tribes in Illinois, dated 
thirteen from Thomas Forsyth, dated between between July 7, 1828. and July 30, 1831. On 
May 24, 1828, and May 25, 1830; four from reports of councils with the Potawatomi of the 
Felix St. Vrain, dated Oct. 8, 1830, May 15, Illinois River, see n. 4 below. 

May 28, and July 23, 1831; one each from Of the letters enclosed, six dealing more directly 

Henry Gratiot, June 25, 1831, P. L. Chouteau, with the Black Hawk campaigns of 1831 and 1832 

June 27, 1831, Joseph M. Street, July 6, 1831, are published in this volume: St. Vrain to 


The Black Hawk War 

Clark of May 15, May 28, and July 23, 1831; 
Gratiot to Clark, June 25, 1831; Street to Clark, 
July 26, 1831; and Reynolds to Clark, Aug. 5, 

1 At that time William Henry Harrison was 
governor of the Indiana Territory to which the 
Territory of Louisiana-Missouri was attached 
pending organization of its own government. 
DAB; CARTER, ed., Territorial Papers, XIII: 51, 
76, and nn. 

2 William Harris Crawford (1772-1834) was 
named secretary of war and then secretary of 
the treasury by President James Madison. He 
remained a prominent public figure until 1823, 
when he suffered a paralytic stroke. DAB. 

3 Thomas Loraine McKenney (1785-1859) was 
the first head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
1824-1830. The bureau was created by order of 
Secretary of War John C. Calhoun, March 11, 
1824 (SCHMECKEBIER, The Office of Indian Affairs, 
27). McKenney is best known today for his books 
about the West and the three folio volimies of 
Indian portraits he issued with James Hall 
under the title A History of the Indian Tribes 
of North America, tvith Biographical Sketches 
and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs 

4 These Potawatomi were generally identified 
as Potawatomi of the Illinois River. Their agent, 
with headquarters at Peoria, was Pierre Menard, 
Jr., who explained in his letter of Aug. 6 to 
Clark how Senachwine, the leading chief of 
these bands, had happened to be at the Sauk 
village in the summer. 

On Nov. 12, 1830, Menard estimated the number 
of Potawatomi within his agency as 857, divided 
as follows: bands headed by Capt. Hill, at Spoon 
River, 83; Senacheewanee, at Marais d'Prieux, 
210; White Bird, at Paw Paw Grove, 293; 
Shickshack, at Sameenauk, Fox River of Illinois, 
171; and Waubasee, on the Illinois above the 
mouth of Fox River, 100 (letter in 23d Cong., 
1st Sess., S. Doc. 512, II: 191-92). The spellings 
of proper names in this paragraph and in those 
that follow are given as they appear on the 

Throughout 1830 and 1831 the Indians of 
these bands constantly protested the injustice 

done them at the Treaty of July 29, 1829, ne- 
gotiated at Prairie du Chien by Potawatomi 
from the Chicago area. See, for example, the 
following seven reports from Folio C, enclosed 
in Clark's Aug. 12 letter: No. 3 — Sena-cha-win 
(also given See-na-chee-wane) , Nov. 27, 1829. 
No. 4 — Sena-che-win to William Clark, for the 
President, n.d. [1830?]; also signed by Capt. 
Hill, or Colunaw; Taquan, or Autiunn; Nin-gee- 
sai; and Nen-baite. Again they protest that the 
lands of the Illinois River bands had been sold 
by the Agent at Chicago [Alexander Wolcott] 
and the Indians hired by him to make the cession. 
No. 5 — Caw-bi-naw (or Colunaw, or Capt. Hill) 
to William Clark, given in the presence of 
Pierre Menard, Jr., and Joseph Ogee, interpreter, 
n.d. Capt. Hill stated that he had saved the life 
of a Captain Hill [Captain Nathan Heald ? 
— see KiNZiE, Wau-Bun, 281-83] at Chicago and 
in exchange had received only abuse; the whites 
had twice taken possession of his village on 
Spoon River, threatening to shoot and whip 
him. No. 8 — Senajeewin, identified as the prin- 
cipal chief of the united tribes of Chippewa, 
Ottawa, and Potawatomi, to Pierre Menard, Jr., 
[1830]. This talk was also signed by Capt. Hill, 
Maquipe, and Nanbute. No. 9 — The Aug. 26, 
1830, report of the councils of Aug. 22, 23, and 
25 between Clark and the Illinois River Potawa- 
tomi, represented by Sena-je-win (Swift or 
Rapid Water); 0-au-take (Little Crow); Shick- 
shack; and Mis-se-cona-be (Big Bear), identi- 
fied as an Ottawa. These speakers said that the 
Illinois River Potawatomi nimibered 565 not 
counting the village at Poplar, i.e., Pawpaw 
Grove. No. 10 — Sena-je-win to Peter Menard, 
June 1, 1831. No. 12 — Shabanie or Chamblie 
(identified as principal chief of the Ottawa) to 
the President, delivered in the presence of a 
deputation of Illinois River Potawatomi, July 
30, 1831; this was also published in 23d Cong., 1st 
Sess., S. Doc. 512, II: 557-58. 

5 On the Kickapoo with Black Hawk's band, 
see n. 3, Clark to the Secretary of War, Aug. 9. 

6 Augustin Kennerly and Jacques Mette were, 
respectively, the acting subagent and the inter- 
preter. For a summary of their report, see n. 
3, Reynolds to Jackson, Aug. 2. 

John Reynolds to Andrew Jackson 

Copy of a Letter to the President of the United States. 

Belleville 15th. August 1831. 
To the President of the United States — 

Sir Altho' I had the honor to address you a letter of the 2nd. inst. in 
answer to your's of the 16th. ultimo: yet on account of the late outrages of 
the Sac Indians, and being honored with a letter from the Dept. of War, 

August 15, 1831 139 

dated 29th. July last,^ requesting certain information I deem it my duty 
again to write you. 

Presuming, you have long since received from Genl. Gaines the inforaia- 
tion, which your letter requests of me, it seems to me unnecessary to go 
farther into detail, than in regard to the late invasion of the Indians, their 
numbers, their deportment, pretentions, and acts, and shewing the necessity 
for calling out the militia, than barely to state, that after their return from 
their wintering grounds, they forcibly took possession not only of lands 
which they had long since ceded to the United States; but which had ac- 
tually been sold by the United States to individuals. That they drove off 
those individuals, killed their stock, threw down their fences, put their 
horses into their wheat fields, destroyed all their crops of small grain, and 
commiting various other depredations declaring their determination to re- 
tain their possession and expel all the rightful occupants by force of arms. 
Their numbers though variously represented have never been estimated at 
less than eight hundred,^ and as they had, during the whole of the last win- 
ter, been engaged in efforts to procure assistance from other tribes, some of 
which were known to be successful, it was impossible to calculate with any 
certainty what force they could be able to bring into the field. Circum- 
stances justify the belief that with the aid which they could have got from 
other tribes, and which they would have got, but for the prompt movement 
of the militia, that their force would have been above fourteen hundred 
warriors, and had they been able to repel the force sent against them their 
numbers would soon have been greatly augmented. The Sauks and Foxes, 
constituting one nation, have themselves about fifteen hundred warriors, 
and the miserable policy of recognising one part of them as hostile, and the 
other as friendly, instead of holding the whole nation responsible for the 
conduct of its members, will always on such occassions render it doubtful; 
what portion of their force, we have to oppose. No reasonable man at all ac- 
quainted with those Indians can doubt, that had the war party been able 
to repel the force sent against them, they would have been joined by the 
peace party also. Indeed it is generally believed, that during the late war 
we suffered much more from the peace party than from the war party .^ 
The former always finding it perfectly practicable to have their depreda- 
tions charged upon the latter. The effect of this policy has been to threw 
on us the burthen of taking care of their old men, women, and children, 
while their warriores have been waging the most unrelentless and savage 
hostility against our own citizens. However much they may pretend to differ 
in their dispositions towards us, they are perfectly united and harmonius 
among themselves. And while the Government permits such a state of 
things to exist, there are no other Indians that have the same inducements 
to commit depredations upon us. Since whether such acts are perpetrated 
by the peace, or war, party, they are able to be charged to the latter, while 
the former secures themselves from all those forfeitures, and responsibilities, 
which other tribes incurr by persuing the same kind of conduct. 

Of their hostile disposition towards the United States, and their contempt 

140 The Black Hawk War 

for the authority of the Government, you doubless will soon see an addi- 
tional proof in an account of the murders of Indians friendly to us, and 
of white men in sight of the Fort at Prairie du Chien.^ 

Knowing those Indians as I do, seeeing the alarm which their conduct 
had given to our whole frontier extending from the Missisippi to Chicago, 
witnessing those settlements breaking up, the people moving into the in- 
terior for safety, and taking into view all the foregoing circumstances, I 
deemed it my duty to furnish Genl. Gaines on the request he made with 
such force, as would be likely to overpower all opposition, and to accom- 
pany them myself, not only for the purpose of affording all the aid in my 
power; but that I might be ready on the spot to call out any additional 
force, that might be necessary. 

From the hostile disposition still manifested by those Indians, I can not 
but consider the detached settlements about Galena in imminent danger, 
and I feel it my duty to recommend some suitable fortification in a central 
position as an asylum for the people in case of an attack should be erected, 
and that the Executive of the State should be authorised to call out a suffi- 
cient number of mounted men to repel any actual or threatened invasion. 

In several parts of the State our people are very much annoyed by sev- 
eral bands of Indians residing upon lands to which they have no pretence 
of title and which have not only been ceded to the U.S. but subsequently 
sold to individuals. Since the late expedition I have received such pressing 
petitions for the removal of those Indians,^ that I feel it my duty to request 
that you will have some measures taken for that purpose. It is to be feared; 
if this is delayed much longer; that the people who feel the annoyance can 
not be restrained from adopting some veiy harsh measures of redress. This 
I have done and shall do, all in my power to prevent. It is desireable that 
those Indians should be removed on as peaceable and friendly manner as 
possible. Unfortunately they have been impressed with the belief that the 
U.S. will protect them in living and hunting on the ceded lands of the State. 
Could this impression be removed, and they be made to believe, that the 
State has the power to drive them off, there is little doubt, they would 
peaceably retire. No one who has witnessed as I have done, the evil effects 
of Indians residing among a white population can doubt the wisdom and 
humanity of that policy of the present administration which has for its 
object the settlement of those unfortunate people on the west side of the 

At all events, we must get clear of them in this State who are residing 
upon lands to which they do not pretend to have any title. I need only referr 
you to a correspondence upon this subject between my predecessor, and 
the late administration to shew how earnestly the interposition of the Genl. 
Government has been sought in regard to this matter & how much we have 
been disappointed in not receiveing it as was promised by that administra- 

I have the honor to be with respect your obt. Servt. John Reynolds 

August 17, 1831 


ALS— FC, I-A: Gov, Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 

1 The July 29 letter was signed by Roger 
Brooke Taney as secretary of war. 

2 This is not a realistic count of warriors with 
Black Hawk's band, although the figure 800 
occurs in some of the settlers' testimony enclosed 
in the Nov. 4 Thomas-Stuart report. The actual 
number of warriors was probably 300-400, al- 
though men from other tribes were in and out 
of the village all summer. See n. 1, Reynolds 
to Jackson, Aug. 2. 

3 Reynolds must be referring here to the War 
of 1812. 

4 No white men are known to have been killed 
in the July 31 attack on the Menominee at 
Prairie du Chien. This attack seemed particularly 
appalling to white authorities since the Sauk 
and Fox had signed the July 15, 1830, treaty 
that set up the Neutral Ground as a means of 
promoting peace between the Sauk and Fox and 
tribes to the north. Reynolds was typical of the 

whites who saw the July 31 affair as an attack 
on the U.S. or, at the least, as an insult to 
U.S. authority (see also Cass to Clark, Aug. 25). 
To the Indians involved in the affair, it had no 
such connotation; see the proceedings of the 
Sept. 5 council between the Sauk and Fox and 
John Bliss and Felix St. Vrain and the councils 
with General Atkinson, April 13 and 19, 1832. 
Col. Willoughby Morgan's interpretation of this 
event is perceptive and reliable; see his letter of 
Oct. 19. 

5 The only petition dated after the "late ex- 
pedition" that has been located in I-A files is 
the July 9 petition from Shelby County; see n. 3, 
Reynolds to Jackson, Aug. 2. A petition from 
thirty-six Clay County citizens, dated Aug. 22 
(in I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW), also asked 
for the removal of the Kickapoo Indians from 
the waters of the Little Wabash River; the 
Kickapoo were reported to number about three 

George A. McCall to Roger Jones 

Asst: Adjt: Genls: Office, West: Dept: Jefferson Barracks, 17th Aug: 1831. 

Sir, The papers herewith enclosed were, at the time of their date, des- 
patched from Rock Island, per express, to the Post Office, and were directed 
to Lieut: Clark (who was at the time in this office) with instructions to 
forward them to your office. 

By some delay, which I am unable to account for, they did not reach 
this place till the 16th Instant, when they came to my hands, & I have 
now the honour to transmit them to you. 

With great respect, I am Sir Mo: Obt: Sert: 
Geo. A. McCall A.D.C. acg: ass: adj. Genl. 


To Col: R. Jones, Adjt. Genl. USA. Washington City 

P.S. I have the honour to report that "Special Orders" Nos. 83, & 84. 
from your office have not been received. Very respectly G. A. McC. 

ALS, DNA: RG 94, AGO (Frames 271-73, Roll 
61, M567). Endorsed: (1) "Transmits the com- 
munications of Gen Gaines, dated H June, 
withe [sic] documents A. B. & C. upon the sub- 
ject of the Rock Island expidition against the In- 
dians which had been transmitted to Lt: Clark 
at J. Barracks but miscarried in the mail." (2) 

AES — "The letters and papers mentioned in them 
handed to the Secretary of War, in the absence 
of the Conmianding General. R. Jones Septr 2d." 
A filing note has the date of receipt as Sept. 1, 
and a second gives the file number: G148 1831. 
1 The postscript is on the back of the first sheet. 

142 The Black Hawk War 

Joshua B. Brant to John Reynolds 

Ass. Q. Masters. Office St. Louis 22d. Augt. 1831 

Sir In transmitting the annexed copy of communication to me, from 
Major General Jesup Quarter Master General U.S.A. I, beg leave to state 
that, a copy has been sent to Major William Thomas, Brige Quarter- 
[master] ^ at Jacksonville, and being desirous to obtain the earliest informa- 
tion of the claims refered to, and that in the most authentic forme, I have 
taken the liberty to make this referanc to your Excelency. 

I. have the honor to be with great respect Yr. Mo. Obt Svt 
J. B. Brant A.Q.M. 

His Excelleny John Reynolds Gov. of Illinois Near Belleville 

ALS, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 816. letter to Brant of Aug. 3 was copied on p. 2 

A copy (from I-A: Gov. LB 1828-34) is in of the ALS. 

Illinois Historical Collections, IV: 184-85. Jesup's 1 This word is omitted on the original. 

From John Bliss 

Des Moines Rapids 23d August 1831. 

Sir, Since my arrival here on the 21st. Mr. Farnum^ in the Sauk trade 
informed me that an affray previous to the massacre of Fort Crawford has 
lately occurred between two hunting parties of the Sauks & Sioux near 
their respective borders. The Sauks report that the parties met while both 
were engaged in securing buffaloe from the same herd on the head waters 
of the Iowa & on Sauk ground; That the foremost Sauk extended his hand 
in token of peace to the foremost Sioux which was rejected & the Indian 
token of defiance by uncovering the waist who [was ?] returned. ^ That 
the Sauk Manitoo then dismounted & while advancing with his hand still 
extended was shot dead by the same or another Sioux in his rear. A skirmish 
then ensued in which the Sioux lost two scalps & were defeated.^ Mr. F 
reports that the Sauk have partially vacated their new village near Fort 
Armstrong for the purpose & are about assembling for council or other 
purposes at some point on the Iowa. He has also been credibly informed 
of the death of Morgan the war chief of the Foxes. 

ADf, DNA: RG 94, AGO. 3 See Felix St. Vrain's version of the skirmish 

1 Russel Farnham. in his letter to William Clark of Sept. 10. 

2 In his letter of Sept. 10 to William Clark, Joseph M. Street had reported earlier to Clark on 
Felix St. Vrain also reported that the Sioux the same episode; he said that the affair between 
threw off their blankets and breechcloths, the Sauk and Wahpekute Sioux had taken place 
thereby "evidently showing an unfriendly disposi- on July 25 near the Blue Earth River within the 
tion toward the Sacs." According to skinner Sioux country. One of the two Sioux killed was 
("Observations on the Ethnology of the Sauk a brave, and the other was the brother of a 
Indians," 71), "the Sauk believe that should principal chief. One Sauk or Fox was killed, 
one of their number be killed and his ceremonial (Street to Clark, Aug. 31, enclosed in Clark 
clothes fall into the hands of the enemy, the whole to the Secretary of War, Sept. 12; both letters 
nation would suffer disaster." Consequently in in DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox.) 
attacking they wore only belts and leggings. Lawrence Taliaferro, the Sioux agent, reported 

August 24, 1831 


the skirmish in letters to Clark of Aug. 8 and 
12 (also enclosed in Clark to the Secretary of 
War, Sept. 12). According to Taliaferro, about 
forty Indians "penetrated the country as far as 
Cintagah, or the Grey tail," near the headwaters 
of the Blue Earth River, at least sixty miles 
from the territory ceded at the Treaty of July 
15, 1830. The Sioux, he said, were in sight of 
their encampment at the time of the attack. By 
Aug. 8, Tahsaugah, the principal chief of the 
Wahpekute Sioux, had reached St. Peter's (now 
Mendota, Minnesota) and confirmed the earlier 
report. The chief had promised to remain quiet 
until Oct. 1, to give the government time to 
settle the difficulty according to treaty provisions. 
Street again wrote to Clark on Nov. 15 to 
refute St. Vrain's account of the episode. Street 
maintained that both the Sioux and a white man 
"recently from the vicinity where the affair took 
place" had corroborated the following story: 
Four Sioux were hunting in a prairie at a place 
called "The Hill that Stands up," about seventy 
or eighty miles north of the line of the land 
sold the U.S. in 1830, when they were surprised 

by the Sauk and Fox coming upon them. Two 
Sioux were killed as they fled toward camp. The 
other two Sioux turned and fired, killing one 
Sauk or Fox. The Sauk and Fox, Street said, 
had never given their version of the location of 
the incident so that the authorities could deter- 
mine the tribal land involved; not only had the 
Sioux given an exact location, they had added 
credibility to their story by reporting to their 
agent almost immediately. The Sioux threatened 
war unless the government "saw justice done" 
by spring (Street to Clark, Nov. 15, 1831, in 
DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Prairie du Chien, 
1831). But see Bliss to Atkinson, Oct. 30. 

As a result of this encounter and the July 31 
Sauk and Fox attack upon the Menominee, the 
Sioux and Menominee joined forces and were 
planning to gain other allies for the purpose of 
going to war in the spring of 1832 against the 
Sauk and Fox (see Clark to Cass, Dec 6; 
Street to Clark, Jan. 11, 1832; Clark to Herring, 
Feb. 23, 1832; Kinzie to Cass, March 1, 1832; 
Caldwell to Forsyth, April 8, 1832; and Street to 
Atkinson, April 25, 1832). 

Henry Atkinson to Edmund P. Gaines 


Head Quars Right Wing West: Dept Jefferson Barracks 24th August 1831. 

General, Since writing to you on the 10th instant relative to the conflict 
between the Fox & Menominee Indians at Prarie-du-chien — I understand 
that all the Sauk, and Fox Bands have left the Mississippi and have gone 
over into the intermediate country between that and Missouri river. 

The Foxes say that the Menominees have killed nineteen of their people, 
including all their chiefs — That they have killed twenty eight Menominees,^ 
and they are willing to pay to the Menominees out of their annuities what- 
ever sum the Government may award as a remuneration for the differences 
in the numbers killed on each side. I mention this circumstance to shew the 
views and feelings of the Foxes, relative to the affair. 

I do not believe that the occurrence at the Prairie will disturb the quiet 
of our frontier inhabitants 

With great respect. Sir, I have the honor to be Your Most Obt Sert 
Signed/ H Atkinson Brigr Gnl usarmy 

Major General Gaines Comg. West. Dept. 

CS. DNA: RG 94, AGO (Frames 304-5, Roll 58, 
M567). Endorsed: "103 A 1831" (the AGO file 
designation) ; there are two other endorsements 
by Adj. Gen. Roger Jones: "[Forwarded for the 
Genl-in-Chief by Genl Atkinson.]" "Reed. Sepr 

1 This count must include others besides those 
killed in the attack on Peahmuska's party May 

5, 1830, and in the Fox attack on the Menominee, 
July 31, 1831. Peahmuska's party is said to 
have numbered only seventeen, and not all were 
killed (Forsyth to Clark, May 6 [-7], 1830, DNA: 
RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Rock Island— S-F Ex. 
123, Docket 83. ICC). The final count of the 
latter attack was twenty-six (Sept. 5 council 
proceedings) . 

144 The Black Hawk War 

Lewis Cass to William Clark 

Department of War, 25th August, 1831 
To General William Clark, Supt. Indian Affairs &c. 

Sir, Information of the recent massacre of the Menomonies at Prairie 
Du Chien by a party of the Foxes has reached this Department. The cir- 
cumstances attending this outrage are of such a character, as in the opinion 
of the President, to require the surrender of the principal persons, concerned 
in the aggression. Our neutrality has been violated, and solemn treaty 
stipulations disregarded. The Menomonies, for some years have evinced a 
sincere attachment to the United States, and there is no doubt, but the 
proofs of this feeling have provoked the hatred of some of the other tribes. 
If this heavy misfortune, which has befallen them, while encamped almost 
under the guns of Fort Crawford, and within the Village of Prairie Du 
Chien, relying upon our protection, should be unnoticed, they would place 
as little confidence in our friendship, as in our justice. The example too 
would be productive of the worst effects, and we should soon see a border 
warfare, from which our own citizens would not be exempted. 

General Atkinson has been instructed to confer with you upon this sub- 
ject, and you will in cooperation with him take such measures, as will en- 
able you to carry into effect the views of the Department. You will cause 
the principal Fox Chiefs, and also the chiefs of any other tribe, whose 
warriors may have been concerned in this aggression, to be summoned to 
Prairie Du Chien or Rock Island, as may be most convenient, and you 
will instruct the proper Agent to express to them the indignation felt by 
the President at this wanton violation of their promises and our rights ; and 
his fixed determination to cause to be apprehended the principal persons 
concerned in it. A formal demand should be made of the delivery of these 
persons, enforced by those obvious topics, resuhing from the situation of 
the Indians, and the duties, which humanity and treaty stipulations impose 
upon us. I am well aware of the inefficiency of Indian government, and 
therefore, it would be expedient, if a real desire be evinced to comply with 
our request, and hostages, as a proof of their sincerity are offered, to allow 
a reasonable time for the adoption of measures, in their own way, for the 
apprehension and delivery of these offenders. This is frequently effected by 
a voluntary offer on the part of those demanded to surrender themselves 
to prevent any injury to their friends. 

If such a number of the principal persons can be arrested, as will be 
sufficient for the purpose of example, you will express to the proper tribes 
the gratification of the President at the result, and you will cause the 
prisoners to be delivered to the civil authority at Prairie Du Chien, and 
such measures to be taken for their trial, as may be necessary. 

Should every effort, short of hostile measures, be insufficient to attain 
the object, you will report to this Department the proceedings and result, 
as this mode of procedure is rendered necessary by the intercourse act of 

Augmt 25, 1831 145 

1802. The President will then under that act, and under the stipulations 
of the treaty of Prairie Du Chien of 1825, direct the measures, which shall 
be finally taken. 

If in the meantime, however, after the unsuccessful dissolution of the 
Council, and the return of the Chiefs, it should be found practicable at 
Prairie Du Chien or Rock Island to apprehend a few of the principal men 
of either of the offending tribes, without direct hostilities, and without the 
violation of any good faith on our part, I would suggest the expediency of 
such a measure. Unless there are circumstances, forbidding it, arising out 
of our peculiar relations in that quarter, of which you can best judge, it 
strikes me that it might be productive of beneficial consequences. It might 
save the Indians from calamities, and us from the inconvenience of a war. 
The effect of this measure has usually been to create a publick feeling in 
the tribe, favorable to the hostages, and adverse to those implicated in 
the obnoxious affair; and thus a surrender has been induced by that re- 
gard to the opinion of others, which is a striking characteristick of Indian 
life. It is scarcely necessary to say, that these hostages, if taken, should 
be treated with much care, and their situation made as comfortable as 
possible. Their tribe should also be informed, without delay, of the object 
of the measure. But this part of the subject is referr'd to your own discre- 
tion and to that of Genl. Atkinson, and I add with much truth, that I have 
full confidence in the judgment and discretion of both. 

I wish you would also direct the Agent at Prairie Du Chien to say to 
the Menomonies, that the President has heard with deep regret of the loss 
of their friends. That he has directed such proceedings upon this occasion, 
as will lead to the surrender and trial of the offenders. That he considers 
the Menomonies as his friends, and holds them by the hand. And that he 
is the Great Father of all the tribes, and will see justice done to all. Let 
the Menomonies understand, that they must leave this affair to him. That 
the aggression was committed upon his land, and in sight of his flag, and 
that he will avenge it. I think it would be well to make a small present to 
the immediate relatives of the murdered persons, to dry up their tears in 
the Indian manner. 

The occasion is a proper one for impressing upon all our frontier officers, 
the necessity of observing vigilantly the conduct of the Indians, and of 
preventing as far as possible these perpetual conflicts. Certainly this un- 
happy race has miseries enough to endure, both physical and moral, without 
adding to those the calamities of a war without object and without end. 
There is unfortunately in their institutions a ceaseless impulse towards 
hostilities. This results from the honorable distinctions, which successful 
warfare can alone confer, and from the little regard, which is paid to a 
young man, until he has been present at the death of an enemy. War parties, 
when once on the march, cannot return without reproach, unless they bring 
the trophies of their courage. If therefore, the enemies, they seek, cannot 
be found, they strike wherever they meet victims, white or red. In this 

146 The Black Hawk War 

way many of our citizens have been murdered, and these border contests 
will continue to expose us to the same evil, 'til we interpose effectually to 
stop them. 

I am well aware of the practical difficulty, which presents itself, in the 
consideration of this subject. A party of Indians commit an outrage, and 
disappear. The force at our disposal is not of a description to follow them, 
with any hope of success, into the immense plains, which offer them shelter 
and subsistence. Had we mounted men, stationed at proper points upon 
the frontier, ready at all times for active service, who could intercept an 
advancing party or overtake a retiring one, we should be able to repress 
entirely this reckless spirit. One example, and a continued state of prepara- 
tion would be sufficient to secure permanent peace upon the frontiers, and 
would lead eventually to an entire change in the international policy of 
the Indians. A change, not less desirable for them, than consolatory to all, 
who are interested in their improvement and fate. 

You will please to impress upon all the Agents the expectation of the 
Government, that they will use their efforts to put an end to this practice 
of sending out war parties. And that they state to the various tribes, the 
views of the President upon this subject, and his hope that this warning 
will be attended to and will prevent a recurrence to other and harsher 

Very respectfully, Sir, Your Obedt. Servt. Lewis Cass. 

CC, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Sent, Vol. 7. Clark soldier. By 1800 he was living at Marietta, Ohio, 

replied Sept. 12 (LS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L where he began to practice law in 1802. 

Reed., Sac and Fox) that he had directed the During the War of 1812 he distinguished himself 

agent at Rock Island to "convene the chiefs of for gallantry in action and became a colonel in 

the Fox Tribe &c. at that place, to meet if the Regular Army and a major general of 

possible on the 26th inst: — Colo Morgan will, volunteers. He was appointed governor of Michi- 

agreeably to the directions of Genl. Atkinson, be gan Territory in 1813 and held that position 

present at the Council, and will make the until he went to Washington as secretary of war 

necessary demand of a surrender of the principal in the summer of 1831. He resigned because of 

men concerned in the outrage complained of." his health in 1836 but was shortly named as U.S. 

Clark's Sept. 12 letter is also in 22d Cong., 1st minister to France. He became a U.S. senator 

Sess., H. Exec. Doc. 2, 197-98. from Michigan in 1845 and served until 1848, 

The council was held Sept. 5; see the pro- when he left the Senate to campaign as the 

ceedings of that date. Morgan did not attend: Democratic nominee for President. He lost that 

Maj. John Bliss was the ranking military officer election but was reelected to the Senate in 1851, 

present. and then served as secretary of state under 

Lewis Cass (1782-1866) was bom in Exeter, Buchanan, 1857-1860. D.\B; CARTER, ed., Terri- 

New Hampshire, the son of a Revolutionary torial Papers, XII: 307, 310. 

Call to Council: Felix St. Vrain and John Bliss 
to the Sauk and Fox 

[Des Moines Rapids, Keokuk, Iowa, August 25, 1831] 

The Indian Agent at Rock Island & the Comg Officer of Fort Armstrong 
request the attendance of the principal Chiefs of the Foxes & of the British 

Augus t 26, 1831 147 

& American Bands of the Sauks in Council at Rock Island on the 4 day 
of September next. 

They request Mr. Palen ^ to communicate this request to these bands & 
particularly to Wapalow & Katisse ^ of the Foxes & to Pashepaho & Keokuk 
& the Black hawk of the Sauks & to request them to communicate to their 
bands this call to the council at Fort Armstrong 

Signed by StVrain & J Bliss 

25 Aug Dem Rapids 

Df. DNA: RG 94, AGO. Second Chief of the Fox Nation of Indians, near 

1 Probably Joshua C. Palen, a longtime em- Debukes Mines" in 1824 (letter to the President, 

ployee of the American Fur Company, engaged Jan. 4, 1824. prepared by R. M. Johnson, S-F 

by Russel Farnham as early as 1830 as a clerk Ex. 86, Docket 83, ICC). In 1832, Katice was 

at Keokuk. Wtsco?mri Historical Collections, II: identified as second chief in Wapello's village 

226, VI: 264, XII: 166; loiva Journal of History (Pilcher to Atkinson, Aug. 6, 1832). He signed 

and Politics, XII: 536, XIV: 342, 483; Annals of a letter of Sept. 14, 1821, as a Fox chief (S-F 

Iowa, XII: 489; see also Davenport to Atkinson, Ex. 75, Docket 83, ICC) and the June 30, 1831, 

April 13, 1832. Articles of Agreement, q.v. 
- Katice, the Eagle, was named as "Catteece, 

Joseph M. Street to Lewis Cass 

US. Indian Agency at Prairie du Chien August 26th 1831. 
The Honble. The Secretary of the War Department, 

Sir, The following letter dated "Department of War, Off: Ind: Affairs, 
22d July 1831," Signed "Saml. S. Hamilton," and directed to me as "Indian 
Agent at Prairie du Chien," was received by the last mail, (viz.) "For the 
purpose of obtaining full and accurate information of the causes which lead 
to the hostile proceedings of the Sacs, Foxes, Winnebeagoes, and other 
Tribes that may be engaged therein, against the peaceful citizens of the 
State of Illinois, I am instructed by the President to require you forthwith 
to report to this Department, all the facts and circumstances in your pos- 
session, connected with the Subject, with the reasons which have prevented 
you from timely reporting the hostile movement of these Indians to the 

The Indian Agency at Prairie du Chien is in Michigan Territory Two 
hundred miles farther into the Indian Country than the scene of the late 
hostile movements of the Indians against the citizens of Illinois. No part 
of the Indians engaged in that hostility reside within the limits of my 
Agency and they have Agents, particularly assigned to, and ordered to 
reside near them. I did not therefore consider it incumbent on me to make 
any report in relation to the afair, as I supposed earlier information had 
been immediately transmitted by the proper Agents placed by the Govern- 
ment near those Indians. And from my remote situation, it cannot be ex- 
pected that I have so accurate information of "facts and circumstances," 
in relation to this hostility, as those whose immediate duty I humbly 

148 The Black Hawk War 

conceive it was, to report satisfactorily to the Department of War. An 
order from the Superintendant of Indian Affairs, took me to St Louis in 
June, during the progress of the affair, to receive that part of the limited 
annuity given to the Winnebeagoes, that is paid to the Indians within the 
limits of this Agencey at Prairie du Chien. The Sub-Agent ^ who remained 
at the Agencey during my absence, assured me he could not concieve that 
any report would either be expected, or required of him as the then acting 

Fully impressed with the belief that the requisite report of so flagrant 
an outrage upon the rights of our citizens, in open violation of the several 
existing Treaties made with those Indians, had ben duly made to the De- 
partment of War, by the Agent of the Sacs & Foxes, on the spot,^ and the 
two Agents of the Wmnebeagoes South of the Wisconsin,^ I deemed it en- 
tirely supurflous in me to give the acccount of the garbled reports which 
reached this Agency. Neither of those officers ever communicated with me 
on the subject, nor can I now make up a report in the case, but from un- 
official information and rumoured accounts, except what was obtained while 
a few hours at the Council, when the Treaty of 30 June last, was dictated 
& Signed. I cannot repress the expression of my astonishment, that a report 
from the several Agents & Sub-Agents, {indepent) appointed to reside near 
the hostile Indians who assembled at Rock-Island, has not been made and 
received previous to the date of the letter to me, through the Superin- 
tendants at St Louis & Detroit.^ The portion of the Winnebeago Natoon 
remaining to this Agency had nothing to do in the late hostilities nor have 
any of them been on or near Rock River for more than two years.^ From 
my arrival here in 1827, 'till the curtailment of the limits of my Agency 
in 1829, the Whole Nation was perfectly Quiet and peaceful. Since 1829, 
the portion left within the prescribed limits of this Agency have remained 
friendly with us and the neighbouring Tribes of Indians up to the present 
moment. During the period of threatened hostility at Rock-Island, the 
Winnnebeagoes within this Agency were frequently here & repeatedly ex- 
pressed their friendly feeling towards the Whites, and their Father the 
President. And their conduct was conformable to that declaration. 

In 1828, I was notified that a Sub-Agent had been appointed at the 
portage of the Wisconsin, whose Agency was made independent of this and 
the Sub-Agent directed to report to Detroit. The limits of this Agency 
extended West two miles West of the Portage, on a line running due North 
& South*. ^ This includes all the Winnebeagoes South of the Wisconsin, who 
I was informed were no longer under my management or controle. Since 
that time I have never used any authority with those Indians (who seldom 
visit me now), only at the Treaty of 2d. August 1829, when my infiuen 
with the Indians of the South side of the Wisconsin was benificially exerted 
in obtaining an enlargement of the land then sold to the U.S. The credit 
and pay for which was claimed by and given to others who had little to 
do in the transaction. Early this spring I was informed Henry Gratiott had 

August 26, 1831 149 

been appointed Sub-Agent (independent of this or the Agency at the Port- 
age) with orders to reside near the Winnebeagoes on Rock-River &c. and 
report to the Superintendant at St. Louis — thus dividing the Agency at the 
Portage, but not affecting this Agency. In 1830, I issued an order to the 
Sub-Agent at the Portage — he informed me that it was an assumption of 
undelegated power, and he was not hound to attend to it. I appealed to the 
Superintendant at St. Louis, who assured me that the Sub-Agent was right. 
Since which time I have acted in strict accordance with that opinion. 

I have entered into these details somew^hat at length, to shew the im- 
practicability of my reporting with "accuracey" "facts" relating to an affair 
which took place two hundred miles beyond the limits of my Agency, with 
Indians whose particular Agents reside amongst them, and one, at the point 
where the hostile movements occurred. 

At the request of Genl. Gaines, I remained at Rock-Island untill the con- 
clusion of the Treaty, witnessed it, made a suggestion to him in council 
which is embodied in the 3d Article of said Treaty, and hastened with my 
charge to to my Agencey. I have never been absent from this Agency since 
the Spring of 1828, except on public business, — nor have I at any time since 
my appointment omitted to announce in long anticipation of the event, any 
projected hostility of the Indians within my Agency, either against white- 
men or other Tribes of Indians. And last year, received information, re- 
ported, to the Department, implored Aid of the Goverment to prevent the 
descent of a united war-party of Sioux, Menominees & Winnebeagoes, and 
so effectually used my influence as to withdraw the Indians belonging to 
my Agency (Winnebeagoes) from the party entirely. And had the requisite 
authority been placed with me I would have prevented the descent of the 
whole party — Sioux & Menominees.'^ If such information had been ferritted 
out and forwarded to me by the agent at Rock Island the late Massacree 
of the Menominees, reported to the War Department by me, would have 
been prevented. A reference to my correspondence in the Department from 
1827, will I hope acquit me from any charge of omission or neglect. 

Beleiving it is not the desire of the Department to extract a report from 
me, upon "facts and circumstances" of which I have no official means to 
acquire a definite knowledge; I hope that the following views upon the 
subject, may be deemed sufficient and meet the approbation of the Depart- 

It may be necessary to remark that the Saukies & Foxes have seldom 
visited Prairie du Chien since my appointment, only in company with the 
accredited Commissioners of the President of the U.S. sent to council with 
Indians under my Agency when paramount official duties prevented any 
intercourse with them. 

Enimies to the people & Government of the U.S. and warmly attached to 
the British — the Saukie & Fox Indians are prepared at any auspicious mo- 
ment to join the Standard of Great Britain, if raised against the United 
States. Ignorant and infatuated, many of them are anxiously expecting such 

150 The Black Hawk War 

event, and keep up a yearly intercourse with the agents of the former on 
the Lakes, cherishing amongst themselves their delusive feelings of dis- 
content under the mild controle of our parental Government. While foreign 
agents have sown in their bosoms these perncious sentiments — domestic 
culture has not been wanting, to mature the worst feelings of savage 
enemies. The population of the State of Illinois is rapidly extending along 
the Eastern bank of the Mississippi, opposite to these Indians nearly the 
whole length of their country on the Mississippi. Seperated only by the 
River, I regret to say, that the cupidity of many of the whites has lead 
them into error, and intoxicating spirits are freely sold to the Indians, who 
as freely give all they can raise to purchase it. Allured into the white 
settlements by their unconquerable love of Spirits, they now spend that time 
formerly given to the chase, in listless idleness, or beastly intoxication. The 
furs they take, are quickly exchanged for whiskey, and the meat that should 
sustain them & their families, is bartered for the madning draught. At these 
meetings, (and they are frequent) The Indian is reminded that the beauti- 
ful & rich country before him, was formerly his — lyiisguided men of con- 
tracted views, and morbid sensibilities, are found to commisserate the poor 
redman of the prairies, as the victims of a "policy of extermination" — untill 
drugged with whiskey, and smarting with hunger, the objects of a false 
commisseration, are aroused to action, the savage passions of his nature 
break forth, & hostile movements follow. And it will be fortunate, if savage 
"revenge" does not succeed. 

There is also a mischevious feeling of discontented jelousy among these 
white traders, against each other, for growing rich too fast upon the mis- 
series of the Indians. And this of so reckless a character that it would seem, 
that to prostrate their opponent in Trade, they would call in the aid of 
the Indians & risque the peace of the country. These Traders claim par- 
ticular Tribes and Nations of Indians as theirs: a warm attachment is cul- 
tivated with care, and a deliterious influence obtained and exercied over 
them, frequently to the great injury of the Government, and the prostration 
of any benificial efforts of the United States Agent. These jelousies, give 
rise to murders amongst Indians, and since I have resided here, have been 
the cause of the violation of the Treaty of 1825, & to which may properly 
be traced all the murders between the Saukies, Foxes, & Sioux, & Menom- 
inees. The first murders in this quarter after the Treaty of 1825, grew out 
of the establishment made at Red-Cedar by the American Fur Company 
under the management of Joseph Rolette; and much of the discontent 
between Rolette & Farnham, was transferred by the Saukies & Foxes to 
Rolette & by the Sioux to Farnham. The S. & Foxes in several of their 
speaches to Genl. Clark avowed the conduct of Rolette gave rise to the 
murders of the Sioux. 

It is impolitic in civil society to familiarise man with scenes of blood; — 
but dangerous to lead him to become an actor in them. And among savages, 
if they are permitted to war with each other on our borders, or are indued 
by Traders to drive some other band under the influen of a rival Trader, 

August 26, 1831 151 

off some favourite spot of unhunted land "rich in furs" — blood-shed & 
murder will ensue amongst the rival bands; and when familiarised with 
carnage amongst themselves, the safety of the neighbouring white popula- 
tion is jeopardised. This feeling is now so strong in this quarter, that 
Traders speak of particular bands or Nations as belonging to them, & that 
they will lead them into particular hunting ground that they fear to occupey 
unless induced by pecuniary reward to venture. Some of them are in dispute 
between Nations, and cannot be designated untill definitively marked out 
by a surveyor in accordance with Treaties. 

At the council held with several tribes at this place in 1830, a Trader 
informed me the Saukies & Foxes wished to sell a stripe of land including 
the West bank of the Mississippi the whole length of their country. That 
the Nation wished to retire from the immediate contact with the white 
population on the River, to the Desmoines. That they would expect a good 
price, on which they could live, and that the Government would pay their 
Traders what the Indians owed them. In a speach to the Sioux (who asked 
the Commissioners to pay Mr. Rollette a debt the were wiUing to assume 
to him) Genl. Clark told them that he would buy their land & give them 
a good price for it; but he would pay none of their debts. The following 
day a Trader told me the sale by the Saukies & Foxes of the Stripe on the 
Mississippi was "all over." The Traders who came up with those Indians 
from Rock-Island, (then at his house) would not let the Indians sell the 
land unless they (the Traders) were -paid what the Indians owed theni.^ I 
mentioned this fact to one of the Commissioners. 

During the whole period of my residenc at this Agency, that is from 
1827 to 1831, the Saukies & Foxes have had no resident Agent with them. 
The former agent Mr. Forsythe resided in St. Louis, spending a few months 
in each year at his Agency. Since the appointment of Mr. St. Vrain up to 
the last Spring he had only visited his Agency returning and wintering with 
his family at Kaskaskias.^ Under such circumstances influen cannot be ob- 
tained with Indians, and if possessed, will speedily be lost. In this period 
the Indians have been left, with an ignorant half-breed Interpreter,^*^ of 
whose coretness I have strong doubts, from his intimacey with an objec- 
tionable Trader ^^ — And cast as it were into the arms and influenc of the 
Traders. The general moral charcter of one resident at Rock-Island, is so 
objectionable, as to excite the strongest suspicions of undue influce. Between 
this Trader, (who I am informed is a discharged Soldier) and the Inter- 
preter there is great intimacy. 

I have remarked, that Indians are rendered presumptions by a too cour- 
teous deportment, and arrogant, by great attention, generally attributing 
forebearance to apprehension. The defference and great respect paid to the 
Saukies & Foxes, after their violation of the Treaty of pacification of 1825, 
by the Commissioners and Agents of the government; and that, after they 
had wantonly killed those of three Tribes of Indians to whom they gave 
an assureanc of peace in 1825, has had an injurious tendency upon them, 
and ultimately brought them to set our power and authority at defiance. 

152 The Black Hawk War 

The foregoing in my opinion may be numbered amongst the general 
causes of discontent, which like a fire-ship only awaited opportunity & the 
application of a match to pour destruction around. I trust I may be ex- 
cused when I declare my solemn conviction that notwithstanding the late 
Treaty — the same feelings & sentiments reign in the bosoms of these In- 
dians — smothered, and kept down it is true, by apprehension of immediate 
danger— to break forth with redoubled furey at the first saje moment. 

The same im'pudent, hardly repressed, defiance of our power, and dis- 
regard of our inter jeareance between Indians, lead to the recent Massacree 
of the Menominees, quietly encamped in the Village of Prairie du Chien, 
and within cannon-shot of Fort Crawford. They would not kill them on 
Indian lands — they came within 8 or 900 yards oj the spot, where they 
smoaked the pipe of peace with the Menominees, in the presence of the 
Commissioners of the President, and on our lands, surprised and butchered 
the sajne men with whom they had treated. 

What particular, causes "lead to the late hostile proceedings of the 
Saukies & Foxes &c." I am not sufficiently informed to say, without en- 
quiry of the particular Agents assigned to those Indians. And I trust before 
this reaches the Department, those Agents will have made the requisite re- 
ports in detail. The suspected Winnebeagoes live on Rock-River within the 
limits first assigned to Mr. John H. Kinzie, & this Spring assigned to Henry 
Gratiott. I do not know whither those Pootowattomies belong to the Agency 
at Chicagoe or Peoria. The History of these Pootowattomies and Winne- 
beagoes is briefly as follows. Some few years past an Indian set up to be 
a prophet and a number of renegadoes from the Winnebeagoes South of the 
Wisconsin, and other Tribes, flocked to his standard. They have a village 
on Rock-Riveer on the lands purchased of the Saukies & Foxes, and are 
generally disowed by all nations. They are, I am informed, in the habit 
of depredating on the stock of the neighbouring setlers, and sometimes are 
troublesome to travellers. Previous to the appointment of the Sub-Agent at 
the portage of the Wisconsin, those Indians had become troublesome on the 
road to Galena. On the first complaint, I sent to them to quit the road, and 
all was quiet untill they were assigned to other hands. Since I have heard 
little of them untill the present occasion. They ought certainly to be re- 
moved and their Village distroyed. In a conversation with His Excelleny 
the Govr. of Illinois at Rock-Island, I said to him, that now a mounted 
force was in the neighbourhood, theirr Village ought to be burned & their 
crops distroyed. 

All which is most respectfully submitted. 

With great respect I have the honor to subscribe myself Your Mo. Obedt. 
Hble. Servant Jos. M. Street U.S. Indian Agent. 


* It may not be improper by way of explination to remark, that the Sub- 
Agent at the Portage was appointed late in 1828, and a large portion of 

August 26, 1831 153 

the Winnebeagoe Nation placed in another Agency, and under another Su- 
perintendency. When notified of the fact, I wrote to the Honble. The Secre- 
tary of the Department of War, and gave my opinion against such measure 
— That the constituting an Agency at that place involved an expence, not 
required by the interests of the Indians or the United States. Ulimately 
it would prove injurious to both. It would have a tendency to prevent the 
speedy emigration of the Indians, and the consequent acquirement of the 
lands by the US. White-men connected with the Indians are also becoming 
more & more interested to prevent their removeal, and even now will be 
found no small obstacle to remove. Last Winter an other Sub-Agent, inde- 
pendent of the General Agent, was appointed to reside near Rock-River, 
by which additional expenses and obstacles to Indian migration is greatly 
increased. Settlements in Illinois and Michigan are rapidly closing up on 
three sides of the Indians and were not these strong inducements held out 
to the Indians to linger upon the lands South of the Wisconsin, I fully be- 
lieve they would in a year or 18 months voluntarily offer to sell the countrey 
and remove to Black River & the Mississippi. If a removeal does not take 
place, I shall apprehend some difficulty with these Indians, as the purchases 
of the United States nearly encompasses this section of their country, and 
settlements are advancing upon it with great rapidity. 

I feel no doubt, that with the Services of Mr. Burnett, (the Sub-Agent 
at this place, who is an able officer) the whole Winnebeagoe Nation could be 
managed with more ease, & unanimity, if again untited under the Agency 
at Prairie du Chien. For near two years after my appointment, the whole 
Nation was perfectly quiet & contented under my Agency, and remained so, 
untill seperated into different Agencies, and induced to go to the Portage, in- 
stead of this place, as they had immemorially been accustomed. Such a 
measure now adopted, would be productive of a great saving of expence, 
and lead much more rapidly to the sale of the country South of the Wis- 
consin. The saving would not be to the whole amount of present expence as 
the present Treaty obligations would require new and greatly increased 
duties of the Sub-Agent here, and would no doubt occasion an increase of 
Salary accordingly. 

This arrangement, while it would greatly reduce the expenses of attention 
to the Winnebeagoe Nation, would draw the Indians South of the Wisconsin 
again to Prairie du Chien, and naturally turn their attention to their exten- 
sive country on the Upper Mississippi and the Black Rivers; and hasten 
the abandonment of the country on the Winnebeagoe Lake and Rock-River, 
where the rapid approaches of the white population will eventually, and at 
no distant date, produce conflicts and serious disturbancs. 

Up to the present time, I have been unable to divine the reasons of a 
public nature, which induced the establishment of an Agency at the Portage 
of the Wisconsin. After that event the Rock-River Indians, for the first 
time, expressed their desire to have an Agency at or near the Rock-River, 
and openly avowed to Genl. Clark their discontent at being compelled to 


The Black Hawk War 

go to the new Agency, at the Portage. They added at the same time, if we 
cannot have an Agent on Rock River, let us come to Prairie du Chien and 
receive our money of our Father at that place. We love him, and we do 
not like to go to the Portage. 

Had the whole Winnebeagoe Nation remain in my Agency, the earliest 
indications of discontent amongst any portion of them, would have been 
noticed and promptly reported. I should in person have visited the sus- 
pected, and if unsuccesful in producing the proper state of feeling, I should 
have seized the earliest moment to apprise the Department of the necessity 
of resorting to force. This last is frequently superceeded if the proper steps 
are taken to subdue the earliest ebullitions of passion. Under the present 
arrangement of the: Agencies, any interfereance of mine, would have been 
deemed unwarranted by the officers placeed near those Indians, as the or- 
gans of the Government. 

Respectfully Your Mo. Obt St. Jos. M. Street U.S. Indian Agent. 

ALS. DNA: RG 75, BIA. L Reed., Prairie du 
Chien. Addressed: "The Honble. The Secretary 
of the War Department Washington City." A 
copy of this letter, in the handwriting of Thomas 
P. Burnett, is in IHi: BHW. 

1 Thomas P. Burnett. 

2 Felix St. Vrain, agent for the Sauk and 
Fox, had his headquarters on Rock Island. 

3 John Harris Kinzie of the Portage, Wisconsin, 
Agency, and Henry Gratiot of the Rock River 

4 The governor of Michigan Territory, with 
headquarters at Detroit, was ex officio superin- 
tendent of Indian affairs for the territory. The 
agent at Chicago also reported to him instead of 
to Clark, at St. Louis. 

5 The One-Eyed Decorah, from Street's agency, 
had been down to the Rock River village in the 
spring. See Burnett to Clark, June 29. 

6 The asterisk is in the original and refers to 
the long note at the end of the letter. 

7 This party attacked Peahmuska and other 
Fox Indians from Dubuque on May 5, 1830. 

8 On the Sauk and Fox debt to Farnham and 
Davenport, see n. 2, Davenport to Chouteau, 
June 5, and the Index, s.v. Farnham and Daven- 

9 It seems unlikely that the agent's full-time 

residence at Rock Island would have made any 
difference in the conduct of Indian affairs there, 
for both Forsyth and St. Vrain were at their 
post when the Sauk were at the Rock River 
village. The Indians were gone most of the time 
from late autimin until spring, when they re- 
turned to plant their fields, black hawk, 101-7; 
Marston in blair, II: 148-52. 

10 Antoine LeClaire. 

11 George Davenport was the principal trader 
at Rock Island. He had served in the U.S. Army 
and was a good friend of LeClaire's. See the 
sketches of the two men in nn., Davenport to 
Chouteau, June 5, and Gaines to Jones, June 

After Street became Sauk and Fox agent and 
learned more about Davenport, he took a more 
charitable view toward him. In a letter of Nov. 
7, 1836, to David Lowry (in Annals of Iowa, 
XV: 613-19), Street still complained, however, 
that Davenport had too strong a hold on the 
Indians. Street granted that Davenport did 
everything possible to discourage drinking 
among the Indians and also sold them superior 
goods at a modest profit. In return, Davenport 
received their whole annuity. Street's main 
objection to Davenport, however, was his op- 
position to the Indians becoming Christians. 

Andrew Jackson to John Reynolds 

Washington, Aug. 31, 1831. 

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 
15th inst., which would have been answered immediately, but that it was 
thought best to wait a few days for the communication from General 

September 5, 1831 155 

Gaines, presumed by you to have been received.^ That communication has 
not yet come to hand; and as it is important that the government should 
be in possession of full information on the subject, in time for the meeting 
of Congress, I will no longer delay the request, that you will cause to be 
furnished at your earliest convenience, all the testimony within your reach, 
in relation to the following facts, detailed in your letter: 

1. That the Indians forcibly took possession of lands occupied by citizens 
who had purchased them of the United States. 2. That they drove off those 
individuals, killed their stock, threw down their fences, put their horses into 
their wheat fields, destroyed all their crops of small grain, and committed 
various other depredations. 3. That they declared a determination to expel 
all the rightful occupants, by force of arms. 4 That the number of those 
concerned in these hostilities has never been estimated at less than eight 
hundred. 5. That they had formed leagues with other tribes, by means of 
which the hostile force, but for the prompt movement of the militia, would 
have been, about fourteen hundred warriors.^ 

I am. Sir, very respectfully, Yr. obt. Servt. Andrew Jackson 

His Excellency, John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois 

LS, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 817. been received at the War Department by Aug. 

