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610
MURDER OF THE MENOMINIES.

[Book V. keeping them imprisoned, they think an act of great cowardice; presuming they dare not punish the culprit. It has sometimes happened, that after an Indian had been imprisoned for a long time, and been discharged for want of evidence, although at the time of his capture there were no doubts of his guilt, even upon his own confession, he has been shot by some skulking white borderer on his way to his home. This, to the friends of such Indian, is the most abominable crime; and these things had all happened in Illinois before the end of 1828.

BLACK-HAWK, as we have just seen, was captured and held some time in durance for attacking the boats, which, it seems, could not be proved against him, as he was discharged; but if there were doubts of his guilt before, there can be none now, according to his own confession, which, it would seem, he had too much craft to acknowledge before his trial.

Matters continued in a ruffled state for about three years, though acts of violence seem not often to have occurred. In 1831, it was the general opinion on the frontiers, that the Indians intended to forbear no longer; and it was rightly judged by General Atkinson, that efforts had been, or were being made by some of them to unite all the Indians from Rock River to Mexico in a war. That this was the truth of the case we will hear Black-hawk in evidence. He says, “ Runners were sent to the Arkansas, Red-River and Texas—not on the subject of our lands, but a secret mission, which I am not, at present, permitted to explain.”

The difference between the Sacs and Foxes, and Menominies and Sioux, was one great cause of the troubles previous to the war of 1832. The whites used their endeavors to bring about a peace between them, and finally effected it, although at the very time murders were committed by one party upon the other, while on their way to attend a treaty for their own benefit

. But such is their thirst for revenge, that they will take it at the hazard of themselves and all their connections. Black-hawk himself relates, that on a certain time, which, I believe, was in the summer of 1830, the chiefs of the Foxes were invited to attend a treaty at Prairie du Chieu for the settlement of their differences with the Sioux, Nine of the head men of the Foxes, with one woman in their company, set out to attend the treaty, who, on their way, were met by a company of Sioux, near the Ouisconsin, and all of them, except one man, were killed.

This murder went unrevenged until the next year, when a band of Sioux and Menominies, who were encamped within a mile of the fort at Prairie du Chien, were attacked by some Foxes from Black-hawk's party, and 28 of them were killed. The whites now demanded the murderers, but Black-hawk said they had no right to make such a demand, for it was an affair between the Indian nations, over whom they had no authority; and besides, he said, when the Menominies had murdered the Fox chiefs, the year before, they made no such demand for the murderers.

According to the treaty of the 15th of July, 1830, at Prairie du Chien, the Sacs and Foxes sold their country to the United States, and the Sioux, Omahahs, Ioways, Ottoes, and several other tribes and bands, participated in the sale; but Black-hawk had nothing to do with it. Keokuk, or the Watchful-for, at this time headed the party of Sacs that made the treaty; when Black-hawk knew what was done, it very much agitated and displeased him; but Keokuk had pleased the whites, and sold his country, as the ill-advised M’Intosh had done. The next summer, 1831, Black-hawk says, that while on a visit to the Indian agent at Rock Island, he heard, for the first time, “talk of our having to leave my village. The trader (he says) explained to me the terms of the treaty that had been made, and said we would be obliged to leave the Ilinois side of the Mississippi, and advised us to select a good place for our village, and remove to it in the spring.” This trader was the adopted brother of the principal Fox chief, whom he had persuaded to leave his village and build another on the west side of the Mississippi. Keokuk bad consented to go, and was using all his influence to induce others to go with him.

A party now began to organize itself in opposition to that of Keokuk. They called upon Black-hawk for his opinion about it; and, says the old chjef, “I gave it freely—and after questioning Quàsh-quà-me about the sale of the

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lands, he assured me that he never had consented to the sale of our village.' I now promised this party to be their leader, and raised the standard of opposition to Keokuk, with a full determination not to leave my village.”

The Sac village was on the point of land formed by Rock River and the Mississippi. The tribe had here usually about 700 acres of planting land, which extended about two and a half miles up the Mississippi. According to the tradition of the Indians, a village had stood here about 150 years. The whole extent of the Sac country on the Mississippi, was from the mouth of the Ouisconsin to the Portage des Sioux, almost to the entrance of the Missouri, in length near 700 miles.

