Crawford Thayer

Date in History: 1921 – 1986

Crawford Thayer’s interest in the Black Hawk War began in 1971 when he was asked to direct the first Black Hawk pageant at the newly constructed replica of Fort Cosconong. The historical drama was a huge undertaking and an even bigger success. Already interested in history and surprised by the pageant’s enthusiastic audience, Thayer decided to compile his own history of the 1832 conflict.

A native New Englander, Thayer earned his MA in English Literature from Yale University. He came to Wisconsin in 1949 to take a position at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Two years later he joined the advertising department at James Manufacturing Co where he worked for 30 years before retiring in 1981 to devote his full attention to the Black Hawk War.

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