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

Professor Emeritus


Day 59 Blue River --Mile 624
November 1, 1838

Many of these Indians were devout Christians. Not all of them of course, but many were devout Cetholics. Indeed, they were probably more devout than their escorts. We already know that they had a full multi-hour mas on Sundays and had requested no travel on Suindays for religious reasons. However the journal generally ignores these religious matters. However, in today's journal we catch a glimpse. It says the party "left camp a little after 9--one hour or so having been allowed for their religious exercises." What is this? It was a Thursady, what special services were these. Father Petit's letters indicate a virtual flood of services, sometimes all night as they sang hymns and prayed. He also tells of how he officiated at the funerals. And, every day they had morning prayers and evening prayers. this was a worshipping community of faith being removed to Kansas. they were Christians--orbably more devout Christians than their escorts. But we still are not told why they delayed their departure an hour today for services--were these some special services? Was the November 1 date some sort of early beginning of Advent? Was this a special saint's day? Or was this just a lengthening of their normal morning prayers? We do not yet know--but we do know that many of these Indians were devout Christians.

They traveled sixteen miles almost to the state line today. Food and forage for the animals was in abundance and they were happily anticipating crossing the state line into Kansas and what the maps would label, "Indian Territory." If they only knew.

AS FOR ME I rose long before sunrise intent on crossing into Kansas. Heading for Grandview I was delayed only by a Kansas City TV interview with Martin Augustine--a reporter who was not just making a story to "fill up the news hour" but was genuinely interested in this story. He even walked a good distance with me! His film crew kept leapfrogging and filmed me repeatedly as I walked toward the "State Line road" where one side of the street is Missouri and the other Kansas.


Blogger Marcia said...

Could they have been celebrating All Saints Day?

7:10 PM  
Blogger Keith.Drury said...

Hmmmmm let me check that...

7:47 AM  

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