Binding: Trade Paperback
Book Size: 6 x 9 in.
Publisher: Jesse Stuart Foundation
Publish Place: Ashland, KY
Publish Date: 2004
Twilight of Empire, the sixth volume in Allan W. Eckert's highly acclaimed "The Winning of America" series, continues the tale of America's westward expansion and the trickery, warfare, purchase, theft, and treaty through which it was achieved.
As with The Frontiersman, Wilderness Empire, The Conquerors, The Wilderness War, and Gateway to Empire, this volume is actual history made vividly immediate through the lives of the memorable individuals who lived it. Picking up in time roughly where he left off in Gateway to Empire, Eckert immerses the reader in the history of the Northwest Territories and the Louisiana Purchase during the first half of the nineteenth century as he relates the dramatic events presaging and composing the Black Hawk War of 1832. It is a story with heroes and scoundrels on both sides and is peopled with men whose names have gone down in history. Positions from sheriffs to judges, from congressmen to presidents, were filled by men who participated in one way or another in this war; among the characters we meet are the young William Henry Harrison, Colonel Zachary Taylor, Captain Abraham Lincoln, and Captain William Clark of the famed expedition.
When appointed Governor of Indiana Territory at the age of twenty-seven by President John Adams, the precocious and politically ambitious William Henry Harrison knew that his own political fortunes depended upon attracting as many settlers as possible to the frontier, while pushing the Indian tribes west of the Mississippi. The influx of settlers, however, found a deadly obstacle in the form of a Sac war chief named Black Hawk. Powerful and proud, Blackhawk, already known for his bold, odds-defying attacks on rival tribes, refused to honor a treaty of 1804 and move to land west of the Mississippi, and he organized other Indian peoples in resistance against the settlers. He was induced to sign another treaty to relocate west of the river in 1831, but in 1832 he and his warriors were back across it, emerging from a hidden encampment to burn frontier settlements and then vanish like ghosts before the much larger forces of General Henry Atkinson. When the two sides finally do meet, there is one final, bloody battle.