In 1833 Black Hawk's account of his life, transcribed whilst he was a prisoner in prison, became the first Native American autobiography published in the United States
Nearly 100 years later during the rise of Spiritualism in the 'New World', in the early 1920’s Mother Leafy Anderson opened her spiritual church and we are told that Black Hawk became one of her guides.
Chief Black Hawk served the congregation as a spirit guide, giving strength to the weak and spiritual support to the people, many of whom were still living under the immense pressure of racism. In a time before the Civil Rights Movement he was a hard working powerful spirit who was later adopted by Leafy Anderson's successor Mother Catherine Seals. When Catherine Seals died Black Hawk became yet further elevated to the status of a powerful spirit or Folk Saint who could aid those in need of his help.
Offerings for Chief Black Hawk include burning sweet grass and cedar, tobacco, stones from sacred places or rivers, shells, tools to help him in his work, beads, food offerings of fruit, red beans and rice, and water. In life Black Hawk was strongly against alcohol, having seen the devastating effects of it. Many Rootworkers or Spiritual Workers will offer him Whisky despite this, however out of respect for Black Hawk's views, as expressed in his autobiography, out of respect I personally do not give him whisky. I offer Chief Black Hawk fresh clean spring water.
Spiritual Workers call upon Chief Black Hawk for many different matters but specifically his aide is sought in protection, cleansing, legal matters as well as controlling and guarding your perimeters.
It is not uncommon to find near Black Hawk Altars either small shrines or altars to the Archangel Michael and Marie Laveau. It is not surprising to see St. Michael share the same altar, as St. Michael is said to be the defender of the oppressed and guardian of the weak. Marie Laveau was, we are told, part Native American and can truly be called the Queen of Hoodoo, which incorporates Native American herbology and magic in it's practices. In addition some people who revere Dr Martin Luther King as a folk saint defender of the oppressed will have his photograph nearby too.
Black Hawk Altars are often contained within buckets, filled with various sacred herbs and earth's, including earth from older established Black Hawk buckets. There will also be a figure or statue of a Native American which is used to represent Black Hawk. Black Hawk is often served by candle light (red candles are most commonly used) and appropriate prayers are included with petitions for help from this AMAZING Spirit.