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received in the Wisconsin river battle, had died on their retreats The Indians reached the Mississippi some time before Gen. Atkinson's forces came up, but whilst making the necessary arrangements for crossing, happened to fall in with the armed steamboat “Warrior," the commander of which, Capt. Throckmorton, having summoned them in vain to come on board his steamer, greeted them with canister shot, and a brisk fire of musketry, causing the Indians severe losses, and delaying their crossing, so that Gen. Atkinson reached them, before they were able to pass over. Encamped at that time below the Red Axe river, on the Mississippi, the Indians despatched 20 of their men to stop the advance of Gen. Atkinson, and to enable them to gain time for crossing the river. These men concealed themselves in the high grass, opening a sudden fire upon the vanguard of the regular soldiers. Believing that he had the main body of the Indians before him, Gen. Atkinson made a vigorous charge with the regulars upon the concealed Indians, who, giving way at once, .were closely pursued by him. But Gen. Henry, on coming up and discovering that the main trail of the enemy was running in a different direction from the one in which Gen. Atkinson pursued them, concluded that Gen. Atkinson had been misled by the wily savages, and resolved to follow up the main trail of the Indians himself. Having left his horses behind him, and formed an advance-guard of eight men to discover the whereabouts of the enemy, he marched forward upon their trail. When these eight men had come within sight of the river, they were suddenly fired upon by some 50 Indians, and five of them killed, the remaining three maintaining their ground, until the main force, under Gen. Henry, had come up, when, in an instant, a line of battle was formed, and the Indians, charged with the bayonet, were obliged to fall back upon their main force, about equal in numbers to Gen. Henry's troops. The battle now became general; the Indians, although taken by surprise, fought with desperate valor, but were furiously assailed by the volunteers with their bayonets, which prevailed in the bloody struggle, cutting many of the Indians to pieces, and driving the rest into the river. Those of the Indians, who escaped being drowned, took refuge on a small island in the river.
On hearing the frequent discharge of musketry, indicating a general engagement, Gen. Atkinson abandoned the pursuit of the twenty Indians, led by Black Hawk himself, and hurried up as fast as he could to the scene of action, where he arrived too late to take part in the battle.' He immediately forded the river with his troops, the water reaching up to their necks, and though not without losing several of his soldiers, who, during the passage of the river, were shot by the Indians from their ambush, effected a landing on the island, where the Indians had secreted themselves. After having once gained a foothold upon the island, the soldiers rushed upon the Indians, killing several of them, taking others prisoners, and chasing the rest into the river, where they were either drowned or shot before reaching the opposite shore. Thus ended the battle, in which the Indian loss amounted to 300 shot, bayoneted, and drowned, besides 50 prisoners, whilst of the soldiers but 17 were killed and 12 wounded
Black Hawk, with his twenty men, after Gen. Atkinson had ceased to pursue him, retreated up the Wisconsin river. Desirous of securing for themselves the friendship of the whites, whose power they had begun to fear, the Winnebagoes went in pursuit of Black Hawk and his party, and captured and delivered them to Gen. Street, the United States Indian agent. Among the prisoners were also the son of Black Hawk, and the prophet of the tribe, who had been chiefly instrumental in bringing about the war. - Gen. Atkinson, with the soldiers and volunteers, went back to Dixon, where the latter were discharged. Black Hawk, his son, and the prophet, were taken to Jefferson Barracks, where a treaty was concluded, by which the Indians ceded to the United States their lands on the Mississippi, between the Desmoines and Turkey rivers. They were afterwards taken to Washington (D. C.), where Black Hawk is said to have addressed the President as follows: “I am a man, and you are another. We did not expect to conquer the white people. I took up the hatchet to revenge injuries, which could no longer be borne. Had I borne them longer, my people would have said, “Black Hawk is a squaw; he is too old to be a chief. He is no Sac. This caused me to raise the war-whoop. I say no more of it. All is known to you. Keokuk once was here; you took him by the band, and when he wanted to return, you sent him back to his nation. Black Háwk expects, that like Keokuk, he will be permitted to return." The President assured them, that they should return, after which they were delivered to Col. Eustiss, commander of Fort Monroe, with whom Black Hawk became intimately acquainted. On leaving him, Black Hawk presented him with a hunting dress and some feathers of the white eagle, and said: “The memory of your friendship will remain, until the Great Spirit says, that it is time for Black Hawk to sing his death song. Accept these, my brother; I have given one suit like them to the White Beaver (Gen. Atkinson). Accept them from Black Hawk, and when he is far away, they will serve to remind you of him. May the Great Spirit bless you and your children. Farewell.” .
By order of the President, these Indian prisoners were set free on, the 4th day of June, 1833. They made the tour of the Northern States, attracting everywhere great attention; and returned, by way of the Northern lakes, to their people west of the Mississippi. Black Hawk died on the 3d of October, 1840, at the age of 80 years, and was buried on the banks of the Mississippi river, where he had spent his life, and which had been so dear to him.
