IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Table of Contents

History of Clayton County, Iowa
Chapter I

In the Beginning
Original Inhabitants

In the Beginning
(page 249-255)

The county of Clayton is situated in the northeastern part of the State of Iowa, and is bounded on the east by the Mississippi River, on the west by Fayette County, on the north by Alamakee County, and on the south by Dubuque and Delaware Counties.

The surface of the upland is at an elevation of about 600 feet above the Mississippi. There is about one-third prairie, one-third openings or barrens, and one-third well timbered; mostly high-rolling, well watered with fine springs and streams of various widths, up to four chains. From the precipitous bluffs of the streams, the surface grows less rough to the highlands, which are gently undulating. The soil of the prairies is a deep, rich, black loam, based upon a thick subsoil of yellow clay. The soil of the timberland is excellent for wheat. The streams afford an abundance of fish and power to propel a vast amount of machinery. The streams of the county are treated in a special article prepared by Hon E. Price, now deceased, while the geology and topography of the county are treated by Hon. Samuel Murdock.

The first settlement made within the present limits of the county was in 1833, on Turkey River, about four miles from its mouth, on the north side, nearly opposite Millville, on the place afterward known as the Lander farm, and on what was afterward known as the Pierson farm. On the former located Robert Hetfield and William W. Wayman, and on the latter, William D. Grant. Previous to this settlement, however, there has been a cabin erected at the mouth of the river that was used as a ferry house. The first person who came into the county for the purpose of making a permanent location was William W. Wayman. He brought with him as a housekeeper, Rebecca Clues, who was the first white person (so-called) that came into the county. In 1860 Judge Price thus wrote of her: "This woman, who died recently, and who was for many years a county charge, always passed for a white person. Formerly she was a dark mulatto, and the slave and property of Governor Clark, of Missouri, who emancipated her after her change of color. This change of color from a mulatto to a white took place immediately after her recovery from a severe attack of bilious fever. She was the head or principal cook in the family of Governor Clark, who lived in great style at St. Louis, and was the owner of many slaves. As a cook she had few superiors. When she first came to the mines she could speak the French and Spanish languages as well as the English, but in after years she lost all knowledge of the French and Spanish, and began to speak the English with the negro dialect. Aunt Becky, as she was called, had experienced many of the vicissitudes of frontier life. She had been a slave and a free woman; a mulatto and a white woman; she could speak at one time three languages; she was the first woman that came into Clayton County, and, after a residence here of twenty-four years, was the first woman in the county who died a pauper, after having attained the age of about eighty years."

In January, 1836, Dr. Frederick Andros made a claim on the edge of High Prairie, about one mile southeast from where Garnavillo is now situated, built a cabin, placed it in charge of a man he had employed to occupy the claim and make rails. A man by the name of Loomis made a claim about the same time, adjoining that of Dr. Andros. A claim was also made by John W. Gillet, which covered a part of the ground now occupied by Garnavillo. He built a cabin and moved into it.

During the spring William Correll made a claim in what is now Farmersburg, built a cabin, and spent the summer in learning the French language and splitting rails. Allen Carpenter made a claim three miles northwest of Correll's. In June or July Mr. Gillet brought on a breaking team and commenced plowing on the prairie, which is believed to be the first prairie broken in the county.

On the 15th of July, Elisha Boardman, Harry Boardman, Horace D. Bronson and a man by the name of Hastings started on horseback from Green Bay, followed up Fox River to the portage where they found a Mackinaw boat, belonging to the American Fur Company, that had just discharged a cargo of furs, and was aoubt returning. In this the Boardmans took passage down the Wisconsin River to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and there hired a half-breed to take them in a canoe to Cassville, Wisconsin, where they joined Bronson and Hastings, who had proceeded to that place on horseback, following along the course of the river. Here they crossed the Mississippi and went up to Hetfield's, where they left their horses to recruit, and with two others, procured of Captian Grant and E. Price, they commenced exploration of Turkey River, accompanied by Grant. Their stock of provisions consisted of twelve pounds of pork and an equal quantity of four, their weapon being a small shot-gun. A halt was made at the forks of the river, eight miles below Fort Atkinson, and that night the Indians stole both their horses. After a fruitless search for them in the morning they concluded to return, for having killed no game, their pork and flour had got reduced to a pound and a half of each. The flour was mixed up, baked in the ashes, and divided into five equal parts. Grant and Bronson decided to return on foot, while the others constructed a raft to float down the river. The foot passengers took the pork and started back. The raft was made of two troughs fastened together, and at first was sufficient to carry only one person. The river was low and they proceeded very slowly, making additions to the raft of such dry cedars as were convenient to the river, until it was sufficiently extensive to bear up the three.

