Entries from the diary of Jesse C. Douglas, Enrolling Agent under

General Tipton, the United States' conductor of the forced removal.

x Thursday 30th Aug. - Monday 3rd Sept.  Twin Lakes, Plymouth Indiana.  Gen. John Tipton captured Menominee's village, closed Father Petit's chapel, sent squads of soldiers in all directions to bring in & enroll Indians.  Preparation for journey.  Loaded wagons.  Put 3 chiefs in jail wagon: Menominee, Black Wolf, & Pepinawa.

x Tuesday 4th Sept. 21 miles, camped at Chippeway (Tippecanoe River & Michigan Road) in Fulton County.  Left at Twin Lakes Chief San-ga-na [Sun-go-waw] & family of 13 because sick.  20 Indians escaped & took 2 horses.  Roads choked with dust.  286 horses, 26 wagons.

Wednesday, 5th Sept. 9 miles, camped at Mud Creek.  Water scarce.  51 persons too sick to travel, left at Chippeway.  A child was born & a child died.  Party of 3 indians joined us.


Thursday 6th Sept. - Sunday 9th Sept.  17 miles, Logansport, Ind. 49 of those left at Chippeway caught up.  4 children died.  Mass conducted on Sunday by [Bishop Brute].  Physicians report 300 cases of sickness so medical hospital erected.

... Saturday 15th Sept. 10 mi., camp by filthy stream near Indiana-Illinois state line.  Young Indians allowed to go hunting.  2 small children died along the road.

Sunday 16th Sept. 15 mi., crossed state line at noon, camped at Danville, IL.  Left 7 persons in camp, 1 a woman about to give birth.  Whole country afflicted with sickness.  4 whites died in town.  Father Petit arrived, got chiefs out of jail wagon, baptized dying babies.

click here to read Father Petit's description of the trip

Monday 17th - Wednesday 19th Sept. 6 mi., Sandusky’s Point, Illinois.  Remained in camp due to illness.  The sick left behind yesterday caught up, had new baby.  3 children & 2 adults died.  A child was born.  Dr. Jerolaman assisted by Dr. James Buell of Williamsport.

Thursday 20th Sept. 10 mi., Davis’ Point.  Most volunteers discharged, 16 retained.  Gen. Tipton left, Wm. Polke is now in charge.

Friday 21st Sept. 12 mi., Sidney, Ill, chief Muk-kose & a child died.

click here to see a picture of Sidney's monument to the Trail of Death

Saturday 22nd Sept. 16 mi., Sidoris' Grove,  Heavy rain, exceedingly cold.  A wagoneer discharged for drunkeness.  2 intoxicated Indians locked up.

click here to see a picture of Sadoris' monument to the Trail of Death

Sunday 23rd Sept. 15 mi., Pyatt’s Point on Sangamon river.  Father Petit performed service before journey started.  A child died this morning. 29 sick persons left in camp.

Monday 24th - Tuesday 25th Sept. 15 mi.  Sangamon Crossing in Illinois.  2 children and 1 adult died.  Indian men permitted to go hunting.  Sick left in camp yesterday caught up.

Wednesday 26th Sept. 14 mi., Decatur, Ill.  The physician is sick.  A child died after dark.

Thursday 27th Sept. 14 mi., Long Point, Ill.  Indian men procuring so much game that rations not needed, camp is full of venison.

Friday 28th Sept. 18 mi.  Crossed Sangamon River.  Polke promised Indians tobacco after going thru Springfield tomorrow if the present a good appearance.  Chief I-o-weh in charge of celan up.  Forage is plentiful.  2 children died during the night.

click here to see newspaper article from Springfield, IL
(Sept. 29, 1838) about the Potatwatomi march.

Saturday 29th Sept. 17 mi., McCoy's Mills.  Indians dressed up to pass thru Springfield, Ill.  Camped at stream with little water.

Sunday 30th Sept. 6 mi., Island Grove.  A child died.  A dragoon (note: soldier) dismissed for intoxication.

Monday 1st Oct. 17 mi., Jacksonville, Ill.  A child fell from wagon and was crushed by wheels, will probably die.  Late at night the camp was complimented by serenade from Jacksonville Band.

Tuesday 2nd Oct. 16 mi.  Marched into Jacksonville town square where presents of tobacco and pipes given to Indians by citizens.  Band played & escorted Indians.  Camped at Exeter.

Wednesday 3d - Thursday 4th Oct. 9 mi., Naples, Ill.  Spent 9 hours fording Illinois River.  Able to wash clothese & make mocasins.  2 children died.

Friday 5th Oct. 12 mi., McKee's Creek.  Subsistence: beef & flour.  Had to hunt for water, found only in stagnant ponds.

Saturday 6th Oct. 18 mi., barren encampment we named Hobson's Choice.  Beef and potatoes issued to Indians tonight.  A child died this evening.  Rain, cooler.

Sunday 7th Oct. 12 mi., Mill Creek in Illinois.  A child died.

Monday 8th - Wednesday 10th Oct. 7 mi., Quincy, Illinois.  Steam ferry across river, entered Missouri.  3 children died.  Permission granted to remain in camp each succeeding Sabbath for devotional services (note: attended Mass at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Quincy).

click here to read newspaper article from Quincy, IL
(October 13, 1838) about the Potawatomi March

Click here to read Father Petit's letters describing the trip.


List compiled and Researched by Shirley Willard, Fulton County Historical Society
This diary is a compilation of several sources, the main one being the Trail of Death diary written by Jesse C. Douglas on the trail for William Polke, the federal conductor of the forced removal.

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created by Mr. Foley - last update: 7-12-04