Black Hawk- It seems to be a matter of some speculation to determine on the course that will be adopted by the government in reference to this chief. That he and his misguided followers have carried desolation and death along an extensive frontier, is well known, and that this was done in violation of treaty engagements between the United States and his tribe, is equally true. But having been engaged in open warfare against the United States, and having been recognized as a chief of an independent nation by various treaties, can he be regarded otherwise than a sovereign? If he is entitled at the hands of the captors to the rights of a prisoner of war, as acknowledged by the law of nations by what authority is he detained in custody after a new treaty of peace has been formed? He can only be detained, either as a hostage for the due observance of the treaty or for the purpose of punishment. Should a trial take place, his offence must be judged of by the civil courts; but has the mere breach of a treaty and subsequent capture (in open war) of a sovereign, ever been deemed sufficient to put him on trial for life? And such had been the doctrine, half the crowned heads of Europe would have fallen on the scaffold.
These ideas have occurred from contrasting the condition of Indians, said to be independent, with civilized nations where no doubt exists. If Black Hawk applies for the usual privileges and immunities of a sovereign, we should much doubt whether they would be granted. If he is not held in captivity as a hostage; he may probably try the efficacy of a writ of habeas corpus, and thus present another interesting question of Indian rights for the decision of the United States Court. The definition of their true character, (subject, as they are in a great to the control of the United States, and yet possessing some of the forms and attributes of sovereignty,) seems to baffle the ingenuity of the most acute jurist.-
New Haven Herald.