Benjamin F. Pike’s Affidavit

“State of Illinois, St. Clair County. “Present, Benjamin F. Pike, before me, a justice of the peace in and for the said county, and made oath and deposed, that he has re-sided in the vicinity of Rock River, in the State of Illinois, for almost three years last past; that he is well acquainted with the band of the Sac Indians whose chief is the Black Hawk, and who have resided and do now reside near the mouth of Rock River in this state; that he understands so much of the said Indian language as to converse with the said Indians intelligibly; that he is well satisfied that said Indians, to the amount of about three hundred warriors, are extremely unfriendly to the white people; that said Indians are determined, if not prevented by force, to drive off the white people, who have some of them purchased land of the United States near said Indians, and said Indians to remain sole occupiers of the said country. “That said Indians do not only make threats to this effect, but have, in various instances, done much damage to said white inhabitants, by throwing down their fences, destroying the fall grain, pulling off the roofs of houses, and positively asserting that if the whites do not go away they would kill them: that there are about forty inhabitants and heads of families in the vicinity of said Indians who are immediately affected by said band of Indians; that said Pike is certain that said forty heads of families, if not protected, will be compelled to leave their habitations and homes from the actual injury that said Indians will commit on said inhabitants; that said band of Indians consists, as above stated, of about three hundred warriors, and that the whole band is actuated by the same hostile feelings towards the white inhabitants; and that, if not prevented by an armed force of men, will commit on said white inhabitants. That said Indians have said that they would fight for their country where they reside, and would not permit the white people to occupy it at all. That said white inhabitants are desirous to be protected, and that immediately, so that they may raise crops this spring and summer. “BENJAMIN F. PIKE. “Sworn and subscribed before me, this 26th May, 1831. “JOHN H. DENNIS, J. P.”

 

Early Settlements of Rock County 

 

Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908