Three years prior to Chicago’s incorporation, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. According to its terms, Native Americans living in the eastern United States had to relinquish their homelands and move to reservations west of the Mississippi River, supposedly away from the path of white settlement.
The last armed, Native American resistance east of the Mississippi River, the Black Hawk War, triggered the final removal of Native Americans from Chicago. In 1833, the United Bands of Chippewas, Ottawas, and Potawatomies signed The Treaty of Chicago, which forced Native Americans to relinquish the last of their Illinois and Wisconsin land claims to the U.S. government.
As a parting gesture, Potawatomi Chief Aptakisic, or Half Day, presented this ceremonial war club to Stephen F. Gale, an early settler.
Over the next few years, several thousand Native Americans left the Chicago area for western reservations where they established new homes.