The Treaty of St. Louis and Black Hawk's Bitterness
Flanagan, John K.
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In the process of expanding the American West, officials of the United States government negotiated and signed many treaties to obtain land from Indian tribes. Sometimes, more than one treaty was made with the same tribe regarding adjacent land after it was discovered by the government that the previous treaty gave too much land to the Indians. Arguably, many of these treaties involved a form of fraud or coercion on the part of government officials. One example of how lands were obtained by fraud is the Treaty of St. Louis. This article focuses on the reasons why Black Hawk, a Sac leader during much of the first third of the nineteenth century, and other Sacs and Foxes developed bitterness toward Americans and why their resentment was justified. This article suggests that the Treaty of St. Louis was the primary cause of Black Hawk's bitterness and further suggests that Black Hawk and other Sacs and Foxes had a basis for their resulting hostility toward the developing United States, which culminated in the Black Hawk War of 1832.