PUSHING THE INDIANS OUT OF IOWA pgs 63-70
The Indians loved their hunting grounds along the eastern side of the Mississippi River and Chief Black Hawk wished to stay in the land where he was born. But the white people would keep coming over the line between their land which the Indians had already given up and that which the redmen still claimed in Illinois. On the Illinois side of the big river were the corn lands of the Indian tribes and there the men and women and children had been allowed to live until trouble arose. Then a great war broke out which is known in history as Black Hawk�s
War, because the chief led the Indian warriors.
When the bitter fight was ended the Indians were defeated, and of course, the government of the United States made them give up some more land. At that time a strip about fifty miles wide along the west side of the Mississippi river and all of it in Iowa were taken away from Black Hawk and his people. From a line running east and west in the northern part of Lee County, to a line running northeast from the corner of Bremer County, all of the land for fifty miles back from the Mississippi River, except a narrow strip along the Iowa River, was sold to the United States. But it was not a very high-priced sale of land, since the Indians were paid only about fourteen cents an acre for the six million acres.
The narrow piece which the Indians kept on both sides of the Iowa River was the hunting ground of a part of the tribes. Within the four hundred square miles which had been saved for the Indian hunters, and about twelve miles for the mouth of the Iowa River, was the village of Chief Keokuk who was one of the great leaders of his people.
The treaty between the Indians and the United States by which this land was bought was made in 1832. But white men were not allowed to come into this new place until in June 1833, unless they came in without letting the soldiers of the United States know where they settled. It was the duty of the soldiers to drive them out until the lawful time had come. A great many tried to enter before the crowd that was waiting to come in 1833; and a good many were driven out.
The Indians could not choose whether or not they would sell their lands. They knew that they must or there would probably be another war; and so they kept moving westward, always westward. In 1836 the narrow strip along the Iowa River which had protected the village of Keokuk was sold to the government of the United States for about eight cents an acre. Keokuk and his people moved away to other Indian lands farther west and beyond the strip fifty miles wide. But the very next year in 1837 another narrow slice along the edge of the first strip was bought. It contained a million and a quarter acres which the white men could buy from the United States for one dollar and twenty five cents an acre. Out of this rich land all the Indians must be gone by 1839.
Among these Indians and along the bank of the Iowa River was Poweshiek�s village. He moved up the stream and made another home; but before setting out on the journey the squaws of the tribe waited to bid farewell to their old home and their dead who were buried near by. There was a great moaning and wailing and chanting, for Indian women do not weep as white women do; and the white men who were near at that time have said that it was a sad departure. But even in their sorrow at leaving their dead they did not neglect the claims of friendship, for on the way to their new home they passed the house of their friend Patrick Smith and stopped to say good by to the baby of the family. Then they followed the trail taken by the ponies loaded with the packs of stuff for the camp.