Famous American Indian Series - Keokuk
Sauk leader, born on the Rock River in Illinois in 1780. He rose to command of his people by force of character and at an early age was a member of the Sauk council. He became prominent when made tribal guest keeper, and was quick to grasp the power of the office. He was the leading counselor in the Sauk assembly when the period of the Black Hawk war arrived. The government had made a treaty with a small band of Sauks under the leadership of Kwaskwamia for the Sauks to give up the Rock River country. This led to much opposition, but Keokuk assumed so passive an attitude that he lost both social and political prestige. The result was that Black hawk took active leadership and led the Sauks and Foxes against the whites. At the close of the war, Keokuk was again chosen chief of the Sauks, and honored by both tribes for his debate in Washington D. C., with the Sioux and other tribes, when he established for his people claim to the territory of Iowa. He died in Kansas in 1848, and his remains were later removed to Keokuk, Iowa, and re-interred in the city park.