Cherokee Phoenix

From the American Daily Advertiser

Published October, 19, 1833

Page 2 Column 3b

From the American Daily Advertiser


There is, perhaps, no subject so melancholy interesting, or more touchingly sublime, than the meeting of long absent friends. There are a thousand receptions crowding upon the mind at the moment the scenes of other days, when all was calm and sunshine- the anxious hopes and fears for each other's welfare- and, finally, the pleasing delight of meeting once more together.

We have witnessed many such meetings-we have seen the parent ' child after a long separation, greet each other on their meeting-and we have seen the faithful and affectionate spouse receive the partner in her bosom, and welcome him home, in smiles and tears, in joy and anguish.- But, we have never yet witnessed any meeting of friends more fraught with melancholy intellect than that of Black Hawk and the Sacs and Foxes.

On his arrival at Rock Island, the ex-chief had his tent pitched on the bank of the Mississippi near the agency,-and on the next morning Ke-o-kuk ' the other chiefs, with a large party of their young men arrived, for the purpose of receiving him. They encamped immediately in front of Black Hawk's tent, on the opposite bank of the river. Preparations were soon made on both sides for the meeting. A number of canoes were lashed together to convey the braves and the warriors to the other shore, a flag was hoisted, and the sound of the muffled drum was heard, which was a signal of their departure. Ke-o-kuk and the chiefs, moved slowly, in front,- and on reaching the shore, formed their young men into a kind of hallow square. Ke-o-kuk then made a short address to his people. He said:

'The Great Spirit had been kind to them-He had listened to their petitions-He had granted their requests-and they ought all to be thankful.-They had petitioned their Great Father to release Black Hawk and the other prisoners, and he has now sent them home to enjoy their liberty. The Great Spirit has changed the heart of the old chief-gave him a good one, and sent him back to his friends. Let the past be buried deep in the earth. Whilst his heart was wrong he had done many very bad things, but, he hoped, now, after having travelled through many of the big towns, where he had been before him, he could see the folly of his past conduct, and would know how to govern himself in future.'

Ke-o-kuk then advanced, with folded arms, sedately to the tent of Black Hawk, shook hands and took seats in the tent; after which, the line moved slowly forward, ' each took the Hawk by the hand. Not a word was spoken until all had presented themselves.- Ke-o-kuk then broke silence, and each commenced congratulating the other.

There were many among them who had lost friends and relations during the late war, and when they called to mind that this old warrior had led them on to the battle field, on which they had perished, it harrowed up their souls, and created within them feelings of painful remembrance. The tear of sorrow was seen to steal down their cheeks, and the throbbing of the heart plainly evinced the painful feelings of the mind. Here were those who had affectionate relations and kind friends-who had heard related the painful story of their death-and before them sat the chief who had led them onward to the glory scene. For their departed friends the tear of sorrow gushed from their eye-lids, the palpitating heart throbbed with melancholy sympathy; but not a word of censure, or a whisper of reproach was cast upon the old chief. For he too, had cause to lament, both the loss of friends and the loss of power.

Time was when he stood high in the councils of the nation-where he could call around him his braves and warriors, (among whom he was chief,) and, at his nod, led them onward 'to the tented field and battle gore.' But now, how different his situation! How changed his circumstances! Thrown from the lofty summit of his greatness, without rank and without power! Placed under obligations to those chiefs (whom he could never recognize as equals) even for his liberty!-and then, the reflection that so many of his brave warriors who had fought by his side had fell (sic) in battle,- and whose bones now lie bleached on the rugged earth without a mound, and with nought but the canopy of Heaven for a covering, must, and did, produce within him feelings of the deepest mortification and humiliation.


Rock Island, August 1833.