Scattered throughout the American countryside are many places of historical interest. Some are on main traveled highways and others are on isolated by-roads. Some are well-marked; others have all but been forgotten.
One of our readers, C. E. Treesh, wrote us a letter reminding us of a monument dedicated to the parting of the Indians which stands in an isolated spot southwest of Plymouth. He feels that more people should know about this monument, and suggests that we make mention of it in this column. This we are very happy to do, and feel certain that many of our readers will want to drive over on some fine spring day to see this monument. We saw this memorial a number of years ago, and can certainly join with Mr. Treesh in recommending it.
The monument is the likeness of the Pottawatomie chief Menominee, whose reservation was just southwest of Plymouth in the Twin-Lakes area.
According to treaty provisions, these Indians were to be off the reservation by August of 1838. They refused to comply even though land was offered them west of the Mississippi. Menominee claimed that the land had been bargained away by other chiefs without authority. The whites finally felt that it was necessary for an army to be raised to force these Indians to leave.
General John Tipton was sent out from Logansport with a sufficient number of troops to carry out the mission. He surrounded the principal villages, and collected the inhabitants and stragglers together, like so many cattle. They were driven southward along the Michigan road to the Tippecanoe river, and then westward to an eventual home in Kansas. Many of the Indians died on this forced march, and history records it as the "Trail of Death."
As one stands looking at this monument, he cannot help but feel that an injustice was done in this particular instance. Mr. Treesh states in his letter: "The scene is very pathetic. When one studies the features of that old face, it clearly reveals that they are whipped and do have to give way to civilization (or is it?)."
Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Apr. 13, 1954