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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 17, 2003 - Issue 87


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Autobiography of Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak, or Black Hawk

Dictated to himself with Antoine LeClair, U.S. Interpreter and J. B. Patterson, Editor and Amanuensis, Rock Island, Illinois, 1833
credits: submitted by Timm Severud (Ondamitag)

Embracing the Traditions of his Nation, Various Wars in which He has been Engaged, and his Account of the Cause and General History of the Black Hawk War of 1832 His Surrender, and Travels Through the United States.


     Be it remembered, that on this sixteenth day of November, Anno Domino 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."
Clerk of the District of Illinois.

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 causes that had impelled him to act 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.

U. S. Interpreter for the Sacs and Foxes.


Autobiography of Black Hawk
Mr. Graham's Speech
Starts for a New Home
Black Hawk's Last Visit
Black Hawk's Removal to the Des Moines River




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