About the time of the treaty of wbich we have been speaking, some outrages were committed upon the Indians by the whites in kind like the following:-One of Black-hawk's men having found a hive of bees in the woods, in a hollow tree, took it to his wigwam. Some whites, having learned the circumstance, repaired to the Indian's wigwam and demanded the honey as theirs, and he gave it up to them. They not only took the honey, but made plunder of all the skins he had got during his winter's hunt, and carried them off also. The case of the Indian was exceeding hard, for he owed the skins to bis trader. Therefore he could not pay him, nor could he get necessaries for his family, in consequence of his inability to meet his former contract.

About this time Black-hawk met with gross ill treatment from some whites who met him in the woods a-hunting. They fell upon him, and beat him so severely that he was lame for some time after it. The whites pretended he had done them an injury. Such outrages, added to those of a public nature, had driven the Indians to desperation, and finally determined Black-hawk to act on the offensive. But he was sadly deceived in his real strength when hie came to trial; for he had been assured that the Chippewas, Ottowas, Winnebagos and Pottowattomies all stood ready to help and second him. Neapope, who had been among some of them, was either deceived himself, or he intentionally deceived his chief. But the Prophet, Wabokieshiek, was doubtless the greatest deceiver. He sent word to Black-hawk that he had received wampum from the nations just mentioned, and he was sure of their coöperation. Besides this strong encouragement, it was also told to the principal Sac chiefs, that their British father at Malden stood ready to help them, in case of wrong being offered them by the whites; but this was, without doubt, a stratagem of the Prophet, or Neapope, the bearer of the intelligence. The chiefs of the whites at Malden and other places, had been visited by Black-hawk or his head men, and, on being told their situation in respect to being obliged to leave their country, these friends of the Indians honestly told them that, if they had not sold their country, it could not be taken from them.

When the old chief, Black-hawk, found that Keokuk had sold the Sac village, with the rest of their country on the east side of the Mississippi, ho saw and conversed with him about it, and Keokuk was so well convinced that he had done what he had no right to do, that he promised to go to the whites, and use all his endeavors to get it back again by giving any other part of the country for it: Black-hawk said he would give up even the lead-mines, if they could only be allowed to enjoy their old village, and the little point of land on which were the beautiful cornfields which their wives had cultivated, for years, undisturbed, and the adjacent burying-grounds of their honored dead.

With strong hopes that something would be effected for them, the Sacs set out upon their usual winter's hunt, in the fall of 1830, and meanwhile the whites came on and possessed their beloved village! When the Indians returned, they saw families of intruders in their own wigwams and lodges, that they had left the fall previous—the wives and children of the poor Indians were now upon the banks of their own Mississippi, but without a home or lodge to cover them! This was insufferable to Black-hawk—whero is the white man that could endure such things? There are none that could, even the most servile slave.

The Sacs were encamped on the west bank of the Mississippi, having returned from their hunting-grounds earlier than usual, on account of informution of the state of things in their village. The ice had not left the Mis54 *

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642 THEIR VILLAGE POSSESSED BY THE WHITES. (Book V. sissippi; but before it was time to plant corn, the firm resolution of the chiefs was taken, that their village they would again possess. They acted in accordance with their resolution, and went on and took possession. The whites were alarmed, and doubting of their ability to drive off the Indians then, said they would live and plant together ; but took care to seize upon all the best planting land. The Indians were determined not to be the first to commit any hostile act, and submitted to great insults; some of their women being shamefully beaten by their white neighbors for the most trifling offence, to which their new situation had unavoidably subjected them, and one young man was actually beaten to death, or so that he soon after died; nevertheless, to the shame of those whites be it told, there is no account which has ever come to me that the Indians attempted to retaliate.

Other evils were experienced while the poor Sacs endeavored to live with the whites in their own village. Ardent spirits were brought in, and used to cheat the Indians out of their personal property, their guns, and articles with which they hunted.

