Autobiography of Black Hawk
Antoine Leclair, U. S. Interpreter.
J. B. Patterson, Editor and Amanuensis.
Rock Island. Illinois, 1833.
Also Life, Death and Burial of the Old Chief, together with a History Of The Black Hawk War, by J. B. Patterson, Oquawka, Ill, 1882.
Copyrighted By J. B. Patterson, 1882
As a Token of High Regard, I Dedicate this volume to my friend,
Hon. Bailey Davenport, of Rock Island, Illinois
District Of Illinois, SS. Be it remembered, that on this sixteenth day of November, Anno Domini eighteen hundred and thirty-three, J.B. Patterson, of said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a Book, the title of which is in the words following, to wit:
“Life of Makataimeshekiakiak, or Black Hawk, embracing the Traditions of his Nation, Indian Wars in which he has been engaged, Cause of joining the British in their late War with America, and its History. Description of the Rock River Village, Manners and Customs, Encroachments by the Whites contrary to Treaty. Removal from his village in 1831. With an account of the Cause and General History of the Late War, his Surrender and Confinement at Jefferson Barracks, and Travels through the United States. Dictated by himself.”
J.B. Patterson, of Rock Island, Illinois, Editor and Proprietor.
The right whereof he claims as author, in conformity with an act of Congress, entitled “An act to amend the several acts respecting copyrights.” W.H. BROWN, Clerk of the District of Illinois
Indian Agency, Rock Island, October 16, 1833. I do hereby certify, that Makataimeshekiakiak, or Black Hawk, did call upon me, on his return to his people in August last, and expressed a great desire to have a History of his Life written and published, in order (as he said) “that the people of the United States, (among whom he had been traveling, and by whom he had been treated with great respect, friendship and hospitality,) might know the “cause” that had impelled him to acts as he had done, and the “principles” by which he was governed.”
In accordance with his request, I acted as Interpreter; and was particularly cautious to understand distinctly the narrative of Black Hawk throughout and have examined the work carefully since its completion, and have no hesitation in pronouncing it strictly correct, in all its particulars.
Given under my hand, at the Sac and Fox agency, the day and date above written.
Antoine Le Clair, U.S. Interpreter for the Sacs and Foxes.
MA-NE-SO-NO OKE-MAUT WAP-PI MAK-QUAI
Ai nan-ni ta co-si-ya-quai, na-katch ai she-ke she-he-nack, hai-me-ka-ti ya-quai ke-she-he-nack, ken-e-chawe-he-ke kai-pec-kien a-cob, ai-we-ne-she we-he-yen; ne-wai-ta-sa-mak ke-kosh-pe kai-a-poi qui-wat. No-ta-wach-pai pai-ke se-na-mon nan-ni-yoo, ai-ke-kai na-o-pen. Ni-me-to sai-ne-ni-wen, ne-ta-to-ta ken ai mo-he-man ta-ta-que, ne-me-to-sai-ne-ne-wen.
Nin-a-kai-ka poi-pon-ni chi-cha-yen, kai-ka-ya ha-ma-we pa-she-to-he-yen. Kai-na-ya kai-nen-ne-naip, he-nok ki-nok ke-cha-kai-ya pai-no-yen ne-ket-te-sim-mak o-ke-te-wak ke-o-che, me-ka ti-ya-quois na-kach mai-quoi, a-que-qui pa-che-qui ke-kan-ni ta-men-nin. Ke-to-ta we-yen, a-que-ka-ni-co-te she-tai-hai-hai yen, nen, chai-cha-me-co kai-ke-me-se ai we-ke ken-na-ta-mo-wat ken-ne-wa-ha-o ma-quo-qua-yeai-quoi. Ken-wen-na ak-che-man wen-ni-ta-hai ke-men-ne to-ta-we-yeu, ke-kog-hai ke-ta-shi ke-kai na-we-yen, he-na-cha wai-che-we to-mo-nan, ai pe-che-qua-chi mo-pen ma-me-co, ma-che-we-ta na-mo-nan, ne-ya-we-nan qui-a-ha-wa pe-ta-kek, a que-year tak-pa-she-qui a-to-ta-mo-wat, chi-ye-tuk he-ne cha-wai-chi he-ni-nan ke-o-chi-ta mow-ta-swee-pai che-qua-que.
