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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Revisiting Henderson's Past: Isaac Knight Part 2

Last week we introduced you to Isaac Knight, the boy who was abducted and held for over 2 years by the Pottawatomie natives. We bring you the rest of the story this week and Isaac's cunning escape from captivity. (Click here to read Part 1.)

Isaac Knight's Fate

After months of torturous treatment from the Pottawatomie, Isaac was sold for what he estimated to be about $500 (over $6,000 today) to a group of Towa natives. He was delivered to his new owner stark naked. Though the Towa hunted throughout central Indiana during the winter, they spent their summers on Lake Michigan, trading with Englishmen.

Isaac was ordinarily confined to a Lake Michigan island during the trips to port, but after hearing the boys of the family describe the ships they saw, Isaac made a point to persuade the natives that he preferred living with them to living with the whites. They eventually allowed him to accompany them, and Isaac managed to convince an English captain to stow him away. He was hidden in a cupboard until the ships left port, and shortly afterwards, Isaac was returned to his family, who was now living on the Green River at what would later become Spottsville.

In his account, Isaac Knight tells many more bewildering tales of his experiences in the captivity of the Native Americans. To read his entire account, come visit us at the library, or visit our genealogy webpage to see what else we have to offer. You can also read previous “Revisiting Henderson’s Past” entries.

Photo is artist George Winter’s depiction of a Pottawatomie camp at Crooked Creek, Indiana.

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