Addressed: "His Excy. John Reynolds Governor 24. 

of Illinois Belleville Illinois." Postmarked: "City 2 As a result of this letter, Governor Reynolds 

of Washington. Aug. 31 Free Andrew Jackson." appointed two Illinois lawyers — William Thomas 

A copy (from I-A: Gov. LB 1828-34) is in and John Todd Stuart — to take depositions for 

Illinois Historical Collections, IV: 185-86. which the government had to bear the expense. 

1 Gaines's letter to the Secretary of War, Aug. See Reynolds to Jackson, Oct. 6; Reynolds to 

10, enclosing ten documents on the situation in Stuart, Oct. 17; Reynolds to Jackson, Nov. 23; 

the Rock River area the preceding spring, had and the Thomas-Stuart report of Nov. 4. 

Journal of a Council with the Sauk and Fox 

Journal of a council held with the chiefs, & warriors of the Sauk & Fox 
Indians, at Fort Armstrong on the 5th Septr 1831, by Major Bliss 1st. Infy 
Comdg & F. St. Vrain the U.S. agent. 

At about 12. O'clock the council was opened by the Comdg Officer as 

Chiefs and Warriors of the Sauks & foxes, — By the treaty of peace you 
last year made at the request of the President of the U. States, with the 
Sioux, Menominees & other Indian tribes, you solemnly promised & agreed 
that there should be peace between you and those tribes. You also agreed 
that if either tribe should attack either of the other tribes, that the persons 
of those who should be concerned in the outrage, should be delivered up to 
the Officers of the U. States.^ 

About 34 or five nights since, a war party of Foxes & some Sauks led on 
by Pashquomee,^ attacked a peaceable party of Menominees, near Fort 
Crawford & killed 26 Men Women & children. Wrong has been done and 

156 The Black Hawk War 

the treaty of Prarie-du-chien has been violated. It becomes our duty there- 
fore as officers of the U.S. to demand that you the Chiefs & Warriors of 
the Sauk & Fox Indians, dehver and surrender to us, Paliquomee and all 
the principal Indians, of the Sauks & Foxes who were engaged in this late 
Massacre of the menominees, near Fort Crawford & we do demand them. 
We wait for your answer, we hope it may be such as to convince the Presi- 
dent the great council, & the citizens of the U. States, that the Sauks & 
Foxes are not liars, that they always speak tmth & perform as they promise. 

After a short delay 

Tiomay ^ — The Strawberry a Fox Chief replied — My father, I have heard 
you & the Commanding Officer, we were all at the treaty at Prairie-du- 
chien — we have the talk in our minds, all the chiefs you see here have told 
the young men left behind, all that was said at that time. It is because you 
do not know our manners that you think ill of this. When we hear of a 
war party going out, we do all in our power to stop it, you have heard what 
I say, we did not tell them to go to war. My father and Commanding 
Officer, how can we stop our men when your white men cannot stop the 
wites from committing crimes — both of our cases are hard ; our young men 
will not do what we wish, and yours act in the same way, this is all I have 
to say. 

Kattekennekak — The Bald-Eagle"* — a fox brave Then said 

My father, though we were all at Prairie-du-chien — how can we stop 
our young men — they go off while we are asleep and we know nothing of 
it. It was not by our conduct ° that the young men struck the Menominees 
at Prairie-du-chien — we have done all we could, but the young men will 
not listen to us. 

Quashquahmy — The jumping fish a British chief My father and my 
friends, — All the chiefs are dead and the young men have told me to speak 
for them. You tell the truth about the treaty at Prairie-du-chien, but the 
Menominees struck us first, and we struck back — the chiefs have said do 
not let us strike first — what do you expect us to do, we can only do what 
our old chiefs have told us. The chiefs that have spoken have told the 
truth, but what can we do when our young men will not listen to us. 

Keokuk — he that has been every where A Sauk Brave) You tell the 
truth about the treaty at Prarie-du-chien, I was there myself; but you 
tell a little more — after the treaty was concluded at Prairie-du-chien — I 
and four chiefs went to General Clark & Col: Morgan and said to them — 
what will you do with those that strike first; they told us that the prin- 
cipal men should be delivered, this is what I mean when I say a little more. 
It was then discovered & explained that the word "principal" had not been 
interpreted ^ 

My old man (pointing to Quashquahmy) the old man did not under- 
stand — after the affair of last year we went to General Clark and Col: 

September 5, 1831 157 

Morgan and notwithstanding the attack of the menominees, they made all 
good and even/ but now if what they did, and what we have now done 
was put in Scales it would balance. I expect it is because our names are 
Sauks & Foxes that you make a noise about it, when we do the least thing, 
you make a great noise about it — last winter I went to the Missouri, there 
an loway killed an Omahaw, why was he not hung? they were at the treaty. 
The reason I say so much against you is because our hearts are good — our 
Chiefs were killed with the pipe of peace and wampum in their hands — 
this is all I have to say, as for my chiefs and braves they will do as they 
please. I have said all I have to say on that subject, but why do you not 
let us fight? you Whites are constantly fighting; They are now fighting way 
east, why do you not interfere with them? Why do you not let us be as 
the great Spirit made us? and let us settle our own difficulties? 

As this speech of Keokuk's was received by the Indians with applause 
for its ingenuity the Commanding Officer thought it proper to add that 
such treaties as was made at Prairie-du-chien were frequently made be- 
tween the white nations at the east & enforced. 

That it was not because they were Socks that the present demand was 
made, but because it was not wished that the Sauks would become liars. 
That as it regarded the Omahaw's whenever they demanded redress for 
the murder from the U. States; it would then bee time to interfere, That 
that affair did not consem the Sauks, — That when they the Sauks signed 
the treaty at Prarie-du-chien they renounced & agreed to give up fighting. 

The Black sparrow hawk observed that as his band was not at the treaty 
of Prarie-du-chien he had no observations to make. 

At 4. O'clock the Council reconvened 

Tiomay — the Strawberry— 

You have heard me and all the Chiefs — we do not any of us know how 
this difficulty above happened, we have not time to reflect, we hunt for a 
living, we cannot lose our fall hunt, but during our fall hunt we shall be 
able to talk over the matter and give an answer next Spring. 

The Commanding Officer observed that he apprehended much mischief, 
might ensue before the next Spring, & that an answer before then would 
be desirable. 


The answer you wanted you have heard from the Chiefs.^ The reason 
why this chief put the answer off so long, is because many are absent now, 
and before they could be collected, it would be so late as to cause us to 
lose our fall hunt, but during our hunt we shall be able to talk over this 
matter, and early next Spring give an answer. 

We cannot do as you say: we cannot go and get them (the Indians con- 
cerned) and bring them to you, they must offer to give themselves up, be- 


The Black Hawk War 

fore we can take them, we must persuade them to give themselves up — it 
is not in our power to take them. We cannot take them without the consent 
of their relations, some of whom have gone over on the Missouri. 
The Council then broke up. 

E. G. MitchelP J Bliss, Maj 1. Inf Comg 

2nd. Lieut. 1st. Infy & Secretaiy Felix St Vrain Ind. Agent. 

DS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. 
Enclosed in: St. Vrain to Clark, Sept. 10, and 
both enclosed in Clark to Cass. Sept. 22. A 
draft of this journal in the handwriting of Lt. 
E. G. Mitchell, with interlineations by Maj. John 
Bliss, is in DNA: RG 94, AGO. A draft (in St. 
Vrain's hand) of part of this document is also in 
DNA: RG 94, AGO. 

1 At a July 7, 1830, council at Prairie du 
Chien, Col. Willoughby Morgan stated, "If you 
should hereafter disregard the counsels of your 
Great Father the President, and continue or 
even attempt to continue your wars, it will be 
my duty, however I may regret it, to seise upon 
your Chiefs and principal men, and hold them 
until those who shed blood shall be surrendered 
to me" (S-F Ex. 131, Docket 83, ICC). A pro- 
vision specifically embodying this statement does 
not appear in the July 15 treaty (kappler, II: 
250-55) or in a July 10 treaty (CC in IHi: 
BHW) that apparently was not approved by the 
Senate since it merely reaflfirmed the Treaty of 
1825. Article 6 of the July 10 document states 
that the provisions of Articles 13 and 14 of the 
Treaty of Aug. 19, 1825, "are hereby renewed, 
and made obligatory upon the parties." By 
Article 13 of the 1825 treaty the tribes pledged 
to honor the hunting territories of other tribes, 
and by Article 14 they agreed that "should any 
causes of difficulty hereafter unhappily arise 
between any of the tribes, parties hereunto, . . . 
the other tribes shall interpose their good offices 
U> remove such difficulties; and also that the 
government of the United States may take such 
measures as they may deem proper, to effect the 
same object" (kappler, II: 254). Prior to 
treaty provisions like these, there was no formal 
legal basis for U.S. intervention in intertribal 
conflicts (PRUCHA, American Indian Policy, 
211-12, 266-67, and Ch. 3). 

2 Or Pahquomee, a Fox brave (Atkinson to 
Gaines, Aug. 10). At the April 13, 1832, Fort 
Armstrong council, when he demanded hostages 
for the Menominee murders. General Atkinson 
wanted specifically to know the whereabouts of 
Pankeene, which was no doubt a copyist's error 
for this name. A Pasquenon (so spelled) was in 
Peahmuska's party of Fox Indians attacked by 
Sioux and Menominee in May, 1830. He was shot 
in the arm and taken prisoner but later released. 
Joseph Hardy to Wynkoop Warner, May 7, 1830, 
S-F Ex. 244, Docket 158, ICC. 

3 Taimah, a minor Fox chief, was the head of 

a small village of Sauk and Fox Indians at the 
mouth of Flint Creek, now Burlington, Iowa. 
According to atwater (74), he was the son-in- 
law of Quashquame, a Sauk chief, and had 
succeeded Quashquame as chief when the latter 
was deposed for having signed the Treaty of 

J. B. PATTERSON'S lAfe of Black Hawk (1882), 
192, says Taimah's village was located on the 
South Henderson Creek below Oquawka near 
Gladstone until 1829, when he was advised by 
S. S. Phelps to move across the river. Taimah 
had remained loyal to the U.S. in the War of 
1812 and refused to join Black Hawk in 1832. 
While visiting Phelps in the summer of 1832, 
Taimah's life was threatened by a group of 
Illinois volunteers who tried to force Phelps to 
surrender the Indian and his wife and son. At 
that time Phelps described Taimah as an old 
man in the last stages of consumption (ibid., 
191-92, and Trans. ISHS, XXI: 56-57). 

Taimah's portrait, painted in Washington in 
1824, is reproduced in mcKenney and hall. At 
the time of his Washington trip, Taimah was 
described as "in very inferior health," and 
McKenney and hall indicate that he died soon 
after his return home (II: 108). But he lived at 
least until Dec. 19, 1832, when he signed a letter 
to Superintendent of Indian Affairs William 
Clark, protesting Sioux incursions on Sauk and 
Fox land (Trans. ISHS. XXXIX: 130-31). 
Cutting Marsh, who in 1834 visited the Des 
Moines River village headed by Apenose, Taimah's 
son, wrote about Taimah as if he was then dead 
(Wisconsin Historical Collections, XV: 126). 
The county and town of Tama, Iowa, were named 
in his honor. For other general biographical 
information, see hodge; pulton, 262-64. 

Taimah's name is given on the Treaty of 

1824 as "Fai-mah [sic], or the Bear," on that of 

1825 as "Ti-a-mah," or "the bear that makes the 
rocks shake," that of 1830 as "Taweemin, straw- 
berry," and that of 1832 as "Tay-wee-mau, or 
medicine man, (strawberry)"; see kappler, II: 
208, 255, 308. 351. Hodge says that he also signed 
the treaty of 1822 as "Themue," and gives the 
correct spelling and translation of his name as 
"Taima," or "Sudden crash (of thunder and 
lightning)" — mckenney and hall, II: 109. In 
1820 Maj. Morrill Marston named "Ty-ee-ma," 
or "Strawberry," as the second chief of the 
Foxes (Wapello was the first) and estimated his 
age at about forty (blair, II: 155). A few years 

September 10, 1831 159 

later Katice was named as the second chief of 8 The word is "chier* in the Mitchell draft, 

the Fox nation; see n. 2 of the Aug. 25 call to 9 Enos Garwood Mitchell (1807-1839) was a 

council. native of Connecticut and an 1828 graduate of 

4 A Fox brave whose name was given as the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He 
Bald Eagle, or Maquita, spoke at the council was assigned to the 1st Infantry and had been 
preceding the Sept. 20, 1832, treaty but nothing stationed at Jefferson Barracks, Fort Snelling, 
else is known of him. and Fort Winnebago by this time. He was at 

5 The word is "consent" in the Mitchell draft. Fort Armstrong in 1831 and 1832. He became a 

6 This sentence is in a different handwriting. 1st lieutenant in 1835 and a captain in 1838. He 
About the surrender of hostages and "principal" died in Florida in 1839 while on active duty in 
men, see n. 1. the war against the Seminole Indians. CULLUM; 

T I.e., by giving presents to the Sauk and Fox. heitman. 

Felix St. Vrain to William Clark 

Rock Island Ind. Agency Sept. lOh 1831 
Genl. Wm. Clark Suptd. Ind. affairs St Louis 

Respected Sir I have been informed and it is currently reported, that 
two Sioux and three Sac Indians met in a Prairie within the limits of the 
Sac & Fox Lands, that one of the Sac's went up towards the Sioux's with 
the Intention of shakeing hands with them, but the Sioux's refused, and 
threw off their blankets and breach Cloths, evidently showing an unfriendly 
disposition towards the Sacs, the Sac still continued approaching them, 
until they shot him dead, the the other two Sac's which had been con- 
sealed from the vew of the Seoux's, persued them until they kill'd both the 
Siouxs. this is the report of the Sac Indians.^ 

I in consert, with Major Bliss, calld a counsil of the principal Chiefs of 
the Sac & Fox Indians for the purpose of demanding the leaders of the 
band, which were concerned in the masacre at Prairie du Chien, the result 
is as contained in the inclosed jurnal, which was kept for that purpose. 
The Indians remained at this place about four days, they got credits from 
their traders, and departed with the intention of making an immediate 
move to their hunting grounds. I presume that you have heard of the death 
of Morgan the Fox Brave, one of his followers after hearing of the cir- 
cumstance said that it was useless for him to live any longer, now that 
Morgan was no more, he took his rifle and went out and shot himself. 

Since writing the above, Capt. Low- told me that the Manomenies, were 
preparing to march against the Sacs & Foxes, and that they would listen 
to no one, but were determined to take revenge, should I get any further 
information on that subject, I will immediately inform you of it. 

I have the honour to be your Obt Servt. Felix St. Vrain Ind Agt. 

ALS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. He delivered this letter to Clark; see Clark to 

Enclosure: Council Journal, Sept. 5. Enclosed Cass, Sept. 22, and St. Vrain to Clark, Sept. 22. 

in: Clark to Cass, Sept. 22. A native of Pennsylvania, Low served in the 

1 For the Sioux version, see n,. 3, John Bliss War of 1812, rising to lieutenant by 1815, when 
letter of Aug. 23. he wels discharged. He reenlisted in 1819, was 

2 Gideon Low was a captain in the 5th In- assigned to the 5th Infantry in 1821, and was 
fantry, stationed at Fort Winnebago, Wisconsin. appointed captain in 1828. He was ordered to 

160 The Black Hawk War 

the front from Fort Winnebago in the 1832 at Portage, "Wisconsin. He died in 1850. HBITMAN; 

campaign and was placed in command of Fort Wisconsin Historical Collections, VI: 406, VIII: 

Koshkonong in late summer. Low left the army 320, XII: 401, XIV: 79. 
in 1840 and kept a tavern, the Franklin House, 

William Clark to Lewis Cass 

Superintendency Ind: Affairs, St. Louis, Sept. 22, 1831. 

Sir, On receipt of Genl. Street's report of the 1st. August, stating the 
fact of the Menominees being killed by the Foxes, Mr. St. Vrain the Agent 
of the Sacs & Foxes was instructed to make a demand of the Sac & Fox 
Chiefs of the surrender of the leaders and principal men of the party who 
murdered the Menominees, and to co-operate with the Commanding officer ^ 
at Fort Armstrong, who had received from Genl. Atkinson similar instruc- 

By a letter received from Mr. St. Vrain of the 10th inst. accompanied by 
a journal of the proceedings, herewith enclosed, which informed me that 
(in conformity with those instructions) a demand had been made of the 
Chiefs of the Sacs & Foxes to surrender those murderers, and that they 
have not delivered them. They require time, as stated in the journal; and 
I am under some apprehension that the Chiefs cannot be again collected 
until they return from their fall hunt, to enable Colo. Morgan to explain 
the views and intentions of the Government; and make a more formal 
demand of the surrender of those murderers. It appears from information 
received from Mr. Low that the Menominees are determined to retaliate 
immediately; — yet I believe they will not go to war if they are informed 
of the measures which have, and are about to be taken, and of the inten- 
tions of the President, before the parties set out on their war excursion, 
which I forwarded to Genl. Street in an address to their nation, on the 
receipt of your letter of the 26th. of August.^ The agents in that quarter 
are efficient men, and I have great confidence in their influence and ex- 
ertions in effecting the decisive, just and humane views of the Government 
towards the Indians. 

I have the honor to be, Yr. ob: Servt. Wm Clark 

The Hon: Lewis Cass, Secretary of War 

LS, DNA: RG 75, BIA. L Reed., Sac and Fox. 1 John Bliss. 

Enclosures: Council Journal, Sept. 5; St. Vrain 2 The copy printed herein, from DNA: RG 75, 

to Clark, Sept. 10. A letter book copy is in KHi: BIA, L Sent, Vol. 7. is dated Aug. 25. 

Clark Papers, IV: 279-81. 

September 22, 1831 161 

Felix St. Vrain to William Clark 

Rock Island Ind: agency, Sept. 22, 1831. 
Genl. Wm: Clark Supt Ind Affairs St. Louis 

Sir, — Yours of the 12th inst.^ by Express is at hand. I wrote to you on 
the 12th inst by Capt. Low, giving you information of the result; of the 
Council which you ordered me to call, in your letter of the 12th ult. I here- 
with enclose a duplicate of the answers which the Indians made on the 

I this day send an Express to call the Chiefs of the Sac & Fox tribes, to 
a Council at Rock Island to be held by Colo. W. Morgan and myself on 
the 30th inst. The Indians having gone on their winter chase, I am of opin- 
ion that they will not be found, or will not come to the Council.^ 

I have not heard of any war parties of the Sacs or Foxes being on the 
Missouri or any where else, since the outrage at Prairie du Chien. 

The circumstance of the Sacs & Sioux, of which Maj Taliaferro has in- 
formed you, is reported differently by the Sac Indians; I gave you a State- 
ment of it in my letter of the [lOth]^ inst. I will here repeat their report. 
Two Sioux and three Sacs met in a Prairie within the limits of the Sac and 
Fox lands, one of the Sacs went up towards the Sioux, with the intention 
of shaking hands with them, but the Sioux refused, threw off their blankets 
and breech cloths, evidently showing an unfriendly disposition towards the 
Sacs. The Sac still continued approaching them, until they shot him dead, 
the other two Sacs (which had been concealed from the view of the Sioux) 
pursued them until they killed both the Sioux. I have received a letter from 
Genl. Street, Ind. Agt at Prairie du Chien, on this subject. I will communi- 
cate to him and Maj. Taliaferro the report which I have got from the Sac 

I have, and will endeavor, to suppress hostilities between the Indians, so 
far as will be in my power. I have told the Sacs & Foxes the desire the 
President of the U.S. has of their being at peace with all other tribes, and 
that they should be faithful in complying with the Treaties which they 
had made. 

I do not believe that the principal men of the Sac & Fox tribes, have 
any disposition to act contrary to their Treaties, and I am confident that 
they have no hostile intentions towards the citizens of the United States. 

I have the honor to be Your Obt. Servt. 
(Signed) Felix St. Vrain, Ind. Agt. 

LBC, KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 295-96. Clark, Sept. 28. 

1 Not located. ^ A blank space was left in the letter book 

2 On the outcome of this call, see St. Vrain to copy. 

162 The Black Hawk War 

Felix St. Vrain to William Clark 

Rock Island Indian Agency September 28th. 1831. 
Genl. Wm. Clark Supt. Ind Affrs St Louis 

Respected Sir, The Express which I sent on the 22nd. Inst, for the Chiefs 
of the Sac and Fox Nations of Indians, returned yesterday, he went to all 
the Villages, and found them entirely abandoned; the Indians having left 
there some days previous, to go out to their hunting grounds; he saw Katice 
(one of the Fox Chiefs,) going up the loway River, he told Katice the 
object of his coming, Katice said that all the Chiefs were dispursed in dif- 
ferent directions and that it would be difficult to find them, it was useless 
he said for him alone to go to Rock Island, for he could do nothing of 

Col. Morgan and myself had determined to go down to the lower Rapids 
believing that we could collect the Indians at that place, but we heard since, 
that it was improbable that we would find them, we therefore concluded to 
wait for further Orders. 

There is no further news from the Menominees. I have written to Genl. 
Street, and mentioned to him, the determination of the President to appre- 
hend the principal leaders of the Massacre at Prairie du Chein, & requested 
him to mention it to the Menominees. 

I herewith send you my quarterly accounts. 

I have the honour to be Your Obdnt Svnt. 
(Signed) Felix St. Vrain Ind. Agent. 

LBC. KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 302. 

John Reynolds to Andrew Jackson 

Belleville 6th October— 1831. 
To the President of the United States. 

Sir Some time since, I had the honor of receiving your letter dated 31st. 
August last, containing a "request" on me to obtain and transmit certain 
information to the General Government before the meeting of Congress. 
Immediately on the receipt of your letter I sent an express and employed 
a talented lawyer to attend to the business.^ All the information within 
my reach on the subject mentioned in your letter shall be forwarded to 
you, before the meeting of Congress. Every thing in my power shall be 
done to enable the patriotic citizens of Illinois to procure their pay, for 
their praise worthy services, rendered last summer on the requisition of 
the United States. 

I will cause to be sent to the General Government copies of a Resolution 
of the General Assembly of this State, passed at the last session thereof, 
and other accompanying documents, all sheding light on this subject.^ 

October 6, 1831 


This resolution alone ought to satisfy all, who would read it, on the 
subject of which you request information. I deem it proper to mention: 
that the expense of procuring the information requested by you will be 
paid by the United States, and accordingly I have employed the agent on 
the part of the General Government. 

With esteem I have the honor to be your obt. Servt. John Reynolds 

ADfS, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 821. 

1 William Thomas of Jacksonville. Reynolds 
later appointed John Todd Stuart of Springfield 
to assist Thomas. Reynolds to Stuart, Oct. 17, 
and the Thomas-Stuart report of Nov. 4. 

2 The resolution, dated Feb. 5, 1831 (draft in 
I-A: General Assembly 1830-31, Misc., Joint 
Resolutions and Memorials to Congress) , asked 
Congress to unite in requesting the President to 
have all the Indians removed from ceded lands 
within the state, and "particularly to adopt all 
proper means of preventing the aforesaid Black 
Hawk and his band from executing their declared 
intention of resuming their late possessions." 
The legislature also considered a bill authorizing 
the governor to raise a company of mounted 
volunteers for frontier protection, but the bill 
died in committee {Illinois Senate Journal 
1830-18S1, 222, 279, 280, 283, 288, 292, 367). 
Both measures were considered in response to 
the Governor's message of Jan. 10, 1831 (ADS in 
General Assembly Joint Resolutions file, op. 
cit.) , transmitting reports of Indian depredations 
in northwestern Illinois and recommending pass- 
age of a law "which would vest the Executive on 
all proper occasions, with a discretionary power, 
to call out a sufficient force of the Militia to pro- 
tect the Citizens from Indian depredations, and 
to enforce the administration of the laws on them 
or remove them from the territory, which they 
have sold the Government." 

The reports transmitted by Reynolds were 
dated Vandalia, Jan. 5, 1831, and were all 
written on one document. The first report, in 
the handwriting of J. M. Strode, was signed by 
Strode, R. M. Young. "Judge of the Northern 
Circuit," Thomas Ford, and A. F. Hubbard. 
Following Hubbard's name is this note: "Knows 
some of the statements to be true & believe the 
rest to be so." This report relays information 
given by "Old Mr. Reno [Rinnah] Welb," who 
lived and farmed at the old Sauk village on Rock 
River. According to Wells, during the preceding 
summer the Indians had thrown down fences, 
let their horses into the cornfields, shot cattle 
and hogs, and stolen corn. Further, "on two 
occasions personal violence was attempted, on 
two of Mr. Well's sons." The first instance 
occurred when one son attempted to drive the 

Indian horses out of his father's field. An Indian 
drew a knife and attempted to stab the young 
man, the report said, but only tore his collar. A 
different Indian at another time attacked a 
second of Wells's sons and was spared from 
massacre by the timely interference of a Mr. 
Danforth. Three horses had been stolen from the 
widow Case, for which no indemnity had been 
granted by the Indian agent. John Kenney, who 
lived at the head of the rapids, had had many 
hogs and cattle killed during the past season. 
According to the signers, they had received 
similar intelligence from numerous other citizens. 

The second part of the report, signed by Riggs 
Pennington, deals with the conduct of the 
Indians in Knox County. In Oct., 1830, the 
Indians had stolen a $300 horse from him, as 
well as three horses from other people, and had 
shot hogs belonging to him and his neighbors. 
Further, they had cut the sugar trees, rendering 
them useless. Despite many warnings from the 
settlers, the Indians threatened to come back 
in the spring to make sugar, he said. 

Parnach Owen, also of Knox County, contri- 
buted the third part of the report. The Indians 
had stolen corn from his fields and other pro- 
perty also, he wrote. Owen said further that he 
had been informed that Indians had entered the 
home of one of his neighbors, a Mr. Morris, 
who was absent at the time. The Indians had 
"laid hands on Mrs. Morris, and committed 
violence upon her person. Mrs. Morris could 
not tell, what extent the fellow meant to carry 
his insolence." She "beat him out of the house 
with a mop stick," but he returned with a gun 
and "terrified the family," though he did not 

Wesley Williams of Hancock County, the 
fourth contributor to the report, stated that the 
Indians had ruined a great many sugar trees and 
had attempted to steal personal property at 
various times. "Some injury has been sustained 
by individuals in consequence of their firing the 
prairies and stealing hogs," and "their insolent 
demeanor" had in some instances greatly alarmed 
women and children. The Indians most commonly 
passing through their county, Williams said, 
were the Sauk and Fox. 

164 The Black Hawk War 

Henry Gratiot to William Clark 

Gratiot Grove, October 15, 1815 [1831]. 

Sir: In obedience to orders from the Department of War, directing me 
to report through you to the department, I beg leave to submit the follow- 

In July last I made a requisition of General Gaines, at Rock Island, for 
a few barrels of pork and flour, to be used as presents to the Indians, to 
enable me to penetrate the designs of the Prophet, and his band of mixed 
breeds of Sacs, Winnebagoes, Pottawatamies, and Kickapoos. In the course 
of the summer, I several times sent to the Prophet, desiring to have a talk 
with him; the object of which was to induce him to abandon his village, 
and remove up Rock river, that he might be further from Black Hawk, 
He was very shy, and would not come, but always sent his brother ^ to me. 
At length, with the assistance of some of the head-men of the Rock river 
Winnebagoes, I was enabled to hold a council with him and them, on the 
first of September, at Turtle village. Here it was agreed that he and his 
band should, this fall, remove up Rock river, and incorporate with the 

In conversation with the Prophet on the subject of the disturbances last 
summer, between the Black Hawk and the United States, he denied having 
had any participation in it. He still persisted, however, in saying he did 
not sell his land, but must submit to necessity. He appeared a good deal 
reserved; but, at length, agreed to attend at Fort Winnebago at the time 
of payment, and receive his share of the annuity. He, however, did not 
attend: only two lodges, out of seventeen, were represented. The reasons 
given for the non-attendance of the others, were the great distance, and 
a fear of the Menomonies, (being part Sac, and the Sacs and Menomonies 
being then hostile.) 

I accompanied the Rock river bands when they went to receive their 
shares of the annnuity; and what I saw compels me to say that the generous 
policy of the Government, to meliorate the condition of the Indians, was 
defeated with regard to these; for, owing to the distance and difficulty of 
travelling over land, but few of them having horses, a large proportion of 
the women, who are the more economical part, were unable to go. The con- 
sequences were, that very few of the Indians brought away their salt; and 
notwithstanding the praiseworthy diligence of Mr. Kinzie, the whiskey 
pedlers contrived to sell them whiskey, and get the money; which, had it 
been convenient for the women to attend, would, probably, have been saved 
for their families. 

It is a lamentable truth, that many of them returned from the fort much 
poorer than they went; for they sold, or lost, even the blankets which they 
wore. I saw two, at least, in a state of nudity, and numbers strewed along 
the road in beastly drunkenness. Some travellers, who were a few hours' 

October 15, 1831 165 

travel behind me, say that the Indians were very troublesome to them, evi- 
dently manifestmg a disposition to rob them. One traveller found it neces- 
sary to cock his pistol on an Indian ; and another traveller found it neces- 
sary to knock one down with a club before he would desist. 

The whole band complain to me of the inconvenience and fatigue ex- 
perienced in having to go so far, (some a hundred miles,) after their money, 
and of the temptations thrown in their way, and beg me to write to their 
"great father," the President, and ask him to order that their money, &c., 
shall hereafter be paid to them within the limits of this sub-agency, on the 
waters of Rock river. 

They say, when they sold us the valuable mining land, they thought that 
this was to be one of the stipulations in the treaty; and why they are 
obliged to go to the Portage they know not. But they depend, they say, on 
their "great father" to do them justice. 

If to insure tranquillity, and remedy the evils complained of as much as 
possible, it be determined by the department to order that payments, in 
future, be made to this band within the limits of this sub-agency, I would, 
respectfully, point out a place at or near the mouth of the Pe-ke-tol-e-ke,^ 
as the most suitable. There they hold their councils, and from there they 
start on their winter hunts. There the women and children could go up in 
their canoes, and take care of, at least, their own shares of the salt and 
money. There they would be on their own land, and not be so liable to be 
visited by so many whiskey pedlers. To go there, they would not have to 
cross the ceded land, and, consequently, not come in contact with travellers 
on the road.^ But, to go to the fort, a large portion of them travel from 30 
to 40 miles on our road. 

The blacksmith's shop, which is located within the limits of my sub- 
agency, has not yet been delivered to me; and the Indians complain that 
they have not justice done them there. And, from the character of the 
smith who has been employed, I believe they have good cause of complaint; 
and Mr. Kinzie, the sub-agent, who now has charge of it, resides at so 
great a distance from it that, perhaps, it is impossible for him to compel 
the smith to do his duty. 

If I had charge of the shop, I would locate it near the mouth of the 
Pe-ke-tol-e-ke, where the whole band would approach it more easily than 
at any other point. As they are now on their winter hunt, and as they 
always require a great deal of work done at such a time, I should be glad 
to receive instructions on this subject as soon as possible. 

H. Gratiot, Sub-agent. 

General Clark. 

23d Cong., 1st Sess., S. Boc. 51S, 11: 715-16. Barracks. See the Aug. 27, 1832, examination of 

1 Brackets in source. Indian prisoners, and nn. there. 

2 The only brother of the Prophet who has 3 This was one of the common spelling variants 
been identified, and perhaps his only brother, of Pecatonica. The stream rises near the Blue 
was Ottako, or Atako, who was taken prisoner Mounds in Wisconsin and enters the Rock from 
at the end of the BHW and confined at Jefferson the west a few miles below the state line and 

166 The Black Hawk War 

opposite the town of Rockton, Illinois. PECK, Wisconsin River (Winneshiek, for example; see 

304-5. Street to Atkinson, Aug. 13, 1832), and others 

■i That is, land ceded by the Winnebago at were living east of the Rock River, which 

the Treaty of Aug. 1, 1829 (kappleb, II: marked the southern, and part of the eastern, 

300-301; ROYCE, Plates 18 and 64; Lyon's map boundaries of the cession. Still others, including 

of the treaty boundary lines is Plate LII in the Winnebago Prophet, had not yet moved. 

TUCKER). Many of the Indians under Gratiot's The road Gratiot refers to above was probably 

charge had lived within the 1829 ceded lands; the one from Galena to Fort Winnebago by 

some of them had already moved north of the way of the Blue Mounds. 

John Reynolds to John T. Stuart 

Illinois 17th. Oct. 1831. 
To John T. Stuart Esqr. 

Sir I have appointed William Thomas Esqr. to procure certain informa- 
tion in relation to the late Indian disturbances near Rock River in this 
state, and I am satisfied, it is necessary; that from the great extent of 
country to travel over to procure witnesses, and the very short time in 
which the testimony of witnesses must [be]^ taken and sent to the General 
Government before the meeting of Congress, some person should be ap- 
pointed to assist Mr. Thomas in the business ; therefore I do hereby author- 
ise and appoint you to assist Mr. Thomas in procuring the necessary in- 
formation relative to said Indian hostilities. 

Your obt. servt. John Reynolds Gov. 

ALS, IHi. Addressed: "John T. Stuart Esqr. the end of one line, and "taken" at the beginning 
Springfield 111." of the next. 

1 Reynolds omitted this word; "must" is at 

Willoughby Morgan to the Acting Assistant Adjutant General 
Right Wing, Western Department 

Head Quarters 1st. Infty Fort Crawford, Oct. 19, 1831. 

Sir/ Herewith is a letter from Capt. Loomis ^ relative to the recent attack 
on the Menominies. 

I have already expressed an opinion relative to that attack. I hope when 
all the facts are known that it will be considered as an act of treachery 
which was not to be foreseen and therefore not to be guarded against. The 
Sacs and Foxes approached as peaceable Indians and perpetrated a species 
of assassination against which there never has yet been found any security. 

It should certainly have excited no surprise that a party of diTinken 
Indians and asleep should have been attacked during the night within two 
miles of a Military post and the attacking party should have been able to 
have retired unmolested. That may be done with perfect safety within the 
same distance of any Military force. The only question in the case is with 

October 21, 1831 167 

regard to persuit and that question I think is satisfactorily answered. If 
the troops on the frontier ar[e]^ not always ready with their arms in their 
hands the fault is not in the officers but in the Govt, or rather in the nature 
of the case which renders it necessary that the troops so situated should 
perform those labors which on the Seaboard are performed by contract. It 
is extremely painfull to Officers on a Frontier where they are every day 
liable to be called into the field to have their soldiers thus employed which 
interferes with that state of preparation in which it is the pride of an 
officer always to keep them. 

This act however does not argue any contempt of the authority of the 
United States; otherwise the Whites would feel the tomahawk every day. 
The Sacs and Foxes attacked the Menominies in revenge for an attack the 
preceding year almost its equal in treachery in which the Foxes lost some 
of their most popular chiefs. They did not reflect or were not perhaps re- 
fined enough to see that in doing so at the place they did they insulted the 
authority and dignity of the United States. 

I hope I shall be excused for any feeling I may he [re] express on this 
subject, as the command animadverted in belonged to the Regiment of 
which I am the Chief — A Regiment I would be permitted to say [w]hich 
under equal circumstances will yield to none in the Service. 

Very respectfully Your obt. Servt. Wy. Morgan Col 1st Infty Comg 

/The/ Actg. A. A. Genl. R. W. W. D. Jeff. Barracks /Mo/ 

DS. DNA: RG 94, AGO (Frames 513-16, Roll The letter from the War Department to 

58, M567). The body of the letter is in the Atkinson was dated Aug. 25 (so Atkinson wrote 

handwriting of Capt. GustavTis Loomis. Endorsed: Morgan on Sept. 11) and presumably was 

(1) ". . . Encloses Cap: Loomis' Report in similar to that of Aug. 25 from Cass to Clark, 

answer to the censure contained in the Adjutant Atkinson, in turn, called for reports from 

Genls. letter to Gen Atkinson in suffering the Morgan and other frontier commanders; a copy 

Camp of Menominies Indians to be surprised & of his letter to Morgan of Sept. 11, not printed, 

murdered by the Sac. and Fox. Indians." (2) is in DNA: RG 94, AGO— Frames 375-77, Roll 

"134 . . . thro: Gen Atkinson 22 Nov: 1831." 58, M567. 

(3) "Reed. Novr 2d. [22d] 1831." (4) AES— 1 Loomis to Morgan, Oct. 13, not printed, 

"[See the Adjt: General's letter of the 23d. of has a more detailed account of the massacre 

August 1831 written to Genl: Atkinson by the than Morgan presents. The Loomis letter, also 

President and Secrty: of War, communicating part of File A134 in DNA: RG 94, AGO, is 

their views and orders on the subject of the Frames 521-25. Roll 58. M567. 

Indian Massacre near Fort Crawford.] R Jones 2 The missing letters here and in the bracketed 

Adj. Gl." The letter was originally numbered words that follow were torn off by the seal. 
"M234 1831" but was transferred to "A134 

Willoughby Morgan to the Acting Assistant A(jjutant General 

Right Wing, Western Department 

Head Quarters 1st. Infty. Fort Crawford Oct: 21st. 1831. 

Sir Your letter of the 1st. Oct: was received a few days since. 

I have sent a messenger to the Scioux and Sacs and Foxes, urging them 

168 The Black Hawk War 

to remain on their own lands in peace, and that I would endeavor to settle 
the affair ^ alluded to in your letter ^ the ensuing spring. 

The Commanding Officer of this post, was directed to invite the Indians 
to submit their differences to him here, or to the Superintendant of Indian 
affairs at Saint Louis, and at the same time to assure them if they took 
this course that the President would see justice done to them. 

In pursuance of this authority several flagrant breaches of the treaties 
of peace between the Indians to which the United States was a party, were 
reported to the War Department. They were never noticed, though the 
War Department was pressed on the subject; and though the Indians were 
clamorous for the justice which had been promised them. What conclusion 
was to be drawn from those omissions to notice these reports? Perhaps the 
reasons for them might have been very good; but I confess they had the 
effect of damping^ my zeal upon the subject; though I did continue to 
urge peace upon the Indians, and to warn them against the violation of 
their treaties. 

I think that the Government might be considered as a guarantee to the 
treaties of peace between the Indian tribes to which it was a party and in 
that light might perhaps use compulsory measures to preserve peace 
amongst the parties to those treaties. However, these treaties contain no 
express guarantee and perhaps the Government may view itself merely as a 
mediator. The 4th Article of the treaty of peace between the Indian tribes 
made in 1825 at this place authorise the Government to use such means as 
it may deem proper to remove such causes of difficulty as might occur to 
disturb the peace amongst the Indian tribes, parties to that treaty. The 
same article was adopted in the treaty of 1830, but on a review of it, I 
doubt whether the President could act under it without an act of Congress. 
I have indeed understood that there is a law of Congress of recent date 
which authorises the President to protect the Indians which shall be re- 
moved from the IT. States and located to the West of the Mississippi. 

Upon the whole I consider both our Legislation and treaties as still im- 
perfect, so far as regards the preservation of peace amongst the Indians. 
Hence I shall be very cautious how I act on this subject, and shall cer- 
tainly abstain from the use of all force unless otherwise ordered. In taking 
this course I am sure I shall act in conformity with the views of Govern- 

I confess I was once inclined to go further than I should now go, in order 
to maintain peace amongst the Indians, for though on a review of the in- 
structions and orders of the Government on this subject, they still appear 
very strong, still they do not authorise force, except as to particular cases 
now gone by. 

These views are respectfully submitted to the General, with an assurance 
that I shall still continue my exertions to maintain peace amongst the 
Indians, an assurance which I hope is almost unnecessary. 

I should be glad that my views upon this subject, and my exertions to 

October 24, 1831 169 

maintain peace amongst the Indians on this frontier might be made known 
at General Head Quarters, otherwise from recent occurrences it might be 
supposed there had been some want of zeal in promoting the views of the 
Government upon this subject. 
Very respectfully Your Obedt. Servt. 

(Signed) Wy Morgan Col: 1st. Inf: Commdg. 

The Actg. A. A. Genl. R. Wing West: Dept. Jeff: Barracks (Mo) 

I will comply with the directions contained in the General's circular as 
far as possible. (Signed) Wy: Morgan Col: Commdg. 

CC, DNA: RG 94. AGO (Frames 570-73, Roll i The Sauk-Sioux encounter; see John Bliss's 

58, M567). Enclosed in: Atkinson to Jones, Nov. letter of Aug. 23. 

29, 1831, not printed (with its enclosures the 2 Not present. 

Nov. 29 letter is File A151 in ibid.) . The Morgan 3 The letters "ing" were written above the line, 

letter was apparently transferred from another In the original the word falls at the end of a 

file since it bears the file number M263, in ad- line; presumably, then, this is an abbreviation 

dition to A151. Endorsed: "Submitted — R. Jones of dampening. 
Dec: 17. 1831." 

Deposition of Thomas Maxwell 

[October 24, 1831] 
State of Illinois "1 
Knox County j 

Thomas Maxwell being sworn states. That some time in the month of 
June, and the last of May in the Year 1831, the Citizens of Knox County 
and more particulary those on the River Henderson became very much 
agitated and alarmed by reason of a Variety of Reports which obtained 
circulation that a Band of Indians called the Sacs and Foxes on Rock River 
and near its Mouth, were assumeing a hostile attitude towards the Whites 
taking possission of their farms destroying their Crops, cattle, &c; and ex- 
pressing their intention to mantain possession of them by force, and as- 
sembling in large numbers, at the Village aforesaid. 

In consequence of said Reports and the alarm created thereby the afore- 
said Citizens of Henderson requested this affiant; in company with four 
other individuals ^ to visit said Indian Village, and Fort Armstrong for the 
purpose of inquiring whether said Reports were entitled to any credit. It 
was Forty Five miles from Henderson to the Indian Village. On their way 
to the Village they made no discoveries of importance excepting that they 
saw a body of Indians [warrios, all armed except 2 squaws] ^ about Fifteen 
in Number whose conduct towards this Affiant and his company was to say 
the least of it very rude and threatning When they arrived at the Village 
they saw about three hundred Indians who were amusing themselves at 
their usual games : This was some few days after the Black Hawk had his 
interview with Genl. Gaines as we were informed. We were informed that 

170 The Black Hawk War 

there were many Indians in ambush whom we could not see and we be- 
lieved that there were many more than we saw, because, there were about 
One Hundred and Fifty canoes on the River which as we supposed would 
carry from twenty to Thirty persons. 

We were told that the Indians were then arriveing every day at the Vil- 
lage in large numbers. But what alarmed us most, was the information we 
recieved from Mr. Gratiot the agent for the Winnabagoes who informed us 
from what he had seen and heard from the Indians he had no doubt but 
that the Indians intended to maintain possession of the Village and its 
vincinity by force of Arms. Upon their return home from the Indian Village 
& Fort Armstrong from what they had seen and heard there, this affiant and 
his company thought it proper that the Citizens should place themselves 
on the defensive. Many of the citizens of the County removed with their 
families into the interior of the state, abandoned their Homes, and their 
crops then growing, other Citizens assembled and built forts at considerable 
expense and Labour, there was about twenty five families removed to one 
Fort, called Gums Fort, and remained there two Weeks or more, during 
this time, the crops and farms of the people were abandoned, there was 
another Fort called Butlers Fort,^ into which about tw^enty families re- 
moved and remained, some two Weeks, some more than two Weeks, and 
some less. The deponant further states, that he is well satisfied, that if 
the Militia of the state had not been called out to defend the frontier, that 
most of the People on the Frontiers would have abanded the Country, and 
He is also satisfied that the Indians would not have left the country on 
Rock River but for the movement of the IMilitia 

Thomas Maxwell 

The foregoing statement of Thomas INIaxwell was this day subscribed and 
sworn to before me this 24th. October 1831. 

Henry' M Gillett-* Justice of the peace of Knox County. 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. Enclosed in: southeast of Monmouth (Warren County [1903], 

Thomas and Stuart to Reynolds, Nov. 4. An II: 952). 

affidavit of the same date corroborating Maxwell's Butler, a Kentuckian, settled in Warren County 

story was filed by Joseph Rowe, one of the men in 1829. He acquired large landholdings and 

who accompanied Maxwell to Rock Island. The served at various times as county commissioner, 

affidavit was attached to this document and surveyor, and sheriff. He surveyed the town site 

included in the Thomas-Stuart report. of Monmouth in 1831. From 1834 to 1840 he 

Maxwell was a county commissioner at this was a member of the Illinois House of Repre- 

time. In 1836 he emigrated to Texas. Maxwell sentatives. He moved to the state of Oregon in 

and his son, Thomas, Jr., served in William 1853 and died there three years later. In the 

McMurtry's company, Bogart's Odd Battalion, 1831 campaign he was 4th sergeant of Capt. 

in 1852. Knox County (1878), 461. William Edmonston's home-guard company, and 

1 According to Knox County (1878), 150, in 1832 he served as captain of two different 
Joseph Rowe, Thomas McKee, and Robert Green- volunteer companies. Ibid., II: 705-6, 734, 735, 
well accompanied Maxwell to Rock River. The 952, 959; Illinoh Historical Collections, XVIII: 
fourth man has not been identified. 277, 287, 288n. 

2 The phrase in brackets was interlined with no 4 Gillett was still serving as a justice in 1834 
caret to indicate where it should go. "Fifteen" and was also a candidate for county commis- 
is the last word on the page. sioner that year (I-A: Elect. Ret., XXII: 81-85). 

3 This fort — a blockhouse and stockade — was In 1835 he was named one of the commissioners 
at the home of Peter Butler, in the southeast to locate a road from Knoxville to the seat of 
quarter of Section 36, Monmouth Township (11 Rock Island County (Illinois Laws 18S5, 106). 
North, Range 2 West), about four miles east- 

October 21^, 1831 171 

Deposition of Stephen Osborn 

[October 24, 1831] 
State of Illinois ) 
Knox County j ^' 

Stephen Osborne being sworn, says, that he has resided in the County of 
Knox and on the Waters of Henderson for & during the last three years, 
and during that time he has had, frequent acquaintance with that tribe of 
Indians settled on the Waters of Rock River, about forty five miles from 
Henderson, known as the Sacs and Foxes. He states that said tribe of 
Indians since he first knew, has always been very troublesome to the Whites, 
frequently, killing the hogs, Stealing the horses of whites — mischievous & 
dangerous, Neighbors: He states that he himself lost Hogs, and from a 
variety of circumstances he is induced to believe that said hogs were killeed 
by said band of Indians. He would state further that the General conduct 
of said band of Indians since he knew them, has been to come often among 
the Whites on the Frontiers, and while with them to be very frindly. It 
was rare that they were not amongst us at least once per month But during 
the last Spring and Summers they ceased coming amongst us altogether and 
seemed as though they, wisheed to have no intercourse with us. 

Stephen Osborn 

The foregoing statement of Stephen Osborn, subscribed & sworn to before 
me this 24h. day of October 1831. 

Henry M Gillett Justice of the peace of Knox County 111. 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. Enclosed in: a private in Capt. William McMurtry's company, 

Thomas and Stuart to Reynolds, Nov. 4. Bogart's Odd Battalion. He died in Knox County 

Osborn was sheriff of Knox County, 1830-1835. at the town of Henderson. Knox County (1878), 

He had settled in McDonough County in 1826 and 103, 131, 132, 464; McDonough County (1885), 

moved on to Section 23, Henderson Township, 85. 
Knox County, in 1829. He served in the BHW as 

Deposition of Riggs Pennington 

[October 24, 1831] 

State of Illinois ) 
Knox County J 

Riggs Pennington Being sworn states. That he resides in said County 
of Knox. That during the Spring of this year During the months of May 
& June the Citizens of Knox County were in a State of great alarm in con- 
sequence of various rumors which reached them, touching the hostile move- 
ments of a Band of Indians residing in their vincinity, on Rock River, 
known as the Sacs and Foxes, headed by Black Hawk. It was rumored that 
said Band had collected in large numbers at a Village near the Mouth of 
said River, and proceeding to violence had driven the Whites from their 
farms, destroyed their cattle & crops — and had expressed a determination 

172 The Black Hawk War 

to retain possession of the Village & its Vicinity embracing the farms of 
the Whites by force of arms. It was reported, that the numbers of said 
Hostile Indians was large, that they were augmenting their forces and 
forming leagues with neighboring tribes. In consequence of said Reports, 
the whole Frontier country was in a State of agitation and alarm. Many 
of the Citizens on the Frontier settlements abandoned their farms, and 
removed to Sangamon and Morgan counties. Those who remained, as a 
measure of Safety built Forts on Henderson, where they remained Forted 
until after they heard a treaty had been concluded; Previous to which 
however they took the precautione of sending individuals to the Village 
& to Fort Armstrong for the purpose of inquiring whether there was any 
cause of alanun.^ The report which those in[di]-viduals brought back was 
such as not to allay the alarm already on the Frontiers but rather tended 
to increase it. The Settlements on Henderson are about Forty Five Miles 
from said Indian Town. The frontier is very extensive thinly settled and 
exposed. The Citizens on Henderson remained in the Fort about two Weeks 
and at that season of the year when their crops most needed their atten- 
tion. The Indians had previous to this time stolen from the deponant a 
Stud Horse which Was Valued at three Hundred dollars, they had also 
stolen a Gelding worth about fifty dollars. The deponant further states 
that he had resided on the Head of Henderson River about three years, 
within forty miles of the Indian Village near the mouth of Rock River, 
that within that period of time the Sauk & Fox Indians have been in the 
habit of Visiting the Settlements on Henderson River, and of Killing and 
Stealing the Stock of the White people, that during last spring about the 
month of May, their visits were not so frequent, and when they did come 
among the people, they did not act in that friendly manner, which they 
had previously done. This deponant was during the spring in the Counties 
of McDonough & Warren, and he is satisfied that the County of Warren 
would have been almost entirely abandoned by the Inhabitants If the 
militia of the state had not been called out to defend the frontier. 

Riggs Pennington 

The foregoing statement of Riggs Pennington was subscribed and sworn 
to before me this 24h. of October 1831. 

Henry M Gillett Justice of the peace of Knox County. 

RC, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. Approximately l On the deputation of Knox County men 

the last half of the document, including Penning- sent to Fort Armstrong, see Maxwell's statement 

ton's name, is in the handwriting of William of Oct. 24. 

Thomas. Knox County justice of the peace 2 This syllable was dropped by the writer when 

Gillett signed his own name. Enclosed in: he hyphenated the word after "in" at the end of 

Thomas and Stuart to Reynolds, Nov. 4. a line. 

October SO, 1831 173 

John Bliss to Hemy Atkinson 

Head Quarters Fort Armstrong 30th October 1831. 

Sir, With the assistance of the Sauk Agent and Mr. Davenport their 
trader, I have this day minutely examined four Sauk Indians lately arrived 
from the Des Moines Rapids. As their account may lead to other sources 
of information, I have thought it proper to report the particulars. One of 
them Scawcapey (Crooked Streams) is the father of Sacowakey, who was 
killed by the Sioux in the late conflict between the 23rd July and 20th 
August last. The son is described as having been present at Fort Arm- 
strong wearing a white Deer Skin Mantle. 

The Indians say that Sacowakey left his village the day after the de- 
parture of the Stabbing Chief and the principal part of its inhabitants for 
the fall hunt. They had spread themselves over the country in three di- 
visions and proceeded in the same direction. While passing from the left 
hand or Southern division to the right hand, or Northern division, Saco- 
wakey, Manitoomake, and some others, fell in with the other party who it 
would appear were detached from a larger party of Sioux. Two other Sauks, 
Thoto & Taopake were named also as belonging to the hunt and as having 
made the report of the conflict to their Nation. 

The place is described as beyond, or West, & also to be about one days 
travel above, or North of. The Head Waters of the Iowa river, no where 
near either the Blue earth or the St Peters rivers, but on the south side 
of the late established boundary and far distant from it. 

They positively deny that the Sauk party was a War party or any other 
than a hunting party. They also remark that although it was on Sauk 
ground and although the Sioux had been during the last Winter hunting 
on Sauk ground yet still it was the wish of Sacowakey's Party to be friendly 
with the Sioux. 

In the interview of yesterday the Indians all stated that it was not until 
Sacowakey approached very near that the Sioux threw off their Blankets; 
when the affray took place in the manner described in my letter to you 
of the 24th. August. Two Sioux, Sacowakey and Manitoomakee alone were 
killed. These Indians say that they have heard of no other contest this sea- 
son between their Nation and the Sioux. 

During the examination Mr Davenport informed me that the Black 
hawk while here on the 5th. Septr. last exhibited to him a Sioux Bow and 
Sheaf of arrows, and stated that he had found them hung upon a tree 
near the scene of conflict by way of contempt or defiance, together with 
a human leg cut off at the Knee & clothed in a Sauk legging & Moca- 
sin; and that beyond them he found excavations made in the ground by 
the Sioux for defence. The leg was said to belong to Sacowakey. 

I know of no circumstances to cause any serious doubt upon these state- 
ments of the Indians. Scawcapey and his companions evinced no extraordi- 
nary hesitation or concealment in their answers, and these appeared to be 
the result of information generally known and of opinions previously 

174 The Black Hawk War 

formed. Of the place and of its relation to the Indian boundaries they spoke 
positively. But until the lines are determined by actual survey, I should 
suspect that neither Whites nor Red Men can arrive at any certainty. Of 
the trespasses of the Sioux upon Sauk lands the Chiefs Morgan & Keokok 
have heretofore made strong complaints. 

