Keokuk Biography

(c. 1790–c. 1848)
Sauk Indian politician Keokuk became chief by ceding Indian lands to win white support and by rallying opposition to his own tribe's resistance leaders.


During the War of 1812, Keokuk tried to seize power from Black Hawk, who had left the Sauk village to fight with the British. Thus began a lifelong struggle between these two leaders. Keokuk urged patience as white settlers moved closer to ancient tribal lands along the Rock River. In the late 1820s, he advocated compliance with the government's demand that the Sauk and Fox move westward.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!