pub Chas. C. Chapman & Co..

History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws online

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Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 7 of 79)
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across the Bonpas prairie, we looked over the prairie about three
miles, and Judge Brown said, ' Hubbard, look! there goes a wolf; '
and I looked, and 1 looked, and I looked, and I said, 'Judge, where?'
and he said, 'There!' And I looked again, and this time in the
edge of a hazel thicket, about three miles across the prairie, I think
I saw the wolf's tail. Mr. Speaker, if I did not see a wolf that
time, I think I never saw one; but I have heard much, and read
more, about this animal. I have studied his natural history.

"By the bye, history is divided into two parts. There is first
the history of the fabulous; and secondly, of the non-fabulous, or
unknown age. Mr. Speaker, from all these sources of information
I learn that the wolf is a very noxious animal ; that he goes prowl-
ing about, seeking something to devour; that he rises up in the
dead and secret hours of night, when all nature reposes in silent
oblivion, and then commits the most terrible devastation upon the
rising generation of hogs and sheep.


" Mr, Speaker, I have done ; and I return my thanks to the house
for their kind attention to my remarks."

Gov. Edwards was a large and well-made man, with a noble,
princely appearance. Of him Gov. Ford says: "Ke never con-
descended to the common low art of electioneering. Whenever he
went out among the people he arrayed himself in the style of a
gentleman of the olden time, dressed in fine broadcloth, with short
breeches, long stockings, and high, fair- topped boots; was drawn in
a fine carriage driven by a negro; and for success he relied upon his
speeches, which were delivered in great pomp and in style of diffuse
and florid eloquence. When he was inaugurated in 1826, he
appeared before the General Assembly wearing a golden-laced cloak,
and with great pomp pronounced his first message to the houses
of the Legislature."


Demagogism had an early development. One John Grammar,
who was elected to the Territorial Legislature in 1816, and held the
position for about twenty years, invented the policy of opposing
every new thing, saying, " If it succeeds, no one will ask who
voted against it: if it proves a failure, he could quote its record."
When first honored with a seat in the Assembly, it is said that
he lacked the apparel necessary for a member of the Legislature,
and in order to procure them he and his sons gathered a large
quantity of hazel-nuts, which were taken to the Ohio Saline and
sold for cloth to make a coat and pantaloons. The cloth was the
blue strouding commonly used by the Indians.

The neighboring women assembled to make up the garments; the
cloth was measured every way, — across, lengthwise, and from corner
to corner,— and still was found to be scant. It was at last con-
cluded to make a very short, bob-tailed coat and a long pair of leg-
gins, which being finished, Mr. Grammar started for the State
capital. In sharp contrast with Grammar was the character of D.
P. Cook, in honor of whom Cook county was named. Such was
his transparent integrity and remarkable ability that his will was
almost the law of the State. In Congress, a young man and from
a poor State, he was made Chairman of the Ways and Means Com-
mittee. He was pre-eminent for standing by his committee, regard-
less of consequences. It was his integrity that elected John Quincy


Adams to the Presidency. There were four candidates in 1824,
Jackson, Clay, Crawford and Adams. There being no choice by
the people, the election was thrown into the House. It was so bal-
anced that it turned on his vote, and that he cast for Adams, elect-
ing him. He then came home to face the wrath of the Jackson
party in Illinois.

The first mail route in the State was established in 1805. This
was from Vincennes to Cahokia. In 182-1 there was a direct mail
route from Yandalia to Springfield. The first route irom the central
part of the State to Chicago was established in 1832, from Shelby-
ville. The difliculties and dangers encountered by the early mail
carriers, in time of Indian troubles, were very serious. The bravery
and ingenious devices of Harry Milton are mentioned with special
commendation. When a boy, in 1812, he conveyed the mail on a
wild French pony from Shawneetown to St. Louis, over swollen
streams and through the enemy's country. So infrequent and
irregular were the communications by mail a great part of the time,
that to-day, even the remotest part of the United States is unable to
appreciate it by example.

The first newspaper published in Illinois was the Illinois Herald,
established at Kaskaskia by Mathew Duncan. There is some va-
riance as to the exact time of its establisliment. Gov. Reynolds
claimed it was started in 1809. Wm. H. Brown, afterwards its
editor, gives the date as 1814.

