"Blending history with ethnography and a bit of sociology, Trask's volume explains the war and its lingering impact extremely well . . . Fascinating."
In the spring of 1832, Black Hawk and his Sauk followers, including 700 warriors, rose up in a rage and defiantly crossed the Mississippi to reclaim their ancestral home in Illinois. The rebellion was dashed in just three months, yet no other violent encounter between white America and native people embodies so clearly the U.S. Republic's conflict between exalted ideals of freedom and human dignity and its insatiable appetite for territory.
Until 1822, the 6,000-strong Sauk Nation had occupied one of North America's largest Indian settlements, just east of the Mississippi. Supported by hundreds of acres of planted fields, their domain was the envy of white Americans who had already begun to encroach upon the rich land. When the conflicts between natives and white squatters inevitably turned violent, the Sauks were forced into exile, uprooted and banished to the uncharted west.
Resurrecting the heroic efforts of Black Hawk and his men, Trask illuminates the tragic history of frontier America through the eyes of those who were cast aside in the pursuit of manifest destiny.