As they floated along they espied on the bank an old coon with three young ones. Under ordinary circumstances such game would not be very tempting; but the strong demands of appetite compelled them to bag such game as they could get. The [rac]coons were killed, taken to the Big Spring, about five miles above Elkader, roasted and eaten. After dinner a claim was marked out including the Big Spring, but fears were entertained that it might be within the limits of the 'neutral ground.'

Another landing was made where Elkader now stands, and Elisha Boardman marked out a claim extending on both sides the river. They continued their journey day and night, sometimes getting into the water to work their raft over shallow places, with occasional stoppage to gather gooseberries, which, aside from one duck and the [rac]coons, were the only food, until at the end of four days they reached the Lander place, about three hours after Grant and Bronson had arrived.

After stopping a few days to recruit, Elisha Boardman and Mr. Bronson started back to Green Bay with but one horse, leaving the other with Captain Grant to plow out his corn. About the first of October they purchased a large bark canoe of three tons capacity, and started for their new home on Turkey River. Mr. Boardman with his goods, Mr. Bronson with his goods and family, and five others who were coming to see the country, made a pretty large canoe load. At the portage the canoe and cargo were carried over and launched in the Wisconsin River, whence they descended to Prairie du Chien. There they purchased a team and provisions. They was no ferry across the Mississippi at that place, and it was with much difficulty that they succeeded in obtaining an old flat-boat, belonging to the Governemnt, and repairing it so as to get over with their loads. Alexander McGregor, who had recently come to Prairie du Chien, rendered them material assistance in caulking and launching the boat, crossed with them and returned the boat. They were four days in traveling with their team from the Mississippi to Elkader, where they arrived on the 10th of October. At that time there were at Mc Gregor, then called Conlee de Sioux, two unoccupied cabins, built by Thomas S. Burnett.

A few other persons settled on Turkey River and its tributaries during the fall, and some improvements were made by way of building saw mills. William Rowan began one on Little Turkey and sold out to Robert Hetfield, who got it to running before winter set in. William W. Wayman began one on Elk Creek, near its mouth. Boardman and Bronson began one on Dry Mill Branch, on section seventeen, township ninety-three, range four. When they commenced work upon it in December, 1836, the stream was sufficiently large to carry a saw-mill to do a good business. One morning in Februray, 1837, upon going to the stream they discovered, much to their astonishment, that it had entirely disappeared and there was no water left.

In 1836 the public surveys were begun, and the county was run into townships. The following year most of the townships were subdivided into sections, except that portion within the 'neutral ground.'

Up to the year 1830, this part of the State was occupied by hostile tribes of Indians who were continually making war under pretext of trespass on their hunting grounds; the Dakotas or Sioux on one side, and the Sacs and Foxes on the other, the former occupying the north, and the latter south of an imaginary boundary line. To remedy this difficulty, on the 15th day of July, 1830, the United States Government entered into a treaty with the tribes named, by which each of the contending parties ceded to the Government a strip of land twenty miles in width along their line of division, from the Mississippi in a southwesterly direction to the head waters of the Des Moines. This was called the "neutral gound," and both parties were to have the privilege in common of hunting and fishing upon this broad division line. About three townships in the northwest part of this county were included in the neutral ground. The whites were not permitted to settle or make any improvements upon this tract until after the Indians were removed in 1848.

IN the spring of 1838 the Governor of Wisconsin Territory appointed John W. Griffth the first Sheriff of Clayton County, who proceeded to summon the grand and petit juries for the first term of the "District Court appointed to be holden at Prairie La Porte, in and for the County of Clayton, in the Territory of Wisconsin, on the fourth of May."