Mr. St. Vrain the Agent has been informed that only three Sauks were 
present at the conflict: That after discovering the herd of Buff aloe & the 
two Sioux in pursuit, two of the Sauks by previous consent concealed them- 
selves, while the third, Sacowakey approached proffering his hand in token 
of friendship and that this was repeatedly rejected by the Sioux before 
they fired, from this circumstance it might probably be inferred that the 
affray probably originated from a disinclination of the Sioux to permit any 
participation in the chase or the fruits of it & from the pertinacity evinced 
by Sacowakey on that ocasion it is also very possible that the Sioux might 
have witnessed the previous movement of the Sauks. 

The affair is supposed to have occurred after the 23d July because on 
that day and in the evening Mr St. Vrain received near the mouth of the 
loway river a special message from the Stabbing chief at his village stating 
among other things that he should depart the next day on His hunt. Of 
the exact date of the transaction the Indians examined could give no ac- 
count. Morgan the late Fox chief could have had no part in it. all accounts 
here agree that he died of sickness at his village soon after hearing & dis- 
aproving of the late Menominee Massacre. 

With much respect I am Sir Your Obt Sevt 
(Signed) J. Bliss Major 1st Inf Comdg 

To Brigr Genl H Atkinson Comdg R W W Dept Jeff Barracks Mis- 

CC, DNA: RG 94. AGO (Frames 566-69, Roll in Atkinson to Jones, Nov. 29, 1831— together 
58, M567). Endorsed: "A151 thro: Gen Atkinson with its enclosures. File A151 in ibid. The Bliss 
Dec 1831. Dec: 17, 1831." This was an enclosure letter also has the file number B272. 

Deposition of John Barrell 

[November 2, 1831] 

State of Illinois 
Joe Davis County 

John Barrel of said County being sworn says That he resides on the Mis- 
sissippi River, on the same side of said River, as the Indian Village of the 
Sauks and Foxes, and about three and a half miles from said Village, where 
he had resided for the last two Years. He states, that he has been ac- 
quainted with the Band of Indians who resided at saied Village, since he 
first settled in their neighborhood: said Band so far as this Deponent 
knows, have always professed friendship to the Whites previous to the 

November 2, 1831 175 

disturbances which occurred in the Spring, but they have always been 
troublesome and mischievous neighbors, stealing the horses, destroying the 
cattle, crops, &c. of the Whites. This Deponent states, That the Black 
Hawk has always been considered the Principal Chief of the Band which 
resided at the Village on Rock River. During the summer of the Year, 
1830, the Black Hawk was abscent the greater part of the summer. Before 
his abscenc he told this Deponent that he was going to Maiden to recieve 
his annual presents from the British Government. The Black Hawk since 
his return has told this Deponent, that he had been to Maiden and had 
recieved Presents from the British Government. The Black Hawk returned 
early last Fall, and about the time when the affray occurred between the 
Indian and young Wells, ^ and about the time when his Band went off upon 
their Wi7iter Hunt. In the Spring of the Year 1831, the white settlers around 
said Village, became much agitated, and apprehensive by reason of the 
hostile conduct of said Band since their Return, from their hunting Last 
Winter. This Deponent, not being a Resident in said Village, or its imme- 
diate Vincinity was not himself a Sufferer by their open Violence. Shortly 
after their return in the Spring it was reporteed in the neighborhood, that 
they had driven the whites from their homes, and from lands which they 
had purchased of the United States. Shortly after said reports obtaineed 
circulation, this Deponent saw the Indians in the possession of the Lands 
of which the whites a short time previous had the use and occupancy, and 
which the whites had been compelleed to abandon by the actual or threat- 
ened Violence of the Indians. This Deponent recollects of seeing the In- 
dians in the possession of the farms, of Mr Wells, Davenport, Squire Bra- 
shier and of Mr. Kerr,^ and he knows that said individuals had abandoned 
their said farms. This Deponent after said return in the Spring discovered 
in the general conduct of said Indians a degree of arogance to them un- 
usual. In some conversations to which he was present, an old Indian which 
belonged to said Band, being asked what the Indians intended to do, re- 
plied "That they did not intend to leave the Village and country: but 
would die there before they would go off: Being asked how they expecteed 
to fight, he replied that: Those among them, who had no Guns, had bows 
& arrows and that as for himself he was an old man but could still shoot 
an arrow. In divers conversations, he heard the Indians say, that they ex- 
pected the Potawatamies, the Kickapoos, and Indians from the Missouri 
and the Winnabagoes to join them. The reason they assigned for expecting 
these Tribes was that as ''they said, "They had promiseed to do so." This 
Deponent states that he has every reason to believe that, during the fall 
of the Year 1830, said Indians stole from this Deponent a horse of the 
Value of Fifty Dollars. They likewise shot their arrows into the eyes of 
two Oxen, which damaged them to the amount of Ten Dollars. 

Jno. Barrell 

Sworn & subscribed before Me This 2nd. of Nov. 1831. 
Wm. T. Brashar— J.P. 


The Black Hawk War 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. Enclosed in: 
Thomas and Stuart to Reynolds, Nov. 4. 

John Barrel! had been a miner at Galena as 
early as 1823. In Dec, 1829, he was licensed by 
the Jo Daviess County Commissioners' Court to 
keep a ferry across the Mississippi at Rock 
Island. He was commissioned a justice of the 
peace in 1831. His home, the former Farnham 
and Davenport trading house in the Fox village 
in present Rock Island, directly opposite Fort 
Armstrong, was used as an inn and the seat of 
Rock Island County government. Barrell left the 
county at an early date. Jo Daviess County 
(1878), 242, 261, 267, 303, 313. 322, 351; Trans. 
ISHS. XVII: 71: Jour. ISHS. IX: 289-90, XXVI: 
299-300; I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 319. 

1 On the encounter between John Wells and 
the Indian, see Joseph Danforth's deposition of 
June 10 and n. 4. 

2 These were the farms of Rinnah Wells, 
George Davenport, William T. Brashar, and 

William Carr. Joshua Vandruff, in another 
deposition of Nov. 2, adds his own farm and 
those of Benjamin Carr, Jonah Case, Louden 
Case, and John Spencer to the list of those 
occupied by the Indians. 

William Carr (1800-1869) had acquired half 
of Brashar's farm in 1830 (see Brashar's de- 
position of Nov. 3). Carr had emigrated with 
his father's family from New Jersey to Penn- 
sylvania to Ohio and in 1824 or 1825 to Illinois. 
He and his brothers Elisha and Benjamin 
entered land in present Cass County in 1828 
and 1829. William, along with several brothers, 
also worked at the lead mines in the Galena 
area. The family scattered widely, but some 
of its members remained both in Rock Island 
and Cass counties. Cass County (1882), 22, 24, 
184; Jo Daviess Countij (1878). 304; Rock Island 
County (1877), 271; carr, "The Story of John 
Karr," passim. 

Deposition of Joshua Vandruff 

[November 2, 1831] 
State of Illinois Jo Daviess County. S.S. 

Joshua Vandruff of said county being sworn, states, "that in the year 
1829 ^ he settled on the Bank of Rock River in the Indian Village near the 
mouth of Rock River, he built a log dwelling House and enclosed three 
or four acres of ground, round about his House. He made a farm on an 
Island of Rock River south of the Indians Village, and cultivated in that 
year about sixteen acres of ground — on the Island. In the year 1830 he 
cultivated about forty five acres of ground on the same Island and about 
ten acres on another Island. He continued to reside at the same place until 
the month of April 1831 he then removed his house on^ the Island of 
Rock River, and lived on the Island until he removed to avoid the Indians. 
The Sauk & Fox Indians returned to their Village in the month of May 
1831. they encamped for a time near the deponants wheat field, he had 
twenty five acres of wheat growing, the Indians took forcible possession 
of that field, broke, and Burnt the fence around it, pastured their Horses 
on the wheat until it was distroyed, there was at least two Hundred and 
fifty Head of Horses on the wheat field at one time. The deponant broke 
about thirty acres of ground to plant in corn, the Indians however pre- 
vented deponant from planting any com. In the month of May 1831 Black 
Hawk and several other Indians went to the House of the deponent and told 
him that he must remove from his place of residence or the Indians would 
kill him and his family, and expressed a determination to occupy the Vil- 
lage and drive off all the whites. When they required deponant to remove, 
he told them, that he had a large family of children, and it was too late 

November 2, 1831 111 

in the season to remove and make a crop. Some of them appeared to be 
willing for deponant to remain until fall, but afterwards the Indians fre- 
quently told deponant that he must remove or they would kill him. 

The deponant knows, that the Indians took forcible possession of the 
farms of Rinah Wells, Benjamin Kerr,^ Jonah Case, Loudon Case & John 
Spencer, and William T Brashar, or parts of each of those farms.* The 
Indians frequently Enquired of deponant to know, whether the Militia 
would be ordered out against them, or not, a larger party of them settled 
in the Village in the spring of 1831, than had lived there, in 1830 or 1829. 
they were well armed, with Guns & Bows and Arrows, they kept at the 
Village about five Hundred Horses. The deponant was informed by an 
Indian called NePope ^ who was one of the speakers, and by "Black Hawk," 
and many others, that they were determined to take possession of the old 
Village, and drive off the whites, — that they had smoked with the Potto- 
wottomies, Kickapoos, Winnebagoes, loways, Ossages, and Musquakees, 
and that all of those Indians would Join the Black Hawks party and assist 
in killing the white People, or keeping possession of the ground. The de- 
ponant knows, that the Indians were collecting at the Village on Rock 
River and Joining Black Hawk from various directions for some time be- 
fore they were driven off. those that came in were well armed, and ap- 
peared to be prepared for Hostilities. The deponant was compelled to 
abandon his farm and Home by the Indians about the first of May 1831. 
there was about forty Indians at his house when he removed: before he 
removed the Indians frequently Visited his house and threatened to kill 
the family. In the year 1829 the Indians distroyed about ninety Bushells 
of corn of the deponant worth fifty cents per Bushell. they Burnt & dis- 
troyed 1500 Rails worth $2 per Hundred, they stole two Canoes worth five 
dollars each, they shot out the Eyes of a Valuable ox which injured the 
ox very much, and reduced his value $15. In the year 1830, they distroyed 
a field of corn of the deponant containing ten acres, and it is believed that 
there was at least three Hundred Bushelles of corn, worth fifty cents per 
Bushelle, also about 150 Bushelles in another field — they stole in this year 
1830 the following articles— Two Log chains worth $8. three falling axes 
worth $2.50 cents each, Three setting poles worth $1.25 cents each. Three 
Weeding Hoes worth $1 — each, One Canoe worth five dollars, they stole 
16 Head of Hogs worth five dollars each, beside a number of small Hogs. 
In 1831 they Broke into the House of deponent by force and took and 
carried away a Barrelle of Whiskey containing thirty five Gallons worth 
One dollar per Gallon. 

They distroyed his wheat as hereinbefore stated, and he estimates the 
loss of his crop of wheat, at, Four Hundred dollars, they distroyed a Set 
of House Logs worth, twenty five dollars. They crippled an ox in the year 
1830 & damaged him $10. They distroyed in 1831 Seven Hundred IMill 
Cogs worth $10.50 cents, they also Stole one Canoe worth five dollars, they 
distroyed a Barrell of Vinegar worth $4. they distroyed about 1000 rails 


The Black Hawk War 

worth $2 per Hundred. The deponant had about thirty acres of ground 
prepared for planting com in the spring of 1831. he had a Garden, the 
Garden was distroyed, the deponant was prevented from making a crop, 
and he estimates the rent of his Land which he was prevented from culti- 
vating at Eighty dollars, although the loss sustained by him amounts to 
a much larger sura. The deponant owns a ferry across Rock River which 
is valuable, the Indians in 1830 made an attempt to sink his boat and 
injured the boat, so that repairing it was worth $10. He also lost the use 
of his ferry during the Indian disturbance in 1831. 

Joshua Vandruff 

The foregoing statement of Joshua Vandruff was Subscribed and sworn 
to before me this 2nd. day of November 1831. 

Wm. T. Brashar — Justice of the peace of Joe Daviess County. 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW; the body of 
the document is in the handwriting of William 
Thomas. Enclosed in: Thomas and Stuart to 
Reynolds, Nov. 4. 

Joshua Vandruff, progenitor of a large Rock 
Island County family, came to Illinois from 
Pennsylvania by way of Ohio. His home in 
Rock Island County was established in the Sauk 
village on the north side of Rock River in 
Section 14, near where the Sears mill was later 
located. He removed to the island which now 
bears his name in 1831 and lived there until 
his death, which occurred ca. 1859. Vandruff 
operated a ferry across the main channel of 
Rock River on the north side of Vandruff's Island 
as early as 1830. The ferry was located at the 
old Indian ford near the later bridges across 
the Rock River (Trans. ISIIS. XXVIII: 92-93; 
CARTWRIGHT, Autobiography, 333). In 1834 Van- 
druff's ferry was the first licensed by the re- 
cently organized county government. In addition 
to farming and operating the ferry, Vandruff 
kept a tavern at his home and in the 1840's 
became one of the proprietors of a saw- and 
flouring mill at the north end of Vandruff's 

SPENCER, 40, says that Vandruff had twelve 
children, but perry ar.mstrong, 148, gives the 
number as ten. The names of five sons are 
known: Joshua, Jr., John, Henry, Jacob, and 
James. Joshua, Henry, and Samuel Vandruff were 
enrolled in Capt. Benjamin F. Pike's 1831 ranger 
company, but no record of their service in the 
1832 campaign has been found. Samuel's re- 
lation, if any, to Joshua, Sr., has not been 
discovered. See Rock Island County (1877), 143, 
209; Rock Island County (1908), 104, 105; Rock 
Island County (1885), 402, 689. 

1 Vandruff was a squatter. On the farms in 
the village, see Brashar's deposition of Nov. 3, 
and n. 1. 

2 The word "to" was lined out. 

3 Benjamin Carr {ca. 1805-1861) later be- 

came a prosperous farmer in Wisconsin. At the 
time of his death, he was living at Benton, 
Lafayette County. He is buried in the Carr 
cemetery at Cuba City, Wisconsin. He was a 
brother of William Carr. CARR, "The Story of John 
Karr," 21-22. 

4 Barren's deposition, preceding this, includes 
the farms of George Davenport and William Carr. 

5 Napope, as his name is more commonly 
given, was to become the principal chief of 
Black Hawk's band by the spring of 1832. When 
the Indians learned that General Gaines was 
coming to remove them from Rock River in 1831, 
Napope left to visit the British at Maiden and 
seek their advice about the removal of the band. 
On his return he stopped at the Prophet's village, 
where he learned that Black Hawk's band had 
signed an agreement never to return to Illinois 
without permission of the President or the 
governor of the state. Bitterly dissatisfied, he 
and the Prophet originated the plans for the 
band's return the following spring. (See BLACK 
HAWK, 132-36; Napope's testimony of Aug. 20, 
1832; the report of the talk with the Prophet in 
St. Vrain to Clark, April 6, 1832.) 

Namoett and loway, two of the leaders of 
Black Hawk's band, had died during the winter 
of 1830-1831, and in the summer of 1831 Bad 
Thunder, then the principal band chief, also 
died. As both Quashquame and the Prophet 
explained (Sept. 5 council proceedings and the 
April 6, 1832, conversation of the Prophet) , the 
only chiefs surviving were too young to command 
a village. 

At the Aug. 20, 1832, examination of Indian 
prisoners, Napope is identified as the principal 
"war chief" of Black Hawk's band, although in 
his own testimony, he calls himself a principal 
chief. Wacomme, also a Sauk chief, calls Napope 
"the principal chief" of Black Hawk's band 
(Black Hawk's Answer, April 26, 1832). Lt. 
Robert Anderson also calls him the first chief of 
the band; see n. on the Aug. 27 list of prisoners. 

November 2, 1831 


Although Weesheet's testimony about the status 
of the chiefs is confusing, his listing indicates 
that Napope's rank was that of an hereditary 
gens chief rather than that of a temporary 
war leader; see the Aug. 27 examination of 
Indian prisoners. 

In the war Napope behaved less than credit- 
ably. He left the main party of Indians as a 
hunter on the morning of the Wisconsin Heights 
battle, planning to join the camp that night, 
but when he discovered the trail of the volunteer 
forces, he deserted the band. Despite White 
Crow's testimony to the contrary, it seems that 
Napope spent several days at White Crow's 
village before making his way down the Rock 
River and across the Mississippi. He was de- 
livered to the U.S. forces at Rock Island by 
the friendly Sauk and Fox chiefs on Aug. 20. 
(See Napope's testimony, Aug. 20, 1832; White 
Crow's testimony, Sept. 11, 1832; and Scott to 
Cass, Aug. 19-21, 1832.) 

Napope was one of the hostages confined at 
Jefferson Barracks after the war and also one 
of the six taken East in the late spring of 1833. 
Prior to that time. General Atkinson had re- 
commended the release of all the hostages ex- 

cept Napope and the Prophet. (Atkinson to 
Macomb, March 28 and April 6, 1833, in DNA: 
RG 94, AGO, correspondence about Black Hawk's 
captivity on film in IHi.) 

In the 1840's Napope was a member of the 
Hardfish band of the Sauk and Fox, formed 
in opposition to Keokuk (Annals of loiva, XV: 

A so-called chief named "Nepope" was one of 
the leaders of the Sauk delegation that visited 
Maiden in 1827. Learning of the Winnebago 
War, this man stopped at the Carey Mission en 
route home and asked for a pass and white flag. 
Isaac McCoy, mission superintendent, talked 
with Nepope, who pointed out the scar on his 
forehead resulting from a bullet wound received 
in the War of 1812. (MccoY, History of Baptist 
Indian Missions, 313-14.) 

Since the 1832 Napope was a young man and 
since no mention has been found of a forehead 
wound or service in the War of 1812, there is 
no conclusive evidence to show that the 1827 
"chief" was the 1832 chief of Black Hawk's band. 
See the description and characterization of 
Napope in Wallace, 45-46. 

Deposition of Joel Wells, Jr. 

[November 2, 1831] 
State of Illinois Jo Daviess County. S.S. 

Joel Wells of the county and state aforesaid being sworn, states, that 
he resides on the Bank of the Mississippi River about two miles above 
Fort Armstrong, where he settled about the month of April 1831. during 
the month of April and May last he was several times in the Indian Village 
near the mouth of Rock River, a part of the Land on which the Village is 
situated was sold by the united states to Individuals in the fall of the 
year, 1829, and was occupied by White people, in the spring of 1831. When 
the Indians returned from their Hunt in the spring of 1831, they took 
possession of parts of several farms occupied by white people situated on 
the Village aforesaid, the deponant learned, that the Indians had ordered 
one Rinnah Wells to leave his farm, which was situated in the Village, and 
told him that unless he removed they would kill him and his family, and 
the deponant was also informed that in consequence of the Indians having 
ordered the said Wells to leave his farm, that the white People in the 
Vicinity of the Village had agreed, to visit the Indians and Hold a con- 
versation with them upon the subject of their occupying the Lands of the 
whites. The deponant with several other persons went to see the Indians; 
this was in the month of May 1831. "Black Hawk" and some of his War- 
riors met [them],^ they then agreed that if Wells would remove his family 

180 The Black Hawk War 

the next day, and his stock, that the Indians would not interrupt him, and 
that they would not do, him any more damage. The deponant understood 
that the Indians has told the said Wells that unless the said Wells re- 
moved, they would kill him and his family, the said Wells did remove 
from his farm, and after he removed the Indians took possession of his 
farm and planted corn. The deponant understood from Such of the In- 
dians as he conversed with, that they were determined to remain in pos- 
session of the Village, by force. 

The deponant states that in consequence of the Indian disturbances in the 
spring of 1831 he left his farm and went to Fort Armstrong, with his family, 
his farm being abandoned, he was prevented from making a crop, he had 
about four acres of ground enclosed and two acres planted in corn, and 
potatoes, the corn was all distroyed. the rent of the ground planted in corn, 
was worth two dollars per acre, the cost of preparing the ground and plant- 
ing the corn was three dollars and fifty cents per acre, the whole loss sus- 
tained by the deponant would amount to Eleven dollars. The deponant 
believes that he would have raised One Hundred Bushelles of corn if he 
had not been compelled to leave his farm which would have been worth 
Seventy five cents per Bushelle. 

Joel Wells Jn 

The foregoing statement of Joel Wells subscribed and sworn to before 
me this 2nd. day of November 1831. 
Jno. Barrell J. P. Jo Davis County 

DS. I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW; the body of Reynolds, Nov. 4. 

the document is in the handwriting of William 1 The bracketed word was omitted by the writer. 

Thomas. Enclosed in: Thomas and Stuart to 

Deposition of William T. Brashar 

[November 3, 1831] 
State of Illinois Jo Daviess County. 

William T Brashar being sworn states, that in the spring of the year 1829 
he settled on a half section of Land in the Indian Village near the mouth 
of Rock River he built a log dwelling House, he, with others, by Joining 
fences, enclosed about a Quarter section of Land, the deponant and William 
Kerr cultivated about twelve acres of the Land enclosed, the year 1829. In 
the fall of the year 1829 deponant purchased from the United States, the 
Half section of Land on which he had previously settled, being the North 
Half of Section Eleven, Township Seventeen North Range two West of the 
fourth principle meridian, in the spring of 1830 deponant agreed to convey 
one Half of the Land purchased by him to William Kerr, and in the fall of 
1830 did convey to the Assignee of said Kerr. 

In the year 1830 deponant cultivated about fifteen acres in corn, and had 
about three acres in wheat, sown in the fall of 1829. The deponant would 

November 3, 1831 181 

have cultivated more land in 1830, but the Indians took forcible possession 
of about twenty five acres of his ground, and cultivated the same, they kept 
the possession until they gathered their crop and went off on their fall Hunt, 
previous to their going off, they broke the enclosure, and turned their Horses 
on deponants corn, they had gathered their own com, before they turned 
their Horses in the field on the deponants corn. Deponant endeavored to 
keep the Horses off of his corn, and went repeatedly to the principle men, 
and Chiefs and requested them to keep the Horses off of the corn, they 
paid very little attention to such requests, and their Horses distroyed about 
one third of the corn, two men disinterested, called on to estimate the 
damage, estimated it at one Hundred and fifty dollars. The deponant be- 
lieves that the Indians killed and distroyed a Number of his Hogs in the 
year 1830, and dug and carried away his potatoes, without his consent. 

In the spring of the year 1831 when the Indians returned from their Hunt, 
they resumed possession of the Village, deponant had rented his farm to 
three men, — the Indians took forcible possession of a part of the ground en- 
closed, and acted more unfriendly, and with more violence than they had 
ever done before, there was Six farms in the Village, occupied by white 
people, four of the farms were on Land which the occupants had purchased 
of the Government.^ the Indians took forcible possession of parts of all the 
farms, and commenced cultivating the ground. The deponant told the In- 
dians, and particularly a chief called "Bad Thunder," that they must not 
cultivate the ground, within his enclosures, for the reason, that he had 
purchased the Land of the Goverment. they replied, that they would 
cultivate the Land, that they had not Sold the Land to the Goverment. 
"Bad Thunder" said "I have Baught all my Blankettes; I have recived 
nothing from Goverment for my Land." The Deponant knows, that in the 
spring of 1831, the Indians broke the fences of the citizens and turned their 
Horses into wheat fields, and distroyed the crops of wheat growing. 

The deponant had frequent conversations with the Indians, and with the 
Chiefs in the spring of 1831, and they all informed him, that the Indians 
had determined to keep possession of the Village and drive off the whites. 
The Indians had assumed a Hostile attitude toward the whites by takeing 
forcible possession of the Land as herein before stated, and they expected, 
or had heard, that troops would be sent for, to drive them off. they fre- 
quently enquired of deponant whether troops were comeing or not. de- 
ponant usually replied, '7 dont Know." When the deponant heard that the 
Militia was on the march to Rock Island, He informed many of the Indians, 
that the troops were comeing to drive them off. Some of them said that 
"they would fight," others said, that "they would not go, but they would 
sit down." The Indians had acted all the spring in such manner as to satisfy 
the inhabitants, that they intended Hostilities, or to Forcibly maintain pos- 
session of the Village. In conversations with the Indians, they informed de- 
ponant that they had, the Winter before smoked; with, the Kickapoos, 
Potto wattomies, Osages, W^innebagoes, & loways, and those nations would 
Join them, in the event of Hostilities with the Whites, and they informed 

182 The Black Hawk War 

deponant, that they expected to be joined by those Indians, and they 
thereby expected to be able to maintain their possessions. The deponant 
believes that there was about ten Lodges of Indians at the Village in the 
spring of 1831, more than there was in the year 1830. The deponant knows, 
that the Indians were collecting together at the Village in May 1831 from 
various directions, the deponant saw Winnebago Indians with the Sauks, 
not long before the Militia arrived, he also saw Ossages, and Pottowat- 

The deponant is satisfied from having seen the Indians, their Lodges, and 
Wigwams, that there was Three Hundred Warriors who belonged to Black 
Hawks Band; About the time of the arrival of the Militia, the Number of 
Warriors at the Village w^as estimated at Eight Hundred, by persons who 
passed, through the Village. The deponant is satisfied, that the estimate of 
the Number of Warriors above Stated, was about correct. He did not hear 
any one who pretended to know the Number, estimate it at less than Eight 
Hundred Warriors. 

The Indians remained at the Village until the Militia arrived on the 
Mississippi River, and left the Village in the night, or evening, before the 
Militia marched to the Village. Until the arrival of the Militia, the Indians 
had said, that they would remain in possession of the Land. They were all 
unusually well armed with Guns, and Bows and arrows, and had expressed 
a detemiination to keep the possession of the Village or die in the defence. 
The deponant is satisfied that those Indians who informed him, that other 
tribes of Indians would Join them, told him the truth, from the fact, that 
he saw other Indians with Black Hawks Band, — that from all the informa- 
tion he could obtain about five Hundred Warriers did Join them, and that 
they persisted in retaining possession of the Village and refuseing to cross 
the Mississippi until the Illinois Militia had Joined Genl Gaines on the 
Mississippi River not more than seven miles from the Village; Black Hawk 
has been considered as the War Chief of the British Band of Sauk and Fox 
Indians, and the Leader of that Band. He has told the deponant that he 
never would give up the Lands occupied by his Band near Rock Island, 
that he intended in the fall of 1831 to compell the white People to remove 
up the Mississippi off of the Land on which the Village of his Band was 
situated. Since the Indians were driven across the river, they have returned 
in parties and gathered most of the com which grew from their planting, 
on the Lands, from which they were expelled. The deponant understands 
the Language of the Sauk & Fox Indians, so as to be able to converse with 
them. He can speak their Language so as to be understood by them. Many 
of the Indians residing West of the Mississippi, joined the Hostile band, 
especially of Keokuks Band.^ 

Wm. T. Brashar 

The foregoing statement of William T Brashar was subscribed and sworn 
to before me this 3rd. day of November 1831. 

Jno. Barrell Justice of the peace of Jo Daviess County 111 




DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW; the body of 
the document is in the handwriting of William 
Thomas. Enclosed in: Thomas and Stuart to 
Reynolds, Nov. 4. 

1 Brashar used the term village to include 
Sauk farmlands as well as the area in which 
their lodges were concentrated. This usage seems 
to have been fairly common. In 1820 Maj. 
Stephen Watts Kearny described the land be- 
tween Fort Armstrong and the Sauk village. 
On his right, as he headed south from the fort, 
he said, was "an extensive rich Prairie, reaching 
to the Mississippi, & on our left, a gentle hill, 
well covered with corn beans &c., &c. & thickly 
settled — on the Rock River we found the Princi- 
pal village of the Sac Nations" (Missouri Histori- 
cal Society Collections, III: 124). spencer, 27, 48, 
says that the road from the fort to the Sauk 
village paralleled the later Milan Road, or Ninth 
Street. BLACK hawk, 100, says that the village 
was at the foot of the rapids in the Rock River. 
The village thus seems to have included Sections 
2, 3, 9, 10. 11, 14, 15, and perhaps parts of 12 
and 13 of Township 17 North, Range 2 West of 
the Fourth Principal Meridian; see the report of 
land purchases compiled by Lloyd A. Dunlap 
(from records in I-A), S-F Ex. 277, Docket 158, 

The four farms in the Sauk Indian village that 
had been purchased from the government were 
those of Brashar, William Carr, Jonah Case, 
and George Davenport. The squatters were 
Rinnah Wells and Joshua Vandruflf (spencer, 

The quarter of Section 11 that Brashar re- 
tained (after selling one quarter to William 
Carr) was rented to three men, one of whom 

was Moses Johnson (see Johnson's deposition of 
Nov. 3 ) . The other two renters have not been 
identified. But since Louden Case, Jr., John 
Spencer, and Benjamin Carr are mentioned (in 
Joshua Vandruff's deposition of Nov. 2 and 
Jonah Case's deposition of Nov. 3), as those 
whose farms were taken over, they may have 
been farming either on Brashar's land or on 
that owned by George Davenport. 

Davenport, alone or in partnership with Russel 
Farnham, held more lands on the Rock River 
Peninsula than any other person. The exact 
location of his 1831 farm is not known, how- 

Jonah Case's farm was immediately to the 
north of Brashar's on the south half of Section 
2 in Township 17 and in the "upper end" of 
the Indian village, he said in his deposition of 
Nov. 3 

Wells lived "in the heart" of the Sauk village, 
in the Northeast Vi of Section 15 on land not yet 
offered for sale because it was in a fractional 
township adjoining the Rock River and had not 
been on the plat of the survey. He had enclosed 
at least one hundred acres within the village 
(see his deposition of Nov. 3). Vandruff farmed 
both on the north side of Rock River and on 
the island known as Vandruff's (see his deposi- 
tion of Nov. 2; BLACK HAWK, 114; Rock Island 
County [1885], 689). 

2 On June 5 (see the council proceedings, June 
4-7) Keokuk told General Gaines that he had 
drawn off ten or twelve lodges, or about fifty 
families, of "his friends." On the size of Black 
Hawk's band, see n. 1, Reynolds to Jackson, 
Aug. 2. 

Deposition of Jonah H. Case 

[Novembers, 1831] 
State of Illinois Jo Daviess County 

Jonah H Case of the county of Jo Daviess and state of Illinois being 
sworn states, that he settleci on the Mississippi River south of Fort Arm- 
strong below the In(iian Boundary line ^ in January Eighteen Hundred and 
twenty nine, and has resided at the same place ever since. In the fall of 
Eighteen Hundred & Twenty nine George Davenport & Russell Farnham 
purchased for the deponant at the Land sales in Springfield, two Quarter 
Sections of Land on the South Half of Section two in Township Number 
seventeen North, Range Number two West, being the Land on which he 
had previously settled. In the spring of the year Eighteen Hundred and 
thirty one the said Davenport and Farnham conveyed the said land to the 
deponant, as they bound themselves to do at the time of the purchase. In 

184 The Black Hawk War 

the year 1829 the deponant built a log Dwelling House on the Land and 
enclosed about sixty acres for cultivation about thirty acres of which he 
broke and cultivated the same year. In 1830 the deponant cultivated about 
twenty acres of the Land enclosed as aforesaid. In the spring of 1830 the 
Sauk and Fox Indians belonging to Black Hawks Band took forcible pos- 
session of about thirty acres of the ground enclosed, and cultivated the same 
against the will and consent of the deponant. they kept the possession until 
they gathered their crop in the fall, and then went off Hunting. The de- 
ponant then took possession of all the ground enclosed, and remained in 
possession until the spring of the year Eighteen Hundred & thirty one In 
the month of April 1831 the Indians returned from their Hunt, a part of 
them took possession of all the ground enclosed by the deponant, except 
about seventeen acres, which they peraiited him to occupy, they commenced 
working the ground and planted it in corn, Beans &c The deponant objected 
to the Indians occupying his Land in 1830, and endeavored to get them to 
leave it but they obstinately refused. In 1831 he again objected, and in- 
formed the Indians that he had purchased the Land from the United States, 
and that they had no right to occupy it. he went with them to the Indian 
Interpreter- and got the Interpreter to tell them, that he had purchased the 
Land of the United States, and that they had no right to occupy it. In the 
spring of 1831 the deponant informed a chief called "Bad Thunder" that 
the Indians must not come inside of his fence or enclosure, the chief re- 
plied, that the white people had stole the Land from them and that they 
would come, and raise corn. Shortly after this, three chiefs, one called 
"Black Hawk," one called "Black Thunder"^ and another whose name is 
not recollected, came to the House of the deponant, and told him that he 
had stolen their Land, but he might remain until fall, and gather his crop, 
but he must remove in the fall off of the Land. The deponant informed 
them, that "the White People would drive them off. they said, "The White 
People are Liars" "the White People had said they would drive the In- 
dians off for two years before and had not done so." 

The Indians continued in possession of the Land of the deponant, until 
they were driven off by the troops the last of June 1831 The deponant was 
acquainted with most of the Indians belonging to Black Hawks Band, and 
those residing at the lower Village on Rock River; he conversed with many 
of them in the spring of 1831 all of them said, that they were determined 
to take possession of their old Village occupied by the white people, that 
they would drive of? the whites. Several of them stated, that they were able 
to whip and kill all the white people on the Frontier and when deponant 
informed them, that more white People would come, they said deponant was 
a Liar. 

In the months of April and May, 1831 the Indians took possession of the 
farms occupied by George Davenport, Rinnah Wells, Joshua Vandruff, 
Benjamin Kerr and William T Brashar, as well as that of the deponant, 
against the consent of the owners, they planted corn and Beans within the 

November 3, 1831 185 

Enclosures, they pulled down the fences of several of the citizens and turned 
their Horses into wheat fields, and distroyed the wheat. 

there was upwards of twenty five acres of wheat growing within the en- 
closure of Mr Davenport, the wheat belonged to the deponant and two other 
persons, on which the Indians kept their Horses several weeks in the month 
of April and May 1831. Messrs Brashar, Wells, and Vandruff, each had 
wheat growing on their farms, and the Indians broke the enclosures and 
pastured their Horses on the wheat and permited the stock of the whites to 
go into the fields and distroy the wheat. 

In the spring of the year 1831 there was about Seven Hundred Indians 
removed to and took possession of the old Village near the mouth of Rock 
River, of that number there was about three Hundred Effective Warriers. 
the deponant lived in the upper End of the old Village, and in sight of the 
places occupied by the Indians, he saw the Indians every day and had a 
good oppurtunity of ascertaining their Numbers. He conversed with the 
Indians frequently in the month of May 1831 and many of them said, that 
they were determined to attack the whites and kill them off. 

A captain or principle Brave called Pa sha to att^ informed the deponant 
that the Indians were determined to drive off or Kill the White People, that 
the Kickapoos, Pottowattomies, Winnibagoes, Musquakees, / Ways, and 
Ossages would come to their Assistance, the deponant learned the same facts 
from the Chief "Black Hawk." The deponant was in the Village about the 
20th. of May 1831. he discovered, that the Warriors had increased consider- 
ably in Numbers, and he was satisfied, that there was then at Least five 
Hundred Warriors in the Village, about this time an old Indian, came to 
the House of the deponant and informed deponant, that the Indians had 
Just held a council, and had determined to attack and kill all the whites 
and advised deponant to remove. The Indians frequently informed the de- 
ponant that they were not afraid of the Regulars that they were able to 
whip the Regulars and all the citizens in the Vicinity of Rock Island. 

The deponant saw an Indian Trader named Dixon who had passed 
through the Indian Village and conversed with him about Eight days, be- 
fore the Illinois Militia arrived at Rock Island. Dixon stated that there was 
at Least Eight Hundred Warriers at that time in the Village. A day or two 
after this, Mr Gratiot an agent of the Winnebago Indians informed the 
deponant that he had been at the Village, and was satisfied that there was 
Eight Hundred Warriers then at the Village. The Indians Remained at the 
Village until the Militia arrived in the Vicinity, and left the Village in the 
evening and night before the troops reached the Village. The deponant 
states, that ever since he has lived near the Indians, they have been in the 
Habit of stealing Horses of the white people and killing and distroying 

In the fall of the year 1829 they stole from this deponants father, Louden 
Case: One Sorrell mare worth about Seventy five dollars. In the year 1829 
they distroyed and took away about fifty Bushelles of Irish Potatoes be- 

186 The Black Hawk War 

longing to the said Loudon Case, worth seventy five cents per Bushell 

In 1830 the deponant and his father lost twenty Six Hogs, which he is 
satisfied the Indians killed and took away, worth about five dollars a Head 
In the fall of the year 1830 they stole three head of Horses belonging to 
deponant and his mother of the following discription 
A Sorrelle mare worth fifty dollars, 
A Brown Horse worth Sixty dollars, 
A Sorrelle Colt worth Twenty five dollars, 
the Horse was returned by the Indians in the spring of 1831 much reduced 
and injured by Hard usage. 

In the month of May 1831 the Indians broke into the field of the de- 
ponant, and took away and distroyed a quaintity of wheat belonging to him 
and his mother, which had been Threshed and piled in the Chaff on the 
threshing floor, the quantity supposed to be Seventy Bushelles worth fifty 
cents per Bushelle. 

In the year 1830 the Indians turned their Horses into deponants corn field 
and damaged and distroyed a considerable quantity of the corn. The injury 
thus sustained, would amount to at Least ten dollars. In the year 1831 the 
Indians stole from deponant and his mother twenty Eight Head of Hogs 
worth three dollars per head. 

The deponant further states that in conversations with "Black Hawk" 
and other Indians last spring, they informed him, that they had, the winter 
previous. Visited and smoked with, the Kickapoos Pottowattomies, Winne- 
bagoes, Musquakees, / Oways, and Ossages, that all of those nations had 
agreed to Join the Black Hawk, and his party, and assist in maintaining 
the possession of the Village, and killing off the Whites, and they often 
Boasted and said, that they would make the Whites Eat Dirt and Choke 
to death, the deponant is well satisfied from what he learned from the In- 
dians, that they had formed Leagues, with the nations herein before named, 
and that those Nations would have furnished men or Warriors, if they had 
not been detered by the numbers of troops called into service. The deponant 
saw at the Village with Black Hawks Band, Kickapoos, Musquakees, Win- 
nebagoes, & Pottowattomies, in the month of May 1831. About the time of 
the arrival of the Militia and previous to that time, the Indians were col- 
lecting at the Village from various Quarters, some on Horses, & others in 
Canoes, all armed, with Guns or Bows and arrows. 

The deponant further states, that in consequence of his being compelled 
to leave his farm in May 1831, he was prevented from making any crop. 
his corn that he planted was distroyed by the Indians. 

In 1830 he lost the use of thirty acres of ground enclosed, which was oc- 
cupied by the Indians, the rent of which was worth two dollars per acre. 

In 1831 he lost the use of thirty two acres Enclosed, the rent of which 
was worth two dollars per acre, beside the loss of his labour in planting 
ten acres of corn, and one and a fourth acres of Potatoes. The deponant has 
had considerable intercourse with the Sauk & Fox Indians He can speak 

Novemb er 3, 1831 187 

their Language so as to be understood by them, and can understand them 
when they speak, so as to transact business and converse with them without 
much difficulty, — and he knows, that in the various conversations, which he 
has stated, that he had with the Indians there was no misunderstanding of 
Language and meaning. 

The deponant further states, that after the Indians were driven across 
the Mississippi River, they frequently returned. They returned and gathered 
most of the corn which they had planted on the fanns of the Whites, in 
doing this they broke the fences of the whites, and did other damage. 

Jonh H Case 

The foregoing Statement of Jonah Case was this day subscribed and 
sworn to before me, by the said Jonah Case, November 3rd. 183L 
Wm. T. Brashar Justice of the peace of Jo Daviess County. 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW; the body of band who was generally identified as a chief, 

tlie document is in the handwriting of William Agent Felix St. Vrain spoke of Black Thunder 

Thomas. Enclosed in: Thomas and Stuart to when he probably meant Bad Thunder (St. Vrain 

Reynolds, Nov. 4. to Clark, May 28), but it is possible that there 

1 On the Indian Boundary Line, see n. 5, St. was also a Black Thunder in the band. 

Vrain to Clark, May 15. Case's farm was not 4 Pashetowat was considered one of the prin- 

literally on the Mississippi, though it was closer cipal braves in Black Hawk's band in 1832. He 

to the Mississippi than to the Rock; he refers to was conspicuous on a white horse at the battle 

it later in this letter as in the "upper end of at Kellogg's Grove and was killed in the water 

the Old Village." after the battle of Aug. 2 at the mouth of the 

2 Antoine LeClaire. Bad Axe River. Pilcher to Scott, Aug. 19, 1832; 

3 This may have been a variant name for Bad Aug. 19, 20, and 27, 1832, examinations of In- 
Thunder, a prominent man in Black Hawk's dian prisoners. 

Deposition of Moses Johnson 

[November 3, 1831] 
State of Illinois Jo Daviess County S.S. 

Moses Johnson of Said county being sworn states, that in the spring of 
1831 he rented of William T Brashar ten acres of ground situated in the 
Indian Village near the Mouth of Rock River, and being part of the Land 
which the said Brashar purchased of the Goverment. he resided near the 
Land. He broke the ten acres of ground and planted it in corn. In the month 
of May 1831 a party of Sawk and Fox Indians belonging to "Black Hawks" 
Band, five in Number, came to the field where deponant was ploughing, 
having forced and broke the enclosure, and told him that he must leave 
the place, or they would kill him. they were armed with Guns and Bows 
and arrows; they were on Horse Back. When deponant refused to go, they 
drew their Knives, and attempted to ride over deponant, deponant resisted 
and faught with a stick and Hoe; but the five Indians 'pressed on him, and 
some of them raised their Guns to shoot; Deponant being unarmed, was 
compelled to retreat, and leave the field. The deponant returned to the field 
the next morning to work, but the Indians returned and told deponant that 

188 The Black Hawk War 

unless he went off and staid off they would Kill him, — deponant left the 
field again, because he believed that the Indians would kill him. he was 
compelled to abandon his field, by the force and violence of the Indians, 
and the Indians took possession of the field, dug up part of the corn he had 
planted, and planted com themselves and continued in possession of the 
field until they were driven off by the troops. Deponant was at the Indian 
Village a few days before the Militia arrived, he saw a great many of the 
Indians, and he is satisfied, from the Number that he saw, and the Number 
of Wigwams, that there must have been Eight Hundred Warriors at the 
Village at that time. The Indians said, that they were looking for Militia, 
that there was a great many comeing," and enquired of deponant, whether 
he had seen the Militia, and How many there was: deponant told them 
that he did not Know whether the Militia was comeing or not. Some of the 
Indians said that they had seen the Militia on the march. The Indians were 
Enquired of, whether they would go off or not, and what they intended to 
do. they said that, they would not go, that if the Militia attempted to drive 
them, they would kill the Militia. The deponant conversed with a good 
many Indians, and heard a Number of them, say that they intended to re- 
main in possession of the Village that they would not be driven out, and 
deponant believes that this was the determination of the whole party at the 
Village, and that they Went off reluctantly, because they were afraid of the 
Militia. Deponant knows, that there was a Number of Pottowattomie In- 
dians in the Village, some, that he had seen on the Waiibash River. 

In the year 1830 in the absence of Deponant a party of Sauk and Fox 
Indians went to his House forcibly entered the House, drove the family 
out, and took and carried away about 120 lbs. Flour, worth $4.25 cents per 
Hundred, they took a Number of Articles of clotheing, and went off. the de- 
ponant has since seen some of the clotheing taken by the Indians in posses- 
sion of the Indians In the month of September 1831, The Indians crossed 
the river, and forcibly took and carried away, nearly all of the corn, which 
grew on the Land from which they were expelled. Several of the citizens 
attempted to save the corn, which grew on their farms, but the Indians 
forcibly took some of it, and in the night time stole, some of it. 

In 1830 A party of Indians came near the deponants House, killed & 
carried away a steer of the value of Eight dollars. In the same year, they 
stole from Deponant upwards of One Hundred & fifty Head of Chickens 
which were worth 25 cents each. In 1831, The Indians killed and took away 
twelve Head of his hogs, one of the Hogs, he forcibly took from them, — they 
used or distroyed the others, worth two dollars each. In the same year 1831, 
they stole and carried away One Hundred & Eighty Seven Chickens worth 
25 cents each, during the months of April & May 1831 deponant had fre- 
quent conversations with the Indians, about the Land; Black Hawk and 
other Indians informed deponant at all times that the Indians were de- 
termined to keep possession of the Village, and that they would drive off 
the whites, they also informed deponant that they expected, other Indians, 

November 3, 1831 189 

the Winnebagoes, Kickapoos Pottowattomies, and other Indians would Join 
them and assist in maintaining possession of the Village they also stated 
that the Ossages, and Indians from Missouri would Join them. 

Moses Johnson 

The foregoing statement of Moses Johnson subscribed and sworn to be- 
fore me this 3rd. day of November 1831. 

Jno. Barrell Justice of the peace of Jo Daviess County. 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW; the body of the Thomas. Enclosed in: Thomas and Stuart to 
document is in the handwriting of William Reynolds, Nov. 4. 

Deposition of Joel Thompson 

[November 3, 1831] 

State of Illinois 
Joe Davis County 

Joel Thompson being sworn says, That he lives near Campbell's Island 
on the River Mississippi and about twelve miles from the Sauk and Fox 
Village on Rock-River, at which place he resided when the late disturbances 
occurred with that tribe and the white settlers. 

This Deponent states that he knows but little of his knowledge of the 
origin of said disturbances. He states however that he knows that said Band 
after their return from their last winter's Hunt, pursued toward the whites a 
very unfriendly and hostile course of conduct. This Deponent saw said 
Band in possession of the farms of Mr. Wells, Mr. Davenport, Mr. Kerr, 
and Mr. Brazar of which said gentlemen had but a short time previous been 
in the possession, and of which they had been the owners, and from which 
he understood the Indians had forcibly driven them 

This Deponent sometimes had conversations with the Indians and more 
particularly with one Nathan Smith who at that time resided among them, 
having a Squaw for a wife, and who as this Deponent is informed and be- 
Heves, has now gone off with them on their winter Hunt. This Deponent has 
frequently heard the said Smith as well as some of the Indians themselves 
estimate the number of Indians in said Village, as exceeding five Hundred. 
He was also told by the said Smith that there was a gang of Indians, con- 
siting of Five hundred, encamped on Horse Island in the Mississippi, op- 
posite the mouth of Rock River and about two miles from the Indian Vil- 
lage. The said Smith also stated to the Deponent that there was another 
Band encamped above the Village, on the Rock and about Ten miles from 
the Village. This last Band as was said by said Smith was composed of 
Kickapoos, Potawatemies & Winabagoes This last band, he also estimated 
at Five Hundred Warriors. He was also told by saied Smith that, the object 
and intention of these Indians was to join in with and assist, the Black 
Hawks Band. These Indians were all lying in said encampments about the 

190 The Black Hawk War 

time and before the militia arrived at said Village as this Deponent under- 

After it was learned how many of the militia, were marching against the 
Village, The saied Smith, remarked that the Indians could muster a larger 
number of Warriors, than the number of the militia — if they chose to fight. 

Joel Thompson 

Sworn and Subscribed to this 3d. Nov 1831 before me 
Jno. Barrell J. P. Jo Davis County Ills. 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. Enclosed in: became the first postmaster there. He served in 

Thomas and Stuart to Reynolds, Nov. 4. Capt. Benjamin F. Pike's 1831 company and 

Joel Thompson was a native of Kentucky who Capt. John W. Kenney's 1832 company. Roek 

is said to have settled in Hampton Township in Island County (1877), 135, 232; Rock Island 

1828. He lived in the village of Hampton, and Countu (1885), 692, 801. 

[November 3, 1831] 


Deposition of Riniiah Wells 

State of Illinois 
Joe Davies County 

Ranah Wells of said County being sworn says, That in the Spring of the 
year 1829, this Deponent settled near the mouth of Rock River, and on a 
parcel of the ground included in the Indian Village, which is situated about 
two miles, from the mouth of said River. This Deponent at the time of his 
first settlement and since opened a large farm, at the place where he set- 
tled as aforesaid enclosing about One hundred acres of ground, and building, 
a convenient Dwelling house out houses &c. This Deponent and his family 
have resided at said place ever since his first settlement aforesaid. 

This Deponent did not purchase his said farm at the time of the land 
sales 1829, because he lived on a fraction, which not being on the Plat, of 
the Survey, was not in Market. This Deponent states however, that his 
neighbors, as he believes at the time of said Land Sales, in 1829, purchased 
of the United States, the lands lying immediately around the farm of this 
Deponent. This deponent further states that a Band of Indian who occupieed 
said Village of^ usually spent their time there, since his first settlement 
excepting when out on their AVinter hunts. The conduct of said Band, and 
their general deportment, towards this Deponent during the two first years 
of his settlement, was for Indians friendly: at least so they professed to be. 
They were however even during that time troublesome and mischievous 
neighbors, injurcing the crops, and destroying the cattle of the whites. The 
first change which this Deponent discovered, in said friendly deportment 
of said Indians, occured in the Fall of the year 1830. Sometime in the Fall 
of said year he thinks about the first of October the conduct of said Indians 
was entirely changed, not even keeping up their friendly professions. About 
that time they proceeded to open acts of violence against the family of this 
Deponent. At that time they began boldly and openly to pull, down the 

November 3, 1831 


fences, around the cornfield of this Deponent, and turn their horses in to 
destroy his com. The son of this Deponent,^ about that time had gone into 
the field for the purpose of turning out the horses, and replacing the Fence. 
While my son was thus engaged, he was attacked by two Indians, who 
rushed upon him with their knives open, and, in thrusting at this Deponent's 
son, cut his cloaths. After this occurrence, and while they remained in the 
Village, their deportment was unusually unfriendly and hostile. About ten 
days after the Reencounter aforesaid the whole Band left the Village on 
their Winter Hunt, after which this Deponent saw nothing more of said 
Indians, until after they returned in the Spring. 

Previous however, to their departure on their Winter hunt, the Black- 
Hawk had returned from a visit to Maiden, in Canada. In the Spring of 
the year 1831, This Deponent visited St Louis, he thinks somewhere about 
the first of April. He was abscent about two weeks. Previous to his de- 
parture to St Louis a small party of the Indians about two Lodges had re- 
turned to their Village on Rock River. This party told this Deponent, that 
the whites would have to remove from that neighborhood, that a great many 
Indians were coming who would drive them off. This Deponent not at that 
time regarding said threat, went to St Louis. Upon his return he was told 
by his wife that the Black-Hawk had frequently been to see him during his 
abscence. The day after his return the Black-Hawk came to his house, and 
told him that he must move off that the Indians had determined to raise 
corn in this Deponent's field, and that they would drive him and his family 
off. This Deponent told him he would not go. The next day the Black-Hawk 
sent for this Deponent, to attend a councel of the Chiefs. This Deponent 
was there told by said Councel, That he and his family must move off or 
they would drive them: This Deponent again refused to go. 

A few days after this the Black Hawk, and about Fifty warriors all com- 
pletely armed, came to the house of this Deponent and said that he and his 
family should move off or they would kill him and bum his house. This 
Deponent told them, that he would give them answer on the next day. On 
the next day this Deponent agreed to go, and on the day after he and his 
family did remove, about eight miles— from the Village. Before the Re- 
moval of this Deponent he had commenced ploughing in order to raise a 
crop, but was prevented from so doing. Shortly after this the whole country 
was agitateed and alarmed to such a Degree, that they all went into Fort 
Armstrong for protection. Previous to the Removal of this Deponent from 
his farm he had full opportunity of seeing the Indians, and knowing their 
deportment. At the time of his removal, there were in the Village about 
three hundred effective warriors, all belonging to Black Hawk's band, all 
better armed than he had ever known them. He also noticed an unusual 
visiting, between this Band and other Bands, frequently passing and repass- 
ing from one to the other. He removed from his farm about the tenth of 
May. The Black Hawk, as well as many other Indians, frequently told this 
Deponent that there were a great many Indians coming to their assistance, 
and that the Whites could not drive them off. This they told him after the 

192 The Black Hawk War 

Indians held the Councel in Fort Armstrong with General Gaines,^ as well 
as previous to said Councel. After the Removal of this Deponent, the In- 
dians took possession of his farm, and planted corn beans &c. This Deponent 
has been told since the tale by Joseph Ogee the Agent for the Potawata- 
mies,^ that it was his (Ogee's) belief that the whole of said tribe would 
have joined the Sacs and Foxes, had they not been detered by the number 
of Militia called out. The number of warriors, belonging to said tribe of 
Pottawatamies, as estimated by said Ogee amounted to Fifteen Hundred.^ 

This Deponent states further that ever since he has resided in their 
neighborhood said Band of Indians have been in the habit of committing 
depredation upon the property of the whites. During the year 1829 said 
Band of Indians shot and killed a valuable Ox belonging to this Deponent. 
He states that said Ox was worth the sum of Thirty Dollars. During the 
same year the same Indians shot another Ox belonging to this Deponent, 
which rendered said Ox entirely useless to this Deponent, which last Ox was 
worth the sum of Thirty Dollars. In the same year, the same Indians shot a 
fine mare, likewise belonging to this Deponent, which was valued at the sum 
of Sixty Dollars. 

