Brian “Fox” Ellis presents “Black Hawk’s History and the Trail of Tears”


OTTAWA – The LaSalle County Genealogy Guild will host a presentation on Black Hawk’s History and the Trail of Tears at their next meeting. The meeting will be held on Saturday, April 20 at 1 p.m. at the LaSalle County Genealogy Guild, 115 W. Glover St., in Ottawa.

Imagine sitting around a campfire with Ma-ka-tai-m-she-kiuk-kiuk, Black Hawk, listening to the stories of creation and the legends of his grandfathers. Storyteller and historian Brian “Fox” Ellis begins the program with his family’s genealogy and his connection to the Trail of Tears, the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from their ancestral homeland. Using this personal history and a deep knowledge of Native American history, this intimate story builds a bridge, bringing the audience on a journey back into those days of American history with both humor and real insight, drawing strength from the resilience of the people. The audience is then lead down the path through time to an encounter with Black Hawk’s band on the eve of the battle.

Two-thirds of the show is drawn directly from Black Hawk’s autobiography. Fox then becomes the reporter who transcribed and published Black Hawk’s life story. Weaving true history with folklore to create a tapestry of symbolic language he draws the audience into the world view of this respected leader of his people.

There are traditional chants and drumming songs.

The program is free and open to the public.