The court was held at the time and place mentioned, after which the sheriff proceeded to take the census of the county preparatory to an election for the purpose of organizing the county, also including the present State of Minnesota, which was attached to Clayton County for judicial purposes. The following is the report of the sheriff:

"The number of persons within my division , consisting of two hundred seventy-four, appears in a schedule hereto annexed, subscribed by me this 29th day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight. This division is confined to Clayton county proper.
J.W. GRIFFITH, Sheriff Clayton Co. W.T."

Heads of families & prin'l persons White Males White Fem Total   Heads of families & prin'l persons White Males White Fem Total
J.W. Griffith 5 6 11   Bradford Porter 1 3 4
Robt. Campbell 3 2 5   Jacob Lemmons 3 5 8
Elias Miller 1 - 1   Henry Johnson 2 - 2
Dudley Peck 2 - 2   John Frost 1 - 1
David Springer 6 2 8   Henry Warner 1 - 1
Luther Patch 5 5 10   Jesse Dandley 6 1 7
E. Price 5 - 5   E. Boardman 4 - 4
Henry Redmon 2 2 4   Wm. W. Wayman 4 - 4
Tho's. Van Syckle 2 3 5   Naham Dudley 2 - 2
S. Wadsworth 1 1 2   E.R. Hill 3 - 3
James Henderson 6 2 8   Baldwin Ohmstead 7 2 9
Geo W. Jones 5 4 9   D.C. Van Syckle 5 2 7
Luther Mead 2 - 2   Wm. D. Grant 2 - 2
H.F. Lander 7 3 9   Samuel Johnson 2 3 5
S.L. Taintor 1 1 2   ---------- McCraney 1 2 3
A.S. Cooley 5 1 6   E.E. Oliver 5 2 7
A. Kennedy 4 5 9   Wm. Walker 5 4 9
Wm. Harper 2 4 6   Jacob F. Redmon 2 - 2
C.S. Edson 1 - 1   F.L. Rudolph 1 - 1
Herman Graybill 2 1 1   Charles Latrouce 4 4 8
Wm. Warner 2 3 5   S. LaPoint 1 1 2
Patton McMellan 3 2 5   --------- Burns 2 - 2
Robert Hetfield 9 2 11          
Reuben Decus 2 2 4   TOTAL 181 93 274
H.D. Bronson 2 1 3          
Fred'k Andros 3 2 4          
S. McMasters 4 - 4          
Allen Carpenter 2 2 4          
David Lowry 13 3 16  

There being a sufficient number to organize, an election was held on the 10th day of September, polls being opened at two places, at Turkey River settlement, where a town had been laid off by the name of Winchester, and at Prairie La Porte. The county officers elected were as follows: County Commissioners- William D. Grant, Robert Campbell and George Culver; Treasurer- Ambrose Kennedy; Recorder- Frederick Andros; Sheriff and Assessor- John W. Griffith; Probate Judge- S. H. McMasters; Supreme Court Commissioner- William W. Wayman; County Surveyor- C. S. Edson; Coroner- J. B. Quigley.

The officers elect at once qualified and entered upon the discharge of their duties, and Clayton County had an existence in fact as well as in name.


Original Inhabitants
(page 255-263)

The original inhabitants of this section were various tribes of Indians, particularly the Winnebagoes, the Sauks or Sacs, and the Musquakees or Foxes. For centuries it is probable that they hunted and fished, and fought each other, tribe conquering tribe, until finally near the beginning of the present century it was in peaceable possession of the Sacs and Foxes.

IN 1804 the Sacs and Foxes ceded to the United States, through General Harrison, all their lands lying upon Rock River, and much elsewhere. The principal Sac village was at a point of land between the junction of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers, a point just below the present site of Davenport, on the Illinois side. There, according to tradition, had been a village for 150 years. The entire country belonging to the tribes bordered on the Mississippi and extended aobut 700 miles down the river from the mouth of the Wisconsin, reaching very nearly to the Missouri River. In 1820 they numbered about 3,000 persons in all, of whom, perhaps, 600 were warriors.

