The Rock Island Petition

“April 30, 1831. “His Excellency, the Governor of the State of Illinois : “We, the undersigned, being citizens of Rock River and its vicinity, beg leave to state to your honor the grievances which we labor under and pray your protection against the Sac and Fox tribe of Indians who have again taken possession of our lands near the mouth of Rock River and its vicinity. They have, and now are, burning our fences, destroying our crops of wheat now growing by turning in all their horses. They also threat-en our lives if we attempt to plant corn, and say they will cut it up; that we have stolen their lands from them, and they are deter-mined to exterminate us, provided we don’t leave the country. Your honor, no doubt, is aware of the outrages that were committed by said Indians heretofore. Particularly last all, they almost destroyed all our crops, and made several attempts on the owners’ lives when they attempted to prevent their depredations, and actually wounded one man by stabbing him in several places. This spring they act in a much more outrageous and menacing manner, so that we consider our-selves compelled to beg protection of you, which the agent and garrison on Rock Island refuse to give, inasmuch as they say they have no orders from government; therefore, should we not receive adequate aid from your honor, we shall be compelled to abandon our settlement, and the lands which we have purchased of the government. Therefore, we have no doubt but your honor will better anticipate our condition than it is represented, and grant us immediate relief in the manner that to you may seem most likely to produce the desired effect. The number of Indians now among us is about six or seven hundred. They say there are more coming, and that the Pottawattomies and some of the Winnebagoes will help them in case of an irruption with the whites. “The warriors now here are the Black Hawk’s party, with other chiefs, the names of whom we are not acquainted with. There-fore, looking up to you for protection, we beg leave to remain, yours, etc.”

SIGNED

John WellsThomas LovittB. F. PikeWilliam HeansH. McNeil
Charles FrenchAlbert WellsM. S. HullsGriffith AusburyEli Wells
Thomas GardinerAsaph WellsJ. VandruffG. V. MillerS. Vandruff
Edward BurnerJohn L. BainJoel ThompsonHorace CookJoel Wells, Jr.
David B. HailJ. W. SpencerJohn BarrelJoseph DanforthWilliam Henry
William BrazherErastus KentJonah H. CaseLevi WellsSamuel Wells
Joel WellsCharles FrenchMichael BartletBenjamin GobleHuntington Wells
Gentry McCallThomas Davis   

 

Early Settlements of Rock County 

 

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