Black Hawk (1767–1838) was the Sauk Indian war chief who led his people in the 1832 war named for him. Hoping to stunt white incursion to Indian lands, and opposed to an 1804 treaty between the Sauk and the United States, Black Hawk fought for the British in the War of 1812. In 1831, Black Hawk and his people were reluctantly removed from Illinois to Iowa. In 1832, he led his people back to Illinois, believing that the British and Winnebago of Wisconsin would join the Sauk if conflict broke out with the Americans. American forces prepared to confront the Sauk, and when Black Hawk realized that reinforcements would not come from the British or the Winnebago, he attempted to surrender. American soldiers fired at the Sauk sent to negotiate the surrender, and Black Hawk responded with a successful ambush of the Americans before fleeing. The Sauk and American forces met in a series of skirmishes in the summer of 1832 before Black Hawk was finally defeated in a bloody conflict at Bad Axe River, Wisconsin. Black Hawk was briefly imprisoned before being returned to the Sauk reservation in Iowa, where he died in 1838.

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