In the fall of 1830, the Indians had been told that they must not come again to the east side of the river. Meantime the lands of the Sac village had been sold, or a part of them, and all the Indians were ordered to leave them. Black-hawk and his band, however, would not obey, and some of them remained on the unsold lands, while the others were on their hunting expeditions. And early in the spring of 1831, after having used every means for a reconciliation, without giving up their village, the Sacs in a body recrossed the river to their old cornfields, and in a menacing manner took possession; but if we can believe Black-hawk, he did not mean to be provoked into a war by any thing less than the life-blood of some of his people; which he said the whites dare not take, at least so long as he remained on the government's land; for by an article of the treaty which had caused these troubles, the Indians were not obliged to leave the lands so long as they remained unsold. But the settlers cried out against the encroachments of the Indians upon them, which soon became so loud and clamorous that Governor Reynolds torthwith taking the responsibility, declared the state of Illinois invaded by hostile Indians, although it does not appear that any of them were upon other lands than those owned by the United States.

Accordingly, on the 28 May, 1831, Governor Reynolds wrote from Belleville, the capital of the state of Illinois, to General Gaines, the military commander of the western department, that he had received undoubted information that the section of the state near Rock Island was at that time invaded by a hostile band of the Sac Indians, headed by Black-hawk; and that in order to repel said invasion, and to protect the citizens of the state, he had called on 700 of the militia of the said state, to be mounted and ready for that service. He therefore, “ as executive of the state of Illinois,” respectfully solicited his coöperation. General Gaines said in answer, the next day, that he had ordered six companies of regular troops to proceed from Jefferson Barracks the day following, May 30, for the Sac village, and if necessary he would add two companies more from Prairie du Chien. This force he considered sufficient to put down the “ hostile Sacs ;” but, he said, if the Indian force had been augmented by other Indians, then he would correspond with his excellency by express, and avail himself of his offer of the 700 mounted volunteers.

Governor Reynolds had just before (26 May) written to General Clark, the superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis, and among other things said, he had considered it necessary to order out troops “ to protect the citizens" of the state “pear Rock Island from invasion and depredation;” but from his letter to Gaines, dated only iwo days after, the state was actually invaded. llence it appears, that in something less than two days, by thinking the matter over, the governor had, in his mind, changed the fear of invasion into actual invasion. In the same letter he goes on: The object of the government of the state is to protect those citizens by removing said Indiaus,

peaceably if they can, but forcibly if they must.” “ I consider it my duty 10 inform you of the above call on the militia, and that in or about 15 days, a sutficient force will appear before these Indians to remove them, dead or alire, over the west side of the Mississippi.” Whether his excellency did not

mean to stop with his Indians short of the Western Ocean, I cannot say, but certainly he says nothing of leaving them any where on lands on the west side of the Mississippi ; he, however, humanely adds, “ 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.” General Clark replied, two days after, that every effort on his part “ had been made to effect the removal from Ilinois of all the tribes who had ceded their lands."

Hence no alternative now remained but to proceed on with an army to drive off the Indians. Accordingly General Gaines proceeded to the country in dispute, and by his prudent management succeeded in settling the difficulty, which, as matters immediately afterwards turned out, seems to have amounted to but little ; and as General Gaines's account of his expedition agrees very well with what Black-hawk has since said about it, we lay it before the reader. It is contained in a letter dated Rock Island, 20 June, 1831.

“I have visited the Rock River villages, with a view to ascertain the localities, and, as far as possible, the disposition of the Indians. They confirm 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 seentheir 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 intention to move forthwith, as I had directed them, I did not speak to them, though within 50 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 bloodshed, 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."

Thus stood matters previous to the arrival of the Illinois militia; neither party wishing to do any thing to bring on hostilities. On the 7th June, Black-hawk met General Gaines in council, and plainly told him he would not remove, and to let him know he was not afraid of his forces, went to the council-house at the head of his band, armed and painted as though they expected to be attacked; the consequence was, nothing was effected thus far. But the general was satisfied that the reports of other tribes having engaged to assist them were entitled to little credit. That the general well understood the affairs of the Sacs at this time, no doubt will be entertained, on comparing his account with the statement of Black-hawk in his life. “Several other tribes,” observes the general, “ such as the Winnebagos, Pottowattonies, and Kikapoos, have been invited by these Sacs to assist them; but I cannot positively ascertain that more than 200 have actually joined, and it is very doubtful whether these will remain true to their offending allies.”