The Sac village alluded to was commanded by the celebrated Black Hawk, alias Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak. The Musquakees, or Foxes, lived further north, and had, near the lead mines, their principal village. Still, notwithstanding the separation of the Sacs and Foxes, they were, in reality, but one tribe, as they hunted together, had similar customs, and so far as unity of purpose was concerned in their enmity to the Sioux and other nations, they were indissoluble.

Black Hawk was the most celebrated "brave" of his nation. He had been in the service of England in 1812; had been an intimate friend of Tecumseh; was ranked among the braves at the early age of sixteen, and at the age of twenty, or thereabouts, succeeded his father as chief, the latter having been killed in a bloody battle with the Cherokees. With such a life, scarcely if ever defeated in battle -- proud, imperious, and with a deep tinge of melancholy in his later years -- venerated by his braves, and feared by his enemies, he was no common man, nor would his nature admit of such treatment as might be endured patiently by ordinary or less strongly marked men.

Black Hawk would never acknowledge the validity of the treaty of 1804. As the whites did not desire to occupy the country ceded until about the year 1830, the Indians were permitted peacefully to remain. At that time they were ordered across the Mississippi River, and took up their abode on the Iowa side. But the spirit of discontent was in Black Hawk, and the same spirit permeated many others among his tribe. They therefore crossed the river into Illinois, took possession of their old villages and murdered several white persons. This movement of Black Hawk excited alarm among the white people who had settled in that part of Illinois, and complaint was made to Governor Reynolds, of that State, against their presence. The complaints represented that the Indians were insolent, and had committed many acts of violence. Governor Ford says the Indians ordered the white settlers away, threw down their fences, unroofed their houses, cut up their grain, drove off and killed their cattle, and threatened the people with death if they remained. These acts of the Indians were considered by Governor Reynolds to be an invasion of the State. He immediately addressed letters to General Gaines, of the United States army, and to General Clark, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, calling upon them to use the influence of the Government to procure the peaceful removal of the Indians, if possible; at all events, to protect the American citizens who had purchased those lands from the United States, and were now about to be ejected by the Indians. General GAines repaired to Rock Island, and becoming convinced the Indians were intent upon war, he called upon Governor Reynolds for 700 mounted volunteers. The Governor obeyed the requisition, and issued a call upon the northern and central counties, in obedience to which 1,500 volunteers rushed to his standard at Beardstown, and about the 10th of June were organized and ready to be marched to the seat of war. The whole force was divided into two regiments, an odd battalion and a spy battalion.

Black Hawk, becoming convinced that he could do nothing against the force sent against him, retreated across the river, and, fearing pursuit from General GAines, returned with his chiefs and braves to Fort Armstrong and sued for peace. A treaty was here formed with them by which they agreed forever to remain on the west side of the river and never to recross it without the permission of the President or the Governor of the State. The treaty of 1804 was thus at last ratified by these Indians. Notwithstanding this treaty, early in the spring of 1832 Black Hawk and the disaffected Indians prepared to reassert their right to the disputed territory, and therefore again crossed the river, and thus was brough on the celebrated Black Hawk war, which resulted so disastrously to himself and tribe.

Speaking of the Black Hawk war, Ford, in his "History of Illinois," says:

"The united Sac and Fox nations were divided into two parties. Black Hawk commanded the warlike band, and Keokuk, another chief, headed the band which was in favor of peace. Keokuk was a bold, sagacious leader of his people; was gifted with a wild and stirring eloquence, sure to be found, even among Indians, by means of which he retained a great part of his nation in amity with the white people. But nearly all the bold, turbulent spirits, who delighted in mischief, arranged themselves under the banner of his rival. Black Hawk had with him the chivalry of his nation, with which he recrossed the Mississippi in the spring of 1832.

"He directed his march to the Rock River country, and this time aimed, by marching up the river into the countries of the Pottawatomies and Winnebagoes, to make them his allies. Governor Reynolds, upon being informed of the facts, made another call for volunteers. In a few days 1,800 men rallied under his banner at Beardstown. This force was organized into four regiments and a spy battalion. The whole brigade was put under the command of Brigadier General Samuel Whiteside, of the State militia, who had commanded the spy battalion of the first campaign.

