University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States

Butterfield, C. W.
III.--Pre-territorial annals of Wisconsin,   pp. 29-41 PDF (6.5 MB)

Page 39

Such in brief is a general outline of affairs, so far as those two tribes
were concerned, down to the
close of the last war with England. From this time, to the year 1830, several
additional treaties
were made with the Sacs and Foxes by the General Government: one in 1822,
by which they relin-
quished their right to have the United States establish a trading house or
factory at a Convenient
point at which the Indians could trade and save themselves from the imposition
of traders, for
which they were paid the sum of one thousand dollars in merchandise. Again,
in 1824, they
sold to the General Government all their lands in Missouri, north of Missouri
river, for which
they received one thousand dollars the same year, and an annuity of one thousand
dollars for ten
years. In 1830, they ceded to. the United States a strip of land twenty miles
wide from the Mis-
sissippi to the Des Moines, on the north side of their territory. The time
had now come for the
two tribes to leave the eastern shore of the Mississippi and retire across
the ".great water."
Keokuk, the Watchful Fox, erected his wigwam on the west side of the river,
and was followed
by a large part of the two tribes. But a band headed by Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiah,
or the
Black Sparrow Hawk, commonly called Black Hawk, refused to leave their village
near Rock
Island. They contended that they had not sold their town to the United States;
and, upon
their return early in 1831, from a hunt across the Mississippi, finding their
village and fields in
possession of the whites, they determined to repossess their homes at all
hazards. This was
looked upon, or called, an encroachment by the settlers; so the governor
of Illinois took the
responsibility of declaring the State invaded, and asked the United States
to drive the refractory
Indians beyond the Mississippi. The result was, the Indian village was destroyed
by Illinois,
volunteers. This and the threatened advance across the river by the United
States commander,
brought Black Hawk and his followers to terms. They sued for peace-agreeing
to remain
forever on the west side of the Mississippi. But this truce was of short
     Early in the Spring of 1832, Black Hawk having assembled his forces
on the Mississippi, in
the vicinity of the locality where Fort Madison had stood, crossed that stream
and ascended
Rock river. This was the signal for war. The governor of Illinois made a
call for volunteers;
and, in a brief space of time, eighteen hundred had assembled at Beardstown,
Cass county.
They marched for the mouth of Rock river, where a council of war was held
by their officers
and Brigadier-General Henry Atkinson, of the regular forces. The Indians
were sent word by
General Atkinson that they must return and recross the Mississippi, or they
would be driven
back by force. "If you wish to fight us, come on," was the laconic
but defiant reply of the Sac
chief. When the attempt was made to compel these Indians to go back across
the " great river,"
a collision occurred between the Illinois militia and Black Hawk's braves,
resulting in the dis-
comfiture of the former with the loss of eleven men. Soon afterward the volunteers
were dis-
charged, and the first campaign of Black Hawk's War was at an end. This was
in May, 1832.
    In June following, a new force had been raised and put under" the
command of General
Atkinson, who commenced his march up Rock river. Before this, there had been
a general
"forting" in the lead region, including the whole country in Southwest
Wisconsin, notwithstand-
ing which, a number of settlers had been killed by the savages, mostly in
Illinois. Squads of
volunteers, in two or three instances, had encountered the Indians; and in
one with entire suc-
cess-upon the Pecatonica, in what is now Lafayette county, Wisconsin-every
savage (and
there were seventeen of them) being killed. The loss of the volunteers was
three killed and
wounded. Atkinson's march up Rock river was attended with some skirmishing;
when, being
informed that Black Hawk and his force were at Lake Koshkonong, in the southwest
corner of
what is now Jefferson county, Wisconsin, he immediately moved thither with
a portion of his
army, where the whole force was ordered to concentrate.  But the Sac chief
with his people had
flown. Colonels Henry Dodge and James D. Henry, wvith the forces under them,
discovered the

Go up to Top of Page