Yesterday, I attended the dedication of a historical marker in downtown Corydon, Indiana (Indiana’s first state capitol).
Here’s the first state capitol building.
From an angle, with storefronts beyond, and from the side, with a fashionable fellow showing off his costume.
Here are some more reenactors.
Inside the courthouse, we admired the fireplace and “signed a petition for statehood.”
The historical marker being dedicated was to commemorate the 1820 Polly Strong case. When Indiana became a state in 1816 (this is our 200th birthday!), the state constitution prohibited slavery in Indiana. Quite a few wealthy, influential and “respected” men still held slaves, though, and were unmolested for doing so. In 1820, a literate slave named Polly Strong sued for her freedom. The Knox County (where she was illegally held) Circuit Court ruled against her. She appealed, and the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in her favor, saying “slavery can have no existence” in Indiana.
(The following year, Mary Bateman Clark, who had been forced, as many slaves were forced, to sign letters of indentured servitude in order for her “master” to circumvent Indiana’s constitutional TOTAL BAN on slavery, also sued for freedom — and won! Mary Clark has her own historical marker in Knox County.)
Eunice Brewer Trotter, a descendant of Mary Clark, spoke at the dedication.
The marker was applied for by the wonderful Maxine Brown, who has worked with dedication and spirit on historical research relating to the rich African-American heritage of southern Indiana. I’m proud to call her my friend.
Here’s one side of the marker. The other side was covered with dignitaries, so I didn’t get a shot.
The dignitaries were former first lady of the state, Judy O’Bannon, and the Supreme Court of the State of Indiana: Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush, Justice Brent E. Dickson, Justice Robert D. Rucker, Justice Steven H. David, and Justice Mark S. Massa.
It’s true that an inbred, redneck, Confederate wannabe drove past us flying a battle flag bigger than his IQ, but there were more of us than there was of him, so he kept driving. Asshole.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What makes your main character particularly proud of where they live?