"On the 27th of April General Whiteside, accompanied by Governor Reynolds, took up his line of march. The army proceeded by way of the Oquawka, on the Mississippi, to the mouth of Rock River, and here it was agreed between General Whiteside and General Atkinson, of the reuglars, that the volunteers should march up Rock River about fifty miles, to the Prophet's town, and there encamp to feed and rest their horses and await the arrival of the regular troops in keep boats, with their provisions. Judge William Thomas, who again acted as Quartermaster to the volunteers, made an estimate of the amount of provisions required until the boats could arrive, which were supplied, and then General Whiteside took up his line of march. But when he arrived at the Prophet's town, instead of remaining there, his brigade marched on in the direction of Dixon, forty miles higher up the river. When the volunteers had arrived within a short distance of Dixon, orders were given to leave the baggage wagons behind, so as to reach there by a forced march. And for the relief of the horses, the men left large quantities of provisions behind with the wagons.

"At Dixon General Whiteside came to a halt, to wait a junction with General Atkinson, with provisions and the regular forces; and from here parties were sent out to reconnoiter the enemy and ascertain his position. The army here found, upon its arrival, two battalions of mounted volunteers, consisting of 275 men, from the counties of McLean, Tazewell, Peoria and Fulton, under the command of Majors Stillmand and Bailey. The officers of this force begged to be pur forward upon some dangerous service in which they could distinguish themselves.

"To gratify them they were ordered up Rock River to spy out the Indians. Major Stillman began his march on the 12th of May, and pursuing his way on the southeast side he came to 'Old Man's' Creek, since called 'Stillman's Run,' a small stream which rises in White Rock Grove, in Ogle County, and falls into the river near Bloomingdale. Here he encamped just before night; and in a short time a party of Indians on horseback were discovered on a rising ground about a mile distant from the encampment. A party of Stillman's men mounted their horses without orders or commander, and were soon followed by others, stringing along for a quarter of a mile, to pursue the Indians and attack them.

"The Indians retreated after displaying a red flag, the emblem of defiance and war, but were overtaken and three of them slain. Here Major Hackelton, being dismounted in the engagement, distinguished himself by a combat with one of the Indians in which the Indian was killed, and Major Hackelton afterward made his way onfoot to the camp of General Whiteside. Black Hawk was near with his main force, and being prompt to repel an assault, soon rallied his men, amounting then to about 700 warriors, and moved down upon Major Stillman's camp, driving the disorderly rabble, the recent pursuers, before him. These valorous gentlemen, lately so hot in pursuit, when the enemy were few, were no less hasty in their retreat when coming in contact with superior numbers. They came with their horses ina full run, and in this manner broke through the camp of Major Stillman, spreading dismay and terror among the rest of his men, who immediately began to join in the flight, so that no effort to rally them could possibly have succeeded. Major Stillman, now too late to remedy the evils of insubordination and disorder in his command, did all that was practicable, by ordering his men to fall back in order and form on higher ground; but as the prairie rose behind them for more than a mile, the ground for a rally was never discovered; and besides this, when the men once got their backs to the enemy, they commenced a retreat without one thought of making a futher stand.

"A retreat of undisciplined militia from the attack of a superior, is apt to be a disorderly and inglorious fight; and so it was here -- each man sought his own individual safety, and in the twinkling of an eye the whole detachment was in utter confusion. They were pursued in their flight by thirty or forty Indians, for ten or twelve miles, the fugitives in the rear keeping up a flying fire as they ran, until the Indians ceased pursuing. But there were some good soldiers and brave men in Stillman's detachment, whose individual efforts succeeded in checking the career of the Indians, whereby many escaped that night who would othewise have been easy victims of the enemy. Among these were Major Perkins and Captain Adams, who fell in the rear, bravely fighting to cover the retreat of their fugitive friends. But Major Stillman and his men pursued their flight without looking to the right or left until they were safely landed at Dixon. The party came straggling into camp all nigh long, four or five at a time, each fresh arrival confident that all who had been left behind had been massacred by the Indians. The enemy was stated to be just behind in full pursuit, and their arrival was looked for every moment. Eleven of Stillman's men were killed, and it is only astonishing that the number was so few. This was about the only engagement, if engagement it could be called, in which the Indians were victorious. They at once retreated, and were followed for weeks by the whites."

