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Chronicling the Potawatomi Trail of Death – Part 2

Diary of William Polke

Wednesday, 5 Sept. 1838

*During the night of the 4th at the encampment at Chippeway, twenty persons affected their escape—stealing two horses from the Indians remaining behind, and have not since been heard of.

“Fifty one persons were found to be unable to continue the journey, the means of transportation not being at hand—they were therefore left, the most of them sick, the remainder to wait upon them. Proceeded on our route, and reached at half past 12, at noon, the point determined upon as the location of our second encampment, a distance of nine miles from the encampment of the day before. The scarcity of water in the country again retarded the progress of the emigration—the distance being either too great or too short between the watering places. A child died on the evening of this day, and was buried on the morning. A child was also born during our encampment. A party of three Indians joined us today shortly after coming into camp. Subsistence generally consisting of beef and flour, and that very difficult to acquire—having in most cases to transport it from Logansport, a distance from the furthest point of 46 miles.”