In 1831 the criminal code was first adapted to penitentiary pun-
ishment, ever since which time the old system of whipping and
pillory for the punishment of criminals has been disused.

There was no legal rate of interest till 1830. Previously the rate
often reached as high as 150 per cent., but was usually 50 per cent.
Then it was reduced to 12, then to 10, and lastly to 8 per cent.



The Indians, who for some years were on peaceful terras with
the whites, became troublesome in 1827. The Winnebagoes, Sacs
and Foxes and other tribes had been at war for more than a hun-
dred years. In the summer of 1827 a war party of the "Winnebagoes
surprised a party of Chippewas and killed eight of them. Four


of the murderers were arrested and delivered to the Chippewas,
by whom they were immediately shot. This was the first irritation
of the Winnebagoes. Red Bird, a chief of this tribe, in order to
avenge the execution of the four warriors of his own people, attacked
the Chippewas, but was defeated; and being determined to satisfy
his thirst for revenge by some means, surprised and killed several
white men. Upon receiving intelligence of these murders, the
whites who were working the lead mines in the vicinity of Galena
formed a body of volunteers, and, re-inforced by a company of United
States troops, marched into the country of the Winnebagoes. To
save their nation from the miseries of war, E,ed Bird and six other
men of his nation voluntarily surrendered themselves. Some of
the number were executed, some of them imprisoned and destined,
like Red Bird, ingloriously to pine away within the narrow confines
of a jail, when formerly the vast forests had proven too limited for


In August, 1S30, another gubernatorial election was held. The
candidates were William Kinney, then Lieutenant Governor, and
John Reynolds, formerly an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court,
both Jackson Democrats. The opposition brought forward no can-
didate, as they were in a helpless minority. Reynolds was the
successful candidate, and under his administration was the famous


In the year of 1804 a treaty was concluded between the United
States and the chiefs of the Sac and Fox nations. One old chief of
the Sacs, however, called Black Hawk, who had fought with great
bravery in the service of Great Britain during the war of 1812, had
always taken exceptions to this treaty, pronouncing it void. In 1831
he established himself, with a chosen band of warriors, upon the dis-
puted territory, ordering the whites to leave the country at once. The
settlers complaining, Gov. Reynolds dispatched Gen. Gaines, with a
company of regulars and 1,500 volunteers, to the scene of action.
Taking the Indians by surprise, the troops burnt their villages and
forced them to conclude a treaty, by which they ceded all lands east
of the Mississippi, and agreed to remain on the western side of the
river. Necessity forced the proud spirit of Black Hawk into
submission, which made him more than ever determined to be



avenged upoi: his enemies. Having rallied around him the warlike
braves of the Sac, and Fox nations, he crossed the Mississippi in the
spring of lo32. Upon hearing of the invasion, Gov. Reynolds
hastily collect.- ' a body of 1,800 volunteers, placing them under the
command >i iJiig-Gen. Samuel Whiteside.

stillman's run.

The army marched to the Mississippi, and having reduced to
ashes the Indian village known as ''Prophet's Town,'' proceeded
for several miles up the river to Dixon, to join the regular forces
under Gen. Atkinson. They found at Dixon two companies of
volunteers, who, sigliing for glory, were dispatched to reconnoiter
the enemy. They advanced under command of Maj. Stillman, to a
creek afterwards called "Stillman's run;" and while encamping
there saw a party of mounted Indians at the distance of a mile.
Several of Silllman's party mounted their horses and charged the
Indians, killing three of them; but, attacked by the main body
under Black Ilawk, they were routed, and by their precipitate
flight spread such a panic through the camp that the whole company
ran off to Dixon as fast as their legs could carry them. On their
arrival it was found that there had been eleven killed. The party
came s':;iggling into camp all night long, four or five at a time,
each sqiM i positive that all who were left behind were massacred.

