Trail of Death - Brunswick, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 25.324 W 093° 07.902
15S E 488663 N 4363623
Another of a series that mark the trek across Missouri.
Waymark Code: WM6G4T
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 05/29/2009
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member rainwolf420
Views: 7

Marker Erected by: Brunswick Cub Scouts Pack 152.
Date Marker Erected: 1999.
County of Marker: Chariton County.
Location of Marker: Polk St., Brunswick Grand River access, in ground beneath sign, Brunswick.
Marker Text:

On Oct. 22, 1838, about 800 Potawatomi Indians began ferrying the Grand River as they walked from Indiana to Kansas on the forced removal. By dark all the Indians and many of the wagons were over the river. They camped on the west side of the river and ferried the rest the next day.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
The Potawatomi Trail of Death starts at the Menominee statue south of Plymouth. There is a green sign on US 31 that points west, saying Chief Menominee Monument. You drive about 6 miles and come to Peach Road, turn north and go half a mile. The statue is there on the right (east). Chief Menominee was the leader of the resistance and refused to sell his land and move west of the Mississippi River, per the treaty of 1836. He did not sign the treaty but was forced to go anyway. Hundreds of Potawatomi who did not want to leave Indiana moved to his village, which grew from 4 wigwams in 1821 to 100 wigwams and cabins in 1838. Abel C. Pepper, Indian Agent for northern Indiana, secured cessions of Potawatomi reservations 1834-1837 via treaties at the Tippecanoe River north of Rochester, Yellow River near Plymouth, and at Logansport. These treaties were known as the Whiskey Treaties because whiskey was given to get the Indians to sign. An emigration of the Potawatomi in 1837, accompanied by George Proffit, traveled from Logansport, Indiana, to eastern Kansas. This group included the chiefs Kee-wau-nay, Ne-bash, Pash-po-ho and Nas-waw-kay. Upon arrival in Kansas, they issued a call for a priest. Father Christian Hoecken answered the call and established St. Mary’s Mission at Sugar Creek, near present- day Centerville, Kansas. In the summer of 1838 squatters had settled on Potawatomi land in Marshall, Kosciusko, Fulton, Cass and surrounding counties. Fearing an uprising, they wrote to Indiana Governor David Wallace, asking him to come investigate. He came and talked to various white people and decided that the Potawatomi must go. On his way back to Indianapolis, he stopped in Logansport on August 27 and appointed General John Tipton to be in charge of the removal. Tipton immediately put out the call for 100 volunteers. He instructed the armed men to meet him at Chippeway, which was William Polke’s trading post on the Tippecanoe River north of Rochester. Tipton went to Polke’s house and dated his letters: Chippeway, Aug. 28, 1838. Sitting in the Polke house now preserved at the Fulton County Historical Society grounds, Tipton wrote orders and letters late into the night and planned the capture of the Potawatomi. He rode a horse with his mounted militia to Twin Lakes on August 30, having sent out a notice to the Potawatomi to meet with him. They met in Menominee’s chapel and during the meeting, Tipton informed the Indians that they were prisoners and were going to go west in a couple of days. Chief Menominee objected and was “tied like a dog.” Tipton sent squads of soldiers in all directions to collect all Potawatomi within about a 30 to 50 mile radius. The march began September 4, 1838. Chief Menominee and two other chiefs, No-taw-kah and Pee-pin-oh-waw, were placed in a horse-drawn jail wagon and transported across Indiana, while their people walked or rode horseback behind them. Many of them had been baptized by Father Benjamin Marie Petit, a young priest from France, and they attended Mass in Logansport with Father Petit and Bishop Brute. The Bishop gave permission for Father Petit to accompany the Potawatomi so he went back to South Bend to pack his things and then caught up with them at Danville, Ill. General Tipton’s power expired at the state line so he turned the emigration over to William Polke, Rochester, Indiana, appointed to be federal conductor. Father Petit was placed in charge of the sick. Records indicate that Polke and Petit did all they could to help the suffering and dying but medicine in those days did not amount to much more than rest, tea and sugar. So many died along the trail that it became known as the Trail of Death. Father Petit said Mass every day and baptized the babies who died, in his own words, “who with their first step passed from earthly exit to the heavenly sojourn.” (The Trail of Death Letters of Benjamin Marie Petit, Indiana Historical Society, 1941, reprinted 2003 in Potawatomi Trail of D

Additional point: Not Listed

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