Dispatches were received from General Atkinson, dated Blue Mounds, July 25, 1832, stating that General Henry with his brigade and General Dodge with a regiment of Michigan volunteers, succeeded by forced marches in overtaking Black Hawk on the banks of the Wisconsin on the evening of the 21st of July, 1832; they immediately attacked the Indians, killing about forty men and wounding a much larger number, as the Indians were seen during the action bearing a great many wounded off the field. The loss on our part was trifling, amounting to one man killed and nine wounded. Night coming on no pursuit could be attempted, and thus the enemy was saved from entire destruction. Black Hawk passed over to an island in the Wisconsin, to which place he had sent his women.

Generals Henry and Dodge remained on the ground the succeeding day and nigh, unable to renew the attack, having neither boats, canoes, nor the means of constructing rafts across the river. ***The troops under Generals Henry and Dodge are represented to have behaved with great gallantry, resisting with firmness a charge from the enemy on horseback, and in turn charging him with great promptness, routing the Indians at every point, to which is attributable the very small loss on our side. While our men deserve great credit for gallantry and steadiness, the Indians are entitled to no less consideration for the skill and perserverance displayed by them in their retreat. *** A squaw captured stated that Black Hawk had lost 200 warriors in the different skirmishes before the battle with General Dodge -- that many of those embarking in canoes had been lost in consequence of bad canoes.

Battle of Bad Axe, Aug. 2, 1832. ***At 2 o'clock precisely the bugle sounded, and in a short time all were ready to march. General Dodge's squadron was honored by being placed in front, the infantry followed next, General Henry's brigade next, General Alexander's next, and General Posey's brigade formed the rear guard. General Dodge called for, and soon received, twenty volunteer spies to go ahead of the whole army.

In this order the march commenced. They had not gone more than five miles, however, before one of our spies came back, announcing that they had come in sight of the enemy's picket guard. The intelligence was quickly conveyed to General Atkinson and by him to all the commanders of the brigade, and the clerity of the march was instantly increased. In a few minutes more the fire commenced about 500 yards in front of the army between our spies and the Indian picket guard. The Indians were driven by our spies from hill to hill, but kept up a tolerably brisk fire from every situation commanding the ground over which our spies had to march. But they were charged and routed from their hiding places, and sought safety by retreating to the main body on the bank of the Mississippi, and joined in one general effort to defend themselves or die on the ground.

Lest some might escape up or down the river, General Atkinson very judiciously ordered Generals Alexander and Posey to join the right wing of the army and march down to the river above the Indian encampment on the bank, and then move down. General Henry formed the left wing, and marched in the main trail of the enemy. The United States Infantry and General Dodge's squadron of the mining troops marched in the center. With this order our whole force descended the almost perpendicular bluff into a low valley, heavily timbered, with a large growth of underbrush, weeds and grass. Sloughs, deep ravines and old logs were so plentiful as to afford every facility for the enemy to make a stong defense.

General Henry first commences a heavy fire, which was returned by the enemy. The Indians being routed from their first hiding places, sought others. General Dodge's squadron and the United States troops soon came into action, and with General Henry's men, rushed into the defiles of the enemy and killed all in their way, except a few who succeeded in swimming a slough of the Mississippi, 150 yards wide.

