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Black Hawk
Chief Black Hawk3.jpg
An illustration of Black Hawk, from History of the Indian Tribes of North America

1767 (1767)
Saukenuk, Quebec, British America
(now Saukenuk, Illinois, U.S.)
Died October 3, 1838(1838-10-03) (aged 70–71)
Monuments Black Hawk Statue, Black Hawk State Historic Site
Nationality Sauk
Other names Black Sparrow Hawk
Occupation War captain; band leader
Known for Black Hawk War

Black Hawk, born Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, (1767 – October 3, 1838) was a band leader and warrior of the Sauk Native American tribe in what is now the Midwest of the United States. Although he had inherited an important historic sacred bundle from his father, he was not a hereditary civil chief. Black Hawk earned his status as a war chief or captain by his actions; leading raiding and war parties as a young man, and then a band of Sauk warriors during the Black Hawk War of 1832.

During the War of 1812, Black Hawk fought on the side of the British against the U.S., hoping to push white American settlers away from Sauk territory. Later he led a band of Sauk and Fox warriors, known as the British Band, against European-American settlers in Illinois and present-day Wisconsin in the 1832 Black Hawk War. After the war, he was captured by U.S. forces and taken to the eastern U.S. He and other war leaders were taken on a tour of several cities.

Shortly before being released from custody, Black Hawk told his story to an interpreter; aided also by a newspaper reporter, he published Autobiography of Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak, or Black Hawk, Embracing the Traditions of his Nation... in 1833 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The first Native American autobiography to be published in the U.S., his book became an immediate bestseller and has gone through several editions. Black Hawk died in 1838 (at age 70 or 71) in what is now southeastern Iowa. He has been honored by an enduring legacy: his book, many eponyms, and other tributes.

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