Books That Inspire 2008

The Sac and Fox Indians
William T. Hagan

More than 100 years after the Black Hawk War of 1832, my relatives in the Sac & Fox tribe still have strong opinions on the merits and actions of Sauk leaders Black Hawk and Keokuk. I grew up hearing stories that at times glorified one or the other and then in turn criticized them. The Sac and Fox Indians by Professor Hagan has helped me learn more about the events that led up to the war, as well as the roles that Black Hawk and Keokuk played. After having read Hagan’s book I understand better that the situation was complicated by the competing interests of many people, including American and British politicians, settlers, military leaders, and traders, and even factions within the tribe itself. In short, conflict was inevitable both within the tribe and without. I have always been inspired by my relatives’ strength. The more that I learn about our past, the more I am inspired by their resilience. Professor Hagan’s scholarly history provides a useful complement to the tribe’s oral history and I am grateful for the effort he must have put into its research. Even 50 years after its publication, The Sac and Fox Indians is still one of the most comprehensive written works on the tribe and is considered a valuable source for its history.

Lina L Ortega
Chemistry & Mathematics Librarian
University Libraries