"Black Hawk War 1832," Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History, Helen H. Tanner, 1987

Disputed Lands

Sac Indians established a village at Saukenuk (Rock Island) in 1738, but after 1804 the group became divided over the terms of several treaties ceding lands to Americans. By 1831, the Illinois militia forced remaining villagers into Iowa. In April 1832, Black Hawk, a Sac war leader, returned to Illinois with 1,000 people, including women and children, and peaceably proceeded along the Rock River. Inexperienced militia scouts started hostilities by misinterpreting the approach of Sac envoys bearing a white flag at Stillman’s Run on May 14.