Legacy of Black Hawk endures in Illinois


By Tom Emery

The Sauk warrior Black Hawk is best known for the brief war of 1832 that bears his name. However, a study of Black Hawk as an individual reveals a complex and enigmatic personality.

Black Sparrow Hawk, or Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, was not a chief, though he wielded considerable influence within the Sauk tribe. He was born in Saukenuk, the traditional Sauk village in the area of present-day Rock Island, Ill., in 1767. He was likely an only child and adored his father Pyesa, but made considerably less mention of his mother, Singing Rain.

The young man went to war for the first...

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