Problems Of Authorship
Donald Jackson (essay date 1955)
SOURCE: An introduction to Black Hawk, edited by Donald Jackson, University of Illinois Press, 1964, pp. 1-40.
[In the following excerpt, originally written in 1955, Jackson examines the complex issue of the authenticity of Black Hawk's memoirs.]
Since the first appearance of the autobiography [Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, or Black Hawk] in 1833, its accuracy, authenticity, and style have been both praised and damned. The fault that critics find with it is usually expressed in one or more of these comments: Black Hawk didn't dictate it; the facts are garbled; no Indian would talk that way; no Indian...
(The entire section is 10651 words.)