What's The Story
Following the American Revolution, many American settlers moved westward along the Ohio River into Native American territory creating tension and conflict. Native Americans defended their territory; American settlers demanded protection.
After the Battle at Tippecanoe in northwest Indiana in November 1811, many tribes resettled along the banks of Peoria Lake. Governor Edwards believed warriors from Peoria Lake communities had attacked settlers in south-central Illinois and decided to retaliate.
Black Partridge (1744-1820) was an exceptional man. In 1812, he tried unsuccessfully to stop a Native American attack near Fort Dearborn in Chicago. During the subsequent battle, he saved the life of the wife of one of the American officer’s and helped free him from captivity.
Returning to Peoria Lake, he found his village burned by Edwards’ troops and his daughter and grandchild dead. Embittered, in 1813, he joined an attack on the American Fort Clark located on the riverfront of present-day Peoria. The attack was repulsed, and Black Partridge was a signatory to the peace treaty. With the death of Gomo in 1815, Black Partridge assumed more responsibility among the Potawatomi on the Illinois River. He passed in or near the Potawatomi village at Chillicothe in 1820. His place of burial is not known.
To learn more: Ferguson, Gillum. 2012. Illinois in the War of 1812. University of Illinois Press.