Post Black Hawk War

Following Black Hawk’s surrender, he, and what was left of his British Band, including his son, were transported to Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis. They were imprisoned until April of the following year when their tour of the east commenced. President Jackson used this tour of the east to further crush Native American spirits. He humiliated his captives by putting them on display throughout the country and by continually showing his captives the strength that the USA had at its disposal. This tour of the east also had the intention of showing the citizens of America that the government had control of the Native Americans and that they were no longer a threat to settlers. Black Hawk and his Band were paraded around like celebrities from town to town being shown off. This degraded Black Hawk’s image and led to further stereotyping of the Native Americans as savages, as that was how they were presented to the public. During their tour of the east, they even met with President Jackson in Washington. Following this, they were again imprisoned, but this time they had their portraits drawn before continuing with the tour. Towards the end of his imprisonment, Black Hawk worked with Antoine LeClaire to write his autobiography, and the book became wildly popular. Upon the conclusion of the tour of the east, Black Hawk was released and lived out the remainder of his life with his fellow Native Americans near the Iowa River.6

President Jackson used Black Hawk’s tour of the east to demean him and force him to submit to the will of the government. Black Hawk was a serious threat after his war, and the government feared him. They used the tour of the east as a way of showing their strength and to further stereotype and demean Native Americans. This despicable act forced Black Hawk to be put on stage and gawked at by US Citizens. President Jackson was trying to show the inferiority of the Native Americans, but Black Hawk showed the true strength of the native people. Black Hawk stood against a nation and, although he was ultimately defeated, he had the courage required to resist. He showed strength and proved that Native Americans would not be subjugated as easily as the US government had thought.