During the year 1830 they impaired three milch cows, of this Deponent, 
they^ damage done these cows amounted to the sum of Sixteen Dollars. 
They destroyed another Ox, worth the sum of Thirty Dollars. In the same 
year, they destroyed Fifteen hundred fence Rails, belonging to this De- 
ponent, which estimateed at two Dollars per hundred, would amount to the 
sum of Thirty Dollars. In the year 1830, they destroyed com belonging to 
this Deponent, to the amount of One Thousand bushels, which estimated at 
Thirty seven and one half cents per Bushel, would amount to the sum of 
of Three hundred and, seventy Five Dollars. In the year 1831 eo'^ they de- 
stroyed Fifty head of hogs, belonging to this Depont. to the amount, of 
One hundred Dollars In the year 1831, they destroyed Twelve hundred 
fence Rails, worth two Dollars per hundred. During the last Spring the In- 
dians destroyed ten acres of wheat then growing on this Deponents farm. 

They also, by their conduct towards^ which are above related prevented 
him from planting his crop, and raising corn for the subsistence of his fam- 
ily during the ensuing Winter. He had Fifty acres of ground enclosed which 
he intended to plant in corn All which with being driven from his house 
and the trouble and expence of moving his family, he would estimate at 
Four hundred Dollars, considering his loss will amount to that much. 

Rinnah Wells 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this Third Day of November 1831. 
Jno. Barrell J P in the County of Jo Davis 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. Enclosed in: the June 10 deposition of Joseph Danforth and 

Thomas and Stuart to Reynolds, Nov. 4 John Wells. The Indian version of the affair, and 

1 Here words were omitted by the copyist; the agent's interpretation, both given in n. 4 
there is no extra space in this text. to Danforth's deposition, are considerably dif- 

2 For a more dependable account of this ferent from this account. 

episode between John Wells and an Indian, see 3 See the council proceedings, June 4-7. 

November 4, 1831 


4 Ogee was interpreter, not the agent. Pierre 
Menard, Jr., was the subagent for the Potawa- 
tomi of the Illinois River. 

5 In his letter of Aug. 6, Pierre Menard, Jr., 
explains the presence of the Potawatomi at the 
Sauk village. This estimate by Wells, reputedly 

from Ogee, Is typical of the exaggerated numbers 
that fill these depositions. 

6 So spelled. 

7 An abbreviation for "earliest" or "at an 
earlier time" ? 

Deposition of Archibald Allen 

[November 4, 1831] 
State of Illinois Jo Daviess County S.S. 

Archibald Allen of said county being sworn, states, that in the month of 
June 1831, In his absence, The Indians, residing West of the Mississippi 
River or those combined with them. Forcibly broke into his house and stole 
and distroyed a number of Articles of property belonging to deponant, an 
Inventary of which is hereto attached,^ with the Value annexed, deponant 
is satisfied that the Indians stole and distroyed the property, because many 
of the articles taken were returned by them, the articles returned are 
marked on the Inventory. Deponant resides on the Bank of the Mississippi 
River 22 miles above Fort Armstrong, he has resided on the River, at, and 
near his present place of residence upwards of two years. Deponant further 
states that about thirty five families resided on the Mississippi River be- 
tween the mouth of Rock River and the Meredocia^ thirty miles above, 
that during the Indian disturbances last spring & summer every one of 
those families, removed to Fort Armstrong, with one Exception, and aban- 
doned their Homes, being satisfied that they were in danger from the In- 
dians, unless they did remove. 

Archibald Allen 

The foregoing statement subscribed and sworn to before me this 4th. 
November 1831 

Jno. Barrell Justice of the peace of Jo Daviess Coun[ty]^ 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW; the body of the 
document is in the handwriting of William 
Thomas. Enclosed in: Thomas and Stuart to 
Reynolds, Nov. 4. 

A native of New York, Archibald Allen moved 
to St. Clair County, Illinois, in 1813, to Peoria in 
1823, and to what is now Port Byron Township, 
Rock Island County, in 1828. He traded with the 
Indians; carried the mail between Fort Arm- 
strong and Galena, 1833-1834; and was post- 
master at Canaan, about a mile above Port 
Byron, in 1836. His home was the post office (it 
was moved shortly to Port Byron). Rock Island 

County (1885), 805, 807; Jour. JSHS. XXII: 
107, 109. 

1 See below. 

2 Also called Marais d'Ogee — now Meredosia 
Slough and Creek. Marais d'Ogee was probably 
a corruption of the French phrase meaning sea 
of osiers or sea of willows. At this time, accord- 
ing to PECK, 283, it was "a sluggish stream, and 
a series of swamps." It extended south-southeast 
for approximately twenty miles from the Missis- 
sippi to the Rock River along the boundary be- 
tween present Whiteside and Rock Island counties. 

3 MS torn. 


The Black Hawk War 

Archibald Allen: Memorandum 

[ca. November 4, 1831] 
A Memorandum of property taken or distroyed by the Sac & Fox Na- 
tions of Indians during the Indian disturbances in the year 1831 belonging 
to Archibald Allen a citizen of Rockisland County in the State of Illinois 
and also the amt. of what they returned to the Indian Agent 

Kind of Articles taken or distroyed 


Kind of Do Returned 

25 Muskrat skins taken at 20 cts Each 
16 Rackoon skins " " 35 

7 lbs. Powder " " [50] lb 
19 Gallons of Whiskey " [75 pe]r Gal. 

2 Drest Deer skins " 87[H] Each 

3 undressed Do (Peltry) " 75 

2 bushels of Corn " 75 

1 hat 1.$ 3 Razors @ 50 cts each— 150 

4 Clock weights " 75 
Damaged the 2 Clocks 
Knives, Spoons, tumblers, plates. 

Cups & saucers 
1 Small Trunk of Papers, Quills, 

Ink Powder &c 
a lot of Flour, Pork, Dried fruit & Salt 
1 Gallon stone Jug & full of vinegar 100 
Bed Clothing, wearing apparel. 

Comb & lookinglass 

8 Bottles @ 20 cts Each 

3 Beaver Traps " 1.50 
1 First Rate Penknife [7]5 

1 Scotch Theatrical Picture Gilt frame 
Damages done by Breaking Door, 

tearing down Garden fence & 

having vegetables distroyed 

3 acres of Corn distroyed by being 
prevented from Cultivating the 
same by Reason of Indian disturbances 
which was Growing well. 

A Quantity of Excelent soap supposed 

to be about 20 lbs @ .12^ cts Pr. lb. 
10 Gallons of Good vinegar @ .50 

4 Mats @ .75 cts. & 3 half Bus[hel] 
Measures @ .75 

Trace Chains 75 Drawing knife 1.05. 
A Quantity of Spanish Brown 1.00 

& verdigris 1.00 
One Pair of Mocasans, 37^/^ & 1 lb. 

of Pepper 50 
3 Hogs at 3$ Each 
Smoothing Irons & Pot hooks 

Leaves a Ballance of 




2 50 
5 00 



$124 00 




24 Returned 
1 lb Returned 

2 Returned (odd) 

the value of 1.00 

Trunk & Papers 


Jug Returned 
Some Clothing 

1 Returned 

Took one Measure 
out of the river 

Verdigris Returned 

RC, I-A: SS. EF 1831-32, BHW. Enclosed in: 
Thomas and Stuart to Reynolds, Nov. 4. On the 
back of this memorandiim are the incomplete 

affidavits of Thomas Hubbard, Henry Remsen, 
and Allen attesting Allen's property losses. 

November 4, 1831 195 

Affidavits of Thomas Hubbard, Henry Remsen, and 
Archibald Allen 

[ca. November 4, 1831] 
State of Illinois 

[Ro]ck Island County 

This day Personal appeared before [me] one of the Justises of the Peace 
in & for the state [& Co]unty afore said, Thomas Hubbard who being duly 
sworn [testi]fies & says that he is Confident some of the within named 
[Ar]ticles was the Property of Archibald Allen & that about the [8th.] of 
June 1831 said Allen told me that said Property was taken by the Indians 
and about the [blank space in original] of June I saw the Indians Bring & 
deliver to the Indian Interpiter at Rock Isl[and] some Property such as 
a tr[unk] Jug, & some other Articles that I am Confident was th[e] Prop- 
erty of said Allen and he further states that said Allen sent the money by 
him to Purchase some Corn & that he said Hubbard Paid one dollar Pr. 
Bushell for the same but a few days Previous to the above date 

State of Illinois 
Rockisland County 

This day Personally appeared before me one of the Justises of the Peace 
in & for the state & [County] Aforesaid, Henry Remsen who being duly 
sworn testifies & says that he was with Archibald Allen when [he le]ft his 
house about the 5th. day of June 1831 & that he lo[cked] the door & Piled 
lumber against it & that he Came back wit[h sa]id Allen about the 8th 
and found the lock taken off the [lum]ber Moved & the door Broke open 
and a quantity of Property of the discription of the within taken or dis- 
troyed Such as a trunk, hat. Whiskey, Flour vinegar, Corn, skins, hogs, &c 
and he believes about the same quantity & value of the within discribed & 
that he verily believes it was taken or distroyed by the Indians and he 
further states that said Allen had about 3 Acres of Com that looked verry 
Promising & also a verry Good Garden when he left home, & when he Came 
back about the 4th. of July it was Principally all distroyed & that he is 
Confident said Allen was Prev[ented] from working & taking care of the 
same by Reason of Indian disturbances [an]d he is also Confident Said 
Allen has sustained a Great [loss] by Reason of the Same 

State of Illinois 
Rockisland County 

This day Personally appear bef [ore] me one of the Justises of the Peace 
in an[d] for the County and State aforesaid Archibald Allen 

RC, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. These incom- Archibald Allen's that had been lost or stolen. En- 
plete, unsigned affidavits are on the back of the closed in: Thomas and Stuart to Reynolds. Nov. 4. 
preceding memorandxun, listing the property of Bracketed letters are covered by sealing wax or 

196 The Black Hawk War 

torn from the original. port and Scott County, Iowa (1910), I: 548. A 

Thomas Hubbard settled in what is now Port Thomas Hubbard served in Capt. Benjamin F. 

Byron Township, Rock Island County, in 1830. Pike's 1831 Rock Island County company. 
He may have been the Thomas Hubbard who Henry Remsen also served in Pike's 1831 com- 

was living in Elizabeth City, Scott County, Iowa, pany; he was 4th corporal. Nothing else is known 

in 1838. Rock Island County (1908), 96; Daven- of him. 

Deposition of William, William H., and Erastus S. Deniston 

[November 4, 1831] 

State of Illinois Warren County. S.S. 

William Deniston of the county of Mercer and state aforesaid, being 
sworn states, that he resides on the Mississippi River about one half mile 
above the mouth of Edwards River, and thirty miles below Fort Arm- 
strong, he has resided there about three years and a half, during that pe- 
riod, he has had a good deal of intercourse with the Indians, the Sauks 
and Fox tribes, he is personally acquainted, with the Indian Chief called 
Black Hawk, and with a Chief called Ke o kuk, a Chief called Pershepeho.^ 
he is also well acquainted with many Braves and warriers of the tribes. 
Liveing near the principle Villages or Towns of those Indians, they have 
been in the Habit every season of purchasing corn and provisions from 
him. In passing from the Indian Villages West of the Mississippi to the 
Villages on Rock River, and back again, the Indians have usually crossed 
the Mississippi near his house ; - He supplied them with corn every year, 
since he lived near them until the present year. Many of those residing 
West of the River have always pretended great friendship for him and 
his family, and especially Ke o kuk and those about him and with him. 

About the month of May last and previous those Indians became shy 
of the whites and did not visit his house as they had before done; He 
further states, that the place where the various different Bands of the 
Sauk & Fox Indians, have heretofore met, in the Spring to Hold their 
dances lies about one mile from his house, they have met at that place 
and held their dances for three years; Last spring they met, but they were 
not so numerous, as they had been theretofore, they met in the month of 
April or May, and only remained a few days whilst they were at the dance. 
They stated, that they were going to Rock Island, or to the Indian Vil- 
lage near that place, and that they intended to take possession of the old 
Village and plant corn. This determination to take the Village was ex- 
pressed by Indians belonging to Ke o kuks Band, and other Bands of In- 
dians resideing West of the Mississippi River: as well as by Indians reside- 
ing East of the Mississippi on Rock River. He further states, that shortly 
after the dance in April or May, the Indians went to Rock Island to join 
the Black Hawks Band: An In(iian captain called Meassiko,^ of Ke o kuks 
Band, informed the deponant, that all of the young men were going the 
next day to Rock Island to Join Black Hawk, and that in four days he 

November 4, 1831 197 

was going himself. This captain and his Band reside West of the Mis- 
sissippi. The deponant Heard the Indians speak of Ke o kuk, in a rough 
manner, they called him a rascall and assigned as the reason for calling 
him so, that he talked too much with the whites. The deponant knows, that 
the party of Indians who said, that they were going to Rock Island, had 
a cannon or swivell, in possession, which the deponant understood belonged 
to the chief called Pershepeho, who resided West of the Mississippi. The 
deponant conversed with a great many of the Indians at the dance in April 
or May. all of them informed him, that they were going to the old Vil- 
lage near Rock Island to raise corn, and to reside, that they intended to 
take possession of their old Village The deponant further states, that when 
the Indians told him that they were going to Rock Island, he advised them 
to go across the Mississippi, they replied no. 

The deponant has frequently heard Indians of Black Hawks Band say, 
that they never would give up the country at Rock Island, and when the 
deponant saw the Indians who resided West of the Missippi going to Rock 
Island, he was satisfied as well from that circumstance, as from what the 
Indians said, that an attack upon the white people near Rock Island was 
intended, unless the country was given up peacibly to the Indians. The 
deponant knew, that in the event of disturbance with the Indians his fam- 
ily would be in danger, and as a measure of safety, In the month of June, 
he removed his family down the Mississippi River to the settlements in 
Hancock County, where he remained until the difficulty with the Indians 
was settled. In the spring of the year 1828, the Sauk & Fox Indians stole 
from the deponant Fourteen Head of Hogs, they were worth thirty six 
dollars. In the spring of the year 1829 they stole a Horse from the de- 
ponant worth about sixty dollars. When the deponant removed to Han- 
cock County last June he left considerable of his property on his farm, 
which he could not conveniently take with him. he has abandoned his farm 
on which he had a good crop growing. He Returned to his farm about the 
twelfth of July. In his absence the Indians took from his house a side 
saddle worth twenty five dollars, they took a cross cut saw worth six dol- 
lars. They took a spinning wheel worth four dollars, A Cutting Knife worth 
three dollars, a falling ax worth two dollars & fifty cents. They distroyed 
a kegg of Tar worth two dollars, A Tar Buckett worth one dollar. About 
Six Bushelles of Buck wheat worth fifty cents per Bushelle— Two Sheep 
worth three dollars each, Four Dozen chickens worth 121/2 cents each. Fif- 
teen Head of Hoggs two dollars each. The deponant further states that 
his removal was occasioned by the conduct of the Indians, that when he 
left his farm, he had about forty three acres of ground planted in corn, 
and before his return the Weeds & Grass had grown so much in the corn 
fields, that it was impossible to clean the corn, so that it would grow. He 
therefore lost the whole crop, and he considers, the loss sustained in the 
com crop, was equal to Three Hundred and thirty Six dollars. In his ab- 
sence the Indians broke open his house, and distroyed & carried away 

198 The Black Hawk War 

many small articles of House Hold furniture, they broke the roof off of 
an Ice House, & thereby distroyed the Ice the injury and loss thus sus- 
tained amounted to a consideral sum, but cannot be precisely estimated. 
Since the Treaty with the Indians at Rock Island in July last,^ a party 
of Sauk & Fox Indians crossed the Mississippi and killed a milch cow 
belonging to the deponant worth Fifteen dollars, this was about the fourth 
of September last. The deponant further states, that he has never re- 
covered any of the property taken from him by the Indians, nor has he 
ever been paid for any of it. he made an effort to get pay for the Horse, 
and furnished the late Indian agent at Rock Island ° with proof of the 
takeing & value of the Horse, but the agent never paid any thing or re- 
turned the papers. The deponant further states, that he is well acquainted 
with a chief called Kateese a Fox Indian, who resides West of the Mis- 
sissippi River, he was at the Dance in April or May but whether he went 
to Rock Island after the dance or returned to his Village, the deponant can- 
not state. He saw large numbers of Indians going to Rock Island about 
the time of the dance in April or May. 

Wm. Deniston 

I certify that the foregoing statement of William Deniston was subscribed 
by him and sworn to before me this 4 day of November 1831. 
John Pence ^ Justice of the peace of Warren county 111 

State of Illinois Warren County. 

Erastus S Deniston of the county of Mercer & state aforesaid being 
sworn states, that in the month of April or May Last, the Sauk and Fox 
Indians met at their spring Dance on the Mississippi River, a short dis- 
tance from where the deponant resided. The deponant is acquainted with 
many of the Indians who resided on Rock River, and many of those who 
resided West of the Mississippi River. It was Indians from both places 
that met at the dance. The deponant saw Ke o kuk who resides West of 
the Mississippi and many of his band, he did not see Black Hawk, but 
most of his Band was in attendance during the time of the dance, an In- 
dian a Brave of Black Hawks Band called Messiko informed the depo- 
nant, that they the Indians, were going to Rock Island to raise corn, the 
deponant told him that the white people lived at Rock Island, he replied 
that the Indians would drive the Whites off, the deponant said, if you 
drive the whites off, the troops will come, the Indian said if the troops 
did come, the Indians would sink the Steam Boat. Shortly after this the 
Indians left their dance and went off toward Rock Island. Messiko in- 
formed the deponant, that the Chippoway Indians would Join them. The 
deponant conversed with many of the Indians at the dance, and all of 
them expressed a determination to go to Rock Island and raise corn, and 
to drive the white people off, if they could not get possession of the Land 
without. After most of the Indians left for Rock Island, two Indians who 

November 4, 1831 199 

called themselves Rock Island Indians, Visited the House of this depo- 
nants father, they said they wanted to talk with deponant and his Brother, 
they inquired whether deponant & Brother were going to Rock Island to 
fight, these Indians said that the Nation intended to take possession of 
Rock Island & make corn, and expected to drive off the Whites. The de- 
ponant learned from the Indians that the Indians West of the Mississippi 
as well as those on Rock River, were expecting and prepareing to fight the 
Whites at Rock Island, unless they could raise corn without fighting 

Erastus S. Deniston 

The foregoing statement of Erastus S Deniston was subscribed & sworn 
to before me this day of November 1831 

State of Illinois Warren County 

William H Deniston of the county of Mercer & state of Illinois being 
sworn, states, that in the month of April or May last in conversations with 
the Sauk & Fox Indians who reside West of the Mississippi, those Indians 
informed him that, they were going to take possession of the Village near 
Rock Island, and raise corn The deponant conversed with one Indian who 
belonged to Pamahos'' Band at Rock Island, that Indian informed the de- 
ponant, that he and his people were going to Rock Island to raise corn, 
the deponant told the Indian, that if they went, the white people would 
drive them off, the Indian said, He was not afraid, because the Pottowato- 
mies, Kickapoos, and other Indians would Join them, and that the Indians 
would be able to whip the whites. He said he would lay his Bones at Rock 
Island before he would leave the place. He said the White People were 
Liars, and he did not believe that they would fight the Indians as they 
threatened to do. 

William H Deniston 

The foregoing statement of William H Deniston was subscribed and 
sworn to before me this 4 day of November 1831. 
John Pence Justis of the Peace of Warren County 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW. Although the Counties (1882), 54, 72-79; Mercer County 

text of this document is in the handwriting of (1903), 626, 635; Illinois Private Laws 1833, 135. 

Williara Thomas, it was not included with the William H. and Erastus S. Deniston were his 

original Thomas-Stuart report of Nov. 4, 1831, sons. Both served in Peter Butler's two 1832 

as filed in I-A. companies. Erastus S. Deniston seems to have 

William Deniston was the first white settler in been the most prominent family member. In 

what is now Mercer County, Illinois. A native of 1841 he was commissioned paymaster of the 1st 

Pennsylvania, he came to the Upper Yellow Battalion of the 76th (Mercer County) Regiment, 

Banks (near the present town of New Boston) Illinois Militia. He was a candidate for commis- 

in 1827. There he ran a woodyard, which supplied sioner of Mercer County in 1835, became sheriff 

Mississippi River steamboats, and also operated in 1840, and was named one of the commissioners 

a ferry between Illinois and Iowa. In 1831 he to locate a road from Knoxville to New Boston in 

fled the area (see Cutler to Munn, June 9), and 1835. BHW, I: 457, 535; I-A: Exec. Rec, III: 

in 1832 he took his family to Fort Pence and 268, 204; I-A: Elect. Ret., XXV: 77; Illinois 

thence to Monmouth, where he remained until Laws 1835, 105. 

the close of the war. Mercer and Henderson i Of these three, Pashipaho was the only chief. 


The Black Hawk War 

Keokuk was both the ti-ibal spokesman and a 
war chief or head of one of the tribal moieties 
(WALLACE, 5-6; Forsyth and Marston in blaib, 
II: 193, 157). Black Hawk was a prominent 
warrior; at one time he may also have been 
head of a tribal moiety, for on May 2, 1821, 
Thomas Forsyth wrote William Clark that Black 
Hawk and Keokuk were the two principal war 
chiefs (letter in WHi: Draper MSS, 6T 87-89— 
S-F Ex. 70, Docket 83, ICC). 

2 On returning to the Rock River area from 
hunting grounds west of the Mississippi, the 
Sauk and Fox had crossed the Mississippi near 
Fort Edwards, opposite the mouth of the Des 
Moines River, until about 1821. On June 2 of 
that year Thomas L. McKenney, superintendent 
of Indian trade, reported to the Secretary of 
War that the Sauk and Fox had been forced "by 
the inroads of the Whites upon their former 
route, and into their late hunting grounds" to 
change their crossing place to "about the mouth 
of the Iowa River." S-F Ex. 84, Docket 158, ICC. 

3 Probably the "Mesico," or "Ice," who signed 
the July 10 and July 15, 1830, treaties at Prairie 
du Chien; see the copy of the former in IHi and 
KAPPLER, II: 308. 

Since his name does not appear in any of the 
BHW documents in IHi, it seems unlikely that 
he was with Black Hawk's band. In 1833 a Sauk 
brave named "Massica" visited St. Louis and 
attracted the attention of another visitor. Prince 
Maximilian, who translated his name as "tor- 
toise." This brave was probably the "Ma-she-ka" 
who signed a letter of March 23. 1833, requesting 
the release of the Sauk and Fox hostages. 
THWAITES, ed.. Early Western Travels, XXII: 
223, 227, 228, XXV: 36; and Sauk and Fox 
Indians to Atkinson, March 23, 1833, in DNA: 
RG 94, AGO, correspondence about Black Hawk's 
captivity on film in IHi. 

4 The Articles of Agreement, June 30, 1831, 

5 Thomas Forsyth. The claim would have been 
deducted from the annuity if it had been held 
valid. The procedure was explained by Secretary 
of War Lewis Cass in a letter of Feb. 24, 1832 

(DNA: RG 75, L Sent, Vol. 8) : "The intercourse 
act of 1802, guarantees to all persons living 
without the Indian country compensation for 
damages received from any Indian, who may 
cross the boundary line. The mode of proceeding 
in the case is pointed out by the law, and if the 
facts are established and the proper course 
taken, the amount is deducted from the annuity 
due to the tribe to which such Indian belongs if 
the tribe receives an annuity and if they do not 
the action of Congress then becomes necessary, 
and an appropriation must be asked for." 

6 John Pence (1776-1841) had been an early 
squatter in the Sauk village on Rock River 
(SPENCER, 15, 17, 25). According to his bio- 
graphy in Mercer and Henderson Counties 
(1882), 870-72. he "raised one crop there" and 
then moved in 1829 to the Henderson River area, 
about three miles northeast of Oquawka. He 
made his home there the remainder of his life. 
A native of Virginia, Pence lived in Champaign 
County, Ohio, and Bartholomew County, Indiana, 
before settling in Illinois. In Indiana he had been 
a county judge for six years. In Warren County 
(of which Henderson was then a part) he was 
chosen one of the first county commissioners in 
1830. A fort was erected on his farm in the 

■7 Pamaho was a Sauk chief about fifty years 
old. He joined Black Hawk's band in 1832 and 
took part in the battles of July 21 on the 
Wisconsin River and Aug. 1 with the steamboat 
Warrior. After the latter action, he escaped 
across the Mississippi but was later delivered to 
authorities at Rock Island and then confined at 
Jefferson Barracks. He was one of the six 
prisoners transferred to Fortress Monroe, Vir- 
ginia, the following spring. His name is trans- 
lated as He That Goes on the Water, He That 
Goes under the Water, the Swimmer, or Fast- 
Swimming Fish. See the examinations of Indian 
prisoners of Aug. 19, 20, and 27, 1832; Atkinson 
to Macomb, April 6, 1833, in DNA: RG 94, AGO, 
correspondence about Black Hawk's captivity on 
film in IHi; black hawk, 4, 14; CATUN. Letters 
and Notes (1841), II: 212. 

William Thomas and John T. Stuart to John Reynolds 

Rock Island 4h. November 1831. 
To His Excellency John Reynolds 

Sir: In conformity with your instructions, we have been engaged at this 
place, and elsewhere, collecting testimony, touching the Indian disturb- 
ances in this part of the State last Spring. We have taken all the testi- 
mony deemed material; to be obtained in this part of the State, which we 

November 4, 1831 201 

herewith transmit to you. We consider the following state of facts as fully 

1. That the Indians forcibly took possession of Lands occupied and owned 
by citizens of the State. 

2 That they drove off some of the rightful occupants of Lands by actual 
force and violence, and others by threats and menaces. 

3 That they threw down the fences of citizens, turned their Horses on 
the wheat fields, and distroyed the crops of small grain. 

4. That they declared a determination to expell the rightful occupants 
of the Land, and take, and retain possession themselves by force. 

5. That Black Hawk and his party had formed Leagues with other In- 
dians, who had promised him assistance, and from whom assistance 
was expected 

6. That other Indians did in fact Join them, and that they were assem- 
bling at the Village, from different Quarters, for some time, until the 
arrival of the Militia 

7 That the Number of Indians concerned in the Hostilities was estimated 
at Eight Hundred by all, who knew, or pretended to know, the Num- 

8. That the Indians declared that they would not surrender the possession 
of the Lands from which they had expelled the rightful occupants. 

9. That the Indians, have been in the constant Habit of stealing, and 
distroying the property of citizens for several years. 

10. It is shewn, that of thirty five families who resided, on the Mississippi 
River above the mouth of Rock River, thirty four of those removed 
to Fort Armstrong, for protection, believeing that, their lives were in 
danger, of being taken by the Indians, and that, but for the prompt 
movement of the Militia, the whole frontier of the State would have 
been abandoned by the Inhabitants; that most of the Inhabitants of 
the counties of Knox and Warren, did abandon their Homes, and seek 
protection in the Interior of the State, and in fortifications erected at 
the time. 

The absolute and unconditional refusal of the Indians to leave the Vil- 
lage on Rock River; their previous Lawless conduct, in expelling citizens 
from Land purchased from the Government; their statements, that other 
Indians had agreed to assist them, and the fact that other Indians did join 
them, Justified the belief, that they were determined to resist at the point 
of the Bayonet, every attempt to remove them; and that upon being ex- 
pelled by force, they would seek their satisfaction and revenge by attack- 
ing and massacreeing the defenceless inhabitants of the frontier. 

The frontier and exposed settlements of Illinois extend from the Mis- 
sissippi, to the Rapids of the Illinois, a distance of One Hundred miles. The 
general expectation and belief was, that if the U.S. Troops, expelled the 

202 The Black Hawk War 

Indians from the Village, that they would, instead of crossing the Mis- 
sissippi, fall back upon the frontier settlements and distroy the Inhabi- 
tants. The Indians could travel faster than the troops, and could always 
keep near enough the River, to be able to cross it, in one night; hence the 
General alarm, that prevailed on the frontier. It is very certain, that but 
for the movement of the Militia the whole frontier of the State would have 
been abandoned by the Inhabitants, the consequences of which cannot be 
well estimated, except by those who have, seen, and felt, the effect, of 
Hundreds of families, being compelled to flee from their homes by a fear 
of savage Barbarity. The movements of the Militia quieted the fears of 
the frontier Inhabitants. The people had confidence in the courage and 
skill of the officers and the Bravery of the Troops, and were satisfied that 
the Indians could not evade, or elude, the pursuit of so large a body of 
mounted men; and although the people felt and expressed the utmost con- 
fidence in the talents and courage of the U.S. Officers, and in their dis- 
position to protect the frontier settlements, yet it was known, that those 
officers, could not, without mounted men, pursue the Indians and drive 
them from the country, if the Indians had been disposed to retreat into 
the interior. The Humane policy of the Government toward the Indians 
required that they should be removed without distroying them, and a Just 
regard to the safety of the frontier settlements required that, the removal 
should be made in such a manner, as to prevent the possibility of any in- 
jury to those settlements. 

The History of their removal is already known to your Excellency. But 
we cannot conclude this report, without a passing notice of the conduct of 
Genl Gaines. That Meritorious officer's conduct upon the occasion, was 
marked by a degree of prudence. Vigilance, and discretion, which cannot 
be too highly commended, and which entitle him to the gratitude of the 

Very Respectfully Your obt Servants. Wm Thomas 

John T. Stuart 

DS, I-A: SS, EF 1831-32, BHW; the body of the memorandum of property lost or stolen and 

document is in Thomas's handwriting. This re- affidavits of Thomas Hubbard and Henry 

port to the Governor is filed with the original Remsen. 

depositions arranged in the following order (they ^^^^ deposition of William, William H.. and 

are printed in this volume in chronological 

Erastus Deniston, although given to William 
Thomas and dated Nov. 4, is not filed with the 

1. Jonah H. Case, Nov. 3 Thomas-Stuart report in I-A. Copies of the Nov. 

2. Joel Thompson, Nov. 3 4 report and accompanying documents were en- 

3. William T. Brashar, Nov. 3 closed in Reynolds to Jackson, Nov. 23, and are 

4. Moses Johnson, Nov. 3 now filed in DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and 

5. Joshua Vandruff, Nov. 2 Fox. 

6. Joel Wells, Nov. 2 The Illinois Advocate [Edwardsville] of March 

7. John Barren, Nov. 2 16, 1832, carried a story announcing the federal 

8. Rinnah Wells, Nov. 3 government's acceptance of the report. Orders 

9. Stephen Osborne, Oct. 24 had been issued for the payment of Thomas and 

10. Thomas Maxwell, with attached affidavit of Stuart, the Advocate said. 

Joseph Rowe, Oct. 24 1 See n. 1, Reynolds to Jackson, Aug. 2, on the 

11. Riggs Pennington, Oct. 24 size of Black Hawk's band. 

12. Archibald Allen, Nov. 4, with accompanying 

November 19, 1831 203 


Report of the Office of Indian Affairs for the Year 1831 

Department of War, Office Indian Affairs, 19th. November, 1831. 
To His Excellency Lewis Cass, Secretary of War, 

Sir, .... A band of Sac Indians, headed by a Warrior called Black 
Hawk, continuing to reside on lands on Rock River in Illinois, ceded by 
treaty to the United States, and evincing an obstinate purpose of remaining, 
associated with strong indications of hostility, towards the citizens of that 
state, residing in the vicinity. Under such menacing circumstances the Gov- 
ernor thought it expedient to order out a body of Militia for their pro- 
tection, and for the removal of the Indians. This timely movement on the 
part of the Executive of that State, with the co-operation of the troops of 
the United States, promptly afforded by the commanding General — 
Gaines — caused the Indians to yield their unjustifiable purpose, and to 
move off peaceably to their lands West of the Mississippi. The step was 
judicious; as it is presumable from the reports to this Department, that 
this well-timed display of military force prevented resistance and blood- 
shed. The particulars of this affair are detailed in the accompanying papers 
marked d.^ 

It will always be a desideratum to repress the feuds, and lessen the 
occasions of strife between neighboring tribes. It is equally the dictate of 
humanity and prudence, and is a necessary emanation from the benevolent 
policy, before spoken of, towards the aboriginal race of the country. In 
reference thereto, a treaty of peace was effected in July 1830 by Genl. 
Clark and Colo. Morgan at Prairie du Chien, between the Sacs and Foxes, 
and the Winnebagoes and Menomonies and other tribes; by which it was 
hoped that hostility was provided against, if not merged in kinder dis- 
positions, and tranquility secured to our borders. But contrary to every 
reasonable expectation, a year had hardly passed away before the pro- 
visions of the treaty were grossly violated. In defiance of its obligations 
and of the respect due to the Flag of the United States, an atrocious act 
was committed on the 31st. of July last, by a party of the Sacs and Foxes, 
near Fort Crawford and within reach of its Guns, by an attack in the 
night upon a Menomonie Camp, in which twenty five of their number were 
killed and many others wounded .^ Immediately on the intelligence of this 
most insulting and barbarous outrage, measures were taken by the De- 
partment for the arrest and punishment of the offenders. Time has not as 
yet been allowed to learn their result. Meanwhile, the aggrieved party, 
the Menomonies have been counselled to remain quiet under an assurance, 
that the Government will cause justice to be done by punishment of the 
guilty, and ample satisfaction for the loss of their friends. For further and 
full information on the subject you are respectfully referr'd to the accom- 
panying papers, marked e^. . . . 

All which is respectfully Submitted. Elbert Herring. 


The Black Hawk War 

CC, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Sent, Vol. 7. The 
complete report, with its enclosures, is pub- 
lished in 22d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Exec. Doc. 2, 

Elbert Herring was head of the Indian 
Bureau at this time. The following July 10, at 
the urging of Lewis Cass, he was named to the 
newly created post of Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs. Herring was then fifty-four years old. 
A Princeton graduate, he had achieved promi- 
nence as a New York lawyer and judge. Un- 
fortunately, according to RONALD N. SATZ, he 
brought no "administrative expertise or know- 
ledge of Indian affairs" to the post, which 
he held until mid-1836. "Federal Indian Policy, 
1829-1849" (Dissertation, University of Mary- 
land, 1972). 147-49. 

1 There were twenty items in this group: Clark 
to the Secretary of War, May 30; Reynolds to 
Clark, May 26: Clark to Reynolds, May 28: St. 
Vrain to Clark, May 15, May 28; Clark to Gaines, 
May 28; Forsyth to Clark, May 17, 1829; Clark 
to the Secretary of War, July 6, 1831: Gaines 

to the Secretary of War, July 6; Articles of 
Agreement and Capitulation, June 30: Reynolds 
to the Secretary of War, July 7; Reynolds to the 
President, Aug. 2; Clark to the Secretary of 
War, Aug. 9; Street to Clark, Aug. 1; Street to 
Loomis, July 31; Loomis to Street, Aug. 1; 
Dougherty to Clark, July 29; Gratiot to Hamil- 
ton, Aug. 21; Gratiot to Gaines, June 11 (mis- 
dated June 12 in H. Exec. Doc. 2, op. cit.) ; 
Gaines to Gratiot, June 12. All but five are 
published in this volume: Forsyth to Clark, May 
17, 1829; Street to Clark, Aug. 1; Dougherty to 
Clark, July 29; Gratiot to Hamilton, Aug. 21; 
Gaines to Gratiot, June 12. 

2 The final toll was twenty-six dead. 

3 The enclosures in this group numbered seven: 
Clark to the Secretary of War, Sept. 12; Talia- 
ferro to Clark, Aug. 8. Aug. 12; Street to Clark, 
Aug. 31; Clark to Cass, Sept. 22; St. Vrain to 
Clark, Sept. 10; Sept. 5 council proceedings. 
Only the last three are published in this volume. 
The others are summarized in nn., John Bliss's 
letter of Aug. 23 and Cass to Clark, Aug. 25. 

John Reynolds to Andrew Jackson 

Belleville 23 Nov. 1831 
To the Presi(ient of the Uniteci States 

Sir I have the honor herewith to transmit to you the evidence relative 
to the recent Indian hostilities in Illinois which you requested of me. 

As two persons^ will apply to the General Governemnt for pay for their 
services I deem it it proper to inform the Government that I employed two 
Mesrs. Thomas and Stuart. The great falls of rain prevented them from 
collecting the testimony sooner 

I have employed Mr. Hay^ the clerk of the court to copy the originals, 
whose certificate will be correct that a true copy is given. The Testimony 
most amply sustains all the statements I made to you and will satisfy all 
on the subject. 

With esteem I have the honor to be your obt. Servt. John Reynolds 

ACS, I- A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2, letter 822. 
Filing note: "Copy Novr. 23d 1831 Governor's 
letter to the President of the U.S." Enclosure in 
original: Thomas-Stuart report of Nov. 4, with 
accompanying documents. A copy, from I-A: 
Gov. LB 1828-34, is in Illinois Historical Col- 
lections, IV: 198. 

1 William Thomas and John Todd Stuart. 

2 John Hay (1769-1842) was born in Detroit 
and came to Cahokia as a trader in 1793. He 
held many county offices and moved to Belleville 
when that town became the seat of St. Clair 
County in 1841. He was clerk of the circuit 
court, 1818-1841. Missouri Historical Society 
Bulletin, IX: 183-86; Illinois Historical Collec- 
tions, XXI: ccxlv-xlvi. 

December 6, 1831 205 

Edmund P. Gaines to John Reynolds 

Hd. Qrs. Western Department Baton Rouge — 26 novr. 1831 

Dear Sir — I have received your kind letter of the last month/ advising 
me of the President of the United States having written to you for infor- 
mation touching our late affair with the Sac Indians. 

In reply I hasten to send you a copy of my last report in relation to the 
Sac Indians; with a copy of the substance of five depositions, setting forth 
the causes of the movement against those Indians; the two documents em- 
bracing 11 pages, — to which I have added a note and memorandum, ex- 
plaining why other copies are not forwarded to you, and desireing you to 
retain a copy & send the enclosed to General Duncan.- I did this appre- 
hending that I should not have time before the departure of the mail to 
write you this letter. Wishing you health and constant happiness, I am 
with great regard your friend. 

Edmund P. Gaines 

His Excellency Governor Reynolds Illinois. Bellemonte.^ 

ALS, I-A: Gov. Corr. 1809-31, Vol. 2 letter 823. 1 Not located. 

A copy, from I-A: Gov. LB 1828-34, is in Illinois 2 See Gaines to the Secetary of War, Aug. 10. 

Historical Collections, IV: 198. The enclosures The enclosures are listed in that letter. 

sent with the ALS to Reynolds are filed 3 Reynolds's home was at Belleville. 


William Clark to Lewis Cass 

Superintendency of Ind Affrs. St Louis Dcr. 6, 1831. 

Sir, I have the honour to enclose to you herewith two letters from Genl 
Street of the 24th. Oct. & 15th. Nov. the first relating to him^ embarrassed 
situation in consequence of a Judgement having been obtained against him 
& Major Kearney of the U. States army by a Mr Brunette of P. du Chein, 
and which he has not the means of satisfying- 

As Genl. Street was acting under the Laws, and in the execution of his 
duty, I would beg leave to recommend that he be reimbursed the amount 
he has expended in this suit; and should an execution issue against him, 
I think he ought to be indemnified. 

The information contained in Genl. Streets last letter is such as I have 
expected from the excited state of feeling among the tribes he mentions. 
This excitement has grown out of the attack made on the Menominees last 
Summer by the Sacs & Foxes, and which has been aggravated by their 
killing of two Sioux in the beginning of the fall. Measures should in my 
opinion be taken before the opening of spring, to prevent the meditated 
attack of the Sioux, Menominees and Chippeways upon the Sacs and 
Foxes: these last having declared their inability to deliver up the offenders 
in the case of the Menominees, and at the same time their perfect willing- 

206 The Black Hawk War 

ness that justice should be done, I had entertained the hope that the Agent 
might in the course of the winter have been enabled with the assistance of 
the Military to have secured two or, three of the Murderers, which would 
in all probability have led to the delivery of all concerned. The frequent 
absence however of Agents from their posts, prevents any certain calcu- 
lations, which might be made of the kind. Mr. St. Vrain being now absent 
without permission.^ 

I have the honour to be with high respect, your most Obdnt Svnt. 
(Signed) Wm. Clark 

Hon. Sctry. of War Washington City 

LBC, KHi: Clark Papers, IV: 300-301. Enclo- Chien tavern-owner and trader, was an associate 

sures in original: Street to Clark, Oct. 24 and justice in Crawford County (in present Wiscon- 

Nov. 15. Copies of both enclosures are in ibid., sin) in the late 1820's and early 1830's, and a 

VI: 322-26, 390-94. The Oct. 24 letter is also in member of the second Wisconsin territorial 

DNA: RG 94, AGO (see scanlan, Prairie du legislature in 1837. For many years he also 

Chien, 229, n. 23). On the Nov. 15 letter, see n. operated the Wisconsin River ferry about six 

3 to the Aug. 23 letter of John Bliss. miles above the mouth of the river near the site 

1 A copyist's error. of Bridgeport. Wisconsin Historical Collections, 

2 In 1829 Street and Maj. Stephen Watts II: 161, 164, 165, VII: 290; strong. History of 
Kearny of the 3d Infantry had seized lumber the Territory of Wisconsin, 98, 252; Wisconsin 
cut on Indian lands by Jean Brunet in violation Historical Society Proceedings, 1912, 165; 
of federal Indian intercourse acts. Brunet brought SCANLAN, Prairie du Chien, 207n. 

suit against the two officials and was awarded 3 Felix St. Vrain, like Thomas Forsyth before 
substantial damages in a U.S. court in Michigan him, saw little need for remaining at the Rock 
Territory. Finally, by an act of July 14, 1832, Island Agency when the Sauk and Fox were 
Congress reimbursed Street and Kearny for the hunting far into the interior west of the Missis- 
damages and court costs, but they had to pay sippi. In this instance, St. Vrain seems to have 
their own attorneys' fees. U.S. Statutes at Large, done all that was then possible toward obtaining 
VI: 515; American State Papers, Military surrender of those responsible for the attack on 
Affairs, V: 9-10; prucha, Broadax and Broad- the Menominee. See, in particular, the council of 
sword, 65-66; LYMAN, John Marsh, 114-15, 356. Sept. 5 and St. Vrain's letters to Clark, Sept. 
Jean Brunet, known primarily as a Prairie du 22 and 28. 

Joseph M. Street to William Clark 

US. Indian Agency at Prairie du Chien January 11, 1832 
Genl, Wm. Clark Sup. Ind: affs. at St. Louis, 

Sir, Anxious that the Govt, should be apprised of the earliest move- 
ments of the Indians, (Sioux, Menominces and Winnebeagoes) I have taken 
measures to be regularly informd of their principal collections & encamp- 
ments, bordering on their Southern frontiers, and what they were doing, 
and shall as occasion requires give you the result of my information. And 
from its source it may be implicitly relied on. 

The Sioux, of the lower bands, the Waukpaycooties, and those near St 
Peters, are collecting on Cannon & Root Rivers, and tho' engaged in hunt- 
ing, are passing wampum with the Menominees, and evidently preparing 
for a Spring campaign against the Sacs & Foxes; and have in their em- 
campments declared as much. 

February 1, 1832 207 

The Monominees, are collecting from the Lakes, between Black and 
Chippewas Rivers. Not far from the falls of the former, they now have as- 
sembled to the number of about 300 — & about 50 more are dispersed in the 
vicinity. The Chippewas are also near them, with whom a peace has been 
lately concluded. Their avowed intention is to go against the Sacs & Foxes 
in the Spring, if the murderers of P. du Chien are not before that time given 
up. They have given wampum to the Sioux, which had already passed 
through the hands of the Ottawas & Pootowattomies, and is now gone 
among the upper Sioux. 

These measures strongly indicate an extensive combination, which is 
gaining ground from an impression that the Govemient will not inter- 
fere. How this latter opinion has obtained credit I am unable to find out; 
tho' it is traced to the Menominees from Green Bay. The Winnebeagoes 
continue to assure me they will not join in the war so long as I advise them 
not. They say they made peace with the S. & F. and promised to be at 
peace to their G.F. at St Louis & they will keep their word. 

I can only remark in much haste, that the infornation now given in 
conjunction with that previously forwarded will shew the necessity of an 
early interfereanc, if any is intended. 

In a conversation with Colo. Morgan I understood him to say, that he 
would not feel authorised to use force against Indians going to War with 
each other any distanc from this place. 

I have the honor to be Sir Your Most Obt. H. St. 
Jos. M. Street US. Ind. Agent. 

ALS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Prairie du Affs. at St. Louis Mo." Enclosed in: Clark to 
Chien. Addressed: "Genl. Wm. Clark Sup. Ind. Herring, Feb. 23. 

Joseph M. Street to Thomas P. Burnett 

Prairie du Chien 1. Feby. 1832. 
T. P. Burnette Esq 

Dr. Sir, I am deeply grateful to a benificent God that our family once 
more enjoys health, and I am again enabled to feel more leisure, & pla- 
cdity of mind. Yet I sincerely hope under sickness I was enable to feel 
resigned, tho' I have been measureably prevented from that attention to 
business & correspondents which have both been greatly neglected. To 
yourself I owe every apology that can correctly be made, as I fear none 
of my letters reached the city before your departurre from that place. My 
mind was too unsettled to write, and from your acquaintance and stand- 
ing with the Administration, and many of its warmest f rinds in Con- 
gress I am confident I could not have done any thing for you. At the same 
time what I have written, and my general course towards you when here 
& when away must assure you of my high regard and unalterable frind- 

208 The Black Hawk War 

ship. When my feelings had measureably subsided from the excitement of 
the indisposition of Mrs. Street, the situation of Thornton ^ reached us 
and it was some time before we could again hear from him. A gracious God 
has caused these griefs to pass over, and I wrote on to Colo. Johnson, Mr. 
Kane & Genl. Duncan- &c. and in all my letters mentioned you in such 
way as I deemed best calculated to aid any measures you might desire 
to atchieve. 

I hope these may have reached in time. Governor Stokes has not written 
me. He is an affectionate relation, and heretofore has been punctual in an- 
swering all my letters.^ 

Yours of the 20 December from Washinglon is received and by your 
request this will be directed to Paris. 

With the men to whom mostly I could have named you, your own per- 
sonal acquaintance gives you every advantage and therefore renders my 
omission of little consequence. And before this I hope you will have so felt 
& experienced. I am greatly obliged by your enquiries, as well as the in- 
fonnation they elicited in regard to myself. I have endeavoured faithfully 
to discharge my duties and render myself useful to the Government, as an 
efficient officer. And it is threrfore doubly painfull to hear of any complaints 
against me. 

I hope before this reaches you, that some situation more worthy your 
talents & worth may have been conferred upon you, or that such will be 
done. If our Territorial Government goes into opperation^ the officers will 
not be appointed before you will leave there; but I trust your frinds will 
not forget you. Was I left to choose as it relates to myself I should wish 
you to remain in your office of Sub-Agent; but my frindship for you, and 
knowledge of your worth & capacity, forbids me to desire that your talents 
should be thrown away on an office worth so little, and in which there is 
so little oppertunity for display. 

When this reaches you, you will have determined on the time of your 
comming on. My son Thornton is in Henderson or at Shawaneetown, and I 
would be gratified if you could bring him on with you, should you determine 
to return early. His health is restored, and I have written him to come on 
in the Spring. A line directed to Doct. Alexander Posey ^ Shawneetown 
would prepare him to be ready to accompany you. The Doctor wrote me 
that he regretted you could not call. He will be glad to see you. 

There is no news here. The Inds: are quiet — the opposition^ keep them 
away from this place. Marsh ^ has not been down this winter — he is some- 
where near Red Cedar with a band of Sioux. Barrie ^ is out above with his 
Inds: and Rolette has been twice to St. Peters, and got home from the last 
trip a few days past. Brunete^ accompanied him. He says that he will make 
a loosing business — and conforts himself by believing, or saying he believes 
that all the other Traders will do the same. This is poor consolation. 

Lockwood is lately down from the Mill,^*^ and says they are like to do 
well. They have one Mill in opperation and an other ready to begin sawing 
as soon as the Spring opens. 

February 1, 1832 209 

The Menominees and Sioux are preparing for a retaliatory War this 
Spring, and if government is not early in stoping them they will certainly 
go, in considerable force. The Menominees have made peace with the Chip- 
pewas in order to be entirely free from any fears above. The two tribes met 
above the Mill on Chippewas and made peace. I have advised the Super- 
intendant so as to have the earliest interf ereane ^^ if any is intended. The 
Sacs & Foxes I learn expect retaliation, and will be in preparation to meet 
them. I ^- Therefore a bloody contest may be expected. 

Mrs. Street, Thomas, and the Girls, desire their best respects to you and 
hope soon to see you here again. I enclose you Mrs. Streets memorandum 
which she tells me you were to attend to for her. I think of planting a few 
Trees on my lot and if you can get them conveniently to Louisville, please 
buy me about 50 aple Trees, and six of the Egg plumb & 4 pear Trees. 

Wishing you every happiness this world affords, and that you may now 
consider the wor[ld to?]^^ which we are all journeying I tender you the 
homage of my high regard & am 

Respectfully your friend, and Your Most. obt. St. Jos. M. Street 

P.S. Doct. Beaumont & family. The Messrs. Lockwoods & Mrs. Lockwood 
& Brown— & Capt. Loomis & Lady are well — & Mr. & Mrs. Kingsbury, & 
Mr. Cochoran, — Mr. Gilbert & family. The Doct. still thinks of going in the 
Spring & Capt. Loomis or rather Mrs. Loomis also speaks of going on furlow 
if they can get one.^^ All else is in statue quo. Yours Jos. M. Street. 

ALS, WHi: Thomas P. Burnett Papers. Ad- aide-de-camp to Street, who was then brigadier 

dressed: "Thomas P. Burnett Esquire Paris general of the 1st Brigade, 2d Division, Illinois 

Kentk'y." The "Paris" was crossed out and Militia. In the BHW of 1832 Posey headed the 

"Shelbyville" substituted. Postmarked: (1) "Jos 1st Brigade of the 3d Volunteer Army, zeuch, 

M Street postmaster free." (2) "Paris Ky. Mar History of Medical Practice in Illinois, I: 270; 

12." I-A: Gov. Corr., II: 769. 

1 Thornton was Street's third son, one of 6 Presumably Street meant the opposition to 
fourteen children in the family. Eleven lived to the American Fur Company. 

maturity. (Annals oj Iowa, XVII: 116-17.) 7 John Marsh, former subagent at Prairie du 

Thornton was attending Illinois College in Chien. 

1830. He had just recovered from a serious ill- 8 Not identified, 

ness (see below) but died Jan. 1, 1833, at the 9 Probably Jean Brunet. 

age of eighteen (ibid., 118). In 1835 Street's son 10 Lcckwood's mill was on a tributary of the 

Joseph H. D. married Burnett's sister Emily Chippewa River; see his reminiscences, "Early 

(ibid., 127). Times and Events in Wisconsin," Wisconsin 

2 These men were U.S. Congressman Richard Historical Collections, II: 98-196. 
M. Johnson from Kentucky and Senator Elias H So spelled. 

Kent Kane and Congressman Joseph Duncan 12 A word, presumably "think," was omitted 

from Illinois. Biographical Directory of the in the original letter. 

American Congress, 177U-1961. 13 MS torn. 