After the termination of the Indian war, nothing worthy of notice occurred until the month of August, 1834, when Senator Duncan was elected Governor of the State. A new Legislature was also elected, which met at Vandalia in December, 1834. As, in consequence of Gen. Jackson's veto, the United States Bank was then on the eve of being dissolved, the Secretary of the Federal Government, presuming, that a deficiency of currency would be produced by its dissolution, induced the State Banks to discount liberally, in order to avoid such deficiency, thus in a manner creating an impression among the “ Jackson men,” as if Gen. Jackson's administration was favorable to the establishment of State Banks, wherever the same did not exist. Besides these politicians, there were many others in Illinois, who, from motives of personal interest, would have delighted in seeing the charter of the bank at Shawneetown revived, and a new State Bank created, and were clamorous for their re-establishment. Many of the members of the Legislature, who at first opposed the banks, were, it is probable, won over by bribes, so that, when the “State Bank charter" was brought before the House of Representatives, it was approved and passed, and the banks chartered; the State Bank with a capital of over
a million, and the bank at Shawneetown with a capital of three hundred thousand dollars, although the banks were certainly superfluous, if not even dangerous; since, at that time, the commerce of Illinois was still very undeveloped, and, there being no surplus of capital in the State, the capital for banking had to come from, and the stockholders to reside, abroad; in consequence whereof, the management of the affairs of the bank was entrusted to agents, but too apt to provide for their own interests far better than for those of their employers, or of the people. At a subsequent session of the Legislature, the capital of the State Bank was increased two millions of dollars, and the capital of the Illinois Bank, at Shawneetown, one million four hundred thousand dollars. The subscriptions to the stock of the State Bank surpassed by far the amount fixed by its charter, owing, partly, to the extensive arrangements made to induce capitalists of the Eastern States to invest their money in this stock. After the stock had been all taken, the State Bank began to transact business, in 1835, under the chief control of Thomas Mather and Godfrey Gilman & Co., merchants, of Alton. The city of St. Louis having monopolized almost the entire trade of Illinois, inasmuch as nearly the whole of the surplus produce of the State was exported to St. Louis for a market, and the merchants of the State purchased their assortments and their bills of exchange on the Eastern cities in St. Louis, a want was felt by many Illinoisians, of a similar emporium of commerce in their 'own State, to supply which, and attach, at the same time, God. frey Gilman & Co. entirely to their own interests, the bank undertook to furnish them, and other Alton merchants, with large sums, to carry on enterprises intended to divert the channels of trade from St. Louis to Alton. The Alton merchants commenced operations by making extensive purchases of lead-mines and smelting establishments in the vicinity of Galena, with a view of monopolizing the lead trade altogether. Whilst they succeeded in raising the price of lead to some sixty per cent. at Galena, being unable to regulate, in' a like manner, its price in the Eastern States, to which their lead was destined to be shipped, the Alton merchants were at last compelled to sell at an immense sacrifice, which proved equally ruinous to them and the bank, although the fact of the insolvency of the latter was unknown to the people.
At this session of the Legislature, the first step was taken to carry the project of the Illinois and Michigan Canal into execution. To aid in its construction, Congress, in the year 1826, had donated about 300,000 acres, on the route of the proposed canal, of which a survey had already been made. Nothing was done, however, to carry the work. into effect, until this session, when George Forquer, a member of the Senate, in a report remarkable for its sagacious reasoning, as well as the masterly eloquence of its language, proposed the negotiation of a loan of half a million of dollars, to begin the work with. The proposed loan was negotiated on the credit of the State, by Gov. Duncan, in 1836, and the construction of the canal commenced in the same year. During that very year, the mania for speculation in land and town lots, after having rested for several years, broke out anew, and spread all over Illinois. The dazzling example set by the people of Chicago, who, by fostering and advocating this spirit of speculation, had, within less than two years, built up and converted a village of a few houses into an elegant, industrious city of several thousand inbabitants, was well calculated to excite the surprise and amazement of
the people, and to revive their old bias for speculation in real estate. . Nor could the people of the Eastern States be prevailed upon to stay at home, after it had become known to them, in what a rapid manner fortunes were. amassed in Chicago; but looking upon Illinois as a modern El Dorado, large numbers of them immigrated into the State, bringing their money and property with them. The example of Chicago was imitated throughout the State, lots and towns being laid out in every direction. And since the great majority of the speculators had bought far more, than they could hope either to sell or to pay for, it occurring to their minds, that by facilitating immigration, and by attracting wealth and industry from abroad, they would soon transmute the villages into populous cities, and be enabled to sell their lots, either at once, or after a short time, they accordingly commenced agitating, with great ardor, the subject of internal improvements in the State, delivering speeches and holding public meetings, and arguing their cause with such success, that before the next winter a majority of the counties had appointed delegates, who assembled at the same time with the Legislature of 1836–1837, in order to discuss and deliberate thoroughly upon the subject of internal improvements,