The statue created by Lorado Taft in 1911 is a statue commemorating Native Americans in general. Its purpose was to honor the legacy of Native Americans in this region and their significance in American culture and history. The Sac and Fox warrior, Black Sparrow Hawk, played a tragic and unfortunate role in that history during the Black Hawk War of 1832. Calling the statue created by Taft “Black Hawk” may be a convenient historical moniker and one that is in general use, but the statue is not Black Hawk. Anyone who has seen a historical image of the Sac and Fox warrior (Black Hawk was never a Chief of the Sac and Fox) will know immediately that the Native American statue created by Taft has no physical resemblance to the historical Sac and Fox warrior. History has an unfortunate way of becoming popularized or misinterpreted over time; a process that fails to do justice to the historical record and those who played major roles in it. Your readers should be aware of this distinction.
Craig G. Campbell
From the Nov. 16-22, 2011, issue