Credit: Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Media type: lithograph
Museum Number: 1965.10.56
Annotation: Lewis painted a portrait of Black Hawk in 1833 after the chief was released from Fort Monroe in Virginia. Black Hawk had led an uprising by the Sac people who fought againist resettlement in the West. The Black Hawk War (1832) was fought to recover ceded tribal lands in Illinois and Wisconsin. The Indians claimed that when they had signed the treaty transferring title to their land, they had not understood the implications of the action. “I touched the goose quill to the treaty,” said Chief Black Hawk, “not knowing, however, that by that act I consented to give away my village.” The United States army and the Illinois state militia ended the resistance by wantonly killing nearly 500 men, women, and children who were trying to retreat across the Mississippi River. Lehman and Duvall, lithographers in Philadelphia, drew Lewis’ images on stone and hand colored the prints. The original paintings were destroyed in a fire at the Smithsonian in 1865.