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 www.trailofdeath.org

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Location: Marion, Indiana, United States

Professor Emeritus

6/16/2006

Day 58 Independence, MO --Mile 608
Oct. 31, 1838

Passing through Independence the column camped just two miles below the city. They made ten miles for the six hour's walking, slower than usual. (They almost always average 2 1/2 miles an hour, and occasionally 3 MPH). Perhaps walking through independence slowed them down. A hint of this comes at the end of the short entry for the day: "Many Indians came into camp during the afternoon mich intoxicated."

Once again they handed out shoes: "in the evening a small quantity of shoes were distributed among the emigrants." Perhaps they had purchased these in independence? I think that in 1838 there was not yet mass production of shoes where a "shoe store" would carry a large stock of shoes--am I right on this? If so, presumably these shoes were purchased from the town's cobbler? Or from people? Were they buying shoes off people's feet? Were they in the wagons from the beginning? Who knows. Once again, we do not know if the Indian's moccasins had worn out and they had become bare-footed, or they had been walking bare-foot all along--just that they distributed a small quantity of shoes.

AS FOR ME I camped about where the Indians had camped--two miles south of the old center-city Independence. My campsite was a motel--since I am now in completely built-up cityscape. On arriving at the motel Kerry called a local Wesleyan Church pastor who cheerfully offered to take him back to Lexington where he had parked his van. We hugged each other goodbye and I went to my room and to bed before sunset. Together we had walked more than 40 miles and I had gotten a good rest for my feet with Kerry's tent-toting. I'm closing in on the Kansas line now!

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