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William Polke’s November journey on the Trail of Death

In 1838, the Potawatomi Indians in the state of Indiana were forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands by order of the U.S. government. The 859 Potawatomi who started the journey travelled across Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and finally Kansas before finally arriving at their intended destination. The loss of life, 41 in total, resulted in the removal becoming Read More »

William Polke’s journey on the Trail of Death

In 1838, the Potawatomi Indians in the state of Indiana were forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands by order of the U.S. government. The 859 Potawatomi who started the journey traveled across Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and finally Kansas before finally arriving at their intended destination. The loss of life, 41 in total, resulted in the removal becoming Read More »

William Polke’s journey on the Trail of Death

In 1838, the Potawatomi Indians in the state of Indiana were forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands by order of the U.S. government. The 859 Potawatomi who started the journey travelled across Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and finally Kansas before finally arriving at their intended destination. The loss of life, 41 in total, resulted in the removal becoming Read More »

Resources highlight the Trail of Death

The Potawatomi Trail of Death began today in 1838. More than 850 Tribal members walked 660 miles from Indiana to Kansas. Written and visual records provide insight into this turbulent time and help present-day Potawatomi remember and honor their ancestors’ trials.

Chronicling the Trail of Death: Part 31

Monday, 5 Nov. 1838 Diary of William Polke “The day was consumed in making settlements with the officers. During the afternoon a considerable number of the Indians assembled at headquarters and expressed a desire to be heard in a speech.” “Pe-pish-kay rose and in substance said – ‘That they had now arrived at their journey’s end—that Read More »

Cultural Heritage Center exhibit helps visitors connect with the past

For many Native American tribes the forced removal of their people marks a defining moment in their culture and history. For the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, that time is often referred to as the Trail of Death, the forced removal of the Potawatomi from Indiana. In 1838, nearly 900 Potawatomi began the 660 mile walk from Read More »

Chronicling the Potawatomi Trail of Death – Part 4

Diary of William Polke Sunday, 9 Sept. 1838 “Physicians came into camp today, and reported three hundred cases of sickness, generally of a temporary character, and which they are of opinion, may be removed by a two-day course of medicine. A kind of medical hospital has been erected today, which is likely to facilitate the Read More »

Chronicling the Potawatomi Trail of Death: Part 17

Diary of William Polke Tuesday, 2 Oct. 1838 “We struck our tents at 8 this morning, and prepared for a march. Owing to the very great curiosity manifested by the citizens generally, Judge Polke, after being solicited, marched the emigration into the square, where we remained for fifteen or twenty minutes.” “Presents of tobacco and Read More »

Chronicling the Potawatomi Trail of Death: Part 19

Diary of William Polke Saturday, 6 Oct. 1838 “At a little before eight in the morning we left the encampment of last night. During the night we were visited by a fall of rain which rendered the travelling today unusually pleasant. The dust has been completely allayed, and the air much cooled. Water on the Read More »

Remembering the Trail of Death and its impact on the Potawatomi people

More than 850 Potawatomi made the journey, and 42 perished, mostly children and elderly. Written and visual records help chronicle this trying time in the Tribe’s history, and utilizing these resources help Tribal members and others acknowledge the tenacity and resilient spirit of the Potawatomi people.