It is fa.ii 1 that a big, tall Kentuckian, with a loud voice, who
was a coloirji !;f the militia but a private with Stillman, upon. his
arrival in ca.r.'- gave to Gen. Whiteside and the wondering multi-
tude the foil'/.. ins: o-lowins: and bombastic account of the battle:
"Sirs," sai'l lie, "our detachment was encamped among some scat-
tering timber on the north side of Old Man's creek, with the prairie
from the north gently sloping down to our encampment. It was
just after twiliglit, in the gloaming of the evening, when we dis-
covered Black Hawk's army coming down upon us in solid column;
they displayed in the form of a crescent upon the brow of the prai-
rie, and such accuracy and precision of military movements were
never witnessed by tnan; they were equal to the best troops of
Wellington in Spain. . have said that the Indians came down in
solid columns, and dis;>layed in the form of a crescent; and what was
most wonderful, there were large squares of cavalry resting upon
the points of the curve, which squares were supported again by


other columns fifteen deep, extending back through the woods and
over a swamp three-quarters of a mile, which again rested on the
main body of Black Hawk's army bivouacked upon the banks of the
Kishwakee. It was a terrible and a glorious sight to see the tawny
warriors as they rode along our flanks attempting to outflank us,
with the glittering moonbeams glistening from their polished blades
and burnished spears. It was a sight well calculated to strike con-
sternation in the stoutest and boldest heart; and accordingly our
men soon began to break in small squads, for tall timber. In a
very little time the rout became general, the Indians were soon
upon our flanks and threatened the destruction of our entire detach-
ment. About this time Maj. Stillman, Col. Stephenson, Maj.
Perkins, Capt. Adams, Mr. Hackelton, and myself, with some
others, threw ourselves into the rear to rally the fugitives and pro-
tect the retreat. But in a short time all my companions fell
bravely fighting hand-to-hand with the savage enemy, and I alone
was left upon the field of battle. About this time I discovered not
far to the left a corps of horsemen which seemed to be in tolerable
order. I immediately deployed to the left, when, leaning down and
placing my body in a recumbent posture upon the mane of my
horse so as to bring the heads of the horsemen between my eye
and the horizon, I discovered by the light of the moon that they
were gentlemen who did not wear hats, by which token I knew they
were no friends of mine. I therefore made a retrogade movement
and recovered my position, where I remained some time meditating
what further I could do in the service of my country, when a ran-
dom ball came whistling by my ear and plainly whispered to me,
' Stranger, you have no further business here.' Upon hearing this I
followed the example of my companions in arras, and broke for
tall timber, and the way I ran was not a little."

For a long time afterward Maj. Stillnan and his men were sub-
jects of ridicule and merriment, which was as undeserving as their
expedition was disastrous. Stillman's defeat spread consternation
throughout the State and nation. The number of Indians was
greatly exaggerated, and the name of Black Hawk carried with it
associations of great military talent, savage cunning and cruelty.


A regiment sent to spy out the country between Galena and Eock
Island was surprised by a party of seventy Indians, and was on the


point of being thrown into disorder when Gen. Whiteside, then
serving as a private, shouted out that he would shoot the first man
who should turn his back to the enemy. Order being restored, the
battle began. At its very outset Gen. Whiteside shot the leader of
the Indians, who thereupon commenced a hasty retreat.

In June, 1832, Black Hawk, with a band of 150 warriors, attack-
ed the Apple River Fort, near Galena, defended by 25 men. This
fort, a mere palisade of logs, was erected to afford protection to the
miners. For fifteen consecutive hours the garrison had to sustain
the assault of the savage enemy ; but knowing very well that no
quarter would be given them, they fought with such fury and des-
peration that the Indians, after losing many of their best warriors,
were compelled to retreat.

Another party of eleven Indians murdered two men near Fort
Hamilton. They were afterwards overtaken by a company of
twenty men and every one of them was killed.


A new regiment, under the command of Gen. Atkinson, assem-
bled on the banks of the Illinois in the latter part of June. Maj.
Dement, with a small party, was sent out to reconnoittr the move-
ments of a large body of Indians, whose endeavors to surround him
made it advisable for him to retire. Upon hearing of this engage-
ment, Gen. Atkinson sent a detachment to intercept the Indians,
while he with the main body of his army, moved north to meet the
Indians under Black Hawk. They moved slowly and cautiously
through the country, passed through Turtle village, and marched
up along Bock river. On their arrival news was brought of the
discovery of the main trail of the Indians. Considerable search
was made, but they were unable to discover any vestige of Indians
save two who had shot two soldiers the day previous.

