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The Indian Black Partridge

       In the late 1700's the Potawatomi Indians had a number of villages along the Illinois River and its tributaries, north of Peoria and past the mouth of the Fox.  One of these villages was that of the chief called Black Partridge and was located north of Spring Bay in western Woodford County.  It had 30 to 40 wigwams between Richland and Partridge creeks.
        Black Partridge has his name on several treaties ceding land, travelled about by canoe and horse, and was on good terms with the Kinzie family at Ft. Dearborn where Chicago is today.  John Kinzie established a trading post there and his step-daughter was the wife of a Lt. Helm, second in command at the fort.
        In 1812, when some Indians were planning to attack Ft. Dearborn, Black Partridge went to warn the garrison.  He, along with several other chiefs disapproved of the attack, but were outnumberd by warriors who believed the British would reward them.  He warned them but many were massacred as they fled to safety, and Lt. Helms was captured and held for ransom. 
      Accounts vary, but according to a Woodford history, when Black Partridge returned to his village after securing the release of Lt. Helms, he found his village had been attacked. 
     Illinois militiamen killed old men, women and children; burned the village, including stores of food and fur; and took 80 horses. 
      One can imagine his feeling upon his return to this scene.  He tried to prevent the building of Ft. Clark in Peoria but sued for peace in 1813 and remained true to the treaty.  After the massacre at his village, the Indians remained in the hills.  When white settlers arrived in 1819 and 1820, they found the natives friendly, and it was about this time that Black Partridge died.  His name, however, survived upon the land.    
                                                                                                                                             John Riedell


       The above points are from a farm located within about a mile of the Lourdes church.  It is possible some of them were used in hunting by Black Partridge's people.   Note the variety of shapes.   The persons who lived on the farm, Otto, Lucille and Celia Kerker are now deceased, so it cannot now be verified if all of these artifacts were found on their land, but they may have been.

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Site Last Updated on 09/08/05