Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Angles on Southern Indiana

Good things in the current issue of the Indiana Magazine of History take a microhistorical view and use Civil War claims records some of us have never heard of.

Edith Sarra takes a crack at telling three interrelated stories about Patoka Bottoms where Pike and Gibson counties come together -- the massive shantytowns for workers building the short-lived southern extension of the Wabash & Erie Canal, the possible Underground Railroad activities there, and the attempts to drain the bottoms in the early 20th century. One of her points is that standard-gauge historic preservation laws don't have much room for history that is not embodied in surviving buildings.

Stephen Rockenbach chronicles the July 1863 Civil War raid by Confederate John Hunt Morgan on the town of Corydon -- and how the townspeople were later victimized by their own state and federal governments, which never paid a dime in damages to the community.

Several reviews take up recent books about William Henry Harrison, whose role as a pro-slavery Indiana territorial governor was more significant than his one-month presidency in 1841.

Edith Sarra, "Troubled Crossings: Local History and the Built Environment in the Patoka Bottoms," Indiana Magazine of History 109, no. 1 (March 2013): 2-44.

Stephen Rockenbach, "'This Just Hope of Ultimate Payment': The Indiana Morgan's Raid Claims Commission and Harrison County, Indiana, 1863-1887," Indiana Magazine of History 109, no. 1 (March 2013): 45-60.

Harold Henderson, "New Angles on Southern Indiana," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 26 March 2013 (http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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