Trail Of Death Journey

Journal notes walking the "Trail of Death" tracing the Potawatomi Indians forced removal from Indiana to Kansas in 1838. This blog is in process of being re-ordered and moved to

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Location: Marion, Indiana, United States

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Day 21-22 Sangamon Crossing --225 miles
Sept. 24-25, 1838; May 17, 2006

The party now walked downstream for 15 miles along the banks of the Sangamon River where game was plentiful and there was shade from the burning sun. They had left 29 behind at Piatt’s Point sick who would catch up to them later Two people died today as they passed downstream. In the day they stayed in camp another two died: a woman from the group left behind died as they caught up, and a child died in the evening--four deaths total here at the crossing. In spite of the previous hopeful entries in the journal now the writer states, “So many emigrants are now ill that the teams now employed are constantly complaining of the great burthens imposed upon them in transporting so many sick.” The standard procedure was to let the sick ride in wagons.

The great joy for the Indians was that they were permitted to go hunting. They brought in a "considerable quantity of game." Indeed, along the Sangamon River they would hunt daily to the delight of the Indians and their white guards. The wagons spent the second day reloading and re-weighing the wagons after the river crossing.

The party stayed two days here at the Sangamon crossing to allow the sick left behind to catch up and the rest to get well. On this day’s entry is where the report is given that the doctors were also sick and had been the last several days. However the weather was delightful and they seemed cheered by the country being more thickly settled—at least the white men who wrote the jounal were.

AS FOR ME the journey along the river was a welcome treat for us too—sweet shade, chirping birds, a dozen deer and and peaceful roads. We looped to out for a breakfast-lunch-snack at Judy’s diner st Cerro Gordo including several hamburgers and fresh pie then walked on to cover the next day’s miles too—interested keenly in getting to Decatur where I would get back a pair of New Balance shoes and I could summarily dump the present Solomon shoes in the nearest trash bin. My Solomon shoes are excellect at making hamburger out of my feet and I regret switching several days ago thinking I’d give my feet a break from New Balance sneakers. That’s what I get for leaving my faithful NB shoes! Sharon is sending them to Decatur.


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