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.

Trail of Death illuminated in Two-Moon Journey

In 1838, American militia members evacuate Simu-quah, a young Potawatomi girl, and the rest of her family from their village at Twin Lakes in Indiana and force them to begin a long march to Kansas. Seeing her father, a local headman (or chief), chained in the back of a prison wagon, Simu-quah resolved to help Read More »

Remembering Uniontown

After the Potawatomi arrived in present-day Kansas, Indian agents R.W. Cummins and A.J. Vaughan established a pay station and trading post at Uniontown located south of the Kansas River and west of present-day Topeka, Kansas. The settlement served as a commercial hub for Tribal members, and its position along the Oregon-California Trail made it a Read More »

2018 Commemorative Trail of Death Caravan

In late summer 1838 near Twin Lakes, Indiana, U.S. General John Tipton called a meeting with the Potawatomi around Chief Menominee’s village. Menominee refused to give up what remained of his people’s land. However, the federal government claimed ownership due to prior treaties and documents signed by him and other Potawatomi representatives. Militia placed Menominee Read More »

Way Back Wednesday: George Winter on Mis qua buck (Red Iron)

Excerpt from George Winter’s journal regarding Mis qua buck [Red Iron]. “Mus-qua-buck…. whom I had sketched unconsciously to him at the time while sitting on a stump of a tree watching some young Indians playing some game. He was completely disencumbered of all those gaudy trappings which the Indians [sic] who are immediate neighbors of Read More »

Way Back Wednesday: Pash Po Ho

An excerpt from George Winter’s journal regarding Pash Po Ho. Winter was a participant and chronicler of the Potawatomi Trail of Death.  “Pash Po Ho was an aboriginal gentleman-he was considered the best dressed Pottawattamie Indian in the nation, and was exceedingly graceful when mounted upon his handsomely equipped pony. “The heavy plated bit-handsome bridle-the Read More »

Way Back Wednesday: September 16, 2015 – The Council of Keewaunay

Illustrating collaborative efforts between the Cultural Heritage Center and Indiana University is the 1837 painting of the Council of Keewaunay between Indiana Potawatomi and U.S. emigration agents. University staff at the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology photographed the paining and provided a digital copy to the Archive and Research division for exhibition and research Read More »

Way Back Wednesday: September 9, 2015 – The Removal Period

Just one week ago marked 177 years since the the 1838 Potawatomi Trail of Death, which forced the ancestors of today’s Citizen Potawatomi Nation from their homelands in the Great Lakes Region to a reservation in Kansas. CPN has several resources available to learn about the Trail of Death, including a daily journal kept by Read More »

The Trail of Death

Each year, in the first week of September, my newsfeed and inbox fills with stories and press releases about the Potawatomi Trail of Death. The articles usually consist of a brief synopsis of the turmoil that preceded the removal of the Potawatomi from northern Indiana and the most basic information about the removal itself such Read More »