Keokuk

Keokuk
Meskwaki

Keokuk (1767–1848) was a chief of the Sauk or Sac tribe in central North America noted for his policy of cooperation with the U.S. government which led to conflict with Black Hawk, who led part of their band into the Black Hawk War.[1] Keokuk County, Iowa and the town of Keokuk, Iowa, where he is buried, are named for him.

In 1829 Caleb Atwater met Keokuk.

    Keeokuk, the principal warrior of the Sauks, is a shrewd politic man as well as a brave one and he possesses great weight of character in their national councils. He is a high minded, honorable man and never begs of the whites. While ascending the Mississippi to join us at the head of his brave troops, he met, arrested, and brought along with him to Fort Crawford two United States soldiers who were deserting from the garrison when he met them. I informed him that for this act he was entitled to a bounty in money, to which he proudly replied that he acted from motives of friendship towards the United States and would accept no money for it.

Keokuk was the Meskwaki Indian leader who sold Black Hawk's land, thus starting the Black Hawk War, one of the few wars that took place primarily in Wisconsin. "It is the most important though, because it was the Indians last stand against the white man in Wisconsin. The Black Hawk War has been described as shameful butchery . . . "

Keokuk, King


Black Hawk War by students of Freedom Area School District, Wisconsin

The Black Hawk War was one of the few wars that took place primarily in Wisconsin. It is the most important though, because it was the Indians last stand against the white man in Wisconsin. The Black Hawk War has been described as shameful butchery, and one of the most shameful episodes in the white man's dealings with the Indians.

When Black Hawk was kicked off his land by white settlers, he was bitter but left peacefully. He came back after a harsh winter, so he could farm, hunt, and live in peace. The white settlers were still frightened by Black Hawk, even though he just wanted to live in peace. When Black Hawk sent three men out with white flags, Major Tillmen, and his men, who were half drunk at the time, killed the three Sauk Indians because they felt threatened, and didn't understand the Indians language. Black Hawk only had forty men with him, but after a battle with the white men, he was said to have 2,000 blood thirsty warriors.

Chief Keokuk had not opposed the advance of the white men, and Keokuk and his followers eventually moved west of the Mississippi River. Although a four hundred square mile strip surrounding his village was exempted from the 1832 Black Hawk Purchase, he and his people were eventually moved further, to a reservation in Kansas, where Keokuk died in 1848. In 1883 his remains were moved back to the town named after him and a monument by Nellie Walker erected there in 1913.

Keokuk from Freedom Area Schools page


The Chief Keokuk Statue stands today in Rand Park, Keokuk, Iowa, erected by the Keokuk chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
  
This is Keokuk, the Indian leader who sold Black Hawk's land

Many times Black Hawk tied to surrender, but each time they were fired upon because the white men didn't understand them, and felt frightened by them. Black Hawk had no way of communicating with the white men because he didn't talk English. He was captured for a final time in August 1832 and placed in a prison until he signed a peace treaty. Black Hawk was then placed on an Iowa Reservation.


Keokuk from Freedom Area Schools page

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Compiled by: Glenn Welker




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