Think Indiana is Full of Inbred, Redneck, Confederate Wannabes? Think Again. #ThursdayDoors #history of #slavery in #Indiana

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.

OldCHCloser looks at that door.

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.

Eunice Brewer Trotter, descendant of Mary Bateman Clark

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.

Maxine Brown, with the sun in her eyes.
Maxine Brown, with the sun in her eyes.

Here’s one side of the marker. The other side was covered with dignitaries, so I didn’t get a shot.

PollyStrongThe 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.

ANYWAY, here’s Laura Van Fossen, singing “The Pastoral Elegy,” the song that gave Corydon its name.

This has been part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors link-up. Go on over and see his post(s) and click on the blue froggy button to see the other participants.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What makes your main character particularly proud of where they live?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Think Indiana is Full of Inbred, Redneck, Confederate Wannabes? Think Again. #ThursdayDoors #history of #slavery in #Indiana

  1. Joey

    April 21, 2016 at 8:51am

    Can’t like this post enough! Just LOVE the title. Title alone enough to make my day! šŸ˜€
    Seeing Corydon was a long time ago, but I’ve seen a few pictures of it lately, so it must be more chic to visit it nowadays.
    Great post! šŸ™‚

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 21, 2016 at 11:52am

      It’s a pretty nifty little town. Zimmerman Art Glass has moved into a more accessible location: got a Thursday Doors post coming up about that.

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  2. norm 2.0

    April 21, 2016 at 9:29am

    Well Happy 200th Indiana! Thanks for the lovely historical tour šŸ™‚

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  3. Jane

    April 21, 2016 at 10:41am

    Nice commemoration.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  4. Dan Antion

    April 21, 2016 at 11:04am

    Great photos! Great story! Great history! Be proud Indiana!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  5. Jean Reinhardt

    April 21, 2016 at 1:20pm

    Such a pretty town, Marian. I love when history is reenacted, and Laura has a wonderful voice. Great costumes, too.

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  6. Patricia Stoltey

    April 21, 2016 at 5:36pm

    I lived a lot of years in Muncie, IN and traveled around the state some but never got to Corydon. Indiana is a very cool state.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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