Black Hawk (Indian name: Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak) (17671838), leader of the Sac and Fox Indians in the Black Hawk War of 1832, the last Indian war east of the Mississippi River. Black Hawk was born in a Sac village on the Rock River in northwestern Illinois. He became noted as a warrior at an early age. In the 1820's, the Sac and Fox were ordered by the federal government to move west of the Mississippi, under terms of an 1804 treaty that Black Hawk insisted was illegal. Some under a rival leader, Keokuk, complied, but Black Hawk and his followers refused. In 1831, after white settlers began moving onto Sac lands and the government threatened to use force against the Indians, he agreed to withdraw.
In 1832, following a severe winter in Iowa, Black Hawk led about 500 warriors and their families back to Illinois in an attempt to regain their land. He sought but failed to win the aid of neighboring tribes. Black Hawk defeated a militia detachment at Stillman's Run on the Rock River and was successful in several raids. Soon, however, he and his band were forced northward. In July, they were defeated at Wisconsin Rapids. In a battle at the Bad Axe River in August, his band was all but annihilated and Black Hawk was captured. Later he was taken to Washington, D.C., to meet President Jackson and became something of a celebrity. He was then settled on a reservation in Iowa. Black Hawk told his story to a French-American interpreter. The account was published as Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, or Black Hawk (1833). Black Hawk died on a reservation near Des Moines on October 3, 1838.