Hearing that Black Hawk was encamped on Bock river, at the
Manitou village, they resolved at once to advance upon the enemy;
but in the execution of their design they met with opposition from
their officers and men. The officers of Gen. Henry handed to him
a written protest; but he, a man equal to any emergency, ordered
the officers to be arrested and escorted to Gen. Atkinson. Within
a few minutes after the stern order was given, the officers all collected
around the General's quarters, many of them with tears in their


eyes, pledging themselves that if forgiven they would return to duty
and never do the like again. The General rescinded the order, and
they at once resumed duty.


Gen. Henry marched on the 15th of July in pursuit of the
Indians, reaching Rock river after three days' journey, where he
learned Black Hawk was encamped further up the river. On July
19th the troops were ordered to commence their march. After
having made fifty miles, they were overtaken by a terrible thunder-
storm which lasted all night. Notliing cooled, however, in their
courage and zeal, they marched again fifty miles the next dav,
encamping near the place where the Indians had encamped the
night before. Hurrying along as fast as they could, the infantry
keeping up an equal pace with the mounted force, the troops on the
morning of the 21st crossed the river connecting two of the four
lakes, by which the Indians had been endeavoring to escape. They
found, on their way, the ground strewn with kettles and articles of
baggage, which the haste of their retreat had obliged the Indians
to throw away. The troops, inspired with new ardor, advanced so
rapidly that at noon they fell in with the rear guard of the Indians.
Those who closely pursued them were saluted with a sudden
fire of musketry by a body of Indians who had concealed them-
selves in the high grass of the prairie. A most desperate charge
was made upon the Indians, who, unable to resist, retreated
obliquely, in order to out-flank the volunteers on the right; but the
latter charged the Indians in their ambush, and expelled them
from their thickets at the point of the bayonet, and dispersed them.
Night set in and the battle ended, having cost the Indians 6S of
their bravest men, while the loss of the Illiuoisans amounted to but
one killed and 8 wounded.

Soon after this battle Gens. Atkinson and Henry joined their
forces and pursued the Indians. Gen. Henry struck the main trail,
left his horses behind, formed an advance guard of eight men,
and marched forward upon their trail. When these eio-ht men
came within sight of .the river, they were suddenly fired upon and
five of them killed, the remaining three maintaining their ground
till Gen. Henry came up. Then the Indians, charged upon with
the bayonet, fell back upon their main force. The battle now


became general; the Indians fought with desperate valor, but were
furiously assailed by the volunteers with their bayonets, cutting
many of the Indians to pieces and driving the rest into the river.
Those who escaped from being drowned took refuge on an island. On
hearing the frequent discharge of musketry, indicating a general
engagement, Gen. Atkinson abandoned the pursuit of the twenty
Indians under Black Hawk himself, and hurried to the scene of
action, where he arrived too late to take part in the battle. He
immediately forded the river with his troops, the water reaching
up to their necks, and landed on the island where the Indians had
secreted themselves. The soldiers rushed upon the Indians, killed
several 'of them, took others prisoner, and chased the rest into
the river, where they were either drowned or shot before reaching
the opposite shore. Thus ended the battle, the Indians losing 300
besides 50 prisoners; the whites but 17 killed and 12 wounded.


Many painful incidents occurred during this battle. A Sac
woman, the sister of a warrior of some notoriety, found herself in
the thickest of the fight, but at length succeeded in reaching the
river, when, keeping her infant child safe in its blankets by means
of her teeth, she plunged into the water, seized the tail of a horse
with her hands whose rider was swimming the stream, and was
drawn safely across. A young squaw during the battle was stand-
ing in the grass a short distance from the American line, holding
her child — a little girl of four years — in her arms. In this posi-
tion a ball struck the right arm of the child, shattering the bone,
and passed into the breast of the young mother, instantly killing
her. She fell upon the child and confined it to the ground till the
Indians were driven from that part of the field. Gen. Anderson,
of the United States army, hearing its cries, went to the spot, took
it from under the dead body and carried it to the surgeon to have
its wound dressed. The arm was amputated, and during the oper-
ation the half-starved child did not cry, but sat quietly eating a
hard piece of biscuit. It was sent to Prairie du Chien, where it
entirely recovered.


