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the United States, wished to be more intimately acquainted with the situation and wants of the different nations of red people in our newly acquired territory of Louisiana, and has ordered the General to send a number of his warriors in different directions to take them by the hand and make such inquiries as might afford the satisfaction required.” At the close of the council he presented the red men with some knives, whisky and tobacco.
Pursuing his way up the river, he arrived, on the 23d of August, at what is supposed, from his description, to be the site of the present city of Burlington, which he selected as the location of a military post. He describes the place as being "on a hill, about forty miles above the River de Moyne Rapids, on the west side of the river, in latitude about 41 degrees 21 minutes north. The channel of the river runs on that shore; the hill in front is about sixty feet perpendicular; nearly level on top; four hundred yards in the rear is a small prairie fit for gardening, and immediately under the bill is a limestone spring, sufficient for the consumption of a whole regiment." In addition to this description, which corresponds to Burlington, the spot is laid down on his map at a bend in the river a short distance below the mouth of the Henderson, which pours its waters into the Mississippi from Illinois. The fort was built at Fort Madison, but from the distance, latitude, description and map furnished by Pike, it could not have been the place selected by him, while all the circumstances corroborate the opinion that the place he selected was the spot where Burlington is now located, called by the early voyagers on the Mississippi, "Flint Hills."
On the 24th, with one of his men, he went on shore on a hunting expedition, and following a stream which they supposed to be a part of the Mississippi, they were led away from their course. Owing to the intense heat and tall grass, his two favorite dogs, which he had taken with him, became exhausted and he left them on the prairie, supposing that they would follow him as soon as they should get rested, and went on to overtake his boat. Reaching the river, he waited some time for his canine friends, but they did not come, and as he deemed it inexpedient to detain the boat longer, two of his men volunteered to go in pursuit of them, and he continued on his way up. the river, expecting that the two men would soon overtake him. They lost their way, however, and for six days were without food, except a few morsels gathered from the stream, and might have perished had they not accidentally met a trader from St. Louis, who induced two Indians to take them up the river, and they overtook the boat at Dubuque.
At Dubuque, Pike was cordially received by Julien Dubuque, a Frenchman, who held a mining claim under a grant from Spain. Dubuque had an old field piece and fired a salute in honor of the advent of the first Americans who had visited that part of the Territory. Dubuque, however, was not disposed to publish the
wealth of his mines, and the young and apparently inquisitive officer could obtain but little information from him.
After leaving this place, Pike pursued his way up the river, but as he passed beyond the limits of the present state of Iowa, a detailed history of his explorations on the upper water of the Mississippi more properly belongs to the history of another State.
It is sufficient to say that on the site of Fort Snelling, Minnesota, at the mouth of the Minnesota River, Pike held a council with the Sioux, September 23, and obtained from them a grant of one hundred thousand acres of land. On the 8th of January, 1806, Pike arrived at a trading post belonging to the Northwest Company, on Lake De Sable, in latitude 470. At this time the then powerful Northwest Company carried on their immense operations from Hudson's Bay to the St. Lawrence; up that river on both sides, along the Great Lakes to the head of Lake Superior, thence to the sources of the Red River of the North, and west to the Rocky Mountains, embracing within the scope of their operations the entire Territory of Iowa. After successfully accomplishing his mission, and performing a valuable service to Iowa and the whole Northwest, Pike returned to St. Louis, arriving there on the 30th of April, 1806.
The territory of Iowa, although it had been purchased by the United States, and was ostensibly in the possession of the Government, was still occupied by the Indians, who claimed title to the soil by right of ownership and possession. Before it could be open to settlement by the whites, it was indispensible that the Indian title should be extinguished, and the original owners removed. The accomplishment of this purpose required the expenditure of large sums of money and blood, and for a long series of years the frontier was disturbed by Indian wars, terminated repeatedly by treaty, only to be renewed by some act of oppression on the part of the whites or some violation of treaty stipulation.
As previously shown, at the time when the United States assumed the control of the country by virtue of the Louisiana purchase, nearly the whole state was in possession of the Sacs and Foxes, a powerful and warlike nation, who were not disposed to submit without a struggle to what they considered the encroachments of the pale faces.
Among the most noted chiefs, and one whose restlessness and hatred of the Americans occasioned more trouble to the Government than any others of his tribe, was Black Hawk, who was born at the Sac village, on Rock river, in 1767. He was simply the chief of his own band of Sac warriors, but by his energy and ambition he became the leading spirit of the united nation of Sacs and Foxes, and one of the prominent figures in the history of the
country from 1804 until his death. In early manhood he attained some distinction as a fighting chief, having led campaigns against the Osages and other neighboring tribes. About the beginning of the present century he began to appear prominent in affairs on the Mississippi. Some historians have added to the statement that "it does not appear that he was ever a great general, or possessed any of the qualifications of a successful leader.” If this was so his life was a marvel. How any man who had none of the qualifications of a leader became so prominent as such, as he did, indicates either that he had some ability, or that his cotemporaries, both Indian and Anglo-Saxon, had less than he. He is said to have been the "victim of a narrow prejudice and bitter ill-will against the Americans” but the impartial historian must admit that if he was the enemy of the Americans, it was certainly not without some reason.
