Black Hawk Surrenders 1832


The Sac and Fox Indians were part of the Eastern Woodland Tribes belonging to the Algonquian branch of languages.

In the 17th Century, about 6,500 Sac and Fox lived in NE Wisconsin. In 1831, a treaty forced the tribes to move to Iowa. However, the tribes defiantly returned in 1832, crossing the Mississippi to Illinois. In August, the Sac and Fox were attacked by white militia. Chief Black Hawk led the resistance, in what is now known as Black Hawk’s War. Interestingly, both Abraham Lincoln, later to become the 16th President of the United States, and Jefferson Davis, later to become President of the Confederate States of America, both fought against the Sac in the Black Hawk war.

Black Hawk’s warriors were hopelessly outnumbered—in addition to fighting United States troops, they were faced with Sioux warriors who had joined forced with the army troops. Although Black Hawk held the army at bay for almost four months, on August 2, 1832, at the Battle of Bad Axe, he and his son (Whirling Thunder) were captured. President Andrew Jackson showed the two around the country as “spoils of war” and moved the rest of the Sac to Indian Territory in the west.

My family left the area during this War – did yours?

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