History of the Butterfly, part 90: Black Hawk Remembers

From the Autobiography of Black Hawk, remembering events that took place in 1830:

“I should here remark that our pastimes and sports had been laid aside for the last two years.  We were a divided people, forming two parties.  Ke-o-kuck, being the head of one, willing to barter our rights merely for the good opinion of the whites; and cowardly enough to desert our village to them.  I was at the head of the other party, and determined to hold on to my village, although I had been ordered to leave it.  But, as I considered it, as myself and band had no agency in selling our country—and that as provisions had been made in the treaty, for us all to remain on it as long as it belonged to the United States, that we could not be forced away.  I refused, therefore, to quit my village.  It was here, that I was born—and here lie the bones of my friends and relations.  For this spot I felt a sacred reverence, and never would consent to leave it, without being forced from it…

Ke-o-kuck, who has a smooth tongue, and is a great speaker, was busy in persuading my band that I was wrong—thereby making many of them dissatisfied with me.  I had one consolation—for all the women were on my side, on account of their corn fields….

Our women had planted a few patches of corn, which was growing finely, and promised a subsistence for our children—but the white people again commenced ploughing it up!

I now determined to put a stop to it, by clearing the country of the intruders.  I went to the principal men and told them, that they must and should leave the country—and gave them until the middle of the next day, to remove in.  The worst left within the time appointed—but the one who remained, represented, that his family (which was large,) would be in a starving condition if he went and left his crops—and promised to behave well, if I would consent to let him remain until fall, in order to secure his crop.  He spoke reasonably, and I consented.”

 From Jackson, 1955

This is a bust of Black Hawk from the  Hauberg Museum in Rock Island.
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About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in American Indians, Black Hawk, Keokuk, The History of the Butterfly and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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