3 Montfort Stokes, governor of North Carolina 14 These Prairie du Chien residents were Dr. 
at this time, was Street's mother's brother. DAB, William Beavunont, Mr. and Mrs. James Henry 
s.v. Stokes and Street. Lockwood (sketch. Street to Loomis, July 31, 

4 On April 20, 1836, the President approved 1831), Capt. Gustavus Loomis (sketch, Street to 
the bill creating Wisconsin Territory. BLOOM, ed., Loomis, July 31, 1831), and Lt. and Mrs. James 
Territorial Papers, XXVII: 41-52. Wilkinson Kingsbury. Brown and Mr. Cochoran 

5 Alexander Hamilton Posey (1794-1840) was have not been identified. Gilbert was probably 
the brother of Street's wife and the son of the Samuel Gilbert, a former Kentuckian, whom 
General Thomas Posey of Revolutionary War Alfred Brunson visited at Prairie du Chien in 
fame. Alexander Posey was born in Virginia 1835 (Wisconsin Historical Collections, XV: 
and received his medical education in Philadel- 283-84). 

phia. In 1827 he was commissioned major and Dr. William Beaumont (1785-1853) was born 


The Black Hawk War 

in Connecticut and studied medicine in Vermont 
aa an apprentice to Eh-. Benjamin Chandler. He 
became a surgeon's mate in the War of 1812 and 
accompanied the expedition that burned York 
(Toronto). He left the army in 1815 but re- 
enlisted in 1820 and was sent to Fort Mackinac. 
There, by studying an open abdominal wound 
suffered by Alexis St. Martin, Beaumont dis- 
covered the basic processes of gastric digestion. 
Beaumont was assigned, successively, to Forts 
Niagara, Howard, and Crawford. He was sent 
to the latter post in 1828, and in 1829 he 
persuaded St. Martin to join him there. Beau- 
mont left Prairie du Chien, with St. Martin, on 
a leave of absence Aug. 23, 1832, and resumed 
his experiments in Washington, D.C. His find- 
ings, published in 1833, have been judged the 
"greatest contribution ever made to the know- 
ledge of gastric digestion" (DAB). In 1834 
Beaximont was ordered to Jefferson Barracks and 

then transferred to the St. Louis Arsenal. He 
resigned in 1839 to enter private practice at 
St. Louis. He lived in that city the remainder 
of his life. Ibid.; scanlan, Prairie du Chien, 

James Wilkinson Kingsbury, a native of Con- 
necticut, entered West Point in 1819 but left in 
1823 without graduating. He joined the army 
as a 2d lieutenant in the 1st Infantry later 
that year, became a 1st lieutenant in 1830 and 
a captain in 1837. The 1832 Army Register 
lists him as an assistant commissary of sub- 
sistence. From 1837 until his resignation in 
1843, he served as a military storekeeper in the 
purchasing department. He died in 1853. His 
wife was the former Julia A. Cabanne, member 
of a prominent St. Louis family. HEITMAN; 
Army Register 1815-37, 434; beckwith, Creoles 
of St. Louis. 74-75. 

John Dougherty to Wilham Clark 

Cant. Leavenworth ^ 3. February 1832 
Genl. Wm Clark Supt. Ind. Affrs. 

Sir Majr. R. P. Beauchamp ^ has just returned from the O'toe Black Smith 
Shop at which place he had an interview with Jaton,^ the principal chief of 
the O'toes, who informed him that, the Sackes & Fox Indians of the Missis- 
sippi^ had sent an invitation to the O'toes, and loways, and to the Sackes 
of Missouri, to join them in war against the Americans. 

The Jaton said, as a friend to the whites, he gave this information, with a 
view of putting them on their gaurd. He further informed Majr. B. that the 
O'toes, loways, and Sackes of Missouri, had all without hesitation, refused 
to accept the invitation, or to have any thing to do in a combination of any 
kind whatever, against the American people. 

I give you this information beleiving it my duty, altho' it is probable, 
should there be any truth in this report, that you have ere this been ap- 
prised of it, by way of the Mississippi.^ 

I have the honor to be Very Respectfully Yr. Obt. Servt. 
Jno. Dougherty Ind. Agt. 

ALS. DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Prairie du 
Chien. Addressed: "To/ Genl. Wm. Clark Supt. 
Ind. Affrs. St. Louis Mo." Postmarked: "Cant 
Leavenworth Feb 3 18 %." Endorsed: "asd. 15h." 
Enclosed in: Clark to Herring, Feb. 23. 

1 Cantonment Leavenworth was on the right 
bank of the Missouri River, about eight miles 
above, and opposite, the mouth of the Platte 
River. It was established in 1827 and, except for 
a small guard, evacuated in 1829. It was reoc- 
cupied in 1832 and named Fort Leavenworth. 

After 1827 Dougherty made Cantonment Leaven- 
worth, instead of Fort Atkinson (by that time 
abandoned), the headquarters for his agency, 
known as the Upper Missouri Agency. DAH; 
Kansas Historical Quarterly, XVI: 23n, 26n; 
SUNDER, Joshua Pilcher, 83, 88-89, 96-97. 

2 Beauchamp had been appointed subagent 
for the Upper Missouri Agency in the winter of 
1828-1829 (Clark to Eaton, Nov. 27. 1829, in 
KHi: Clark Papers, IV: 62). He served until 
some time in 1833. He was also postmaster at 

February 11, 1832 211 

Cantonment Leavenworth, 1829-1831. Kansas tained a separate identity from the time of the 

Historical Collections, VII: 441, XVI: 724, 725. War of 1812. By autumn, 1813, William Clark 

3 This name generally appears as letan, had persuaded all but a few of the Sauk and 
L'letan, or Shaiunonekusse; see McKENNEY and Fox to abandon their villages on the Mississippi 
HALL, I: 156-64; kappler, II: 309, 401, 480. He and move to the Little Moniteau River in Missouri, 
died in 1837 after being wounded in a gun where they were to be supplied with provisions 
battle with some of his enemies in his band by their factor, John W. Johnson. The following 

(COOKE, Scenes and Adventures, 111-15). A town spring the trading post was threatened by some 

in Platte County, Missouri, bears his name but of the unfriendly Sauk and Fox from Rock River, 

is spelled latan. and Johnson returned to St. Louis. Subsequently 

4 The distinguishing phrase "of the Mississippi" most of the Sauk and Fox went back to their 
was commonly used only by people who had villages in the Rock River area. Missouri His- 
dealings with the splinter group known as the torical Review, XXXVII: 150-61; Wisconsin 
Sauk of Missouri. In 1831 the latter group was Historical Collections, XI: 331-32, 334, 348-49. 
said to number six hundred souls (Hughes to 5 See Andrew S. Hughes's March 13 and 15 
Clark, March 29, 1831, KHi: Clark Papers, VI: letters to Clark, which contradict this report 
175). The Sauk of Missouri had generally main- about Sauk recruiting. 

George Davenport to Joseph Duncan 

Washington City Feby 11 1832 
To the Honble Joseph Duncan House of Representatives 

Sir the Chiefs of the Sac and Fox nation have been applying to the 
agent and to the Superintendant of Indian Affairs for the last two years 
for permission to come to Washington to See thier Great Father^ under- 
standing that I was coming to the City they requested me to make applica- 
tion to the president that they may be permitted to come on early in the 
Summer, and stated the following as thier reasons. 

that the United States have received from them a larger and more valu- 
able country than has been received from any other Indian nation, com- 
prising the upper part of the State of Illinois, contaning valuable lead 
mines ; and also that part of the State of Missouri situated on the west bank 
of the Mississippi above the mouth of Missouri river: for all which thay 
received an annuity of onley one thousand dollars,^ whilst the united States 
are giving fifteen thousand dollars pr annum to the Potawatamies for a 
small strip of the land thay sold the united States, which the U. States 
exchanged with the potawatamies for land near Chicago and which the U. 
States afterwards bought from them at this great price ^ 

that thay had ever believed, that the point of land situated at the mouth 
of Rock River, on which their village was located, was reserved to them — 
that they were informed by the only survivor of the four^ who made the 
treaty of 1804 that, that piece of land was never sold, that thay did not 
know the terms of the treaty, altho' thay agreed to it 1816 

That in 1829 the citizens of Illinois, while the nation was absent on thier 
hunting expedition, took possession of their Village and cultivated fields, 
at that time possessed and occupied by them agreably to the Treaty — that 
those citizens destroyed thier lodges and kept possession of part of thier 
fields and have Since claimed damages of them, and have applied for an 

212 The Black Hawk War 

Order from the Indian department, to allow them thier damages out of the 
Indian annuity. 

that without offering the Sac and Fox nation of Indians any compensation 
for thier improvements, Government Ordred them to leave them, and by a 
military force, actually drove them from thier Village and corn fields in 
July last, when thier corn was more than halfe grown — that thay made no 
resistance believing that the United States would do them justice, that if 
thay are not Supplied with corn early in the spring, thay will be distressed 

that unfortunately two yong men of the Fox nation killed a Menomeney 
Indian near Prairie du Chien. Information thereof being brought to the 
Fox chief, he was so much incenced that he declared he would put those 
yong men to death for their crime, the yong men fled in the night, and 
travelled upwards of 600 miles to the missourie, and I believed thay have 
not Since returned. The Chiefs, by presents, Opened a communication with 
the menomenies, and by the assistance of Genl Street, Indian agent, and 
Capt Warner Sub-agent,^ arangements were made for a meeting at Prairie 
du Chien The Sub-agent was to have been accompanied thither by the 
fox Chiefs: but when he started, some of them were absent, and it was ar- 
ranged that he should proceed immediately to the place of meeting, whither 
he was to be followed by the Chiefs when all thier number had arrived, on 
the arrival of the Sub-agent, he was informed that the Menomenes and 
Sioux entertained hostile intentions towards the Chiefs of the Foxes — that 
it would be dangerous for the latter to come up. It was therefore, advised 
that the Sub agent should desend the river immeadiatly, to meet, and turn 
them back for some cause unknown to me, the Sub agent did not meet 
them. The menomenes and Some Sioux, after having prepared themselves, 
and danced thier war dance, set off in pursuit of the devoted Fox Chiefs — 
the latter thinking themselves secure in going to a councill by invitation of 
the agents of Government, had landed from thier canoes a few miles below 
Prairie du Chaine, to rest themselves and take thier dinner, the Menomenies 
and Sioux discovered that thay had landed, and succeeded in suprising and 
murdering all the Fox Chiefs (of the upper Band) eight I believe in num- 
ber.^ Onley a few wounded men escaped to carry the sad tidings to the 
Foxes, of the murder of all thier Chiefs. The Menomenies & Sioux returned 
to Prairie du Chain carrying with them thier scalps, and also the head of 
Pa-mos-ke (a good old man, whose likeness is in the room occupied for 
the Indian Bureau)'^ they danced through the Villages and exhibited those 
trophies of thier brutal murder for three days, in the Vicinity of Fort 

Whilst the Sacs and Foxes were lamenting the death of thier Chiefs, the 
Commissioner Genl Clark arrived on his way to Prairie du Chaine, to make 
peace with all the Indians on that frontier he called on the Sacs and Foxes 
to accompany him. thay could not understand the meaning of the intended 
treaty, but after receiving some presents to cover the blood of thier murdred 

February 11, 1832 213 

Chiefs, they reluctantly consented to go. Thay objected, however, during 
the treaty to make peace with the Menomenies — knowing that thay could 
not control the relations of the murdred Chiefs but on being sent for by 
the Commissionar and told that it was the order of thier Great Father that 
thay should make peace, they consented. 

Since that time, the relations and friends of the chiefs murdred by the 
menomenies, Started on a war party and succeeded in killing sevral of the 
Menomenies at prairie du Chaine, at the same place where the Menomenies 
had previously prepared themselves, danced thier war dance, returned with 
the trophies of thier victory, and exhibited them through the Streets.^ 
Though this war party Started in Opposition to the wishes of the Chiefs of 
the Sacs and Foxes, the nation has been involved by it in Still deeper dis- 
tress. For besides the loss of thier Chiefs murdred by the menomenies the 
United States have demanded of them Ten of the principal men who were 
on the war party, to be punished by Government those Ten will propabley 
be the brothors and Sons of the Chiefs who were murdred 

It is not in the powr of the Chiefs to seise and deliver them up, but thay 
promise Voluntarily to Surrender them Selves in the Spring^ 

Thay inquire whether the Menomenies who killed thier Chiefs are not to 
be given up also thay further complain that the citizens of Illinois and of 
Michigan Territory, having crossed the Mississippi took possession of, and 
w^orked their lead mines, and carried off minral to the amount of Sevral 
thousand dollars : at the same time thay acknowledge the promptness of the 
United States Troops in removing those trespassers. 

one Officer and six or eight Soldiers were stationed at those mines during 
the last Summer,^*^ but they do not expect the United States to keep troops 
there constantly to defend thier mines. As soon as the troops are removed, 
the citizens of Illinois and of Michigan Territory will, without doubt, again 
cross over, and renew their depredations. 

To prevent all difficulty in future therefore thay prepose to sell to the 
United States those mines with a considerable extent of the adjoining 

this will be an advantage to the Sacs and Foxes in adding to thier an- 
nuities and in removing them further from the Bank of the mississippi, and 
will secure the frontier Settlements of the State of Illinois and of Michigan 

thay believe that the Government has treated them more harshly, and 
with Greater injustice, than any Other Indian nation. 

Respectfully your Obt Sert & George Davenport 
of Rock Island His 

ALS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox, 1 See n. 3, Gaines to the Secretary of War, Aug. 

1832. Enclosed in: Duncan to the President, March 10, 1831. 

1 (not printed herein) . Secretary of War Lewis - By the Treaty of Nov. 3, 1804. 

Cass replied to Davenport on March 15. Both 3 On this exchange of land, see n. 5, St. Vrain 

Duncan's and Davenport's letters are published to Clark, May 15, 1831. 

in 23d Cong., 1st Sess., S. Doc. 512. Ill: 221-23. 4 Quashquame. See Wallace, 23-24, 30. 


The Black Hawk War 

5 Wynkoop Warner was subagent for the Sauk 
and Fox, and was stationed at Galena. A man 
by the same name lived in Callaway County, 
Missouri, in 1821 and was doorkeeper for the 
Missouri Senate in 1826, but it is not known 
whether he was also the Galena subagent. U.S. 
Register 1829, 84; Missouri Historical Revieiv, 
XXXIX: 192; I-A: 1830 Census, 311. After this 
episode William Clark recommended that Warner 

be transferred (Clark to , May 28, 1830, in 

KHi: Clark Papers, IV: 118-19). 

6 See WALLACE, 34-35, for an account of this 
episode. Reports of the casualties are somewhat 
confusing. In the Prairie du Chien council pro- 
ceedings of July 9, 1830, a clerk said that ten 
Fox Indians had been killed (S-F Ex. 131, 
Docket 83, ICC). Joseph Hardy, writing on May 
7, 1830, for the Fox Indian Morgan, also said 
that ten had been killed, but he named only 
eight, adding that four others who had escaped 
had not yet returned home. Hardy lists Kettle 
as one of those killed and Broken Head as one 
who had escaped (S-F Ex. 125, Docket 83, ICC). 
But Sauk and Fox agent Thomas Forsyth, 
writing on May 6-7, 1830, stated that the dead 
included two brothers of "the late Kettle Chief 
and the Broken or Cut Head" (S-F Ex. 123, 
Docket 83, ICC; published in Annals of Iowa, 
XVI: 41-42). 

T Pamoske, or Peahmuska, was the principal 
chief of the Fox village below the site of present 
Dubuque, Iowa. He signed the Fox treaty ne- 
gotiated Sept. 14, 1815, at the close of the War 
of 1812, and his name appears there as "Pierre- 
maskkin, the fox who walks crooked" (KAppler, 
II: 122). He also signed the Aug. 4, 1824, 
Treaty of Washington as "Pea-mash-ka, or the 

Fox winding his horn" (KAPPLER, II: 208). 
While he was in Washington for the treaty 
negotiations, his portrait was painted by Charles 
Bird King. It was no doubt the portrait by King 
that hung in the "room of the Indian Bureau" 

(MCKENNEY AND HALL, I: li, 231-34). 

Peahmuska's name appears on the Treaty of 
Prairie du Chien of Aug. 19, 1825, as "Pee-ar- 
maski, the jumping sturgeon" (kappler, II: 
255). The July 15, 1830, treaty, negotiated a few 
months after his death, was signed by "Pasha- 
sakay, son of Piemanschie" (ibid., II: 308). 

Peahmuska was best known for his successful 
efforts in preventing other white men from 
taking ovpr the lead mines that had been 
operated by Julien Dubuque prior to his death 
in 1810 (HOFFMANN, Antique Dubuque, 126-29). 

In addition to the spellings given above, 
Peahmuska's name is also found as Peemashka, 
Pamoski, Peemashkee, Pianosky, and Piemosky. 
According to Dr. William Jones, the correct 
spelling is "Pyamaskiwa," and the correct trans- 
lation "Twister" (mckenney and hall, I: 233). 

8 This reference is to the Sauk and Fox attack 
on the Menominee at Prairie du Chien, July 
31, 1831. 

9 Three hostages presented themselves to their 
chiefs and were delivered at the April 19 council 
held by General Atkinson at Fort Armstrong. 
See the proceedings of that date. 

10 Col. Willoughby Morgan had stationed a 
detachment from Fort Crawford there in 1830 
(SCANLAN, Prairie du Chien, 145). In Oct., 1831, 
2d Lt. Jefferson Davis, 1st Infantry, was 
assigned there from Fort Crawford. MONROE and 
Mcintosh, eds.. The Papers of Jefferson Davis, 
I: 217-19. 

William Clark to Elbert Herring 

Superintendency of Ind: Affairs, St. Louis Feby 23rd. 1832. 

Sir, I take the liberty of enclosing herewith a letter from the Indian 
Agent at Prairie du Chien of 11th January, & two from the Agent at Cant: 
Leavenworth, of 3rd. & 8th inst: on the Subject of the hostile preparations 
of the Indians against each other, (all reed by last mail.) 

By the Report of Genl. Street, the Indians of the upper Mississippi seem 
determined on War against the Sacs & Foxes, if the murderers of the 
Menominies at P. du Chien are not given up. And from the Report of Mr. 
Dougherty, it would appear that the Sacs & Foxes of the Mississippi had 
solicited aid of some of the Missouri Tribes, and intended opposition. No 
information has been received from Mr. St Vrain in relation to the hostile 
intentions of the Sacs: — that Agent sat out about the middle of the last 
month to the Sac & Fox hunting camps, high up the Demoine & loway 

March 1, 1832 215 

Rivers, for the purpose of obtaining the Surrender of the murderers of the 
Menominies ; or to learn the views & intentions of those Tribes in regard to 
the demand which has already been made of them for those murderers ; and 
also to learn the particulars in relation to the Sac killed by the Sioux in 
the early part of the winter. I have heard nothing from Mr. St. Vrain since 
he left his post. 

With high respect I have the honor to be Yr most obt. Servt. Wm Clark 

E. Herring Esqr Ind: Dept: W. City. 

P.S. A letter from Genl. Hughes in relation to his pay, is also herewith en- 

LS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Prairie du nearly subsided among the Omaha tribe, the 

Chien. Endorsed: "March 13, 1832 Indian Office Ponca Indians were still suffering from the 

3 enclosures." Enclosures: Street to Clark, Jan. disease. 

11; Dougherty to Clark, Feb. 3 (and Feb. 8 ?) ; Hughes's letter deals with the financial ar- 

and Andrew S. Hughes to Clark, n.d. Only the rangements for his prospective service with 

Street Jan. 11 and the Dougherty Feb. 3 letters the surveyor of the "Neutral Ground." 

are printed in this volume. Clark's letter to Herring, with its enclosures, 

Dougherty's letter of Feb. 8, which Clark seems to have been the final determining factor 

said he was enclosing, is not filed with the other that led the War Department to order General 

enclosures in DNA. But a copy of that one as Atkinson, backed by a military force, to demand 

well as the Hughes letter are in KHi: Clark from the Sauk and Fox the surrender of the 

Papers, VI: 418. Dougherty's letter reports a Menominee murderers; see Herring's reply to 

robbery by an armed party of Sioxix (see n. 1, Clark of March 15 and Macomb to Atkinson, 

Herring to Clark, March 15) and gives the March 17. 
further news that although the smallpox had 

John Bliss to Lewis Cass 

Hd. Qrs. Fort Armstrong Ills. 1 March 1832 

Sir, Agreeable to the instructions of Maj Genl Gaines I submit for settle- 
ment a small account of $10.— for secret services rendered during the late 
disturbance with the British band of Sauks. 

The absence of Smith precludes the possibility of obtaining any other 
form than that first advised by the General when there was a strong prob- 
ability that a continuance of this duty might be necessary for the public 
service. As I am totallj' uninformed of the forms to be obser^^ed I have 
merely inclosed the voucher. 

With the greatest respect I am Sir Your Obed kc 
John Bliss Maj 1 Inf Comg. 

To Hone Lewis Cass Secretary of War Washington City D.C. 

ALS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Sac and Fox. sure: Nathan Smith receipt to Bliss, June 25, 
Endorsed: "April 6 1832 Indian Office." Enclo- 1831. 

216 The Black Hawk War 

Felix St. Vrain to William Clark 

Rock Island Ind. Agency 1st March 1832 
Gen. Wm. Clark Supt. Indian Affairs St. Louis 

Sir, I was very much delayed in coming to my agency by bad weather 
and Ice. I arrived here on the 30th day after leaving St Louis ; — on my way 
from the lower rapids I had occasion to see a number of the Soc & Fox 
Indians, which had come in from the Des moine River. They said to me 
that there was no news, except the fact of the report of the murder of the 
son of Kemanssa a fox Indian. The Indians report that it was done, by the 
Sioux and Manomminies. They judge from their dress, he was killed below 
the lower loway River and the English River. It is reported that the young 
men of the Soc & Fox nations of Indians, will go to war against the Siouxs; 
this I have endeavored to prevent by sending a message to the principal 
chiefs, to interpose and stop them. I understand that the chiefs have re- 
monstrated against the measure of going to war, and that their intention is 
to wait and hear from their great Father, (the President of The United 
States) As to the surrender of the murderers of the Manomminies, they say 
little about the matter, but it is my opinion that they will not give them up, 
except it should be to you or to the President of the United States I have 
now to ask you, if I have to submit to the orders of the commanding officer 
or officers of the Military department (I do not mean the secretary of war) 
and whether I, and the persons under my employ for the Goverment, have 
a right to cut firewood or wood for any other purpose for the use of the 
Agency, on lands belonging to the Government. I ask this question because 
some of the persons under my imploy (for the Government) have been told 
(Verbaly) by the commanding officer of Fort Armstrong ^ that they should 
not cut green wood on Rock Island. This order I intend to disregard unless 
I shall be ordered to the contrary by a proper officer of the department ^ 
which I belong. 

I have the honor to be your Obt. Servant Felix St Vrain Ind. Agt. 

LBC, KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 435-36. 2 The word "to" was omitted by the copyist. 

1 Maj. John Bliss, 1st Infantry. 

Elias T. Langham to William Clark 

Sioux Agency, St Peters 2d. March 1832 

Sir The Indians of this Agency have recently been invited by the Mino- 
monies to join them in a war against the Socs & Foxes. Some of the chiefs 
near this place informed me of it, and desired my advice. I advised them 
not to join; to pursue their huntings, and to pay their traders. They prom- 
ised to follow my advice 

I am Sir, very respectfully your Obt. Servant E. T. Langham Sub Agent 

Genl. William Clark Supt. of Ind: Affs. St. Louis 

LBC. KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 438. 

March 13, 1832 


Andrew S. Hughes to William Clark 

Snak Hills ' 13th March 1832. 
Gen. Wm. Clark Supt. of Indian Affairs 

Dear Genl. — My interpreter has been taken from me. I am compelled to 
pay an extravagant price, six hundred Dollars for him only two years and 
six months & then he is to be free, — being thus driven & forced — rather than 
hinder or delay the public service.^ this is oppressive on me but I must do 
the best I can every obsticle has been thrown in my way by the Traders. 
I have ventured a draft on you in favour of Mr. Hiram Rich^ for three 
hundred Dollars to enable me to pay for Jeffries "* — which I hope you will 
pay and let it be deducted from my salary or from any funds you may 
think proper, my pay [if] you think proper for the service I am engaged 
in — in attending the running of the lines.^ On the subject the Socks declaring 
war, Mr. Rubidoux ^ & Roy ^ and all colours of skins have not heard a word 
on the subject. More of this will be Officially communicated within three 
days in the mean time I hold council with all the Tribes I will again 
write you from the forks of Grand River when I shall have seen all the 

Yours Truely & Sincerely And. S. Hughes. 

LBC. KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 437. 

Andrew Swearenger Hughes (1789-1843), law- 
yer and Indian Department employee, was born 
in Montgomery County, Kentucky. He served 
two terms in the Kentucky Senate and became a 
general in the state militia before moving to 
Missouri in 1828. About that time Hughes be- 
came subagent at the "loway Villages," also 
performing the duties of subagent for the Sauk 
of Missouri and the Kansas tribe. He was re- 
sponsible for the plan of attaching to the state 
of Missouri the two-million-acre tract known 
as the Platte Purchase, acquired by treaty with 
the Iowa and the Missouri band of Sauk and 
Fox in 1836. U.S. Register 1829, 83; U.S. Register 
1831, 96; Kanaas Historical Quarterly, XVI: 
386; HOUCK, History of Missouri, I: 11-12; 
KAPPLER, II: 468-70. 

i Generally called the Blacksnake Hills, at the 
site of St. Joseph, Missouri, thwaites, ed., 
Earhj Western Travels, XXIX: 372 and n. 233; 
ibid., XXII: 257. 

2 Hughes himself is listed in 1833 as inter- 
preter for the "loway Villages" at an annual 
salary of $350. For the same year Jeffrey 
Dorney, born in Upper Missouri, was being 
paid $400 as interpreter for the "loway Sub- 
Agency." It seems likely that this method was 
adopted in order to reimburse Hughes for the 
advance made at this time. U.S. Register 1833, 
89, 90. 

3 Rich was sutler at Fort Leavenworth and 
later the postmaster of the town of Fort Leaven- 
worth, Kansas. He died in 1862 at the age of 
sixty-two. William Clark, in his diary, mentions 
the marriage of Rich to Julia Ann Wilson in St. 

Louis, May 6, 1829. Kansas Historical Collections, 
VIII: 332, VII: 441, XIII: 335; Kansas Historical 
Quarterly, XVI: 287. 

■1 Probably Jeffrey Dorney or Dorion, the inter- 
preter. See n. 2 above and kappler, II: 470. 

5 Bracketed word added for clarity — that is, the 
deduction could be made from his surveying fee. 

Hughes and Jonathan L. Bean, subagents for 
the Sauk and Fox of Missouri and the Sioux, 
respectively, had been instructed by William 
Clark to accompany Nathan Boone as he surveyed 
the lines of the 1830 Prairie du Chien treaty. 
Two men from the Sauk and Fox tribes were 
also to accompany the surveyor when he marked 
the southern line of the Neutral Ground, and 
two Sioux were to be present at the marking 
of the northern line so that the tribes could 
not later plead ignorance of the location of the 
lines. The subagents were to be paid a flat $5.00 
per day and were each given an additional $1,100 
for expenses. See Clark's letters of instruction 
of Feb. 14, 1832, 23d Cong., 1st Sess., S. Doc. 
512, III: 251-53, also 219-20, 249-51. On Feb. 17, 
Hughes and Bean had recommended to Clark that 
he ask the Secretary of War "to have a suitable 
number of the United States Troops ordered to 
Prairie du Chien ... so that a movement could 
be promptly made to such a point as would 
afford the surveyor and his party the necessary 
protection." They feared that Indians from 
agencies other than their own might interrupt 
the survey. Hughes and Bean to Clark, dated 
"Iowa Sub- Agency." Feb. 17, in DNA: RG 75, 
BIA, L Reed., Iowa Sub- Agency. 

6 Joseph Robidoux, the founder of St. Joseph, 
Missouri, had established a trading post in 1826 

218 The Black Hawk War 

at the mouth of Roy's branch. The following 7 This was probably Jean Baptiste Roy, a 

year he moved to the south bank of the stream. prominent fur-trader in the early 1800's. Ori- 

An excellent description is Prince Maximilian's ginally employed by the American Fur Company, 

in THWAITES, ed., Earbj Western Travels, XXII: he later became an independent trader at Black- 

257, 258. An Iowa village was located between snake Hills, first in partnership, and then in 

the post and the Little Platte River. Ibid.; see competition, with Joseph Robidoux. Missouri 

also WPA Guide to Missouri, 283-84. Historical Society Bulletin, XXIV: 85-93. 

Lewis Cass to Joseph Duncan 

Department of War, March 15, 1832. 
To The Honble: Joseph Duncan, H.R. U.S. 

Sir, Your letter of the 1st. instant, to the President together with the one 
from Mr. Davenport to you,^ has been referred to this department. 

The subjects of difficulty existing with the Sac and Fox Indians, and 
enumerated by Mr. Davenport are important, and certainly deserve in- 
vestigation. But unless some specific i)rovision be made by Congress, that 
investigation must take place in the ordinary way, and thro' the ordinary 
Agents. There is no appropriation, from which the expenses of the journey 
of a deputation can be paid. 

The same may be observed of the proposed cession. I have no doubt of 
its importance, but there are not at the disposal of the department funds 
applicable to that object. 

Very respectfully &c. Lewis Cass. 

CC, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Sent, Vol. 8. i Of Feb. 11. 

Elbert Herring to William Clark 

Department of War, Office Indian Affairs March 15, 1832. 
To General William Clark, Supt. Indian Affairs &c, 

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication 
of the 23rd. ulto, with the several enclosures therein referred to. 

I am instmcted to say, that you will cause measures to be taken for the 
immediate surrender or apprehension of the Sacs and Foxes who murdered 
the Menomonies the last summer, or so many of them, as may be sufficient 
for the purposes of example and Justice — and that if it be impracticable to 
apprehend them, you will cause four or five of each tribe to be taken and 
detained as hostages, to constrain the surrender or delivery of those mur- 
derers. Troops have been ordered from Jefferson Barracks to proceed up the 
Mississippi to prevent the threatened hostilities of the Indian tribes, and 
to aid you in effecting the apprehension of the before mentioned murderers 
or the seizure of four or five of each tribe (Sacs and Foxes) as hostages for 
the purpose aforesaid. 

You will be pleased to inform General Street, Major Dougherty and Mr. 

March 17, 1832 219 

St. Vrain of the measures adopted by the Government, that they may com- 
municate to the Indians its determination and proceedings and prevent, if 
possible, the commission of hostile acts, which if committed will inevitably 
be followed with their own punishment. 

You will also be pleased to inform Major Dougherty, that soon as the 
aggression, said to have been committed by the Sioux on Mr. Leclerc ^ shall 
come before the Department in authenticated form, measures will be taken 
for the restoration of the property and redress of the outrage. 

With great respect &c, Elbert Herring. 

CC, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Sent, Vol. 8. recently fallen in with Mr. Leclerc, who was 

1 Doiigherty wrote Clark on Feb. 8 from on his way from the Poncas to the little Missouri 

Cantonment Leavenworth: "Mr. Sarpy arrived with seven horses loaded with Indian Goods, and 

at this post last night from Mr. Cabanne's trad- that they not only Robbed him of his goods, 

ing establishment and informed me that Mr. but killed all the horses" (LBC in KHi: Clark 

C. had received a .letter from Mr. Laidlaw, Papers, VI: 418). 
giving intelligence that a party of Sioux had 

Andrew S. Hughes to William Clark 

loway Agency 15th March 1832 
Genl. Wm. Clark Supt. of Ind. Affairs 

Sir, I have taken much pains to see and talk wdth the loways & Socks & 
Foxes of this agency. I have with diligence, enquired into the truth or 
falsity, of the report that is in circulation, in relation to the socks of the 
Mississippi, having declared, war against the Americans, and of their having 
solicited, the first mentioned Tribes to join in the contest, the Indians assure 
me that, no such application has been made to them nor have they or any 
of them heard before this, of any such, intentions on the part of the Socks 
of Mississippi. You now have the result of my enquiries. I am now off to 
the mouth of the upper loway River ^ — the high waters delay me very 

with great respect your most obedient Servant And. S. Hughes 

LBC, KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 437. the Sioiix and Sauk and Fox portions of the 

1 The mouth of the Upper Iowa River, at the Neutral Ground, kappler, II: 250-51, 306; see 

northeastern boundary of the state of Iowa, also n. 5, Hughes to Clark, March 13. 
marked the easternmost point of the line dividing 

Alexander Macomb to Henry Atkinson 

Head Quarters of the Army Washington 17 March 1832. 

Sir: Information has been reed, at the War Dept. that the Menominees, 
with such other tribes as they may be enabled to enlist in their behalf, 
contemplate, as early as the season will admit of their moving, to make an 
attack on the Sacs and Foxes, in consequence of their having murdered a 
number of the Menominees at Prairie du Chien, in August last. 

220 The Black Hawk War 

In the summer of 1830, owing to a meditated attack on the Sioux, by the 
Sacs and Fox tribes, aided by the Winnebagos, a conference, by direction 
of the War Dept. was held at the Prairie du Chien, by the Commanding 
officer, with the several tribes above mentioned, where they were assured of 
the protection of the Govt, provided they would remain at peace with each 
other: but if on the contrary, any of the tribes should molest, or injure the 
other, the offending tribe should be punished. Notwithstanding the agree- 
ment made on that occasion to remain at peace, and the assurance given 
on the part of the Government of its determination to punish those who 
might first commit hostilities, a war party of the Sacs and Foxes, attacked, 
in August last, a party of Menominees, peacably encamped within a mile 
of Fort Crawford, the place where the above treaty was made, and mur- 
dered twenty-five individuals of that tribe. 

In order that the murderers may be apprehended and delivered to the 
civil authority, and with a view also to put a stop to the threatened hos- 
tilities among the Indians, the Government has determined, for these pur- 
poses, to employ the troops stationed on the Mississippi and at Fort Win- 
nebago. You will therefore proceed forthwith to Fort Armstrong, with the 
efficient force now at Jefferson Barracks, and if the Sacs and Foxes do not 
deliver up as many of the persons concerned in these murders as may be 
sufficient for the purposes of example and justice, say not less than eight 
or ten, including some of the principle men, you will then use force to ap- 
prehend them or to take hostages, not exceeding the number above stated. 
Which of these measures shall be adopted is left to your discretion on a 
full view of the circumstances. The hostages, if apprehended, will be hu- 
manely treated, and secured til the determination of the Government is 
made known to you or some of the murderers are surrendered.^ 

In the execution of this duty, I rely upon your well known judgement 
that force will not be used, til it become absolutely necessary; and that 
then so used, that the Indians will see the object of the United States is 
to punish the guilty, not to injure the innocent. 

It is important that the attack contemplated by the Menominees and 
their allies, should be prevented, and you will therefore take such steps, as 
in your judgement will best effect the object, taking care to apprise the 
Menominees of the intentions of the Government in regard to the murderers. 
From the position of the Menominees and their allies, it is to be presumed 
that they will, previously to making their contemplated descent, assemble 
at some point on the Mississippi, in order to avail themselves of the water 
communication, until they come within striking distance. If this supposition 
be correct, it will be well to arrest their progress, by means of a detach- 
ment, with some field pieces, to be posted on the Mississippi below the 
Quisconsin: for which purpose, the effective force at Fort Winnebago and 
Prairie du Chien may be employed. 

General Clark, and the Agent and sub-agents must be possessed of every 
information connected with the subject of the indians. You will consult 
with General Clark and give effect to any instructions he may receive from 

March 20, 1832 ^ 

the War Dept. in reference to the object of this communication. You are 
distinctly to understand that in the present instance no temporising is to 
be allowed. The force placed at your disposal to carry into execution the 
views of the Government, is to be exerted to the utmost, should you find it 

In withdrawing the effective force from the posts of Jefferson, Rock 
Island, and Forts Crawford and Winnebago, it is to be expected that there 
will remain a sufficient number of men unfit to march, who will be capable 
of guarding the respective posts, at each of which a suitable portion of of- 
ficers should be left on duty. 

Although positions are indicated in this communication, as points of op- 
eration, you will, notwithstanding, use your own judgement in selecting 
others, should you deem them preferable. 

You are authorised to make requisitions on the ordnance and other de- 
partments of the staff, for such supplies and transport as may be proper 
and necessary, to enable you to carry into effect these instructions. 

You will keep me informed as early and as often as practicable of your 
movements and operations, that I may communicate the same to the Sec- 
retary of War. 

I have the honor to be very respectfully Sir, Yr. Obt. St. 
Alex Macomb Major General Com:g the Army 

Bvt. Brigr. General Heniy Atkinson Comg. Jefferson Barracks Mo. 

LS, IHi: BHW. Not addressed. Endorsed: "Reed. 1 See Atkinson's report of the surrender of 

April 1st 1832." See Atkinson's reply of April 3. the hostages in his letter to Macomb of April 19. 

Joseph Duncan to John Y. Sawyer 

House of Representatives. March 20, 1832. 

Dear Sir: — You will please to publish the enclosed extract of a bill, 
which has passed the House of Representatives, and is now before the Sen- 
ate, as it will be gratifying to many of our fellow-citizens, to know that 
every exertion is making to have them paid as early as possible.^ 

with great respect, your obd't. serv't. J. Duncan. 

J. Y. Sawyer, Esq. 

"And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of War, be authorized and 
required, to settle, adjust, and pay the claims of the Militia of the State of 
Illinois, called out by competent authority, or received mto the service of 
the United States, by a general officer of the United States' army, in the 
year one thousand eight hundred and thirty one, and all charges and ex- 
penses incident to the service of the said troops agreeably to the provisions 
of the third section of an act making appropriations for the military service 
of the United States, approved twenty-first of March, one thousand eight 
hundred and twenty-seven, and that the sum of fifty-five thousand, two 

222 The Black Hawk War 

hundred and thirty-two dollars be appropriated for said object, to be paid 
out of any money in the treasury." 

Illinois Advocate [ Edwards ville], April 13, 1832. that many privates feared their pay would not 

This is the first of several letters concerning exceed $15, although his own calculations in- 

the pay of the Illinois volunteers for 1831 war dicated that the maximum pay for a Madison 

service. So many mistakes were made in pre- County private would be "$38 60 for those first 

paring the pay accounts that in midsimimer entered the service, and $30 70 for those who 

Duncan issued a broadside in which he attempted entered at a later period; and so in proportion 

to explain what had happened. By that time he to the distance they reside from the place of 

was being berated in almost every issue of the general rendezvous." Among those offering cash 

Sangamo Journal [Springfield, 111.]. See Towson for the claims of the volunteers was Thomas M. 

to Duncan, April 9, and Duncan to the Electors Neale, of Springfield, a brigadier general of the 

of the Third Congressional District, July 24. militia and a veteran of the 1831 campaign — 

1 In the March 16 Advocate, "A Volunteer" Sangamo Journal, June 28. See also Reynolds to 

advised the 1831 veterans not to "sell their Edwards, June 22. 
discharges for a mere nothing." He had heard 

John Bliss to Henry Atkinson 

Hd. Qrs Fort Amistrong March 30th. 1832. 

Sir The Agent St Vrain has communicated the following message re- 
ceived yesterday through his brother Mr. Charles D. St. Vrain^ from Keo- 
kok & the Stabbing Chief. 

"We have declined our trip to St. Louis for the present, as the Fox Chiefs 
have not yet come down. We are now starting for the Yellow Banks and 
will there wait a letter from him (the Agent) to know what he wishes us 
to do, it is our opinion that the Black Hawk will return to the Old Village 
on Rock river, there to make corn the ensuing Summer. Say to our Agent, 
that it is contraiy to our wish; that we are trying to prevent him, but that 
if we should not succeed, we would be glad that the Whites should do it." 
These Chiefs remarked that they could make no arrangement with Black 
Hawk for the union of the Band; that as the Menomine murderers have 
not surrendered to them, they could, nor should not interfere between them 
and the Whites. They expressed a strong wish to go on to Washington, and 
will probably visit St. Louis upon that business. 

Mr. Charles D. St. Vrain reports Neapope with the Black Hawks Band 
which is now collected in one body to the number of two or three hundred, 
and ascending the river to this place, where they may be expected in ten 
or twelve days, that he heard the Black Hawk tell Mr. Farnam at the lower 
Rapids, that he should return and raise corn at the old village on Rock 
river — Kill the Agent Messrs. Wells Davenport,- &c. &c. The Black Hawk 
also asked Mr. Charles D. St. Vrain, why their ground had not been 
ploughed as promised last summer The young Warriers with him danced 
only War dances. 

Mr. Pike^ is said to have remarked that in this Band during the Winter, 
there has been much secret councilling and more signs of War at his station 
on the Des Moins than he has before noticed. 

These reports from Mr. Charles D. St. Vrain, I presume have occasioned 

April 3, 1832 223 

considerable agitation in this settlement, the Interpreter LeClare, however 
attaches but little weight to these boasts and threats of the Black Hawk, 
as common to all Indians, and attributes his conduct to the rivalry existing 
between him and the Chiefs above named. He says that the Black Hawk 
has expressed himself as highly gratified with his escape from the embar- 
rassment of last summer, and thinks that he will reoccupy the new Village 
on the opposite bank of the Mississippi when he arrives.^ 

I think that opinions of the ultimate intentions of those Indians can 
scarcely be formed. I have however advised Mr. St. Vrain to make im- 
mediate arrangements for ploughing new com fields upon the opposite 
shore, as soon as the Black Hawk arrives, in such situations and quantities, 
as the Indians may require, and that under present circumstances some 
extenuating expense would be justifiable; I have also offered him for that 
purpose, any spare Teams, which may be found in the Garrison 

With great respect I am Sir Your Obdt &c 
(Signed) J. Bliss Maj : 1st Inf: Commdg 

To/ Brig: Gen: H. Atkinson Commdg R. Wing. West Dept. Jefferson 
Barracks (Misso.) 

(A true Copy) Alb. S. Johnston Lt. A. A. A. G. R. W. WD.^ 

CC, DNA: RG 94, AGO (File B74, Frames a misreading of Palen ? The latter seems more 

200-203, Roll 67, M567). Since the letter also has likely; see Bliss to Atkinson, April 6. 

the file number 59, it is safe to assume that it 4 Generally, references to the village on the 

was the enclosure in Atkinson to Macomb, April 7, west bank of the Mississippi applied to Wapello's 

which is also File A59. Another copy of the village on the Muscatine Slough; but this refer- 

Bliss letter (the one sent to Gaines ?) is also ence may have been to the one "a few miles below 

numbered B74 and is on Frames 204-7. Other Rock Island" that was started by the Fox Indians 

endorsements indicate that the copy printed here moving down from the village near Dubuque 

came "Thro. Genl. Atkinson" and was received after the Menominee massacre. See Atkinson to 

April 23. Gaines, Aug. 10, 1831. 

1 He was agriculturist for the Sauk; see his 5 The certificate and signature are in John- 
letter of April 8 and sketch there. ston's handwriting. He was acting assistant ad- 

2 Presumably Rinnah Wells and George Daven- jutant general of the Right Wing, Western De- 
port, partment, at this time; see sketch, Atkinson 

3 Benjamin F. Pike? Or could this have been order, April 5. 

Henry Atkinson to Edmund P. Gaines 

Head Quarters R. W. West Dept. Jeff. Bks. 3rd. April 1832 
General I have the honor to inform you that I reed, an order from the 
General in Chief of the 17th. Ulto.* directing me to move with the Troops 
at this Post to the Upper Mississippi for the purpose of settling the diffi- 
culties between the Sacs & Foxes, & Sioux & Menominies. I have ordered 
the necessary transportation and shall embark in the course of three or 
four days. 

I received an order of the 13th. Ulto. two days before the last order 
came to hand, to detach a company to the Choctaw Nation, as the com- 
pany had not moved, I have delayed its destination under the impression 
that the last order revoked the first. 

224 The Black Hawk War 

General, I will keep you constantly advised of my movements and op- 
erations. I am in deep family distress, having lost our little daughter on 
the 28 Ulto. 

From Genl. Atkinson to Gen. Gaines. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. lAlexander Macomb to Atkinson, March 17. 

Henry Atkinson to Alexander Macomb 

Head Quarters R. Wing W. Dept 3rd. April 1832 

General Your letter of instructions of the 17th March, relative to the 
Sac, Fox, & Menomine & Scioux difficulties was received the evening before 

I went yesterday to St. Louis to consult with General Clark, as to the 
course that should be taken to effect the objects you have pointed out. 
I have ordered transportation to be provided for the troops at this Post, 
which will be ready in 3 or 4 days, when I will embark for Rock Island, 
land the troops there and proceed myself (after taking the necessary steps 
to call the chiefs and head men of the Sacs & Foxes togethe) to Prairie du 
Chien, with a view of preventing the Menominies & Sciox from moving 
against the Sacs and Foxes. From a personal acquaintance with many of 
the principal Indians, among the Sacs and Foxes & a knowledge of the 
country, and of their character, I am persuaded that I shall be able to 
carry your views into effect without much difficulty. In this however I 
may be mistaken. The order of the 13th. March directing one compy. of 
the 6th. Regt. to be detached from this Post on temporary duty in the 
Choctaw Nation was reed on friday evening the 30th. March. On Sunday 
evening your instructions of the 17th. were reed. Transportation had been 
provided for the company detached for this duty, and it would have 
embarked yesterday had I not reed, the last order under which I have 
changed or deferred the destination of the company, under the order of 
the 13th. presuming that your subsequent consideration of the importance 
of the objects on the upper Missisipi had this instruction. If I have erred, 
in delaying the movement of the company to the Choctaw Nation it was 
not intentional, for in making the decision, I am governed by no motive 
but a desire to meet your views, and a just consideration of the public 
interest. If unfortunately we may have to use force to coerce either of 
the hostile Indian parties, I shall want all the strength put at my disposal. 
If on the other hand, I may be enabled to arrange the difficulties peaceably, 
the troops will in the course of a month or six weeks return to this Post, 
when I have to ask that you will give me further instructions as to the 
Choctaw Detachment. 

From Genl. Atkinson to Genl. Macomb. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. The ALS — RC is File filing note indicates that the letter was received 
A55. Roll 66. M567 (DNA: RG 94, AGO). A April 16. 

April 5, 1832 225 

John J. Abercrombie to Henry Atkinson 

Head Qrs 1st Inf Fort Crawford April 4th 1832 

Genl. I was directed yesterday by Col Morgan to write to you, & re- 
quest you to send to this post an asst. Surgeon to assist Doctr. Beaumont 
in his duties; in consequence of his verry feeble state of health nearly 
the whole of the Doctors time was engrossd by himself. The necessity 
however no longer exists — with deep regret I must now announce the 
painful intelligence of the Col's Death! He departed this life about half 
after eight Oclock this morning: four nights since about 12 Oclock at night 
the Officers were assembled around his bed under the impression he was 
breathi[n]g his last, after that period however, he began to revive & grew 
beter rapidly, untill last night, when he complaind of agonizing pains dur- 
ing the whole night; a little before revielle he fell into a doze which lasted 
perhaps an hour, after which, there was a rapid progress in his disease 
untill he expired! His disease seems to have been of a complicated nature. 
The following however is a discription of his case in his last moments an 
"Acute Gastro-enteritis, supervening to a general chronic disease of the 
abdominal & thoracic viscera. He has at this place a Negro, four horses, 
a large wardrobe & a watch which with some military trappings I believe 
he intended for you (that is the watch & M Trappings) He will be interrd 
to-morrow at 11 Oclock AM with the honours of war. 

I have the honour to be Your Obt Servt. J J Abercrombie Adj 1st Inf 

ALS, IHi: BHW. Addressed: "Brigdr. Genl. H. duty in the campaign. He also served later in 

Atkinson Commanding R.W. W.D. Jeff. Bar- the Seminole, Mexican, and CivU wars. In the 

recks. /Mo/." Postmarked: "Prairie du Chien late 1850's troops under his command built 

M Ty April 4 'On Service' 25." Fort Abercrombie (on the Red River in North 

John Joseph Abercrombie, a native Tennes- Dakota), which was named in his honor. On re- 

sean, graduated from West Point in 1822 and tirement from active service in 1865, Abercrom- 

was commissioned brevet 2d lieutenant, 1st In- bie was commissioned brevet brigadier general, 

fan try. He became adjutant of the regiment in He died at Roslyn, New York, in 1877. HEIT- 

1825 and was appointed 1st lieutenant in 1828. MAN; ctjllum ; kuth, Great Day in the Wett, 

He waa stationed at Fort Crawford through 182. 
the BHW but is officially credited with active 

Henry Atkinson: Orders 

Head Quarters Right Wing Westn. Dept. Jefferson Barracks 

5th. April 1832. 
Order No 19 

The troops at this Post destined for active service on the Upper Missis- 
sippi will be embarked in the Steam Boats Chieftain and Enterprise on 
Sunday the 8th. Inst. Companies E. C. & K. under the immediate com- 
mand of Bt. Major Riley^ in the Chieftain & Companies I. D. & G under 
the immediate command of Capt. Palmer^ in the Enterprise. 

Commanders of companies will see that each soldier is provided with 
one Chackos^ one Great Coat, one Blanket two Shirts one Grey Jacket 


The Black Hawk War 

two prs. Pantaloons one pr. Boots, and one pair Shoes. Each company will 
be furnished with four axes & four Spades. All other company clothing 
and equipage will be placed in Store except the summer clothing which 
will be packed up marked and given in charge of the Qr. Master of the 
Post ready for transportation should it be required. 

Corpl. Veits of Compy "C" McGuin of Compy G. & Dunning of K. are 
designated to do duty in the Hospital, and privates Good of D. Ackley & 
Cooper of C. Trader & Callighan of K & Davenport of E in the Qr Masters 
Dept. at this Post during the absence of the troops. In addition to these 
the commanders of companies will select two men from their respective 
companies to take care of the quarters and cultivate the company gardens. 

The Officer to be left in command of the Post (Lieut. G. H. Crosman^ 
Asst. Qr Master) will be furnished with a descriptive list, and an account 
of Bounty & Clothing of all Soldiers left at the Post. 

By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson 

(Signed) A. S. Johnston^ Lt. A. A. A. Genl. 

Atkinson Order Book, IHi: BHW. This is the 
first order in the book. 

iBennet Riley (1787-1853), a native of 
Maryland, served in the U.S. Army from 1813 
until his death forty years later. He was in ac- 
tion throughout the Black Hawk campaign of 
1832 and later took part in the Seminole War 
and in the Battles of Cerro Gordo and Contreras 
of the Mexican War, for which he was brevetted 
colonel, brigadier general, and major general, 
respectively. In autumn, 1848, he became mili- 
tary commander of the Pacific Department and 
ex-officio provisional governor of California. He 
was appointed colonel of the 1st Infantry in 
1850 but was unable to assume command be- 
cause of ill health. Fort Riley, Kansas, was 
named in his honor, heitman; DAB; DAE. 

2 Zalmon C. Palmer, a native of Connecticut, 
entered the army in the War of 1812 and 
worked up through the ranks, becoming a cap- 
tain in the 6th Infantry in 1826. He resigned 
in 1836 and died in 1842. heitman. 

3 Probably a variant spelling of shako. 

4 George Hampton Crosman (1798-1882), 
was born in Massachusetts, graduated from 
West Point in 1823, and was commissioned 2d 
lieutenant in the 6th Infantry upon graduation. 
He served with Atkinson on the Yellowstone 
Expedition of 1825, was promoted to 1st lieu- 
tenant of the 6th Infantry in 1828, and took 
an active part in the BHW on quartermaster 
service in the field. He served later in the 
Seminole, Mexican, and Civil wars. He retired 

in 1866 as brevet major general and died at 
Philadelphia, May 28, 1882. cullum; steveks, 
120, 204. 

5 Albert Sidney Johnston (1803-1862) signed 
this letter as acting assistant adjutant general. 
By Special Order 10 of May 8 he was appointed 
aide-de-camp to Atkinson, and he also held the 
rank of colonel, assistant adjutant general, on 
the staff of Illinois Volunteers (see General 
Order 38, June 19, and Johnston to Anderson, 
Sept. 26, 1833). Johnston stated that in the 
latter capacity he was chief of staff of an army 
in the field. 

A native of Kentucky, Johnston had gradu- 
ated from West Point in 1826 and been as- 
signed to Jefferson Barracks in 1827. He re- 
signed from the army in 1834 because of the 
illness of his wife, the former Henrietta Preston. 
She died in 1835, and the following year John- 
ston joined the Army of the Republic of Texas. 
He became secretary of war of Texas in 1838 
and served in the Mexican War as colonel of 
the 1st Texas Infantry Volunteers. He rejoined 
the U.S. Army in 1849, was named colonel of 
the 2d U.S. Cavalry in 1855, and commanded 
the U.S. expedition to Utah, 1857-1860. John- 
ston resigned from his post as commander of 
the Department of the Pacific and joined the 
Confederate Army in 1861. He was killed at 
Shiloh, April 6, 1862. CULLum; DAB; W. P. 
JOHNSTON, Life of Albert Sidney Johnston; 
ROLAND, Albert Sidney Johnston. 

ApHl 6, 1832 227 

John Bliss to Henry Atkinson 

Hd. qrs Fort Armstrong April 6th 1832. 

Sir Inclosed I send copies of two letters ^ which have passed between Col. 
Morgan & Myself. I regret to inform you from Capt Leonard ^ who returned 
from Fort Crawford on the 4th. Inst: — that his state of health is extremely 

Mr Palen is here & confirms his report mentioned in my letter of the 29th. 
He further states that during the Winter in conversation upon the subject 
of the councils a young Indian informed him that the Black Hawk or 
British Band had agreed to collect together this spring at the site of Fort 
Madison, thence to proceed up the river to the Yellow-banks, where they 
would detach their families to what he called the Iron river (supposed to be 
in the Lake Country) where they would be safe. That then they would be 
at liberty to reoccupy their village & to commit any mischief & afterward 
return to their families in security. The Indians also stated that in conse- 
quence of the Black hawks violence & indiscretion at their councils he had 
been assiduously excluded from them. When asked by Palen if he the In- 
dian was not then afraid to divulge to him those things the Indian observed 
that he did not belong to that party & did not participate in their interests. 
Mr. Palen at my invitation promised to call yesterday but failed to do so. 

