When the Lincoln family emigrated to Illinois in 1830,
Native Americans still occupied significant portions of central and
northern Illinois. Although the Illinois tribes had been decimated by
a combination of inter-tribal warfare and settlers' encroachments, the
Sac and Fox tribes, as well as Kickapoo, still roamed the prairies.
Native American raiders had killed Abraham Lincoln's grandfather, also
named Abraham, in Kentucky in 1786. In Illinois the same pattern of
white settlement and Indian resistance now played out again, nearly
fifty years later. Americans pushing into the Fox and Sac tribal heartland
of northwestern Illinois sparked new tensions and, despite a generally
low level of violence, lived in fear of Indian reprisals. These tensions
would spark the Black Hawk War of 1832.