Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Black Hawk  

Pen Name: 


Born: 1767 in the village of Saukenuk (Present-day Rock Island, Illinois)


Illinois Connection

Black Hawk was born in the village of Saukenuk on the Rock River, in present-day Rock Island.

Biographical and Professional Information

As a chief of the Sauk tribe, Black Hawk led the Sauk and Fox Indians in the Black Hawk War of 1832. The war was a revolt against government orders for Indians to vacate disputed tribal lands along the Rock River in northwestern Illinois. In 1833, he dictated his autobiography, which is considered a classic statement of his people's grievances. He earned a place in the History of Illinois literature with his eloquent autobiography, ''Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak'' (1833), republished as ''Black Hawk: An Autobiography'' (1955).

Published Works Expand for more information

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-- Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990