Chief Black Hawk portrait   Save
Ohio History Connection Archives/Library
Description: This is a lithograph of an oil painting of Makataimeshekiakiak (or Makataimeshekiakiah), commonly referred to as Black Hawk, war chief of the Sauk Tribe, published in volume one of "History of the Indian Tribes of North America" by Thomas Loraine McKenney and James Hall. Black Hawk (1767-1838) earned his title of war chief for his military success in leading warriors in raids and battles. He fought as a British ally in the War of 1812, and in 1832 famously led a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos across the Mississippi River into Illinois to resettle land that had been previously ceded to the United States, in what would be called Black Hawk's War, although it appears military confrontation may not have been his original intention. Thomas McKenny served as the United States Superintendent of Indian Trade in 1821 and commissioned portraits of American Indian leaders who visited Washington D.C. to negotiate treaties with the United States federal government in order to to preserve the memory and history of America's native peoples. After the paintings were completed, he commissioned lithographs of the 300 paintings and compiled them into three volumes of "History of the Indian Tribes of North America" where a short biography accompanied each portrait. The paintings were housed at the Smithsonian Institution Building, commonly referred to as the Castle, and in 1868 all but five were destroyed in a devastating fire. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: V970_97M199h_v2_p059_MaKaTaiMeSheKiaKiah
Subjects: Sauk Tribe; American Indian history; American Indians--Portraits; American Indian tribal leaders; War of 1812
Places: Washington D.C.