Indian Creek massacre – Aftermath

Published on February 13, 2013 by Carol

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Monuments at the massacre site in Shabbona County Park,
the older monument is on the left

The Indian Creek massacre was one of the most famous and well publicized incidents during the Black Hawk War. The killings triggered panic in the white population nearby. People abandoned settlements and sought refuge inside frontier forts, such as Fort Dearborn in Chicago.

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On May 21 or 22, the people in Chicago, including those who had fled there, dispatched a company of militia scouts to ascertain the situation in the area between Chicago and Ottawa, along the Chicago to Ottawa trail. The detachment, under the command of Captain Jesse B. Brown, came upon the mangled remains of the 15 victims at Indian Creek on May 22. They buried the dead and continued to Ottawa where they reported their grisly discovery. As a result, the Illinois militia used the event to draw more recruits from Illinois and Kentucky.

After the war, three Natives were charged with murder for the Indian Creek massacre and warrants were issued at the LaSalle County Courthouse for Keewasee, Toquame, and Comee. The charges were dropped when the Hall sisters could not identify the three men as part of the attacking party. In 1833, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law granting each of the Hall sisters 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land along the Illinois and Michigan Canal as compensation and recognition for the hardships they had endured.

In 1877, William Munson, who had married Rachel Hall, erected a monument where the victims of the massacre were buried. The monument, located 14 miles (23 km) north of Ottawa, Illinois, cost $700 to erect. In 1902, the area was designated as Shabbona Park, and $5,000 was appropriated by the Illinois legislature for the erection and maintenance of a new monument. On August 29, 1906, a 16-foot granite monument was dedicated in a ceremony attended by four thousand people. Shabbona County Park, not to be confused with Shabbona
Lake State Park in DeKalb County, is located in northern LaSalle County, west of Illinois Route 23

Source: Legendsofamerica Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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