"In the fall of 1838..." | Visit Marshall County

"In the fall of 1838..."

"In the fall of 1838..."

In the fall of 1838, 859 members of the Potawatomi nation were rounded up by General John Tipton and an armed volunteer militia at the Twin Lakes Encampment near Plymouth, Indiana. This forced march lasted for 61 days and covered approximately 660 miles. Throughout the journey, more than 40 people died (mostly children) and were buried in these unmarked graves along the trail.

Did you know the Potawatomi Trail of Death is marked the single largest Indian removal in Indiana History? The Potawatomi Trail of Death was the forced removal of the Potawatomi Indians from north central Indiana to reservation lands along the western bank of the Osage River, near present-day Osawatomie, Kansas. 

According to the Potawatomi Trail of Death website, linked at the bottom, “In 1988 for the 150th anniversary a group of historians and Potawatomi with ancestors on the Trail of Death began to commemorate this sad event and bring it out in the open instead of being swept under the rug of history. They contacted all 26 counties on the Trail of Death, and organized and traveled as a Trail of Death Commemorative Caravan in 1988, 1993, 1998, and 2003. They got the Trail of Death declared a Regional Historic Trail by getting resolutions passed by the four state legislatures: Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas. Their goal was to place a historical marker at each camp site every 15 to 20 miles. They reached the goal in 2003. The Trail of Death Regional Historic Trail now has 76 historical markers.”

The Potawatomi Trail of Death has been thought to become a catalyst for renewal and a spiritual journey for American Indians and non-Indians who wish to travel its route and share in the feelings, reaching out to understand and appreciate the culture and value of the first Americans. We would love for you to come take a look at this historical scene right here in Marshall County! This event is called the Hoosier Holocaust and the trek can be a handhold in climbing the wall of human enlightenment, which will hopefully help prevent anything like this from happening again. It can help the public to realize what was done to the American Indians and what the true history is.. taking place right in your own hometown Marshall County!

Daniel McDonald was the owner and editor of the Plymouth newspaper and wrote a book Removal of the Potawatomi Indians from Northern Indiana in 1899. He was later elected to the Indiana state legislature and introduced a bill to erect a memorial to the Potawatomi. Sculptor John Novelli was paid $1,875 by the State of Indiana to create the Chief Menominee statue, and in 1909, the statue of was erected and dedicated. The statue is believed to be the only statue of an Indian chief ever paid for by a state legislature. The Chief Menominee Statue is located at 12380-12644 Peach Rd, Plymouth, IN 46563!

For more information about the Potawatomi Trail of Death and the Chief Menominee statue, visit the Potawatomi Trail of Death Association.