Hoosier History Live!
Books by Nelson Price
July 23 show
Unheralded heroes of the Underground Railroad
During the 1830s in Indianapolis, a free African-American landowner named James Overall helped escaped slaves. At one point, Overall, who previously had lived in Corydon, was attacked in his Indianapolis home by a gang of white residents.
In September, a historic marker commemorating Overall will be erected on Indiana Avenue, near where he owned property.
As we explore unheralded heroes of the Underground Railroad, Nelson will be joined in studio by Corydon-based historic preservationist Maxine Brown, who has researched Overall's efforts and crusaded for the marker to be erected by the Indiana Historical Bureau.
Nelson's guests also will include Nick Patler, a graduate of Bethany Theological Seminary who has researched Underground Railroad activity in Wayne County. Nick recently spoke to Indiana Freedom Trails, a nonprofit that is researching and verifying sites and people across the state involved in the Underground Railroad.
According to Maxine's research, James Overall and his family were listed as "free persons of color" in Corydon in the 1820 U.S. Census; he had purchased property there as early as 1817. By 1830, the family had moved to Indianapolis, where Overall became a trustee of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
In 1836, Overall was attacked in his home by a white gang. One of the gang leaders was briefly jailed, even though Indiana law at the time prohibited blacks from testifying against whites. The gang leader was freed, but the outcry prompted a Marion County judge to write a lengthy opinion (printed in newspapers) arguing that "the natural rights of man" offered all men, including African Americans, some legal protections to defend themselves, their families and their homes.
During this period, Overall helped with Underground Railroad activity. Those he assisted included Jermain Loguen, an escaped slave from Tennessee who eventually because a well-known Underground Railroad activist based in New York. The historic marker for Overall, sponsored by the Society of Indiana Pioneers, will be dedicated Sept. 29 at 3:30 p.m.
Our guest Nick Patler will share insights about historic figures who helped escaped slaves in Richmond and elsewhere in Wayne County. Most of the attention in eastern Indiana has focused on Levi and Catharine Coffin, Quakers whose home is a state historic site.
But Nick says several unheralded others took great risks. They include Calvin Outland, a freed slave who arrived with a Quaker migration team in 1831 and who "appears to have become one of the main Underground Railroad operatives in the city of Richmond."
Other heroes include two escaped slaves: William Bush, who settled in Wayne County and, as Nick puts it, "went to work helping other African Americans fleeing bondage," and Louis Talbert, who thwarted slave hunters while helping others like himself.
A major organizer of the Underground Railroad in Richmond was Paul Quinn, a leader in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, according to Nick Patler.
Nick, who wrote his master's thesis about Underground Railroad activity in Wayne County, now lives in Staunton, Va., and is an adjunct professor at Elizabeth State University in North Carolina. He is working on a book about African American leaders in the Deep South during Reconstruction.
Our guest Maxine Brown is descended from free African Americans who lived in Corydon beginning in the early 1800s. She has been a guest on previous Hoosier History Live shows, including a program about her restoration of a community landmark known historically as the Corydon Colored School. The school, which closed with integration, is now an award-wining cultural center, the Leora Brown School, named in honor of Maxine's aunt, a longtime teacher at the school.
In February 2015, Maxine was our guest on a show about African Americans in Indiana during the Civil War, including those who fought in the Union Army.
Roadtrip: Hindostan Falls in Martin County
Guest Roadtripper and travel writer Jane Ammeson tells us to visit Hindostan Falls along the East Fork of the White River in Martin County.
There's not much there now, Jane tells us, but Hindostan Falls was a much livelier place two centuries ago after the 1816 founding of the town of Hindostan, which was named after a British soldier who had served time in India.
By 1820 the town had a booming population that reached 1,200, making it one of the largest settlements in this part of Indiana. Poised on one of the new state's first stagecoach runs connecting New Albany and Vincennes, Hindostan boasted two mills, a hotel, whetstone factory, post office and even a button factory. Ferries made their way between the river's two banks, and houseboats moored on its waters.
