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shabbona - 18 I Hear the Tread of Pioneers Bv John G. Biel...
18 I Hear the Tread of Pioneers Bv John G. Biel Shabbona was: a Pottawatornie Indian chief who; although not 'so romantically conspicuous as either Tecumseh or Black Hawk, was greatly superior to either of them in point of merit. He was born at an Indian vil- '• lage on the Kankakee River in what is now Will County, Illinois, in the year 1775. At a time when he was exceedingly young for the responsibility, he was made chief ' of his tribe and the tribe soon after, moved to what is now DeKalb County, Illinois, where Shabbona is first found in the tales of the early settlement of that country. There is one section of land there, even today, which is still called "Shabbona Grove." In the War of 1812, Shabbona and his warriors joined Tecumseh. He was tie personal aid to Tecumseh and stood by his side when he was killed at the Battle of the Thames on Oct. 5, 1813. + + + AT THE TIME of the Wjnnebago 'War, in 1827, he visited "almost every village of the Pottawatomies in northern Illinois and Indiana and persuaded them not to take part in it At a time when the inhabitants of Chicago feared that Big Foot and his warriors at Geneva were about to "take up the tomahawk" against the whites, Shabbona and SauganasH (Billy Caldwell) were persuaded to visit that village in an attempt to pacify them. He was taken prisoner by Big Foot and his life was threatened but he was eventually v set free. By this tuns, he was called by the Indians—in derision—"the white men's friend." He certainly proved to be such many times and, as a consequence, his life was nearly constantly in jeopardy. The Black Hawk War—although it was confined to what is now the state of Illinois—was significant to the history of the Wabash Valley-as it was the last war with the Indians in this part of the Middle West. Black Hawk was the principle chief of the Sac Nation of Indians. His troubles'with the United States started in 1804, when the government Commissioners negotiated a treaty with. the Indians at St. Louis. Black Hawk would not consent to this treaty. He was greatly enraged when, the next year, the United States, government erected a fort near the head of -the rapids of the Des Moines River (called Fort Edwards). He, to retaliate, attempted to capture Fort Madison, which was then on the west side of the Mississippi above the mouth of the Des Moines River but was defeated. He was restless and incensed for many years and, when the War of 1812 approached, he joined the British forces at Detroit In 1813, he and his band attacked tween England and the United States, nearly all hostilities ceased but Black Hawk did Jot sign any treaty until in.May.'of-the following year. He, at that lime, recognized the validity of the treaty of 1804 and from then until the breaking out of the Black Hawk War in 1832,'he and his. warriors led a peaceful life. In 1822, however — ten years before the war the Sac and Fox Indians were urged to join the Iowa-Indians west of the Mississippi., All: of them agreed to move except Black Hawk's band. He objected most strenuously and only consented to move, finally, when he was threatened with the "United States Army. As soon as the Army left, he immediately popped back onto, the east side of the Mississippi. A large force was raised to forceably remove him and his band and, as a consequence, on May 14, 1332, occurred the first battle of the Black Hawk War. This war is another story, but it was finally terminated on % Sept. 21, 1832 by a treaty Black Hawk, his two sons, the prophet, Wabokieshiek arid six other chiefs were taken as hostages to ensure the peace and "imprisoned by the United States "during the pleasure of the President." Prior to the Black Hawk War, Shabbona had several serious councils with his people and was successful in persuading them not to join the Sacs and the Foxes in their fight with the white settlers. Subsequent to the death of Black Partridge and Senachwine, no one chief exercised so great an influence over the Pottawatomies as did Shabbona. Black Hawk was very well .aware' of this great influence and, on two separate occasions, he visited with Shabbona in a serious effort to try to get him to come over on his side. He met with no success. At a time when Chief Black Hawk was a prisoner at Jefferson Barracks, he told the' officers of the United States Army that if it had not been for the Shabbona, all sole influence of the Pottawatomie nation would have been actively engaged in the war on his side. + + + . A'GREAT MANY of the early settlers of the Wabash and Mississippi valleys owe their property and even then- lives to Shabbona. He warned them repeatedly of intended Indian raids -and pro-, tected them on numerous occasions—to such an extent that the Sacs and the Foxes, on two occasions, attempted to assassinate nun. They did kill his son, Pypeo- gee, and his nephew, Pyps, and hunted Shabbona "as though he were a wild beast." Shabbona was granted a reservation of two sections of land at his "Grove" when the treaty releasing is was for a he buried, cemetery 30, side • Civil to a great peaceful war pie, slab of white Bid set

Clipped from
  1. The Terre Haute Star,
  2. 22 Nov 1957, Fri,
  3. Page 18

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