Trail of Death Pyatt's Point markers - Monticello, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
N 40° 01.668 W 088° 34.530
16T E 365567 N 4432031
A pair of signs - wooden & metal - that mark the local encampment site for the Potawatomi Indians on their forced march from Indiana in 1838.
Waymark Code: WMCGAH
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 09/04/2011
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member GA Cacher
Views: 2

The wooden marker is inscribed:
September 21, 1838. About 800 Potawatomi Indians camped at Pyatt’s Point during a forced march from Twin-Lakes, Ind. to the reservation on the Osage River, Kansas. One woman, three children were buried during this stop. September 20, 1988 BSA 122

This was constructed as an Eagle Scout project from Boy Scout Daniel Valentine.

Adjacent is a metal sign, with inscription "Potawatomi Trail of Death Regional Historic Trail 1838 Indiana to Kansas" and pictures in profile of a Potawatomi family with eagle flying overhead.

From Wikipedia:
"Monticello - After marching 15 miles (24 km) they reached the Sangamon River near Pyatt’s Point. It was the Sunday 23 September. A child had died that morning and 29 persons were left in camps being too sick to travel. They encamped along the Sangamon River for two days. During that time, two more children died and an adult died. The sick from the camp of the 23rd rejoined the group. The men were allowed to go hunting for food."

More background about the Trail of Death excerpted from an excellent Wikipedia entry:
"The Potawatomi Trail of Death was the forced removal by United States forces from September 4 to November 4, 1838, of 859 members of the Potawatomi nation from Twin Lakes near Plymouth, Indiana, to the location of present-day Osawatomie, Kansas, a distance of 660 miles (1,060 km). Typhoid fever and the stress of the forced march led to the death of over 40 individuals, mostly children. Fr. Benjamin Marie Petit, who marched with his congregation of natives, died in St. Louis on February 10, 1839, as a result of the rigors of the journey.

In 1830, the Federal Government passed the Indian Removal Act. It was the intent of the government to remove the Indian population from the populated east to the remote and unpopulated lands west of the Mississippi.

Potawatomi of the Woods are those tribes living around the southern tip of Lake Michigan in Michigan and north central Indiana. In October, 1832 treaties were signed at Tippecanoe River north of Rochester,Indiana, which ceded most of their remaining lands in northwestern and north central Indiana. In exchange for their lands in the east, they were given lands in the west (Potawatomi County, Kansas) and annual annuities.

Over the next 4 years, additional treaties were completed with the other Potawatomi to completely eliminate their titles from lands in Indiana. Unlike all the other chiefs, Chief Menominee and his band at Twin Lakes, Indiana, refused to sign the treaties.

The deadline for the tribe to leave was August 5, 1838. By then some Potawatomi bands had migrated peacefully to their new lands in Kansas but not the Twin Lakes village of Chief Menominee. The village was near present day Plymouth, Indiana. After the deadline passed and the village refused to leave, Governor David Wallace ordered General John Tipton to mobilize the state militia in support of Colonel A. C. Pepper to remove the tribe forcibly.

On August 30, General Tipton and one hundred soldiers (actually volunteer militia) surrounded Twin Lakes and began to round up the natives, 859 in all. The Potawatomi's crops and homes were burned to discourage them from trying to return, and on September 4 the march to Kansas began. The state supplied a caravan of twenty-six wagons to help transport their goods. In the first day they traveled twenty-one miles and camped at the Tippecanoe River north of Rochester, Indiana. The second day they reached Mud Creek in Fulton County, Indiana where the first death occurred, a baby. By the third day they reached Logansport, Indiana. Several of the sick and elderly were left at Logansport to recover, and several of the dead were buried there. The route they were traveling was on the Michigan Road, a road that their nation had granted permission for Indiana to build only a few years earlier.

On September 10 the march resumed from Logansport and the caravan moved along the north side of the Wabash River. They passed through present-day Pittsburg, Battle Ground, Lafayette, and Williamsport, with two or more deaths occurring nearly every day. Their last camp in Indiana was near the Gopher Hill Cemetery one and one-half miles from the Indiana - Illinois state line. On Sept. 16 the caravan crossed into Illinois, and camped at [Danville, Illinois] where four more Potawatomi died and were buried. In Danville the caravan was joined by Father Benjamin Petit who kept a journal as he traveled with the tribe the rest of the way to help care for the sick.

At Danville, Illinois they resupplied and rested, adding a couple of ox teams and wagons. There, on September 20, General Tipton and all but fifteen of the Hoosiers returned to Indiana and left the tribe under the control of Judge William Polke of Rochester, Indiana, the federal conductor. Polke led the Potawatomi the rest of the way to their new reservation. From Catlin (known as Sandusky Point, Illinois the tribe passed through Monticello, Decatur, Springfield, Jacksonville, Exeter, and Naples where they crossed the Illinois River on a ferry. On October 10 the tribe left Illinois at Quincy, crossing the Mississippi River on steam ferry boats, and crossed into Missouri.

Marching through Missouri the tribe passed through West Quincy, Palmyra, Paris, Moberly, Huntsville, Salisbury, Keatsville (now spelled Keytesville), Brunswick, DeWitt, Carrollton, Richmond, crossed the Missouri River at Lexington, Wellington, Napoleon, near Buckner and Lake City,Independence, and Grand View. They crossed into Kansas Nov. 2 and camped at Oak Grove (probably Elm Grove because there is no Oak Grove here), then went on Nov. 3 to Bulltown (present Paola). On November 4 they reached the end of their journey, Osawatomie, Kansas, having traveled 660 miles (1,060 km). On arrival there were 756 Potawatomi left out of the 859 that started the journey. The difference between 859 Potawatomi who started out and the 756 who arrived in Kansas made some people think that 150 died, but many escaped. Forty-two died.

Father Petit died two months after the march from illness, believed to be typhoid, brought on by exhaustion. Chief Menominee died three years later, never returning to Indiana. Many of the exiles did attempt to return to Indiana. Kansas named a county after the tribe and a reservation for Prairie Band Potawatomi is at Mayetta, Kansas."

There are many markers and plaques commemorating the Trail along the way.
Routes: Northern Route

Address if available:
100 block of Bridge Street
Monticello, IL USA

Marker Website: [Web Link]

Additional Coordinates: Not Listed

Additional Information: Not listed

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