Mr. St. Vrain says a report prevails at Palen's Camp & was at first par- 
tially believed by the Indians that the English had sent a message to the 
Sauks through a half breed at Chicago by the name of Billy or William 
CaldwelP to keep possession of their lands & that they would help them 
as the English were going to war with the Americans. Keokuk asked Palen 
about it & after being assured that there was to be no English War, then 
said that Napope & Black hawk had been circulating the story. 

The Indians are reported to have wrought themselves to the desperate pur- 
pose of throwing away their lives. The Citizens including Mr. Davenport & 
others acquainted with Indian habits are much alarmed. Three of them ap- 
plied to me yesterday for arms. I informed them that by the authority of 
the General it might be done, now, that it would be best to wait further 
information & at all events they should be supplied in case of need a meas- 
ure which I hope will receive your approval. A report prevails that the 
Prophet has threatened to destroy the whites after he shall have councelled 
with the Sauk agent here. Another that in his village the British band are 
to take up their residence. 

The surrender of the Menominee murders at the approaching council I 
conceive is not to be looked for. The Black hawk faction amoung the Sauks 
his rivalry with the friendly chiefs, Keokok & Stabbing chief & the very 
nature of the late transactions . . ^ the expectation. The friendly chiefs 
cannot effect much. Their exertions in this affair:— I think they are sensible 
injures their influence generally with the nation— which in its character is 

228 The Black Hawk War 

decidedly warlike & governed by the Indian rules of international justice & 
retribution indefinite as they appear. 

In case of War I suspect those chiefs could not prevent one half of their 
young men from engaging upon the side of their friends with the Black 

With Much respect I am sir Your Obd't &c 
(Signed) J Bliss Majr. 1st Infy. Comdg 

To/ Brigr. Genl. H Atkinson Comdg R. Wing W. Dept Jefferson Barracks 


True Copy S Burbank^ Lt. & A. Adjt. 

CC, DNA: RG 94, AGO (Frames 168-71, Roll Col. Sullivan Burbank, was born in Massachusetts 
66, M567). Endorsed: "F. 63 ... . Thro: and appointed to West Point from that state in 
Genl. Atkinson 30. April. 1832." This was En- 1825. After graduating in 1829 he was corn- 
closure F in Atkinson to Macomb, April 13, missioned 2d lieutenant in the 1st Infantry. He 

File A63. was stationed at Fort Winnebago, 1830-1831; 

1 Not in this file. Ehibuque Mines, 1831; and Fort Armstrong, 

2 No Captain Leonard was in the 1st, 3d, 5th, 1831-1832, during the BHW. His military career 
or 6th Infantry at this time. continued through the Civil War, during which 

3 But see his letter to Forsyth, April 8. he attained the rank of brevet brigadier general. 

4 Word illegible. CULLUM. 

5 Sidney Burbank, son of War of 1812 veteran 

John Bliss to Heniy Atkinson 

Hd. Qrs Fort Armstrong (11 A.M.) April 6th 1832. 

Sir while engaged in my former letter of this date Mr St. Vrain informed 
me that the Prophet was on the Island & confessed to him that he had in- 
vited the Black hawk band of Sauks to reside at his village; that he sup- 
posed the treaty 1 only excluded them from the Old Village. 

I then proposed to Mr. St. Vrain the policy and propriety of seizing the 
Prophet, (as he had come here without invitation,) sending him to St. Louis 
& notifying the chiefs of all the Sauks and Foxes that it was done because 
the Prophet had endeavoured to make a disturbance between those tribes 
& the United States. This measure Mr. St. Vrain thought might be con- 
sidered by the Indians as an act of hostilities & might precipitate hostilities 
on their part; & he could not therefore approve it.^ 

I have just returned from the agents & inclose you the minutes of a con- 
versation which terminated in anger on the part of the Prophet. Mr. Daven- 
port was present & coinsided with the agent in his opinion upon the subject 
of seizing the Prophet: He has left this; I think it probable may discend 
the river to the Black Hawk band encamped a few miles above the lower 
rapids. By this consideration it was understood that the Prophet considered 
himself as the chief of the Black hawk band & as capable of commanding 
the Services of the Winnebagoes at the same time if the United States 
should attack them. 

April 6, 1832 229 

That the Indians will return to this state appears to be the prevailing 
opinion. Measures have been taken to receive the earliest notice of the 
separation of the Black hawk band from their families so as to arm the 
citizens in time. 

A message will be sent by the steam boat expected to day for the Fox 
chiefs & that the council cannot be held without them. I shall make every 
exertion to obtain the surrender of the Minominee murderers. 

With Much respect I am Sir Your Obdt &c 
(signed) J. Bliss Ma] : 1st Infy Comdg 

To Brigr. Genl H Atkinson Comdg R. Wing W. Dept Jeff Barracks 

True Copy S. Burbank Lt. & A. Adjt. 

CC, DNA: RG 94, AGO (Frames 176-78, Roll 66, on the one hand, and St. Vrain and Bliss on the 

M567). Endorsed: "H. 63 Thro: Genl other. 

Atkinson. 30. April. 1832." This copy was Encio- i Of June 30, 1831. 

sure H in Atkinson to Macomh, April 13, File 2 See Thomas Forsyth's opinion of Bliss's 

A63. Enclosed in the original was a copy of the suggestion in Forsyth to Davenport, May 23. 
minutes of the April 6 talk between the Prophet, 

Elbert Herring to John H. Kinzie 

Department of War, Office Indian Affairs, April 6th. 1832. 
To John H. Kinzie, Esqr, 

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communica- 
tion of the 1st. ulto, to the Secretary of War.^ 

Reports of hostile intentions on the part of several Indian tribes had 
already been made to the Department, and from the active and extensive 
preparations they were making for war, it was deemed to be important 
and necessary to adopt measures of precaution — accordingly General At- 
kinson has been ordered to proceed up the River with troops to prevent 
hostilities and to preserve peace among the incensed tribes. You will be 
pleased to give notice to the Indians under your charge of the steps that 
have been taken by the Government, and that to be engaged in hostilities 
will draw upon themselves inevitable punishment — That murderers will 
invariably be demanded to be surrendered, and that punishment will always 
overtake them — That the Government has pledged itself to have justice 
done to them, and will assuredly protect the peaceful and punish offenders. 

You will be pleased to make all possible exertions to keep these un- 
fortunate people from violence and bloodshed. The Department reposes 
entire confidence in your discretion and judgment, and is prone to believe 
that you will be able to prevail upon your Indians to surrender private 
vengeance to the safer and surer punishment of the Law. 

It is much to be regretted that the small pox has made its appearance 
among the Indian tribes. The precautionary measures taken by you to 

230 The Black Hawk War 

save your Indians from its effects are highly creditable. A Bill is now before 
Congress to extend to all the Indian tribes the benefit of vaccination; and 
will beyond question become a law. Till then your humanity must be put 
in requisition to prevent the introduction of the disorder or to lessen its 

With great respect &c. Elbert Herring. 

CO, DNA: RG 75. BIA, L Sent, Vol. 8. of smallpox and the plans of the Sioux and 

1 Kinzie's March 1 letter (not printed), in Menominee to go to war against the Sauk and 
ibid., Prairie du Chien file, reported the outbreak Fox. 

Felix St. Vraiii to William Clark 

Rock Island Ind. Agency April 6h 1832 
Genl. Wm. Clark Supt. Ind. Affairs St Louis 

Sir Yesterday I had an intervew with Wapekeshik (the proffet) a half 
breed Winebago & Sac, his village is on Rock River about forty miles above 
this place; he came to my agency, and without being asked, said to me, 
that he had sent two young men, last winter, with a message to the British, 
or Black Hawk band of Sac Indians, requesting them to join him at his 
village, there to live. I then observed to him, that those Sacs had signed a 
treaty^ in which was perticularly Stipulated that they would never recross 
the Mississippi, without the consent of the President of the U.S. or the 
Govr. of the State of Illinois, he replied that he was ignorent of the condi- 
tions of the Treaty and that if he had been aware of them, he would not 
have sent for those who signed the Treaty; he then requested me to tell 
him the names of those who had signed the treaty; I immediately produced 
the instrument, and read the names of those who had signed, which hap- 
pened to be the principal men of the said British band,^ he said that since 
they had signed such a treaty, they might stay on their own side of the 
Mississippi, as for himself he would not meddle with them any more; this 
was said, appearently in a friendly disposition, for he observed, that he 
did not think any harm in asking the Sacs to come to his village, believing 
that they had only agreed to not return to the village near the mouth of 
Rock River, he nevertheless would have sent for those who had not signed 
the treaty. 

I communicated this talk to Majr. J Bliss commanding officer of Fort 
Armstrong, who came to my agency this morning and counciled with the 
said proffit, the result of which, did not show the same appearence of friend- 
ship, as yesterday, he answered in a decissive tone, to the questions put 
by Majr Bliss and left the room, angry, without giving any intimation of 
his intention. 

I here give you a coppy of the notes taken on the occasion, (viz) 

Q. They tell me you have invited the British band of Sac Indians to stay 
at your village. 

A, I was not drunk when I told the Agent so yesterday, I did ask them, 

April 6, 1832 231 

because the head Chiefs of that village are dead, and those who are left are 
too young too young to command a village. 

Q. When did the Chiefs die. 

A. The bad Thunder died last summer, and two (Namoett & loway) 
died last spring on their way home from Texas. 

Q. Those Indians you have invited have signed a Treaty, to remain on 
the west side of the Mississippi, how came you to invite them knowing this. 

A. I knew nothing of the treaty, I live up the River, their village on 
Rock River, and mine are considered one, and I thought there would be no 
harm done to invite them to my village, 

Q. Did you not expect, last year that you would be ordered from your 
village by the whites. 

A. No I did not; perhaps you expect to do so, but you may lay my bones 

Q. Did you not enquire of Mr Dixon wheather you would not be per- 
mited to remain at your village last year, and what did he say. 

A. I did not, he told me nothing 

Q. Did you expect that the whites would permit the Sacs to go to your 
village since the treaty 

A. You have heard what I said, they can do what they please, but if I 
had promised, I go at the risk of my life. 

Q. Have they (the Sacs) promised to go to your village. 

A. These are the two young men (pointing to two Indian siting near 
him) wdio took my message, they (the Sacs) said to them, we will talk 
about it this spring, but I have not yet received an answer. 

Q. where do you expect to meet them 

A. I expect to receive the answer at my village. 

Q. If the Sacs come on this side of the River there may be war between 
them and the United States, and all by your inviting them ; You ought to 
prevent this. 

A. You ought to tell them so too, if they come to my village I will tell 
those who signed the treaty 

Q. Then you do not care much if they do get into a war. 

A. I have nothing to say; if you think so, you can make war, those (the 
Sacs) are my young men, I can call on them, and the Wenebagoes, I am 
half Sac & half Wenebago 

I have the honor to be your Obt Servt. Felix St Vrain Ind Agt. 

ALS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Rock Island. hours of 9 & 11 A.M. 6th April 1832" and a 

Enclosed in: Qark to Herring, April 10. Bliss concluding paragraph: "The Prophet abruptly 

also reported on the April 6 interview -with the left the room & was said by one of the Indians 

Prophet; both a DS and a copy, certified by S. to be very angry." The Bliss document was also 

Burbank, are in DNA: RG 94, AGO. The latter signed by "Th J Beall Bt Major USA." 

was an enclosure in Atkinson to Macomb, April i Of June 30. 1831. 

13_ 2 Some of the leaders of the peace party also 

The Bliss version is almost identical. He adds signed. 
that the conversation took place between "the 

232 The Black Hawk War 

Henry Atkinson to Edmund P. Gaines 

Head Quarters R. Wing W. Dept. Jeff. Bks 7th. April 1832 
General I have the honor to enclose herewith a communication from 
Major Bliss relative to our Indian relations on the upper Mississippi.^ I 
can hardly think that Black Hawk and his Band have any serious inten- 
tion of reoccupying their old village. If they have, I shall be up in time to 
prevent it. I am apprehensive from recent accounts from the upper country, 
that I shall have more trouble in settling the difficulties there, than I at 
first expected. 

Our transports will be down this evening and I shall embark the com- 
mand in the morning and proceed without delay to Rock Island .^ Thence, 
in person to Prairi du Chien, for the purpose of adopting such measures as 
may be necessary to prevent the Sioux & Menominies from moving against 
the Sacs & Foxes. 

Brig: Gen: Atkinson to Gen. Gaines 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. Another copy of this Hutter; Lts. Asa Richardson, Joseph Van Swear- 
letter, enclosed in Atkinson to Macomb, April 7. ingen, Albert Sidney Johnston (assistant adju- 
is in DNA: AGO (File A59, Roll 66. M567). tant general), Joseph Donaldson Searight, Na- 

1 Probably Bliss to Atkinson, March 30. thaniel Jackson Eaton (acting commissary of 

2 The Missouri Republican [St. Louis] of April subsistence) , Thomas Ludwell Alexander (ad- 
10 reported that the 6th Regiment, U.S. Infantry, jutant of detachment), Thomas Jefferson Roy- 
under Brig. Gen. Henry Atkinson had left Jeffer- ster, John Suthpin Van Derveer, James Seymour 
son Barracks on Sunday, April 8, in the steam- Williams, and Washington Wheelwright (ord- 
boats Enterprise and Chieftain. Eighteen other nance officer) ; Surgeon William Carr Lane; and 
officers were listed in the party: Bvt. Maj. Bennet Maj. Thomas Wright (paymaster). Spellings 
Riley; Capts. Zalmon C. Palmer, Henry Smith, have been corrected and names given in full here. 
Thomas Noel, Jason Rogers, and George C. 

Henry Atkinson to Alexander Macomb 

Head Qrs R. Wing W. Dept 7th. April 1832 

General The transports will be down this evening, & I shall embark the 
command in the morning, & proceed without delay to Rock Island. Thence, 
in person to Fort Crawford, for the purpose of taking such steps, as may 
be necessary to prevent the Sioux & Menominies from moving against the 
Sacs & Foxes. 

I enclose herewith a communication from Major Bliss detailing what in- 
formation he has as to the views and feelings of the Sacs and Foxes. It is 
not probable that Black Hawk has any serious intention of reoccupying 
his old Village. If he has I shall try and prevent it 

It is probable from recent accounts from above that I shall have more 
trouble in adjusting the difficulties in that quarter, than I first anticipated. 
I can only say that I shall do the most with the means placed at my dis- 
posal to effect the objects you have pointed out, that my judgment and 

April 8, 1832 233 

ability will admit of, and I hope soon to give you a satisfactory account 
of my operations 

General Atkinson to Major Gen: Macomb. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. The ALS— RC is The ALS has two filing notes: one indicates that 

File A59. Roll 66. M567 (DNA: RG 94, AGO). the letter was received April 23; the other, in 

Enclosures in the original that have been identi- Roger Jones's handwriting, says, "R[ec]d. May 

fled were copies of Atkinson to Gaines, April 7. 12, 1832." 
in the same file, and Bliss to Atkinson, March 30. 

Henry Atkinson: Orders 

Head Qrs. Right Wing Westn. Dept. Jefferson Barracks 7th. April 1832 
Order No. 20 

Quarter Master Sergeant Jevons 6th. Infy., and Musician Barrar [?] 
Company D. 6th. Infy. are designated to remain at this Post during the 
absence of the companies of the Regiment on the Upper Mississippi. 

By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson 

(Signed) A. S. Johnston Lt & A. A. Adjt. Genl. 

Atkinson Order Book, IHi: BHW. 

Henry Atkinson: Orders 

Head Qrs. Right Wing West. Dept. Jefferson Barracks 8th April 1832 
Spl Order No 3 

Lieut Wheelright^ 1st Regt. Artillery will accompany as Ordnance Of- 
ficer the detachment of the 6th Regt. Infy. destined for active service on 
the Upper Mississippi. 

By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson 

Signed A. S. Johnston Lt. & A A. Adjt. Genl. 

Atkinson Order Book, IHi: BHW. General and 1832. On ordnance duty, 1821-1822 and 1826-1833, 

special orders are intermingled in the book. he accompanied Atkinson's army throughout the 

1 Washington Wheelwright, a native of Mas- 1832 campaign as ordnance officer. He also held 

sachusetts, graduated from West Point in 1821 the rank of colonel on the staff of Illinois Vol- 

and was commissioned brevet 2d lieutenant and unteers. He resigned in 1833 and died at the 

2d lieutenant in the 1st Artillery. He was pro- age of seventy, Oct. 31, 1871, in New York City, 

moted to the rank of 1st lieutenant, April 20. cullum. 

234 The Black Hawk War 

Billy Caldwell to Thomas Forsyth 

Chicago 8th April 1832 

Dear Sir I have just now lit our pipe of peace and the smoake is rising 
up, in supplication to a powerfull aid, which we cannot get on this earth. 
You have seen in the public papers of our removal to westward — therefore 
we request your disinterrested opinion on the subject, and also your advice 
how we shall conduct ourselves hereafter — as the thunder storm looks black 
to us. 

West Mississippi, what kind land and timber — water &c &c 

East Missouri we wish to know about it say Game of all kind — whether 
the Soil will produce Com &c &c — and timber Enough to enable us to build 
wigwams & we wish that you will be particular in the Topography, between 
the two Great Rivers not that we have any desire of Emigrating— but for 
fear that some underhanded work may be put in practice. You know in all 
negociation, there is more or less of fraud going on Accept at prairie de 
Chien ^ — hoping these few lines will excite your feelings towards the needfull. 

As we see in retrospect view of our Ancestors, in all their transaction with 
the whites, they have always been the dupes — say the French & English has 
ceded Countrys which either of them had any right too, say north to the 
lake of the woods from hence west to the pacific Ocean. Ill not dwell on 
this Subject as you know the history of old times better than I do. 

I have not recived a letter from my f rinds since least Summer but I under- 
stand by travellers that they are all well, some you left in the Cradle have 
Grand Children. Oh how times is going when I look back I was a Boy a 
Short time ago, and now past 50 years — and have done nothing yet of man- 
hood — when will it come — probably never to act the part which I was 
created for — or die the Cowardly death of Bonaparte (He odd to have died 
at Waterloo, then he would lived in the Bosoms of the Braves. If he had 
lived to this time he never could be like the Great Washington) Our Chi- 
cago will be eventuly some thing in a few years — all that prevents its 
Growth — is the want of a harbour — then it will rise. We will find ourselves 
far north of Vandalia and its fruits — Kane Robinson & Duncan).^ Robert 
Kinzie ^ left this the 12th of last month for New York to get an assortment 
of Goods. I believe he is doing well in his trade. Our agent ^ is very much 
of a Gentleman and is very well liked by our Indian friends. James Kinzie " 
is the sheriff in the County Cook and doing well has a young wife and a 
stout Boy. Now the Quere is whether we will Emigrate west or not if we 
must You know that it will take time. If you should learn that the [re] 
will be a treaty at this place this Summer — you had better come up— and 
see your old friends.^ You mentiond in your last that envy was tormenting 
some of your Great folks — let them keep the desease amonest themselves. 
We Expect the troops back to Fort Dearborn ^ — and the Building of the 
light House and some hopes of an appropriation in Congress for the har- 

April 8, 1832 


Please remember me to your Children. 

I remain your affectionate friend B Caldwell 

Thos Forsyth Esqr. 

N.B. I had forgot to mention — that there is 200 of the Monnominies going 
against the Sack & Foxes they will be join'd by the Souix at the Prairie de 
Chien — so the S & F will have their handfull this Summer — its only a re- 
port I dont give you this [as]^ facts B. Caldwell 

ALS, MoSHi: Tesson Collection. Addressed: 
"Thomas Forsyth Esqr. St Louis Missouri 
Fav'd by M Owen." The letter was probably de- 
livered by the Indian agent at Chicago, Thomas 
J. V. Owen; see n. 4 below. Bracketed words and 
letters in text added by editor. 

Billy CaldwfeU (ca. 1780-1841), also known as 
Sagaunash, meaning Englishman, was the son of 
a Potawatomi woman and an Irish officer in the 
British service. He was born in Canada, but 
was educated by the Jesuits at Detroit. He aided 
the British in the War of 1812 and was instru- 
mental in saving the lives of the John Kinzie 
family immediately after the Fort Dearborn 
massacre. About 1820 Caldwell took up residence 
at Chicago and was a justice of the peace there 
in 1826. By the terms of the 1829 Prairie du 
Chien treaty, he was given two and one-half 
sections of land on the Chicago River: and 
another treaty, signed at Chicago in 1833, be- 
stowed $5,000 upon him and $600 upon his 
children. Caldwell emigrated with his tribe in 
1836 and, according to hodoe (II: 408), died at 
Council Bluflfs, Iowa. He frequently acted as an 
interpreter though he apparently held no official 
appointment as such. Andreas, I: 108-9; kap- 
PLER, II: 298, 405; kinzie, Wau-Bun, 215n, Wii^ 
UAM HICKUNO, "Billy Caldwell," in Fergus' 
Historical Series, No. 10, pp. 29-34. 

1 Caldwell's opinion that the Indians had 
generally been duped, except at Prairie du Chien 
in 1829, was not held by the Illinois River 
Potawatomi. See the proceedings of their council 
with Clark on Aug. 26, 1830, at St. Louis (DNA: 
RG 75, BIA, L Reed., St. Louis— this copy of the 
proceedings enclosed in Clark to the Secretary of 
War. Aug. 12, 1831; see that letter and n. 4). 

2 There is no beginning parenthesis. 

3 Robert Allen Kinzie, bom in Chicago on 
Feb. 8, 1810, was a younger brother of John H. 
Kinzie's. He married Gwinthlean Whistler, grand- 
daughter of Capt. John Whistler, builder of the 
initial Fort Dearborn. Kinzie died on Dec. 13, 
1873, in Chicago, where he had spent most of 
his life. KINZIE, Wau-Bun, 90. 

* Thomas Jefferson Vance Owen (1801-1835) 
wai born in Kentucky and came with his family 
to Randolph County, Illinois, in 1809. He was 
county sheriff, 1823-1830; state representative, 
1830-1831; and U.S. Indian agent at Chicago, 
1831-1833. In 1833 Owen became president of 

Chicago's first municipal governing board. He 
also acted as commissioner in negotiating the 
Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi treaty at 
Chicago that year, kappler, II: 410; andreas, 
I: 91; Randolph, Monroe and Perry Counties 
(1883). 72; U.S. Register 18SS. 88; haydon, 
Chicago's True Founder, passim; I-A: Exec. 
Rec, I: 75, 92, 136, 178, 288; Sangamon County 
(1876), 552. 

3 James Kinzie was the son of John Kinzie by 
the former Margaret McKenzie. He was born in 
Detroit in April of 1793. After moving to 
Chicago, where he remained until 1836, Kinzie 
dealt in the Indian trade, was C!ook County's 
first sheriff, and held various other local offices. 
After leaving Chicago, he resided in Wisconsin 
until his death in 1866. He was an older half- 
brother of John H. and Robert Allen Kinzie's. 
KINZIE, Wau-Bun, xliv-xlv. 

6 On Sept. 10, Forsyth wrote Caldwell that it 
would be impossible for him to come to Chicago, 
but that his interests would be represented at 
the forthcoming treaty negotiations by their 
"mutual friend" Mr. Hugh McGill, who was 
going to Chicago "with a few goods for sale." 
Forsyth sought $1,000 to $1,200 from the Pota- 
watomi for the destruction of his cattle and 
other property at Peoria in the War of 1812. He 
urged Caldwell to see that "something if not all" 
of this claim be allowed in the treaty (ALS is 
in MoSHi: Forsyth Collection). Treaties were 
concluded with the Potawatomi on Oct. 20, 1832, 
at Camp Tippecanoe, Indiana, and on Sept. 26, 
1833, at Chicago. By the first, Forsyth was 
granted $500 and by the second, $1,500; Forsyth 
himself attended the latter negotiations — kapplbr, 
H: 353-56, 402-15. For the best brief account 
of the removal of the Indians from Illinois, see 
GRANT FOREMAN, "Illinois and Her Indians," 
Trans. ISHS, XL VI: 67-111; for more detailed 
discussions of the Potawatomi treaties, see 
QUAIFE, Chicago and the Old Northwest, Ch. 15; 
ANSELM J. GERWINO, "The Chicago Indian Treaty 
of 1833," Jour. ISHS. LVII: 117-42. 

"J On Feb. 23, 1832, Maj. William WTiistler of 
the 2d Infantry and the men of his command. 
Companies G and I, then at Fort Niagara, were 
ordered to proceed to Chicago to garrison Fort 
Dearborn. Fort Dearborn was established in 1803 
with Captain John Whistler, the builder, in 
command. Captain Nathan Heald succeeded 

236 The Black Hawk War 

Whistler and was the last commander of the 8 The first Chicago lighthouse, built with funds 

original Fort Dearborn, which was destroyed in appropriated by Congress, March 3, 1831, col- 

1812. The fort was reoccupied in 1816 but was lapsed in Oct. of that year (Fergus' Historical 

left unoccupied for several periods before final Series, No. 16, pp. 80-81). It was rebuilt in 1832 

abandonment in 1836. PRUCHA, Guide to Military (ANDREAS, I: 240, 243). Harbor appropriations 

Posts, 71; KINZIE, Waii-Bun, 90; Fergus' His- were not obtained until 1833 (ibid., 233 ff.). 

torieal Series, No. 16, pp. 47-49. 9 Bracketed word added for clarity. 

William Clark to Elbert Herring 

Superintendency of Ind: Affairs, St. Louis April 8, 1832. 

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your several letters 
of the 2nd, 10th, 14th 15th, 16th, 17th & 22nd March,— all of which have 
received due attention.^ 

The instructions in your letter of the 15th March, on the subject of the 
Sac & Fox offenders in the Menominie affair, have been communicated to 
the Agent's named in that letter; and I am of opinion that the judicious 
course determined upon by the Department, will have a happy effect in 
the present case, & will prove beneficial in our future relations with the 
Indian Tribes. 

By infomiation reed, lately from the Agent at Rock Island, as well as 
from other sources, it seems to be the intention of Black Hawk & his party 
to return to their old villages at that place; yet I think that no attempt 
of the kind will be made, particularly as they will, in a very few days re- 
ceive an evidence of the determination of the Government to protect the 
rights of the citizens & to maintain peace & order among the Indians. 

The Troops under Genl. Atkinson passed this place to day, and will prob- 
ably reach Rock Island on the 12th inst: Should he remain a few hours at 
R. Island, I think it not improbable that a voluntary surrender will be 
made of the principal men engaged in the Menominie massacre; but the 
chiefs of the Nation cannot (as they have stated) undertake a matter of 
the kind — they have not the power.- 

I have the honor to be Very respectfully Yr obt. Servt. Wm. Clark. 

E. Herring Esqr. Ind: Dept: W. City. 

LS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., St. Louis. En- volume. 

dorsed: "April 26 1832 Indian Office." 2 See the April 13 and 19 proceedings of 

1 Only the letter of March 15 is printed in this councils Atkinson held with the Indians. 

Charles D. St. Vrain to William Clark 

(Copy.) Keokuck, April 8th, 1832. 

Gnl. Wm. Clark Supt. Ind: Affs. 

Sir, From an unquestionable source of information, it appears evident to 
me, that the Black Hawk & Napope with their bands are about crossing 

April 9, 1832 237 

the Mississippi near the Yellow Banks and from thence they proceed by land 

to Rock River where they intend to re-establish themselves near their old 

I have the honor to be, Sir, With the greatest respect, Yours &c. 
(signed) Chs. D. St. Vrain 

CC, DNA: RG 75, BLA., L Reed., Rock Island. was then preparing to establish a farm in the 

Enclosed in: Clark to Herring, April 10. Indian country near Rock Island (KHi: Clark 

Charles D. St. Vrain was a brother of Felix Papers, VI: 320-22). During the early part of 

and Ceran St. Vrain's. In 1826 Charles was a the BHW he was named interpreter for Governor 

voter at Galena, Illinois, where he appears to Reynolds (Clark to Reynolds, April 20). After 

have lived for several years. In 1827 and 1828 he Felix St. Vrain was killed, Reynolds recom- 

was engaged in the fur trade, connected in mended that Charles be named to head the Rock 

some capacity with Farnham and Davenport Island Agency, but Marmaduke S. Davenport 

(Trans. ISHS, XXXVII: 225-26). On Oct. 16, won the post (O'Fallon to Cass, June 6, and nn. 

1831, Felix St. Vrain wrote William Clark that there). See also beckwith, Creoles of St. Louis, 

he had employed his brother Charles as agri- 33-34n; Jo Daviess County (1878), 225, 313. 
culturist for the Sauk and Fox, and Charles 

John Bliss to Henry Atkinson 

Hd. Qrs. Fort Armstrong April 9th. [-12] 1832 

Sir, A Sauk Indian called the Blacksmith arrived here last night from 
the mouth of the Lower Iowa. On his way he met Mackina's party on their 
way to the Skunk river, who was present at my conversation with the 
Prophet, who told him that there was bad news. He met also a runner of 
the Prophets sent from this to the British or Black hawk band but did not 
learn his mesage. He saw nothing of the Prophet from which it is concluded 
he may have returned to his village although he was not seen to do so by 
some workmen on the Rock river. 

The Blacksmith says that four or five days since when he left the Iowa 
the British or Black hawk band were crossing their horses to the East side 
of the Mississippi for the Prophets Village. The band itself were to come up 
the river in canoes & would be here in four or five days. 


On the eighth a Mr. Spencer saw two Sauks of the Prophets band with 
six horses about two miles South East of Rock river ferry, on their way to 
his Village. On enquiry they stated that the British band did not intend to 
raise corn this year. This information induces a belief among the citizens 
that the band are determined to strike a blow and retreat across the Lakes 
to Canada a project I believe long since entertained by them. 

The Sauk & part of the Fox chiefs have just arrived to council. They in- 
form the agent that the British band now under the direction of some young 
chiefs one of whom is Black hawks son, was but a short distance behind 
them. That the Black hawk himself refused to council with Keokok & Stab- 
bing Chief. His band generally believe the Caldwell story that the British 
will help them whenever those Indians may get into war with the United 

238 The Black Hawk War 

States. Keokok states their number to be larger than his own band, and 
that the report which he cannot vouch for is that they are going to live 
with the Prophet. 

A number of citizens have embraced my offer to receive their families 
into the garrison. 

12th April 1832. 

The express who arrived today says that Indians were crossing their 
horses, when he arrived at the yellow banks, that at Sturgeons Bay the In- 
dians started all their old People & children with one hundred packed horses 
for the Prophets Village. The younger persons proceed by water in canoes 
& by land on horseback with flankers thrown out to reconnoitre, & are very 
strict and vigilant 

The morning they started the Menominee murderers part of whom have 
joined them, had a great War dance. On their route they saw two of Mr. 
Deniston's sons & halted. Immediately some of them rode up, & asked them 
if they were not spies; if there were not some white People in the Woods; 
& how many men the Whites could raise. They expressed much suprize upon 
being answered to the last question "ten thousand". 

The express on his return by land saw a reconnoitering party of five who 
rode up to him and pretended they were only hunting horses where the 
Prairie was high & burnt over. He had tracked them off and on the main 
trail before, about fifteen miles from Rock river he saw a fresh trail of 
fifteen or twenty horses which must have passed up the river on the 10th 
Inst: — 

Their whole number is about six ^ hundred warriors including one hundred 
Kickapoos & some Pottowattomies. They told different stories about their 
future residence. Some named Rock river, Some Illinois & others the sweet 
ground. The Bighead said he should raise no corn but should hunt on the 
head of Rock river & then go off. 

An Indian who belongs to the friendly party that came up yesterday by 
water confinns this statement. He says that Black hawk and Narpope are 
with them, That their allies are the Pottowattomies, Kickapoos, Winne- 
bagoes & Menominees. They say that the Canadian French and British 
will join them & that they can get as much powder & lead as they want 
two days march from this place, (which reminds me that Mr. Dixon at 
Ogees jerry is reported to have told the Prophets band, that Genl. Gaines 
conduct last year was disapproved of.) Their intentions and plans are to go 
to the Prophets Village & remain there until their families have got out of 
reach, then to attack the settlements in small parties & run off to Maiden. 

They tell the friendly Indians that they pity them as they will be first 
killed, that they are Americans & Cowards, & as they passed them in their 
canoes, struck & abused them. They further say that they could crush our 
numbers last year like a lump of dirt. About half of the Menominee Mur- 
derers remain with the Foxes the rest are with the British band. Davenport 

April 9, 1832 


has been warned by the friendly Indians to take care of his establishment. 

Mr. Pike has just arrived from below. He says there ^ fifteen hundred 
persons assembled at the Block house twelve miles below ^ They had one 
hundred canoeloads besides their horses. They give out that they shall take 
peaceable possession of Prophets Village but if the Whites want War they 
shall have it. This last I have no doubt they have resolved upon already.^ 

With much respect I am Sir Your Obedt &c J Bliss Maj 1 Inf Comg 

To Brig Genl. H. Atkinson Comg. R. Wing W^est. Dept. Rock Island Ills. 

DS, DNA: RG 94, AGO (Frames 163-67, Roll 
66, M567). Endorsed: "A 63 1832 End E." The 
letter was enclosed in Atkinson to Macomb, April 
13, File A63. 

1 Bliss wrote the word "six" over "five." 

2 The word "are" was omitted in the original. 

3 At the site of Andaliisia; see n. 3, McCall to 
McCall, June 23, 1831. 

4 General Atkinson interpreted the events dif- 
ferently, or at least more cautioiisly; see his 
letters of April 13. 

Joseph M. Street to Gustavus Loomis 

U.S. Indian Agency at Prairie du Chien 9th: April 1832. 10 O'Clock. 


Sir: I have this moment ascertained that a War party of Winnebagoes 
of about 20 persons under Washington Decorri ^ left here last night destined 
against the Socks and Foxes. 

He is accompanied by a half brother ^ of the Menominie Chief killed at 
this place last summer. I presume that they cannot have got far and would 
respectfully suggest the propriety of persuing them in double manned boats. 
I shall start an Express in half an hour with information to Dubuques 
Mines to put the Socks and Foxes on their guard ; and my Express will bear 
any communication you may choose to Send over to me at Mr. Marche's ^ 
where I shall remain to dispatch my Express. 

I shall be gratified to aid you in any measure you may think proper to 
take in this business. 

In great haste Respectfully yours. Signed. Jos. M. Street U.S. Ind. Agt. 

G: Loomis Cap. 1 infy. 
A true copy. 

CC, IHi: BHW. Enclosed in: Loomis to Atkin- 
son, April 9. 

1 In a letter of June 6 to Atkinson, Street 
mentions a conversation with Waukon Decorah 
and his brothers Washington Decorah and the 
One-Eyed Decorah. It seems unlikely, therefore, 
that Waukon and Washington were interchange- 
able names, as some writers have assumed. Which 
of the other Decorahs Washington was, how- 
ever, is not known. 

2 Probably Carro (Caron or Karon), the chief 
who lost all his family in the attack on the 

Menominee at Prairie du Chien (see Street to 
Atkinson, June 13). He was the son of Glode 
and the grandson of the famous Carro 
(1720-1780) who fought in the French and 
Indian War. The younger Carro was born about 
1803 and was a chief as late as 1857. Wiseonain 
Historical Collectiotia. Ill: 267; Wiaconain Maga- 
zine of History. XVIII: 202-3. 

3 The store of John Marsh, former subagent, 
was in the village and much closer to the fort 
than Street's home, lyman, John Marsh, 151 and 
361 (n. 21). 

240 The Black Hawk War 

Gustavus Loomis: Special Order 2 

Fort Crawford, /M.T./ April 9, 1832. 
Special Order No. 2. 

Capt: Smith ^ will proceed with the Detachment selected for active Ser- 
vice in pursuit of a War party of Menominies - of a bout 20 men who are 
said to have left the Prairie against the Sacs and Foxes, as far as Dubuques 
Mines if he should not overtake them before that. 

Capt. Smith will order the War party to return to the Prairie. If he 
thinks it necessary He will Send forward Lt Gale ^ in the Canoe to give in- 
formation to the Sacs and Foxes that they may be upon there Guard 
against the attack of the Menominies. If the War party refuse to return 
Capt. Smith will take five of the principal men as hostages for the good 
behavior of the remainder and bring the hostages to this post.'* 

Capt. Smith will make such use of the Canoe to explore the different 
channels of the river as a sound discretion may sugges[t.] ^ 

If Capt. S. does not overtake the War party of Menominies between this 
and Dubuques' Mines he will send forward Lt Gale to Rock Island with a 
Copy of this order and of the letter of the Indian Agent of this date to 
me to the Commanding Officer ® of Fort Armstrong — and may ^ report that 
he may deem important to the public service of circumstances which may 
have occurred after his leaving Fort Crawford. 

G: Loomis Cap. It. Infy. Commanding 

DS, IHi: BHW. Enclosed in: Loomis to Atkin- at Jefferson Barracks, 1827-1828, and Fort Craw- 
son, April 9. ford. 1828-1832. He died of cholera near Fort 

1 Thomas Floyd Smith; see n. 2, Loomis to Armstrong, Sept. 1, 1832, at the age of twenty- 
Atkinson, which follows. six. cullum. 

2 In his letter of the same date to Atkinson, 4 The party was stopped near Dubuque, Iowa; 
Loomis explains that this was a mistake: it was see St. Vrain to Clark, April 18. 
Winnebago, not Menominee, in the war party. 5 The word runs off the page. 

3 Levin Gale of Maryland graduated from 6 Maj. John Bliss. 

West Point in 1827 and was commissioned 2d ^ The word is clearly "may," but surely it 

lieutenant in the 1st Infantry. He was stationed was a copyist's error for "any." 

Gustavus Loomis to Henry Atkinson 

Fort Crawford, /M.T./ April 9th. 1832. 

Sir. This morning about half past ten ock, I received information from 
the Indian Agent,^ that a War Party of Winnebagoes left Prairie Du chien 
last night destined against the Sacs and Foxes. 

I immediately ordered Capt. Smith - to pursue with a Detachment of this 
Garrison of Thirty men in hopes to prevent bloodshed and the further in- 
crease of Indian difficulties and outrages upon this frontier. Capt: S. left 
about y2 past 12 ock. 

April 9, 1832 241 

I enclose you a Copy of my order of instructions to Capt. Smith and also 
a Copy of Genl: Street the Indian Agent's letter to me. 

In my order of instructions to Capt. Smith I made a mistake of the Na- 
tion to which the War Party belong but as Capt. S. has also a Copy of the 
Ind: Agents letter to me — I have no apprehensions of any unpleasant re- 
sult from it. 

I hope the course I have pursued will meet your approbation. I beleive 
it accords with the views of the late Col: Morgan as expressed in his letter 
to you of 21. Dec. 1831.3 

I shall decline making any large detachments from this command for 
fatigue untill I hear from Majr. Bliss or Col. Taylor^ or receive some fur- 
ther instructions, which I beleive also accords with the views of Col: Mor- 
gan as expressed in his letter to Genl: Jesup of 7 Mar. a copy of which 
was send to the Hd. Qrs. of the R. W. W. Dept. 

This will no doubt delay the progress of the works going on here;^ but 
I conceive that this fatigue should give place to the more important duty 
of preventing Indian hostilities. 

I have not sent a Copy of this information and letter to Washington. 
Is it my duty to do so? 

I have the honor to be Respectfully Sir, Your. mo. obt. Servt. 
G. Loomis Cap. It. Infy. Commanding. 

The/ Actg. Asst. Adjt. Genl. R. W. W. D. Jeff. Barracks /Mo/ 

LS, IHi: BHW. Enclosures: Loomis Special beckwith {Creoles of St. Loms, 43-44) gives 

Order 2, April 9; Street to Loomis, April 9. his death date as Dec, 1843; heitman gives it 

1 Joseph M. Street. as 1844. 

2 Thomas Floyd Smith (1784-1843 ?), a native 3 Not located. 

of Virginia, served in a rifle company from 4 Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), twelfth Presi- 

Kentucky in the War of 1812, advancing from dent of the U.S., had recently been appointed 

ensign to 2d lieutenant. A captain by 1819 and colonel of the 1st Infantry and named to succeed 

brevet major by 1829, he was stationed at Fort Willoughby Morgan as commanding officer of 

Crawford when the BHW started. Three 1st Fort Crawford. He was on active duty in the 

Infantry companies under his command were field throughout the BHW and served later in 

detached later in April to reinforce Atkinson's the Seminole and Mexican wars. DAB; heitman. 

army and took part in many of the principal 5 Fort Crawford was still under construction; 

engagements of the war. Smith resigned from PRUCHA, Broadax and Bayonet, 112-14; MAHAN, 

the army in 1837 and made his home at St. Louis. Old Fort Craivford, 136-37. 

Nathan Towson to Joseph Duncan 

Paymaster General's Office, Washington City, April 9th 1832. 

Sir: — Agreeably to request I enclose herewith a statement of the per 
diem allowance of the non-commissioned officers, musicians and privates 
of the Illinois Militia, called into service to repel Indian aggressions in 

The pay rolls have been made out and [are] ^ now undergowing examina- 

242 The Black Hawk War 

tion by the accounting officers of the Treasury Department. When that is 
finished they will be transmitted to the Paymaster stationed at St. Louis, 
who will proceed to make payment as soon as it can be done, after paying 
the troops of his district. 
Respectfully, your ob't serv't N. Townson.^ 

To the Hon. J. Duncan, H. of R. 

Pay and allowances per day to Non-Commissioned Officers, Musicians 
and Privates of Mounted Volunteers. 

Sergeant Major and Quarter Master Sergeant. 

Per day, 29 cts. 

For use of horse, &c. per day, 40 

In lieu of forage & subsistence, 25 

Total, per day, 94 

Drum Major and Fife Major. 

Per day, 26 

For use of horse, &c. per day, 40 

In lieu of forage, &c, 25 

Total, per day, 91 

Sergeant, Farrier and Saddler. 

Per day, 25 

For use of horse, &c 40 

In lieu of forage, &c 25 

Total, per day, 90 

Corporal and Trumpeter. 

Per day, 23 

For use of horse, &c 40 

In lieu of forage, &c 25 

Total, per day, 88 


Per day, 21 ^ 

For use of horse, &c 40 

In lieu of forage, &c 25 

Total, per day, 86 

The company of Rock Island Rangers,^ not being mounted receive only 
the pay allowed to the above grade. 

April 10, 1822 


Allowance of one day's pay and rations to Non-Comraissioned Officers 
Musicians and Privates, for every fifteen miles traveled to place of enrol- 

Note. — The per diem, in lieu of forage and subsistence, is allowed only 
to such as furnished themselves with those articles. 

Officers will receive the pay and allowances of Officers of the U.S. In- 
fantry, with the addition of 40 cents per day to such Officers of mounted 

April 9th, 1832. 

Illinois Advocate [Edwardsville], June 12, 1832. 

Nathan Towson (1784-1854) was born near 
Baltimore, Maryland. Commissioned an artillery 
captain at the beginning of the War of 1812, he 
received the brevet ranks of major, lieutenant 
colonel, and colonel for distinguished service in 
that conflict. He served as paymaster general of 
the army from 1819 until 1821 and from 1822 
until his death. He was brevetted brigadier 
general in 1834 and major general in 1848 for 
meritorious conduct during the Mexican War. 
Fort Towson, Oklahoma, was named for him. 
HEITMAN, I: 42, 968; DAB; Appletona' Cyclo- 
paedia. VI: 151; DAH. V: 290. 

A paragraph preceding Towson's letter states 
that "the Paymaster in St. Louis, has received 
funds for the payment of those Volunteers, who 
were out last year in the service of the United 
States; and that he only waits for notice from 
the Executive of the times and places where the 
men can be most conveniently paid off." 

In a classified advertisement in the July 3 
Advocate. Paymaster Thomas Wright announced 
the following dates and places for the payment 
of 1831 veterans: July 2, Belleville; July 4, 
Edwardsville; July 7, CarroUton; July 9, Jack- 
sonville; July 12, Rushville; and July 16, Spring- 

1 Word omitted in newspaper. 

2 So spelled. 

3 Editors of the Sangamo Journal [Springfield, 
111.] wrote for the May 17 issue: "We refer our 
readers . . . [to the above schedule] for evidence 

of the value which the general government set 
upon the services of the Illinois volunteers ! 
Twenty-one cents a day and found ! ! Call our 
farmers from their ploughs, our mechanics from 
their benches, our merchants from their stores, 
in the most busy and important season of the 
year, and give them twenty-one cents a day as 
compensation I ! . . . . Members of Congress, no 
better than they are, warm in their snug births 
[sic], and contentedly receiving eight dollars a 
day, give to the volunteer soldier twenty one 
cents a day !" 

4 Benjamin F. Pike's company; see BHW, I: 

5 The Illinois Advocate of June 26 carried a 
letter from Duncan, dated June 6, in which he 
explained that the Oflice of the Adjutant General 
had made a mistake in preparing accounts for 
his brigade, "by which the officers are deprived 
of their pay from Rock Island home." In an 
order of June 6, Adj. Gen. Roger Jones directed 
that the officers "be paid for and during their 
periods of actual service— that is, from the time 
of leaving, to the time of returning to their 
respective places of residence"; but since the 
accounts had already been forwarded to the 
paymaster, Duncan urged the publication of this 

The order was later extended to include com- 
plete pay for travel time home for the privates 
as well; see Duncan to Electors of the Third 
Congressional District, July 24. On the computa- 
tion of travel pay, see BHW. I: 118n-19n. 

Henry Atkinson to Alexander Macomb 

Head Qrs Right Wing West Dept. Lower rapids 10th. April 1832 
Sir On my arrival at this place an hour ago, I received information from 
Rock Island and the country Occupied by the Sacs and Foxes in the inter- 
mediate distances. The Prophets band of Winnebagoes residing some thirty 
miles up Rock river have assumed a hostile attitude, at least of One of 
defiance. And Black Hawk's band of Sacs have crossed the Mississippi near 

244 The Black Hawk War 

the mouth of the loway river/ and are on the move for their own villages, 
or with a view to join the Prophet. Whether they intend commencing hos- 
tilities, or putting themselves in an attitude of defiance against their being 
removed again to the west side of the river is a matter of doubt. Probably 
they will join the Prophet, and refuse to recross the river. On this event, 
what is to be done? The regular force put at my disposal is not sufficient 
to contend successfully against eight hundred or a thousand well armed 

I shall proceed on without delay to Rock Island, whence I will communi- 
cate to you the state of things. 

Gen: Atkinson to Major Gen: Macomb: 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. The ALS— RC is File 1 Into Mercer County. Illinois. See the Nov. 4, 

A60. Roll 66, M567 (DNA: RG 94, AGO) ; it has 1831, deposition of William Deniston and his sons, 
the AES: "Reed April 25 R Jones." 

William Clark to Elbert Herring 

Superintendency of Ind: affs, St. Louis Apl. 10, 1832. 

Sir, I have the honor to enclose to you herewith, a letter just received 
from Mr. St. Vrain (Ind: Agt.) detailing the substance of a conversation 
had with the Winnebagoe Prophet — also a letter from Mr. Charles D. St. 
Vrain, by which it would appear to be the intention of the Sacs to return 
to their old village on Rock River, a large portion of them have already 
crossed to the East of the Mississippi. 

The Steam Boat which gives this information met Genl. Atkinson at 
Louisianaville; ^ — He will most probably reach the Yellow Bank before the 
British party leave the River, and may induce them to recross. If they 
sould be obstinate, his force I fear, is not sufficient to compel them ; his in- 
fluence however, with those Tribes, together with the force he has, may 
possibly bring about a change in the movements of those disaffected Sacs, 
which I hope will be the result. 

I have the honor to be With great respect Yr very obt. Servt Wm Clark 

E. Herring Esqr 

LS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Rock Island. is in KHi: Clark Papers, IV: 347. 

Endorsed: "April 23d 1832. Indian Office." En- 1 Now Louisiana, Missouri. Missouri Historical 

closures: Felix St. Vrain to Clark, April 6; Review, XXVII: 353. 

Charles D. St. Vrain to Clark, April 8. A copy 

Henry Atkinson to Alexander Macomb 

Head Qrs Right Wing Western Depart: Fort Armstrong 13th April 1832. 

General I arrived at this place last night at 12 O'clk. I find a state of 
things existing in this quarter that I did not apprehend. 

Apnl 13, 1832 245 

The Band of Sacs, under Black Hawk, joined by about one hundred 
Kickapoos, and a few Pottawattamies, amounting in the whole to five hun- 
dred warriors have assumed a hostile attitude. They crossed the Mississippi 
on the 5th. at the Yellow Banks, sixty miles below this,^ and are now mov- 
ing up towards the Prophet's village on Rock river. I have thought it most 
advisable not to pursue them, as my force is too small to oppose to them 
with a prospect of success without great risk, and to make an unsuccessful 
attempt would only give them confidence and add to their numbers the 
wavering and disaffected. Besides it would subject our frontier to attack. 
As yet they have committed no act of hostility, and probably will not, till 
measures can be taken to protect the frontier. 

I enclose herewith copies of several communications, which contain in- 
formation relative to the views and movements of the hostile Indians. 

A day or two will more fully develope the intention of the Indians, of 
which I will inform you as soon as ascertained. I write by this conveyance 
to the Governor of Illinois giving him all the information I possess touch- 
ing the subject. If things assume a more threatning aspect it will be neces- 
sary for the Governor to call out the Militia to protect the frontier. I will 
give him all the assistance in my power. 

I held a council to day with the Chiefs and head men of the friendly Sacs, 
and some of the Chiefs of the Foxes, they profess not to be able to sur- 
render the Menomine murderers, alleging that the principal persons engaged 
in that affair have joined the hostile Indians 

They refuse at this time to give up hostages on the ground that none 
of the men of their band were concerned. As they were brought together 
by my invitation, I do not feel justified in detaining any of them, but shall 
wait for a proper occasion to effect the object, if indeed the present aspect 
of affairs will justify the course.^ 

I have but a moment to write. In a day of two I will communicate fully 
my views relative to the posture of affairs and the measures necessary to 
be taken. 

Brig: Gen: Atkinson to Major Gen: Macomb. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. Another copy is in St. Vrain with Wabokieshiek, April 6. A filing 
the Reynolds LB, IHi: BHW. The LS— RC is note shows that the Atkinson letter and its en- 
File A63, Roll 66. M567 (DNA: RG 94, AGO). En- closures were received in Washington. April 30. 
closures in that file (Frames 147-78) are copies l The crossing-place, near present New Boston, 
of Davenport, Hughes, Taylor, and Smith to was known as the Upper Yellow Banks. 
Atkinson, all dated April 13; Bliss to Atkinson, 2 The Indians did surrender hostages on April 
April 6 (2 letters) ; Bliss to Atkinson, April 19. See the council proceedings of April 13 and 
9-12; and a copy of the talks held by Bliss and 19. 

Henry Atkinson to John Reynolds 

Fort Armstrong 13th. April 1832 

Dear Sir The Band of Sacs, under Black Hawk, joined by about One 
hundred Kickapoos, and a few Pottawattimies amounting in all to about 

246 The Black Hawk War 

five hundred men have assumed a hostile attitude. They crossed the Mis- 
sissippi at the Yellow Banks on the 5th. Inst: and are now moving up on 
the east side by Rock river, towards the Prophet's village. They have not 
yet committed any act of hostility, and they profess, I understand, not to 
intend to strike the first blow, but to resist any attempt to remove them 
again from the Rock river Country. I enclose to you by Mr Taylor,^ a 
gentleman of intelligence, copies of several communications relative to the 
views and movements of the hostile Indians, these with the information 
that Mr. Taylor can give will put you in possession of all the facts and 
circumstances that have come to my knowledge 

The regular force under my command is too small to justify me in pur- 
suing the hostile party. To make an unsuccessful attempt to coerce them 
would only irritate them to acts of hostility on the frontier, sooner than 
they probably contemplate. Your own knowledge of the character of these 
Indians, with the information herewith submitted, will enable you to judge 
of the course proper to be pursued. 

I think the frontier is in great danger, and I will use all the means at 
my disposal to co-operate with you in its protection and defence. Two or 
three days will more fully develope the intentions of the Indians, when I 
will again write to you, and should I think it necessary I will return im- 
mediately to St Louis to confer with you upon the course to be pursued. 

Genl. Atkinson to Gov: Reynolds. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. Another copy is in the collection also contains copies written by an 

Reynolds LB, p. 5% (so numbered), IHi: BHW. Atkinson aide; the latter no doubt are those 

The probable enclosures in the original were received by the Governor, whose letters are also 

Davenport, Hughes, Smith, and Taylor to At- in the collection. See Reynolds's reply of April 

kinson, April 13. In addition to the letters At- 16. 

kinson received from these men (all except that 1 Thomas William Taylor; see his letter, also 

from Hughes in the BHW Collection), the IHi of this date. 

Henry Atkinson: Orders 

Head Qrs. Right Wing West. Dept. Rock Island 13th April 1832 
Spl. Order No 4 

Lt. N. J. Eaton ^ A. Asst. Qr. Master will proceed to St. Louis and Jeff. 
Barracks & procure from depot & by purchase if necessary 100 barrels 
Pork [2] 00- barrels flour and a corresponding proportion of small rations 
& have them shipped to this Post with as little delay as possible, he will 
return himself with the Stores 

By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson 

(Signed) A. S. Johnston Lt & A. A. Adjt Genl. 

