Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak or Black Hawk, … with an account of the cause and the general history of the late war, his surrender and confinement at Jefferson barracks, and travels through the United States dictated by himself.

Cincinnati: J.P. Patterson, 1833. 8vo. 155 pp. FIRST EDITION. Contemporary paper over boards, worn and stained, remnant of original spine label; interior foxed and stained. Pencil inscription on pastedown dated January 12, 1861, another ownership inscription of J.S. Whitney dated 1835 on the fly-leaf. Item #17586

Rare first edition. Black Hawk led a faction of Sauk, Fox, Kickapoo, and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) peoples in an effort to fight the disposition of fifty million acres of territory once promised to him in a treaty with the U.S. government in 1804. Tensions and fighting culminated in 1832 during the short-lived Black Hawk War in which he attempted to re-occupy his tribal land along the Rock River in Illinois. Suffering from depleted resources, Black Hawk’s followers, including women and children, were massacred at the Bad Axe River. Black Hawk and a few others momentarily escaped but were quickly captured and held in captivity, during which time they were met by artists and authors like George Caitlin and Washington Irving as well as huge crowds hoping to catch a glimpse of the prisoners.

Black Hawk (1767–1838) dictated his life story to LeClair who was a mixed-race interpreter towards the end of his captivity 1833 at Fort Armstrong. The editor, Patterson, published the work soon after. It is important to recognize that the editor, Patterson, as well as LeClair likely added their own interpretation of events in order to appeal to an American audience. Nonetheless, it is one of the few autobiographies from a Native American and a rare glimpse into the history and tragedy of Black Hawk’s people.

Price: $1,500.00