As General Gaines found he could not effect a compliance with bis demands, he concluded to wait for the militia, who, on the 25 June, promptly arrived. These the Indians thought it not proper to oppose, knowing well that border militia would submit to no restraint from their officers; they therefore fled across the Mississippi to avoid being massacred; and on the following day, June 26, the army took possession of the Sac village, without the firing of a gun on either side. On the 27th, Black-hawk caused a white flag to be displayed to show his disposition to have a parley, which soon after ensued, and this ended in a treaty.

In his despatch to the secretary of war, General Gaines said he was of opinion that “these Indians were as completely humbled, as if they had been chustised in battle, and less disposed to disturb the frontier inhabitants;"

644
BLACK-HAWK RETIRES UP ROCK RIVER.

(Book V. and that Governor Reynolds was of the same opinion. But in this they were both mistaken, although when the treaty was made, Black-hauk without doubt iutended strictly to observe it; yet he could not foresee what would happen. He had been promised corn to supply the wants of his people, instead of that which they had been obliged to abandon; but what they received was far from sufficient, and they began to feel the encroachment of famine. In this state of things, a party of Sacs, as the old chief says, went over the river to steal corn from their own fields ! and thus began a new series of troubles which ended in bloodshed.

Black-hawk, with his chief men, bad signed the treaty, and it was broken the same year by both parties. It was dated ou the 30 June, 1831, five days after the “flight," and among the signers we recognize, besides MUCATA-MUHI-EATAK (Black-hawk), as his name was then written, PASHEP.410 (Stabbingchief), WEES HEAT (Sturgeon-head), KAKEKAMAH (All-fish), and several others. It was in the course of the same summer, that the party from Black-hawk's band killed the 28 Menomovies, of which we have before given an account, and although the whites considered it their concern, seem not to have undertaken to revenge it until the spring of 1832; and the probability is, they would hardly then have undertaken it, had not some of the Sacs intruded themselves again into their old village, by which a new cry was raised against them. Be this as it may, General Atkinson set out for the Upper Mississippi, about the first of April, at the head of the sixth regiment of United States infantry, at whose approach Black-hawk and his party abandoned their camp on the Mississippi, where Fort Madison had been built, and ascended Rock River. It was in this direction he expected to be reinforced by the Pottowattomies, Winnebagos, and Kikapoos, but who in the end declined the hazardous and unequal conflict.

As Black-hawk moved leisurely up Rock River, he received several expresses from General Alkinson, ordering him in a peremptory manner to leave the country; but he constantly said he would not, and said he was going to the Prophet's village to make corn, to which he had been invited, and the whites might attack him if they dared ; that they might come on if they chose, but they would not find him unprepared; yet be would not begin with them.

Meanwhile General Alkinson, not judging it expedient to pursue the Indians up Rock-River, made a stand at Dixon's Ferry, and waited for a reinforcement.

CHAPTER IX.

March of Major Stillman-Kills some of BLACK-HAWK's men-Stillman's defcat

Talk with the Winnebagos— Menomonies join the whites- Settlement on Indian Creek destroyed-Captivity of two young women-MurdersPlum River settlement broken up-Congress orders out troops-Murders near Galena-Indians cut off by General Dodge-Snider's defeatStevenson’s defeat-Attack on the fort at Buffalo Grove-on that at Apple Rider-Defeat of Major Dement—Murder al Cincinawa MoundRavages of the cholera among the regular troopsBattle of the Ouisconsin-Action with the steam-boat Warrior-Butile of the 20 of August, and end of the war.

BEFORE the arrival of General Atkinson at Ogee's or Dixon's Ferry, General Whitesides had proceeded there with a considerable body of mounted men, and a march of discovery was resolved upon. Accordingly, about the 13th of May, a company of 270 men proceeded on towards Sycamore Creek, under Major Stillman. Black-HAWK being apprized of the march of this detachment, sent out three young warriors with a white flag to meet them, and invite them to his camp; but the whites, paying no regard to the flag, took the bearers of it prisoners. Five others had been sent after the first, to see what ensued, and to report what might take place. These five were discovered and pursued by a small party of the whites, and, leing overtaken, two of

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