Atkinson Order Book, IHi: BHW. who led the successful expedition against Derna 

1 Nathaniel Jackson Eaton (1807-1883). a in 1805. Nathaniel J. Eaton graduated from 

native of Massachusetts, was the son of Capt. West Point in 1827 and was assigned to Jefferson 

William Eaton, onetime U.S. consul at Tunis, Barracks. Eaton, as chief of commissariat, was 

Apnl 13, 18S2 2^ 

one of the several staff officers credited with the same twenty-seven-year period he served 

service as colonel on the staff of the Illinois as port warden of the harbor of St. Louis. After 

Volunteers in the BHW. After leaving the his retirement he lived at Alton. CULLUM; HEIT- 

army in 1837, Eaton operated a number of MAN; Madison County (1912), II: 868-69; see 

Missouri River steamboats; was U.S. postal also Atkinson's General Order 38, June 19, and 

agent at St. Louis, 1849-1850; and served nn. there. 

as agent, later secretary, of the St. Louis 2 MS torn; the figure was supplied from At- 

Board of Marine Underwriters, 1850-1877. Ihiring kinson to Holmes, April 18. 

George Davenport to Henry Atkinson 

Rock Island Apl 13 1832 

Dear Sir In reply to your enquires of this morning respecting the In- 
dians, I have to state that I have been Informed by the men I have had 
wintering with the Indians/ that the British Band of Sack Indians is de- 
tirmined to make war upon the frontier Settlements, thier plan as stated 
to me by Mr. J C Palen who is well acquanted with the Indians, and got 
is 2 Information from an Indian who may be depended on (the Indian is 
now hear) 3 that the British Band of Indians intended to Randevouse in 
the Spring at Old Fort Maddison to recruite thier party, and from thence 
to com up to the upper yallow banks and cross thier horses and send thier 
old men women & Children by land to a place called Iron River. The re- 
mainder to assend the Mississippi and enter rock River in the night and as 
soon as thay had gained the Stronghould in the Swamps of Rock River 
and have been Joined by the Winobagos Pottawato[mies] and Other In- 
dians, to make a desent and murder all the Settlers on the frontiers. 

agreable to the above plan the British Band of Sack Indians did Rande- 
vouse at Old Fort Maddison and Indused a great maney of the yong men 
to Join them, at thier arrival at the yallow Banks they Crossed about 
five hundred horses into the State of Illinois and sent about seventy horses 
packed, accompanied by their old men, women & Children through the 
Country towards Rock River the remainder Sum on hors back the others 
in Canoughs, in fighting Order advanced up the Mississippi and was in- 
camped yester day five or six miles below Rock River and will no doubt 
endeavour to reach thier stronghold in the Rock River Swamps if thay are 
not entersepted 

from evrey Information that I have reed I am of oppinion that the In- 
tentions of the B Band of Sack Indians is to commit depredations on the 
Inabitents of this frontier. 

I am Satisfied that, KeOkuck Pasheppaho Wapellow and thier bands of 
Sack & Foxes have nothing to do with the Br. Band. 

Respectfully your Obt Serv &c Geo Davenport 

To Brigr Genl Atkinson Comd the Troops at Rock Island 

ALS, IHi: BHW. Addressed: "To Brigr Genl Atkinson to Reynolds and Atkinson to Macomb, 
Atkinson. Commanding the Troops Rock Island both of April 13. The Reynolds copy (in the 
Ills." Copies of this letter were enclosed in hand of an Atkinson aide) is also in IHi: BHW. 

248 The Black Hawk War 

The Macomb copy is part of File A63, Roll 66, are also in 22d Cong., 1st Sess., S. Doc. 90, and 

M567 (DNA: RG 94, AGO). reprinted in Missouri Historical Society's 

1 Traders sold goods on credit at their various Glimpses of the Past, IX: 1-39, 43-86. 

posts in the fall and then kept men traveling to 2 Davenport's spelling was phonetic, as well as 

the winter camps of the Indians to collect slcins erratic; and he spelled many words as he must 

for repayment of the debt; see the report of have pronounced them: with a Cockney accent. 

Farnham and Davenport, Nov. 22, 1831, in 3 The Blacksmith ; see Bliss to Atkinson, April 

Trans. ISHS, XXXVII: 224-25; ibid.. 222. This 9-12, 
and many other reports on fur-trade operations 

Andrew S. Hughes to Henry Atkinson 

Copy Rock Island 13th april 1832 

Dr Sir This morning you requested me to furnish you with all the in- 
formation I had in relation to the hostile feelings & movements of black 
Hawk & his party of Sacs & Foxes against the americans. The Mississippi 
Sacs & Foxes are in the habit of visting those of their tribe who reside on 
the Missouri river, during the last fall & winter, I heard of many threats 
that had been made by Black Hawks party in relation to their determina- 
tion to reoccupy their old village on Rock river, on my way from the Mis- 
souri to the Mississippi I met with two strong war parties of the Sacs & 
Foxes & loways who avowed it to be their determination to go with the 
Sacs of the Mississippi against the Sioux I held a council with each party 
and they finally agreed to decline and disperse. I asked them if the Mis- 
sissippi Sacs had invited them to take up arms against the whites, they all 
denied ever having received any such invitation, when I arrived at the 
rapids^ I was informed of many late threats of Black Hawk against 
the americans and that he and his party had crossed the Mississippi at the 
Yellow banks, declaring it to be their determination to occupy their old 
village on Rock river and that the old men squaws & children had left the 
river and were making their way towards the Kickapoo towns and that 
the young men were passing up the Mississippi to the mouth of Rock river. 
With a view to be fully possessed of all the facts I determined to examine 
for myself and to follow the trail of the Indians so far as I might be en- 
abled, judge the direction the old men & squaws had taken, as well as to 
ascertain the position of the warriors. My opinion is that the squaws & 
old men have gone to the Prophets town on Rock river and the warriors 
are now only a few miles below the mouth of Rock river within the limits 
of the state of Illinois. That those Indians are hostile to the whites there 
is no doubt, that they have invaded the state of Illinois to the great injury 
of our citizens is equally true — hence it is that the public good requires 
that strong as well as speedy measures should be taken against Black 
Hawk and his followers 

respectfully I have the honor to be Yr ot. Sert 
Signed Andr. S. Hughes 

To Brig Genl Atkinson U.S. Army 

April IS, 1832 249 

CC, IHi: BHW; this copy, in the handwriting of part of File A63, Roll 66, M567 (DNA: AGO), 

an Atkinson aide, was probably enclosed in i Presumably the foot of the Lower, or Des 

Atkinson to Reynolds, April 13. Another copy, Moines, Rapids of the Mississippi — now Keokuk, 

enclosed in Atkinson to Macomb, April 13, is Iowa. 

Nathan Smith to Henry Atkinson 

Rock Island April 13t 1832. 
General Atkinson 

Sir In obediance to your request I beg leave to lay before you a state- 
ment of hostilities supposed to have commenced on the part of the Sacks, 
Foxes & Kickapoos indians against the Americans. About the begining of 
November 1831 I was employed by Mr. Thos. Wm. Taylor as an inter- 
preter, for the purpose of trading for him on the Des Moines river, during 
the winter season, and while engaged I have been able to judge from their 
actions and conversation that they intended to commence hostilities on the 
Americans in the Spring and I know from the conversations of a small 
band of Kickapoos they have been urging the Sacks & Foxes to be hostile 

One Sack Indian (a Brave) told me last winter that he would rather 
kill Genl. Gaines than any other being on earth. Whenever talking with 
them on the subject, they always appeared to have a wish to fight the 
Americans, they have always said to me that the Americans were certainly 
affraid of the Winnebagoes. 

A few days ago Genl. Hughes employed me as an Interpreter to ascer- 
tain the whole matter of facts. When I left the Des moines rapids of the 
Missisppi river — I found no Indians, nor heard nothing respecting them 
until I arrived opposite to the mouth of the loway river, where I was in- 
formed that Black Hawks party had crossed over on the Illinois side, also 
further informed by the Indians that they had started for Rock river and 
they had sent accross by land their old men, women k children. The war- 
riors had gone up by water, that they were determined to live on Rock 
river, either at their old village or up at the Prophets village. It is my 
opinion that they intend to go up to the Prophets village also they have 
stated to me that they are going to the British. I told them that it was 
contrary to their Treaty last Summer. The Sacks & Foxes told me last 
Summer that they were not affraid of the regular Troops that it was not 
them that sent them across the river, that they never would have crossed 
but for the fear they had of the mounted Troops. My opinion is that the 
Black Hawks old men, women & children have been sent up to wards the 
Prophets village, this is formed from the signs and trails I seen & exam- 
ined. I am hear, ready to do and perform any duty or service that is in 
my power 

respectfully your Obt St. Nathan Smith 

CC— RC, IHi: BHW; the entire letter and Thomas William Taylor. Addressed: "Brig Genl 
Smith's signature are in the handwriting of Atkinson U.S. Armey Pre[sen]t." A copy (also 

250 The Black Hawk War 

in IHi: BHW) was enclosed in Atkinson to M567) was enclosed in Atkinson to Macomb, 
Reynolds, April 13; and another copy (in DNA: April 13. 
BG 94, AGO— Frames 159-61, File A63, Roll 66. 

Thomas W. Taylor to Henry Atkinson 

Rock Island April 13t 1832 

Dear Sir In reply to the request, you made this morning, respecting the 
present hostile intentions of the Socks, Foxes & Kickapoo, Indians against 
the Americans — I now beg leave to refer you more particularly to Mr. 
Smith Letter. Mr. Smith was my Interpreter (on the river Desmoines) for 
the purpose of Trading with the Socks & Foxes, during the winter season. 

I visited my hands once this winter at the trading house on the Des- 
moines river. While there the Kickapoos asked permition of me to go over 
on the Illinoise side to hunt, this I forbid, telling them at the same time 
I had no authority to give them permition. 

I have not had any communication with any of them since then, but on 
my arival at the trading house on the Mississipi river I was informed that 
Black Hawk & his party intended to raise corn at the old village or the 
Prophets Town this summer. 

Genl Hughes was at the trading house on the Missippi when I arrived,^ 
and from various reports from the Citisens I consented to accompay Genl. 
Hughes up this far. On our way up we did not discover any of the In- 
dians, nor were we able to obtain any information until we reached Mr. 
Deniston house at the Upper Yellow Banks, their we were informed that 
Black Hawks old men, women & children had left for the old Town or the 
Prophets Town & the warriors had gone up by water 

At Deniston, Genl Hughes left me to go on by Land & I embarked on 
board the S. Boat at Mr. Denniston Landing place. 

My object in coming up was to obtain all the information, & if neces- 
sary to convey it to our Frontier Settlement, so as to prevent the Citisens 
from removing. 

respectfully Your Obt St. Thos. Wm Taylor Lewiston Fulton Cy. 

To Brig Genl Atkinson U.S. Armey 

ALS, IHi: BHW. Addressed: "Brigrr Genl At- Donough and Fulton counties, and in May and 

kinson U.S. Armey Pres[en]t." A copy (also in June of 1832 he served as adjutant of Isaiah 

IHi: BHW) was enclosed in Atkinson to Stillman's Battalion. At that time he was also 

Reynolds, April 13. Another copy (in DNA: BG acting as brigade major of the 5th Brigade, Ist 

94, AGO— Frames 155-58, File A63, Boll 66, Division, Illinois Militia (of which Stillman was 

M567) was enclosed in Atkinson to Macomb, brigadier general), although his commission 

April 13. was not issued until 1833. He had been licensed 

Thomas William Taylor came to Fulton County, to trade with the Indians in May, 1831, by 

Illinois, from Philadelphia about 1827. He was Felix St. Vrain; and, according to ROSS, Early 

elected county commissioner Aug. 2, 1830, and Pioneers, 47, had been a merchant in Lewistown 

two years later was an unsuccessful candidate from the time of his arrival there. See also 

for state senator. When the BHW threatened, Illinois Historical Collections, XVIII: 255; I-A: 

Taylor assisted in recruiting volunteers in Mc- Exec. Bee., II: 14; I-A: Elect. Ret., XIII: 60; 

April 13, 1832 251 

Taylor to Reynolds, April 25 and 30; Stillman see Hughes's and Smith's letters of April 13. 

to Reynolds, May 4; muster rolls in BHW, I: Russel Farnham was in charge of the American 

191-200 passim; St. Vrain to Clark, Oct. 10, Fur Company post there; see Iowa Journal of 

1831, in KHi: Clark Papers, VI: 319. History and Politics. XIV: 483; Trans. ISHS, 

1 At the Des Moines Rapids, or Keokuk, Iowa; XXXVII: 228, 229, 230. 

Fort Armstrong Council 

Rock Island 13th. April 1832 

In a Council held at Fort Armstrong Rock Island by Brig: Gen: Atkin- 
son U.S. Army on the part of the Government of the U. States, and Keo- 
kuk, and the principal friendly Chiefs of the Sac and Fox Tribes, on the 
part of those Bands, Brig: Genl. Atkinson spoke as follows: 

I am directed by your great father to come here and place myself be- 
tween the Menominies and Sioux, and you, (Sacs and Foxes) your great 
father has been informed that the Menominies and Sioux have been col- 
lecting together, to come down and strike you. I will send to the Menomi- 
nies and Sioux and tell them to stay at home. Your great father will settle 
the difficulties between the Sioux and Menominies, and Sacs and Foxes; 
my great father has directed me to tell the Menominies and Sioux that 
they shall listen to his voice. I will now tell you what your great father 
has directed me to say to you. The summer before last, you made a treaty 
at Prairie du Chien, many of you were present, and Signed that treaty. In 
violation of which, some of your young men went up to Prairie du Chien, 
and killed many Menominies This has greatly displeased your great 
father, who says, that at the same time that I compel the Sioux and Me- 
nominies to do right, I must also exact justice from the Sacs and Foxes, 
you must surrender eight or ten of the murderers. 

When I left home I had no information of the bad conduct of these 
people over here, the band of the Black Hawk. I heard of it at the lower 
rapids. I care nothing for it, they can be as easily crushed as a piece of 
dirt. If they do not recross the river, measures will soon be taken to com- 
pel them. I will not ask them to go back, I will not speak to them, until 
they recross to the west bank of the Mississippi. I will treat them like dogs, 
I am not going to call them into council, to tell me lies. Keokuk knows that 
his great father can cover these plains with men (yes). If Black Hawk's 
band strikes one white man in a short time they will cease to exist. I want 
to know how many Indians have joined Black Hawk. Ans 500. I am going 
myself to Prairie du Chien to attend to the business with the Menominies. 
The Sacs and Foxes who have not joined the Band of Black Hawk must 
keep themselves away, they must not go where they are. 

The Chiefs at the request of Genl. Atkinson withdrew to the plain by 
themselves to deliberate, after remaining away about an hour they returned, 
prepared to reply. 

252 The Black Hawk War 

Keokuk first spoke, "We the chiefs and warriors of the Sac and Fox Na- 
tion do not know what to answer since we have been out. You tell the 
truth with regard to the treaty, two years ago when Colonel Morgan took 
us up to the Prairie, he made us make peace with the Sioux, he told us to 
go up with them, and he wanted to arrange all matters, we did not wish 
to make peace, but we did make peace for fear of the Americans, we acted 
from fear like whipped children, and when he spoke at Prairie du Chien, 
he told me he would hold each village accountable for its own conduct. 
When Governor Clark went up, he invited those Indians over here (Black 
Hawk's band) to go up and they would not, 7ny Chief would not go,^ I 
went up, I got a copy of the treaty, & explained it to my band, and also 
to the Rock river Indians, my village and the British band do not like 
each other, they will not listen to us, and that is the reason we do not 
know what to do. You say they must give themselves up, or the Chief must 
do it, we can't give them up, it is out of our power, all of the Sacs engaged 
in the murder of the Menominies are off, or with Black Hawk's Party; we 
are unfriendly to that Band, we will tell them what you say, last fall we 
had a meeting on invitation of Major Bliss and our Agent j^ as soon as 
the Council was over, those who are with Black Hawk's Party went away, 
and we never could get them to speak with us since. If the War Party had 
started from our village, we would feel ourselves bound to give them up, 
but as it is, we are unable. You wash us to keep at peace, and have nothing 
to do with the Rock river Indians, we will do so in token of our intentions, 
you see we have lain our spears there altogether, while you are gone to 
the Prairie we will endeavour to speak to them, and try to persuade them 
to go back, if we do not succeed we can do no more, then we will go home, 
and try to keep our village at peace ; the one who has raised all this trouble 
is a Winnebago called the Prop/iei.["] 

Prince,^ the Chief of the Fox tribe next rose, and spoke to the following 

You have heard what my friend has said concerning the treaty at Prairie 
du Chien, and I will tell what I have heard from you to those Chiefs that 
belong to Morgans village of Foxes, it is a pity that those who command 
this village are only boys, while you are gone to the Prairie, I will tell them 
what you have said to day. I do not doubt that they will say that they 
do not know what to do, this is all I can say, perhaps if I were to promise 
more I could not do it. One of our young men was killed out here last 
fall, by the Sioux, Menominies, and Winnebagoes, we judged so by some 
articles of dress and other signs. 

Question. Where is Pankeene?^ 

Ans: At Morgans Village, Natauetaheka ^ another principal man en- 
gaged in the murder is also there. [Question:] Why did not Morgan's band 
come in to Council? 

I do not know, the Agent sent for them, they said they would come here. 

Apnl IS, 1832 253 

Were there more of Sacs, or Foxes engaged in the murder? 

Ans: About equal numbers of each. 

General Atkinson replied as follows: When I told you that I would stand 
between the Menominies and Sioux, and you, it was under the supposition 
that you would be able to settle this difficulty, I can do nothing more than 
to tell the Menominies to wait till I hear from their father again. I am in- 
structed by your great father to tell you, that if you cannot give up the 
murderers, you must give up hostages, I was told to take the hostages and 
treat them kindly until the difficulty could be settled; if you think proper 
to leave some of your people here, I will still stand between you and the Me- 
nominies.^ As you have been invited by me to come here, I will not insist 
on it, but leave it to your own good sense. They are not to be tried, they 
are to be kept till the murderers are given up; hostages are required in 
order to show that you are disposed to do right. The Winnebagoes gave 
me hostages, when our difficulties were settled, I gave them up. 

Permission was granted young Apennose the son of a Chief,'^ to speak, 
at the request of Keokuk. 

Apennose. — My father, I came up in one of those boats with the troops,^ 
I thought after seeing what would happen, I would go and tell the Indians 
of it, I went into one of the leading Chief's lodge (Neapope) I began to 
talk to him gently, before I finished he stopped me, and began to scold 
me violently, he did not strike me that is all, he said you will be very 
pitiful after a while, after I was so badly treated, I went away to the 
braves lodge. I endeavoured to get one of my female relations to come 
away, as soon as they found I was trying to get my relation away they 
sent a crier thro' the Village, telling the women and children, not to go 
away, that they would be happy and the rest miserable, I got there a little 
too late, the Prophet's message had been received, before I got there. 

Ques: Where are the Band of Black Hawk? 

Ans: Near the head of the rapids of Rock river (6 or 8 miles hence) 

Ques: Where are they going? 

Ans: They would not tell me. 

Ques: Where are their women and children? 

Ans: With them. 

Ques: How many men had they? 

Ans: I could form no estimate, and they would not tell me 

Ques: Where did they lie last night? 

Ans: Near a Block house below the mouth of Rock river, built by Genl. 

Keokuk rose and said— You have just now listened to one of our Chiefs 
sent below, you have heard the way our friends behave, that is the reason 
we never could fix the business, when you observed that the only way 
would be to give some up, I thought I told you if they did^" belong to our 
Band, we could do nothing with them, after hearing how our message was 


The Black Hawk War 

received, we consulted, and thought we could not give ourselves up as we 
had nothing to do with the murder. We leave it to you to do with those 
Chiefs what you can; we are now speaking to you here, if you will take 
notice, you will hear that we will be the first who are killed, we heard a 
good while ago, that they were going to kill us, the man who cried in the 
village, also said so. 

I have only to add that we are going down to our Village to take care 
of ourselves, we are going to get 200 bags of corn from the traders, we hope 
you will not prevent it. 

Genl. Atkinson said. Your great father will not be satisfied, you ought 
to do your part to give up the Foxes. 

Keokuk answered — I have nothing to do with the Foxes but I will at- 
tend to it. 

The Council then broke up. Gen. Atkinson directed that Morgan's Band 
should be sent for, & appointed a meeting with the Sacs & Foxes on the 
19th. of April, and directed the Chiefs that were present to remain till 
they come.^^ 

CC, IHi: BHW. The proceedings of the April 19 
council, printed herein under that date, are on 
the same document. Bracketed words and quota- 
tion marks have been added for clarity. 

1 Keokuk's chief was Pashipaho, the principal 
Sauk chief. Mashquetaypay (or Musketabah, 
Red Head) headed the list of Sauk signers of the 
July 15, 1830. treaty, as Mash-que-tai-paw; kap- 
PLEB, II: 308. 

2 This council was held Sept. 5, 1831; see the 
proceedings of that date. 

3 Wapello. 

4 This is probably the Pahquomee, or Pash- 
quomee, mentioned at the Sept. 5, 1831, council 
as the leader of the party that massacred the 
Menominee at Prairie du Chien. 

5 Nothing is known of this man. 

6 Hostages were surrendered April 19. 

7 Apenose lived at this time at the village at 
Flint Hill (now Burlington, Iowa) headed by 
his father, Taimah (Sprigg to Atkinson, May 
26). The identification of Apenose as Taimah's 
son is from Cutting Marsh ( Wisconsin Historical 
Collections, XV: 126): this relationship is sup- 
ported by Capt. Henry Smith, 6th Infantry, who 
does not name Apenose but calls Labusier's 
companion the son of Tay-e-mah {ibid., 154). 
In the spring of 1834 the village was moved to 
the south bank of the Des Moines River at the 
site of Ottumwa, Iowa (Iowa Journal of History 
and Politics. XIV: 494). When Cutting Marsh 
visited the village in Aug., 1834, Apenose was 
its chief. The village, which the Indians called 
Ah-taum-way-e-nauk, contained eight lodges with 
a population of about 250. Marsh wrote that 
Apenose was "young and aspiring, and possesses 
more independence of mind and fortitude than 
any of the rest of the chiefs. ... He possesses 

naturally an excellent, inquisitive mind and is 
one of the most kind and gentlemanly Indians 
that I ever met with. But he is a great drunkard" 
(Wisconsin Historical Collections, XV: 126; see 
also ibid.. 122-23, 135-40 passim). 

Apenose visited Washington in 1837, and his 
portrait was painted there by Cooke (McKENNEY 
AND HALL, II: 105-6). En route home the Savik 
and Fox delegation visited several eastern cities, 
and Apenose is probably most famed for the 
speech he made in response to one by Governor 
Edward Everett at Boston. He concluded by 
stating, " 'It appears to me that the Americans 
have attained a very high rank among the white 
people. It is the same with us, though I say it 
myself. Where we live, beyond the Mississippi, I 
am respected by all people, and they consider 
me the tallest among them. I am happy that 
two great men meet and shake hands with each 
other.' As he . . . [spoke], Appanoose suited the 
action to the word by extending his hand to 
Governor Everett, amid the shouts of applause 
from the audience, who were not a little amused 
at the self-complacency of the orator" (ibid.). 

Apenose is identified as a Fox Indian through- 
out the BHW papers, and on the Treaty of July 
15, 1830, he is listed among the Fox signators. 
On later treaties when tribal affiliation was 
designated, he was listed among the Sauk (KAP- 
PLER, II: 308, 478, 548). There are two possible 
explanations for this apparent inconsistency. In 
the first place, the band of Taimah, a Fox chief 
and the father of Apenose, is said to have con- 
sisted of people from both tribes (Pilcher to 
Atkinson, Aug. 6). CALEB ATWATEK, 74, called 
Taimah the son-in-law of Quashquame, once a 
Sauk chief, and although there is no proof that 
Apenose was Quashquame's grandson, that seems 

Apnl U, 1832 


likely in view of the various translations of his 
name. In addition to the translation "grand 
child" given on the 1830 treaty, his name appears 
on the Treaty of Oct. 21, 1837, as "Appan-oze-o- 
ke-mar, The Hereditary Chief, (or He who was a 
Chief when a Child,)" (kj\.ppler, II: 308, 496). 
William Jones says that the correct translation 
is "dear child" or "little child" (mckenney and 
HALL, II: 106n). 

In the second place, Apenose and his band 
lived in the southern part of the Sauk and Fox 
lands in Iowa, which, according to Poweshiek's 
band, made them nominally Sauk (Annals of 
lotva, XXIII: 99-100). 

Apenose was still active in tribal politics in 
the early 1840's, but little is known of him after 
he signed the Treaty of Oct. 11, 1842 (kappler. 
II: 548). FULTON, 259, says that his death "must 
have occurred after the removal of his people to 
that part of the Des Moines valley above Red 
Rock, for he is incidentally mentioned as being 
among them after that time. In an old memoran- 

dum of pioneer days . . . the death of a Sac 
chief whose name was given as Op-pe-noose, [is 
mentioned] as occurring at the mouth of Clear 
Creek, believed to be the small stream of that 
name in Keokuk county." Fulton assumed that 
Apenose died while on a visit to his "former 

8 PERRY ARMSTRONG, 283-86, says that Atkinson 
took Keokuk, Josiah Smart, and a group of 
braves aboard the Chieftain about midnight, 
April 11. According to Albert Sidney Johnston, 
the Chieftain arrived at Rock Island the night 
of April 11. Armstrong's facts are confused, for 
Atkinson arrived at Rock Island at midnight. 
April 12, aboard the Enterprise (Johnston Jour- 
nal, April 12; Atkinson to Macomb, April 13). 

9 At the site of Andalusia; see n. 3, McCall to 
McCall, June 23. 

10 The word "not" was omitted by the copyist. 

11 Here follows the report of the April 19 
council; see the proceedings under that date. 

Henry Atkinson to Henry Dodge 

Head Quarters Right Wing West: Department Galena 

April 14th. 1832. 

General^ The Band of Sac Indians under Black Hawk, joined by 100 
Kickapoos and some Pottawattamies have crossed the Mississippi to the 
Illinois side and are moving up on the east side of Rock river, for the 
Winnebago Prophet's village it is supposed. Their feelings are decidedly- 
hostile. As yet, however, they have committed no act of hostility, and it is 
possible they may not, unless coercive measures are taken to force them 
back to the West side of the Mississippi, but it is believed by persons who 
appear to be acquainted with their intentions, that they will strike upon 
the frontier inhabitants as soon as they secure their women and children 
in the fastnesses of the Rock river Swamps. They number now about 500 
Warriors, and will, no doubt, be joined by some two or three hundred more. 
I give you this information in order that your neighbours in the Settle- 
ments toward Rock river may be put upon their guard against any hostile 
attempt of these Indians. 

I proceed in the morning to Prairie du Chien, and shall return to this 
place on the 17th. Inst, when I desire you will meet me, to confer upon the 
subject of this communication. 

Brig: Genl. Atkinson to Gen: Dodge. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. 

Henry Dodge (1782-1867) was born in Post 
Vincennes, Indiana, but spent his early childhood 
in Kentucky before moving with his father's 
family to the Ste Genevieve District of Spanish 

Louisiana. He became sheriff of the District in 
1805 and marshal of Missouri Territory in 1813, 
and rose ultimately to the rank of major general 
in the Missouri Militia. He took part in the War 
of 1812 and was a member of the 1820 Missouri 

256 The Black Hawk War 

constitutional convention. In 1827 Dodge moved the command of the recently created U.S. 

with his own large family to the lead mines on Rangers. In 1833 when that unit was expanded 

the upper Mississippi, arriving there not long into the 1st U.S. Dragoons, Dodge was retained 

before the outbreak of the Winnebago Indian as colonel. 

disturbances, during which he served as com- He was appointed governor of Wisconsin Ter- 

mander of a unit of Galena volunteers who ritory in 1836 and elected territorial delegate 

marched on an expedition to the Wisconsin to Congress in 1841. In 1845 he was appointed to 

River. Later that fall. Dodge began mining a second term as governor, and in 1848 he became 

near present Dodgeville, Wisconsin, which was one of the first U.S. senators from the state of 

to be his home for many years. As colonel of Wisconsin. He resigned from the Senate in 1857 

the Iowa County (present southwestern Wiscon- and died June 19, 1867. DAB; pelzer, Henry 

sin) Regiment of Michigan Territory Militia, Dodge, passim; CARTER, ed., Territorial Papers, 

Dodge commanded the volunteers from that area XIII: 138-39; 1827 muster rolls (photostats in 

who were organized for BHW service, and was IHi). 

personally engaged in several of the principal 1 Dodge was called general because of the rank 

actions. At the close of the campaign, he assumed he had attained in the Missouri Militia. 

Henry Atkinson to William B. Ferguson 

Head Qrs Right Wing West: Dept. Galena 14th. April 1832 

Sir I have to require of you, as Sub-Agent to the Sac Inciians, to take 
immediate measures to ascertain the movement and motives of Black 
Hawk's band of Sacs who are now progressing up on the east side of Rock 
river in the direction of the Prophet's village. 

I would advise and direct that you employ Nathan Smith, who is ac- 
quainted with this Band of Sacs, and understands their language, as in- 
terpreter, and for the pur]Dose of following those Indians on their march 
to ascertain their ultimate location and views. All the information you may 
be enabled to collect upon the subject you will communicate to me with 
as little delay as possible. You will also advise the inhabitants of the 
Mining District of all indications of hostility on the part of those Indians. 

Genl. Atkinson to Mr. Fergerson, Sub-Agent to the Sac Indians 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. the position on May 1, 1833 (IHi: BHW Corr.. 

William B. Ferguson had been named sub- letter from DNA, Interior Records Section, July 
agent at Galena on Dec. 27, 1831, and resigned 29, 1946). 

Henry Atkinson: Orders 

Head Qrs. Right Wing West. Dept. Rock Island 14th. April 1832 
Spl. Order No 5 

The command of this Post devolves on Major Bliss 1st. Infantry who 
will adopt such measures during the absence of Brig. Genl. Atkinson as 
the public interest may require. 

By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson 

(Signed) A. S. Johnston Lt. & A. A. A. Genl. 

Atkinson Order Book, IHi: BHW. 

April 16, 1832 257 

Henry Atkinson to Henry Gratiot 

Hd Qrs Right Wing West: Dept. Galena 15th. April 1832. 

Dear Sir Black Hawk's band of Sacs joined by 100 Kickapoos, and some 
Pottawattamies crossed the Mississippi at the Yellow Banks on the 5th. 
Inst, on the 8th. they moved towards Rock river, and on the 12th. & 13th. 
were passing up that river towards the Prophets Village They number 
about 500 warriors, and are decidedly hostile in their feelings. They say 
they will not strike first, but it is believed by some well informed men 
they will strike as soon as they secure their women and children in the 
fastnesses of the swamp 

I give you this information in your Official capacity with a request that 
you will apprise the inhabitants residing towards Rock river of the ap- 
parent hostility of those Indians, and that you will ascertain their move- 
ments and final location, and their views and intentions, and inform me of 
the result of your enquiries and observations as early as possible. I shall 
be found after four days at Rock Island. 

Gen: Atkinson to Henry Gratiot Esqr. Ind: Agent (Green Bay)^ 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. sin, and left on the 17th for the "interior of the 

1 The address as given here is an error by the Winnebagoe nation." He arrived at Turtle Vil- 

letter book copyist. Gratiot received the letter on lage on the 19th. Gratiot Journal. 
April 16 at his home at Gratiot's Grove, Wiscon- 

Henry Atkinson to John H. Kinzie 

Head Qrs Right Wing West: Dept. Fort Crawford 16th. April 1832. 

Sir I have to advise you that I have been instructed by the General in 
Chief to settle the difficulties between the Sacs & Foxes and Menominies. 
I have accordingly brought a military force as far as Rock Island for the 
purpose of enforcing the stipulations of the treaty of peace between those 
tribes made in 1830. 

I have to direct that you will communicate this fact to such of the 
Menominies as may be within your reach, and advise them to remain quiet 
till the result of my efforts are made known, and to say to them further 
that the troops will be interposed should they attempt to move against the 
Sacs and Foxes, who reside on the West Side of the Mississippi, before my 
exertions to adjust the difficulty are at an end. 

I take this occasion to inform you that Black Hawk's band of Sacs, 
joined by 100 Kickapoos, crossed the Mississippi to the Illinois side on the 
5th. Inst: and have passed up on the east side of Rock River towards the 
Winnebago Prophet's village, where it is presumed they will locate them- 
selves with a determination of holding the Country. They probably may not 
intend committing any positive act of hostility, yet this is doubtful. You 

258 The Black Hawk War 

will inform the Winnebagoes of your agency of the movement of this Band 
of Sacs, and advise them to hold no intercourse with them. Any informa- 
tion that you may acquire as to the location and conduct of the disaffected 
Sacs you will, communicate to me as early as possible at Rock Island, also 
the temper and feelings of the Winnebagoes in relation to the subject. 

Genl. Atkinson to Jno. H. Kinzie Esqr. Ind: Agent, (Portage Ouisconsin) 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. Copies of this letter Prairie du Chien. and Mich. Supt., L Reed., Vol. 
are in two files in DNA: RG 75, BIA— L Reed.. 1. 

Henry Atkinson to Gustavus Loomis 

Head Qrs Right Wing West: Dept: Fort Crawford 16th. April 1832. 

Sir I have been ordered into the Sac and Fox district of Country to settle 
the difficulties existing between the Menominies and Sioux, and the Sacs 
and Foxes — and whilst prosecuting the object to prevent the Sioux and 
Menominies from moving against the other Party. To effect the latter ob- 
ject I have to direct, that you will use the force under your command if 
necessary to prevent any attempt on the part of the Menominies and Sioux 
to pass this Post, against the Sacs and Foxes residing west of the Missis- 
sippi. General Street will keep you advised of the conduct of the Menomi- 
nies and Sioux: should they against admonition, attempt to pass down 
either the Mississippi, or Ouisconsin Rivers, you will upon information of 
their intentions station some 5 or 6 Mackinac Boats abreast, across the 
Mississippi, immediately below the mouth of the Ouisconsin, armed with 
a sufficient number of men to successfully oppose and force them back; 
should they elude your vigilance, pursue them down the river till the object 
is effected. If it be necessary to station the boats during the night, let each 
keep a good light and the reflection will be cast across the river, and en- 
able the guards to discover the approach of a canoe. 

Black Hawk's band of Sacs have crossed over to Rock river, and evince 
feelings of hostility. As it will be necessary to drive them back with a 
strong and well organized force, you will hold your command ready for 
active duty, as a part of it will no doubt be used to assist in effecting the 

Gen: Atkinson to Capt Loomis, Commdg Fort Crawford. 

Atkinson LB, Iffi: BHW. 

Henry Atkinson to the Officer Commanding Fort Winnebago 

Hd Qrs Right Wing West: Department Fort Crawford 16th. April 1832. 

Sir I have been ordered into the Sac and Fox district of Country with 
a military force to adjust the difficulties existing between the Menominies, 

April 16, 1832 259 

and those Tribes, the troops on this river, and the Garrison of your Post 
are also placed under my orders, to be used if necessary to effect the object. 
I have therefore to direct that you will use the necessary means, and adopt 
such measures as may be needful to prevent the Menominies, who reside 
towards Green Bay, from passing your Post, with the view of striking the 
Sacs and Foxes who reside west of the Mississippi, and should they elude 
your vigilance, you will despatch two companies in small boats down the 
Ouisconsin in pursuit to this place, who will on their arrival report to the 
Commanding Officer here for further orders. 

The Band of Sacs under Black Hawk joined by about a hundred Kicka- 
poos, amounting in all to 500 warriors crossed the Mississippi to the Illinois 
side on the 5th. Inst: and have moved up on the east side of Rock river to- 
wards the Prophet's village. Their feelings are decidedly hostile, yet it is 
probable they may not make a hostile stroke until an attempt is made to 
force them back to the West of the Mississippi. This the Government will 
no doubt order. In the mean time you will be on your guard against them, 
and obtain all the information you can relative to their final location and 
conduct, and inform me thereof at Rock Island by the way of this Post 
as early as practicable, or if more convenient by the way of Galena, or 
Rock River 

As part of the force under your command will no doubt be called upon 
in the course of a few weeks to assist in removing those innovators,^ you 
will hold yourself in readiness for the service. 

Gen: Atkinson to the Officer Commdg Fort Winnebago. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. Lt. Col. Enos Cutler colonel of the 7th Infantry and the following 

of the Bth Infantry was commanding officer of year was brevetted colonel for gallant conduct in 

Fort Winnebago at this time, but he was absent the Battle of Cerro Gordo in the Mexican War. 

throughout the BHW, leaving Capt. Joseph At the time of his death he was colonel of the 1st 

Plympton in command; see Plympton's reply of Infantry, heitman; Hansen, Old Fort Snelling, 

April 22. 192; Wisconsin Historical Collections, V: 396; 

Plymptom (1787-1860), a native of Massachu- Fergus' Historical Series, No. 16, pp. 81-82; 

setts, was commissioned 2d lieutenant in 1812, kinzie, Wau-Bun, 542n; Army Register 1815-37, 

assigned to the 5th Infantry in 1815, and pro- 451. 

moted to captain in 1821. He later commanded 1 The word should have been invaders. 
Fort Snelling. In 1846 he was made lieutenant 

Henry Atkinson to Samuel C. Stambaugh 

Head Qrs Right Wing West: Department Fort Crawford 16th. April 1832. 

Sir You have no doubt been advised by the Depart of War that I have 
been ordered with a military force into the Sac and Fox district of country 
for the purpose of adjusting the difficulties between these tribes and the 
Menominies in relation to the attack made by the former upon the latter 
last summer at this place. 

I have to request that you will advise the Menominies of my arrival at 
Rock Island and this place for the purpose of carrying the views of the 


The Black Hawk War 

Government relative to this matter into effect — and further that they must 
not move against the Sacs and Foxes residing on the west side of the Mis- 
sisippi till the result of my mission is made known. 

Black Hawk's band of Sacs joined by some other Indians amounting to 
500 warriors crossed the Mississippi to the Illinois side on the 5th. Inst: 
and have moved up on the east side of Rock river towards the Prophet's 
Village with an avowed intention of holding the country. Their feelings are 
decidedly hostile, yet it is thought they will not strike unless measures are 
taken to force them back to the west of the Mississippi. You will advise 
all the Indians of your agency to refrain from joining or holding commu- 
nication with this band of disaffected Sacs as a contrary course will involve 
and confound them with the enemy. 

Genl. Atkinson to Mr. Stambaugh Sub-Agent (Green Bay) 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. 

Samuel C. Stambaugh, former Pennsylvania 
journalist, was sent to Green Bay, Wisconsin, as 
Indian agent in the summer of 1830; but his of- 
ficial stat\is at this time is difficult to disentangle. 
Stambaugh was one of the negotiators of the 
Feb. 8, 1831, Menominee treaty at Washington, 
D.C., in which he was called "Indian Agent at 
Green Bay, specially authorized by the President 
of the United States" (kappler, II: 319). Niles' 
Weekly Register of March 19, 1831 (XL: 52), 
carried a story which stated that "since the re- 
jection by the senate of Mr. Stambaugh, as 
Indian agent at Green Bay, the president has 
appointed him sub-agent at the same place." The 
1831 U.S. Register (103) more correctly calls 
him "Special Agent to examine the country in 
dispute between the Menomenies and New Yorlc 
Indians." Although Stambaugh had apparently 
expected to be renominated and confirmed by the 
Senate in 1832, George Boyd, instead, was 

The Menominee were devoted to Stambaugh 
and requested that he lead their force later 
called into action by General Atkinson against 
the Sauk and Fox. The expedition did not reach 

the war area until after the Battle of Bad Axe, 
but Stambaugh, mutually devoted to the Me- 
nominee, violated orders to return home and took 
the Menominee on to the Mississippi. For several 
days, they scouted the area in present Grant 
County, Wisconsin, conducting what has some- 
times been described as the "Wisconsin Mas- 
sacre," killing refugees from Black Hawk's band. 
Although Stambaugh's attitude was not typical 
of that of the midwestern Indian agents, there 
seems no reason to doubt the sincerity of his 
protestations that the aggrieved Menominee 
were entitled to the opportunity for revenge for 
the 1831 attack on the Menominee. 

After the war Stambaugh served as secretary 
to the treaty commissioners assigrned to negotiate 
with the Indians west of the Mississippi. In 
1836 he was post sutler at Fort Snelling, and in 
1840 he was postmaster at the same place. Little 
else is known of his later life. 

Wisconsin Historical Collections, III: 293-96, 
XI: 392, XV: 423-30; kinzie, Wau-Bun. 453, 
517; STEVENS, 234-37; carter, ed., Territorial 
Papers. XII: 279-81. 523-24. 1079: Annals of 
Iowa, XII: 507; U.S. Register 183S, 93. 

Henry Atkinson to Joseph M. Street 

Head Qrs Right Wing West: Depart: Fort Crawford April 16th. 1832 

Sir I informed you this morning verbally of my being ordered by the 
General in Chief with a military force to the Sac and Fox district of coun- 
try to adjust the diflBculties between the Menominies and those tribes — and 
in the mean time to take such steps as may be necessary to prevent the 
Menominies and Sioux from moving against the Sacs and Foxes residing 
west of the Mississippi. 

Awil 16, 1832 261 

To effect the latter object orders have been given to the Officers Commdg 
at Fort Winnebago and this Post to use military force, if necessary, to stop 
the movement of any War Party of Sioux or Menominies that may attempt 
to pass with a view of striking the Sacs & Foxes. In addition to this precau- 
tion, I have to request that you will send to the Sioux and Menominies of 
your agency, and advise them to remain quiet, till the result of my efforts 
to settle the difficulty is made known, and that a movement on their part 
at this time, would be visited by military force. 

I have infoniied you of the recent hostile attitude assumed by the Sac 
Band under Black Hawk. I have to request that you will admonish the 
Indians, of your agency, on the Ouisconsin, against joining or holding any 
intercourse with Black Hawk and his associates, as a contrary course will 
involve and confound them with the enemy. Any information that you have 
it it^ in your power to acquire touching Black Hawks movements and mo- 
tives, you will communicate to me as early as practicable, as well as any 
thing relative to any movement that may be made by the Sioux and 
Menominies against the Sacs and Foxes, west of the Mississippi 

Gen: Atkinson to Gen: Street Ind: Agent at Prairie du Chien 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. l The word is repeated in the middle of a line. 

Thomas Forsyth to John Connolly 

St Louis 16th April 1832 

Dear Sir Yours of the 24th. Ult. and 9th. Inst, came safe to hand and 
observe their contents. You know the old saying that "Brg is a good dog 
but hold fast is better," that Braging business you talk of, there must be 
an end to it one day or an other. As to Reddick's Claim, it is good when 
the Indian title is extinguished but as the half-breeds, hold their land, in 
the same way that the Indians do Reddick's claim can have no effect, ac- 
cording to my opinions^ 

You enquire of me if two dollars per diem would be sufficient for travel- 
ling expenses, when I went to the Eastward I never expended more than 
125 per diem for Self and horse, I left home on the 27th Dcr. and returned 
home on the 13th May and expended $194 — this in my opinion was mod- 
erate. Are you inclined to go to the City Washington, I dont know, but 
think you would be well received by the new Secretary ,2 and you, in par- 
ticular, would be able to point out many things in the Indian Country to 
the Sec. that he is not acquainted with, or that has escaped his memory. 
You see, by his allowing your claims for extra services rendered are a good 
omen, had old Red Thunder ^ done what he ought to have done you would 
have had that mony long since. 

I have no news to cummunicate, except who will be our next President, 
is the only thing that troubles the politicians of the day. I believe, and 


The Black Hawk War 

many believe with me, that if Genl. Jackson does not decline, he will be 
re-elected our next President, altho many of his friends find fault of his 
not holding Cabinet Councils as always been customary heretofore, and it 
is said, that from his very feeble state of his health he cannot live another 
term, therefore the Vice President will be the man and this is the reason 
that such an effort is making for Van Buren, however among them be it, 
for it is a matter of indifference to me who will be President so that he 
works for the good of the Country. Imigration to this Country this Season 
is great, particularly from Germany, indeed we see persons from all parts 
of the world arriving daily. I seen Charles St Vrain yesterday he says the 
Winnebago Prophet spoke his mind very freely to Major Bliss and if I am 
not mistaken blood will be shed before an end of the difficulties with the 
Indians take place. What is one hundred & fifty men under Genl Atkinson 
to do with 2000 Indians ■* it is all a farce, if the Indians could be supported 
elsewhere and not be dependant on this place for a supply of their wants, 
you would see a dreadful Indian^ commenced and would be hard to say 
when it would end. 

Respectfully I Remain Yr. Obdt. Servt Thomas Forsyth 

Mr. John Connolly Rocky Island 

ALS, MnHi: Connolly Papers. Addressed: "Mr 
John Connolly care of Mr. George Davenport 
Rock Island Politeness of— Mr. Chas St Vrain." 

John Connolly (ca. 1791-ca. 1837), a native of 
Ireland, was the assistant factor at Fort Edwards 
and then at Fort Armstrong when the govern- 
ment trading post was moved there from Fort 
Edwards. He was subagent and interpreter for 
the Sauk and Fox, with headquarters at Galena, 
from "as early as 1824 . . . until February 1828" 
{Iowa Journal of History and Politics, XIII: 
155). Some time before 1830 he was employed by 
the American Fur Company. The date of his 
death is not known, but by treaty in 1837, funds 
were allotted to "the children of the late John 
Connolly" (ibid., XIV: 497n). See also Kansas 
Historical Collections, XI: 337-38; U.S. Register 
1827, 102; Guide to Manuscript Collections of 
the Minnesota Historical Society, 120. 

1 This is a reference to the claim of Thomas 
F. Reddick in the Half-Breed Tract, a 119,183- 
acre area of land between the Mississippi and 
Des Moines rivers in southeastern Iowa; the 
tract included the town of Keokuk (lokken, 
Iowa: Public Land Disposal, 267). It was being 
surveyed this spring (see Sprigg to Atkinson, 
May 26). Connolly had two half-breed sons who 
were entitled to land there by the Treaty of 
Aug. 4, 1824, which set up the tract (KAPPLER, 
II: 207-8; Annals of Iowa, XIV: 436, 443, 457; 
loiva Journal of History and Politics, XIV: 
497n). Reddick had acquired the original 1796 
Spanish grant to Louis Honore Tesson, and 
the legality of his claim was later upheld in 

federal court {Annals of loiva, X: 242, 244). It 
was described as "being in Township 66 North 
of Range 5 West of the 5th Principal Meridian, 
and being designated on the . . . plat as survey 
numbered three thousand and ninety-five" in 
what is now Montrose Township (ibid., XJV: 
444-46, and map on 423). 

2 Secretary of War Lewis Cass. 

3 William Clark, who was known to the Indians 
as the Red Head. For Forsyth's relations with 
Clark, see Forsyth to Ashley, May 8 and Aug. 10. 

4 These figures were not meant to be taken 
literally. Atkinson's force leaving Jefferson Bar- 
racks numbered 220 men (Johnston Journal, 
April 8). In addition, two companies of the 1st 
Infantry stationed at Fort Armstrong were im- 
mediately available to him as were companies 
from Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien, Wiscon- 
sin. The size of the Indian force is also exag- 
gerated for effect — 2,000 is the outside estimate 
made by Atkinson of the total size of Black 
Hawk's band, including women and children 
(Atkinson to Macomb, April 13). Forsyth ap- 
parently considered farcical the idea of sub- 
sisting an Indian war party of such a reputed 
size. Black Hawk himself realized that without 
supplies from the British as well as from Indian 
tribes in the Illinois- Wisconsin area, he must 
submit to U.S. authority. According to his own 
statements and those of numerous Potawatomi, 
he had come to this conclusion when Stillman's 
Battalion precipitated the war (black HAWlC, 
132-33, 139-41, 146; Owen to Reynolds, May 12). 

5 The word "war" is omitted in the original. 

Apnl 16, 18S2 263 

John Reynolds to Henry Atkinson 

State of Illinois Belleville 16th. April 1832 

Dear Sir I had the honor yesterday of receiving your letter, dated Fort 
Armstrong 13th. April inst. and the accompanying documents, all shewing 
the necessity of energetic movements to protect the frontier settlements. I 
am happy to have the honor of your cooperation in the defence of our 

And in order to effect this object I have ordered Genl. Stillman^ of the 
militia to organise four companies of mounted men of fifty each.^ And for 
him to command them as Major. This Battalion is ordered to range on the 
frontier under Major Stillman's command from the Missisippi eastward. 
The major will report so soon as his corps is organised. 

In order to be ready for war or peace, I have judged it proper to call out 
about twelve hundred of the militia, who will be mounted and will rendez- 
vous at Beardstown on the Illinois River on the 22nd. inst. I consider it 
necessary for me to be there on that day to cause the detachment to be or- 
ganised. I am satisified; that the good of our country requires this move- 
ment of the militia in order, if necessary to be ready to deal out distruction 
to the hostile Indians in defending our border.^ 

Beardstown is a central point, and Should the Indians commence hostili- 
ties on our frontiers, from this place, the militia can be marched in a few 
days to the scene of action. Should the militia not be wanted, it will not 
be difficult to return home from this point. 

Thus you see my preparatory movements, and you see likewise the neces- 
sity for me to be informed of your views on the subject. And the movement 
of the Indians at the time we will meet at Beardstown. Therefore I hope, 
I may have the honor of a personal interview with you, or a communica- 
tion from you on the subject. 

It may be necessaiy to inform you, if the mounted men are marched to 
Rock Island, they will need rations for themselves and corn for their horses. 
Rations and horse food will be required at Beardstown; but as I presume 
the U.S. can not furnish it with the speed necessary, I will procure it myself. 

With esteem and respect I am Your obt. Servt. 
John Reynolds Gov. of 111. 

Genl. Atkinson of the U.S. Army 

ALS, IHi: BHW. This letter has no outside general of the 5th Brigade, 1st Division, on Oct. 

address but may have been folded inside the 15, 1831 (letter to Reynolds, Jan. 4, 1832, I-A: 

second letter to Atkinson of this date, which Gov. Corr., Jan.-June 1832) . but his commission 

was addressed and sealed. A copy of the first was not actually issued until Jan. 10, 1833 (I-A: 

letter is in the Reynolds LB, p. 68 (IHi: BHW). Exec. Rec., II: 14). Earlier he had been colonel 

1 Isaiah Stillman (1792-1861) was born in of the 32d (Fulton County) Regiment (ibid.. I: 

Massachusetts and came to Sangamon County, 331). On his BHW service, see Index references 

Illinois, in 1824. Six years later he moved to under his name. Fulton County (1879), 289-94; 

Fulton County, where he became a merchant at Fulton County (1908), II: 673; Peoria County 

Canton. He was county treasurer in 1831 and (1902), II: 207. 

surveyor, 1847-1849. He was elected brigadier 2 His battalion consisted of companies com- 

264 The Black Hawk War 

manded by Capts. Asel F. Ball, David W. Barnes, April 24 that Reynolds had called out troops; 

and Abner Eads. BHW, I: 190-200. see Atkinson's several letters of April 25. 
3 Atkinson did not learn until the night of 

John Reynolds to Henry Atkinson 

Illinois 16th. April 1832 

Dear Sir Since I had the honor to address you in my first letter, I have 
ordered 3000 bushels corn, 1000 lbs. powder, 4000 lbs. lead, 100 barrels flour 
100 barrels pork or beef, and 6000 flints to be furnished on the 22nd. inst. 
at Beardstown on the Illinois River for the use of the militia. This will sup- 
ply the troops for eight or ten days. With this supply we can cross the 
country to Rock River: but should that movement become necessary, fur- 
ther supplies of corn and provision for the troops will be necessary. I would 
now order them up the Missisippi If I were certain, that it would be neces- 
sary to visit the Indians in the swamps of Rock River. Of this you will 
judge, and should it become necessary to march to Rock River, you will of 
course have the necessary supplies furnished. 

With sincere respect I am your Obt. Servt. John Reynolds 

Genl. H. Atkinson 

ALS, IHi: BHW. Sealed and addressed: "General H. Atkinson Rock Island III." 


John Reynolds to the Militia of the Northwestern Section 
of the State 

[April 16(?), 1832] 

Fellow-Citizens: — Your country requires your services. The Indians 
have assumed a hostile attitude, and have invaded the State, in violation of 
the Treaty of last summer. The British band of Sacs and other hostile In- 
dians, headed by the Black Hawk, are in possession of the Rock River 
country, to the great terror of the frontier inhabitants. I consider the set- 
tlers on the frontier in imminent danger. 

I am in possession of the above infonnation, from gentlemen of respect- 
able standing, and from Gen. Atkinson, whose character stands so high in 
all classes. . . } 

In possession of the foregoing facts and information, I hesitated not as to 
the course I should pursue. No citizen ought to remain quiet when his coun- 
try is invaded, and the helpless part of community is in danger. 

