Celebrated on the Illinois State Library Gwendolyn Brooks Building
Born: 1767 in the village of Saukenuk (Present-day Rock Island, Illinois)
Died: October 3, 1838 in Davis County, Iowa
Black Hawk was born in the village of Saukenuk on the Rock River, in present-day Rock Island.
Biographical and Professional Information
As a chief of the Sauk tribe, Black Hawk led the Sauk and Fox Indians in the Black Hawk War of 1832. The war was a revolt against government orders for Indians to vacate disputed tribal lands along the Rock River in northwestern Illinois. In 1833, he dictated his autobiography, which is considered a classic statement of his people's grievances.
He earned a place in the History of Illinois literature with his eloquent autobiography, Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak (1833), republished as Black Hawk: An Autobiography (1955).
- Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, 1833 republished as: Black Hawk: An Autobiography, 1955
Titles at Your Library
Life of Black Hawk, or Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak: Dictated by Himself (Penguin Classics)
Release Date: 2008-05-27
In 1990, his name was engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures.
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