Black Hawk, with his twenty braves, retreated up the Wisconsin.
river. The Winnebagoes, desirous of securing the friendship of


the whites, went in pursuit and captured and delivered them to
Gen. Street, the United States Indian agent. Among the prisoners
were the son of Black Hawk and the prophet of the tribe. These
with Black Hawk were taken to Washington, D. C, and soon con-
signed as prisoners at Fortress Monroe.

At the interview Black Hawk had with the President, he closed
his speech delivered on the occasion in the following words: " We
did not expect to conquer the whites. They have too many houses,
too many men. I took up the hatchet, for my part, to revenge
injuries which my people could no longer endure. Had I borne
them longer without striking, my people would have said, ' Black
Hawk is a woman; he is too old to be a chief; he is no Sac' These
reflections caused me to raise the war-whoop. I say no more. It
is known to you. Keokuk once was here; you took him by the
hand, and when he wished to return to his home, you were willing.
Black Hawk expects, like Keokuk, he shall be permitted to return


Black Hawk, or Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiah, was born in the prin-
cipal Sac village, near the junction of Eock river with tlie Missis-
sippi, in the year 1767. His father's name was Py-e-sa. Black
Hawk early distinguished himself as a warrior, and at the age of
fifteen was permitted to paint, and was ranked among the braves.
About the year 1783 he went on an expedition against the enemies
of his nation, the Osages, one of whom he killed and scalped; and
for this deed of Indian bravery he was permitted to join in the
scalp dance. Three or four years afterward he, at the head of two
hundred braves, went on another expedition against the Osages, to
avenge the murder of some women and children belonging to his
own tribe. Meeting an equal number of Osage warriors, a fierce
battle ensued in which the latter tribe lost one-half their number.
The Sacs lost only about nineteen warriors. He next attacked the
Cherokees for a similar cause. In a severe battle with them near
the present city of St. Louis his father was slain, and Black Hawk,
taking possession of the " Medicine Bag," at once announced him-
self chief of the Sac nation. He had now conquered the Cherokees,
and about the year 1800, at the head of five hundred Sacs and
Foxes and a hundred lowas, he waged war against the Osage


nation, and subdued it. For two years he battled successfully with
Other Indian tribes, all of which he conquered.

The year following the treaty at St. Louis, in 1804, the United
States Government erected a fort near the head of Des Moines
Kapids, called Fort Edwards. This seemed to enrage Black Hawk,
who at once determined to capture Fort Madison, standing on the
west side of the Mississippi, above the mouth of the Des Moines.
The fort was garrisoned by about fifty men. Here he was defeated.
The difliculties with the British Government arose about this time,
and the war of 1812 followed. That government, extending aid to
the Western Indians, induced them to remain hostile to the Ameri-
cans. In August, 1812, Black Hawk, at the head of about five
hundred braves, started to join the British forces at Detroit, passing
on his way the site of Chicago, where the famous Fort Dearborn
massacre had a few days before been perpetrated. Of his con-
nection with the British but little is known.

In the early part of 1815, the Indians west of the Mississippi
were notified that peace had been declared between the United
States and England, and nearly all hostilities had ceased. Black
Hawk did not sign any treaty, however, until May of the following
year. From the time of signing this treaty, in 1816, until the
breaking out of the Black Hawk war, he and his band passed their
time in the common pursuits of Indian life.

Ten years before the commencement of this war, the Sac and
Fox Indians were urged to move to the west of the Mississippi.
All were agreed, save the band known as the Britisli Band, of which
Black Hawk was leader. He strongly objected to the removal, and
was induced to comply only after being threatened by the Govern-
ment. This action, and various others on the part of the white
settlers, provoked Black Hawk and his band to attempt the capture
of his native village, now occupied by the whites. The war fol-
lowed. He and his actions were undoubtedly misunderstood, and
had his wishes been complied with at tlie beginning of the struggle,
much bloodshed would have been prevented.


By order of the President, Black Hawk and his companions,

Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 7 of 79)