It will be remembered that Spain did not give up possession of the country to France on its cession to the latter power, in 1801, but retained possession of it, and, by the authority of France, transferred it to the Uniced States, in 1804. Black Hawk and his band were in St. Louis at the time, and were invited to be present and witness the ceremonies of the transfer, but he refused the invitation, and it is but just to say that this refusal was caused probably more from regret that the Indians were to be transferred from the jurisdiction of the Spanish authorities than from any special hatred toward the Americans. In his life he says: "I found many sad and gloomy faces because the United States were about to take possession of the town and country. Soon after the Americans came, I took my band and went to take leave of our Spanish father. The Americans came to see him also. Seeing them approach, we passed out of one door as they entered another, and immediately started in our canoes for our village, on Rock River, not liking the change any more than our friends appeared to at St. Louis. On arriving at our village, we gave the news that strange people had arrived at St. Louis, and that we should never see our Spanish father again. The information made all our people sorry.
On the 3d day of November, 1804, a treaty was concluded between William Henry Harrison, than Governor of Indiana Territory, on behalf of the United States, and five chiefs of the Sac and Fox nation, by which the latter, in consideration of two thousand two hundred and thirty-four dollars' worth of goods then delivered, and a yearly annuity of one thousand dollars to be paid in goods at just cost, ceded to the United States all that land on the east side of the Mississippi, extending from a point opposite the Jefferson, in Missouri, to the Wisconsin River, embracing an area of over fiftyone millions of acres.
To this treaty Black Hawk always objected and always refused to consider it binding upon his people. He asserted that the chiefs
or braves who made it had no authority to relinquish the title of the nation to any of the lands they held or occupied; and, moreover, that they had been sent to St. Louis on quite a different errand, namely, to get one of their people released, who had been imprisoned at St. Louis for killing a white man.
The year following this treaty (1805), Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike came up the river for the purpose of holding friendly councils with the Indians and selecting sites for forts within the territory recently acquired from France by the United States. Lieutentant Pike seems to have been the first American whom Black Hawk ever met or had a personal interview with; and he was very much prepossessed in Pike's favor. He gives the following account of his visit to Rock Island:
"A boat came up the river with a young American chief and a small party of soldiers. We heard of them soon after they passed Salt River. Some of our young braves watched them every day, to see what sort of people he had on board. The boat at length arrived at Rock River, and the young chief came on shore with his interpreter, and made a speech and gave us some presents. We in turn presented them with meat and such other provisions as we had to spare. We were well pleased with the young chief. He gave us good advice, and said our American father would treat us well."
The events which soon followed Pike's expedition were the erection of Fort Edwards, at what is now Warsaw, Illinois, and Fort Madison, on the site of the present town of that name, the latter being the first fort erected in lowa. These movements occasioned great uneasiness among the Indians. When work was commenced on Fort Edwards, a delegation from their nation, headed by some of their chiefs, went down to see what the Americans were doing, and had an interview with the commander; after which they returned home apparently satisfied. In like manner, when Fort Madison was being erected, they sent down another delegation from a council of the nation held at Rock River. According to Black Hawk's account, the American chief told them that he was building a house for a trader who was coming to sell them goods cheap, and that the soldiers were coming to keep him companya statement which Black Hawk says they distrusted at the time, believing that the fort was an encroachment upon their rights, and designed to aid in getting their lands away from them.
It has been held by good American authorities, that the erection of Fort Madison at the point where it was located was a violation of the treaty of 1804. By the eleventh article of that treaty, the United States had a right to build a fort near the mouth of the Wisconsin River; by article six they had bound themselves "that if any citizen of the United States or any other white persons should form a settlement upon their lands, such intruders should forth with be removed." Probably the authorities of the United
States did not regard the establishment of military posts as coming properly within the meaning of the term "settlement," as used in the treaty. At all events, they erected Fort Madison within the territory reserved to the Indians, who became very indignant. Not long after the fort was built, a party led by Black Hawk attempted its destruction. They sent spies to watch the movements of the garrison, who ascertained that the soldiers were in the habit of marching out of the fort every morning and evening for parade, and the plan of the party was to conceal themselves near the fort, and attack and surprise them when they were outside. On the morning of the proposed day of attack, five soldiers came out and were fired upon by the Indians, two of them being killed. The Indians were too hasty in their movement, for the regular drill had not yet commenced. However, they kept up the attack for several days, attempting the old Fox strategy of setting fire to the fort with blazing arrows; but finding their efforts unavailing they soon gave up and returned to Rock River.
When war was declared between the United States and Great Britain, in 1812, Black Hawk and his band allied themselves with the British, partly because he was dazzled by their specious promises, and more probably because they had been deceived by the Americans. Black Hawk himself declared that they were "forced into the war by being deceived." He narrates the circumstances as follows: “Several of the chiefs and head men of the Sacs and Foxes were called upon to go to Washington to see their Great Father. On their return, they related what had been said and done. They said the Great Father wished them, in the event of a war taking place with England, not to interfere on either side, but to remain neutral. He did not want our help, but wished us to hunt and support our families, and live in peace. He said that British traders would not be permitted to come on the Mississippi to furnish us with goods, but that we should be supplied with an American trader. Vur chiefs then told him that the British traders always gave them credit in the fall for guns, powder and goods, to enable us to hunt and clothe our families. He repeated that the traders at Fort Madison would have plenty of goods; that we should go there in the fall and he would supply us on credit, as the British traders had done."
Black Hawk seems to have accepted of this proposition, and he and his people were very much pleased. Acting in good faith, they fitted out for their winter's hunt, and went to Fort Madison in high spirits to receive from the trader their outfit of supplies. But, after waiting some time, they were told by the trader that he would not trust them. It was in vain they pleaded the promise of their Great Father at Washington. The trader was inexorable; and, disappointed and crestfallen, they turned sadly toward their own village. “Few of us,” says Black Hawk, “slept that night; all was gloom and discontent. In the morning a canoe was seen