I have called out a strong detachment of the Militia, to rendezvous at 
Bairdstown, on the 22d inst. Provisions for the men, and com for the horses 
will be furnished in abundance. 

April 16, 1832 


I hope my countiymen will realize my expectations, and offer their serv- 
ices as heretofore, with promptitude and cheerfulness, in defence of their 

John Reynolds, Commander in Chief. 

April 18,2 1832. 

Illinois Advocate [Edwardsville], April 20, 1832. 
The same proclamation, but dated April 17, was 
published in the Sangamo Journal [Springfield, 
111.], April 26. At least two secondary sources 
date the proclamation April 16, which is probably 
correct since the individual calls went out on 
the 16th. See stevens, 113; Rock Island County 

(1908), 42; and the orders that follow. 

1 Here follow extracts of Atkinson to Reynolds, 
Hughes to Atkinson, and Davenport to Atkinson, 
all of April 13. 

2 See the source note for the date of this 

John Reynolds: Orders 

[Belleville, Illinois, April 16, 1832] 
General Orders. 

To Col. Buckmaster: — • You are hereby commanded to cause your Regi- 
ment of Militia ^ to convene at some central point in the Regiment, and if 
one hundred men will not volunteer to be mounted, you will draft that num- 
ber; said militia will be formed into companies of fifty each and to elect 
their own officers— to meet without fail at Beardstown, on the 22d inst. to 
repel an invasion of the Indians. 

John Reynolds, Com. in Chief. 

April 16, 1832 

Illinois Advocate [Edwardsville], April 20, 1832. 
1 The 8th, or one of the regiments in Madison 

County; see Buckmaster's order of the 16th, 
which follows. 

Nathaniel Buckmaster: Orders 

[Edwardsville, Illinois, April 16, 1832] 
Regimental Orders. 

Majors Jacob Kile and Beniah Robison, and Capts. Erastus Wheeler, 
James Sackett, Alexander Shields, Lewis W. Scanland, Archibald Hoxey, 
Wesley Dugger, Caleb B. Gonteraian and Julius L. Bamsback;^ you are 
hereby commanded to cause your respective Commands to meet in the town 
of Troy, at 10 o'clock A.M. on on^ the 18th day of April, 1832, for the pur- 
pose of raising One Hundred mounted men, armed and equiped as the law 
directs; and in case the number of Volunteers required is not raised, there 
will be a draft at the same time and place, to fill the requisition, to meet 
at Bairdstown, on the 22d inst., armed and equiped as the law directs, to 
repel an invasion of the Indians — and this you will in no case omit. 

Given under my hand at Edwardsville, this 16th day of April, 1832. 
Nat: Buckmaster. Col. of 8th Regt. 1st Brig. 1st Div. Illinois Militia. 


The Black Hawk War 

Illinois Advocate [Edwardsville], April 20, 1832. 
1 Of these officers, only four were in the 
volunteers as reorganized for active duty in the 
BHW. They were Erastus Wheeler and Julius 
Barnsback, both captains in the 1st Regiment 
of Whiteside's Brigade; Lewis Scanland (or 

Scandland), a private in Barnsback's company; 
and Alexander Shields, a private in Wheeler's 

2 "On" appears both at the end of one line 
and the beginning of the next. 

John Reynolds: Orders 

[Belleville, Illinois, April 16, 1832] 

To Col. Miller,^ commanding the 1st Regt of Illinois Militia, You are 
hereby commanded to convene your Regt in Belleville on the 18th inst, and 
if one hundred men, mounted and armed do not volunteer, to meet at 
Beairdstown, on the 22d inst, then you are commanded to draft that num- 
ber of men to meet as aforesaid. 

You will cause elections to be held for the officers of two companies, com- 
posed of fifty men each. 

John Reynolds Com in Chief 111. Militia 

April 16th 1832. 

Reynolds LB, p. 69, IHi: BHW. 

1 Solomon Miller (1796-1854), a native of 
Virginia, was an early settler of St. Clair County, 
Illinois. He was commissioned colonel of the 1st 
Regiment of Illinois Militia on April 7, 1831. 
Later that year he was captain of a volunteer 
company in Maj. Nathaniel Buckmaster's Odd 
Battalion, and in 1832 he was captain of an odd 

company that served on ranging duty in Bureau 
and Putnam counties in late June and early 
July. St. Clair County (1880), 72; I-A: Exec. 
Rec, I: 276, 289; L. C. Borrman to Frank E. 
Stevens, Nov. 25, 1901, IHi: Stevens Collection; 
STEVENS, 94, 159; Reynolds to Wright. Feb. 9, 

John Reynolds: Orders 

[Belleville, Illinois, April 16, 1832] 

To General T. M. Neale. You are hereby commanded to cause six hundred 
men of your brigade,^ to meet at Beardstown on the 22d instant, without 
fail. I have ordered the Colonels of your brigade to furnish their propor- 
tions of men out of their respective regiments, for fear you might not be 
at home. 

You will call on the militia nearest the rendezvous. Each company to be 
composed of fifty men, and to elect its own officers. Mounted volunteers 
are preferred. If none such will offer their services, then you are to draft; 
which I hope will not be the case. 

John Reynolds, Commander-in-Chief. 

16th April, 1832. 

Sangamo Journal [Springfield, 111.], April 19, 
1832. The editor reported that Neale had re- 
ceived Reynolds's order "last evening" by express. 
1 This was the 4th Brigade of the 1st Division 
of the Regular Militia (I-A: Exec. Rec., I: 341). 

When the volunteer force was organized at 
Beardstown, Neale was a private in Goodan's 
company, but at the time of the muster-out, he 
was sick and absent by leave. 

April 16, 1832 267 

John Reynolds: Orders 


To General Stillman of the Illinois Militia You are hereby commanded 
to cause to be organized in your Brigade one thousand mounted men by 
voluntary enlistment, which the commander in chief hopes will be preferred 
by the militia — if not, then by draft to be ready to march on receiving 
further orders from me.^ 

John Reynolds — Commander in Chief 

16th. April 1832 

Reynolds Order and LB, p. 10, IHi: BHW. Division. See also the order that follows. 

1 Stillman's brigade was the 4th of the 1st 

John Reynolds: Orders 


To General Stillman of the Illinois Militia. I do hereby command you to 
cause to be organised four companies of militia residing north of the Illinois 
River, to be composed of fifty men each, and for each company to elect its 
own officers — and you are commanded to take command of the said of the 
said^ four companies composing a Battalion,- and to range on the frontier 
of the state from the Mississippi eastward so as to protect the frontier set- 
tlement from Indian Depredations and report to me as soon as you organize 
your Battallion. 

16 April 1832 

John Reynolds Commander in Chief 

Reynolds Order and LB, p. 10. IHi: BHW. companies (BHW, I: 190-200) . On the difficulties 

1 The copyist repeated the phrase in the middle in raising troops, see Taylor to Reynolds, April 
of a line. 25 and 30; Stillman to Foster, April 29. 

2 The battalion as organized had only three 

Isaiah Stillman to John Reynolds 

Receipt from Gen. Stillman to Gov. Reynolds 

Reed of John Reynolds Gov. one hundred muskets and bayonets for the 
use of the mounted militia north of the Illinois and which I am responsible 
for the safe return at the end of the present Indian disturbance 

16 April 18321 I. Stillman (Seal)^ Brig. G. 5th Brig 1st D. 111. Mi 


Reynolds Order and LB, p. 11, IHi: BHW. Louis, for Stillman, in his letter of May 4 to 

1 Reynolds's letters of April 16 to Atkinson and Reynolds, mentions having been with the 

April 17 to Cass were dated Belleville; but it Governor in St. Louis. 

seems likely that this receipt and Reynolds's two 2 The word "seal" was written in and en- 
April 16 orders to Stillman were written at St. circled. 

268 The Black Hawk War 

Joseph M. Street to Henry Atkinson 

US. Ind. Ageny at Prairie du Chien 16 April 1832. 

Sir, I have this moment reed, your letter of this date, and shall give im- 
mediate attention to the subjects to which you have called my attention. 

No effort of mine will be wanting to prevent any movement on the part 
of the Menominees, who I feel assured will rest satisfied a reasonable time 
upon the renewed assureances, which you authorised me to make of the 
intended interfereanc of the U.S. in obtaining redress from the Sacs & 
Foxes for the murders of Prairie du Chien last Summer. 

I feel it an incumbent duty, while communicating Indian-intelligence to 
you, to apprise you of what I have said to the Sup. Ind. Affs.^ in relation to 
the intended Survay of the Country West of the Mississippi purchased of 
the Sacs & Foxes & the Sioux. I have communicated to him my apprehension 
that, it would be unsafe to take Indians of the two belligerent nations on 
the line without an accompanying imposing military force. And if the In- 
dians brought up by Genl. Hughes are taken on the rout, under existing 
circumstancs I shall not be surprised to learn that they are slain — , not by 
Sioux who will accompany the Survayors,^ but as Indians say "bad young 
men" of the Nation. I do not apprehend any danger to the persons of white- 
men; but I deem the Indians verry insecure. 

I have the honor to be, Respectfully Sir Your most obt. St. 
Jos. M. Street U.S. Ind. Agent. 

Genl. H. Atkinson Condg. West deptmt. US. Army.^ 

Please excu haste. 

ALS, IHi: BHW. 3 Atkinson was commander of the Right Wing. 

1 William Clark. Western Department; Edmund P. Gaines was 

2 See n. 5, Hughes to Clark, March 13, about department commander, 
the arrangements for the surveying parties. 

Henry Atkinson to the Commanding Officer at Galena 

Head Qrs Right Wing AVest Dept Steam Boat Enterprise April 17th. 1832 

Sir Should the movements of the Sacs on Rock River, become more 
threatening you are authorised to call on the Commdg Officer at Prairie du 
Chien Fort Crawford for amis, for the efficient men of your command, that 
are without arms and this note will be his warrant for their issue. 

Genl. Atkinson to the Commdg Officer of the militia of Galena. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. and Stephenson's response of April 26 to this 

James M. Strode was commanding officer of the Atkinson letter. William Campbell was later 

27th (Jo Daviess) Regiment, Illinois Militia. At elected lieutenant colonel of the Jo Daviess 

this time, however, he was out on circuit, leaving County Volunteers, and Stephenson served as a 

James W. Stephenson the ranking officer; see staff officer of Henry Dodge's Iowa County 

Young, Mills, and Strode to Reynolds, April 20, Regiment of Michigan Volunteers. 

April 17, 


Henderson Grove Settlers to the Commanding Officer 
at Fort Armstrong 

Henderson Grove Settlement Knox County Illinois [ca. April 17/ 1832] 
To the Commanding officers at Fort Armstrong 

Gentlemen We the undersigned settlers of this place Represent to your 
Honers that from the situation of our settlement as it respects arms and 
amunition that we are in a critical situation and unless you can assist us 
with both there is no Doubt but the settlement will break up for there is 
not more than one fifth of the Inhabitants Have arms 

Therefore if you can assist us consistantly you will confer a favor on 
us more than you can suppose we would say one hundred and fifty Guns 
would arm us tolerable well if those arms could be sent to the lower yellow 
banks and and Directed to Capt. James Ferguson - we will get them with 
out Doubt and we will ever pray 

William McMurtry 
Alexander Frakes 
Solomon Denbow 
Peter Peckenpaugh 
Jonathan Rice 
Nicholas Rice 
Robert Greenwell 
Riggs Penington 
Wesley Penington 
Stephen Penington 
Simion Penington 
William Coudra 
James McMurtry, Senr. 
James Ferguson 
F. R. Freeman 
John Robertson 
Elhanen Robertson 
Elbert Robertson 
John McAdams 
Daniel Robertson 
Alexander Robertson 
Corban Penington 
John McGehe 
Thomas Maxwell 
Wilson Brown 
George Brown 
James Brown 
John Miles 
John McMurtry 
Alexander Williams 
John Peckenpaugh 

Joseph Rowe 

James McMurtry, Senr. 

Edmund Adcock 

F. V. Barber 

Edward Martin 

John Adams 

Jonathan C. Rue [Rese, Rew?] 

Henry Bell 

Nicholas Voiles 

Cranden Smith 

John Norton 

Jacob Gum 

John Gum 

James Gum 

Jessee Gum 

Peter Bell 

Charles Hans [ford] 


The Black Hawk War 

Jacob Peckenpaugh 
Henry Peckenpaugh 
Alfred Brown 
Benjamin Brown 
Joshua Brown 
Urban Coy 
Urban Reynolds 
Daniel Tanner 

RC, IHi: BHW; the document and all of the 
signatures are in the same handwriting. Part of 
the filing note is missing; the legible portion 
reads: "[Sun]dry persons to the comdg offs at 
Fort Armstrong Aprl. 1832 Thomas McKee Junr. 
(Pennington Settlement) (Hendersontown Knox 

1 The date is supplied from Atkinson's letter 
to Macomb, April 18. On that day a deputation 
from the Henderson Grove settlement was at 
Fort Armstrong, with an appeal for arms — 
presumably this document. 

2 Ferguson was called captain because of his 
service in 1831. He had come from Barren 
County, Kentucky, to Knox County, Illinois, in 

1830. He was an early member of the county 
commissioners' court and the first justice of the 
peace in Orange Township. He died in 1841. 
Ferguson served in 1832 as a private in Capt. 
William McMurtry's company in Bogart's Odd 
Battalion. The following January he was com- 
missioned major of the Knox County Odd Bat- 
talion of Illinois Militia (I-A: Exec. Rec, II: 14). 
A James Ferguson, perhaps this man, served in 
Roach's artillery in the War of 1812 and accepted 
his own land grant in the Military Tract (26th 
Cong., 1st Sess., S. Doc. S62, 347). See also Knox 
County (1878), 461, 486: Knox County (1899), 
907, 912; copies of 1812 service records for 
Ferguson in IHI. 

John ReynolcJs to Lewis Cass 

State of Illinois Belleville April 17, 1832 
The Hon. The Secy of War, Of the United States 

Sir. The State is again invaded by the hostile Indians and the country 
is in imminent danger. This is made manifest to me by Official Communica- 
tions a part of which I herwith transmit to you, and by other information. 
The regular troops under the command of an excellent officer of the U. 
States Army Gen. Atkinson, is too small to pursure the Indians as you see 
in his letter to me ^ and the frontier in great danger. 

In this situation I hesitated not a moment. I have called out a strong 
detachment of the militia to rendezvous near the frontier on the 22nd. inst. 
Beardstown on the Illinois River is the place of Rendezvous, this is within 
three or four days march of the enemy, and is a place where supplies can 
be furnished by water. While the militia is organizing, I will I hope to ^ see 
Gen. Atkinson and know the precise situation and intentions of the Indians 

I am satisfied the country requires this movement and I hope the Militia 
will not be ordered home before these Indians are chastised 

I will march with the militia and go all lengths within my constitutional 
authority and the laws of the land to protect the frontier by chastising 
these insolent and restless indians. 

With sincere Respect I am Your obt Servant John Reynolds. 

Reynolds LB, pp. 56-57, IHi: BHW. Another 2 Apparently the copyist forgot that he had 

copy is in the Reynolds Order and LB, p. 9. written "I will" at the end of one line, for the 

1 Of April 13. "to" was inserted on the next line after "I hope." 

April 18, 1832 271 

Henry Atkinson to Edmund P. Gaines 

Head Quarters Right Wing West Depart: Fort Armstrong 

18th. April 1832. 

General I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of a letter to Major 
General Macomb of the 13th. Inst, and copies of several communications 
that accompanied it. They contain all the information that I had acquired 
up to that date relative to the movement of Black Hawk, and his asso- 
ciates. I was so much pressed at the moment for time, I could not then 
communicate both with you, and the Dept. of War. I however, informed 
Governor Reynolds of the posture of affairs. 

On the 14th. I proceeded for Fort Crawford and reached that point on 
the night of the 15th. for the purpose of ordering the necessaiy measures to 
be taken to prevent the Sioux and Menominies from moving against the 
Sacs and Foxes residing on the west side of the Mississippi. On the 17th. 
I returned to Galena to confer with the authorities of that place, and with 
Genl Dodge of the mineral district towards Ouisconsin river, all of whom I 
met, & made such arrangements, or rather concert as will place the in- 
habitants in a state of security as far as practicable. 

Early this morning I got back to this place. The unfriendly Sacs & their 
associates had passed up on the east side of Rock river. Their rear was 
twelve miles above this point the day before yesterday, they are all prob- 
ably before this time at the Prophet's Village. 

They have as yet committed no act of hostility, but their whole conduct 
indicates a detemiination to resist any attempt that may be made, to drive 
them back to the West of the Mississippi — and it is thought by some per- 
sons here whose opinions, and acquaintance with the Indians should have 
weight, that they will strike as soon as they secure their women & children 
in the swamps, I am rather of the opinion however, that they will not, until 
an attempt is made to coerce them; still the probabilities are against this 
opinion. Within three or four days I shall obtain positive information as 
to their location and probably their intentions. I have persons employed, 
on whom I can depend to visit the country and collect information, all of 
which shall be promptly communicated. 

If the unfriendly Indians and their associates remain quiet, or more 
properly speaking do not commence further hostility than the mere act of 
invading the Country, I presume you will wait till advices are received from 
the Government before you take, or order measures for their removal. 
Should this possible case of quiet take place, I shall in the course of a week 
or ten days return to St Louis, to more readily correspond with you and 
receive your instructions. 

I have made myself acquainted, pretty well, with the Rock river country, 
and the roads intersecting it. I have come to the conclusion that the proper 
course to pursue with regard to operating against the hostile party, will 
be to move from Galena, with a strong body of regular troops, with three 
or four pieces of field Artillery over a good Waggon road to Dixon's ferry 

272 The Black Hawk War 

on Rock river, and take a position there. We should gain possession of the 
heart of the Country occupied by the enemy, and secure a communication 
with our Depot at Galena, and with the interior of Illinois. 

There is a good road from Dixon's to Fort Clark,^ the distance a hundred 
miles. By this route the necessary militia force should move, and join the 
regulars where they would find an ample depot of arms, ammunition and 
provisions, and whence demonstrations could be easily made against the 
enemy. It will be necessary to organize a force to act against at least a 
thousand desperate Indians, and should the Winnebagoes and Pottawat- 
tamies join, a much larger number. Three thousand militia, and the regular 
troops would not be too many to act with certainty, promptitude and suc- 

The inhabitants of this neighbourhood have brought their families to the 
Fort for security; and I fear the frontier generally will suffer greatly, as 
the inhabitants will either fall back or fortify. I have ordered a hundred 
& fifty stand of anns to be distributed to the settlement below this, and 
I shall send some two hundred more to Galena. 

I have already sent below for a supply of provisions, and shall take fur- 
ther steps to have an ample quantity brought up, as well as a further sup- 
ply of arms and ammunition. 

Genl. Atkinson to Major Genl. Gaines. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. Enclosures in original: Crane's 16 miles 

Atkinson to Macomb, April 13, with accompany- Col. Mitchell's 12 miles 

ing letters, also of April 13. Flaca's [Flack's] 7 miles 

1 Peoria. According to a story In the June 28, Winters' on Apple River 5 miles 

1832, Sanganio Journal [Springfield, 111.], re- Galena 14 miles 

printed from the Rock Spring Pioneer, the 156 miles 

distance from Peoria to Dixon was 90 miles and No contemporary maps in IHi show precisely this 

from Peoria to Galena, 156 miles: route, but the road was constantly changing. 

From Peoria to Boyd's Most of the stage stops mentioned here are 

on Crow Creek— 38 miles; onto discussed elsewhere in the notes; see the Index. 

Dixon's 52 miles Other stage stops are discussed in Horn to 

Kellogg's stage house 12 miles Reynolds, May 22. 

Henry Atkinson to Reuben Holmes 

Head Quarters Right Wing West Dept. Fort Armstrong 

18th. April 1832. 

Sir The posture of affairs in this quarter, renders it probable that the 
troops will be necessarily detained hereabouts for several months, and that 
an auxiliary force to some extent will be required. It is therefore necessary 
to have a corresponding supply of provisions procured and sent up for de- 
posit. Lieut Eaton has been directed to bring up 200 barrels of flour and 
100 of pork. In addition to these, send by the Enterprise from 75 to 100 
barrels of pork, and from 100 to 150 barrels of flour, if they can be pro- 

April 18, 1832 273 

cured without paying an extravagant price, in this event, delay the pur- 
chase a week or two, and send up aftei'wards as soon as practicable 

Genl. Atkinson to Lt Holmes A. C. S. at St Louis. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. at the age of thirty-three. CULLUM. Missouri 

Reuben Holmes was a native of Connecticut Historical Society's Glimpses of the Past (Vol. 

and an 1823 graduate of West Point. He was V, Nos. 1 and 3) published a story written by 

assigned to the 6th Infantry and accompanied Holmes about 1828 on Edward Rose, the famous 

Atlcinson's Yellowstone expedition in 1825. Ap- trader. 

pointed 1st lieutenant in 1826, he was placed on Holmes had been absent from Jefferson Bar- 
commissary duty the following year. In the raclcs when Atkinson's command went upriver; 
BHW he held the rank of colonel on the staff of but he reported his arrival in St. Louis in a 
Illinois Volunteers. In March, 1833, he was letter to Atkinson of April 16 (ALS in IHi: 
commissioned captain of the 1st Dragoons but BHW, not printed) . 
died at Jefferson Barracks a few months later 

Henry Atkinson to Alexander Macomb 

Head Qrs Right Wing West: Depart. Fort Armstrong 18th. April 1832. 

General Since writing to you on the 13th. Inst: I have made a visit to 
Fort Crawford, and have adopted such precautionary measures as seemed 
necessary to prevent the Sioux and Menominies from moving against the 
Sacs and Foxes residing on the west side of the Mississippi. I do not appre- 
hend they will attempt the movement by water, nor at this time by land. 
Should any thing be attempted it will amount to nothing more than a small 
party or parties by land, which it would be impossible for us to prevent, 
as the movement would not be known, 'till after the blow was struck. 

On my return to this place this morning, I learn that Black Hawk, and 
his associates have proceeded up Rock river to the Prophet's village. They 
have not as yet committed any act of hostility, further than an invasion 
of the country, and possibly will not, until measures are taken to force 
them back across the Mississippi. It is however the opinion of persons who 
reside here, and whose character entitle their opinions to weight, that they 
will strike upon the frontier as soon as they secure their women and chil- 
dren in the swamps. 

I called at Galena on my return, and had a conference with the authori- 
ties of that place, and with General Dodge from the mineral district to- 
wards the Guisconsin. Precautionaiy measures are being taken by them, 
to secure the frontier of the settlements, against surprise and depredation, 
and I shall send to them, in a day or two, some two hundred stand of arms 
to be distributed in case of necessity. 

A messenger was sent three days ago to Henderson's settlement below 
this to put the people on their guard. We have now a deputation ^ from 
them for arms, and a hundred stand has been delivered, these will enable 
them to arm two hundred men, and they intend to stand upon the de- 

274 The Black Hawk War 

These precautions, and the occupancy of this Post with two hundred & 
fifty men,2 will, it is hoped, hold the hostile Indians in check, till such 
measures may be taken by the authority of the Government, as will purge 
the Country of them. I have ordered up an additional quantity of pro- 
visions, and shall continue the supply till an ample depot is made. Arms 
and Ammunition will also be brought up to meet the portending exigencies. 

From the information I have acquired of the Rock river country, and 
its intersecting roads, I have come to the conclusion, that the proper course 
of operation that should be adopted to punish, and rid the country of the 
hostile Indians, would be to assemble a strong regular force, with a train 
of three or four field pieces at Galena, and move upon the road to Dixon's 
ferry on Rock river, & take a position there, and throw up some Block 
Houses, for the protection of Baggage and stores, and make an ample depot 
of provisions, arms, and ammunition. The route from Galena to this point,^ 
is over a good wagon road of sixty miles, & continus on to Fort Clark on 
the Illinois a hundred miles further. 

This position taken, our communication with Galena could be easily 
maintained, and any mounted force from Illinois, could join the regular 
force there, in three days from Fort Clark, and on its arrival, find an 
ample supply of provisions. This position is in the heart of the country 
occupied by the enemy, from whence demonstrations could be made to any 
point of it with great facility. 

From the number of unfriendly Indians already collected at the Prophet's 
village, with the disaffected that will join, they will number, no doubt, in 
a short time a thousand men, and if joined by the Winnebagoes and Potta- 
wattamies, a much larger number. From this view of the case, I would 
suggest that a mounted force of three thousand men should be called out 
to join the regulars at Dixon's crossing. The advantage of the position, 
with such a force, would no doubt enable an enterprising Officer to punish, 
and rid the country of the invaders in a very short time. 

I have taken such measures as will enable me in a few days to ascer- 
tain the final locaition and views of the hostile party; if, upon the infor- 
mation expected, I can calculate that no hostile movement will immedi- 
ately take place, I purpose returning to St Louis for a short time to be 
more conveniently situated to receive instructions, and to confer with the 
Governor of Illinois. 

I am in hopes that I shall be enabled to obtain a surrender of part of 
the Menominee murderers to day or to morrow. The Chiefs of the friendly 
Sacs and some of the Chiefs of the Foxes have been here since the 12th. 
and those of Morgan's Band are expected today: It is asserted that the 
principal Offenders, are with the hostile Indians. 

Genl. Atkinson to Major Gen: Macomb. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. The LS— RC is File l The deputation consisted of Thomas McKee, 

A64, Roll 66, M567 (DNA: RG 94, AGO). The James McMurtry, and Fauntleroy Freeman, ac- 

RC has the following ANS: "Submitted im- cording to Knox County (1878), 151. See the 

mediately — R. Jones May 4th." petition they delivered, dated ca. April 17. 

April 18, 1832 275 

2 The garrison of Fort Armstrong, in addition 3 That is, Dixon. On the Peoria-Galena Road, 

to the 220 men who came upriver with Atkinson see Atkinson to Gaines, April 18, n. 2. 
from Jefferson Barracks. 

Henry Atkinson to John Reynolds 

Head Qrs Right Wing West: Depart Fort Armstrong 18th. April 1832 

Dear Sir I returned this morning from Prairie du Chien, whither I had 
been to arrange some matters connected with the duty assigned to me by 
the General in Chief. 

I called at Galena and had a consultation with the inhabitants, and with 
Genl. Dodge in the district beyond that place. No alami seems to be felt 
among the inhabitants as yet, but precautionary measures are being taken 
to guard against surprise. They want arms, and I shall send them two 
hundred stand in a day or two. I sent a messenger to the Henderson settle- 
ment below, and a deputation from the inhabitants have come up for arms 
and ammunition, a hundred stand has been furnished with powder and ball, 
they intend to maintain their ground on the defensive. 

The hostile Indians have gone up to the Prophet's village and have, as 
yet, refrained from any acts of hostility further than invading the country. 
They are so decidedly hostile, that nothing short of punishment will bring 
them to a proper sense of their misconduct. 

I can hardly advise you whether to do more at present than to put some 
companies of Rangers on the frontier.^ In a day or two things will be 
sufficiently developed to form an opini[o]n- and I will apprise you ac- 

Gen: Atkinson to Governor Reynolds. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. Another copy is in 16 and his letter to Cass of April 17. 

the Reynolds LB, pp. 65-66, IHi: BHW. 2 The word is at the end of the line, and the 

1 Reynolds had not waited for either advice or "o" seems to have been dropped as a kind of 

orders but on his own had called out a volunteer shorthand. 
force. See his various letters and orders of April 

Henry Atkinson: Orders 

Head Qrs. Right Wing West. Dept. Rock Island 18th. April 1832 
Spl. Order No. 6 

Lt. Wheelright 1st. Artillery will proceed to St. Louis (Mo.) in the Steam 
Boat Enterprise, and having transacted business there connected with the 
Ordnance Service agreeably to instructions received from Brig. Genl. Atkin- 
son will return to this Post. 

By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson 

(Signed) A. S. Johnston Lt & A. A. Adjt. Genl. 

Atkinson Order Book. IHi: BHW. 

276 The Black Hawk War 

Thomas M. Neale to John Reynolds 

Springfield April 18th 1832 

Dr Sir I received your orders ^ on yesterday about 4 oclock P M and 
despached them forthwith to the three Cols of this County^ to the others 
I shall send them by express or otherwise in the morning You have omitted 
in the call to mention the length of time you wish them for the time of 
Rendezvous is impossible for the troops from Shelby, Macon, Tazewell, & 
McLean Counties as they cannot receive the orders before the 20ih.^ I 
have made the call for 350 from this County I fear a draft will have to 
be made ^ there is no grain to feed on & horses are unusually poor I hope 
however for the best result I apprehend the time for rendezvous was fixed 
on by you at so early a day for the purpose [of] ^ expediting our move- 
ments I am glad to learn that you will be with us again 

If an arrangement could be made to let the men from Macon McLean 
& Tazewell Counties join you at Gums Fort on Henderson it would save 
them of a ride of more than one hundred miles & greatly facilitate the 
movements of both bodies men I suggest this to call your attention to 
the propriety of a division of the troop untill you arrive near the scene 
of action If you direct I will take it upon myself to have those men con- 
ducted to the point proposed on any given time if possible 

I am Sir Respectfully Your &c 
T M Neale Brigd Genl 4th Brigde 1st D. I.M 

ALS, IHi: Riissell Family Papers, Box 1, Folder from Rushville of June 20, 1831). The editors 

15. Addressed: "His Excellency John Keynolds of the Sangamo Journal complained, in the April 

Jacksonville Ills." 26, 1832, issue, "Our citizens cannot leave their 

1 Of April 16. farms at this time without a great — a very great 

2 The three Sangamon County regiments were sacrifice. The militia of Illinois are not usually 
the 20th, 25th, and 31st, commanded, respectively, backward when their country calls for their serv- 
by James Collins, William F. Elkin, and Moses ices. Yet such was the pressure of the claims of 
K. Anderson (I-A: Exec. Rec, I: 352; Elkin to their families upon the militia, that in many cases 
Edwards, July 20, 1827, in I-A: Gov. Corr., Vol. drafts have been compelled to be resorted to in 
2, letter 742, and 25th Regiment Record Book in order to obtain the necessary quotas of men. 
IHi; I-A: AGO, Militia Commission Records, Two full companies volunteered from the 20th 
1830-1848, p. 7). regt. which mustered here on Saturday — one of 

3 Putnam County was also in the 4th Brigade; horse, and the other of foot. We understand that 
see BHW, I: 491. drafts were made from the other regiments of 

4 Sangamon County had more difficulty in the county. The troops from this county left 
raising volunteers for this campaign than for here on yesterday and to-day, for Beardstown." 
that of 1831, when the call came after the 5 Word supplied by editor. 

corn-planting season (see the anonymous report 

John Reynolds to Lewis Cass 

State of Illinois Alton 18th. April 1832. 
To the Hon. the Secy of War of the United States 

Sir, I consider it my duty to inform the Department of War, that I have 
ordered some supplies for the Militia & tiieir horses to be furnished at 

April 18, 1832 277 

Beardstown on the Illinois River, and that much more will be needed no 
doubt, before this expedition against the Hostile Indians is ended. I will 
likewise inform you that provisions in this country are extremely scarce 
and almost impossible to be had at any price and at this season of the 
year corn must be had for the horses. 

In order that the general government may not be more harrassed than 
neccessary I would recommend the deposit of some amount of money (per- 
haps fifteen thousand dollars will do^ to be made in the Bank at Saint 
Louis to be drawn by the proper officer of the United States for the pay- 
ment of the supplies and such others as may be purchased, this will save 
the government much money 

I have the honor to be Your obt servt John Reynolds Gov. 

Reynolds Order and LB, p. 1, IHi : BHW. 1 There is no closing parenthesis. 

Felix St. Vrain to William Clark 

Rock Island Ind. Agency Apl. 18 1832 
Genl. Wm. Clark Supt. Ind. affairs St Louis 

Sir I was somewhat in a hurry when I wrote you my last of the 14th 
inst.,^ but knowing it would be some satisfaction to you, to have an im- 
perfect idea of the movements of the Indians, that I sent it in that state; 
since that time, I have got news, almost dayly, that the unfriendly band 
of Sac Indians were constantly recruting their forces, and that they were 
determined to make a stand; I state this, more possitively, because Apenose 
a Fox brave and Francois Labusier- went to Rock River on the 16th inst.^ 
by request of Keokuck, Wapala &c. to persuade some of their relations to 
return and be at peace, but the Messengers were received with suspision, 
and even threatened to be punished for their audacity, a Potowatomie 
knocked Labusier's hat off, and said that he (Labusier) came there to tell 
lies, that he (the Potowatomie) had seen and heard from several nations, 
who were ready to aid the Sacs in their undertaking; one of the Manom- 
menie Murderers, brandished a Lance, saying that it had only served to 
kill some of the Manommenies at Prairie du Chien, but he hoped to brake, 
or wear it out on the Americans. The Black Hawk said he would be pre- 
paired to die in twenty days; Every thing goes to show that they are de- 
termined, for war against the United States, those who have seen them, say 
that there are at least six hundred warriors, among which are Kikapoos, 
Potowatomies, Winebagoes &c.; Those, joined to the Proffet's band (who 
has no doubt been recruting his forces) will make a formadable resistance. 

The arrival of the Troops seems to have considerable affect on the 
friendly Indians, but it appears, that nothing short of force of Arms, will 
deter the British band from their purpose. It is not for the want of an in- 
vitation, that they did not come to the Council with the friendly bands; 

278 The Black Hawk War 

for I repeatedly sent them word, to come up, but they said that I, nor 
no any^ person else on the Island was their friend. 

By a letter from Genl. Street U.S. Ind. Agent, of the 11th inst. he in- 
fomis me that a War Party of Winnebagoes had left the Prairie on the 8th 
inst. destined against the Sac & Foxes, but he immediately dispatched an 
express, who stoped them about Dubuque's Mines, the Party of Winne- 
bagoes consisted of about fifteen. 

I have the honor to be. Your Obt Servt. Felix St Vrain Ind Agt. 

ALS, DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed., Rock Island. for the American Fur Company at Keokuk, Iowa, 

Addressed: "Genl Wm. Clark Supt. Ind. Affairs and in 1833 he interpreted for the U.S. Dragoons. 

St Louis." Enclosed in: Clark to Cass, April 20. He died in the early 1840's and was buried at 

A copy of this letter, in IHi: BHW, was enclosed Keokuk, (fulton, 246, 361; kappler, II: 473, 

in Clark to Reynolds, April 20. Another copy is 475, 477, 478; loiva Journal of History and 

in the Reynolds Order and LB, pp. 7-8, IHi: Politics. VII: 366, 367. 377, XII: 536, 547. XIV: 

BHW. 344, 483, 497, 530.) Joseph Labusciere, or 

1 Not located. Clark wrote Reynolds on April Labuxiere, of St. Louis, Cahokia. and Kaskaskia, 
20, q.v., that St. Vrain's April 14 letter con- had a son named Francois who lived about the 
tained "nothing of importance." same time, but no evidence has been found to 

2 Francois Labussier, Labusier, or Labashure, prove that Joseph's son was the interpreter- 
was a French-Sauk half-breed who had been trader; see houck. 18n-19n, and lUinoia His- 
educated at Catholic schools in St. Louis. Later torical Collections, II: 625. 

he lived among the Sauk and Fox Indians and 3 They went on the 15th, and returned on the 

acted as interpreter for Keokuk. In 1826 he was 16th, according to St. Vrain's Journal, q.v. 

trading at the Dirt Lodge (at the Raccoon Forks ■^ "Any" was inserted above the line, but St. 

of the Des Moines River) in competition with Vrain forgot to strike the "no." 
Russel Farnham. In 1830 he was an interpreter 

Henry Atkinson to Alexander Macomb 

Head Quarters Right Wing West: Dept. Fort Armstrong 

19th. April 1832. 

General I have the honor to inform you that the Chiefs of the friendly 
Sacs and Foxes, with whom I have been in Council for several days, have 
this morning after urgently pressing upon them the necessity of a compli- 
ance, surrendered up three of the principal men, under their influence who 
were concerned in the attack and massacre of the Menominies last summer 
at Prairie du Chien. They allege an inability of giving up a greater number 
of any note implicated in the affair as the other principal persons who 
were concerned have gone off with the hostile Indians to Rock river. I am 
disposed to be content with what has been done, as the men delivered up, 
are of rank, and connexions & descendants of the Fox Chiefs murdered by 
the Menominies in 1829: ^ I might, probably, have obtained the surrender 
of one or two more, of less note, by a further course of perseverance, but 
I consider men of this character of but little consequence, and that the num- 
ber and weight of character of those given up is under the existing state 
of things, suflEicient for all the purposes of maintaining principle in the case, 
and of example, particularly as those equally implicated in the commis- 
sion of the offence, who have joined the hostile band of Sacs, and their 

April 19, 1832 279 

associates should be held equally accountable, and a persevering course pur- 
sued till they are brought to justice. Moreover the conduct of the friendly 
chiefs, Wapella, Stabbing Chief, & Keokuck has been so decidedly earnest, 
and persevering to obey the orders of the Government in bringing the mat- 
ter to a satisfactory conclusion. I have felt it but just not to press them 
beyond their ability to comply, as a contrary course might tend to drive 
to the enemy a still greater number of their young men. Under the present 
arrangement it is probable, the Bands now on the west side of the river 
may remain quiet and friendly, even whilst measures are in operation to 
coerce the combination of Outlaws and invaders. 

It is not understood that the unfriendly Indians have as yet made any 
direct hostile movement upon the white settlements. I shall keep a strict 
eye upon them until orders are received as to the course to be taken in re- 
lation to the attitude they have assumed, or until they make a stroke. I 
shall be enabled in a day or two, I presume, to give you information of a 
more decided character. 

General Atkinson to Major Gen: Macomb. 

Atkinson LB, IHi: BHW. The ALS— RC is File adjt. Genl. U.S. army Washington City." It has 

A67, Roll 66, M567 (DNA: RG 94, AGO). It the file date May 7 and the AES, "Submitted 

bears Atkinson's handwritten postmark, "On R[oger] J [ones]." It is also endorsed, "Ansd. 

public Service H. Atkinson Br. Genl. U.S. ay by the Genl. in Chief 9 May 1832." 

Steam Boat free," as well as a stamped post- 1 This is a reference to the attack on Peah- 

mark, of which "St. Louis" and "Apr 24" are muska's party in 1830, not 1829. See Davenport's 

legible. The outside address, also in Atkinson's letter that follows, 
hand, is not to Macomb but "To/ Col. R. Jones 

George Davenport to the Editors of the Missouri Republican 

Rock Island, Illinois, April 19, 1832. 

To the Editors of the Missouri Republican: A statement of the origin of 
the difficulties between the Sac and Fox Indians, and the Menominees, may 
not be uninteresting at the present time. 

Two young men of the Fox nation killed a Menominee near Prairie du 
Cheins. Information thereof being bro't to the Fox chief, he was so much 
incensed that he declared he would put those young men to death for their 
crime. The young men fled in the night, and travelled to the Missouri, and 
have not yet returned. The chiefs, by presents, opened a communication 
with the Menominees; and, with the assistance of Gen. Street, Indian agent, 
and captain Warner, sub agent, arrangements were made for a meeting at 
Prairie du Cheins. The sub agent was to have been accompanied thither by 
the Fox chiefs, but when he started some of them were absent, and it was 
arranged that they were to follow immediately after him. They did so. 
Upon the arrival of the sub agent, he was infomied that the Menominees 
and Sious entertained hostile intentions towards the Foxes, and that it would 

280 The Black Hawk War 

be dangerous for the chiefs to proceed to Prairie du Cheins. The sub agent 
was, therefore, advised to descend the river and turn them back; but, for 
some cause unknown to me, he did not meet with them. The Menominees 
and some of the Sious, after preparing themselves, set off in pursuit of the 
devoted Fox chiefs. The latter, thinking themselves safe in going to a coun- 
cil on the invitation of Government agents, had landed a few miles below 
Prairie du Cheins, to rest themselves. The Menominees and Sious discovered 
that they had landed, and succeeded in surprising and murdering all the 
chiefs, eight in number, I believe.^ Only a few wounded men escaped to 
carry the sad tidings to the Foxes. The other party returned to the Prairie, 
carrying with them the scalps, and also the head of Pamoski, the principal 
chief. They danced through the village, and exhibited these trophies of 
their brutal murder for three days in the vicinity of Fort Crawford, 

Whilst the Sacs and Foxes were lamenting the death of their chiefs, the 
Commissioner, General Clark, arrived at Rock Island, on his way to Prairie 
du Cheins, to make peace with all the Indians on the frontier; and called 
on the Sacs and Foxes to accompany him. They could not understand the 
meaning of the intended treaty, but after receiving some presents, to cover 
the blood of their murdered chiefs, they reluctantly consented to go. They 
objected, during the negotiations, to making peace with the Menominees, 
knowing their inability to control the relations of the murdered chiefs. On 
being sent for, however, and told by the Commissioners that it was the wish 
of the President, they consented. 

Since that time, the relations and friends of the murdered chiefs have 
been out on a war party, and succeeded in killing several of the Menominees 
at Prairie du Cheins - — the same place where the Menominees had pre- 
pared themselves, returned with the trophies of their victory, and exhibited 
them through the streets. 

Although the war party started in opposition to the wishes of the chiefs 
of the Sacs and Foxes, the nation has been involved by it in still deeper 
distress; for, besides the loss of the murdered chiefs, the United States have 
demanded of them ten of the principal men who were of the war party, to 
be punished by the Government. These ten will probably be the brothers 
and sons of the chiefs who were slain. 

Gen. Atkinson arrived here a few days since, and demanded of the 
friendly chiefs of the Sacs and Foxes, all the men with them who were in 
the affair alluded to. They have promptly delivered up three of them;^ 
but say that the principal men who killed the Menominees are up Rock 
River, with the British band of Sacs — who are preparing to lay waste the 
frontiers of Illinois, and Michigan territory. 

I am, gentlemen, your obt. serv't. Geo. Davenport. 

Missouri Republican [St. Louis], April 24, 1832. 2 On July 31, 1831. 

1 On the casualties of the May 5, 1830, attack, 3 They are named in the council proceedingrs 

see Davenport to Duncan, Feb. 11, and nn. there. that follow. 

April 19, 1832 281 

Fort Armstrong Council 

Rock Island 19th. April 1832 

The Sac & Fox Nation friendly to the U. States being assembled near 
Fort Armstrong, Genl. Atkinson met them and said; I have been to Prairie 
du Chien, and performed the business I went on, I have now returned to 
hear what you have to say. 

Prince Wapulka^ (a Fox.) My Father, we have heard what you told us, 
that the President has sent you here, and after hearing what you said when 
you demanded the murderers, I told you I would try, and you must not 
think hard if I failed. We have considered of it, and have brought them in; 
Father, there they are, there are the young men who have taken pity on 
the women and children, there are three of them, these are my Chiefs, these 
are the men who went into the braves lodge to give themselves up ; Father, 
I have received these young men, I now deliver them to you. 

Keokuk then rose and spoke — My father, you have heard what my friend 
has told you, we, the Sac and Fox nation are like brothers, therefore you 
find us together as One nation, you see us now, the Great Spirit is looking 
at us, and we hope he will help us to live on the other side of the river 
peaceably; three of our young men who went up with the Party, have given 
themselves up to their Chief, and he has given them to you, I hope that 
every thing will be straight, now, that every thing is arranged at this 
place, I want, with some of the Chiefs to go down to see them tried, I shake 
hands with you, in the presence of the father of all, he will be a witness 
that I am trying to do right. 

Genl. Atkinson said — I am well pleased with what you have done, I ex- 
pected you would have given up four men, but if you have done the best, 
I am satisfied, I wanted to get One half here, and will have One half from 
them (Black Hawk's band) before I am done. After I have fully ascer- 
tained what those people are doing, I am going to St. Louis, and these 
Chiefs may go with me.^ As those young men have behaved so well who 
have given themselves up, I shall treat them kindly. The Chiefs of the 
Sacs and Foxes on that side of the river (west) have also behaved well, I 
shall write to the President concerning them. I am going to St Louis to 
make arrangements to settle the difficulties with those bad men over there, 
this is the second time that those bad men have opposed the President. 
They were forgiven the first time, this time they will not. As sure as the 
Sun shines on us at this moment, they will be punished ; it is easy to send 
10,000 men if 1000 is not enough. You, Keokuk, know that I speak nothing 
but the truth; the friendly Sacs shall be protected and supported. When I 
was at Prairie du Chien, I gave instructions to the Commanding Officer 
there to prevent either the Sioux or Menominies passing them, if they at- 
tempt it, they will be opposed. The War Party that attempted it, was pur- 
sued by the troops and sent back.^ After every precaution some small 
Sioux Party, may try to get to you by land, this you must guard against. 
I did not tell the Winnebagoes and Sioux not to go against those bad men 

282 The Black Hawk War 

of Black Hawk, I do not care how many they kill. Advise your young men 
to keep on the west side of the river, and hold no communication with the 
unfriendly Sacs. 

Names of the Indians delivered to Genl. Atkinson, and placed in confine- 
ment at Fort Armstrong. — 

Kakekukanuck— Son of the Kettle.^ Chief of the Soldiers 

Poyekakanumeta — ^The one that we do not know. 

Wameykay — Wolf. 

Kakekukanuck, one of the prisoners, is a War Chief, his father is the 
Kettle, the chief of the soldiers; Chakanneytocosey, the uncle of the 
prisoner, was killed by the Menominies in 1829, at or near Prairie du Chien. 

Poyekakanumeta, a brave, his nephew was killed at the same time; he 
is a descendant of the War Chiefs, and is now one of the braves of the 

Wameykay, a brave, and orator, he is a near relation of Katice, his 
father's name is Kakamoto, and was killed in the same affair. 

CC, IHi: BHW; in the handwriting of an Henry R. Schoolcraft visited there in 1820. 

Atkinson aide. This report begins on p. 8 of Schoolcraft said the village contained 250 people, 

three folios on which the proceedings of the living in nineteen lodges built in two rows 

April 13 and 19 councils were reported. (Narrative Journal of Travels, Williams ed., 

1 Prince Wapello. 224-25). The chief appeared then to be about 

2 Atkinson did not get back to St. Louis be- eighty years of age, Schoolcraft said. His name 
fore the end of the summer, and the hostages does not appear on any Sauk and Fox treaties 
were kept in confinement at Fort Armstrong. after those negotiated at the close of the War of 
Keokuk and the principal chiefs went down, 1812 (KAPPLER, H: 122). When Thomas L. 
however, arriving at St. Louis, May 1 ; see Clark McKenney visited the village in 1827, he reported 
to Cass, May 1, and Atkinson General Order 10, that an Indian chief, whom he did not name, was 
May 8. Pashipaho also went down to St. Louis buried near Julien Dubuque (Wisconsin Histori- 
later in May; see Clark to Cass, May 30. cal Collections, V: 203). Kettle was known to 

3 This was the party intercepted near Dubuque, have expressed the wish to be buried by Dubuque, 
Iowa, by Captain Smith, 1st Infantry, from and the grave was probably his (Iowa Journal of 
Fort Crawford. See St. Vrain to Clark, April 18, History and Politics. XIV: 162). In 1827 Thomas 
and the Street and Loomis letters of April 9. Forsyth wrote that Peahmuska was then the 

4 The Kettle (the Kettle Chief, Accoqua, Aquo- principal chief of the village (letter of May 28 
qua, or any number of variants) was the princi- to Lawrence Taliaferro, MnHi: Taliaferro 
pal chief at the Fox village below Dubuque when Papers — S-F Ex. 99, Docket 83, ICC). 

Henry Atkinson: Orders 

Head Qrs. Right Wing Westn Dept. Rock Island 20th. April 1832 
Order No 2 

Brig. Genl. Atkinson assumes command of the troops at this place, Major 
Bliss will continue to exercise the immediate command of the Post and Bt 
Major Riley that of the detachment of the 6th Infy. An abstract from the 
morning report of each command will be sent to the office of the A. A. A. 
Genl. daily at 10 oClock 

By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson 

(Signed) A. S. Johnston Lt & A. A. A. Genl. 

Atkinson Order Book, IHi: BHW. 

Apnl 20, 1832 283 

William Clark to Lewis Cass 

Superintendency of Ind: Affairs, St. Louis April 20, 1832. 

Sir, By a boat which arrived this morning from Rock Island,^ I have re- 
ceived a letter from Mr. St. Vrain of the 18th inst: which is herewith en- 

By the same arrival I have been informed by Genl. Atkinson of the State 
of affairs in that quarter, of which he tells me he has, advised the Govern- 
ment & Genl. Gaines. Judging from the tenor of these communications, and 
the information received from other sources, I am fully of the opinion that 
a very considerable force, and properly concerted measures will be indispen- 
sably necessary to drive those hostile Bands from the Lands they have 
invaded — to coerce the surrender of the Menominie murderers, and to re- 
store peace in that quarter. I am inclined to the belief that those Indians 
have well merited a severe chastisement, and would respectfully recom- 
mend the adoption of such measures as would ensure to the offenders such 
a degree of punishment as might be not only useful to themselves hereafter, 
but which would serve as a warning to others. 

Genl. Atkinson will, in my opinion prevent the threatened war between 
the Menominies & the Sacs & Foxes- — the friendly portion of the latter 
Tribe it is believed, will deliver up such of the Murderers as belonged to 
it, but it is doubtful whether he will receive any hostages for the surrender 
of those who are now with the British party, unless he takes them from the 
friendly part of the Tribe. 

From the hostile attitude of the Black Hawk & his party of disaffected 
Sacs & Foxes, joined to the halfbreed Sacs, Winnebagoes, Puttowattamies & 
Kickapoos assembled at the Prophets village on Rock River, I am of opin- 
ion that they will never be brought to a sense of propriety until they are 
severely punished. 

Genl. Atkinson has taken such measures as it is believed will secure the 
frontier from a surprize; and I am informed that Govr. Reynolds is em- 
bodying a large force of the Militia on the Illinois River — for the Trans- 
portation of whose baggage & provisions, two Steam Boats leave this place 
to day. 

I have the honor to be very respectfully Your obt. Servt. Wm Clark 

The Hon: Secretary of War. 

LS. DNA: RG 75, BIA, L Reed.. Rock Island. April 20 Clark letter is in KHi: Clark Papers, 

Addressed: "The Hon: Secretary of War." IV: 356-57. 

Endorsed: (1) "Ansd May 5, 1832." (2) "May 1 The Enterprise; see Atkinson to Holmes, 

7th. 1832. Indian Office." Enclosure: St Vrain April 18; and Atkinson Special Order 6, April 

to Clark, April 18. A letter book copy of the 18. 


The Black Hawk War 

William Clark to John Reynolds 

Superintendency of Ind: Affairs, St. Louis April 20th. 1832. 
Governor Reynolds, 

Dear Sir, By a boat just arrived from Rock Island I have received a 
letter from Mr. St. Vrain of the 18th inst: shewing the hostile disposition of 
Black Hawks Band which is now supposed to amount to 600 fighting men, 
and said to be encreasing — of this letter I enclose you a copy. I have also 
been advised by Genl. Atkinson of the state of affairs in that quarter; but 
as he informs me he has communicated with you & the War Department, it 
will be unnecessary to give his views. 

I reed, this morning a note from Mr. E. C. March,^ communicating your 
wish to be furnished with an Interpreter to accompany the Militia, and 
your preference for Mr. Charles St. Vrain, which I have complied with. 
He will report himself to you for instructions. 

As Mr. St. Vrains letter of the 14th. to which he refers contains nothing 
of importance, it is not sent. 

The Puttowattamies of Illinois, of whom a Deputation have just left me, 
have been advised to go to their own Lands with all possible expedition. 

I am Sir, with great respect Yr most obt. Servt. Wm Clark 

LS, IHi: BHW; in the handwriting of John 
Ruland. Addressed: "His Excelly Governor 
Reynolds." A copy is in the Reynolds Order and 
LB, p. 6, IHi: BHW. The copy of St. Vrain's 
April 18 letter (also in Ruland's handwriting) 
that was enclosed in the LS is also in IHi: BHW; 
and a third copy is in the Reynolds Order and LB, 
pp. 7-8. 

1 According to Governor Reynolds. Enoch C. 
March was appointed with Samuel C. Christy to 
serve as quartermaster for the volunteers in 
both the 1831 and 1832 Black Hawk campaigns 
(My Own Times, 210, 225). Christy soon resigned 
in 1832 (STEVENS, 116) , but March served through- 
out the war; see also Wakefield, 130. March is 
listed on Reynolds's staff rolls as quartermaster 
general with the rank of colonel, and he was 
appointed to Gen. Henry Atkinson's personal 
staff as quartermaster general. One U.S. officer 
wrote that the quartermaster department was 
"indebted to the militia for an active and ener- 
getic head" (COOKE, Scenes and Adventures, 167) . 

March was an early settler of the area com- 
prising present Cass County. He and Thomas 
Beard made the first land entries in the county 

in 1826, and March laid out and platted the 
original town of Beardstown