“In the spring of 1831, the Black Hawk and his party were augmented by many Indians from Ihoway River. This augmentation of forces made the Black Hawk very proud, and he supposed nothing would be done about removing him and his party.
“General Gaines visited the Black Hawk and his party this season, with a force of regulars and militia, and compelled them to remove to the west side of the Mississippi River, on their own lands.
“When the Black Hawk and party recrossed to the east side of the Mississippi River in 1832, they numbered three hundred and sixty-eight men. They were hampered with many women and children, and had no intention to make war. When attacked by General Stillman’s detachment, they defended themselves like men; and I would ask, who would not do so, likewise? Thus the war commenced.
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“The Indians had been defeated, dispersed, and some of the principal chiefs are now in prison and in chains, at Jefferson Barracks....
“It is very well known, by all who know the Black Hawk, that he has always been considered a friend to the whites. Often has he taken into his lodge the wearied white man, given him good food to eat, and a good blanket to sleep on before the fire. Many a good meal has the Prophet given to people travelling past his village, and very many stray horses has he recovered from the Indians and restored to their rightful owners, without asking any recompense whatever....
“What right have we to tell any people, ’You shall not cross the Mississippi River on any pretext whatever’? When the Sauk and Fox Indians wish to cross the Mississippi, to visit their relations among the Pottowattamies of Fox River, Illinois, they are prevented by us, because we have the power!”
I omit the old gentleman’s occasional comments upon the powers that dictated, and the forces which carried on, the warfare of this unhappy summer. There is every reason to believe that had his suggestions been listened to, and had he continued the Agent of the Sauks and Foxes, a sad record might have been spared,—we should assuredly not have been called to chronicle the untimely fate of his successor, the unfortunate M. St. Vrain, who, a comparative stranger to his people, was murdered by them, in their exasperated fury, at Kellogg’s Grove, soon after the commencement of the campaign.
It seems appropriate to notice in this place the subsequent appearance before the public of one of the personages casually mentioned in the foregoing narrative.
In the autumn of 1864 we saw advertised for exhibition at Wood’s Museum, Chicago, “The most remarkable instance of longevity on record—the venerable Joseph Crely, born on the 13th of September, 1726, and having consequently reached, at this date, the age of ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-NINE YEARS!” Sundry particulars followed of his life and history, and, above all, of his recollections.