This morning we are heading to Indiana Amish country in the far north of the state on the border with Michigan. In planning the trip I had thought that our stay in Lafayette/West Lafayette would be focused only on the Purdue experience. Since Andrew had to return to his studies in earnest yesterday Mike and I did a bit of exploring on our own and learned that we had indeed been staying in a more interesting place than I had thought. Our campground was located in Prophetstown State Park, a name which captured my curiosity. Before leaving I finally learned what its significance was all about.
Back in the beginning of the nineteenth century people began moving from the east into the heart of North America in droves. At first the native people lived in a kind of strained peace with their new neighbors who were claiming bigger and bigger chunks of the wooded lands and prairies that had been the homes of the Shawnee and the Kickapoo and other tribes. They eagerly accepted trinkets like cloth, blankets, guns, bullets, and even alcohol from the newcomers. Before long though their entire way of life was being threatened by the numbers of pioneers who continued to pour in without abatement. They began to view the outsiders as invaders. A charismatic leader named Tecumseh became enraged by what he saw happening to his people. He traveled around the area attempting to create an alliance between his own Shawnee tribe and others. He believed that if they all worked together they would have the power needed to repel the white men. Continue reading “Unraveling a Mystery”