A California Indian who lived at San Pedro near Los Angeles, Black Hawk was given this name by the crew of the ship Alert. According to George Nidever and William Dane Phelps, Black Hawk came from San Nicolas Island when the islanders were brought to the mainland in 1835. Secondary accounts state Black Hawk died from a fall in 1845 and was buried on Deadman Island in San Pedro Bay. In 1928 the island was dredged away (removed) as part of improvements to the San Pedro Harbor.
DATE OF BIRTH: Unknown
PLACE OF BIRTH: Reported to have been San Nicolas Island
DATE OF DEATH: About 1845
PLACE OF BURIAL: Reported to have been Deadman Island, San Pedro Bay, Alta California, Mexico
“A Female Crusoe.” Boston Atlas, 1847.
Ellison, William H., ed. The Life and Adventures of George Nidever [1802–1883]: The Life Story of a Remarkable California Pioneer Told in his Own Words and None Wasted. Santa Barbara: McNally & Loftin, 1984: 38.
Guinn, J.M. “The Lost Islands of San Pedro Bay.” Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California 10, 1–2 (1915–16): 95–100.
Morris, Susan L., John R. Johnson, Steven J. Schwartz, René L. Vellanoweth, Glenn J. Farris, Sara L. Schwebel. “The Nicoleños in Los Angeles: Documenting the Fate of the Lone Woman’s Community. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 36, 1 (2016).
Phelps, William Dane. Alta California 1840–1842: The Journal and Observations of William Dane Phelps, Master of the Ship “Alert.” Edited by Briton C. Busch. Glendale: Arthur H. Clark, 1983: 172–74.
Robinson, Alfred. Life in California during a Residence of Several Years in that Territory. San Francisco: William Doxey, 1891: 246–248.
Warner, J. J. “The Lost Woman of the Island.” Los Angeles Star, December 13, 1856.
Last updated: February 7, 2017