He-ni-cha-hai poi-kai-nen na-no-so-si-yen, ai o-sa-ke-we-yen, ke-pe-me-kai-mi-kat hai-nen hac-yai, na-na-co-si-peu, nen-a-kai-ne co-ten ne-co-ten ne-ka chi-a-quoi ne-me-cok me-to-sai ne-ne wak-kai ne-we-yen-nen, kai-shai ma-ni-to-ke ka-to-me-nak ke-wa-sai he-co-wai mi-a-me ka-chi pai-ko-tai-hear-pe kai-cee wa-wa-kia he-pe ha-pe-nach-he-cha, na-na-ke-na-way ni-taain ai we-pa-he-wea to-to-na ca, ke-to-ta-we-yeak, he-nok, mia-ni ai she-ke-ta ma-ke-si-yen, nen-a-kai na-co-ten ne-ka-he-nen e-ta-quois, wa toi-na-ka che-ma-ke-keu na-ta-che tai-hai-ken ai mo-co-man ye-we-yeu ke-to-towe. E-nok ma-ni-hai she-ka-ta-ma ka-si-yen, wen-e-cha-hai nai-ne-mak, mai-ko-ten ke ka-cha ma-men-na-tuk we-yowe, keu-ke-nok ai she-me ma-na-ni ta-men-ke-yowe. MA-KA-TAI-ME-SHE-KIA-KIAK Ma-taus-we Ki-sis, 1833.
To Brigadier General H. Atkinson:
The changes of fortune and vicissitudes of war made you my conqueror. When my last resources were exhausted, my warriors worn down with long and toilsome marches, we yielded, and I became your prisoner.
The story of my life is told in the following pages: it is intimately connected, and in some measure, identified, with a part of the history of your own: I have, therefore, dedicated it to you.
The changes of many summers have brought old age upon me, and I can not expect to survive many moons. Before I set out on my journey to the land of my fathers, I have determined to give my motives and reasons for my former hostilities to the whites, and to vindicate my character from misrepresentation. The kindness I received from you whilst a prisoner of war assures me that you will vouch for the facts contained in my narrative, so far as they came under your observation.
I am now an obscure member of a nation that formerly honored and respected my opinions. The pathway to glory is rough, and many gloomy hours obscure it. May the Great Spirit shed light on yours, and that you may never experience the humility that the power of the American government has reduced me to, is the wish of him, who, in his native forests, was once as proud and bold as yourself. BLACK HAWK. 10th Moon, 1833.
It is presumed that no apology will be required for presenting to the public the life of a Hero who has lately taken such high rank among the distinguished individuals of America. In the following pages he will be seen in the character of a Warrior, a Patriot and a State prisoner; in every situation he is still the chief of his Band, asserting their rights with dignity, firmness and courage. Several accounts of the late war having been published, in which he thinks justice is not done to himself or nation, he determined to make known to the world the injuries his people have received from the whites, the causes which brought on the war on the part of his nation, and a general history of it throughout the campaign. In his opinion this is the only method now left him to rescue his little Band, the remnant of those who fought bravely with him, from the effects of the statements that have already gone forth.
The facts which he states, respecting the Treaty of 1804, in virtue of the provisions of which the government claimed the country in dispute and enforced its arguments with the sword, are worthy of attention. It purported to cede tot he United States all of the country, including the village and corn-fields of Black Hawk and his band, on the east side of the Mississippi. Four individuals of the tribe, who were on a visit to St. Louis to obtain the liberation of on of their people from prison, were prevailed upon, says Black Hawk, to make this important treaty, without the knowledge or authority of the tribes, or nation.
In treating with the Indians for their country, it has always been customary to assemble the whole nation; because, as has been truly suggested by the Secretary of War, the nature of the authority of the chiefs of the tribe is such, that it is not often that they dare make a treaty of much consequence, and we might add, never, when involving so much magnitude as the one under consideration, without the presence of their young men. A rule so reasonable and just ought never to be violated, and the Indians might well question the right of the Government to dispossess them, when such violation was made the basis of its right.
The Editor has written this work according to the dictation of Black Hawk, through the United States Interpreter, at the Sac and Fox Agency of Rock Island. He does not, therefore, consider himself responsible for any of the facts, or views, contained in it, and leaves the Old Chief and his story with the public, whilst he neither asks, nor expects, any fame for his services as an amanuensis.