During this time Alexander's and Posey's brigades were marching down the river and fell in with another part of the enemy's army, and killed and routed all that opposed them. The battle lasted upward of three hours. About fifty of the enemy's women and children were taken prisoners, and many were killed in the battle. The loss of the Indians can never be ascertained exactly, but according to the best computation it must have exceeded 150. Our loss in killed and wounded was twenty seven.░

From the official report of General Atkinson to Major-General W. Scott, dated Aug. 9, 1832, I make the following extracts:

"I marched at 2 o'clock A.M. with the regular troops under Colonel Taylor and General Dodge's battalion, leaving the brigades of Generals Posey, Alexander and Henry to follow, as they were not yet ready to march -- their horses having been turned out before the order of the night before had been received by them. After marching about three miles the advance of Dodge's batalion came up with a small part of the enemy and killed eight of them and dispersed the residue." After giving a lengthly report of the events of the battle General Atkinson says: "Both the regular and volunteer troops conducted themselves with the greatest zeal, courage and patriotism, and are entitled to the highest approbation of their country. To Brigadier-General Henry, of the Third Brigade of Illinois volunteers; to General Dodge of the Michigan volunteers, and to Colonel Taylor of the United States INfantry, the greatest praise is due for the gallant manner in which they brought their respective corps in, and conducted them through the action. *** Of the United States Infantry five privates were killed and four wounded. Of General Posey's and Alexander' brigades one private in each was wounded. Of General Henry's, one Lieutenant and five privates were wounded. Of General Dodge's, one Captain, one Sergeant, and four privates were wounded."

The historian (not Gen. Atkinson) says:

"Black Hawk, while the battle waxed warm, had gone up the river on the east side. His valuables, many of them, together with certificates of good character and hof his having fought bravely against the United States, in the war of 1812, signed by British officers, were found on the battle ground.

"Black Hawk was captured by some Winnebagoes at the Dalles on the Wisconsin River, and delivered to General Street at Prairie du Chien, on the 27th of August, 1832. Among the number captured was a son of Black Hawk, and also the Prophet, a noted chief, who formerly resided in Prophet's town, in Whiteside County, and who was one of the principal instigators of the war. Thus ended the Black Hawk war. The militia were sent to Dixon and discharged. Black Hawk and the Prophet were taken east and confined in Fortress Monroe for a time. On the 4th day of June they were set free. Before leaving the fort, Black Hawk delivered the following farewell speech to the commander:

"Brother, I have come on my own part, and in behalf of my companions, to bid you farewell. Our great father has at length been pleased to permit us to return to our hunting grounds. We have buried the tomahawk, and the sound of the rifle hereafter will only bring death to the deer and the buffalo. Brother, you have treated the red man very kindly. Your squaws have made them presents; you have given them plenty to eat and drink. The memory of your friendship will remain till the Great Spirit says it is time for Black Hawk to sing his death song. Brother, your houses are as numerous as the leaves on the trees, and your young warriors like the sands upon the shore of the big lake that rolls before us. The red man has but few houses and few warriors, but the red man has a heart which throbs as warmly as the heart of his white brother. The Great Spirit has given us our hnting grounds, and the skin of the deer which we kill there is his favorite, for its color is white, and this is the emblem of peace. This hunting dress and these feathers of the eagle are white. Accept them, my brother. I have given one like this to the White Otter. Accept it as a memorial of Black Hawk. When he is far away this will serve to remind you of him. May the Great Spirit bless you and your children. Farewell."

"After their release from prison they were conducted, in charge of Major Garland, through some of the principal cities, that they might witness the power of the United States and learn their own inability to cope with them in war. Great multitudes flocked to see them wherever they were taken, and the attention paid them rendered their progress through the country a triumphal procession, instead of the trasportation of prisoners by an officer. At Rock Island the prisoners were given their liberty, amid great and impressive ceremony. In 1838 Black Hawk built him a dwelling near Des Moines, Iowa, and furnished it after the manner of the whites, and engaged in agricultural pursuits and hunting and fishing. Here, with his wife, to whom he was greatly attached, he passed the few remaining days of his life. To his credit, it may be said that Black Hawk remained true to his wife, and served her with a devotion uncommon among Indians, living with her more than forty years."

Black Hawk died Oct. 3, 1838.
║From the History of the United States, published by C.B. Taylor, in 1837


-transcribed by Roxanne Barth and Sharyl Ferrall
-source: History of Clayton County, Iowa, 1882, Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co., 1882. Reproduced by the sponsorship of the Monona Historical Society, Monona, Iowa, reproduction Evansville, Indiana: Unigraphics, Inc., 1975;
page 249-263


Return to Table of Contents

Return to Clayton County Index