Time wasn't kind to Hindostan, and today all that's left of the thriving community are some square cuts in the flat rocks where one of the mills used to be anchored, and stories of spirits haunting Hindostan Falls.
Some towns just fade away, but much of Hindostan disappeared much more quickly, many of its townspeople wiped out by a terrible sickness - yellow fever or cholera or even, some say, the plague. Homes where entire families had died were burned to the ground, and mass graves, some holding a hundred or so, were dug and then hastily filled up.
Hear more from Jane this Saturday!
The first state constitution for Indiana was written during the summer of 1816 in Corydon, where Underground Railroad activist James Overall lived for several years. More than 40 state leaders met 200 years ago in Corydon, Indiana's first capital, to draft the constitution, which banned slavery.
Because the weather was hot - and the buildings in Corydon felt stifling - the delegates sought relief by meeting under the shade of an enormous tree.
The landmark tree, which was five feet in diameter, finally died during the 1920s. But its stump is preserved in a shrine in Corydon's historic district.
Question: Under what kind of tree did the leaders draft and debate Indiana's first constitution?
To win the prize, you must call in with the correct answer during the live show and be willing to be placed on the air and be willing to give your contact info to our engineer. The call-in number is (317) 788-3314, and please do not call until you hear Nelson pose the question on the air. Please do not call if you have won a prize from any WICR show during the last two months.
Underwriting the project
We are not staff members of any organization; rather, we are a small, independent production group trying to keep Hoosier History Live on the air, on the web and in your inbox. Your gift goes primarily to support those individuals who are working so hard on the project, as well as to help defray the costs of maintaining our website, our email marketing software and our audio editing costs.
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It takes only seconds to help us out. Just click the yellow "Donate" button, above. Or, if you prefer the paper method, you may make out a check to "Hoosier History Live" and mail it to Hoosier History Live, P.O. Box 44393, Indianapolis, IN 46244-0393.
We also try to maintain some of those old-fashioned journalism principles about trying to keep editorial content separate from financial contributions.
For questions about becoming an underwriting sponsor (the underwriter level includes logos on our website and newsletter and spoken credits in the live show), contact our producer, Molly Head, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (317) 927-9101, or Garry Chilluffo, our media+development director, at email@example.com.
Also, the Irvington Library Listening Group continues to meet on a regular basis from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturdays to listen to and discuss the live show. If you think you would enjoy listening with fellow history lovers, just stop by the library at 5626 E. Washington St. in Indianapolis and ask for the listening group.
If you are interested in forming your own listening group, all you need is a relatively quiet room with comfortable chairs and either a radio or an online listening device. A weekly listening group is an easy way to get "regulars" into your organization or place of business.
The Central Library in Indianapolis is willing to provide a space for a listening group if someone would volunteer to host the group. For more info, contact producer Molly Head.
July 30 show
Bicentennial: today's projects, yesterday's innovators
As Indiana celebrates its 200th birthday, Hoosier History Live periodically has been exploring a range of topics associated with the milestone.
During this show, we will share updates about the major capital projects involved with the Bicentennial, including the creation of a Bicentennial Plaza at the Indiana Statehouse, and the plans to construct a building for the Indiana State Archives, which have been housed in a warehouse on the eastside of Indy - and vulnerable to deterioration.
We also will look at historic innovators with Indiana connections who are being honored in grassroots festivities across the state. They include engineer Octave Chanute, whose experiments with gliders on the Indiana Dunes during the 1890s inspired the Wright Brothers.
Our guests will include Perry Hammock, executive director of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. He recently participated in an event in northwest Indiana honoring Chanute (1832-1910), who was born in Paris and was based in Chicago for many years. But Chanute conducted many of his most significant experiments with gliders at the Dunes near Miller Beach on Lake Michigan.
According to Perry Hammock, the Bicentennial Plaza originally was envisioned as a Centennial Plaza to salute the state's 100th birthday in 1916. Perry will share details about the evolution of the plaza, which will be the setting for a major, multi-sensory event - the Bicentennial Hoosier Homecoming - on Oct. 15. The festivities will include the return of the Bicentennial torch after it has traveled to all 92 counties.
