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Chief Black Hawk’s Surrender Speech of 1832

I fought hard. But your guns were well aimed. The bullets flew like birds in the air, and whizzed by our ears like the wind through the trees in the winter. My warriors fell around me. The sun rose dim on us in the morning, and at night it sunk in a dark cloud, and looked like a ball of fire. That was the last sun that shone on Black Hawk. He is now a prisoner to the white men. He has done nothing for which an Indian ought to be ashamed. He has fought for his countrymen, the squaws and papooses, against white men, who came year after year, to cheat them and take away their lands. You know the cause of our making war. It is known to all white men. They ought to be ashamed of it. Indians are not deceitful. The white men speak bad of the Indian and look at him spitefully. But the Indian does not tell lies. Indians do not steal.

An Indian who is bad as the white men could not live in our nation; he would be put to death, and eaten up by the wolves. The white men are bad schoolmasters; they carry false books, and deal in false actions; they smile in the face of the poor Indian to cheat him; they shake them by their hands to gain their confidence, to make them drunk, to deceive them, and ruin our wives. We told them to leave us alone, and keep away from us; they followed us, and beset our paths, and they coiled themselves among us, like the snake. They poisoned us by their touch. We were not safe. We lived in danger. We were becoming look them, hypocrites and liars, adulterous lazy drones, all talkers and no workers. The white men do not scalp the head; but they do worse―they poison the heart.

We looked up to the Great Spirit. We went to our great father. We were encouraged. His great council gave us fair words and big promises; but we got no satisfaction. Things were growing worse. There were no deer in the forest. The opossum and beaver were fled; the springs were drying up, and our squaws and papooses without victuals to keep them from starving; we called a great council, and built a large fire. The spirit of our fathers arose and spoke to us to avenge our wrongs or die. We all spoke before the council fire. It was warm and pleasant. We set up the war-whoop, and sharpened the tomahawk; our knives were ready, and the heart of Black-hawk swelled high in his bosom, when he led his warriors to battle. He is satisfied. He will go to the world of spirits contented. He has done his duty. His father will meet him there, and commend him.

Farewell, my nation! Farewell to Black Hawk.

  黑鹰酋长的投降宣言

  我勇敢地投入战斗,可你们的枪炮瞄准了我们。子弹如鸟儿一般射出来,在我们耳边呼啸而过,就像冬日的寒风吹过森林一样。战友们一个接一个地在我身边倒下。早上的太阳异样的昏暗,到了夜晚它就躲到了黑暗的云层里面,就像一堆燃烧的火焰。这将是照在我黑鹰身上的最后一丝阳光。黑鹰现在已经成了白人的阶下囚。可是他从来没有做过任何一件令印地安人蒙羞的事情。这些年来白人不断地欺骗我们,掠夺我们的土地,为了全体印地安同胞们的福祉,为了我们的女人和孩子,黑鹰选择了与白人战斗。你们都知道我们开战的原因,白人也是心知肚明,他们应该感到羞耻。印地安人不是奸诈之徒,白人却四处诋毁我们,还以仇视的眼神看着我们。可是印地安人从来就不说谎话,印地安人从来不偷窃。

  一个和白人一样堕落的印第安人根本就不可能在我们的民族里存身,他将会被处死,尸体也会被留在荒野喂狼。白人存心来教我们走向堕落:虚伪的他们说一套做一套。为了迷惑欺骗我们,他们和我们微笑。他们假意和我们握手,在骗取我们的信任后,他们设法灌醉我们,欺骗我们,玷污我们的妻子。我们叫他们滚开,不要再来骚扰我们,但是他们却紧紧地跟着我们后面,困扰我们前进的道路,像毒蛇一样盘绕着我们。他们每一个举动都使我们深受毒害,我们生活在危险之中,再也没有安宁的生活。我们中的一些人也发生了分化,他们开始变得和他们一样――虚伪、懒惰、谎话连篇、犯下奸淫的秽行,喜欢空口说大话,却不肯实实在在做事情。

  于是我们向我们的祖先求助,希望祖辈们的智慧可以帮助我们度过难关。先贤们给我们描绘了光辉的未来,我们深受鼓舞。但是我们并不满意,因为情况越来越糟糕――森林里的鹿没有了,负鼠和海狸也逃得无影无踪,泉水日渐干涸,我们的食物日渐稀少,我们的女人和孩子只能忍饥挨饿。为此我们燃起了篝火,召集了部族会议。祖辈的灵魂幽然升起,提醒我们说必须要为我们所遭受的不公正复仇,要不然我们只有死路一条。我们在部组会议的篝火前庄严地宣誓,彼此感到温暖和快乐。我们商量好了战斗时的呐喊声,磨锋利了我们的战斧和尖刀。当黑鹰酋长率领他的战士们投入战斗的时候,他的心在激烈地翻滚。他不再有遗憾,他可以很平静地到另一个世界去。他已经尽了他的责任,他的父亲将在天堂等着他,嘉奖他。

  别了,我的祖国!别了,黑鹰!

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