Near Centerville in Linn County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Potawatomi "Trail of Death" march & death of Fr. Petit
[Map] Designates 1838 'Trail of Death' route from Indiana to present day Osawatomie, Kans.
In September 1838 over 850 Potawatomi Indian people were rounded up and marched at gunpoint from their Indiana homeland. Many walked the 600-mile distance, which took two months. More than 40 died, mostly children, of typhoid fever and the stress of the forced removal. Their young priest, Rev. Benjamin M. Petit, also became ill on the trail and died shortly thereafter near this location in St. Louis.
Dots on Trail are some of the 48 places where the Potawatomi people camped one night or more on the forced removal, according to the official journal kept by a government agent.
Approximate route of Father Petit & Potawatomi escort Abram Burnett (Nan-Wesh-Mah) to St. Louis in January 1839. Petit died a month later.
People shown here were all Potawatomi painted by artist Geo. Winter in 1837. All went to Kansas in either 1837 or 1838. Reproduced with permission of Tippecanoe County Historical Association, Lafayette, Indiana.
Map by T. Hamilton, Fulton County Historical Society, Rochester, Indiana, 1996.
Erected 2003 by Fulton County Historical Society's Indian Awareness Center, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, et al.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Disasters • Government & Politics • Native Americans. In addition, it is included in the Potawatomi Trail of Death series list. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1839.
Location. 38° 14.104′ N, 94° 56.655′ W. Marker is near Centerville, Kansas, in Linn County. Marker is on the grounds of St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park, off 1525th Road, about four miles ENE of Centerville. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Centerville KS 66014, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Father Petit and the Potawatomi 'Trail of Death' (here, next to this marker); Potawatomi Burial Ground (a few steps from this marker); Daily Offering (within shouting distance of this marker); Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Onkweonweke Katsitsiio Teotsitsianekaron (within shouting distance of this marker); Log Cabin School (within shouting distance of this marker); Ft. Scott and California Road (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Log Convent (about 300 feet away); Father Petit and the Trail of Death (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Centerville.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 8, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 694 times since then and 86 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 8, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.