Speaking of the torch: We will share details about the Hoosiers selected as torch bearers during its route, which begins Sept. 9 in Corydon. According to news accounts, the carriers total nearly 2,000 Hoosiers, including some who have been Hoosier History Live guests, such as filmmaker Angelo Pizzo of Hoosiers and Rudy fame.
In May 2015, Indiana State Archivist Jim Corridan and Stephen Towne, president of the Friends of the State Archives, joined Nelson for a show that explored the range of material (from the two Indiana Constitutions to prison records of John Dillinger) that is housed in the archives. The guests also discussed the dire need for a climate-controlled building to house the archives, following an appropriation of $25 million by the legislature. According to recent news accounts, the most likely site is located near the IUPUI campus.
Our previous shows exploring aspects of the Bicentennial have included a program last January with Perry Hammock and First Lady Karen Pence, the official Bicentennial ambassador, as Nelson's studio guests.
8-year soiree on Feb. 25 was historical fun
Photos continue to roll in from the Feb. 25 Hoosier History Live party to celebrate our 8 years on the air. This week's featured image is of Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett with the four fine young musicians of the Herron String Quartet who provided such lovely music in the entry hall at Indiana Landmarks Center as the event got under way.
If you have a good photo that you would allow us to use for publication in our e-newsletter and website, please consider emailing it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do include the name that is to receive credit.
Thanks also to individual contributors Anne Laker, Jim and Marjorie Kienle, Dennis Arbuckle, Joe Young, Kathleen Angelone, J. Scott Keller, Jennifer Q. Smith of AvantGarb, Georgia Cravey and Jim Lingenfelter, Barbara and Michael Homoya, Margaret Smith, Peggy Hollingsworth, Lorraine Vavul, Rita Kohn and William McNiece.
Presenters included CEO of Indiana Landmarks Marsh Davis, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, WICR program director Henri Pensis and Indiana Bicentennial Commission Executive Director Perry Hammock, as well as host Nelson Price and producer Molly Head of Hoosier History Live.
Catering was provided by Jacquie's Gourmet Catering, and entertainment was provided by Shirley Judkins, Herron High School String Quartet and Janet Gilray of Voices in Time. Thanks to corporate supporters Indiana Landmarks and Core Redevelopment.
As a nod to the many Indiana ethnic heritage shows produced by Hoosier History Live over the years, guests were invited to dress to portray their ethnic heritage. A shout-out to the Scots, Greeks, and Germans in attendance! And thanks to Jan Wahls for portraying May Wright Sewall.
Your encouragement and participation, on all fronts and in myriad ways, are what keep us going - on the air, in your in-box and on the web. Thanks!
Calendar itemkeeper, listening-group host opportunities
Would you be interested in placing the Hoosier History Live show topic and dates and times and ways to listen on the Bicentennial calendar and various other free community calendars across the state? This is rather detailed online weekly public relations work, but it would help get the word out about our show. If interested, please email email@example.com, and please include your phone number.
Would you be interesting in hosting or facilitating a listening group at Central Library in Indianapolis each week? You would be responsible for being there each week during the live show and making sure a listening device is available. And generally facilitating the discussion. If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and please include your phone number.
A note of support
'We hope to see it broadcast far and wide'
A particularly nice letter of support came in some time ago from authors James Alexander Thom and Dark Rain Thom. We like to re-read it from time to time!
Shows, we got shows
We have more than 300 Hoosier History Live! radio shows completed, as a matter of fact. And we need to get show audio onto the website, which we are doing by and by, but we sure could use some sponsorship assistance as we edit and publish audio for each archived show. Take a look at the list below and check out all the opportunities for sponsoring a slice of original Hoosier History Live! content on the Web.
No one else is doing anything quite like what we're doing. We are the nation's only live call-in radio program about history. We offer a permanent and growing archive of quality content, available for sponsorship opportunities.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of Hoosier History Live!, click here or call Molly Head at (317) 927-9101 for more info.
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