Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What Black Hawk said long ago: "I loved my towns, my cornfields, and the home of my people"

"I Loved My Towns, My Cornfields, and the Home of My People"
Drive north of Prairie du Chien along the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi and you'll come across this reminder of a great tragedy, commemorated by two markers, one from the thirties, one from the fifties. The Bad Axe River runs into the Mississippi not far from this spot on Hwy 35, north of Prairie du Chien. This is the place where 175 years ago, the cruelly misnamed Battle of the Bad Axe took place -- not a battle, but a massacre, the slaughter of most of Black Hawk's band of Sauks -- not just warriors, but women and children -- after they had tried to surrender. It happened after months of pursuit, which started in Illinois and at one point led through the isthmus of what later became Madison, some 150 miles southeast of here. Black Hawk's words on the marker are a poignant reminder of the underlying issue in the Black Hawk War, a tragic conflict that arose from a combination of bungling, brutality, fear and misunderstanding on both sides as a tidal wave of white settlement spread west.


Kelly Logan said...

I am currently listening to an audio version of "Lies My Teacher Told Me" and I have been amazed at the depth of horrors we Europeans brought to the Indians.

Thank you for pointing out another part of our history.

barry said...

more words from oklahoma city. have you placed the markers by each other or are they that way at the site. regardless your comments are special and accurate

Madison Guy said...

Barry, the markers are together at this site overlooking the Mississippi River, but not so close to each other that you could keep them readable in one photo, so I took two closeups and combined them.

barry said...

i guessed as much but i don't consider it stretching your poetic license. [indians would say 'aaaeee' to say that was a joke]. i finally got out the first part of my blog thing and intend to use these images and the blackhawk gun club image in future editions - as well perhaps as your words. check out my little intro: