Of all the aboriginal tribes of the Americas none had a more courageous or tragic destiny than the twin tribes of the Mississippi Valley, the Sacs and the Foxes.
Occupying a parkland area midway between the powerful Iroquois and Sioux tribes in present Illinois and Wisconsin, the Sacs and the Foxes were prosperous agrarian people who held their own against their more numerous neighbors. The white frontier moved threateningly closer, and in the War of 1812 the Sacs and the Foxes, resisting the Americans’ encroachment on their lands, joined forces with the British.
Black Hawk, the great Sac and Fox leader, refused to accept land cessions to the whites, and in 1832 the tribe’s worst fears came true: a group of white squatters claimed the site of Black Hawk’s village in Illinois. In the "war" that followed, Black Hawk and his force retreated before an overwhelming force of whites and were virtually wiped out in a battle at the mouth of the Bad Axe River in Wisconsin.
Pushed out onto the plains, the remnants of the tribes had to content with the dominant Comanches. Their destiny had been changed forever.