History of Posey County, Indiana
In the preparation of this work the central purpose has been to present an impartial history of Posey county. With this end constantly in view, the editor and his assistants have sought with painstaking exactness to ascertain, as nearly as possible, the truth of Posey county history from its dawn to the present time. To such a task those who have been engaged in this work have devoted their best energy and most faithful service. It is hoped that the accuracy of the work is commensurate with the efforts that have been put forth to make it so.
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In his message to the territorial legislature in 1806 Governor Harrison congratulated the people upon the fact that peace had been brought about with the Indians and the lands opened to civilized development. He advanced the opinion that further war would not be necessary unless the Indians were driven to arms by a succession of injustices. However, he remarked by the way that the Indians were already making complaints which were far from being groundless. While the laws provided the same punishments for offenses committed against the Indian as against a white man, the laws were so administered that in every case the Indian got the worst of it, whether he was the offender or the one against whom the offense was committed. Crimes against him went unpunished, while he was severely punished even for the smallest crime against his boasted superior. From the time the treaties were closed in 1805 until 1810, the Indians complained bitterly against the encroachments of the white men on ground which belonged to themselves, and of the unjustifiable killing of many of their number. In laying the matter before Governor Harrison an old chief used these words: "You call us your children; why do you not make us happy as our fathers, the French, did? They never took from us our lands; indeed, they were in common between us. They planted where they pleased; they cut wood where they pleased; so did we. But now if a poor Indian attempts to take a little bark from a tree to cover him from the rain, up comes a white man and threatens to shoot him, claiming the tree as his own." It is more to the credit of the Indian than anything else that these continued offenses should end in war. In the midst of their tribulation and unrest there arose a prophet among the red men. This was none other than the brother of Tecumseh, the crafty Shawnee. His name was Law-le-was-i-kaw, but upon assuming the character of the prophet he took the name of Pems-quat-a-wah, or the Open Door, signifying that he was the means of opportunity for his people.